As I have said many times in the past, and continue to say, it IS POSSIBLE to recover from infidelity. However, doing so successfully requires; 1) That the betraying partner severs completely his or her relationship with his or her paramour; 2) The cheater must sincerely regret what he or she has done and; 3) The betrayer must have a full-hearted commitment to never repeat his or her betrayal.
There other important steps necessary to get fully back on track. If interested to learn more you can buy my book, Surviving Infidelity: Making Amends, Restoring Trust, Finding Forgiveness, and Living Together Happily for the Rest of Your Lives, A Couple’s Journey using the 7-Step Recovery Map, on Amazon.com.
The following is a true story of a young couple that survived infidelity. Identifying details have been changed to protect privacy. This couple worked with me weekly for about six months, and at the end of this time, they were doing quite well.
Tina and Mark had been together for six years. Two years earlier they married.
Tina work as a teacher in a neighborhood school.
Cory was a new teacher in the school where Tina worked. Cory and Tina had a natural affinity for each other since as students they had I attended the same high school and had many friends in common.
Tina and Cory began meeting after work for coffee. After a few weeks, strong feelings of attraction developed between them. When Tina was going out to be with Cory, she would lie to Mark saying she had work meetings to attend, when in fact she had planned a romantic liaison with Cory. Mark would gladly cover for Tina, feeling she was progressing in her career and wanted to be supportive. He had no idea that she was cheating on him.
One evening, Tina forgot her cellphone in the bathroom. The next morning when Mark was using the bathroom he noticed many messages on the screen. Some of these messages had come in the middle of the night. This made no sense to Mark; he was nervous about what this could mean. Opening up Tina’s phone, Mark discovered a long list of messages between Tina and an unknown man named Corey. Looking closer, Mark saw sexually provocative pictures that had been exchanged and messages of love and lust. Mark was devastated.
With the phone evidence in his hand, Mark confronted Tina. With tears in her eyes, all Tina could do what is to admit her guilt and apologize.
Tina and Mark were devastated. They were numb and had no idea what to do next.
They began reading books and information found on Amazon and other websites. They came to realize that infidelity, although a tragic mistake, is, in fact, forgivable under certain circumstances.
Tina ended her relationship with Corey and promised to Look for a teaching position in a different school. Together that they went for infidelity recovery therapy and marriage therapy from a relationship specialist who encouraged them to try to get through this and stay together. It took Tina and Mark two years of heavy-duty therapy until finally, they felt they were ready to proceed forward on their own. During the months of therapy, their love and trust returned.
Tina was grateful to Mark who forgave her and for giving the two of them a second chance to be a family. Sometime later, Tina gave birth to a delightful little girl.
During a tender moment, Mark commented that although he hated her cheating, he appreciated that it had given them a chance to fix their other relationship problems. Tina loved Mark and was grateful for his strength of character and commitment to her and his help getting through the mess that she had created.
If you or a loved one has been afflicted by infidelity, I encourage you to try your utmost to salvage the situation. You have already invested a great deal in your relationship and to start over, not knowing where this new relationship will end up, is risky or to settle for a life alone is a shallow victory.
We all make mistakes. The difference is that some mistakes are harder than others to correct — infidelity recovery is complex and requires effort and expert guidance to get it right.
None of us are perfect. If your partner cheated on you, if he or she has ended the affair, regrets what he or she has done, and assures you it will never happen again, try to find it in your heart to “work on” the relationship to heal the painful emotional injuries that the cheating has caused.