How to survive an affair

Family time over Christmas can bring tensions to the fore – and make unhappy partners more likely to cheat. And with January then always seeing a spike in break-ups, can couples get over an affair?

Sex and relationship expert GEORGETTE CULLEY gives her tips on how to survive – and thrive if you are the one who has strayed. 

SEE THE POSITIVES: While there’s no denying affairs hurt everyone involved, once out in the open they can be a wake-up call and force both parties to look at their relationship honestly.

FIGHT FOR YOUR LOVE: Remind your partner why you love them and send them a memory book of your favourite photos together.

CUT TIES WITH LOVER: There’s no way you can stay friends with the person you’ve been having an affair with. You must promise to cut all contact immediately.

BE HONEST (UP TO A POINT): Answer any questions your partner has but leave out any unnecessary hurtful details. For example, don’t mention your lover was great in bed.

GET MARRIAGE COUNSELLING: Don’t discuss with friends how to move on – they will be biased and make the situation worse. See someone independent who can give impartial advice.

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY: Don’t blame your partner for your behaviour. Own up and face the consequences.

SHOW EMPATHY: You’re hurting, but imagine how your partner feels. Be compassionate.

BE PATIENT: Don’t expect instant forgiveness. When someone has been betrayed it takes time for them to trust again.