Addressing Feelings of Betrayal After an Affair

Are you trying to figure out how to handle feelings of betrayal after an affair? If so, you aren’t alone. Out of all the marital problems a couple can face, a spouse’s betrayal can be one of the most devastating. And these emotions are completely understandable; according to the Live Events Stress Test (also known as the Holmes & Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale), among the ten most stressful life events, four of them are:

  • Divorce
  • Marital Separation
  • Marital Reconciliation
  • Major change in health or behavior of family member

While there are many reasons for these types of events, one of the more common reasons is an affair. Some “researchers” would have you believe that marriages can’t recover after an affair, but that isn’t true.  The truth is that a marriage can survive an affair, but this can only be true as long as both sides are willing to open an honest dialogue about the problems in the marriage, and work toward fixing those problems.  Achieving this isn’t possible until the spouse who has been cheated on must first address his or her feelings of betrayal after an affair.

That can seem to be easier said than done, but it is possible.  The first step is to seek support from people who will be non-judgmental and objective.  The feelings of betrayal after your spouse’s affair are understandable facing feelings of betrayal after an affair, you want to seek support from people who will not engage with you in a “spouse bashing” conversation. You are hurt now, and rightfully so, but later on you may decide that despite everything, you still love your spouse, and want to try to your marriage.  This is harder to do when your support system has been engaging you in vicious dialogue about your spouse.

The next step is to give yourself space, and to take your time absorbing/dealing with the circumstances of the situation. Despite the strong emotions associated with the betrayal of a cheating spouse, few if any good things will come from reacting on the spur of the moment. So take your time, and figure out where you want to go from here. For example, if you are facing extremely strong feelings of betrayal after an affair, you might want to talk with a licensed mental health professional, which can help you respond to these feelings. By giving yourself time, and surrounding yourself with objective supporters, you will be better able to handle your feelings of betrayal, and to objectively decide where you want your marriage to go from here.

One system that helped me understand and begin to work on things even before my husband was ready to join me is Dr. Frank Gunzburg’s Surviving an Affair system.   Dr. Gunzburg offers a free step-by-step process to help you start working to survive the affair in your marriage.  You can also find Dr. Gunzburg’s system by click www.afteranaffair.net/surviving-an-affair.