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Recovery From Your Spouse's Extramarital Affair
From Discovery to Recovery - help for the faithful spouse
There is very little to match the pain, sorrow and anquish caused by an unfaithful spouse. Yet, thousands are told, or find out, about a partners affair and betrayal on a daily basis.
But it doesn't usually start there does it? The faithful spouse often has a prior inkling because of the lack of attention by their partner, sometimes over extended periods. Did you feel this way? Did you find out this way?
By the time the affair was realized and you became aware of the betrayal, were you already worn down by your own thoughts and feelings of losing something you couldn't quite put your finger on? You instantly become further crushed emotionally to the point of shell-shock, your world shatters, you feel devestated, and in literally seconds, everything you thought would last is over.
For the unfaithful partner, one thing should be clear, your faithful spouse will often show symptoms of insecurity that you may not have seen before. You may variously see them scream, cry, shout at you, ignore you, act in a seemingly desperate way, they will display anger, feelings of hurt and paranoia. You have two choices. You can act in a detached, defensive way, with disinterest, and some will think this is a good thing, because it doesn't bring attention to the pain and sorrow of the betrayal, who they mistakenly think needs time to heal. Or, you can accept responsibility for what you have done and seek help to restore the lost trust and love.
Betrayers who want to heal the pain of their partner must understand that they have undermined completely all the vows and time they have spent together. They must be shown how to take and accept responsibility for their actions, and for the pain they have caused. That is not to mean you have to go into punishment mode, even though you will probably feel mightily justified in doing so. The lies and betrayals are the cause of your pain, it is this they must take account of and make amends for.
What I try to achieve, with the permission of yourself as the faithful spouse, is a way to allow you to get across to your partner the hurt they have caused you and to solicit the responses that you need to see in them that proves to your satisfaction that you are being understood. It's no good your asking for details and your partner glossing over the answer because they don't want to hurt you. All they want to do is minimize their shame and their role. And, because you know that before you ask, the answer you get is unsatisfactory. The pain you feel is due the the thoughts you have that there is still more to come out, something is still missing.
You ask for time and space, and you must decide when to initiate physical contact, like hugs or holding hands. Your spouse brings you flowers, or aftershave, with comments like; 'It's been a while now, aren't you over this yet?', or 'Why are you making such a big deal about it?', 'Can't we just forgive and forget?'. When you hear comments like this, you know instinctively they are still in their own little world, only thinking about themselves and engaging in damage control. This is just as hurtful as when the innocence of the marriage was torn away in the first place.
You need someone to validate your feelings and treat them with respect. A partner who is truly sorry for what they have done will try to do this, over and over again by talking to you and showing you they are sorry. A partner who is trying to worm their way back in will end up making you feel it was all your fault. You may have already heard some of the excuses, or the logic behind sweeping as much as possible under the carpet.
How painful does it feel when the faithless actions of your partner are reduced to misdemeanors because of the way they will try to cover their tracks or justify the affair? When you attempt to 'explain away' an affair, you undermine the effect on the faithful partner, who is then pressurized into making rash decisions or decisions that they are not comfortable making, like early forgiveness, or a resumption of sex.
When your partner says, 'I didn't mean to hurt you', it undermines what really did happened. The fact is, they DID hurt you! So when you shout out, 'Well you bloody well did hurt me, you asshole!', 'While I was home here holding the fort, you were fucking around behind my back!'. Of course it hurts when your partner is thinking of someone else and not you. How can they expect any different?
The pain of an affair is on the mind of the faithful partner for a long time. There's no getting away from that. The imagination will bring new 'facts' to mind and you will need closure on them. You will relive the affair over and over in your mind as a series of 'flashbacks', and suddenly there will be reminders all over the place. This can bring on a state of alert known as 'hypervigilance', and is similar to the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) suffered during accident trauma, in victims of violence and by military veterans. Part of the recovery process here at The Haven will be to help you deal with these traumatic memories and the feelings they bring forth, so you don't have to worry about them so much in the future.
Could we both come for a private consultation?
Yes, of course, that would be super if you could both come and talk it out in a neutral environment. Recovery after an affair is an area in a relationship that is fraught with danger. Unfaithful partners all too often screw up the recovery process because they underestimate the pain they have caused you. All they want to do is forget it and move on, and they expect you to do the same. Is this your experience?
Help for you to heal from your partners affair. I cannot promise that your marriage or partnership will be repaired as a result of coming here to talk to me, but I like to think that if you follow some of the principles and techniques that I will show you, you stand a very good chance of repairing your relationship and bring healing into your own life and love. If this idea resonates with you, I invite you to visit The Haven Healing Centre in Blagdon for a private consultation. Appointments and a treatment price list are available by clicking here. I look forward to welcoming you soon. Phil.
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Note: DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.
It's a small investment in yourself, but could be a life-changing experience you will cherish forever.
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