Often, in the immediate aftermath of affair discovery, the faithful partner feels significant pressure to ‘decide’ and to ‘act’. Not only does ‘taking action’ help negate the sense of powerlessness, but there can be considerable external pressures to behave in certain ways.
On sites such as these, there is often a disapproval for decisions that are taken in under 6-12 months after discovering the affair. In some sites, this ‘time of inaction’ is laid down as a mandatory wait period, and it is cautioned that if it is ignored, this will spell certain doom for your future. Whilst there is legitimacy to the concern that a faithful partner will be in a state of emotional flux, the notion that one cannot possibly know their own mind in the immediate wake of discovery is rather insulting. To many people, an affair is a deal breaker and waiting for 6-12 months while others try to persuade you into ‘standing’ or reconciling, is absurd.
It is entirely possible and acceptable to make a speedy decision that you’re comfortable with after the discovery of your partner’s affair. Similarly, it is entirely acceptable and valid to be uncertain about your plans for your future in light of your partner’s affair, and to defer the decision until you’ve mulled on it sufficiently.
As I wrote in the post, Affair & Infidelity Help: Standing:
If you choose to act quickly because you are clear about what this means for you, so be it. You do not have to wait it out, or ‘give yourself time’ if you already have your answer. It is entirely okay to act of your own volition and not just wait to react to your cheating partner. Infidelity has already robbed you of a say in your relationship, and waiting for your cheater to decide your fate for you is likely not to be in your own best interest. Personal power in your own choices is essential if you are to live comfortably with the consequences of your decisions.
Conversely, if you don’t find yourself reaching a clear and speedy decision, it’s entirely okay to take your time. Do not allow yourself to be put under pressure to choose one way or another until you have assimilated and evaluated your options and how you can move yourself further towards your goals for yourself. Be clear that you can only make choices for yourself – setting ‘getting my partner back‘ as your goal for yourself while they are still in the affair is a recipe for failure, disappointment and heartache.
Remain aware of your stagnation because inaction is not a positive or healthy choice if it is founded in denial, revenge, fear or apathy.
There are already a myriad of ways where a faithful partner might feel that they have failed. Adding time pressure and deadlines to the mix might just be another way to set yourself up to fail. Take the time that you need to make a decision, but don’t confuse enduring inaction as a positive version of ‘taking time’ - it isn’t. Stagnating in indecision or a refusal to move forward, is an abdication of self-interest … and there is no virtue in that whatsoever.
Stagnation is self-abdication.
~ Ryan Talbot
Betrayed and Confused: 2 Tips
Has your partner betrayed you, and now you’re confused about what to do first.
Your partner may be pushing for reconciliation and forgiveness. You’re still trying to negotiate the emotional turmoil of discovering the person you loved and trusted has done something to betray that love and trust.
You may be torn: on the one hand, you would like to forgive your partner so you can just move on and forget this ever happened. On the other hand, you want to throw things, scream out your pain and make your partner really understand what their betrayal feels like.
In this blog, we’ll look at what leads to the confusion after being betrayed and 2 tips for what you could do first.
Why You’re Confused After a Betrayal
After a betrayal, your mind goes through a surreal experience of confusion.
Here’s why you’re feeling confused…
You had an idea and image of what your relationship is. It involved trusting your partner to never hurt you with a betrayal. You may have seen your relationship as relatively good, maybe with some problems, but who doesn’t have problems?
It probably never occurred to you that your partner would betray you, even if there were some bumps in your relationship road.
No doubt the betrayal involved some degree of lying. So your mind is trying to wrap around how you couldn’t have seen through the lies, or the phone calls taken in another room, the late nights at work, the sudden out of town business trip.
This is why you’re confused… because the picture in your mind of what your relationship was has been completely upended. Your understanding of who your partner is has been challenged.
Now, you’re trying to figure out what your relationship is, who your partner really is beyond this mistake, and who you are after experiencing the pain of betrayal.
And that is how you have arrived at a place where you don’t know what to do first, what decisions to make, what conclusions to draw, or what your next move should be.
Next, I’ll offer you two tips for what you may want to consider as your first steps out of the confusion just after betrayal…
2 Things You Should Consider Doing Post-Betrayal
Victims of betrayal often feel pushed into a corner to make decisions. Here’s how to manage that feeling and move yourself out of the corner…
Tip #1: Push Back Against Being Pushed
When you’re betrayed and confused, you need time to sort through what has happened and get a grip on the emotional rollercoaster you’re experiencing.
Your partner may be all shades of remorseful, and that may have included a heartfelt apology and displays of love.
You don’t have to push away from the apologies and remorse or displays of love. But you also don’t have to feel pushed into making a decision at this moment or accepting the apology.
If your partner has betrayed you and is pushing to making things right “right now,” you could tell them you need time to process your emotions. Let them know how you feel after what they’ve done, what your emotional landscape looks like, and that a shock such as this needs to be processed.
You set the timeline for when you’re ready to talk, as well as what your path to healing will look like.
Tip #2: Take Time to Re-Center Your Self-Portrait
Your relationship may be a different picture than what you thought it was. You may now doubt who you are. The betrayal has caused you pain, and it may stir up memories of previous pains and letdowns you’ve experienced in life.
After being betrayed, it goes without saying that you’re at a low point.
So take some time just for yourself, nurturing yourself in any way that makes you feel good about who you are as a person. Go do one of your favorite activities. Go away for a weekend by yourself. Take a day trip with the music cranked up.
The idea is to re-center your image and understanding of yourself after the blow you’ve taken. You need space and peace to process traumatic emotions and get in touch with what you really want.
Consider it a well-deserved time-out, not a cop-out.