- It is possible for a couple to stay together after an affair, but it is often challenging and will require some hard work.
- If you’re the victim, don’t take any immediate action; instead, allow yourself time to process what has happened and how it makes you feel.
- If you’re the cheater, give your partner that time and space to process what has happened and navigate his/her emotions.
- Furthermore, you must end the affair for good—cut all ties—if you hope to salvage your relationship with your significant other.
- Now for the two of you: you must decide together that you want this relationship to work and will do what it takes to make it happen.
- Sometimes it is necessary, not to mention helpful, to get a therapist involved who can help you talk through your emotions and take significant steps forward.
Infidelity. Adultery. Disloyalty. No matter how you put it, finding out your significant other has cheated on you is an inconceivable nightmare. This person whom you love and care for committed the ultimate betrayal—and now you’re left wondering how you could ever move forward. I mean, is it even possible to move forward? While you might feel less than hopeful right now, it is possible to come back from infidelity and live in a strong, healthy relationship again, according to Dr. Gary Brown. Brown is a licensed marriage and family therapist who helps couples navigate their relationships on a regular basis and affairs are a frequent topic of conversation. Here are his immediate tips for coming back from infidelity:
- If you are the victim of an affair, try not to make any immediate and life-changing decisions in the aftermath of just finding out. Give yourself some time to assess what the impact of the affair is.
- Recognize that not all affairs are the same in terms of their origins and meaning. For example, there is a common myth that goes like this: “if there has been an affair, that means it is a bad marriage.” This is not necessarily true. There are any number of reasons that people have affairs, even in the best of marriages.
- Advice for the cheater: you need to create a space for your partner so that she or he can have the time and the room to emotionally navigate the impact of the affair. Remember, you have a psychological head start, as you are the one who had or is having the affair.
- If you really want your relationship to have any chance of surviving, the affair must stop—completely. That means ending it. Ending it means no phone contact; no texting; no SM contact; deleting their pictures; throwing away any memorabilia that you may have secretly hidden.
- In most cases, the impact of an affair is a powerful emotional event. My experience has been that the majority of couples I work with can and often do survive an affair so long as it is truly over and both of you want to give your relationship the best shot of not just surviving the affair, but for any chance to actually make your relationship better.
- Give up an illusion that the partner who was cheated on is ever going to completely get over this. I don’t care what anybody else says: the everyday reality is that an affair changes a person. It erodes the possibility for them to ever fully trust the cheating partner. No amount of counseling is going to change that fact, but entering counseling with a therapist who understands the impact of affairs can help you avoid some of the emotional landmines that could lead to lasting damage.
- Be patient with the victim. She or he is going to need a good deal of time to just begin recovering from this. Never ever say to your cheated partner that: “It’s time you just got over this and move on.” That’s a good way to inflict more damage and make it more difficult to recover so that the relationship can have a chance of surviving.
Sometimes, we need a little help resolving relationship issues like infidelity. If this is the case for you and your partner, consider working with a couples counselor at Thriveworks. Our providers are skilled and experienced—not to mention, they truly care about your health and progress in life. Schedule an appointment today by first finding a location near you, or book an online counseling session.
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