Barbara Longsworth Certified Professional Life & Relationship Coach Certified Master, Mentor & Marketing Coach



How to Approach Your Feelings Following Infidelity

Fixing a marriage or relationship is not easy, especially if the problem is related to infidelity. Of course, no one can ever say that solving the issue would be easy. You may have heard or learned of someone you know who went through the same predicament as you are going through right now. They will tell you the hardships they went through, emotionally, psychologically and even physically.

Resolving your marital issues that were caused by your spouse’s infidelity is a lot tougher to fix than just simple misunderstandings or petty arguments. This is particularly difficult if you still love your spouse and you really want to go back to where you and your relationship with your spouse or partner used to be.

This kind of thinking is very admirable, though there are times when you can’t help but wonder about the reasons why your spouse cheated on you, especially when you “know” that you did everything to make your relationship or marriage work. But in spite of how hard you try to keep him, or her, from going astray, infidelity can still happen. Aside from the trust that has been broken, there are other things, such as emotional pain which is hard to overcome.

It’s not easy to get rid of negative thoughts or feelings, particularly when you have taken a severe blow to your self-confidence and self-respect. There are times when you feel like you will lose your sanity in spite of the fact that you still want to save your marriage. At this stage of your marital dilemma you need to take some steps and think if the most effective approach that that may assist you the most.

Here are some of the emotion processes that you need to be aware of when tracking your development in overcoming infidelity crisis:

* Emotional flare-up or outburst is one of the most common reactions when a person has first become aware regarding an occurrence of infidelity. The first conversation or confrontation with your spouse can become very ugly. This is understandable and expected, though if you and your spouse or partner have decided to keep the marriage, it is important that you both (particularly the aggrieved individual) be calm and become open to all necessary steps, that may be required, in order to fix the problem. There is no doubt that your emotions may overpower your sensible thinking in the course of the process. It is important that you make your spouse or partner realized the hurtful effects of what he or she did to you and your marriage or relationship.

* Obsessing over your spouse’s every move after the infidelity is also not the right path to take. You may feel like doing this, at times, because in the back of your mind it’s him or her who did the wrong thing in the first place. But, it may even make the problem worst.  It is important to implement stability and balance within your marriage.

* While counseling is certainly recommended, there are a lot of things, besides counseling, that you can do to make your spouse feel that you are there to help him or her out of the infidelity issue, such as simple appreciation for the smaller things that he or she does. As well as helping him or her in some house chores or household decisions or plans that can make them know that you both are in it together. This is a great sign that your marriage or relationship is on the right track to healing after the infidelity.

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The Question of Saving a Relationship

Your spouse has cheated on you and, still, you want to save your relationship but you don’t know where to start and you don’t know if you can still give back the trust you once had for your spouse. Trust is one of the most essential elements of any relationship. Without trust there will always be doubts and negative ideas that will linger in your mind every time your spouse goes out on a trip or just simply goes out.  In a marriage, it is not easy to gain back the trust once it is damaged because of infidelity.

You must be asking, “Why can’t I trust my spouse or partner again”?

In many marriages, one of the reasons why a couple should still want to save and keep their marriage or relationship is because they still love each other. A couple whose reasons for trying to save the marriage are their children will end up separating anyway.

We have to admit that it is hard to give back the trust to someone who once promised and gave their vow to love you and cherished you and be faithful to you for the rest of your lives and then end up doing the opposite of what they had promised to do. This is why, it is difficult to just forget everything that had happened and move on.

At times like this, seeking help and getting advice from a professional relationship coach can help you deal with your relationship dilemmas. It is difficult to face this kind of problem on your own because it is more profound and the more you think of it, the more you get confused on why it had to happen and why did it happen.

A lot of us have tried to keep this problem a secret from our family, friends and particularly, to our children.  Some of us even feel that it is kind of an embarrassment, so we try to keep it, but you have to realize that the more you ignore the problem, the bigger it will get. It is best to face the issue the earliest time possible.

Do you have to sulk and shoulder all the problems on your own? Is the issue with losing the trust in your spouse can be resolved overnight? The answer is NO. Forgiving will take a process of discussing the issue and evaluating why it happened. Are you at fault too? This and other issues need to be tackled in order to get to the bottom of the problem. Forgetting is the most difficult thing to do. No matter what you say and no matter what you do, the memories of your spouse’s infidelity will bother you for a long time. But everything can be resolved in a matter of time and understanding.

