Healing from infidelity trauma is hard, let alone staying together after you got cheated on.
And that’s because cheating can be devastating to a relationship. In fact, it’s one of the most hurtful experiences that anyone can go through.
There’s also a divided view in the mental health community about whether people who are the victims of cheating should stay or leave.
This question comes up often, and it has no definitive answer.
You first must understand why infidelity happens and how it affects you and your partner.
Afterward, you have to learn how to rebuild trust and create an intimate relationship with your partner.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Note: Alexandra is a professional Psychotherapist with specialized knowledge in relationships.– Worried Lovers
It’s not your fault.
To believe that, you must first understand why your partner cheated and gain clarity on what to do next.
Finding an explanation for the circumstances that contribute to infidelity will help you release blame and self-blame and move toward forgiveness.
Infidelity is not just about sex because it has nothing to do with lust; it is about other issues in the relationship. Cheating happens when we are overwhelmed by disconnection or disregard.
You might think that your relationship is solid and are at a loss as to why your partner cheated.
Or maybe you might’ve expected this to happen at some point or have imagined it at least a couple of times.
Whatever it is, you have to be ready to dive in and take whatever pain comes your way to see a possible solution on the horizon; it’s the only way to help your relationship rise from the ashes after an affair.
What should you expect in the aftermath of cheating?
There are three critical aspects that you must consider when healing – How to build yourself up after being broken down, how to rebuild trust in your relationship, and how you can use cheating to strengthen your relationship!
After being cheated on, it can be hard to heal and stay together because it’s easy to feel angry, insecure, betrayed, and have a very negative impression of your partner; Nobody would blame you for that.
Even though your emotions may be completely unexpected, they are normal – and they do matter.
After dealing with something like this, infidelity becomes part of our life. And that’s why it’s crucial to accept it and incorporate it into our life stories so that we become stronger.
However, that doesn’t mean it should define you. There is a difference between accepting an experience or growing from it and generalizing.
Infidelity is not the only story that you know, and repair has a place in your relationship as well.
Adultery is not who you are (no matter what side you are on); it’s an action and a thing that sometimes happens outside of our control. It’s no wonder it’s so common.
But you have to understand that what happens to you matters less than how to choose to handle what happens to you; that’s not to say it isn’t extremely challenging and painful.
Healing is hard, but not impossible.
The journey through infidelity is one that few couples know how to handle. And that’s because it demands understanding, open communication, and effective coping strategies.
Most of the time, couples can’t deal with it properly or don’t have the necessary skills to go through this ordeal.
And even if infidelity can feel like the most horrible experience in the world, it is not always a sign that your relationship is over.
However, the strategies you use to deal with it will make all the difference in the world.
Ways to heal after being cheated on and stay together?
There are 4 ways to achieve your relationship’s healing. and these are:
- Build trust
- Balancing anger and sadness with empathy
- Encourage conversations about the topic.
So let’s go more in-depth:
Look for the reasons for the infidelity, how it came to be and how it developed over time. There might be more than meets the eye.
Understanding infidelity requires you have an honest, raw, and straightforward conversation about it – with your partner, as well as with other people that may have gone through it.
Shame fuels stigma around infidelity, and that very stigma makes it hard for others to seek help or even admit they have relationship problems.
2. Build trust
The Trust Revival method is one of the best solutions to help you stay together, heal after being cheated on.
Not to mention it’s an evidence-based method that’s proven to bring results even for the most skeptical couples.
The technique is pretty straightforward and essentially comprises three main steps: atonement, attunement, and attachment.
- The first step requires letting all the emotions about the affair come out and managing them intelligently. This part also includes establishing limits and full disclosure.
- The second step is the rebuilding phase, in which you and your partner lay the foundation for a new relationship.
At this point, you must throw away everything you’ve ever known or done in your relationship before and replace those actions with new ones that build and strengthen trust.
- The final step, Full-circle – is to bring the spark back into the bedroom and explore new ways to get close to your partner.
3. Balance the anger and sadness with empathy.
Even if it’s not the first feeling you might be having after being wronged, empathy can bring you benefits as well; not to mention it can further breed forgiveness and kindness, and these are crucial to your well-being.
Put yourself in your partner’s skin and think about the less apparent reasons behind his actions. I promise it will benefit you as well.
However, there’s a place for sorrow and anger, even if you understand your partner’s side and can walk in his shoes.
You can feel both angry and compassionate; you can express your disappointment while still acknowledging your partner’s qualities.
It’s so important that you let yourself feel angry, as it can empower you.
Expressing anger is essential because it doesn’t allow the fuse to ignite easily and make everything blow up!
But it’s equally important not to mask any emotions and not let anger be a stand-in for other feelings you have may be having, like sadness.
4. Encourage conversations about the topic.
There are ways to foster honest conversations, even when dealing with infidelity.
It’s vital that the person who cheated share the information and reasons behind his transgression while also having a high level of self-awareness.
Your partner must feel that the things they’re saying bring you justice and fairness.
But how much information is too much information? It turns out it depends on the couple.
Some people can only move forward once they have the certainty that they know all the nuts and bolts of the affair, others may want to know everything compulsively (with no sense of relief), and some are overwhelmed from knowing too much.
If you two find it difficult to begin those conversations, a therapist may be able to help you two better communicate your thoughts and feeling to each other. You can read more about it here.
Conversations can go through changes and improvements over time.
Bottom line, they must always consider the other person, including their limitations and the triggered emotions.
Is your relationship worth saving?
When you see that you’re fighting too much with your partner, it’s natural to wonder if your relationship is worth saving. And the answer varies depending on several factors.
Figure out if your ultimate goal is just to heal yourself or also heal your relationship.
There are situations where staying together brings more pain and hardship that may have considerable long-term repercussions.
Letting go is sometimes as huge and important as fighting for your relationship; you shouldn’t let your fears control your decision, especially if you know that your relationship is abusive.
Think of the qualities that your partner has and if they can trump the transgression.
Infidelity is a painful experience that affects many people, and even though it is such a common one, it can leave long-lasting effects on an individual.
Poor mental health after the fact is not uncommon at all.
Cheating can be a traumatic experience, with more and more people suffering from PTSD symptoms like intrusive thoughts, avoidance, and hyperarousal.
Most people go into a relationship with the expectation of having someone to trust and stay with. So let’s be honest: we don’t ever want to go through a break-up.
Separation triggers our fears of abandonment or rejection, fears that are so inherent to us humans that it’s only natural that we want to avoid them as much as possible.
When it comes to cheating, I never want to tell people what to do. It’s up to you to decide whether or not to heal and stay together after being cheated on.
The only way to know if your relationship is salvageable is to try to see, through trial and error, if it can overcome the obstacles laid in its path.
One thing I can say: If it can stand on its feet again, it’s a feeling like no other.
Recommended: When To Walk Away After Infidelity