Couples therapy

Can Your Relationship Survive Infidelity? And Should It?

Relationship_survive_InfidelityTrust. It is the foundation of any relationship. There are few things that can break the trust in a relationship as well as cheating can. Now, is cheating a deal-breaker? Not necessarily. It certainly doesn’t have to ring an end to a normal healthy relationship.

Have you been cheated on? Before you end your relationship, it is important to think carefully and consider the circumstances. Consider your partner as a whole. Is he/she otherwise honest? It won’t be easy, but if you trust your partner and feel that they are truly remorseful, you may want to consider working through the infidelity to keep your relationship.

But what if they have a track pattern of infidelity and other dishonest behavior? If so, you first need to decide if you are willing to stay. If you do decide to stay, it is important that both you and your partner are willing to work together to get to the root of these issues. Sit down together and establish game plan, such as couples’ counseling. Know that if they cannot be open, honest and willing to admit that there is an issue, counseling won’t be effective…and their dishonest behavior is likely to continue.

While considering your partner, don’t forget to consider yourself. Think about how being cheated on made you feel. Can you forgive them and let go? If not, that is perfectly okay. Think deeply about yourself and the principles that you value and live your life by. You might feel that this is the ultimate betrayal and that you cannot stay with your partner. There is no point in staying in a relationship if you know that you won’t be happy. If you decide to stay, know that your feelings of hurt, betrayal and disappointment will fade with time as long as both you and your significant other work together to rebuild the bridge of trust that once bonded you together as a couple.

The roots of trust are built in our childhood, where we learn to receive consistent, predictable care from our parents. Trust is built on order and predictability, which makes it even more psychologically traumatizing when that trust is broken.  Studies have shown that psychological traumas (like discovering an affair) can have an effect on brain functioning long after the event has happened.

One of these common changes is the development of hyper-vigilance to prevent further assaults. Being hyper-vigilant is a survivor perspective, it protects us from harm.

These behaviors are commonly acted out by the partner who has been betrayed, by being looking for and being ultra aware of any change in behavior or pattern from their partner.  Unfortunately, being hyper-vigilant is non discriminating. This puts us in a position to mistrust everyone around us- other family members, co-workers, spiritual leaders. This is harmful to our social connections- how can we prevent ourselves from mistrusting everyone around us after a betrayal?

Heartbreaks are, well, heartbreaking. The sudden loss of the person you thought would be by your side forever is devastating. You may still catch yourself hearing a joke, so you turn to watch your partner laugh, only to realize they’re gone.

But after you’re done comfort binging romcoms and Ben and Jerry’s, it’s time to take care of you. The loss your relationship leaves doesn’t mean the end of your world. It’s time to create a fresh start.

Here are five steps to take back your life and move past a lost love. You can come out of this smarter, more confident, and more financially stable and prepared for a new love.

  1. Look after your health.

After a break up it’s important to take care of yourself. Now’s a great time to start a new exercise routine or get a massage. You could even go all out on a spa day. Try healthy new Pinterest meals or try your hand at meal planning. Meal planning can be a great way to make your food budget last longer too!

  1. Pick up a new hobby.  

Besides taking your mind off your ex, a new hobby is a great way to meet new people. This can spur exciting new friendships and even a potential new romance. Look for classes around your neighborhood. Libraries are a great source for free or low-cost classes.

  1. Reconnect with friends and family.  

No one wants to be that person who disappears in a relationship, but we all do a little. After a breakup, your friends and family are there to support you and help you get back on your feet. Listen to them, and go have some fun creating new experiences. You don’t need your ex to have fun.

  1. Spend some extra time focusing on your career.  

Like friends and family, sometimes your career can take a back seat during a relationship. Now is a great time to throw yourself headfirst into the runnings. Keeping busy will keep you distracted which in turn keeps the heartbreak at bay. Plus, a promotion on the horizon is always rewarding!

  1. Make your money work for you.  

Relationships can be expensive! Date nights, little gifts, eating for two, birthdays, anniversaries. Make sure to get a financial advisor that gets you. The right advisor can teach you to set up your money in a way that you never have to stress about big purchases again. The average wedding costs about $35,000. Even if your big day is years away, the right financial advisor can help you start planning now.

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