Healing from Infidelity and Divorce

A person healing from infidelity and divorce
The road to healing from infidelity and divorce isn’t smooth.

No one goes into a marriage hoping to end up in a divorce. Unfortunately, this is how many marriages end up. And no matter how long your marriage is, there’s no assurance it will stay that way.

When the cause of your divorce is infidelity, this can have lasting effects on your mental and emotional health. It can bring out some of your worst insecurities. Were you not enough for your spouse? Have you done something wrong to make them turn to someone else for satisfaction?

Healing from infidelity and divorce isn’t easy because it feels like you’re dealing with two things at once. Recovery takes time as well, so don’t expect to be okay in a couple of months.

However, you will get through this difficult trial.

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The Aftermath of a Divorce Born from Infidelity

What does divorce look like for the divorcee? Situations may vary, but many have shared experiences as they process their split. Below are the stages of divorce many divorcees can relate to:

1. Denial

Many often say this first stage is the hardest one. Why? The aftermath of a divorce is often confusing, and since they’ve gotten used to being married, their sudden return to singlehood comes as a shell shock.

Does denial mean you aren’t accepting the reality of your divorce? No. This stage usually sees divorcees struggling to process their separations. Divorces come with a ton of overwhelming emotions. It’s natural for a person to try blocking them out.

2. Anger

Once the reality of events sets in, you may sense anger bubbling in your system. It may feel horrible, but it’s a normal occurrence. Who wouldn’t be mad after being deceived and manipulated?

Angry woman on a video call
In the process of healing from divorce and infidelity, you will need to face the things that make you angry and hurt.

At this stage, you’ll probably find yourself contemplating the reasons for your failed marriage. In this case, it’s your ex and their infidelity.

But more often than not, healing from divorce and infidelity means the anger you feel may not just be directed at your ex. You may even end up getting mad at yourself as well. Self-blame is also quite common at this stage since you may start thinking you’re the reason for your ex’s cheating ways.

However, here’s a reminder: their infidelity is not your fault. Don’t let your anger consume you and lead you to take regrettable actions.

3. Bargaining

Once you calm down from your anger, “what ifs” may start arising in your mind. The bargaining stage is the struggle of looking for answers to eliminate your doubts.

As you try to make sense of your divorce and your ex’s infidelity, you start realizing how taxing it is. Some people even idealize their exes because they see how easier it is compared to going through divorce proceedings.

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4. Depression

Many divorcees sadly go through this fourth stage. They start questioning their life’s purpose and detaching themselves from their surroundings.

When you arrive at the depression phase, you may notice how paralyzing the sadness can get. Going through your divorce’s motions makes you feel stuck in a void. You don’t want to do anything except wallow in the darkness.

5. Acceptance

You know you’re healing from infidelity and divorce when you’ve fully come to terms with your split.

This last stage shows there’s something good awaiting you after divorce. Once you finally take in its entire reality, you feel your normal energy levels start returning. Healing becomes less burdensome as your mood gradually lightens.

Acceptance doesn’t arrive in one go because it comes in fragments. Some negative feelings may persist, but they won’t stop you from fully reembracing your enthusiasm for life.

Life After Divorce: How the Unfaithful Sees It

After discussing the effects of divorce and infidelity on the betrayed party, it’s only appropriate to tackle the post-divorce challenges cheating spouses face.

Man sitting by a window
Do cheaters feel guilty after divorce? Believe it or not, some of them do.

Do cheaters feel guilty after divorce? Some do, expressing remorse for their actions. One survey even says 68% of its male respondents felt guilty for fooling around with someone despite their marriage status. Remorseful cheaters may not admit their mistakes, but that doesn’t mean they won’t show their shame.

If betrayed spouses feel post-divorce loneliness, so do cheating spouses. Their infidelity comes with judgment from their close circles, which can lead to feelings of isolation.

And with that loneliness, finding post-divorce clarity and fulfillment becomes difficult for cheating spouses. Not only do they have to carry other people’s judgment, but they also have to deal with their exes’ anger. For cheating spouses with children, they have to confront their resentment as well.

How to Heal After Divorce and Infidelity

Recovering from a divorce is hard enough. Moving on from one rooted in infidelity is extra taxing. The pain you carry feels extra lethal because of your ex’s betrayal.

While there may not be a general instructional manual telling you how to heal after infidelity and divorce, there are steps you can take toward recovery. Get back on your feet with these helpful guidelines:

1. Don’t repress your emotions

Divorces are emotionally complex experiences. One day, you feel sad. 24 hours later, you want nothing but to berate your ex.

Part of discovering how to get over infidelity and divorce is recognizing your shifting emotions and releasing them. The sooner you accept them, the better you’ll manage them.

2. Call your loved ones

Bearing your pain alone is a lonely experience. Yours may be unique to you, but that doesn’t mean you should block out well-meaning people. Let your loved ones comfort and support you as you heal.

3. Reach out to a professional

Do you feel you need professional help? If so, don’t hesitate to go to therapy or counseling. Licensed professionals will always be ready to help you address your problems.

4. Treat yourself with kindness

Don’t punish yourself for your feelings. Instead, use them as signs to take care of yourself better. You’ve been through a difficult ordeal, and you need time to work through the post-divorce trauma.

Understanding your feelings is key to healing from infidelity and divorce. You may feel out of sorts now, and the truth is, you may carry those feelings for a while.

However, trust that you’ll be back on your feet as a stronger person. The takeaways from your split will bring you the hope and clarity you’re yearning for.