How to survive the affair

How to Deal with and Get Over an Affair

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These steps are the slow and careful way to surviving infidelity, but if you and your spouse work together, you can rebuild 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.

6 Steps for the Unfaithful Spouse

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 businesslike—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

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How to Survive Infidelity: 21 Effective Ways

If your spouse has been unfaithful to you and you feel unheard of, you’re not alone. So many are suffering in silence, just trying to get through each day and construct their new life. So many are trying to figure out how to survive infidelity by themself. 

But you don’t have to go through infidelity recovery stages alone!

Infidelity leaves a significant impact and this article will look at effective ways to deal with infidelity in marriage or relationship.

What is infidelity?

Infidelity is the betrayal that one experiences in a relationship. It is marked by a violation of one’s trust in the form of cheating or adultery committed by someone who is usually in a committed relationship.

Emotional or sexual involvement with someone other than your partner counts as infidelity in marriage and relationships. They both lead to immense emotional upheaval for the partner that has been cheated on. They may question not just the relationship and their partner but also themselves. 

Infidelity in marriage and relationships can make people doubt themself and question all aspects of the relationship. It may take a long time for people to learn how to survive infidelity. 

Can a relationship survive infidelity?

Before we make headway to understand how to get over infidelity and how to rebuild trust in a marriage, it is important to know, “can a marriage survive infidelity?”

An affair doesn’t necessarily mean a relationship has gone to dogs.

You may get pessimistic at times and wonder, “how long does a marriage last after infidelity?” You may feel that your marriage or relationship is on the verge of a breakdown no matter what you do.

Post infidelity, some marriages can survive the onslaught of cheating, while other relationships are not meant to be salvaged. Some couples can move past it while others crumble. However, it takes a lot of work.

If you are wondering, “can a relationship survive cheating,” remember that the answer lies in whether you have the right approach and are willing to work on improving things as a couple.

We can save a marriage if couples are willing to put in the necessary work, commit to complete honesty, and resolve to stop cheating altogether while seeking therapy to process infidelity and rebuild trust after cheating.

21 ways to survive infidelity 

If you have been cheated on, you may be facing a tough time figuring out how to survive infidelity and the damage that it has caused to your relationship. 

It is challenging to address the hurt caused by infidelity and reconcile things with your cheating spouse. But there are ways to achieve this if you have the right attitude as a couple and are willing to work things out.

Here are some essential steps for surviving infidelity in marriage and making your relationship healthy again:

1. Get all the details on the table

Remember, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. 

The initial wave of pain may have subsided, but you need to revisit it to mend healthily what is broken in your marriage. 

Once the affair is exposed, you and your spouse need to get all the details straight to start the process of learning how to survive infidelity.

  • When did it start?
  • How often did they cheat?
  • Has the cheating ended?
  • Is there still contact?

All of those deep, unsettling questions need to be answered for trust to be rebuilt. Without knowing the hurtful answers to these questions, you will be left to fill in the blanks for yourself.

The stories you create in your mind about what happened may be more damaging than infidelity facts. The facts about your spouse’s affair will be equally painful but just as crucial to the healing process of surviving infidelity in marriage.

2. Get a little help from your friends

When you are contemplating how to survive an affair, the immediate solution for surviving an affair is to take advice from your close friends.

Reach out if you have to, and be grateful for those friends who are there for you.

Schedule regular coffee meetups, movies out, shopping trips, or anything you like. You need to know that someone cares regularly. 

Perhaps a long-distance friend can help by texting inspiring messages, or another friend could help motivate you to go to local events. Build your team to help you learn how to survive infidelity.

3. Join a support group

There are others out there who know what you are going through while surviving infidelity.

Even if the circumstances are different, they will know that the hurt you feel is all-encompassing, and they will be way more open with you about your own experience than anyone else. You need to share your story and know what others are going through.

Join a support group to get answers to your numerous thronging questions like, ‘can a marriage survive an affair,’ ‘how many marriages survive affairs’ and more alike.

Related Reading: Support Groups for Betrayed Spouses

4. Be as open as possible

Your feelings are probably all over the place. But it is still essential to be as open as possible. 

If you’re frustrated, angry, scared, etc., say so. Your spouse needs to know how you feel during this process. If you’re feeling uneasy about something, bring it up (in a compassionate way). Allow them to comfort you through more honest communication.

A long and loving marriage has a foundation in faith and honesty; infidelity will tear apart that foundation in the blink of an eye. As you and your partner begin to work on your relationship in the aftermath, rebuild that trust incrementally. 

Keeping a lid on your feelings and not discussing important issues may very well have been a reason for the infidelity. Since you are building from the bottom up now, make sure that you are both open and honest so that you can begin to trust each other’s words and actions again.

