22 Ways Couples Can Survive Infidelity part1
Learn how your relationship can pass even the toughest test.
When someone you love betrays your trust, it can feel like an insurmountable hurdle. Our experts beg to differ. With a little TLC, it’s completely possible for your relationship to survive infidelity. Here’s how: 22 Ways Couples Can Survive Infidelity part1 22 Ways Couples Can Survive Infidelity part1 22 Ways Couples Can Survive Infidelity part1
1. Practice gratitude. No matter what happened in your marriage, returning to gratitude will set the groundwork for positive transformation. If you feel consumed by betrayal and despair, take a moment to focus on appreciation. Think about everything you appreciate about your mate. After a few minutes of refocusing in this way, notice what changes inside you. 22 Ways Couples Can Survive Infidelity part1 22 Ways Couples Can Survive Infidelity part1 22 Ways Couples Can Survive Infidelity part1
2. Fully face your feelings. When you are hurt, you may tend to blame, run, fight, judge or explain. If you can stop and fully feel the heartache tenderly, you will be surprised at what is possible. When you step fully into the sensation in your heart, beyond thought and explanation, the feeling begins to shift. Note: If you are suffering from a mental illness or severe emotional disturbance, use this practice only with the facilitation of a licensed therapist. 22 Ways Couples Can Survive Infidelity part1
3. Clarify your purpose. When hurt, you may tend to think about the problem. Recycling the problem can escalate the pain. If you can focus on the solution you seek, you will naturally head toward answers.
4. Develop a deeper level of emotional intimacy in the relationship. Infidelity is almost never about sex. Rather, it is about intimacy and unmet needs. To recover or heal a relationship following infidelity, you must learn how to become more emotionally intimate. This emotional intimacy comes from spending time together, communicating and sharing your lives together. In other words, you must take a risk and be vulnerable. Give your partner a chance to draw close to you.
5. Do things together. Couples that spend time together and have shared interests recover from infidelity much more quickly and effectively. Discover or rediscover things that you can do together that you both enjoy. Keep in mind that not all hobbies or activities are expensive; there are plenty of things you can do together that do not cost money.
6. Form a vision of the past and the future. One of the ways that couples can heal from infidelity is to think back to when they first met or got married. How did you fall in love? Why did you get married? What did the relationship look like back then? Now, think about the future you wanted together… enjoying your golden years of retirement, traveling, playing with the grandchildren, enjoying family activities. What does that look like? Develop an image of these things and how nice it can be to share this with the person you love most — the person you married.
7. Normalize your feelings. You are mad at your partner, but you’re also experiencing painful thoughts about yourself. You wonder who you are and what you meant to your partner, or if you did anything to cause this, possibly doubting your attractiveness or self-worth. Reading books or blogs on the subject might help you see what is normal in reaction to discovering betrayal.
8. Ask about the things you need to know. How long did this relationship last? Was it physical/sexual? What was the extent of the lies that were told in order to conceal it, and how much money was spent? Is there a risk of an STD or pregnancy?
9. Don’t ask about the details you don’t need to know. You may have the urge to push to learn the x-rated details of the sexual encounters or ask your partner to compare you to the person they had the affair with. My advice is: don’t! Keep the focus on your relationship, not the affair partner.
10. Postpone final decisions. It might take a long time to figure out what led to this crisis and where to go from here. Your first impulse is probably not the wisest. Try to postpone permanent decisions until you can think more clearly.
11. Ride the initial shock wave. Allow an initial wave of shock, pain, fear and grief to build and then break, like a wave at the beach. Wait for this initial phase to pass before you attempt to figure out what to do in response to your new reality. Impulsive angry actions are likely to make a bad situation worse.