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The Psychology of On-Going Infidelity Tendencies

One can easily question the reasons behind an occurrence of infidelity. However, as with most things in life, the actual reasons may be obscured by the emotions that are attached to the actions. The person who is the victim of the infidelity may find themselves mired in a sea of pain and doubt that can cause them to conjure up any number of reasons for these events.

At this point, the finger of blame can over simplify the issues at hand. While certainly a measure of selfishness can easily be the cause of infidelity, all too often there is an undercurrent of other factors that have contributed to the problem. This is why it is so important to understand all of the issues at hand. Without that understanding, the problem may still exist that can cause a disruption of communication and, ultimately, the dissolution of the relationship – even if infidelity is no longer present.

An example of this can be seen in situations where an instance of infidelity has been overcome (or so it would seem) and there is an appearance of reconciliation. But nothing could be further from the truth. In actuality, the initial problems are all still in place while the offending behavior has been suppressed. When this occurs, a slow eroding of the relationship can take place even if there is no overt behavioral “acting out”. Here are some of the signs that a problem still exists within a relationship that may have experienced an episode of infidelity – but the infidelity has subsequently been resolved and no longer exists.

1. The original infidelity did not come from a physical attraction – but through an emotional bond. The concept of a husband or wife engaging in a physical affair out of a sense of “adventure” or pure bodily attraction is quite different from a situation involving close personal bonding. A good example of this can be seen when a co-worker of the opposite sex has replaced the spouse as a confidant and emotional sounding board. Even there was a brief sexual encounter that no longer occurs there is still a strong emotional connection.

2. A situation that involves an addiction to online validation from members of the opposite sex (who often are in the same emotional addiction). There are actually many situations where simultaneous connections are “juggled” in chat room scenarios. These can easily occur at night when the spouse is asleep.

3. A strong attraction to any scenario where attention will be paid in a sexual context. This can be seen in bars, strip clubs and even in unlikely places such as a neighborhood laundromat. In any case, the common denominator is the craving for attention that resembles love in some shape or fashion. Here, a strong sense of denial can be put into place in order to cancel out the logic that “love” is not really an issue here (i.e. strip clubs).

Even if the behavior was temporary, it can be the result of a slow build-up of frustration and longing arising from a deficiency in a marital relationship. Only when the underlying problem is addressed (possibly through counseling) can the healing process begin.

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Infidelity Self-Talk

One of the major issues with the pain of infidelity is the problem of second guessing yourself and the inevitable self talk. Whenever we find ourselves in a situation where we are in emotional pain that has been handed to us by someone that we love, there is always the nagging sensation that it was possibly our fault that this occurred. Subsequently, we can find ourselves lying in bed at night, unable to sleep, and wondering, “What did I do wrong?”

The next day can find us having a hard time just getting up, not knowing just how to start the day. The routines seem to be askew. We know that we have a lot to do – but we may not fully understand where to begin. Maybe it would be better if we stayed in bed, a bit longer, and sorted things out. This, of course, can herald the beginning of depression. This is the time where you can see the hours tick by before you finally get up and get that first cup of coffee. You may watch the news on TV and then not remember what was said on the news. That’s because your thoughts may have been preoccupied. You may even make the mistake of neglecting to eat a nourishing breakfast with the promise that you’ll feel like cooking later. Everything is just a bit off.

If you have family obligations, you may put forth a bit more energy, but something is missing. Make no mistake. It’s obvious, especially to children, that something is not quite right. But they may not say anything. At least, not yet. The entire day may move at a snail’s pace and every chore becomes an exercise in the robotic. All the while, you are experiencing the deep pain of betrayal that infidelity can cause. It may appear that a lengthy pattern has been established for an existence in limbo. But that is just an illusion!

So what can be done about this situation? Plenty. If you’re currently in this situation and you’re reading this – then you have an advantage. I say this because you’ve found at least one source of information that is telling you that you can break this cycle of depression and pain by first understanding the nature of obstacles that you are placing in your own way.

One of the greatest obstacles that we, as humans, can encounter is a sense of fear that relates to self-doubt. Doing nothing about this merely feeds the lack of motivation needed to move forward in our lives. If we are involved with thoughts of self-doubt and immersed in an endless cycle of re-living painful thoughts and events, then this is what will define each day that we live.

