The unfaithfulness of a partner, regardless of whether it is discovered or confessed, can be one of the most devastating moments in a person's life. Especially if there was little warning, the discovery can blindside an individual, and make them question everything about the relationship up to that point. If an individual finds themselves in this situation, there are a number of factors that must be taken into consideration.

It is important for the innocent partner to realize that the decision of whether to reconcile is theirs, and theirs alone. While well-meaning friends and family may try to give advice one way or another, with the possible exception of any children involved, no one will be more affected by this decision than the innocent partner. Therefore, this is a decision that must be carefully considered, and is usually not one that should be made at the height of emotion. Once this is realized, there are still a number of factors that must be taken into consideration.

• The intentions and actions of the unfaithful partner will play a pivotal role in any decision made. Needless to say, if the unfaithful partner refuses to end the affair, or is not committed to ensuring it never happens again, the innocent mate should not have any delusions about where they stand, or what is likely to happen in the future. Even if the unfaithful partner voices commitment to the relationship, if they resent the feelings of hurt that the innocent partner expresses, or fails to appreciate the level of hurt that was inflicted, these may be warning signs concerning the level of sorrow and repentance of the unfaithful partner.
• If the unfaithful partner is truly sorry, and is committed to rebuilding the relationship, it is important for both individuals to realize that this will take time. It is important to realize that the factors that led to the unfaithfulness did not develop overnight...and neither will the factors that lead to reconciliation and rebuilding.

• It is also important for a couple to move forward, as opposed to getting stuck in the past. In addition to addressing any underlying issues, it is important for the innocent partner to avoid the trap of obsessing about the "other person;" the one with whom the unfaithful mate had the affair. While that individual certainly played a role in the affair, they will have no role in rebuilding the relationship. Therefore, focusing attention on that person can distract from the task at hand, and ultimately be very counterproductive.
• Communication is the most important tool on the road to reconciliation. The innocent partner needs to communicate clearly how they feel, both now and as the relationship rebuilds. The unfaithful partner needs to understand how important communication is, especially when it comes to reassuring the innocent partner. The more clearly two people communicate, the greater the chances of success.

Without a doubt, the unfaithfulness of a partner can be a devastating blow. However, if there is basis for reconciliation, and both parties are willing to put in the necessary effort, it is a blow from which a couple can recover.

Author's Bio: 

Brooke Alexandria offers relationship advice for men and women of all ages, and in all stages of life. Regardless of if you are newly single, a dating veteran or married, you'll surely find useful tips to help you find love, navigate through your relationship and build stronger, long-lasting relationships. Follow Brooke on her journey through relationships at