You've just found out your partner cheated on you. Now what?
Mourning the loss of what you had, without destroying your future together can be a tricky path to navigate.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. You've just had your feet knocked out from under you. Here's how to take care of yourself in this new environment:
Discovering a betrayal is traumatic.
This makes a lot of sense. We build up maps of who the other person is, how they will behave, based on our experience with them. When we find out they have acted out of character, or been deceitful, our brain starts to doubt everything we know about them. This is your brain in survival mode.
The second most common thing I hear is: "I go from ok to sobbing to full of rage."
This is where we can say that the discovery of infidelity is like a trauma, and we respond to it like we would a trauma: with fear, sadness, helplessness, numbness, and anger. What you're experiencing is normal.
Understand that it is not your fault.
Find connection and support.
Repairing the relationship will be a long and difficult journey. You will need support, and not from your partner. Find a trusted friend, family member, or therapist you can confide in and who will encourage you in your decision.
Provide your own care.
Decide what you want the outcome to be and work toward it.
Take some time to think about what you want the outcome to be. This may take a while.
If what you want is a new and stronger relationship with the same person, some of those behaviors I just mentioned will be counter to your goal. An experienced Couples Therapist can help you navigate this process and start you toward the healing you want.