How to get over a marital affair

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You’re going through one of the most traumatic experiences anyone can experience. Now you’re wondering how to survive infidelity.

The good news is that many marriages do recover; a few even become stronger and more committed than ever before. Some ‘survive’, but never truly regain the level of trust or intimacy that existed before the adultery. Getting that romance and innocence back takes luck, skill, hard work and intention.

What if your marriage has ended altogether? Depending on your age, sex, family status, self-esteem and geographic location, you may be harboring real concerns about growing old without someone in your life — not just ‘anyone’ but that all-consuming romantic love that can make you forget all about your cheating spouse.

If you have children, you may be consumed with sheltering them from the repercussions of the affair (either that or dealing with them “acting out” or suffering from insecurity, depression or grief.) Of course this is vital, but like the little signs on the airplane oxygen mask say, you really need to be sure that you’re OK, first, otherwise you can be of no help to your children.

Do what you need to for your own mental/emotional/spiritual health. Take care of yourself physically, invest in therapy, join your church, go on healthy walks (take your dog with you), maintain your best appearance and try to notice and focus on those things in your life which are good. There is love, beauty, comfort available if you’re willing to reach out or accept it.

Whichever path you find yourself on, ‘getting over’ a marital affair takes work, forgiveness (towards everyone involved, even the ‘other’), friends and a supportive social network. More, it can often take hard, deep-reaching soul work, either with the help of a compassionate and qualified counselor, your church or 12-step group, or through talking with your higher power.