Infidelity is one of the most unfortunate things that can happen to any relationship.
While one partner is burning in the fire of betrayal, the cheater is full of remorse.
The loving relationship which may have been built over years is suddenly gone.
This is very difficult to deal with, all that was secure has gone and now mistrust is in its place.
Not all relationships can survive after an affair.
Only about 35 % of such relationships succeed in reconciliation and even fewer manage to reestablish a healthy relationship.
Healing After an Affair
An unfaithful lover affects your self esteem.
The pain that a philandering lover inflicts cannot be explained.
It’s only natural to feel resentment towards the cheating partner.
If you are the cheating partner, you may have a lot of difficulty accepting your own mistakes.
Denying the affair and even worse refusing to face and own your mistakes will only cause more pain to your spouse or partner.
Acknowledging the affair is the first step of making you worthy of your partner’s compassion.
1. Acknowledge what has happened and give yourself time
You need to give yourself time to grieve such a painful event. You also need your own space. Thoughts and feelings are very confused so if it is possible to have time apart, it is really desirable.
You may have already separated but still suffering badly from the pain.
Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t see it coming. Often after the dust has settled you will find that you can identify behaviors that were not quite right but nothing you gave serious thought to at the time. We all benefit from hindsight.
The space will help you identify the real cause of this affair. There is never an excuse for infidelity but if you want to heal and move on you will probably want some answers too.
Identifying the root cause of the problem will greatly help you decide the way forward and also eliminate the possibility of repeating the same problems.
2. Let the Tears Flow
Let the tears flow. You’ve been hurt, it’s okay to cry.
The point of feeling this pain is to give all the emotional strain an outlet.
3. Talk To Someone
It helps to talk to a friend, a relative or a counselor.
Talking will help consolidate your feelings.
Friends are like nuggets of gold at this time and a shoulder to cry on.
You might think you don’t need a counselor however a counselor trained in matters of the heart will be able to guide you towards making decisions and perhaps seeing the situation in a new light.
Even it confirms what you already know, it is reassuring to know that you are okay and that you will be okay.
It is very helpful to speak with someone who is neutral towards all parties involved. This will also help you think clearly.
If you have nobody to talk to or even if you have, take a pen and a paper and write everything down. Even if it just scribble, sometimes it is quite surprising what we write at such times, especially when you come back the next day and re read.
This is useful to clarify the situation and to unburden yourself of some of the same recurring thoughts. Those same old recurring thoughts need to be banished or turned into something that will help you grow and move on.
If you’re really feeling the pain, then I highly recommend you watch this video.
The video addressed the issue of wanting to move on but not knowing were to start. It also address the issue that “time heals all things”. It may indeed but that isn’t what you need to hear right now. You need help.
Finding the truth about a cheating partner is not only emotional but it also impacts physically. You may lose weight (quite normal) and be unable to function as you do usually.
Penny Price (the author of Survival After Separation) describes how she went through these things in her own marriage break up and also how she dealt with the pain.
4. Find An Activity
Sometimes, dwelling on negative thoughts and painful memories can become a habit.
At this point, take control.
You need to distract yourself.
Do something to keep yourself active and busy.
Even a one off cooking class or art class will engage you in something else other than dwelling on your pain and by doing something in a group you might even find you have a good time..
It is often a period of reevaluation in a person’s life.
We can all too comfortably be going along our merry way with life seemingly being pretty normal and then something like this happens.
It is a bolt out of the blue and shatters the safe world we thought we were living in.
5. Should you stay or should you go?
Giving yourself plenty of thinking time is critical. There is no doubt that you go through different stages, shock, disbelief, sadness, anger and so on.
Making any decisions while in a highly emotional state is not a good idea so take some time out here to think things through.
If you do decide to go back you will both need to meet and make some very clear boundaries. Regaining trust is a major issue and you may find that you just can’t get past this.
If you have given yourself time, your decision although still emotional will not be volatile as well.
This is a rocky path you are treading and it may not be all plain sailing. If children are involved you do need to communicate in a civil manner.
Just as long as you both acknowledge that fact, that will be okay.
You need an inner fortitude and strength to heal after an affair.
If you do ultimately decide to leave you will know that you have done so by using that inner strength and fortitude to explore all options.
Now I can say GOOD LUCK.
There’s more information here about surviving the pain of a breakup, not necessarily an affair but still a highly charged emotional situation.