You knew this was going to be hard.
After all, when you cheat on the person you love, there is going to be consequences. And this would involve more than a simple argument or disagreement. Your actions have damaged the core of your relationship. What your partner thought was stable, and perhaps even flourishing, actually had an unstable inner core that led to betrayal. That’s exactly how your partner is going to feel—betrayed—aside from a host of other emotions.
When they finally get to know the truth, they are going to be angry. And you can’t blame them. No matter how uncomfortable the situation may get, it’s important for you to know how to adequately cope with that anger so that both of you can move forward.
Consider these (4) keys to help you deal with their rage.
Key #1: Expect the Worst to Happen
Before even going into the discussion, take a moment to step back and think. Imagine what your partner will be feeling and experiencing when they find out you cheated. Those emotions may include:
Try to visualize how the conversation will occur, what their reaction will be, and how you will respond. Also consider in which way you want to tell them and how you will express it. Having a plan established will give you something to work with and not leave you floundering when things get tense.
Key #2: Accept That They Have a Right to Their Emotions
When your partner rages at you because you cheated, it can seem really startling. This is especially true if you are not used to them being angry. It might be tempting for you to try to calm them down or even say that they are being “ridiculous.” That, however, would be a mistake.
Keep in mind that when someone discovers that their partner has cheated its shocking news. The person whom they thought they could trust is no longer trustworthy at all. This means that all the emotions that they are experiencing rise to the surface at once. It’s a lot to handle, and often these feelings come out as rage. It’s important that you allow your partner to feel what they feel and know they do have a right to be angry.
Key #3: Remember that Safety Is Paramount
Safety will be an important issue for both of you. For your partner, don’t be surprised if they create physical and emotional distance from you as they process the situation.
Knowing that you betrayed their trust means that they are not going to feel safe around you. That’s because that emotional vulnerability and trust that they thought existed between the two of you is now gone. They need to find other ways to feel safe.
On the other hand, you need to feel safe as well. Yes, your partner has a right to be angry with you. Yet, you shouldn’t tolerate physical abuse either. If you don’t believe that you are physically safe, it’s appropriate to step away until both of you can establish new boundaries.
Key #4: Get Professional Help for Cheating
The fourth key to consider when disclosing infidelity is getting professional help for the both of you. Each of you should see a therapist individually to process what has happened, what brought you to this point, and what you need to do as individuals.
Conversely, as a couple, it’s helpful to see a therapist together as well. A therapist can help moderate and facilitate a process between the two of you to determine two things:
- Is it worth to continue the relationship?
- If so, how do you reestablish trust?
Telling your partner that you cheated is not going to be easy at all. But it’s the right thing to do. Knowing that there will be a lot of emotion happening for both of you makes it all the more important to work with a therapist—both individually and together. The right therapist can give you the support you need for dealing with this relationship crisis and healing the rift.
If you would like to discuss how to manage disclosing your infidelity and the recovery process, or would like to make an appointment, please contact me at 949-760-7171 0r text 949-244-8572 or email email@example.com.
- Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater?
- Aftermath of Infidelity – How to Help Your Children Cope with Your Affair
- Infidelity – Can the Relationship Survive?
- After the Affair by Jackie A. Spring, Ph.D.
- Surviving Infidelity; Making Decisions, Recovering from the Pain by Rona Subotnik LMFT and Gloria Harris, Ph.D.