Finding Your Way in the Darkness of Infidelity
The emotional devastation that comes from infidelity is like no other pain in the world. Ask anyone who’s ever been cheated on by their spouse or partner. They’ll describe the chaotic roller coaster of anger, sadness, and confusion that they experienced.
And if you’ve been cheated on recently, you’re probably going through something very similar. Your emotional state is probably all over the map, going from rage to despair and back again in a matter of minutes. What you need most right now is to slow down and find some emotional stability, if only for a few hours.
Fortunately, you’re not alone. Seriously. Thousands of people have felt just like you do right now and come out on the other side serene and full of hope. Here are four tips for triumphing over the emotional chaos of infidelity.
Get the Help and Support that You Need
No one escapes the chaos of infidelity all by themselves. No matter how much you want to isolate, seeking help and support should be your number one priority right now. So reach out to others as soon as you can, before the chaos you’re feeling right now starts to take root.
Start with trusted friends and family members, especially those who’ve experienced infidelity themselves. They’ll be a rich source of knowledge, care, and love right now. Even if they can’t give you the perfect advice or guidance, just being heard and acknowledged will give you a lot of relief.
Seek outside help as well. If you don’t already have a therapist, find one you’re comfortable with and begin processing these terrible feelings. Find and attend local support groups that focus on what you’re experiencing. You’ll find strength, insight, and courage among people who understand what you’re going through.
If you can’t find a support group in your area, check out one of the many online forums that focus on relationship difficulties. Whatever you do, get busy finding help right away.
A true understanding of what you’re experiencing is huge right now, so educate yourself on infidelity and compulsive sexual behavior. Your partner’s behavior is theirs, not yours. They’ve betrayed your trust because of things that are embedded deeply inside of them.
This isn’t your fault. No matter what your mind is telling you right now, you are not to blame for your partner’s infidelity. A deeper knowledge of the internal mechanisms that cause infidelity will help convince and remind you of this absolute truth.
Educate yourself on your legal options as well, even if you and your partner plan on staying together. This might seem cold or harsh, but you never really know how this is going to turn out in the end. Finding out where things stand legally will guard you against some of the uncertainty.
Practice Good Self-Care
You have to take care of yourself, right now more than ever. You’re already in tremendous pain, so don’t make it worse by ignoring your basic needs. Start tending to your physical, intellectual, and emotional needs right away. Once you start doing this consistently, the healing process follows naturally.
Make sure that you’re eating and sleeping properly. This can’t be emphasized enough. You’re no good for anyone if you’re worn out and hungry. Get regular exercise as well, especially cardio. This will get your endorphins going, reduce anxiety, and help you sleep.
Set goals and work diligently toward them. We’ve all abandoned important projects to devote time to our relationship, but now is the time to pick up the pace of self-development. Along these lines, keep your thoughts oriented towards a solution. Don’t ruminate on what happened or double down on self-destructive anger.
Once you’ve started to establish your self-care habits, look toward something bigger than yourself for continued healing and purpose. How you do this is entirely up to you, but spirituality can help you redefine your identity and your place in the world.
Your spirituality can come from many different sources. Some people gravitate toward organized religion, but for others, spirituality is more personal. Whatever your spiritual principles are, pursue them vigorously. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much comfort they give you.
Explore different forms of spirituality. Get out into nature and connect to the beauty that’s constantly around you. Meditate, pray, do yoga — whatever it takes to get out of yourself. Being creative can also help immensely right now. This can be making art, reading, or listening to music. Another great way to get out of your head is helping others, either through community work or supporting a friend.
And remember to trust yourself. Yes, you should always seek the guidance of trustworthy and empathetic people, but your experience with infidelity is unique and incredibly personal. The decisions you make are completely your own and off-limits to outside criticism. You can and will get through this. It just takes time, effort, and a little bit of faith.
C Mellie Smith knows firsthand the pain of betrayal. At Infidelity Healing her mission is to help couples navigate and triumph over the emotional chaos that infidelity leaves in its path. Click here to find the emotional stability you so desperately need to cope.