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Can a relationship survive an affair?

Having an affair can have a devastating impact on a marriage – it leads to a sense of betrayal, loss of trust, and often a complete breakdown of the relationship.

Often an affair can be a symptom of larger problems, either from one or both partners.

Though it’s painful, it also presents an opportunity: an opportunity to leave a situation that’s become intolerable for the people involved or to work through it and rebuild trust and move forward.

If both parties want the relationship to survive, it’s possible to work together to repair the damage and reconnect, but it takes a great deal of work.

While many couples begin with the best intentions, it can be hard to forgive and forget, and many feel their relationships never truly bounce back.

What do you think? Can a marriage truly survive an affair? Or does an affair leave a permanent scar?

Share your views in the comments below

Can a relationship survive an affair?

470 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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Cherish
17th May 2018
0
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I consider trust to be one of the most fundamental things in a serious relationship. Once the trust has been broken it is almost impossible to recover. I personally believe that someone who has cheated will do so again.
seises99896
20th Apr 2018
0
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I believe people make mistakes because we are humans, I grew up knowing men and women alike broke their marriage vows, usually because they were not treated as they expected to be or they were not as in love as they wanted to be or thought they were. Many reasons can contribute to a relationship getting off track. I believe if that relationship was meant to be and if the effort was made to move past that one mistake or affair, the marriage should heal with time and be stronger. In order for it to work both parties have to want it for each other not for the kids or other influences but for themselves. Otherwise, don't waste each others time with meanlessly words.
Yodama
23rd Mar 2018
0
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Not only a betrayal of the promises they made..but the earth shattering domino effect it has on everyone and everything connected.
No I don't think in the majority of cases disloyalty can be forgiven.
But then....we are flawed human beings after all!
Cay2607
22nd Mar 2018
0
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I was married for 32 years and then found out my husband was cheating on me with a person from his office. Suddenly integrity, trust and family had no meaning. Every day was painful but positivity, good friends and an amazing family got me through.
Snowtee
9th Mar 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I have had experience on this subject (twice !! ) and after a lot of soul searching, mediation sessions by both of us and forgiveness by me the relationships didn't survive. I think the trust goes and so the light of love goes out .
Munsterlander
22nd Feb 2018
0
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In most cases no but it does depend on the circumstances.
Tinkerbelle
21st Feb 2018
2
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Sometimes an affair doesn't mean the end of a marriage......if a couple are prepared to talk in depth and truthfully about the reason for the affair then things can be sorted...........buttttt...... and this is a big BUT.........some people would never be able to put it behind them and move on from the affair.......would take a lot of doing.....
ginntonic
16th Feb 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
I have been on the receiving end of a cheating first husband several times over 5 years and like a fool I took him back until I discovered a little thing called self worth. I packed his bags and threw him out.
Now I am about to celebrate 30 years of being married to a lovely trustworthy man.
MrsPat
15th Feb 2018
2
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Never... and thats the end of it
Lionel
13th Feb 2018
4
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Having read so many posts I may only have a heavy heart that so very many of us have been through the same, hurtful and then devastating mess.

My heart goes out to you all; I can empathise because it was done to me too.

Yet, at a time when I was unwilling for another close relationship, in a place I was about to depart for foreign shores, a lovely lady found me, the sort of woman I thought I'd married at first.

20 years on, I'll say it yet again, we are content with each other.

