Infidelity causes one of the worst heartaches ever. To be betrayed by someone you trusted and loved the most is incredibly difficult to bear. For most relationships, it’s the end. According to a study, 37% divorces in USA happen because of a cheating partner. However, there are also many instances of relationships recovering after affairs. No doubt, this might not be the first thought in your head when you catch your cheating partner. First, you need to process the pain of Infidelity and find closure. Making a decision about staying together or not comes second. That is why, this article tells you what to do after an affair, whether it was you who cheated or got cheated on.
If you and your partner are coming together after the fact and you do want to work this out and stay together, it can be one of the more important catalysts for growth in a couple relationship that’s out there”,Says Jen Elmquist, a Relationship Expert
It is entirely possible to overcome infidelity and grow as individuals if you undergo therapy.
What is Cheating, Anyway?
One thing you should understand is that there is no concrete definition of cheating. Naturally, it varies from couple to couple and even among individuals. What you might consider cheating, your partner might not. Moreover, it is not merely limited to having a sexual intercourse with someone outside of your committed partner or doing something what is classed as sexual harassment. For polygamous couples, cheating would look different than monogamous couples. That is why, it is extremely important to have clear communication with your partner on this topic. Make sure both of you are on the same page. Setting defined boundaries in the start of the relationship and being transparent throughout is the best way to avoid infidelity and affairs.
What to Do After an Affair? 5 Best Ways to Cope with Infidelity Pain
If you don’t know what to do after an affair, take these five ways into consideration when figuring out how to overcome the emotional pain.
1. Take Some Space from Your Cheating Partner
Your immediate action should be to remove yourself from the painful situation and take some space. Additionally, process your emotions and cry as much as you want. However, do not let your imagination run wild without hearing the other party. All of your emotions are valid, be in anger, hurt, pain, feeling of betrayal, etc. Take some time to let the situation sink and accept the reality without taking any action.
If you’re the one who cheated, your impulse might be to talk to your partner to give you another chance. However, understand that for sincere person, it is not easy to accept. Consider your partner’s emotions. Be ready for anger and aggressive behavior.
2. Reflect on Your Relationship -Understand the Reasons Behind Infidelity
Having an affair is not just a matter of Love vs. Lust. It doesn’t merely stem from being attracted to someone else except your partner. Understandably, there are many complications behind adultery. Extramarital affairs are very common. First step on what to do after an affair is understanding the reason behind it. The keyword here is “understanding” because Infidelity exposes the fundamental problems in your relationship. Many factors can contribute to infidelity, whereas most are not about sex. Some common reasons are:
- Anger and marital problems
- Alcohol, drugs, gambling, addiction to sex
- Also, mental health issues including bipolar disorder, learning disabilities, ADD, anxiety,
- depression, and others
- Moreover, physical health issues like disability and chronic pain
- Breakdown of communication related to relationship and emotional needs
- Loss of caring and fondness for each other
- Besides, lack of affection
Have you ignored your partner? It is not good for your relationship that you have ignored your marital life. These are minor things, but these factors matter a lot in married life.
3. Come to A Decision about Saving Your Marriage or Not After Infidelity
One of the most important thing you’ll have to do in the aftermath of an affair is to decide whether to save your relationship from falling apart or not. It might be easier for unmarried couples to end things but the same is not the case with married couples, especially if they have children. Consider what is at stake here – your emotional wellbeing, the future of your children or financial security, etc. Needless to say, these factors play a significant role in deciding what to do after an affair. Furthermore, you might realize that divorce is a better option in some cases.
Read More: What to Consider When You’re Ready for A Divorce
4. Practice Tolerance and Promote Open Communication with Your Partner
Whatever you decide, you must practice tolerance and understanding. Open communication with your partner is the key to healing from infidelity pain. If you decide to end things with your partner, don’t just leave without resolving the issue. Find proper closure. Talk to your partner about why the affair happened and what could’ve prevented it. Moreover, identify the Problems in your relationship that contributed to this outcome. Try to not be judgmental.
