If your husband had the ability to anesthetize you so that you could not move, but you would still feel pain, and then cut your flesh over and over again, you think you would not be in as much pain as you are right now due to your husband’s affair.
Your heart is bleeding.
And you feel completely lost and broken.
You don’t feel as if you can ever get over the betrayal.
Allow Yourself Time to Wallow
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
You have every right to feel whatever feelings you want to feel. In fact, you need to give yourself time to feel sad, lost, broken and angry.
If you don’t allow these feelings to come out, repressing them can cause more damage. Many women hide their feelings because they don’t want their spouse to leave. Some react with such force of anger that they throw their spouse out without giving it thought and consideration. For a while, just let yourself feel but don’t take action on those feelings.
Work On Yourself
Take some time to focus only on yourself and your own needs. Consider starting a hobby or going back to school or making a choice to take your life in a new direction that you may let go of in the past. Perhaps you wanted to learn to paint, or wanted to get your Master’s Degree, or maybe even just change your hair color.
Depending upon what your goals are divorce or staying together, make choices about working on yourself with that goal in mind. While you work on yourself try not to make lasting drastic choices that you may regret such as getting a tattoo or filing for divorce. Instead, work on small things that have positive implications for your future.
Find New Interests
While a happy marriage can be a safe place to fall at the end of a hard day, sometimes a marriage can also feel like a jail that one can never escape if you have no interests outside of the marriage.
Conversely, not spending enough time with your spouse outside of family obligations, you may need to find interests together to fill time. You’ll need to evaluate the situation objectively. Sometimes having a life coach or a counselor helping will go far in helping you know what to do.
But for now, find something to fill your time that is positive and uplifting. If your spouse is on board with repairing your marriage and you feel like you need to spend more time with him, then choose something you can do to together such as salsa dancing, cooking classes or other activity to give you two something else to focus on can be very helpful.
Take Responsibility for Yourself
At first, when you discover that your spouse has had an affair it’s all too easy to blame everything on the cheater. To be sure, the only one responsible for the cheating is the spouse who did the cheating. However, you can still take responsibility for your own actions.
It’s hard to accept but your spouse is not responsible for your happiness. You are not responsible for his. You are responsible for your own happiness.
You can only control your own actions, and have absolutely no control over his. His affair has shown you that. Since it’s apparent in such an awful way that you cannot control anyone but yourself, now you must embrace the truth of the fact that you can only control yourself.
You can control your actions as well as your happiness. Remember that while you cannot control others you can control your reactions to what others do.
Sometimes the pain seems so intense and unbearable that all you can do is breathe. Wake up each day and be happy to be alive. Even going through the worst of the pain, feeling lost and broken is preferable to the alternative because this feeling is temporary.
Try to take new pleasure in the simple things in life such as a quick walk on a cool breezy summer morning. Take pleasure in the simple parts of life without thinking about the devastation surrounding you. As you learn to enjoy the simple things in life, you’ll become more mentally able to traverse these new emotions you did not ever envision yourself feeling.
Forgive Him and Yourself
One of the hardest parts of getting through infidelity is finding it within yourself to forgive your spouse. The reason forgiveness is so hard is because most people think of the words “forgive and forget” together. But, forgiveness isn’t about forgetting.
It’s about accepting what happened, and moving past it without feeling bitterness every time you think about what happened. It can be difficult to get to that point, but it is a process you should work on.
Even though you are not at fault for what your spouse has done to leave you lost and broken, you may have some guilt or issues with things that you may have done during the marriage. Remember that you are not in control of your spouse’s actions, and you have no fault for what he chose to do.
His affair was his choice, and all about him not you. You can still forgive him if he wants forgiveness. The trick is that he must want to be forgiven, ask for forgiveness, and then you must give it to him, not just for him but for you.
As you work through these things trying to rebuild your life after infidelity, it’s also important to take a look at the facts regarding infidelity. Kinsey’s research showed that about 50 percent of men cheat on their wives, with about 28 percent of women cheating on their husbands.
The higher socioeconomic standard that men have, the more likely they are to cheat and the less financial opportunities women have the more likely they are to cheat.
The other factor that Kinsey’s research showed was that most men do not cheat due to dissatisfaction in their marriage and report to love their wives very much.
This does not excuse the behavior but it might help for you to realize that what you’re going through is not uncommon and in fact is very common. Realizing that you are not the exception to the rule can help put your experience into perspective.