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Can Your Relationship Survive Infidelity?

Jun 24, 2008
For many folks, being cheated on is something they never fully recover from.

Infidelity is not a simple problem and it cannot be fixed with a simple cure, though that is what we most often desire. Infidelity does not have to be a death sentence. As painful and devastating as infidelity is, family therapists say it is a wound that can be healed, albeit slowly. Infidelity is almost always about more than just sex.

Infidelity is such a painful experience because the person who is supposed to provide unconditional, emotional support turns out to be the person who has hurt you the most.

The reasons why people have sex outside a relationship are complex. Almost always, it's about far more than just sex. Often a basic but deep seated need is not being met within the relationship, for example, the need to feel significant.

A striking paradox is that while polls indicate 90 percent disapproved of extramarital relationships, a national survey reported that 15 percent of wives and 25 percent of husbands had experienced extramarital intercourse. 'People might expect it, they might not be surprised, they might not leave the relationship because, hey, the next guy's gonna do it too, right.'

When infidelity strikes, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. And while there is a lot of useful information on the web designed to help people deal with the problem of infidelity, this information can be difficult to find, especially in a time of crisis.

There are literally millions of websites dealing with the subject of cheating and infidelity. Unfortunately, some of the websites which are the easiest to find also tend to be the least useful.

Whether or not a marriage can survive infidelity is dependent on many factors not least of which is whether the cheating spouse has ended or is willing to immediately end the affair.

The next main issues to deal with are forgiveness and trust. It's hard to recover from infidelity without forgiveness. If you can't forgive then the likelihood is that you won't learn to trust again.

Many couples do survive infidelity and those that do often find that their marriage is far better than it ever was before. It can sometimes take such a heart wrenching experience for people to realise what is most important in their lives.

Can your relationship survive infidelity? There are no standard solutions; every couple is different. In the final analysis, I would say the question is not so much one of survival, but quality of love. If love is compromised, then simply staying at the same address for the sake of the children or appearances is not, in the long run, going to do either of you, or your self esteem any good.

On the other hand, if you both feel that love is still there and you want to rebuild, you stand a better than fighting chance.
About the Author
Trevor Emdon is an expert on relationship trust and other self help issues. Check out www.trust-in-relationships.com for details of his latest book and free reports "Surviving Infidelity: Can You Trust A Cheating Lover?"
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