Not everyone cheats, but the truth is a lot of people do, and it can be devastating to the person on the receiving end. There’s nothing worse than finding out that the same person who you trusted after they promised you forever has turned around to cheat on you, and stab you in the back.
I cannot even begin to explain how terrible it feels, but the good thing is it can be handled, no matter what. I have put together some steps and tips I think could help in overcoming this issue if one ever finds his or herself facing something similar.
1. Don’t take any major decision or course of action immediately. The anger from knowing you have been lied to and cheated on for a while will probably lead you to decide on quitting your marriage, but no matter how pressing, save that decision for much later if. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that decisions made in the heat of a moment are regrettable.
2. Understand that feelings are neither right nor wrong. Accept that your feelings of rage, uncertainty, shock, agitation, fear, pain, depression and confusion about having an unfaithful spouse are normal. You will be on a roller coaster of emotions for a few months and possibly even up to a year or two afterwards.
3. Be ready to dedicate more time to catering for yourself. People react differently to such devastating news as heartbreak. You may end up reacting in ways that put your health at risk. Nausea, sleeplessness or oversleeping, diarrhea, etc are examples of ways you can react. When these things do show, be ready to take care of yourself. Your health comes first.
4. Do not lose your balance; it is key to getting through this experience of coping with infidelity. Force yourself to eat healthy foods, stay on schedule, sleep regular hours, get some exercise each day, drink plenty of water, and have some fun.
5. Allow your emotions flow. The idea isn’t to be in denial because that’s just a waste of time, the idea is to accept what has happened and move on easily from it. Do not pretend like nothing’s happened, cry if you have to. Do anything that shows your emotions, and allows you move on.
6. If you own a journal, it might not be a bad idea to write down how you feel about your partner’s behaviour. If you don’t have one, you probably should. Remember, the idea is to allow your emotions flow.
7. Ask your partner questions. Talk with your spouse about the infidelity. However, you may have to accept that your spouse may not know why the infidelity took place or may not want to reveal this to you.
8. Try not to get into the blaming game over who or what caused the infidelity. It’s just wasted energy. That includes blaming the third party. It will not change anything. Also, think twice before you tell your family or your spouse’s family about the infidelity. Family members can often hold grudges a long time.
9. Sometimes, even years and months after going through stuff like this, the effects linger. You may find yourself being very jumpy or emotional and angry when reminded of anything infidelity. It’s possible it’s PTS, so you may need to seek some professional counseling.
10. Seek professional help. The effects of what you’ve just come through may be too heavy for you to deal with alone. Talk to somebody about it, preferably a professional who wouldn’t turn to use any information you give them against you.
11. Take it one day at a time. You and your spouse should both be tested for AIDS/ HIV and STD’s before you resume sexual intimacy without protection. Consider what boundaries you need in your marriage in order to stay in the marriage
12. Get practical. Look at your finances, housing situation, transportation, etc. If you do decide to end your marriage, make sure you have thought out where you will live, if you have enough money to pay for your essentials, etc. If you are unsure this is the right decision, seek counselling as well to guide you.
13. It takes time to heal. Do not expect to immediately get over the hurt and pain or disappointment all in a week or weeks. It may take way longer than that, but time heals everything. If you’re willing to stick because you think it’s worth it, you’ll be fine with time.