When you are faced with the evidence that he cheated (and this is applicable to wives who cheat, too), you feel broadsided by the news.
Immediately upon learning of a spouse’s affair, your very next thought may be, “Now what?”
You know it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Let’s look at a few steps to take when you’re first slammed with the revelation that he cheated. Read on…
He Cheated/She Cheated: The Sucker Punch
Really, what was your spouse thinking? He or she cheated, not thinking of the repercussions – including the heart-wrenching pain that he or she has inflicted on you.
Your spouse may be quite remorseful, even sick over what he or she has done. But that’s nothing compared to what you’re going through as the victim of your spouse’s cheating. You didn’t ask for this pain, but it has been thrust upon you.
Most affair victims are caught off guard by their spouse’s affair. Even when things between you and your spouse are less than stellar, you never expected they would go and do this. Arguments, a growing distance, a lack of fun… none of these were ever repaired through cheating.
And after the affair, all of those problems are still there – along with the post-affair devastation that must be worked through. Cheating solves nothing, instead only serving to amplify existing problems, and tacking on such issues as lack of trust and respect.
End the Affair NOW and Save Your Marriage from Divorce
An affair is a traumatic experience that devastates not only your marriage but your self-esteem. Only 30% of marriages survive an affair. Prevent your divorce by discovering:
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To the victim, it feels like a mortal blow: your world has been literally blown apart, your faith in your spouse shattered, and you wonder if your marriage can survive. Even more so – you wonder if you’ll survive.
You will, but you will need to be somewhat methodical in your approach so that you don’t get stuck along the path to healing. In the early days after the revelation of the affair, you wonder, “Now what? What should I do first?”
Keep reading to learn how to answer those questions.
What You Can Do Now, After the Affair
If you just found out your spouse cheated, you’re no doubt reeling from the news. You’re probably sleep-deprived, unable to escape the flood of negative thoughts and images that will inevitably build up about the details of the actual transgression(s).
Your mind is like a hyperactive reporter demanding details of who, what, when, where, why and how. Also, you’re wondering if your marriage will survive the affair, or if you even want it to.
It’s no wonder the affair victim feels completely overwhelmed. There are so many things going on at once – and all of it sprung on you out of nowhere – that it’s difficult to know what to do first.
Here is a 3-step plan for what to focus on. And, if it has been some time since the affair’s revelation, the same information applies: read through and see if there are steps you didn’t take, which may lead you to feel “stuck” in the mental anguish of learning your spouse cheated.
Step 1: Give it to him (or her)
There’s nothing in the rule books that say you have to take the news of your spouse’s affair like some stoic martyr, suffering in silence. When you find out your spouse has cheated, let them have it: you don’t have to take the news and try to maintain a stiff upper lip. Let them know exactly what you think about what they’ve done.
Your trust has been violated, and you’re angry, hurt, confused and very disappointed. Don’t try to tamp down these feelings – release them. Your emotions are on a fast boil, and that steam needs venting. You were just put on an emotional ride that was not of your choosing, so let your partner know what’s going on inside of you.
It’s honest, and it gives you the release that you need. You may worry it will make things worse, but things are about as bad as they can get after an affair. And if you don’t release these feelings, they will build up into resentments that will further derail any attempts at salvaging the relationship.
Step 2: Circle the wagons
You’ve been grievously injured, and the first concern you should have is with you. The initial phase after an affair should be devoted to you and taking care of yourself. Trying to work on your marriage before you have worked on yourself is putting the cart before the horse.
Give yourself permission to take the time to get in touch with yourself and what you’re feeling, as well as giving yourself a ton of nurturing during this time.
Step 3: Secure your interior foundation
Your world has been struck a thunderous blow, which has sent shockwaves throughout your inner life: your emotions, thoughts and feelings have become waves of horror.
Your mind and emotional state are your foundation. If they are rocked, you have no peace. It is paramount that you work on steadying this foundation, working through the shockwaves as you experience them.
Again, trying to tamp them down or ignore them only prolongs the agony, so understand that facing them is the only way to get to a place of healing. The longer you put this off, the longer you will remain stuck and haunted.
My best to you as you recover from post-affair trauma.
What was the first thing you did after discovering your spouse cheated?
What has been your greatest struggle post-affair?
When learning of the affair, did you try to work on your marriage before you’d taken the time for yourself?
Please share your ideas and personal experiences on this topic with other members of the community.
Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,