Today we have a very good guest post by Dr. Margaret Paul from Inner Bonding about healing from betrayal.

3 Steps to Healing from Betrayal

By Dr. Margaret Paul

healing from betrayal
Dr. Margaret Paul believes it is vitally important that when healing from betrayal you deal with it in a way that doesn’t cause you even more pain.

Betrayal is one of the hardest things to go through, and it is vitally important that you deal with it in a way that doesn’t cause you even more pain.

It is devastating when someone whom we believe cares about us betrays us – lies, cheats, breaks a sacred promise, hurts us behind our back, steals from us, turns others against us and so on.

The Steps to Healing From Betrayal

1.  Releasing the feelings rather than staying stuck with them

It is vitally important to find healthy ways of releasing the outrage, heartbreak and helplessness over the other person that occurs in betrayal. The first step in releasing these very painful feelings is to move into compassion for yourself. Too often, we may blame ourselves for not seeing the signs of betrayal and getting caught unawares, but we must remember that we are human and can’t always know what’s happening.

It is unhealthy for us to get stuck with the deep pain of heartbreak and helplessness, or stuck feeling like a victim. Stuck feelings can cause illness, and this is the last thing we need while dealing with betrayal.

The way to release stuck feelings is to be very kind and gentle with ourselves, acknowledging how very hard it is to go through a betrayal. You might want to roll up a towel and beat the outrage out on a bed, saying all you wish you could say to the person who betrayed you. This might release tears and when the tears come, allow them to flow, being very tender with yourself. It’s healthy to cry it out and unhealthy to be stoic.

See also  Affair Recovery and My First Experience With a Therapist

2.  Open to learning about what the betrayal can teach you

Every challenge in life has lessons for us, and once we move some of the very painful feelings through, we can then learn. The two primary things we want to learn about are:

  • Is there some way I betrayed myself by giving myself up – abandoning myself in some way?
  • Is there some way I betrayed myself by not listening to my inner voice, my gut feelings? What did I ignore that I needed to attend to?

Try to answer these questions honestly, but without any judgment toward yourself. Often, but not always, if we had been alert to our gut feelings, we could have known ahead of time that bad things were happening.

Recognize that we all ignore things that are painful for us to see, even though it may eventually result in even more pain. Again, be very compassionate toward yourself for being human and avoiding knowing the truth about some situations.

On the other hand, there may not have been early signs. Sometimes others are very good at seeming to be caring and honest, and we can all get pulled into the illusion of caring and charm. Again, be very compassionate with yourself for not knowing.

3.  Keep letting go and moving into acceptance

Each time the pain of the heartbreak and helplessness comes up, feel it fully with compassion and then be willing to release it. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in self-blame, rumination, what-ifs or anger toward the betrayer. None of these will help you to heal. We tend to blame ourselves, stay in anger at the other person or ruminate as ways of not feeling so powerless over the person who betrayed us, but allowing ourselves to get stuck in these feelings only serves to continue to hurt us. The deed is done and cannot be undone. No matter how much you blame the betrayer or yourself, it doesn’t change the fact that it happened. Acceptance of the truth, and of your helplessness over what happened, will help you heal much faster than holding onto anger, blame or rumination.

See also  How to Heal from Betrayal: Self-Care After Infidelity

Keep doing these steps over and over and the times of deep pain will get fewer and fewer. It does take time, but eventually you will have long periods when you don’t think about it. There may always be situations that trigger the pain, and when this happens, be very gentle, tender, caring and compassionate toward yourself, again allowing the feelings to move through you.

Dr. Paul is the author/co-author of several best-selling books, including Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?  Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, noted public speaker, workshop leader, educator, chaplain, consultant and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show.

For more information about the Inner Bonding program you can click here. We have been on Dr. Paul’s mailing list for over a year now and the information that she provides is always helpful and inspirational.


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Journey to Healing
Surviving and Thriving Post D-day

Healing and thriving is an active process, it is a choice, and best of all, it is in your power.  But how do you get past the anger and despair and on the path to healing?

Is there a system or “hack” that can guide you?

