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Infidelity & Depression: Go-To Ways to Recover

Updated: Apr 21

Silhouette of man and woman after infidelity

Infidelity is a seismic event in the landscape of a relationship, leaving profound emotional scars. 

The journey through the aftermath often leads individuals into the depths of depression, clouding their lives with grief, betrayal, and a loss of self.

In my work as a coach specialising in infidelity recovery, I guide clients from this darkness into a light of understanding, healing, and empowerment.

Understanding the Scale of Impact:

Statistics reveal the pervasiveness and severity of infidelity's impact.

  • According to the Office of National Statistics, Infidelity was cited as one of the most common reasons for divorce in the UK.

  • One study cites that women who had experienced threats of marital dissolution or their husband's infidelity were six times more likely to be diagnosed with a major depressive episode than those who had not experienced either of those events.

  • Another study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior reports that infidelity victims frequently experience symptoms akin to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

10 Go-to ways to recover

Dealing with infidelity can be one of life's most distressing experiences. The breach of trust and shattered expectations can often lead to disarray of emotions.

However, it's essential to recognise that while recovery may be challenging, it’s possible.

Here are some go-to ways to heal and rebuild in the aftermath of infidelity.

1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

Begin to recognise and accept your feelings of hurt, anger, sadness, or betrayal. These emotions are a natural response to a significant breach of trust. Denying them or pushing them away can prolong the healing process. Allow yourself to grieve the loss of the relationship as it was.

2. Build a Support System

Reach out to friends and family members who can offer understanding and support. Isolation can exacerbate feelings of depression, so it's important to connect with others.

Additionally, consider joining support groups where you can meet others who have gone through similar experiences such as communities. However, before joining any communities it's better to consider the following points. For example:

  • Look for moderated groups with a respectful environment

  • Groups that focus on healing 

  • Groups that share diverse perspectives and encourage reflection

3. Establish Boundaries

If you decide to stay in the relationship, setting clear boundaries is crucial. These boundaries could include; the amount of time spent discussing the affair, specific requests around honesty, seeking individual or couples therapy, or seeking space from the relationship to evaluate your feelings.

And, if you choose to leave, establish boundaries for communication and interaction that protect your emotional well-being, especially important if ongoing communication is required should there be children and/or shared finances or assets. This can be a painful and triggering time so define what you are comfortable with by prioritising your wellbeing.

4. Engage in Self-Care

Focus on activities that promote your physical and emotional health. This could include regular exercise, a healthy diet, sufficient sleep, and engaging in hobbies or activities that you enjoy. Self-care is vital in managing stress and depression. Withdrawing is a common response and although self-time is invaluable, too much can lead to disconnecting with friends and family and instead perpetuate the cycle of pain.

5. Reflect on the Relationship

Reflecting on the relationship, both the good and bad aspects, can provide valuable insights. It can help you understand what you need and want in a relationship and what might have gone wrong. This reflection is not about placing blame but about understanding and learning. Even when the urge to blame is very strong, ask yourself, "Is blaming either my partner or myself helping me?"

6. Forgive at Your Own Pace

Luke Shillings holding green card saying' Forgive, Don't forget!'

Forgiveness is a personal journey and happens on your timeline. It's not about condoning the betrayal but about letting go of the anger and hurt for your peace of mind.

Whether you stay in the relationship or not, forgiveness can be a powerful tool for healing. Forgiveness is not binary, "I forgive" or "I don't forgive" as an example. Instead, it's about saying "I'm learning to forgive" or "I'm choosing to forgive" and believing that choice.

7. Explore New Interests

After such a significant life event, exploring new interests or revisiting old ones can be incredibly empowering. It can help you redefine your identity, increase your self-esteem, and offer a sense of fulfilment and purpose.

8. Set Future Goals

Setting goals for your future, whether they are personal, professional, or related to your relationships, can give you a sense of direction and hope. These goals can be small or significant, but they should be meaningful to you.

9. Practice Patience and Kindness with Yourself

Recovering from infidelity and depression is a process that takes time. Be patient and kind to yourself. Acknowledge your progress, no matter how small, and remember that healing is not linear.

10. Seek Professional Help for Depression after Infidelity

Recovering from the emotional impact of infidelity can be overwhelming. A therapist or counsellor specialising in relationships and infidelity can provide the necessary guidance and support. Therapy can be a safe space to express your feelings, gain perspective, and develop coping strategies.

Note: Symptoms similar to depression are a common response to the shock of betrayal, and difficulties sleeping, loss of appetite, low mood, tearfulness, and more are not unusual for the first 2-4 weeks, If you continue to experience depression symptoms most of the day, every day, beyond this without noticeable improvement then please discuss your symptoms with a healthcare professional or a therapist. (These are guidelines only - if in doubt, seek support)

Embracing Empathy and Expertise

As someone who has navigated these challenges, I bring not just theoretical knowledge but lived experience and empathy. Combining this with my professional credentials as a certified life coach, I create a safe and understanding space for my clients to heal.

A Structured Recovery Plan


  1. Acknowledging Emotions: Creating a space where clients can express and validate their feelings, is essential for mental health. Research indicates that emotional expression is a key step in recovering from traumatic experiences.

  2. Self-Care and Rebuilding Self-Worth: Encouraging activities that foster self-esteem and personal well-being, which are vital in overcoming depression. Studies have shown that self-care practices can significantly reduce symptoms of depression.

  3. Building Emotional Resilience: Introducing strategies like mindfulness and cognitive-behavioural techniques, proven to be effective in managing depression and anxiety as per clinical research.

  4. Understanding Infidelity Dynamics: Providing insights into the why’s and how’s of infidelity, which can be crucial for healing and future relationship choices.

Re-establishing Trust: Whether rebuilding the relationship or starting anew, learning to trust again is a journey supported by clear communication and boundary setting.

Build a future you can TRUST - Start now ...

Build a Future You Trust - Starting With You!

Talking about an affair requires sensitivity and empathy. As your coach, I provide a secure, impartial environment. During our free Discovery Call, we'll engage in a 30-minute, relaxed discussion, where we'll explore valuable insights together.

Extended Support Through Resources

Person listening to after the affair podcast on smartphone

My podcast, "After the Affair", along with other resources like articles and workbooks, offers additional support.

These tools draw from the latest research and expert opinions, providing a well-rounded approach to healing.

The journey to recovery starts with a simple, yet powerful step – reaching out for help. This could be through scheduling a discovery call, engaging with available resources, or simply listening to an episode of the podcast.

Promising a Renewed Self

This journey is not just about moving past infidelity and depression; it’s about emerging as a stronger, more self-aware individual. Clients learn valuable life skills, gain a deeper understanding of their emotional needs, and learn effective communication techniques, all essential for building healthier future relationships.

To wrap it up

Infidelity and the subsequent slide into depression are daunting, but they are not insurmountable. You can navigate this challenging phase of your life with the right guidance, support, and a commitment to self-care. This journey is about transforming a narrative of betrayal and pain into one of empowerment and hope.

Remember! You're not alone in this journey. If you're struggling with any of the issues I have touched on in today's article, let's have a chat.

Book a FREE 30-MINUTE CALL TODAY, and I’ll discuss how you can move forward after your partner has been unfaithful. Embrace this chance to rebuild and rediscover strength and resilience.

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