Eight Heart-Wrenching Emotions
You Will Face
From: Dr. Frank
faces these eight emotions when they find out about an affair. If you think you
aren’t feeling one of them, I encourage you to look very closely at yourself
and make sure it isn’t there.
Once you have
fully examined the emotion, if you find you aren’t feeling it at all, that’s
fine. Simply move on to the next emotion and look at that one. However, if you
get to the bottom of the list and you think you are only feeling one or two of
the eight emotions discussed, you could be in a bit of denial. I know this
hurts, but you’ll move on more successfully after you face your own turmoil and
This is the big
one. I doubt that you would have picked up this book if you weren’t feeling
this. Betrayal is the sense that someone has intentionally taken advantage of
your trust. Betrayal is at the very root of infidelity. It is what causes many
of the other emotional problems that come up when you find out your partner has
cheated on you.
Many people feel
guilty when they find out about an affair. On some level they think that the
affair is their fault. They might think, “If only I had been a better partner,
this would never have happened.”
No matter what
kind of partner you were, or are, you did not choose to have an affair and take
advantage of the trust that was established between the two of you. You did not
choose for the other person to hurt you.
When you have
spent years building a life with another person and they come home and tell you
that they have cheated on you, you are bound to feel disappointed. You will
likely feel disappointed in them. But you might also feel disappointed in
yourself, in men or women (depending on the cheater’s gender), in humankind as
a whole, or even in life itself.
are normal. But be careful not to let your feelings slide into the despair of
hopelessness. If you do that, you’re going to hit the roadblock we talked about
Anger is the
fraternal twin of betrayal. They go hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm. When you feel
betrayed, you almost immediately feel angry. If you are feeling a sense of
betrayal and you aren’t feeling any anger, look to see if you aren’t hiding
something from yourself.
Think about and
answer these questions: What makes you so angry about the affair? What are some
of the angry scenarios you dream about? What are the particular concepts about
the affair that anger you? Are your angry feelings related to other experiences
in your personal history? How do you feel your anger in your body? How do you
express your anger?
This emotion is
usually associated with anger. Many people want to take revenge on the cheater,
on the person the cheater was involved with, or both. They envision hurting the
cheater as much as they have been hurt.
actually enacting your vengeful fantasies, try writing about them. What kinds
of vengeful fantasies do you have? What would you hope for out of the
vengeance? What does this reveal to you about the way you feel in this
situation? How do you experience the vengeful feeling in your body? Were there
other times or places when you had these feelings? How do these earlier
experiences (if there were any) impact your current feelings?
When you find out
your partner has had an affair, there are so many things to fear. You might be
afraid that the life you once knew is over. You might be afraid that you will
never be able to repair your relationship. You might be afraid that they will
do it again.
There is no
question that having someone cheat on you can cause frustration. You likely
will be frustrated with the cheater, frustrated with the person they cheated
with, frustrated with yourself, and frustrated with the whole world. After all,
something has been done to you and to your relationship that was and is out of
This feeling of
frustration is often compounded by the fact that you now have to cope with so
many painful thoughts and feelings. Sometimes it might feel like you are
heaping frustration upon frustration.
I use the term
“paranoid feelings” here to mean feelings that include suspiciousness. I am not
using “paranoid” in the technical or diagnostic sense. Paranoid here is meant
to indicate a deep fear that someone or something is out to get you or is
engaging in some activity that will cause you pain behind your back. It is
quite easy to see why the injured person in an affair situation might feel
can be destructive to your peace of mind if taken too far. But a bit of
suspicion or, perhaps, skepticism isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You deserve to
have the cheater prove to you that they are not carrying on with the affair and
will not get involved in another one. Be suspicious enough to get that need
met. If you don’t, developing trust will be that much more difficult.
Dr. Frank Gunzburg
is a licensed counselor in Maryland and has been specializing is helping
couples restore their marriage for over 30 years.
information about restoring the trust after an affair, please visit: http://www.surviveanaffair.com