Extramarital affairs or infidelity don't have to mean the end of your relationship or marriage. Surviving infidelity in your relationship or marriage can actually be easier than you might think. However-it cannot happen all by itself. You will need to make efforts if you want your more permanent relationship or your marriage to survive.
Steps for overcoming infidelity
If you're the unfaithful person:
- Step 1: End your affair immediately.
- Step 2: Openly and honestly discuss the affair with your lover or spouse.
- Step 3: Examine your personal reasons for having the affair. You must tell your spouse or lover every reason, including those that you think may hurt their feelings as well as those that may suggest that you have personal problems. You must be totally honest with yourself. It is okay if you honestly aren't sure about your reasons; by talking your ideas out you can understand your own motivation better.
- Step 4: Try marriage therapy if you cannot straighten things out on your own. But, use this as a last resort. It is better if you can resolve problems on your own.
If you're the person betrayed:
- Step 1: Renegotiate the terms of the relationship in a way that works for both of you if your partner wants to stay with you. But don't let yourself be compromised.
- Step 2: Be willing to listen, trust again, and make your grieving known.
- Step 3: Examine your part in this issue. Did you do anything that may have caused your lover or spouse to seek satisfaction outside the relationship? Don't rationalize away anything that comes to mind. Let them tell you if there is anything they find unsatisfactory in the relationship, and don't automatically blow it off because of your resentment. Has your sex life been weak for a while? Have you "let yourself go" physically? Is it about personal differences over money matters? Have you been shutting them out because of your career or some other reason?.
- Step 4: Try marriage therapy if needed. Again, make this your last resort, something you can turn to if all else fails.
Some people have affairs because they are just jerks. You don't need them in your life, even if you've been married to them. But, many people who act out in the ways of infidelity actually feel secretly hurt but don't know how to express this or handle it. If you love your lover or spouse, don't automatically give up on them because of their affair, or if you are having the affair stop using that as your way of escape. Face your relationship problems.