Discovering your partner has been unfaithful can be devastating. Your relationship is now dangling over the edge of the cliff and it’s on you to decide if you’re going to save it or let it fall to pieces. You’re in a state of disbelief. That disbelief can lead to rage, hopefulness, or pure sorrow. Despite your state of mind, the underlying feeling is pain and on too many occasions, responding to infidelity without giving yourself the time to have a cool head or without fully understanding what you want out of the relationship going forward happens. You may not admit it, but jealousy is usually an emotion that stems from the confusion and disbelief of the infidelity. Out of pain, disbelief, and jealousy, you may immediately end a relationship abruptly, react in violence, or just settle for the unfaithful partner.
All three of those acts can be dangerous if taking personal time to deal with the pain is not a precursor. Immediately ending the relationship may not be what you want, especially if it’s been a long relationship, both have been through a lot together, or if you’re just madly in love; reacting with violence can lead to being imprisoned, regretting the pain inflicted on someone else, or damaging the relationship with the partner for good; and choosing to stay with your partner without prior thought can end with you being unhappy, regretful, or dwindling self-confidence.
Before making any decision, take the time to grow over your pain. Your partner or friends/family may encourage you to act immediately and that isn’t healthy, your first move should be accepting your feelings. Being furious, hurt, confused, agitated, shocked, depressed, and uncertain are all normal feelings when dealing with infidelity. You won’t experience one emotion but a whole barrel of them. All of which is nothing to feel ashamed of.
After facing your tears, laughter is important. Experiencing the nasty emotions are normal, but staying in them forever isn’t. You can end up hurting yourself if you stay down too long, and one way you can ensure you don’t stay down too long is reminding yourself that you didn’t deserve this. Take it one day at a time but treat and pamper yourself, go out, and surround yourself with close family or friends. Remember the feeling of joy, happiness, and relief; and when you look your best, you feel your best. So, shower, eat healthily, stick to your normal schedule, and don’t give up on yourself.
When all is done and you feel you comprehend what you want out your relationship, then you’re ready to approach your partner. If any of the previously stated responses to the situation – ending the relationship abruptly, reacting with violence, or staying with your partner- is one of your decisions, then screw it, you’re now positive on what’s the best move for you, so act in it (though I personally don’t recommend violence).
This process is not short and you may not be over the infidelity immediately but taking this time and confronting your pain will allow you to decide what’s best for you. People may not understand why you’ve taken so much time to respond to the infidelity and may even consider you crazy or over-dramatic but responding out of rage and jealousy over the infidelity is not better than looking crazy.