Whether it’s Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, your birthday, or another special occasion, when you’re still reeling from the pain of infidelity it’s understandable if you don’t feel much like celebrating.
But think twice.
Infidelity, as painful as the betrayal is, need not contaminate your entire being. Life doesn’t stop, nor should it, even when your committed partner has violated your trust and left you emotionally wounded.
That’s even truer if you and your partner have made the commitment to rebuild your relationship and restore your bonds by following my 7 Survival Steps, which I’ve previously discussed here on Psych Central. Step #6 points out the necessity for both partners to make a sincere effort to resume a “normal” relationship.
Just because your husband cheated on you, or you cheated on him, doesn’t mean that Mother’s Day shouldn’t be preserved as a time for celebration. Not all of life has to be a problem.
It is okay now and then, for special occasions such as this, to put down the heavy burden of infidelity for a day and focus instead on all the beauty, joy, and special relationships that life has to offer.
You and your partner, whatever your current differences, share the miraculous experience of having and raising children. Motherhood is an honored role whose importance to family and community has been recognized since biblical times. Infidelity doesn’t change that.
Mother’s Day is a perfect time to look for the rays of light that shine through the clouds that hang over your relationship.
If you’re a mom, even if you haven’t been a perfect spouse, it’s your day to be the family hero. If you’re a dad, whether you’ve been betrayed or are the one who cheated, your spouse still deserves her day – just as you will when Father’s Day or your birthday rolls around.
Depending on your children’s ages, Mother’s Day is an important holiday for them. Remember, when infidelity strikes a family, it spares no one, especially the kids.
Children require as much normalcy as possible, too. Many of their classmates and friends celebrate Mother’s Day as a family, and you can be certain that your kids will notice – and feel the loss – if your family is at war on Mother’s Day, rather than united.
Mother’s Day is an opportunity to realize that people aren’t all good or bad. A cheating husband may nonetheless be a great father and dedicated provider. An adulterous wife, likewise, may be the emotional and financial rock of the family. These attributes don’t evaporate because one partner or the other cheats.
Coming to terms with infidelity is not an overnight process, and for many couples who make the 7-Step commitment to preserve their relationship, the repair can take months, even years.
Eventually, the goal is to return to normal; to once again be a loving, supportive, trusting family. Spending Mother’s Day momentarily free of the weight of infidelity can be excellent practice for the days, months, and years to come, and a reminder of what you’re working toward.