How to recover after finding out your partner is having an extramarital affair?

Extramarital affairs are as universal is the institution of marriage. Two people from opposite gender fall in love and start the journey of re-creation, growth, and survival with a commitment to never breach the trust. Under this social contract of marriage, couple live together and look after each other so that fulfill each other’s need for better health, wealth, and well-being. Then something unknown happens someday when someone enters your life to act as catalysts to break the trust.

It is a fact that marriage is not just a physical union but union of ideas and emotions. The inherent nature of dynamism in ideas and emotions driven by triangular play chemicals in our brain makes it a challenging task to sustain the relationship on the same scale forever. The institution of marriage has several advantages from the family, growth, safety, sustenance, peace and happiness perspective. But, at the same time, we see numerous cases of transgression in our society. Why this deviation from the normal path, when everything looks very bright and rosy?

You, Me and “Who”

We all claim that we know the “our-self”, but the unfortunate reality is that this awareness of self is situation and context-driven which easily gets manipulated with the change in the situation. When it comes to marriage, we claim so about the partner also knowing fully that this confidence of knowing the partner is as fragile as sand-house. Fact of life is, no one is complete, in one sense or other, and we look for completeness through association. We, humans, are conditioned to seek approval and validation at every stage of life. One’s the search for approval and validation lead one to look beyond marriage giving birth to the extramarital relationship.

This all begins with emotional need gratification from the third person, but as the relationship matures it takes the shape and romance and then physical relationship. It has been observed that the extramarital affair between two people normally fails the durability test, but during that duration, it destroys the whole fabric of the family.

This phase of instability when you start questioning all your values, believes and principles pushed you towards extreme distress. This normally makes one angry and frustrated resulting in aggressiveness and friction. However, this is the moment when you need to control your emotions and think meticulously and act according to plan.

Steps to recover from an extramarital affair

We all know that any friction of any nature in a relationship, whether induced by an extramarital affair, make a deep impact on both the partners and kids. The moment you come to know about your partners’ extramarital relationship it surprises you then shocks you pushing you to ask why me? This devastates emotions so badly that self-esteem hits the bottom resulting in the life-long legacy of hurt, distrust, and anger. On the other hand, the offender grapples with shame and retributions from different sources.
Whatever is your point of view, but the unfortunate reality is that affairs are universal phenomena. The scale and intensity might vary but this has been found in all type of socio-economic and cultural setup. Knowingly or unknowingly we all get driven by the urge, some manage to control and some fall in the line. So, it is better to acknowledge the reality and learn how to cope with it and if possible bring the warmness back in the married life.

Learn to Control Reaction

The moment you come to know about the transgression, you fall in the grip of emotions generated by the sense of betrayal. It is very normal that you will get distressed and feel neglected. In such a situation it is advisable to talk with someone you trust and express your point of view. Accepting the reality of affair, it is good for you to seat with your partner and listen to each other’s view patiently. A healthy communication has the quality to heal. Just keep your ego aside, forget the power struggle and give your wonderful memories a chance.


Although it is very high demand from any victim to start the fact-finding mission in such moment of despair and pain, the real facts come to ground in the moment of heat. Hold your ground, and try to find the causes of transgression so that you could focus on them. If we leave some cases of sexual addition driven extramarital affairs, it has been found that most of the cases are relationship issue in which emotional need for gratification and validation come from outside. The knowing and accepting the causes dilutes the mental resistance and solves half of the problem.

Be Accountable

We all commit mistakes of different scale and nature. But, as a responsible human being, we accept our mistakes and show the desired accountability. The speed and effectiveness of recovery would be strong if the offender comes forward and accepts the mistake. However, this acceptance should be genuine; otherwise, the after-effect would be devastating beyond recovery.

Past Imperfect

Tough for anyone to accept, but it has been proven through research that there could be historical linkages behind the behavior of transgression. If your memory is full of stories of extramarital affairs from real life, it is likely that you will have higher level acceptance of this behavior. This conditioning may tempt you to try an extramarital relationship. To recover from the shock of extramarital affair you have to find the historical linkage, if any, and learn to unlearn it.

Show Responsibility

The big-heartedness, not so easy to have it in such a situation, is the key to recover quickly from the shock of an extramarital relationship. As a victim, you have to break the ego barrier and come forward to show some level of responsibility. This helps in building a nurturing base normalize the situation. You have to accept the fact that there might be some unknown push factors from your side which might have pushed your partner towards external emotional support system. You have to understand the complicated response mechanism and make room for your partner to come out of the emotional trap.

Talk to Listen

The mountain of distress starts building when the communication weakens. This could be an indicator for you to understand the dynamism of two-way communication where you have to listen also. A healthy relationship has a strong ingredient of healthy communication where you feel free to express your emotions. The best possible remedy of recovery from an extramarital affair is open communication where you could discuss all issues openly.

Life is Great

Individuality matters for all of us, but when it comes to married life it is the togetherness of ideas and emotion that helps you build a great family. As a parent, you don’t have the right to spoil your kids future just because there is some chemical imbalance in your brain. To recover from the shock of extramarital affair you can your happy moments to heal the wounds. Those beautiful memories will help you find solutions.

Acceptance of reality is the key to tension free life. An affair is also a reality, accept it, give your best effort to save it, if it works fine otherwise move ahead. You know all possible reasons why an affair happens accordingly understand the human need of notice, value, and validation and bring it in practice for a joyful life.

Feeling devastated by breach of trust and faith, take a step back, think, control your emotion and express it smartly to recover quickly.