My partner cheated, and I do not know what to do. Are you left wondering how to cope after learning your spouse had an affair? Or perhaps you had the experience and are desperate to do everything possible to salvage your marriage?
If surviving infidelity is your main objective, then take solace in knowing that you and your partner can move forward together.
But trust me when I say you must have a plan!
Several years ago, my friend’s husband, John, had been having an affair. She knew within a matter of weeks that he was to commit to trying to move past the experience. Yes, he cheated! Now, what should a wife do? Should she stay with the one who cheated? How would she feel with a cheating husband? Moreover, how to get past your husband’s cheating?
John expressed sincere remorse, and she knew he was truly upset about his actions and the pain he had caused. John and I learned how to survive infidelity through a lot of counseling (both in person and online).
She learned how to forgive a cheater, which ultimately saved our marriage.
Keep reading to learn the counselor’s tips (plus a few more) to move forward. Moreover, my friends went through a great online course you can find here, which helped them tremendously!
1. Prepare Your Mindset
It is essential to realize that infidelity often doesn’t immediately lead to a divorce.
Instead, the issues arising from an affair and a couple’s inability to resolve them will bring divorce.
Issues of trust, pain and forgiveness can impede the process of moving forward in a relationship.
If you both commit to a plan of action, you stand a better chance of overcoming these issues.
2. Come Clean
When you and your spouse are ready, you both must sit down and have a completely open and honest conversation about the nature of the affair.
You need to understand the nature of it, whether it is emotional, sexual, etc.
3. Allow and Accept a Period of Grieving
The spouse who committed adultery needs to allow their partner time to grieve.
The adulterer should never set the timer for this period, but instead, allow their partner as much time as needed.
Trust, forgiveness, and intimacy will not magically reappear until the wronged spouse is ready.
Also, it is essential to realize that this grieving process will not be linear. What I mean by this is that there will be both ups and downs.
Don’t feel discouraged if the wronged partner seems to take a few steps back after a week of progress and encouragement.
This is normal, don’t give up.
4. Respect Boundaries
The wronged spouse will disconnect emotionally and sexually for however long they need.
The adulterer must accept this and be present and supportive yet respectful.
Lastly, if you are both determined to repair your marriage and move forward, be prepared to seal the cracks.
You must be aware of what led to the affair, so you can address the problems and fix them.
You must also recommit to one another and be prepared to work together to move forward.
How to Forgive a Cheater
So now that you have an idea of the steps you can take to move past the affair, you may be wondering how you will be able to forgive your cheating spouse.
Know that despite forgiveness not being easy, it is entirely possible! And just so you know, forgiving a cheating partner benefits you more than them.
Studies have found that those who harbor anger and grudges are more susceptible to depression and anxiety.
Learn How to Ignore and Turn Off Your Triggers
Some common triggers you may be experiencing are thinking you see the lover in public, feeling your partner has wandering eyes, seeing happy couples and being a cynic, or simply comparing the “good “old days” to your present.
These triggers will keep you feeling pessimistic, angry, and stressed.
If you can take away the power these triggers hold over your mindset, you will be able to forgive easier and quicker.
Spend Time Focusing on Yourself
This is my advice and something that worked wonders for me. By spending time making myself feel good, I noticed I was able to diminish some insecurities that had developed as a result of the affair.
Do something that will make you proud and boost your confidence!
I recommend taking a group fitness class that you’ve always been too scared to try or picking up a new hobby.
Anything that forces you to get out of your comfort zone and push yourself will work wonders.
Have an Honest Conversation, When You’re Ready
I won’t go into much detail here; I am sure you have a point by now.
But make sure you get the closure you need to realize the affair is not your fault and make an educated and responsible decision about the future of your relationship.
Work on Improving Your Relationship
Working on the relationship will bring you closer together, help you appreciate the effort each of you is putting in, and help heal wounds.
You and your spouse must work together to rebuild the connection and trust lost from the affair.
Additional Resources on How to Survive an Affair
If surviving infidelity is something you and your spouse are struggling with, consider seeing a couples counselor.
Counseling is excellent because it forces you to address the root of your issues. Consider alternatives if you are against counseling or not financially secure enough to afford it.
One of the options is to over a great course available. A system allows you and your spouse to work out your issues together, but in the privacy of your own home.
If you don’t want anyone else to know your dirty laundry, this is an excellent resource—a selection of excellent books on the market help.
I hope that this information is helpful to your attempts at surviving infidelity. It is important to remember that time does heal all wounds. What feels like the end of the world now may feel different down the road. You must accept that you can’t change the past but can learn from it and create a brighter future.
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