The first thing that we need to do in situations such as this is to stop talking to just ourselves. The answers are obviously not forthcoming when our thoughts are tainted with the nagging sensation that every negative occurrence is somehow related to our own failings. There is no way that we can maintain an objective perspective under these conditions. However, we can break this cycle and move forward by making the effort (even though difficult) to discuss our situation and feelings with someone that we trust. This can be a close friend, family member or professional coach or counselor. But in any case – you need to set up a dialog with someone other than yourself!

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Relationship Coach

You may ask, “Who needs a relationship coach?” This question would be understandable if you’re in the middle of a successful relationship that seems to be running smoothly in every aspect. For many, this is a normal state of affairs. But what happens when the person you love – the person that you thought you knew, is suspected of engaging in infidelity? It may not be as blatant as a post-it note on the fridge saying your relationship isn’t working. But the pain and confusion that infidelity can cause is the same, no matter how the infidelity is discovered. At some point, it’s possible that you would benefit from outside support.

Outside support doesn’t necessarily mean seeking professional help. You could opt for one of your best friends or a trusted relative when it comes to confiding your particular situation. The important thing is that you know whom you can place our trust in. There are also support groups that meet in person or online and there are websites that specialize in overcoming the pain of infidelity. Those sites can provide some insight as to the nature of infidelity and ways to deal with the trauma that can affect just about every aspect of one’s life. These websites can also offer links to valuable resources that deal with relationship issues, as well.

The initial goal, of course, is to determine if there is actually infidelity taking place. What are the specific indicators that are being noted? How should one follow up on those suspicions? These are things that need to be determined in advance, prior to making any plans on how to deal with the infidelity. The reason for this is clear – a suspicion is quite different from actual evidence. But, in any case, if there is a suspicion, at some level a problem most likely exists. The problem may not even be related to actual infidelity, but to a breakdown in communication. This is reason enough to stop and take a look at a relationship. It’s a known fact than a problem with communication can often lead to other negative relationship issues.

The severity of the communication breakdown can determine the need for professional coaching. In the end, however, strengthening the relationship between you and your partner is always time well spent. Enriching the love between you and the one you care so much about will bring tranquillity to many aspects of your life. And if there is a more serious problem affecting you and your loved one, then coaching may just be the best method to deal with conflict and pain, before it is too late to heal that communication gap. The sooner that the issues are addressed head-on, the faster the solution can come about and lead you to the life of love and happiness that you so richly deserve.

Love for Life Coaching

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Is There Life After Infidelity?

For those who are currently going through the pain of infidelity, the question that may continually keep popping up is; “Is there life after infidelity?” Of course there is, but the all-consuming devastation may be the only thing that is actively occupying your thoughts at the moment. This is understandable and, no, you’re not alone. I, myself, have been there and I know how this feels. One of the first things that may come to mind, after the initial shock has worn off a bit, is a profound sense of confusion regarding the next direction to take. This can be especially true if children are involved or if the cheating spouse is the primary source of income. There can be many factors involved, so let’s take a closer look.

To begin with, infidelity can be difficult to explain and may come about as the result of a number of different scenarios. However, once the infidelity has been discovered, the pain that is felt is nearly universal. Even so, we can identify certain reasons that the infidelity took place, even if we are unable to excuse them. This is a necessary step in order to begin the healing process as we move away from the pain and frustration and move towards a more peaceful center in our lives.

As with any major change in one’s life, the elimination of a state of confusion is the first step towards taking a more positive and confident direction. With infidelity, one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome is the bouncing back and forth, when it comes to assigning blame. Even though the other partner is the one who has been caught cheating, the victim of the infidelity will often assign blame to themselves, as well. Questions such as “What did I do wrong?” can keep one up at night. This is where communication can be of great assistance. Whether or not the relationship will survive the infidelity is dependent on many factors. But one thing is for certain. Without a deep level of communication, the underlying issues will remain unfocused. Eventually, this may lead to a repeat of the same problems later in life.

This is just one of the reasons why relationship coaching may be recommended as the first step in moving towards a more harmonious existence. It can be very difficult to make a calm decision (one without hateful accusations) whether or not to stay in a relationship, unless there is discussion to this effect. By reaching out and communicating the possible unfulfilled need, or some other broken aspect of the relationship, an informed decision can be made. This is necessary, since the road to recovery, either with or without your partner, requires a strong commitment on your part. I’m referring to a commitment of honesty and self-awareness that may take some time to achieve. But it’s important to remember that it can be done. But you, yourself, must want it to happen.

