0088 – 8 “Harder Than They Sound”, But Honest Tips For Recovering From Cheating


How to recover and save your relationship if you or your partner has cheated.

Teaser Bullets

by the end of this episode you’ll learn:

  • … how to navigate the “right after”
  • the things you might go through that’ll be surprising to you
  • two phrases that’ll help your relationship into the future

Describe the problem

…You broke the rules, but you’ve decided to stay. Things suck right now, but you think your relationship might be able to make it through. So what are the steps you can take to get back to where you were? And is “getting back” even possible?

Segment #1

    • 8. Get the truth…the whole truth. Be brave. If you don’t know, ask. Commit to honesty. You don’t have to know details, but don’t piece together a truth that might not actually be true. When it’s time to have that talk, lay it all on the table so that you’re both on the same page about what happened, and where you want to go next.
    • 7. Go through the 5 Stages of Grief. Let’s face it, finding out about infidelity might in fact be like a death. You might have to grieve the loss of innocence in your relationship, the loss of trust, and yes, the relationship itself. While you still might have some foundation to continue your relationship on, you’ll likely need to say goodbye to the old “both of you.” Allow yourself to feel all the feels…it’s your brain’s way of helping you cope.
    • 6. Know Who is Responsible for What…both before and after: While it is entirely the fault of the partner who cheated for cheating, you both may need to dig through the circumstances that preceded the infidelity. That’s going to take some hard work, and you may be faced with nasty truths about yourself, your partner and your relationship.
    • 5. Embrace Imperfection–Marriage and relationships aren’t magic…and neither is your love for each other. You will not magically heal overnight, so embrace the new normal, which might be icky and hard and frankly, no fun at all for awhile.

Segment #2

    • 4. Expect the unexpected–A woman who worked through the infidelity of her husband wrote for Oprah magazine that she was surprised at all the weirdly conflicting emotions she had after he confessed. She said there were times when she felt pity for him, was more turned on than ever by him…and all while grieving the hurt he did to her and the marriage. Whatever you’re feeling–no matter how weird it is–it’s probably within the spectrum of what most humans feel when overcoming infidelity…and it’s okay.
    • 3. Have “Neutral Zone” Times–I know a couple who, after infidelity, forced themselves to go on a date every Friday night, whether they liked it (or each other) or not. They were not allowed to talk about the incident, but could only be on their best “date” behavior. For the first few weeks, it was miserable, and they barely talked at all. But after awhile, they re-learned how to relate to each other as a couple. Try creating those spaces for yourself.
    • 2. Get help…together and separately. Talk to someone…a pastor, counselor or advisor. Avoid getting advice from friends and family who may side with or against your partner. Both of you might have some tough issues to work through, and often a neutral third party can help provide an actionable roadmap to healing.


Final Thoughts:


Number One Tip: “I love you. I thank you.”

Father Josh talked about these two words being harder in some ways than “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you.” Tell your partner you love him or her (you still do, right?), then try to think of 3 things daily that you are grateful for about your partner…then actually express those things to each other. Gratitude will help you begin to remember and see the positive things you already love and appreciate about your partner, and will eventually help to overcome the negativity and hurt that entered your relationship.

  • Elijah’s Thoughts
  • Sarah’s Thoughts


In Closing

If you have a question, comment, or funny story about [INSERT SHOW TOPIC] you can send us an email at elijah@relationspodcast.com. You can also follow us on Twitter at “Haverelations”, find us on facebook at facebook.com/haverelations. I’m @elijahryoung on Twitter, my amazing co-host (and author of “How to be Dumped: The definitive Breakup Guide” is @sarahJStorer on Twitter and this show’s notes and soon, it’s transcription, will be at our home base, relationspodcast.com/[ShowNumber], and don’t forget to subscribe to the Get the Gal, or Get the Guy mini course in the sidebar!

Now go forth and continue to relate better to one another. We’ll talk soon.

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