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. I don’t want this anymore. I can’t take this anymore. I can’t Lord. I can’t Lord. I can’t Lord. My heart is completely shattered.”

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.

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.

“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?

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 Beyondaffairs.com, constructive ideas and efforts to get beyond the painful emotions.

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.

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.

The above 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 Beyondaffairs.com.

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Filed under: Surviving Infidelity

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Comments

135 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.

  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?