Affairs: What To Do After It’s Revealed
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Affairs: What To Do After It’s Revealed

Many couples have the unfortunate circumstance of experiencing infidelity at some point in their relationship. The disclosure of an affair can have detrimental impacts on a relationship. Following such an incident, it is imperative to address the matter with composure and dedication to restoring confidence in your partner and the relationship itself.


This article will discuss what to do in the scenario in which an affair is discovered, with a focus on ending the relationship with the other person, being transparent, being emotionally strong, and getting help.



Table Of Contents

Terminate The Relationship With The Other Person

Provide As Much Transparency As Possible To Rebuild Trust

Don’t Make Any Rash Decisions When Emotions Are Still High

Seek Counseling To Help You Individually As Well As Your Relationship

The Bottom Line





Terminate The Relationship With The Other Person


Breaking off contact with the third party involved is the first and most important thing to do when an affair is revealed (Snyder et al., 2012). It’s an awkward but essential step that expresses a dedication to mend the strained bond. Based on statistical data, when the relationship with the third party is not terminated, around 57% of marriages involving adultery terminate in divorce (Marín et al., 2014).



Furthermore, carrying on with the affair would only make the hurt worse and make it more difficult to regain trust. To show that they are genuinely committed to the main relationship, the partner who wandered must be prepared to cut all connections. By assuring the betrayed spouse of your seriousness in resolving the matter, this step creates the groundwork for the eventual rebuilding of trust.



Terminating the relationship with the third party is an essential and symbolic act of closure, not just a pragmatic one. It makes room for the betrayed partner to start healing and allows the couple an opportunity to start restoring trust. A commitment to ceasing all interaction with the third party is necessary in order to mend the broken relationship.




Provide As Much Transparency As Possible To Rebuild Trust


Rebuilding trust after an affair requires transparency. The cheating spouse must be forthright and honest about their behavior, and motivations, and be truthful and open about their behavior, motivations, and any other relevant information. Relationship experts say that openness is the key to success for the majority of couples who successfully get past infidelity (Hertlein et al., 2017).



To be transparent means to voluntarily share information that could help the betrayed partner understand the circumstances and to honestly respond to inquiries regarding the affair. Although it could be uncomfortable, this is an essential step in the healing process. To prevent feeling overburdened, the betrayed partner should, however, communicate their needs and establish boundaries.



Accountability and consistent actions go hand in hand with transparency. Rebuilding trust requires more than just verbal communication; it also requires actions that reflect the ability to do so. The cheating partner should make an effort to keep their word when they make commitments and pledges.


Caught Cheating Couple

Photo by Timur Weber



Don’t Make Any Rash Decisions When Emotions Are Still High


In the wake of an affair, emotions are high, so it’s critical to avoid making rash decisions. Impulsive behavior might have permanent effects, making relationship reconstruction more difficult. Research suggests that couples who pause to consider their options and make deliberate choices have a higher chance of effectively overcoming infidelity (Fife et al., 2023; Mayo Clinic, 2023). Consider your options from a distance and give yourself time to consider your feelings before acting. It’s critical to realize that your immediate responses might not be a true reflection of your long-term aspirations or feelings.



Discuss your feelings with your partner in an honest and open manner, trying to avoid assigning blame. Confrontations can result in rash judgments that exacerbate emotions and impede progress. Setting up boundaries for conversations can help avoid rash confrontations. To mediate conversations, think about using the help of an impartial third party, such as a counselor, family member, or trusted friend. This can offer a more impartial viewpoint and assist in avoiding rapid decisions made only in response to intense feelings.



Together, find the emotional triggers that could cause you to make snap decisions. Establish a reasonable timeframe for making decisions. Instead of feeling compelled to make decisions right away, give both parties the time they need to seek counseling, examine their feelings, and work on restoring trust. The healing process can feel more structured if a timeline is established.





Seek Counseling To Help You Individually As Well As Your Relationship


One effective strategy for resolving the fallout after an affair is counseling. Rebuilding relationships after cheating is more likely to succeed when expert assistance is sought. Counseling attendees report notable increases in their general well-being and relationship satisfaction in about 70% of cases (Psychology Today, 2021).



Each partner can address personal concerns that may have had a role in the affair through individual counseling. It offers a space for introspection, development, and the creation of healthy coping strategies. Couples counseling also teaches partners how to communicate effectively, reestablish an emotional bond, and comprehend the complexities of their relationship.



Think about alternative therapies like art therapy or creative outlets in addition to conventional counseling. Using art as a means of emotional expression may be a very effective approach to processing emotions and experiences, opening up new healing possibilities. Select counseling programs that prioritize effective communication techniques. Rebuilding trust and understanding each other’s perspectives require effective communication.





The Bottom Line


Even while learning that someone has had an affair is difficult, a relationship does not always end as a result. Rebuilding trust and saving the relationship can be greatly aided by taking proactive measures including cutting off communication with the third party, being transparent, refraining from making snap judgments and getting counseling.



Statistics on infidelity show how common this problem is, but they also show that healing is possible. Through a dedication to candid communication, emotional fortitude, and expert advice, couples may weather the storm of cheating and come out of it stronger and closer than ever.


If you think you are in a state of relational crisis, please consider booking a Deep Dive for expert help now.





Fife, S. T., Gossner, J. D., Theobald, A., Allen, E., Rivero, A., & Koehl, H. (2023). Couple healing from infidelity: A grounded theory study. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 40(12), 3882–3905.


Hertlein, K. M., Dulley, C., Cloud, R., Leon, D., & Chang, J. (2017). Does absence of evidence mean evidence of absence? Managing the issue of partner surveillance in infidelity treatment. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 32(3–4), 323–333.


Marín, R. A., Christensen, A., & Atkins, D. C. (2014). Infidelity and behavioral couple therapy: Relationship outcomes over 5 years following therapy. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 3(1), 1–12.


Mayo Clinic. (2023, February 16). Why affairs happen and what to do next. Mayo Clinic.


Psychology Today. (2021, January 3). The Most Effective Couples Therapy, by Far.


Snyder, D. K., Balderrama-Durbin, C., & Fissette, C. L. (2012). Treating infidelity and comorbid depression: A case study involving military deployment. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 1(3), 213–225.








Written By: Dr. Wasif MD

Edited by: Madison Vargas, BS

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Kyle Zrenchik, PhD, LMFT

Published : 02/24/2024


Disclaimer: ALL IN Therapy Clinic aims to improve people’s lives. We do this through providing effective mental health counseling by passionate professionals. Inspired by this, we write content for your own education. Also, our content is researched, cited, reviewed, and edited by licensed mental health professionals. However, the information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, it should not be used in place of the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

Written and reviewed by

Madison Vargas

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