Kristen Stewart has confirmed that she was unfaithful to her boyfriend of three years Robert Pattinson, prompting some to question whether a relationship can be saved after one partner admits to being unfaithful.
Pictures of Kristen Stewart kissing her director Rupert Sanders from "Snow White and the Huntsman" surfaced earlier this week, leading to a slew of rumors that the "Twilight" star was having an affair with a married man. While initial reports initially denied any such rumors. Stewart herself came forward on Wednesday and stated that she had in fact been unfaithful.
"I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I've caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I'm so sorry," Stewart said in a statement to People magazine.
Her confession has led to a mass reaction from the public, many from die hard "Twilight" fans who have fallen in love with the on-screen couple and now wonder whether the couple's real life relationship can be saved.
People who have been unfaithful often respond in two different ways, according to Healthy Connections by Ann Smith in Psychology Today,
"Some cheaters continue to lie for a while hoping to dodge the bullet," Smith writes in the 2010 article. "Some apologize profusely and promise fidelity hoping for a quick fix and forgiveness."
While Smith suggests that some relationships can survive, forgiveness doesn't come easy. The first step is to stop contact.
"If the relationship is going to survive, the affair must end and all contact cease," Smith said. "Even then, suspicion and fear will come and go but is lessened by consistent honesty and empathy from the partner."
While Smith states that most victims of infidelity are eager to forgive, men have an even harder time of letting things go than women.
"Men with a cheating partner may obsess for years about their lover being with another man, focusing more on the sexual relationship," Smith stated.
"Healing will not begin until the cheater is willing and capable of listening, responding honestly (every single time), demonstrating that they have a deep understanding of what they did and how they hurt their partner. Forgiveness must be earned not given freely just to get over it," she added.