Move Forward After Infidelity
Edited by estrella sacragon, Graeme, Lynn, Maria Sharon Ubando and 11 others
Living with an unfaithful spouse? There's still life after infidelity!
So you found out that your spouse had an affair. And like any other betrayed partner, you honestly don't know what to do about it. Do you stay in the relationship, or just walk away and hopefully start a life anew? A lot of men and women end up in limbo after discovering that their spouse is being unfaithful to them. During this stage, the betrayed spouse will have a feeling of resentment which then leads to a period of shock. Dissolving your marriage, especially when you have kids involved, is downright difficult. In many cases, it is the betrayed spouse who waits on the unfaithful partner to decide who they want either the spouse or their affair partner.
For so many reasons, the betrayed spouses often get stuck in the marriage simply because they cannot leave their cheating partner. Sadly, the cheater often strings along the betrayed spouse, telling them that they still love them but are just at a crossroad. There is nothing more painful than living with a cheating partner, in a life full of unhealthy cycles of manipulation and lies. So how do you get out of the marriage and move forward? Below are some tips.
- 1 How Infidelity Ruins the Vow
- 2 Why do People Cheat
- 3 The Involved Emotions in Cheating
- 4 Coping after Infidelity
- 5 How to Move Forward After Infidelity
- 6 How to Cope with the Turmoil of Infidelity
- 7 What to Do When Your Partner Cheats on You
8 Questions and Answers
- 8.1 When should you decide to move on after an affair?
- 8.2 What to do if you feel you are stuck in a limbo after infidelity?
- 8.3 Help getting through the sadness?
- 8.4 The fear that he'll do it again?
- 8.5 My wife of 16 years cheated on me?
- 8.6 What can I do to get over my husband's cheating, he has cheated on me with several women and he has an affair which has been running for 4 years. I feel very betrayed?
- 8.7 Hard to move on, if he can't be honest about the past?
- 8.8 Hi, just wondering what you do if you no longer feel the same about your husband after he has cheated and he still wants to make it work?
- 9 What to do if you can't get over the betrayal and it is beginning to dissolve your marriage?
- 10 Comments
How Infidelity Ruins the Vow
Though infidelity is strongly frowned upon by society, there is no point
in denying the reality that the situation is not only existing but is also very prevalent. Even the most conservative cultures and societies have their fair share of extra-marital affairs that lead to the unprecedented growth of divorce rates. Divorce or annulment may have become a common way out of infidelity issues, but the effects of infidelity do not stop when the relationship ends.
Some spouses or partners may also choose to prioritize the marriage and may decide to forgive the other half for having an extra-marital affair. However, even those who decide to give their marriages a second chance are not exempted from the aftermath of an impulsive mistake. They have to admit that the extra-marital relationship will surely take its toll on their marriage.
- 1Damaged trust. Trust is considered the foundation of any marriage. A lot of spouses still choose to forgive and attempt to rebuild the trust after the discovery of the infidelity. However, rebuilding trust is not as easy as it sounds. After all, marriage comes with a vow, promise and commitment to remain true, loyal and faithful to each other. Infidelity ruins marriages by breaking that vow, promise, and commitment. Once your partner has broken the vow that has been the foundation of your marriage, you may find it difficult to trust your spouse in other aspects as well. It is expected for any spouse who has been a victim of infidelity to feel betrayed. After all, you would not expect that the person you have dedicated your heart and soul to will cause you to go through such emotional turmoil. Infidelity does not just stain your trust for your partner, but it may also weaken your trust in yourself.Advertisement
- 2Impaired sense of self-worth. The feeling of being cheated on and betrayed will surely hit you at your core - your sense of self-worth. This situation will make you question your worth as a person and as a partner. It has been a common defense mechanism among victims of infidelity to blame themselves for their spouse's reliance on another person for emotional and physical needs. You may even think that if you have been better, in one way or another, things may not have happened in the way they did. You tend to look at your weaknesses and faults as the factors that pushed your partner to be dissatisfied.Advertisement
- 3Emotional instability. Infidelity will push you to take a ride on a roller coaster of emotions. Aside from distrust and loss of self-worth, you will also experience guilt, shame, anger, vengeful, undesirability, blameworthiness, among many others. This myriad of emotions is normal for people who go through an undesirable phase in life, including infidelity and damaged marriages. Thus, victims of this situation are advised to seek help. Their depression may lead some to disassociate themselves from other people and some may even inflict pain on themselves.
