If you are in the middle of infidelity grief, I know it's hard to imagine the possibility that you will ever get to the other side of the emotional pain and heartbreak you feel.
In the days and months following infidelity discovery, you may feel emotional pain so deep, it may be completely overwhelming - almost like you are drowning in grief.
Infidelity grief makes it hard to eat, sleep, get out of bed, or fulfill your everyday work and parenting responsibilities.
In other words, it can be pretty hard to make it through the day.
If that sounds like what you are going through right now, this article can help.
We are going to talk about why infidelity grief hurts so much and what you can do about it.
Even though emotional pain is hard to go through, grief is a normal response to discovering infidelity in your marriage.
It's important to remember that even though grief can feel pretty intense, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you.
You have a broken heart and that can hurt as much as it would if you had just suffered a major physical injury.
Most women go through a period of intense grief after discovering infidelity and the length of time for feeling grief varies from woman to woman.
Why does infidelity hurt your heart so deeply and cause such intense grief and pain?
Anyone you open your heart to and share an emotional bond with has the potential to cause pain and grief when that bond is either threatened or broken.
Here are some important reasons why discovering infidelity hurts so much:
- The deeper the love you have for someone, the more heartbreak you will feel when trust and promises are broken.
- There is loss of the marriage you thought you had, and the person you thought he was.
- Everything is questioned once infidelity is discovered, because the foundation of security and trust is now gone from your relationship.
- Infidelity feels like complete abandonment. He's emotionally unavailable, critical, or distant, and diverts his mind and attention elsewhere. You wonder where he has gone. And that hurts.
- Infidelity feels like a huge personal rejection. He is choosing someone else over you.
- He is likely to minimize and lie about his involvement with the other person(s.)
- He may play mind games with you, keeping you confused and suffering.
- You may blame yourself for what he did.
These are just some of the reasons infidelity hurts so much.
So what can you do to help yourself, now that your heart is filled with grief and emotional pain?
1 | Allow yourself to be real about how you are feeling.
This is one of the most important keys to overcoming infidelity grief.
You will need to feel it to release it and heal it.
It is in our human nature to try and avoid emotional pain if we can. Most of us don't want to feel the pain because it's just not a whole lot of fun.
However, avoiding grief will prolong infidelity recovery. It will be hard for you to move forward into a more joyful future without grieving.
When I was a grief counselor at Hospice we had a very simple saying about grief:
In other words, you can try to avoid grief but it has a way of lingering beneath the surface, waiting to come out later.
Grieve your losses now and keep it real.
2 | Connect with women who care and understand.
Going through infidelity grief all alone is so much harder than getting the support of people who care and share your experience with infidelity. I know because I went it alone for many years before I found the right support.
There is strength and healing in belonging to a healing community.
3 | Put structure and routine in your day.
After you find out about his betrayal, you will probably want to climb in bed and never come out again. That's how painful it is. When you are in intense pain, it's ok to do. That may be all you have the energy for.
However, if it starts to become long-term behavior, you will need to push yourself to rejoin life again.
You can do this by setting up structure in your day. Setting 2-3 small goals for each day will help. At least 1 or 2 of your daily goals should be focused on self-care.
4 | When you are grieving, ignore those who encourage you to move on, forgive, and forget.
Sometimes grief makes others uncomfortable. When encouragement to move on comes from those who loves you, they often do that because they don't want to see you in pain.
Remember, grief has it's own timeline. Your pain will come to a natural end when you ready. No one but you knows how your heart feels.
Honor your truth.
5 | Remind yourself that you will survive and overcome the grief you feel.
Inside of you, there is a healing place within your heart that knows how to comfort you.
Use the moments when you feel the most pain, to assure yourself:
- That you will get through this.
- That it's ok. The pain you feel will come. And it will go.
- That you are a strong, empowered woman.
- That you have overcome other hardships in your life and you will do so with this too.