There is, and that’s exactly what this program is all about…

    48 replies to "Healing from Betrayal"

    • ChangedForever

      An interesting ‘ read ‘ for someone like myself who is pretty much ‘stuck on the hamster wheel’ within #3….maybe that’s because even after the inital shock of the initial discovery, i was foolish again NOT to notice ‘signs’ while attending weekly couple counseling (for 8 months) and suffering over what i thought were setbacks of healing during that time, while their affair continued. So what was real back then…?. Nothing. What is so real about now? Not sure.
      The ‘deed was not done’ back when i thought we were disancing ourselves from it. But it wasn’t done. So acceptance of the initial time, the second discovery and whatever we’re in now, 12 mths following the 2nd discovery, is still a ways away.
      I hope we can heal from this, we both do…but when i read and re-read this list, i realize this list is not just for the betrayed…its also for the cheating spouse…who needs their own 3 steps for Healing from their Betraying. I was just discussing this generally with my H just tonight BEFORE reading this post…as he continues to become defensive when i relate something to the affair…but in a learned kind of way, usually as a help to myself. I asked him if i’d live so long but to be able to bring something up, without him putting his defenses up, dismissing what i was trying to say…to help us learn from what happened. A cheater needs to heal, i know, but in our situation, that’s still so far away from happening (in actions and words.)… thanks for the ‘food for thought.’. My H’s pain may very well be almost on the same level…as mine now….

    • Paula

      Whilst this at first glance seems a bit paint by numbers, I like the language used. I had not really thought about it quite like this, but I think the point about blaming yourself for not seeing the signs is extremely relevant to me in why I got so stuck, especially as the OW was supposed to be my friend (who I’d known longer than my OH.) I felt sorry for her single mother/never had a partner status, and tried to include her in our family, and this is what she did. That said, I always knew that my partner was the person who was supposed to have made the commitment to me, not her. The self blame is the MOST damaging thing you go through. I don’t know about those who suspected stuff, I had absolutely no idea, AND this went on for OVER A YEAR!!! What kind of idiot invites her partner’s affair partner on holiday, multiple times, with her family, and even without the man involved always present, and she still drove five hours, to see ME??? Man, I felt I must have no idea about people, and I’m not young, and I didn’t used to think I was foolish, lol!

      • Battleborn

        Paula, You weren’t foolish. It is called blind love and trust in your H and used to be friend. All of us, when we think back, can recognize the subtle signs and did not connect them to an affair. Why would we? We believed we were not vunlerable to anything like this. I don’t think you should call yourself foolish at all… you were just duped.

      • WriterWife

        Paula — I know exactly what you mean. My sister continually reminds me that my husband was the one who’d made a commitment to me, not the OW. However, since the OW was one of my closest friends, I *did* feel like she’d made a commitment to me. I still struggle with my anger toward her and have tried to figure out what of my anger is toward her as the OW and what is anger toward a betraying friend. It’s the latter I have to figure out how to get over, esp given how she’s acted since this all came to light.

        And I did the same thing — invited her over for holidays, asked her to join us on vacation. When I was out of town and they were heading into a big project at work together, I even emailed her to see how my H was doing. I prefer not to think of myself as an idiot for including her, but as someone who was a good and trustring friend. That’s a quality about myself that I admire and I won’t let her tarnish that.

        But it’s been hard getting over her betrayal in addition to my husband’s betrayal.

    • Broken2

      During the time he was having the affair I was really happy and I thought our marriage was the best it had ever been. Now his fav term is “our marriage is rock solid”. So what was it then? I seriouslt felt happier that last August 2010 when the affair was at its peak then I do now. Was I just plain stupid? What is real? What will ever be real? Its a crazy mixed up life we face as BS. DDAY 2 year anniversary is tomorrow……

    • Gizfield

      I believe I have to disagree on this one. Part of my commitment to my friends, and something I expect from them as well, is that I’m not going to screw their husband. The depths that some people drag themselves to continuously amazes me. You were not wrong to trust your husband and your so called best friend. They were wrong to abuse that trust. Not you for having it!!

      • Carol

        Hi, Gizfield — your comment made me laugh out loud! Yes, I agree — there is a commitment of sorts between friends, especially good friends. In my case, the OW was a total stranger to me; I can only imagine the double betrayal in cases where the OW is a close friend of the betrayed spouse.

    • Hopeful

      The second question is also very meaningful to me, regarding what can be learned from the EA. “Is there some way I betrayed myself by giving myself up – abandoning myself in some way?” One, I needed to believe that something profound came out of this horror that was amazing and self-growth was the only thing I can control. Thankfully, my H and I have learned a lot about our selves, each other, and our relationship.

