The Pain of Betrayal
Myths of an affair
If your partner had an affair, you might be trying to figure out how this could have even happened to you. Your heart and mind are shattered into a million pieces. The pain is intense. You have tons of unanswered questions. You blame yourself and the other person.
You just might find that the beliefs that you may hold about infidelity could be making your broken-hearted pain worse than it already is.
There are many misconceptions about why people cheat. One huge myth– that only intensifies pain and kicks up your deepest fears — is that the affair partner is drawn to someone else because the other person is more attractive. Stop the comparisons. Let’s look at this further.
If you believe that (and many people experiencing affairs do) then you might take it one step farther and become convinced that if you were prettier, sexier, more muscular, thinner, fitter, and so on . . . then your partner wouldn’t have had the affair. This is not the truth.
In the majority of cases, affairs don’t happen because you aren’t attractive enough. If that is the reason, there is something much deeper going on in the affair partner that has little to do with you.
Of course, there are dimensions of physical attraction and your level of confidence that sometimes play a role. But not the primary reason for infidelity.
The affair partner often has an affair because there is some need that is not being met in their primary relationship– or within themselves. This is absolutely NOT to say that it you are to blame.
There is always much more below the surface at play in a relationship in which someone ends up having an affair.
Things you can do to start feeling better again is . . .
Decide what you really want – the relationship, marriage, person and then go from there – make that your direction
Don’t put yourself down – it will not help you to heal and get your life back on track to continue
Don’t compare yourself – remember there is no one like you in all the world – instead get started on becoming the best version of you
The next thing to do is to tune in to what you need right now. What are the self-care actions you could take?
Why is self-care so important?
When you are caring well for yourself, you are inevitably going to be better able to meet what’s going on in your relationship and life with more clarity and calm.
Remember, when something major happens in your relationship, your coping gets lower. Self-care can help you receive some much needed nurturing. This can make all the difference.
Have you ever made a decision when you were out of sorts or overwhelmed? You know that is difficult to do.
This is a time in your life during which you may need to be making important decisions– they may also affect others, if you have children, for example. Give yourself as healthy and well-cared for foundation as you possibly can so that you can make decisions that you will feel good about in the long-run.
Understanding and letting go of what you can . . .
If you choose to stay in the relationship it might be helpful to gain some understanding of why the affair happened. What was going on in your relationship?
Take a deep breath and open your mind. Think about the pre-affair dynamics between you and your partner or ex that seemed to take the two of you far apart from each another. What habits did the two of you have that caused disconnection?
These are most likely the primary factors that contributed to your partner choosing to cheat.
If you feel like you can communicate with your partner or ex about what happened, you might ask him or her if there were specific needs that weren’t being met.
Remember, this isn’t about you failing; it’s about trying to understand what happened and connecting again while restoring the trust. That takes time. Things didn’t get this way over night.
Healing and rebuilding trust are both processes. The more that you provide self-care for you and the better you can understand what happened, the easier it may be for you to forgive and let go of the pain.