Surviving Infidelity Series: Cheating Spouse = Depression, anger and Grief
The following stories represent two people who suffered from severe forms of depression upon discovering their partner’s extramarital affair. The first was able to move through the depression to work on the marriage and eventually reach a place of strength and intimacy in the marriage. The second has moved beyond the denial and bargaining in their recovery process, but continues to struggle with depression and anger.Depression set in very quickly and the first week after I found out was spent in tears and in bed and more tears after feeling I had been living a lie for 20 years. I had many doubts about myself. The day that changed it all for me was about 2 weeks after finding out, my daughter came to me and said she was really missing me and it was hurting her to see me this way at that point I said “Enough! My husband has already hurt me tremendously and it has to stop right here.” That day I made a appointment with my doctor & then a counselor. Yes I used anti-depression medicine for a few months and it helped tremendously. I forced myself to be there for me & my children. I decided I needed to take care of me. My husband was proclaiming to be very sorry & very much wanting to fix things, but I had decided I was going to take care of me first and then I would make the decision if we stayed together. Well it’s now 11 months later and we still go to marriage counseling and things are good for us. Yes, there are times it still comes to my mind and I feel disappointed that this happened, but not in myself because I now know this was not about my failures as a wife, but my husband’s selfishness which he is working on. The best thing I did for myself was to put me first and decide that if my husband chose this other women I would not sacrifice my self-worth to stay with him. There were many arguments in the beginning and it got nowhere as far as my feelings, but as soon as I made the commitment to myself to put me first and not tolerate the affair, my husband decided he did not want to lose me and decided to fully concentrate on making things right between us. Our marriage is much stronger now, and there is much more intimacy, but I also am a much stronger person and now and I am much more aware of myself & our relationship.
When I first found out, I remember going thru the 5 stages of grief only bouncing back and forth continuosly. My emotions were on every part of the spectrum. I went from wanting to kill to wanting to be killed. Denial is the strongest emotion. Anger was always present, always. Then came bargaining, but to no avail. I used the kids, I lost my dignity and I lost my confidence. Depression coincides with shame. There was no reason to put feet on the floor. I found myself working, working, working. It kept me alive, sane. I was respected, valued, and needed at work. My walks to the car at the end of the day were hard. It would all come back to me. I began to smoke, began to binge, eat stuff that was never allowed in the house before, leave my shoes where I wanted to, house became a mess. Family was there, but everyone said to move on. Nobody understood the pain, the depth, the absolute turmoil in me. It’s been 2 years. Now there is no denial, and no bargaining, there is still depression and very little acceptance. Anger is still present. I know the best revenge is to live well. But I swing on this pendulum, and find it so hard to move on. My best help to you is to let you know you are not crazy, these feelings are validated. I often struggled with feeling weak and crazy because the pain was unbelievable and nobody could relate. From the outside looking in its easy to say, get over it. But nobody wears my chains but me.
You Gotta Have Faith!!
Keeping Yourself Occupied After the Horrifying Discovery of the Affair
The Grass Isn’t Always Greener for the Cheating Spouse…Maybe Just Painted
Adultery and Journaling to Deal with the Pain
Recovering from an Affair and Waiting