How Can I Stop My Anger And Resentment After My Husband’s Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who don’t understand why they are still angry or resentful when so much time has passed since their husband has cheated or had an affair.  Often, they believe that they have done everything in their power to heal.  And that enough time has passed for things to calm down.  And yet, even though they have made some progress in other areas of their life or in their marriage, the anger and the resentment remains.  And it can be tiring and depressing to worry that there is really no improvement in sight.

I heard from a wife who said: “my husband’s affair has been over for five years.  He has done most of what I have asked him to do.  I believe that he has been faithful.  In some ways, our marriage has recovered somewhat.  I do still love him and I want to stay because of my children and because I so highly value my family.  But the one thing that I can not get over is my anger.  I find myself making sarcastic comments about him in my own mind.  I will insult him without actually saying the words.  I always find myself rolling my eyes.  The other day, I was looking of photos of our family on a recent vacation and I just looked mad and mean.  I didn’t realize that I always came off this way, but I’ve started trying to notice more.  I even find myself lashing out at my kids sometimes and I would have never have done this before.  After the affair, things changed for me.  I have always been an optimistic and upbeat person, but that is no longer true since the betrayal.  It wounded me deeply and I guess I might not ever recover.  Why do I still have so much anger and resentment?  And will it ever improve?  Or is this just my life now?”

I think that things can always improve.  But before that can happen,  you have to identify the source of your anger and then address it.  And often, you feel even more angry when you look around and realize that your expectations and hopes haven’t yet been met, even after all of this time.  Often, you find yourself admitting that you would have thought that things would have improved.  The disappointment that your goals haven’t been realized can actually continue to feed the anger and the resentment so that you are caught up in one huge cycle.

It’s Never Too Late To Revisit The Issues That Never Got Settled:  It’s very important that you be honest with yourself right now.  If there is still anger, it’s a safe bet that there are still issues that were never settled.  Often, these are things like the wife wondering if the husband is really remorseful.  Or, it is the wife wondering why the husband stays with her when she is still angry.  As a result, she worries that he doesn’t really and truly want to be there.  And this gives was to those little doubts that he may cheat again.

Sometimes, she feels as if she is the one who has made all of the concessions while his life really didn’t change.  She can think that she is the one who had to deal with the pain and the betrayal while the husband has been free of all of this.  And understandably, this can lead to feelings that this situation is never going to be equitable or fair.

But sometimes, you have to take the initiative and make things equitable for yourself.  This means that you now have the opportunity to craft and ask for the marriage that you want and deserve.  And in this way, you are turning a negative situation into a positive outcome.  This may sound weird,  but there are some things about my husband’s affair for which I am grateful because it pushed and inspired me to change things about the way the I lived my live and the way that I approached my marriage. These changes have been incredibly helpful to me and have changed my life.  Understanding that I am grateful for these things has helped to dissipate some of my anger.

Are There Any Outstanding Behaviors That Your Husband Needs To Change?:  Sometimes, the husband is continuing on with behaviors that are disrespectful or risky.  For example, he might flirt with women and think it’s harmless.  Or, he will make subtle little implications when you ask him to check in.  He may not give these things a second thought, but they may anger you more than even you know.  If this is happening, then you need to bring this to your husband’s attention.  Wives often hesitate to do this because they don’t want to rock the boat.  But honestly, often he would rather you be honest than for you to remain angry.

Ask Yourself If You Anger Is Directed At Anyone Other Than Your Husband:  I am going to be brutally honest right now. I tell you this because I experienced it and I see many wives struggle with it.  Sometimes, our anger is directed at ourselves as much as it is directed at him.  We’re angry that we didn’t see it coming. We’re angry that we left our marriage vulnerable.  And we’re angry that for whatever reason, we haven’t truly recovered.  If you are angry at yourself, it’s best to be honest and do some self work so that you can let this go.  This isn’t your fault. You are not the one who cheated.  And you are dealing with it the best that you can.

But to answer the question posed, you can still deal with your anger and resentment.  But first you must be honest about what is causing it and then you must be very direct about addressing it.   And sometimes, you have to tell your husband what you need in order to ensure that you get it. And you also have to address any anger addressed at yourself.

As I alluded to, much of my anger was actually directed at myself.  It took me entirely too long to realize this, but once I do, I was very active about making the changes and cultivating the gratitude that helped me turn things around.  If it helps, you can read more on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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