Infidelity Survival Guide PART 1: What It Actually Feels Like

Person holding a paper heart that has been cut in half. Infidelity can cause heartbreak and pain. To get support, talk to a New Jersey infidelity counselor today.

Imagine yourself in the therapist’s chair. You’re wrestling with a deeply personal issue that’s been weighing heavily on your mind and emotions. The topic at hand is infidelity, a subject often shrouded in secrecy and tainted by societal stigma. It’s a challenging ordeal that can leave anyone feeling adrift, wounded, and unsure about the future of their relationship.

By Jaunai Staton, LAMFT

The Impact of Infidelity

Infidelity is a complex, multifaceted issue. Infidelity touches the lives of individuals from all walks of life, regardless of age, gender, or background. It’s essential to recognize that you’re not on this journey alone. In reality, countless individuals have confronted the very same issue. Many are still grappling with its profound impact.

Dealing with infidelity is no walk in the park. When infidelity strikes, it takes a tremendous toll on the betrayed partner. It unleashes a whirlwind of emotions like shock, hurt, and anger. It can also trigger feelings of grief, insecurity, and even bouts of anxiety or depression. Those intrusive thoughts about betrayal are like a storm in your head, and trust? Well, it’s shattered, making intimacy feel like climbing a steep mountain. It’s easy to feel lost amidst these challenging emotions and decisions.

Infidelity can also bring a lot of shame and stigma, making it a challenging and isolating experience for those who’ve gone through it. These emotions can be overwhelming, leaving you feeling incredibly lonely and lost. But remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Many people have faced similar challenges. Coping with this rollercoaster of emotions is a unique journey for everyone. The support of friends, family, or a therapist acts as a lifeline to help you navigate the path to healing and recovery.

Maybe you’ve personally experienced the heartache of infidelity. Or perhaps you’ve stood by a close friend navigating these treacherous waters. Either way, consider this guide as a valuable companion. It can help you untangle your emotions and uncertainties. Think of it as that understanding friend who’s always there. They’ll lend a listening ear and offer guidance, especially when you find yourself entangled in the mess of infidelity.

This blog can be a comprehensive resource, for you and others who may need both information and practical guidance. I hope this blog can foster healthier, more fulfilling relationships. By addressing infidelity and forgiveness, this blog aims to empower individuals and couples. You can rebuild trust, communicate effectively, and work toward stronger, more resilient partnerships.

Couple at opposite ends of the hallway while one is leaving. Are you and your partner struggling with infidelity? Our infidelity counselors are here to help.

Misunderstandings About Infidelity

Let’s clear up some common misunderstandings about infidelity. Cheating isn’t just about physical actions; emotions play a significant role as well. Betrayal can take various forms and isn’t limited to a single pattern. And motivations for affairs can vary widely.

In addition, infidelity isn’t always caused by issues within the relationship. Personal problems can also contribute to infidelity. People battling their demons will often engage in inappropriate behavior. Even in seemingly content partnerships, infidelity can occur.

Importantly, infidelity doesn’t always signify the end of a relationship; some couples find ways to move forward. The timing and approach when discussing infidelity can significantly impact the outcome of these conversations. Regardless of the circumstances, remember that responsibility for the act of cheating rests with the person who committed it. This crucial step often determines whether the betrayed partner is open to forgiveness or not.

What is an example of infidelity?

Let’s delve a little deeper into the world of infidelity, shall we? We have already talked about some of the emotional consequences of dealing with infidelity. We explored how it can make you question everything. Now let’s take a closer look at what infidelity can look like in everyday life.

Infidelity takes various forms. From secret affairs and emotional entanglements to blurred lines in online connections. It’s a common yet uniquely personal challenge that can impact people from all walks of life. It involves being unfaithful or disloyal to your partner and can manifest in various ways. Here are some examples:

  • Emotional affairs (aka emotional cheating), such as…
    • Creating intimate emotional bonds with others
    • Daydreaming about romance with someone other than your partner
    • Actively seeking out intimate interactions with someone other than your partner
    • Treating your partner poorly because of your close emotional bond with someone else
  • Physical involvement with someone outside the relationship, which could be…
    • One-night flings
    • Ongoing meetups
  • Subtle trust-breaking actions (aka micro-cheating), such as…
    • Secretive texting
    • Frequent checking of an ex’s social media
    • Crossing boundaries with flirtatious interactions
  • Secret behaviors and plans, including…
    • Seeking revenge against a partner
    • Sharing personal details about a partner that they wouldn’t know others to know 
    • Intentionally overstepping intimate boundaries to get back at partner and hurt their feelings
  • Financial secrecy
  • Online flings, both physical and emotional

Each form of betrayal can disrupt emotional closeness and complicate your relationship. Understanding what betrayal can look like is essential to address infidelity effectively.

Person holding a felt heart in the palm of their hands. Healing after infidelity is possible. Contact us today to learn more.

Getting Support Through Infidelity in New Jersey

Infidelity is hard on both partners. You may feel isolated and alone. Who can you talk to about this issue? Do you trust family and friends with such personal information? And have you considered therapy?

Turning to therapy can be an immensely valuable step in addressing the challenges posed by infidelity. In therapy, you’ll find a safe haven to normalize discussions about infidelity. Your therapist will be the first to tell you that it’s a multifaceted and deeply human experience. Therapy opens the door to a supportive and non-judgmental space where you can begin to unpack the complexities surrounding this issue.

Your therapist will provide tailored guidance for your specific situation. They can offer practical tools for navigating betrayal and coping strategies. They also provide the emotional support needed to process the intense feelings that often accompany infidelity.

Through therapy, you gain access to a wealth of valuable insights. You can make sense of your emotions, thoughts, and reactions in the aftermath of infidelity. In essence, seeking therapy is like having a trusted guide on your journey to healing and recovery. It’s a place where you can explore your emotions, gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your relationships, and work towards a brighter and more fulfilling future.

In Part 2 of this blog, we’ll talk about how to heal from infidelity both inside and outside the therapy room.

To Learn More About Infidelity Counseling In New Jersey, Read Our FAQs About Couples Therapy Or Contact Us Directly

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