Couples/Marital Issues Infidelity/Affairs

What’s the Impact of Infidelity?

Is Your Marriage/Relationship Resilient Enough?

Can your marriage rebound from an affair? If you found out that your spouse or lover was romantically involved with another person, would that end your relationship? Or, could you both work hard to re-build and re-kindle it.

Don’t under-estimate the damage done to a marriage or relationship by an affair and how long it takes to recover. Betrayal of trust is a very significant violation to the hurt partner and recovery takes time.

Are you both strong enough to take the shock and repair your relationship on your own? Or do you need  therapy for infidelity?

What Are the Possible Impacts of Infidelity?

Below are some psychological, social and physical damage areas that you need to consider and prepare for. An affair can disturb and carry-over into all parts of your life.

Are you both able to survive the potential psychological, social and physical impacts of:

  1. Shock & psychological wounding
  2. Shattered relationship trust
  3. Anger & blame
  4. Resentment & insecurity
  5. Guilt & shame
  6. Depression & anxiety
  7. Lost self-esteem & self-confidence
  8. Emotional instability
  9. Withdrawal of love & affection
  10. Separation & divorce
  11. Hatred & revenge
  12. Loneliness & isolation
  13. Damage to children & nuclear family
  14. Upset friends & extended family relationships
  15. Career damage
  16. Lowered lifestyle
  17. Psychological impairment
  18. Physical/Medical illness

What Happens to Relationships After an Affair?

As you can see from the list above, infidelity has the potential to reach wide and deep. An affair can impact many different aspects of an individual, couple or family’s life. They affect people emotionally, mentally, socially and within the family context. It can lead in many different directions and it has the potential to impact all aspects of a relationship and family. The outcome can vary.

For most U. S. citizens, an affair is considered to be taboo behavior because this behavior goes against our customary beliefs about right and wrong within relationships. An affair is often taken as a serious cultural violation of the marriage and the family. Infidelity is usually not expected and relationships, whether a marriage or a love relationship, are based on trust and commitment.

Many couples survive an affair and improve their relationships. However, affairs can often be quite destructive to individuals, couples, children and families, adults take risks and infidelity is not that uncommon.

What about the Children?

No matter how young or old your kids are, the affair will have a definite emotional impact on them. They will find out, make judgments and never forget it. Your kids will flow in the direction that you both handle the affair – positively or negatively, rebound or collapse.

How do you think they would react to discovering that one of their parents had an affair? Would the impact be temporary or a significant psychological scarring? It would definitely effect them in a deep way. Should you tell them?

What can Be Done to Prevent Unnecessary Damage?

After the affair is discovered, there are a number of things that you can do to make sure further damage is not inflicted:

  1. Decide whether or not you can reconcile the betrayal. Can you recover and commit to healing the wound?
  2. If you choose to work toward recovery, both partners must commit to being transparent and honest. Can the unfaithful one stop lying, deceiving and keeping secrets?
  3. The cheating partner must sever all ties with their affair person, become accountable and demonstrate remorse. Can you cut it off, become responsible for your past behavior and be truly sorry for the damage you have done?
  4. Allow the betrayed partner to express their feelings and give them acceptance, support and time to heal. Put no pressure on them to rush toward forgiving. They will “get over it” when they are ready, on their timeline. Can you be patient and take the intensity of their rage, disbelief and questions?
  5. Refrain from becoming impulsively revengeful and “getting even”. Can you hold back and not allow yourself to lash out and make others suffer?
  6. Find an infidelity therapist and commit to working things out and reviving your relationship. Therapy will help you manage the process of recovery and the intense emotions and accusations. Can you hold on, listen better and communicate on a deeper level?
  7. Both partners must eventually accept responsibility for the affair. Can you both own your contributions and rebuild your relationship?
  8. Trust the therapy experience to guide you through some very tough experiences. Can you both hang on, learn from this experience and slowly begin to revive your partnership?

If you can commit to these 8 suggestions above, then you will have a chance to successfully rekindle and improve your relationship.


See my other blog articles categorized as “Infidelity”.

To know more about my “Therapy for Infidelity” services, click on this web page:


If your relationship problems seem insurmountable, Please Give Me a Call – 805-448-5053. Perhaps I can guide you and your partner toward a happier future.

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By Revel Miller, Ph.D.

Revel Miller, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who has been practicing psychology for over 25 years and living in Santa Barbara for more than 15 years. He specializes in treating adults who experience depression, marital conflict, divorce transition and parenting challenges. Dr. Miller is also a behavioral health psychologist who collaborates with medical professionals and treats chronically ill patients who suffer from stress due to their illness. In addition, he actively collaborates with divorce attorneys and mediators to help support their clients who struggle with the stresses associated with marital transition. Moreover, Revel Miller is an experienced business coach who assists professionals, executives and small business owners to develop and grow their businesses.