If you’ve suspected that your partner was lying to you and possibly cheating for any length of time, the not knowing was probably difficult, if not excruciating.
You may have been overwhelmed by unanswered questions and gnawing worries and fears. You might have felt as if you were in some kind of awful limbo in which you didn’t know what to believe and who to trust.
But, now, if you’ve come upon evidence that proves that your partner was actually lying to you (and possibly having an affair too), the limbo is over.
You now know what is true…and you probably aren’t happy to find out that your suspicions were accurate after all.
So, what next?
There are possibly many things that you feel compelled to do after finding out that your suspicions are true.
Here are a few examples of what you might want to do right now…
— Find the “other person” and confront her or him about the affair.
— Run kicking and screaming at him or her and make sure they know how outraged you are that they lied and cheated.
— Throw all of his or her possessions out on the lawn, change the locks on your doors and try to erase him or her from your life.
— Run to your partner asking for a second chance and then do whatever it takes to win him or her back.
— Lock yourself in a room and just cry.
There’s really nothing necessarily wrong with any of these actions. As long as you aren’t hurting another person or yourself, there are no “right” answers. However, what you feel compelled to do in this moment –when facing the facts that your man lied to you and is cheating– might feel somehow satisfying right now, but it won’t serve you in the long-run.
Don’t make snap decisions unless you really have to.
This is what we strongly advise you to do…make sure that you are taking actions that will move you closer to the kind of future you want for yourself instead of further away from it.
Perhaps the last thing you are thinking about at this time is your future. You might not be able to see past your rage, your grief or whatever it is you are feeling.
Try not to make any snap decisions or cave in to your impulses, unless you really have to.
If, for example, your man is abusive or you feel in danger, then you certainly need to make a snap decision that will get you (and if you have children, them too) to safety.
You might also make the snap decision to stop any sexual intimacy with him or her. Knowing that your partner is cheating (or has cheated) might indicate to you that he or she is not a safe sexual partner right now.
If you do choose to continue sexual intimacy with your partner, be sure that you use protection.
We don’t advise you to ignore your impulses. There is often a lot of wisdom in what our gut instincts tell us to do. The trick is distinguishing between an intuitive gut instinct and an impulse that comes from anger or fear.
For right now, make note of the impulses you have.
Choose to sit with this impulse for at least a little bit of time (perhaps 24 hours or whatever you can do) before you act upon it. During that time, try to find ways to soothe yourself and gain as much clarity as you can as you consider how wise this impulse would be for your long-term well-being.
Gather support and helpful resources around you.
You will most definitely need sources of true support around you now and in the future. Keep an open mind as you write down a list of all possible sources of support that you can think of.
Be sure to include family, friends, acquaintances, community groups, professional counselors or coaches as well as helpful resources such as books, CDs, music, etc. It can be beneficial for you to merely make this list of all of the possible ways you could be supported and assisted during this difficult time. Even if you are willing to consider giving your man a second chance, make this list.
When you turn to someone for support, be clear with him or her about the kind of support you need. If you only want the person to listen, ask for that. If you are looking for advice, ask for that.
Perhaps you just want someone to join you in an activity that will make you laugh– ask for what you are looking for.
Give yourself full permission to ask for the specific kind of support you want right now and be willing to seek out the right person or resource to meet your current need.
Really think through your next best step.
The great thing about reaching out for support and then allowing yourself to receive it is that you can usually return to your calmer, more centered self. Yes, your world might still feel like it’s been turned upside down, but with support and self-love you can face this with more clarity.
From this clearer and supported place, re-consider the impulse that you’ve been drawn to do. Really evaluate whether this action will be in your best interests now and also in the long-term.
You might not know what will truly be best, but ask yourself if it is.
Really listen to the answer you provide. In most cases, you are your own greatest source of wisdom.
The challenge is to give yourself the space and support necessary for you to hear your own wisest counsel and then follow through from there.
You don’t have to plan out any further than you are able to. Take it one “best” step at a time.
If you are living with the question of whether to stay in or leave your relationship, before you take another step, check out our program at https://www.relationshipgold.com/stay-or-go.