You can cope, just survive first........
Dr. Reena Sommer
With infidelity and extramarital affairs affecting over 40% of men and women in relationships, being in a position of surviving infidelity is becoming more of a reality for many men and women. However, the key to surviving infidelity goes well beyond simply attempting to save the relationship or marriage. Surviving infidelity involves taking a very hard look at oneself, one's partner and one's relationship. In essence, surviving infidelity in a healthy way may mean moving beyond the relationship because it fails to meet the needs of the people involved.
Two Routes to Surviving Infidelity
Clearly, when infidelity occurs there are two basic routes a couple can take in surviving infidelity. A couple can attempt to stay together and try to heal their relationship or they can end it and go separate ways. Being forced to accept (against one's will) that the relationship is over because one's partner has found someone else is probably the most painful choice initially. In this instance, feelings of abandonment, anger and betrayal are major obstacles that must be overcome. However, in this case, there are no options but to accept and move on.
The second course of action which involves attempting to save and rebuild the relationship is the more challenging option since in order to be successful, the infidelity and the reasons for it need to be dealt with honestly and sincerely. The healing process is difficult because each partner is hurting in different ways and the desire to blame the other often stands in the way of progress. If not contained, it can also poison the relationship altogether.
The Challenges of Surviving Infidelity
Independent of the route taken, the most challenging aspect of surviving infidelity is coping with the uncertainty of its outcome. Even the most stable individuals acknowledge having to struggle with the roller coaster feelings that flow from infidelity. Without a doubt, the journey to surviving infidelity is a difficult one. The challenge is to come away from the experience psychologically and emotionally intact and hopefully with greater insight into what is important in life and love.