As you celebrate with loved ones on your wedding day, the thought of an extramarital affair is not even on your radar. Unfortunately, up to 60 percent of men and 45 percent of women will engage in an affair at some point in their life. After they have been cheated on, many partners are left wondering what to do next. Focus on your health and the health of your relationship to find peace after infidelity.
1. Attend couples counseling.
After an affair, high emotions can prevent a couple from communicating effectively. A marriage counselor is a neutral third party who can help the couple work through the issues that are plaguing their relationship. Counselors are able to help the couple figure out why the affair occurred and if they can salvage their relationship.
If a relationship can be saved, marriage counseling helps the couple improve their relationship and rebuild their trust.
Even for relationships beyond repair, attending marriage counseling can help both parties work through their feelings regarding the affair and ultimate dissolution of their marriage.
2. Consider individual counseling.
Many people are left traumatized by their partner's affair. An affair shatters a person's self-confidence and identity. Individual counseling can help you realize your self-worth, control your anger, and utilize behavioral techniques to manage feelings of anxiety and depression. If you are suffering from clinical depression or anxiety, your counselor can refer you to a psychiatrist who may recommend a prescription drug to help improve your emotional health.
3. Formulate a divorce plan.
Infidelity does not automatically condemn a marriage to divorce. It is estimated that anywhere from 30 to 80 percent of marriages survive an affair.
However, if you feel powerless, having a plan for a possible divorce gives you a sense of control and a feeling of power knowing that you can survive on your own.
Basic things to consider are housing arrangements and financial security. Start saving money for possible housing deposits and moving expenses. Determine if you can support yourself solely on your income; if not, consider what budget changes you can make to be able to do so.
If you have children, brainstorm possible custody arrangements and parent plans.
4. Seek support.
You are not alone. There are numerous support groups for individuals who have suffered from infidelity, such as the Beyond Affairs Network. Find a group that you are comfortable confiding in. The reassurance that your situation is not unique can put things in perspective so that you can work towards achieving happiness.
5. Communicate with your partner.
If your desire is to save your marriage, realize that you cannot do it alone. Your partner must be interested in giving your relationship the attention it needs to flourish once again. Couples must remember why they fell in love in the first place. Many times, marriage falls to the wayside due to stress from couples, aging parents, or work; this has to stop.
Make an effort to show your spouse that you want your relationship to work. Send a flirty text message, or even slip an old-fashioned love note into her handbag. Plan one-on-one time together to reconnect and learn to enjoy one another's company.
Infidelity may leave you confused as to what your next move should be. Take time to focus on your relationship and mental health; by doing so, you are taking the necessary steps to lead a happy life once again. For more about this topic, talk with a counselor in your area.