It has happened. Your partner has cheated. Though it may feel so in the beginning, being cheated on does not necessarily mean the end of your relationship. Sure, it will hurt very badly, but there is still a ray of hope for the relationship if you both endeavor to save it. Cheating is not necessarily for old unhappy marriages so do not take it to mean that your relationship is boring and cannot recover.
Being cheated on will feel like someone punched the air out of your stomach. People react differently to it but the hurt is all the same usually intense. How a partner reacts to this ultimate betrayal depends on how they found out. It may be that the cheating partner voluntarily confessed or it may be that the betrayed partner found out on their own. The later is the most painful and may elicit very strong reactions, some bordering on murder and/or suicide.
Whatever you do as the aggrieved partner, do not go on a self beating game. A cheating spouse is not necessarily your fault but theirs. They’re the ones who went out in search of love and/or sex elsewhere. As a first step towards healing your relationship after an external affair, know and accept that you are not to blame. It has nothing to do with your persona, weight, or level of intelligence. It has more to do with the cheating spouse not appreciating the value of what you have and protecting it. People even blame themselves for reacting with anger and rage and yet those are most natural reactions. Accept these as steps towards your ultimate healing.
After the initial shock and anger, it’s time to start the long road to recovery. First of all, sit down with your spouse and know all the details of the affair. Information is good for overall healing. This will be very difficult but it’s an important step towards healing without which the betrayed partner will be left to deal with rumors, half truths and imagination which will often be far worse than the actual truth. The cheating spouse should tell their partner all there is to know and assure them that that is the whole truth. He/she should also try as much as possible to answer any forth coming questions truthfully and with love. Since you both have decided to have a sit down and iron out things, the betrayed partner should listen and believe what she/he is being told without all the time rubbing guilt in the cheater’s face.
Do not make any permanent decisions about ending the marriage in the heat of the initial angst
Take the time to reflect on the marriage as a whole, not just the cheating bit, and recognize other issues other than infidelity that need to be dealt with. This may present an opportunity for the two of you to open up to each other and have a deep heart to heart talk about your relationship. You may be surprised that with understanding and forgiving, you could come out stronger on the other side.
Allow yourself to feel be sad.
With a betrayal the kind that comes with cheating, strong emotions are expected and the worst you can do is try to stifle them. Just don’t wallow in sadness for longer than is necessary.
Take care of yourself and your health.
After something has taken such a heavy toll on your emotions like infidelity does, you may find that you don’t care about much and you may end up letting yourself go. Sometimes feelings are so strong that they even manifest physically. Binge eating, loss of appetite, misuse of alcohol and other stimulants and lack of sleep are not too uncommon when it comes to dealing with infidelity. You have got to fight to beat these. It’s bad enough that your heart is aching and it may not be easy to get yourself together and start over but it has to be done, both for your health and for the health of your relationship.
Try as much as possible to stay balanced and go on with a semblance of your normal life and routines.
It may seem to make sense to stay in bed and mop the whole day but that is not the right way to go about it. Try as much as possible to stay on your normal schedule, get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and drink lots of water among the other healthy things you do in your day to day life. It may seem impossible at that time but you should also try to have fun and have a good laugh. Spend time with friends who make you happy or watch something funny on television. It will help uplift your spirits and lessen the heartache.
It may help to write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal
Putting things down on paper helps you face your feeling and therefore sets you off on a journey to healing your soul. It helps you grasp the magnitude of your feelings too so that when you’re sorting out things with your spouse, then you know exactly the extent of the problem. It also feels like sharing and a problem shared is a problem halved.
This is the one area of a relationship where help will come in very handy. Do not seek help from all and sundry and do not go telling everyone who cares to listen that your spouse is a cheater. Rather, carefully pick the quarters from which you’re comfortable seeking discreet help for both of you. It may be a church minister or a professional counselor. It may even be an older couple that you trust to keep your issues in confidence. A professional will particularly be able to look at the infidelity in connection with other happenings in your life like midlife crisis or any other under laying problems. He/she will be able to look at it not just as an isolated incident but as a bigger picture. They will therefore be in a position to advise you even on other aspects of your relationship.
Take your time healing and do not rush anything
You do not particularly have to rush back into your normal sexual relationship until you’re sure that your sex life is safe. If necessary, have the relevant tests and complete trust before getting back to unprotected intimacy. This may make the cheating spouse feel blamed and alienated but in the end that is easier to deal with than having a nasty infection.