5. Find ways to reconnect

Yes, if your spouse is willing to work things, then you can figure out how you both can reconnect.

After an affair, you will feel so disconnected, and you may not even feel like you know your spouse at all. You may not feel ready to do things you used to do together.

So maybe, find something new!

Go on regular dates, so you have alone time to talk. Be sure to designate this time as “non-affair talk” time. It’ll be hard to reconnect and move on if that’s all you talk about. But try to venture into new avenues.

Related Reading: How To Reconnect With Your Spouse In 7 Ways

6. Patience as you forgive

It’s no secret that your relationship will not survive without forgiveness from the scorned party of the marriage, but it can’t be a given. It needs to be worked toward but not automatically granted.

Recovering from infidelity is no magic. You won’t be able to forgive them overnight, but if you commit to rebuilding the relationship, eventually, you will. Forgiveness is the only path to get there, but the rate at which you travel that path is up to you.

If a cheating partner wronged you, you need to wrestle with your anger and contemplate forgiveness simultaneously. 

If they genuinely want things to work out between the two of you, your partner must also understand that the trust has disappeared from their relationship due to their actions. They must be patient with you and your process of dealing with their infidelity.

Related Reading: How to Practice Forgiveness in a Relationship

7. Take a break if you need to

If you can’t be together right now, then take a break. Agree to a specific time limit, and revisit your relationship later.

Sometimes a break is necessary, so things don’t get worse, and you have some time to think and process. Just make the terms of the trial separation clear, so you don’t have to stress about it.

8. Pour energy into exercise

Lift some weights, swim some laps, whack that tennis ball across the court—doesn’t that sound cathartic? That’s because it is. And it would be best if you had that now more than ever. 

Your physical body and your emotional state are connected. When you feel good physically, it will lift your mood.

Exercising can take your mind off your life for 30 minutes or more. Exercise can help alleviate anger, sadness, and stress. You can be around others who are positive, which can help you feel better, too.

9. Figure out how to laugh again

You may feel like you’ll never have the ability to laugh again, but slowly, you’ll smile, chuckle, and then full out belly laugh again. And it will feel good.

Welcome happiness and laughter with open arms. You are a survivor, which means you are moving past what happened.

In this case, laughter really can be the best medicine for surviving infidelity. So, spend time having fun with friends, watching a funny movie, going to a comedy club, etc.

10. Go somewhere completely new

Everything reminds you of your past and what happened. So, go somewhere entirely new for you when you are in the process of surviving infidelity.

It could be a coffee shop in your town that could become your new place, or perhaps you could take a quick road trip to a nearby town where you could be a tourist for a day or two.

New surroundings distract our minds and take them to better places.

11. Forgive as best as you can

You won’t be able to move forward with your life until you let go of what happened. This won’t be easy and will take some time, but it is possible.

An affair can be a massive weight on your shoulders that you are carrying around—so let it go. You will feel liberated and ready to move on when you can forgive.

Related Reading: How to Forgive a Partner – Steps to Self Healing

12. Go for counseling

It is time to go for counseling when you cannot get over the nudging questions like, ‘how to survive infidelity in marriage’ by doing everything possible in your scope of action.

Some therapists have professional experience helping infidelity survivors like you.

Find a good counselor and visit regularly. They can help you make sense of your feelings and process what has happened. Also, they can help you survive infidelity in the best possible way.

Related Reading: Counseling After Infidelity: What You Need to Know

13. Refrain from punishing your partner

Getting cheated on can be a devastating experience. And, of course, you’re so angry that you may want to hurt your partner and make them pay for doing this to you.

Realize that this is the moment you choose to figure out how you feel and react. Learning how to survive infidelity comes with a multitude of difficult choices.

You can be mean and vengeful, which will only worsen things, or you can be wise and get some insight into the real issue.

Please do not use this to punish your spouse for their acts; that will turn you into a permanent victim and create a power imbalance in the relationship.

If you wish to heal, you will have to forgive and change.

14. Recognize the unmet need

Unless your partner is a serial cheater, you’re dealing with a relationship problem here.

Remember that there is no flaw in their character. Ask yourself what your role in the affair was. Perhaps somewhere, there was an unmet need in your relationship — for love, affection, attention, validation of worth or anything else?

Perhaps it could be that they were not being heard and understood? Acknowledging the unmet need can be quite a (painful) revelation – that is when you know your contribution to the extramarital affair. People often ignore this when trying to understand how to survive infidelity. 

Watch this video to learn how to communicate your needs to your partner:

15. Replace anger with understanding

Recovering from infidelity is never easy. But it will happen in time (mainly after you have acknowledged your own role). After all, know that the non-cheating partner may play a role in the drama whenever infidelity is involved in a relationship.

The repairs will only be possible for getting over infidelity when you both decide to share your respective responsibilities.

