Recovering from Infidelity

Recovering from Infidelity

Infidelity can ruin the strongest relationships, it is one of the biggest obstacles that impacts a marriage and causes emotional and mental damage. Infidelity can be defined as one or both partners who are married or in a long-term committed relationship becoming emotionally or physically involved with someone outside of the relationship, which leads to either sexual or emotional infidelity. Regardless of the type, infidelity causes feelings of hurt, disbelief, grief, loss, anger, betrayal, guilt, sadness, and sometimes rage, and these feelings are very difficult to live with, manage, and overcome.

When infidelity occurs, there’s a loss of trust in the relationship. Oftentimes, it’s hard to look at the person in the face, it’s hard to be in the same room with him/her, and very difficult to have a conversation without thinking about what happened, and without saying to yourself, “how can you say you love me and do this to me.”

Mental and emotional repercussions

Infidelity is very complex, it’s confusing, negatively impacts a person’s emotional and mental health, and can lead to depression, as well as, anxiety. Couples who experience infidelity in their marriage go through many ups and downs while trying to recover or move past it, the hurt partner exhibits feelings of anger, frustration, distress, hurt, and confusion, and have a difficult time dealing with feelings of betrayal.

Effects of infidelity on the betrayed partner

Infidelity causes a very devastating impact on a marriage, and leaves a person questioning their worth, value, sanity, and impacts their self-esteem. The hurt partner feels abandoned and betrayed, and he/she begins to question everything about the relationship, their mate, and wonder whether the entire relationship was a lie. When there’s been infidelity, the hurt partner is sad and upset often, cries a lot, believes it’s their fault, and sometimes blame themselves for their partner’s indiscretion.

Rebuilding marriage after infidelity

Although infidelity is highly destructive and can cause serious damage, it doesn’t mean the marriage has to be over. If you have experienced infidelity in your relationship, it’s possible to rebuild, recommit, and reconnect with each other; however, you must decide if you want to stay in the relationship and if it’s worth saving. If you and your mate decide that you want to rebuild your relationship, recommit to the relationship and to each other, and reconnect with each other, you may have to make some hard choices, make some decisions that you may or may not agree with, and you must understand and accept the following;

  • The cheating must end immediately if you want to honestly work on the marriage.
  • All communication via telephone, texting, emails, social media and physical contact with the person must stop immediately.  
  • Accountability and boundaries must be established in the relationship.
  • The recovery process will take time…..don’t rush it.
  • It takes time to manage and deal with the negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions, as well as the recurring images that your mate may experience.
  • Forgiveness is not automatic and it does not mean your mate will forget what happened.

In addition,

  • If you are the one who cheated, you must discuss what happened honestly and openly, and answer any questions your mate has about the infidelity.
  • Seek counseling from a therapist who specializes in working with couples who have been impacted by infidelity.

It’s not easy to recover from infidelity, and it’s not impossible. Healing and growth will occur in your marriage if you choose to stay and recover from the infidelity together, and if you decide that staying together is what you want, remember that it’s important for both of you to heal and rebuild trust.

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LaWanda is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the owner of LNE Unlimited. She focuses on transforming the lives of women through counseling, coaching and speaking. She specializes in helping women overcome their unhealthy relationship patterns and provides them solutions for it. Dr. Evans has a unique counseling and coaching style that is known for helping her clients to get to the root of their problems.

More by Dr. LaWanda N. Evans

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