Discovering betrayal in your relationship can be one of the most poignantly hurtful moments in your lifetime.
Regardless of the length of time you have spent with the involved partner, the pain caused by the unfaithfulness is immeasurable.
With the reveal of unfaithful truth, chaos arrives.
It pulls us violently away from all we knew before…
… settling itself deep into the crevices of the relationship we thought we were safe within.
It’s as if the air has suddenly and irretrievably been removed from the room – and along with it our hold on all we knew.
As initial adrenaline powered dust begins to settle, you are left brimming with navigational confusion.
Questions churn, as the affected partner tries to absorb the change of direction and unwanted situation they suddenly find themselves in.
- What next?
- How didn’t I see this coming?
- Why did it happen?
- What will I tell my family, and when?
As reactivity ebbs away, deep and tender heartbreak quietly takes its place.
It can seem impossible to know where to pick up from.
So is a relationship that is damaged by infidelity irretrievable?
Or are there ways we can move forward, to eventually find happiness again together?
Betrayal is able to rear its ugly head in many forms.
Dishonesty, disloyalty and withholding are behaviors that cause profound harm to our trust of another person.
When someone sacrifices respect and care for us in favor of their own desires and needs, we are left feeling uncared for.
And more often than not, this places us into harm’s way.
Every cheating situation differs from the next. For some, the moment betrayal occurs is the moment the relationship comes to an end.
But this is not the case for everyone. You have every right to take your time to work out what is best for you. Be gentle with yourself as you take your next steps forward.
When you do seek healing, both for yourself and your relationship, there are ways to help along that process.
Here are the 5 ways you need to know about:
1) Create guidelines
Most relationships develop from a point of assumption.
There is generally an unspoken understanding of no cheating, which is determined individually. For some, cheating might be termed as sexual activity. For another, it could present in the form of sending flirty messages to a colleague.
After infidelity has happened – and when a couple want to save the relationship – it is crucial to talk over boundaries.
Clear discussion can provide vital opportunity to agree upon healthy, uncrossable lines moving forwards.
2) Open yourselves to vulnerability
To love is to be vulnerable.
Indeed, to be your truest self in view of another is difficult. In being vulnerable, we are caused to let go of control and self preservation.
This is no easy feat.
But is it vital to the overcoming – if there is to be – of an affair within a relationship. Otherwise, you risk the harm of further assumption. Which can lead to further emotional harm in your future together.
Finding a neutral space to talk about what you’re feeling and why can be a great way to open the avenues for trust to be rebuilt.
3) Seek guidance from a professional
None of us come issued with handbooks for life. We learn as we go. And sometimes this means getting help from a professional. This could be in the form of sessional therapy or via the rehabilitative services of a licensed marriage counselor.
Help of this kind can be instrumental in overcoming betrayal based harm. It is an ideal place to start not only a shared healing process, but an individual one also.
4) Take time for self care
Emotional harm is an underestimated injury.
In western culture we tend not to treat heartbreak with the gravity that is rightly due. Anyone who has experienced betrayal will know the depth of grief that applies.
Our partner may not have died, but it can feel as if the relationship has along with our former happiness.
Self value and future plans also fall ill to the experience.
It is wholly necessary to take time for self care.
This could include taking time off work or asking for support with childcare while you process your situation. It might also include simpler activities such as yoga practice or taking time for a bubble bath.
It’s important to do as much as you can to take care of your physical health during this time in order to be able to cope as well as you can with each developing stage of your current circumstances.
Take time for the worthy person you are.
5) Seek support from online resources
When cheating happens within a relationship, it can feel as if you’re the only one in the world facing it. You don’t have to cope with the chaos alone.
One of the great positives of a web based world is our unlimited access to supportive information. There are a wealth of resources online that can provide you with vital tools to heal your relationship.
You aren’t alone, and there are many people who have been where you are.
You just need to reach your hand out far enough to allow help to find you.
Cheating hurts. But healing doesn’t have to. Click here to start the betrayal recovery process today.
Humans are complex beings. We are emotional creatures, motivated by our desires and previous experiences. Although cheating occurs in many relationships, each set of circumstances and related feelings are individual.
At an emotionally turbulent time it can be a huge positive to be able to put some of the healing strategies listed above into practice.
You don’t have to cover every one…
… Nor do you need to build Rome in a day.
You have the right to process your unique situation in the way you feel is best. Your emotions will very likely vary hugely from day to day and this is certainly to be expected.
Remember to be gentle with yourself.
You deserve every opportunity to heal properly and at the pace that is right for you.
Regardless of whether you choose to stay with your cheating spouse or whether you choose to move on, you will still need to go through a phase of healing and recovery.
Allowing yourself to do this with the support of some of the suggested healing practices above will help you do that.
We cannot predict the future to know what will or won’t happen in our lives. But we can empower ourselves to make choices and to engage in healing processes that will help us, and perhaps our lost loves, to recover.
This chapter of your life may even help you to re-develop your relationship, or to establish a new one altogether.
For now, focus on the healing.
Time will handle the rest.
We all deserve a chance to be happy, and to be loved…
… To be loved genuinely, without harm being caused to us.
We are worthy of the kind of love that will help us to be the best versions of ourselves. Love that will facilitate a life where we are able to be our true selves.
You are one of those deserving individuals.
Don’t forget this, amongst the chaos you may currently be experiencing.
And remember, there is a huge amount of help available to you in a wide variety of forms. And it is there for you to use as your very own building bricks. You are never alone despite how you may be feeling as you read this.
Step forward into the light of the help available to you…
… Start your journey away from the darkness.
…You are capable of amazing things.
Self care, vulnerability practice, support from resources, and seeking the guidance of relationship professionals are just a few of the ways you can go about that process.
Reader, you are worthy of love.
This, above all else, is the healing message you must hold most tightly to.
You deserve to love again, and be loved in return.
After all – wasn’t love our cause in the first place?
Do you feel you’ll ever be able to heal from the betrayal? Share your thoughts in the comments below.