Related Reading: 5 Valuable Tips on Managing Anger in Relationships

16. Refrain from bad-mouthing

Of course, after all the shock and trauma, you will feel the need to confide in a close friend or with family members. However, don’t look at confiding in your close ones about your partner’s betrayal as a way of surviving an affair or overcoming infidelity. 

While recovering from an affair and healing from infidelity, you need support, which is completely normal.

But if you intend on surviving infidelity in your marriage and working things out with your spouse, it may not be a great idea to divulge all the dirty details and put them in a bad light. Eventually, everyone will question your motives for staying. And you don’t want your relationship to be put out there for public judgment.

17. Remember the pain

We don’t mean to say here that you must not let go of the past.

Holding a grudge will destroy your relationship, but erasing the pain from your past may make the other person feel that cheating is acceptable and leave it open for repetition. So remember this experience as part of your relationship’s journey.

As horrible as it was, it was something the two of you got through together.

18. Grieve what is lost

Learning how to survive infidelity involves grieving the loss of the past version of your relationship. 

A betrayal marks a significant change in the relationship, where your previously untainted and innocent version of your relationship breaks. It changes your perception of your partner and your life with them as what you believed to be true was shattered by your partner’s betrayal.

Find ways to grieve the loss of the past version of your relationship. After this, you can move towards a new version of the relationship, laced with maturity and strength gained from recovering from infidelity. 

19. Be prepared for emotional outbursts

When you are learning how to survive infidelity, be mentally prepared from outbursts from your end when you feel overwhelmed by your own emotions. These emotions are expected so don’t judge yourself harshly when triggered by them. 

Your pain and anger may get the better of you at times, and you will lash out. You may lose your cool when something triggers you or reminds you of your partner’s betrayal. But don’t reprimand yourself for this and try to be more understanding towards your emotions.

20. A tentative deadline for the anger

While having patience for your recovery process and accepting your grief is important, it is also essential to end the anger.

Try not to let your anger go on endlessly as this would make your relationship toxic. Work through the problems and then find ways to move on from the infidelity.

You will not recover from the hurt sentiments if you keep bringing things back to the betrayal or make everything about it. You should set a tentative deadline for yourself to move on from your partner’s infidelity and trust your partner again. 

21. Be grateful for the positives

When everything seems to be falling apart in your relationship, consciously making yourself remember all the good aspects of your relationship is especially important. 

Being grateful for the good things can give you hope and inspire you to find the inner strength to learn how to survive infidelity. 


Infidelity is the reason for the hurt sentiments that many experiences within a marriage or relationship. But there are healthy ways to handle these emotions and reconcile your relationship with your partner.  

You can address the past mistakes and the reasons for the infidelity to infuse new life into your marriage or relationship. 

How to survive someone else's success —

We draw the right conclusions from the success of other people, without focusing on our own failures.

Social networks, meetings of alumni, meetings of former colleagues - all this, in fact, has one goal: to talk about your successes, share your achievements, "wipe your friends" with them. Beautiful photos, work in a large company, vacation on the ocean, a happy family with three twin children brought up according to the best pedagogical methods - this should cause at least admiration, at the most - banal envy. nine0005

But what if your life is far from ideal: your career can hardly be called super-successful, and you have been divorced for a long time with your soulmate and have been sharing a dog and an old sofa for several years? will tell you how to overcome self-doubt if it seems to you that your achievements are not up to someone else's level.

Evaluate objectively

Before dreaming about other people's success, think about whether you want to live such a life. Behind a high position is a long way to the goal, behind having your own company is a pile of failures, sleepless nights, financial difficulties. Photos of a happy family, where children resemble angels descended from heaven, are just one moment captured by the camera. And this does not mean at all that the children of your acquaintances do not throw food at dinner, do not bring deuces from school and do not offend younger brothers. nine0005

No one will ever talk about their problems, wanting to seem more successful and happy. No one will say that the work of the head of a large link has caused discord in the family, nervous breakdowns and damaged relationships with colleagues. At the very least, you won't hear it at rare meetings or see it on social media. Being happy and being happy are two completely different things.

Think about whether everything is so bad with you

Before complaining about fate, look at your life from the outside. nine0005

Have you become a manager in a well-known company yet? But you have time for travel, development, reading books, walking with your family, hobbies. Rest assured, a rare workaholic can afford to truly enjoy life. When you have to put time into your calendar for talking with your children, and no more than 30 minutes a day are allotted for talking with your spouse, this does not bring much joy.

Do you still dream of successfully getting married and having a family, while an old acquaintance fell head over heels in love with a charismatic German long ago gave birth to twins and left for the homeland of her chosen one? And what about the other side of the coin? Parenting is different from what is shown in the movies. And life in a foreign country, even with a loved one, is a constant inner longing for relatives and friends. nine0005

But all this does not mean at all that you should always look for the negative in someone else's success. But it only says that you need to carefully look at the situation that causes envy, and see it from a different angle. Therefore, be honest with yourself. Stop complaining and go for your dream.

