Most often in the immediate aftermath of learning about a betrayal, they are just trying to figure out how to get through the day.
This is where crisis counseling techniques—grounding, being in the here and now, mindfulness, and walking through daily life strategies—is most useful to the client, as opposed to trying to understand why the cheating occurred.
In response, the betrayed often find themselves in the midst of an emotional and psychological tornado, spinning from one fear-based thought to another with little to no control—just like any other person in crisis.
In addition to In general, I find that most betrayed spouses are not looking to divorce—at least not at first.
The second pressing concern is what to tell the kids about the infidelity.
My first piece of advice here is that you need to remember that whatever you say now cannot be unsaid later on, so temper your comments.
No matter what, your kids don’t need to hear highly judgmental statements or graphic details.
Usually it is best if you and your spouse sit them down and tell them something like, “Your mom/dad and I are having some difficulties right now, but we’re trying to work through them.
A good couples’ therapist can guide you and your spouse through the process of full but non-graphic disclosure and the healthful processing your emotions afterward. Losing ten pounds, cooking his/her favorite dinner, dressing sexy, and becoming more overtly sexual will not stop infidelity. So please don’t sit around thinking, “If only I were prettier/richer/younger/whatever this wouldn’t have happened,” because that is just not true.
Over time, the clinician can also help you and your spouse heal from the pain of betrayal and reestablish relationship trust. Anyway, why would you want to have sex with a person you no longer trust? You should also ask for no more lying and secret-keeping (but don’t expect full compliance with this right away, because cover-ups are often second nature for cheaters).
We know that there is some tension in the house, and we want you to understand that it is not your fault.