Q&A: Overcoming infidelity – What can I do?
Overcoming infidelity – it is eating me up! – What can I do to move on?
My feelings are tearing me apart.
In November I did the unforgivable (yes, I know) and checked my boyfriend’s Facebook account.
I don’t know what came over me and I was very surprised to see that he was talking to two former dates – about the lust for sex etc.
We are both in our mid-40’s and we have now known each other for about a year. We don’t live together and he has two kids, I don’t have any.
Back to November.
I packed my things and was going to leave.
Completely in shock.
I drove off and met him on the way.
Long story short, there were tears and he apologised for his behavior.
He said that he had cheated on me in his mind, but he had done nothing physical.
His reaction and him lying on the floor crying tells me that he really hasn’t done anything physical… but…..
Now I find it so difficult to trust him every now and then.
I’m very aware of him texting, his Facebook etc.
I’m NOT checking it and I have decided that should I do that again, our relationship is over.
Now I CAN´T move on from infidelity!
I feel betrayed and I am having a very hard time handling my jealousy and my suspicions.
I know it all goes on in my head, how can I know this for sure though?
Oh, this is so hard right now and I’m just so upset and so hurt.
Most of all I just want to throw all my anger at him – is this just my problem – is it a problem for both of us.
How do I move on from this and how do I get through this?
Any advice is welcomed – I’ve never felt like this before and I’m desperately searching for a solution.
With love and thank you for reading this.
Q&A: Overcoming infidelity – What can I do?
What a ride.
I completely understand that you are feeling betrayed and that you are experiencing jealousy and suspicion.
It is COMPLETELY normal what you are going through right now.
You are telling me this all happened back in November – listen now dear!
That is not very long ago at all, so of course it’s still in you.
There is a word which you don’t mention yourself but a word which I need to use here and that word is infidelity!
Infidelity comes in many shapes and sizes and on top of that infidelity is defined differently from person to person.
Your reaction shows me that to YOU, what he has done, is cheated.
That’s actually all there is to it.
It can’t be discussed.
It shouldn’t be.
You’re telling me that you have checked his Facebook account and yes, we can agree on that not being very nice, very clever or even legal.
In 2013 a man was given four day fines of 500 DKK for reading his girlfriend’s text messages. The same law applies when accessing other people’s social media accounts such as Facebook – it’s illegal!
Nevertheless, you followed your instinct and legal or not, you discovered something which in your world is cheating.
And that, of course, feels like someone pulled the rug out from underneath you!
What you experienced back in November and what you are still having flashback feelings of is what you call a psychological crisis.
What you are experiencing is the type of psychological crisis called a traumatic crisis – a crisis which comes from outside yourself.
It can be something like being fired from your job, your finances being bad, a relationship which threatens your actual existence, other relationships, and safety. In your case: infidelity, deceit and betrayal.
There are several stages of the psychological crisis and you are exiting the crisis now.
However, every now and then you find yourself bouncing back into the previous stages of the crisis. My guess is that some days you even feel like you’re back to the day where you discovered his infidelity.
You have to know that what you are experiencing emotionally is COMPLETELY NORMAL.
It’s not pleasant, it’s extremely uncomfortable but it’s absolutely normal and I promise you that in time, it will pass.
This is how you move on after infidelity
It’s important to point out that the method I am introducing to you here is built on the information you have given me in your question.
I’m assuming that your partner is sorry for what he has done and that he is regretting his actions.
AND also that he is willing to work with you and make a real effort in regaining your trust and in rebuilding his reliability!
This is not a method you can use in all relationships which have experienced some sort of infidelity.
I’m guiding you individually from the information you have given me in your heart breaking e-mail to me ❤
Overcoming infidelity – 3 steps that actually works
1) Talk to each other!
The first ting you need to do is talk about it.
And yes, I realise that you have probably already done that, but you have to do it again.
And you must do it at a time you agree on and where you have both “prepared” for this talk and at a time where you are not too emotional.
(I do realize that you can become really emotional throughout the course of this conversation. It’s important that to begin with you are both calm for this talk to be as constructive as possible).
You have to talk about what EXACTLY it is that you need in order to move on in the process of rebuilding the trust.
