And save your relationship
Ask anyone in a committed, monogamous relationship, and they’ll probably tell you the same thing. Cheating destroys trust. It’s the lowest blow you could deliver, the ultimate form of betrayal.
Infidelity is often regarded as the apotheosis of moral failure. This is irrefutably the case in the United States. According to a 2013 Gallup survey, a whopping 91 percent of Americans regard infidelity as morally unacceptable.
Discovering that your significant other has been unfaithful is one of the most devastating instances you’ll experience in life. You may feel broken, ashamed, and even sick to your stomach.
You may decide to hibernate for weeks, while stewing about your partner’s act of infidelity. Or, you may choose to ignore the news and continue on with your life as if nothing has happened. It’s important to understand that both are perfectly normal reactions. In fact, there’s no right or wrong way to react to such devastating news.
But at some point or another, you’ll have to come to terms with what has happened. You’ll have to find the will to dig yourself out of the emotional slump you’re currently in.
Though you may not realize it at the moment, your hurt is only temporary. There will be calm after the storm. And, if you’re willing to take strides towards a future together, you and your partner can endure the healing process jointly as one.
The purpose of this post is to share with you a compilation of what accomplished relationship counselors have to say about how you can heal, rebuild and strengthen your relationship after infidelity.
But First, Some Interesting Research,,,
- “A man is as likely to cheat as he is to experience a flight delay. The probability is even higher when his wife is pregnant. Men who are risk-takers or easily aroused are more likely to wander.
- The more economically dependent a man is on his partner, the more likely he is to cheat on her (for women, economic dependency had the opposite effect.) Ironically, men who make significantly more than their female partners were also more likely to cheat.
- Women’s number of lifetime sexual partners predicted an increased risk of getting some on the side. Wives who wear the pants in the relationship are more likely to cheat.
- Years of education reduced the chance a woman would stray. Women who were more educated than their husbands were more likely to engage in sexual infidelity. All ladies are more likely to have affairs with men who are more educated than their spouse.
- Women dissatisfied with their relationship are more than twice as likely to cheat; those who feel they are sexually incompatible with their partners are nearly three times as likely.
- Women are much more likely to have affairs when they’re young. For men the likelihood increases with age. Men are more likely to cheat with younger women.
- Men with masculine voices and women with feminine voices are both more likely to cheat. Having power and being confident makes both men and women more prone to straying.
- Number of previous sex partners, impulsivity, relationship happiness and outside options are all predictors of who will cheat. Infidelity first occurred after an average of seven years of marriage. 50% of individuals met their extramarital partner at work.
- Some people cheat just because they’re stressed out. About 75 percent of marriages survive if the male is cheating, and about 65 percent survive if the female is having an affair.
- Among individuals engaging in infidelity, 56% of men and 34% of women rate their marriage as “happy” or “very happy.””
Accepting What Has Happened
Your partner has wronged you in the most hurtful way a lover can possibly fathom: betrayal.
The fact that your partner has been unfaithful is never easy to accept. It’s an especially tough pill to swallow if you were under the impression that your relationship was better than ever.
There are two aspects to acceptance: mental and emotional.
Both are equally important in overcoming the effects of infidelity. But for the moment, let’s zone in on the mental aspect of acceptance.
The Mental Aspect
In order for your mind to fully accept that your partner has been unfaithful, you have to set aside your emotions, not an easy ask by any means, but absolutely necessary. It’s important to try and understand that there’s logic behind every action, even one as foolish as infidelity.
Most people believe that infidelity stems from sexual dissatisfaction. But, a lacking sex life isn’t always to blame for an act of infidelity.
Infidelity typically stems from a lack of a vital factor in a romantic relationship.
Below is a list of the 7 “lacks” that lead to infidelity.
The 7 “Lacks” Of Infidelity
- Lack of affection
- Lack of attention
- Lack of admiration
- Lack of sexual attention
- Lack of attraction
- Lack of excitement
- Lack of communication
The fact of the matter is that infidelity doesn’t “just happen.” No one wakes up one morning and thinks, “Hmm, I think today is a nice day to cheat on my partner.”