- 4Change in perspective. This emotional turmoil can be so severe that it will turn things around in the life of the victim. You surely have seen infidelity victims come out of the situation a changed person. This unfortunate episode in their life may lead the victim to reassess his or her life and change the way he or she looks at the world.
Why do People Cheat
Marriage and relationship - There are a lot of people who say that these are
difficult to sustain, especially if one has committed infidelity. Good for those who don't know how it feels to be punched by infidelity, and according to those who experienced it, the pain is much worse than being punched in real life. According to statistics, approximately, 60 percent of guys and 40 percent of ladies will cheat on their partners at some point.
As a matter of fact, there are even some studies that say those couples who often fight tend to have a better relationship in the future, compared to those who don't frequently argue. Why do some individuals cheat? According to psychologists, there are a lot of reasons why individuals cheat. According to some professionals, it really depends on the individual and couple, whether they commit infidelity or stay faithful. Among the most common reasons people cheat, according to those who committed infidelity, are:
- 1There was a point when it seemed as if they were detached from their spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend, both physically and emotionally.Advertisement
- 2Little or no emotional and/or physical intimacy
- 3Some are mad at their partners, and they can't think of ways to deal with the anger or how to release it.
- 4Inactive sex life.
- 5Both parties are bored.
- 6A yearning to receive positive attention, which they don't get from their partners.
The Involved Emotions in Cheating
There are actually different kinds of emotions that a victim of infidelity
- 1Shame. The common wrong connotation of people about the feeling after discovering infidelity is that the victims feel anger. However, according to behavioral experts, there are a lot of victims of infidelity who felt shame after knowing about the secret affair. This feeling is triggered by humiliation because his or her partner did this.
Coping after Infidelity
- 2There are some individuals, especially those who are very busy, who don't get the chance to determine what point they are at emotionally. Thus, those who experienced infidelity should schedule some "self-time" or "private time" to clear their heads. They could meditate, say a simple prayer, do exercise routines, or just take a walk.
- 3It's a no-no to dwell. If the victim continues to be "stuck" on a stage, then he or she should consider talking to a friend or a close relative or writing in a journal. However, if there are no positive results, or negativity seems as if it's unshakable, then he or she should consider getting help from a professional.
- 4A person should acknowledge what he or she really is and what he or she is not. He or she must exert effort to be proactive once more and be the master controller of his or her own happiness.
How to Move Forward After Infidelity
- 1Decide What you Need. If you are not making any moves, it is probably because you are afraid of something. Maybe you worry too much about money or custody arrangements. Maybe you have no other place to go, or you are fearful of what your future will look like. Do a rundown of the things that are bothering you and start tackling them, one issue at a time. Initially, you may feel wildly out of control after being put in that position. However, it is important that you are able to get yourself back together and focus on what is more important to you.
- 2Be Honest With your Marriage. If your cheating partner is regretful about what happened and you both believe you can still save your marriage, enter into counseling and do the necessary steps to repair your broken marriage. But if you know that nothing can ever save the marriage and you will never remain happily married with someone who has betrayed you in this painful way, then stop fooling yourself into thinking that things will be better. Stop wasting your time trying to save something that will never work.
- 3Do Not Blame Yourself. When you are caught in the middle of pain and misery, you may find it hard to not blame yourself for your misfortunes. Stop the blame game and know that the very person who's been incessantly sleeping around on you is the one who is at fault. Never allow yourself to take all the blame; otherwise, you will have a hard time moving on. In the first place, you didn't do anything wrong, right? So accept the reality that it was your spouse who's at fault, and as such, it should be them to fix whatever is broken within themselves.
- 4Infidelity is a very big issue. When things are going bad with you now with your cheating spouse, they will never get better until you make a move to change things. Now is the time that you must start taking control and living your best life.
How to Cope with the Turmoil of Infidelity
Being a victim of infidelity and extra-marital affairs is not a nice state to be in. In fact, this would probably top the list of marital problems couples would like to avoid. After all, any partner would expect and demand faithfulness, loyalty, and honesty from their spouse. Marriage comes with a commitment and a vow to love each other through thick and thin. Infidelity destroys trust, which is considered to be the foundation of love and of marriage.
