The day you learned of your spouse’s affair is the day your heart died. The shock, disappointment, and pain of learning of your spouse’s betrayal is just too much to bear. It hurts like hell to have someone you love so much betray you in such a dastardly way. But where to begin and is healing after an affair even possible?
Some couples choose to fight for the marriage because they have a long history together and attempting to save the marriage makes sense. Personally healing after infidelity and restoring the marriage bond is the goal of most couples who experience infidelity in their relationship.
And you do want to personally heal from this life-altering experience and rebuild your relationship, right?
The problem is what most betrayed spouses are doing to heal after the affair isn’t as effective as it could be. Many times they are making these all too familiar mistakes.
Coping with your pain in unproductive ways. For example, getting drunk, taking drugs, binging on food or hurting yourself or your partner. Look I’ve been in your shoes and I know you just want the hurt and pain to disappear into oblivion, but engaging in destructive or unhealthy behavior is only going to make matters worse.
What to do instead:
Explore productive ways of dealing with your pain. For instance, you can join an online forum dedicated to overcoming infidelity, where you’ll be able to pour your heart out to people in similar situations as you who are very willing to offer you help and support. You can also confide in a friend, family member or co-worker.
If you are a private person, you can always journal your feelings. Keeping a journal can help you express what you are feeling and also help you think through different options. Some other methods of coping with your pain include:
- Infidelity coaching
- Marriage counseling
- Attending spiritual retreats or church groups
- Reading books about affairs
Spending all your time and energy trying to figure out why your spouse cheated. When you found out about the affair, your first instinct is to look for reasons why your partner strayed. You have an insatiable desire to know all the details of the affair and why your spouse did what he did.
Dr. Gunzburg the author of “How to Survive an Affair,” calls this process ‘externalizing,’ which means that you are looking outside of yourself for answers to emotional issues that are happening within you. Before you tackle any other issue, you first need to look within yourself.
What to do instead:
According Dr. Gunzburg, “you need to shift your perspective from the outside to the inside, from the external to the internal.” You need to look deep inside and get in touch with your painful emotions. Take a good honest look at what is going on within you, be honest about your own thoughts and feelings concerning the affair and stop trying to figure out your spouse.
Having unreasonable expectations about how long it will take to recover. Don’t expect too much too soon, in other words, don’t think that you should heal within a certain time frame. Thinking this way will not only set you up for disappointment but it will add to your frustration, when that time is up and you are still hurting. You need to be realistic about the enormous amount of time involved in truly healing after an affair. Recovering from the devastation of infidelity takes years of effectively working towards recovery.
What to do instead:
Accept that it takes a long time to truly start living again and work at sustaining yourself during this time. There are no short-cuts to healing after an affair. But you can use this time constructively to:
- Learn more about your situation and about affairs in general
- Focus on the future and use this opportunity to forge a better, closer, honest and more meaningful relationship
You want to get help to start healing after an affair now because sitting around and wishing for the pain to magically go away is not going to happen. And since you can’t turn off your feelings or run away from them, the quickest way to get started recovering is to learn how to manage your painful emotions first, then everything else will fall into place. The “How to Survive an Affair” program will give you a lot of concrete strategies that will help you cope with and overcome your troubling thoughts and feelings. Click here to start healing