surviving an affair

Surviving an affair is probably the hardest thing any couple will attempt to do in their lives.  We can attest to that fact without question.   But we are also here to tell you that it can be done. 

Surviving an affair takes hard work and commitment from both partners. It doesn’t have to be the end of your marriage.

So, is your marriage over?  There is no simple answer to that question.  There is no doubt that the discovery of an affair is a crisis for all concerned.  As with any crisis, there is an element of danger but also an element of hope. 

The outcome of an affair should be changes for all concerned.  In this case, change means moving towards a better marriage, and in some cases a better divorce.

Does your marriage have a chance of surviving an affair?

So how do you know if your marriage stands a fighting chance?  Here are some positive signs that your marriage can be rebuilt after an affair:

  • Your partner told you about the affair on his/her own.
  • Your partner is willing to answer questions about the affair.
  • Your partner expresses guilt or remorse.
  • Your partner is willing to cut off all contact with his/her affair partner.
  • Your partner asks for or agrees to marriage counseling.
  • You are willing to let go of resentment and look inside yourself for reasons that your partner may have sought fulfillment of his/her needs with someone else.
  • Both of you are willing to make the changes necessary to get your marriage back on solid ground.
See also  After the Affair: Tough Love Brings Subtle Changes

If all of the positive signs exist in your situation, then that is fantastic.  But it’s not necessary to have all of them in order to have a shot at surviving an affair. As you look at this list, five of the seven positive signs were present after my emotional affair.  I did not tell Linda of my affair on my own, as she discovered it and I later admitted it, and we only went to one marriage counseling session, so I won’t count that one.  So don’t despair if one or two signs are missing.

Right now, you may not know if surviving an affair is even possible for you.  If you see these signs within your marriage you should find that they will lead you to the point where you can forgive, you can trust, you can analyze what went wrong, you can rebuild your relationship and save your marriage by turning it into one that is even better than before.


    5 replies to "Surviving an Affair: Will an Affair Destroy Your Marriage?"

    • Stephen

      I think we are at about 2.5 or 3 of those. Several times in the year since I discovered it, she has told me she never really loved me and wanted to be on her own. It is looking bleak.

    • ruth

      Mine is about 2 but I do think we will make it because he seems to be falling back in love with me. Hope he is not acting. We are trying to change for each other for the better. Still wish he would answer my questions…that seem to be a big road block right now. I keep think soon he will.

    • surprised

      I was devestated this past Dec. when I found out about my husband’s emotional affair. He didn’t tell me about it, I found out through emails & text msgs when I suspected something was going on. He admitted it & mostly cut it off but he still works with this woman. He only would attend 1 counseling session & refuses to read any books saying he’s cut things off & it was not an affair because there was no physical contact.

      I have some concern that this woman is still working with him & still contacts him at night & weekends & he refuses to use the word “inappropriate” or “disrespectful” to his wife & our marriage. She clokes her calls & texts as work related yet in 12 hrs she’d see him at work the next day & what their job is doesn’t need evening work.

      I do fear for my marriage but I think we’ll make it. He seems to be trying more & I am trying to correct my attitudes that partially caused him to turn to another woman. I really appreciate finding your site because it is a long, slow climb out of this.

      • admin

        Surprised, Thank you for commenting and welcome. I did not read any books or anything at first, and now I wish that I had. It’s really amazing what you can learn, not only about affairs, but about relationships and what got you to that place to begin with. He needs to admit that it was an affair and work to repair things with you. It is a good thing though that he has cut things off. That is a good start.

    • Terri

      My husband told me about the affair–positive–except
      he moved in to his mom’s and said he wanted a divorce to be with AP. However, it has only been and emotional affair -online, texts, calls, etc from the beginnning and continuing. Yes, they have met on three different occasions and been together–like on vacation–hotels, restraurant, fun and games, only–no reality. Yes, there has been sex, but that is not the kind of affair it is. He has told me this on several occassions. They live 1,000 miles apart for one thing. After he confessed, he did answer my questions and talked to me. He seemed remorseful about hurting me–not necessarily about going forward w/her though. We even had sex many times then and after his last “vacation” to see her. Which he suffered major guilt about and felt I was blackmailing him with the info. Like he was more upset about cheating on his new GF with his wife—than he was cheating on his wife with the GF>I still had hope in a reconciliation even though I prematurely filed for divorce 2 weeks from discovery, in order to protect me and my kids financially. I have tried to better myself–but it is harder now that he has cut off all contact with ME–not her. He refused counseling and is still refusing to look at any other perspective except his own and hers. I have resentment–but can and will put it aside–if he cuts her off and moves home and tries to save our marriage. I have made many emotional mistakes I am not proud of in the last 6 weeks. Perhaps, my last mistake, sealed the coffin on our marriage for good. At first, when he was being a friend and helping me heal, it gave me hope for my future. I know I have codependency issues and have had emotional problems(that I take meds. for)but it never seemed to bother him in 24 yrs. of togetherness UNTIL he found her-the perfect caring happy goddess to worship and to be worshipped by. Only then, since I asked why? Did he say its because I am selfish, not a good partner, and have emotional problems. I took responsibility and agreed with him. Those are NOT permanent handicaps. Still he said he cared about me and would always love me–just not in that way…He also said had me not found “the new love of his life” we would still be married. He also said it may be the biggest mistake of his life–but he was willing to risk everything to make it work with her. It won’t work and it won’t last. I would bet my right arm on this. Still–his biggest mistake is mine and my kids too. I get an unwanted divorce–pain–etc…while he gets to fall on his face for what–midlife crisis, fantasy, self-delusions, and selfishness. I said so we have no chance–even if it doesn’t work out w/her? He said no this would be the first place I would go–back to you and the kids–home!? But I don’t expect you to wait….so we’re getting a divorce. How mature and caring right? So I am grieving the loss of an ideal, marriage, and loved one and am stuck between rejection-depression and the upward turn and letting go. Acceptance the last phase I may never reach. Giving up–quitting–losing is the absolute opposite of my character, my feelings of fairness, faith and justice–my whole being. Not to mention I have not stopped loving him and caring about him throwing away his life on an emotional addiction.

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