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Dealing with infidelity-what now?

Dealing with infidelity can be a huge challenge for a marriage. Unfortunately, cheating can come at any point in a relationship, whether newly wed or married for years. Sometimes cheating—especially repeated offences—is a sign that your should get out of the marriage. Read about our top reasons for divorce for more information. At the same time, if you know the skills for dealing with infidelity, slip-ups and one-time events can often be repaired and your marriage can bounce back stronger and more prepared for future challenges.

The first key to dealing with infidelity is good communication. Early in your relationship, set clear boundaries about what you both consider appropriate interactions with others. Second, be clear and consistent about voicing your concern when you believe that line has been crossed. On the other side, if your spouse approaches you about activity he or she feels uncomfortable with you doing, remember not to brush off the concern with a “You’ve got to be kidding!” Even if you feel your behavior is not out of line, acknowledge that your spouses’ feelings are valid and need to be addressed. Try to understand each of your underlying concerns about the situation—it may go deeper than just suspicion of infidelity.

The same goes for after an affair has occurred. Both of you must discuss what went wrong, what each of you could have done differently, and what each of you needs to do to move on. At the same time, the biggest challenge for dealing with infidelity that has already occurred is the emotional pain that both sides may be feeling. These strong emotions can make any sort of conversation about what happened, and what you should do to move on, impossible. Read up on how to regulate your emotions in order to keep your talking open-minded and anger-free. Remember, if the conversation starts to get too heated, you should go take a break until you’ve both cooled down, then continue talking. Remember, you won't heal overnight. it takes time and energy to regrow your love--but you can do it!

And, you can always come to Power of Two Online for helpful tip sheets, mediated conversations, and personalized advice to help you in dealing with infidelity and other marriage problems. Become a member right away and start talking with your coach today!

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Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant 90-FE-0123. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Servies, Administration for Children and Families.