Monika Hendrix

healing from infidelity: choosing to leave 


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Monika Hendrix

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Welcome to my world of trauma recovery! In my bog, you'll find valuable articles about trauma recovery, relationships, and leadership development. I'm so grateful that you've felt called to drop in and connect with me here. 

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Hi, I'm monika

In Part 1 of this post I wrote about the impact that infidelity can have on your partnership if you choose to stay with the person who cheated on you. 

In this post, we’re going to unpack the process of a ‘post-cheating’ break up. 

Get ready, ‘cause it’s gonna get messy! 

You know that sinking feeling that you get in your gut when you just KNOW something is ‘off’ with your relationship? 

Your partner seems to be withdrawing from you more and more and the two of you haven’t really been communicating openly and honestly with one another about your needs and feelings…

Then one day, it happens. You find out they’ve been unfaithful to you. Maybe you even have tangible proof, like a text or even worse-you’ve caught them in the act! 

Your blood rushes to your feet. Flashes of heat travel up and down your body like electricity and your palms begin to sweat. 

Your heart rate increases while simultaneously, your belly flips and a wave of undulating nausea sweeps over your entire being. 


You implode and explode and you feel nothing more than the sting of betrayal running through your veins. 

(Been there in the past. It sucks!!)

Once the initial shock wears off, the grieving process begins to take place. 

You are now grieving the loss of your identity in that relationship, and possibly the loss of your own dignity. 

Your ego might flare up at this point. “Who the hell do they think they are?! Cheating on ME?!” 

This prideful anger is often followed by sadness. Extreme sadness. And before you know it, you’re curled up in the fetal position with a couple of boxes of Kleenex, drowning in your unprocessed emotions. 

Whew. That felt heavy, even writing it! 

So, what next? 

You decide you want to end the relationship. You’re breaking up with the person who betrayed your trust and you’re moving on with your life. 

Ha! Easier said than done, right? 

Actually, it can be….

Breakups post-cheating don’t have to be this long, dramatic, drawn out obsession-filled rollercoaster. 

You CAN end the relationship with your dignity intact, and you CAN learn to open your heart to trust again so that you don’t carry your wounding into your next relationship. 

There are 3 SIMPLE STEPS you can take after you’ve been cheated on, that will help you end the relationship, grieve the breakup, and move on with your life. 

Step 1: Recognize that this is NOT ABOUT YOU! (You might be like “huh? of course it is!”)

Allow me to explain…..

If someone cheated on you, it’s THEIR lack of integrity and character that has been revealed, not yours. Release any feelings of guilt. You did not influence their actions. They made a conscious choice to betray your trust. Not the other way around. 

Step 2: Take radical responsibility for YOUR feelings and your part in the relationship. Feel every emotion as it comes up and suppress nothing. You do not have to communicate your feelings to your soon-to-be-ex if you don’t feel ready, but I would encourage you to write about them as often as you need to until your emotional pain subsides. Take an inventory of the relationship. I like to use the good old “loss and profit” template that businesses use. On one column, write down what you’ll lose by ending the relationship. On the other side, write down what you’ll gain by leaving. Then flip the paper over. Make another column and create a new list. This time, on one side of the paper, write down all the things you learned while being in the relationship. On the other column, write down all the things you sacrificed. Writing about “the things I learned” vs. “the things I sacrificed” is a great way to gain clarity around the reality of the relationship. Chances are, you were sacrificing much and getting little in return from your partner. Gaining a heightened awareness of the lessons you learned while being in the relationship will help the break up process feel less drastic. It will empower you to feel good about your decision to leave. 

Always remember: things happen FOR you, not “to” you. 

Step 3: Spoil yourself! Being in a relationship requires giving your time, focus, and attention to another person’s needs, requirements and requests. Now that you’re about to be SINGLE AF, take some of that energy and direct it towards yourself! Take yourself shopping, enjoy a spa day, book a little getaway all to yourself. True, material “things” shouldn’t be used as a band-aid to cover up your pain, but they can definitely aid in the heartbreak recovery process, especially if you’ve been cheated on. Your break up doesn’t have to be all doom n gloom…it can be a catalyst towards your greatest comeback! 

You’ll also want to consider taking a deeper look at yourself during this time. Spend time healing and learning why you attracted this person into your life to begin with. It’s so important to stay single for a bit and develop a strong understanding of who you are and what you want in the future. The last thing you want is to carry the wounds from your previous relationship into your next and project them onto a new partner and sadly, this happens often. 

Above all else, remember that you deserve to be honored, cherished, respected, and protected when you’re involved in a romantic relationship. Anything less is just a lesson until you get to experience your blessing. 

If you found this post helpful and could use some emotional support as you cope with a break-up, being cheated on, or you simply want to heal from your past and strengthen your relationship with yourself so that you can attract a conscious partner, email me directly at

Let me know how I can support you as you learn to love with an open heart and thrive in healthy, connected relationships. 


An introduction to the Internal Family Systems (IFS) approach to trauma recovery. Discover the basis for this evidence-based, therapeutic approach to
trauma recovery. 

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