      But, I am astonished and frightened by how much I did abandon myself. My gut was tuned in and I confronted my H with only vague intuition (and then brutally shut down) at the beginning of the EA. I was worn down and eventually told myself I was crazy and irrational and no good. Not interesting. Deserving of being ignored. Plain. Jealous. A stick in the mud for not having my own male friends and for not getting his close female friend which was ‘normal’. I gave over myself. I betrayed my own sense of how I deserved to be treated and in so doing gave over the believe that I was a valuable person. I suffered everywhere as a result. Body image, I convinced myself my work sucked, I was not smart, etc. All bull shit. I can’t believe that I allow myself to give our this power and I have learned why and how I was susceptible to this and that I will not allow for it again.

      This is a gift. Not the one I would’ve picked out, but I am stronger for the wear.

    • Broken2

      Do you ever wonder if your spouse really “learned” anything from the affair or are just going through the motions because they got caught? After all they are the masters of deceit. Why didn’t they change before the EA? Will they change back? Will there be enough time that passes to forget what happened and why they changed and go back to the old behaviors? I see alot of changes in my hubby but I also see glimpses of his old self….I feel stronger but I also have to be realistic and wonder how little it would take to slip back to the stupid person I was that never saw her husband cheating for 18 months. Just some issues I deal with.

      • Hopeful

        I hear you and yes, I worry about this.

      • Carol

        I worry about this, too. My spouse claims that he now sees how stupid and selfish and withdrawn he’d become. He now recognizes that he wasn’t fully committed to marriage, that he’d always wanted to reserve a part of himself away from me and his kids. And now he says that was all wrong and was part of his ‘adolescent’ self which he’s supposedly (he’s 45, ahem) finally leaving behind. How will I ever know whether he’s really changed? And of course, he could always slip back. I now know he’s capable of betrayal and deceit; I now know that I was not #1 for him for quite a while and that he was perfectly willing and eager to chase after other women whom he found ‘glamorous’ or exciting or famous. (So much for me: I’ve felt pretty dowdy and boring of late. Of course, I doubt any of those glamourous types would be willing to do his laundry, do the hard work of raising his children, etc., etc.) So I agree, Broken2 — I think this issue is one a lot of BSs must face. Who is the person I married, really? And can I ever believe in the changes he’s trying to make?

    • chiffchaff

      I don’t know if anyone else has this problem but I still feel that I am being duped by my H and that secretly he’s still in contact with the OW in some way. Some days it gets really bad, this feeling, and other days I’m much mroe rational.

      My H is good at dealing with it, in that he will reiterate that he’s not in anyway in contact with her, and it visibly upsets him that I still have this problem. I’m starting to think I need professional help as it seems to me that it’s like PTSD, caused by the dribble of information. Basically, after DDay, I would feel safer, that I ‘knew’ everything, and then a few months would pass and then BAM, more revelations, things were much worse than previously understood by me, then repeat that twice more over 9 months. I think that I’m constantly expecting another revelation to drop from the sky if I relax and enjoy how nice my H is and how good our marriage is becoming.
      any advice on how to deal with this?

    • Gizfield

      Chiff chaff, I’m not trying to upset you, but if he wanted to be in contact with someone, trust me there are hundreds of ways these days. I even have a few “secret” accounts myself but I dont use them. The most common ones are email, facebook, text, phone, etc. I have continuously caught my whoring husband putting his whores new phone number under someone else’s name. The bitch mentioned “did you see what she tweeted?” so I guess theres that. And Skype, and IMO, and the hundreds of free text and email apps. They even have apps that erase history, that delete texts for you, forward them to a secret number that requires a code to retrieve them. Gotta love a smartphone. Then factor in work phones, pay as you go phones, friends phones, etc. and you see what a joke no contact really is. St least in my opinion. I have gone through 3 years of this bullshit. Guess what, the Whores have won! I no longer care. I wondered what my “tolerance” actually was and I guess I hsve find out. Anita said leaving and divorce was harder because people know. I disagree, I want them to know. I have gone through this pretty much alone. I guess everyone just thinks I’m moody, or antisocial or just plain crazy, based on how I’ve acted. I’m not. I’m just continuously hurt by this jackass everyone thinks is Mr.Wonderful. I can’t wait for everyone to know. And about his whore too. Can’t wait. He couldn’t stand it of he knew I even wrote on here. He says he wouldn’t tell her not to call cause he wanted to be “polite” , and “a friend”. How quaint.

      • chiffchaff

        Gizfield – I am aware that he could still be in contact by some complex and secret means, and of course he has proved to be very, very devious during his affair and shortly thereafter.
        But, I don’t see WHY he would continue these days. He is different. I’m just having problems getting past the inability to relax. I don’t want to live like that and it is causing a problem for my recovery.

