An affair is a devastating breach of trust in a marriage but it doesn’t have to result in divorce. If both partners are sincere about wanting to be married to one another and are willing to put in the effort, trust can be rebuilt and bad marriages can be re-made into good ones. Here are some questions to help you determine if genuine reconciliation is possible:
1. What was the affair all about ? Not all affairs are the same. Some are habitual and based on a characterological flaw. Most however, are desperate attempts to deal with pain anxiety. Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done for habitual offenders. However, if the affair is a one-time thing, there is hope.
2. Does the offender blame the spouse or take responsibility for his/her infidelity? If the person having the affair admits that s/he was wrong and doesn’t try to blame his/her partner and if the offended partner is willing will to acknowledge that it takes “two to Tango”, then discovering the dysfunctional relational patterns and finding a workable solution is possible.
3. Do both partners have realistic expectations for healing ? While fixing problematic marriage patterns is a very effective way for most couples to recover from an affair, it takes time. As long as bother partners make the effort and have the patience to learn new skills and are able to give the new ways of relating a chance to take effect, counseling can re-establish trust and create new and lasting relationships.