Avoid spiraling or conspiring to get even. Instead, focus on getting better.
- Seek revenge. Having an affair of your own is quite possibly the worst thing you can do at this time. Two wrongs do not make a right. Adding any more outside parties to an already overpopulated relationship adds more fuel to a raging fire. Don't give away yourself to try to save yourself from heartbreak. You will only feel more empty in the end.
- Be afraid to leave. If you need to spend time away from the relationship, make the arrangements to do so. Stay with a friend or family member for a couple of weeks, check into a hotel for a long weekend or go on a 4 day cruise. If you need to be by yourself to find yourself, go and don't look back.
- Avoid it. Acting as if it never happened is not healthy. Turning to alcohol, food or drugs for comfort is dangerous. Denial will lead you down a very rough river. Burying your emotions will create a volcano that erupts in other areas of your life. You may become distant with friends, depressed or unapathetic to life in general because you are hiding the true pain you are feeling.
- Take full responsibility. Unless you are the one who had the affair, don't shoulder the blame for why this happened. If there was a breakdown in the relationship, own your part of it. But if this was an out of the blue encounter, don't fault yourself for another person's horrible and hurtful mistake.
- Ruminate. Constantly revisiting the day you found out, rehashing the details and asking questions that lead to hurtful answers only makes things worse for yourself. In as much as you think you want or need to know everything, you don't. Allow yourself a short list of "need to know" answers and the rest, let it just fall away. Every question leads to "just one more question". You will never be completely satisfied. Know when to say when. Your heart and brain can only take so much.
- Blame or judge your past for the present. Science tell us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The law of karma states what comes around goes around. Don't let these philosophies tempt you to dissect everything you have every done to lead you to this 'payback'. Don't forget all the good you have ever done because something bad has happened.
- Think you are going crazy. It may feel like it at times, but you are not going crazy. You are going through a painful and life changing experience. There are no rights or wrongs on how to get through it. Infidelity has been likened to experiencing a death. Go through the stages, as many times as you need to in order to keep healing.
- Stay stuck. Create a mantra for yourself that you can say to yourself when you become overwhelmed or overcome with grief. It can be as simple as "This too shall will pass" or as personal as "My life is more than this moment". Use a phrase that will propel you from the past you are dwelling in and back to the present where you are living.
Once an affair has been exposed, you can choose to walk away from the relationship or work through it. By choosing healthy and constructive ways to deal with the betrayal, you are allowing yourself an opportunity to heal. Don't slow down your recovery time by letting the hurt get the best of you. There is no time limit on how long it will take to get better or for the pain to go away. But you will recover if you move forward one positive step at a time.