- Surviving Infidelity: What Wives Do When Men Cheat
- The Affair Recovery Timeline: Shorten It With This 1 Shift by the Cheater
- So, here’s the deal…
- The Affair Recovery Timeline – Let’s go back in Time…
- Okay. So, what is the one thing that will make the betrayed spouse do cartwheels?
- Don’t let it scare you
- 15 Powerful Steps for Surviving Infidelity in Your Relationship
- 1. Promise to stop the affair—and to stop seeing your lover—immediately
- 2. Answer any and all questions
- 3. Show your spouse empathy, no matter what
- 4. Keep talking and listening, no matter how long it takes
- 5. Take responsibility
- 6. Don’t expect quick or easy forgiveness
- 9 Steps for the Betrayed Spouse
- 1. Ask lots of questions
- 2. Balance your rage with your need for information
- 3. Set a time limit on affair talk
- 4. Expect curveballs
- 5. Talk about how the affair has affected you
- 6. Don’t forgive quickly or easily
- 7. Find support
- 8. Spend time together without talking about the affair
- 9. Forgive only when you’re ready
Surviving Infidelity: What Wives Do When Men Cheat
Dressed in a black suit with a subdued silk scarf, Silda Wall Spitzer stood by her husband, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer as he announced his resignation to a room full of reporters. When the cameras stopped flashing, however, a husband and wife were left to deal with an alleged violation of marriage and above all, busted trust.
Gov. Spitzer has referred publicly to the alleged infidelity as a “private matter,” but the experience is rooted in human behavior and family sociology. That means social scientists can to some extent get into the minds of the parties involved.
So, whether or not Silda Spitzer stays by her husband's side, she is ly considering a divorce, as most women in this situation would, sociologists and other experts told LiveScience.
Gov. Spitzer, 48, allegedly paid $4,300 for a prostitute to commute from New York to Washington, D.C., and meet him at a hotel there last month. News reports state Spitzer was tracked with court-ordered wiretaps. Spitzer was a repeat call-girl customer known as “Client 9,” according to The New York Times.
“Some sociologists have argued that 'being faithful' is the central, defining norm of marriage,” said Paul Amato, a professor of sociology at Penn State. “Although marriage implies multiple obligations, the obligation to be sexually faithful to one's spouse seems to carry the most weight.”
He added, “In fact, infidelity is the marital problem most ly to lead to divorce.”
Even so, Silda and Eliot could stay together. “After all you have Hillary and Bill [Clinton], and what hasn't Bill done to Hillary.
Everything that could be done to a woman to humiliate and hurt her emotionally and a family, Bill has done,” said Pepper Schwartz, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle.
“And yet Hillary and Bill have a tight connection that overcomes just about everything, maybe not anger and at some deeper level even hatred. But the attachment and the commitment seem to be inviolable.”
When it comes to infidelity, research shows that men are motivated primarily by the lure of sex, while women trek outside the marriage due to emotional neglect and the need for emotional intimacy.
Though more men than women cheat, infidelity is on the rise among both in recent decades. For men and women, the ease of travel to cities where they are anonymous could partially explain the increase. And more and more women are less dependent on their husbands for financial and other stability, so there's less at stake if she does get caught.
Who cheats and why
The Spitzers are far from alone when it comes to fidelity issues. The prevalence of marital infidelity and extramarital sex varies widely depending on the definition of infidelity used and the survey referenced, ranging from about 10 percent of couples to more than half.
A 1994 study by sociologist Edward Lauman found that 10 percent to 11 percent of spouses had cheated in the prior year. Over a lifetime, that study revealed about 18 percent of women and 24 percent of men reported an extramarital affair.
While Americans have become much more accepting of premarital sex during the past several decades, they still view extramarital sex as somewhat intolerable, Amato said.
A 2006 Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults revealed that nearly 90 percent of participants said it is morally wrong for married individuals to have an affair, which may or may not involve sex. About the same percentage said adultery is morally wrong.
That's one reason “it really shakes up a marriage,” Amato said.
Will she leave him? When deciding whether to go the divorce route or follow the winding roads of marriage-repair, many factors come into play. In addition to cheating for different reasons, men and women react differently to an unfaithful spouse.
“Typical reactions from both sexes include becoming enraged, sad, humiliated, and depressed,” said David Buss, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. “There are large individual differences within each sex; men tend to focus more heavily on the sexual aspects of the infidelity; women more on the emotional aspects.”