Perhaps you DO need to have full access to his emails and text messages for a period of time.
Maybe you need him to give up on some things for a certain period of time to spend more time with you until you start letting go of it and start feeling safe again.
Perhaps it’s something completely different.
Overcoming infidelity is a progress and you need to find out, what you need to in order to rebuild trust.
Trust is NOT restored in only 3 months after it being broken like that.
To rebuild trust you need to make an effort, you can´t ”just” live on like you always have and hope for it to happen one day.
When you throw your partner into a crisis you have to realize that you, yourself, have to help in restoring the balance and that this will take time.
The less you do and the less you are a part of this process!
The longer you neglect this issue and the more you say: “Come on , surely you trust me again now”, the longer it’ll actually take for the trust to be restored.
That is a fact!
And it’s far from everyone who is cut out for the process it is helping your partner regain their trust in you after letting them down big time.
I’ve learnt that you clean up your own mess and I also believe that this is the most sensible thing to do regardless of you staying together or not.
To neglect a breaking of trust is to break the trust once again!
2) You are ALLOWED to be angry
Anger is not ”just” a bad trait even though we often have SUCH a hard time containing our anger and our need to tell someone off.
Maybe that is exactly what will help you right now!
That the two of you agree that you can give him a proper telling off and he just have to stand there and take it.
Your anger is energy in your body which needs release and a way to get you through this quicker is for him to say “yes, I accept your anger”.
Vulnerability, love and healing can have a tough time finding a place in your heart if you are not also “allowed” to be angry or if you don’t “allow” yourself to feel anger as well.
Come on, he is the one who has inflicted this pain on you and because of this he, of course, has to help clean up the mess he made.
Well, you CAN’T do this on your own and you shouldn’t if the goal for you as a couple is to be good again.
I know this may sound crazy but to agree with your partner “that now I’m allowed to be angry for 10 minutes and tell you off until the stop watch goes off” is actually really effective.
Even though it can feel both weird and awkward and actually is PRETTY crazy. But this works and that’s the main thing really.
3) Talk to other people about it
When we experience infidelity we often end up alone with the feelings and all the thoughts.
Somtetimes our partner eventually won’t be able to listen to you talk about it anymore. (Not all the time anyway)
And you can quickly get the feeling of them wanting you to just “pull yourself together”.
However, the reality of it all is that you have to talk about it until your ears fall off and until you just can’t talk about it anymore.
BUT not necessarily with your partner alone.
To talk to a good friend, who doesn’t say “Wauw, I can’t believe you don’t just leave him”.
No, talking to a friend who listens to you, comforts you, holds you and spoil you and really just shows that she cares is PRICELESS in a process like this.
If you’re really lucky you have more than one friend who will do this for you.
And/or a therapist.
To be listened to, someone to share your frustrations with, your thoughts, feelings, tears, grief and a billion other feelings will help restore the balance inside of you.
A little note in the end…
Lastly, I want to tell you that you have to realize that it can take a long time before the trust is completely there.
And trust isn’t an either/or thing!
Some days you’ll find that it’s completely gone.
Other days you’ll feel like it’s getting better and then even start to see that you can have days where you completely forget what has happened.
You will have a small scar for the rest of your life.
Right now, it’s a big, infected wound and your task as a couple is to clean this wound and to but a bandaid on it for the night, clean it again in the morning etc. etc.
And as time passes you will see that the wound turns into a small scar that’s closed itself up nicely and will no longer be infected.
It might be sore from time to time but the infection will be gone and one day you will look at it and realize that you can hardly see it anymore.
Nevertheless, you’ll probably always be able to see hints of it if you look very closely.
Big kisses, hugs, hair strokes and hugs (again),
Maj Wismann – Clinical sexologist and couple’s therapist with private clinic since 2006 – read about Maj here <—
Read more about trust?
★ Have you experienced infidelity and have you regained your trust? Please share your experiences, they might help someone else out there. ALSO, this is such a sensitive subject so please be sensible enough to word whatever you write positively, be nice and show consideration. Thank you ❤
* Please remember to keep a nice tone, ALL negative comments will be deleted immediately. I wish to create a positive and supporting space, where we can help each other. And because of this I have a zero tolerance policy to rudeness, condescension and negative inputs.