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The emotions felt by the hurt partner immediately after finding out about an affair are simply overwhelming There are emotional stages of processing an affair and they similar to those dealing with death of a loved one. You have lost something you cherished and even if the relationship is saved it will never be the same. The difference in death and infidelity is when a person died they did not choose to leave you but in the case of infidelity they did choose to leave you. Accepting you were second best to someone that you held so dear can be very difficult not only to your relationship but also to your self-esteem. You must work on you first then see how the new you feels about what has happened. Always remember their actions are a reflection of them, not you!
Immediately after discovering my Ex-husbands first affair I felt shock so strong it took my breath away. The same feeling I had when I was young and a horse had kicked me in the stomach. As I was trying to catch my breath, I kept thinking I must have heard it wrong. There must be some mistake. This really is not happening……. But looking at him with the bracelet in his hand I knew it was true and a title wave of ANGER hit me that was so strong I didn’t know how to handle it. I knew I wanted that bracelet out of MY house NOW, and the screaming began. I followed him all the way down the street not knowing what I was saying but yelling all the way till he threw it in the creek. The only thing I remember him saying “but it is 24Karet gold.” Others have shared with me the shock was so painful it felt like a dream.
What I have learned about my initial reaction of anger is it was a “cover up” emotion. I was expressing anger, but the real root of my feelings was one of betrayal that left me in a deep well of sadness and pain. Underneath my anger, rage, disbelief and shock was sadness so powerful that I knew could overtake me and lead me to depression.
We all use our mind in three different ways these mind states are:
· Reasonable Mind (using logic and intellect)
· Emotional Mind (behaviors and thoughts that are controlled by emotion)
· Wise Mind (a healthy balance of the Reasonable and Emotional states).
The eventual goal is to arrive at Wise Mind in order to deal with all of the issues that accompany an affair. While healing after the discovery of an affair, you will probably go on a roller-coaster of overwhelming emotions and make your journey to Wise Emotions a little difficult.
During the Emotional Mind State take the time to acknowledge your feelings, explore them and really take time to grieve in healthy ways.
· Talk to friends that will just listen and understand your emotions will be all over the place.
· Journal all your feelings and words you would like to express but these are your thought for your eyes only and do not share with anyone. This will be your private place to vent, every single emotion you have. Keep in mind your emotions may change from one moment to the next. Sometimes you might just scribble on the page, but those scribbles may just be emotions that can not be put into words.
· Exercise, go for a run, walk just get those good endorphins going. Let them fight the negative feelings you are experiencing. Not only will you start to look better but you will rest better, plus feel emotionally and physically better than if you just sat home dwelling on history that can not be changed.
· Go somewhere private that you can cry, scream and yell. Talk to God as your friend asking him questions and share your deepest feeling. He is there for you and will listen. Make sure to keep your mind and eyes open to see the God Winks he will send you.
· Letting yourself fully experience and process these terrible feelings is actually a very self-loving act. It helps you find the new and improved you. The person YOU really want to be and accept the feelings you have. After you process the emotions the Reasonable Mind will begin to be incorporated into your life.
· It is so very important to avoid any self-destructive activities. In the moment they may sound good, but they will delay your healing or compound the problems you are dealing with.
While you are processing your Emotional Mind State and healing, you will start using your Reasonable Mind State. The reality of what your ex-partner and the relationship were really like will begin to surface. The blinders will come off, and history will become clearer. At that point, you will begin to move to the Wise Mind State.
Divorce can be overwhelming emotionally, particularly if infidelity is involved. Our Wise Mind is inside us all just waiting for us to use it. The Wise Mind can bring you peace and strength you didn’t even know you had. Giving you an inner freedom, soothing your anxiety, clarity about who you are and what you stand for The Wise Mind also helps you make decisions from that place inside you that knows what is best and right for you.
Marsha Linehan states: “Wise mind is that part of each person that can know and experience truth. It is where the person knows something to be true or valid. It is almost always quiet, It has a certain peace. It is where the person knows something in a centered way.”
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