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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Healing the wounds of infidelity

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You found out your spouse has been cheating on you and you are starting to find your way out of the miasma of hurt, anger and self-doubt it left you in. Where do you go from here? Basically you have three choices -- separate, ignore it or rebuild your marriage. After an infidelity, the healing process is extremely important because you still have the rest of your life in front of you. It's time to take the first steps back to living it.
For the first while after you found out about the affair, your mind was in a mess. Your emotions seesaw between anger, pain, fear and self-pity. This is to be expected. In fact, if you were quite calm about everything, this would possibly point to a bigger and deeper problem. Once the initial shock wears off and your emotional roller-coaster slows down you can take stock of the situation and start working on a path back.
Some tough choices have to be made and you have to make the decisions with your brain and not your heart. You have to put yourself first. If this seems selfish at first, don't worry, just think about how you interact with everything and everyone around you -- do you think everything will be fine if you feel miserable and out of control? Look after yourself first and you will then have the ability to interact positively with those around you.
Is Separation The Answer?
Do you love your partner? Do they love you? Was this the first affair? If you can honestly answer those three questions you should have an answer right there. If there is no love between you is there any point in going on with your relationship? If you have children they are not going to be well-nurtured in a loveless environment. If your partner has cheated on you before there is a good chance they will do it again leading to all the same pain and anger. Could you take that?
Pretend There's Nothing Wrong
You could try to go on with your life as if nothing has happened. Some people will do this for the rest of their life. How satisfying do you think that would be? Feeling trapped in a loveless relationship for the rest of your life, not to mention the effect this environment would have on any children you have. Imagine the influence on growing children of the anger and resentment hanging in the air. It is a known fact that children develop better in a good environment with one loving parent than in a bitter environment with two.
Rebuild And Rekindle
Do you and your partner still feel love for each other? If your partner has admitted and accepted the damage they have caused and are truly sorry for straying then there is a good chance you will be able to rebuild your relationship and rekindle the love you had for each other. Sitting down together and working out some rules and boundaries to prevent the chance of another affair would be a very good first step. Forgiveness will play a large part in the rebuilding -- be mindful that forgiveness is not the same as acceptance, you certainly do not want to accept the situation but forgiveness will help breathe life back into your marriage.
Whatever your decision, you are going to have to be strong. Make sure you have a support group of friends and family around you to help you across the hurdles. Once you are past the initial stage of wild emotions the future will begin to reshape for you but make sure it is the future you want. Live life of hope and you will be capable of benefiting those around you who rely on you.

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