A relationship is expected to suffer through a lot of changes after an affair. These changes are rarely positive, but perhaps, nothing could be worse than it actually ending. Whether it was just a drunken love affair or a one-time thing, trusting a cheating partner again is very hard to do, that’s why most couples choose to end it altogether.
The decision to stay or leave is up to you. The options are right there for you to grab. But whether you choose to save it or walk away for good, you are bound to do one thing: heal yourself.
Your Personal Guide to Healing from Infidelity
If you are in the process of getting over a painful past but don’t seem to be making a progress, we’ve come up with a list of things you can use as a guide to completely healing from infidelity.
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1. Talk about the problem.
While you might not want to share about your love problems, it’s not a good idea to keep it to yourself. Instead, call a loved one who knows and understands you, and talk about the relationship hardships you are dealing with. Better yet, talk to a therapist.
2. Be honest about your feelings.
When you do choose to talk about the infidelity, try to be honest about everything. Do not leave any grey areas that might be misinterpreted by the person you confided with. They will still have their own opinion regardless if you tell the entire truth or not, so might as well do a tell-all.
3. Always listen.
The pain will stay with you until god-knows-when, but don’t let it dissuade you from taking pieces of advice, especially when they are from the people who love you. They wouldn’t give any suggestion that will hurt you more than now, so take the time to sit down and listen to them.
4. Accept your share of faults.
There’s no acceptable reason that could justify your partner’s betrayal. However, you shouldn’t dismiss the possibility that there might be an underlying issue, something you’ve caused that led them to cheat. Unless you figure this out and accept your own share of faults, you will never move past the healing phase.
5. Focus on yourself.
If you choose to stay with your partner after they cheated, do not think that it’s impossible to improve yourself around them. This is actually a good time to realize that you need to focus on yourself more than your spouse or the relationship. Head out to the gym, travel with friends, learn a new skill, or develop a hobby if you want. You need a break and you deserve it.
6. Do not try to get even.
It’s normal to hold a grudge, that’s something you can never avoid after your partner cheated on you. However, you must keep that to yourself and resist the urge to get even, especially when you are considering to give the relationship another go. Therapist Theresa Herring said, “It leaves no room for remorse, reconnection, and repair. Couples who can’t move past their anger are unable to rebound from breaches of trust.”
7. Know the whole truth about the affair.
One of the ways to heal after an affair is to face the reality. Truth is, no one is invulnerable to affairs, even if your relationship seemed indestructible. The details about the affair are terrifying, but only when you know the whole truth will you start making peace with it.
8. Set a time limit on affair discussion.
You need to know the truth, that’s something only your partner can give. No matter how tempting it is, however, knowing the truth right then and there will not benefit you. If anything, set a maximum time frame that you are only allowed to talk about the affair, and allocate the rest of your time to more important things. Don’t let the infidelity take over your life.
9. Take the time to heal.
Understand that the process of healing from infidelity is tedious and lengthy; you have to endure it. Take no short cuts, or you will find yourself committing mistakes after another. You will never really forget the affair, but the painful memories will soon fade in time. Therefore, take time to heal and only extend your forgiveness once you are ready.
10. Believe it’s possible to recover.
Always believe that you can recover from the brokenness, embarrassment, and shame. Your thoughts are powerful; you’ll be amazed how they can affect your life depending on how you keep them in check. Hence, maintain an optimistic outlook.
Once you do that, you’ll gain self-worth, which is so vital to your happiness. You will also realize that a relationship won’t constantly satisfy you; and as beautiful as romance is, it isn’t the only love that exists.
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