Step by Step Guide to Help You Get Over Your Partner's Affair
Discovering your partner has had an affair can only be described as excruciating. We often refer to it as being hit by a bullet that ricochets into every aspect of your life and into your very being, but can you recover from the wound and move on? Yes, you most certainly can!
We are not saying you will get over it in an instant, the road will be bumpy and often a like being on a roller coaster, with your head being thrown all over the place, but you can do it. Only when you put yourself back in the driving seat of your life can you begin to heal. Healing from an affair is a process, but one that can be made easier with the right help. Follow these steps and we promise you that one day you will look back at what the experience taught you about yourself and how strong you have become:-
Our top 10 tips to reaching that goal:
- Be Kind to yourself
Treat yourself with compassion and ask yourself, “What would you advise a friend in a similar situation to do”? More than anything, you need love, support and care, so don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. Just as importantly though, give yourself the time to love you! With your relationship having changed, you now have space in your life to focus on your needs. However, don’t be inpatient, nurture your own wellbeing and stop mentally tying yourself to your estranged partner for emotional support. That’s whether as a couple you have parted or you are still together attempting to rebuild the relationship. You have to put yourself first, as you are the only person who can really heal you.
- Accept it’s going to hurt
So many people say, “I can’t stand feeling like this”. Loving someone who didn’t love you back (even though you thought they did) can lead to feelings of unworthiness and lack of self-esteem. You are not stupid, naïve or humiliated, instead, you are hurt and grieving the relationship you thought you once had. Accept it is going to take time and there is no easy fix. Only then will you be able to move forward.
- Don’t play the self-blame game
Stop right now! If your partner is blaming you for what has happened (which is highly likely, as we describe in the MANScript) and didn’t communicate how they were feeling, you never had a chance to put things right? A partner who has had an affair has made their choice, a choice you had no say in. Discovering your partner has cheated on you is painful enough, without inflicting more pain on yourself by playing the self-blame game. By doing that you are giving your partner justification for his/her affair. He/she is likely to be blaming you, how else can they justify what they have done? So, don’t make it easy for them, it’s not your fault!
- Keep connected
Distancing yourself from friends, family and the outside world is normal for many of us as we try to deal with a relationship break up. You are probably unable to sleep or eat, let alone have a conversation with someone.
It is so easy to hide yourself away and hibernate, but when you are exhausted from suffering the stress of a break-up, the one thing you need to do, no matter how hard it is, is to keep yourself connected with the outside world. It’s time to be kind to yourself and even the smallest of connections can help to boost your mood. Just saying “hello” to your neighbour is better than no connection with anyone at all, but if you can, try to go further than that. Go for walks, don’t isolate yourself or eat your lunch at your desk. Keep connecting to the world.
Don’t be afraid to talk about the pain you feel, because if you hide yourself away from your social network, you are likely to shy away from yourself. Nearly everyone has experienced a broken heart, so you are not on your own. We know what we are suggesting is probably the last thing you feel like doing, but trust us, if you can stay connected with the world around you, you will be far happier than hiding under the duvet.
- Keep a Journal – your thoughts and feelings are your way out of the pain
Write down your thoughts and feelings, keep a journal. My Freedom Diary and Journal is specifically written to help you get through the process. Your own words will help you see how you can heal and what you need to do so that you can survive and thrive, with or without your partner. Only when you put yourself back in the driving seat, will you have the power to take control of your life and make it what you want it to be. As you begin to heal, you can look back at your own words and see just how far you have come.
- Make your physical and mental health a priority
Sometimes it feels like you just cannot move forward as your negative thoughts play on your mind on an hour by hour or even, minute by minute basis. You are probably frequently trawling your mind, thinking about your partner with the other woman/man, imaging them together. At first, this is entirely normal, but as time moves on and you still find yourself stuck in those thoughts, it may be time to seek professional help from your GP or a qualified counsellor.
- You owe it to yourself to trust again
Learning to trust again can be one of the hardest things to regain. The most important trust to start with is that with yourself. It’s natural to start to mistrust your own judgement after being cheated on. However, if you want to have a meaningful relationship in the future, you will have to learn to trust again; after all, trust is the foundation of any relationship. Start by identifying the people who trust you and rely on you. Recognising these people and what you mean to them, will help you learn to trust again. Don’t underestimate how important this is, having a new relationship with someone you trust, is what you deserve, don’t let mistrust of your own judgement hold you back from having that.
- Take Action
Taking action is a way of motivating energy. It is an essential ingredient in the process of moving forward. Taking action is the key to making you see things from a different perspective. Depending on where you are in your recovery, this may be difficult, but try and write down what you want from your life going forward. Begin with realistic bite-size goals. Those goals will help to keep you moving forward. To start with it may be as simple as getting up from under the duvet and out of your night clothes. Longer-term goals need to be realistic and achievable.
- Never stop telling yourself “I Matter”
When someone hurts you, it’s so easy to feel that you don’t matter anymore. The most important thing is that you make yourself matter to you! That means valuing all that you are, all that you do and all that you are to others. If you have doubts that you are important, write a list of all the people who rely on you and why they do so. That may be relatives and dependants or might simply be friends or work colleagues, but we all have people who rely on us. This will help you to realise just how important you are.
- Keep moving forward
Remember you can’t reverse time, you can’t go backwards. Neither can you control what other people do, but you can control how you respond and you can make the right choices for yourself. You have to take responsibility for your future happiness and not leave it to others to decide that for you.
Never let your future be controlled by what you have lost. No matter how hard it is, you have to keep looking forward. It’s amazing what you can achieve with a positive attitude and mindset.