How to Recover After Someone Cheated on You

by Marie Jones

You may feel emotionally devastated or even physically ill when you find out that your partner cheated on you. Whether it was a one-time instance or a long-term affair, infidelity is often the most painful experience of a person's life. When confronted with the facts, you must decide whether to end the relationship with your partner or to continue it and try to heal together. Even if you end the relationship with your unfaithful partner, however, you may find that recovering from the affair is a long, heartbreaking journey.

Talk to someone. You will naturally feel angry, sad, depressed or discouraged when you discover that your partner was unfaithful. Find someone you trust with whom you can discuss this issue. Preferably, choose someone who is a neutral third party, such as a pastor or a counselor. Try not to confide in your mother or a close friend who may offer biased advice.

Discuss the reason for the betrayal. One of the most penetrating questions you may be facing is "Why?" Don't be afraid to discuss the reasons for the infidelity, but honestly listen when your partner speaks. For example, if she says "I felt lonely," don't interject with "But I'm always available to talk to you!" Instead, prompt further discussion by asking her why she felt lonely. If you immediately defend yourself, it will cause your partner to stop talking.

Pursue counseling as a couple. If you decide you want to stay with the person who cheated on you, consider couple's counseling as a way to work through your problems together. Infidelity may be caused by several problems in your relationship, and a professional therapist, counselor, psychiatrist or religious adviser may have helpful advice for healing the relationship.

Distract yourself. You may be tempted to keep a close eye on your partner in order to prevent further cheating, but realize that this just puts pressure on him to be perfect. Constantly worrying will also cause you unneeded stress. Remember that the only person you can control is yourself, so try to find things to do that you enjoy and that keep your mind from stressing. Take up a new hobby, enroll in a fun class, or spend time exercising.

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