Infidelity can put us into a place of suffering long-term stress, especially if we stay with our husbands while we heal, or need to keep communicating with them if we separate. Our brains keep returning to the infidelity stress whenever we get triggered. Being triggered often leads to fights between our partner and us.
Are you overcome with infidelity stress since discovering your husband cheated on you?
I just left our coaching call lesson on mindfulness so inspired to keep prioritizing self-care in my life. All of us on the call are busy women with little spare time. Yet creating habits to do self-care can be easy when we look at what we already do in our lives and learn to see our situations differently. Seeing opportunities to heal ourselves in practical ways straightforwardly sets us free from feeling self-care is just another chore. Healing through self-care becomes a new way of living.
Mindfulness, an important self-care activity, is such an amazingly simple, yet scientifically proven, way of reducing infidelity stress. There are so many practical ways of being mindful to help us overcome and handle stress and our stress-inducing triggers. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we're sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining what the future might be. It is a simple yet effective way of giving our brain a much-needed respite so it can heal our infidelity stress.
The Stress of Infidelity Impacts All Areas of Our Life
So why is self-care and relieving our infidelity stress so crucial?
According to Dr. Jockers, (a doctor of natural medicine, functional nutritionist, and corrective care chiropractor), it can become a serious problem when you are in a constant stress state. Chronic stress can affect your entire body (respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, nervous, reproductive, and endocrine systems). It can impact your physical health, mental health, spiritual health, relationships, professional and social life, and other aspects of your life.
Dr. Jocker’s full article is Stress Resilience: 12 Strategies to Grow Stronger Through Stress
Infidelity can cause long-term stress
Infidelity can put us into a place of suffering long-term stress, especially if we stay with our husbands while we heal, or need to keep communicating with them. The author of Intimate Deception, Dr. Sheri Keffer, says that it takes 3 to 5 years to heal from sexual addiction. And Dr.'s Amir Levine and Rachel Heller, the authors of Attached, says it takes 4 years to become securely attached. These are long time time frames. Even if our partner isn’t an addict or doesn't have attachment wounds, it still takes considerable time for them to recover from the dysfunction that caused them to cheat.
This healing journey to recover from their betrayal is a marathon, not a short sprint. Healing takes a lot longer than we hoped it would, and the road is not always easy. We learn that to survive this marathon; we need to pace ourselves, get support, and plan for the journey; otherwise, we will burn out fast. We also have to determine how to handle our triggers, de-stress, and not to hurt ourselves further.
We want to walk out of our infidelity experience healthy
Our aim should be to keep our bodies and minds disease-free and walk out of this healing journey whole, strong and healthy, not broken, sick or worst, never leaving the pain behind us. We want to walk out of this painful experience healthy.
Research tells us that being in an unhealthy relationship is more harmful than smoking, drinking, and eating an unhealthy diet and that people in unhealthy relationships die ten years earlier than those in healthy relationships. That was terrifying information for me to hear. It created stress in me as I felt so trapped in a situation I didn't created.
Triggers Cause Stress
Unfortunately our brains keep returning to the infidelity stress whenever we get triggered. Triggers can happen anywhere or at any time, anniversaries, holidays, birthdays, places, comments, a look or an attitude from our partner, a movie scene, our partner relapsing, the list can go on….
We need to learn to manage our emotions and quickly return to rest and repair our bodies and minds after being triggered.
However, when we are carrying stress, we often react instead of calming down, and this can become a cycle. The more reactive we get, the more reactive we become, and so on. It leaves us spinning out of control. And then that triggers us even more!
Triggers can lead to fights
Being triggered often leads to fights between our partner and us. Arguments are futile, and they hurt us, create more stress, and trigger us further. Fighting and being triggered diverts us away from healing. Yet we need to heal to talk with our partner calmly to move forward from the affair. They usually won’t hear us if we are fighting or triggered. Unfortunately, not being listened to leads to more disconnection between our partner and us, making us feel worse and even further triggered.
Self-care helps us manage triggers
Self-care helps us manage ourselves so we can heal. In particular, mindfulness strengthens the integration between the part of the brain that gets triggered and the calming part of our brain.
Managing our triggers is an example of how post-traumatic growth can happen when we apply self-care. Post-traumatic growth is us becoming more robust and better able to handle triggers, difficult conversations, and the ups and downs life brings our way.
Self-care is us taking control of our stress
We didn’t have control over our husband cheating...that was on them. However, we do have control over how we heal and manage the stress the infidelity caused us. Our healing is on us. It may not be fair, but it is a fact of life for us now. That is why we turn to self-care. If you want support in applying self-care into your life, join my 18-week coaching course and learn how.
If you need support with controling your infidelity stress, please reach out. I am gifting a coaching call to those who need help with their healing journey.