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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    Surviving Infidelity: How You can Move Forward After Discovering a Betrayal

    It's a sinking feeling; you discover an email that instantly shatters your world. The moment of uncertainty and confusion as you read that incriminating message can be devastating and it often leaves us questioning everything. We ask things like "What if I never found the emails?” or “Why did this happen?" Despite knowing deep down that there are no easy answers, confronting this betrayal can be one of the most difficult things anyone will ever face. Moving on from a traumatic event like infidelity is nearly impossible for some, but it is possible if you’re willing to work through it in healthy ways.

    The process of starting over is a complex one, as it often times means saying goodbye to something we thought was safe. To rebuild after an infidelity, try to keep in mind that people and relationships take on different forms throughout our lives. It doesn’t necessarily need to feel like an ending, especially if you choose to look at it as an opportunity to explore uncharted paths. Looking at the break-up as a chance to start something new without the baggage of the past can provide a healthier outlook and enable the release of any unhealthy coping mechanisms.

    Tackling feelings of sadness, distrust and jealousy after a betrayal can be emotionally taxing, so it’s best to remain cognizant of the healthcare resources available. Finding help with a qualified therapist or counselor to talk and work through your pain can be incredibly helpful. Additionally, attending group therapy and engaging with other people who have experienced similar situations can provide support and help ensure you don’t feel like you’re going through it alone.

    When dealing with any kind of emotional turmoil, journaling is another great outlet for releasing any pent-up negativity. Research suggests that writing down our thoughts and emotions can allow us to take control of them and help us establish better patterns of behavior. Establishing clear goals and tracking progress with tangible feedback helps us remain positive in a time of adversity and gain closure. Indulging in hobbies and activities that make you happy can also help you cope in healthy ways and distract yourself from the difficult feelings associated with infidelity.

    Once the initial phase of healing has passed, it's important to challenge yourself to experience new things, connect with people and increase self-awareness. Knowing how to recognize warning signs in the future is pivotal, so reflecting on what caused the infidelity can highlight any triggers, issues and underlying problems. Examine your relationships and consider what could have been altered or improved upon to prevent a similar situation from taking place again. Moving on also includes forgiving yourself for not seeing the betrayal sooner, which can be hard but essential for leaving your emotional baggage behind.

    No matter the outcome of the situation, surviving infidelity takes strength. No one expects it to be easy, but if you're armed with the tools and strategies needed to handle it, the path of healing can begin. Take it one day at a time and know that, while you may not understand it now, there will come a time when you will look back on this experience and appreciate all that you’ve learned from it.

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