Infidelity: Do’s and Don’ts
There are various losses associated with infidelity and various feelings which are individual to you at this time. Don’t expect these feelings to disappear overnight. Below are some Do’s and Don’ts that you might like to consider:
- DON’T make any major decisions right now. This is not the time to end your relationship or sell the family home. It could however, be a good time to reflect on your relationship and see what issues brought you both to this. These issues could possibly be dealt with in counselling and assist with a brighter more rewarding relationship in the long run.
- DO look after yourself. You may be experiencing some physical reactions as a result of the infidelity such as sleep problems, losing weight or lack of concentration. Pay attention to these reactions and visit your GP if they persist.
- DO experience emotions. Recognise that each day will be different and so will your moods. Enjoy laughter when it comes and surround yourself with people you enjoy and who make you laugh. It’s OK to cry too. Sometimes people hold their emotions inside, thinking it wrong to show them outwardly. If tears don’t come naturally, try encouraging them with family photo albums and favourite songs.
- DO speak with your partner about the infidelity. You have a right to the information you need in order to make decisions, but recognise that knowledge and details may not be useful. Understand that your partner may not always have the answers or reasons for the infidelity occurring in the first place.
- DO start writing a journal of your feelings and emotions. Writing is one of the most common therapeutic tools used because it helps to get rid of unwanted bitterness and resentment.
- DO tell your children that you will be okay. DON’T weigh them down with details and DON’T discredit your partner to the children. At the end of the day, you want your children to know and love both parents, despite mistakes and misdemeanours.
- DON’T play the blaming game over who caused the infidelity. It is just wasted energy and won’t change anything. In most cases there are two sides to every story and it takes two people to fall in and out of love. This includes blaming of the other partner, the third party, and yourself.
- DO think twice before telling others. Some people, including family members can be unforgiving and may hold grudges for a long time, long after you do.
- DON’T try to get through this time alone. Surround yourself with positive people and seek the support of a counsellor if required.
- DON’T get into a retaliatory affair or relationship too quickly. Recognise your vulnerabilities and safeguard your emotions.