The immediate response after discovering a spouse’s affair is commonly disbelief, anger, sadness, loss or grief. It can take several years before the betrayed spouse is ready to even consider forgiveness, even if the partner who cheated begs for it. And through the cheating partner may immediately feel remorse and repeat “I’m sorry” over and over again, that apology may not get past the betray’ed partner’s outer layer of hurt.
However, it is possible to move on and rebuild after infidelity. I have identified three distinct phases of recovery from an affair: the crisis phase, the understanding (or insight) phase, and the vision phase.