11 May Getting Through the Guilt
This blog post was written by Recovery Help Now’s Vanessa Blaxland, MFTi.
Infidelities cause major ruptures in relationships. Many times you hear about the impact an infidelity can have on the partner who was cheated on and how they can push through and support themselves through these difficult times. Other times, you hear about how the couple can work past an infidelity together. However, it is less often that you hear about the experience of the cheater and how they can help themselves to resolves issues that arise from cheating. If you’ve cheated on someone that you love you understand those feelings of guilt, anger, and disgust towards yourself. You may even say that you deserve to feel those things and be tormented by them. However what good is it if your partner can work to forgive you but you can’t forgive yourself? It takes both party’s acceptance and forgiveness to heal and recover from an infidelity.
To begin to forgive yourself you need to start by gaining understanding of why you did what you did and what led you to seek out another. Ask yourself “What was going on at that time and why couldn’t I speak to my partner about it?” “What was I needing from my partner during that time that I was getting and why didn’t I feel that I could ask them for it?” Gaining awareness will not only help you understand what happened but may also lessen your feelings of guilt. Through awareness about the event you can gain confidence in yourself that it won’t happen again now knowing how it happened, what triggered it, and what needs to be worked on to repair the relationship and prevent it from happening again.
Now this isn’t going to be an easy road. But if you can give as much time, energy, and commitment to forgiving yourself and working on the relationship as you wish your partner would, you will set a strong foundation for your relationship to begin not only to heal but to grow from.