Article also feature in the Huffington Post
When you married your spouse, the idea was for better for worse, in sickness and in health, til death us do part and yet here you are, not dead and facing the prospect of Divorce. The vows are for better for worse, but overcoming when your partner has cheated is a very difficult thing to do, even worse when the cheater does not want to be in the marriage.
So not only have you faced the rejection of them wanting out of the marriage, you face the rejection that they have chosen someone else which can make you feel worthless. The whole better for worse option has gone out of the window because a marriage can only be saved when two parities want it saving.
So how do you overcome the double whammy of divorce and being cheated on? Well firstly you need to understand that when a partner cheats it is no reflection of you but more a reflection of them. They have chosen to be deceitful, they have chosen to embark on relations with another person. This is not because of who you are. It is because of who they are.
The cheating is also not about the other person initially; it may be more about the thrill of developing a new relationship in secret or it could be about putting a plaster over a wound. It may be exciting, mysterious, fun and yes they may then develop deeper feelings for the other person. They may then chose to be with them instead of you, but that is not because you are a bad person or a horrible person, just not the right person for them.
But wait one minute, not being the right person for them gives them all the power. Feeling that you are the wrong person, being cheated on and facing a Divorce is not going to initially make you feel powerful so let’s look at how we can address this power imbalance. Ask yourself in what areas were the relationship not working for you too? This may be hard to start with, when you are in shock and grieving but start to look at when in your relationship did you feel disappointed. If your spouse could find space in his/her mind to have feelings for another person then it means they were not 100% focused on your relationship. What did that feel like? What was missing?
Now ask yourself, a) do you deserve to be treated like that? b) what would a good relationship look/feel like to you?
Think about where else in your life you were made to compromise. Take yourself back to when you were a child – what did you dream about being? What did you envisage your life to be? Now look at when in your life those dreams started being shelved. Did the relationship make you give up your dreams?
“I lost all of my dreams when I got into a relationship with my ex. All my dreams got shelved and our life became about supporting him to do what he needed to do. I gave up all the things that I enjoyed, that made me so that I could support him to be what he wanted to be. And I became miserable. I felt lost in life but had convinced myself that we should be together because ‘we have been through so much together blah blah blah…..’ I also felt that we had ‘built so much together’ that it would be easier to stay together than untangle our assets. But looking back now, life is so much easier when you are living your dreams, fulfilling your dreams and being the best person you can be. Sometimes we lose ourselves so much in a relationship that the ending of a relationship can be a shock, can feel devastating and it’s hard to see what the future will hold.”
So, to start moving forwards, remember those dreams and write them down. Remember all those times since those dreams when you wanted to do something but never got around to it, or it got shelved and add those to the list. Don’t worry about the ‘how’ for now, just focus on dreaming and creating your new future. The one where you are the right person and you have 100% commitment from a partner. Use that list and those positive feelings from creating your vision to drive your forwards and life will start to be exciting again.
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