1) First and foremost, it’s essential to prioritize your emotional wellbeing. Discovering an affair can be an incredibly painful experience, and it’s normal to feel a wide range of emotions, from anger and sadness to confusion and betrayal. It’s important to take the time to process these feelings and seek support from those around you, whether that’s through talking to friends and family or seeking out the help of a therapist.
Some, but not all people impacted by broken trust develop betrayal trauma. Betrayal trauma is a type of trauma that occurs when a person experiences a violation of trust or betrayal by someone they depend on for support, such as a romantic partner, family member, or close friend. This type of trauma is often associated with infidelity, but it can also occur in other types of relationships where there is a breach of trust.
Betrayal trauma can have a profound impact on a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing. Symptoms may include feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, and shame, as well as physical symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and stomach problems. Victims of betrayal trauma may also experience a loss of self-esteem and self-worth, as well as difficulty trusting others and forming new relationships.
Even the most self-confident people on the planet can be reduced to self-doubters after infidelity. In an instant, you may shift from feeling safe and secure to anxious and fearful. Internalizing the situation or blaming yourself is common, though not very helpful to your overall well-being and can even further traumatization.
2) Once you’ve had a chance to process your emotions, it’s important to assess the state of your relationship. Do you want to try to work things out with your partner, or is it time to end things? This can be a difficult decision to make, and it’s important to be honest with yourself and your partner about what you’re feeling and what you need moving forward.
In order to make this difficult choice, you will need to set boundaries and establish clear expectations for your relationship moving forward. This may mean setting guidelines for communication with the affair partner or building in various forms of accountability. It’s important to be clear about what you need from your partner in order to feel safe and secure in your relationship and if your partner is unwilling to do these things, or at the very least talk about these things with you, that may help you with your decision to leave or stay in your relationship.
If you do decide to try to work on your relationship, there are a few key steps you can take. First, it’s important to establish open and honest communication with your partner. This can be difficult, especially if trust has been broken, but it’s essential to be transparent with each other in order to rebuild your relationship. Consider working with an EFT trained couples therapist who can help you navigate this process.
3) Finally, it’s important to take care of your physical health as well. Stress, anxiety, and depression can all take a toll on your physical health, so taking steps to care for your body can help you better manage these symptoms and promote overall healing.
One of the most important things you can do to take care of your physical health after discovering an affair is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Sleep is essential for our physical and emotional health, and getting enough rest can help boost your mood, reduce stress levels, and improve your ability to cope with difficult emotions. If you’re struggling with sleep, consider establishing a bedtime routine that promotes relaxation, such as taking a warm bath or practicing meditation before bed. You might also benefit from a sleep story or meditation like these ones from Insight Timer.
Eating a healthy diet can also be an important part of caring for your physical health. Try to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Avoid processed and sugary foods, which can cause mood swings and other physical symptoms. It can be hard to eat when you are emotionally distraught. Consider things that are easy to prepare and not hard to digest like soups, smoothies or comfort foods like PB&J or grilled cheese sandwiches.
Regular exercise is another important part of caring for your physical health after discovering an affair. Exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, boost your mood, and improve your overall health and wellbeing. Even just a short walk or yoga session each day can make a big difference in how you feel. You can check out Yoga with Adriene for free online yoga classes.
In addition to these self-care practices, it’s also important to see your doctor regularly and attend to any physical health concerns you may have. Regular check-ups and screenings can help you stay on top of your health and address any issues before they become more serious. It’s not easy to talk about or fun to think about, but screenings for STI is also a reasonable step to take after the discovery of a betrayal. The Halifax Sexual Health Centre or the STI clinic at the VG Hospital in Halifax are places you can contact to arrange this testing.
The Way Ahead
Recovering from an affair is never easy, but with time, effort, and the right support, it is possible to heal and move forward. Remember to prioritize your emotional wellbeing, assess the state of your relationship, and take care of your physical health as you work through this difficult time. With patience and perseverance, you can come out the other side stronger and more resilient than before.
Are you or a loved one dealing with the aftermath of an affair? Red Therapy Group has an excellent self directed online training that the betrayed partner can explore while waiting to get in to work with a therapist.