Overcoming the emotions experienced in an affair is an arduous process. We dedicate a huge portion of our time developing these intimate feelings with our significant other. He/She becomes a precious part of who we are. Not surprisingly, you’d feel a gaping hole if they are no longer a part of your life. While those who experience these feelings would love for the feeling of being cheated on to be over instantaneously, however, it is likely that the completion of the grieving process would be longer.
In this article, we address some of the ways to tackle the emotional hardships of an affair. To clarify, this article is specifically designated to the person who is on the receiving end of the affair- not for the individual who is carrying out the affair.
Understand that it is normal to feel devastated. It is normal to experience these feelings of anger, anxiety, and betrayal when first hearing the news of your partner’s infidelity. If anything, this news can be even worse after realizing that you have spent a considerable number of years in the relationship prior to the affair. What is more important is to allow these emotions to run through you. It is the first step in being able to recover from a traumatic event like infidelity-avoiding these emotions can be crippling in the long run. Keeping these negative emotions bottled up without properly exercising your right to feel sad, depressed, and anxious can manifest into other areas of your life in a negative fashion.
After the initial stages of shock, it is natural to have these same continuous waves of negative moods affect you. This amount of time that this will continue will vary depending on the individual. There is not necessarily an exact period of time where one will know when they will overcome these feelings. The process of overcoming an affair comes in stages, unique to the individual. In this article, I will briefly talk about some of the stages experienced when handling an affair. I will also talk about some of the potential ways in which one can “soften the blow” of handling an affair, through some mental tips that can perhaps shift your perspective on dealing with an affair, and improving yourself by developing new relationships.
1. Fully Acknowledge that it happened.
The shock associated with knowing that your significant other has cheated on you can signal a person to the point of devastation and shock. To avoid utter distress, some may even go as far as to not fully acknowledge that this act of infidelity had actually occurred. There is a possibility that even your significant other may become angry and defensive- denying any possibility of the affair even occurring in the first place. Others may say that they have cheated, but it was only in their “moment of weakness” that they had done so. Regardless of their rationale, understand that in the end, it was the individual’s choice to engage in the affair. No amount of reasoning on their end can change that.
2. Gain as much clarity from the affair as much as possible.
In experiencing such an unfortunate event, a myriad of questions would most likely run through your mind. Some of the questions that are most common would include:
– Why would he/she cheat on me?
– Did I do anything wrong?
– What were the signs before this individual cheated on me?
And so forth. With so many potential questions running through your mind, the next step would be to acquire the truth. This way, a genuine sense of closure can be achieved. However, be wary. Ask the right questions- do not inquire about the extraneous details if it doesn’t help provide clarity for closure.
3. Face Reality.
At this point, it is with hope that you have accepted the reality of the situation. An affair took place in your relationship. Recognize that there are no excuses when it comes to your significant other cheating on you. You might be in denial. You might refuse to accept the fact that your significant other has cheated on you. However, you must realize what has happened was something that is out of your control.
Having to forgive a person that cheated on you is a tough pill to swallow. As I had said previously, every individual’s timeline of recovery is different. There are a lot of complex factors to consider when it comes to officially coming to terms with it. Recognize that you are acting on your own time, and not anybody else’s. Also, understand that forgiving isn’t necessarily for your estranged partner- rather, it is for yourself. By forgiving, you allow yourself the ability to move on with your life with a genuine clarity and energy.
5. Shift your focus.
This will be explained further down the article, but at this stage, it is important that you shift more of your attention to improving yourself. For a defined period of your time, you have spent a portion of it has been spent with your significant other. Now, it is time to reclaim that extra time into focusing on bettering yourself as a person- whether it be academically, professionally, socially, etc.
Given these stages, here are some tips in dealing with an affair that can be of use to you:
1. Have a strong support group to fall back on.
Having close friends and family members to talk to regarding your relationship can bring clarity into your situation. While you must be wary in having to juggle too many opinions and perspectives, looking at your situation by having perspective from outside the looking glass can affirm what you need to do next to heal. Whether we like it or not, it can be very difficult to separate our rational mind from our emotional one. Having a more objective point of view from a trusted friend can go a long way.
2. Focusing on improving yourself.
One of the best ways of overcoming a slump post-affair is to refocus all of the extra time/energy from your past relationship to the current one. In the field of psychology, there is a phenomena that occurs when individuals go under distress. While it may not occur in all individuals at the exact same period of time, the process of rumination can deter us from going towards a steady pace of recovery. Rumination is the way in which individuals would tend to focus repetitively on a certain problem or emotion without completion. Therefore, by focusing on yourself even more, you distract yourself by engaging in activities that serve to promote your growth in whichever area you desire. You now have more power, time, and energy in being able to craft your dreams- and to see it to fruition.
3. Expanding your social network.
Going out to the world to meet new people can always help to overcome problems associated with a recent split. Distraction can be the best remedy against ruminating constantly about the affair. Meeting new people and exploring new opportunities can get your mind off what had happened, as well as provide positive assurance from additional peers. Social Psychology posits that we are social creatures. We need human interaction to function properly in this world.
Dealing with infidelity can be even more crippling if not dealt with in a positive fashion. By having the positive support from your loved ones, setting goals to improve your own self and expanding your social network, you will make numerous strides in your path to emotional recovery. Realize that this entire process is not completed in days or weeks; It can be months before you can recover and appreciate how overcoming this affair has made you stronger. I hope that these tips will help you realize what you need to do next in order to recover!
For HealthCare and Mental Health resources, please visit: https://therapycable.com/pages/mental-health-and-healthcare-resources.html