How to Recover From Infidelity

Posted by in breaking up with grace, communication skills in dating, dating a dangerous man, dating after divorce, dating in midlife, red flags in relationships, self-esteem in dating | 0 comments


Have you ever been on the other side of infidelity? Dated a married or separated man? These tips will empower you.

My recent radio guest, Dr. Paul DePompo, is a psychologist, author, speaker, researcher. He is the founder of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Institute of Southern California. Dr. DePompo’s no-nonsense approach utilizes short-term techniques that when mastered in the short-term, make for long-term change.

DePompo is Board Certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is a Diplomate of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, and is the director of the only affiliated training center of the Albert Ellis Institute in California conducting trainings for psychologists in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. He also consults with Hollywood studios regarding psychological matters.

Dr. DePompo joined me on Last First Date Radio to discuss the other side of infidelity, how to reclaim your heart when your partner is married. Highlights of the show below.

How to Recover From Infidelity with Dr. Paul DePompo

Are you ENCOURAGING affairs or is this more of a “CAUTION” against affairs?

It’s not a cautionary tale, it’s about accepting that infidelity happens. People always have and always will fall in love with married partners. There’s such a high divorce rate, and 60 million married people are having affairs. Only 10% of those relationships work out for the person on the outside of the marriage. The rest are ashamed, left out.

[I wrote this book] to empower them. 

What would make people become attracted to emotionally unavailable partners?

We found that the people who got involved felt duped. They might have caught their partner at the tail end of a marriage. They believed they could caretake and nurture this partner out of the marriage.

Some thought it would only be temporary.

What type of women get into these relationships (we think of Ashley Madison and Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction)?

The women we saw in this study were well-intended. Once they found out the status of the relationship, they began compromising their own values. They felt pulled between, “What if this is true love? It would be worth it.” and “I should get out.”

When you look back into their history, there was often an attachment break in a relationship from the past, either with a parent or a past partner. Therefore, to them, love has to be about giving and giving. Somehow they’ll see I’m not like their married partner [and pick me]. 

What are the four types of married partners that have affairs?

  1. Mr. Lonely
  2. Mr. Charming
  3. Mr. Sexually Deprived
  4. Mr. Ready: He knows the marriage has run its course and he’s ready to be in a relationship. He’s taking steps to separate. This is the guy who has mutual respect, and he takes responsibility for himself.


How can women empower themselves?

A woman should make decisions about whether she should stay or go. She should have a timeline with two tracks. One is related to the relationship. When is too long for her to be waiting? What are the steps that are reasonable for his particular situation?

The second timeline is for herself. Not to put her life on hold. If she does that, he has no motivation. There’s no conflict. Be the best you in both tracks. Even if he hasn’t left yet. 

  • Learn how to be assertive. 
  • Have clear boundaries. Know that you have choice as to whether you stay or go.
  • Don’t blame him.
  • Don’t try to change him.
  • Look for signs that it’s worth it.

Otherwise, you will ruminate about what he’ll do. You might hide out from family and friends, only focusing on this one man, and cutting yourself out from outside influence. Find the right support, people you can talk with about it. 


What are some good communication skills for asserting yourself, especially in a relationship like this?

1. Isolate the problem without blaming. For example: It’s been weeks since the timeline [we decided on], and you haven’t brought up anything. 

2. Don’t go to anger. Look under the anger for the hurt or the fear. You don’t want him to become defensive. Say, “I’m hurt that ____________ and I’m afraid that _____________.”

3. State what you would like. I’d like _____________

He may say something defensive. 

Assert by agreeing with a little of what he’s saying and state your position. I might be reminding you of that, but that’s not what’s happening to me. Stay calm and confident.

There’s a lot more in the episode. You can listen here.

Or here in iTunes, where you can download/subscribe to the show so you don’t miss any of our over 200 episodes.


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