Affair Recovery

You may be reading this as you are hurt and angry, feel betrayed at a deep level. An affair is a time of crises for a relationship.

It does not have to mean however that your relationship is doomed and that you will not be able to recover trust. There are

many different types of affairs ranging from emotional affairs, to actual infidelity to one night stands to long term relationships. It is difficult . Finding out about an affair is a crises and can be understandably very upsetting and hurtful for the partner who was cheated on. The person who strayed is also in a crises.

I believe that if someone finds out about a partners' affair that it is because that person wanted their partner to find out.

People who live together send each other multiple cues both verbally and non verbally. It is hard not to notice that your

partner is now working out and losing weight and taking extra care in their appearance, or that they are now working

late which is not their usual pattern. Whatever it is one partner will find themselves feeling uneasy and may check their

partners phone or email. When the affair comes to light it can be devastating. What you do with this situation depends

on what you feel about marriage and your values about commitment. I do not think an affair is an absolute symptom of a

marriage that cannot be healed. Sometimes affairs happen due to circumstances, traveling with a co-worker out of

town, a poor judgement while away from home. Whatever the context it is important to get the message of the affair and

figure out how and why it happened. Doing this can get you closure whether you want to continue to be in the marriage or not.

I suggest that the partner who is unfaithful who wants to keep the marriage be prepared for many questions and to try to be as

honest as possible with the level of detail that the partner is asking. This helps healing. The person who had the affair

must be prepared to suffer the anger and hurt and acknowledge that there is now a problem with trust. Trust CAN

be re-built but it wil take time, and the need for the injured partner to grieve and to be allowed to have their feelings heard

is a crucial part of healing. Healing takes time but it does happen if both of you are committed to learning from this

traumatic event. Therapy can help if both of you are willing. In the end it is not about the fact that you have a major

challenge in your marriage, it is about what the two of you decide to do about this major challenge. That is what makes

a good marriage. Remember that the Chinese character for a crises describes both danger and an opportunity.

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Norwell, MA Therapist

Marguerite Wood, LICSW