Discovering that your spouse has had or is having an affair is one of the cruelest betrayals you can ever suffer.
The person you chose to trust implicitly threw your trust away as if it meant nothing to them – as if you meant nothing to them.
Whether or not you decide to work on repairing your marriage, or divorce and leave them you must figure out how to heal.
Surviving infidelity isn’t easy.
Probably one of the most difficult parts is the unexpected way seemingly innocuous situations can catapult you into chaos because something about it triggers you.
In these moments, the emotions and memories of your spouse’s infidelity come flooding back and everything else fades into the background. You’re hardly aware of how you’re behaving because your sole goal is to stop the pain and fear and to simply survive.
And living your life in fear of being triggered this is no way to live your life long-term. You need to have a way for dealing with the triggers that allows you to heal and move forward.
Here are the five best tips for surviving infidelity triggers and move on after cheating:
1. Accept that triggers are normal.
Until you’ve completely come to terms with your spouse’s betrayal, you’ll have flashbacks, intrusive thoughts and triggers. Everyone who discovers their mate has been unfaithful suffers through the same traumatic responses. But just because triggers are normal, doesn’t mean they need to become your new norm. You can cope with them, then control them, and finally, you can overcome them.
2. Choose your mindset.
Mindset is critical for surviving infidelity triggers.
When your spouse is unfaithful, there’s a tremendous temptation to view yourself as a victim. And in a lot of ways, you are a victim. However, the longer you see yourself this way, the harder it will be for you to overcome your triggers because you’ll feel helpless. The most powerful realization you can have right now is that you can control your mind and your thoughts. And this realization allows you to know you are strong enough and capable enough to over come your triggers.
3. Identify your triggers.
Unfortunately, this is one of those things that you can only do after the fact. So you’ll suffer through the trauma of the trigger before you can name it. But once you can start naming your triggers, you’ve found the beginning of your trek to triumph over them.
4. Develop your plan.
Each time you discover one of your triggers, it’s time to get strategic. Figure out how you can either prevent yourself from being in a similar situation in the future or how you will change your response to it the next time.< 5. Ask for help.
Surviving infidelity triggers is difficult and everyone needs help with at least one of the tips. So be brave and seek the assistance you need and deserve.
As you’ve already realized, these tips aren’t something you do once and expect to have immediate victory over your infidelity triggers.
You’ll need to revisit these tips often (maybe even multiple times a day). Eventually, you’ll discover that you’re consistently capable of surviving your infidelity triggers until you’re completely healed from the betrayal.
This piece originally appeared on DrKarenFinn.com
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