By: Katie Lersch: I sometimes hear from wives who are overwhelmed or even ashamed by the emotions that they are feeling and displaying after they learn about their husband’s affair. Many are quite embarrassed and worry that their reaction is stronger or more emotional than what is normal.
I heard from a wife who said: “I feel like an overly emotional idiot to admit this, but I can’t stop crying after my husband told me that he was having an affair. I wasn’t even completely shocked. I sort of suspected it somewhere deep inside, but I just denied it to myself because it was so painful. So I would tell myself that I was only being paranoid when I was actually a hundred percent correct to worry. I don’t know why I’m so shocked and upset now. But I can not stop crying. I will pull myself together and go to the grocery store only to find myself sobbing in the check out line. I will try to hide it from my kids but I find that tears are coming down my cheeks when I am talking to them. I feel like such an idiot, especially since I’m not typically an emotional person. How do I get ahold of myself? How long is this going to last? Will I stop this soon?” I’ll try to answer these questions in the following article.
While I couldn’t predict how long this phase was going to last for this wife, I could say with a great degree of certainty that things would eventually improve. Why? Because it’s very difficult (both emotionally and physically) to sustain this kind of turmoil. You’ve heard the phrase “all cried out?” Well, it’s natural to get to a point where that is the way that you feel, as though you must turn a corner for your own self preservation. With this said, you really have to be patient and gentle with yourself and allow yourself to go at your own pace, which leads me to my next point.
It Is Normal To Be Emotional Right Now. Don’t Judge Yourself Too Harshly. This Isn’t Your Fault: I understand that you feel foolish and overly emotional. I have been there. And frankly, I felt down right embarrassed by the emotions that always seemed to rain down on me and to be beyond my control. The tears felt like yet another insult. But I soon learned that the more I tried to judge myself, the more pain I felt and it just wasn’t worth it. Because none of this was my fault. I was only reacting to the situation that I had been dealt. The same is true for you. Don’t beat yourself for feeling understandable emotions. This is a difficult situation. Even the most stoic and seemingly strong women become emotional when the marriage they thought they knew and counted on is challenged. And it goes beyond your marriage quite frankly. You begin to question your own attractiveness, your own perceptions, and your own ability to cope.
But it does get old. And there comes a time when you just get tired of it. So now, I’ll offer some tips on how I learned to deal with it. Hopefully, something here will help.
Allow Yourself A Few Moments To Just Feel And Experience What Comes: Quite frankly, I found that the more I fought the crying, the more it would overtake me and the more I would experience the crying jags. You almost have to stop what you are doing and fully experience it for a few minutes so that you can move on. I used to excuse myself and then regroup. Or, I’d tell myself that I was going to take a full ten minutes to cry, scream, or experience whatever negative emotions were present. The idea was that by fully experiencing them, this would cause them to lose some of their power over me. And this became pretty effective once I trained myself to unload during set times. Toward the end, I could literally release it all and then eventually face my day with at least a little more control.
Do Not See Your Tears As Weakness Or As A Sign Your Husband Has Won: I will admit that when the tears would come at inopportune times, I used to think this made me so very weak and I would become so angry. But I eventually came to realize that it made me human. I am not a machine. I am a living, breathing person who feels very deeply. This doesn’t say anything negative about me or my ability to cope.
Sometimes, when I would cry I would become angry at both myself and at my husband because I would think my tears meant that he obviously had the upper hand. I don’t think in those terms anymore because I’ve learned that if you want to save your marriage in a healthy way, you really can’t keep scopre. Instead, I just tried to experience my emotions as they happened and then I tried to let the emotional wave propel me forward when it was over.
I know that all of this stinks. I wish I could tell you something to turn off your tears like a faucet but honestly, you must experience your emotions and you must give it time. Once you begin to heal, you will experience the crying jags on a much less frequent basis. I remember days when I cried regularly. And I look at my day to day life now, and all of that seems forever ago. It will get better. Take each hour as it comes and give yourself permission to feel. Because denying your emotions will often delay your healing and your ability to fully process this.
No one enjoys crying. But it can be a release if you allow it to be. And if you can train yourself to let it go and then move on, then it loses it’s power over you. I found this out the hard way, but as I said, that seems so long ago even though time wise, it really wasn’t. If it helps, you can read my recovery story on on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com
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