As you describe what happened, it gives you time to reflect, take a deep breath and provide valuable insight into your life that other methods don’t.
Journals are great for processing your feelings. Things are always a little clearer when we get them out of our heads and down on paper. Everything is a little more objective and realistic. You might be surprised at what you figure out about yourself if you take the time to keep a journal.
Today there are a variety of ways to keep a journal:
- Old Fashioned Pen & Paper – Buy some nice journals that will help you make journaling a good experience. For some people using a pen with paper feels really good. It helps to have the feel of the paper and the pen in hand as they write. If you are one of those people use pen and paper to add to the experience of journaling. Make it a nice experience as you also put your thoughts to paper.
- Online Apps – There are many online apps that help you make journaling easier for those who prefer using electronic means for journaling. For some typing out their thoughts is simpler than writing them. They can type faster and get their thoughts down super-fast, and neatly so that they can read it again. A few online journaling apps to try are 750 Words, Evernote, and simple word processing apps like Word, or Openoffice.org.
However you choose to journal the important part is that you do it. After having suffered through your husband’s affair it is very important to work on yourself through a method like journaling. But, when you journal, you want to ensure that you use it to heal yourself not cause yourself more pain. You want to journal with a purpose, and that purpose is to heal yourself so that you can come through this trying time after your husband has betrayed you.
If you’re not sure where to start, try these tips:
1. Stream of Consciousness Writing – Just set a timer for about 10 or 15 minutes and write down whatever comes to your mind. Do not worry if it makes any sense whatsoever, do not try to interrupt your thoughts, and don’t edit your feelings. Just write down everything, right, wrong, good or bad that comes to your mind.
2. Write About What You Did Today – Sometimes, writing a diary that tracks what you did today as well as how you felt while doing it can help. Even if what you write has nothing to do with the affair, writing about your daily activities and how you felt about it can help you a lot. Dissecting your feelings can help you figure out what you want to do with your life and whether you are heading in the right direction after his affair.
3. Write Your Journal as a Letter – Writing your journal as a letter, that will not be read, to your spouse can be very cathartic. You can write all the things that you don’t want, or shouldn’t say, or can’t yet say in your private journal. Telling your “spouse” what you are going through in the journal can help you face your feelings and your fears in a healthy manner.
4. Write to Yourself – Take on the persona of your own best friend and write the journal to yourself about how you think you should deal with your husband’s betrayal. If you were writing to a best friend what would your suggestions be? You don’t have to take the advice, but it can be good to see what you would tell a friend going through what you are experiencing now.
5. Write a Gratitude Journal – Instead of focusing on anything negative, every day take a few minutes to write about everything good that has happened to you that day. Try to write at least three things down that happened during the day that was good, plus how you feel about the good things in your life.
6. Focus on Self- Improvement and / or Acceptance – With the technology available today you can use your web cam or cell phone to snap a photo of yourself today, and then write as much positive as you can about that picture that you took. In addition, write down from one to three things you’ll do tomorrow to make yourself better.
7. Journal Every Success You Have Had – Start at the beginning from your birth, and each day write in every success that you’ve experienced in your life, no matter how small. Focusing on success can at times increase the success you experience in the future by making you feel good about yourself.
8. Journal About Favorite Songs – You know how each song you listen to either brings up a wonderful memory from the past, or evokes certain special feelings? Often these thoughts and feelings can be windows into your emotions. Writing out the verses, and how they make you feel can be very therapeutic.
9. Write Your Life with Your Spouse as a Play – The first act is when you met, the second act is the affair, how do you see the third act playing out? Try out different third acts to see how those feel to you. Write down how each third act feels to you. It’s a good way to try different scenarios on before committing to any of them.
You can also combine the different journaling methods using a different method for each day. This is a good way to take advantage of the different types of journaling and getting the benefit from many forms of journaling. Journaling can help heal you if you make a commitment to doing it daily as you go through this difficult time after your husband’s betrayal.
The benefits of journaling for self healing are considerable, and it doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes per day. Besides it doesn’t cost much at all. A pen and notebook are the only items required.