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How Surviving Infidelity Can Make Your Relationship Even Stronger

Mar 22, 2008
If you look at the statistics you'll see that the chances of surviving infidelity in your relationship or marriage are pretty lousy.

With all your emotions in turmoil, the anger, betrayal, guilt, remorse and confusion normally make it impossible to be rational so the chances of reconciliation are pretty slim. In such emotionally charged times couples are unable to think straight or consider that there could be light at the end of the tunnel. And so invariably they split up.

But that doesn't have to be the case.

In fact relationship counsellors will tell you that most couples who do succeed in surviving infidelity in their relationship end up stronger than they ever were before. So what do those couples do that the majority don't?

Firstly they recognise that dealing with infidelity will not be easy and they're prepared to give each other time and space on their own to come to terms with their situation. They don't act on impulse and take time to decide what they truly want as individuals first. They forget all the outside influences and work out what's best for them.

Then, if they both decide they would like to give their relationship another chance they make a commitment to be open with each other and to work things through together.

Understanding infidelity

Understanding the root cause of the infidelity can be the first stepping stone. It's usually caused when someone craves something they're not getting in their relationship. Some of their 'needs' are not being met.

People are often surprised to learn that by definition, there's more than one type of infidelity.

Sexual infidelity happens when you or your partner go elsewhere for physical excitement.

Emotional infidelity on the other hand involves sharing deep affection with someone other than your partner or spouse. There may not be any physical connection involved, even though this can often be what instigates it.

Mental infidelity is the least obvious but often the most common. This involves thinking or fantasising about someone else but choosing not to take it any further. It has to be said though that mental infidelity is often the start of the other two.

If you accept all three definitions you might find that you've been guilty of infidelity in your relationship or marriage without even realising it!

This is why communication is so essential, so that you are aware of your partner's beliefs, principles and boundaries.

Dealing with infidelity

Here are some hints on how to heal your relationship when it's been affected by infidelity.

1. If you're the cheating partner you must be sympathetic to what your partner is going through, be patient and start to take steps to win back their trust.

2. It sounds easy to say, but you'll achieve a lot more if you can avoid anger as much as possible. Negative emotions will get in the way of the recovery process.

3. As controversial as it may seem, if you're the betrayed partner it's essential for surviving infidelity that you are prepared to look at how you were performing in the relationship. You have to accept responsibility for anything you did or were doing that might have contributed towards what happened

4. If you're the betrayed partner you must be willing to forgive and accept for the relationship to survive.

5. Communication is essential. Share the experiences and emotions that you both went through as well as those that you continue to experience.

6. By communicating, find out what was lacking in your relationship before and what you need to do together to put that right.

7. Don't expect dealing with infidelity to be easy or for there to be a quick fix. It takes a lot of time and effort by both of you and will always be an ongoing process. There will always be 'triggers' that come up, however far you've moved on.

Surviving infidelity

Many couples who are successful in surviving infidelity will tell you that their relationship afterwards is stronger than it ever was before.

The affection and love that you have for each other will be more intense considering the sensitive situation that you've been through together and survived.

If the line of communication is opened daily, new ideas, emotions and interests will come up giving a new side to your relationship or marriage.

Relationships and marriages are governed by the universal laws just like everything else.. The more you put into them, the more you will get out of them.
About the Author
Relationship coaches Doug and Chris Young have attracted huge media attention in the UK since facing massive challenges 25 years into their marriage, overcoming them and coming out of it much stronger. For their free 8 part mini course passing on advice on understanding, coping with and surviving infidelity based on what they went through and how they dealt with it visit http://www.askdougandchris.com
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