‘All efforts should go towards repairing the trust’: how to survive an affair

An affair needn’t signal the end of a relationship. Whether you’re the one who strayed or the one betrayed, here’s how to come through it

What counts as an affair?
An affair is significant contact outside the committed partnership. That may be oral sex in the photocopier room. It may equally be a secret correspondence, an inappropriate “friendship”, or a bit of sly webcam action. But in all instances, it will involve a breach of trust, says Noel Bell, psychotherapist and spokesperson for the UK Council for Psychotherapy.

“Cheating is where you go beyond the confines of what was agreed between two people,” he says. “Even within polyamorous relationships, there can still be the concept of cheating.”

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