I’ve chosen to do this because I want to hear from other experienced people. I need to hear from them.
Unfortunately, not everyone feels safe or has access to a space to share their story. For that reason, I’ve been reaching out to men and women on all sides of betrayal’s triangle and offering my pages as a place for them to say whatever they feel or think is worth saying based on their pains, perspectives, experiences, strengths, and hopes. If you want to contribute something email me.
Let the pain have meaning.
About the Author
My name is Jen, and I am a betrayed spouse. My husband and I have been married almost 15 years. We don’t have children, but we have two miniature schnauzers. I am a nurse and an Ironman, both of these aspects of my life are challenging.
However, neither could have prepared me for the most challenging part of my life.
Have you ever been sucker punched?
Have you ever been sucker punched? I mean a true punch that came out of nowhere, damaging and bloodying your face. It is kind of like finding out that your spouse cheated. You never saw it coming, but looking back, you can catch a glimpse of it in the background. The hurt that comes from betrayal reaches into far, deep places. Unlike that sucker punch, the healing takes much longer.
I have had somewhat of an epiphany lately. The months that follow disclosure should be handled very delicately. Unfortunately, in my case, it wasn’t that way. I would like to share some advice to those affected in the early stages of affair discovery.
If you are reading this, I am sorry that this has happened to you. However, maybe you will find something useful as you navigate this journey.
Finding out that your spouse has been unfaithful will make your world stop. It is hard to make sense of anything, let alone breathe. You will not sleep, not eat, drink too much, or just drift through the days without any direction. This is definitely not the time to make any big decisions, ie: divorce.
What you do need is someone to be with you as much as possible. A sibling or a close friend should keep an eye on you in the early stages, functioning at a normal level is impossible. The next important step is to not engage in the blame game that the unfaithful spouse may try to play. You are too emotionally fragile to have your spouse say to you, “I cheated on you, and by the way, it’s your fault”. If you really want to injure someone when they are at their lowest point, this will do the trick. So, Don’t Do It!
Next, I would like to cover the “trickle truth”. If your spouse asks any questions about the affair, it is your job to tell them everything they ask. I get it, you are embarrassed and ashamed of the things you have done. Unfortunately, it does more damage to let little things out over a long period of time. Get it out and come clean, even if it is painful.
I am going to keep this brief, as I could ramble on for pages. I want to make strong suggestions.
Lastly, be kind to your injured spouse. Remember, this is fresh news to them. You have known about it as long as the affair has started, there is going to be a lag in time. As debilitated as you may feel from your actions, they are just trying to hang on for life. I hope that it was not your intent to hurt them, but you did. Try your best to listen and be there for them.
If your intent is to work towards a better, more fulfilling marriage, take your time through the process. Recovery from infidelity is a long, exhausting road.
But, if both parties want to salvage the relationship, you need to be kind and remorseful.