March 9, 2016
A Woman’s Guide to Surviving Infidelity
Written by Rachel Eddins
Did you know that twenty five percent of people admit to having an extramarital affair? That number seems awfully high until you consider that the divorce rate in the United States hovers at a little over fifty percent.
However, infidelity is not necessarily grounds for divorce, though an instant separation might have been the advice of friends or even counselors in decades past. Still, splitting up didn’t work even back then, as the 1939 film The Women attests! You can still be in love with someone, even if he’s cheated on you. Surviving infidelity is possible.
Ignoring infidelity is not good advice either. That can make it seem like you’re giving the “green light” to the behavior, and it certainly will make you miserable.
Oh, and let’s not forget that men aren’t always the one to blame! Are you the guilty party, trying to make up for your mistake (clearly twenty five percent of people make them, so you’re not alone!) and repair your relationship?
What’s a woman to do to survive infidelity?
If you believe the relationship is worth saving, it can be saved. It will be a very tough, emotional time, especially for you. You need to regain the trust and confidence you once had in your partner.
Not an easy thing to do, even if your partner confessed his affair before you discovered it, but especially difficult if you’re the one who discovered the infidelity. Surviving infidelity is possible.
You need to make sure the break is really, really clean. It needs to be over between your partner and the “mistress.”
How can you be sure?
Some people recommend writing a letter together that tells the “other person” that things are definitely over and she is not going to be contacted again, nor should she attempt any communication. This lets you know your partner is committed to making things right, and helps you regain some power in the process.
You are allowed to feel angry. You are allowed to demand things you normally wouldn’t, like reading text messages. Your partner didn’t respect the context and boundaries of your relationship when he or she entered into an affair, so privacy boundaries go out the window for a time while you work to heal.
Many people advise the cheated-on partner to get all the details about the infidelity. It’s like being a private detective for your relationship.
When you get all the details you can handle (yes, even things like the sex positions they used, if the relationship included physical aspects), you can “close the case” and move on with all the facts. Nothing is left to wonder about or nag you with questions or suspicions.
This is all also working toward a goal of transparency between you two. Having to be this honest about the details of the affair also demonstrates that the party at fault is done lying. If you’re the guilty party, you are still allowed to filter some of your emotional responses.
It is probably tempting to find some areas to blame your partner, but be sure to keep things factual and not purposefully hurtful. There is no reason to say spiteful or hurtful things, like unfavorably comparing your partner’s appearance to the “other person’s” looks.
Take a trip
While spending a lot of time together may sound like a recipe for headaches, angst, and a lot of other emotions, it’s important to the healing process and can help you normalize your relationship more quickly. In our daily lives, we have so many demands on our time and attention, it can be hard to focus on our relationship the way we need or want to.
Overcome Infidelity in Marriage Counseling
Marriage counseling can help you and your partner recover from infidelity and improve your relationship again. It will take time to rebuild trust, safety, and connection, but it is possible. Contact a couples counselor to find out how we can help. To get started now give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online.
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