Many couples ask themselves if they can overcome an infidelity after learning of the involvement of a third person in their relationship, but the answer to this question basically depends on the restoration of the bond of trust between the two and the degree to which this is affected, since in some cases it is permanently damaged and separation is the best solution for both.

Disappointment is the most frequent emotion linked to infidelity, because knowing we are deceived produces a host of negative feelings towards our partner that consequently degrade the image we had of him or her until that moment, and restoring it is not always easy or feasible.

Infidelity under the magnifying glass of science

In fact, there are already several studies on the problem of infidelity, as we read in the article “What does science reveal about infidelity?

The context in which the infidelity has developed is as important as the infidelity itself, since it is not the same a punctual slip in a certain occasion as a temporal alignment in which relations with a third person have alternated behind the couple’s back. The latter would imply a contact beyond a simple affair in which there has been an exchange of feelings and therefore, a premeditated action of the person involved towards the deception that is much more difficult to forgive, with mutual trust being very much affected.

Overcoming infidelity: keys to success

Neither are occasional adventures a determining factor in whether an infidelity can be overcome, although these cases involve a stimulus in the actions that is usually spontaneous and unthinking in which the consequences of the acts have not been measured. The person who has been deceived may also lose confidence in his partner if after what has happened he does not feel sure that this unthinking action could be repeated.

What are the important things to do when you have suffered an infidelity?

1. Sincerity

Sincerity on both sides is always the best way to deal with any problems that might occur in the couple, because in the case of infidelity, there are many conditioning factors that can lead to seeking external stimuli in personal relationships, and although this is not a justification for taking such measures, being sincere with the other could favour working together on the weak points of the relationship or which the other considers defective in order to overcome them and reach an agreement that is satisfactory for both.

2. Allow time for reflection

Leaving space for the other person is also a necessary aspect to know if an infidelity can be forgiven, since the initial reaction to deception is usually one of rejection and repulsion for the person who committed it, a response that is induced by the clash of realities that represents the contrast of the image of the couple (often idealized) that is projected in the subconscious, which the conscious mind has to face when we see that things are not as we thought.

3. Knowing reality

Exposing the facts and knowing the details of the problem is part of the recovery process to know if an infidelity can be overcome and at this point, it is essential to be as sincere as possible on both sides avoiding entering into sordid details that do not contribute to restoring the bond of trust , such as comparisons about the intimacy maintained between the couple and the third person in question.

4. Break (sincerely) with the third person

Breaking off relations with the third person is necessary in all cases where infidelity occurs, although when this has occurred occasionally it is probably not necessary because most of these situations usually occur in relaxed environments such as parties and with strangers with whom you usually do not have contact again.

5. Avoid environments that may create discomfort

If the third person involved is someone in the circle close to the partner, it may be necessary to introduce some modifications of the common routine such as a change of friends or of work, in order to avoid tense situations that induce to remember what happened, preventing to turn the page within a vicious circle of guilt and reproaches.

Starting from scratch

Overcoming an infidelity is, in part, knowing how to rebuild the relationship on the basis of trust . Therefore, once the couple has exposed the situation and discussed the issue extensively, leaving aside initial resentments, it is necessary to make it clear that if a second opportunity is given, it is starting from scratch through a commitment assumed by both parties, which implies that the person who has been unfaithful is consistent with the opportunity being given and does not make the same mistake again.

But the other party also must make the effort to continue without looking back , avoiding at all costs to mention what happened and fall into accusations or reproaches, because one of the main problems that couples usually face after having lived this type of situation is the classic “I forgive but I don’t forget”.

This can induce one of the parties to permanently remember what happened and to treat their partner as a form of “revenge” , which can lead to psychological abuse and which the affected party usually accepts because they think they deserve it, producing an exchange of roles in which the “victim” becomes the victimizer, possibly because they skipped some of the previous points or were not reinforced as they should be, although in cases where those involved are unable to establish the zero point of departure as an anchor, separation would be an option to consider so as not to prolong the suffering.