Dealing with Infidelity: Healing after the Dirty Deed

When you are in a committed relationship, it is expected that your partner is faithful. As we all know, it happens far too often that a partner strays. It’s easy to say what we’d do in a situation when we’re on the outside looking in. Whether you ultimately decide to stay in the relationship, you must deal with the side effects. Being cheated on can be traumatic. There are a few things that you must remember as you go through your journey of healing.

dealing with infidelity

You are Enough

One of the worse things you can do is blame yourself or think you are inadequate. Undoubtedly, you asked your partner why they cheated. Whether they give you a reason or crickets, it’s important to remember that you had nothing to do with it. Infidelity is a choice. There were deliberate actions taken to entertain another person. The cheating behavior does nothing for the alleged problem that “drove” them to cheating. Sure, they may have a reason, that does not mean that cheating was the way to go. As a matter of fact, cheating is one of the most selfish things that one person can do to another. Don’t be shamed into thinking you could have done something differently to avoid this outcome.

Forgiveness is for You

The first thing that your partner may have done was beg for forgiveness. You may refuse to forgive them because that means you are saying it’s okay. That’s not forgiveness. Whether you decide to stay in the relationship or move on, you must be ready to forgive for your own sanity. Forgiving your partner for hurting you means that you are letting go of that situation and not letting it continue to tear you apart. Forgiving your partner does not equate an acceptance of what they have done.

Allow Your Feelings

You are going to go through an emotional juggernaut of feelings. You are going to be incredibly angry, horribly hurt, and terribly sad. You might even feel all these things at the same time. It’s normal. You must take into consideration that you are grieving. You have a broken heart and you are grieving what your relationship once was; or what you thought it was. You need to give yourself the time to heal. Take this time to nurture yourself.

Take time to read, journal, visit the aquarium, whatever it takes to make yourself feel better without being destructive. Don’t punish yourself by trying to stifle your feelings and telling yourself that you have to hurry up and “get yourself together.” It’s okay that you’re not okay.

Resolution does not Come Overnight

Learning of your partner’s infidelity is a jolt to your world. You are not going to find peaceful resolution right away. If you choose to remain in the relationship, you are not going to be best friends right away. Rome was not built in a day, and neither is trust. It is possible to trust again after cheating, but there is a process.

If you choose to leave the relationship, you are not going to be instantly happy. Why you may have left the catalyst of your unhappiness alone, the damage is already done. While leaving is the first step, you have to heal.

Infidelity is an egregious offense. Some people will bounce back faster than others. Everyone’s situation is different. You have to do what is best for you and what makes you happy. It’s not going to be easy, but guess what? I will get better. You are still a wonderful person that deserves to be loved totally and faithfully.

Theresa Smith, CASAC, CRC, LMFT, LPC

Theresa Smith is a relationship expert with over 20 years of experience. She has worked in different areas including clinical work, and more recently a writer. She has a passion for happy relationships and feels that it’s an attainable goal for everyone.

Theresa has several professional credentials centered around mental health, psychology, dating, relationships, and addiction treatment. She has written thousands of articles and many e-books on many facets of dating and relationships.