These differences may have deep evolutionary roots. “From a man's perspective, sexual infidelity historically jeopardized his paternity certainty — 'mama's baby, papa's maybe,'” Buss said. “Male sexual jealousy is, among other things, an adaptation designed to solve the problem of genetic cuckoldry.”
Women, on the other hand, are 100-percent certain they are the mothers of their children.
And the most upsetting acts of infidelity from a female perspective involve the emotional ties their husbands may have formed with the significant or insignificant others.
They are more ly to forgive their husbands if the affair “meant nothing” and involved no emotional intimacy. Overall, women are more ly than men to forgive a cheating spouse.
“So one-night stands and use of prostitutes is less threatening than is a long-term, emotionally bonded extramarital relationship,” Amato told LiveScience. “Wives are more ly to forgive their husbands if their husbands were not 'in love' with the other woman.”
Amato said men are not as concerned about the emotional connection between their wives and the third party. Even still, husbands “don't want their wives fooling around under any circumstances,” Amato said.
Women also tend to take the family into account when pondering a split-up.
“Women are more ly to take into account their children, their economics, their general survival,” Schwartz said. “Men are just crushed or upset about what happened to them. They won't think as quickly about their children as the first or second issue; but they will eventually consider that.” She added that men generally experience a flooding of anger over the violation.
That rise in blood pressure could result from a guy's perception of cheating as something done to him more than something done to the relationship.
“Men are less willing to forgive,” said Ruth Houston, founder of www.InfidelityAdvice.com and author of “Is He Cheating on You? – 829 Telltale Signs.” She added, “Men view infidelity as a statement about their manhood, so it's such an affront to him that most men cannot get over this hurdle.”
Practical concerns can also steer a woman in one direction or the other. “Wives are also less ly to consider divorce if they are economically dependent on their husbands, have children or hold strong religious views,” Amato said. “Nevertheless, most wives at least consider the option of divorce. And, in fact, infidelity is the marital problem most ly to lead to divorce.”
The public eye
While such a transgression would rattle any relationship, those in the public eye — as in the Spitzer case — get a Hollywood dose of the marital misdemeanors.
“Many find the public humiliation the most upsetting aspect of a spouse's infidelity,” Buss said. “When's it's played out in the media, as in the Spitzer case, Silda Spitzer must be going through psychological hell.”
Schwartz agrees, and adds the amount of money that reportedly supported Spitzer's alleged call-girl habit makes this an “extreme situation” of public humiliation.
“There's also the question of whether she [Silda Spitzer] loved him and he loved her. We don't know that. If she did truly love him and he did truly love her but has a narcissistic problem, she may forgive him. All that said, she may go on and be with him,” Schwartz said.
No surprise — trust is damaged deeply after infidelity is out in the open.
“After the incident comes to light, husbands as well as wives are less happy with their marriages, report more marital conflict, experience elevated levels of psychological distress and increase their thoughts of divorce,” Amato said.
“Many spouses never fully recover from their feelings of betrayal and anger, even if they stay together,” he said. “Counseling can help, however, and some couples eventually manage to repair their relationships.”
Couples should expect a lengthy process, as no quick-fix exists.
“Re-establishing trust takes time, of course,” Amato said, “but if both spouses sincerely want the marriage to continue and are willing to work on it, then it is possible to have a healthy relationship again.”
One recent study found that most couples stayed together after an incident of infidelity.
“Sometimes it's a real wake-up call for the relationship,” Schwartz said in a telephone interview. “They have no excuses, but they realize they really have something they want to protect and they really commit themselves to it.”
Relationship (emotional) recovery
For couples on the journey of patching up their relationships, Candyce Russell, a licensed family therapist, points out the importance of understanding the emotions following infidelity.
In her research, Russell found three emotional stages will follow an incident of infidelity:
Stage one (roller-coaster): a time filled with strong emotions, ranging from anger and self-blame to periods of introspection and appreciation for the relationship.
Stage two (moratorium): a less emotional period in which the cheated-on spouse tries to make sense of the infidelity, obsesses about details of the affair, retreats physically and emotionally from the relationship, and reaches out to others for help.
Stage three (trust-building): for couples who decided they wanted to stay together and make their marriage work.
“In the trust-building stage, showing commitment to the relationship was most important for injured parties to begin forgiving and building trust,” Russell said.
This might have some accidental rants so please be warned. Also a long post hehe.
