can your marriage survive an affair?

There is probably not much more devastating to a relationship than an affair, no matter how big or small.  It naturally begs the question, “Can your marriage survive an affair?”

When the unbreakable contract is broken, both spouses are have to grapple with the debris.  The betrayed partner begins asking “Who is this person I am with?”  and “Have the past years all been a lie?” The betrayer asks “How did I let it come to this?” and “Can I be forgiven?” and “Is this who I really am?”

The good news is that research suggests 80% of marriages that go though an affair survive! But not without hard work and perseverance. You don’t have to do that work alone. I can help.

Effective couples therapy will support and guide both spouses through the recovery process and provide tools to help repair the damage done by the affair.  Therapy should not minimize the damage but instead navigate through it and rebuild trust and faithfulness again.

Below are a few facts about affairs compiled by my friends at BestMarriages.com. I hope this data will help you understand you are not alone.

  • Only 10% will marry their affair partner and then there is huge mistrust when married. If you leave someone and expect to have a long term relationship with the partner in the affair the chances are 1-2%.
  • Infidelity is more likely to lead to divorce if the unfaithful spouse is the wife. For women, it only takes one liaison and they are more likely to divorce. For men, it takes a serious relationship to divorce.
  • There is a higher chance of divorce if affair is combined-type involvement which equals sex and emotional connection. Wives had more of this type of affair.
  • Women are more likely to have affairs with old flames, friends, or neighbors.
  • Most affairs are happening at work. From 1990 to present, 50% of wives had affairs at work; between 1980-90, 38% had work affairs.
  • Internet Chats are a real problem — partners are more accessible and it fills the need of emotional connection late at night when one of the partners has gone to sleep.
  • As many women are having affairs as men.
  • Men are more likely than women to separate sex and love.Men are more likely than women to separate sex and love.: 26% of men said that they could have sex without becoming emotionally involved; only 3% of women said the same.
  • Two thirds of husbands and wives regarded falling in love as justification to have affair.
  • No one can compete with the excitement and novelty of an affair because it is secret, dangerous, passionate and novel.
  • There is little reality to an affair because both partners are not in their normal environments.
  • Most predictive emotional cue is not saying “I love you” to the partner anymore.

(Sources: NOT Just Friends by Shirley Glass;
research by Dr. John Gottman,
Darren Wilk and Lawrence Stoyanowski.)

The most important thing for you to remember is that you are not alone. Affairs are much more common than you might think and recovery is possible. I can help you and your partner put the affair behind you, address the real issues in your relationship, and rebuild trust and intimacy.

Your marriage can survive an affair.
Get Started Today.

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