Infidelity Survival Tips...When the
Unthinkable Happens in Your Love Relationship
By Susie and Otto Collins
Finding out that your partner has had, or is having, an
affair can shock and upset you.
You might have previously believed that your mate was
incapable of infidelity or that cheating could not happen in
Being faced with the indisputable truth that infidelity has
happened can be one of the most difficult challenges you
will have to deal with in your life.
There are times when the manner in which the cheating
happened can seem unthinkable.
Particular circumstances might have occurred in the course
of your partner's affair that go beyond the bounds of your
Or perhaps the person with whom your mate cheated is also
important in your life and so the betrayal is twice as
Soon after the unthinkable infidelity happens in your love
relationship or marriage, it is likely that you are taking
things one day at a time.
You might feel like you are merely trying to "hold
on" and "survive" at this point.
Patrice can hardly believe that what is going on in her
relationship right now is actually happening. Never in her
life did she believe that her boyfriend would have an affair
with her own adult daughter!
After discovering the infidelity, Patrice has been unable to
talk with either her boyfriend or her daughter.
She is staying with her sister in a nearby town for awhile.
She feels betrayed and also grief-stricken. It's as if she's
lost the two most important people in her life.
Patrice does not know how she will ever be able to heal and
go on with her life again. The wounds from the cheating run
too deep. She spends most of her time crying or staring
blankly at a wall-- in a
state of shock.
Assemble a support system.
If, similar to Patrice, you are trying to deal with an
unthinkable set of circumstances surrounding your partner's
affair, it is absolutely essential that you be supported.
Now, more than ever, you need to have people and other
resources in your life that will help you to move beyond the
shock and toward beginning the healing process.
The kind of support you assemble around yourself is
There are plenty of online communities for people whose
partner's have cheated. And there are even face-to-face
groups of this type. If you feel drawn to a group or
community such as this, choose carefully.
Ask yourself if listening to the anger, bitterness and upset
of another person who has possibly gone through a similar
situation will be helpful to you.
Will it bring you a sense of ease and comfort?
If your answer is "yes," you might want to join this type of
However, we caution you to not immerse yourself in such an
environment-- online or face-to-face. There can certainly be
value in learning from others' experiences and even
receiving advice from
those who have possibly been in a similar place that you are
But if your overall intention is to heal from this
unthinkable betrayal and eventually move beyond the pain
that you are currently feeling, don't primarily rely on this
type of support.
Instead, tap into your spirituality for comfort and
guidance. Look to those people in your life who can help you
feel improved-- even if it's for a moment at a time.
Read books that offer you a sense of hopefulness in
difficult times. Listen to music that soothes you.
Be choosy about the support you assemble for yourself right
now. Stay open to the reality that your needs will
likely change and the kind of support you require will also
Patrice is grateful that her sister has made her home
available to her for a few weeks.
Once Patrice's sister learned the details of her current
situation and the affair, she did not ask further questions
or begin yelling around about Patrice's boyfriend and
Instead, her sister let her know that she can stay as long
as she needs to and also that she is available to listen
whenever Patrice needs to talk.
Basically, Patrice's sister has made herself
accessible without pushing and has been a loving presence
Patrice feels she can count on.
Nurture and care for yourself.
If you aren't already in the habit of nurturing and caring
for yourself, learn how. This might involve treating
yourself to a professional massage or time in a steam room.
Or it could simply mean that you soak in a hot tub filled
with relaxing bath salts.
Nurturing yourself can also pertain to how you care for your
physical body at this time.
When people are in emotional pain, they sometimes begin to
eat poorly (or not eat at all) and stop their exercise
Nourishing yourself with healthy foods and taking part in
moderate exercise can help point you toward healing and can
be a way you give support to yourself.
Tune in to what you are asking of yourself at this time.
Listen and try to follow through with your inner calls for
special care and attention.
Spend most of your time attending to what you need right now
and less time worrying about what happened and why.
If you feel the need later on, you can devote attention to
better understanding the situation in the course of making
changes and resolving the past.
Right now you need to come out of your shock through
nurturing and support and begin to turn toward healing.