Have you recently discovered that your partner has been having an affair for years and are you wondering if surviving long term infidelity is even possible?
Has your life been totally turned upside down and everything that you thought was true seem not so much?
I am so sorry for you! There is nothing worse than feeling betrayed by the person you, perhaps, trusted most in the world.
So, what are the keys to surviving long term infidelity? Let me tell you…
#1 –Don’t make any rash decisions.
Ok, so you are PISSED!!! Your man has been stepping out on you and deceiving you for years! You feel betrayed and you want him GONE!
May I suggest that you pause for a bit before you take any rash steps? What happens next is very important and you don’t want to do anything that might jeopardize your future.
The few things to consider are your kids, your finances, your mental health and what the future might look like. To that end, a few examples of things that might NOT be good to do:
- Move out of the house – you want to stay in it in case of divorce – leaving it might cause you to lose it.
- Tell your kids. Yes, you are mad and want to hurt him but is telling them a good way to do it? It might harm their health, long term.
- Be reckless with cash. For many of us, spending money is therapy. At this juncture, when the future is unknown, being careful with your money is a good idea.
- Stop taking care of yourself. You are going to need to be strong to get through this. Now is not the time to take to your bed with ice cream and vodka.
Before you make any quick decisions, pause and think them through. Future you will be glad you did.
#2 – Don’t lash out at the other woman.
For those of us who have been the victim of long term infidelity, the instinct to blame the other woman is a very strong one. Why? Because it’s very hard for us to blame the person we pledged to have and to hold forever, the father of our children. It is way easier to blame the other woman for being a slut and a homewrecker than to blame the man who you once loved, and still might.
The blame for your man’s infidelity lands fully on his shoulders. He is married, perhaps with children, and he chose to be with another woman, purposely, in spite of his vows. He made a conscious decision to be with this woman, and stay with this woman, for a long time. It’s all on him.
It is also important that you don’t actually reach out to this woman. You might be looking for answers. You might want to see what she looks like. You might need to do some yelling. DON’T DO IT!
It’s important that, in this time that you have been betrayed, you work hard to maintain your dignity. You are going to feel bad about your life for a while and maintaining your dignity will help you get through it.
Rise above their disgraceful behavior and be a strong woman.
#3 – Don’t blame yourself.
A very interesting fact about surviving long term infidelity is that, more often or not, women who are betrayed blame themselves for the betrayal.
If only I had been nicer or prettier or smarter perhaps he wouldn’t have needed to fool around on me. Or What did I do to deserve being treated this way? OR I must really be a terrible person if my husband would choose to be with someone else. Or I really am a loser.
The most important thing for you to realize is that this ISN’T YOUR FAULT! Yes, affairs don’t happen in a void and there are often some issues in the marriage of someone who strays. But you didn’t stray. You stayed in your marriage, faithful, in spite of those issues. Your spouse did not.
Your spouse is the one who made the decision so be unfaithful to you and it’s all on him.
#4 – Don’t go through this alone.
Women who find out that their husband has been unfaithful often find that they are ashamed of what has happened, that their husband’s affair is a reflection on themselves and it’s their failure. As a result, they don’t want to admit to anyone the truth about what is going on.
It is VERY important that you don’t carry this burden alone, that you find someone to confide in, someone who can help you process what has happened.
Do you have a friend or a sister who would want to support you? Perhaps a therapist or a life coach? There are also support groups for women living with infidelity. They can be especially helpful because you connect with people who have shared experience and truly understand what you are going through.
Whoever you turn to, turn to someone. What has happened to you is too huge too carry alone. Reach out for help. You will be glad you did.
#5 – Don’t give up.
I know that right now you feel like your life is over. That everything you thought to be true is, in fact, a lie. And you wonder how you will ever be able to get your life back, to be happy, to find love again. All of that seems so daunting that all you want to do is get in bed and pull your covers over your head.
Let me tell you – DON’T GIVE UP! I have been through this and, while there were definitely days that were very dark, my life now is very much worth living.
So, make an effort to take care of yourself – eat, sleep and exercise. Get support from your loved ones. Get professional help if necessary. Do whatever it takes to stay strong and healthy so that you can get through this with your mental and physical health intact.
You CAN DO IT! I promise!
Surviving long term infidelity might seem completely daunting to you at this moment in your life. And I get it. What has happened is horrible.
But you can get through it! Don’t make any rash decision or make any snap judgements about the other woman. Definitely don’t blame yourself. Get help and don’t give up.
Every year thousands of women survive upon learning that their partner was unfaithful. You can too!
Are you really struggling with your spouse’s infidelity?
Let me help you cope with it, NOW, before the burden is too much to bear.
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.