Understanding the reasons for affairs and infidelity can help reconciliation. There are many reasons why people cheat, the least of which is love of another person. Sexual addiction, does it exist, or no such thing?
The first reaction to the discovery of your partner being unfaithful is usually shock, followed by disbelief or denial, and then is quickly followed by anger and rage. Often these are followed by, feelings of lowered self-esteem, self blame, feelings of failure, and even guilt.
We use the term partner, rather than spouse, because the same factors are valid be the relationship one of marriage, living with a significant other, gay, or lesbian relationship, or any situation where monogamy is expected by at least one of the couple. Most books or programs dealing with infidelity presume their subjects are legally married heterosexual couples, but the pain, and destructive potential of infidelity is just as deep regardless of the structure of any relationship where monogamy is assumed, and expected.
If you know why your partner cheated you'll be better able to determine if you can save your relationship after an affair, or if it is worth the effort to save it. More important you'll be able to shed your self-blame, guilt, and re-establish your own self-image. It is extremely important to know that the decision to have an affair was that of the cheating partner, not the cheated upon. Regardless of your partner's reasons for cheating, it was his or her decision, not yours.
Frequently the guilty party will try to lay blame on the innocent partner by pointing out imagined or real shortcomings, "You never understood me!" "You don't love me anymore!" "All you do is bitch at me!" "You never show me any love!" "You don't have any time for me!" It matters not if these accusations are true or false. For reconciliation to have any chance at all, your partner has to admit his or her culpability in the infidelity.
If reconciliation is to succeed, an essential first step is for the unfaithful partner to accept responsibility for violating trust. Understanding why your partner cheated will also determine what approach you should take to save your marriage. To fix something you have to analyze what needs to be repaired. Relationships are no different. The infidelity came about because of a shortcoming or glitch in either your partner's personality, or in the relationship itself. To repair that glitch it needs to be exposed.
In addition to repair of the relationship, knowing the cause of your partner's infidelity will be essential to resolving your own feelings about the affair. You may never forget the pain you've suffered by your partner's actions, but for reconciliation to succeed there will have to be genuine forgiveness. Understanding the real reasons for the infidelity will be essential. Coping with infidelity requires understanding and insight. Knowing the reasons for your relationship problems are paramount to saving your partnership.