Reinventing Romance: Is There Love After Betrayal?

Love after cheating: over-40 relationship expert Sherry Amatenstein explores dating again after infidelity

By Sherry Amatenstein

Once you’re hooked, it’s tempting to rationalize red flags. Examine the facts honestly: How did his past relationships end? (Beware of the "She didn’t understand me" line.) Does he truly like and respect women? Does he take the moral high road, or do small lies roll off his tongue? Is it acceptable for his buddy to cheat on his girlfriend? Kaiser says, "Probably 95 percent of women who were cheated on, in hindsight, saw signs that the guy wasn’t trustworthy. Pay attention to your intuition."

If you still find yourself doubting someone who’s passed your intuition test, and who’s time-after-time proven himself to be a standup guy, share your feelings and their origin. Honest communication is a great way to begin defusing unjustified fears that your new partner is untrustworthy.

Happily Ever After

Two years after her divorce, Danine remarried. "Between relationships it’s so important to take the time to get to a place where you can let go of past hurts and be open to someone new." In her case, the someone new is also someone old: her ex-husband. "During our time apart, Keith had really examined himself and become the man he’d always hoped he could be. We communicate differently. We can talk about what went wrong and how far we’ve come. Instead of putting a band-aid on the old marriage, we created a new one."

But does she trust him? "I’m not going to stand on a podium and shout, ‘I know my husband isn’t cheating.’ I can’t control what Keith does, but yes, I do trust him."

Keith wasn’t the only person she had to learn to trust again. Unlike Lisa, the Vermont artist who is still seized with anxiety when a date leaves her sight for five minutes, Danine has renewed faith in the judgment of the person whose opinion matters most: herself.

Have a Question for Sherry?

For help answering your toughest dating-related questions, e-mail Sherry at and your question might be featured in an upcoming column.

Originally published on, April 2007.

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