Infidelity is not something someone thinks of when they get into a relationship. No one ever thinks it could happen to them until it does. That is why there are so many mixed emotions that follow when you find out your partner had been unfaithful.
It is like being on a roller coaster.
One minute you are okay, the next you feel worse than you ever have before. Especially when you recall the lies they told you.
The good news is though you don’t have to let your emotions rule you. You can stop feeling hurt, angry and confused over your partner’s betrayal and start to heal. The process doesn’t happen overnight though. In fact, it may take weeks or even months to finally heal. While the incident may leave a scar and a harsh lesson, at least the ride will be over and you can move on.
So just how do you stop feeling so hurt after something like this has blindsided you? How do you stop feeling so confused about why this happened? More importantly, how do you begin the process of healing?
One Moment at a Time
There is a saying, “Time heals all wounds.” Anyone who has ever caught their spouse cheating knows that each moment that passes feels like an eternity. You feel like you could drown in the sorrow and pain because it hurts so much.
The thoughts of whether or not they are thinking of the other person constantly play in your mind. You wonder if they ever loved you at all. Or what exactly caused them to do it in the first place. Well, you have to understand that you may never get answers to your burning questions.
Some things will remain unsaid. You should think of it as a blessing that you don’t know the full details of what happened. They say ignorance is bliss and it is.
That is why taking life one moment at a time is so important in the beginning stages of healing. You have to come to terms that you don’t have control over your wayward spouse. They are going to think whatever they want. It is after all their mind. But by allowing yourself to come to grips with the fact that there are just some things outside your reach, you will be able to control your mind.
When those nagging questions come up, you can stop yourself from thinking them. Just simply take a step back and remind yourself that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. Just like you can lead your mind to depressing thoughts, but you don’t have to linger there or take them in. You can adjust your thinking and let it go.
The only way you are going to begin the process of healing is to admit reality. And the only reality you know is what is being shown. If your spouse is telling you they are sorry. Or even that they will never do it again. You have to take it at face value. You can’t assume things.
During this time your mind is fragile and can play tricks on you. The first thing you have to do is realize what is going on and tell yourself you aren’t going to think that way anymore.
Faith and trust are fragile. You can either choose to linger on the lies they told you or you can linger in the hope that what they are saying now is true.
You can’t continue to second guess them or yourself. You have to make a decision and stick with it. Are you going to let the past disarm you? Or empower you? Are you going to drink in the negativity or bask in the positive? The choice is yours.
Forgive, Then Forget
Sure, this is easier said than done. Forgiving your former cheating partner of their infidelity is difficult. It is easy to say that you forgive them. But it is not so easy to let it go and forget it.
The thing is though you shouldn’t forget it. What you need to do is own it. Allow yourself time to come to grips with what has happened.
You need to tell yourself that what is done is done and there is no turning back the clock. You have to own your hurt and your pain and all the other emotions that come up. If you don’t allow yourself to recognize what has happened, you are bound to drive yourself crazy.
In order to own the emotions, you have to allow yourself to admit that it happened. Some people want to sweep it under the rug and pretend like it never took place. That is a very bad idea. There is a reason that people say, “if you don’t learn from the past you are bound to repeat it.”
Learning the Hard Way
You have to learn the lessons that this situation has brought up. Taking responsibility for your part and forgiving yourself is the first step. You have to be able to see that maybe even if you aren’t at fault for what happened, you still feel like it is your doing. Thoughts like, “if I was only more…” come into mind.
The fact of the matter is, you aren’t whatever you happen to have filled in the blank with. So you aren’t as pretty. So you aren’t as understanding or whatever you believe you are lacking.
But if you want to heal you have to be accountable. By admitting that you are angry with yourself for letting it happen allows you to start healing. You have to forgive yourself first before you can even think about forgiving your partner.
And you have to understand that there are somethings you just can’t change no matter how hard you try.
Once you have forgiven yourself you can forget. This process is like trying to remember someone’s face. If you concentrate hard enough on trying to remember a certain aspect of someone, your mind will eventually forget it. Strange how it works that way but it does.
So try to remember the details of how you feel. Remember the way your partner looked when you confronted them. Remember the smallest detail of what took place and eventually your mind will begin to falter. And before you know it, the incident won’t hurt so much. But you have to be brave enough to go through this in order to let it go.
Yes, infidelity is heartbreaking. But if your relationship is worth saving you have to be able to recognize what happened and learn from it. Maybe one of the things you believe about yourself happens to be true.
Maybe the reason your partner did what they did was that you were lacking something. Perhaps you could be more understanding, more available, more kind towards them. If you don’t own your actions and forgive yourself, you will never learn.
Growing and changing are inevitable. We all have to grow into better versions of ourselves.
Infidelity can either make or break a marriage.
By allowing yourself to heal and to grow from it, you and your former wayward partner can walk away stronger and more in tune with one another. But if you run and hide, or try to pretend that it didn’t happen then you haven’t learned the lesson. If you believe your relationship is worth salvaging, then you have to start with you.
You have to forgive yourself and allow time to heal. If you don’t then you will find yourself lingering on the past and driving a wedge between you and your loved one. That wedge will keep the wound open.
Then every time you argue with your partner the situation will come up and that will only drive them away. No one likes to rehash the past. But if you don’t let it go and forgive, you will keep bringing it up until one of you finally walks away.