Carlos asks: "Can infidelity be forgiven? My wife found some inappropriate messages on my iPad and now she says she'll never get over it. Nothing physical happened, but... obviously, it was not good. Will she ever forgive me? I am worried our marriage will never recover."
Dr. K answers....
Hi Carlos. I am really sorry this is happening to you guys, you must be very scared and worried.
The good news is that yes, infidelity CAN be forgiven... but it takes time.
While I am glad that your online relationship was not physical, it sounds like it was emotional and intimate.
And herein lies the problem. When we get married, or start any committed relationship, we are promising exclusivity to the other person. You are essentially making a deal with your partner that says - I am going to trust you with my life, heart, body, money, kids (etc.) and I want you to do the same. We promise that we'll both do this and we'll both keep each other safe and forsake all others.
So unless you said otherwise, you broke your promise and this contract by starting an online affair with another person.
Most people consider this a pretty significant betrayal... and it really, really hurts.
To start helping your wife heal, I suggest that you start by taking full responsibility for your actions. Completely own up to what you did, what you said, and how devastating all of it was.
Then, end all contact with the other person. Please ask your wife how she'd be most comfortable with this happening. Maybe the two of you will send a message or a text to the other person. It's critical that your wife be involved in this so that she knows the relationship is truly ended.
Then, become an open book... show your wife anything and everything she wants to see to start building trust. Share your phone, your social media passwords, your bank info. It's critical that she knows there are no more secrets.
This will get you started on the right path. I also encourage you to download our Relationship Repair Kit - for straying spouses. It's completely free and will walk you through all the steps you need to take to keep healing.
Please reach out again if I can help you further. Sending you both big hugs.
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