Getting Over an
Affair IS Possible
By Susie and Otto Collins
You might be hurting so badly that you wonder... You could
be so angry and disgusted that you really doubt... You may
feel so fearful of experiencing this kind of pain again you
...Can I ever get over the affair that my partner had?
...Could it be possible for this relationship to rebound and
recover after infidelity?
As you probably know, an affair isn't like the flu. The
emotions that are coming up and the vast distance between
yourself and your mate aren't going to just go away after 24
hours or a longer period of time.
There is no magic pill or elixir that will make it all
better in an instant.
In order for trust to be rebuilt and your relationship to
start feeling like a love relationship again (or something
even close to one), it's going to take change. You and your
partner will both be required to take a deeper look at your
tendencies as individuals and as a couple and learn from
You both will need to be willing to take some amount of risk
and try new relationship strategies.
And when you are possibly still reeling from feeling
betrayed, taking a risk and making yourself vulnerable to
yet more pain could be an uncomfortable thing to consider.
To begin getting over an affair, you will both be called
upon to make conscious and reasonable risks as you move
through the healing process.
Even if you've ended the relationship or marriage in which
infidelity happened, your personal healing and sense of
trust can benefit from this information.
You may want to create another relationship some time in the
future and if you have released the pain and restored trust
in yourself and potential partners, it is more likely that
that new relationship will start off in a healthy way.
Gain a better understanding of what led to the affair.
George works in the insurance business. He calculates and
estimates risk every single day at the office. With this
background, he feels that the risk of his wife Billie having
another affair may be high. Despite this, he wants to give
it a try.
Billie has been working with him to help trust heal and
rebuild. But George knows this will take some time and
One thing that George and Billie were encouraged by a family
friend to do is to learn from the affair. They have set out
to gain a better understanding of their relationship
patterns before Billie cheated.
Both of them know that this practice will not be helpful if
they re-affirm blame and judgment in looking back at the
past. George certainly doesn't want to re-live the
details of Billie's affair and neither does she.
But they do want to get a clearer knowing of what
contributed to the distance between them that then led
Billie to cheat.
Try to take on the role of an observer as you begin to learn
from the affair. We know this is probably not the easiest
thing to do! Remembering to breathe and reminding yourself
that your intention is to learn from the past, not re-create
it, can help.
You might start by looking at your own habits and patterns
in the relationship during that time. Ask yourself if each
particular habit or tendency encouraged closeness or
distance in your relationship.
Share with one another what you are discovering and check in
to see if your partner had the same experience as you are
Learn to develop new relationship habits.
Hone in on those tendencies that you now realize fed the
disconnection in your relationship in the past. Brainstorm
some alternative behaviors to those that drove you apart.
For example, Billie starts to see that she was feeling
unattractive and boring in the months leading up to her
affair. She transferred these negative feelings about
herself onto George and began to believe that that's how he
felt as well.
When the other man came along expressing
romantic and sexual interest in Billie, she temporarily got
carried away in feeling like she was beautiful and alluring.
She is not making any excuses and she regrets her decision,
but she also learns from this realization.
Having this deeper understanding of one contributor to
Billie's infidelity is quite valuable. Now Billie and George
can talk about possible ways that Billie can feel more
attractive both in her eyes and in George's view.
Billie decides that she can start exercising more and
reading uplifting books about body image. George is choosing
to offer Billie more compliments and more verbal in his
appreciation of how gorgeous he thinks she is.
There is probably a whole host of interconnected patterns
and dynamics that formed between you and your mate that
contributed to disconnection and the infidelity. Let us
stress that this practice isn't about blame or finding the
"one" thing that led to the affair.
This is about cleaning up your relationship habits and
developing new ones that bring you closer together instead
of further apart.
When you establish a new relationship habit that feels good
to both of you, take notice. This is a sign that trust is
making a comeback, healing is happening.
You might also come upon new habits that aren't a good fit
for where you are right now in your relationship. That's ok.
Notice that, talk about it with one another and open up to a
As you learn from the affair and from your past
relationship habits and patterns, don't get stuck in that
past. Take the time to gain a better understanding and then
return to the present moment in which you and your partner
are working together to rebuild trust and create a closer