What happens after infidelity?
Will the cheating partner confess and hope to start working on re-building trust? What happens if the betrayed partner does not want this and instead chooses to go his or her own way?
One of the possible outcomes is depression after infidelity.
In this article you will learn how the depression comes to be and how to best manage this period of your life.
What is depression and how is it formed after infidelity?
After you have discovered your partner’s unfaithfulness there will follow four stages:
- Being in shock and denying
- Feeling guilty and angry
- Being resentful and wanting to bargain
- Reflection and depression
It is only after these initial four stages that you can really leave the affair behind you.
Many people suffer from depression, but what exactly is a depression and what triggers it?
It is being triggered by the feeling of being betrayed and unwanted. But as you have read before in this article, depression is just one of the many emotions from the rollercoaster-like aftermath of infidelity.
First you will deny the facts, mostly because you are in shock. You keep telling yourself over and over that what has happened to you simply is not possible.
Next is the phase of feeling guilty and angry. You can feel guilty for your partner’s infidelity and be angry at him or her both at the same time. Also, you might be angry at yourself.
The next phase is about harboring this anger deep inside of you until you feel pure resentment. You might also lash out at the people around you, particularly those who are close to you.
Finally we come to the stage of reflection and depression. It is during this stage that you discover what has really happened and you come to terms with it. Exactly due to that reason it is also possible that you will experience a depression, ranging from a minor to major depression.
How to survive depression after infidelity?
Around this time you first feel that you have begun to get your life together. But then sudden realizations shake up that belief. You don’t have everything together. Something terrible has happened to you. This period is known to cause sad reflection on the actions of both you and your partner. This is normal for this phase. Do not blame yourself for feeling sad or low. It is okay to be sad, all the emotions need to come out sooner or later anyway.
This is exactly the period in which you will need to take some time for yourself and figure out what you want to do next. Well-meant advice or encouragement from friends or family might seem nice, but it is not really helpful. It is you who needs to go through this phase.
The fourth stage comes with feeling of despair or emptiness. You will feel loss. And as a matter of fact you have – in a way – lost someone dear to you. You might feel that the special person you had in your life – the one with whom you shared intimacy, personal feelings and secrets – is gone forever. Some people feel as if their marriage never happened, it might seem very far away and unreal now.
It is normal that during this time you will start to feel lonely. It is probably more in the house, due to the fact that you have lost your partner and probably also because you have no need for seeing friends or family right now. They mean well, but hearing “It’s time to move on with your life” over and over is not going to make you feel any better or help you. This might result in isolation or at least a feeling of isolation, as nobody around you really gets you. They simply have not been through what you have been. And if they have, it is a different experience for everybody. Everybody has different coping tactics and different ways of dealing with loss.
What to do now?
Don’t hold back your emotions. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. Friends and family members might suggest that you simply ‘let things go’, but that is not always the best advice. In some cases it’s better to really experience the emotions you are having. So they can get out of your system and you can start making progress towards leaving the affair behind you.
Sometimes spouses reconcile after the affair, but the “we are special and will never get divorced”-feeling is gone. Your marriage will not be the same again. It is up to you if that is a good thing. If you and your spouse are willing, you can turn the negative experience of infidelity around in what might become a very valuable lesson. Each experience can teach you something about how the world works and what you value. There have been numerous couples that have grown more intimate and stronger after one of them had an affair.
It will hurt from time to time and it will be hard, but both of you can make it through this and become stronger than ever.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.