Today is not a letter, it’s a collection of my instagram posts, today included over the last 4 days I’ve been posting my 8 constructive tips for overcoming betrayal (after an affair). My instagram is often a collection of my thoughts about affairs, betrayal, the other woman.
Life gets ripped apart and very quickly we want to “get over it”, life pushes us to move on and get over things so much now I feel and it’s not always helpful, people go to work sick for instance and then everyone is sick. For those who don’t have instagram or who don’t follow me there are the posts that I’ve posted this week. If you have Insta and don’t follow please do, you have a community waiting to help you and I post things every day which not only talk about our recovery but things that can help you too. You can see a few of my posts on the right hand side, to go to my profile click here.
It’s. Never. Your. Fault. Ever. No ifs. No buts. Not ever. You didn’t chose for your partner to have an affair. You didn’t force them to do it. They made choices. They made decisions. They let YOU down. They destroyed you. All marriages have difficulties but not all partners cheat. You didn’t force anything. Whatever you did or didn’t do in your marriage you didn’t make anyone do anything. No one put a gun to their head. Most people are not victims either, they are bystanders. Most wayward spouses are just too consumed by their own selfish needs to consider their spouses. The betrayed is not a victim, they are an innocent bystander. Its always NOT YOUR FAULT. Anyone who tells you different is an idiot.
Acceptance is necessary to move on; you need to acknowledge and come to terms with the unfortunate reality and injustice of your situation. It fucking sucks. I really really really know how hard it is. But I also know how free it is to be able to look at your life and know that this is what it is, and you are starting from the bottom again. Because then the possibilities are endless. Absolutely endless. Accepting where you are means you have the ability to be where you want to be.
You’re entitled to withhold your forgiveness from your ex. But you’re not entitled to use your children to victimise or punish your ex. I don’t feel that I will ever forgive my husband for the disrespect, the pain, the devastation he bought to our family. That doesn’t make me hard to him though. It means I’m not chasing something that I can’t accept. Not now, and I’m not sure ever. Being honest about that means he’s not chasing it either. Instead of chasing forgiveness, he’s creating safety for us. Building something from the ashes, rather than chasing dreams.
You can also forgive if it works for you. A bad therapist will push forgiveness. A good one will help you find the best way of coming to terms with the betrayal. If you want to seek forgiveness, if forgiveness is what will soothe you, then go for it. I find that forgiveness is more of a religious concept and whilst I’m spiritual I’m not especially religious. If you want that for your life, then please seek it with your heart open, so you don’t drive yourself crazy seeking something you’re not able to accept.
I bucked this one a bit. We, together, chose to tell our families (parents) and our closest friends and they have, in the majority, been the biggest support that we have ever had. Unfortunately my parents and I fell out because they chose to tell their siblings, siblings whom I have a complex relationship with and didn’t want knowing my business. People who have been less than helpful in the past. Some of our friends have been the most essential things. Just remember some people love gossip. Others want to help. know the difference.
Although anger is appropriate initially, eventually you must let go of the negativity. You deserve a future free of anger. I have rage which I’ve never experienced before in my life, but gradually I’m learning to let go of it. Sometimes it feels that its a safety blanket, a blanket which engulfed me but protected me from being vulnerable. The anger protected me. Kept blasting at my husband to keep him away. It kept the healing away too. I’m able to pass through pain and anger much easier now. I allow myself to feel it, I express it within safe boundaries agreed by us both, and I don’t let it overwhelm me.
Consider the consequences of your actions. Don’t have indiscriminate sex as revenge, or do something you’ll regret just to make you feel better, all studies show that people who have “revenge” affairs, making the wayward a ‘mad hatter’ (both cheated on and cheater) very rarely are able to reconcile their marriage without significant and hard work put in. It’s rare that marriages survive it. You also have a responsibility not to block your marriages recovery if that is what you want. Hear me out. Yes they did the damage. Yes they harmed the marriage. However if you CHOSE to stay in the marriage, you are stating you have a responsibility. That doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect, respond perfectly, or not express your feelings negative or otherwise, but you do have to do some things to make those conversations productive. I’ll talk about it more on the blog soon.
My final tip. It’s one that I live by a lot to help me move on from my fixation on the other woman. Living well, it really does help. Treating yourself well, #selfcare, and ensuring that you and your families life is everything that you want and wanted it to be. That you strive for progress and happiness above revenge.