For the betrayed and the wayward spouse/partner, there are basic steps on how to survive infidelity.
This is what I cover at the outset when counseling couples wounded by infidelity or extramarital affairs.
The basic steps help the couple get some distance from their emotional reactivity.
It’s foundational so they can bring initial equilibrium in their lives. And, allow themselves to move forward after the affair.
Nothing compares to the “deepest cut” and pain of discovering that your spouse/partner has been unfaithful.
The betrayal. The sadness. The jealousy. It’s all unlike what you’ve experienced before.
“It can’t be! He lied to me over and over again! I’m such a fool! I lost everything!” said a wife who discovered her husband’s long years of infidelity.
Yet it is still possible to heal. To move forward. For the couple to know how to survive infidelity and decide what to do in their marriage.
Let me give a little list here of some of these “basic steps” for partners to start healing after affair/s:
1. Partner asks forgiveness for the affair/s;
2. Partner with affair cuts all contact with OP (other person/s);
3. Cheater shows evidences of remorse by taking responsibility and putting in the work needed to repair trust (not just pay lip service or go through the motions);
4. “No more secrets” is agreed upon and practiced by both partners;
5. Both partners go through therapy/counseling – individually and maritally or relationally;
6. Both partners learn how to process their respective hurts and practice compassion;
7. For both partners to share with one another what top things they can do to fill up their love buckets and avoid those that drain them;
8. Prevent a repeat of traumatic experience of the affair/s in the future by putting boundaries to live by in place.
“People are disturbed not by things, but by the views they take of them.” – Epictetus