Yes, you can truly recover from an affair. I understand that it's hard to believe, but as I have worked with hundreds of couples over the last 22 years, I have seen many people heal.
If your relationship has been rocked by an affair, I've found that you need to do these 8 things in order to truly recover:
1. You need to have the affair end and no (or very, very little) contact with the affair partner ever again.
2. You need to have a conversation with your partner where they tell you everything about what happened (except for graphic sexual details).
3. You need to believe that your partner is truly, deeply sorry and really cares about how badly you are hurting.
4. You need to see your partner go out of their way to help you feel better, safer, and rebuild trust.
5. There need to be no more secrets - of any kind - between the two of you.
6. You need to have lots of structured, scheduled conversations about the affair and have your feelings and pain validated by your partner.
7. You need to understand why the affair happened and why they want back into the marriage or relationship. And you need to believe them.
8. You need to see your partner doing the work to understand why they chose an affair in the first place, so that you can feel confident that it won’t happen again.
Now, there's a lot that goes into each of these steps, but this will give you an idea of where to start. If you two have not done one of these steps, I suggest you focus on the one you missed to get your healing back on track.
Dr. K's Blog - Infidelity
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