Heartbreak

How Do You Know If He's Still Cheating?

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still cheating

A woman sat in my office today and asked me this question. "How do I know if he's really stopped his affair?" she asked. "I mean, is it really ever over? What if the affair was with someone at work? He husband still sees her every day." She sat in her chair and looked at me, desperate for answers.

"He says it's over, and that he wants to work on our relationship. But he sees her all the time and right now he can't just quit his job." Her question is legitimate. What if your partner cheats and then has to see that person, every day sometimes, even after the affair is over?

Can a couple really work on their relationship and renew their commitment to each other after infidelity? Is the affair ever really over? I told my client, gently, "Your question really implies that you are wondering if just seeing this other person every day would cause your partner to start cheating again."

She nodded and bit her lip. That made sense to me. Many affairs do happen, not because a relationship is not working, or even because couples tire of each other, but because of opportunity. According to some experts, when the opportunity to have an affair presents itself, upwards of 80% of people may find it hard to refuse the offer. "The temptation might be greater to cheat again with this other woman," I said.

"The opportunity might be there. But in reality, the temptation is everywhere. It's only a fingertip away every day, on the internet, on the phone, or by text. With social networking and the web, we can find an outside partner without ever having to leave our desks. So seeing another person in the office doesn't guarantee that an affair will continue. What will determine whether or not an affair is really over is whether or not you and your partner are truly working toward change in your relationship. Are you communicating every day about your relationship and how you feel? Are you working on your erotic life together and keeping things adventurous and loving in the bedroom?

"Are you focused on what makes your partner happy and is he doing the same for you? These things, more than the type or amount of temptation in the workplace will determine if your spouse is 'working late' at the office or coming straight home to you." 

She smiled, a little unsure. But we agreed before the end of the session today that she would go home and talk to her partner about her concerns and ask him what they could do to work on this situation together. She felt confident he would understand and be willing to do whatever it took for them both to feel connected again. Feeling like an affair is really over can take months, sometimes years. Be patient with yourself if you are still struggling with doubts and fears.

Give it time, and lots of conversations. For extra help, find a therapist who understands the affair recovery process and can help both of you get over it and get on with your relationship.

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