So, is there life after infidelity? As you can see, there certainly is. That life can be one of love and relationships that have been honestly constructed to stand the test of time. But it won’t happen overnight. The first thing that you need to understand is there are goals to work towards. Goals that you decide. But you will need the proper tools in order to set down your goals which, in turn, will calmly lead you to your next stage in a joyful and rewarding life.

Love for Life Coaching

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Enduring the Pain of Infidelity

There are those who compare the pain of infidelity to that of losing a close loved one. The main difference, however, lies in the way that we handle the grieving process. If someone close to us has a terminal illness or has passed away due to the circumstances of an accident, we can understand this, in time. Above all, in most cases, it is easy to separate ourselves from the event. Death from a prolonged illness is not something that we have caused. A fatal car accident will most likely not be the result of anything that we did. But the pain of infidelity is a prolonged process that is very difficult for one to completely be removed from. Even in cases where the other partner has clearly made the decision to engage in an affair (either physical, emotional or both), there is the nagging feeling that somehow it may be the result of our own actions. The greater the initial commitment to the damaged relationship, the more entwined we can become in a sense of failure.

There are those who argue that cheating on a partner by a man is something that is hardwired into their behavior. Then there are those who say that a woman will cheat on her partner if she feels that she is not receiving enough love and attention. These, of course, are over-simplifications. The root cause of infidelity can be very complex and its emerging can be overlooked by those who refuse to acknowledge the facts. The reason for this is that in many cases, a relationship that is expected to be stable may appear to be so, even when the evidence is beginning to point to the contrary. This will also add to the pain of infidelity in the form of a sudden “shock” to one’s emotions when you are hit with something that appears to come “out of the blue”.

Feeling the hurt that the betrayal has caused is then magnified by confusion, as well. A victim of infidelity, at that point, can actually begin to attack themselves in addition to becoming angry at their partner. This can even occur, unseen, at a subconscious level. All the while anger is being directed at the one who has committed the infidelity, there can be a suppressed feeling of personal responsibility for the situation and for the inability to recognize the warning signs as well. This is why professional assistance can be very valuable in helping to endure the pain that the infidelity has caused. Placing a hold on anger and blame is the first step towards establishing the frame of mind needed to communicate honest feelings without being affected in a negatively visceral manner. One will need to see past the initial hurt in order to come to an understanding of the complexities that may have been involved with the infidelity.

The goal that is to be achieved is a sense of inner peace that will allow the victim of infidelity to make decisions that will pertain to their future. This may or may not include continuing the relationship with the person who has committed the infidelity. But in any case, choices will need to be made. And those choices are best served when they are made when the pain of infidelity has been endured and placed under control. At that point, one can move positively towards a life that is filled with caring and love. This is the life that we all deserve.

Love for Life Coaching

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Dealing with Infidelity

For some couples, relationship infidelity is taking place and there may be no real overt signs that it is. As a matter of fact, some of us may actually be guilty of committing infidelity and we may not realize it! The reason for this lies with the fact that infidelity doesn’t necessarily require a physical connection. The most common forms of infidelity involve fantasizing about someone else and showing that person extra attention – but not taking it further than that.

This could be a colleague at work who is treated with more affection than what would generally be called for. To the other members of the staff, it may seem like just an innocent case of unrequited attraction and maybe a little too much professional courtesy. Maybe, something that can be smiled at, but not taken seriously. After all, doesn’t he or she go straight home after work, every day? The object of the attraction may even be flattered a bit and do nothing to discourage this extra attention. They may even encourage it a bit. After all, there’s no harm done, right?

But the truth of the matter is far more serious than that. This can especially be seen as a partner or spouse begins to emotionally distance themselves and fill that void with thoughts and attention given to the fantasy partner. Eventually, this emotional distancing can even take on a form of passive aggressive hostility as resentment grows out of the perceived failure of the partner to obtain what they’re looking for in the actual relationship as opposed to the fantasy. It should also be noted that emotional infidelity can often precipitate physical infidelity. It is only through communication that one can understand a partner’s current state of mine, boundaries and principles.

Once adultery has been discovered, there are effective ways to begin the healing process. First of all, for the partner that has committed the infidelity, there must be an understanding concerning what the other partner is experiencing. Winning back a level of trust after hurting someone else is a process and a difficult one at that. There will be many negative emotions to deal with. However, the avoidance of anger will go a long way in facilitating the recovery.

The main thing to keep in mind is that there will be no “quick fix” that will eliminate the trauma associated with adultery. Establishing trust with communication is a two-way street. It is a reasonable consideration to closely look at what was perceived missing from the original relationship. It’s not a question of just pointing a finger at the one who committed the marital infidelity and accuse that person of wrong-doing while demanding that they fix the problem themselves. There can be issues on both sides of the relationship that need reviewing and adjusting.

