There’s nothing more hurtful and humiliating than finding out that your partner has had an affair. If these feelings aren’t thought out and dealt with appropriately, the healing process will never occur.
Here are some ways to cope when your partner cheats on you:
1) Avoid denial. Resist the temptation to deny that adultery has happened in your relationship. Accepting that it happened is the first step to coping with adultery.
2) Avoid imagining the worst. You may be tempted to obsess on what happened and why it happened, to wonder whether it was your fault, to imagine exactly what your spouse and the other person did together, to wonder how the other person compares to you. Your imagination is your worst enemy. Tell your partner your fears if your imagination is upsetting you.
3) Get full disclosure. Discuss with your partner openly your need to know what happened so that you know the worst and don’t let your imagination run away with you. Talking openly and honestly with your partner gets all the issues out on the table and is an important step toward regaining trust.
4) Decide if this is the end of the relationship. Adultery does not always have to mean the failure of a relationship, but rather can be looked at as a wound to the relationship, or a key turning point. It depends on the individual situation.
5) Reaffirm your commitment to each other, if at all possible. When your relationship has been hurt so badly, in order to heal, it is necessary to remember your commitment to each other.
6) Avoid reminding your partner of the adultery and making repeated accusations. Giving guilt trips only inhibits healing for both of you, for it reopens the wounds. It also can make you bitter and unhappy.
7) Recognize that both of you are in pain. Chances are, your spouse is coping with guilt, shame, regret, confusion, and a sense of failure. You are coping with this crisis together and should support each other, not be each other’s enemy.
8) Get counseling for any lingering issues of trust, communication, or insecurity.
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