Coping Strategies to Deal With Infidelity
Everybody copes. Coping is necessary to move through life. Anything that is thrown at us, we
need to learn how to cope with. The problem is, not everyone knows or chooses the helpful and
healthy way to cope. Many people choose the unhelpful, unhealthy, “feel good in the moment”
way to cope to get through it. Unfortunately, that is not going to help anyone in the long run.
Today I wanted to detail some coping strategies by giving contrasts of unhelpful versus helpful
ways. You can also gauge your coping skills here.
Powerless vs. Helpless:
You are powerless over people, places, and things. Some of us have the need for control and we seek the power to control others. You have to identify and realize that you don't have power over anyone. We cannot make people do, think, or feel any sort of way. But you are not helpless. YOU are powerful within your own strengths. You can regain power by taking control of your coping and feelings and emotions.
Processing vs. Suppressing:
Figuring out ways to process the pain to cope. Processing is when you are taking steps to cope with the pain and hurt. While suppressing is ignoring because it hurts too bad. Work, drugs, sex, alcohol are means to suppress. You need to be able to feel. You need to go through the steps.
Seeking help vs. Seeking Sympathy:
While both are actually important because you need to connect and you need someone to confide in or relate to but you need help. Seeking sympathy solely is unhealthy.
Solving vs. Obsessing:
We tend to obsess when something very emotional or traumatic happens. Remember you have a problem, that problem is discovering that your spouse was unfaithful. But now you have to think about how you are going to move forward for you, and/or your relationship. Obsessing will keep you in a negative mental state. Think of obsessing as being on a treadmill - you're doing the motions however you are stationary, you're going nowhere. You have to move forward and process through the pain.
Rational vs. emotional decisions:
Making emotional decisions aren't the best decisions we would make. You have to get yourself to a place where you are thinking logically so you can base your decisions on fact than on momentary feelings because it may not be what you ultimately want to do.
Correction vs. Punishment:
You may want your spouse to feel pain and the same emotions as you. But remember punishment is not correction. Punishment is not the way to reconcile or move forward. It's like the saying "two wrongs don't make a right." Although it may feel like the more satisfying thing to do, it's adding more damage than reconciliation. Punishment doesn't take away the pain in the long run.
I hope this helps give more of a distinction between helpful and unhelpful coping strategies. If
you need or would like to learn more about coping with your specific situation click here for