Updated: Oct 5, 2022
The shock of discovering that your spouse has been unfaithful sets your body, soul, and mind into trauma and survival mode. This checklist are must-do's that I instruct my clients to tend to themselves actively, frequently, and regularly during the initial crisis of post-affair-discovery.
Sleep: Even if it requires use of gentle and non-habit forming over the counter sleep aids. If you aren't logging sleep you will struggle to do anything else. Sleep will be difficult to impossible, so prioritize it and create conditions to support getting it.
Eat nourishing foods. Having a trauma response that includes upset stomach, loss of appetite, and involuntary weight-loss is common. You are under tremendous stress and shock. If you can take care of yourself by focusing on feeding yourself food that is nutrient rich and nourishing you'll be doing your part to take care of you.
Connect with safe, supportive friends and loved ones. Sometimes you will want to talk about what's happened. Other times you aren't ready or you can't. Be mindful of who you connect with and give yourself the level of love and connection that is plentiful and helpful outside of your marriage.
Massage: Safe and therapeutic touch can aid in healing and self-soothing.
Yoga: Yoga is a grounding practice that helps you connect with y ourself in body, mind, and soul in a healing, strengthening, safe and meditative way.
Walk: Having your feet on the ground helps you actively move through your thoughts and feelings. Walking, running, or hiking as a response to your grief and shock can greatly aid in healing and processing what's happened.
Meditate: Guided meditations actively counterbalance the rumination and intrusive thoughts that commonly accompany the trauma post-affair-discovery. My favorite apps are the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, Insight Timer, and Calm Apps. There are endless resources to supply you with meditations for any and every need.
Journal: You need a place to express your overflowing and overwhelming confusion, fear, anger, sadness, uncertainty, rage, and any and all other feelings. Write when you're all full, write when you're grieving, write when you want to explode on your spouse, write it all. Your journal will be your ally as you embark on this journey of healing.
The shock waves of affair discovery put your nervous system into hyperdrive. You've got to double-down on taking care of you to get through. This will serve you long into the future, whether you stay with your spouse or heal alone, learning and knowing how to take care of and provide for your own needs is essential. It's a huge part in restoring self-trust.
Create practices for yourself and care routines that ensure your basic needs are being met; ones that nurture you during a time when things feel hopeless, impossible, and uncertain. And remember that a huge part of self-care includes reaching out for therapy and help from professionals who can aid in your process: you don't have to go it alone.
Lauren provides boots-on-the-ground lived experience combined with invaluable professional expertise working with infidelity. She is committed to helping individuals and couples deal with and heal from marital affairs in a highly effective, yet warm and judgment-free style.
Lauren's articles help share much-needed information, and reduce the stigma and shame around the common experience of infidelity. Contact Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about working together.
Lauren, Affair Specialist