If you recently found out your spouse cheated, you may feel that’s it: you want a divorce.
Whether a divorce is right for you is something only you can answer.
In this blog, we’ll look at why the decision shouldn’t be made in the early days of the post-affair revelation, and 3 steps for making your choice. Read on…
Slow Down the Post-Affair Divorce Decision
If you have just learned your spouse cheated on you, your emotions are in turmoil such as you’ve probably never before experienced.
Other than death of a loved one, there isn’t much that can hurt you as much as learning your spouse has betrayed your trust and love.
During this time, raw emotion is where you live. Your thoughts are negative, churning through the ugliness of your spouse’s betrayal. You tend to lose sleep, or what sleep you get is so restless from tossing and turning that you wake up feeling more exhausted than when you went to bed.
This is why a major life decision, which is what a divorce is, should not be made immediately in the aftermath of the affair.
In those initial days, you will want to lash out in anger and hurt the person who has humiliated and betrayed you, making you suffer like this. You may wish to punish them, and what better punishment than to cut them off from you forever through a divorce?
But this would be a decision born of anger. Right now, your heart is closed off to your cheating spouse. You are going through conflicting emotions, which many describe as a rollercoaster ride—and sometimes a tidal wave.
In short, you don’t know your own mind at the moment, because your thoughts are clouded with a barrage of negative emotions and painful memories. It’s difficult to see things clearly because you are filled with doubt, mistrust, and confusion.
Making the Divorce Decision
No one can tell you what’s best for you. Maybe a divorce is the best thing you could do, or saving your marriage is the route you should take. Ultimately, this decision is yours.
Here are 3 steps for making the best decision for you and your marriage.
Step #1: Tame the Tidal Wave of Emotion
To begin making clear, logical decisions, you first need to clear up the tidal wave of emotions you’re experiencing. And this will take some time and effort.
You may have a lot of unanswered questions about the affair, and you aren’t even sure you want to know the answers. You may have a lot of doubts about yourself, not knowing who you are anymore and suffering from the blow to your self-esteem.
Your first priority is yourself and taming this tidal wave of post-affair emotion. Working through these emotions and focusing on healing is what your focus should be during this time. You’re in pain, and you need to tend to that pain. It’s no different (other than begin more painful across all categories) than if you fell and cut yourself: your first priority would be tending to the wound.
Step #2: Converse with your Cheating Spouse
To help you get a handle on what you want, you will need to speak with your spouse about your marriage.
This can mean asking your spouse about affair details, or deciding not to and instead focusing all of your time and energy on looking at your marriage’s problems prior to the affair, and finding out what your spouse was thinking to have made such a stupid mistake.
Talking with your spouse can help you gauge where your marriage is, and if there is any hope for reconciliation.
Step #3: Shape Up Your Marriage
Before you let your marriage go, get it into the best shape it can possibly be—and then make a decision. Right now, when your marriage is in flames, it’s easy to see divorce as the simple solution. But there’s more to your marriage than this moment. Evaluate what you really would be letting go only after you know what it is beyond the affair.
My best to you as you make your divorce decision.