I Want To Be Confident And Mysterious After My Husband’s Affair. How Can I Do This?

By: Katie Lersch: Although there can be a lot of pain and self doubt after an affair, this time period can also be a time of reinvention. If I’m being honest, I can’t tell you that my husband’s affair was worth the “new me.” But I can honestly say that some positive changes came out of it. I was able to look closely at how I was living my life and take inventory of what was working for me and what was not. Many women are aware of this possibility and they would like to experience the same, but they just aren’t sure how. And it can be really hard to turn the corner when you are in this type of pain.

Someone may express a concern like this: “I am really struggling after my husband had an affair. I feel like I don’t know who I am anymore. I feel like I am less than I thought I was. But something has stayed with me and I keep thinking about it. When I first started my job, a male coworker with whom I became close had an affair with another coworker. We were strictly friends and I wasn’t remotely attracted to him – which I suppose made it easier to share our feelings. Anyway, when he had the affair, he wasn’t sure if he wanted his marriage anymore. But his wife reacted in a different way than he assumed that she would. Instead of allowing it to discourage her and make her feel badly about herself, she focused her attention away from him. She went out with friends and kick started her career. Of course, my male coworker then wanted her back. He dropped the coworker immediately and went out of his way to avoid her.  And when I asked him why he had this sudden and dramatic change of heart, he said that his wife suddenly had all this confidence and she had a new mystery about her. He actually used the phrase ‘joie de vivre.’ I so want to do this with my own life. I want my husband to look at me and think that I am confident and mysterious. But lately, it is very hard for me to even fake a smile. How does one do this?”

Well, it is not an easy process. And it is not a quick process. I can’t tell you that I fell into my whole self improvement period immediately. In fact, I wallowed in my own sorrow for a while. I felt sorry for myself for a while. But then that whole process got old. You know how you hear people say they got “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Well, I knew what they meant at that point in my life. I got very weary of feeling sad and lacking in energy all of the time.

So I made a very conscious decision to make myself a priority. I decided that I was going to think long and hard about doing things I didn’t enjoy. And I was very deliberate in filling my days with those things that brought my joy. I traveled some. I decided to go back to school. I kept very busy. And I welcomed people who were nurturing into my life and steered clear of those who were negative and judgmental.

I no longer measured my day based on how things went with my husband or with my marriage. Yes, I wanted things to work for us, but I accepted that the process might be long and I realized that there was much more to my life than just that aspect of it. I did not want to let one area of my life ruin all of the others. I started to pay attention to the health of my body which meant that I exercised and ate better, which improved my appearance and gave my more confidence. As I physically felt better, I started to mentally feel better.

I am not sure how to address the “mysterious” part of the question. I would suspect that being busy and not sitting around waiting to see what is going to happen with your marriage is going to contribute to this. And perhaps not sharing every single aspect of your day with your husband. I think that it is natural for him to see the new smile on your face and wonder why it is there and where it is coming from. And this sense of mystery might make you more attractive to him. But I don’t think the goal is to get your husband to act in a certain way or to see you in a specific way.

I think that the real goal is to feel better about yourself. I think that so long as you are always asking yourself what you want, how you feel, and what is going to help you move forward, the sense of confidence and mystery are just going to naturally happen without your needing to worry about. I think that your real worry is to make yourself your highest priority right now. That small shift is often quite profound and quite noticeable.

Just take this one day at a time.  Start by doing one kind thing for for yourself and one activity that is just for your enjoyment.  Try to do this every single day.  This one shift can start you on a very different path.  You can read more about my journey on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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