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What to Expect after Emotional Betrayal

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 1

Rage, it is perfectly normal to feel angry, at your betrayer for having an extramarital affair, at yourself, at his friends who kept the secret, at your friends who did not warn you, at the world for letting this happen! It is not, however, alright to take that rage out on your children, nor should rage be allowed to take over your life.

Shouting at the radio when it plays one of your “special songs” or thumping pillows while making the bed, can both be therapeutic. Get out of the house, take a brisk walk, it is harder to be angry when you are outside. Infidelity can make you angry as well as sad, and if you are normally a calm person, rage can be frightening and exhausting, so walk, and shout until you feel calmer.

Obsession can take over after a betrayal; the trust has gone, because your husband had an extramarital affair there is the risk of paranoid behavior. Even where the couple is working to repair the marriage, forgiveness is difficult and suspicion remains ever present. A certain amount of suspicion and skepticism is OK, he betrayed you, and he has to earn your trust again. However, at some point, if you want reconciliation, you will have to trust him again, so whilst feeling this way is fine at this stage, take note of this feeling and vow to limit it. Feeling paranoid about whether someone is telling the truth and obsessively checking up on them is emotionally exhausting and draining and will not repair your marriage.

Guilt, is very common, many women believe that they are responsible for what happens emotionally in a relationship. They argue that if their husband had an extramarital affair, thu must, somehow be responsible. Marriage is a partnership and it is very likely that taking an objective look at the relationship that there were mistakes being made by both parties. However, infidelity is not the grown up’s response to things going wrong. Husbands choose to cheat; now you both need to choose what happens next. This guilt must be dealt with, identified, rationalized and disposed of; it is a very unproductive emotion.

Betrayal, this is the single most repeated word from women whose husbands have had an extramarital affair. It is the hardest emotion to work through, and the one that runs deepest. Betrayal is at the root of all infidelity and the one emotion that can poison any future relationships, whether with your husband or another partner. This is the emotion that will take the longest time to purge, as it goes to the heart of trusting someone again, and must be understood before healing can take place.

Vengeance, revenge, getting even, all feelings of fighting back, and a childish response, but understandable! There is an old Latin proverb that puts it well, “Revenge is a confession of pain”; an extramarital affair creates pain, but stooping to the level of the man who betrayed you, with petty vengeance, is pointless. The betrayer never feels the same level of pain as the betrayed. These feelings need an outlet, write down suitable revenge scenarios, take your vengeance on paper, and leave it there.



Jan 19, 2013 10:07am
I liked your article although it is clearly from the woman's point of view and point of upset. Actually, cheating is indeed betrayal especially if there is at least an average intimacy at home. If there isn't then a professional should address the "problems" to find out what is causing the distances in the relationship. Cheating is ALWAYS destructive and changes relationships forever. Anyway, two thumbs up for you.
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