It's never easy when you find out that your "life time" partner has cheated on you. There is no simple solution to this as every situation is different and everyone copes in their own way. You are not alone as sadly many of us have experienced this although it often comes to light in different ways:
- Some had their suspicions
- Some didn't see it coming at all
- Some are heartbroken
- Some are glad it's happened as it gives them an excuse to leave
You may know the woman he has cheated with, you may not. Other people in your circle may have known about it and friendships may be affected. Big decisions have to be made... do you stay or do you leave? For some it will be a clear cut decision and for others it won't be as straightforward. It will depend on your values in life and also your personal situation. It's not always easy to end a relationship if you have children together or are financially dependent on your partner.
However whatever your scenario, on top of all this there is still the betrayal as well as the rollercoaster of emotions to deal with.
Coping in the early days
As you try to come to terms with what has happened your mind will be in overdrive working out how, why, where and what has been going on. It's completely normal to oscillate between a wide variety of feelings such as:
My focus as a Divorce and Life Coach is to help you move on with your life and heal yourself from the betrayal:
- Allow yourself time to grieve the relationship that you thought you had. It's ok to cry and release those emotions. It's part of your healing process so don't stuff down your emotions. In fact allowing yourself time to let the tears flow when you are at home or on your own will make you stronger for the times where you have to function such as work or being a parent.
- Many of us will ask "What did I do wrong?" and other negative questions such as "What is wrong with me?". Whilst this is normal it is a fruitless exercise and will not help you move forward. Taking control of your mind and feeding it better questions will help you such as "What can I do now to make me feel better?"
- Create an outstanding support team around you. Pick your friends and family wisely and choose only those who have a constructive outlook and help you move forward. If you think there is a chance you will need legal or financial advice then ask for referrals to find someone you feel you could work well with and who is within your budget.
- Get regular exercise as even a brisk walk around the block will help to clear your mind and keep you strong. If you want something a bit stronger try taking a circuits class or even take up boxing in your local gym as it's a very effective way to release pent up aggression and hurt.
- Don't try to work out your future just yet. Take one day at a time and focus on yourself and your children. You have plenty of time to work out the rest of your life so give yourself permission to take things easy and not pile on any extra pressures. It's one step at a time in the early days whilst you adjust.
How to cope with "The Other Woman"
For most women this is extremely hard. We will draw comparisons between them and ourselves which can be a painful process.
"She's thinner than me."
"She's younger than me."
"She's too sexy. "
"She's a gold digger."
Whatever conclusions we draw of the other woman it is not where our focus needs to be. It's a fruitless and painful exercise with no positive outcome. What has happened is already done. We have to hold our heads high and realise that we have a life to live.
Remember that it is not what happens to us that matters in life - it's what we do about it that counts.
Of course this is not easy to do and I am not making light of such a huge emotional blow. However my job as your Coach is to help you move forward and start to feel better as soon as possible.
Shifting the focus to you
Wallowing in self-pity will not help you so when you feel you are ready to start moving forward then follow the steps below:
- Don't give the other woman the benefit of any of your time. Do not engage or swap any of your precious energy with her. You need your strength so don't waste your thoughts on her.
- Whether you want your partner back or not this is the time to focus on you. You need to be strong and build your confidence and self-esteem back up. This will help you get back to your old self and reconnect with your identity before you met your partner. Either way you need to be stronger to move forward whether it is to create a new and exciting future for you or to win your ex back again.
- Time to get fit - keep up your exercise and watch what you're eating and drinking. If you feel and look good on the outside it will help your confidence and how you feel on the inside. Set yourself some goals and ask your support team to help you achieve them
- Change your look - it doesn't have to be a huge shift but something that you notice and that makes you feel good. Maybe wear a new nail colour, change your hair or buy some new clothes. Definitely treat yourself to some new underwear as "out with the old and in with the new" is a good motto to help you start afresh.
- Every day ask yourself the question "If I could create a new and exciting future for myself what would it look and feel like?" Jot down the answers as they pop into your mind over the next few weeks.
- Focus on your answers and identify some goals that you can work towards. Remember you don't have to get there in one go, the trick is to create stepping stones that take you closer to your new and exciting future. To do this ask yourself a new question "What can I do today to take me one step closer to my goal?".
- Take action. If you want to move forward you have to step up and make things happen. It doesn't have to be a huge effort; it can just be small steps every day. The more you do the faster you will move forward and start to feel better.
You will be surprised at how effective having an exciting goal to move towards is. I know how it feels when your world looks dark and as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel... but there are lots of us out here that have been where you are and are happier now than we have ever been.
There can be a great life after the end of your relationship ... so reach out and grab it - it's up to you now!
For more help, advice and support visit www.saradavison.com.