Ever been cheated on? It’s one of the most painful feelings. You love someone deeply, trust them with all you got only for them to go ahead and cheat on you like you don’t really matter. But then, life must go one, right? That’s why you should learn how to forget about it and move on with your life. Never let infidelity pull you back or prevent you from chasing your dreams.
I know you are now thinking of how easy it is to talk about forgetting and moving on after infidelity. I get it. It’s easier said than done and that’s why we sought professional advice from a relationship therapist, one Grace Kariuki.
Healing stages after infidelity
First. Grace tells us that for you to move on, you need to understand that it is a process so that you can give yourself enough time to heal.
“Stage one is the shock and denial phase. It's unreal. It feels like your life as you knew it is over. There's confusion and uncertainty of the future. Stage two is the anger phase where one struggles with deep feelings of betrayal that are expressed through fits of anger towards the cheater, towards self, towards God and others who are relevant to the experience. It can even be towards friends and family who don't share in your "hatred" towards the "evil" your cheating spouse has brought your way.” Notes Grace.
Bargaining and depression stages
After those two stages, one goes through the bargaining phase which Grace tells us is all about self-blame. This is a dangerous phase since one keeps on replaying the events in their mind, thinking about what they could have done to change the outcomes, feeling helpless, and this, unfortunately, might trigger depression.
The depression phase is then followed by the acceptance stage where you finally accept the loss and begin to look for a way forward.
Moving beyond cheating and forgiving your partner
“To go through this process, one might benefit from the services of a counsellor or a trusted friend. One can also read on the subject and process this loss through writing or journaling. Write about what you feel you've lost when the cheating happened. This processing helps to clarify exactly what one is thinking and feeling. One can also call on their spiritual resources because one's sense of identity and purpose is shaken and questioned. The spiritual resources help to redirect one's thoughts of rejection and loss of self-worth/esteem so that one is able to clarify where their sense of worth comes from.” Grace goes on to advise.
Spiritual resources and guidance also go a long way in helping one let go of the anger and forgive their partner for cheating on them.