I often hear from wives who are struggling in a variety of ways after finding out that their husband had an affair or has cheated on them. Some of the concerns expressed are things like: “Some days, I don’t even want to get out of bed or take a shower. I know that I’ve really let myself go and I know that this is making everything worse. I’m honestly worried that I’ve become clinically depressed because it just seems as though all of the joy that I once had has been taken from me. I’m not interested in anyone or anything. I’m just going through the motions and I don’t know how to stop. What do I do?”
Often, women will confess to me that they worry that something is wrong with them for feeling this way, but nothing is further from the truth. I hear these types of concerns so often that it’s almost noteworthy when I don’t hear them. There is nothing wrong with you if you are going through this. What you’re feeling is completely normal and natural. I’ve felt these things too and I know just how difficult it can be to decide where to begin to turn this around.
I often hear people (and many times these people are husbands) say things like: “it’s almost as if she wants to be miserable or to wallow around in these negative feelings. Why can’t she just move on and get over this?” People who ask these questions have likely never been on the receiving end of a husband who’s had an affair. The wives in this situation don’t enjoy feeling this way. They certainly wish that they weren’t dealing with this. But, it’s very easy to be overcome with strong emotional feelings and to develop a real sense of hopelessness. It’s very frustrating to have to deal with something over which you really had no control.
Still, no one deserves to repeatedly have to live this way. I’m living proof that you can move on and overcome this so that your life is fulfilling and happy again. I will discuss this more in the following article.
After Your Husband’s Affair, Try Very Hard Not To Take On The Role Of The Victim: This is such a vulnerable place to be, but most of us end up here simply because we have no choice but to react to a set of circumstances which we ourselves did not put into motion. Two people outside of ourselves chose their own actions, but yet it’s us who is paying the price for those actions and it’s absolutely not fair.
I do completely understand and sympathize with this. I also understand why it’s so easy to fall into the pattern of feeling victimized. But, it’s also important to understand that allowing this to happen only hurts you more and prolongs your pain. It also changes the way that you feel about yourself and undermines your self esteem and self confidence. I believe that you must fight these things every step of the way.
Admittedly, you can not control what happened. You can’t undo their actions. And, you don’t have complete control over the way that you feel. But you do have control over your own actions. And you can most certainly question and derail your thought process. If you are going down a dark road, only you have the direct ability to step off the trail. At the end of the day, you have to decide to love yourself more than you’re decided to experience and react to the hurt. Right now, you’re the most important person you have in your life. You have to take care of and safeguard your own well being with the same ferocity that you approach safeguarding your children or your best friend.
Make Sure That You Are Doing The Things (And Seeing The People) Who Make You Feel Better Rather Than Worse: They say that misery loves company and sometimes that can be true in this situation. It was my experience that “friends” who were grappling with their own infidelity or self esteem issues could easily hone in on what I was going through and seemed to enjoy sharing in my misery. This can offer some validation at first, but it’s very easy to dwell here and doing so really does nothing to help you move forward to regain your happiness.
Be careful of those well meaning folks who are more than willing to offer “advise” which focuses on the negative. Steer clear of those people who love to tell you that men will always cheat or that “women like us” just can’t keep a man. You don’t need anyone else capitalizing on the fears and doubts that you are already trying to banish from your head. Even if you chose not to tell many people about the affair (and this can be a good idea sometimes,) you can still surround yourself with upbeat people who lift you up rather than to tear you down.
And, be sure to continue to participate and surround yourself with the things and activities that bring you joy and peace. There is nothing wrong with taking superb care of yourself right now and being a little “selfish.” Always ask yourself if your actions are bringing you up or are bringing you down. Brushing your hair and putting on lipstick may not seem like much on the surface, but maintaining these habits can be so important in this situation. If you can begin to feel good about yourself, then eventually, you will feel better about your situation.
There Is No Shame In Getting Some Help If You Need It: Let me put it this way. I strongly believe that a husband’s affair should not be a life sentence for a wife. In my opinion, it’s an emotional crime to allow for someone else’s actions to derail your life in the long term. Intellectually, we know this. But emotionally, we can struggle. If you can’t seem to get over the hump and find your way to your previous, fulfilling life, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting some help. You deserve to be happy. And you deserve whatever it takes to ensure that this happens.
Surviving The Affair is a blog I put together to share a personal story. I know that this is a very difficult time, but working through it can truly be worth the effort. There are times when you will need to set boundaries though. Although I never would’ve believed this two years ago, I did eventually truly get over the affair. My marriage is stronger than ever. It took a lot of work, but it was worth it. Our bond and intimacy is much stronger and because of all the work I did on myself, my self esteem is at an all time high. I no longer worry my husband will cheat again. You can check it out at http://surviving-the-affair.com.
About the Author
Katie Lersch writes articles about moving past an affair. Her corresponding blog is at http://surviving-the-affair.com/
Depression resulting from your own or your partner's infidelity is a normal, common occurrence. The number one piece of advice we offer is this: Don't make important decisions while you're depressed. You're probably too hurt, angry and tired to think clearly.
Find more advice in the articles below.