Affairs can destroy marriages. Marriages can sometimes endure one affair, assuming the affair is dealt with effectively, but marriages rarely survive more than one affair. In today’s world of technology, a person having an affair leaves a digital trail via texting, emailing, messaging and chatting. Affairs are eventually discovered and leave a path of devastation.
Recovering from an affair entails a couple’s ability to talk successfully about the affair. The challenge is for the betrayed person to express one’s outrage and hurt without attacking. The challenge for the betrayer is to absorb the anger and hurt without being defensive. If the couple is able to have a conversation, regardless of how emotional it is, the couple can eventually discover the relationship and individual factors that made one vulnerable to an affair. They can also have conversations that heal the relationship and move the betrayed person towards a place of forgiveness.
Recovering from an affair also requires honesty. The betrayer needs to answer all questions honestly. However, the betrayed partner needs to be careful about asking for explicit sexual details, since this can create images that are hard to extinguish.
Sometimes the betrayer is reluctant to be fully honest, fearing particular details will end the marriage. I have rarely seen this. I have seen marriages end when the betrayer isn’t completely honest. When the dishonesty is discovered, the marriage often ends due to lack of trust, not the affair itself.