Let me start by calling it like it is. Finding out you’ve been cheated on sucks, plain and simple. It sucks.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, how evolved you are, or whether you’ve been together for one year or 30. The tsunami of shock, horror, anger, and resentment, and a whole host of other emotions feels like a nightmare, and in the early days, you wish someone would shake you awake and make it all go away.
Discovering trust has been broken, double lives have been lived, lies have been concealed, and tracks have been covered can have devastating emotional effects and can strip one’s feelings of self-worth to the core.
Divorce on its own is hard enough. Layer on infidelity, and you’ve got an even bigger mountain to climb. What’s waiting for you at the top of the mountain? Better views.
When I found myself smack dab in the reality of navigating divorce in the midst of betrayal, I knew I had a very important decision to make. I could either go down the path of blaming, shaming, guilting, and all of the other ugly emotions that would keep me stuck, or I could navigate this the spiritual way.
I chose the spiritual path.
Why? Because everything that I really wanted could only be accessed by letting my soul lead the way.
Here are 7 powerful ways to help you navigate your divorce due to infidelity:
1. Honor Your Emotions
Expect to feel a wide range of emotions in the aftermath and know that you’re entitled to every single one of them.
The path through healing isn’t linear, and you’ll experience a whirlwind of emotions, all coming without the courtesy of a warning and in varying degrees.
Take time to honor and validate all of these emotions. They’re all a real part and parcel of your human experience. They’re actually a blessing in disguise, although it’s hard to see when you feel like you’re at rock bottom. Resist the urge to judge or critique yourself. Appreciate them for what they are, and trust that they’ll play a role in helping you find sunnier skies in the days ahead.
One of my favorite Buddhist phrases is, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” We all experience pain, and we always have a choice in how we deal with the pain. Staying stuck in pain holds us in suffering, and stepping out of pain moves us into healing. Healing is where the magic happens.
2. Get Really Honest With Yourself
This is where the rubber meets the road. I did a lot of work reflecting on the concept of betrayal.
Betrayal doesn’t only involve other people; sometimes, we betray ourselves.
I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “Have you been completely honest with yourself about your feelings? What part did you play in this? Have you been showing up authentically?”
If we don’t address the real issues by getting super vulnerable and transparent, we only defer our healing and make it more difficult to move forward in a healthy and productive way.
3. Anchor on Your Core Values
I was fiercely committed to navigating this process the spiritual way, and to support that, I chose three core values that I anchored during the process and wove them into my state of being. Choose three soul-based core values that you want to embody and challenge yourself to keep coming back to those.
After the initial shock wore off, I sat down with a pen and paper and wrote down the words grace, compassion, and forgiveness.
In every moment, I asked myself, “How can I choose grace? How can I show compassion? How can I work toward forgiveness?”
4. Resist the Urge To Retaliate
Finding out you’ve been betrayed may spark feelings of retaliation. We can’t always control what happens to us in life, but we are always responsible for how we show up.
As the old adage goes, the best revenge is living well. Live well. Nourish your mind, body, and spirit. Enjoy the little things. Eat delicious food. Savor each moment. Express gratitude. Find peace.
Keep turning your attention back to yourself and do something to enrich your life.
5. Understand That Either Path Is Hard
Make no mistake, the spiritual path isn’t easy. But neither is NOT taking the spiritual path. You’ve got to take one path or another, which comes with its own set of “hard.” One path fuels your evolution, and one path keeps you stuck.
6. Take Care of Yourself
Self-care should be the cornerstone regardless of the season of life you’re in, but a stormy season such as this calls for an extra dose of TLC.
Take time to fill up your pitcher, and don’t feel guilty about it. Physical exercise, nutrition, sleep, relaxation, massage, mani/pedi, and the list goes on. Keep checking in with yourself by asking, “How do I feel...physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. What do I need?” If you’re tired, take a short rest. If you’re hungry, make a nutritious meal. If you’re stressed, take time to breathe.
Give yourself the space and grace to heal.
7. Believe in the Benevolence of the Universe
Every experience we have, positive or challenging, plays a role in delivering us to the very moment we are living, and the discovery of infidelity is no exception.
The universe always has our highest good in mind, and although we may not be able to understand the events of our lives in the moment, the universe is always arranging the pieces of our lives in our favor, and we just need to show up and trust the process.
Infidelity can feel like chaos on the surface, but underneath it all is a divinely orchestrated plan. Trust that this is happening for you, not to you.
Divorce on its own can be challenging, but the added layer of infidelity adds a whole new set of complexities and emotions. Will you choose the spiritual path?
WRITTEN BYPamela Savino