Your partner was unfaithful because your relationship lacked something that they found necessary.
As hard as it may be to hear, infidelity is a byproduct of problems that have been stirring in your relationship for months, perhaps even years. However,
this is not to say that you’re to blame, because you certainly aren’t.
If your partner was dissatisfied with an aspect of your relationship, it was their responsibility to confess their worries. Your partner should’ve expressed such important concerns. Dropping subtle hints or acting out their frustration aren’t effective ways of approaching marital or relationship problems.
Maybe you argue too often, maybe your lover is feeling belittled or ignored, or perhaps they’re tired of the same old routine every day.
If you aren’t planning on ending the relationship, the good news is that each of these culprits of infidelity can be turned around. But,
you must be willing to work together.
it takes two people to build a relationship, but only one to tear it down.
Ask yourself: Has your relationship changed recently (before the infidelity)?
Before having a discussion with your partner about what happened, take a long hard look at your relationship. As previously mentioned, set aside your emotions (again, not an easy ask by any means, but absolutely necessary) and try to think only in a factual state of mind.
Put yourself in your partner’s mindset, and try your best to understand their reasoning.
Explore any and all weaknesses. Has your sex life drastically changed over the years? Have you stopped taking care of your appearance? Or perhaps you’ve stopped paying your partner compliments that used to make their day?
In relationships, both men and women want to feel adored and as if they can trust their partner with their deepest darkest secrets.
If you feel that perhaps your partner isn’t getting all of these things from you, you just may have found the reason for their infidelity.
It may not be a good reason,
but it might contribute to one of the “lacks” that they feel.
The Emotional Aspect
Your heart is hurting. Your mind isn’t at its best. And it feels as if the world is caving in on you. All of these feelings are perfectly normal and quite expected.
In fact, if you don’t feel at least oneof these symptoms even mildly, you likely aren’t as emotionally attached to your partner as you’d like to think.
In such a painful time, you may want to be around family and friends. Though being with your loved ones may lessen the emotional impact of the infidelity, it might do little good otherwise.
Until you’ve talked things through with your partner, it’s often best to spend time reflecting on your relationship by yourself. Surrounding yourself with the overwhelming advice and strong opinions of others may drive you towards making a decision you may later regret.
Take some time to think about what has happened away from the distractions of others, and until you’ve accepted the situation and thoughtfully determined your next step.
Accept Your Emotions
Allow yourself to feel the natural emotions spilling from your soul. Trying to oppress them will only make them lie dormant for the time being. Then they’ll eventually work their way to the surface and you’ll experience them all over again.
Allow yourself to cry, scream, curse, and do anything else (within reason) that your emotions compel you to do. You should feel better once all of the angst is out of your system.
Let your emotions flow freely, and then pick the pieces back up when you’re ready.
You’ll make a more rational decision once your emotions have had their time to steal center stage.
Reflect On Your Relationship
In your time alone, reflect on your relationship.
What are your partner’s good traits? Where do they fall short? What have they recently done that made you smile?
Unfortunately, people often remain together due to a high level of comfort, not love.
When you’ve been with someone for so long, it’s easy to fall out of love and not even notice.
If you have nothing nice to say about your partner, you both may have neglected your relationship for far longer than you’ve realized.
Coping With Your Pain
Whether you’re planning on remaining with your partner or diving into the single life, coping with your pain is necessary in order to give yourself a fresh start.
There are productive and unproductive ways to deal with your pain.
To clear the air, let’s discuss the unproductive methods of coping with your pain.
Unproductive Methods Of Coping With Pain
- Drinking Alcohol
- Binging on food
- Chain smoking
- Taking drugs
- Hurting yourself
- Hurting your partner
It’s true that everyone needs an outlet, but defaulting to unhealthy, dangerous and potentially life threatening methods of coping with your pain will do more harm than good.
