No other experience can prepare you for the painful emotions you’ll endure after discovering your spouse betrayed you with someone else. It’s not uncommon to be obsessively reviewing the painful memories long after the affair is over. No one else can bear the pain for you, not even your wayward partner. Even if they are truly sorry for what they did and want to make amends, they cannot erase the pain or make it go away.
Unfortunately there is no way of stopping those painful thoughts from coming, since negative thoughts and painful and memories of the affair are an inescapable part of of the process. But how you choose to react to them can make a difference. If you surrender to them and dwell on them every waking moment, the pain is not going to go away, in fact it can get worse.
Will the pain ever go away?
Understandably you want the pain to go away soon especially if you’ve been dealing with it for awhile, but is just does not work that way. It usually takes years of patience, time, effort and commitment by both parties to overcome the pain of infidelity. So no as much as you want it to, you have to give it time. You can make the process easier to bear by:
- realizing that eventually you are not going to just get over the pain, but you’ll also be building a new and better relationship
- accepting that the process will be slow going, and this will help you to avoid the inevitable frustration you’ll feel because it is taking so long
Believe it is possible to recover after infidelity
It is clearly possible to get past the pain of infidelity and rebuild a better future in the process, others have done it and so can you. You have to believe that, because it is the first step on the road to recovery. Next, be prepared to do the work that is necessary (for as long as it takes) and put in the time and effort required. Expect this to be a slow process, taking years (not days, weeks or months), but it will finally go away. So use the time wisely to gain understanding and perspective of your situation and don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
Getting past the affair; accept that it did happen
No, accepting that the affair happened does not mean that it is ok, nor is getting stuck in the “what if…” or “why me…” mode. The sad truth is that what you are experiencing is not so unusual or unique as affairs are very common today. Instead, by accepting that the affair is now part of your history will allow you to focus your time and energy on how you’re going to deal with the situation.
Allow time for healing after the affair
When you are in pain over your spouse’s affair it can and does feel like it will never end. Recovering from the pain of infidelity takes time, a lot of time. However, time alone is not going to do it, but if you and your spouse are committed to putting in the time and effort required to deal with this experience in a constructive way, then it is possible to finally overcome the pain and create a loving meaningful relationship.
So how do you get to the point where you have control of your painful emotions rather than them having control over you? In his program “How to Survive an Affair,” Dr. Gunzburg offers up some healthy ways for you to manage your post-affair emotions. Click here to learn how to overcome your painful emotions after the affair.