How Can I Get Past The Tremendous Sadness?

Adobe stock Sad and upset woman deep in thoughtHow can I get past the tremendous sadness that my spouse’s extramarital affair has caused me?

“Impact! Dead on impact. Maybe I have confused separateness with the feeling of being dead. The tears fall like rain drops.”

“The pain is physically exhausting but I am still here.”

“Lord I give up. I am not even going to pretend to be brave because I am actually totally broken. I give up. Please, I don’t want this anymore. I can’t take this anymore. Really… I can’t Lord; I can’t. My heart is completely shattered.”

Will I Ever Be Happy Again?

These are the feelings of sadness expressed by those who have been betrayed. It is the feeling of death, except one is still alive and must continue to live. But how? When will it ever go away? Will I ever feel happy again? It seems impossible. And my family tells me to just ‘get over it!’ That hurts me even more. My friends don’t understand.

When I discovered my husband’s affair, I felt as if I had gained a new companion, a companion whom I didn’t want, who wasn’t welcome, who had not been invited and who would not go away.

That companion was pain. For me it was 2 ½ years until I felt happiness again, and I distinctly remember feeling it again, and I remember why.

Feeling Unloved

The feeling of sadness for me was caused by thinking that I was unloved, perhaps even unlovable. Surely if I was a lovable person, the one I loved the most would not have hurt me so deeply with betrayal, abandonment, deceit and lies. The problem was that what I believed about myself, about my life and about the people around me was untrue. The truth is that I am lovable and therefore I will always have lots of love in my life.

I wanted a guarantee. I wanted to be guaranteed that I would never be betrayed by my husband again. He gave me his guarantee, yet I still didn’t feel guaranteed. After all, had I not been given a guarantee the day we exchanged our wedding vows? I thought what I needed was to throw away the old and start over with the new.

Start Anew?

“Yes, that’s what I needed,” I thought to myself, “a new relationship with my very own husband of 18 years.” Yes, we should redo our wedding vows. Yet others have redone their wedding vows and been betrayed again! Wedding vows are no guarantee.

Then I realized that I can never be guaranteed what all of the future choices of another individual will be. Neither can anyone else on the planet be guaranteed that their spouse will never have an affair. There are no such guarantees in life. I wish it were different, but that is reality. One thing no person can take away from another is their own right to choose. And really…would we want to?

But How Can I Get Past the Tremendous Sadness?

How loved would I feel if another was forced to love me?

Prior to our meeting this week, I put out an email to the Beyond Affairs Network asking other coordinators, how they got past the sadness. Here are their responses which I shared at our meeting:

“It was the hardest of emotions for me to overcome, but I finally accepted the fact that it happened and that I had no control over the actions of my spouse. I continually reminded myself that unless I controlled my own actions, I would be bound by my own stubbornness to remain in the anger and resentment stage. The constant dwelling on what happened is what keeps people stuck there. Again I had to control my own thoughts and move ahead. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it can be done especially if you choose to stay focused.”

Another wrote:

“I think, hard as it is to accept, that ‘tincture of time’ is the best way to get past both the hurt and the anger. I also know that it is possible to get stuck in either place. So what I did, instead of trying to rush the process, was to really LET myself be sad and then to LET myself be angry for a while. I had spent so much time and energy trying to move on, that I found I was denying myself the right to feel what I NEEDED to feel in order to heal.

Once I acknowledged my feelings and that I wasn’t crazy for feeling them, it was much easier to let them go. Now when negative feelings come, I can acknowledge them and put them away much faster. But it doesn’t happen overnight. It has been nearly 3 years for me and I’m finally getting there.”

Another affair survivor wrote:

“For me, the greatest skill for dealing with sadness is gratitude. Define it. Practice it. It seems trite to say count your blessings when you’re in the midst of such pain, but there is no denying the practical benefits of just doing. It’s scriptural and I think it’s psychologically sound. This is NOT denial. It’s perspective and coping until time has had the chance to work its magic.”

Then I read Peggy Vaughan’s article “Moving from Pain to Recovery”, where she talks about the importance of controlling your thoughts. What we feed grows. If we allow ourselves to replay the pain over and over again in our minds, we don’t move forward, in fact, it can get worse with time, if time is spent nursing and rehearsing the wound over and over again. This is where it becomes so important in the healing process to educate ourselves and to share with others who understand, which is the purpose of, constructive ideas and efforts to get beyond the painful emotions.

Managing Pain

One woman shared how taking anti depressants (only for 6 months) had helped her to cope with life at somewhat of a normal level during the initial discovery period. Others managed their pain, and often depression that accompanies discovering marital infidelity, through cognitive therapy (which is learning to understand, recognize and control your thoughts).

During our meeting, one individual brought to our attention the value of a good comedy!!! What a great, but often overlooked point! Sometimes you’ve just been dealing with the darn stuff too long.

Need to Laugh

You need to go out and have a good laugh. Give all those serious, deep thinking, tragedy moments a rest. Search for things that make you laugh. A good laugh is medicine for the soul.

