Facing the harsh reality of moving on after infidelity, we delve into the emotional journey of healing, trust rebuilding, and critical decision-making in the aftermath of an affair.

moving on after infidelity

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By Linda & Doug

When a person finds out about their spouse’s affair, it hits hard.  Real hard. Moving on after being cheated on is a challenging journey, testing them emotionally and mentally.  It’s about trying to heal from the deep hurt of betrayal and figuring out the next steps in their marriage.

This process involves examining the entirety of their relationship, acknowledging both the good and the bad, and striving not to let feelings of anger and hurt dominate. They must decide whether to forgive and work on rebuilding trust or recognize that it might be healthier to part ways.
For anyone going through this, the key is to face these emotional challenges with bravery and clarity, aiming for a future where peace and happiness are attainable.
In this post, we’d like to share an excerpt from Getting Past the Affair – A Program to Help You Cope, Heal, and Move On—Together or Apart, by Douglas K. Snyder, Donald H. Baucom and Kristina Coop Gordon.
We think there are some helpful nuggets whether you’re the betrayed or the unfaithful.

What Does Moving On After Infidelity Mean?

Like many who have been injured by their partner’s affair, you may be struggling with questions about what it means to “move on.” 
Does it mean never thinking of the affair again, or never feeling hurt or angry about it? Does it mean no longer holding your partner (or yourself) accountable? 
When people talk about moving on, they often mean different things – in terms of what it would look like at the end or what it would take to get there. We begin with describing what moving on looks like at the end, because knowing where you want to end up is important before constructing a road map that will lead you there.

Couples who move on after a deep personal injury like a partner’s affair achieve four important goals: 

  • They regain a balanced view of the partner and their relationship. 
  • They commit not to let their hurt or anger rule their thoughts and behavior toward the partner or dominate their lives. 
  • They voluntarily give up the right to continue punishing the partner for his or her actions or demanding further restitution. 
  • They decide whether to continue in the relationship based on a realistic assessment of both its positive and negative qualities.

Row the Boat – A Metaphor for Affair Recovery

Let’s Dig Into These a Little More…

Regaining a balanced view of the partner and their relationship:

This means looking beyond the pain and betrayal to see the full spectrum of the relationship. Couples need to remember the good times and the strengths that brought them together in the first place. It involves acknowledging that the partner who strayed is not solely defined by their mistakes and poor decisions and recognizing that the relationship, while flawed, also has valuable and positive aspects. This balanced perspective helps in healing the emotional wounds and lays the foundation for rebuilding trust.

Committing not to let their hurt or anger rule their thoughts and behavior:

After the discovery of an affair, it’s natural to experience intense emotions. Making a commitment not to let your hurt or anger take over your life doesn’t mean never hurting or feeling resentful again. However, to move forward, individuals must consciously choose not to let these feelings dictate their actions or consume their lives.

This means working through feelings of hurt and anger constructively, perhaps with the help of therapy, coaching or support groups, and learning to control impulses that might lead to harmful behaviors.  It requires recognizing when negative feelings about the affair resurface and then choosing to respond in ways that will be more constructive than simply lashing out. It involves redirecting your thoughts and actions toward current or future goals, rather than being overwhelmed by past hurt.  It’s about finding healthier ways to cope with the pain and not allowing it to poison the well of the relationship. 

Voluntarily giving up the right to continue punishing the partner or demanding further restitution:

For some people, having the person who hurt you make amends can be an important part of moving on. Although nothing can undo an affair, acts of restitution or going “above and beyond” to show caring, concern, and love can sometimes serve as concrete expressions of remorse or a commitment to change. But demanding restitution — or punishing the unfaithful partner — beyond a certain point doesn’t strengthen the marriage or promote feelings of closeness. Continued vengeance may feel satisfying in the short run, but it almost always keeps you firmly stuck in the past in the long run.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean forgetting what happened, but it means choosing to let go of the constant need for retribution, which can become a toxic cycle preventing both partners from moving forward. It’s about forgiving, not for the partner’s sake, but for one’s own peace and to allow the relationship to start a new chapter.  

Observations About the Affair Recovery Process: Insights From a Reader’s Journey

Deciding whether to continue in the relationship based on a realistic assessment of its positive and negative qualities:

This final goal involves a thorough and honest evaluation of the relationship as a whole. Couples need to weigh the good against the bad, considering all aspects of their partnership, not just the infidelity. This assessment should include the potential for future growth, happiness, and fulfillment together. It’s about making a conscious choice to stay and rebuild, or to part ways amicably, based on a clear understanding of what the relationship can and cannot offer moving forward.

When people choose to stay in a relationship, moving on after infidelity means committing to a process of strengthening and maintaining the relationship, even during difficult times. You haven’t moved on if you stay in the relationship but with one foot out the door. Uncertainty that’s allowed to drag on that way saps the very energy necessary to make the relationship work. If, however, you choose to leave the relationship, moving on separately means no longer dwelling on the affair or your partner. It means redirecting your thoughts and behaviors toward building a new life.

Reaching these goals is not easy, and it often requires time, patience, and a willingness to confront painful truths. However, for couples who choose to undertake this journey, the process of working through these goals can lead to a deeper, more resilient relationship.


Moving on after infidelity and deciding what to do next can be overwhelming. It’s about dealing with the hurt from their betrayal and figuring out if you can fix things or if it’s better to go your separate ways. This means taking a hard look at your whole relationship, seeing the good parts and the bad, and trying not to let anger control you. You have to choose whether to forgive and rebuild the trust or realize that sometimes, splitting up is the healthier option.

For anyone going through this, it’s important to be brave and clear-headed, aiming for a future where you can be happy and at peace, whether you stay together or move on separately.

Individual Support for Moving On After Infidelity

We don’t have to remind you that the journey toward healing and understanding is difficult and requires more than just time; it also calls for guided, compassionate support. If you’re struggling with the aftermath of an affair and searching for a way to heal, consider the Healing & Rebuilding After Infidelity Bundle.

This program isn’t just about moving past the pain; it’s about transforming it into a foundation for a stronger relationship. It includes two individual mentoring sessions, 30-days of email support, and access to two of our premium programs, you’ll find tailored insights and strategies that address the healing needs of both partners.  


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