If your loved one has cheated on you, then naturally you feel hurt.
You may also feel a variety of other emotions. Anger, sadness, jealousy, and fear are just a few common feelings after infidelity.
Unfortunately, you may also turn on yourself, feeling as if you weren’t “good enough.” While it’s important to take responsibility for your part in infidelity, this must be done with self-compassion.
Practicing self-care is critical in coping with infidelity. Good self-care gives you the strength that you need to move forward, with or without your partner.
Accepting all Emotions
One big aspect of self-care after infidelity is accepting all of the emotions that you have. This doesn’t mean that you let them run rampant over your life. Instead, you can be gentle with yourself, knowing that these feelings are valid but also temporary.
When you try to fight your emotions or avoid them, you only cause yourself more pain. When you accept them, you can actually learn from them.
Try to get curious about your emotions, without becoming too attached to them.
For example, ask yourself:
- What am I feeling right in this moment?
- Where in my body do I feel this emotion?
- What behaviors am I doing as a result of this emotion?
- What are the thoughts associated with the emotion?
- How true are these thoughts? Where are they really coming from?
Self-Care for Achieving Balance
When you can accept and understand your emotions, you are not captive to them. You can choose behaviors that will make you feel better at any given moment. Engaging in this kind of self-care is a way of telling yourself that you are still worthy, lovable, and whole despite infidelity.
Self-care can include:
- Taking walks alone, with a dog, or with friends.
- Soaking in a scented bath.
- Reading a favorite book or magazine.
- Watching movies that make you laugh.
- Spending time with people you love.
- Taking an afternoon off to nap.
- Eating a nutritious meal.
Ultimately, self-care is about figuring out what your needs are at any moment, then finding a way to meet those needs.
Looking at Your Part in Infidelity
After infidelity, it can often times be difficult to look at your part in the process. A couple is a system. When something goes wrong in the system, both parties have played a part. This is not about blaming anyone. It is not about feeling guilty, and it is certainly not about beating yourself up for what you may have done “wrong.”
Instead, it is about looking at the system with an eye towards understanding. Take responsibility for your part in the situation.
What did you do, avoid doing, or ignore that led up to a situation of infidelity? What was happening in your relationship and what was your role in that?
This is about self-reflection and awareness. It is about gaining honest, open insight into the situation. In other words, it is about looking at the relationship with clear, open eyes. This allows you to make the right decision about moving forward.
Support for Moving Forward
A big part of self-care is making sure that you have the support that you need after infidelity. This support can include friends, family, support groups, therapy, and/or spiritual practices.
These are the things that will help you through no matter what you and your partner decide about moving forward after infidelity.
Ultimately, you will both need to choose whether or not to remain together. If you do, you will both have to work together to repair the relationship.
If you separate, you will need to work to heal from this wound so that you don’t carry it forward into your next relationship.
Your support network should consist of people who are willing and able to provide you with love, care, and compassion regardless of the choice that you make.
Therapy can be helpful in developing self-care practices after infidelity. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.