Love, Marriage & Adultery: Can Your Relationship Survive?


Adultery: Love, Marriage & Adultery: Can Your Relationship Last
Ultimately, as hard as it may seem at the beginning, a marital affair can be a turning point.

Betrayal, deception, mistrust. And very, very hurt.

These are the emotions people harbor after finding out their spouse has been cheating on them. Many of us know marriages which broke up because of an affair, but that's not what I'm addressing here. In fact, if both parties are willing, a marital affair is something that can be worked through, allowing the marriage to not only continue, but in fact to thrive.

Here's how to process an affair to come out ahead in your marriage.

1. Know That Forgiveness Will Be Possible
Before you even begin the path towards processing the affair, it's easier to know there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. In my 15+ years of working as a psychologist, I've had the pleasure to witness countless couples revive their relationship after a marital affair. Just having in mind that once you begin to understand how the events happened, and each other's feelings, forgiveness becomes possible. Not only can each partner forgive the other, but they can also forgive themselves. Forgiveness is a choice and a method by which we move forward.

2. Take Responsibility For Your Part Now
Dealing with the affair can be used as an opportunity for both parties to examine where they may have emotionally defaulted on the relationship. What holes are there? What types of support can they now start to implement? Success hinges on each party being willing to take responsibility for their role in the relationship atmosphere. This can be hard to absorb for many people in the throes of betrayal and pain, but it works. 

3. Institute Kind, Open And Routine Communication
Free-flowing, yet always respectful, communication is key for restoring and maintaining intimacy. Before most marital affairs happen, healthy communication takes a dive. Misunderstandings are rampant and both parties were likely hurting. Fluid speech involves sharing your feelings as well as listening carefully to your partner's experiences, and peppering your day by being in touch when you're not together. To regain the spark, it might help to revisit the feelings you had when your relationship started to be serious. Start by sharing what you liked about each other then, and what you like now.

4. Be Willing To Stretch For Your Relationship
When things feel the most challenging — for example when you are annoyed or angry at your partner — take a step back and ask, "What can I do for him/her today? How can I give? What wishes can I grant them?" Reaching out to help can often alleviate the ill feelings we had.  

5. Make Dates 
Whether a two-hour leisurely picnic in the park, or the full-on Broadway show night on the town, make sure to schedule in dates at least once a week. The caveat is that you have to get out of the house, preferably with smartphones off.

Using the above methods to restore a relationship's positivity will inevitably lead to restoring trust and returning real, ever-present love. Obviously, these steps can be challenging, and getting the help of a professional can be instrumental in helping you both heal. Ultimately, as hard as it might sound at the beginning, a marital affair can be a turning point for recreating a solid, united, lasting marriage.

More adultery advice on YourTango:


Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Alicia H. Clark



Alicia H. Clark, PsyD, PLLC
Licensed Clinical Psychologist  | Blog |  LinkedIn  |  Facebook  |  Twitter


1350 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 602 Washington, DC 20036
o: 202-969-2277  |  e:





Location: Washington, DC
Credentials: MS, PsyD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Life Transitions
Other Articles/News by Dr. Alicia H. Clark:

3 Steps To Let Go Of Anger And Find Peace


We often think of forgiveness as something we do on behalf of the person who wronged us. However, forgiveness is actually not meant to necessarily be a process that we undertake for the sake of the person who hurt us. At the same time though, the process is still about that person. There is nothing wrong with forgiving him or her in order to help ourselves feel ... Read more

Managing Teen Social Media Use


Despite protests about privacy when using social media, most teenagers desire the safety they feel from their parents’ involvement. Our kids want to know we've got their backs. This notion is of prime importance given the burgeoning prevalence of teens using social media in the last few years. Screens are ubiquitous these days for teens, and ... Read more

Using Social Media To Feel Better


When we need a pick-me-up these days, we're using social media as a first step. But does it actually help us feel better? If we take the right approach, yes. It's inevitable that events or other people (or both) sometimes get us down. At times like these, we need reassurance that we're okay. We need our friends to remind us about why we're ... Read more

See More


Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.