Your partner's decision to rely on somebody else to gratify his or her physical and emotional needs may entirely be out of your control, but infidelity will place you in the hot seat. True enough, infidelity can make or break you. It may be easier said than done, but you have no other choice than to acknowledge the reality and move on. This may not erase the pain but the following tips could help make it more bearable.
- 1Take time to think things over. Ending the marriage may be the most immediate way out, but it may not be the most applicable way of resolving the issue at all times. Your emotions may drive you to throw away your years of marriage right away. However, you should bear in mind that any decision made at the peak of one's emotions may just lead you to regrets. You may end up with a decision that will not be best for your interests. Take time to reflect on your marriage. Move out from your house for a week or so, if necessary. Reassess your marriage and check if there are other issues that should also be resolved or confronted. Infidelity may just be a cover or a product of other problems your marriage is going through. Give yourself time to prepare for whatever the next step will be.
- 2Talk to other people. Your spouse's cheating on you does not mean that you are already alone. Seek support from people you trust and from people who have been there with you throughout your marriage. Your supportive and nonjudgmental family and friends will surely be more than willing to shed light onto this situation and help you think through things more objectively. Never attempt to deal with your sadness and devastation on your own. You can also seek support from advocacy organizations, counselors, therapists, and friends. Having someone to listen to you as you pour out all your sentiments could do wonders in helping you cope with the emotional turmoil.
- 3Take care of yourself. It is natural for victims of infidelity to have an impaired sense of self-worth. It is no longer a surprise that these people would blame themselves for the unfortunate situation that has taken its toll on their marriage. You should take care of yourself during this time more than ever. This will also help you come to terms with your feelings of guilt, blameworthiness and loss of self-respect. You should also be smart. Should you later decide to end the marriage or file for divorce, you must try to be prepared financially. You should also prepare yourself for the responsibilities and challenges of raising your children on your own. You can grieve and cry over the end of your relationship. However, never wallow in misery and pity. You can also start seeking professional advice from marriage counselors and marriage lawyers on the most appropriate actions to take.
What to Do When Your Partner Cheats on You
Discovering the unfaithfulness and infidelity of your spouse can certainly drive you nuts. Infidelity presents a situation everybody detests to be involved in but everybody could be a victim of. There are certainly no exemptions. There is no assurance, either, that you will be shielded from the possibility that your spouse could be having extra-marital affairs. You can only bank on your trust in your partner and your marriage.
However, when the situation presents itself, you may find yourself in the middle of emotional turmoil. Your emotions may turn specific actions into automatic reflexes, but oftentimes, you will still find yourself clueless and wondering how to confront your cheating spouse. Here is a rundown of tips on what to do.
- 1Take deep breaths. Finding out about your partner's infidelity can be a major shock, especially if you have not been suspecting it for quite some time. This phase of initial shock could lead you to panic and an anxiety-induced meltdown. Taking deep breaths will help you shield yourself from panic and maintain your composure. Without a calm and composed mind, you might end up doing things or making decisions you will later regret. In addition, it is only with a calm and composed mind that you can think through things with an objective point-of-view and arrive at mature decisions.
- 2Gather facts. Yes, you should be a detective first and investigate the situation. You may be gifted with intuition but it is not a valid reference in itself. Your intuition should only serve as your warning call or your guide that there is something about your spouse you need to look into. However, never make your intuition into the basis for a conclusion. Acting impulsively may turn things around. Get to the bottom of things first before you do something such as packing-up or leaving the house. With your evidence, you do not even need to explain yourself. The information you gather will explain for itself.
- 3Confront your partner. Even if the evidence is already pointing against your partner, he or she still deserves the opportunity to explain his or her side. Lay down all your cards and be transparent with your feeling that your partner is cheating on you. Of course, allow your partner to give his or her side of the story. The confrontation should not just be one-way. If handled well, the confrontation may even surprise you. It may change things for the better.
- 4Seek advice. The roller coaster of emotions will significantly affect the way you look at things and the way you make decisions. Thus, seeking advice, either from family and friends or from professional groups, could help you get a more objective evaluation of the situation and put things into perspective. Relationship counseling is highly advisable, not only to help you deal with your emotions but also to guide you on what to do next.
