If your partner had an affair, you might be trying to figure out how this happened. Whether you are still in this relationship or not, your heart might feel broken into a million pieces.

Unfortunately, some of the beliefs that you may hold about infidelity could be making your broken heart pain worse than it already is.

There are many misconceptions about why people cheat. One huge myth-- that only intensifies pain and upset-- is that the cheater is drawn to the affair because the other person is so attractive.

If you buy into this line of thinking (and many people with broken hearts do) then you might take it one step further and become convinced that if you were prettier, sexier, more muscular, thinner, fitter, and so on...then your partner wouldn't have had the affair.

We're here to tell you that this belief is absolutely a myth. In the majority of cases, infidelity does NOT happen because the cheater is looking for a more attractive bedmate.

Of course, there are dimensions of physical attraction that sometimes play a role. But this is pretty much never the primary reason for cheating.

Cheaters cheat because there is some need that is not being met in their primary relationship-- or within themselves. This is absolutely NOT to say that it is the wife/girlfriend or husband/boyfriend who is to blame.

There are almost always complicated dynamics at play in a relationship in which one ends up having an affair.

The first thing you need to do to start feeling better again...
If you find yourself thinking that your partner had an affair with this other person because he or she is so much more attractive than you, stop right there!

It will not help you to heal and get your life (and possibly relationship) back on track to continue believing this myth.

And, as we said above, it is not accurate anyway. You are undoubtedly missing part or all of the picture when you chock up your partner's (or ex's) affair to sheer physical attraction.

The next “first” thing we want you to do is to tune in to what you need right now. What are the self-care actions you could take that you've possibly been ignoring in the midst of your upset?

Make a commitment to yourself to do at least one nurturing and soothing thing for you each and every day. It doesn't have to cost any money and it doesn't even necessarily need to take a lot of time.

Just do one thing (or more) for you that will help bring greater ease.

Why is self-care so important?
When you are caring well for yourself, you are inevitably going to be better able to meet what's going on in your relationship and life with more clarity and calm.

This can make all the difference.

Have you ever made a rash decision when you were out of sorts or overwhelmed? It might have worked out just fine, but chances are high that it didn't.

This is a time in your life during which you may need to be making important decisions-- they may also affect others, if you have children, for example. Give yourself as healthy and well-cared for a foundation as you possibly can so that you can make decisions that you will feel good about in the long-run.

Understanding and letting go...
If you are staying in the relationship-- and even if your relationship has ended-- it might be helpful to gain some understanding of why the affair happened.

This is where setting aside that myth is essential.

Take a deep breath and open your mind. Think about the pre-affair dynamics between you and your partner or ex that seemed to take the two of you far apart from one another. What habits did the two of you have that could have caused disconnection?

These are most likely the primary factors that contributed to your partner choosing to cheat.

If you feel like you can communicate with your partner or ex about what happened, you might ask him or her if there were specific needs that weren't being met.

Remember, this isn't about you failing; it's about trying to understand what happened. It might be that you couldn't have met those needs for your partner anyway, even if you knew about them.

Healing and rebuilding trust are both processes. The more that you provide self-care for you and the better you can understand what happened, the easier it may be for you to forgive and let go of the pain.

Author's Bio: 

Susie and Otto Collins are relationship coaches and authors of several books and programs that are helping people create the relationships they want. Their e-book Relationship Trust Turnaround can help couples rebuild trust after infidelity.

If you suspect that your man is having an affair, sign up for their free report "12 Relationship-Killing Mistakes You Could Be Making If You Suspect Your Man's Lying or Cheating"