        • Gizfield

          I am glad you trust him, as to WHY, whatever his real reason was in the first place will be my guess. And in most cases, it is a highly guarded secret, probably way tooooo disgusting and embarrassing to reveal to anyone, including themselves. Low self esteem, mid life crisis, basic sociopathy, some weird psychological stuff, who knows. He probably doesn’t even know himself, and neither will the betrayed spouse. As ugly as my husband has acted I doubt I want to know. It is actually sick to think I could “love” someone like that. I dont want to know what else is in there. Leave that to his whore. They really are 2 of a kind. Soulmate s maybe. Thats usually code for “I found someone as screwed up as I am and who will put up with me when no one else will”. He is now “daughters name” father in my phone, lol. Since he objected to ” liar.”

          • chiffchaff

            His WHY would definitely involve low self-esteem (esp at that time), porn obsession, spiralling low self-esteem due to excessive use of porn, natural ability to compartmentalise, evangelical christian upbringing, displaced rebellion, mid-life crisis, fear of aging, career issues…. blah blah and plus more things I’m sure I’ll never know or want to know. None of which excuses it in anyway.

            Sounds like things have substantially changed for you Gizfield. Sorry to read that especially after all your hard work.

            • Hopeful

              ChiffChaff, just wanted to chime in with a very different kind of response. While circumstances are always so different, I, too, had the “dribble” of information. We’d start healing, then I’d get this spidey sense or find something or he revealed something and BAM, it felt devastating. The lying and sense that I would never be ale to trust him and that I was a fool kept mounting. Every layer of discovery AFTER DDAY was horrible. He’d look at me with sincere eyes and remorse and say, I am sorry blah blah but THIS is the whole picture. Or a month later, THAT was the whole picture. Finally I said, write everything out, all meetings, core of conversations about your relationship to her, and so on. I helped him by saying, THIS Is what I think happened. I’m prepared to hear worse, iI JUST WANT TO KNOW AND NOT BE LIED TO (KEY). Well, he did reveal more and then we had another round of this and when after than I found out another lie (by this time it was small and not important but I was so done with lies that I went BALLISTIC). Broke things, tore up things, screamed, started googling divorce information.

              What I am say is that I get how PTSD works with the dribble. I knew most everything relatively early, but the act of lying (about relatively minor addenums in the grand scheme of things) was devastating, worlds more devastating than anything he lied about. The lying was destroying me. I needed to know that he looked at me and could be truthful emotionally and factually.

              I now feel that he is and I have stopped worrying about it mostly, but I did have ongoing therapy to deal with this, and honestly it was the going ballistic and then hearing a final accounting of dates and such and finally believing it and then therapy that helped. Unlike Gizfield’s situation, my H is not doing anything now, nor has he for a looooooong time.

              But I still deal with the aftermath and the featr

    • Gizfield

      Oh, he says that mostly what they talk about is God. I certainly wouldn’t want to interfere with that. They both sure need that but I doubt you find God sneaking around with a co-whore, lol. I’m done. Hopefully, your husband isn’t in contact, CC, but I wouldn’t put money on it after my experiences. Good luck.

    • Gizfield

      I forgot to say, we dont have a home phone. The first thing my husband did, after initiating contact with Tramp, was convert the home phone to a cell. To save money, since we both had cells. Tramp actually called and left a message for him. He asked if I heard it and to ignore it. odd, but I did. I knew this chick was an old”friend” and I wasn’t jealous, so what the hell? And no, I dont feel stupid or guilty or anything else. They are the whores, not me. If you trust someone and they betray you, it’s on them, not you! I also forgot to mention my husband it’s in sales, or claims to be, so this is a primary business phone as well. Hundreds of calls. I dont have time to monitor this shit and no longer plan to.

    • Gizfield

      Sorry to be a pest this morning, but I have decided that I am not going to let this bad experience change me into a non-trusting”man-hating” shrew, lol. The msn hating thing is a quote from my husband. His whore is a supposed man-hater, because her ex cheated on her, and “she would never do that to anyone else.” since shes not “interested in any man” and thinks of him as her “brother and her friend” theres really nothing for me to be concerned by. Is this guy really that stupid??? Who knows, who cares? I think she is an expert manipulator who has had years of experience, but again who cares? I read once the worst thing I person csn do to you is change who you are, and I agree. I’m not going to let this selfish jerk and a nasty Tramp change who I am. At least not anymore, cause I think they have in the past. If I ever get in another relationship, I will set some hellatious boundaries. If they are breached one time, I will be done. But I will st least trust the person until then. “Trust, but verify”, as they for me.