I was dating this guy for around 2 years. He was my first serious relationship after going through a handful of unhealthy boys who were just in it for the sex. He was the first guy that I felt really loved me for me, and that I could love too, because of who he is.
We recently started talking about how we think we could possibly end up as partners for life, in our dreams to do good for this world. It was amazing. It was hopeful. We had fights, of course, and I had my anxiety and depression, which was a handful sometimes.
But things seemed they could work, at least for the first two years. He helped me through my career, and I’d to think I got to help him through multiple career shifts and exploring his options too.
He’s currently working in the job of his dreams, which I helped push him to interview for. We were happy.
More recently, though, he started becoming really close to a colleague of ours. I ignored it at first, as I didn’t being a jealous partner, and I knew they needed to work together. But, as time went by, there were little signs here and there that made me start feeling uncomfortable about their closeness.
It was too close for a regular relationship between colleagues, to the point that they’d chat about non-work stuff everyday. They have some long friendly calls every few days too. I sometimes glance at phone notifs and some messages when he’s on his laptop screen and it was uncomfortable to read.
Nothing sexually explicit, nothing raunchy, but there were messages of him saying he’ll miss her a lot when they stop working together. I think she opens up a lot to him about her life, her love life, etc and he listens to everything and responds too.
A lot of their conversations seem how he and I used to talk when we started dating a couple years ago. It honestly all seemed flirting. And I don’t get jealous easily, so I would know.
My gut told me something was wrong. That I should bring my feeling of discomfort up, at least to try to resolve it. I asked advice from a friend, and she recommended to mention it too. If he values our relationship enough, he’ll be willing to make a bit of adjustments that we can compromise on.
So I did. I brought it up. At first he would dismiss and laugh at it. Then he’d make jokes once in a while about it. But, nothing to assure me that I could trust him, that he values us and our relationship more than his relationship with her, who I introduced to him just a few months ago so they could work on a project together.
I was getting uncomfortable because he wasn’t taking things as seriously as they were for me, and on top of this, his sexual appetite in those months reduced to 0.
I could also barely bring up any stories from my end, knowing that he’ll just be tired and unready to listen. He also barely talked to me about anything anymore. We would hang out as companions but there was something missing.
We don’t talk much but he talks to her and only her a lot, through phone.
Anyway, I brought it up again and told him I felt that it was weird and seemed unfair that I couldn’t open up to my partner, but another girl could freely bring up her issues and get his support. It was also weird that it felt he’d bring things up with her but not feel comfortable enough to do so with me.
This reached a tipping point and he admitted that he started feeling less attracted to me and less passionate about us since a few months ago. I guess he was starting to feel that we wouldn’t end up together.
He was starting to get much more irritable about every single thing, even if I did my best to walk on eggshells around him and listen to his preferences in how people speak with him.
Frustratingly, the last two times there was strong jealousy in our relationship, it was on his end, which caused me, willingly, to significantly reduce my interactions with the two guy friends he was uncomfortable with. All this made me think it was acceptable in our relationship to bring up jealousy and work together on it, as partners.
The funny thing is, he told me that if we broke up soon, it wouldn’t be because of his relationship with another woman. He said it would have been my fault, because I was too sad, too heavy a burden, to difficult to be with. Sadly, i know for a fact that she also has her issues and is ly difficult too, so it sounded excuses for me.
Why can he handle her but not me? I’m also frustrated because I worked hard to help him get through his jobless state and multiple depressive episodes in the past two years, so I don’t think I was an unhelpful burden? I’m not so sure anymore.
In short, it seemed he was more okay with ending our 2 year relationship that seemed fruitful and mostly happy, just so that he doesn’t have to adjust his relationship with her to make me feel comfortable.
For a whole 2 weeks, I cried myself to sleep, not knowing why I wasn’t enough. Not knowing what she’s got over me. In the end, when it got too much, I chose to call it off, with his agreement. I couldn’t bare the distrust that I’ve come to develop. I realized I can’t even be a normal functioning person with him anymore, which I didn’t think was a good partnership anymore.
The Affair Recovery Timeline: Shorten It With This 1 Shift by the Cheater
If you’re a betrayed spouse, I think that you will agree with me when I say that your affair recovery timeline would be substantially shorter if only your ex-unfaithful spouse would actually put more effort into doing the necessary work.
And if you’re an ex-unfaithful spouse, you probably can agree that you could be doing more to help in the recovery process.
Over the years I’ve learned that the ex-unfaithful person can help to substantially speed up the affair recovery timeline by practicing just one thing.
