And so you have done the deed and are quite regretful about it. Lucky for you, all is forgiven and your partner is on the way of forgetting. All should be laughter and peace, right? Well, sadly, one of the consequences of cheating is that its effects will never quite go away, both for you and your partner. While your partner will go through the pain of betrayal and will continue to distrust you, you will go through guilt. It would help if you wouldn’t be reminded constantly about your past indiscretion but this would be unlikely. Cheating will bear scars in the marriage and you’d be reminded of it for the rest of your married life. So, to cope with this and continue be with the wife you must have loved her at the start, you have to trick your mind so that you won’t be overridden by guilt.
First stop before the mind games – Acceptance
Accept that you have committed a grave mistake – something with scars that will last a lifetime. Even if you both have worked it out, chose to compromise and mend it, the marriage will still bear the scar of infidelity – and of being caught at it. Now, this scar has some effects:
1. Assume that once in a while, every time you fall short of your partner’s expectations at whatever facet in your married life, you will be reminded and nagged with this kind of past transgression.
2. Expect that your partner will never fully trust you in the company with the opposite sex – ever.
3. Expect that you need to report your whereabouts in every second of the day years after you have cheated.
You might find this cumbersome, but you have to accept the fact that you have committed the mistake and need to live with the consequences for the rest of your life.
The mind tricks to be able to accept these effects of infidelity and not wallow in guilt?
1. See your partner as your boss where you have to report your progress. You are really a work in progress and you do need to work on the trust issues. But if it doesn’t do the trick, just aim to please your partner in these areas – reporting your whereabouts and keeping your focus on your partner when in the company of other people. Remember, bosses are not necessarily the bane of your neck. Just think that you are aiming for a promotion, something you have been longing for a long time and that pleasing your boss, in this case your partner, will bring and keep you there.
2. Program your mind and run on an autopilot. You have to know the signs of nagging coming your way. Retrieve the script on how to ease the tension, apologize or be meek if you must, and keep that smile – a genuine one – on your lips. You might need to go through a bunch of trial and error to perfect this but don’t worry, you have a lifetime to achieve just that.
3. See yourself as a wise man.
But hey, I have not been caught!
Okay, your partner didn’t realize that you have cheated and now you are being burdened with the guilt. Fortunately for you, you won’t be nagged about it as much as if you have been caught. The downside of course is that you will forever be (unless you get divorced) afraid of the shadows lurking in your past. But well, you can apply the first and last mind trick. Start focusing on pleasing your partner and find pleasure in it. Again, stop wallowing in guilt. Hey you did that, done that and now renewed so why feel guilty? Dismiss it like you did your love affair. And as for the secret? Well, this will depend on how deep the affair was. If it was just a vacation affair where no one will know the better of it, you better not revive it in your mind and move on. But if you have coveted the neighbor’s partner, not there, that is another thing and might be another article.
The greatest mind trick of all though is to fully accept you have committed a mistake at a time of your weaknesses. No use of crying more for your spilt milk – trite, yeah, but true. You will need to learn from it too and do your best to not focus on the guilt but on correcting the mistake that you have committed. And, don’t do it again – ever.