Psychologist Dr. Shirley Glass can’t tell you exactly what will happen when you find out your partner has been cheating on you, but she can give you a fairly good idea based on her 40 years of research into marital infidelity. Most people will go through several distinct stages of pain and readjustment, and how they and their partners go through them together determines whether their relationships will survive.
The first stage is the “Moment of Realization.” This is the precise time your suspicions are confirmed or that exact moment you find out in an undeniable way that your partner has been involved with someone else. If your partner tells you in person, you may have a better time of it than if you find out through a private detective you or by finding love emails. Either way, the moment is one of profound pain and suffering and one you never forget. In fact, most people remember everything about the moment and relive it in their minds a thousand times in “flashbacks.” They experience deep anxiety and feelings of being unsafe, and their adrenaline and stress levels increase in the same way they would if they were enduring physical threats to their lives. What’s really sad is that the one person who used to listen and share their problems has become the actual source of the danger they fear. They typically feel isolated, humiliated, afraid, and deeply depressed. (more…)