What do you do if you suspect your partner is having an affair? This is something no one ever wants to face in their relationship. It can be devastating to wonder if you partner is being unfaithful. How do you find out if he/she is having an affair and what do you do if they are? Can relationships survive infidelity?
Are you suspicious?
If you suspect your partner may be having an affair, the best approach is a direct one. Ask them but do so without anger or drama. Ask directly if they are sexually or emotionally involved with someone else. An affair doesn’t have to be sexual; it can be two people sharing more with each other than their partner. Some people actively seek out an affair but many fall into one with no premediated plan to do so. It can start with spending time with someone else and developing an emotional closeness that can lead to more. Eventually boundaries are crossed and an affair has begun. If you or your partner is spending time with another that takes away from the closeness you use to or should be sharing with your partner that can be a warning sign. I personally feel that men and women can be friends, as long as you are not using that friendship to meet unmet needs in your relationship with your partner.
Are you neglecting your marriage?
Marriages can become neglected when we get busy with work, the children, chores, and other demands of day to day life. If someone new starts to fill in that emotional closeness, it can lead to more. Someone new brings back all those feel good hormones you had in the beginning of a relationship. No long term partner can compete with these feelings of infatuation that are hormone based. We need to monitor ourselves and not allow new relationships to cross the line and become too personal. If you suspect your partner might be falling into this trap, an open honest discussion is in order. Your partner might not even realize what is happening to them and if you can discuss it calmly, you might avoid an affair.
What having an affair signifies
Whether your partner is already involved in an affair, has had a past affair, or is in danger of having one, it is a sign that your relationship needs time and attention!
Can your relationship survive infidelity? The answer is yes, if the relationship has a good foundation and was strong before the affair. Obviously both partners have to want the relationship to be saved. The healing process can actually strengthen the marriage in the long run.
How do you rebuild a marriage after an affair?
The first step is forgiveness. Start by realizing it is possible to forgive. This does not mean that you forget or are ok with the affair. It means that you are willing to move past your feelings of hurt for the sake of the relationship. This is not easy and will not happen overnight but it is possible to forgive.
The next step is to rebuild trust and respect. This requires a great deal of open communication and both partners taking responsibility for their part in the deterioration of the relationship. Once you have identified the problems in the relationship, you can begin to address those and create a stronger, healthier one. Trust will happen over time as both partners feel safe.
Seeking professional help
This leads to the final step of rebuilding your relationship. Again this takes time and effort but you can end up with a much better relationship in the end. Both partners will be committed to making their relationship a priority so nothing can come between them again.
This is not an easy rode and is not one that I suggest you go alone. This is a situation that more than likely needs the help of a professional. If both partners are motivate, you can work through this and come out with a stronger relationship.
Lori Ann Davis, MA, CRS
Certified Relationship Specialist