Being cheated on feels like the world you knew was once an illusion.
The stable marriage you once had has gone up in smoke as you now feel unsettled adjusting to your new reality. When the rug has been swept from under your feet it’s natural that you feel a bit disoriented.
Being cheated on is always difficult. It can lead to anyone with a stout heart to tailspin out of control. But I’m here to tell you that it gets better. It seems like life is ending but it’s not and you know it.
The reality is that your husband has been with another woman. There is no changing that fact, but we can change how we feel about it. We can weather the storm, grow, and heal.
To make sure the emotional scar heals nicely there are concrete steps you can take that will improve your situation.
Before we can work to move forward we need to accept the situation we’re in. Denying reality only makes the path forward more uncertain. How can you get to where you want to go if you don’t know where you are? Accept the hard truth. Know where you and your husband stand and how you feel about it. Only then we work towards gracefully moving forward.
First off, find some distance between you and your emotions.
I’m going to ask you to think objectively about your relationship. I know how difficult this is, especially now, but it’s vital for the health of your future.
So before this exercise, think about yourself as two people. There’s the you of the present that’s angry and sad, and then there’s the future you. Future you deserves to be happy. Future you will benefit greatly from a calm and level-headed present you. Take into account this distant version of yourself. Gift them the best future you can by acting in a calm manner right now.
Here’s the exercise.
Look back on your marriage in its totality.
It’s easy to say your marriage is horrible and headed for the dumpster, but is this really the case when we examine your relationship as a whole?
Has he consistently been a bad husband and father? Have you two had a rocky relationship for some time where you don’t enjoy the other’s company and where communication is a drag?
Or has all been well for the most part? Has he loved and cared for you and the family?
It’s easy to run away from your marriage after learning he cheated. Easy to squash it and say you’re never going to talk to your husband again. But have you enjoyed your marriage as a whole?
Is it worth throwing away something because of a sexual dalliance?
Or is this a torrid chapter in what has largely been a fairytale story?
I ask these questions to help you understand your relationship as a whole instead of understanding your relationship as you’ve felt about it since he cheated.
Think of the relationship as a book. This is one horrible chapter. But the previous chapters may be evidence that there is plenty of good in this relationship and that it might be worth saving.
Looking back and examining it as a whole is the only way to figure that out.
Facts of life don’t determine how we feel, emotions do.
In one study normal people like you and me and expert meditators were hooked up to an MRI machine for a scan. When in the machine researchers played the sound of a gun going off nearby. Naturally, people like you and me jumped. We were panicked by hearing a gunshot at such close range. Our fight or flight response kicked in, heart rate jumped, and we started pumping adrenaline.
This wasn’t the case for the meditators.
As one meditator described it, it was as if the gunshot although played right next to his ear was heard from off in the distance. The meditator had their fight or flight responses triggered as well, but not nearly in the same way the non-meditators had.
So why am I telling you all this?
It’s because everyone has the capacity to deal with difficult situations better than they expected. But to get to this point you don’t have to become a recluse in the Tibetan mountains and meditate for three straight months.
No one makes good decisions when their fight or flight response is triggered. Stress leads to bad decisions that will compound whatever problem you’re dealing with. To improve your present dilemma you first must address your emotions.
There are actionable steps you can take right now to quickly shift how you’re feeling.
Sometimes the most minor of tweaks can have a major impact. Will shifting your body language make you forgive your husband? Of course not. But it is a step towards quickly improving your emotions so as to help you make better decisions.
Let’s start with a smile. Science says that even if it’s a fake one, smiling can make us feel better. A 2020 study published in the journal Experimental Psychology found that flexing the right facial muscles can release dopamine. Want a healthy hit of dopamine and serotonin? Don’t look to alcohol or smoking, but rather flex a quick smile. Doing so when you’re down or before making decisions or having difficult conversations will put you in a more balanced headspace and help you make better decisions.
Speak up, be clear, be energetic.
You’ll get better results in your interactions and feel better as a result if you project confidence. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the dumps internally. Externally the way to improve your life is to project confidence. The easiest way to do this is by changing your tone.
Viktor Frankl spent years in a holocaust camp.
He was worked nearly to death, treated as sub-human, watched his friends die, and was nearly starved. Yet throughout this horrid experience, he found beauty.
In this concentration camp he was able to fight against a tsunami of negativity by identifying his life’s purpose. It was this life purpose that kept him afloat. Despite how negative this experience was he was able to make something good out of it.
No matter how difficult your life is right now there is a way to not only make it better but to get something out of it that a different experience cannot offer.
If people like holocaust survivors can gift during the most heinous period in human existence you too can find something positive to come out of this experience.
Is this the end of the world?
Is that what you’ll allow yourself to focus on?
Will you drown yourself in the negatives or focus on the positives? Will you focus on moving forward, healing, and improving who you are as an individual?
What you decide to invest in will have a massive impact on your immediate future. You can feel bad about the situation or work on yourself and your marriage.
Maybe you’ve decided you want to make things right.
Focus on communicating with your partner, learning to trust him again, and personal growth.
But sometimes going it alone is difficult.
The tips I shared will help you. But one random article you found online isn’t enough to create the change you’re looking for.
To go deeper let’s team up.
I’ve had countless women come to me over the years after learning their partner was unfaithful.
Together we create meaningful emotional shifts, and generate personal healing, and figure out how to move forward in their marriage.
My Authentic Relationship System is a program developed through the years that gives women like you the tools they need to pull themselves up from the hole they’re in and move forward gracefully. Whether forward means with your partner or without, soon enough you’ll be in a better headspace and will enjoy life once again.
I’d love to learn more about you and your goals via a 1-on-1 call. Together let’s talk about your situation and see if I can be of service to you.