It hurts to think that your husband would violate your marriage vows for another woman, but violate it he did. This is not an easy thing to accept and it can be an especially bitter pill to swallow if you were under the impression that your marriage was good. The steps you take after his adultery can mean the difference between healing and rebuilding or growing bitter and resentful as the years go by.
Doing these five things will help you focus on healing and ideally reconciliation with your husband.
Step #1: Focus on taking care of you
When your spouse cheats on you it can leave you feeling lonely, insecure and filled with self-doubt. Instead of allowing these negative feelings to gain a foothold in your head, do nice things for yourself that will boost your self-esteem. Visit a spa and pamper yourself, get a facial, a massage or the full treatment. Figure out what activities will make you feel better about yourself, sign up for a class or take up a new hobby.
Make sure you are eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep and exercise to give you the energy to face each day.
Step #2: Accept your emotions, don’t run away from them
Upon learning of your husband’s affair, you’ll start to experience several negative and heart wrenching emotions. When these bad feelings come up, don’t try to stuff them down or run away from them, rather allow them to flow freely. Allow yourself to scream, cry, sulk (or anything else within reason) that your emotions compel you to do.
In “How to Survive an Affair” Dr. Gunzburg walks you through the five steps necessary to dealing with your emotions after your husband’s adultery. They are:
- Get in Touch with Your Pain
- Process Your Painful Emotions Effectively
- Clear Your Mind and Own Your Thoughts
- Overcome Obsessive Images about the Affair
- Rebuild Your Self-Confidence, Self-Trust, and Self-Respect
Step #3: Consider one-on-one coaching
An infidelity coach can be instrumental in helping you understanding why the affair happened. One-on-one coaching can help you to see the big picture, which helps you to not feel so trapped and hopeless. Having a coach means that you’ll have access to immediate help and the ability to focus on your most pressing issues and concerns.
One-on-one coaching is great in situations where you just found out about the affair and are confused as to what to do after infidelity, or it has been awhile since the discovery but you are still stuck and unable to make any progress or move forward. And you can talk to your coach over the phone or via email, so you don’t even have to leave your house to get started. Dr. Huizenga offers many different coaching packages to choose from, so if this is something you are interested in pursuing, I highly recommend his services (he has over 30 years experience as a Marriage and Family Therapist and Psychotherapist).
Step #4: Read books on infidelity
I’m sure you’ve heard that knowledge is power, so by reading books you’ll gain much needed perspective about your own particular situation and about affairs in general. You’ll learn proven strategies that will help you to cope with all of the pain and devastation that an affair brings.
Step #5: Reach out to others
If there is anyone within your circle of friends or family who has experienced infidelity, you can reach out to them for support. If there is no one who can see you through this trying time, consider joining a local betrayed spouse recovery support group or an online infidelity forum. Either way you’ll be able to share your feelings and get support to heal from the ordeal whether you are staying in the marriage or not.
Your husband’s betrayal was a bump in the road, but if both of you are committed and willing to pour your hearts into rebuilding the love and trust, you will make it work.