You didn’t deserve to be deceived, damaged, or discarded.
Still, here you are.
Now you know.
Coping with infidelity means you have to face the truth.
Betrayal is staring you in the face.
And betrayal is ugly.
You’re hurt. You’re angry.
You may desperately want to save your relationship.
Or you may want out now.
Either way, it all seems too much and too hard.
What do you do now?
Coping with infidelity is difficult work,
But with help, you will survive this.
In time, you can regain your sanity, clarity, and dignity.
Take these next few steps to begin the process:
Don’t hide from your feelings. Process your loss.
The pain of betrayal, unlike death, isn’t final. It’s consequences come in waves.
Trust and intimacy, as you knew them, are gone.
Every interaction, memory, and promise is called into question.
There is no way to be okay with any of that.
Don’t pretend you are. Do these things instead:
- Recognize and accept the spectrum of your feelings. Anger, sadness, overwhelm, shame, desperation. It’s all there. It’s all normal.
- Cry. Don’t hold back or stuff your feelings. Let it out. Buried emotion will only fester or mutate, making your journey that much harder.
- Remember to take care of yourself. Eat and sleep well. Mediate or pray. Breathe. Consistency may help you through this crisis.
Part of coping with infidelity is honestly dealing with your feelings and working through them in healthy, productive ways.
Resist isolation. Seek support and guidance.
Your partner’s betrayal may shock you into thinking you are alone, unloved, or unworthy. Don’t believe the lies.
- Share with someone soon. You feel abandoned, but someone wants to be there for you. Let them in. Talk to someone supportive. Someone you know has been where you are. Reach out. Accept comfort.
- Call a counselor. Betrayal by a spouse or long-term partner is traumatic. There are a multitude of benefits that accompany the help of a professional. Head off depression, anxiety, or other emotional issues that would hinder your ability to function or move through this crisis. Gain tools that will help you communicate with your partner and make coping with infidelity productive.
Examine the situation thoughtfully.
Experiencing betrayal potentially creates space for self-examination and evaluation of your relationship. Use your heartache to become more aware of what you need and want to build in yourself and your connection to your partner. There may be lessons to learn that make you better despite the pain.
- Refuse to remain a victim. Whether your partner came seeking forgiveness or you discovered his or her betrayal on your own, the decision to cheat and deceive are not your fault or to be condoned. However, you may find that time spent looking at the realities of your relationship, including how your own behavior may have contributed to your partner’s deteriorating feelings, will shed light on the problems between you. Consider the idea that wisdom, perspective, and even compassion may be empowering byproducts of your partner’s betrayal.
- Determine your commitments. Betrayal forces people to take stock. Infidelity is a deal breaker for some relationships. It’s a building block for others. Either way, the betrayal became a catalyst for significant change. Seeing the crisis in your partnership as cathartic may make coping with infidelity less about surviving and more about thriving as a re-committed couple or on your own, committed to a fulfilled and healthy future.
Betrayal is ugly. Infidelity is painful.
Don’t suffer through them alone.
Take care of yourself. Heal.
Awareness, perseverance, and growth can be the ultimate legacy of your journey.