Marital Affairs: What Happens After Cheating

This may be the most hopeful aspect of American infidelity today: With all the confusion and emotional trauma, there is still the optimistic hope of redemption and forgiveness, of second chances and new beginnings.

Anne and Brian Bercht see this in their efforts. So do the SurvivingInfidelity administrators. "It's not for wimps -- it's hard work," Anne says. "But people can do it. And it can bring you so much closer."

Despite her difficult transition, Susan agrees. "Before the affair, we would be frustrated with each other and feel shortchanged," she says. "We didn't appreciate what we had in each other. And it wasn't until we had to join forces to get past what happened that we became a team."

• Carmen K. Sisson in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Eilene Zimmerman in San Diego contributed to this report.

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