Mend a broken relationship: An affair

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A man looking ashamed

What happened?

It's been a few months since you discovered he'd had a brief affair. You've received a grovelling apology and a guarantee it will never happen again. You're both trying to patch things up, but no matter how hard you try, you can't get over it. You're phoning him constantly, going through his pockets, checking bank statements and emails, doubting everything he says and does.

How you're feeling

Hurt, angry and desperately insecure. His affair rocked your world, making you doubt everything you ever believed. Will you ever be able to trust him again?

How he's feeling

Scared, guilty, ashamed, and increasingly irritated by your behaviour (you never used to be the 'jealous type'). He's told you it won't happen again - why won't you believe him?

How to solve it

Be honest. Calmly explain that although you want to stay together, his affair has left scars that will take time to heal.

'Meanwhile, he's going to have to be very patient with you and behave openly and honestly,' says Relate Relationship Psychotherapist Paula Hall. 'He'll have to put up with your questions and checks and be able to account for his every move, until your doubts begin to ease. At some point you will have to start trusting him again, but for now your feelings are completely appropriate. Trust takes a long time to rebuild.'

After all, you wouldn't be behaving like this if he hadn't had an affair...

More help and advice

- Tips to put the spark back into your relationship
- More advice on affairs
- Who wears the trousers in your relationshiup?
- More common relationship problems answered
- Get relationship and marriage advice from Relate

Continued below...

More ways to mend a broken relationship

- Money problems
- Problems over kids
- Gone off sex
- Drifting apart

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i broke up with my woman a month ago i loved her so much and i still think about her i dont know if she has moved on or not becoz she some times call or e-mail me what shud i do i need advise.


my partner of 16 yrs has recently been caught having an affair with a woman 10yrs older than me!! I am devastated but I want to believe he is sorry and try to work things out.We have 2 young children and although I take pride in my appearance I feel low at the moment.I love this man so much but I know its going to be a long road to forgiveness though I have to try! Am I a fool?

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