Perhaps you have a family to consider, children who could be negatively impacted by your cheating spouse’s decisions. You have your marriage to consider, asking yourself whether you should try to save your marriage. You may also have a job to juggle—your emotional pain and turmoil throwing off your ability to focus.
In this blog, I’ll tell you why it’s essential that you focus on yourself, and provide some steps you can take to dig deep and regain a sense of security that can only be found in you. Read on…
Where to Focus After the Affair
In the whirlwind after the affair has been revealed, you watch as life does, indeed, go on. But you may feel as if you’re trying to hold it together at the ragged edges, even while you’re still expected to take care of all of your responsibilities. You may also be struggling with whether or not you want to live under the same roof with your cheating spouse, when just the sight of him or her sickens you.
What should you focus on first?
It’s imperative that you focus on yourself. This does not mean to the exclusion of everything else, but that you give yourself top priority.
The reason for this is simple: the success of anything else you are involved in depends upon a very crucial component: a strong, whole you. The only security you will find post-affair is the security you create in yourself. Your spouse is still an unknown in the equation, so their ability to once again provide you with a sense of security isn’t something you can count on.
Regaining a Sense of Security by Building Yourself Back Up
You may at first feel guilty about focusing on yourself in an effort to truly rediscover who you are—or reinvent yourself completely so you can regain security. You are used to taking care of everyone else, putting others’ needs ahead of your own, and frankly, this may feel a bit selfish.
It’s normal to feel this way. Keep in mind: this gift to yourself will also be a gift to others. If you have children, they will get to watch how you handle a crisis—and come out stronger. If you have a job, you may bring a fresh, strong attitude that can only be a boon to your work.
Think of it like this: when you get sick, you have to rest, take medicine, drink plenty of fluids. This is called healing. And that is what this time of rebuilding security is for you: the time and space to heal and grow as the unique individual you are.
Here are your next steps in this security-rebuilding process:
Step 1: Manage Your Thoughts to Boost Self-Esteem
A spouse’s infidelity impacts you on many levels. But one of the most personal is what happens to your thoughts. Waves of negative thoughts crash through your mind, with self-doubt and self-recriminations taking front and center. You need to constructively manage these thoughts by countering them with self-talk that moves you forward.
If you track your thoughts for a few days and write down what you “hear,” you’ll see some patterns emerge. Most victims of infidelity say it’s like having a broken record, repeating over and over. So, make a new recording: write down words that you can use to counter those negative thoughts and boost your self-esteem by focusing on your good qualities.
Boosted self-esteem can make your world feel more secure.
Step 2: Use a Journal to Improve Rediscovery Momentum
You may struggle with the whirl of thoughts going on in your mind: creating positive thoughts, countering negative ones, and working to move forward. One way to capture and hold the good is to keep a written journal (or one on your computer).
In your journal, you can write down happy memories of yourself in the past, how you’ve grown stronger over the years in dealing with various life changes, what you’re dealing with now and how you’re working through it, and ideas for what you envision your future to be. This will help you keep the momentum in your journey of rediscovery.
Step 3: Take Action to Ensure your Rediscovery Happens
As you journal and jot down ideas of what your ideal future looks like, commit to taking one action—either daily or weekly—that moves you closer to this vision. You want to be happy, sure. But define what it looks like.
What specific actions can you take right now to move you closer to that vision? Taking action is living. As you take action, you will rediscover yourself, your passions, what makes you swoon, what makes you feel inspired.