If you have been affected by infidelity or affairs, you have endured great pain. You need encouragement and support as you navigate a new path after learning your spouse was unfaithful to you. Healing is possible as you seek care from a Christian counselor, who can offer compassion, wisdom, and practical help.
Healing from infidelity and affairs.
Though you may be facing an intense storm right now, know that healing is possible. You didn’t ask for this problem, but God is ready and willing to help you through it. These are the steps you can take to heal from infidelity and affairs. It’s also wise to ask a Christian Marriage Counselor to guide you through each of these steps.
Pray without ceasing.
Prayer is one of the most important steps after you learn you are a victim of infidelity. Prayer is a lifeline between you and God and can help you feel less alone. God promises in Psalm 34:18 to draw near to those who are brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. You will feel his nearness as you cry out to Him in prayer, and you may experience a faster healing process as well.
The safest place to share your deepest hurts over infidelity is prayer. As you pour out your feelings before God, he will comfort you, strengthen you and lift you up. Pray without ceasing, every time your sadness or anxiety is triggered, day or night. Each time you pray, your burden will lift a little and you’ll have a glimmer of hope.
Remember that God understands your feelings. Jesus was rejected by his own people, the Jews. He was betrayed by Judas, one of his disciples, and abandoned by all the disciples when he needed them most. In the Old Testament, God’s people turned away from him repeatedly, going after idols instead of accepting his love. God understands what a broken heart feels like, and he empathizes with your pain.
Only God knows exactly how you feel, and you can tell him everything. You may even feel closest to him in your deepest times of suffering after infidelity and affairs. You can cry out to God as often as needed. Also, consider keeping a prayer journal so you can look back and see what God did to heal you over time.
Be intentional with your feelings.
If you have endured an affair, you have many strong feelings and reactions. You cannot afford to bottle those feelings up, because you will put yourself at risk for many other problems by doing so. By holding your feelings in, you could wreak havoc on your internal systems, including experiencing weight gain or loss, lack of concentration, disrupted sleep, gastrointestinal issues, heart palpitations, and other stress-related symptoms.
By holding your feelings in, you increase the chance that they will explode later. This explosion could unintentionally hurt others and cause you to experience shame. A caring Christian counselor can help you sort out your feelings, so they don’t cause this type of damage.
Giving full vent to your feelings causes other kinds of problems. The rage you feel needs to be expressed in controlled ways rather than onto other people. You need a safe space to process other emotions like shock, confusion, fear, guilt, hurt, and temptation to seek revenge. Your loved ones, including your children, are not good candidates for receiving this wild yet normal range of emotions after an affair. But a qualified Christian counselor can help you process them.
It’s important not to numb your feelings with unhealthy behaviors. Too many people regret doing things like overeating, substance abuse, isolation, rebounding into other relationships too quickly, or any other addictive behaviors. These choices always cause other pain, and they don’t help you sort out your feelings. But you can get help for your feelings through journaling, talk therapy, groups like Celebrate Recovery, and Christian counseling.
You may face a barrage of choices after an affair, and this can be overwhelming. You may have pressure to answer many questions like whether to separate or divorce, how to relate to your children, who to tell about the affair, and what will happen to your finances. Though all of these are important matters, they don’t all need to be settled in a single day.
For your mental, emotional, and physical health, slow down to take one moment, one hour, and one day at a time. Practice intentional breathing while you pray and ask God for wisdom in your decisions. It’s also a good idea to consult with trusted friends, your counselor, your pastor, and perhaps an attorney before proceeding with a decision. Most of all, ask God to lead you forward in the choices you make.
It’s tempting to put your physical and emotional needs on the back burner after the shock of infidelity and affairs. But if you do this, you could hijack your healing process. Instead, make self-care a daily priority.
Strive for a balance between work, rest, and rejuvenation every day. Eating right and exercising are crucial for your healing process. Try smoothies for a quick nutrition boost and take a 20-minute brisk walk outside to get your feel-good endorphins flowing. Every day do something small that makes you feel good, like a bubble bath or reading a clean novel. These steps will add up in your healing process.
To not only survive but thrive after you are a victim of infidelity, self-care is essential. Make sure you are making time for yourself every day. Don’t tackle too many new projects but reserve some energy just to nurture yourself. You will heal faster when you prioritize your physical and emotional needs.
Enter the grieving process.
The grieving process is a necessary part of your healing, whether you reunite with your spouse or not. This process involves the steps of denial, anger, bargaining, and depression before you reach acceptance. You’ll need to let go of the hopes and dreams you once had for your relationship to be able to embrace a new future.
Keep in mind that the grieving process doesn’t move in a single line. It can move back and forth between the stages, sometimes multiple times in a single day. It could take many months or even years to complete the grieving process, and a Christian counselor can guide you on the path of grief.
Talk it out.
For total healing, you’ll need to talk out your feelings. Talking is the best way to relieve the intense feelings you endure after infidelity and affairs. The safest person to speak to is a Christian counselor, since your family and friends may not be able to fully support you due to divided loyalties. You could also overwhelm others, like your children, who need to sort through their own pain after the affair.
A Christian counselor can not only affirm the feelings you have now from an objective perspective, but also help you decide how to move forward, whether with separation, divorce, or reconciliation. There are many options to consider, and your counselor will offer Bible-based instruction and information for your unique situation.
Though the Bible offers clear reasons for divorce (see Matthew 5:32, 19:19), God does not necessarily require you to end your marriage after an affair. A trusted Christian counselor can help you consider all the options available before you make a final decision.
If you choose to reunite with your spouse, you will both need help forging new paths forward in your relationship. However, this will be difficult to do successfully on your own. A Marriage Counselor at San Diego Christian Counseling can help by teaching you the skills to use in order to reset and calibrate your marriage to greater levels of trust and respect.
Since there are many options available to you after infidelity and affairs, it’s important to consult with a trusted source before making a big decision. Talk it out with a counselor at one of our offices first, and you’ll gain godly wisdom for moving forward.
“We Could Have Had It All”, Courtesy of Chaz McGregor, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Hand in the Water”, Courtesy of Nate Neelson, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Walking Away”, Courtesy of Jurien Huggins, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Broken Heart”, Courtesy of Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash.com, CC0 License