Letting go of past relationships sounds like a ‘must do’ but not every time it’s an achievable thing. Especially when the relationship was tagged ‘past’ because of your ex’s infidelity. It’s not always that the said person’s memories haunt you but the fear of being vulnerable and fear of getting hurt again holds you back.
Afterwards, when you find yourself in a new relationship, these insecurities of yours can negatively and directly impact all your future relationships.
Have you started seeing the most amazing person but are you realizing that you are letting an ex’s infidelity sabotage your new relationship?
Did learning that your ex cheated devastate you and leave you with residual PTSD and trust issues?
Struggling with past infidelity is common for people when they get into a new relationship after their old one is torn apart by an affair.
Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to get over the past and move on to find the happiness you seek.
1. Get Help.
If your ex’s infidelity is affecting your new relationship, then you most likely have trust issues. You don’t believe that someone else wouldn’t do to you what has been done before.
The best way to get rid of those trust issues is by talking to someone, either a therapist or a life coach. These professionals can help you process why those trust issues exist and help you with tools to manage them so that they don’t control your life or destroy your new relationship.
If you aren’t comfortable talking to someone, do some research online. There are lots of articles out there that will help you dig into your trust issues and teach you how to manage them.
What you shouldn’t do is talk to your friends about these issues. Your friends were probably there for you when you were struggling and they might encourage you to be distrustful of a new person, especially if they too have been cheated on in the past.
Friends are great but they often bring their own stuff into a conversation and that won’t help you get past those trust issues so that you can have the healthy relationship you want.
2. Consider Your Role In The Old Relationship.
Infidelity doesn’t happen in a void – there are two partners in every relationship and their issues are usually the result of both parties. I am not saying that it is your fault that your ex cheated but your relationship was fragile enough that your partner strayed, trying to find something that was missing.
When my ex cheated on me, I was devastated. While I don’t blame myself for his cheating, in retrospect I have realized that I helped create the Petrie dish in which my partner’s infidelity developed. I was contemptuous of him, always questioning why he did or didn’t do things. We lived apart often, because of work or the kids. We never made love. I was always in charge. Etc.
None of these things made him feel loved or respected and eventually, he met someone who makes him feel both. And he left.
In my relationships since then, I have worked hard to not create an atmosphere where my partner would look elsewhere for love or affection. I work hard to communicate instead of being passive-aggressive and treating my guy with contempt. I make sure we make love and that the power in the relationship is even.
It’s not always easy because old habits are hard to break, but doing so has kept our relationship strong and infidelity proof.
So, take a look at your behaviors in your new relationship and make sure that you aren’t repeating ancient history yourself.
3. Don’t Project Old Stuff On Your New Partner.
You have a new partner. They are a wonderful partner. You fell in love with them for a reason. They aren’t your old partner.
One of the biggest challenges in new relationships is that we bring our baggage into it. The feelings about things that happened in the past come with us into that relationship and can wreak havoc when they do so.