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How to move on from infidelity

Community Member
Hi guys, first time poster. Just wondering if anyone has any ideas to help me out. My partner of 20 year recently cheated on me, I caught them out, the major cheating happened once and the texting calls over a week. I’ve been begged and pleaded at to stay. Our marriage was a bit crap prior and we’ve since discussed all the stuff that led to it getting to that point. The part I’m struggling with is I’m not a forgiving person and I’m just losing it everyday, it’s been a week since I found out but I still feel as angry as day one. How do you trust again? How do you move forward?
22 Replies 22

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni


Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums and thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you are going through a tough time.

You say that you want to forgive him but you also said that you had a crap marriage anyway? Is there a reason as to why you want to trust him again?

It can be really difficult to gain trust with someone who has cheated behind your back. If you really love him and you feel as if he will never do it again then maybe you should try couples counselling. Sometimes a third party perspective can be really helpful.

If you believe that he is capable of doing it again, do you think he is worth your time and energy?

Stay safe and i am always here to chat.

By crap I mean we hadn’t been sharing a bed for months, we were only intimate max 3 times a month. Financial stress and some alcohol abuse which has now been addressed since the infidelity has all been uncovered. I think we both got too comfortable and stopped trying and I can deal with that part. I’m just not dealing with the infidelity I can see kind of how it happened and how we can fix the bits that were bad but I can’t see how I myself can move forward and forgive because I just have never forgave anyone before.

Dear Bridge678

Thank you for the bravery and resilience you have shown in making this post! We are really glad you have joined our community. These situations can be so deeply hurtful and destabilising; it is difficult not to feel overwhelmed when try to confront the issues involved. 

We want to remind you that we are hear for you 24/7, and you can call us on 1300 22 4636 or use the webchat to talk with us. We also want to recommend to you our friends at Relationships Australia (1300 364 277 ) who can help in many of these situations. In the meantime, I have no doubt that many of your peers in this community will want to reach out to support you very soon! I do hope that you will continue to speak to us and let us know how you are.

Regards, Sophie M.

I'm sorry that happened to you.

I have also been in a long term relationship of nearly 20 years, so I can imagine how you must be feeling.

I would suggest not making any quick decisions right now. I would think the very strong emotions you must be feeling may influence your decision and it is important to know what is best for you first.

First of all, I want to say that none of this is your fault. I hear some self blame. While I'm sure some issues in the relationship were also your doing, no one is perfect, the act of the infidelity was his. He could have approached the problem differently. Such as talking to you about things.

Next, I just want to comment on what you said about being intimate no more than 3× a month. This happens in long term relationships, in my experience. When you are together such a long time you inevitably go through rough life patches that result in a lower libido and less of an emotional connection. We usually work through these patches together and give each other consideration. A question to consider is: were you drifting apart because you didn't want to work through it any more with your partner? Has the love started to disappear? You did say it was "a bit crap".

Forgiveness can be difficult when trust is lost in a relationship. I agree with the previous post, that couples counselling may be a good option because a neutral party might help get you to the point of finding the parts of the infidelity you can't forgive and explore any questions might have. It may be that you can't work through it but maybe you can. However, the counselling might help you either way. It may help with understanding so you can get some closure.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Bridge, in a long term relationship we can lose direction and expect what should be done, actually doesn't, then questions are asked 'why not', then repercussions develop and then make a point by sleeping separately.

You can't really be sure that this cheating only happened once because there could be other times not mentioned because of guilt, especially as they have been texting each other, however, it still doesn't make it any easier for you.

You can only overcome some of the other problems as you see fit, but to deal with your partner cheating, how sure are you it won't happen again, especially if the two of you have disagreed over a particular issue for a while.

One way to test their loyalty is to ask them to leave, then you can see whether it's not done again, sometimes actions mean more than words.

Best wishes.


Community Member
I’m pretty sure it did only happen once as we actually both know the person he did it with socially. So I have spoken with the other partner affected in this and basically compared notes so to speak. I do blame myself as i was the one rejecting him, he was wanting to be intimate and I kept saying no. Which I know it’s because there were deeper problems. My partner has cut all ties, blocked numbers, social media etc apologised to the other partner and myself. Where as I have only had an apology from my partner. I tried to leave and he begged me to stay. He cried which I’ve only seen once in 20 years. I believe he’s sorry. Just find it hard to clear my head at all. I’m not sure about counselling but it certainly helps being able to just type it all out and see what everyone else is thinking.

Community Member

Hi Bridge I am new here as well and going through something similar. I caught my partner messaging several times- as far as I know he hasn’t cheated and I’ve decided to leave because I had said previous times I would go if it happened again.

I am going to a counsellor though because I want to make the decision clearly

I know I can’t trust him again I was already checking his phone which is something I hate and I know I will always wonder.
for me it’s a dealbreaker because I was so clear about it not being acceptable.
talk to people , write things down and think about what it would mean to stay or leave. How committed are you? Do you want it to work

and you have every right to be angry !

good luck with everything x

Hi Bridge678,

Thank you for sharing your most honest post. I am so sorry to hear about what you have been going through. As the other person said, you have every right to feel angry, as this is one of the worst act a partner can do to the other. Actually, possibly the worst.
The fact, though, that you feel that he has been genuinely sorry is a really good thing. How do you go from there? I know this is going to sound cliché but if you are willing to stay with him, give yourself some time. See if his words translate to acts, meaning see how he treats you and your relationship, if he puts any effort into repair etc

I am sorry if I haven’t given you anything more substantial. This is never easy.

Hi, welcome

Every situation is different. There isn't a hard rule to go by with affairs. My wife and I agree if it happened to us it would breach trust and that would be the end.

However, your situation introduces its own circumstances. Separate rooms, a dwindling closeness etc. The lack of sexualising contact between the two of you might have had some effect. However, his actions were an act of betrayal and therefore only you can decide if you can forgive him.

Can I suggest that I get a strong sense that you want to forgive him but you are finding it difficult. If you were to forgive him I would suggest that major changes would be an option I'd discuss. These could be life changes such as-

  • Moving house/towns
  • Changes in lifestyle
  • Counselling
  • Soul searching
  • new hobbies and sport etc

One crucial thing, that you both pledge never to mention the matter again. All this is to maximise the chance of you both succeeding. Will it succeed? That depends not only on sticking to whatever changes you both make but also how positive your attitude is.

Finally, it is your judgement of his actions that matters. I said earlier if my wife had an affair it would be over and visa versa. Guess what, she doesn't know that I'd likely forgive her for many many reasons.