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#81: A Guide to Joint Affair Recovery When Infidelity Strikes Both Ways

Idit Sharoni

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I'm a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist based in Miami, a relationship podcast host, and an educator. I help couples transform their patterns of communication and heal after infidelity. 


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I'm Idit Sharoni

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Our highly effective coaching program for couples in the aftermath of infidelity looking to heal and regain trust.

When we talk about infidelity in a relationship, most of us think about a “cheater” and their betrayed significant other. Yet, affairs are often not so simple. Unfaithfulness by just one partner may only be the tip of a couple’s infidelity iceberg. Some relationships must do the tough work of joint affair recovery when both partners have been unfaithful.  Navigating the turbulent waters of healing in that situation requires sound guidance and a reason to hope. 

Image of a couple sitting next to a lake on a sunny day. Work with a skilled couples therapist to help your relationship heal. Find out how affair recovery in Orlando, FL can help.

When Infidelity Isn’t Just A One-Sided Story

Over the years, I’ve guided couples through some of the most complex situations imaginable. In some cases, the infidelities occurred simultaneously. In others, one partner’s unfaithfulness sparked a reactionary betrayal from the other. And then, there were those instances where the betrayals unfolded at completely different stages of the relationship, seemingly unconnected.

What binds these diverse scenarios together? The reality is that each partner finds themselves navigating a dual role. They are both the wounded party and the one who has inflicted pain. This dynamic creates a uniquely complex crisis, unlike that of more ‘traditional’ infidelity cases. In the aftermath of mutual infidelity, the emotional devastation can feel insurmountable. Many arrive at our sessions overwhelmed by despair. They question whether rebuilding their relationship and trust in one another is possible.

Now, this might feel incredibly heavy. Many couples in this boat believe they’re facing a stark choice: 

  • end things because it feels like the trust and love have been too deeply damaged


  • stay together, worrying that hurt and frustration might loom over them forever. 

It’s like standing at a crossroads, not just assessing the damage but also grappling with the fear that things might never feel ‘right’ again. Some professionals even advise that navigating back together isn’t best at all. I see things a bit differently. At this critical juncture, we introduce a third option—a path forward that many don’t consider. I believe it is a beacon of hope, that I’m eager to share. Please keep reading.

Joint Affair Recovery Can Be a Unique Healing Opportunity

When I look at couples navigating the aftermath of mutual infidelity, I don’t just see the storm they’ve weathered. I see resilience. I see two individuals who, despite the turbulence, have a profound opportunity to connect uniquely. They’ve experienced the heartache of betrayal and the guilt of causing hurt

This isn’t just about understanding each other’s pain—it’s about deeply knowing it. They’ve lived it from both sides. And that, my friends, is where I believe there’s a silver lining. This shared experience, this dual perspective, opens up a pathway to healing that’s rich with empathy and understanding.

In my eyes, couples in this situation have a remarkable opportunity. They can rebuild their relationship with a depth of compassion and understanding that is truly rare.

Consider The Story of Sofia and Rick

A few years back, a couple in crisis came to see me. Rick had found out about Sofia’s multiple affairs throughout their marriage. He reacted by having an affair with his gym instructor. 

When Sofia learned about Rick’s affair, they both plunged into a level of devastation they hadn’t imagined possible. They grappled with anxiety and a profound sense of betrayal, much like PTSD. Rick’s therapist, familiar with my approach, suggested a consultation with me before making any marital decisions.

I’ll never forget the sheer desperation on their faces when they first visited me. I think they were bracing for me to say that the relationship damage was too extensive. They expected to hear there was no coming back. But that’s not what I said. 

Were pain and the hurt filling the room? Yes.  Still, I saw something else: hope. I told them they had a significant opportunity to heal. Why? Because they had each stood on both sides of the infidelity fence. They had each felt the sting of betrayal and the guilt of causing such pain. That revelation caught them off guard.

Beyond their pain, I saw two critical ingredients that could pave the way for healing

  1. a deep, enduring love for each other.
  2. a genuine sense of remorse for the hurt they had caused. 

That combination is more powerful than many realize.

Now, as their couples therapist, navigating these waters wasn’t straightforward. Imagine holding four perspectives in the room at all times. Sofia was the hurt partner and the one who strayed. Rick is in the same dual role. It’s a dance really, keeping each viewpoint in balance and bringing each into focus when the moment calls for it.

Yet, here’s the beauty: when this multifaceted approach to healing is embraced something shifts in the relationship. The couple begins to see their path to recovery as not just possible, but enriched by their unique experiences and shared vulnerabilities.

Image of a woman laughing while on a man's back at the beach. Work toward rebuilding trust with your partner with couples therapy in Miami, FL.

See Beyond The Complexity To Embrace Your Unique Opportunity

Navigating mutual infidelity feels like you’re wading through more complex waters than conventional infidelity situations. Truthfully, you are. But please see the incredible opportunity you have instead of zeroing in solely on the hurt and the damage done.

