The first step I made on the road to survive infidelity was to fix myself. But what was broken?
Where do I begin?
If I found something broken, how would I fix it? That first day, D-Day, the day I discovered she was still maintaining contact with the other guy I decided to jump on the internet for any useful advice.
I didn’t know what to look for, but figured I would know something good when I saw it.
I came across a webpage operated by a relationship coach whose ideas and advice seemed to resonate quickly upon first read.
His voice and message how to survive infidelity were unique, not something you would expect to hear, but his confidence in what he was saying were irresistible.
I just had to read on.
I bought a couple of his books regarding how to survive infidelity and devoured every drop of advice within the first couple days.
What was his message? What started me on the path to recovering from the emotional pain of betrayal? How did advise to survive infidelity in my marriage?
Take ownership of your own thoughts and emotions. Take control of your own happiness before changing your focus on your spouse. (At least that is what I interpreted.) And it has changed not only my ability to strengthen our marriage, but to improve in all the other areas of my life that I am not where I want to be.
Survive Infidelity: Finding What Is Broken Inside My Own Head
If I had to choose one single thing from this psychologist to share with anyone suffering from the pain of an affair it would be to identify the negative thoughts that are hindering your from getting what you want in life. Who knew that a step to recover from an affair had nothing to do with an affair?
After close examination of my own mind I discovered I did indeed have mental viruses, so to speak, that were preventing me from achieving my goals. And just like fixing a car, in order to fix the problem you have to identify the problem first. So here are some (not all, the list is huge) of the negative thoughts I came across.
How to Survive Infidelity: 5 Negative Thoughts That Were Killing Me
Negative Thought #1: My Marriage Is Everything.
Since as long as I can remember, I dreamed of having a companion, a loyal and loving wife. Someone to share my good moments and bad ones. We would travel the world, dine together, sleep together and help solve each other’s problems. I would be my everything, companion, lover, friend, advisor, therapist, coach and so on. And likewise I would be hers.
Well, holy sh–, just look at that list. Was it realistic to actually expect someone to live up to those lofty expectations? Hell no.
Negative Thought #2: What did I do wrong to deserve her cheating?
The pain was bad enough to think how she was sneaking behind my back to confide in someone else. Someone else got to reap the benefits of being her companion, friend, adviser, therapist and so on. And now I was about to pour salt on the open wound by torturing myself wondering where I went wrong.
How could I handle all that burden? How could I survive infidelity in the marriage if I believed I was the cause of it too?
Negative Thought #3: I wasn’t good enough.
It seemed like simple mathematics to me. She left because I had nothing to offer her.
Talk about a miserable state of mind to be in. If I had nothing to offer her, I probably didn’t have much to offer anyone else. With that type of thinking I was set for a life of being alone, not to mention I would struggle to survive infidelity.
Negative Thought #4: I’m failing in the rest of my life.
Headache, stomachache from the punch in the gut of discovering the affair, what else do I have to look forward to? I was not happy with the rest of my life either let alone to learn how to survive infidelity.
Some of the those goals in fact had to take a back seat because I was taking care of my wife’s needs. And then smack! She stepped on the hand that fed her. Not only was I afraid of being alone, I was afraid there would be nothing else to enjoy.
Negative Thought #5: I don’t understand her and other people as much as I thought.
So yes this has something to do with others, but to get what I want in life (including how to survive infidelity in my relationship) has a lot to do with teaming up with other people around me. Loneliness stems from feeling like others do not want to be around you. What a scary thought to think that I could be pushing my wife away and others.
I wanted to improve my interpersonal communication skills. What could I do?
These negative thoughts had to change in order to move forward and also to survive infidelity. There are more, but these were some of the big ones. I was able to identify the problems, the things that were broken in my head and the next step to survive infidelity was to find solutions to fix them. Again fix me first before attempting to fix the marriage.
The 5 Solutions to Fix My Negative Thoughts: Mind Shifts
The psychologist, now basically friend in my eyes, led me to the next step in fixing my self-inflicted wounds. He introduced me to mind shifts. Mind shifts were the new ways of thinking that would transform my thoughts from negative to positive. These positive thoughts would take root and become a part of me in time.
Mind Shift #1: Happiness does not depend on someone else.
If you remember the first negative thought above, I said I believed, “My Marriage Is Everything”.
So now I was moving, shifting that is, from, “My marriage is everything” to “Happiness does not depend on someone else.” Even when I felt the most happy in my marriage, it would only last until the moment was gone.
If we had a great vacation, I would only be happy until a few days after returning to reality. If we shared a romantic evening together it would only last until the next morning. Then I kept waiting for that emotional high to return again the next time we went out or did something special together.
Those moments do not last. And when she cheated I was quickly reminded they may end all together sooner than I thought. The truth was the only person that I could depend on for happiness was me. And depending on me to be happy was one of the keys to survive infidelity.
I would do everything I could up to a certain point to help my wife and help her get what she wanted. I also felt confident that once I started the next step in recovery to survive infidelity of focusing on the marriage she would start sharing again and do her part to help me too.
