Can a relationship survive infidelity

6 things healthy couples do to survive marital infidelity

Infidelity in long-term relationships can be devastating. Trust is destroyed and resentments between partners who once looked after each other deeply take over. After one partner catches the other in an affair, it often seems that nothing in the marriage can be the same over and over again - that the rift can never be repaired. It is true that fixing such serious damage to a relationship takes a long time and there is no simple or straightforward "roadmap" to recovery. Every case is different and each suffering spouse will find an independent path to resolution.

However, some generalizations almost always apply. First, the fraudulent partner must cut off all contact with the other party, that is, with the person he or she was having the affair with. Both partners - the one who is unfaithful and the one who is betrayed - must also commit to putting serious effort, energy, and time into the relationship. Also, don't expect a clear and straightforward healing process as the path to resolution is likely to be complicated. Each partner must also be aware that he or she played a unique role in the circumstances that led to the infidelity. Conflicts in marriage are always shared and can never be entirely attributed to one partner or the other. In this sense, both participated in the relationship problems that led to this point, even though one partner played off the infidelity. Each of you have to deal seriously with introspection. You also need to find out how the affair damaged your relationships - not just with your spouse, but with other family members such as your children or your in-laws.

Source: Rolands Lakis / Flickr

Self-care is essential for the betrayed partner. You must necessarily make your personal recovery a priority. Emotional damage often has physical consequences such as susceptibility to illness or loss of motivation and opportunity costs, which are accompanied by a deep internal distraction. Spouses who have been betrayed may experience a damaged sense of self or even question their worth as humans. These betrayed partners need to realize that the matter was not entirely their fault. They need to share responsibility for it in new ways so that they can recognize the flaws in their behavior without bullying or punishing themselves. It will help immeasurably to feel sorry for yourself and spend time with people who sympathize with you and take care of you. (If you are not sure who to talk to, consider seeking a support group or search group therapy with others in the same boat.) It is also absolutely necessary to take good care of your health; In other words, don't treat yourself in a way that costs as much as it helps.

Clear and open communication on intimate and difficult topics is another indispensable aspect of recovering from an affair. You and your spouse must promise to be absolutely (yet gently) honest with one another. Together you have to accept the reality of what happened to the once trustworthy environment of your partnership. Ask your spouse questions - lots of questions - so you can understand his or her decision to make. (Try not to ask for details about sexual encounters, however. This tends to result in indelible and very uncomfortable mental images.) You must each wonder what you could have done to stop the series of events that led to one such have led to a serious breach of trust.

When expressing your feelings to the partner who cheated on you, carefully choose which feelings to express directly and which to express in words. For example, tears - in response to the feeling of loss and the pain of a broken promise - might be the best way to convey these feelings to your partner. But on the other hand playing your anger directly can be problematic. It is all too easy to strike out at the person who hurt you so much by breaking their vows, but if you do, you will likely say something you regret. This will likely cause your spouse to become defensive, which in turn will make him or her quite angry at you. Try to explain what the betrayal felt like instead of yelling or cursing your partner. This can make it easier for the traitor to feel empathy and to be more open to your feelings. It can also help surface feelings of sadness or guilt that the unfaithful partner is likely to feel. You have a right to this empathy and must feel it - but at the same time, your spouse also needs patience and understanding from you. Do your best to let go of the grudges. When you hear an apology that feels real and real and you feel ready, you can accept it.

There will likely be times when your partner will express remorse for his or her actions that you will be tempted to throw them in the face again. Do not do it! Don't succumb to the impulse to relentlessly punish your partner. At the same time, however, you shouldn't feel as though you are open to his or her regrets until you are ready. Don't try to withhold forgiveness, but don't offer it until the time is right. Many angry, angry spouses whose partners have cheated will make a habit of repeatedly bringing up the infidelity and constantly pinning their partners. This will defeat itself as it will eventually turn betrayal into the center of the relationship. Instead, your goal should be to understand why the infidelity happened, and in order to do so, you want to listen to your partner's explanation without criticism. Try to understand what your spouse has learned from the infidelity and how he or she would like things to change in the future. (At the same time, you can ask yourself the same questions.) And in the end, “infidelity talk” will be difficult and arduous for both of you. So it's usually helpful to put a limit on how long you talk about it each day.

The road to recovery is not an easy one - especially because marital infidelity is actually less of a problem than the longstanding disagreements that lead to it. Find the deep root causes of the strain in your marriage and try to use your newly opened channels of communication to explore them. Engage each other for real dialogue based on trust and acceptance. And as you work to recover, try to get back to spending time doing "normal", fun things without talking about the matter. If you want to feel normal again, you need exercise. Similarly, at some point - when you are ready - you and your spouse should become intimate again because proximity to sex can be an integral part of re-establishing a damaged marital relationship. Ultimately, matters that do not end marriages succeed in changing them and forcing them to evolve into something new. The marriage you once had is now over; it took you both to a painful and difficult place. However, if you and your partner can invest the time, honesty, and empathy to reconnect, you will, in a sense, remarry - forming a new partnership based on new assumptions and a new sense of trust.


Alman, I. (2011 February 7). Disparity between sexual desires: when one wants and the other doesn't (website). Retrieved on September 20, 2018 from / blog / sex-sociability / 201102 / sexual-desire-disparity-if-one-does-the-other-not.

Bercht, A. & Bercht, B. (2011). Ten strategies for surviving infidelity. Retrieved November 21, 2018 from

Elder, S. (2007 May 1). Surviving infidelity is hard to do. Retrieved November 21, 2018 from

Finn, K. (2017, April 10). How to survive infidelity and restore your relationship. Retrieved November 21, 2018 from

Harrar, S. and DeMaria, R. M. (2006). 15 Powerful Steps to Surviving Infidelity In Your Relationship New York, NY: Reader's Digest.

Heitler, S. (2011, November 1). Recovery from an affair. Retrieved on November 21, 2018 from / blog / Resolution-not-Conflict / 201111 / Recovery-Affäre.