An affair is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a relationship. In most cases, it is the cause of a breakup. If your spouse has cheated on you, you need to know that you can survive the pain of loss and betrayal. It will take some time to heal but you can get past this storm.
Here’s how you can survive and thrive after an affair.
- Stop being in denial. In order to deal with the situation, you need to stop sticking your head in the sand. Accept that the affair has happened so you can think about what you want to do next. Don’t pretend that nothing happened just so you can keep your home or because you are scared of what to do next.
- Don’t blame yourself. You need to remember that you did not cause this affair. It was not your decision to start a relationship with someone else, regardless of the problems in your relationship. However, this doesn’t mean that you lash out and blame your partner for everything. It does mean that your spouse has to be accountable for his actions.
- Work through your emotions. It will take months or even years to process all the feelings you have about the affair and your relationship. There will be anger, guilt, grief, fear, uncertainty, shame, frustration, feelings of self-recrimination and even a loss of self. These are all normal. It’s important that you are able to talk about this and not keep things bottled up inside. As you work through your emotions, your goal should be to able to forgive yourself and your spouse for the affair, regardless if you want to stay in the relationship or not.
- Seek counseling. Talk to someone who can help you process your emotions. It can be a family therapist, a psychologist or even a pastor. Get the necessary therapy and guidance you need during the crucial months after the affair has been revealed. This time of counseling will help you recover and at the same time help you make a decision about what to do next.
- Turn to your friends and family for support. This is when your best friend and your family need to step in. Have someone you trust that you can cry on or ask for help. It may be as simple as getting a baby sitter for the kids so you can go to your therapist or look for a job. Other times, you just need to be around people who love you and will support you regardless of your decision.
- Pray or meditate. Learn to listen to your inner guidance. This will help you decide what to do next and what you need to do to come out stronger after the betrayal.
- Decide if you want to stay or move on. Once you have allowed yourself some time to recover from the shock, you need to decide what to do next. If your spouse is showing remorse and wants to work things out, consider if you are willing to do the same. If not, then you need to start planning your next step.
- Know that you deserve to be loved. You need to love yourself throughout this entire ordeal. Give yourself what your spouse is unable to give you. Take care by eating right, sleeping and doing things that give you joy and gratification.
Believe that you can heal from this ordeal and that better things will come your way. Whether you choose to work things out with your spouse or not, only better things will happen after this.