May that blessing be yours too!
JayneeP
12th Feb 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Our marriage survived. It took time and effort on both our parts. Yes I was hurt more than I thought possible but both of us felt our marriage was worth saving. I also got a university education at the age of 36 as compensation! Twenty odd years on were doing fine. Glad I didn't throw away something worth saving.
SueT97
12th Feb 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
No my ex husband had an affair with my so called best friend i tried for four yrs after but the trust had gone so i got out and never regretted it me and the children survived and it made me the woman i am today
gerip
12th Feb 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I speak from experience. I was the second wife he's now on his fourth. The affair was with an eighteen year old girl and although he said it was all a mistake and we should try again I found out almost immediately that he never stopped seeing her. Marriage involves a lot of trust in each other once that has been breached in my opinion and experience it never comes back. I struggled on for the sake of my children but they were very badly hurt by what went on and my biggest regret is not getting out of the marriage as soon as things started to go downhill. I am now remarried and a lot happier now.
Marion Mobile
12th Feb 2018
2
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Both my husband and I had both been married before in the 70's mine just 2 years and his 12 years but it was his ex wife who was the one who cheated not once but 3 times and while she lied, he was left at night looking after their 2 young children while she was off enjoying herself, he even saw her putting her wedding ring back on before getting out of the car, I think it's the thrill of not getting caught but the do get caught and how could you ever trust them again. Anyway I will fast forward to tell you that hubby and I have been happily married for 27 years and there is always a happy ending.
MaddieM
12th Feb 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
Mine didn't even after we got back together it was only 17 days later that he left again the love and trust was gone it was devastating for the family but if some one does not love you anymore its over you can't make them love you. Trust is important in a relationship.
ChristineB8
12th Feb 2018
2
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In my case “ a leopard doesn’t change it’s spots!” I was willing to give everything again only for him to go behind my back while pregnant and leaving me while in hospital after giving birth to his daughter. We got back together again after. Year apart but it only lasted another 2 years before he was back to his “old tricks” again!
tjones
12th Feb 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
It can, but the injured party can be left unhappy and lost as to why. It takes total openness and understanding on the part of the perpetrator to work with them and build a better relationship for the futures. In short, changes have to be made.
Kes
12th Feb 2018
6
Thanks for voting!
Infidelity doesn’t just destroy a marital relationship. It can and does destroy whole families. In my case, it wasn’t just my mum who was cheated on and lied to, it was me and my brother as well. My fathers affair scarred us as well as my mum. We were all devastated, broken and humiliated by his selfish, arrogant and unrepentant actions. He told me, his teenage daughter to just get over it. He robbed my mum of the good and decent life she should have had. He gave us all up without a second thought. My mum could never forgive him for hurting us and we could never forgive him for destroying our mum.
GailJ28
12th Feb 2018
5
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Once you have been betrayed it’s impossible to forgive. Try as you may. It’s there in the mind.
miascarlett
12th Feb 2018
2
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I was devoted to my husband and I thought he felt the same. Over two years have passed since his affair - and I am not over it - we re still together, just, but I feel so betrayed and hurt, I don't think I will ever forgive him. What am I still doing here? Honestly I am not sure... There is no intimacy - I cannot bring myself to be intimate without thinking about him with her and I am repulsed.... he regrets it and realises that he was losing the best thing that ever happened to him (me) - but I cannot feel the same. I grieve for what we had, I had big trust issues when I met him 13 years ago, and he made me feel I could trust again, and now.... I am in a place where I never wanted to be again.
shrew1742
12th Feb 2018
2
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If you are in a place where you 'DON'T REALLY' want to be ........... leave, otherwise you will never have 'complete' happiness. I took courage and left a relationship 20 years ago. For the first 18 months I was in a bit of a depressed state mentally. Eventually I pulled myself together, started to get out and about with people and I have been exceedingly happy during the 18 years since. You will not know if happiness will come if you don't try it. It's so
pointless just going through the motions every day and at heart being unhappy. It's 'YOUR LIFE' so have a long think about it and do what is right for YOU and not for someone else. Good luck.
shrew1742
11th Feb 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
Survive......yes.

100% trust afterwards !!!!! ........ NO.
BeverleyH3
10th Feb 2018
2
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It can survive but there are only so many times you can forgive
lesfaz
10th Feb 2018
6
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The true answer depends on the strength of the marriage & other circumstances
MarilynG73
12th Feb 2018
3
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i agree it can survive with time
sparrer
9th Feb 2018
2
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I could possibly forgive most things but absolutely not infidelity. A person doesn't go from their partners bed to someone elses without a second's thought for the consequences. After 23 years of what I thought was a happy and contented marriage I found I had been cheated on in the most despicable way - with my adopted child, no less. Our relationship was rekindled after 26 years apart, I was so very happy to be reunited with her, now between them they have devastated my life and any trust I may have had for human'kind'.
Marilyn66
9th Feb 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
After 31 years of what I thought was a wonderful marriage, my husband had an affair. I tried to manage the hurt and feelings of loss and I thought I was doing a good job. Later I realized that both of you have to manage your hurt and feelings. He was never able to forgive himself for his indiscretions and the guilt took over. We are friends today, after 16 years of divorce he is still very special. Personally I have no regrets, but he states his regrets often and then goes home to his girlfriend. He says he will never remarry if he wanted to be married he would have never divorced. I think as you get older after this type of situation you accept people for who they are and realize we all make mistakes.
Lionel
11th Feb 2018
4
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That's what I call wisdom.
backpacker
9th Feb 2018
5
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It depends on the couple concerned. I've been married to the same man for over 40 years and neither one of us has ever had an affair - or wanted to as far as I know.

