How Not To Feel Old And Ugly When Your Husband Cheats Or Has An Affair. Is This Even Possible?

By: Katie Lersch: I don’t want to insinuate that men do not cheat on young wives. They absolutely do. It’s just that young wives do not have all of the insecurities that women who are in a different age bracket may have. Young women do not yet worry if their best years have passed them by. And they don’t necessarily worry that they’ll never attract another spouse should their marriage end.

Yes, every wife whose husband has an affair struggles. No woman is immune to this, regardless of her beauty, her youth, and her confidence. But women who have had more life experience can struggle a little more. I can’t tell you how often I hear more mature women describe themselves as “old and ugly” after the cheating is discovered.

Now, in reality, we may have been a little worried about aging somewhere in the back of our minds. But we were able to set it aside because we told ourselves that we were settled, married, and had a man who loved us and was satisfied with us. So what good would it do to dwell on what we could not change? However, once the affair happened, all bets were off. Suddenly, we almost had no choice but to listen.  And to dwell.

Here’s an example. A wife might say: “Listen, I know that there is some value in life experience. I’m not stupid enough to want to be younger or to actually yearn to turn back the clock. I’ve earned all of my wrinkles and I’m proud of my laugh lines. I know that there is no going back, nor would I really want to. I love that I am wiser and I know that the price for that wisdom is age. However, since learning of my husband’s affair, I feel old and ugly. The other woman was only slightly younger than me, but she’s had a pretty carefree life and so she probably looks more young than she actually is. This makes me worry that one contributing factor to my husband’s affair was my aging appearance. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, I am so angry at him that I don’t really care what he thinks about me. Still, when I get really quiet and really honest, I have to admit that this had made me think much more about my looks than I have ever wanted to. And I feel very insecure now. Last night I looked in the mirror for a long time. I do look different. I do have signs of looking old. And because of what has happened to me, I worry that I am ugly. I worry whether my husband will ever look at me with lust again – assuming that I will want that one day. And if not, I wonder if ANY man will. How do I stop feeling old and ugly?”

Understand That Reality Is Distorted Right Now: Let’s be clear. To a certain extent, all women feel this way. But your feelings are now magnified by the affair. Everyone that I know of in this situation has gone through this, myself included. I had to work very hard on my self esteem. I even saw a therapist to help me through. And she helped me to understand something very important. Nothing about my appearance had been changed by the affair. And everything that I was seeing in the mirror was what I was allowing because of my own perceptions and biases. For example, my teeth had always kind of bothered me, but for the most part, I ignored them. After the affair, however, I became convinced that they were so awful that everyone was staring at them all of the time. This wasn’t at all true. And my teeth didn’t change from one day to the next. But an affair has a way of making you feel so paranoid and unsure.

You have to work very hard to keep this distortion of reality from happening. You have to constantly remind yourself that you are the exact same person today as you were yesterday. And you have to be tireless and relentless when it comes to building yourself up. Some things may be valid. Many things are not. I ultimately did fix me teeth – FOR ME. But many other things I realized were just paranoia-induced and were silly. I continued to work out as I always have. But I decided that a healthy body is always going to be more important to me than dieting for someone else.  And I can’t erase my laugh lines without medical intervention.  Frankly, I don’t want to erase them because I earned them.

Make Your Definition Of Beauty And Worth Your OWN Definition: At the end of the day, it makes sense to make our appearance pleasing to OURSELVES. That is all that we can do. If our husband is pleased or not pleased, well, we can’t control that. And trying to is a losing game that just hurts us and puts on a road to nowhere.

The truth is, our husband might think that we are as beautiful as Angelina Jolie or Eva Longoria. But if we don’t see it in ourselves, we will always doubt our husbands anyway. Once we can look in the mirror and see our true beauty and value (and yes, women of our age CAN BE AND ARE beautiful,) then we are more apt to believe that our husband sees it and, frankly, it doesn’t shake us all that much if he doesn’t. Because it is his loss and his mistake, not ours.

I completely understand where you are coming from because I went through this also.  And yes, I fixed my teeth and got a mini makeover to make myself feel better.  But I ultimately decided that while I was going to look and feel the best that I could, I also was not going to let someone else’s definition or opinions define me.  Yes, I want to look my best.  I want my husband to be attracted to me and I pay attention to those things.  I learned new skills in that regard to boost my confidence. But I also know that someone else’s opinion will never be as important as my own.  You can read more about my recovery on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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