Survive an Internet Affair and Repair Your Relationship

Edited by Train Wreck, Eng, VisiHow

Some people may think that an internet affair, absent of physical contact or perhaps even honesty, is a harmless activity. However, many people recognize emotional cheating as a cause of marital problems. This can result in stress on the relationship that can even lead to divorce. In short, emotional cheating is often considered just as harmful as entering into a physical extra-marital relationship. Recognizing that any extramarital relationship causes stress and grief is an important first step to understanding it. More importantly, it's essential to surviving the hurt and pain an internet affair can cause. We'll provide you with some advice on how you can survive an internet affair and repair your relationship with your spouse, assuming you've decided that you want to move forward together. If one or both of you is still not sure where you want to take your relationship, then please read our articles on getting relationship advice for men or women, which we've linked in the relevant sections below.

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Survive an Internet Affair and Make Things Right

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    Seek help so you can deal with your feelings
    When you've discovered that your spouse either is or has cheated or had an affair, the first thing you must do is come to terms with the fact that such an event is actually happening. At this point, it is no longer a suspicion but a fact. However you learned of this fact, you need to get past the initial shock in order to begin to heal. Help from your friends and or family who have been through this experience, or even help from a relationship counselor for men or women, may be beneficial to you. This is because it can help you with figuring out how to process the information and begin to move on in a constructive way. At this stage, you may even want to just seek relationship counseling services on your own to deal with your feelings before involving your spouse. Failing to come to terms with the affair and reacting to it puts you at the risk of reliving the experience later. Worse, it can result in you being unable to forgive your partner and later move forward in your relationship.
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    Understand your role in creating the conditions that allowed the affair to occur
    While much of the blame lies with the person who was unfaithful in the relationship, there are times where maybe something you either did or did not do contributed to an environment in which the infidelity or cheating occurred. While it is true that no one is responsible for another person's cheating, it's also true that sometimes there are problems in a relationship that aren't addressed or acknowledged. This occurrence may have LED to the offending partner feeling resentment, loneliness, or a number of other negative feelings that prompted them to look outside the marriage for a solution to their needs. Unfortunately this isn't something you can realistically discuss with your spouse on a one to one basis. Instead, it's best explored with your partner and the help of a professional counselor or mediator. This ensures that both of you are heard.
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    Don't rush into forgiveness
    Allow yourself time to grieve and time to be angry. At is also important for you to express your anger to your spouse and to know that your spouse understands how much hurt he or she has caused. You should not forgive because you are afraid of what your life might look like after a divorce. In fact, staying together or splitting up is a very personal choice. The best and most healthy option will be different for each couple. In the event that you decide to solve relationship differences, heal, and stay with your partner, the decision should be made out of a desire to stay together. It should not be made because of any fear of being alone. Choosing to stay with your spouse, however, does not mean that you are not free to express your feelings. The breakdown of your relationship needs to be carefully reviewed and clearly understood. This will help you both to emerge as a stronger couple. More importantly, it will teach you both that later use of the internet affair as a sort of weapon in future arguments serves no purpose. Such actions will only further strain your marriage.
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Repair Your Relationship After an Internet Affair

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    Get your spouse to join you in relationship counseling
    You may already have gone to a relationship counselor to work through your own feelings regarding the affair. Even though you may be seeing a therapist on your own, a couple which decides to stay together following infidelity should attend counseling sessions together. You will need to work on restoring trust in your partner as well as addressing any of the factors identified as contributing to or creating conditions within your relationship that allowed the affair to occur.
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    Work on rebuilding trust
    Discovering that your spouse has been cheating results in a complete breakdown of trust in your relationship. In order to stay together as a married couple, it is vital that you work on rebuilding trust and confidence in your spouse. However, your spouse may also want to rebuild trust in you, perhaps feeling hurt or betrayed, which LED to the cheating. It's a complicated mess really, and the process of working through it can and should take a long time. It is a necessary process to go through though. The first thing that must occur is that the affair must be ended and the third party must not remain in the picture. The wronged spouse may also have a set of rules or conditions that should be met in order to believe that their spouse is still committed. Additionally, openness and honesty in conversation is necessary. At this stage, even a single small lie may damage the ability of the person who has cheated to regain the trust of their spouse. Also, the questions the person who has been wronged will have may be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but they must be addressed completely and honestly in order for the marriage to remain intact.
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    Move forward, together
    When time passes and trust is gradually rebuilt, some of the rules and restrictions can be loosened and the marriage can begin to look and feel more like a partnership again. As you move forward, it is important to keep lines of communication open and for each partner to be reassured that the other is committed to the marriage and to making it work. At some point, but not before you are ready, you will need to transition past the point where your marriage is defined by the affair. If you continue to use the affair as a milepost in your marriage, you will continue to revisit unpleasant and hurtful feelings of grief, sorrow, anger and betrayal. You'll never fully move past the point when you found out the affair was taking place. In a sense, you will be locked in a cycle that neither of you can escape. In time, that cycle will destroy your marriage.
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Additional Tips

  • Fully recovering from an affair, and even from an internet affair, takes a lot of time and effort. There may be cases in which recovering from internet infidelity is simply not possible. The situation as well as the solutions will vary for each couple. As the injured person in the marriage, you will need to begin by confronting and working through your own feelings. Then, if you decide that you want to save the marriage, you and your spouse should seek out relationship therapist to help you examine any underlying problems in your marriage. This will help you figure out a way to work together, while keeping the lines of communication open and the conversation constructive.

See more articles for women on relationships: Getting Relationship Advice, Getting Over a Broken Heart (Female), and Cheating Husband.

See more articles for men on relationships: Getting Over a Divorce, First Date Tips, Getting Relationship Advice, and Getting Over a Broken Heart.

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Article Info

Categories : Relationships

Recent edits by: Eng, Train Wreck

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