Question: Dear Luise: How do I deal with finding out that my husband has had an affair? I feel dazed and my reactions are all over the place. Is it possible to go on? My husband thinks so and wants to, but I’m a mess. Lee
Answer: Dear Lee: Don’t do anything right now. Be a mess. That’s a perfectly normal way to feel and so are all of the mixed reactions. Ask you husband to be patient while you sort this out and let him know that you haven’t a clue right now how to do that or how long it will take.
It may seem like you should be making some decisions but that’s just not wise. If I were in your shoes, I think I’d get some professional help with the sorting process. You can feel angry that he had the affair and at the same time glad that it’s over. You can feel sad that he lied to you and yet grateful that the truth is out. You can feel fearful and victimized and at the same time, partially responsible. You can be happy to have him back and never want to see him again. Let ‘er rip! Feel it all!
Only on the other side of all of the emotional chaos is the answer, and it’s different for everyone. The circumstances are different for each person, as are our hopes, dreams, tolerance levels and general makeup. I’ve known people who totally healed a relationship that looked hopelessly broken by an affair, and I’ve known others who tried and failed, and just couldn’t go on.
How your husband feels is just as important. This happened to him. He may feel shattered, or embarrassed, or angry or justified…all of the above or something else entirely different. Keep the lines of communication open if you can and keep making “I” statements, not the accusatory and blaming “you” statements.
Look at the details of your life together…children, finances, extended family, faith. There’s a lot to consider. We are all fallible. Some of us just haven’t hit out limit yet, and we all cave in differently, when we do. Compassion is a tool that will help both of you through this.
Once again I want to emphasize…don’t try to hurry the process up. You will know when you’re out the other side. Blessings, Luise