If Your Spouse Cheated
Sheri Meyers (Marriage and Family Therapist) gives expert video advice on: How can I stop obsessing about my spouse's infidelity? and more...
Why did my spouse cheat?
I'm often asked, "Why did my partner cheat?" Often an affair is a symptom. A spouse cheats because there's vulnerability, either in your partner or in your relationship. Problems can occur if your relationship has become dry, if you're not interacting with each other, if the sex life is nil or if there's been some changes where a lot of the attention is going outside of the relationship. Your partner may be hungry, and seeking to fill that hunger through other means. Whether it be through cyber sex, through emotional intimacy with coworkers or through having an affair. To get to the heart of the reason for the infidelity, consider cheating to be the symptom and not the illness. If there's some vulnerability in your partner - they're feeling lonely, they're feeling bored, they're wanting some excitement. Perhaps they just got a promotion and they're feeling really full of themselves and want to act out. There are lots of reasons why people cheat. What you need to find out is, why did your spouse cheat? What is their vulnerability and how do you fill the hole between you?
How do I cope with my jealousy and insecurity stemming from my spouse's affair?
It is really normal to have a myriad of feelings of jealous and insecurity when you find out that you've been betrayed. All these feelings flood you. Normal feelings experienced are disbelief, shock, thinking how could this happen, anger and rage - "I want to kill him. I want to kill her. How dare they, how dare this person, how dare this person that I have married do this to me." Jealousy and insecurity is common stemming from your spouse's affair. Either you're going to want to take revenge on them or you're just going to keep torturing yourself with these visions and fantasies of all the times this person has lied to you. You may feel sadness and depression because your trust has been devestated. Jealousy, when you start comparing, "Mmm, was this guy a better lover than me, was this girl prettier, did they share an emotional bond, did he tell our secrets to her, did she do things with him that she or he didn't do with me?" All this is natural, so what do you do? How do you cope? One, understand that you are traumatized and you are in trauma. If you had your best friend or your child right by you, traumatized, how would you take care of them? How would you hold them? What would you be telling them? This is a time that you've got to be really kind and gentle with yourself. Self-loving. You're going to be rebuilding from the ground up yourself, considering this marriage, trying to figure out what you're going to do, how you're going to relate to this person, the spouse who was unfaithful to you. If you choose to heal with your partner, you're going to need to come from a really strong place inside yourself. If you choose to leave this partner, that's a whole other course, you still need to be really strong and connected with yourself. Right now you have got to be your own best friend, hold your own hand and be ever so kind and ever so gentle, and whatever feelings come up, hold yourself through them, and be ready for a rollercoaster ride.