My Partner Cheated, What Do I Do?

Finding out that your partner has been unfaithful is incredibly painful.  It makes you question all that you know about your partner.

It’s normal to feel heartbroken, angry, alone, and even ashamed.  It’s natural to want to talk about it with others, and at the same time hide it or pretend it hasn’t happened.

Infidelity often brings about a lot of confusing thoughts and feelings.

One question that often comes up is, “Will we actually be able to repair this and have a normal relationship again?”  The answer is yes!

Couples can find their way through infidelity.  Many couples say that healing from the affair made their relationship even better than it was before.

Before the work with your partner begins you might need to address some things for yourself personally in order to set yourself up for success.  Keep in mind the following first steps.

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1. Make Sure to Take Care of Yourself

It is likely that your physical being has been impacted by news of the affair as well as your emotional being.  It might be hard to sleep well, you might find yourself with an upset stomach or having trouble concentrating.

These are normal reactions to stress but do what you can to put yourself to bed at a reasonable hour, eat healthy foods, and move your body.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, but this is the time to show up for yourself in this challenging season.

2. Remain Faithful to Your Partner in Your Words and Actions

It is normal to desire bringing your partner to the level of pain that you are experiencing by trash-talking them to friends or family, airing your dirty laundry on social media, or even having an affair yourself to get even.  Unfortunately, the end result is often that nobody in the equation feels better. 

It also sets you off on a more challenging path to heal from the infidelity.  Additionally, sharing all of your partners’ indiscretions may evoke strong feelings in the people who love you and make healing a more complicated task. 

3. If You Have Children, Don’t Make Them Choose Sides

This is a situation for you and your partner to deal with.  Sharing your partner’s infidelity with your children will cause further confusion and anxiety in your family.

Remember, this is a time where your feelings are likely to be confusing and changing, and sharing something with your child while you are feeling one way may lead to regret later when your feelings have shifted.  Even if you ultimately decide to end your relationship telling your children about the affair only forces them to take sides and feel stuck in the middle.

Coping with the impact of infidelity in your relationship is not something you have to do alone.  Reach out to a couples counselor to get support.

You can go to counseling on your own to process your feelings about the affair. Or you can invite your partner to join you so that the two of you have a neutral party to help you find your way through the healing process.

An experienced therapist can help you to learn coping skills, improve your communication, and rebuild the trust that has been lost. At Thrive Couples Counseling we would consider it a privilege to walk alongside you while you navigate this challenging season.

Megan Humphreys, Marriage & Family Therapist