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Surviving Infidelity
with Abe Kass, M.A. R.S.W., R.M.F.T.

Surviving Infidelity: Cheating Is Like Relationship Cancer

The “disease” of infidelity destroys families. Recovering from an affair requires three essential tasks. Learn what they are

Infidelity is like cancer, and recovery is not assured unless…

Infidelity is not pretty, but when it happens it must be faced. When a couple is afflicted with infidelity and they don’t deal with all its ugly dimensions, their relationship can be made much worse than it already is.

Surviving infidelity is not assured, and getting over infidelity is a monumental task. In some ways, it is the equivalent of suffering and hopefully beating cancer.

However, infidelity is different from cancer in some fundamental ways. Whereas cancer strikes against one’s will, infidelity is entered into voluntarily. As well, overcoming cancer is never assured, and its prognosis is often unpredictable. You can certainly recover from an affair, and relationship health and happiness can be reestablished after the affair is over.

Infidelity is similar to cancer in how it completely destroys a family. Infidelity is not an act where an individual expresses his or her choice in life, and everyone just needs to go along with it. Rather, it is an event that is imposed upon everyone in the family, including the children and extended family members such as parents and siblings.

Coping with infidelity

Cancer devastates regardless of what the intent of this disease is — it just happens, and it destroys. Similarly, regardless of the intent of the person who cheats, it destroys his or her family. The perpetrator of infidelity may be callous and selfish and not care how it impacts on others, or he or she may love his or her family dearly and the betraying act of cheating was never intended to harm loved ones. Regardless of the “intent,” infidelity is a poison to the family caught in its wake.

When a family is afflicted, coping with infidelity becomes the foremost priority. You need to approach the solution with strength, maturity, and realistic expectations of how to navigate this terrible relationship disease. To achieve this, most couples need a professional guide to help in recovering from an affair.

The good news is that couples and families can survive infidelity, recover, and go on to have healthy, happy and a long-lasting relationship.

How to deal with infidelity

If you are coping with infidelity it’s essential that you understand three important points necessary to recovery:

1. Everyone is hurt by infidelity, including children and extended family such as parents — the family is the body ravaged by this relationship disease.

2. You must get professional help from a caring and competent relationship professional. Like cancer, it is not something you can just “tough out.”

3. At some point, the “outside lover” must be completely and permanently removed from the cheater’s life so that once the affair is over he or she is no longer a threat to the family.

If these three tasks are achieved, it’s highly likely your marriage or committed relationship will recover, sanity will return to your lives, and you will again be happy.

If this relationship disease is not treated fully and thoroughly, like cancer, it can metastasize and spread to every aspect of the valued relationship.

Recovering from an affair is not easy, but it is worthwhile.

The choice is yours and that of your partner! I sincerely hope the two of you make the right decision and, if at all possible, preserve your family and contribute to the healing of infidelity’s many victims.

Surviving Infidelity: Cheating Is Like Relationship Cancer

Abe Kass

Abe Kass, M.A., R.S.W., R.M.F.T. is a registered marriage and family therapist, a registered social worker, a certified clinical hypnotherapist, and the author of more than a dozen books designed to help couples and individuals live a more loving, more satisfying life.

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APA Reference
Kass, A. (2017). Surviving Infidelity: Cheating Is Like Relationship Cancer. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 9, 2020, from


Last updated: 25 Sep 2017
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