Do yourself a favor and,
be smart about the way you cope with your pain.
Preserve your life by writing off excuses to sabotage yourself.
Productive Methods Of Coping With Your Pain
- Consulting with a certified couple’s therapist
- Attending spiritual retreats or church groups
- Seeking online forums dedicated to overcoming infidelity
- Reading applicable books
- Journaling your feelings
- Confiding in a friend
The best way to cope with your pain is seeking comfort from those who have gone through similar situations.
Perhaps you have a friend, family member, or coworker that has overcome infidelity. If so, contact them and ask them to tell you how they dealt with the situation.
People generally like telling their untold stories of hardship and will be honored that you’ve turned to them for help.
If you don’t have a personal friend that can see you through this time, mingle online and in local organizations with those who can help. You’ll often find forums online and local groups filled with members that are ready and only willing to help you cope.
Explore your options.
You can contact a professional, a close friend, or a complete stranger online. The important thing is to get your feelings out into the open.
Alternatively, if you prefer to keep your partner’s act of infidelity private, try journaling your feelings.
Journaling can help you express your emotions and think through different options.
There’s always someone ready to listen to your troubles, even if that someone is you.
Seeing The Relationship Through
Dealing with infidelity is one of the most trying situations a couple can encounter.
After the fact, there’s only one of two roads which you can embark on.
You can either try to forgive the betrayal and rebuild your relationship, or you can let the relationship go and start anew.
If you feel you must leave because you’ll never be able to trust your partner again, you may wish to end the relationship. Such a decision should be made only after you can think rationally again, and hopefully after you and your partner have had ample chance to communicate with each other about the future. Counseling may also help you arrive at a realistic decision for you.
No one will think any less of you because you couldn’t forgive and forget. People understand that it’s not easy to let something of such a large magnitude go.
However, if you do want to see the relationship through, it is possible! You’ve invested love, time, and effort into this relationship. It’s well within your rights to want to protect your investment!
Rebuilding A Loving Relationship
Some days will be easier than others. All you can do is take each day as it comes and keep your goal in mind: a harmonious life with your partner.
In the beginning, you’ll likely feel as if you need to control your partner’s every move in fear of them cheating again. It’s important to resist this urge!
This is their chance to prove to you that they are worthy of your forgiveness.
If they truly aspire to live their life beside you, no temptation in the world will be worth sacrificing your life together.
Rebuilding your relationship after infidelity is much like courting a new romance. You’ll get to know each other again. You’ll spend romantic evenings together. Each kiss will hold meaning and emotion. And your time together will be a priority, not an afterthought.
If you’re both willing to pour the necessary effort into rebuilding your love and trust, you will make it work.
Couple’s counseling can be an effective remedy to mending your broken heart and strengthening your bond. Book an initial consultation with a reputable therapist and, if you’re comfortable with their techniques, schedule a weekly counseling session.
In couple’s counseling you’ll be able to tap into each other’s most reserved feelings and get to know each other all over again.
Strengthening Your Relationship
Strengthen your bond by spending more quality time together. If possible, schedule daily lunches together or call each other on your lunch breaks. Small gestures go a long way.
The list of potential activities for rekindling the romance is almost endless.
Schedule a weekly date night.
Have dinner together every night.
Cook a home-cooked meal together.
Buy each other small, thoughtful gifts.
Treat each other to weekly massages.
Rev up your sex life.
Visit the place where you had your first date or were proposed to.
The list of potential activities for rekindling the romance is almost endless.
By incorporating such activities into your weekly routines, you just may feel like newlyweds again.
All anyone wants is to love and to be loved.
Nothing says “I love you” like having the spirit of an infatuated teenager and the bond of an 80-year old couple.
The only way to overcome infidelity is to truly re-dedicate your life to one another.
Your partner should be your main priority, the reason you wake up every morning, and the person that makes your heart flutter.
Whether you’ve been married for twenty years or have been dating for just a few months, by taking it one step at a time, you can successfully overcome infidelity.
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