My Partner Has Had An Affair, How And What Am I Suppose To Do and Think?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Jane I Taylor MBACP MCS (Acc) PRCC
12th November, 2010
An affair is not the end of the world, it just feels that way.
It is true to say that one in three first marriages and one in two second marriages ends in divorce. We do not have accurate figures to say how many relationships end or endure an affair. It is reasonable to say that everyone knows at least one couple who have experienced an affair happening in their relationship.
So you find your partner has cheated on you, what do you do? Most people when asked, what would they do if their partner cheated, would say, they would leave, the reality is much different. The first reaction is usually shock, feeling sick, some people erupt into anger others remain calm, all is normal. It is one of the most confusing situations we can find ourselves in, bitter sweet, loving our partner yet hating them at the same time.
The most important thing is to give yourself time, not to make hasty decisions which could affect the wrest of your life. Talk, work out why it happened, the couple must both be prepared to take some responsibility. An individual who has an affair is missing something they need in their relationship. It can be affection, attention, responsibility, equality, an affair may be an escape from real life and stress, responsibility, money worries etc., where the home, family, partner are all a reminder of their problems and failings.
If you ask questions of your partner be sure you can cope with the answers, some of which can haunt you for months. Your imagination will work overtime and you may feel you are going mad, you may feel vengeful, hatred towards your partner and the other person for what they have put you through, all normal. You may feel you want the whole world to know how you have been wronged, or you may not want it to get out, you may feel that you could not deal with anyone knowing, all normal.
"How could they do this to me", you may feel you do not know your partner, or even worse, you do not know yourself because of what it has made you do or feel. It may be hard to understand but an affair can make or break a relationship. It is possible that it can make a relationship stronger, often for the first time the couple learn to talk, be honest with each other, learn to iron out problems when they first appear and so on.
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