When cheating occurs in a relationship, you’re left with two options: You can stay or you can go. Both are painful for all parties, but the latter comes with particular challenges as you figure out a way to put the affair behind you. For many couples, it’s the ultimate deal breaker. How can you both forgive and forget? But “the focus on forgiveness after infidelity is increasingly more common in couples therapy,” says Ritu Trivdei-Purohit, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist. “[It] is understood as a process to improve their understanding of themselves, their partner, and their relationship in order to overcome the negative aspects of the betrayal.” Here, five women explain what it’s like to work through an affair—a process that doesn’t happen overnight.
Related: 5 Signs She’s Cheating On You