Surviving Infidelity

Surviving Infidelity

Learning about your spouse’s affair is​ one of​ the​ most life changing events you’ll ever have to​ cope with. the​ initial mental and​ physical pain can be more than most people feel they can bear.

Debbie found that the​ shock left her feeling completely suicidal, in​ such an​ emotional state that she just couldn’t see an​ end to​ the​ raging emotions of​ sheer loathing, humiliation, defeat and​ despair. She couldn’t visualize surviving the​ infidelity.

"After weeks of​ trying to​ come to​ terms with the​ shock of​ my husband confessing to​ having an​ affair, I tried to​ face up to​ the​ news and​ move on with my life but I just couldn’t get over the​ feelings of​ hate, shock, rage, fear and​ utter betrayal.

I really hated my husband, the​ ‘other’ woman and​ myself for​ what had become of​ our marriage. I found myself wanting to​ kill him one minute and​ trying to​ understand why he had done it​ the​ next. I didn’t know what to​ do or​ where to​ turn. I had no idea as​ to​ whether I wanted to​ save my marriage or​ not but I was totally unprepared for​ life on my own.

I felt so alone, half dead, totally humiliated, defeated and​ betrayed and​ found I just couldn’t move on without seeking help and​ learning that there was a​ way to​ move forward and​ get my life and​ my marriage back on track"

Because of​ the​ emotional roller coaster infidelity puts couples through, talking about the​ details in​ the​ early stage only reinforces the​ negative feelings that they already have. it​ will not help either the​ cheater or​ the​ cheated partner to​ cope with the​ situation nor will it​ help you move forward.

The first discussion will always be the​ most difficult one, when it’s so easy for​ things to​ get totally out of​ hand. if​ the​ marriage is​ to​ be saved both partners need to​ be emotionally prepared, rational and​ calm. it​ is​ unrealistic to​ expect partners to​ be able to​ work together in​ the​ early days when neither party is​ capable of​ entering into any form of​ rational discussion.

The cheated partner will want immediate answers to​ why the​ affair occurred, if​ they loved the​ person they were having an​ affair with, did it​ mean anything and​ how long it​ had been going on. They will want to​ know why they weren’t enough, was it​ the​ only one and​ will wonder if​ they can trust their partner again. They need to​ take control of​ these emotions before they should enter into any form of​ discussion and​ before they can make any progress towards surviving infidelity or​ even half way consider trying to​ save the​ marriage.

Many people go to​ marriage counselors terrified, not knowing what to​ do, unable to​ get the​ images of​ their partner in​ someone else’s bed out of​ their mind, not knowing if​ their partner still loves them and​ feeling totally worthless and​ insecure. They have to​ get over that initial hurdle before they can move on, start piecing everything together and​ even consider trying to​ rebuild the​ marriage. What is​ said and​ done in​ those early stages is​ critical to​ surviving infidelity and​ will form the​ foundation of​ any new relationship which evolves.

Most people do not have the​ skills to​ work through their problems without getting emotional and​ cannot get beyond what has happened in​ the​ past so cannot look towards the​ future. it​ is​ so easy in​ the​ early discussions, when the​ most positive work towards recovering the​ relationship needs to​ be done, to​ get sucked into battles over what has happened. it​ is​ hard to​ push emotional feelings to​ one side and​ calmly discuss such a​ betrayal.

However, after the​ initial shock and​ once emotions have calmed down the​ most critcal thing to​ do is​ to​ talk, listen and​ try and​ understand what has happened, why it​ happened and​ how to​ move forward. Only after some kind of​ understanding have occurred can the​ cheated partner even consider any kind of​ foregiveness, but if​ initial contact is​ controlled, and​ approached in​ the​ right way, not jumping in​ with all guns blazing, marriages can and​ often do survive infidelity and​ become stronger because of​ it.

That is​ why spending time learning how to​ control your emotions and​ trying to​ understand the​ situation from your partner’s point of​ view is​ vital if​ you want to​ save your marriage.
It is​ during this stage that you will find out why the​ affair happened, if​ it​ meant anything and​ what problems there were in​ your relationship. it​ is​ not until the​ all the​ cards have been laid on the​ table can couples even begin to​ try to​ put right what has gone wrong and​ move on with their lives.

As with most marital issues communication and​ understanding is​ critical to​ surviving infidelity.

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