Unfortunately or fortunately, living together does not always consist of joint visits to coffee houses, bouquets of roses, and romantic experiences. Sooner or later, we begin to live together. After a year, the passion goes away, and convenient habitual affection takes its place, life begins to get boring, and then it’s like a bolt from the blue: “He cheats on me!” It is not important how you learned about it, it is not important what led to it. It is important how you survive the consequences of infidelity. We have compiled a short list of actions that will definitely help to cope with heartache.
1. Shock condition
It will last on average from one day to a week. It will seem to you that the sun has fallen to the ground and the world has turned upside down: a close and dear person turns out to have betrayed your trust. At this stage, the most important thing is not to be afraid of your feelings, to admit that you are hurt and offended and so on. It is also worth recalling Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross from Switzerland, who formulated five stages of grief: denial, bargaining, anger, depression and acceptance. In general, grief lasts about a year, so do not think that everything will be forgotten in a week or a month and you will begin to enjoy life again.
2. Attempts to understand and bring control
When something happens, the most important thing for us is to understand why it happened. These are tricks of consciousness, which rely on control when surrounded by chaos and when familiar life collapses. It doesn’t matter why it happened. It could have been a one-time sex or dating for a long time. Maybe there was no sex at all, but only platonic love for a colleague.
You cannot derive any use from these fruitless reasonings – you are only depleting your nervous system. Pointless are the attempts to find out something about the rival, look for her in social networks, call or meet her are an attempt to establish control, when nothing depends on you.
3. Stop blaming yourself
Most of us are already advanced in family life. We have read so many articles on psychology and attended such an incredible amount of training on true femininity that we know perfectly well: both partners are guilty of infidelity, and the responsibility is shared 50:50.
The sophisticated mind treacherously begins to search for flaws: of course, you were guilty, you devoted all your time to the baby immediately after giving birth, you wore a faded T-shirt at home and completely forgot about lace panties. On top of that, you got absorbed by your new job and – oh, horror! – you stopped ironing the bedsheets.
Remember once and for all: the responsibility for infidelity stays with the one who has cheated. And not the one who was cheated on. The fact is that the feeling of guilt blocks the feeling of grief very strongly, so it is necessary to get rid of it as soon as possible.
4. Get out of the victim’s position
If you accept a priori that the responsibility for infidelity lies with the partner, it is very important not to get into the “victim position”. You can and should feel sorry for yourself: who else will regret it, if not you? Suffering is very helpful. But not for long. Because the position of the victim is energy-consuming and very unproductive.
Here we are included in the so-called Karpman drama triangle, a triangle of destructive relations. It implies that all three roles at the vertices of the triangle — Tyrant, Sacrifice, and Rescuer — are interchangeable. That is, if I feel like a victim, I consider my partner a tyrant, and I urgently need a rescuer, for example, a friend, with whom we will gossip so nicely about the tyrant and his lover. Now you are no longer a victim, but a tyrant. This is how you move in the closed triangle. You can spend the rest of your life doing this. Therefore, the only way to get out of the Karpman drama triangle is to openly talk about your feelings and the things that you are not comfortable with.
5. Abandon hope and forget about forgiveness
The first thing that psychologists recommend to women who have learned about their husband’s infidelity is to bury hope. The hope that nothing has changed. Even if your couple survives infidelity, it will never be the same.
Adultery is a watershed dividing family life into the stages of “before” and “after”. For many ladies, a question pops up: “How can I forgive him?” The answer is you cannot. Forgiveness is when one partner, towering over another, bestows grace from a superior position. And the relationship is still about two equal people in a couple. Therefore, it is better to immediately think of a compensation – emotional, moral, material, which you are ready to accept in return. Another thing is that sometimes it takes some time to get rid of the pain and resentment before you can talk about compensations.
6. Take care of your own life
Now you can forget everything that you have read before because we came to the most important step. This step is about taking responsibility for your life. The fact is that eternal love does not exist, just as the magic pill of heartache. No one but you yourself will understand what has happened. This step is about real actions.
Regardless of what they will be like: to go for a haircut or go in for sports, visit a Tarot card reader to see what archetypes your unconscious is operating with, or to get a second or third education. Contact a family psychologist together or attend a therapy alone. Get down to work not to feel anything. Quit or stay in a relationship. Ninety-five percent of adulterers do not want to terminate the previous relationship. Infidelity is always a crisis with an open ending, though it depends on you alone what will happen next.