How to Recover from an Affair

Number of View: 374

How to Recover from an Affair

Edited byDanine Manette and 14 others

Realize that you are in shock. Initially, this is the phase where you are simply in disbelief. You cannot comprehend that your spouse has been physically or emotionally intimate with someone other than yourself; that your spouse was sneaking around and going out of his/her way to make time and seek out this person. And all the while you were oblivious… you begin piecing the puzzle together and you realize that so much of your reality was actually a lie. During this phase, you will probably feel like you’re in a dense fog while trying to make sense of what is going on and determine whether or not it is all just some sort of ‘bad dream’.

Expect to experience some rage. You begin to realize that the situation is an actual reality and that it is not just some sort of ‘bad dream’. During this phase you may become physically ill and find that you are simply unable to get out of bed, go to work, or interact with others normally in your everyday world. The affair is all you are able to think about. It is not uncommon for you to have episodes of crying, throwing things, breaking objects, screaming, fighting, and generally behaving way out of control.[citation needed] You cannot see past the anger and may choose to express your rage in ways that are dangerous, unhealthy, or even illegal.[citation needed]
    • The desire for revenge.If you start feeling this, this is the point where you are at your most dangerous. If this is an emotion that you experience, be aware that you are not thinking clearly and simply want to enact revenge upon those who you feel have wronged you.
      • You might begin plotting and planning ways to get back at either the other man/woman, or your spouse.
      • Thoughts of a revenge affair move to the forefront of your mind and you may begin thinking of who you can sleep with in order to even the score with your spouse.
      • You might start looking for ways to bring down your spouse’s lover by hurting him or her personally, professionally, or financially.
    • Please remember that this phase will pass, and pure emotional decisions rooted in pain often lead to actions which one later regrets.
  • Let go of the anger. At this point, the initial violent, active rage subsides and you are left with a dull ache and the feeling of being emotionally wiped out. This is typically the time when you either begin entertaining the notion of reconciliation, or begin taking steps to end the marriage.[citation needed]Although deeply hurt, you start thinking more logically and are not as consumed with revenge, but rather you become more interested in taking an assessment of your life, your goals, and where you would like your marriage to go from here. You begin focusing a little less on the other man or woman and more on your spouse, and the mess that they have made in your marriage. During this phase, you are often too tired to fight, cry, or relive the horror 24 hours a day. You begin to desire closure, one way or another.
  • Pick up the pieces. If you are planning on, and are able to put your marriage back together, this is the point where you need complete, unwavering, total cooperation from the cheater. He or she needs to know that this is going to be a long and drawn out process which will only be longer if they set up roadblocks to your recovery. Things the cheater might do to hinder progress include:
    • Refusing to answer questions regarding things that you have a right to know
    • Refusing any “proofs” that you have a right to ask for
    • Continued contact with the other man or woman
    • Minimizing the situation
    • Minimizing the relationship with the other man or woman
    • Putting the blame back onto the victim, or
    • Setting a time limit for when the victim should be “over it”. #Be aware that doing any or all of these things is detrimental to the recovery of your relationship and make it nearly impossible for true healing to ever take place. If you are not planning to put your marriage back together, then this is the time you need to begin seeking space and time fillers. This does notmean people that you run to on the rebound and then screw up their lives for the sake of your recovery; this means finding activities and interests that you can move to the front of your life in order to fill up the empty space left by the loss of companionship. This will be a lonely time for you, but if you choose to sit around sulking and feeling sorry for yourself, you will remain in this space indefinitely.
  • Learn to trust again. This is a difficult phase, whether you are trying to repair your current relationship, or begin a new one. It is not advisable to begin a new relationship any time soon, however, because you need time to heal and be comfortable being with yourself before bringing another person into your world. If you are trying to rebuild your marriage, learning to trust comes only from seeing a cheater lay all of his or her cards on the table and them making their life an open book. This is an extremely long and slow process which, plain and simply, can only improve with the passage of time. Once enough of your mate’s stories check out as true, and when you can feel with complete certainty that he or she is no longer communicating with the other man or woman, then you are on your way to learning to trust again. But, as previously mentioned, if the cheater is not helping you along in the process then it simply will not work. Additionally, if you are dealing with a serial cheater, or one who continues to cheat even though they have vowed fidelity, this process will never end. Therefore, you likely cannot, nor will not, ever rebuild the trust necessary for a healthy marriage.
  • Deal with triggers. Triggers are certain names, places, and events which painfully remind you of the time your spouse was having an affair or relationship. Perhaps it is a certain song that was popular during the time of the affair, a restaurant or motel he or she told you they visited, places they came in contact, people they work with or know, or mutual friends.
    • Triggers also come in the form of seeing someone who reminds you of the other man or woman, or hearing their name. Often, looking back at old photos will also become a trigger if in the photo you are standing there smiling at the camera blindly unaware that your spouse was sleeping with someone else at that time.
    • Triggers are all hurtful reminders.
    • There is really no remedy for triggers or way to avoid them. The only thing to do is to try to keep from obsessing over them and driving yourself crazy about things which you cannot control.
  • Set realistic goals. This is the point when you need to figure out whether or not you will be able to continue in your present relationship. Of course, it will never be the same, and following traumatic events you must learn to settle into a “new reality”. Consider:
    • Can you continue to live in this manner? Do you feel comfortable that you will be able to trust your spouse again and not keep beating them over the head every day with questions and comments about the affair? Have they taken responsibility for their actions, put an honest effort into repairing the relationship, vowed not only never to repeat the behavior again, but also to not allow themselves to create or support an environment or relationship where this could happen again in the future? If so, and if you feel that in time the relationship can be fixed, then moving on in your marriage is a realistic goal.
    • If, on the other hand, your spouse refuses to acknowledge the affair, will not answer questions, behaves suspiciously, and/or continues contact with the other man or woman, you need to ascertain if you can indeed continue to live with this. If not, then reconciliation is not a realistic relationship goal. Only you can do the assessment here: Although input from others might be nice, in the long run you need to take this time to determine what is in your best interests on your own.
     Find a healthy new self. With or without him or her, you will recover and you will be okay. It does take time, but you will emerge from this experience a healthier, stronger, and more aware person. Recognize that you cannot entrust another individual with total responsibility for your happiness. During this process, you should do quite a bit of soul searching in order to discover if there was anything you could have done differently to strengthen the bond in your relationship. Becoming too needy, and overly dependent upon your spouse is nevera good thing.
    • Develop hobbies, friends and interests of your own. This way, if your relationship does not work out, you have cushions to fall back on, and if it does work out, you have still been able to use this experience for personal growth.
  • Be gentle on yourself and open to new growth. There is a lot to be learned about yourself, your spouse, and your relationship following an affair. Be sure not to overlook the lessons only to stay focused on the pain. Remember: That which does not kill us makes us stronger. (The trick is that you have to let it.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *