Infidelity can make a woman feel like her heart has been ripped out and stomped on. Feelings of low self-worth, resentment, anger and sadness are all common. Support from friends is crucial for healing, and yet most people don’t know what to say or do for a friend in such circumstances. Here are three tried-and-true techniques for supporting your friend whose spouse has cheated:
Come Up With a Funny Nickname for the Other Woman
It may seem strange, but this method really does work wonders for helping your friend feel better. She probably never wants to hear the name of the other woman again. That makes the other person too real, and your friend is likely already feeling inferior to this person. Use what you know about the other person and come up with a funny nickname highlighting his or her flaws. Don’t ask if she’s young or cute – just use the nickname, and you can both have a laugh each time she’s brought up in conversation. This technique will gradually make your friend start to feel better and regain confidence. It’ll help her feel like someone is in her corner and always will be.
Make Her Everyday Life Easier
The immediate aftermath of the affair is the hardest part. Your friend may fall into a depression, be overcome with anger or just become too sad to do anything without crying. This can make her feel like crawling into bed and not coming out for a month or more. While you shouldn’t facilitate this, you can try to take some of the burden out of her daily life while she’s recovering from the initial shock of the affair.
If she has kids, offer to take them to school or come over and fix them dinner. If it’s just her, offer to fix her dinner. Do other nice things to help her life be easier, like picking up things she needs from the store. Don’t forget to make her feel special and valued, as well, since she really needs that right now. Make a playlist of her favorite songs, send her poetry you think she’ll like and make a big deal over her birthday.
Suggest an Infidelity Support Group
Victims of cheating can get significant benefit out of joining support groups for people who are going through the same thing. Unless you’ve been the victim of cheating yourself, you won’t know exactly what your friend is going through. You can be there to help your friend in whatever ways you can, but some of the best help is going to come from people in her current situation. Most of these groups are online, and you can find them by searching for “infidelity support group.” You may be able to find an in-person group in your area, as well. Getting her involved with one of these, whether it’s in-person or online, is one of the most powerful things you can do to support her.