Getting past the sadness, it’s a choice. We choose whether we will read books, educate ourselves, increase our understanding, learn from others and most of all whether or not WE will control our thoughts. Can you get past the sadness? Absolutely! But it takes time and it is YOUR choice.

This article was written by Anne Bercht and is featured on the web site for PassionateLife Seminars, which is a dedicated to helping others survive marriage affairs, infidelity, adultery and betrayal. Anne’s book, My Husband’s Affair Became the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me is an inspiring true story of one family’s courage and recovery after a devastating affair.

This particular article is one of many they have posted on the subject of surviving infidelity and healthy recovery from extra marital affairs. You may want to visit their web site to see what else they offer which might further help you in some way with this issue. You can visit their web site by going to


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149 responses to “How Can I Get Past The Tremendous Sadness?

  1. Just found out my husband has been cheating on me for months (maybe even years). To make matters worse, one of the women who he cheated on me with works at the same company as he and myself. We work for the same company but in opposite buildings. I found out when he left a page open asking others for help on how to win her (who he calls the love of his life) back and multiple pictures and videos of them being intimate. I recently came back to work after being on maternity leave.

    Last weekend he told me that he was going on a boys trip. We have a three month old daughter and I was of course upset but in the end didn’t mind. I took time off of work to drop him to the airport and even picked him up with my daughter. Little did I know that waiting inside the airport was my coworker and husband going on vacation together.

    After going through his phone I saw the real extent of his infidelities. Lunch dates. Gifts. Even spending time with her child. All while I’m one minute away in another building. He has been sharing pictures of my daughter with her and the two have been acting like she is their baby. Even all throughout my labor when I thought he was by my side, he was communicating with her. I checked the records. Up to the point when I gave birth and immediately after, they were talking about it. All for weeks after the birth when we were entertaining family at our home, he was cheating on me.

    All of the red flags were there. I have been asking him for months “are you cheating on me” so I don’t know why I’m surprised. I found text messages of the other woman asking him when is he going to stop cheating on his pregnant wife but that didn’t stop him. I look at videos of my daughters birth. The most precious moment of my life has been tarnished. I wish he was never there to begin with.

    He says that he is sorry and all of this happened because I showed him no attention. How long would the cheating have gone on if he wasn’t caught. With a brave face I went to work the next day acting like nothing happened while I’m dying inside. Have my other coworkers known all along? Has everyone been laughing behind my back the whole time? I went to see the coworker that day. She could not look me in the face. I waited for minutes intending to confront her but it is just not in my nature to cause scenes. I left the building telling myself to forget it, they’re just not worth it.

    My heart is broken. The man I thought I married is a complete stranger. So many questions. If he has been cheating for years, why would he have a child with me? I love my daughter to death and will do absolutely anything for her. It pains me to know that she’s not going to grow up in a happy home. I want what’s best for her and only want positive people in her life. Based on his text messages with his mistress he wants someone to drink, smoke, do drugs, and watch porn with. Am I supposed to leave her with him?

    Unable to suddenly quit my job, I have to go back to work tomorrow and keep up the charade. Keep up the facade when everyone asks how are you guys. It’s not for me, but for my daughter. At the end of the day, she still needs love, food, shelter and everything else. With her I’m strong and will never let her see me weak or crying over this. I whisper in her ear “we’re gonna make it” and fight back tears wishing she could tell me the same.

      1. Thank you. You don’t know how much your comment means to me! I’ve had no shoulder to cry on; no one to talk to and listen. He’s telling all his friends about the affair asking for advice but I can’t seem to tell anyone because I’m so ashamed. I tried calling helplines but it’s so hard talking to strangers.

        Eventually our boss found out about the affair and the only comfort I’ve had was when my boss stopped and gave me a long hug because he saw how much I was hurting. It’s been 4 months and since then both him and the other woman has been fired.

        I’m trying to work through it but what can I do when he has a time limit on when I can trust him? Threatening to leave because I don’t trust him 100% yet. Hoping God will give me the guidance to make the right decisions especially for my daughter.

    1. I found my husband of 11 years cheated on me. I don’t know ANY of the details at all, only that he has been talking to her for a while. I am devastated and I feel sick constantly. I can barely eat and I find myself trying to win him over more than he is trying to win me back. He says he can’t live without me and that he made a huge mistake, but it doesn’t fix me at all. I feel helpless and alone to a point that it’s eating me up so much inside I barely want to live anymore.

      1. Hi Lindsay, I am a husband married for 37 years…I made the mistake of having emotional affairs I am sorry to say. They have ended now 16 months ago, and more recently, 4 months ago. I wrote a letter of closure which my wife read, and then which we both sent together. Correpsondence on these can be found in the site link below.

        You say that you know none of the details, only that he has been talking to her for a while. Is the correspondence ended now? If so, for how long?

        You say he tells you he cannot live without you and that he made a huge mistake. This sounds pretty sincere to me. Are there any other signs of genuine remorse that you are overlooking? Has he made his phone or computer accessable to you? Do you feel he has been completely open with you? Has he written a letter of closure to the other woman?

        I truly feel for you….. Our way out was to be very transparent with each other. My task was to honor her trust and be able to show her my correspondence, and to demonstrate to her that I have kept my word. Please give your husband a chance to keep his word, and win you back.

