5 Stages of Grief You’ll Experience

Negative Emotions from Sexual Affair or Infidelity Divorce


Dealing with sexual infidelity can have psychological trauma that’s as intense as dealing with death or divorce. Sometimes you crack a faint smile, other days you wallow in misery, and most days you feel life sucks. No matter what you do, sometimes it just seems like you’ll never feel better about what happened to you.

According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, these feelings are normal. Her research indicates that most people experience five different stages of grief as they deal with being cheated on. The stages of grief are:

Denial – an initial stage of grief. He or she cheated, but you don’t want to believe they cheated, and refuse to acknowledge cheating occured. Denial is a safe defense mechanism to cushion your psyche from the blow of infidelity, especially as you prepare to fully absorb the news. It’s okay in the beginning, but if you stay in this stage too long then you prevent yourself from healing.

Anger – one of the most feared stages by the cheater. Reality sets in and you’re out for blood and ready to attack. Bottled and constrained emotions are now openly released. Anger is a cathartic and completely natural progression of grief, especially if you’ve repressed it for years, but be careful in how you express it. Avoid illegal actions which threaten the safety of you or anyone else.

Bargaining – stage of grief where you’re contemplating compromise for the sake of avoiding the end of your relationship. Bad habits or events which weighed heavily before are downplayed and suddenly aren’t so important. You become willing to deal with those previously unacceptable behaviors in an attempt to avoid permanent loss of the relationship. Bargaining is a deceptive coping mechanism, as you can easily regret accepting such new behaviors once things are fineagain. Remember that the only good deals are on Amazon!

Depression – can occur throughout the entire grieving process. Highly recognizable and common to experience, this insidious sadness is another cathartic release of emotions from within. People characterize depression as anger turned inward, i.e. directed at oneself. Your friends might not be the best people to help you deal with this, so consider speaking with a professional relationship counselor or therapist over your feelings. Left untreated, prolonged depression can be dangerous to one’s psyche.

Acceptance – where one finally acknowledges and accepts that a traumatic, upsetting event has occurred. Emotional acceptance is the critical step to surviving infidelity or divorce after infidelity. Acceptance does not mean that everything is necessarily okay, but that you will be okay. Acceptance does not also mean that a cheating spouse who lied about being faithful is let off the hook, but that you simply remove the emotional burden their actions have had on you.

These five stages of grief can occur in any order; they’re not set in stone. You may skip one or several stages, only to revisit them at different times as you deal with sexual infidelity or divorce a cheating husband or cheating wife. Experience grief without trying to control it, and don’t limit the duration of the stages you experience unless your emotions dwell dangerously close to suicide or other destructive thoughts.