How to recovery from partner infidelity.
Demi likely got a nasty surprise when the papers outed Ashton’s rumored wild night in a hot tub recently. Why was it a shock? Because Demi wasn’t there. Unless they have an open arrangement, they are going to have to do a lot of work to repair their marriage from the hurt, deceit and embarrassment caused by this scandal. While your relationship may not be making headline news, women across the world will have to plow through the same trials that Demi may soon go through, after finding out that their partner has betrayed them. The good news is that there hope for celebrities and non-celebrities alike. The bad news is that you have to make a commitment to wading through the many ups and downs of the reparation process. Think you and Demi have what it takes to do the work? Consider the following:
The Love Factor – Simply stated, you have to love your partner more than you hate them for what they’ve done. There might be an instant feeling that this relationship is worth saving and it might be a feeling that comes over you, only after the swift blow to the heart has subsided. Either way, you have to gauge your internal desire and evaluate where that love comes from. Is it fear of being alone or is it a core belief that you both can weather the storm?
Know the Routine – Once you realize your partner has been unfaithful, your world, much like a snow globe, has been turned upside down and the pieces may be falling all around you. In this space, we experience a myriad of emotions ranging from disorientation, hurt, anger, determination to fight the fight, dejection, confusion, love and back again. This routine will continue to cycle (in no particular order), anywhere from weeks to months. Both you AND your partner have to know this and mentally prepare, much like a fighter entering a battle. The storm will pass, but only after both of you commit to the practice of patience and steadfastness.
The 5 Ws – While in this emotional maelstrom, questions swirl, race and play on a never ending track, like a hamster on a wheel, but what information should we really have? As we all know, knowledge is power, but there is a point where too much IS too much and it may in fact, damage the road to recovery. Instead of asking and badgering for every last detail (that WILL in fact, break your heart and WON’T in fact, make you feel better), focus on the 5 Ws:
1. WHO – (Did your partner cheat with)
2. WHAT – (Exactly happened between them)
3. WHEN – (Did it all happen)
4. WHERE – (Did it all happen)
5. WHY – (Emotional motivations for stepping outside the relationship)
Accept the Unjustness of the Situation – While your partner may have committed the crime, you BOTH will have to do the time. They will be dealing with guilt and your emotional backlash, however, YOU will have to forgive, learn to trust again and work to build a new kind of relationship. Also, while you certainly never caused the infidelity, you may also have to hear painful details of what your partner felt they weren’t getting from you, that they found with someone else. Completely unfair, but all of this hard and unjust work can pay off in the end. The success lies not only in getting past the infidelity but also in the establishment of better, more honest communication and a deepening of the connection.
Leave Your Ego at the Door – When our partner makes a mistake, the human response is to become indignant and righteous but it doesn’t remedy the issue. Attempt to listen to their thoughts and feelings as to why they were unfaithful, with a sense of grace. By this I mean, leave your ego at the door and allow yourself to be flawed. Our tendency is to defend our actions, but what if we told ourselves that it was okay to make mistakes? We could listen, adjust and do better next time. This benefits not only your relationship but your sense of self as well.
Over Time, Deflate the Punching Bag – When we’re angry, we want our partner to know it and we feel compelled to remind them time and time again. If we sense that they are forgetting their wrong doings even for a minute, we proverbially beat them up…a lot. Once you start to mend the relationship, you must remember that to truly heal, you have to move on. This doesn’t mean that your partner has forgotten what they have done. They will remember and regret the rest of their lives, but they cannot be punished forever. Over time, you must reconcile this fact in order to complete the curative course that the two of you are taking together.
As with any emotional shake up, seeing a therapist will always be your best bet for tackling an issue such as infidelity. There are far too many stages and struggles to manage on your own. Through the process, you will learn greater tools and skills to apply to your relationship and fortify it against future disaster. Will Demi and Ashton do what it takes? Better yet, will YOU?