But again, the marriage was not everything. It was only a part of my life. This was a major step in order to survive infidelity
Mind Shift #2: I decided it was her bad decision to cheat, she made a choice.
She chose to cheat in order to fulfill her own selfish needs. Whatever the reason was, she had a need to fulfill and she was going to fulfill it, regardless if it hurt me and us for that matter. Life is tough. Marriage is not always happy. That is the same truth all marriages share in common.
All spouses experience highs and lows. The difference is how each spouse chooses to react. She chose the easier route. Find someone that she wouldn’t have to deal with problems. Someone outside the marriage has no way of presenting problems only fun and stress-relieving moments.
And what about me? Did I ever go through stressful moments with her? Did I ever feel empty with our marriage? Did I experience the boring routines we fell into? Of course. Did I ever admire other women’s beauty or wonder what it would be like to go out on a date with another woman? Absolutely.
That would have relieved a lot of stress to hang out with someone that I did not have to share any problems with: no bills, no dirty dishes, no cluttered closets, no cars to repair, no mean comments, no stupid bad habits to deal with, none of that. However, in the end I am the one that has to survive infidelity, not her.
But did I cheat? Nope. I took the high road. I realized all marriages have problems. Companionship for me was the most important part of marriage and if I ever started over with someone else it would only be a matter of time before all the problems surfaced.
So I shifted from, “What did I do wrong to deserve her cheating?” to beginning to think, “She made easy chose to cheat. It was not my fault.”
Mind Shift #3: I have value.
I am willing to be there through thick and thin, good times and bad. I am willing to be everything I can to help her succeed in life. I am not Superman, and cannot be there all the time, but I will do my best. I will look to help us and not just me. That is more value than anyone can offer their spouse in my opinion.
I mean really, what was the chump guy really going to do if my wife and him got together? If they even had any notions of something long-term problems would eventually find them. He obviously didn’t respect me or our marriage, so how serious would he be about maintaining any relationship in the long run?
I would always be there no matter how bad our marriage got.
So I shifted from, “I wasn’t good enough,” to “I am better than anyone out there. I am real, not fake.”
Mind Shift #4: I would be more confident about achieving my own personal goals.
There really was no need to sacrifice my personal goals outside our marriage. I could be a successful husband while still winning in the other areas of my life. There are so many things I want to do and be good at. And no matter what I was going to achieve them and not let whatever happened in my marriage get in the way.
I will do my best to achieve a successful relationship with my wife, but years from now I do not want to look back with regret knowing I never accomplished my own personal endeavors. No way. I began to identify the negative thoughts that were preventing me from reaching my goals and applied this same process that you are reading now.
So I shifted from, “I’m failing in the rest of my life”, to “I am confident I will achieve my goals and will not sacrifice my dreams.”
Mind Shift #5: I want stronger bonds with other people.
There is only so much I can do for myself to achieve my goals. I need to help others achieve theirs too. I need to help others feel important and provide them energy. When people see me I should give them a spark. I wanted to draw people to me. This only would be possible if I improved my listening skills.
Life is tough and there are always going to be problems, but how was my wife handling life’s problems internally? How was she processing all of life’s challenges? How could I help her be stronger and deal with the ups and downs of life and marriage? What help did she need to achieve her own personal goals? In order to move on and survive infidelity I had to somehow help her too.
How could I be the best husband I could be? Helping her feel comfortable to open up and invite me inside her mind and soul was a top priority. Then listening first before taking any action was crucial. I would strive to be the best husband at the same time as I learned to continue to survive infidelity. And this was the same process I knew I had to practice with everyone around me.
I shifted from, “I don’t understand her and other people as much as I thought,” to “I desire to learn as much as I can about others so I can create a stronger bond with them.”
The Next Step
After creating good mental habits which make me stronger and happier as a person, I started to focus more on what I could do to make my bond with my wife stronger and my relationship happier. Fixing me first, then our marriage were equally important to survive infidelity.
Help Your Fellow Online Friends. Be The First To Post Your Comment Below.
What are you afraid of most about the affair? What do you doubt the most that will not allow you to survive infidelity in your marriage?
Yes, it’s intimidating to be the first to do anything, but why not make a bold move. Greatness comes from bold moves and there are others that are hurting right now reading this post. Other online viewers that have been cheated on are filled with pain. They too want to learn and share with you how to survive infidelity. Please share your opinion with them. Wouldn’t you want the same help?
Resource to Save Your Marriage Crisis That Saved My Life
I want to sincerely thank Dr. Huizenga for presenting me with new ways of seeing life and marriage. His teachings have not only helped me survive infidelity, but they also have empowered me during my marriage crisis and given me a new future.
Please take the time to learn how to identify the negative thoughts invading your mind too in order to save your relationship. Sign up for his free email updates and read them every day like I do to see how I have learned to survive infidelity in my own marriage.
Read more about my infidelity story