Life certainly has its challenges, but little compares to the monumental task of healing from infidelity. Affairs can leave you feeling emotional, physical, and spiritual shattered.
There are generally two types of affairs; sexual affairs and emotional affairs. An emotional affair is often referred to as an "affair of the heart". The betrayal of emotional infidelity can feel as debilitating, or worse, than sexual infidelity because of the deep emotional connection and attachment to the other person, and how it impacts the marriage.
If you recently discovered that your spouse has been unfaithful, you will undoubtedly feel a whole range of emotions- shock, rage, hurt, devastation, disillusionment, and intense sadness.
Your emotional brain (limbic system) is highly activate, which makes it difficult to think straight. Therefore please trust that right now it is a really bad time to make life-changing decisions. Give yourself time to consider what your next steps should be in overcoming infidelity.
10 Normal reactions on discovery your partner is/has been having an affair
1) You feel shocked
2) You're having difficulties thinking, concentrating and retaining information
3) You feel a deep sense of loss
4) You cry at the drop of a hat - you may think that you're never going to survive the affair
5) You spot 'reminders' of the history of your relationship everywhere
6) You feel like everything is too much of an effort - you may not even have the energy to consider how to get over an affair
7) You feel consumed by a sense of hurt and anger
8) You avoid people who you don't want to have to tell about the affair
9) You feel irritated and angry with 'trivia', everything is too much of an effort
10) You feel tired all the time and have sleep problems as you can't get the thoughts of your partner with the 'other' out of your head.
Grieving and healing after infidelity
It's very natural that both partners are struggling with intense emotions. It might help you to know that you are grieving for the loss of your relationship - as it was. The hurt partner is mourning the loss of trust and the loss of the partner they 'used to know'.
Working through the affair means that both partners need to work hard to heal the relationship and make the relationship work again. And the 'work' may be different for the hurt partner versus the betraying partner, especially in the early stages of healing. Although no two people, marriages or paths to recovery are identical it's helpful to know that surviving affairs typically happens in stages.
The Crisis Stage
The first phase, the crisis phase, happens when an affair is revealed or discovered. The primary goal of the crisis stage is to help both the hurt partner and unfaithful partner begin to pick up the pieces and try to make some sense of what just happened.
Tasks in the phase include:
The Stabilization Stage
You will recognize you are entering the stabilization stage when you start of look at how the affair happened. It comes after the crisis has ebbed and you are moving past your intense anger and confusion.
Tasks of this phase include
The Recovery (Rebuilding) Stage
At this stage, both partners have made a commitment to their marriage. There is usually a new sense of peace and hope. Couples understand that the repair takes time but are willing to put in the effort to develop a strong, healthy future relationship.
Tasks in the phase include
Many couples survive infidelity and go on to have healthy fulfilling marriages. Please contact us to help guide, support and heal your marriage. We have helped 100’s of couples through the aftermath of an affair, and we can help you.
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