And in this post, I’m going to lay it out for you.
So, here’s the deal…
Let’s assume for a minute that we are referring to a typical scenario where the affair has ended, the couple wants to stay together, yet they are struggling to get through the affair recovery process. I realize that’s pretty generic, but it’s a start.
I’ve mentored hundreds of betrayed spouses over the years – both men and women – who are basically going through this type of scenario.
And if there is one complaint/struggle that I hear from most it’s that one of the parties – almost always the betrayed spouse – is doing all the work.
They are the person who is reading books and blogs and participating on forums. They are the one who has purchased programs, coaching, and marriage intensives. They are the person who is in individual counseling and utilizing other supportive outlets. They are the one who is busting their butt to become the best version of themselves.
In short, they are driving the affair recovery bus and their unfaithful spouse is just along for the ride.
And they’re tired of it.
And resentment is building.
And I get it.
Not too many unfaithful spouses want to deal with this stuff. Not too many want to talk about the affair, their character flaws and all the ways that they screwed things up. Few want to look within to discover why they did what they did and/or deal with deep seated family-of-origin issues.
Others simply do not have any motivation to change. They are creatures of habit and stubborn to the point of resisting any change whatsoever.
It’s messy. It’s scary. It brings out too much guilt, shame, embarrassment, etc. Not to mention – it’s damn difficult. (But nowhere near as difficult as what the betrayed is experiencing.)
Even the unfaithful spouses with the best intentions struggle with all of this. These are the folks who know what they should be doing – and are indeed doing some good things – but may not always follow through on what they say they are going to do. They start off gang busters and then tend to fizzle out and fade away.
They let their betrayed spouse take the lead in just about everything throughout the affair recovery timeline – and that’s just fine with them.
Here’s a Ted Talk by Mel Robbins on how to stop screwing yourself over – because everything isn’t fine.
The Affair Recovery Timeline – Let’s go back in Time…
There was a time where I was doing this exact same thing as described above. I was doing some good stuff – acts of service mainly – but it wasn’t enough for Linda. So, she told me so.
Here’s how she described it in a post from back in 2011:
“In many ways I feel that I did take full responsibility initially for trying to save our marriage, and that for many months Doug didn’t make much of an effort to meet my needs and was just along for the ride.
I questioned if he really did care for me then why did he continue to allow me to suffer so much? Why did it take so long for him to get feelings back for me when I was doing everything I could to meet his needs? Why was he still here?…
I regret some of the decisions and actions I made initially when trying to save my marriage. I regret being a “doormat” as you said.
I regret not making Doug accountable for his actions and taking steps to make our marriage better.
I regret not having the confidence to tell him that if you want our marriage to work then we will come up with a plan together. If not, then don’t let the door hit you on the way out!
I have said in many posts that when first faced with the effects of an affair, you are acting fear and raw emotion. You are alone and there is no blueprint to follow. That is why I did so much reading and research on the subject. I did what I thought was right at the time and have learned a lot about myself throughout this process.
I have learned to have the confidence to stand up for myself and what I believe, and to be completely honest with Doug about how I am feeling.
In return, he has learned to be receptive and supportive of my thoughts, feelings and needs.
We both are working to build trust and trusting that when we communicate our feelings to each other we do not become defensive and are receptive to each other.
Not too long ago, I stepped back and allowed Doug to take the lead. Throughout our marriage I have always been the fixer and doer. That is just who I am. But I believe that Doug needed to take some responsibility. He really needed to learn what I need and follow through on it. As a result, Doug has really stepped up.”
As you can tell, I needed a little bit of a nudge to get going. And I notice this same type of situation on a daily basis when mentoring folks.
Okay. So, what is the one thing that will make the betrayed spouse do cartwheels?
Before I tell you, let’s review the 24 tasks that the unfaithful person must perform so that they can become the healer (From, The Unfaithful Person’s Guide to Helping Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair):
- Stop all contact with the other person – forever
- Be sensitive when your partner suffers from a trigger
- Stop being so selfish
- Take responsibility for your actions – and inactions
- Stop trying to always be in control
- Have some patience
- Be trustworthy
- Talk about things
- Be honest
- Show remorse and apologize
- Acknowledge the depth of the pain that your affair brought to your marriage
- Educate yourself about affairs and relationships
- Figure out for yourself why you did what you did
- Be thoughtful and reassuring
- Stop being so defensive
- Be loving and supportive
- Stop thinking that the grass is always greener somewhere else
- Listen – really listen
- Stop blaming your spouse for your affair
- Make your life and everything you do an open book
- Check your anger at the door
- Get some counseling or therapy
- Ask your spouse what he/she needs from you on a regular basis
- Gratitude or gratefulness
Now here is the pièce de résistance that will make the betrayed spouse do cartwheels, add mucho deposits to their love bank – not to mention help build trust and hope while reducing resentment. (And possibly lots more.)