        Sometimes still my wife asks me “Whom are you texting?” I can always show her, and let her read the texts if she wants to. We’re moving along, but it takes time and patience.

        I hope my comments have been of help.
        I also hope you come back and share what’s happening with you. Many on this site have undergone similar trials and have overcome them. You can too!

        WP (Work in Progress)

  2. 10 years ago my husband had an affair. It was both emotional and physical. Over the years he has become a much better man. He accepted Christ and our marriage is better than I could have ever imagined. The problem is that every year on the “anniversary” of the day I discovered the affair I feel so sad and hurt. He wonders what’s wrong but I don’t want to hurt him. So my question is should I just keep my feelings to myself and get through it as best as I can or is it ok to share with him why this day is so hard for me? He doesn’t want to remember anything about it and I am sure that he really has no idea why this day is so difficult for me. I just don’t want to have to deal with this alone every year for the rest of my life. What should I do?

    1. Just pray to God for healing. It’s ok to let him know. You have to let it go. That’s the only way you will be able to move forward.

  3. My husband cheated on me after 14 years marriage. He said it was a mistake. He asked for forgiveness, kissed my feet to stay together but my mind is going crazy and sadness kills me. I’m pretending, but for how long?

    1. Continue to pray. God will heal you. Read his word. We have to forgive and God will heal your broken heart. Been there before.

  4. My wife of 10 years has been cheating on me this whole summer. She is a nurse that works night shift.The man she has been cheating with also works with her; a cop with plenty of time to put the talk game on her. She looked me in my eyes and lied to me about it. I met with him and he was honest. They had been sleeping together for some time; he even came on a family vacation 100 miles away. I have three children – 6, 4, and 3. I want to try and make this work, but he left his wife and has nothing to lose. She says its over. Can I ever trust her again?

    1. Yes. Speak to a minister. She has to seek God. Please start praying together. I treated my husband wrong. He had cheated on me numerous times but I was a forgiver. I would do anything for God to restore my marriage right now in the name of Jesus. It is my anniversary today. 14 years. When God restores my marriage, I will be obedient to His word. I’ve since repented and turned away from my sins. I will not let the enemy deceive me again. I want all marriages to be restored. The enemy is here to kill, steal and destroy. Healing takes time. Don’t give up on what God has put together.

    2. Trust is something that has to be earned. She has a lot of “work” to do if that can happen. I’ve been dealing with my wife’s affair for 2 years. My biggest issue is love. She broke my heart and I still don’t feel the love I once did. Your wife is broken and has to “fix” herself before you can “fix” the marriage. Simply saying it won’t happen again without understanding why it happened to start with is nothing but words. It’s a tough journey but my children deserve my best effort to keep their family together. Good luck and God Bless you. I know the pain you are feeling.

  5. It’s been two months, and I feel broken. At the last minute, he chose to stay, which brings me no comfort. I won’t bore any of you with the sorted details, because it’s all the same. An affair is an affair. I will say it went on for two years, and that we’ve been together for ten. We have four children, two are my step children whom have been MINE all along.

    I don’t know what to do. I barely function some days, which is particularly tough because our youngest, who is 9, has special needs. I search for hope and peace and feel like I come out empty handed every time. I read all of their communications, including their statements of love and affection, and it’s haunting. I can’t let it go, no matter how hard I try.

    I want to leave. I want to stay. I can’t bear the thought of feeling like this for years. Years. God is first in my life, but I feel my faith warning, which brings me guilt and shame. What do I do?

  6. Hi there, I’m really struggling today, can’t stop crying and I’m so down I can’t get out of this. I just can’t understand why he could hurt me after 27 years.

    1. I just caught my husband of 10 years cheating on me and to add insult to injury I’m 4 months pregnant. He cried, told me what happened and begged me to stay so I agreed to go to counseling but less than 2 weeks later he acts like nothing happened; he is making no attempt to make me feel better and even asks me to stop crying during the night because he does not want our other kids to hear me. When I get mad about him acting this way he says its because it saddens him too much to see me this upset and depressed all the time but he does not understand why his initial apology isn’t enough to just move on.

      I love him and wish I could work this out but I think I hate him, not even because he cheated but because I don’t feel he is remorseful enough. I want constant apologies and for him to tell me every day how wonderful I am and flood my house with flowers, but nothing – not a card, not a text message, just regular business and I work for him (in separate buildings) but he calls me and is just cold. I’m starting to think he either just doesn’t care or hasn’t realized he just doesn’t love me anymore. This would be devastating but better than this; I can handle being dumped but not being in limbo. What should I do?

      1. Hi Erica, Your husband does not appreciate the amount and depth of hurt this has caused you. He does not get that yet. Until he does, it will be very difficult for you to heal. You also need to be assured that he DOES understand how you feel.

        Perhaps sit him down and ask him how he would feel if you were to have an affair with (use a name of a person you both know) How would he feel if he found text messages or other clear evidence of your stepping out beyond the matrimonial fence? It dounds like he was remorseful in the beginning… and that is good, but he needs to really GET IT. I hope this helps!!
        WP (Work in Progress)