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Healing From Infidelity: How to Recover from Cheating

Updated on January 9, 2010

Can you recover from the impacts of cheating?

Is healing from infidelity possible in a relationship? Absolutely.

The only ingredient necessary for a long-term relationship to be able to last despite countless stressful events, including adultery, is a willingness to do whatever it takes to save your relationship, even if the advice sounds strange or too “emotional” or “touchy-feely” for you.

Time to reflect and heal

First, the two of you must have time apart after the affair has been revealed. Recovering from the aftershocks of such a revelation can take weeks. You don’t need to rent a hotel room or anything, but don’t discuss the affair for at least a week, so that you will be able to discuss the situation calmly when the time comes.

The second thing is to realize is that neither party can hold a grudge. You just can’t. If you are the partner that was cheated on, it’s perfectly normal to feel betrayed, angry, and sad.

But for the relationship to survive, you cannot set out to “punish” your partner for their infidelity. Forgiveness is essential for the relationship to move on. When your partner apologizes (sincerely) for his or her indiscretion, take whatever time you need, and then forgive him or her.

Relationship Question

Would you forgive your partner for infidelity?

See results

Talk out your problems without flinching

When both of you are ready, the two of you need to talk. Not you two and the person he or she cheated with. The partner who cheated especially needs to explain his or her feelings and motivations leading up to the cheating.

Remember, cheating is a symptom that something is very wrong in a relationship, not a problem in and of itself. Search for the reasons that led to infidelity. Next, the partner who was cheated on needs to express his or her feelings, what he or she felt after hearing the news, and how he or she feels about the future.

It is vital to allow each side to talk as much as necessary to get all resentments, fears, concerns, and emotions out in the open. Your conversation must be open and non-judgmental, and each partner should be allowed to say, without interruption, as much as he or she needs.

After each side had had a turn, one partner should address, in non-confrontational tones, the concerns brought up by the other partner, his or her side of the story, etcetera. This whole talk should take a few hours, but if either of you ever raise your voice, it’s not time for this conversation to happen yet. Words said in anger will only set the relationship further back.

How to survive infidelity and affairs

Proactive and positive solutions

Finally, after each couple understands thoroughly the other party’s position, it is time to be completely solution-oriented. No blame or guilt trips here either- state the facts, and your suggestions for moving forward.

Emphasize that you are 100% dedicated to fixing your relationship, and get the other partner’s agreement. This may mean marriage counseling, scheduling a day of the week to spend time together, writing notes to each other to remain open about each partner’s feelings and emotions, or making time to discuss the relationship openly on a regular basis. There should be nothing that’s “too much effort” or too “touchy-feely” to bother with.

Working together for a future together

From now on, the two of you need to be open with each other on everything you’re feeling. Explain how you resent one little thing now will prevent major arguments later. And get used to telling the truth to your partner. Always.

A strong relationship is built on absolute trust, and trust is only possible through consistent honesty.

Healing from infidelity is time-consuming, painful, and 100% POSSIBLE. With patience and dedication, even the worst indiscretions can be overcome, and trust me, your relationship will actually be all the stronger for it.

Amy Waterman is offering a free marriage course on healing infidelity, if you want to learn more. Good luck!


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