Tips for the Hurt Partner After Infidelity
Here are some tips for you to keep in mind during your recovery journey:
- Healing will take longer than you think so you can plan on 1-2 years [this varies, of course, depending on all the factors].
- You cannot side-step your feelings. You will have to find a safe way to share them and work through them, hopefully with your partner. Don’t forget to look at any responsibility or contribution you may have had to create the whole situation. If you absolutely can’t see anything you did, then you may need some help looking more objectively at all the circumstances. It is rare when a relationship issue is totally of one partner’s making.
- Remember that your partner is in a really different emotional place than you and that doesn’t necessarily mean he/she doesn’t love you, and isn’t genuinely sorry.
- It is normal to have extremely intense and chaotic feelings [maybe like you have never experienced before] It is not constructive to “dump” or “vent” these feelings in unstructured and uncontrolled ways with your partner. Doing this just makes it feel unsafe for them and less likely that they will be receptive to hearing you and makes you feel, perhaps, out of control. There are fairly easy ways to structure this such as: “ I need 30 minutes of your time this evening to fill you in on some things that have been troubling me today” (be sure to keep it to 30 minutes by setting a timer)
- It is important for you to share ALL your feelings with your partner if this can be arranged in a safe way for you both; otherwise you may have to have vent/dump sessions with a counselor/coach and get his/her help in expressing them to your partner so your partner can truly listen. In some cases certain therapeutic strategies may be needed, e.g. a joint session facilitated by the coach/counselor or therapist.
- It is critical that you get answers to the questions about the infidelity that you absolutely need to ask for your peace of mind, and it is also important that you do not ask questions that are not that important to you.
- Practice containment. That is to say, only spend limited times talking about the infidelity and then switch to neutral or positive topics.
- Ask for clarification and reassurance as you need it, i.e. what the infidelity