If there is one thing about infidelity—or the betrayal of trust in a relationship—it is that it feels like the sky is falling down around you when it happens. Sadly, many couples end up suffering after infidelity, because the first steps towards recovery are unknown. Furthermore, so many people try to handle the pain and confusion by themselves. You do not have to walk the road of infidelity recovery alone. There are ways to move forward together that mitigate the hurt and save your marriage. Today, you are going to learn about Couple Academy’s best practices for surviving infidelity.
Let’s get started.
1. The Whole Truth
Infidelity is one of those things in life that gets infinitely worse before it ever begins to get better. Why? Because you cannot move on without learning everything about the affair. After you have learned about your partner’s betrayal, the last thing you are going to want to hear is more about it. However, the whole truth is the start of rebuilding your relationship. Knowing how the affair started, who it was with, how long it went on, if there is still contact, and other pivotal information forms the groundwork for recovery.
Plus, knowing the truth is better than generating your own stories and jumping to conclusions. Although the truth is painful, having all the facts is more beneficial than going without.
2. Take Time to Process Your Emotions
Infidelity can trigger a range of intense emotions, including anger, sadness, and betrayal. You may feel like the world is ending and that your relationship is ruined. It’s important to give yourself time and space to process these feelings and find healthy ways to express and cope with them. This may involve talking to a trusted friend, writing in a journal, or seeking the support of a therapist. Remember to also sleep well, get plenty of exercise, and to engage in activities that bring you personal joy.
Also, it is recommended that you avoid making any rash decisions during the most chaotic of days after learning about the affair. Let the most negative of emotions subside before you start thinking about the next step.
3. Communicate Openly and Honestly
Any relationship needs communication to survive. When it comes to surviving infidelity, communication is all the more vital. You will both find that the recovery process is better when you are committed to honesty and transparency. For the unfaithful partner, communication often means having difficult conversations with your partner about where you are going and why. It may also mean minimal privacy until your partner trusts you again. For the hurt partner, communication means building healthy boundaries and laying out new expectations and routines.
If you feel that this will be a struggle, it is recommended that you call a couple therapist, like those at Couples Academy, as soon as you can. Developing strong communication skills will smooth out the recovery process.
4. Seek Professional Support
Infidelity can be a complex issue, and it’s often helpful to seek the support of a trained therapist or counselor who can help you navigate the challenges of recovery. Couples therapy, individual therapy, or a combination of both may be helpful, depending on your needs and goals.
For instance, at Couples Academy, our team is experienced in infidelity recovery. We focus on the roots of infidelity, as well as constructing solid plans that help you move from the crisis phase towards understanding and forgiveness.
5. Take Responsibility for Your Actions
Infidelity is always the choice of the unfaithful partner, but it is also essential to realize that issues within the relationship are not always one-sided. Both of you must be willing to take responsibility for your actions and make changes to address any underlying issues within the relationship that may have contributed to the affair. Many relationships, even the happy ones, have certain issues that lead to infidelity. For example, many couples find themselves dealing with the aftermath of an affair because one partner felt emotionally neglected or distant from the other. Instead of communicating their needs, they sought comfort in their affair partner.
Correcting these potentially harmful patterns and opening new avenues of communication and intimacy will help strengthen your bonds and prevent any future affairs from occurring.
6. Seek Out Ways to Reconnect
If you are both willing to work on things and survive infidelity together, then you must figure out ways to reconnect. During the aftermath of an affair, you may wonder if you ever knew your spouse or partner at all. You may not even want to do anything together or find no joy in the hobbies you once shared.
How do you overcome that? By finding something new to immerse yourselves in! Go on dates where you talk about anything but the affair. Engage in new hobbies. Make new friends. Go on vacation. It will be difficult to do, but it will be worth it in the end.
7. Do Not Rush Forgiveness
When attempting to recover from infidelity, you will often hear, “be patient with each other.” While this is sound advice, as it speaks of compassion for one another, there is one other thing you should never rush: forgiveness. The hurt party will be unable to forgive for a long time, because the pain of infidelity is enduring. Plus, even if you utter the words, “I forgive you,” you may not mean it.
You want to mean it.
Forgiveness should only come when you are 100% ready for it, when you have wrestled with the difficult thoughts and feelings. So be patient with the process. Do not attempt to forgive if the trust is not yet rebuilt.
Move Forward Together
Surviving infidelity is difficult, and recovery takes a long time. However, when you know the best practices for infidelity recovery, your chances of moving forward together increase dramatically. Now that you know what those best practices are, you can better navigate this difficult time. You also do not have to walk this road alone. The team at Couples Academy is here to guide you down the right path towards a happier, healthier relationship. Whether you are struggling to communicate or need help setting goals for the future, we are here to advise! Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services or set up your consultation.