4. You can’t rebound from the self-esteem hit.
Be honest. Since you learned your partner cheated, have you been really hard on yourself? Are you blaming yourself for what happened? Are you feeling like an idiot for missing the signs? Do you question everything about yourself – your body, your hair, your eyes, your brain, etc.?
This happens after we are cheated on. We feel less than in every way. I mean, why would someone cheat on us? It can only be because we aren’t enough, correct?
I know that when I found out that my ex was cheating it threw me down into a darkness that I had never experienced before. Everything that I thought I knew about myself, I questioned. I was sure that I would never love or be loved again because I wasn’t worthy. I was sure that I would never survive the pain of what had happened.
But, after a time, my self-esteem rebounded. I found pleasure in life again doing volunteer work and getting my real estate license. I started dating and discovered that I was, in fact, loveable. I recognized what had happened in my relationship and took full ownership of my role in it. I healed.
I do believe that, if I had stayed in the relationship after the infidelity, I never would have been able to strengthen my self-esteem. I believe that if I was reminded every day about what had happened, if I compromised my principles, I just would have sunk deeper into that dark place, reliving what had happened over and over again.
So, if you are finding that your self-esteem is at rock bottom and not rebounding, then it might be time to walk away after infidelity. Your self-esteem is key to your happiness and if it stays in that dark place, you might never get it back.
5. Forgiveness is not an option.
Have all of the things above happened? Has your partner been willing to take ownership, have they been willing to talk about what happened, have they been willing to make a change, and is your self-esteem recovering?
And yet, in spite of this, are you finding it impossible to forgive your person for what happened and to move on?
I have a client whose wife was never able to forgive him for what happened, no matter how much he tried to work through it with her. And, while she refused to forgive him, she also refused to leave the marriage. As a result, they had 10 more years of misery together.
Imagine what would have happened if that wife had left the relationship because she couldn’t forgive her person. If instead of re-injuring herself whenever she looked at him, instead of holding onto a grudge for ten years. If she had just walked away after infidelity, she might have had a chance to find love and happiness instead of withering away in an unhappy marriage.
If you are finding that you cannot forgive your person for what they did, then it’s time to walk away after infidelity. Staying will only cause you more pain and prevent you from finding happiness.
Knowing when to walk away after infidelity can be really hard to do. But it’s very important part of moving on, either with your partner or alone.
The important things to watch out for are whether or not the cheater can take ownership, whether they’re willing to communicate and whether they’re willing to make a change.
It’s also important that you take accountability for where you are at. If your self-esteem is decimated and don’t seem to be recovering, perhaps it is time to walk away so that you can do what you need to do to rebuild your self-confidence. Furthermore, if there is no way that you can forgive your person there is no point in condemning yourself, and your partner, to a life of misery.
Know that, if it is time to walk away after infidelity, it’s OK. I know you feel like you will never be happy again and that you will never trust someone again but I can promise you that, with time, you will be able to find happiness and love and live happily ever after the way you’ve always wanted to.
Written By: Mitzi Bockmann Originally Appeared On: Let Your Dreams Begin