If you’ve been cheated on, no matter how it is revealed or how it is done, where, when, or with whom, the painful fact is that cheating means you’ve been lied to, manipulated, and your trust has been betrayed.
It’s like an earthquake shaking you to your core. And the aftershocks can seem even more painful and jarring. The consequences, repercussions, outcomes, emotions, and reactions seem to morph from moment to moment, and betrayed partners begin to feel like they will never be on solid ground again. “How will I survive this? How will we survive this?”
It is in these moments, after the betrayal is discovered, that the time for help is needed the most. There are steps you can take to find direction, stabilization, and hope. The good news is that there have been others before you. Countless people have been in the earthquake and survived, rebuilt their lives, and found purpose and joy again. And you can too.
When It All Breaks Bad, is a book born out of the collective insight, discernment, and experience of betrayed partners who have walked through the fire and come out the other side. I asked a group of betrayed partners to tell me the ten most important things that they needed to know and to do in the aftermath of betrayal, and the ten most important things to not do. I received shockingly similar lists. Over and over, the same things were expressed. The responses I got were written differently and highlighted a variety of circumstances, but the core issues were the same.
Each of the chapters in this book outlines one thing you should do and some of the pitfalls you should avoid as you begin your first steps towards recovery. I’ve listed the 10 things you should/should not do below but I encourage you to read the WHY behind each of these points. When you understand the inner workings of betrayal, your feelings and behaviors, and of your partners, you can better appreciate why these 10 Dos and Don’ts are critically important.
The 10 Things You Should Do and Not Do After Betrayal (according to those who have been there):
1. To Do: Get Expert Help
What Not to Do: Decide You Don’t Need Help
2. To Do: Reach for a Community of Support
What Not to Do: Isolate
3. To Do: Educate Yourself
What Not to Do: Overwhelm Yourself
4. To Do: Protect Your Physical Health
What Not to Do: Allow Betrayal Blindness to Put You at Risk
5. To Do: Know What to Expect from Your Cheating Partner
What Not to Do: Try to Find a Shortcut
6. To Do: Give Yourself Permission to Stay, Leave, or Not Know
What Not to Do: Make Big Decisions Fast
7. To Do: Know What You Have a Right to Know
What Not to Do:Ignore Your Gut
8. To Do: Ask for the Whole Truth
What Not to Do: Expose Yourself to More Trauma
9. To Do: Allow the Moment of Truth to Happen
What Not to Do: Avoid the Moment of Truth
10. To Do: Show Yourself Kindness
What Not to Do: Expect Too Much from Yourself