Mediating Conflict,
Embracing Peace

Divorcing after you have been cheated on

When two people vow to spend their lives together, they likely understand that the process of marital commitment will not always be easy. It is for precisely this reason that traditional wedding vows bind a couple together for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health. The vows themselves explore the idea that marriage has its ups and downs and by committing to each other, a couple acknowledges this reality. However, few individuals foresee that the person they are committing themselves to will ever truly betray them. And oftentimes, betrayal serves as very understandable grounds for divorce.

If your spouse has betrayed you by cheating on you, you likely feel blindsided. You may feel disoriented, deeply hurt, incredibly angry and a host of other justified negative emotions. It is important that you process these emotions in a healthy way and that you seek whatever support you need to do so. Failure to process the betrayal which inspired your divorce may negatively impact both your divorce process and your future life as a single individual.

Processing betrayal occurs in stages. It is important not to make too many significant decisions during any one stage of processing without first checking in with members of your support system whom you trust. Otherwise, you may make decisions that feel absolutely right in the moment, but that are ultimately contrary to your self interest.

For example, if you are very, very low due to the devastation you feel, you may be tempted not to fight for any property in the divorce just so you can get the process over with. However, while processing anger, you may be tempted to go after every piece of property you own jointly. Neither of these approaches to property division is terribly realistic or healthy under most circumstances. Therefore, checking in with trusted support people can help you to balance your approach while you are processing different phases of grief following a betrayal.

Source: The Huffington Post, “15 Unavoidable Stages You Go Through After Getting Cheated On,†Kat George, Jan. 24, 2015