An affair or other infidelity can be one of the most heart breaking events we can experience. After years of trust and building up a bond, a friendship and an intimate connection with someone who may also now be the parent to your children only to find they have sought comfort in the arms of another is something that can devastate an otherwise happy relationship.
The reasons behind an affair are diverse and as with many things we have talked about previously here at the London Love School, such an act can be the symptom or result of other problems in the relationship that have gone on unchecked. Maybe one of the partners hasn’t been getting the emotional support they need or possibly have not been finding themselves sexually fulfilled and so have looked elsewhere to find satisfaction.
Married life can become tedious and routine, especially if there are children and stressful jobs involved, meaning that what once was a happy home-life and the most desired goal of an individual can become a mundane foundation and as such a glimmer of something different, something exciting and adventurous can prove too tempting for some to ignore.
But once the affair has happened and has been discovered, how do we best move on and is it possible to regain trust in a partner?
It’s not a straight forward task, unfortunately. Once trust is gone in a relationship it can be very hard to feel secure again and returning to some level of normalcy with your partner will take time and effort on both of your parts.
Honesty is vitally important. Now is not the time for further secrets, so have some frank conversations about what has gone on, the feelings surrounding it and it’s possible causes.
All contact must be severed with the person the affair had been with. This can be difficult if the person in question was a work colleague, but at this moment in time it will be one of many difficult steps to take and a vital one.
You must learn to give the appropriate amount of space, but also be aware of your partners feelings. If you are the one that cheated, then you aren’t going to be popular for a while and will be treated with anger and distrust. If you would like things to work again, you need to gauge this but also be available when you are needed. It is important to make your partner once again feel like the most important thing in your life, so when appropriate spoil them with signs of your affection. Dinner dates, nights out, gifts – everything you would do to win their affections initially are worth trying as you attempt to rekindle your spark. But as mentioned, timing is important. Offering a big bunch of flowers as solve all the day after the affair was discovered is likely to seem like a cheap move.
As trite as it sounds to say, time is a healer. Patience will be required as the initial pain, confusion, regret and guilt will need to be worked on before moving forward. Some couples have reported that heart rending events such as an affair can in the long run be beneficial to their relationship as the need for a strong self examination can revel other issues in the relationship that need to be addressed.
For others, sadly, an affair can signal the definite end to a marriage or partnership as they feel unable to trust and depend on their partner ever again. This is certainly a very difficult situation for anyone to find themselves in and if you feel that you would benefit from talking to trained professionals then we would be very happy to discuss your issues and help in any way that we can.