Benefit from the experience of others

The path to personal and professional success is quite tortuous and thorny. Therefore, you need to learn from those who have already passed it. Do not imitate others. But it will not be superfluous to find out what habits successful people have, what literature they read, what they are fond of in their free time, and what their daily routine looks like in principle. Someone else's success should not become an obstacle to yours. Consider it as a stimulus to action. nine0005

If you are at the beginning of your career, great! This means that you have room to grow and there are many roads for development in front of you. You do not like your work, while friends boast about their team and salary? Draw your own conclusions! Finally decide to change your job or even your profession, because it's never too late to start over. If your school friends have already traveled half the world, and you have never left your hometown, start planning your trip. Move away from the problems you have invented, and you will not notice how the black stripe is replaced by white. nine0005

Be abstract

The best option for personal and career growth is not to compare yourself with others at all. After all, each person has his own “initial data”, his own life, his own path, in the end. It is impossible to judge the success of two people with completely different talents, ambitions and characters. What is given to one is not necessarily due to another.

If you compare yourself with someone, then only with yourself. With you 5 years ago, a year ago, a week and even a day. Constantly ask yourself: "What did I do today to get better, to get closer to my goal?" .

Celebrate your successes, praise yourself, don't look for approval in others. As M. Bulgakov said in the words of Professor Preobrazhensky: "Don't read newspapers before dinner." advises you to move away from other people's achievements in order to focus on your own success!

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5 ways to get through hard times


Practices how to

1. Train yourself to be happy

The ability to be happy is nothing but a habit. “If you can’t take the positive out of what’s happening and only remember the bad, the neural pathways that are responsible for good news aren’t activated in the brain,” says psychotherapist Philippe Peri, author of How To Stay Sane. "If the brain isn't used to receiving good news, it doesn't have the neural pathways to produce it on its own." nine0005

It turns out that we ourselves program our well-being. Optimism is a matter of practice. You need to consciously look for, notice and remember what pleases, then a good mood will be with you more often than a bad one. One way is to ask positive questions that open, rather than close, the door of opportunity. In almost any situation, you can ask yourself: what is good about this experience? This is a quick way to change your mood and thoughts with gratitude.

2. Bad is as valuable as good

“Perhaps you are afraid that believing in the best will make you vulnerable and attract unhappiness,” continues psychotherapist Philippa Perry. “The key is to train yourself to accept feelings that can hurt, not avoid them.”

Being ashamed or avoiding an experience means getting stuck in some kind of unlived experience

The American writer, Nobel laureate in literature Toni Morrison said very accurately about this: “I want to feel what I feel. What belongs to me. Even if it's not a feeling of happiness. Because you are all you have." To be ashamed or to cross out experiences, to run away from them because they hurt, means to get stuck in some kind of unlived experience, depriving yourself of the opportunity to learn an important lesson so that it does not happen again in the future. nine0005

3. Giving up is better than hitting a wall

In an old 1934 book, You Can Master Life, Rev. James Gordon Gilkey gives amazing advice. When you go through a difficult life experience, the first impulse is to try to explain, to find the reason why what happened happened. Usually this only provokes confusion, despair and self-pity.

Most difficult life situations cannot be explained - they can only be endured, overpowered and gradually forgotten. As soon as we give up trying to find a reasonable explanation, the tension inside gives way to silence, and it helps to find a way out. nine0005

“Why is this so hard for many people? the priest asks. ‒ Because from childhood we were told: to win means to fight and destroy. This is what happens when you are young. Many of the hardships we face in adolescence tend to be short-lived, and a combination of heroic courage, strong will, and perseverance helps overcome them.

But the situation changes with age. We find prison walls in our little world that no hail of blows can destroy. Within these walls, we must spend our day - happily or with hatred in our souls. In the new circumstances, we must consciously change the technique of youth. It is necessary to achieve victory not by attacking the walls, but by accepting them. nine0005

4. Shift your focus from yourself to others

In Christianity, one way to feel better when you are feeling down is to pray for others. It is not necessary to be a religious person to wish something good to a stranger passing by and feel relieved yourself.

All emotions come down to two main ones: love and fear. And they can't exist at the same time.

The author of The Trick of Life in the New York Times writes that it helped him cope with his panic attacks. nine0005

“I sat down on a park bench and began to pray… I prayed for a nanny who was pushing a stroller with a baby in front of her, for a young woman who was jogging next to them in the morning, for a little boy who pedaled a bicycle nearby. I prayed that each of them would always have what I wanted for myself: health, peace of mind, financial stability.

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