You’ve want to figure out how to recover after a marital affair. You feel lost and maybe even broken. You don’t know where to turn next. Everything you thought you knew, you know no longer. This doesn’t feel real, but it is, and it hurts so badly. Your spouse is supposed to be your life partner. Both trustworthy and loyal, and you found out that they’ve had a marital affair.
You’re just hurt. And it’s okay to be hurt. It’s okay to feel broken.
Crying seems to help soothe you, but you’re at the point where you’ve run out of tears to cry. Anger, disgust, shame, and insecurity floods your system. “Was it me?” you ask yourself. You question everything about yourself at this point.
Although this is a normal part of the healing, you cannot let this unfortunate and negative event define you forever. You can be hurt about it. Recovering from a marital affair requires you to stand up for yourself. Also to know that you don’t need to be so hard on yourself for this.
Oftentimes, people will cheat because they are unable to communicate hard feelings. They are lacking something in the relationship, or are unsatisfied with something. Having a marital affair can be extremely damaging to a marriage. It can leave both partners feeling questionable about whether or not they should continue to stay married.
The truth is, both men and women cheat on each other in marriage. Cheating is usually the result of an unresolved issue, lack of communication, and the desire for something else in a marriage.
Now that you have uncovered the truth, you and your spouse calmly sit down to speak about it. Even though this has been going on for quite some time, you are please that they finally opened up to you about it. This is a difficult and tricky topic to navigate that may leave individuals feeling unheard or uncomfortable.
If you and your spouse are wanting to recover after a marital affair, consider starting couples counseling at Simi Psychological Group, where we have specialized therapists who are ready to help guide you through this process.
It will be difficult to hold a real, honest conversation if both you and your spouse are getting passive aggressive, spiteful, and interrupting each other. Read “How Can I Communicate Better With My Partner” for more information on using “I” statements, being respectful, and being able to see from each other’s point of view.
Here are five ways you can recover after a marital affair.
Examine why they cheated
This is going to require your spouse to be completely honest – which, let’s be real here, maybe won’t happen right off the bat. You may also find yourself feeling suspicious on whether or not they’re really telling you the truth, granted they kept a big secret from you for so long.
It’s important that although it’s difficult, you give your spouse the space to be honest and open about why they cheated. It will take holding your tongue to interject, and you want to make sure your partner explains what’s been going on.
Maybe your partner has been unsatisfied with the sex lately, and has been wanting to try out new things with someone else. Maybe they are exploring their own sexual interests and desires without you. It could be that your partner is losing feelings for you, and losing faith in the relationship to go the way they want it to go. Maybe your partner still wants to be with you, but struggles to communicate what they truly want.
Let your spouse explain thoroughly why they decided to go and contact someone else. Maybe you had been fighting and arguing recently, and they wanted someone on the side as an escape, but they still love you.
It can be hard to communicate calmly with each other at this moment in time. Create that vulnerable space for your spouse to explain why they cheated and express their feelings to you. It could be that your spouse is hurting too, knowing they hurt you, and hurting you was not their intention.
Cheating is a sign that something is going on in the relationship, whether that be just within your spouse alone, needing to figure out what they want in life, or that the relationship is taking a toll on both of you. Maybe you both are feeling worn out, unheard, alone, and insecure.
Marriage counseling in Simi Valley can provide you both with the tools and resources you need to communicate effectively.
Look deep inside yourself to see what insecurities strike out the most
When you envision yourself, you deserve to be happy in your body. You deserve to feel like the most beautiful person alive, and not let anyone make you feel less than that.
After a marital affair, it’s likely that you will start to question yourself. You may start to question your career choices, your hair styles, your fashion sense, everything. Nothing will quite make sense at this time and you may resort to taking it out on yourself.
When you found out your spouse was having an affair, where did your mind initially go? Could it have been the baby fat you’ve been struggling to shed off, making you feel bad about your appearance? Could it have been that during sex, you may not be able to stay engaged for that long before you reach full pleasure?
Whatever it may be, keep note on what strikes out to you. You will likely blame yourself for being cheated on. What aspect of yourself are you targeting as the reason for being cheated on? It’s important to recognize your insecurities so that you can start to work on them.
Working on them could either mean creating and attaining goals such as going to the gym twice a week or going on bi-daily walks around the block. Maybe you can take this chance to finally try out that hairstyle you’ve been thinking about, or start to experiment with makeup.
Whatever the insecurities may be, use it to your advantage to better yourself and to love yourself more. Don’t dangle your insecurities in front of your face and continue to talk poorly to yourself as this will get you nowhere. You know what you want and how to get it. It’s just a matter of dedication.
Surround yourself with close family and friends
This is a time for you to retreat into your support system and start getting some outside advice/opinions on the matter. Maybe your family became fond of your spouse, and are now having second thoughts about that. They don’t trust your spouse like they used to, and are sad at the situation at hand.
Having a judgment free, serious conversation with close friends and family without the spouse there will allow you to weigh the pros and cons better. If you have children, that’s a factor to consider in whether or not you will remain married. Divorce can be expensive, and maybe you and your cohorts believe that they will be more open and honest if they are feeling the need to see someone else in private. Or, maybe your confidants will worry that you’ll get hurt again.
Make sure you have close friends and family who you can contact during this time. Go over boundaries with your friends and family to ensure that you are not pushing it too much, but simply want their support. Consult on when and how often you can come to them to speak about this issue. Let them know that just having them listen and be there for you means so much.
At the end of the day, you have people who love you other than your spouse. You have friends, family, and most importantly, yourself. Although it is highly recommended that you keep in contact with your spouse, actively encourage them to speak about the cheating with you, keep it separate from your friends and family.
Your friends and family want to focus on you and help you recover from the marital affair more than they want to understand the reasoning that you were cheated on. If you’ve drifted away from friends and family during your marriage, take this opportunity to reconnect with them and strengthen the bond as your support system.
Take all the time and space you need
Do not feel obligated to spend all your time around your spouse, especially if you are needing some healing. Don’t feel pressured on staying with your partner at all times during this vulnerable moment. It may seem like you want to hang around them to ensure that they aren’t talking to anyone else or that they aren’t going to go sneak out and see someone else, but at that point, you’ve lost yourself. And a relationship with that much paranoia is not a healthy one to consider staying in.
It will feel foreign to not spend time with your spouse. Consider reaching out to friends and family to see if you can spend some time with them, or consider having your spouse stay with someone else for a while.
Naturally, you may worry where they are and what they’re doing. But that’s not fair. It’s not fair in friendships, relationships, or marriages. It creates a huge mental toll on someone to worry, feel insecure, and be on the lookout constantly.
They’ve cheated on you, it’s done. The cat is out of the bag. What’s the worst thing they could do now, go cheat on you again? Maybe so. If that’s the case, it will be increasingly difficult to salvage your marriage. If your partner truly loves and respects you, they will take this seriously and begin to show their commitment and sorrow.
Journal your feelings on a regular basis
It’s important that you give YOURSELF the space to be vulnerable and honest. You need to let your feelings out in a healthy manner to process this tough, emotional time in your marriage. Make sure to stay true to yourself, and not engage in unhealthy coping mechanisms, like abusing substances or harming yourself.
Consider going out and buying a journal that is aesthetically pleasing to you as well as a nice pen. Treat journaling as an essential part of your day and enjoy the process!
Journaling your emotions, negative and positive, will allow you to take a step back from all of your thoughts and come up with a concise plan.
If you feel your marriage has potential to be repaired, and both you and your spouse are wanting to seek additional support, consider taking online therapy for couples counseling at Simi Psychological Group today.