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How can I deal with that cheating *#%* in our divorce?

You’ve given your heart and soul to your spouse for years. But at some point, you grew more distant, and you noticed suspicious changes. After some digging, your intuition was correct. Your spouse has been cheating on you! How do you deal with that? And what’s the problem with carrying these feelings into your divorce?

You may wish horrible things on your spouse (don’t act on it!). You may mourn your relationship and think you’re no good. You may be angry at yourself for not seeing this coming, not asking more questions and/or not trying to fix your relationship earlier. You may feel anger, disappointment, resentment, confusion, guilt, and other negative emotions.

You can’t prevent your significant other from cheating, and you can’t change the fact that it happened. However, if you don’t gain control of your emotions heading into your divorce, it can devastate you psychologically and financially.

Why do you need to keep your emotions in check?
If you can’t effectively process the negative emotions associated with your spouse’s cheating on you, you’ll likely pay the price psychologically. It may feel productive to be angry at your spouse. “Why wouldn’t I, don’t I have every right to be angry after what I’ve been through?” … you may think. And you’re right, you do have the right to feel that way.

However, the real question is “What price are you willing to pay for engaging in the catharsis of fuming, venting and ruminating on how you’ve been wronged?” If it costs you your psychological well-being, do you still want to hate and wish hell on your spouse?

The bottom line is that although it may feel good while you’re doing it, wishing bad things on other people or being angry with them in general is a psychological burden. It does not lead to happiness, and in fact, is likely to cause misery. Not to mention, it’s bad for your health too. Resentment is bad for your heart and bad for your mind.

Another reason to move toward letting go is to protect your finances in divorce. There’s nothing a integrity-less divorce lawyer loves more than an angry, vengeful client. The optimist in you may think it’s because the attorney likes you and wants to “fight” for you.

But the truth is, your anger is a means of profit for the legal profession. If you’re not thinking clearly, you’re more likely to spend money on revenge.

This not only hurts your wallet, but it also kills your credibility in court, which may hurt your chances of obtaining what you actually want and need as part of your divorce.

How can you keep your emotions in check?
How can you effectively manage these thoughts and feelings and position yourself to focus on your case to optimize your chances of a good outcome?

Not everyone’s built the same. Some people are better able to manage adversity than others. But very few people are not affected by losing trust in someone close, by having their heart smashed to pieces.

First, you have to face the emotions causing the inner turmoil. Negative feelings must be confronted and processed or they’ll eat away at your psyche. And they’ll also inhibit your ability to reason and to analyze your circumstances objectively, which is one of the keys to achieving a good outcome in your divorce.

The problem is that we’re not born with the knowledge of how to effectively cope with these feelings. We weren’t given an instruction manual on this. It’s not as easy as “forget about it, move on.” Suppressing the anger will only result in the hurt manifesting in more destructive ways down the line. It’s best to deal with it now.

There’s a lot of self-help material available that’ll educate you on how to cope with these issues. You can run google searches on “coping with cheating” and you’ll be able to access a lot of reliable content on the topic.

However, depending on the intensity of the negative feelings, it may also benefit you to see a psychologist. I recommend a Phd. as they’re generally better educated than lower level “therapists.” Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is widely regarded as effective in helping individuals process thoughts and analyze feelings more objectively. Think of it as going to a specialist who can help you access the best tools available to help you process these difficult issues.

As a bonus, you can use these tools beyond your divorce and going forward, as this may not be the last time you’ll be disappointed and hurt.

Summary
By removing negative and destructive feelings, you’ll position yourself for more happiness moving forward. And you’ll be much better able to make rational choices about your case. What do you really want in your divorce? What can you do without? Ridding yourself of the negativity will help you think more clearly and position you for a better outcome. And as a bonus, it will likely cost you much less in legal fees.

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