Wow! So you’ve just found out that your spouse or significant other has been unfaithful! Heart breaking, right? I’m sure you have a million scenarios and questions running through that head of yours.
Did someone say questions? Questions like…
- Now what?
- What do you do?
- What will people think?
- What will my family say?
- How will my kids react?
- Should I get a divorce?
- How do you go on without allowing infidelity to destroy you as a person and as a couple?
Now let me ask you a question. Do you want to know the “secret” to getting beyond this? Are you ready? Now this is huge! Well… it’s simple – and the answer is…one day at a time!
However, the first 30 days prove to be quite difficult because you have to go through many transitions during this time. In those thirty days, expect to experience the following phases:
Phase 1 = Shock
Have you ever seen shock on the face of someone in a horror movie? Well magnify that expression times twenty for me! Yes, that was my face and it is the face of many women and men when they learn that their significant other has been unfaithful.
This phase is accompanied by enormous amounts of anger, tears, and a roller coaster of emotions. The emotional roller coaster is very real…trust me I know! I want you to know and trust that these emotions are normal and totally okay.
This is an emotional topic.
You will both have plenty to say so be mindful that while some things need to be said, others might not be advantageous to one another or the relationship during this time. Now I’m not saying lie, as I believe in honesty. Just be sure to evaluate carefully first.
However, know this is all part of the healing. Just remember that if you really loved each other, now is the time to grab hold of that love! I know it is not logical. Trust me. I get it. But heck, is love logical? I think not!
Phase 2 = Aftershock
So, after shock, comes aftershock. As the recipient of the infidelity, you will likely go numb. You will cry some more, and more, and plenty more. Again, I remind you, this is normal and a good cleansing process so do not fear your emotions.
Allow yourself to feel or you will drive yourself crazy!
You will want to point fingers and blame, but that’s where I caution you to be careful. When a relationship suffers through an affair, it’s usually because there are underlying problems that need to be dealt with. Take time to talk through the areas of concern and try to find healthy ways to address them, with help, as needed.
Phase 3 = Initial Healing
Healing is likely be the third phase. Regardless of what you hear, there is no “right” amount of time to pass through each phase, this one included. Healing will occur fastest with lots of honesty, talking, forgiveness, displayed commitment (because talk is cheap if it is not backed up with supporting actions), hugs, and kisses.
If you want to survive and truly thrive through the first 30 days and beyond, you MUST forgive.
Bitterness will only harbor resentment which prevents you from moving the relationship forward.
Phase 4 = Growth
Growth is the final phase of recovery. And this may last a lifetime. This is where you take what you’ve learned through shock, aftershock, rebuilding trust, forgiveness, healing, and growth and continue to put it all together to get better, bigger, and stronger.
Remember, every day is an opportunity to move your marriage or relationship forward! The best part is that you get the choice whether to turn it into a burden or a blessing. Choose wisely!