Is There Ever Internal Peace After An Affair?

By: Katie Lersh:  Whenever you find out that your spouse has been having an affair, it feels as if your entire life has been turned upside down.  For a while, the affair may be all that you can think about.  It can be difficult to do your job, live your life, and participate in your relationships in the same way. It seems as if the affair can take over everything.

And honestly, this is exhausting. It gets very old.  So pretty quickly, wives want to know when this panicked feeling that takes over everything is going to end.  Someone may have this question: “ever since I found out about my husband’s affair, my life has been in absolute turmoil.  I don’t eat normally.  I don’t sleep normally.  I can’t work normally.  I can’t interact with family and friends normally.  And this is not my normal state.  I am normally laid-back and content.  It usually actually takes a lot to shake me.  And I HATE this out-of-control feeling.  And I want to know if I will ever feel inner peace again.  Because that is very important to me.  I want to stay in my marriage.  But if I can’t have peace of mind within it, then I want nothing to do with it.  The most important thing to me is just being at peace.  And I am worried that I will not ever feel that way again.”

I can only speak for myself.  I do feel inner peace today.  Granted, it has been years since my husband’s affair and I have had plenty of time to find the resources to help me heal.  And to be fair, I can say with confidence that achieving inner peace after an affair doesn’t just happen on its own.

I don’t believe that all you need is time and the desire to be at peace again.  This would be wonderful, but I don’t believe that it is always the case.  Instead, I believe that you have to actively make this happen.  Here is what I believe is required to feel inner peace again.

A Willingness To Eventually Heal: I believe that this is huge.  I know that we all want to heal, but so often, we have an interest in remaining angry.  We have an interest in keeping score.  We have an interest in keeping the guilt and the misery going.  After all, doesn’t our husband need to constantly be reminded of how destructive the cheating was so that he won’t cheat again?  Maybe, but constantly reliving the affair won’t give you peace of mind.  To have this, you have to be willing to eventually let it go – even if this means you give up your leverage.

You Have To Be Open To Finding The Resources To Heal: Many people assume that if they just give it time, they will eventually heal from an affair.  I wish I could tell you that this was true.  But, I know many people who have never gotten over their spouse’s affair – even years after the fact.

Frankly, most of us are not mental health counselors.  We are not experts in marriage or healing.  So we need help in learning the best ways to move forward.  We need help in identifying where we are stuck and what we are lacking to heal.

A Change In Mind Set:  I have found a change in thinking to be vital.  It is so easy to cling so tightly to what is going wrong in our lives.  It is so easy to think that we can’t possibly be okay if everything in our lives is not in order.

I have found that this does not have to be true.  There are so many additional areas in our lives outside of our marriage.  Just because one aspect of our lives is struggling, this doesn’t mean that everything is awful.  Sometimes, you have to place your focus on the good while you are waiting for the bad to turn around.

A Very Deliberate Focus: Sometimes, you have to be very deliberate about where you place your focus.  Because not everything is going to be within your control.  Sure, you can do everything in your power to heal and to get the resources that you need, but you can not control what your spouse thinks or does.  You don’t have ultimate control over the outcome.

I have found that the best way around this is to accept that you will control what you can and then let the rest go.  Sometimes, you have to trust that the universe really does have a plan for you.  You have to trust that the universe has your long-term best interest at heart, even if you can not see it at the time.

I know that this is difficult, but it is really important on the path of inner peace.  Once you let go and relinquish control, it really does take the pressure off.  It allows you to not cling so tightly.  You can let go and relax, knowing that you truly don’t have to try so hard.

So my answer is that yes, you can feel inner peace after your spouse has an affair.  But it doesn’t just magically happen. You need to evaluate how your actions are helping (or hurting) your peace of mind.  And you need to take care of yourself and do whatever is necessary to allow yourself to let go and have faith that in the end, it is all going to be okay.

I have to admit that peace of mind did take time.  It was not immediate.  The early days were hard, as they most often are.  But healing and inner contentment was ahead.  And eventually, my peace of mind was restored.  You can read about this process on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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