After the revelation that Health Secretary Matt Hancock had been having an affair with a government aide, his wife, Martha, found herself in the media spotlight.

For many people who have been cheated on, this will have brought up painful memories. So what is the best approach to dealing with an unfaithful partner and ultimately moving on with or without them?

Five experts share their advice: Psychotherapist Gabriella Davidovics, from Therapy for Londoners (, said: “The male and female brain is wired differently. When a problem comes up in a relationship, a woman’s brain is wired to talk things through, check multiple sides and a man’s brain is wired for immediate problem-solving. That’s when fights happen in a relationship.

“A stressful and sleepless job is a recipe for cheating. During sleep, your brain flushes the toxins down like a toilet. Your desires during the day are transformed into metaphoric objects in your dream.

“So instead of cheating on your partner in real life with a co-worker and acting on your imagination, your sleep state eases out that boost and gives you the satisfaction you need. People who maintain a good work-life balance and have a proper sleep cycle cheat less as they don’t need to act on their desires.”

However, those that do act on their sexual impulses, leave their partner feeling betrayed and heartbroken. Therapist and relationship expert TJ Gibbs, the Love Coach ( explained how the loss of a happy relationship will go through the different stages of grief: “Shock – I never saw this coming, I can’t believe they would do this to me.

Denial – It can’t be true! They wouldn’t do this to me, Am I over reacting?.

Anger – I am going to make them suffer, they won’t see the kids, I feel so stupid.

Bargaining – Call them and tell them it’s over, if you are really sorry then you need to ….

Depression – My life as I dreamt it is over, how will I ever trust anyone again, I am not enough.

Testing – Should we stay together? Do you still love me? Can we get past this?

Acceptance – life is going to be different now, things will change, what do we do now?”

When it comes to making a decision about the future, there is a lot to consider about whether or not the relationship can be salvaged or not.

James Brien, founder of Easy Online Divorce ( said: “Finding out that your partner cheated can make you feel like a failure, in a world where we tend to try to avoid failing at all costs.

“But isn't the real failure staying in a loveless relationship? Would you rather spend 50 years in an unfulfilling relationship with a cheating spouse or admit that the relationship isn’t right?

“It’s not easy. It requires you to have an open mind and to take personal responsibility for your part in the breakup.

“I know this is a very divisive statement, they cheated after all – what should I take responsibility for? But being a victim won't help you. Think about what you can learn from this instead. Is there some way that you could have contributed to the situation? Were you pushing him or her away?

“Were they just the wrong person for you? If so, what are the personality traits or the early warning signs that you can now recognise in future partners?”

It is important to not rush into making any decisions, but if there is hope of restoring a broken relationship, what is the best way to go about it?

Alex Mellor-Brook, Co-Founder & Director of Select Personal Introductions ( said: “Before saying anything, decide what you want. Do you still love this person? Do you still want them in your life? Could you forgive them? If the answer is yes, then you need to find out why they cheated. Maybe the situation is irreparable and your relationship has come to an end. Does that person regret what they have done and want to work at the relationship?

“No, it will never be the same, but there are couples who have found themselves in the same situation and managed to work through it, creating a long, loving and lasting relationship.”

“Blame, anger, betrayal, and frustration are only a few of the emotions you will feel, but if you want this to work and your other half is going to work just as hard to save what you have, then you need to find a way to deal with these feelings as they won't go away. Counselling is a great start.

“It doesn't work for everyone, but it gives you somewhere safe to discuss both your feelings and maybe identify why events happened and how to stop them happening again.”

For those who can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, the idea of moving on and living a life without someone they once loved can seem daunting.

Laura Steventon, Stress & Self Worth Therapist at Therapy Stirling, ( shares ideas on how to start the self-healing process. She said: “To begin to move on, treat it like you would any loss. You need to grieve the loss of your hopes, dreams and future.

“Grieve the loss of what you had or thought you had. Grieve the loss of the comfort and relative safety that comes with a relationship. Grief work is about closing the emotional loops of situations. Not everyone goes through stages or feels all the emotions that are in the standard grief model.

“Doing something positive for yourself is key, start to explore life, yourself and your interests. Do things that you’ve never done before, start to relearn who you are now. Dance in your kitchen to cheesy pop music, wear your hair in a new style, or reach out to someone you haven't spoken to in over two decades.”