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Recovering from spousal infidelity

When a person discovers their spouse has been cheating on them, there are many things they may feel like they may never be able to get back.

One is stability. Infidelity by a spouse can cause substantial upheaval. It can greatly damage a relationship, sometimes to the point that the relationship simply cannot survive.

Infidelity in a marriage can lead to divorce. An important thing to know is that ending a marriage that is no longer working through a divorce does not mean a person from that point onward will be living in an unstable situation. In fact, the clean break a divorce can give a person from a cheating spouse may in some cases actually help a person get their life back into a stable situation.

How the many issues in a divorce, such as property division, are dealt with can impact the stability of a person’s post-divorce life. Thus, when going through a divorce with a cheating spouse, it can be important for a person to develop a plan for how to deal with the various divorce issues in a way consistent with their long-term goals, including goals regarding returning stability into their life. Divorce attorneys can help with forming such a plan.

Another thing a person who has been cheated on may fear is lost to them is the ability to trust. Following discovering a spouse's infidelity, a person may feel they can no longer trust others or themselves. While a spouse's cheating can severely wound a person's ability to trust, there are things a person can do to try to rebuild this ability, including:

  • Giving themselves time and space to grieve.
  • Taking their happiness into their own hands.
  • Forgiving their spouse in order to keep from being locked in the past (this does not mean forgetting what their spouse did).
  • When one ends things with a cheating spouse, being willing to enter into new relationships, but exercising appropriate care when doing so. 

When a person has discovered their spouse is cheating, it is important for them to know that their life is not over and that there are ways to get one’s life back in order after such a heart-breaking discovery. 

Source: The Huffington Post, "How To Trust Again After You've Been Cheated On," Gloria Pierson, Dec. 1, 2015

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