However, anyone who has experienced infidelity knows the pain of the betrayal and broken trust. It does not matter that the affair doesn’t have the same meaning or connection as the primary relationship. The gnawing realization that a promise of fidelity has been broken can feel overwhelming.
Some people cheat because they are numbing emotional pain, which may or may not be about their primary relationship. They are unable to manage their complicated feelings in any other way. This type of betrayal can be incredibly confusing for the partner as their relationship seems to be going well.
Can the relationship be restored?
Some relationships survive affairs and grow stronger from it. Sometimes the affair is a symptom of what was going on in the relationship – in that neither partner was happy. This is not to say that the acting out behavior is okay. It just means that when a couple looks at what was not working in the relationship and work with a qualified couples counselor, they often can restore trust.
Sometimes after an affair, one person wants to come in for counseling to deal with the anger (or guilt) and get their thinking clearer to make the best decisions for the future.
Ultimately, whether you stay or go is a complicated decision. If you are struggling with infidelity, cheating, or betrayal, please speak with a counselor if you are having trouble managing your thoughts or emotions. You don’t have to go through this alone.