Friday, February 8, 2013

Overcoming Infidelity: Part 1 - Acceptance

Overcoming Infidelity- Acceptance - woman talking on the phone
If you are willing to take this horrible situation into your own hands, you and your partner can endure the healing process jointly as one and move on to a future together. The love you once shared will return with a power and purpose that it has never possessed before.

Your mind is bleeding. Your heart feels like this dead thing in your chest. You can barely breathe. The apocalyptic discovery of the betrayal by your significant other is one of the most hellishly destructive and devastating instances one can experience in life. You may be blind with rage, completely shattered and broken or ashamed and sick to the core of your being. Life as you have known it thus far is over now. 

The icy chill that you feel as you digest this new knowledge about your partner may lead you to decide to hibernate for weeks, seeking warmth and a safe place from the world. You may begin to envision and create in your head all of the nasty and highly intimate pleasures that your partner has sought out from someone else. Or, you may choose to completely ignore this revelation and continue on with your life as if nothing has happened. You may stuff down and choke back every single emotion that you are experiencing and decide to trudge forward with a love that has been tainted and scarred forever.

It is important to understand that all of these immediate reactions are perfectly normal. In fact, there is no right or wrong way to react to such damaging news. Every situation is different with a variety of contributing factors and outcomes.

After the initial shock begins to lessen, and it will at some point or another, you will have to come to terms with what has happened. You will have to find the strength to dig yourself out of the emotional chaos you are currently in, most especially if you have children on the scene. You will still have to get up every morning, feed them, dress them, and love them, all without resembling an unkempt monster that has been dragged from the depths of darkness. Although you may not believe it at the moment, the relentless pain is only temporary. There will be calm after the storm. And, if you are willing to take this horrible situation into your own hands you and your partner can endure the healing process jointly as one and move on to a future together. The love you once shared will return with a power and purpose that it has never possessed before.

The truth is your partner has hurt you in the most disgusting way a lover can possibly fathom: betrayal. The fact that your partner has been unfaithful is never going to seem easy to accept. It is an especially tough pill to swallow if you were under the impression that your relationship was better than ever and that nobody could ever come between you. It’s time to wake up now.

There are two major aspects to acceptance: mental and emotional. Both are equally important in overcoming the aftermath of infidelity.

The Mental Aspect
In order for your mind to begin to accept that your partner has been unfaithful, you must summon the internal strength to set aside your overflowing emotions. This will be extremely difficult. It is important to understand that there is certain logic behind every action. This includes the desperate and foolish act of infidelity.

Most people believe that infidelity stems from sexual dissatisfaction. That perhaps you should have opened that lingerie drawer for him more often or maybe you should have thought to fully satisfy her first on more occasions than you know you did. Honestly, a lacking sex life is not always to blame for an act of infidelity. There are so many more factors that pile up and wear themselves out until the infidel has to make a move.

Infidelity typically stems from a lack of one or a number of vital factors in your romantic relationship. Yes, it is hard to believe that infidelity is most usually a combined effort.  Below is a list of the 7 Scarcities that tend to lead to infidelity.

The 7 "Scarcities" Of Infidelity
1. Scarcity of sensual affection
2. Scarcity of care and attention
3. Scarcity of admiration and appreciation
4. Scarcity of sexual attention and exploration
5. Scarcity of physical attraction and lust
6. Scarcity of excitement and joy for life
7. Scarcity of communication and understanding

The fact of the matter is that infidelity doesn't "just happen." Your partner did not wake up one morning and decide over a morning coffee that today would be the day that they will not control themselves any longer. They do not suddenly decide that today will be the day to begin the demise of their relationship or marriage. Take a deep breath and realize now that your partner was unfaithful because your relationship lacked something that they found necessary.

As hard as this fact may be to comprehend, infidelity is a byproduct of problems that have been whirling in your relationship for months, perhaps even years. Having said this, please know that you are not to blame for the actual act of infidelity, because you certainly are not. There are no excuses for this disloyalty, but there are reasons.

When your partner became dissatisfied with an aspect of your relationship or your life together, it was their responsibility to confess their true feelings. Your partner should have expressed themselves in a way that would have helped you to understand that this thing was rearing its ugly head. If you think back now, you may recognize the dropping of subtle hints or the acting out of their frustrations. Open communication may not have been possible between you so they were left to these less effective ways of approaching your marital or relationship problems.

Ask yourself: Before the infidelity did you notice a change in your relationship? If you did, and you did nothing to investigate exactly what the issue was you will need to examine this. This is a deciding moment in your movement forward.

