“Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.” – Paulo Coelho
Surviving an affair and getting through it is tough. It takes tremendous courage and vulnerability from both to make it through. The initial shock of the revelation can jolt your confidence and fill your heart with sadness and grief. However, understand that dissatisfaction in a relationship is not always the reason behind infidelity. And it is crucial to come to terms with why it happened before you can talk, be honest, and discuss your vulnerabilities to get over the affair and emerge stronger.
There is no definitive method for getting over an affair. You have to work through the crisis, understand why and how it happened, and then decide. This article will help you navigate your emotions and understand how to get over an affair.
In This Article
How To Get Over An Affair After Being Betrayed
1. Processing The Revelation
The first step to recovery is acknowledging the situation and the crisis. We understand that you may feel shocked, angered, betrayed, and sad. However, remember that this phase will be over soon. You have to give yourself time to process it.
Avoid making any decisions during this phase, as those are most likely to be driven by intense emotions. You are prone to ‘reacting’ rather than ‘responding’ with careful consideration and calculation.
This is a period of grief – you both will be grieving for your old relationship. If you need some time by yourself, let your partner know. If you have children, you will probably have to take care of things at home and shield them from the initial blowout.
You may want to reach out to a friend or family member. However, remember that they are not aware of the dynamics of your relationship and are likely to have biases. While all of them want you to stay happy, your decision should not be influenced by others.
This is the time you should speak to a therapist – someone who can help you judge the situation from a neutral point of view. You can also consider reaching out to online support groups for people with similar experiences.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Another person’s actions do not define you, nor are you to blame for them. Infidelity is not an accidental occurrence; it is a poor choice.
2. Assessing And Understanding The Situation
Once the initial waves of emotion and grief come to a rest and your mind is not clouded, you have to get to the root of the issue and understand how it happened. This is the most crucial phase in the recovery process as it will help you empathize with each other. This is the phase you will realize whether you want to get beyond it or get over the relationship.
Do not blame yourself for whatever happened. Deconstruct the entire affair. Try to figure out at what point it began. You may realize that there are several unanswered questions. Understand your partner’s approach to the situation.
Talk to your spouse or partner and trace back the steps into your relationship to figure out what went wrong in your relationship and why they drifted. Try to analyze:
- If they feel sorry for it.
- Have they ended the affair?
- How long was the affair going on?
- Did anyone else know?
You may have thousands of questions to ask your partner. However, stick to the ones that give you an idea about what prompted them to take the step. Have an open and honest discussion. Their answers will help reveal what is going inside their minds and if they feel sorry about it.
3. Decide Your Way Forward
Do not rush through these discussions. Think deeply and consider your mental well-being and your children’s (if you have any). Consider the financial implications and other things that might affect your future.
If you are keen to make it work and think you can forgive your partner and move beyond this, go ahead. However, you should not be compromising on this decision. If you are doing it only for the children, it is best to consider another course of action. Many experts claim that children should see their parents happy and well on their own, rather than be fighting when they are together.
Reach out to a therapist to guide you both through this period. They will create a safe space for you both to speak your hearts out.
Remember to be in touch with yourself through this time. It will help you stay grounded in your individuality and see the bigger picture. You can practice some self-care by:
- Taking long and relaxing baths
- Pursuing a hobby
- Building a routine that serves as a calming ritual (cooking, skincare, online classes, etc.)
- Taking some time off from work
- Spending time with your close friends
4. Dedicate Yourself To Your Decision
Whatever decision you arrive at, give it your best shot. If reconciliation is how you want to get over the affair, work on forgiveness, and move past what they did to focus on why they might have done it. Work together to rebuild trust. Allow your partner to be honest instead of repressing it. This is the phase in which you rebuild the foundation of your relationship, so take the time to relearn and appreciate the good in each other.
If separation is what you feel is the best option, forgiveness is still just as important. While it is easy to paint the partner as a villain and cut them out of your life, you must acknowledge that they were an integral part of it at some point. Holding on to the bad will only let the ill feelings simmer in your head and cause repeated stress.
While you are not expected to be a saint and forgive your partner instantly, take your time and work on it as it will positively impact your relationships and mental health. Forgiveness should not be rushed – it comes with acceptance.
The path to getting over an affair will be filled with ups and downs. You are bound to be tested time and again and feel emotionally exhausted. Hence, it is always best to reach out to a professional.
Admitting your affair to your partner is equally tough. It comes with tremendous heartache. However, if you are truly guilty and regret your decision, you have to get rid of the guilt. You feel pain from hurting your partner and may also feel a lot of self-loathing. This is common. But constantly going through this is not the solution. The way forward is to pick yourself up and take accountability for your actions.
How To Get Over An Affair When You Have Betrayed
1. Brace Yourself
Your partner is currently experiencing a range of emotions and might also feel alone. The one person that you turn to in times of distress is now someone who might look at you with anger and pain. They might lash out in rage or just stop talking to you altogether. Give them the time to process this heartbreak and come to terms with it. If you have children, try your best to shield them from the initial fallout.
2. Be Honest
This is where you can help your relation heal. How you get over an affair heavily depends on this. Your partner might have a hard time believing every word you say, and they are not wrong to do so – their trust has been broken, after all. Honesty works for all.
They might ask you numerous questions regarding the affair and constantly repeat them, so be patient and understanding. Support them however you can and answer their questions truthfully. To be honest with your partner, you first need to be honest with yourself. Work on introspection and ask yourself:
- Why did you have the affair? What were the reasons?
- Do you regret the affair? Or would you regret the affair if your partner did not find out?
- Would you go back to the person you had the affair with again?
- What could your partner have done to prevent this?
- Do you want to repair the relationship?
Digging deep within will help you answer these questions. It can save a lot of time and put things into perspective. So be honest to yourself – find out what you want and then move on accordingly.
3. Transparency And Rebuilding Trust
Can you get over an affair with transparency? Not completely, but at the moment, this is what is going to help. Be fully transparent. If the situation involves media and social accounts, those should be made transparent. Being transparent means you have to admit everything and move forward.
Block the person you were having an affair with on all forms of media. If they are at work, minimize contact or even shift if possible. This might not seem as much, but it is an essential step to rebuilding trust. Let them know the details of your day, your whereabouts, and the people you interact with. Work hard to establish your communication, and be prepared to put in a lot of time for discussions that ease their minds.
4. Doing The Work
Seeing a therapist can greatly help you get over an affair. Whether you both decide to part ways or reconcile, you need a neutral perspective to guides you. Couple therapists have a deep understanding of human psychology and behavioral patterns. They can help you identify the negative behavioral patterns and tendencies in a relationship and amend them. Moreover, therapists often give you exercises to help with the trust rebuilding process.
Be dedicated to your decision. If your partner decides to give your relationship another chance – great. However, if they want to move on, respect their decision. Yes, you might feel like you are doing a lot of the heavy lifting at the moment, but realize that you need to make your partner feel safe and work on gaining their trust back.
Affairs do not mean the end of a relationship. Yes, we understand that they may create a permanent glitch. However, with patience and commitment, it is possible to resolve the issues, get over the affair, and heal your relationship. Whatever be the reasons, you cannot run away from them. Work together to understand what went wrong and heal each other. Consult a therapist for guidance and help.
Whatever you decide, know that your part of the journey is entirely in your hands. Sure, there will be times where you fail, but the point is to keep improving yourself along the way.
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