Anyone who has been on the receiving end would know the trauma when they discover their spouse’s affair.
For weeks, months or even years, you had your suspicions – but now you know for sure your husband or wife was being unfaithful.
While many couples call it quits, some may want to work on their marriage – but can you really survive infidelity?
Here, Sydney sexologist Dr Nikki Goldstein revealed her top tips to overcome the affair, and how you can work on your relationship if you choose to stay together.
Anyone who has been on the receiving end would know the trauma when they discover their spouse’s affair (stock image)
Sydney sexologist Dr Nikki Goldstein revealed her top tips to overcome the affair
Why do people cheat?
Many men or women simply want to see if they’ve still got ‘it’, Dr Goldstein told Daily Mail Australia.
‘They might be with someone for a certain time and want to know if they still have the desire or they want to boost their ego,’ she said.
‘There are many different reasons people have affairs. It could be boredom or there’s problems in their relationship.
‘Or they accidentally got drunk and found themselves in a one-off situation. Or some people cheat because they find it’s a coping mechanism.
‘But the danger is lumping someone into one category. First, look at the situation and see why they cheated, because people don’t just get into relationships and then want to purposely get into an affair.’
Take a moment to digest
‘If you’re the person who found out, take a moment to digest,’ Dr Goldstein said.
‘The worst thing is act on your emotions, then boom, you’re going to say or do something you’re going to regret later.
‘Tell yourself, could you overcome infidelity? Were there cracks showing in the relationship already?’
She also advised to discuss with your partner the events that happened in your relationship that led to the affair.
She also advised to discuss with your partner the events that happened in your relationship before the affair began (stock image)
‘Know at the back of your mind what you are willing to do to try and overcome the affair,’ she said.
‘Find a way to seek help if you both want the marriage to work. If you’re fighting all the time, and you recognise your relationship isn’t working, use that evidence to work on your issues.’
With marriage counselling, Dr Goldstein said couples should be seeking professional help earlier in their relationship before it’s too late.
‘People should be doing counselling earlier,’ she said.
‘One of the problems for couples is they seek counselling too late. Always seek counselling before you get to the point your partner is having an affair.
‘Never feel ashamed for asking for help. This day and age, relationships are a lot harder to have and we’re not all taught to know how to be in one.
‘Many of us will suffer from time to time – and that’s okay.’
With marriage counselling, Dr Goldstein said couples should be seeking professional help earlier in their relationship before it’s too late (stock image)
Be careful whose shoulder you cry on
‘Be careful who you speak to,’ Dr Goldstein said.
‘Everyone has a different opinion on infidelity. Your girlfriend who was cheated on or your guy friend who was having an affair for two years impacts their own experiences.
‘Their opinion can really impact your relationship so be very careful who you discuss the infidelity with.’
It takes more time to heal a broken heart
‘Don’t expect quick fix solutions. Know that it’s going to take time, it’s not something that can be solved straight away,’ she said.
‘You need to work on yourself as well because often, the infidelity takes a knock to the victim’s self-esteem and ego.
‘Build yourself back up and just know that it’s not a matter of you being not good enough, and work on getting your strength back.
‘Even if you do stay, it’s not necessarily you’ll stay forever – but you’re trying.’
Once a cheater, always a cheater?
‘For some people, yes, other people, no,’ she said.
‘If someone has cheated because of their ego, then yes, there’s a high chance they can do it again because they got away with it.’
Sadly, she explained people who have never cheated, can have an affair when they are no longer happy with their relationship.
‘If someone cheated for the first time and they felt awful for destroying the relationship, they won’t be tempted to do it again because they know how negative it was,’ Dr Goldstein said.