Can a relationship survive infidelity in May and December

Affairs and infidelity in committed relationships

When the partner becomes suspicious

Can it work again or is trust destroyed? © Smarak Samarjeet under cc

Affairs are among the most common reasons for separation as they threaten the primary relationship. Infidelity means a loss of loyalty. It is experienced as humiliating and is associated with a loss of control. Primordial fears such as loneliness, shame or fear meet anger and anger. A roller coaster of emotions is inevitable.

Stones often get rolling when a partner becomes suspicious. There may still be the imprint of lipstick on the white shirt collar. Nowadays, suspicions are sparked more by the media: a read “WhatsApp”, not deleted chat history, changed behavior on the cell phone or unknown addresses in the car's navigation device lead to the defrauded person's radar being activated.

The partner with the affair will ask: what am I keeping a secret? What risks do I take? Do I hide, do I deny, do I lie? The betrayed partner will ask: Do I mistrust or trust? Do I really want to know everything? In this phase the senses are sharpened. Wherever there is a lie, there is also an encroaching control.

Affair exposed - what now?

If the affair is exposed, the couple is in a state of shock. The betrayed has lost control, questions everything and wonders whether the relationship can survive the hurt. The betrayed will be torn as to how much to tell. Is there a confession or rather a confession?

This phase of the melting pot saps the strength of both partners. Loud discussions are followed by an unfamiliar feeling of closeness, insomnia, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, inner restlessness and constant thought circles. All very typical for this phase.

Often the overwhelming feelings change over time, so making a hasty decision is not advisable. The more self-confident a person is, the more likely they are to face the issues and not immediately flee. Take your time. Emotions regulate themselves and an affair looks completely different in week 1 than in month 3.

The decision phase

In the period that followed, there were interesting changes. The main actors often react differently than expected. For a long time there have been intensive and honest conversations between the partners. Couples who often haven't been for a long time sex had more sleep together again. Everything has gotten out of hand, the rules of the game that previously existed are now being called into question. Solutions are being sought.

The unfaithful partner often feels guilty. At the same time he is in the balancing act between affair and partner and in the event of separation has to go through a grief process in which the betrayed partner logically cannot and will not stand by him. Guilt and shame must be overcome in order to restore one in an upright posture relationship can take place at eye level. Is there any chance of a new beginning? Are there any issues that need to be resolved? The betrayed partner will wonder whether to forgive and forgive and how to regain trust. He has numerous questions and endless chains of thought will roam his mind. The focus is on regaining a sense of control over the period of time he was unaware of the affair. At the same time, he has to protect himself from the abundance of details and images. Not an easy time, because there is the risk of getting lost in a chronification of the hurt, in which injuries continue to run on each other and there are constant cycles of reproach and justification, which weaken the partnership lastingly.

New rules of the game instead of silence

If the two partners decide to stay in the relationship, chronic conflicts or problems in the relationship must be dealt with relationship and the past take place. Be warned against moving too quickly into a new order and denying what has happened. This is the time to revise the old rules of the game and look inside the relationship. Are the roles still assigned? How is the couple doing with the Exclusivity continue around? Is the definition of loyalty still correct?

In all phases (from the secret affair to the discovery and processing of the affair to the realignment) it can be helpful to take the advice of an experienced couples therapist whose role is to mediate and regulate emotions. Discussions in the presence of a neutral advisor are structured and less emotional. Looking ahead and a systematic approach in dealing with the situations is perceived as very helpful and relieving. Blind spots for your own problems in the relationship can be uncovered and permanently remedied.

Many couples overcome one affair, even if it takes a lot of effort for everyone involved. Ideally, the end result is a more honest and sometimes more stable one relationship. Every couple who have overcome an affair will now define and understand the content of the saying “in good and bad times” in a new way.