How many couples will find out today that their partner is cheating on them? If you look at divorce statistics here in the United States, it adds up to plenty of heartbreak. According to the American Psychological Association, 90% of people marry for the first time by age fifty, and 40% to 50% of first marriages end in divorce. For subsequent marriages, the rate of divorce goes up. It’s true some marriages fail for other reasons—incompatibilities having nothing to do with cheating—but cheating is a huge reason why relationships fall apart. And lives and families fall apart if the infidelity leads to a break up.
George Clooney and Katherine Zeta-Jones starred in a Coen brothers’ black comedy about divorce and lawyers in the 2003 movie Intolerable Cruelty. It’s the kind of movie that stays with you. You can’t help laugh and cringe at the same time over the situations occurring with the married couples in the script. Much of the action is directed by this supposedly unbreakable prenuptial agreement invented by the attorney (played by Clooney) called the “Massey prenup.” The whole institution of marriage is laid bare for the audience to examine, and that puts a spotlight on the underpinnings of the institution of marriage, trust, and love.
When your trust is shattered, you may find yourself asking questions such as:
What does love mean anyway?
Can someone who professes love be capable of cheating?
How long is it going to take to feel just a little less shitty?
Why not me?
Oh my God, is this ever going to stop?
Am I ever going to feel like myself again?
If you read my last blog post (Be Your Own BFF), you already have an idea of the kind of tools that can help you to shift out of whatever fresh chaos life throws your way. These tools are perfect for any situation, but they are especially comforting for those dealing with betrayal. Here is the list of helpful tools to employ, but be sure to click over to the previous post to really dive into the details:
1. Do a body scan.
2. Say loving kindness phrases.
3. Stay connected with friends.
Infidelity can happen in any relationship that is agreed to be monogamous. In other words, the person who walks in on their partner with another lover is exactly the same as a spouse experiencing this in terms of the physical sensations and emotions coming up in one’s body. All the same tools can be employed to help you feel better, whether you are married or not. (Although I’m sure the tool you would like to have at that moment is a hammer!) Use the methods of loving kindness to triumph in the face of betrayal and rejection.