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You know the relationship started collapsing when infidelity became the main player in your life. These patterns can be especially daunting to the person on the receiving end, holding them hostage. If you are in a virulent relationship now and it's increasingly looking like you will never become whole, you're not alone. It is estimated that roughly 30 to 60 percent of all married individuals will engage in infidelity at some point. Spouses who are unfaithful are most likely to start cheating 3 to 5 years into their marriage. "These numbers are probably on the conservative side if you consider that close to half of all marriages end in divorce (people are more likely to stray as relationships fall apart; also see, who is likely to cheat)," researchers Todd K. Shackelford and David M. Buss discovered. Infidelity is more than a disturbance and coupled with broken trust, it could mean you're diminishing mentally, spiritually and emotionally within the union. How can you find wholeness again? Well, this road will be arduous as you already know! But consider these 7 steps on how to heal from adultery.

Get Real

Some cultures have adopted extreme measures to combat infidelity! There are female and male circumcisions and even death as a punishment. We are not advocating this and although the news of the affair is breaking your heart, you can't do anything illegal, so you need to take a pause, okay? First, you need to recognize the relationship is not just ragged, but unpredictable and maybe dangerous. Step back and honestly review what is unhealthy about it. Make a mental list or compile a physical list of the pros and cons of the relationship. Understand that we can’t change something if we don’t acknowledge it, so be honest with yourself. Andrea Bonior, Ph.D., adjunct professor of psychology at Georgetown University explained: "Keeping a finger on your own emotions can help you develop insight into the people in your life, so you can choose healthier situations."

Find Support

Healing after infidelity may take years because we often believe that marriage is eternal and that we have some crazy guarantee in the beginning. "Falling head-over-heals in love at the start of a relationship does not protect couples against infidelity. Intense feelings of love change over time," truthaboutdeception.com reported. You need to find assistance when a relationship is undergoing trials. Living in isolation will make things worse and you might start becoming depressed. Talk with friends, write in a journal, see a counselor or pray with others for help. Look into support groups and counseling when dealing with the initial shock of unfaithfulness so you don't have to do it solo.

Forgive Them

The Bible doesn’t mitigate words when it comes to forgiveness! Matthew 6:14-15 said we’ve all been wounded. If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your "Father in Heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, you Father will not forgive your sins.” We know this makes your flesh crawl, but there will never be harmony if you latch onto hate instead. You have a right to call it quits but work through the stage of grief and anger as this could keep you in despair. Another aspect of this is forgiving yourself! You did not make them cheat. They did this of their own volition.

Pamper Yourself

Make time to walk away from the stress of this ongoing debacle and tension. You need alone time and a chance to settle your mind. Find alone time to recharge, walk, pray or be still. If there are high expectations of bouncing back quickly, it puts you more at risk for disappointment. “Unrealistic expectations are potentially damaging because they set us and others up for failure,” said Selena C. Snow, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Rockville, MD. When we or someone else naturally falls short, we draw false conclusions, feel negative feelings and act in negative ways. To combat this you can travel, take a mental day, go for a massage, get BOTOX or renew a commitment to yourself!

Love Yourself

People generate false images of a flawless life on social media and in Hollywood. And when we compare our despair to their lustrous relationships, we feel even worse! The self-abuse may start to begin all over again or become heighten. Experiencing adultery rips your soul apart and tramples on dreams along with your self-worth. Stop comparing yourself to other people, because it's ineffective. When we are suffering from a power shortage of self-esteem, we will submerge deeper into obscurity when we compare ourselves to others.

Face the Pain

No one likes to deal with conflict and sometimes running away from a conflict is compelling. Yet, you know in your heart that exposure to a confrontation makes you stronger for the long game. When problems happen, we need to take care of them, not run away from them. However, you can't do this until you sorted out your feelings and walked away from the relationship as needed.

Laugh Again

Who can laugh with all this drama going on? You need to find something else to think about, so go ahead watch a funny movie or giggle with friends as you need it. Do something unscripted like going to an amusement park or go dancing. The act of laughing will improve your mood as well. Psychologist Paul Ekman of the Human Interaction Lab at the University of California found that even fake smiles produce equal changes in brain activity, skin temperature, heart rate and exhalation. Go ahead and have fun and while you're at it, try being a kid for a moment!

Healing will take time for anyone undergoing the trauma of adultery if they refuse to plunge into despair.
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