The affair that saved our marriage

Tal Araim’s affair brought his 16-year marriage to Samara to the brink. But four years later, they are still together and closer than ever – how did they survive? Anna Moore finds out

If any couple can be credited with pulling their marriage back from the brink, it’s surely Tal and Samara Araim. After 16 years and with two children together, Tal embarked on an all-consuming affair with one of Samara’s closest friends. It lasted two years, until Samara’s “oh-my-God moment” when suddenly, from nowhere, she knew. They separated immediately and didn’t speak for months. Samara wiped Tal’s number from her phone, changed her name on her email account and all communication was through lawyers. All the divorce papers were signed except one.

Fast-forward four years and here they are on a sofa talking openly, easily, lightly – and laughing a lot. Their journey has been so revelatory that Tal has not only written a book in an effort to share all he has learned, but also turned their former family home in Surbiton, south-west London, into a therapy centre, Compass4Couples. Downstairs is a lecture space that hosts free seminars and workshops. Upstairs, qualified counsellors provide individual therapy.

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