Being betrayed by an unfaithful partner can shatter your self-esteem and destroy your ability to trust others.
While it’s important to recover from the initial fallout of the infidelity, it’s equally imperative that you take time to turn your attention to yourself and your wellbeing going forwards.
Healing from an affair takes time and patience with yourself.
Practice self-care – It’s not selfish. It’s essential.
Schedule time for YOU
You need to be making time for you. Put it in your diary and work out what you are going to do for you to recuperate, for yourself …. ‘Me time’.
It’s no good saying, “Oh, I’ve got to do this” “I’ve got to do that.” It’s almost like this is the precursor to be able to do those things.
Remember – If you don’t have anything to give anyone else, you can’t give it, so focus on you first.
It might sound obvious, but you can’t feed somebody if you’ve got empty shelves, you can’t lend money to somebody if you’ve got an empty purse, you can’t love other people unconditionally if you are emotionally empty. So in order to be emotionally full, one of the things you need to do is to take some ‘me time’.
And don’t be tempted to use the ‘me time’ that you scheduled for yourself to catch up on other things. It’s for you.
It’s absolutely necessary.
It’s essential emotional recuperation.
Get enough sleep
Go to bed earlier or have a lie in. SLEEP is essential.
If you get up earlier, sometimes before other people are up, you might be able to give yourself some time on your own. If other people are lying in or getting up later, you can get up earlier and make that time your own. I know of a betrayed partner who got up at half past three in the morning and went to bed at half past seven in the evening, just after his young kids went to bed.
What he found was that he was trying to do essential things in the evening at home, but it was at the end of the day and so he was tired as well as emotionally drained.
So at half past seven in the evening, he went to bed.
He went and got himself eight hours of sleep and he woke up about three in the morning. The kids were sleeping 10, 11, 12 hours because they were young kids. So he had himself four hours right at the start of the day when was really fresh, having recuperated from his sleep.
For the first 45 minutes he meditated and put himself into a calm and peaceful place to start the day. He told me that this practice alone transformed his recovery journey, regardless of his wife’s choices.
So work out what’s good for you, what you’ve got going on in your life and make sure that you get enough rest.
Use your ‘me time’ wisely
Use the time you have set aside EXCLUSIVELY for you.
As I suggested before, meditate, go get your hair cut or your nails done. Go for a walk or sleep or read a book. Watch an uplifting video or movie. Just something that lifts you, that charges your battery, not so that you don’t feel pressured about the pile of ironing that needs to be done, the emails that need to be written or, or anything else.
If you find it to be emotionally recouping to go outside and do some weeding and tending your plants for example, then great. But don’t go and tidy the garden because the garden needs to be tidied.
Whatever you choose to do has got to be recuperative, not getting something ticked off the list otherwise it will drain you emotionally, rather than fill you.
Learn to say “NO!”
If you are feeling overwhelmed by your feelings, just ask your spouse if you can just go and take time out for a couple of minutes, five minutes, 10 minutes by yourself. It might just be essential to get yourself back to a place of feeling grounded and connected.
Learn to say “no” to things.
Quite often we take things on, we say “yes” to things because we want to please people. We want people to like us because we don’t feel good enough about ourselves and so therefore we ended up running ourselves ragged because we were afraid of saying no to them.
Learn to say “no”. It’s okay. Trust me!
Remember, it’s your long term health that you’re doing this for so there’s no need to feel guilty about taking time for yourself.
I’ve spoken in previous blogs and here in my video about the ‘bottle analogy’.
This is where I liken your emotional system to a plastic bottle which has lots of tiny holes in it from critical comments that have been made to you throughout your life.
If you spend the rest of your life just filling up your bottle with water and you don’t address the holes in the walls, you’re going to be on an endless cycle of fill, drain, fill, drain.
So what you’ve got to do is start filling your bottle up, but also healing the holes at the same time. And part of this is learning about taking time for yourself, saying “no” more often and really valuing yourself so that you can get the the emotional replenishment that you need.
You are worth it!