Overcoming Infidelity in the Wake of the Ashley Madison Hack
September 7, 2015
By: Staci Lee Schnell, M.S., C.S., LMFT
The recent breach of the Ashley Madison cheating website has affected many marriages and even allegedly led to two suicides. It has left many wondering, “Can a marriage be saved after an affair?” As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I believe it is possible to move past infidelity even though an affair is one of the biggest obstacles a marriage can face. There is a way to move on from infidelity and create an even stronger bond with one’s spouse.
A marriage does not end due to an affair; a marriage ends based on how the couple deals with the aftermath of the cheating. Healing from infidelity takes hard work. The couple must be committed to repairing the damage, rebuilding their trust, and reconnecting emotionally and physically.
- The unfaithful spouse must stop the affair, provide all details honestly and completely, and take the steps necessary to rebuild trust.
- The betrayed spouse must take their job of healing seriously. They should not minimize or try to speed up the process.
- Each must take responsibility for their part in how the marriage got to this point and learn from it
Marriage Counseling is a key factor in helping facilitate the changes that need to happen in order for the relationship to heal. A marriage therapist can help the couple learn to understand and resolve their conflicts, develop communication tools and problem solving skills, and re-establish their intimacy and trust. Given a willingness to work on their marriage, most couples can heal, forgive and make their marriages healthy and satisfying again.