    • Gizfield

      I’m also being credited with “ruining your child’s life” by refusing to participate in this BS. If you are a parent, please know that the SECOND you begin to pursue a Whore, YOU are beginning to ruin your child’s life. Nobody else us doing it, you are . Both these whores have been so concerned with my daughters welfare all this time, right?

    • Broken2

      chiffchaff…I still struggle with your issue as well. I often feel like he must be in contact somewhere/somehow but no matter how hard I dig…I find nothing. I wish I could just let it go. Every mistake he makes I think about if the OW is around again.His work is especially hard for me because she use to be a coworker. I dont have access to his email at work (and that really bothers me) and he cant work at home because he works for a bank and their systems are highly secured. I would have to go to his work and log in there and believe me I have thought about it. I cant believe after all we have been through and as far as we have come that he would do it again so I have to learn to let it go. But how??? I know there are plenty of ways to sneak around…So you are not alone…hang in there.

      • Healing Mark

        Broken2. I can so relate to what you are saying as I, too, felt the same way that you apparently do. It sucked, to say the least. I wish I could give you some advice on how to let it go, but after racking my brain to try to remeber how I was able to move past the all too often feelings of suspicion, all I could come up with is that I just did it. I just convinced myself that I was not going to live that way, and for my happiness and my family’s happiness, I made a conscious decision to always give my W the benefit of the doubt that she was not going to willingly act in ways that are unacceptable to our relationship. it helps that my W has acknowledged that she does not want to ever again get too close to another man, and understands that if she does we are done as a couple. My “gut” is back to normal (mostly) and I just watch how she treats me and our marriage and as long as it is not the way she treated me and it during her EA, we are cool.

        My experience is that the discovery of my W’s EA caused me to experience for some time what I view as irrational suspicions that my W was going to have another EA notwithstanding her ending the first one and all the work we did together to become a happier married couple. I just couldn’t help feeling that way, and fortunately I finally stopped feeling that way. Perhaps this is a poor analogy, but imagine that you have been in a bad car accident. Afterwards, a rational fear of driving or riding in a car might exist when you are driving or riding in a car. However, the accident might for a time cause you to have feelings of fear even when you are just sitting in a chair in your home. Of course, since you are not then in a car, there is no reason to fear having another accident at that time. But the trauma of the accident causes you to still feel afraid, even though there is nothing at the time to be afraid of. The discovery of my W’s EA for some time caused me to feel afraid that I was going to be hurt again by another EA, even though my W was clearly not doing anything to lead me to rationally suspect the existence of an EA. So now, when there is nothing to reasonably cause me to suspect that something’s “up”, I no longer suspect that anything is “up”. However, much like the person who was in the bad accident and has fear of another accident when riding or driving a car, there are times that I have a fear that my W might be a dumbass and have another affair, but at least I don’t feel this way too often and I can tell myself that this fear is good in that it helps me protect our relationship. I don’t like it, as I never had this prior to EA discovery, but I can’t change the fact that the EA occurred.

        Yes. There are plenty of ways to sneak around. Worrying about whether your H is sneaking around on you is a terrible way to live. Rather than worry needlessly, try to only let your worrying be embraced when you have stepped back and analyzed the situation and rationally and calmly determined that your worry is possibly well founded. Not easy, I know. Also, it helps if your spouse is available and willing to discuss how you are feeling when you are feeling suspicions and can compassionately assure that, no, you are not crazy, but your feelings are unfounded since your spouse is as committed as you are to never letting another EA damage your marriage again.

      • Greg

        Broken2, depending on what his position is at the bank I would very surprised if he didn’t have a remote access login. I know my wife did when she was still in the banking side of her business and she wasn’t all that high up, didn’t even have the coveted ‘vice president of such and such’ title. I’m not saying he is doing anything bad but secure remote access is pretty commonin banking, they generally havea random number generator device that they carry around as a key fob.

        • Anita

          I know you mean well with this advise, however at some point in time you either trust your spouse or you don’t.
          If it gets to a point where your needing to get access to see
          if your spouse is cheating on you while at work, maybe it
          time to reconsider the relationship, or get some much needed counseling. If a relationship causes someone to do something unethical, in order for them to get relief of
          their fears its time let go, either let go of the fear of them cheating, or let go of the relationship itself.

