How To Cope When You Discover That Your Partner Was Unfaithful
When you have been in a long-term relationship with someone you love and trust for years, discovering that your loved one cheated on you in the past is a revelation that will undoubtedly bring with it a significant amount of pain and confusion.
Regardless of how long ago the infidelity happened, it still represents a troubling betrayal, and you may find yourself feeling as if the rug has been pulled out from beneath your feet. You may even be wondering if you can find it in your heart to forgive your partner, or if you should cut your ties with them and start afresh. Of course, if the two of you have children together, then the situation becomes even more complicated, as you have to balance the parental needs of your kids while dealing with a significant emotional challenge.
While it may seem like there is no bright spot on the horizon right now, the good news is that it is entirely possible to heal from the wounds caused by infidelity, and to emerge stronger and more resilient. Whether you decide to do this with your partner or without will depend on you, and on your unique situation – but whatever you decide, you it’s important to focus on recovering your emotional well-being and finding ways to move on.
With that aim in mind, here are some important steps that you can take to help you with your healing journey.
Give Yourself Some Distance
When you first discover the heart-breaking truth about your partner’s infidelity, your initial reaction will probably consist of a whirling maelstrom of negative emotions. You may find yourself experiencing waves of grief, anger, sadness, bitterness, blame, and doubt.
Under the influence of these powerful feelings, it can be easy to lash out – at your partner, and everyone around you. However, it will be more beneficial to you (and your children, if you have any) to retreat from the situation instead, and give yourself some distance to decompress.
This could mean asking your partner to leave your home and give you some space for a few days; or you may want to go away yourself, and spend some time in the company of family or friends who can offer you much-needed support in this difficult time.
Communication Is Key
Once you’ve had some time to process everything and regain control over your emotions, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your partner to discover the facts about the infidelity and why it happened. This can help to give you closure, and may even possibly help you to forgive your partner – although, depending on the situation, you may not find it possible to offer them your forgiveness, at least not right away.
However, understanding the truth surrounding the infidelity may help to give you the closure you need to move on, either with your partner or on your own.
How To Cope With Parental Doubts
In some cases, a historic infidelity can lead one partner to question whether or not they are actually the biological parent of their child – or, in some cases, children. This kind of parental uncertainty makes a difficult situation even more agonizing, and it can cause you to feel as if your whole world is built on shifting foundations that could collapse at any time.
In these cases, you may want to consider options such as at at-home paternity test kit, which can help to give you peace of mind regarding your child’s parentage. A home paternity test, such as the DNA kits provided by AlphaBiolabs, can offers 100% accuracy, so you can rely upon the results to guide you going forward.
Depending on the result, you will then have to decide what course of action to take, and whether or not you will need the assistance of a family law professional.
Ask Yourself If Your Relationship Can Be Saved
Sometimes, an infidelity can reveal fault lines in a relationship that you may have been ignoring for years. You may even realize that your partnership has been in a state of poor health for a very long time, but you chose to ignore the warning signs until now. In this case, you can take the revelation as a wake-up call; a drastic but effective prompt to gently but firmly extricate yourself and move on.
However, if the infidelity was a terrible mistake, or was caused by an issue that your partner has since worked hard to resolve, then the relationship may still have a chance to be repaired – and, one day, become even stronger. In this case, professional counselling may help to heal the divide and help you both navigate this difficult period in your lives as a couple.
Discovering that you have been cheated on – however long ago – is an undeniably difficult and heart-breaking experience. While it may be easy to sink into feelings of recrimination or despair, it’s important to focus on the positives in your life, such as your supportive friends and family, or the children you may have together.
Although the early days will undoubtedly be challenging, remind yourself that you can and will heal (with your partner or on your own) and emerge as a more resilient person, with newfound wisdom to draw upon.