Three words: Take the initiative!
The Cambridge Dictionary defines this phrase very simply as:
“To be the first one to do something, esp. to solve a problem.”
Be On the Alert for Backsliding During Reconciliation
Again, we’re assuming the affair is over and we’re working on reconciliation and recovery.
That said, here are a few things that might get you started (Betrayed spouses, please add to this list in the comment section with some things you wish your spouse would initiate!):
- Get a book from the library or Amazon on relationships, infidelity, marriage etc. Read it. And then – now here is the most important part – take the initiative and discuss what you learned from the book with your husband or wife.
- Schedule a session with a therapist, coach, mentor or clergy person to discuss your current situation.
- Start a journal.
- When you are doing your introspection (which I know you are doing, right?), approach your spouse and talk about anything you may have learned about yourself and/or your situation.
- When you finally figure out the real reasons for why you had your affair (and that is a biggie for most betrayed spouses), don’t just keep it to yourself. Take the initiative and start a conversation with your wife or husband about your discoveries.
- Plan and make arrangements for date nights and other special occasions.
- If you’re at the stage in your recovery where it is appropriate – be more romantic.
- If you have a new perspective about your affair relationship, don’t be afraid to share it.
- Ask your spouse what you can be doing better. Ask if there is anything he/she would to discuss.
- Start a self-improvement program; exercise, meditate/pray, read, listen to inspirational and motivational podcasts, get financially fit, etc.
Don’t let it scare you
Most of the time the unfaithful person is afraid to do these things fear (yes, some are just plain lazy). They fear they will be shamed, guilted, blamed, interrogated, punished, argued with or rejected.
I venture to guess that if you take the initiative and do some of the things I listed, your spouse will do none of those things, but will instead thank you for it.
I can tell you that when I started to do some of these things, it made all the difference to Linda and it made our affair recovery timeline shrink substantially.
When it comes right down to it, I think it’s safe to say that nobody wants to dwell on this stuff forever. No unfaithful person has ever told me that they didn’t want to move on. It would make sense then to ditch yours fears, your poor attitude, your laziness or lack of desire, and instead put forth 100% effort into doing what you need to do…
Take the initiative!
15 Powerful Steps for Surviving Infidelity in Your Relationship
Your marriage can survive an affair. Healing from infidelity is hard, painful work; both of you must be committed to repairing the damage, rebuilding trust, and reconnecting.
The unfaithful spouse must be willing to stop the affair, provide all details honestly and completely, and take the steps necessary to prove his or her trustworthiness. (Here are the signs you have a cheating spouse).
The betrayed spouse must take the job of healing seriously—by not minimizing or trying to speed up the process and, at times, by setting aside overwhelming anger and despair in order to learn more about what’s happened. Stopping secrecy and building a more honest union are the keys.
wavebreakmedia/ShutterstockIf you both make a commitment to follow these strategies with your whole heart, your marriage has a good chance of surviving infidelity—and emerging stronger on the other side.
1. Promise to stop the affair—and to stop seeing your lover—immediately
Agree to sever all contact. This lifts secrecy and creates a sense of safety for the betrayed spouse. Stopping an affair and surviving infidelity goes beyond no dinner dates or sex. All phone calls, in-person conversations, and quick coffee breaks together must stop.
If you work with the person with whom you had an affair, keep your encounters strictly business—and tell your spouse everything that happens. Avoid private lunch dates and closed-door meetings. It’s also important to report any chance meetings with your former lover to your spouse before he or she asks about it. Talk about your conversation.
If your former lover contacts you, announce that too. This will help rebuild trust in your relationship.
2. Answer any and all questions
More marriage experts agree that couples heal better after an affair if the adulterous spouse supplies all of the information requested by his or her betrayed partner.
