A TIME FOR SUFFERING AND SORROW
by Jim Jackson
words adequately describe the trauma a person suffers when a spouse's affair is
exposed. Many report that it is the most dreadful thing they have ever facedmore
excruciating than losing a parent, being diagnosed with cancer, or being fired.
An affair inflicts a vicious wound to the heart of a faithful spouse. One man
told me he would have rather taken a bullet and been paralyzed than to face his
the same time, the unfaithful spouse is also forced to deal with emotions that
will in many ways shape the future of their relationship.
Wounded Spouse. "While I may look the same on the outside, inside I'm hemorrhaging
and I can't stop it." Most betrayed spouses feel as if they are going crazyespecially
during the initial stages of shock. Throughout the counseling process they invariably
ask, "Am I going crazy?" My response is always the same: "No, you're
not going crazy. What you're feeling is normal for the kind of experience you're
going through." This reassurance doesn't stop the emotional roller coaster
that's roaring through their world, but it does confirm that their feelings are
are at least four categories of emotions that wounded spouses experience:
Feel Lost. Gone
is the sense of being intact and whole. They feel as if they've lost their voice
in the world. They feel fragmented, shattered, confused, and disoriented. They
don't know where they belong. It isn't unusual for them to be driving somewhere
and either forget where they were going or how to get there. Self-respect is shattered,
and they commonly ask themselves, "Why didn't I speak up earlier when I sensed
something was wrong?"
Feel Betrayed. Betrayal
can strip the heart of any sense of constancy, security, and meaning. Feelings
of being used, discarded, and rejected replace feelings of being chosen, special,
and valued. Their ability to trust is undermined. Everyone, not just the unfaithful
spouse, is now suspect. Even God's goodness and protection are questioned.
The statement "No matter how hard I try, I can't fix it" indicates a
loss of control. Anger grows out of a loss of control. They feel as if their life
is slipping through their fingers. There is often a loss of control over their
thoughts and actions. Obsessive thoughts and dreams of their spouse with a lover
invade their days and nights. Compulsively driving by the lover's apartment every
30 minutes to see if he or she is there isn't unusual. They lose hope that life
could ever be good again. Usually anger and depression aren't far behind. Statements
like "I give up," "It will never be the same," "I want
to die," "There's nothing to live for anymore" are normal.
A host of competing emotions all screaming for attention rips them apart. These
competing emotions are common: shame and contempt, joy and sorrow, hurt and vengefulness,
fear and relief. A wife will miss her husband and yet feel glad that he's gone.
She will fluctuate between wanting to hug him and wanting to beat him, wanting
to forgive him and wanting to make him pay. Ambivalence results in one's shutting
down internallycausing an emotional numbness that paralyzes any productive
movement toward healing.
The emotional response of the ones who are unfaithful can be varied, depending
on whether they feel guilty over the affair or justified in having it. If they
feel justified and are upset about having been caught, they will be more belligerent.
If they feel guilty and are willing to give up the affair and restore the marital
relationship, their response will indicate brokenness and humility.
Abrahms Spring provides a list of intense and contradictory feelings that fairly
describes the ambivalence of the unfaithful spouse:
Relief"I'm tired of lying about all this and wondering when I'd be
Impatience"I said I was sorry and gave her up;
what more do you want from me?"
Chronic Anxiety"If I just
keep busy I'll be okay."
Justified Anger"I'm doing what I
want to do, and it feels right."
Absence of Guilt"I did what
I did and that's that."
Isolation"No one's there for me."
Hopelessness"There's no way this relationship will ever work."
Paralysis"I feel torn. I don't know what to do."
such a fool. Why did I jeopardize all that I love?"
The unfaithful spouse
may also experience guilt over hurting the children and grief over the loss of
an affair is exposed, marital partners need to take personal responsibility for
seeking help to wade through the quagmire of feelings and necessary decisions
that must be made so they can make progress in their healing journey. It is virtually
impossible for individuals to work through all these issues on their own. They
need a counselor or pastor with training and experience to help them sort through
and resolve these issues. They desperately need the emotional support and prayerful
involvement of friends, family, and the church community if they are going to
take on the task of rebuilding.
of: : http://www.rbc.org/,
the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful
by Janis Abrahms Spring
know its hard to let go of the memories of your cheating spouse, you visually
see them together in the act, etc. Most resentment is connected to the memory
of the incident. When these unexpressed feelings build up, they become resentment.
When we stuff our feelings we build up resentments. Resentments are victim feelings
- the feeling that somebody is doing something to us.
there was other issues such as your spouse leaving you for the other person, then
coming back, abandoning you, always flashing the affair in your face so to speak,
continuous lies, the more there is to resent makes it harder.
fact if they had another affair, if would be much more intense and harder to recover.
It depends on how many painful experiences one has to deal with but over time
resentment should fade as marriage grows.
Do not torment your spouse by
continuously mentioning the infidelity. Grief, shame and sorrow will be unbearable.
Don't spend your good energy on bad feelings. Work on your future, resolving and
let go of the past.
If you are full of bitterness and resentment then it is hard to forgive them.
Replace those feelings of resentment with forgiveness and peace. Forgive your
spouse and let go of resentment you have towards them then your resentment will
To learn more about letting go of guilt and resentment, read the
books, How To Heal A Painful Relationship and Heal The Hurt
That Sabotages Your Life click
I would suggest that when we feel resentful it is a sign that we need to keep
studying resentment, and keep studying how to manage it so we can prevent it from
building and leading to even more toxic emotions. We also need to study how we
can stop creating more of it. I want to emphasize that the best time to study
resentment is when we are actually feeling it. As I have written, true understanding
requires feeling. We can't just read about resentment. We have to feel it, and
while feeling it, look deeper -- look for the underlying feelings, the primary
feelings. Then we have a chance to learn from it and become wiser with our new
knowledge and understanding. And with this new wisdom we can help ourselves and
others, while preventing the resentment from poisoning either us or those around
us." from David Caruso