4 Ways to Cope with Infidelity

Perhaps you’ve just found out that your partner was unfaithful. This can be a devastating realization. Even if you suspected that they were having an affair, part of you hoped to be proven wrong. Yet when the truth comes to light, and infidelity is undeniable, it can feel like a part of you has shattered.

Suddenly, you find yourself questioning your entire history with your partner. You wonder if they ever really loved you, or if you did something to “deserve” this kind of treatment. Your foundational trust in other people has crumbled, and you don’t know if you’ll ever be capable of forgiving your partner, rebuilding your relationship, or even committing to another partner in the future. Coping with infidelity can seem impossible at the moment, but here are four guidelines to help you keep your head above water.

1. Remember That it Wasn’t Your Fault

Right now, you might be nitpicking your own behavior and asking yourself if you somehow “caused” your partner to be unfaithful. In fact, your partner may have even directly blamed you for their actions. They might have claimed that you pushed them away and left them with no choice but to seek affection elsewhere.

It is important to keep in mind that no one is responsible for your partner’s actions except your partner. You are not responsible for their infidelity. It does not matter how unhappy your partner was in your relationship. There is never any reason to cheat on someone. If someone realizes that they are no longer compatible with their partner, they always have the option to share this honestly and separate from them before pursuing other people. Regardless of any reasons that your partner might give you, there is no excuse for infidelity. Let go of any feelings of guilt or shame that you may be harboring.

2. Practice Self-Compassion and Self-Care

Self-compassion and self-care go hand in hand. At the moment, you need to prioritize both. Self-compassion means giving yourself grace. You may feel exhausted, sad, and frustrated, and granting yourself permission to simply feel these emotions is key. At the same time, avoid giving in to anger that turns inward. You could have done nothing to “fix” your partner or change their actions. Additionally, practicing self-care during this tumultuous time can help you soothe your nervous system and feel grounded when everything around you is changing. Self-care can include everything from exercise to journaling.

3. Weigh Your Practical Options

If you are considering leaving your partner due to their infidelity, it’s time to consider some practical matters. You’ll want to find a safe place to live, which could mean staying with a loved one or budgeting for your own place. If you are married to your partner, you may want to start looking for legal guidance. You should also make a plan for how you’ll manage your finances. Getting your practical affairs in order can seem intimidating at first, but it can also be clarifying and empowering.

4. Consider Working With a Therapist

At the moment, you may feel uncertain about your next steps. Perhaps you’re unsure of whether you could ever forgive your partner and move forward together, or if you’d be better off separating from them. Talking to a therapist can help you navigate these tough decisions. You and your partner may want to work with a couples therapist together, or you might want to pursue individual therapy.

Are you struggling in the aftermath of infidelity? Working with a therapist can help you rebuild your life. Reach out to us to find out more about scheduling your first session.