The I Word: 6 Tips for Surviving Infidelity in Your Relationship

Surviving Infidelity

Infidelity is a big deal, and it can happen to any couple. If you want to rebuild your relationship, try these tips for surviving infidelity and healing.

In today’s demanding society of long work hours, money problems, and health issues, it’s no wonder that our marriages often take the backseat.

But this is a dangerous reality, as studies show that 20% of men and 13% of women report having an extramarital affair.

The good news? Many marriages do survive after extramarital affairs. If you’re facing the impact of infidelity-whether as the wounded partner or the one who cheated-read below for our six tips on surviving infidelity.

Tip #1: Stop All Contact with the “Third Party”

Once a couple has decided to repair their relationships following an extramarital affair, the first step is the most important.

The partner who cheated must stop all contact with the outsider (the third party with whom they had the affair.)

No matter the role this person plays-coworker, doctor, long-time friend-the wounded partner cannot regain trust in his or her spouse so long as this relationship (platonic or not) remains. If this contact continues, the wounded spouse will over-analyze any interactions.

This might mean tough decisions, like getting a new phone number or even finding a new job. This can involve a period of grief, too, particularly if the affair was a long-standing one.

These emotions are best-handled with professional support.

Tip #2: Seek Support

As you begin the painful healing process, you can’t expect to figure it all out on your own. Hire a professional who handles infidelity on a regular basis and can provide you with the tools to find root causes and work toward repair.

Consider joint and individual help. A counselor can ensure that any arguments are fair with equal “air time” for both partners. Individual counseling can be helpful if there are things you need to get off your chest that you aren’t yet comfortable sharing with your spouse.

And remember that some things associated with infidelity, like sex addiction, need to be handled by specialists, such as physiologists or counselors at a rehab center.

These types of resources are an investment in the long-term health of your marriage.

Tip #3: Wide Open Transparency

Even if there were signs that your relationship was in trouble, there will be uncomfortable revelations as you work to repair your marriage.

But now is not the time to mince words or details: the partner who cheated should provide free access to whatever the wounded partner needs to feel secure, like bank accounts or phone records.