5 Strategies To Cope With Online Cheating & The Discovery Of Infidelity

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5 Strategies To Cope With Online Cheating & The Discovery Of Infidelity
Heartbreak

Have you recently (or not so recently) discovered that your partner is having an affair online and are looking to understand if and how surviving internet infidelity is possible?

Discovering the betrayal of cheating or infidelity is no easy situation. Whether it's a physical affair or emotional cheating, discovering the truth of your broken trust and your partner's unfaithfulness can be a staggering heartbreak.

RELATED: How To Survive An Emotional Affair When Betrayal & Infidelity Rock Your Marriage

Internet infidelity is a relatively new phenomenon when it comes to cheating.

The degrees of online infidelity range from simply consistent chatting with someone to regular, intense intimate sharing. Both of these examples can be considered infidelity.

It’s important that you examine your feelings around what has occurred to decide how you feel about what your partner has done.

Can you ever trust them again? Can you forgive them, but not forget? Is what happened beyond redemption?

Once you know how you feel, you can decide whether you want to stay in this relationship or leave.

Here are 5 strategies to help you cope with online cheating and the discovery of infidelity.

1. Let go of self-blame.

Do you blame yourself that your partner strayed? Do you think that if you had only been nicer, funnier, skinnier, or had more sex that they wouldn’t have cheated on you?

Do you chide yourself for not seeing the signs, or that you missed the fact that your partner was stepping out on you?

Let me tell you, your partner’s infidelity is not your fault.

Infidelity happens for many reasons, but it doesn’t happen because of things that you didn’t do. More often than not, infidelity is something that happens not because someone seeks it out, but because two people meet and there is an attraction that proves irresistible.

Blame is a double-edged sword, but if anyone must be blamed it’s those who couldn’t resist, who proved weak in the face of temptation and lied to you over and over.

2. Accept your feelings.

Do you find yourself struggling with a wide range of emotions? People whose partners have strayed struggle with unstable emotions and disorientation. 

Do you find yourself crying one minute, raging another, way too happy the next minute, and then back to the tears?

Do you find yourself sitting in the car looking out the window only to realize that an hour has passed?

The pain that has been caused them is so extreme that it can render their emotions uncontrollable. Your brain can get overwhelmed and disoriented.

Time will help with emotions — they are strongest right after the pain is caused, but they dissipate as time goes on.

Oftentimes, without help, they don’t go away completely but they can, at the very least, be managed. And when managed, the disorientation will be resolved.

For now, understand the wide range of emotions you're struggling with are completely natural. Chiding yourself for feeling them, for not staying calm, for being angry with life, and at the same so very sad will only make the emotions worse.

Furthermore, not pushing the feelings down, but letting yourself feel them and letting them go, is the best way to work through them in a productive way.

Accepting and feeling your emotions as a part of the healing process will allow them to help you do that — heal.

RELATED: 8 Reasons Why You Hate 'The Other Woman' More Than Your Cheating Husband

3. Manage intrusive thoughts.

Unfortunately, your powerful brain can also be your worst enemy. 

Do you find yourself obsessing over the images of your partner committing infidelity?

Do you question your self-worth and wonder if you are worthy of love?

Do you spend more time in your head than you do in the now, living your life?

Your brain loves to run negative tapes over and over, tapes that serve to reinforce all of the bad thoughts you have about yourself, your loved one, and our lives.

These negative thoughts don’t serve you in any way and can actually make healing more difficult.

There are ways to deal with these intrusive thoughts. The first is to start having the awareness that the thoughts are just that, intrusive and not necessarily productive.

Next, accept that the thoughts are not serving you, but that they should not be chased away. Let these thoughts float through your head. Don’t try to analyze them or give them any power. Let them go.

It’s also important to remember that the thoughts will probably come back and you'll have to practice this awareness over and over. Ultimately, with time, those intrusive thoughts will dissipate.

You can also do something that will occupy your brain. Yoga and meditation are excellent tools for managing intrusive thoughts but reading, TV, and sleep also work.

Whatever you can do to give yourself a break from those thoughts, even for a little while, will help you manage them and reduce their effect on you.

4. Work to trust again.

Many people trying to survive the pain infidelity — whether it's online cheating or not — find that they have developed significant trust issues.

When the person you love and trust more than anyone else betrays you, your place in the world is profoundly affected. Instead of believing in the best in people, you're left believing that people are ultimately evil and that entrusting yourself and your emotions to anyone will only cause pain.

When your partner has been unfaithful, it's important that you spend as much time as possible with those who love you and can trust.

One person has betrayed your trust, not everyone. Being reminded of that regularly will help restore your faith in people.

With time and help, you will learn that trusting people is possible and that even that person who betrayed your trust might be worthy of it again.

5. Know that you will be OK.

Are you struggling with the belief that nothing will ever be the same again? That happiness will be forever out of reach, that you will never love again and that life can not possibly go on?

Are you feeling completely hopeless by the prospect of your future?

It's important that you understand the nature of hopelessness around online infidelity. For many people, their partners cheating can lead to depression.

When you're depressed, the belief that anything will ever be OK again is inconceivable. You may be incapable of believing that life will get better.

With time and treatment, the feeling of depression and hopelessness will fade. Life does go on. You will love again, and happiness will once again be yours.

Again, spending time with people who love you is an excellent way to manage the hopelessness.

You might not believe them at the moment, but having people remind you that you will get through this and that life will go on is an essential part of the healing process.

Surviving online infidelity is definitely possible. People do it every day.

What happened to you has been traumatic and you may fear for your future. But with awareness and acceptance, you can move forward and be happy again.

If you find that you can’t manage your feelings around this and that you aren’t surviving online infidelity in a healthy way, consider consulting a therapist or a life coach. Sometimes professional help is important to get through trauma like this.

Know that time is the ultimate healer. I know it’s hard to believe it now, but as time goes on, you will feel better.

Life will be worth living again. The pain might not be gone but it will be less and it will be manageable.

For now, keep your head up, believe that the future is there, accept where you are right now, and get some help. You will get through this.

RELATED: 6 Steps You Must Take To Save Your Relationship After Being Cheated On

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Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based certified life coach and mental health advocate. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live. Contact her for help or send her an email.

This article was originally published at Let Your Dreams Begin. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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