When something as traumatic as infidelity occurs, we typically gain important knowledge along the way. Here are 47 lessons learned from an emotional affair.
I know that we all are at different stages in the healing process from either an emotional affair or a sexual affair. A common thread that we hear regardless of what stage one is in, is the fear that things will never be the same again in the marriage or relationship.
The fact is that things will indeed never be the same again, no matter how great the recovery. The affair happened. It is there and always will be.
That being said, when something as traumatic as an emotional affair occurs, there are typically lessons that are learned by all parties involved. These lessons are not necessarily from books, websites or counselors, but from deep within ourselves. These lessons can be used as our relationships evolve into something different than what they once were.
A while back we discussed some of those lessons and we want to list some of those that were mentioned. I counted 47. These are the words of many who walk in the same shoes as you. Feel free to add your own lessons learned in the comment section.
Lessons Learned From an Emotional Affair
- I have learned that I need to be more aware of how cruel and manipulating people really can be.
- I have learned that we can never really know someone. There is always going to be something that we keep to ourselves.
- I have learned that I let so many things get in the way of living my life to the fullest and enjoying what I had and who I was.
- I have learned that you can never let anyone, your spouse or your children, define who you are or who you are being.
- I have learned the only way to find true happiness with yourself or anyone else, is to be the real you.
- I have learned that you must communicate your feelings no matter how valid you or anyone else feels they are.
- I have learned that trust and security are a myth.
- I have learned that I will no longer play second fiddle to a second class person.
- I have learned that I really thought he/she was a better person than she/he is turning out to be.
- I have learned I am a better person than he/she obviously believes me to be and I do not have to stand for what he/she is doing to me.
- I have learned that life isn’t fair.
- I have learned that wake up calls provide an opportunity for reflection and improvement.
- I have learned that marriage is hard work.
- I have learned that forgiveness is ever harder.
- I have learned not to settle for a mediocre marriage and life, as now I want the best of everything.
- I have learned that love does not conquer all.
- I have learned that our negative behaviors have painful consequences.
- I have learned that I am very strong and resilient.
- I have learned how to ask for what I want and need.
- I have learned that I am responsible for my own happiness.
- I have learned not to take anything or anyone for granted.
- I have learned that everything happens for a reason; you need to feel the pain of the past, learn from it then move on to a brighter future.
- I have learned that the love I feel for my husband is so much greater than the pain, the lies and the insecurities.
- I have learned that our past may have been was clouded with doubt, but our future is clear and hopeful.
- I have learned not to believe what my husband says because I find he is still lying.
- I have learned to trust my instincts because they are always right.
- I have learned that if you really love someone you will do anything to make them happy.
- I have learned not to be afraid.
- I have learned not to put someone on a pedestal, as everyone have feet of clay and can fail.
- I have learned that I really can stand on my own two feet, can do things alone and that I must take care of myself and not wait for other people to do that.
- I have learned not to trust anyone anymore until they show me they are trustworthy.
- I have learned that although I thought I was a good listener, I wasn’t and am since much more alert to everything that is said or done by anyone.
- I have learned to voice appreciation more actively and find small ways of affirmation to reinforce my commitment to our marriage.
- I have learned that my perfect life is not at all as it appeared.
- I have learned the difference between forgiveness and forgetfulness.
- I have learned to be thankful for those things in my life that are good.
- I have learned to expect less so I won’t be disappointed.
- I have learned that the lack of quality communication of emotional needs is a road to an affair or break-up, or both.
- I have learned to be honest with myself, my wife and our relationship.
- I have learned to let go of my fear of confrontation within our relationship.
- I have learned to be more in tune with my wife and her feelings and needs–as well as my own.
- I have learned that everything that I’ve ever wanted and needed was right under my nose all along. The grass truly isn’t greener on the other side.
- I have learned that I am much stronger than I ever imagined.
- I have learned that I love my husband and he loves me more than I ever imagined.
- I have learned that I have to be okay with not trusting as much as I did before.
- I have learned what my husband really needs from me and how to give that to him.
- I have learned that I can and will survive this!
What does happen to couples that have healed is they find that their relationship is truly different. Since Doug and I have been through hell and back after his emotional affair, our relationship has taken on a whole new character. After forgiving each other, it is easier to remember the past without reliving the pain, but that doesn’t mean that we have forgotten the lessons that we have learned along the way.