By Lucas Owen
It can be one of the most devastating experiences of your life when a spouse has an extramarital affair. You are bound to experience emotions such as anger, shock, denial, betrayal, depression and even a reduction in your self esteem. Be encouraged in the fact that you are not alone in this. Many have experienced the effects of a spouse who went outside of the marriage to have an affair. At a time when your internal emotions are literally exploding and dissipating like firecrackers, you need to find a way to start the recovery process.
Do Not Fear The Emotions
The difficult emotions that you feel are strong and overwhelming. Due to their strength, you may fear the effect that they will have on you. You may be terrified that you will never recover from them. Avoid being fearful of these emotions because they are normal. A big step in recovering from a marital affair is to allow these emotions to come in and not fear their effects. If you are consistently worried about the effects, you give these emotions even more strength. This hurts and lengthens the recovery process tremendously.
As your emotions run rampant, you may also begin to overreact. In other words, you find yourself making harsh judgments about yourself. One of the most common forms of overreaction is in looking at yourself as unworthy or lacking. This is a normal human reaction. You begin to wonder why you were not enough for your spouse. Hence, you start to draw wide conclusions about yourself. It is hard to recover when you are looking at yourself as someone who in some ways was deserving of this affair because you were lacking.
Talk To Someone
This helps to alleviate a lot of the tough emotions you are experiencing. However, this should be done the right way. It will be tempting to talk about how badly you were betrayed and how unfair this whole situation is. What would work better and help in your recovery would be to simply talk to this person about how you intend to move forward from this. Ask their opinion on ways you can go about it. If they have been at the receiving end of infidelity in the past, ask them how they got through it.
Avoid Conclusions, But Be Realistic
You may be assuming one of two conclusions; the marriage is over or the marriage can be saved. Either way, drawing these conclusions doesn’t change the fact that you truly don’t know how this story is going to end. However, being realistic is important. According to a study by the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, by age 40, about 60 percent of husbands and 50 percent of wives have had an extramarital affair and of these marriages, 65 percent ended in divorce. These are crushing numbers but it doesn’t mean that you may not become a part of the other 35 percent. The problem with drawing conclusions at this point is that they lead you to take action in a direction that may ultimately be wrong for you and the marriage.
The beauty about time is that it gives you an opportunity to truly clear your head. When the strong emotions that you experienced as a result of this affair begin to die down, you will begin to understand just what you need to do. Without allowing some time to elapse, you will never give yourself the opportunity to understand what needs to be done. The fog can only clear away with time. Your best route to recovery is taken when you are of a level and clear mind.
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