Feeling Betrayed: 10 Survival Tips to Healing from an Affair

feeling betrayed

Feeling Betrayed in Marriage can Destroy All Hope

Feeling betrayed wasn’t an emotion I expected to experience in my marriage.  As I sat at the end of the bed, I could see the look on my husband’s face of hurt, emptiness, and defeat.  I knew what he wanted to say but didn’t want to assume anything.

You know what ASS-U-ME means.

He was beating around the bush and I didn’t want to read into what he was insinuating.  So, I pushed him with a stern voice, “Just tell me what you want.  I want to hear you say the word”. That opened the flood gate to the worst phrases a wife could hear from her husband.

“I am unhappy in this marriage.”

“I believe that you don’t love me, that you never loved me, and you never will love me.”

“I am filing for divorce.”

Hearing this was emotionally crippling!  I was crushed, because he believed a lie that I didn’t love him.  Knowing he was unhappy created a constant, internal frantic feeling.  I quickly looked back on all the sacrifices I made to be with him.  Now, here he stands blaming me for his unhappiness.

Fighting for My Marriage

From that moment on, I took all the responsibility for our marriage problems. I immediately asked for time to work on things before he filed for divorce.  He agreed rather quickly, and I went to work on myself to fight for our marriage.

I spent months in counseling.  Also to avoid fighting and keep the peace; I constantly apologized, walked on eggshells, and never saying no to spending money on anything he wanted.  Even though I wasn’t happy with the changes and sacrifices due to the little positive response from him; I hoped over time it would restore our relationship.

My Reward: An Affair that Created Feeling Betrayed

Fast forward one year later to receive a phone call, “Your husband is having an affair with…”, let’s just say, Cassidy.  Yes, they gave me her name! I was mortified. After my continued commitment to try and correct the behaviors he didn’t like; this was my reward, betrayal!  I was focused on becoming a better wife to save our marriage while he was enjoying cake on the side.

Feeling betrayed takes your breath away and causes you to question everything about yourself. I was stunned that the man I married said he loved me and that I was the one he was waiting for.  Yet he cared more about a woman that hadn’t sacrificed anything for him over the past seven years.

At first, I didn’t know what to do; so, I prayed about it. The next morning, I felt that God wanted me to stay with him and believe in restoration. It was the first time in my life that I showed another human unconditional love. It was painful. Loving someone that doesn’t deserve your love hurts; however, God did it for me, so I wanted to do it for my husband.

I was his fourth wife, and I wanted to show him through my actions that I would stand by him.  I hoped this loving behavior would win him over.  The next morning, I told him I love him, I forgive him, and that I will fight for him and our marriage.  He replies making no eye contact, “I am committed to our marriage and I will not talk or see her again.”

Feeling Betrayed Triggers Divorce

Eight months later, he is still unhappy and moves out in December after telling his kids we are getting a divorce. Three days later he admits he didn’t give it his all and wants to try again. We stayed separated for 10 months. During these long months, he left me and came back four separate times.

Finally, this loving, Christian wife had to put her foot down and stop this behavior of come close, go away and I love you, but I don’t want you behavior. Mind games are exhausting and emotionally deflating. The last time he said, this isn’t working, I screamed “Get out, I will send you divorce papers.”

Throughout our seven years of marriage, he lied to me, drained my savings, was emotionally distant, blamed me for most everything wrong in the marriage, and had an affair. I wasn’t an angel. It takes two to wreck a marriage.  However, I felt that I was the main one doing most of the work to change myself for the sake of the marriage.

The aftershock from this divorce was severe for me. He claimed to be a Christian as he could quote most Bible verses, but he admitted to purposely setting out to hurt me when I didn’t give him what he expected.

Dealing with unhealthy expectations and how to handle them is a big subject to tackle in another blog article, so stay tuned. The affair wasn’t the trickiest thing to deal with; it was getting past his secrets, lies and him pretending to be someone that he wasn’t.  That was the biggest betrayal!  During the divorce proceeding I saw the mask fall from his face and could see the cold heart of my soon to be ex-husband.

Healing from Feeling Betrayed

There is a lot of bad advice when it comes to healing from an affair or divorce.  That is because most of the advice is trying to help that person get instant peace and to get over the relationship and move on.  I wish it worked that way, but it isn’t that simple.

Instead I would hear girlfriends slightly joking, “You just need to get laid.” “Pay him back by being with someone else.” This solution is the most damaging advice or action anyone dealing with a broken heart could follow.   This type of action will only destroy the rest of what self-esteem you have and prevent you from rebuilding a future healthy relationship.

After a divorce, especially if you have been cheated on, you suffer from lack of self-esteem, your mind is constantly playing scenarios over and over, and you relive conversations.  You need to take the time to discover yourself without him in your life.  Taking the time to heal is the mature way of to handle the pain.

Many people that move on quickly after a divorce are the ones that typically do not heal and continue the damaging cycle in their relationships.  Turn and burn ’em!

