For those of you who have been through the rigors of finding out (after the fact) that your ex-partner had an affair during your marriage or relationship, you are not alone. I, along with many others, have also endured this shocking and cruel head trip.
Rationally, we know that our “ex” is no longer a part of our life. Yet, the whole ordeal can fracture our ego and drive our emotions berserk. The mental anguish does not match the logic for sure!
On some level we know we are wasting our precious time as we go over the details ad nauseam. Asking ourselves: Why didn’t we see that the affair was going on when we were a couple? Or, how could they have lied to us when we asked, “Is there someone else”? Or, how could they tell us they loved us and actively make plans for our future together?
I believe the main reason for this exhausting hurt is that we go through “Fairy Tale Recall.” In this process, we are recalling only the really good times of our past relationship. At the same time, we’re in shock we were lied to and preoccupied with finding that our former partner fell in love with someone else. No wonder we feel like we’re going bonkers!
Here are some tools that I found helpful while enduring the trauma and my hope is that you can add to the tools or share your story in the below comments section:
- “REVENGE” THINK, JOURNAL and TALK but DO NOT ACT ON IT: The first thing many people want to do is to tell their ex that they were no-good, lying scoundrels and that’s okay. The second is to let everyone else know they were a lying dirt-bag and scream “liar-liar-pants-on-fire” from rooftops. Obviously, this would reflect poorly on your own self image, so shelve this type of action. Generally speaking, you never have to let anyone else know because chances are people already know about the character flaws of your ex. That narcissistic cheater probably left a trail of disrespect in friendships, work relationships and other romantic liaisons.
- “DIRTY DETAILS” DON’T WASTE TIME PLAYING JUNIOR DETECTIVE: Stop it!!! Researching your ex may add insult to any injured sense-of-self you may be suffering through. Greatly limit or ban yourself from constantly looking at social media updates on the ex page or wanting to know more about the person they cheated with (or may now have married). Know that any happy-head stories you tell yourself about their relationship are probably untrue. Your ex “cheater” may temporarily have turned back into royalty again; however, you KNOW their magic won’t last for the long-haul!!!
- “BLAME” DON’T LET YOUR EX BLAME YOU: If you do speak with your ex or even hear that they have blamed you for their cheating, remember cheating is a CHOICE! They could have asked for a divorce, suggested marriage counseling or made many other decent, respectful choices. You did not make them a lying cheater. Your ex CHOSE their own behavior.
- DO NOT SPEND TIME TRYING TO FIGURE THEM OUT: Spending time trying to figure out what kind of toad demonstrates the horrible behaviors that your ex exhibited is futile. If you need to read self-help books and see a therapist, do so to take care of your broken heart so you can move forward. Remember, your ex has shown you what and who they really are…a stinking cheater.
- DO GET INTO YOU: Use your time to work on you. Join a local Divorce Recovery Group (I understand most take significant-other breakups) and always consider going to a therapist for working through loss and building self-esteem. Get to the gym. Take yoga and learn how to meditate. Take that trip you have been putting off.
- REMIND YOURSELF OFTEN: That you are going to get through this and you will be a better and wiser being in the process.
In closing, it’s important to know in our hearts and minds that every relationship in our lives is our spiritual teacher and we are intended to learn something positive from our experience to incorporate in our journey here on earth.
Eventually, you’ll be grateful for the relationship and may even want to canonize them as a “Saint-So-In-So” someday. However, for now it’s okay to recognize them for the lying-plop-of-cheating-cow-dung that they are.
Again, please leave any comments, tools or stories that you’d like to share in the space below for the common good of all.