Everyone knows it can happen, and how many times have we all seen it? The seemingly perfect couple has it all, but then one phone call, text message, or email comes at the worst moment, saying the worst things. The perfect couple is turned upside-down overnight, all thanks to the infidelity of one…or both.
It happens. No one is immune, even though it’s nice to think someone might be. Infidelity can happen to the best of people. Here’s how to survive those first few terrible days after it happens to you.
Remember to breathe. Sometimes the shock and pain of infidelity can be so heart-wrenching, you can forget the most basic things: brushing your teeth, trying to sleep, handling work, getting the kids off to school on time. Just slow down and remember that this has already happened. Panic about the situation will not help anyone, and it will hurt you even more than what you’re feeling now. So close your eyes, clear your mind, and just breathe. Focus on the things that must be done, and let yourself find solace in the routines.
Don’t let them off easy. Do not say it’s okay, and don’t let them think life will go on as usual. At the very least, put some physical distance between you to drive home the emotional gulf they have just created. Ask your partner to sleep on the sofa, or at the very least, not in the same bed with you. Immediately make an appointment for counseling, whether they like the idea or not. Remind them that the trust is now gone, and they will have to deal with your questions.
Consider those questions carefully. Do you really want to know everything? Your jealousy and fears might say yes, but your logical mind might be screaming NO. Remember that what you learn will never go away — it will never be erased from your mind. Do you want all the details to haunt you? Take some time and think about your questions before you ask them.
Don’t be the hero. Don’t take it on the chin and pretend it doesn’t hurt. It hurts like hell, and you have every right to feel like hell at this point. Crying, screaming, wailing, and anything else you might feel like doing is absolutely fine. Forget about dignity — there is nothing dignified about infidelity, and no one will expect you to be stoic.
Don’t seek revenge. It might be tempting to immediately lash out and attack the person who has hurt you, or better yet, hurt them even worse by getting a little on the side of your own. But if you do that, you are undermining the respect you have for yourself. Eventually, it will come back to haunt you. So don’t do it — don’t give your partner any reason to look down on you when they are the ones who should be groveling.
Get tested. It’s a sad reality at this point — your lover might have given you an STD. Before you begin to even think about reconciling, go to the doctor and get tested for everything. Be honest with your doc about the situation, and they will be perfectly understanding — after all, they see more of this than you might think.