How Do I Use My Anger Constructively After My Husband Cheated And Had An Affair?

By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who feel absolutely overwhelmed by the anger that they are experiencing after their husband has cheated or had an affair. Often, they intuitively know that this anger is very harmful to them and to their families, but they aren’t sure how to channel it in positive ways.

I heard from a wife who said: “I will admit that I have never felt so much anger in my life. My husband cheated on me with one of my very good friends. Both my husband and this woman knew how I was struggling in my life because of my mother’s failing health. But instead of working together to support me, they were meeting on the sly and cheating with one another. I feel so very betrayed. And the anger that I feel is almost overwhelming. I now realize that I have got to find a way to diffuse this anger. Last night, I lashed out at my children. I find myself snapping at coworkers who aren’t trying to hurt me. How do I get ahold of my anger? How do I use it constructively?” I will try to offer some suggestions and tips in the following article.

Understand That Your Anger Doesn’t Reflect Poorly On You: People are sometimes very disappointed in themselves for feeling intense anger. They feel as if they have failed in some way because they weren’t able to get firm control over their feelings. They feel as if they should have stronger character or control.

I disagree. I’m not saying that you should allow the anger to overtake you or that you should not always try to keep in check. But what I am saying is that you should not feel guilt or shame for having understandable feelings of anger. You’re human after all. And you have been dealt a terrible betrayal that would elicit anger in even the most patient or forgiving person. So don’t beat yourself up for the anger that is absolutely natural and understandable. Now, I will move onto suggestions on how to channel it in more positive ways.

Tips For Positive Ways To Channel Or Handle Your Anger: The wife was right that she needed to figure out a way to use her anger and make it work for her rather than against her. If you remain angry, it contributes to remaining stuck, feeling helpless, and deteriorating your relationships between the people you love (and need) the most.

My favorite ways to channel your anger include using that energy to improve yourself or your own situation. In my own life, I would often go for very long walks or even runs when I felt the anger taking over. I even took up marital arts for a while so I could kick and hit in socially acceptable ways. Not only did this help me release a lot of tension, but it gave me a greater sense of control, and I lost some weight in the process, which in turn made me feel better about myself.

And I have to be honest. I am not saying that this true in any situation but my own. But some of my anger was directed at myself. I felt so vulnerable because I had always been content in a supporting role in my family. I didn’t have my own career and I didn’t make my own money at that time. So, I used that energy from the anger to forge a new career and to assert my independence. Believe it or not, I did eventually decide to save my marriage, but I am no longer dependent on my husband financially and that makes me feel much better.

Try To Use Your Anger In Ways To Propel You Forward: Sometimes, I have people tell me that they use their anger to spend their husband’s money and buy themselves some new clothes. They do this for a couple of reasons. It doesn’t hurt their feelings any to run up their husband’s credit card bill, and they want to improve their appearance so he truly is sorry for betraying them. I understand this. I improved my appearance as well and I’m still glad that I did that. But I always tried to keep my focus on what would make me happy rather than what would hurt someone else. I wasn’t always 100 percent successful, but I did make the attempt.

My rule of thumb was always to ask myself if my actions were going to move me forward or hold me back. For example, once I was tempted to destroy something my husband loved (a material physical possession.) I had a feeling this was going to feel quite good, but in the end, I decided against it because it wasn’t going to do anything to move me forward. Instead, it was likely release feelings that would hold me back.

However, working out, learning new skills, and going out with friends are all ways that I could distract myself from my anger and use that energy for my own good. I know that this isn’t always easy and that sometimes you will almost have to force yourself through this process, but it is so much better to move forward than to look back or stay stuck.

I don’t blame you for being angry.  And I want you to know that what you feel is understandable and normal.  But it hurts you to dwell on the anger when it keeps you from moving forward.  But if you can channel it in order to bring about improvements, then you’re turning a bad situation into a positive, which is always a worthwhile goal.  If it helps, you can read more about how I did this on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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