I Feel Like My Husband’s Infidelity And Affair Ruined My Life

By: Katie Lersch:  I sometimes hear from wives who are struggling greatly after a husband’s cheating, infidelity, or affair.  I understand how devastating this can feel.  You can feel as if  your entire married life was a lie.  You can feel like the love and commitment was all one sided.  And you wonder how you could have been so blind and so vulnerable.

I recently heard from a wife who said, in part: “My husband’s affair has literally ruined my life.  Before I found out about his cheating, I was a happy, trusting, and extroverted person.  I had a job I loved and many friends.  I had a good marriage that made me very happy.  I had a full life.  But now, all that has changed.  My marriage is in shambles.  I no longer trust people and am very guarded.  I am no longer happy go lucky.  I’ve lost some friends that were mutual to both of us.  I also lost my job and although I was told it was due to downsizing, I suspect my depression and the changes in me had something to do with it.  I feel such rage for my husband for doing this to us.  I feel as if my whole life has been stolen, ruined, and taken away.  Will I ever stop feeling this way? When will it get better?”

Letters like these bring back a lot of memories for me.  I remember how it felt to wonder if your whole life was just pulled out from under you like prank chair or a magician’s rug.  It’s not a good feeling and it hurts to the core.  But, I want you to know that it can and often does get better.  In the following article, my goal is to offer you a little perspective and support in the hopes that it makes you feel a little bit better and provides you with some relief.

I Know That You May Feel As If Your Life Is Ruined, But Take Stock Of What You Still Have: By no means am I trying to minimize what you feel.  I have been there and I know that your feelings are absolutely valid and understandable.  I know that it feels as if you’re waking up to a life that is both strange and undesirable and this is so unfair because you did nothing wrong and you are at the mercy of someone else’s actions and decisions.

At the same time though, as powerful and as devastating as this all can be, you have to throw yourself a life raft sometimes.  Because it’s not fair for you to have to feel this way for one second longer than is necessary.  Yes, your life has no doubt changed.  And yes, some of these changes might be negative ones.  But by classifying your life as ruined, you may well be selling yourself short and missing out on the opportunities and gifts that you still possess.

Please don’t misunderstand and think that I’m trying to minimize or gloss over what you feel.  I’m truly not.  But at the same time, I know from experience that it often does get better and I don’t want for you to continue to feel hopeless if you do not have to.  Yes, you may have lost your perception of your marriage before the affair.  But you haven’t lost yourself, your gifts, your extended family, your ability to love again one day, and your ability to recover.

I know this hurts, but sometimes, in order to feel better, some perspective can help.  Take inventory of what you do still have.  Some examples which may be applicable are: your home; your family; your health; your remaining friends (who are likely better and more genuine friends than the ones who left at the first sign of trouble;) your skills and talents (which likely mean that you can get a new and perhaps better job;) and the wonderful and capable woman that you still are.

It’s so important to understand that one person’s actions and decisions should not and do not affect who you are.  They don’t change the gifts that you have and the uniqueness of you.  Yes, they may well have affected you in a negative way.  And this is no doubt painful.  But no one can rob you of yourself.

I remember telling a very good friend that I felt like life as I knew it was over after my husband’s affair.  At the time, what she said annoyed me, but looking back, I can see now that it was exactly what I needed.  She said something like: “yes, your life has changed and that’s not fair.  But your life is not over.  You still have your life which is more than our friend with breast cancer might be able to say.  One day you will smile and love and laugh again because you are a wonderful person who deserves nothing less than that.  This will happen because your spirit and essence can not and will not be crushed.  You are a fighter, although you may not know or feel it right now. I have no doubt that you will one day love the life that you have rebuilt although the process may not be all that pleasant right now.”

I didn’t want to hear her words that day, but everything that she said turned out to be true.  I know that when infidelity happens to you, it can feel like your life is being altered forever.  But recovery is not only possible, it happens each and every day.  Some people are actually able to learn from this process so that some good comes out of the bad.  Some rebuild their marriage and even more rebuild themselves.  I don’t mean to minimize what you are feeling, but I do want you to know that it can and often does get better over time and I don’t want for you to allow your present thinking and discouraging feelings to cloud your future, which will often turn out to be a whole lot brighter than what feels possible today.

As I alluded to, I did not believe a couple of years ago that I would be where I am today.  My marriage did recover, but more importantly, I learned a lot about myself and just how strong and capable I truly was and I don’t think I’d trade that for anything.  If it helps, you can read more of my story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com/

 

 

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