Finding out your spouse cheated (or is cheating) leaves you breathless with shock and starts your whole world spinning wildly as you try to make sense of things. And just as you start to catch your breath, your thoughts explode and you’re bombarded with a million questions.
How could they do this?
Doesn’t s/he love me?
Why wasn’t I enough?
What’s wrong with me?
And then, almost before you know what’s happening, … you’re getting divorced.
You struggle to make sense of who this person, who was your beloved and now is your opponent, is. How could they behave in such an abhorrent way? It’s as if you never really knew them.
Of course, you already lost your trust in them when you found out about their affair, but now you’re starting to mistrust yourself. Shouldn’t you have seen the signs? Can you tell the difference between someone telling you the truth and lying? Do you even know what’s real anymore? Are you capable of ever trusting someone again? Can you trust yourself?
Now you struggle daily with mistrusting just about everyone, but especially men, if your husband had the affair, or women, if your wife cheated.
It’s because of this mistrust that divorce is so much more difficult for you. You’ve got to cope with all of the same divorce challenges everyone else who gets divorced faces, but all the while you’re having to make sense of the intimate betrayal you’ve suffered too.
For you, divorce recovery is a bit more difficult. But difficult doesn’t mean impossible.
The trick for learning how to survive infidelity and divorce is, in addition to doing the normal divorce recovery work, to do these three things too: