These tips on how to get over cheating in a relationship are from a family therapist who was shocked to discover her own husband was having an affair.
If anyone knows how to recover from cheating, Vikki Stark does. Wife Abandonment Syndrome is a phrase she uses to describe how husbands detach from their wives and move in with the women they cheated with.
“The type of man who abandons often appears to be unusually moral and trustworthy, making it even harder for the wife to accept that his words are empty justifications,” writes Stark on her website Runaway Husbands. “The most important first step in healing for a woman in this situation is the realization that her husband is not the man she thought she knew and that he never was.”
How do you get over cheating? By accepting that your husband isn’t the man you thought he was.
Another important step towards healing and getting over cheating is connecting with women who are dealing with the same pain and betrayal. Read How to Cope When Your Husband Leaves You for Another Woman. Don’t forget the comments section; you’ll discover women who are surviving what you’ve been through – and worse.
How to Get Over Cheating
“My husband never mentioned that he was unhappy or thinking of leaving me,” writes Vikki Stark in her book Runaway Husbands. “Until the moment of his revelation [that he was cheating and wanted to leave her], I was deeply in love and believed him to be, too….I had no idea.”
Stark’s husband lied to her for years. He took trips with the woman he cheated with and lied about how he spent his time. Stark was shocked to discover he cheated on her, but she found ways to get over the pain his cheating caused. She and her husband didn’t rebuild her marriage, and she created the book and website called Runaway Husbands.
In Runaway Husbands: The Abandoned Wife’s Guide to Recovery and Renewal, Stark doesn’t just describe her story, she helps wives cope with the pain and shock of finding you their husbands had affairs. It’s a solid, helpful resource for women who need to know how to get over cheating.
Need marriage help? Get FREE relationship advice from Marriage Coach Mort Fertel.
These tips on how to get over cheating are from her book.
Realize the traumatic effect cheating has
“In trauma, the mind’s normal thinking process is flooded and temporarily damaged,” writes Stark. “To ensure our survival, humans have a primitive need for our lives to have a reliable form and consistent meaning. Without it, we cannot adequately prepare for the future.”
It’s not just a mild shock that your husband was cheating, it’s a grave, threatening trauma that affects your mind, body, and soul. This type of psychological trauma can lead to anxiety, stress, depression, despair, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
You’re not just learning how to get over cheating, you’re learning how to survive a traumatic blow to your psyche.
Create a healthy, life-giving mantra
“[Your mantra] will act as shorthand to remind you of how you should be thinking and will replace other, more destructive thoughts,” writes Stark.
A mantra is a symbol of where you want to go, who you want to be, and how you will get there. Where your thoughts go, your life will follow.
In Runaway Husbands a woman whose husband cheated on her during their 27 years of marriage says, “I wrote LET IT GO” on index cards and placed them everywhere I was likely to look…That constant re-affirmation of doing the only thing I really could do was a great help to me.”
How does a mantra help you get over cheating? It reminds you that even though one stage of your life is over, you do have control over your mind and other parts of your life. To create a mantra, choose three words that describe the state of mind you’d like to be in. Repeat them to yourself when you feel sad, stressed, confused, or depressed.
If you don’t know if he’s cheating, read Is He Cheating? What to Do When You Suspect an Affair.
Accept that the relationship you thought you had is over
Whether or not you stay with your husband, you have to accept that everything is different now.
“The wife often gets stuck in the rut of struggling to understand how things could have changed so radically and assessing if there is anything she can do to influence the turn of events,” writes Stark. “That requires deep thinking about what compelled her husband to leave and whether there is any possibility of repair. She may grasp at straws, trying to come up with a desperate deal to delay the inevitable.”
What do you think about these tips on how to get over cheating? I welcome your comments below.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” ~ Albert Einstein.