Infidelity is one of the most traumatic experiences for any person – but anything can happen in life. The stress from learning about an affair can be so great that, as a rule, at first, the most unconstructive actions you can imagine may come to mind.
So, what you should NOT do when you find out that your partner is unfaithful to you:
1. Reach out to and attack the 3rd parties (your partner’s object of affection).
Very often this is your first impulse, but this is not a good approach. Pulling out your husband’s mistress’s hair, beating up the lover of your wife – may seem like a good solution to the problem. However, any relationship is a two-way street. If another person appeared in your relationship it is because it already has issues – this is a symptom rather than the root cause. Do you want to waste time dealing with the symptom?
2. Throw yourself into a pit of guilt.
Yes, often both sides have contributed to what happened. But this does not mean that you are a horrible person and you need to cover your head with ashes and dive into a pool of self-loathing. People start relationships on the side because they make a conscious choice.
3. Start blackmailing and manipulating.
“You will not see the children again!”, “I will throw you out into the street, you will be left with nothing!” Some phrases and actions cannot be undone, but what happened is not always the end of the relationship. Children are certainly not to blame for what happens between the parents. Making them a bargaining chip and a means of manipulation is at the minimum unfair and traumatic for them.
4. Try to “pay back in kind”.
Yes, sometimes such a “great idea” comes into the wounded mind of a suffering person. It is not worth it… It will be even more painful and disgusting, and you will certainly not be able to save the relationship in this way.
Laura, having learned about her husband’s affair with a colleague, went to a bar and slept with the first person she met there – in revenge. In the morning, she was overwhelmed with a feeling of disgust. It didn’t make her feel any better. Not at all.
5. Pretend that nothing is happening.
This point is controversial: some may think that they will be able to wait until it’s over in silence. In practice, this rarely happens. Much more often the feelings of anger, resentment, and jealousy consume the person who has learned about the betrayal of their partner.
Katherine decided not to say anything about the fact that she saw her partner with another woman – she was afraid that he would leave. But she could not pretend that nothing is happening. She lost her peace, fell into depression, and developed a stomach ulcer. Unspoken resentment, anger, and fear ruined her health.
Infidelity is very painful. There can be no general rules of behavior here. However, the options listed above definitely will not help. You need to choose a different path.