### abstract

- A $\mathcal{PT}$-symmetric nonlinear Schr\"odinger dimer is a two-site discrete nonlinear Schr\"odinger equation with one site losing and the other one gaining energy at the same rate. In this paper, two four-parameter families of cubic $\mathcal{PT}$-symmetric dimers are constructed as gain-loss extensions of their conservative, Hamiltonian, counterparts. We prove that all these damped-driven equations define completely integrable Hamiltonian systems. The second aim of our study is to identify nonlinearities that give rise to the spontaneous $\mathcal{PT}$-symmetry restoration. When the symmetry of the underlying linear dimer is broken and an unstable small perturbation starts to grow, the nonlinear coupling of the required type diverts progressively large amounts of energy from the gaining to the losing site. As a result, the exponential growth is saturated and all trajectories remain trapped in a finite part of the phase space regardless of the value of the gain-loss coefficient.