Surviving Infidelity Series: The Shock of Discovering a Cheating Husband
Almost to the day my husband began cheating, I knew. Something wasn’t right. I had no concrete proof, just a hunch and some vague (or so I thought) evidence. Then, at 3:30 in the morning, she called. Although I knew deep down he was cheating, I hadn’t been able, up to that point, accept it as a real possibility. The word devastating does not even begin to describe the journey I was about to embark on. It has been 6 1/2 months since I found out and I must admit that I think I was in actual shock for the first 2 to 3 weeks because I only remember bits and pieces of what happened during that time. I do know that I googled “how to survive an affair” and came across the wonderful work of Dr. Frank Gunzberg, whom has written a self-help book by that same title, which then led me to Dr. Huizenga’s e-book. I read it and my husband, somewhat reluctantly, read most of it. I also must say, to my husband’s credit that he has done all the “right things” since then and had even ended the affair before I found out. (That is why she called me, the whole jilted lover deal.) Nonetheless, trust has proven to be a difficult commodity to replace since that time and I still struggle with it. In the beginning, I would say the first 2 months, I felt as if I had no control over my feelings and this caused terrible fights and stress. My husband was in the mode of blaming me for what had happened, despite his good behavior on every other level. I read, and read and re-read anything I could get my hands on about the subject and after a solid 2 months of fighting and then off and on fighting for the next 2, realized that the way in which we were communicating was disastrous. I felt, and still do, the twigging pain of the affair every now and then and need to be reassured on numerous levels, including faithfulness now, intimacy and so on. What I discovered is that feelings, questions and the like need to be stated, without too much emotion and then left alone and not harped on. Anything else feels like an attack. This is when real communication can take place. I feel like I can say what I need and how I feel now using this tactic and he can respond in a kind and undefensive manner. Also, doing anything for yourself, even if you don’t feel like it, such as exercising on a regular basis, talking with friends that you perhaps didn’t make time for before, reading books for fun, making yourself more attractive (for you) are all huge helpers. I didn’t feel like doing any of those things but somehow forced myself to and continue until now to do so. These things have proven to be invaluable to my recovery (especially the friends) not only to the way I view myself, but to the way my husband views me as well. Infidelity is a gut wrenching, fear inducing assault on one’s very being that can, in the least, tear your very life apart. It can also, and I believe this about every kind of cheating scenario, be the door to a better future, a better you. It takes time and soul searching and the guts to tough out the fear of the unknown. The fear of rejection. The fear of being alone. But it can be done. Anyone can do it if they allow themselves to trust again and know that there are no guarantees in this life. We will fall but we can get back up. We will be bruised, but we can heal. We will lose love, but can love again. It is our choice. We all have a choice.
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