In the early years of our marriage I don't think I could have accepted my husband having an affair, but now, 40 years on I would be asking myself why he felt the need - you notice I'm basing these comments on the possibility of HIS having an affair, not me!

I've asked myself, through the years, if I would leave the marriage, but I've come to the conclusion that no, I wouldn't. Why not? I'm older and more mature now and realise that things happen for a reason, and those reasons would need to be discussed. Avoid playing the Blame Game and just be totally honest with each other, then see if it's worth staying together.
jeanmark
10th Feb 2018
3
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Well said backpacker.
Youse
9th Feb 2018
3
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An affair is a betrayal of trust. It took a lot of courage but I knew I had to leave and start over. I never want to feel so sad again.
Scubaqueen
9th Feb 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
Depends on the individual situation and whether the cheater truly repents and wants to rebuild trust and the relationship. Also depends on the reason behind it as well as the attitude of the person cheated on.
PaulineM2
9th Feb 2018
4
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You will never have peace of mind.
Prometheus
9th Feb 2018
5
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Whilst it can take a long time to rebuild that trust, it brought my son and his wife to the realisation that they had just accepted the irritating things about each other that had built up an indifference. They have both made a huge effort, lost weight, do things together, express feelings for each other and even publicized their love on their Facebook page.

They are now closer than at any time since the beginning of their marriage and the effort they originally made following the discovery of the affair has now become a permanent part of their relationship.
Wilf
9th Feb 2018
6
Thanks for voting!
Life is all about trust and without that people will always wonder what their partner is up to so no I think its very difficult once that trust is gone.
Lionel
11th Feb 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
That's my experience of a wife's infidelity with a former good friend of mine.

When my ex wife could not look me in the eye and say her trysts with my friend weren't in our marital bed it was all over. From there on I lived as a celibate single man until I remarried several years later.

Marriage is not a game, it's a very solemn matter of love, trust and life long fidelity. But, as you so rightly say, once the trust is gone ...
Wilf
11th Feb 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
Life is about trust Lionel and vv. Its the foundation of civilisation
Lionel
11th Feb 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
How could I ever disagree with that? But today I am among the most blessed of men, to have had a wife of nearly 20 years whom I trust, and who trusts me.

Under these circumstances life is not so bad, in fact it's pretty good.
woolleyjen
9th Feb 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
A leopard doesn’t change its spots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wilf
9th Feb 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
ChristineA73
9th Feb 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
It all depends the reason for the affair.
HJR58
9th Feb 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
When the trust is gone, it’s gone.
Wilf
9th Feb 2018
4
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I am totally of the same mindset.
Alicia
8th Feb 2018
5
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Some do, some don't - I suppose it depends on the individuals concerned.
CaroleAH
8th Feb 2018
7
Thanks for voting!
In many relationship breakdowns the fault (if one has to apportion blame) is usually six of one and half a dozen of the other, so forgiveness is always possible but forgetting an affair for the "wronged" party is the true stumbling block to the survival of a relationship!
Lionel
8th Feb 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
You have stated a profound truth. Thank you.
CaroleAH
9th Feb 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
Thanks, Lionel. I think that after the betrayal of trust involved in an affair it must be very difficult to overcome the hurt and then the piecing together of information which, before the affair came to light, seemed innocent but which, with hindsight, reveals the bigger picture of deceit and betrayal. One would have to be very determined and strong to forget and surely there would always be a "what if" thought lurking ready to justify any suspicions.
Lionel
11th Feb 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
My reply, Carole, is in terms I know you will understand.

Just after my first wedding I began to realise we were unevenly yoked - whilst I was an on going Christian man my now ex wife was not a Christian, although she made all the right noises.

As I look back after more than 20 years from our divorce, which she instituted, I've come to realise for her there were no limitations on what she could do, whereas for me Paul's words about marriage and fidelity rang in my ears.

In a way its sad that i was so in love with her I didn't see the signs, but when I did, and she couldn't confirm her trysts with a good friend of mine weren't in our marital bed, then with broken heart I knew the end had come.

I left her a year later whilst paying all her household bills for a year after that.

I can say now, I've married again and these last nearly 20 years have been deeply contented with a Christian lady. Although she now has MS her debility makes no difference to our contentedness. Life is not easy, but when was life ever easy?
kentrix39
8th Feb 2018
6
Thanks for voting!
No way not from either side there would be no point in getting back to gether again the trust has completely gone.
Margaret Hart
9th Feb 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
What about when there are children?

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