Infidelity can probably be ranked in the top 10 fears of the most people. The notion of loyalty is one that we as human beings, do not take lightly. However, if you ever find yourself in this unpleasant position of being betrayed, be wise with your decisions.
Take a look at the following suggestions for overcoming the difficulties of infidelity.
Take a deep breath.
You are no doubt confused, hurt, betrayed and angry. Realize that the process of getting over an affair takes time. Try to remain as calm as possible.
Don’t lash out.
It makes sense that you would want to lash out at your spouse and hurt them back- and that is not going to be in your best interest in the long run. You will want to find a calm way to discuss what happened eventually. Try to avoid going through all of the typical stages of anger, if at all possible.
Begin the healing.
The healing will start once the affair is stopped. It’s hard to rebuild trust after the affair if the affair is still going on. If the betrayer in the relationship if still busy with someone elsewhere, then he/she will not be as invested in staying in the relationship. After the affair is stopped and that exit is sealed, you both need to talk about what happened.
Make an appointment to go over the details about what happened.
It’s important that a time is set aside in the future, so that you are both mentally ready to share and hear these uncomfortable details.
The betrayed gets to ask whatever information he/she needs to ask . If they want to know what happened- they need to be told. This will allow doubts to be removed from the situation. He/she also gets to share his/her feelings of hurt and pain and have the opportunity to be validated. (This will most likely need to happen more than once. Repeat as necessary)
Betrayer makes amends
The betrayer makes amends, showing real remorse and asking for forgiveness. They must also resolve (sometimes silently) to do something that will help the other spouse feel loved and appreciated. This reassurance on the part of the betrayer is going to have to be consistent and heartfelt. This will need to happen over time, more than once most likely, and will require effort.
Give it time
Time is now needed to work on the relationship. The couple must explore the rupture that led them to this place and try to fix it for the future. Both partners need to find a way to bring life and energy back into the marriage through love infusions. (See Chapter 5- “Love Infusions” in our book, The 5 Step Action Plan to a Happy & Healthy Marriage.)
Know that it may take time to repair and heal after the affair and infidelity, but if you both are committed, you can heal.
Is this bout of cheating worthy of separation or divorce?
This depends on you. Couples can heal from affairs. It depends if you want the marriage or not. It ‘s normal to feel angry and decide to leave.
We encourage you to work it out, especially if children are involved. However it’s understandable if the partners split due to their inability to regain faith in each other.
We can certainly help you with healing after an affair and we see the best results- in cases of affairs- with our 2 day marriage therapy intensive. The 2 days we spend working together will literally pull you out of this deep despairing place into one of hope and healing. You will discover the root of the issue that led towards the infidelity, explore why the relationship went sour, and what led to the betrayer to look elsewhere.