Yes, if they want to. The key to a marriage surviving after infidelity is rebuilding trust.

Ultimately, it all comes down to how much the couple wants the marriage to work and the effort both people want to make to save it.

Infidelity is never an easy thing. It is extremely painful for the spouse that was betrayed. Trust has been broken, and it’s hard to believe you can ever feel safe with your partner again.

However, we have seen countless couples repair their relationship after an affair. Forgiveness is possible and a new and improved relationship lie in the wings.

Obviously, no two affairs are the same. Some are so egregious that they may be a lot harder to forgive. But ultimately, if the betrayee is willing to forgive and the betrayer makes amends and sincerely changes and recommits to the marriage, it is possible to repair.

Here’s what the person who had the affair has to do.

can a married couple survive after infidelity

How long does affair recovery take?

It depends. It’s a process. It’s a long term process that will take time and there is no exact timetable that fits every couple. The initial process can be done in a few days- to be able to forgive and start anew- but in terms of actually beginning to trust and forgive again, and really be okay and resolute about the relationship it will take time. In order to change, to trust again- you need new behaviors and you also need time.

Should you tell your partner you had an affair?

On the one hand, your spouse is going to be really angry. On the other hand, it’s better to tell the truth than lie. They are likely to find out anyway and if they find out from someone else, they will be very angry. As hard as it will be to break the news in the short term, in the long term it may be more advantageous to be upfront and honest.

Continue Reading…

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What leads to infidelity in a marriage? Why do people cheat on their partners?

Affairs can teach you a lot about your relationship. While there is never an excuse for an affair, there is usually a context which makes the relationship vulnerable. Ideally couples have the skills to be able to feel emotionally safe with each other and communicate when they don’t. Unfortunately, either due to lack of skills or self-awareness, couples often unconsciously find ways to exit the relationship. Instead of getting their needs met in the relationship, they find ways to get to them met outside of the relationship. For some, these exits can be catastrophic like an affair. These unmet needs are not a justification for infidelity; rather a context through which we can understand the environment that gave birth to the affair. In general, those who are unfaithful are usually motivated by an emotional need as opposed to a physical one.

How long does the pain of infidelity last?

It takes time to recover from an affair. The time it takes to recover from the pain of infidelity varies based on each unique couple and their particular circumstances, as well as their ability to recover and improve their relationship. While it may always linger in the background, it will eventually not take a primary role as time passes and trust is rebuilt.

Is it possible to have a happy marriage after an affair?

Yes, and it is possible to have an even better relationship than before if both people are willing to address the shortcomings that were present that led up to the affair.

 How to end an affair?

If you are having an affair and want to save your marriage, it is advisable to cut off all contact with the other love interest. Tell them that you want to save your marriage and ask that they please not contact you again. If you will need to block their number, that may be a necessary step.

What does it mean to cheat on someone emotionally?

Emotional infidelity is when one experiences emotional intimacy with someone outside of your marriage. Besides the fact that it can lead to a full-blown physical affair, it is in itself problematic as you are creating an intense emotional bond with someone besides your spouse. When most people think of an affair, they think of a physical affair. However, affairs don’t need to be physical in nature at all. It’s possible to have an emotional affair that can be just as damaging to your marriage as a physical affair.

People don’t usually set out to become emotionally unfaithful. Instead, it usually just happens slowly over time. Friendships or relationships with co-workers may slowly turn into emotional infidelity over time.

At other times, people may begin developing friendships with strangers over the internet. Over time, those people may become confidantes that can greatly damage a marriage.

If you are engaging in conversations with people that you wouldn’t feel comfortable having your spouse overhear, it’s likely that you’re having an emotional affair. For example, secret text messages, emails, or phone calls with an opposite sex friend that you wouldn’t want your spouse to overhear are likely warning signs that you’re being emotionally unfaithful.

Developing an emotionally intimate relationship with someone other than your spouse will hurt your marriage. Keeping secrets with an opposite sex friend or getting your emotional needs met by others interfere with the intimacy in marriage.

Often, people who feel lonely in their marriage are most susceptible to having an emotional affair. A wife who feels her husband is emotionally unavailable or a husband who feels neglected by his wife may turn to others outside the marriage to meet their emotional needs.

Prevent Temptation to Become Emotionally Unfaithful

Become proactive in preventing an affair. Avoid becoming emotionally intimate with others of the opposite sex. If you find conversations becoming frequent or overly personal, take immediate steps to rectify the situation.

Work on remaining emotionally connected to your spouse. Focus your efforts and energy on your communication and your connection. Become aware of any outside relationships that may be a threat to your marriage.

Keep your marriage a top priority. If you are feeling distant from your spouse or you are feeling lonely, resist the temptation to get your needs met elsewhere. Work on fixing your marriage instead.

If you think you’re being emotionally unfaithful, it doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. Emotional affairs get messy and are a slippery slope. They can lead you to do things that you would never imagine. That being said, they are very common and we talk about them in our free marriage book. Pull yourself out of the emotional affair by starting with Chapter Two called “Seal your Exits”, and do just that. Seal your Exits and walk away from being emotionally unfaithful.

How can you truly apologize to your wife/ husband for being unfaithful?

You can apologize by expressing severe regret, coming clean with what you did, and resolving never to do it again. You can also work on being a better spouse and creating more transparency in the relationship. The latter will show that you are sincere about your apology. It is likely that it will not be a one time apology. You will probably need to be repeatedly ask for forgiveness and encourage your spouse as you go through the repair process.

Should I end my marriage after an affair?

If you’re wondering if you should forgive your spouse after cheating, that is a decision you will need to make yourself. If you want to stay married, it is possible to repair. Some people are so devastated that they have a hard time being able to trust again. It is never good to make a rash decision. It will take time to recover from the initial news, so knowing whether you will be able to forgive early on is not a good gauge. If you do want to stay together, it is definitely possible. The answer really depends. If you wish to stay in relationship, then forgiveness is a must at some point. However, the process doesn’t really start until the cheater makes amends and admits wrongdoing and asks for forgiveness. Couples CAN heal from affairs. It depends if you want the marriage or not. It’s totally normal to feel angry. Why should you forgive someone for cheating? We encourage you to work it out, especially if children are involved, though we understand how difficult it can be to trust again.

How many married couples experience affairs in their marriage?

Statistics vary, as well as the type of affair, but studies range from as low as 25% to 70%. It is much more common than we think.

Can marriage counseling help heal affairs?

You’ll want to look for marriage counseling that specializes in affair recovery. Affairs are a delicate issue. Beyond processing the hurt and rebuilding trust, it is crucial to examine the health of the relationship that predated the affair and address some of the upsets that may have been present. This is the best way to prevent it from reoccurring. So a holistic approach that deals with the entire relationship, not just the affair, is crucial.

Schedule a Free Phone Consultation Now

Contact us to schedule a free phone consultation with The Marriage Restoration Project. We have several virtual counseling packages available including our intensive retreats that are ideal for rebuilding trust in your marriage after infidelity.


Overcoming Infidelity: Learn How to Fix a Relationship After Cheating
Infidelity Counseling: What you Can Learn from Affairs
My Spouse Had an Emotional Affair
What is Financial Infidelity? 8 Signs to Look Out for 
Half of All Emotional Affairs End with Physical Cheating. Here’s Why.
How to Forgive Infidelity



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Shlomo & Rivka Slatkin

Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin is an Imago relationship therapist and certified (master level) Imago workshop presenter with over 20 years of experience hosting couples therapy retreats in-person and online. Contact or