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Wednesday May 1, 2024

Discovering an affair can be devastating. At first, you’re in shock and disbelief. It’s difficult to stay in that space, but processing what you have just discovered takes time. Here are some things to consider.

S L O W   D O W N … It takes time to process the multitude of emotions you are experiencing – shock, betrayal, anger, fear, sadness, disgust – It’s important to slow down and process all these emotions. In the end, knee jerk reactions will only leave you wondering whether you did the right thing. In fact, over 50% of couples that experience an affair choose to stay together. (Gitnux.org)

Seek support. Support may come in the form of a friend or family member, a yoga class, a higher power, or meditation – or a combination of all the above. Be sure to choose someone who is non-judgmental and can comfort you through the wide range of emotions you will be experiencing. At first, you may not want to share this with those close to you. That’s ok. It may time a little bit of time.

Seek help in learning how to manage your feelings. Anger and rage are a way to protect yourself when something unimaginable happens … and it just did. So, it’s understandable that your anger may get out of control every now and again. However, it’s important to learn how to express your anger and rage in a more effective way, so that you can be heard.

Ranting and raving are understandable; but they will do more damage than good.

Protect your children from your discovery. It’s best not to share this with your children. I know that sometimes there’s a part of you that wants to shout it from the rooftop– your mother/father is a cheater!!!! But your children (young or adult) need to continue to love both their parents. Help them to not have to choose sides. There are other people who are probably more competent and capable that you can turn to for support.

Should we talk about this or not? Decide the best way to communicate with your partner. If it feels safe to speak to each other about the hurt and pain, then do it. In some cases, the offending partner, the one that sought connection outside the marriage, is hurting too. In fact, the research data suggests that 60 % of partners that have had an affair had no intention of leaving their spouse before the affair began.  Keep in mind that when both partners are hurting, it’s sometimes difficult to hear each other’s pain.  If the two of you can talk in a meaningful way, then do so. If you find that you keep getting stuck in unhelpful, unproductive cycles of interaction, then, it’s probably best to seek the help of a couples’ therapist that specializes in infidelity and affairs.

Seek therapy. There are three possible outcomes after discovering an affair. (1) You can choose to remain married, bury the hurt and pain, and do nothing about it. (2) You can get divorced. (3) You can seek the help and guidance you need to recreate a newer version of your marriage that provides a deeper and more secure connection. In fact, 77% of couples who have sought therapy, reported having a stronger marriage after recovering from infidelity.