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Infidelity Recovery Stages And How To Facilitate Healing

infidelity recovery stages

Knowing the infidelity recovery stages can help you understand where you are and where you are heading after a cheating incident in your relationship.

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Finding out about a cheating partner causes too much pain and hurt that almost no one can bear. With 15% to 20% of married couples involved in cheating, there’s no doubt that many relationships are facing this nightmare. But how do you heal after cheating or being cheated on? To facilitate your healing process, you have to understand where you are and where you are heading. 

Recovering from infidelity is not an easy fit. Prepare to fight through. If you want to save your relationship and move forward, you will have to be resilient as you proceed with healing. The best way many couples have used to recover from infidelity is going through therapy while following these infidelity recovery stages.

Infidelity recovery stages

The recovery stages for infidelity may differ depending on the therapist you are working with or the self-help book you are reading to facilitate your healing. However, the structure for recovery remains the same.

The main aim of recovering and going through these stages is to forgive. However, forgiveness does not necessarily mean that you will save your relationship. It may mean parting ways altogether.

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Stage 1: The Relationship and affair

This is the first stage towards infidelity recovery. You need to assess both your relationship and the affair to find out what caused cheating in the first place. This stage is always hard for couples as the cheater doesn’t want to talk about the reasons they strayed. Therefore, communication and honesty are always key in this stage. 

Avoid blaming each other and just talk through your issues. Having a therapist guide you through can be crucial in keeping you on track and uncovering the reason for cheating and whether it can be resolved.

Stage 2: Rediscover your relationship

infidelity recovery stages

Now that you have known why the infidelity happened in your relationship,  it’s only natural for your entire relationship to be defined by that incident. Everything in your relationship means nothing, and you only see where the rain started beating you and the consequences. But this is natural. You may lose the true meaning of your relationship if you focus on the cheating incident.

However, you need to look at your relationship from different angles. It helps you rediscover the good things and the value of your relationship. Do you see reasons to save it? Rediscovering your relationship’s value does not just help you save it, but it also facilitates quick healing.

Stage 3: Uncover the deeper problems

The cheater may be having their reason for cheating. While they may make it clear in the first stage, sometimes, other deeper issues triggered them to cheat.  They may have strayed because of depression or loss of intimacy in the relationship. Some cheat because they are fighting addiction or even past traumatic experiences in their lives. This stage needs couples to uncover all the other deeper reasons why the cheating happened.

If you don’t do this in recovery, these issues will still be there the cheater will still be vulnerable.

Stage 4: Address the pain

You will not get to the last stage if you don’t address the pain you feel after being betrayed. Infidelity pain is so painful for many reasons. Making your feelings known by the cheater is important as they will know how much suffering they caused you and why they need to be responsible and take the lead towards healing.

On the other hand, you will also have to address the pain at an individual level with a therapist’s help. It helps you process the feelings and know the way forward.

Stage 5: Having a plan

Now that everything is clear, you definitely have decided whether you need to save your relationship or let go. If you are staying and have agreed to work on recovery, your therapist can help you create a healing plan. At the end of the timeline, you will still have an option to choose whether you want to stay and save your relationship or end things. Depending on the level of betrayal, the plan may last between one month and three months. 

During this time, ensure you are willing to follow the guideline. It will help you heal as a person and also to forgive the cheater.

Stage 6: Forgiveness

This is the last of the infidelity recovery stages. Forgiveness is challenging, especially to someone who caused you too much pain even after trusting them so much.

However, forgiveness is a very important aspect for both of you. It is the main reason why you were going through all these recovery stages. Forgiveness helps you let go of anger, abandonment, betrayal, and all the negative emotions you feel before beginning the recovery process.

How can the cheater recover?

Even before the cheater thinks of recovering from infidelity, they have to end the affair in question. If you want to work on your relationship with your spouse, you must be willing to let go of the affair. Stop the communication and all the engagement with them. It may be challenging, but saving your relationship is worth it.

The cheater also needs to understand how and why they had an affair. By doing this, they know how to avoid the red flags in the future and stay on track.

How can the victim recover?

The first thing is to let go of the emotional pain. The cheater needs to show empathy to the victim and genuinely show they are sorry about their actions, and rebuild trust. 

As a victim, you need to express the pain you feel without hiding it. While expressing your feelings, you need to be constructive enough to let your partner respond.

Conclusion

Infidelity isn’t always the end of the relationship. When you are still unsure where to move next after your relationship suffers from infidelity, following the infidelity recovery stages will help you heal and make a sound decision, whether you want to continue or call it quits.

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