What I Learned From My Husband’s Affair

By: Katie Lersch: Many of the people who contact me are reeling from the shock of finding out that their spouse has had an affair. Usually, the pain is quite fresh for them and they can not envision that they won’t always feel as awful as they do right now. I know that it can be hard to believe that things can improve or that something positive can come out of an affair, but both of these things can be true.

I doubt that many women or spouses would tell you that the affair actually ended up being a hugely positive thing or that they are glad the affair happened. However, I think that some will tell you that at least a few positive things happened as the result of it. Dealing with an affair can actually teach you a lot about yourself, your life, and your resilience. I sometimes have people ask me “what did you learn from your husband’s affair?” I will try to answer that question in the following article.

What I Learned About Other People After My Husband’s Affair: Most of what I learned about the infidelity, I learned about myself, my husband, and my marriage. However, I also got some valuable insights about human nature and about other people who I thought were very close to me. I learned that people will often not hesitate to give you their opinions and their advice even when they are not accurate and even when this advice may hurt you. I learned that people will often remember their own pain and will project their own issues onto your situation. I learned that some people will lie to you and deny it later. And it became obvious that some people only want to be your friend when things are easy or happy but will run away when the going gets rough.

On the flip side, I learned that I have some wonderful, supportive, and giving friends who truly do love me unconditionally and have my best interest at heart. I learned that people who I thought I didn’t know very well or who I assumed were mild mannered and introverted will go to bat for me with a passion I never knew existed. And I learned that most people will rise to the occasion when you need for them to. I also learned that a one time mistake doesn’t need to make the person you love a life time enemy.

What I Learned About Myself After My Husband’s Affair: I’ll be honest. When I first learned that my husband had an affair, I really did not know if I would ever be the same person and this had a negative connotation for me because I though that this would weaken me and inhibit my ability to trust in love. Well, I was right on some counts. The affair did change me. I am no longer the same person. But the connotation of this was sometimes positive rather than negative.

I learned that I am stronger, smarter, more capable, and more resilient than I ever gave myself credit for. The affair forced me to stand on my own two feet and reinvent myself and this was actually a blessing for me because I am more confident and I’m no longer afraid to admit that I am capable.

Before the affair, I pretty much depended on other people for my happiness, security, and well being. That is no longer the case. I am fully aware that I am responsible for these things. And as a result, someone else’s mistake is not going to derail my life.

What I Learned About My Capacity For Forgiveness And Love: I have no problem admitting that before my husband’s affair, I was the kind of person who held a grudge and who often had preconceived notions about people. I generally did not give people the opportunity to hurt me twice. And when I first found out about my husband’s affair, I was pretty sure that this was the end of our marriage and the end of his place in my life. I just thought that I would never be able to trust or forgive him again.

I was wrong on both counts. Although I had my doubts, I learned that I had in me to both forgive and rebuild trust. Once I developed more confidence in myself, I decided that I could handle whatever came my way so there was really no need for me to continue to live in fear or for me to continue to live clinging to pain and anger. I determined that I would rather let it go and release it so that I can live without carrying all that weight and baggage around.

I know that you might be at the point where you doubt that you will ever feel differently (or better) than you do right now. But, I can tell you that most people do notice a vast improvement with time. The human spirit is a very resilient and beautiful thing. Eventually, self preservation kicks in and you get tired of feeling badly about yourself or your life for too terribly long. If you are in that situation right now, know that it will get likely get better.

I did ending up saving my marriage after my husband’s affair. However, I think that even if our marriage didn’t make it, I would have still reaped some of the improvements to myself and my own resiliency. Of course, I wish it hadn’t taken an affair to force these changes, but I’m glad they happened just the same. If it helps, you can read that very emotional story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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