It's hard to imagine what you will go through after the blow of discovering infidelity hits you - until you've actually experienced it first-hand.
It's not uncommon for women, (prior to experiencing infidelity,) to believe the following, "If I found out he was cheating, I'd leave him!"
There is often strong conviction behind that statement because it's easy to imagine how awful and ANGRY it would make us if our spouse was unfaithful.
Before it actually happens to us, we may feel certain the answer is to cut our losses and move on. End of story.
But I know you have found that it's just not that simple. It takes a great deal of thought - especially if you have a long relationship history and children together.
And there are good reasons for that - the attachment and love we have for our spouse can be very significant.
As a result, it's not always easy to just walk away.
This is something only women who've been through it truly understand.
Now that it's happened to you, you may find yourself dealing with a surprising number of feelings - Not just anger and the conviction to leave him.
These feeling can often feel overwhelming and confusing.
It's not unusual to feel deep sadness, anger, and to have trouble sleeping and concentrating.
These are normal responses to relationship trauma and betrayal.
Despite the normalcy of these feelings, the depth and range of emotions can be surprising sometimes.
In his article, "After You've Discovered Your Partner Is Cheating: 5 Unexpected Emotional Reactions," by Scott Haltzman, he outlines 5 emotions betrayed women often feel after discovering infidelity.
- Shame - "Shame is usually prompted by a sense of humiliation because a person believes he/she has made a mistake."
- Emptiness - "Emptiness is actually a psychological mechanism that kicks in during any period of shock; in some ways it actually protects the mind."
- Possessiveness - "Separations between partners can generate an increase in attraction, and imagining your partner is (in) someone else's arms can stir a longing to pull you close together." This is activated by our attachment and love for our partner or spouse.
- Annoyance - "As a spouse, you may just want to say to yourself, "really, could he/she be that stupid!"
- Relief - "Now that it's out in the open, you can finally begin to work on it."
I'm going to take it a step further and add a few more emotions we often feel after discovering betrayal and infidelity:
- Fear - Fear that you will loss him, your family, your sense of security, your home, your future.
- Rage - You don't know how angry you can feel until you've been betrayed. This feeling is experienced on the extreme.
- Panic - The thought that our world is falling completely apart can cause us to panic. Our sense of security in knowing what our life is all about is ripped from us.
- Confusion - This happens when our partner is deceptive, both, before and after we discover infidelity. It can make us feel "crazy" and lead us to distrust our own intuition and sense of what's true.
It's no wonder it takes time and effort to sort out our lives, our heart, our truth, and our sense of direction after discovering infidelity.
When you know in your heart that what you are going through is a normal response to deception and betrayal, it can be much easier to be gentle with yourself.
Just as you would if you were recovering from a physical injury, it's time to gently and kindly allow yourself to recover.
- No beating yourself up for how you feel.
- No more placing yourself at the bottom of the priority list.
It's time to take care of you, beautiful lady.