What do you do after infidelity?
It’s a staggering event. A devastating trauma. And it’s devastating for BOTH partners, believe it or not.
One hundred percent of the people I’ve treated who are the Offending partner have, in fact, violated their own value system. That, in itself, is devastating and disorienting. So trust me when I say you’re both hurting.
But what do you DO?
Most people scour the interwebs, (hello and welcome!) try to figure out why this happened, uncover what’s wrong with him, which “type” of infidelity this is, try to see a couples counselor, try to get him to participate… and they use every coping skill they can muster.
You are likely no different. It is, after all, the way you found me.
Now, look, I know you have some specific ways you’ve responded to this event. Perhaps you’ve cried or screamed or kept very quiet or you’ve told his family and tried to get his best friends to talk sense to him. You’ve told him again and again how much it hurts or how illogical it is. Maybe you’ve secretly or openly checked his phone, tracked his movements. Perhaps you’ve tried to be just as sweet and loving as possible.
In short, you’ve relied on everything you could think of to deal with this and hopefully get him to shape up and see the light.
In addition, you’ve relied on all your internal natural tendencies: soothing yourself (in as many ways as possible) or distracting yourself, or moving through it by being busy, taking care of business, and taking care of others.
And there’s nothing wrong with all of that.
Except that it’s not truly helpful. And it’s not the most important thing you can do right now.
The Best Thing you can DO After Infidelity
This might come as an absolute SHOCK but it’s THE FIRST THING to do and I’ll give you this one for FREE:
Stop rehearsing the pain.
That means stop talking about it. It means stop focusing on it. Stop reliving it.
You’ve got to stop venting and telling the stories about what you uncovered, what he did, how the kids are traumatized, how you can’t believe he did this. Just stop giving voice to your anger and sadness and uncertainty.
STOP TALKING about it.
Not even to yourself.
Know why? You’re making this harder on YOU. You are cementing your pain. You’re NOT processing it. You’re making it so much WORSE. And you deserve better than that.
You’re also making it way less likely he will ever “come around” and behave the way you really want him to. After all, you are cementing the pain for him too. Even if you keep that pain to yourself and just internalize it, you are negatively affecting your relationship by rehearsing that energy and contention.
Yuck. Who wants to live like that? Even for a few days or weeks or months, much less years?!
Don’t do it. Just stop rehearsing the pain.
Simple, right? But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. But it is really important to actually DO it. I’ve seen so many people (men and women) who keep rehearsing and nursing their pain…literally for YEARS and they have still not recovered, to say nothing of the state of the relationship. Don’t let that be you!
Some of you might actually manage to stop rehearsing the pain on your own. Good for you! In fact, you might even have ways that work for truly processing the pain and allowing it to heal.
Still, I realize many of you are going to have trouble doing that on your own. Plus, I know you might need and want someone to help with that and with knowing what comes next. That’s what I’m here for. That’s why I run programs for women whose partners have cheated.
APPLY for a call. We’ll consult and see about getting you some REAL help with this first step and the next and the next.
And yes, I have very limited availability for couples and individuals for one on one sessions. CONTACT ME to see if there are openings.