You feel betrayed, hurt, and confused. You found out that your spouse has been cheating on you behind your back. In the moment, it may feel like this pain and suffering will never end. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will be able to pick up the pieces and move forward. Whether or not you choose to stick it out or part ways with your spouse is up to you. There is no perfect, one-size-fits-all answer. However, it is important to know what steps you can take to begin healing from adultery.
How-to Begin Healing from Adultery: Picking Up the Pieces
If you want to start healing from adultery, you will have to work through multiple stages first. You will feel an overwhelming amount of pain and sadness. This could come with swings of emotions where you are angry at your spouse, then yourself, and back to your spouse again. This could all happen within a matter of moments. You will have lost all trust and have shattered dreams for the future.
During this time, do not make any rash decisions. When you are in emotional pain, you will not be able to make wise decisions at this point. Do not jump into wanting to file for divorce, hurting yourself or getting revenge. Wait until your emotions have leveled out, or you may make a decision that you regret, but cannot take back. There is no set time frame as to how long this stage will last. Your spouse will need to be patient with you during this time. The way you work through this stage is unique to you. Lean on others for support or seek a councilor. Make sure to practice self-care, get enough sleep and eat healthy.
It will be helpful to get therapy to work through healing from adultery. While you may be tempted to seek help on your own, it may be better to get therapy as a couple if you are considering continuing the marriage. You will have broken trust in your relationship. Seeking help together could help to rebuild this trust. There have already been enough secrets in this marriage. Individual therapy does not work to rebuild that trust. In fact, it may even make things more complicated. If you are wanting to save your marriage, you need to work through things with your spouse and not apart from them. Sometimes it takes one spouse hearing the other spouse saying why he or she is choosing this relationship and marriage versus giving up.
Working on Your Relationship
While the spouse who cheated on the other spouse is completely at fault for the affair, it is good to look at all of the other surrounding factors. Were there things that were broken in the marriage that could be worked on? Perhaps both spouses lost interest in one another. Try and address the things that were broken so that if you do continue the marriage, these things are not a continuous pain point.
It is also important to work on communication. For this to work, you must be able to communicate how you feel. You do not want underlying feelings to pop up 15 years from now about the hurt you have been sweeping under the rug. Being able to communicate openly will also help to rebuild trust.