Sunday, August 14, 2011

Getting Over Infidelity – Is It Even Possible? How Do You Do it? I'll Tell You

I often hear from wives who are greatly struggling with moving on and getting over their husband's infidelity. I often hear comments like: "I feel like my husband's infidelity is one of those unfortunate things that is always going to be a negative part of my life. I really do want to get over this and be happy again, but I just can't seem to. I might make some progress and feel a little better, but I always find myself in the same doubtful and unhappy place again. I just can't get the images of him cheating on me out of my head and I worry that I won't ever be myself ever again. What can I do?"

These emails are heartbreaking and I find them to be particularly emotional because I see so much of myself in them. I completely understand what a difficult time and position this is to be in. But, I can also tell you that it is possible to get over this and to return to a healthy and happy place again. It does take time, hard work, and specific actions, but it most certainly can be done. I will discuss this more in the following article.

You Must Embrace And Actually Believe The Idea That The Cheating Or Infidelity Was Not Your Fault: Many women have the same inclination when the learn about the cheating. They will immediately think things like "this is all my fault. I should have kept a better eye on him." Or, "I should have paid him more attention and not taken my marriage from granted."

I will admit that in my case, some of these thoughts might have had the slightest grain of truth to them. But, you can certainly revisit this later. The problem though is that these thoughts will often lead to even worse ones like "you'll never be able to keep a man." Or, "how did you manage to mess this up so badly?" It's so important not to beat yourself up in this manner. You did not make this choice or take this action. He decided to be unfaithful when he had other choices available to him. In no way are his choices your fault.

Sure, they may be improvements that could help your marriage and yourself. You may or may not chose to visit these things later. But do not allow for someone else's actions to change the way you feel about yourself or to cause you to question the person you know that you are and will continue to be. It's hard enough to move forward without always blaming and doubting yourself.

You Must See This As An Opportunity For Growth, Improvement, And Self Awareness: I know that anyone asking you to see something positive out of all of this may well sound absurd to you. But, please hear me out. Because if someone had said these things to me, I might have saved myself a lot of time, frustration, and pain. Unfortunately, you can not change the course of events that has happened here. You can not change the past. But, what you can do is control the way in which you react to this moving forward and in the future.

It is possible to turn this very negative course of events into something positive. You do this by using the infidelity as a spring board in which to learn something about yourself and to make individual improvements and improvements as a couple (should you chose to save your marriage.) You may not feel willing or even able to do this at first, but if you make a very conscious effort to always ask yourself how you can move forward in a healthy way, you should begin to make small strides.

There's no need to beat yourself up if you make mistakes or carry anger around with you. This is a very difficult time. You must be very careful to surround yourself with the most positive thoughts, people, and support system that you possibly can. There is room for growth and empowerment here. Yes, there is going to be some tough days. But many of us who have gotten over infidelity are able to look back and realize that what seemed like something so very awful taught us an awful lot about ourselves and allowed us to start over with a clean slate and a fresh set of eyes that showed us that nothing can be taken for granted.

Use The Infidelity As The Starting Point To Identify What Is Wrong And To Then Fix It In A Meaningful And Lasting Way: Probably the most important aspect of really getting over infidelity is to be able to eventually have the confidence that you have fixed all of the issues so well that you can be sure that you won't ever have to deal with this again. This sometimes just takes a good deal of time and some very measured efforts. Some couples need professional help for this.

However, I can't stress how important this is. You can't leave any doubts or questions unanswered. If you allow for doubts and issues to remain, then at best, your marriage is only going to be able to limp along as something that is injured. This doesn't install a lot of confidence or happiness. It's so important that both people establish what they need to be happy and confident again and to keep working until they get it.

I also need to mention that it's often necessary to do some self work. This is true of both parties. The person who cheated needs to understand what lead up to this behavior. And, the person who was cheated on will often need some work to restore their self confidence and trust. Working as a couple is very important, but individual work is something that is very often overlooked. In fact, when people tell me that they just "can't get over the infidelity," one of the first questions I ask is if they are doing any work individually. If you don't believe in your worthiness and the fact that you deserve to be happy as an individual, you often aren't able to incorporate these things into a healthy marriage.

The bottom line is that I 100% believe that it's possible for a person and a marriage to get over infidelity. I'm not claiming it's easy. It most certainly is not. But it's my experience that it can be done.

I struggled greatly with truly and completely getting over my husband's affair, but I am now happy and whole again. Although I never would've believed this two years ago, my marriage is stronger than ever. It took a lot of work, and I had to play the game to win, but it was worth it. Our bond and intimacy is much stronger and because of all the work I did on myself, my self esteem is at an all time high. I know longer worry my husband will cheat again. You can read a very personal story on my blog at

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