    • Broken2

      Healind Mark it does suck. I cant stop being hyper vigilant with everything he does and says. I KNOW its ridiculous and I know its wrong. I worry about the dumbest things like if his bill at lunch is larger then I think it should be well then the OW must have been there!!! Its just wrong.I need to give him the benefit of the doubt like you said and then react..not the other way around. You’re right it isnt rational and I cant live this way anymore. Sometimes I think if this doesnt stop then I cant stay married but its my fault it wont stop…not his. He does slide back into old behaviors but comes right back when I point out what he has said or done. He has tried so hard, recognized and knows what he did was wrong. Answered all my questions (some I still have) and listened to my pain. Sometimes I feel like I am crazy. I am going to take your advise and give him the benefit of the doubt. I deserve that and so does he. As always your advise is wonderful Thank you.

    • Anita

      I am sorry to read about the changes between you and your husband.
      If you stay or leave there is a grieving process, but its important for you to heal. It takes time, and forgiveness.
      Put your trust in God and pray for him to guide you through
      this. However this turns out you will be stronger woman.

    • Gizfield

      Thank you, Anita. For the first time in 3 years I am not letting another person control my happiness. I can’t say that I am particularly happy st this moment. I guess that will come. It’s nice holding the cards for once, lol. I am back at the same spot I was 13 years ago when my first husband died. If I got through all that I imagine I should get through this. That had a finality about it, it happened in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, I have to deal with this guy the next eight years to raise our child.

    • Gizfield

      Oooops, my math is off. I have ten years to deal with him. Ugh, worse than I thought.

      • Anita

        You hit on a very valid point, not to let someone else control
        your happiness. Yes you will get through this, and you will
        be stronger then you ever thought. I know this is a raw time
        for your emotions, however if you follow what God says about overcoming evil with good, in return someday you can look back with satifaction and it makes you feel better by being obedient to God, with that comes healing amoung other wonderful things.

        • Anita

          One of my shortcomings that I had after learning about
          my exehusband’s affair was realizing that I wasn’t a very forgiving person, in fact I was hot with alot of anger.
          My anger was more internal and external which was like
          a poison that hurt me instead of my exe and his affair partner.
          I knew I couldn’t control my exhusband and stop his affair,
          so we divorced, However that anger remained with me until
          one day I was so sick and tired of it that I finally surrendered it over to God, and in my prayers I cryed to God
          about everything, and little by little I began to heal and I was
          also able to forgive, when that happened my pain went away each day until one day it was gone.
          I am happy now and enjoy my life.
          I hope this is somewhat helpful to you, however we all heal
          in different ways with different experiences and I hope
          someday all this pain will be gone from you.

          • Anita

            Opps, I meant to say more internal instead of external.

            • Anita

              One more thing after time, healing and forgivness, you will feel better. Several days ago I found out that my annulment
              has been placed on inactive status, do to the lack of partipation from my exhusband. At first I was upset with him
              and it took a few days for me to cool off and forgive him, however I have and I have decided to let this go. Should
              the occasion arise that I want to remarry I will attempt to try
              again, and cross that bridge when it comes. In the meantime I am living my life again and letting God guide
              my path and who knows what lies ahead, however I am
              enjoying each day. I have learned to enjoy my life and
              now see that each day is a new day and I am thankful
              to have that. Also my children and their spouses along with
              my sweet sweet grandchildren are so much of a Blessing.

    • onmyway

      Healing Mark and Broken 2, I am glad I came back and read more replies to this post. Both of yours was exactly what I needed to hear. Broken2, I also feel stuck in this hyper-vigilant mode at times even though it is much less than it used to be. It’s my own crazy making and I recognize that.

      What you said, Mark, about giving the CS the benefit of the doubt after rationally exploring any fears is what I have been trying to do and it usually works. I just need to keep on doing that and hopefully I will get to the place you are sooner than later! I liked your analogy of having been in a car accident, by the way.

    • Broken2

      Gizfield…I am sorry things aren’t doing well for you right now. You have always sounded so brave and sure of yourself. I wish you the best.

    • Lora

      A few years ago I was betrayed by my partner. For me was an emotional shock as I was very in love with him. We were living together, I was 30 and he was 28. He had an affair with a work colleague who was 18 years old.
      One night, after making love, he told me we should split up as he loved someone else. I couldn’t cope… I cryied non stop for one week. I have never been so devastated and felt so insulted. He married her two months later, then she left him because she got what she was after (the visa). After that he wanted to come back with me, but it was too late…that experience had been too painful.
      Since then, I have developed insecurities in a relation. Now I’m going out with a beautiful person who loves me and wants to marry me and I have the negative thought that he will betrayed me with someone else more physically attracted or younger than me. Can anybody advice me? Thank you

      • Doug

        Hi Lora and welcome. I’m sorry to hear of your past painful experience. I understand how a past experience such as the one experienced can have an effect on your future relationships. Our niece is currently experiencing similar feelings as a result of her father’s affair and subsequent divorce. However, I think you need to approach this from the fact that this beautiful person who wants to marry you and loves you very much is NOT the cheater who had the affair. Don’t pass up the opportunity for the relationship that you’ve always desired because of someone else’s actions. I think you need to take a risk here.

