Eight Heart-Wrenching Emotions You Will Face

From: Dr. Frank Gunzburg

Almost everyone 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 pain.


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.

These reactions 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 above.


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.

Instead of 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 your purview.

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.

Paranoid Feelings

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 paranoid.

Paranoid feelings 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.

For more information about restoring the trust after an affair, please visit: http://www.surviveanaffair.com

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