In one study of 1,083 betrayed husbands and wives, those whose spouses were the most honest felt better emotionally and reconciled more completely, reports affairs expert Peggy Vaughan, author of The Monogamy Myth: A Personal Handbook for Recovering from Affairs, who developed the international Beyond Affairs Network. “I’ve talked with plenty of people who say with pride that they never talked about the affair,” she says. “That’s not healing. You need to reach the point where you can talk about it without pain. If you never, ever discuss it, you cannot recover. My own husband had 12 affairs over seven years. I’m convinced the main reason I recovered was his willingness to answer all of my questions.” It’s counterintuitive—many spouses (and therapists) think that going over the details will only further upset the aggrieved partner. Truth is, willingness to talk rebuilds trust. The key? Not holding back—no more secrets. If you leave out details that emerge later, your spouse may feel newly betrayed. Here’s what else you should do if you’re caught cheating.
3. Show your spouse empathy, no matter what
The single best indicator of whether a relationship can survive infidelity is how much empathy the unfaithful partner shows when the betrayed spouse gets emotional about the pain caused by the affair, according to infidelity expert Shirley Glass, Ph.D. Use these tips to increase your empathy.
4. Keep talking and listening, no matter how long it takes
Though all couples should improve and strengthen their listening skills, it’s especially important in a situation of infidelity.
You can’t speed up your spouse’s healing process, and you shouldn’t ever negate its significance. Be ready to answer questions at any time, even months or years after the affair has ended.
And listen to his or her reactions without anger or blame—this is key for surviving infidelity.
5. Take responsibility
Blaming your partner for the affair won’t heal your marriage. Showing sincere regret and remorse will. Apologize often and vow to never commit adultery again. It may seem obvious to you that you’ll never stray again, but your spouse may have worries, so renew your commitment to your spouse as your one-and-only.
6. Don’t expect quick or easy forgiveness
Your partner may be in deep pain or shock. Expect tears, rage, and anger.
9 Steps for the Betrayed Spouse
You want to scream and rail at your partner. You want all the details about the affair. Above all, you want the secrecy to stop. These strategies can help you find what you need to heal, to repair your marriage, and to move forward with your life.
1. Ask lots of questions
At first, you may want all the factual details: How often did you meet? When did you cross the line from friends to lovers? What sexual acts did you share? How many times? Where? How much money did you spend on him or her? Who else knows about your affair? Later, your questions may shift as you think about your partner’s emotions, about the reasons he or she was pushed and pulled into the affair, about whether the affair has turned a spotlight on a hidden weakness in your own marriage.
2. Balance your rage with your need for information
You want to scream, cry, and lash out—but big emotions may prevent your spouse from making the full disclosure that leads to recovery and surviving infidelity. Now, it’s more important than ever that you improve communication with your partner. To get the truth (and form a tighter connection with your spouse), be compassionate about your partner’s emotions.
“When you get all the facts, you’re not obsessed anymore,” Vaughan says. “The only way your spouse will be willing to answer is if you can manage not to lash out and attack every time. Spouses who’ve had affairs are afraid to reveal everything because they’re worried it will become a marathon, with a downward spiral of out-of-control emotions.
” If one of you becomes upset, it’s time to stop the discussion for now.
3. Set a time limit on affair talk
Restrict yourselves to 15 to 30 minutes. Don’t let the affair take over your lives. Do ask questions as they arise instead of building up resentment and long lists of questions. “Don’t let your worries go underground. Keep talking,” Vaughan says.
4. Expect curveballs
The spouse who had the affair may become angry or even accuse you of betraying him or her. Keep the focus on the affair itself.
5. Talk about how the affair has affected you
Discuss your doubts, disappointments, feelings of betrayal and abandonment, anger, and sadness about surviving infidelity. As your partner builds a wall between him- or herself and the former lover, help open a window of intimacy between the two of you. Don’t hold back.
6. Don’t forgive quickly or easily
You must grapple with your pain and anger first and rebuild trust. Before you can truly forgive your spouse, find out what science can teach us about forgiveness.
7. Find support
Reconnecting with family and friends, and even finding a support group to join, can help you feel less isolated while you’re in the middle of surviving infidelity.
8. Spend time together without talking about the affair
Connect as friends and romantic partners by doing the things you’ve always enjoyed. Need ideas? Start out with some of these daily habits of couples in healthy relationships.
9. Forgive only when you’re ready
You’ll never forget an affair, but the painful memories will fade with time. Forgiveness allows you to move past the pain and rage and to reconcile with your partner. Take this important step only when you feel ready to let go of your negative feelings, when your partner has been completely honest and has taken steps to rebuild your trust.
Excerpted from 7 Stages of Marriage