      • Sidney

        Also remember that your former partner’s affair wasn’t about YOU….but about HIM. His cheating wasn’t because or about you….so it’s not like your current partner will cheat because of you. If he does, it’s HIS character flaw NOT yours. If negative thoughts creep into your mind, keep reminding yourself of that. It’s not anything of who you are….or if you’re pretty enough….or smart enough….or thin enough….etc. Please don’t let someone else’s actions keep you from a fulfilling relationship with someone else.

    • Gizfield

      Lora, I totally agree with Doug. A bad experience makes you hesitant about a new relationship but you dont want to let it ruin your chances for future happiness. There are a couple of possibilities about you ex. He may be a serial cheater. They are the worst and will cheat on anyone and everyone. Also, the lady he cheated with had a Major Agenda and was probably blowing smoke up his ass, as they say, big time!! Sometimes guys areso insecure they can’t so no. oh well, he got what he deserved when he exchanged a Diamond for a Rock! Good luck in your new relationship.

    • Lora

      Doug, Sidney, Gizfield, thank you soooooo much for your advise. I feel now more confident and positive 🙂 xx

    • Gizfield

      Lora, I am so happy to hear that! And you are very welcome. My string of losers exes includes alcoholics, abusers, cheaters , liars, pathological liars, and of course adulterers, and incredibly I know that I will be open to future relationships cause I am happiest when I have a man to share my life with. I’m not the kind of girl who likes to be alone, as Janet Jackson says, lol.

    • Gizfield

      Ooops, in earlier haste I left out thieves and drug addicts, and I even had a blackmailer. Seriously, how many people can say that?! My loser ex high school boyfriend that I cheated with in the early 90s got mad when I broke it off with him and said he would tell my husband if I didnt give him $200 . Lol, I actually did it, then a couple of weeks later he was back for $200 more. I had made the mistake of telling him I inherited about $40,000 when my mother died. The second time I told him to F himself and prepared to be killed by my husband, lol. He drove by my house repeatedly that afternoon to scare me, but left me alone after that .

    • Lora

      It’s shocking how people can be so despicable… Gizfield, you are very brave. I have been keeping this feelings for myself for years, because I felt embarrassed and everybody would tell me ‘you are so jelaous!!!’ (meaning ‘if you feel like this, it’s your fault’) but I really think jealousy is another way to feel insecurity. I never feel envy of someone taller or sexier than me.

    • SHannon L

      My H said he would end it, yet week after week, I find prove of continuing contact. Finally, I threatened to go public with his EA. ie letting the OP’s family know. The OP is a single lady, from a Christian family. Only then did he agree to finally stop.

      It seems he had no willpower to stop it. Even when I am now pregnant and due to deliver anytime now.

      I wonder if I did more damage by threatening a revenge, and did it make it even more difficult for us to heal as a couple?

    • chiffchaff

      My H and I had some difficult discussions last week caused by seeing San Francisco accidently come up during a documentary we were watching. He described the way he felt watching it with me there was ‘did I really do that? did I really lie (to my wife and to my work colleagues) and go all the way to SF just to sleep with a woman I barely knew because I just wanted to?’ and he then said that he knew he did it but can’t believe he did it, but he must have done it but doesn’t recognise how he could have done it. It was an exercise in semantics (or -how F*cked up a CSs brain gets) when justifying and rationalising the hurt they have willingly caused everyone around them.
      This led to discussing that he just doesn’t know what to do next to address some of our other problems. I suggested again that he could read some of the books that were out there. He recalled how when, 1-3 months post DDay#1, we’d tried that before my interpretation of what the exercises meant was way different to his and this meant he stopped reading them. He had to accept that at that time, as he was still lying to me, still in contact with the OW and still behaving coldly and cruelly towards me, that there was no wonder he didn’t view them as I did. He didn’t want to.
      He had also ‘forgotten’ that he’d seen an individual counsellor in those early days, ostensibly to get his own help, but actually as it turned out to see how to keep both me and the OW going for a bit longer (they told him he had serious issues if he wanted to do that and his counselling ended).
      My H has now described discussing his PA/EA as very painful as he wants to bury it, forget about it and never have to discuss it again. Presumably because he’s deeply ashamed or cannot reconcile who he thinks he is with who he actually was, at times. But at the same time recognises that talking about it helps both of us.He needs to heal from his infidelity too, which has taken him a long time to realise.

