I found out about my husband’s affair and I don’t know what to do next. How should I deal with my jealous feelings and uncertainty about our future together?
If you’re overcome with emotion after finding out about your spouse’s affair, don’t feel bad. It’s totally normal and to be expected. As I mentioned, your emotions are normal right now given your circumstances, but what’s not normal is letting your emotions run your life because they impede your ability to heal yourself, your relationship with your spouse and your ability to move forward in your marriage.
Let’s look at two common emotions you face and how to deal with them so they don’t consume your life:
Emotion 1: Jealousy
Are you going to be jealous after your husband’s affair? Absolutely. He strayed and went outside the marriage and shared what was the most sacred thing between you two with someone else. That’s going to have a ripple effect through your life. No doubt that right now you’re confidence has hit rock bottom because you’re left wondering what the other woman had that you don’t.
What your jealousy really means is that you’re upset that your husband used his time and resources that should have been spent on you with someone else. And what’s worse, you’re left with images and thoughts of your husband and the other woman having a good time while you were left standing alone.
Now let’s examine the uncertainty in your life because of his affair:
Emotion 2: Uncertainty
The foundation of your marriage was rocked when your husband stepped out the door with the other woman. Unfortunately for you, you’re left questioning everything else in your life. Was everything between you real and if so what was it?
This is a tough emotion to deal with because your rock has cracked and you’re left wondering what’s going to happen with your marriage and your life. Will you husband leave her? Will he stay? These are some very real questions that will be answered in time.
These two very real emotional struggles you face as you try to piece your life back together. However, you should know that ignoring them won’t make your feelings or the problems go away, in fact all it will do is delay the healing process. If you allow your emotions to control your life this will only cause you more hurt, pain and suffering.
Your 2 Coping Strategies:
Coping Strategy 1: Draw a Line in the Sand
When talking about addressing jealousy and the thoughts of the other woman, it’s very helpful to have a plan in position because the images and thoughts last a lifetime. You might even be tempted to try and “get even” with your husband or simply shut down completely around him.
Tell yourself that it’s OK to be jealous. It’s a normal reaction for you to have. And recognizing and accepting your jealous feelings is the first step to overcoming it. As I said before, make sure you have a plan in place. Be prepared for things to get messy inside your head. The best way to handle this is to make a list of things you want to in revenge and draw you line in the sand – which is to say you won’t do any of them.
The key reason why you won’t want to act out against your husband is because it will only make things worse for you. Along with
dealing with the emotions from your husband’s affair, you’d then be left dealing with guilt and remorse for your actions.
Coping Strategy 2: Talk to Someone About What You’re Going Through
It often helps if we have someone we can turn to during times of distress because it give you an outlet for putting your feelings into words.
However, you need to be careful when sharing your pain with people. Avoid sharing it with someone who’s close to the situation because you want to save your marriage in the long run, not hurt it and having people close to you who are angry at your husband won’t help because they will hold a grudge against him.
Instead, see if you can talk to someone from your church or a counselor at work. Often times the can provide a valuable independent perspective and offer you practical solutions to work through your pain.