Can My Relationship Recover from an Affair?
You’ve just found out that your partner has been inappropriate with someone outside your relationship. This could mean sex, non-sexual physical contact, emotional bonding, sexting, flirting, video chatting, or any number of ways the trust can be violated. Your mind is reeling. Your first instinct is to throw them out before they have a chance to blurt out an apology. But you have a history together, a connection that you don’t find every day, and maybe even children. Then you start to consider whether or not you should even entertain the idea of working things out. How do you determine whether it’s worth trying? Here are a few things to consider: Hurt feelings. Try and recognize that right now, above all else, what you are experiencing is betrayal and emotional pain. Yes, you feel anger too, but that’s a secondary response due to the primary hurt feelings. Don’t make any rash, final decisions until you’ve had a few days to calm down and lean on your support system. Lean on others. Is it embarrassing? Sure. Would you be there for your friend or loved one if they were going through the same thing? I bet you would. I hear lots of reasons not to share with friends and family, some of which are legitimate, but I would recommend finding at least one trusted person that will be supportive and non-judgmental. We are social creatures for a reason and going at this alone is not a good option. Natural connection. Stepping away from the anger and hurt for a moment, do you genuinely feel you and your partner have/had a natural connection to each other? Has your relationship become more like a roommate or co-parenting situation? If you and your partner are both willing to try to get past the affair and learn to invest in your romantic connection, you may be able to regain that lost bond. Seek professional help. Whether you are determined to make your relationship work or you want help deciding whether or not to even try, a couples therapist that is experienced in working with affairs will be an invaluable resource. They will offer a judgment-free environment and help you through the typical stages and reactions following the discovery of an affair. Then you can better determine when and how you are going to move forward.