Affairs can destroy a relationship if you do not know the steps to take to heal from an affair.
Here are some of the specific steps necessary for healing.
Avoid overreacting. Statements like "The marriage is over" do not have to be true. Many marriages survive an affair. Avoid a vengeance affair. Acknowledge hurt, betrayal, anger, distrust, and homicidal urges. Sometimes a temporary separation will allow for a cooling-down period.
Honest discussion about what happened and why is important. The why is more important than the what. Be careful about asking for all the gory details. It is human nature to want to know everything, but each revealed incident creates an image in your mind, which becomes difficult to forgive and let go. This process keeps marriage therapists very busy. The more gory details you know, the more images in your head, the longer it takes to heal.
Each person has two tasks. The person who had the affair has to be squeaky clean and scrupulously honest. The spouse who did not have the affair has to forgive and let go.
Some people hold the false belief that if they forgive, friends and family will see them as weak. Forgiving, letting go of the pain, and moving on after the deep wound of an affair requires great inner strength. As far as we know, only God can forgive and forget. We humans are cursed with memory and so the healing process requires forgiving and letting go of the hurt. Letting go demands personal discipline and is much more difficult if you have a vengeful, unforgiving personality.
Following these guidelines will go a long way to help you to heal your relationships after an affair.