This is a question that only you can answer. But it’s best to do it in a clear-headed way, perhaps with the input of a counsellor or coach.
Aspects to consider include:
- How much do you trust your partner or spouse? Clearly, discovering that they’ve led a double life is going to rock and undermine the relationship. However, you might still conclude that this person would be there for you if you needed them, and they are someone you can trust with your children and finances, or with your worries and concerns. At the end of the day, those things count for a lot.
- Do you basically respect them? Do they respect you too?
- Do you have children? It’s essential to consider the impact on them – both if you stay or decide to go. There are lots of lives and futures that are going to be affected by what you decide to do at this time.
- How much do you like, and enjoy spending time with your partner? Is it fun and rewarding, or tiring and a bore? Are you comfortable around them? Do you wish they weren’t there?
- Do you have the same core values and beliefs? Of course, you won’t agree on every little thing but there must be common ground in the key areas. Also, the relationship won’t last or be truly satisfying if one of you is forced to believe certain things – for fear of rejection or abandonment.
- Do you share common interests and hobbies? If you really are companions and enjoy the same things then this can be a glue in the relationship. However, if there’s little overlap in the things you like to do then, perhaps, you’re really going in the opposite direction.
- Are you free to be yourself in the relationship? Is this a smothering, fear-based relationship, or do you have your own, separate identities?
- Are the partners adaptable and willing to change? The relationship is going to have to change a lot to recover from betrayal and deliberate deceit.
- Does the partner have a history of infidelity? Is this first time? Has it happened before? Are they able to come through when they say that they will change?
- How invested are you both in the relationship? You need to take a long, and a cold hard look at how much you both want the relationship to work. Will you both do the work that allow it to survive?
These are useful starting points for talking through what might come next, and whether it is wise to rebuild what has been lost. They are questions that both partners should consider honestly – and perhaps gets the output from some others that you trust.