Resources for Couples Impacted by Infidelity

No one knows precisely how many couples are affected by marital infidelity. I have seen marital infidelity rates quoted from as low as 15 percent to as high as 80 percent. Peggy Vaughan, a marriage writer who experienced a cheating husband but later rebuilt her marriage, reported an estimated 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women have extramarital affairs.

The truth is that none of us is immune to the risk of an affair. Even people with “good marriages” have affairs for various reasons. We can, however, prepare ourselves with education and tools to help strengthen our marriages and reduce the likelihood of cheating. And we should know that there can be healing after infidelity, even though the road is not an easy one.

Peggy recently passed away after battling cancer. As her legacy, she asked that her resources to help couples deal with and heal after infidelity be available free to the public. She shares her personal story as well as articles on who has affairs and why, tips to avoid them and information on rebuilding trust. The information can be found at DearPeggy.com.

Peggy calls honesty a prevention tool for affairs. “Couples can’t avoid affairs by assuming monogamy or even by promising monogamy without discussing the issue. And they can’t avoid affairs by making threats as to what they would do if it happened. Either of these paths create a cycle of dishonesty.” Instead, she suggests spouses be willing to admit attractions and temptations to one another, because if they won’t admit to being attracted or tempted, they certainly won’t admit it if and when they act on the attraction. And if you admit to an attraction, it kind of takes the secret excitement out of your feelings.

If you do have an attraction, by all means, don’t place yourself in tempting situations, especially when you are alone with that person. Don’t share personal details or try to get to know them better. Better yet, run.

Hopefully you have not experienced infidelity first-hand. If you have, maybe these resources can help your marriage heal. If you have not, give thanks, then educate yourself about keeping your marriage strong and infused with honesty and behaviors that benefit you both.

It’s a myth that your spouse won’t be hurt if you cheat on him or her but you are not caught. There’s you, your spouse, and the marriage. And the marriage always knows.

Have you experienced infidelity? Did your marriage survive? If so, what tools were useful to you?

Lori Lowe is the author of First Kiss to Lasting Bliss: Hope & Inspiration for Your Marriage. It tells the inspiring, true stories of couples who used adversity to improve their marriages–from overcoming drug addiction to cancer, infidelity, religious differences, family interference and infertility, among many others. It’s available at Amazon.com and in all e-book formats atwww.LoriDLowe.com.  Great for holiday stocking stuffers! 

Image by Simon Howden courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

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18 responses to “Resources for Couples Impacted by Infidelity

  1. The book “Not Just Friends” by Shirley Glass is well-researched, thorough, compassionate to all parties involved, and a huge help.

  2. My wife and I recovered from infidelity (and the root causes beneath it) with the help of Torn Asunder: Recovering From an Extramarital Affair by David Carder. We’re now 20+ years beyond the crisis and my wife is now a professional marriage counselor.

    • Congrats on a long marriage. Glad you were able to find good help and that your wife could become a good resource for others. Also thanks for another resource for readers. Best to you both!
      Lori

  3. http://Www.survivinginfidelity.com is a message board that was so helpful to me when I found out my ex husband was cheating. Obviously, we couldn’t save our marriage, but the site was invaluable.

  4. Hi Lori,

    Peggy sounds like a lovely and wise soul. I’m sorry I never found her blog whilst she was still alive. R.I.P. Peggy.

    As she points out admitting attraction is a good thing. It helps keep the honest communication flowing and ensure both parties know they can speak freely. We’ll sometimes do it when out for dinner or watching a movie. It’s just a nice way of saying “hey I trust you, you can’t help find other people attractive…. so which one is it?”. More often that not it’s a nice outfit my hubby likes so I’ll make a mental note.

    Making each other laugh and having regular honest communication are our key.

    Thanks
    Grace

    • Grace, I think you’re right if you discuss it in more of a casual way on a regular basis it is less threatening. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Joe Beam and marriage911.com is a wonderful resource that saved our marriage.

  6. For me the frustration was in the gap between discovery and recovery. In some situation an affair is discovered–or disclosed–and the couple begin recovery right then with the betraying partner ending the affair. Bomb Drop was in March 2005 and he ended his affair for the last time in October 2008.
    My situation was one of midlife crisis (MLC). Sweetheart left me for his alienator and filed for divorce. He actually did not even start the physical part of his affair until he had moved out—though he told me that he was leaving for her. Then he stopped the divorce and left her only a few months later. YAY—right…no, well YAY that the legal part was no longer hanging over us, but he was not yet ready for reconciliation. MLC doesn’t work out that easily. The alienator faked a pregnancy—the morning after he left her she called to tell him she’d taken a test at 1:00am and she was pregnant. How convenient. A month later he went back to her and then changed his mind a few days later and then changed his mind a few days later (no that repeated phrase is not a copy-paste error). In all he moved out and in 8 times in 3.5 years and when he left he lived with her—every time.
    Our marriage survived because I would not let it do anything else and eventually because he committed to rebuilding with me.
    My website is geared toward Standers—men and women who don’t want a divorce. At the main site, http://www.MidlifeCrisisMarriageAdvocate.com, I give information about MLC & Infidelity (Section 1), Mirror-Work (Section2) and Standing Actions—how to deal with interactions with an MLCer (Section 3).
    I also have an active forum and I assign a mentor to each new person who posts their story. http://.mlcforum.theherosspouse.com.

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  8. Hi there, I’ve nominated you for the Reality blog award. If you’re interested in picking it up, please go to https://tswalking.wordpress.com/ for more details. And thanks for your helpful blogs.

  9. facts are useless

    I liked your article. I cheated on my wife about 9 years ago. At the time, I was convinced she hated me, was miserable being with her (had been for quite a long time) and proceeded to fall in love with a much younger woman. The younger woman wanted me to “run off” with her, but out of duty to my kids, I broke off the physical side of our relationship and tried to go back to my wife (in my heart). My wife never knew of the affair, which went on for over two years or so, and that remained the case until about 3 years ago, when I told her. I actually told her because I was still in love with the other woman, but could tell that the other woman was drifting away from me and moving on emotionally. I still longed for her but didn’t have the courage to leave my wife and family. I thought if I told my wife about the relationship, that she would leave me. I also knew, truthfully, that I couldn’t live the rest of my life without telling her, if we were to stay together.
    Well, my wife surprised me greatly. Yes, she was and is deeply hurt by the circumstances of it all, but she committed herself to prayer and found the strength to forgive me, and committed to rebuild our marraige. She even took a significant amount of blame for the affair. My wife’s response touched me deeply and my respect and love for her increased exponentially. Instead of wanted to escape the relationship, I found myself humbled and ashamed of the way I had treated such a precious person. We are now in love again, and, while it’s different now (not the fireworks of our twenties), we are in our mid-forties, and looking forward to the more subtle aspects of love, such as family, grandchildren, companionship, trust, etc.
    I’m glad we worked it out. I still have feelings for the other woman (I think I always will, honestly), but I know that I made the right decision to stay put.

    • I’m very glad that things worked out well for you. You are fortunate to have such an understanding wife who realized she had a part in the marital problems. Many people believe infidelity can’t be overcome, so thank you for sharing your experience. All the best to you.

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