I Can’t Help Feeling Sorry For Myself After My Husband’s Affair

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from wives who are trying to pick up the pieces of their lives after their husband cheated or had an affair. Being in this sort of pain and living with this kind of uncertainty is not much fun, so most people intuitively want to move on as soon as they possibly can. But often, it’s not as easy as just wanting and needing to move on. Sometimes, you have the best intentions and you are trying as hard as you possibly can, but you still get stuck in some ways.

I had a wife tell me, in part: “it’s the old standard cliché. My husband had an affair. I know that I am not the first wife to ever be cheated on and I certainly won’t be the last. I am trying very hard to move on. I am not sure if I’m going to save my marriage but I know that I want to save myself. But I’m having issues with always feeling sorry for myself. The thing is, my mother was going through a bout of cancer and I was going back and forth between my house and hers to care for her. It was a horrible, exhausting scary time and I handled it as best as I could. Of course, this was not the best of times for my marriage because I was under a great deal of stress. I don’t deny that my husband was put on the back burner at that time. However about three weeks after my mother passed away from that same cancer, I found out that while I was caring for my mother, my husband was having an affair. And, because of all of the time I had to take off, I got terminated from my job. At a time in my life when I was just trying to help my mother, everything fell apart. I have no job, no mother, and I’m unsure if I have a marriage.  Because of this, I am always feeling sorry for myself. I can’t deny that my life is pretty pitiful. How can I stop feeling so sorry for myself and start healing?”

These are all good questions and I really felt for this wife. Talk about being kicked when you are down. The truth was, she was a bit justified in feeling sorry for herself. But another universal truth is that doing so really doesn’t do anything to help you move forward and to lessen your pain. So below, I’ll offer some tips on how to stop feeling sorry for yourself after your husband’s affair.

Take Inventory Of The Things That Are Going Right: It’s easy to place your focus on all that is going wrong right now. But, there is usually always something you can look to for comfort even if it is just that you are up and breathing for one more day.  Or that you can look outside of your window and seeing the sun rise or the moon show it’s face at night.  You can be grateful for your friends, your extended family, your pets, your health, or your very life. As bad as things are for us sometimes, we can always find someone who has it worse. Begin taking inventory in the things that are right in your life or that give you comfort and pleasure and start focusing on those things. Find ways to do more of them.

Help Someone Else: Probably the most effective and fastest way I know that stop feeling sorry for yourself is to help someone else. I know that sometimes, you might feel as if the last thing you want to do is to reach out to someone else, especially strangers. But I have to tell you, once you do, you will feel so much better. This woman in particular loved animals. It might be a great idea to go walk some animals at her local shelter or volunteer to play and exercise with them. There is always something that you can do to lighten someone else’s load even if it is just bringing by dinner to a sick friend or paying the toll for the person driving behind you. I guarantee if you look for ways to be kind to others, you will notice that you are feeling sorry for yourself much less.

Take Inventory Of Ways To Regain Control Of Your Life. Understand That You Really Are In Charge: Don’t get me wrong. It is very understandable to feel like a victim when your husband has an affair. After all, you are now in a situation where you are having to clean up the mess that he made. It can feel as if you are the mercy of his mistakes. But, to the best of your ability, you need to take control back.

I realize that you might wonder how you can do this or think that this is easier said than done. But the truth is, today you get to decide how you want for things to go from here on out. Think about what works for you and what doesn’t. Then, think about what you are able to and want to change. I know first hand that a husband’s affair can be devastatingly painful. But often, some growth and self awareness comes out of it.  And the result can be incredibly healthful. Because it almost forces you to take inventory of your life and demand change with whatever is no longer working. The whole idea is that once you do heal, you look around to find that the transformation has made some areas of your life much more rich (and actually better) because you are much more self aware and clear about what you do want and will or will not accept.

I felt sorry for myself for a quite a while after my husband’s affair, but I had to pull myself out of it because of my children.  And taking the focus off of myself and my problems made all of the difference.  If it helps, you can read my story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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