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So, can a marriage survive infidelity?

Eight out of 10 marriages in America are affected by infidelity which leads to the inevitable question: can a marriage really survive an affair?

It can, says Wendy Plump and other experts, provided that both parties sign up for the hard work that is needed in the earth-shattering weeks and months following the revelation of an affair.

"I've seen couples heal from affairs once they are out in the open, and even enhance their communication and closeness," writes psychologist Harriet Lerner. "For this positive outcome to occur, both parties need to be committed to each other, to truth-telling, to avoiding future temptations, and to walking the long, bumpy path of healing and restoring trust."

Recent studies in the US have shown that 70pc of couples who seek counselling after an affair come out of it intact.

"There needs to be a little bit more realisation that you can forgive infidelity and you can get past it," said Plump.

Online Editors