5. Redefine Your Boundaries and Rebuild the Relationship on Your Terms
An important part of the stages of healing after an affair is to not lose your self-worth. For this, you need to standby your values and beliefs. Be very clear about this to your partner. If the cheating partner feels remorse and truly wants to reconnect with you, they’ll be willing to work on your terms.
How to Save Your Marriage After Cheating? 6 Methods to Recover from the Aftermath of An Affair
How to fix your marriage? Recovering from the affair is one of the most challenging tasks. You need to rise again after this problem and give support to your relationship. Extra-marital affairs are the prime cause to weaken the marriage foundation. However, most marriages become stronger and survive if both partners are committed to authentic healing after an affair. Consider taking these steps if you’re confused about what to do after an affair and how to rebuild your marriage.
1. Accountability can Restore Trust After An Affair
Take responsibility for your action if you are unfaithful. It is important as hard as it may be. Undoubtedly, you must end your affair and stop all communication or interaction with the person. If you had an affair with your co-worker, then you should limit contact. In addition, try to change your office or business interaction.
2. Stop Cheating if You’re Sincere
For the majority of people, it is highly difficult to go for a sudden breakup. Your marriage will not survive if you do not finish it all of a sudden. Therefore, you should not continue to engage in infidelity. It sounds simple, but you will be surprised how difficult it is for people to end the affair. According to a study, people who cheat in their first Relationship are three times more likely to cheat again. Leave making lame excuses. Do not justify your adultery. There is no justification for cheating. So, if you do not stop Cheating and lying to your partner, you will not be able to rebuild trust.
3. There should be Remorse on Part of the Cheating Partner
If your partner’s trust has been broken due to infidelity, it is vital to take complete responsibility for what happened. Try to understand how your behavior has hurt your spouse. Moreover, do not sidestep or be defensive about your mistake after an affair. Furthermore, it would help if you did not fall into self-loathing too. Confess your mistake in front of your partner and start building your trust again. Do not blame others or your partner in this mess.
4. Be Careful about Involving Friends and Family
For the betrayed partner, it might be cathartic to tell all of their friends about how they’ve being wronged. However, it might become the greatest obstacle in recovery from infidelity. You should be careful about who you involve in this matter because different people will have different opinions. They might make you feel bad about forgiving your partner and continuing the Relationship.
5. Seek Professional Help and Couple’s Therapy after An Affair
Seeking professional assistance with the help of the counselor is a good idea. Hence, you should consider couple’s therapy as well as individual therapy. This is the time when your partner is suffering from mental trauma, and it is highly important to give him or her relaxation. Your counselor can do this task in a better way.
Without a doubt, you are indeed in trauma. To get rid of this stress and tension, you should take advice from a professional therapist. They know the psychology behind adultery and the emotions associated with it. Moreover, the know how to cope with these destructive emotions and move on with your life. Needless to mention, professional assistance is highly important and beneficial for your relationship. You may need emotionally focused couples’ therapy too.
6. Make Effort to Reconnect With Your Partner
Reconnection is one of the most important stages of recovering from an affair. You might’ve forgiven your partner after they’ve stopped cheating on you. However, if both of you don’t reconnect and love each other again, the Relationship will fall apart again. For this, bring the initial spark of love back. Live like you’ve just started dating. Do nice things for each other. Take your partner out on a date and weekend trips. Experience new things together. Your partner needs your extra attention. It is, therefore, time to show your care and love to save your relationship and maintain your trust.
How Long does it Take to Recover from An Affair?
Well, it depends on your mental status and bonding with your spouse. It also varies from couple to couple and the extent of the emotional damage. Furthermore, the willingness to move past this incident also matters. It can take from months up to years for couples to get over infidelity. While, others never truly recover from it even if they stay together. Some experts say, it takes longer to recover from an affair than it takes to get over a breakup. If you have children, then the recovery time should be minimal in order to not affect their normal life.
Most people do not know what to do after an affair however, they do not want any breakup or divorce. To save your relationship, it is important to avoid cheating and to lie to your partner. Plus, trust and love are the keys to make your relationship healthier and stronger. Make your communication better and listen to each other. All these tips and techniques are, therefore, highly helpful for you to make your relationship stronger.
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