We’ve all seen the unfortunate news of Kristen Stewart’s affair with her director and the pain that she and Rob Pattinson are both under. This pain is amplified by all of the public attention.

Affairs, whether physical or not, take a heavy psychological toll. Both members of a couple can suffer great emotional pain in the wake of infidelity, experiencing loss of trust, anger, feelings of inadequacy, and a host of other negative emotions.

One of the things often overlooked, however, is the embarrassment and shame felt by exposing an affair to the community at large. Discussing an affair with friends and family, or the “news” getting out to acquaintances and coworkers is a source of emotional pain that most people simply don’t consider.

For celebrities, this problem is compounded by fame. Under the watchful eye of paparazzi and news outlets, the public is sure to find out about scandals, rumors, and full-blown adultery. There are famous couples, though, who have met the public’s scrutiny of their relationships head on, and managed to save their marriages in spite of all the eyes on their marital troubles.

The most famous example, of course, is Bill and Hilary Clinton, who dealt with one of the most public affair scandals anyone can imagine. Even through televised court hearings, endless speculation, and some seriously hurtful public opinion, Bill and Hilary stayed together, and worked out their problems behind closed doors. They are still married today.

Congressmen Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin managed to stay together despite last year’s “sexting” scandal, and David Letterman was able to patch things up with his wife after admitting to an affair live on air. Even allegations of adulterous behavior, whether it’s ever actually confirmed or admitted to, can still damage a relationship – especially for celebs. David and Victoria Beckham survived one such scandal, so did pop singer Fergie and husband Josh Duhamel.

There’s an important lesson to be learned here, for celebs and non-celebs alike: affairs happen sometimes, and while we can do our best to prevent them, they are just a part of the reality of relationships. These celebrity examples teach us, though, that things can be mended, especially if we are able to shake of the criticisms of onlookers and focus on the issue itself. While it may be embarrassing to admit that you have cheated or been cheated on, it’s far more important to work out the problems in your marriage that lead you down that path than it is to try to explain yourself to the public. These celebs didn’t indulge the paparazzi with gritty details or reach out to their fans for sympathy – they did exactly what all couples should do in the wake of an affair, they turned their attention inward, and didn’t let outside opinion stop them from rebuilding their marriages.

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