Dear Betrayed Spouse,
My heart goes out to you. Truly I understand how utterly devastated
and broken-hearted you feel.
It is normal to feel like life just isn’t worth living anymore, but
you must will yourself on. You can and will get through this, one day
at a time. If you have children, you need to be strong for them. They
You can survive this and come out happier and stronger on the other
side, but it takes effort.
Certainly you can forgive your spouse in time. Trusting them again is
something entirely different. They need to earn trust from you by
changing their behavior and continuing to act in a trustworthy manner
over a period of time. You should not trust your spouse if he/she is
not worthy of your trust. It is one thing to forgive a person who has
wronged you, but that does not mean you should allow that person to
continue to hurt you.
Whatever you choose to do from this point forward is your decision.
No one else is living your life, and your friends and family members
who may be quick to tell you, “just leave that loser,” are not the
ones who will live with the consequences of those decisions, so you
must make the right decisions for you.
When I discovered my husband’s affair, I was given advice from people
I chose to confide in. Some of that advice was helpful, and some of
it stunk. Beware of advice that stinks. Feel free to avoid people
that give you advice that isn’t helpful. Right now you need to do
whatever it takes to get yourself through this, and if that means
avoiding unhelpful people, so be it.
On one of the first days after discovering My Husband’s Affair, while
I was packing my bags to leave him forever, (which seemed like a
logical thing to do since he told me he was choosing the other woman
over me), someone did give me some very good advice, advice that
saved my marriage. It was this:
“You can leave this marriage if you want. You have every right to do
so, and no one would blame you. Even though it doesn’t seem like it,
I believe your spouse loves you. I don’t understand what’s happening
right now either, but I encourage you: Do not make a final decision
about something as important as your marriage while you’re in the
emotion of the moment. WAIT AT LEAST 3 MONTHS BEFORE MAKING ANY MAJOR
The first thing you need to do to survive this trauma is
TAKE CARE OF YOU, so that in the future you will be thinking straight
to make the best possible decisions for yourself.
Do something for yourself today, just to survive the day. Go to the
spa, buy a new outfit, go for a walk in a nice park, or do all three.
You are wise to seek outside support. Your journey to survival will
largely involve educating yourself. You can do this through reading
books that will help you understand affairs, what it takes to have
a good marriage, and how to be a strong and emotionally healthy
person. I recommend starting by reading my book because it will help
you to know that you’re not alone, and you’re not going crazy after
all. It will encourage you, and it will help you to avoid some
You can learn to be happy and have a great life, no matter what
decisions you or your spouse makes. And as you grow as a person, your
spouse will be faced with his/her own choice. He/she will either
choose to grow into a better person also, or you’ll leave him/her
behind in the dust (even if you choose to stay in the marriage).
Here’s an article to help you get started on this journey to
Anne Bercht is the Director of “BAN” Beyond Affairs Network: an organization of support groups and resources for betrayed spouses and their partners. She experienced infidelity firsthand in her marriage and lived to tell about it in her book, “My Husband’s Affair Became The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me” (a controversial title but one of the best first-hand accounts I’ve read on the subject). With her permission, I have requested to reproduce her message here, as I believe it captures the devastation of the experience of infidelity.
For more information about Affinity Counseling Group’s infidelity recovery options click here.