Dating after an affair

Spend time alone joyfully by journaling, reading, and meditating.

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Luckily, there are many ways you can ease the pain and make the process as healthy and productive as possible. The more you hold onto the past, the more you will recreate it in your present moment and in the future. Feel and dive into the pain without denial of its presence. Learn to face and overcome your fears by taking a close look at your anxiety over the marriage ending, and ask yourself if it is truly valid.

How you face these emotions -- and the extent to which you analyze what went wrong and what you contributed to the situation -- will play a major role in whether you find peace after the affair, regardless of whether the original relationship endures or dies, according to Emily Brown, MSW, an expert on the topic.

"It's easy to assume that an affair is about love, sex, selfishness, or trying to inflict pain," says Brown, author of "Affairs: A Guide to Working Through the Repercussions of Infidelity" and director of the Key Bridge Therapy and Mediation Center in Arlington, Va. Having an affair is one way of communicating that emotional issues aren't being met by the other partner or the marriage, according to Brown.

In her heart, however, Angela was dying a slow death.

Stuart seemed appreciative of her quick forgiveness—after all, that was his style too: His slogans of "Move on," "Get over it," and "Don't look back" helped him to soon forget it too.