    • Broken2

      Chiffchaff…I am glad you and your husband are getting better and he has recognized what he did but I still have a real hard time understanding how people “dont know what they are doing” and i dont believe in the affair fog. I see things very black or white (I’m not a grey area kind of person). I have never done anything in my life that I was in some kind of fog and didnt know what I was doing and sometimes I think CS use that as an excuse. You either cheated or you didn’t. You made a willing and conscious choice to cheat knowing full well that it was wrong. I just dont see it any other way. I can’t accept excuses from my husband…he did what he did. He said he knew it was wrong but he just didnt know how too end it. Hmm how about never doing it to begin with???? I find it hard to beleive that your hubby doesnt remember the things he did….I think thats just a big excuse. For what its worth thats just my opinion. He went to great lengths to do what he did yet doesnt remember doing it? Life is really simple you get married, you treat each other with respect and dignity, you get through the bumps in life together and you dont cheat no matter what. I am so sick of hearing about people cheating because “their needs were not being met”. Well thats life…we dont always get our needs met but we stick it out like our marriage vows say until death we part. Niether my husband or yours turned into someone else when they cheated….same people…bad choices…no more excuses. Yes they do need to heal too from something very different then a BS. They need to heal from the incedible pain THEY inflicted on everyone around them, they need to heal the guilt and shame they feel caused by their bad choices. They need to heal from being liars and their disgusting irreparable behavior. All caused by their choices. We as BS have to heal from a whole lot of other things…most will be with us the rest of our lives. Pain that will linger forever. I have no sympathy for CS and I never will. They cant possibly ever feel the depth of what they have done to us. There is no good that can ever come from the whole mess of cheating…it just is what it is and we move on.

    • Paula

      Chiffchaff, and Broken2. I can relate to those comments. I also don’t believe it’s possible to “become someone else” – just possible to leave your usual moral compass at home! My partner told me that even DURING his sexual affair, he often thought he was “imagining it” – he’d think he was having a weird dream that he was shagging my friend (his ex) and think what a loser he was, but thank goodness it was just a dream – and then his phone would go off, and it would be a text from her, and his heart would sink, and he would realise, no, it wasn’t a bad dream, it was real, he REALLY was that scumbag who was cheating on me. I know it sounds bizarre, but I believe him on this one. (She was blackmailing him for the last 9 months, and he was trying to let her down easy, so she wouldn’t come back at us, it didn’t work, because when he ended it, she was the one who told me, out of spite, and in a pique of rage that he “chose” me, and not her, not a soul in the world knew except them, and her nanny, who lives in another city to my partner and myself, and knows none of our friends.) And TOTALLY agree about “needs not being met” – good God, I would have cheated a hundred times, I was in a worse place emotionally than he was when all this went down – I didn’t cheat, I didn’t even contemplate it! Other people do not exist to “meet our needs” – yes, communication about what works for each of you is important, but meet your own needs, or find someone who will work on the same page as you – AFTER you have dealt with the person who is obviously not bringing the best out in you, ie divorce after trying to make it better, THEN, and only then, you can go looking for someone else! Selfish people never do the work, just want an instant fix.

    • chiffchaff

      I agree with both of you (Broken2 & Paula) – I also don’t believe in the affair fog. All of the ‘I don’t remember’ etc are ways of rationalising and justifying selfishness because they are too immature in some ways to deal with their life problems like an adult. I see my H’s explanations as explanations that show how he has constructed things to cope with what he was doing/did, that he knew were wrong but chose not to accept were wrong. He couldn’t accept that he was doing something wrong because then he would have to stop, and if he didn’t stop then heck, he was a shit wasn’t he? and in his mind he wasn’t a shit and the OW made him feel like a king, so he also couldn’t be a shit could he? I think it explains why alot of CSs have to create the myth that the affair must be something extraordinary and special, fate even. Because anything less than that just reveals that you’re being selfish and bugger the consequences and that’s harder to cope with. It’s much easier to have an affair if you fool yourself that this is the ‘one’ you should always have been with, because then you can park off the inconvenient spouse as having held you back from happiness for years and years. It’s always easier to blame someone else for your problems. Much harder to see things as they really are and that only you can address your own life issues.

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