Mend a broken relationship: An affair

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…

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