Today we are going to talk about 3 effective ways to deal with painful feelings after the discovery of infidelity.
I decided to write this article because I believe what I'm about to share with you will help with one of the most challenging and painful aspects of dealing with infidelity - that moment when you first find out his behavior is either moving towards infidelity, or is fully immersed in infidelity.
Either way, the initial days and weeks after an infidelity discovery completely turn your heart and world upside down.
- There's that sick feeling in your stomach that makes it hard to eat anything.
- There are nights of tossing and turning when you try to sleep.
- There are replays in your mind, over and over again, about what you discovered.
- And there are feelings to deal with that range from tears to shock to panic.
An Infidelity discovery signals DANGER to our heart, mind, and body. We go into high alert as we try to deal with the crisis that hit our relationship.
And while dealing with all of the emotional upheaval, we still have to figure out what to do about what we discovered. That's asking a lot when we are feeling so broken inside.
Despite the challenges, there are some things you can do to help yourself get through this tough time.
Learning how to effectively deal with your painful feelings will help you in the months ahead. you will be able to harness your personal power and advocate for yourself.
That's an important goal for the months ahead.
So let's get started shall we?
Tip 1 | work on intentionally calming yourself.
Remember when I talked earlier about how our heart, mind, and body go into high alert after discovering infidelity?
Early in the infidelity discovery process, your feelings can be overwhelming.
By learning how to calm and soothe yourself, you will find that your feelings aren't nearly as powerful and that you feel more in control of yourself.
Here are some ideas that you can use to help calm yourself when you are in emotional pain:
- Take a soothing bath.
- Take 2-3 deep breathes, allowing each exhale to release some of the pain and tension from your body. (Did you know that when people grieve, there is a tendency to sigh? That is the way our body releases some of the pain.)
- Allow your pain to happen and observe it, rather than fighting it. The feeling will pass if you make room for it.
- Take a long walk.
- Listen to calming music.
- Write in your journal to express and release your feelings.
- Be extra kind to yourself. Treat yourself like someone who is recovering from trauma - because chances are, that's what you are going through.
You may find that you need to practice calming yourself several times per day right after an infidelity discovery. Just keep doing what helps.
Tip 2 | Notice what you tell yourself about what happened.
We all have private conversations with ourselves about the difficulties we face in our lives. This is called "self-talk" and it has a big impact on how we feel and respond to situations that hurt or bother us.
- Do you ever find yourself feeling like a victim? (And yes, you were victimized by his behavior, however, what I'm referring to here is staying stuck on that thought.)
- Do you feel like you are trapped, with no way out of this situation?
- Do you feel stupid for being fooled by him?
- Do you blame yourself for what happened?
These are some of the ways our thoughts can end up making us feel worse.
This is especially true if these thoughts are not eventually replaced with thoughts that you can handle this situation and do what is right for yourself.
An important part of dealing with infidelity is to reassure yourself, (over and over again if necessary,) that you CAN, and WILL overcome this crisis in your life. That you will become an advocate for yourself because you deserve to be treated with respect.
- This is the time to believe in yourself and your ability to overcome.
- This is the time to be there for yourself.
- This is the time to treat yourself the way you would a best friend.
- This is the time to give yourself reassurance that you will be ok and that you will take really good care of yourself.
Tip 3 | focus on coming up with solutions and responses rather than simply expressing emotional reactions.
Given the emotional pain and upheaval that happens after an infidelity discovery, it's possible to get in a habit of venting, raging, and reacting - rather than identifying and asking for what you want and need.
The level of pain infidelity causes can be like a volcano that's ready to erupt at any moment. And I think it's safe to say that this is going to happen from time to time.
There may be times when it feels like you just can't help yourself.
However, don't make emotional outbursts a habit. They are non-productive when it comes to dealing with infidelity.
A much better approach would be to sit down and really think about how you want to handle what happened.
Be sure to identify exactly what you want and need.
Writing down your answers to the following questions will help you move from a focus on emotional pain to a focus on solutions for overcoming infidelity.
- What do I want to see happen now that I know what he's been doing?
- What do I absolutely need to have happen?
- What permanent changes must happen in my relationship if I decide to stay in it and repair it?
- How can I handle this assertively, (by coming up with an action plan,) rather than passively, (feeling like a victim and not requesting changes,) or aggressively, (raging and venting?)
- What do I plan to do if he doesn't make the changes necessary to move our relationship forward?
It is my hope that these 3 tips will help you deal with the overwhelming feelings that go hand-in-hand with an infidelity discovery.
I'd love to know what you think about these suggestions. Have you tried any of them? Did they help you?