Healing from infidelity means getting your own two feet solidly beneath you once again.

But healing from infidelity may seem unfathomable to you at the moment: what about all of this post-affair pain you’re going through?

In this blog, I want to provide you with 3 steps toward post-affair empowerment so that healing from infidelity takes place sooner rather than later. Please keep reading…

Healing from Infidelity: Where to Begin?

If your spouse cheated on you, healing from infidelity is what you have been served—and it’s an all-consuming meal. There’s not one inch of yourself you can retreat or escape into in order to shield yourself from the onslaught of post-affair pain. Not even your sleep is spared.

Did you ever think your spouse was capable of causing such devastating pain? Most people can’t, which is why healing from infidelity is such a long, multi-layered process.

Think of the many things you need to work through. It’s not like you received bad health news and you have the gamut of emotions related to ill health to deal with. It’s not even like the death of a parent, which is a bundle of feelings centered on loss.

An affair is more involved: not only do you have your internal feelings to work through… you now have a cheating spouse on your hands to deal with, along with questions about what is going on in his or her head and heart.

In addition, what is to become of your marriage? Should you work to try to save your marriage and attempt to rebuild trust? Or will you now have a painful divorce in the future you’ll need to work through?

No wonder healing from infidelity seems impossible. There are so many angles to consider, you may now know where to even begin.

There is one critical component that needs to be placed first during that time, and that component is you and your health. Your marriage is made up of two people, and one of them right now is in a world of hurt. You can never hope to save your marriage and make it a healthy one if you don’t first take care of you.

Your attention needs to be focused on empowering yourself again, especially if the news of the affair is still raw.

Self-empowerment: A Must for Healing from Infidelity

If you are the victim of an affair, you are currently reeling from the effects of a poisonous cocktail: take lies and betrayal, mix them with broken vows, and stir in some emotional upheaval.

The blow to your self-esteem is enormous. You are wracked with negative thoughts, haunting images, nagging memories and turbulent emotions.

There is no way to move into true healing without first managing this juggernaut of pain. You need to regain your power, which includes your self-esteem, a sense of peace and security.

Here are 3 steps for self-empowerment to lead you into healing:

Step 1: Accept the Emotions as They Come

Many victims of an affair try to hide from the emotions. The pain is almost unbearable, so why would anyone willingly invite them in?

The reason to do so is because those emotions will remain exactly where they are, only they will begin to fester the longer they sit, unattended to. No one wants to deal with this kind of pain, but again, your cheating spouse served this rotten dish to you, so you need to clean the plate.

If you don’t face your emotional turmoil, you can’t move into a healing phase. Part of healing is accepting those emotions as they come, and then managing them.

Step 2: Journaling as Outlet and Self-empowerment Tool

Managing painful emotions requires outlets. I highly recommend you get a notebook and keep a journal, or use your computer, open a word document and type it out. What a journal serves to be is an outlet for this pain. It’s a way of washing off the plate and into a receptacle. In a journal, who is going to judge you? It’s your personal, private oasis—that desperately desired corner you can retreat to. Go to your journal and let it all out.

In addition, spend time in your journal countering those negative thoughts and feelings you are having. If you write, “I will never be able to get through this,” on the next line you can counter that idea with “I am working through this, I am more than capable of surviving an affair.”

You already feel rotten enough, and negative self-talk can hurt even worse than the initial affair your spouse had. Self-empowerment comes from being your own best friend—and best friends are kind to us.

Step 3: Immerse Yourself in Outside Outlets

Your self-esteem took a major hit, and self-empowerment means you have to take the initiative to build it back up. The best way to do that is to engage in activities that give you self-confidence.

Think back to some of the happiest times of your life when you were pursuing something you liked to do: how did it make you feel? Empowered? That’s a good sign. You may want to revisit any activities that you have ever engaged in that made you feel strong and capable.

My best to you as you begin healing from infidelity through self-empowerment.  

What has the affair done to your sense of self-esteem and self-confidence?

What has been the most challenging aspect of healing for you?

Do you feel capable of taking the steps toward self-empowerment so you can begin healing?

Please share your ideas and personal experiences on this topic with other members of the community.

Wishing you hope and healing for your marriage,

Stephanie Anderson

Editor-in-Chief

Marriage Sherpa

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