- 5Decide if you can still trust your spouse. Different individuals with different values and principles may look at it differently. Some partners may decide to end the marriage because of the loss of trust. Others may be reluctant to throw away their years of marriage and decide to give their marriage a second shot.
- 6Never involve the third party. Whether you decide to stay or to leave your marriage, never involve the third party in it. This should be between you and your spouse only.
Questions and Answers
When should you decide to move on after an affair?
The very moment you have "finally" realized that you should not be in such a relationship is the time you need to move on. This is especially so in the case where the other party is married and has decided to just go back to his or family and start all over again. In such a scenario, it is hard to compete, since the majority of people, (especially husbands) will always go back to their home and family. When he or she has decided, this should be a wake up call for you. The other party has decided that it is with his or her family where he or she really belongs, and not with you.
In case you were unaware that your partner is in another relationship, move on right after the discovery. If he or she has cheated on their partner, why wouldn't he or she do it to you? If your lover decided to leave you, it's clear: He or she isn't happy with you anymore.
Immediately is the time when you should move on after an affair has occurred. The quicker that you move on the better that you will be able to start the repairing process of your life after the affair has occurred.
What to do if you feel you are stuck in a limbo after infidelity?
These are some of the tips that may help you cope the feeling of emptiness after infidelity:
1. Let go of all your emotions.
- Don't hold back your emotions because these will only prolong and worsen your feeling. Instead, let them all go. If you feel like crying, then do so, and if you feel angry, let it out. By voicing out your stored emotions, you are lessening the heavy burden on your chest allowing you to slowly cope with your feeling of emptiness.
2. Seek refuge in your closest friends and family.
- Seeking your closest friends and family will also help you cope with your feelings. At this point, your reasoning and judgment have been clouded with your emotions and your closest friends and relatives are the only people who can properly give you sound advice and lighten your feeling making you feel more comfortable and more at ease.
3. Slowly discard all your partner's belongings.
- Most people may find it hard to move on after infidelity this is due to the fact that they are still deeply attached to their previous partner. By slowly discarding all your partner's items, you are gradually accepting that you are not meant for each other, thus, allowing you to slowly cope with your feeling of emptiness.
4. Go out and have fun.
- Go out and hang with your friends. By going out with your friends, you are giving yourself a break from your feeling of emptiness allowing you to think more clearly.
5. Start all over again.
- You need to gather all the broken pieces of yourself together again. Do not think that you lost someone important, but rather, think that your previous partner is the one who lost someone important and you deserve someone who will truly love you as who you really are and always think that "love is sweeter the second time around".
The best advice that can be given on this subject will be for you to focus the best you can on getting out of this emotional state for it will not help you to progress in life. This feeling you are going through is purely temporary and you need to realize this as well so that you can motivate yourself to do better.
Help getting through the sadness?
Hi, I'm struggling to come to terms with what my partner has done to me and our family, we have been together for 26 years with 2 children, four weeks ago I found out she has had an affair for 10 months, she says it is finished with him and is staying with me, I feel so sad about it, I cannot believe she has done this to me, to betray and lie to me in this way is unbelievable, I love her so much but don't know who she is anymore, she hasn't really shown much remorse either, I can see she feels sorry for me because I'm upset but that's not the same as showing true regret and asking for forgiveness
Because she is not showing remorse, it is blocking your healing process. When someone does not show remorse, they usually are not truly sorry for their actions. 10 months of an affair is a massive betrayal. Your relationship has a lot of history and try to focus on those good times. It will not be easy to overcome the betrayal but over time, if you are willing, forgiveness will become possible. If you are not in marriage counseling, you should be. If she is unwilling to go to counseling it would be beneficial for you to go at least to get tools on how to process the infidelity.
The fear that he'll do it again?
