Yes, it's hard to deal with the aftermath of deceit- but it is definitely possible. Lying for me is a result of not feeling love for myself and not being able to come up with a good reason why I am doing something, so a lie is a temporary avoidance of answering a question about yourself. It hurts both ways, and damages trust, surely.
In the past, I would run away from relationships when I got to the point that I couldn't (or wouldn't) answer questions anymore.
One of the most lovely things about my relationship now is that I don't have to run away, and I am loved and love despite past weakness, with full knowledge that more mistakes are are bound to be in the future.
I agree that it is best to start with a clean slate, and be self-aware and have a clear understanding of the conditions and such- but it just didn't happen that way for me- he and I both needed to learn things, lots of things, before we were ready to reveal ourselves as we have done recently.
His forgiveness and understanding about what caused my cheating is one of the things that has strengthened our bond, and opened up discussion for the healthy way to express our love and sexual attraction for others.
For my part, I am thankful for it, while it wasn't the best way to go, it was a way, the only way I knew how at the time to make change happen and express my frustration, and it has had an ultimately positive effect on my life.
"Rocks will open and make a way for the lover."
~Hazrat Inayat Khan
I love Catfish and Charlie.