You have just found out your partner has been cheating on you and you feel like your world is spinning out of control. Disbelief, betrayal, anger, fear and sadness are the emotions you feel on a daily basis, and all seems lost.
I have some good news for you though, this too shall pass and things will get better, regardless of how bleak everything seems right now.
Here are 19 ways to help you recover from an affair and move on in your life:
1. Recognize that you are now in shock.
Now that you know of the infidelity, it is very common to go into a kind of blurry haze. You just can’t seem to be able to wrap your head around the fact that you have been cheated on. “This can’t be happening to me.”
Depression will likely be present and there may be days when all you want to do is pull the curtains and stay in bed. Allow yourself to have these feelings, but don’t let them control your life.
2. It is healthy to feel some form of rage.
This isn’t just some kind of bad dream, it’s reality and you have a right to be pissed off. However, don’t let your temper make things worse. If you catch yourself thinking of actually doing some form of revenge, you can be dangerous, and will do nothing for your recovery. These thoughts will go away in time.
Try to find a healthy outlet for these feelings of rage. You can work out, speak with a professional, or join a group for people who have experienced the same thing. Don’t keep things bottled up inside.
3. Get rid of the anger.
Once the initial rage subsides, you may feel yourself experiencing a sort of dull ache. Your thoughts will become more logical, and begin to think about the next steps you will have to begin taking.
Let the anger dissipate, the longer you hold on to it, the harder it will be to move forward.
4. Gather up the pieces.
This is to take care of yourself and begin planning for your future. If you decide to begin dating, be careful that you aren’t doing the whole rebound thing. You may feel lonely, but use this time to get to know you. Figure out what things are most important to you and how to start rebuilding.
5. Begin learning to trust again.
This might be difficult at first, only after you become comfortable with your situation, will you let someone get close to you again. It’s because of this that you shouldn’t rush into a new relationship as well.
Many experts suggest waiting for a period of up to a year before becoming involved in another relationship. Once you find someone you are comfortable with, go slow and trust your instincts.
6. Handle your triggers.
Triggers can be people, places and things that remind you of when you found out about the affair. They are reminders that hurt and stir up the negative emotions. Unfortunately, they may never go away, but you have to learn to deal with them.
If you hear a song that reminds you of something that makes you uncomfortable, change the station. Don’t frequent your old hangouts. Explain to mutual friends why you need to stay away for a while, at least in the beginning.
7. Set achievable goals.
Regardless of what people may tell you to do and how you should do it, your goals should be personal and realistic. If you want to change your life, that’s great, but do it one step at a time so you don’t set yourself up for failure. Goals are often reached by taking baby steps.
8. Discover the healthier you.
You will recover from this affair and things will turn out all right. You will come out smarter, stronger and healthier person than you were before. Find some new hobbies and develop your talents. Make new friends and enjoy your healthy life.
When I say healthier, I mean mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As you begin to improve on these parts of yourself, you will find that you become healthier physically as well. Eat right, sleep right, and live right.
9. Be good to yourself and keep an open mind.
You will learn a lot about yourself and what is truly important to you. Often times we get stuck into a way of thinking and acting, realize that they are options and change is possible. Don’t beat yourself up for making mistakes, try to learn from them and laugh.
Sometimes, the people around us notice things that we don’t see in ourselves. Allow the people you trust to give you what perhaps could be valuable insight.
10. Embrace the tough times.
Let go of the anger, fear and frustration. Recognize that some things are simply beyond your control and try not to resist change. It’s time to begin to actually accept things for what they are, it will help to bring you inner peace.
Life will continue to throw curve balls at you from time to time, but it’s how you react to difficult situations that make all the difference.
11. Suffer consciously.
Become aware of all the things you are going through emotionally, but see them as the observer. Don’t allow yourself to make it your own. It doesn’t have to be your life story. There will hopefully be many more chapters to come.
12. Allow time to heal.
Give time, time. They say that time heals all wounds, but everyone is different in how fast this can occur. Don’t think that all will be Ok in a month, or even a year. Don’t rush your recovery. When it’s time to move on, you will feel and know it.
13. Reach out to others.
Find the people that make you happy and spend time with them. Share laughter and be happy. Life is beautiful, try to hang out with people who appreciate this and remind you that the future is something to look forward to.
Do the things that bring you joy. This may involve joining a group of like-minded individuals, or volunteering for an organization that is special to you for whatever reason.
14. Allow Nature to help heal you.
Get outside, feel the sun and smell the roses. Take a hike, or go for a bicycle ride in the park. Observe how nature lets things die, only so they can be reborn down the road. Life is a just series of cycles. Sometimes a leisurely walk in the great outdoors is all you need to get your mind right.
15. Allow the pain to enlighten you.
There is a reason for everything that happens to us, both good and bad. Try to learn from past mistakes and failures. Try to think of problems as potential opportunities. What doesn’t kill us, only makes us stronger in the end.
16. Nothing is your own.
Love everything around you, but hold on to none of it. Nothing lasts forever and that’s why you shouldn’t try to keep it. Seize the moment and live in the present.
Yesterday is gone and there are no guarantees for the future. All we have is right now. Try not to get too attached to things, either living, or inanimate.
17. The pain will pass.
Nothing lasts forever and this holds true for pain as well. You are still here, breathing and living life. There are a lot of things out there waiting for you to experience them can you hear them calling to you?
Start to rebuild your life the way that you want to live it. This might actually be the opportunity you have been waiting for.
18. Let go of control.
Don’t try to control the healing process. There is not set time limit, or amount of intensity that your pain may be. Don’t beat yourself in the head thinking that you should be over by now. The only thing that we truly have control over is how we think, or react to a situation.
19. Let go of feelings of rejection.
Rejection can actually stimulate the exact pathways in the brain as any physical pain, that’s why it hurts so bad. Rejection messes with the internal need to belong.
It can interfere with how you think, recall memories and make choices. The quicker you can let go of painful rejections, the healthier you can become mentally.
If you read this list and finding yourself identifying with one or more of these behaviors, don’t stress it. These are all perfectly natural thoughts and behaviors. They are all part of the healing process.
One thing that I haven’t mentioned yet however is that it takes guts to recover from an affair. Sometimes you have to dig deep to find and use a strength that you might not even known that you possessed.
Whether you decide to try to make the current relationship work, or you move to another area, it will take a great deal of courage. Only you can truly know what is the right choice to make. Are you ready to move on to the next chapter in your life?