When Beyonce's Lemonade Hits Too Close to Home: 6 Tips for Healing After Infidelity
Yes we all love Beyonce’s new album Lemonade, but for some it may be hitting too close to home. Read these tips to help you on your journey to healing after infidelity. One: Behold Your Pain
Allow yourself to behold and validate the pain you are feeling. Experiencing betrayal is a deep emotional wound that can only heal by honoring the pain. Attending to your wound means confronting every shifting emotion that arises and hearing what it has come to teach you. Denial or premature dismissing of your pain is like putting a band-aid on a cut off limb. During your witnessing of pain, be sure that you are not attaching to any one emotion. Allow yourself to flow through the stages of emotions without clinging to one. For clinging is a recipe for bitterness, for which you are far too sweet.
Some tools to help you behold, validate, and process your pain includes anything that can be an outlet to mirror what you are feeling. This can be done through creative outlets like painting or creating music. Another way to witness and process your pain can come in the form of journaling or practicing meditation.
Two: Get Support
Many times the stigma and shame of being cheated on causes women to isolate themselves, adding salt to the wound. It’s important that as you go through this heartache to have people in your life that you can talk to. Being supported and listened to is part of process, and especially if your partner won’t listen to the pain they have caused you, you need someone to confide in. This can be your mom or friend, but just make sure that it is someone that you can trust not to judge you or rush you in your healing. Another great option is talking to a therapist. I suggest even if you and your partner have decided to go to couple’s counseling, it may also be a good idea to have your own therapist as well depending on what this betrayal has stirred up in you. You cannot keep all that pain to yourself, let professionals and those that love you offer you support.
Three: Don’t Rush Yourself
There is no magic time frame that you must heal within. Take the time you need to grow from this experience and don’t rush yourself. There may be apart of you that wants to rush the process and pretend everything is better before it is. Be careful of this desire, and honor the bad days just as much as the good. It’s a journey but you will get there in your own time. So take the time you need to make a decision about relationship, to heal, and to let go of insecurities. Stay conscious of where you are in the process and learn from it. The time it takes to move on after an infidelity varies from person to person but in general it can take at least a year to two years to feel like you’ve gotten past it. But the path is windy and has twists and turns as you merge through the stages of healing. Give it time and push through in the meantime, knowing that the pain is not permanent and will end soon.
Four: Bump What You Heard
Forget what society says you should or should not do after infidelity. Focus on what you want, not what you think you should do. Do you want to heal with your partner, or move on by yourself? Do you trust them to take on the hard journey towards healing with you? Are you looking to leave a cycle of abuse and focus on self-love? Do you want to accept this person’s shadows and transform into a higher version of yourselves? The saying “Once a cheater, always a cheater” is not always true, so don't believe the hype and run out fear. If you leave make sure you are doing it because that is what you want to do and not what you feel pressured to do.
Five: Trust Issues
An inevitable part of the process after an infidelity is confronting your trust issues. After being betrayed, it takes work to restore your faith in love. It’s never too early to start asking yourself some serious questions about your relationship with trust. Go beyond questioning your current reactions to trust and see how your trust issues have evolved from relationships past. Notice patterns, childhood pains, and if necessary work with a therapist to figure out how you can make your relationship with trust healthy again. Walk towards a life of safe vulnerability and faith in your ability to have safe love again. Evaluate the criteria of who you let hold your heart, and decide on the qualifications going forward.
Six: Ground Rules
If you do decide stay and work on your relationship with your loved one, set some ground rules to help you feel safe. Immediately after making the decision to heal, it’s important for you and your partner to recognize that you likely have feelings of insecurity, instability, and anxiety, and it’s important to create an environment that you feel safe and comfortable in. For example if your anxiety shoots through the roof if he doesn’t text you back immediately, make an agreement with your partner in order to help you feel comfortable to prioritize texting you back within a given time frame. Or you may need your partner to answer the phone, even just to say he is busy and an call you back. Other rules may include giving you the time you need before you are intimate again.
– Tiffany Shelton, M.A. is a psychotherapist and consciousness expert. Her passion to elevate consciousness goes beyond the message of self-care or wellness, but instead consciously adds to these movements by demanding awakening and insight. Learn more about Tiffany Shelton by clicking here.