When both partners can truly understand and feel each other’s pain deeply and emotionally, it opens up an amazing pathway for healing that you might not find in other situations. Then what do you do? You combine this profound mutual understanding with the love you still have for each other. You sprinkle in a genuine shared remorse for the pain caused,

Then what do you have? You have more than a chance for healing. You create a strong foundation on which to rebuild a more resilient and loving relationship than before. This process is not about minimizing infidelity pain or pretending the hurt isn’t there. It’s about recognizing your shared experiences. As tough as they are, they equip you with a unique strength to overcome them together. That is something special.

Now, let’s talk about the everyday, nitty-gritty of what to do and how to heal.

8 Practical Steps To Joint Affair Recovery

Joint affair recovery is intricate, complex, and different from anything else. Unlike the clear-cut roles in one-sided infidelity, both partners walk a tightrope of hurt and betrayal. It’s delicate, but healing happens, step by step.

Acknowledge The Mutual Pain And Betrayal

It’s about seeing and hearing each other’s pain. This isn’t about taking turns; it’s about understanding that both of you are hurting and that’s okay. Shared vulnerability is actually your first step towards healing together.

Reflect Individually Before Joint Discussions

Yes, it’s tempting to hash it out together, but wait. Take a moment. Reflect on your own feelings and actions. Come into those conversations less defensive, with a heart ready to understand.

Establish A No-Blame Communication Zone

You will talk, and you will use “I” statements. It’s not about pointing fingers. It’s about expressing your feelings and needs. This is how the doors to honest, constructive conversation open wide and stay open.

Seek Professional Help

Don’t go at this alone. Our Relationship Experts team has an infidelity recovery coaching program tailor-made for your situation. It includes a roadmap to healing that’s backed by experts who know how to guide you through this storm.

Rebuild Trust Incrementally

Rebuilding trust is next on the list. Trust me, rebuilding trust is possible. It’s about taking those small, steady steps together. Celebrate each little victory, each one is a step towards a stronger foundation.

Foster A New Relationship Dynamic

this is where you rebuild, but even better. Dive deep into understanding what went sideways. Learn how you can build a relationship that’s not healed and thriving. It’s about creating something satisfying for you both.

Harness The Power Of Mutual Forgiveness

Don’t underestimate this aspect of the process. It’s profound, it’s healing, and it might just be the most powerful step you take together. This is about both of you, hand in hand, moving forward with grace and compassion.

Create A Joint Recovery Plan

This isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. It’s about both of you working together to heal, rebuild trust, and reconnect on a deeper level. It’s about setting goals that reflect what you both want for the future of your relationship.

Is navigating mutual infidelity tough? Yes, there is no sugarcoating it. However, a balanced approach that honors both your experiences, fosters open communication. It focuses on rebuilding trust and intimacy so that you can find a way forward together. 

Remember, your healing is about progress, not perfection. You’re not only healing; you’re creating a stronger and more resilient connection.

Are you feeling lighter in your heart about infidelity healing? I know some of the steps we’ve explored might feel a bit daunting. If you’re on the fence about the benefit of a professional’s guiding hand, I encourage you to lean into that support. Trust me, I’ve seen countless couples navigate this path. I believe it’s possible to salvage and strengthen your relationship after mutual infidelity.

What happened to Sofia and Rick? They turned their story around. It’s one of those tales that sticks with you, not only because of the dramatic turn of events but also because of the beautiful outcome. They came to me with their relationship hanging by a thread. Hard work and dedication mended something broken and built something stronger and more resilient.

The best part? They’re still thriving and happy today. This is a testament to the fact that with the right support, determination, and love, transformation is more than possible—it’s within reach.

Image of a couple hugging while standing on a beach watching the sun set. Learn to recover from infidelity with affair recovery in Miami, FL to help repair your relationship.

Try Our Affair Recovery Program in Miami, Orlando, or anywhere in Florida!

Thank you for reading this post! Are you ready to begin joint affair recovery or another type of relationship help? We would love to help you start repairing your relationship! My Miami FL-based counseling practice is ready and able to support you and your partner wherever you are in the country. To start recovery and rebuilding, please follow these three simple steps to get started:

  1. Schedule a free 45-minute consultation
  2. Consult with one of our infidelity recovery expert therapists for an initial consultation
  3. Begin healing and joint affair recovery with our affair recovery coaching program

Other Services Offered By Relationship Experts

Beyond our infidelity recovery program, our practice in Miami, FL is equipped to help you extensively. Other assistance our team makes available includes couples counseling, communication counseling, and online therapy. For more helpful relationship guidance, please listen to my podcast.


Image of an upset couple with their arms crossed and backs together. Discover how affair recovery in Orlando, FL can help you and your partner overcome the infidelity that haunts your relationship.

I'm Idit Sharoni, your podcast host.

I'm an expert on relationships and infidelity recovery. I'm a licensed marriage & family therapist, a podcast host, and the founder of Relationship Experts  - a Couples Therapy & Coaching private practice.

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