When grieving infidelity and betrayal we will feel many of the same emotions of grief as if someone has died. Shock and pain are common to all situations when a loved one is lost. When someone dies and the grieving process begins, we have the knowledge of the love we shared to comfort us, but when the loss is due to betrayal and loss of trust, our coping mechanisms face additional challenges.
There may even be situations where the person has died AND you then discover that they had had an affair.
I once knew a person whose husband had died, who then found out that he had another partner and a child. She realised that she had been living through years and years of lies and betrayal. The pain when this happens can be enormous, as you wonder whether they ever really did love you or not.
The survival steps in this article will help you whatever situation you are in. Whether you are dealing with separation or divorce due to infidelity or whether you have decided to forgive and try again, the steps will help you to face the future with more calm and confidence.
These are all common reactions to finding out your partner has cheated on you, but there are ways of feeling better which we explore in the survival steps below.
See our page on 'emotions of grief' for lots more information on shock, anger, jealousy, guilt and more.
Life may be empty and difficult at first whatever loss you have suffered. A loss of the person from your life, or a loss of trust. Trust can be re-built with effort from both sides, and many relationships do survive an affair and become closer and stronger.
However, it is almost impossible to keep a partner happy who constantly needs to look elsewhere for other company. Will their new partner also be looking over their shoulder to see if there is someone else? Monogamy seems to be very difficult for some people, so don't blame yourself. Don't put up with serial infidelity and betrayal, but move on and enjoy your life. We only get one, so we need to make the most of it.
1. Build your self-confidence. You deserve better than a relationship where your partner cheats on you. Make sure if you do forgive and give them another chance that you still work on your self-confidence and don't take them back simply because you don't believe you deserve better.
2. Banish feelings of guilt. You are not the one who cheated so it is not your fault. You have done your best and worked hard at your relationship.
3. Think about the future. Enjoy time with your children if you have them, or other relatives and friends. Make new friends and contact old ones. Start new hobbies. It is possible to be happy on your own.
4. We should not rely on other people to make us happy. Be content within yourself. Love yourself first and other relationships will follow. It will also make existing relationships healthier if you can love yourself first and make your more resilient when faced with challenges.
5. Channel your anger and negative feelings into positive ones. Concentrate on the good relationships in your life, and your own self worth. Be kind to yourself. If you have difficulty with that, try a self-hypnosis download. There are lots to choose from which will help you work through your feelings whether you are working on your relationship or getting over a break up.
6. Don't go in for revenge. It will not help you feel better, only fill you with anger and stress. Move on and be happy. That is the best revenge you can have.
7. Try not to blame yourself for working long hours, or not spending enough time with your partner or family. This doesn't excuse their behaviour.
8. Remember that there was a loving relationship and some good times. Think of those times when things get difficult. Not all of the relationship was bad, so treasure the happy memories and learn from the experience.
9. To love someone, we need to respect and trust them. Once they have lost our trust and their integrity is there anything left? Don't settle for second best. If your partner has been able to regain your trust, then all well and good. But don't live for ever with suspicions and looking over your shoulder.
10. Get help. There are lots of ways to get relationship counseling, or grief counseling if your relationship has broken down. We recommend counseling online as it is flexible and completely confidential. (To be completely upfront, we do get a small commission if you contact these services, but we wouldn't recommend them if we didn't have complete confidence in their expertise).
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The following information about online counseling is sponsored by 'Betterhelp' but all the opinions are our own. To be upfront, we do receive a commission when you sign up with 'Betterhelp', but we have total faith in their expertise and would never recommend something we didn't completely approve.
Do you feel alone and sad with no support and no idea how to move forward? It can be tough when you are stuck in grief to find the motivation to get the most out of your precious life.
Online counseling can help by giving you that support so you don't feel so alone. You can have someone to talk to anytime you like, a kind and understanding person who will help you to find meaning in life again, to treasure the memories of your loved one without being overwhelmed and to enjoy your activities, family and friends again.
Sales from our pages result in a small commission to us which helps us to continue our work supporting the grieving.
Try a gentle hypnotherapy track to relax the mind. Learn how self-hypnosis can help you cope with grief at any time of the day or night.
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Our free downloadable and printable document "The 10 Most Important Things You Can Do To Survive Your Grief And Get On With Life" will help you to be positive day to day.
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