My husband cheated on me 5 years ago with a younger woman, he had been battling depression and headaches for over a year, he was medicated and then everything went crazy, he cheated and at the same time he flirted with other women. I did not know who this man was. He had an impeccable history. Never understood what happened. We decided to stay together, yet every time there is a change in our lives, like his work for example I fear him cheating.. I have tried: I have read hundreds of articles, I tell him that I believe him today yet I cannot move forward in trusting our future. I think it was caused by: He has taken full responsibility, no excuses. He doesn't have an answer. He was alike a different man, mid life crisis maybe, he was 43 at the time, depression and then when he began feeling better he changed
When he started to treat his depression, he did not know how to manage the "new him" after the depression fog lifted. His behavior is very similar to what someone may do after they lose significant weight or becomes sober. It is understandable that now any life changes have you fearful that he will cheat again. For years before his depression issue he was faithful and for these past 5 years he has also been faithful. His patterns indicate that he will not cheat again. Relax and enjoy your relationship again. Begin to open yourself to trusting him again. He has proven that he is remorseful and will not repeat his behavior.
My wife of 16 years cheated on me?
I am on the cross road and can't decide what to do. On one side I still love her, but I can't bring myself to forgive her and ever get intimate with her. I have tried: She left to stay with her relative for now. we still talk or chat.. I think it was caused by: I am not to be blamed here. She broke the trust that is the foundation of marriage
You should not make a decision for at least 6 months. The fact that you are indecisive now is a sign that you are willing to forgive her eventually. She has left to stay with relatives so take this time to see how you do without her in your life. Ask for one week of no communication and take note of how you react to not seeing or speaking to her. This will be a good way for you to start to determine which direction to go. It is completely normal that you can not be intimate with her after her betrayal. Intimacy in a marriage is the biggest way we express our love and trust. It will take time for you to build trust and get the visions out of your mind of her cheating with someone else.
What can I do to get over my husband's cheating, he has cheated on me with several women and he has an affair which has been running for 4 years. I feel very betrayed?
I think he is a serial cheater and what hurts me is that he denies even when evidence is clear. We have been married for 10 years and have 4 children thus its difficult to separate because kids are still young. He has never been faithful all our marriage life and I feel I am getting tired.
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Hard to move on, if he can't be honest about the past?
He cheated with a coworker on and off for over 10 years. Now my questions are how did it start, did he love her, and he can't answer me how it started and he says it was not love. She is 10 years older and don't look better then me, but the questions is why? he can't answer that either.. He also crossed the line with another coworker that still works with him.. The one that I know for sure he had sex with is no longer working there.
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Hi, just wondering what you do if you no longer feel the same about your husband after he has cheated and he still wants to make it work?
Husband wants the marriage to survive, but I no longer feel like I love him the way I used to. I feel like a friend only, not like his wife.
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What to do if you can't get over the betrayal and it is beginning to dissolve your marriage?
- Ask yourself: If you are the betrayed spouse, what is your attitude toward the infidelity of your spouse? Are you in an unforgiving mode? No matter how sincere your spouse is in showing remorse and regret over his marital sins, and how much he is trying to make it up to you and the children (in terms of quality time with the family, talking with family members in a totally focused manner, and being a totally dedicated spouse and parent), you still look the other way and let the shadow of distrust overwhelm you.
- If total distrust is your reaction to even the most sincere overtures of the cheating partner, this will definitely rot away your marriage. Maybe you need a third party to mediate or to counsel you on dealing positively with your emotions. This adviser could be a professional marriage counselor, a priest, or a pastor - anyone whose ultimate goal is to bring you back together in a loving embrace.
- Do not let a lawyer be your adviser at this point in time. If all possible schemes for reconciliation fail, you will need an attorney for marriage dissolution purposes much later. Our objective here is getting you two back together. However, there should be total sincerity, especially on the part of the cheating partner, to really make a go of the marriage. The cheating spouse could go as far away as possible from the location of the devilish character who was the subject of the temptation.
- Reminisce back to the times when your spouse had shown all the exemplary traits which made you fall in love. Also, check yourself objectively. What could possibly be the errors that you made or the shortcomings that you committed which LED to the regrettable reaction of your spouse, which is unfaithfulness? Be open minded.
- You do not want your children to grow up in a one parent home. They might grow up to be responsible adults someday with only you to guide them, but somehow, someday, they will trip and fall, because at the back of their minds, their subconsciousness, they saw you were doing OK without the other parent. This will build up in their minds up the point when they, unfortunately, may be unfaithful to their spouse too. It could become a vicious cycle.
- Do not let the fangs of resentment and anger take over. If the infidel is sincere and remorseful and wants to save the marriage, forgive and forget!