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He cheated on me │ Recovering from Infidelity

Friday, November 25, 2016

Recovering from any kind of infidelity is rough whether it be emotional or physical. If you put your heart into someone and literally watch the work, you’ve put into it crash and burn is pain like no other. Some people would even describe the feeling to be similar to losing someone to death. Which makes sense, you’ve lost. Point blank lost is lost.

Pic source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

I want to be able to offer you help in my area of expertise. As a marriage and family therapist, I see many families who have recovered from infidelity as it doesn’t just affect the couple unit but the family as well. Conversely, I’ve also seen marriages fail. There is nothing worse than wasting your valuable time on something that isn’t working. I want to help you through your frustrations or even help other out there. This in no way makes me your personal therapist…neither am I offering ADVICE per se…but I am here as a friend and I am willing to offer my help!

Whether you choose to see a specialist or decide to work things out on your own, it is important to remember some key factors in recovering.


  1.  Understand the context of the infidelity- Only ask the things you need to know! Spare yourself the details of how she did this and how much money he spent on that new car for her (Unless it tapped into your finances). Ask the questions that will slow down your thoughts. Ie: How long did the relationship last? Did you use protection? Were there other people? Has he been to the house? These questions will yield information that gives insight into the infidelity and allow you to understand where to go next. Keep the focus on the questions on your relationship!
  2.  Be Appreciative- Yes you have had hard times and this has exacerbated everything which paints your partner in a negative light, but you need to be able to rebuild or restructure the foundation you once had and you can’t do that if you can’t practice gratitude. Don’t let the betrayal swallow you and have you for dinner. 
  3.  Look the pain in the face- When we are hurt we tend to want to run and hide or blame others but looking your hurt in the eye is a part of the healing process. Acknowledge that you are hurt don’t be too macho! Immerse yourself and look at it in the eye. If you feel you need assistance seek a therapist certified in IFS therapy to really submerge yourself in your emotions 
  4.  Play detective- No this does not mean you should be going through her purse or looking in his phone. It means to seek out what the unmet need was! You need to be emotionally prepared to understand that unmet need and passionately address it. You will know when you are ready to really fulfil that unmet need. Trust me most cheating situations are not just about the SEX!
  5.  Reflect and create your lives- This is especially important if the two of you have children. Create goals for the future. People with goals tend to progress better because they have something to work towards. If you are living day by day in the betrayal, that will only feed the negative energy. Use the past, such as when you two first met in order to grasp the happy moments for this new structure. 
  6.  Listen- As simple as it sounds just listen. Yes, you may hear things you don’t want to hear but allow each other the room to be completely honest with one another so that you can start to rebuild the relationship on a foundation of trust. Try using a timer to allow the person to speak uninterrupted for 1 minute and once it’s up, it’s your turn to speak, while acknowledging what the person has said. This is tough but it will give the conversations some structure outside of the pain and yelling. 
  7.  Allow the perpetrator to grieve- Most times we feel that we are the only hurt person in the relationship but your wife/husband, boyfriend or girlfriend has been hurt as well! Most times they may feel ashamed and even more guilty. If they don’t have the space to grieve as well they may even go out and do something even more stupid because they feel all hope is lost. (now if that happens it’s time to go},  but grieve with them! Share emotions don’t shut them down.
  8.  Develop a positive space- Sometimes my clients have undergone so much pain and grief that they can’t bare the sight of the person who hurt them. It could be a year and then those old feelings of betrayal re-emerge. If that happens, try to create a positive space in your home. This space can be a corner, a separate room, near a window sill etc. In this positive place you will only think great thoughts about your spouse. Sometimes my clients will create a box of nick knacks that make them feel good about their partner and bring it to the space, ie. A watch that she bought you for Christmas or a bear that was won at a carnival. By having this space, you will be able to hold on to the aforementioned gratitude and if he/she begins to aggravate you, you have a place to really hold onto the positives that were created. 
  9.  Recommit yourselves to each other- Let each other know that this is only a phase you are going through, yes it may be a five-year phase to really heal but if the love is there and is real time will heal the hurt. The person who betrayed their loved one should always acknowledge their hurt, and allow that person to hurt. Recovery isn’t easy, but showing that person that you are there for them and still care about their feeling can be validating. Acknowledge that the pain is present and still maintain your apologetic nature, after-all you did hurt her. Some people may even want to renew their vows, which is symbolic in itself! 
  10.  Get Help- If you feel like you can’t handle it on your own, please seek help! DO NOT be ashamed, because you invested so much time and energy and it would be awful to let it go to waste! Visit www,AAMFT.org for marriage therapist near you! This in no way is an exhaustive list of tips on how to recover from infidelity, but it can truly be a guide to helping yourself or others!

In all, I hope these tips will be helpful to either you or a friend. You are never alone on the path to recovery! 



Leave a comment below letting me know how you will use this information!


(Certain concepts derive from http://www.yourtango.com/experts/yourtango-experts/22-ways-couples-can-overcome-infidelity-expert)


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