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Healing From Infidelity When You Have Cheated

Author: MA RSW RMFT

Comparing your wife or husband, boyfriend or girlfriend, to the your outside lover is harmful. Don't do it!

There are many steps after the affair that are required for healing. One of the biggest of all the steps you need to take as you and your partner are getting over an affair is psychological healing.

Helping your marital partner get over an affair partner

Healing after an affair is over, meaning you have ended it with your outside lover, and you have decided to stay married and together, requires your wife or husband, boyfriend or girlfriend to get over an affair partner. In other words, your wife or husband, boyfriend or girlfriend does not compare himself or herself to your affair partner.

Your cheating has shattered your husband’s or wife’s, boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s trust, security, and normalcy.

Likely, your partner thinks that you have cheated because you have found someone better than him or her. The result of your partner’s thinking is that he or she compares himself or herself to your outside lover. Without your help, your partner will continue to compare and conclude that he or she is inferior or worthless.

This is one of the primary reasons surviving infidelity is so difficult — your partner’s self-worth goes up in smoke.

If your partner is a woman, she thinks your paramour must be more beautiful, sexier, and fun. For your part, if you compare your wife to an affair partner, this is an act of cruelty. Comparing wife to affair partner is putting another emotional knife in her back!

If your partner is a man, he thinks your paramour has more money, is cooler, and can take better care of you. For your part, if you compare your husband to an affair partner, this is an act of cruelty. Comparing your husband to the affair partner is putting another emotional knife in his back!

Infidelity recovery includes contributing to your partner’s building of his or her self-esteem and self-worth. It is also an opportunity to redeem yourself and, in time, contribute to being forgiven by your betrayed partner.

Getting over an affair, includes your partner never talking favorably to your wife or husband, boyfriend or girlfriend about your former outside lover.

Reducing or eliminating the ‘comparing wife to affair partner’ reaction or ‘comparing husband to affair partner’ reaction is one of your first tasks in healing after an affair.

Emotional damage caused by an affair

Healing after an affair requires that you repair the emotional damage your relationship infidelity has caused to your partner.

You need to re-establish in the mind of your partner your sincere desire to be with him or her because you want them as the main person in your life.

Your partner fears that you might only be staying in the relationship because of the children, social pressure, financial benefits, or because you have been rejected by your outside lover.

None of these reasons will give your legitimate partner the security he or she needs to get past your betrayal.

Your partner needs to know that the reason you are ending your affair and choosing to stay in your marriage is that you want to reconnect with him or her and share a life.

Anything less than this will not work. Healing after an affair requires that your partner does not compare himself or herself to your past outside lover.

It is not the comparison itself that is so deadly. Rather it is your partner’s feeling that your paramour is better and more desirable. Healing after an affair requires your dispelling his or her thinking that he or she is only second best.

Healing from an affair requires action

Getting over an affair partner includes convincing your wife or husband, boyfriend or girlfriend that he or she is preferable in all ways compared to your outside lover.

Telling your partner that he or she is preferable to your past outside lover is insufficient. You need to prove it with deeds.

The following are some actions that you can take that demonstrate to your partner that he or she is your number one person:

  • If your partner requests that you attend couples therapy sessions, cooperate and respect his or her request and need.
  • If your partner has questions, when you answer them, make sure that you are respectful and sensitive and that you take full responsibility for what happened. Never lie to protect yourself or your partner.
  • Be willing to give time to your partner in whatever way is needed to help him or her recover after the affair is over.
  • Willingly sacrifice your ‘privacy’ so your partner can reassure himself or herself that you are no longer in contact with your lover. This includes sharing your passwords to your devices and a willingness to account for your whereabouts — and all of this should be done without resistance or time limitations.

You broke your marriage or committed relationship — now you have an opportunity to fix it! Your contributions to healing after an affair will be remembered and will contribute to a future healthy, loving, and long-lasting relationship. It may even hasten your being ‘forgiven.’

The words out of your mouth must mean something to you and your partner

“I cheated on my wife” needs to be followed with… “And I understood through all of this that my wife is the best woman in the world.”

“I cheated on my husband” needs to be followed with… “And I understood that my husband is the best man in the world.”

When these words are followed by healing contributions of ‘time and effort,’ your partner knows you want to be with him or her. You are then on the road to infidelity recovery.

Getting over an affair partner may require professional assistance

Most often, the assistance of a relationship professional who specializes in infidelity is required to help you in your healing after an affair. Below are sources where you can find qualified therapists.

The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

The Canadian Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

Get the tools you need to survive infidelity:

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abe kass

Abe has helped thousands of individuals, couples, and families for twenty-five-plus years. When it comes to relationship expertise — Abe is the real deal and can be trusted!

abe kassProfessional Therapist Abe Kass MA RSW RMFT

Abe has helped thousands of individuals, couples, and families for twenty-five-plus years. When it comes to relationship expertise — Abe is the real deal and can be trusted!