Without Losing Your Grip
Authored by William G. DeFoore, Ph.D.
Overcoming infidelity can be extremely challenging, but with the right kind of guidance and focus, you can do this! Dealing with the emotions and racing thoughts is the most difficult aspect of this problem.
Things can become very complicated very fast, and you need to keep a level head as much as possible as you go through this.
Having a plan of action and knowing what to expect is the key. That's what you'll get on this page, and all through this site.
We're here to help you with all of the frustration of infidelity, jealousy, and the anger that inevitably goes along with it. This does not have to ruin your life, and you have more freedom to choose your future than you realize.
Make up your mind to rise above this difficult time, and apply the best of who you are to moving forward.
What Are The Four Stages Of Overcoming Infidelity?
Before you even get to the part where you're actually overcoming infidelity, you're struggling with a whole mix of emotions, racing thoughts and impulsive decisions.
Take a look at this chart, to get an idea of the four stages (keep in mind that this is different for everyone, but there are certainly some common processes):
This is by no means an exact science, and you may or may not experience some of the emotions, thought processes and behaviors described above.
Use this as a general overview of what most people go through, and learn about yourself and your own journey in the process.
Now we'll look at each of these stages, to understand more about how to move through them without getting stuck.
How Do You Move Through The Stages Without Getting Stuck?
Many of these emotions and the racing thoughts that go with them are "sticky," meaning that if you're not careful, you can get stuck in them.
So, let's take a look at each part of the process, in hopes of guiding you onward an upward to healing and resolution:
- At first, it hits you like a ton of bricks. You're in shock and disbelief. This can quickly go into denial and/or anger, as you start trying to put the pieces together. Then when the fear, sorrow and despair set in, you might find yourself going numb...just to give yourself a break from the overwhelming emotions. This is all a normal part of the process.
- To move through these emotions, ask yourself, "What do I really know for sure?" Stick with that for now, and when you know more you can add that to what you know for sure. This is essential to overcoming the trap of suspicion, that will literally eat you alive if you let it--you don't want your suspicion taking you over the line into paranoia.
- Most likely, self doubt and insecurity will set in at some point while you're overcoming infidelity. These feelings are so miserable, that a lot of folks go into suspicion and anger to avoid them. Again, the key is to stick with what you know for sure. You're probably going to have racing thoughts, that might make it difficult to sleep during this time. We'll look at some tools further on that will help you with that.
- You will find yourself taking some kind of action at this point, if you haven't already. Be sure and take action that makes things better, not worse. People do crazy things when they're suspicious and/or jealous...don't be one of them. Here are some steps to follow:
- Write down a list of what you know for sure. Under that, write the things you suspect. It's a good idea to get some counseling, or talk to a trusted friend that will not give too much advice. It's important to get some objective, wise and unbiased input on what you're going through.
- Do some positive journaling, to keep your mind balanced while overcoming infidelity. This is the best way to avoid the danger of suspicion and paranoia.
- Work on your self love and self esteem. This will help you avoid the pitfalls of anger, insecurity and self doubt.
- If you're trying to reconcile with your partner, make up your mind to trust them one day at a time. If they're faithful, your trust will grow. If they're unfaithful, then the attempts at reconciliation will end and the issue of trust will no longer be a focus.
- Make up your mind that you're going to create a good, happy life for yourself, no matter what. The Goodfinding process will help you with that, and all aspects of overcoming infidelity.
You can do this! I know it's tough...it may be the toughest thing you've ever gone through, but you simply must believe in yourself to get through this.
You are worthy of love, respect and fidelity. Overcoming infidelity requires that you ultimately return to the loving, trusting and joyful person you truly are.