There was a time in my life when the emotional pain of my ex-husband's infidelity was not only unbearable, but also extremely stressful.
I think back on that period in my life and I wonder how I ever managed to hold myself together.
I suppose I had to because I had two young children to raise. Who else was going to care for them? I'm sure that is part of why I was so strong, despite the increasing chaos in my marriage.
But I know it wasn't just that.
I look back and realize that I also had a very high tolerance for emotional pain - and I don't count that as a positive thing.
I had learned growing up that this is how you deal with emotional pain.
When something bad happened in my family, I learned that you don't talk about it or express how you feel - you simply move on to the next day as if nothing happened.
Apparently, I learned that family lesson really well.
By the time I left my family home, I had no idea how I felt about a lot of things because I pushed most of my feelings "under the rug."
In my adulthood, and in my marriage, this didn't serve me very well.
I tolerated, ignored, denied, and toughened up about things that really needed my attention.
As you know from reading this blog, I did end up learning how to connect with my feelings and experiences, advocate for myself, and recover from the pain of infidelity in my marriage.
As you can imagine, I would do things differently in that marriage if I had to do it all over again.
Hindsight is always a great teacher.
Having gone through all of this, I did learn some important life lessons:
- It's not necessary or helpful to ignore the emotional pain in our heart. It's a sign that something needs our attention.
- The more we pursue active healing, the more we will grow and eventually create a better life for ourselves.
- There is always hope after every challenging situation in our life.
- We have overcome many hardships in our life prior to discovering infidelity in marriage. There is no reason to believe we can't overcome this challenge too.
- Experiencing infidelity in our marriage is not a life sentence. It is only one chapter of many.
- Actively pursuing recovery every day and taking small steps will help us overcome whatever stands in the way of a peaceful life and marriage.
More than anything, I just want to encourage and remind you to keep moving forward one day at a time.
Learn what you can, listen to your heart, pursue recovery, and connect with that part of yourself that will support your personal growth.
And always remember - This too, shall pass - in time.
Hope and Healing,