Maybe you argue too often about money, maybe your lover is feeling pushed aside and completely ignored because you have three kids all under the age of grown, or perhaps your partner is tired of the same relentless routine every day. Perhaps they felt trapped and doomed to this life and they only knew one way to gain a different perspective.

If you and your partner are planning on salvaging your relationship the good news is that each of these culprits or scarcities of infidelity can be turned around. The truth is you must both be willing to work together.  The person that you may call assassin now must become your strongest ally in this battle to save your love. Remembering this:  it takes two people to build a relationship, but only one to tear it down. Together, you can rebuild.

Before embarking on the momentous discussion with your partner about what happened, take a long look at your relationship. Be honest with yourself in taking some responsibility in the events that unfolded before the infidelity occurred. You were responsible before the act, and now after it is done. You must summon the strength and maturity to push your emotions into a corner and begin to reflect on this only in a factual state of mind. It is important to put yourself in your partner's mindset and try to understand their reasons. Try to unravel the way their mind was working. Why did this happen? Were there any obvious indicators? If you cannot recall any, take a moment to sit with the reflection of why you did not detect any problems.

Explore any and all weaknesses. Has your sex life drastically changed over the years? Have you stopped taking care of your appearance? Do you have a life vision that was not being manifested? How fun were you to live with because of this? Or, perhaps you've stopped paying your partner the attention that you know you both deserve. 

In relationships, both men and women want to feel adored, cherished, and certainly irreplaceable. Every one of us needs to know that they can trust their partner with their deepest darkest secrets. We all need to feel that our souls are in good hands when we look into the depths of our partners eyes. If you feel that perhaps your partner isn't getting all of these things from you, you just may have found the reason for their infidelity. Realize that these things could very easily have contributed to one of the "Scarcities" that they felt.

The Emotional Aspect
It feels as if your world has caved in all around you. All of the feelings mentioned are perfectly normal and quite expected.  Actually, if you do not feel at least one of these symptoms even mildly, you likely are not as emotionally attached to your partner as you would like to think. Understand that this can be a deciding factor in how to move forward out of the devastation.

In such a crucial time in your life you may seek the comfort of your family and friends. Though being with your loved ones may lessen the emotional torture of the betrayal, and the moments of soothing may quiet the visions floating in and out of your brain, it might do little good otherwise. Until you have had the chance to talk things through with your partner, it is often best to spend time reflecting on your relationship by yourself for a few days. Surrounding yourself with the forceful advice and strong opinions of others may drive you towards making a decision you may regret later on. These people are witnessing the pain you are in and their first priority will be to protect you. All they want is to keep you from being eaten alive by this all changing monstrous manifestation. It is time to take a few days to think about what has transpired away from the distractions of others. Send your kids to grandma's house for a few days. Let them escape the energy that you know they must be aware of. Send your infidel to a trusted location, or at the very least, the guest room, until you begin to accept the reality of the situation and until you have carefully and thoughtfully determined your next move.

Accept Your Emotions
You must allow yourself to feel the natural emotions spilling from your soul. Do not try to oppress these deadly emotions as it will only make them lie dormant temporarily. Moving on into the future, when you least expect it, they will eventually work their way to the surface again and you'll experience them all over again. Most of the time after much internal work has been done. You do not want to have to start back at square one of the healing process.

Allow yourself to cry, scream, sulk, curse, mourn and do anything else within reason that your emotions compel you to do. You'll feel better once all of the angst and immediate frenzy of hurt and nastiness has spilled out of your system. Let these emotions flow freely. Do not worry about dignity or decorum.  This is your time to relieve yourself of the overwhelming flood that comes and comes again. Then, you will begin to slowly pick the pieces back up after the hours or days of release. This will enable you to make a more rational decision once your emotions have had their time to steal the spotlight from this act.

Reflect On Your Relationship
During your time alone reflect on your time together with your partner before the infidelity. What are your partner's good traits? Where do they fall short? Take a look at the photos in your home adorning the walls. What are the memories surfacing while you look into the face of the one who has harmed you in such a hideous fashion? What good memories have you recently created together that you can draw upon to assuage some of the grief? Can you remember the last time you laughed together? Make a mental list of these instances and hold it in your mind. Remember, until the discovery you loved this person, possibly with every ounce of your being. This love has not disappeared. It is alive, although shivering in a dark corner like a scared little rabbit. Your love is waiting for clearance from your soul to spring back into the light.

Clearly, in this age of keeping up, putting out and getting by, people often remain together due to a high level of comfort or being dependent, not for the sake of love. When you have been with someone for so long it is very easy to take them for granted and to fall out of love and not even notice.  If you have nothing good surfacing when you reflect on the time spent together, you both may have neglected your relationship for far longer than you’ve imagined. This is a deciding moment in determining your next step.

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