Love for Life Coaching

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How Surviving Infidelity May Even Strengthen a Relationship

When one looks at today’s statistics regarding the survival rate of marriages that have experienced infidelity, one cannot help but be disheartened. Reconciliation will have many obstacles in the way, such as: anger, feelings of betrayal, emotional trauma, guilt and levels of confusion. Getting past these emotional barriers, and back on the road to communication, may take years. In many cases, professional counseling may be in order, as well. The initial, emotionally charged atmosphere, directly following the infidelity, may make it seem like it’s impossible to think clearly enough to begin the healing process. This will undoubtedly lead many to take the easier path and make a decision to split up and start over with someone else. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be the end result.

The fact remains that counsellors, who deal with this sort of scenario, will state that those couples who manage to survive the infidelity, through professional coaching, can actually have a stronger relationship than ever before. So the question remains, how do those couples actually survive the infidelity, when the majority of couples do not?

The first thing that is noted with these couples is the fact that they initially understood that the process of dealing with the infidelity is not an easy one. Each member of the couple will require the space and time needed in order to come to grips with the situation. They both, as individuals, need to also understand exactly what they want, as well. This involves moving outside other influences that may be tugging at them and then determine their own needs. If the decision is to then move forward in the relationship, a commitment will need to be made regarding the level of openness that will be exercised in the future. This commitment will also involve the decision to work things out together – as a couple.

Understanding infidelity’s root cause is also essential to begin the path towards healing. The most likely cause is the perception that a partner is not receiving something that is being craved in their relationship. In other words, their needs are not being met in the way that they desire. This actually can lead to different types of infidelity.

Many people are very surprised when they are told that infidelity can take on more than one form. Most people associate infidelity with sexual trysts that will occur during secretive meetings. However, there is also emotional infidelity, as well. This will involve a deep love or affection for a person who is not the spouse or partner. This type of infidelity can be more difficult to discover, since it may have no actual physical contact. Interestingly enough, this type of infidelity is more common as it entails less risk of discovery.

By working through the trauma of infidelity, a couple can create tools that will facilitate a much stronger emotional connection. But, as it was stated before, there will be a lot of difficult work involved on the road ahead.

Love for Life Coaching

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Infidelity Means Having Less of a Good Thing

Some individuals have reached a point in their lives when they believe that infidelity will bring them an additional facet to their relationships. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. For those who have suffered from the emotional devastation that infidelity can bring, there is an understanding that this is a losing proposition on all sides. When we see a situation where a person is risking the destruction of a marriage, while attempting to possess a small fraction of another’s affection, we see a person who is actually willing to settle for less. There is an irony in all of this, since the person who engages in infidelity is actually looking to obtain the missing pieces that would make up 100% of what they want in life. Instead, they end up with less – or nothing at all.

This is a starting point for many discussions between spouses who are in the process of repairing a relationship that has been damaged by infidelity. For those who are considering infidelity, it’s an important point to ponder, prior to taking any action that may be regretted in the future.

The initial reaction from anyone who has experienced a situation where a spouse has engaged in an extra-marital relationship is one of confusion. There can be an overall sense of failure that may accompany that feeling, as well. Where did the failure lie? But in truth, taking responsibility for the infidelity of a spouse is usually a trap that exists within the pit of low self-esteem. Spending time wondering what was missing, instead of communicating, may actually be a reflection of the symptoms that led to this situation in the first place.

It needs to be understood that a marriage is a complex meld of responsibilities and emotional variables. No marriage is going to provide 100% of a partner’s needs all the time. The pressures of day-to-day living are always there. These can include: child-raising, care for elderly parents, career pressures, household chores and other items that require our attention. Because of this, a spouse may occasionally feel neglected. However, the trade-off for infidelity is poor compensation.

When we think about the superficial temporary feelings derived from infidelity, they need to be weighed against the less wanted results that are derived. These can be feelings of guilt at knowing that a loved one is being betrayed by one’s actions. There can also be the fear that is attached to the outcome that would occur, once the infidelity is discovered. Shame is also a factor, since we know that our social sphere will view us within the context of our actions. Finally, we understand the pain that can be inflicted on someone who has made every effort to be our close and loyal partner. Recovering from the discovery of infidelity can place them on a long road to emotional recovery.

Love for Life Coaching

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