Thursday, December 7, 2023

After the Affair

Can you repair the damage after an affair?

This much is certain. Your relationship will never be the same. Once the trust is gone, the seal is broken. The betrayal will always be in the room like a whale.

However, that doesn’t mean the damage is irreparable. Some couples actually do move past the pain that an affair causes, and, in rare cases, repair the issues that led up to an affair.

No one cheats because they are happy, satisfied and fulfilled. When one partner begins to take the other for granted, it’s not uncommon for the unappreciated party to look elsewhere for love and validation. That doesn’t always lead to an affair; there are other outlets for people looking for validation.

But when it does lead to cheating, the pain and devastation for both parties can be life altering. My key question when a patient is even considering an affair is this: “Would you bring your kids to watch?!”

They are always shocked and horrified by that question, however, I believe in a little “shock” therapy. The shock is the reality of how their actions will impact the entire family when the affair is discovered. With iPhones and Facebook and every other modern form of communication, it’s not so easy to be discreet anymore.

So, if you have already had the affair, work on saving what’s left of your relationship. If you are contemplating one, don’t!

I tell my patients to have an affair with their partner. Go to relationship counseling, spice up the sex. Be kinder, more loving and make your partner feel validated and loved. And don’t ever give up date nights!

What you give usually comes back.

About the Author

Boca-based therapist Suzanne Wachtel helps couples, families and individuals cope with the stressful obstacles that complicate life. She specializes in giving people the tools to clear those hurdles and successfully move forward. Watchtel has a master’s degree in social work from Adelphi University. She’s also the author of Like Mother, Like Son: A Mom’s Guide to Raising Healthy Children. To find out more about Watchel, visit

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