Those of you devastated by cheating may wonder if there is life after infidelity. As a therapist who has dealt with this issue I can happily tell you that yes, there is life after betrayal. I have helped many couples rebuild after this kind of devastating revelation or move on to happier and more fulfilling relationships after an affair rocked their world.
"I, like many, was shocked(ok, maybe not shocked but slightly interested) and saddened by the news of Kristen Stewart’s (Twilight) “indiscretion” even though I am still not sure why I care given I don’t know either one personally.
I guess it is because infidelity is so universal, and so life-shattering that I decided to write an open letter to the 'betrayed", Robert Pattinson, hoping some of you who are dealing with the same wreckage will find comfort and understanding from my words."
Dear Robert Pattinson:
"I, along with much of the world, am sorry and saddened to hear of the recent events in your relationship with Kristen Stewart. I can only imagine the pain and devastation you must be feeling right now.
Life after infidelity can be difficult to bear. I imagine you must be drowning in a myriad of emotions. Feelings of anger, hurt, sadness, insecurity and confusion are surely running rampant in your head. Sleep may elude you, as well as any kind of appetite, and just trying to complete simple tasks like brushing your teeth probably feels like an impossible endeavor. As you work through this tornado of emotions I hope you recognize that the first step in dealing with this chaotic haze is to allow yourself time to grieve. Because one grieves when one experiences a loss. And you have experienced a huge loss. You are dealing with the death of your relationship as you knew it. The person you thought you knew so well is not that person at all. Your own old beliefs and ideals must be buried so new ones can grow. And if that isn't enough, now you must decide if you want to do the work to rebuild this into a better relationship or let go of it entirely.
Whatever road you choose, it is imperative to gain some understanding of what went wrong and why. And that may mean one last conversation with the "betrayer", as painful as that may be. Because you can't move forward to health and happiness unless you understand and can put meaning to the heartbreaks of the past. Don't accept an answer of "I don't know". It won't help you or her move past this tragedy. Look at and take responsibility for your own failings within the relationship. Even if it is just recognizing that you didn't recognize anything was wrong.
If you do these things I assure you, it will get better. It may not seem like it right now, when you are in the midst of this dark dreadful storm, but one day and soon, a stream of light will start shining through those dark menacing clouds. Constant thoughts of the affair will lessen. Eventually, a whole day will go by without event thinking about it. One day you will smile again. Laughter will follow. You will love and trust again. Your life after infidelity will be happy. That is my promise."
Wishing you health, happiness and fulfilling relationships.
- Melanie Cohn