Top 10 Survival Tips to Healing from an Affair and to Stop Feeling Betrayed

I personally did these survival tips when I first learned about the affair but many of these I focused on after the divorce was final.  You can get past feeling betrayed; I promise.  You need to analyze your own situation and pick and choose the ones that you feel will help you speed down the road to healing your broken heart.

Top 10 Survival tips to heal from the #betrayal of a #maritalaffair and dealing with a #divorce. Click To Tweet

1. Lean on your BFF. 

Gin is your best friend.  Okay, not really.  Many people medicate the pain and start sipping on additional glasses of wine on weekdays.  This may numb the pain or help you avoid dealing with it; but it only stunts your growth to emotional healing. Stay away from the overuse of alcohol!

The best medicine is to lean into your best friend.  Please be sure that you take advice from your Christian friends that will direct you down the correct path for healing. I had a few girlfriends during the divorce process say, “Just get back at him and get laid.”.  That is the WORST advice someone can act on.  It doesn’t hurt your soon to be ex; it does however, really hurt you and reputation.

2. Declutter the memories.

The phrase out of sight, out of mind is real, girl.  I am not saying to toss pictures or memorabilia in the trash; especially don’t ditch special things when you are emotional or angry.  To help ease the pain, box up as much as possible and store out of sight until you can make decisions with a sound mind.

3. Embrace the Pain.

I do not mean to be excited about it; but let it out. Cry like you have never cried before.  Let that emotional pain flow out of every pore.  Lean into the pain and let yourself feel it.  Don’t try to suppress it.  When you avoid or cover up the pain, anger can easily take over.  When the anger takes hold and you don’t deal with that emotion; it can start causing damage in your spirit and bitterness to take root.

4. Don’t date! 

The timing of when someone should start dating is different for each person.  My ex-husband was dating before our divorce was final and married her within one year of our divorce.  I have gone on about six dates in the past year and still not sure if I am ready. If you go on a few dates and still feel uncomfortable, then take a step back.  Don’t make rash decisions because your ex moved on; experience growth on your own timetable.  The good thing about not dating is you aren’t pressured to please others.  You get to focus on yourself.

5. Date Yourself. 

Everywhere you go there is one person you can’t escape…yourself.  This is the best time to take care of yourself.  Maybe do something you never did before or were afraid of doing.  I had a vacation planned with a close friend and at the last minute she couldn’t go.  Instead of cancelling, I went and had a wonderful time.  Try new things, you may be surprised to find out this builds confidence.

6. Journal daily.  

Writing your emotions down and your daily thoughts is incredibly helpful.  You won’t realize it at the beginning, but when you go back months later and read what you wrote, it is at that time you can recognize your healing.  I giggle now when I read my notes from one year ago; I can’t believe how quickly some areas healed.  This will be encouraging for you when you look back.

7. Read God’s Word.

No matter what you do, this is the most important.  If you don’t lean on the promises that God has for you, then you will think about the things out of your control.  Nothing is more important than spending time with God each day.  If you don’t have a routine already, start small, download a devotional app and spend 5 – 10 minutes each day.  If you aren’t feeling loved right now, then you should learn more about how much God loves you and read Amazing Proof that God Loves You from A to Z.

8. Eat Better. Exercise More.  

I should have practiced what I preach for the past year on this one.   I didn’t do this well at all.  Unfortunately, I gained weight but now that my emotions are healthier, I am switching gears to focus on the physical side.  I wish I would have done this all along because when you are physically healthier, it does help with healthier emotions.

9. Forgive Him.  

Girl, you have to forgive.  Not for him, but for you.  Too many people believe that forgiveness means you approve of their behavior.  Not true!  You forgive for your own soul.  Not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.  Forgiveness is the path to healing yourself.  You may still carry the pain around, but by forgiving you aren’t carrying anger and bitterness.  There is a peace that will set in when you make the decision to forgive.

Keep your heart pure by forgiving quickly! #forgivenessheals Click To Tweet

10. Control your thoughts.

Yes, you can control your emotions.  Yes, you can stop yourself from thinking negative thoughts.  Your actions will follow your thoughts.  If you have hope, then you will make good decisions for your future.  When your thoughts are focused around despair and anger, then you will keep yourself in the hole you are in.

Feeling Betrayed will Diminish

When I learned my husband had an affair, I thought it was the end of my world.  It wasn’t.  In fact, God did me a favor on that day in April 2016 when the truth came out. Now I have a new opportunity for God to bring someone into my life that will treat me better and will truly love me.

I wanted God to restore my marriage, but He didn’t.  Sometimes our unanswered prayers means that God has something better.

If you are going through this trial right now, my heart is with you.  Please know that you can get through this, and that God is on your side!

Living All In…PEACE,

Cheryl

P.S. I would love to hear from you on how you are healing from feeling betrayed in your relationships! Just send me a message by visiting my contact page.