From: Dr. Frank
Once the affair
is out in the open, there are seven emotions that you will undoubtedly grapple
with. What follows is a brief discussion of each of them.
Emotional Trial #1: Guilt
If you have been
cheating on your partner, it is likely you have been struggling with guilt for
some time. For most people who engage in affairs, the sense of guilt begins
well before the injured partner learns about the affair. It may be that you
have been coping with guilt since you initially had thoughts of taking that
first step over the line of propriety.
Guilt comes up
for the cheater for a number of reasons. If you have established a set of rules
for yourself about being faithful to your partner and your relationship, then
having an affair is bound to make you feel guilty. The most obvious is that you
are betraying the trust of another person whom you care about very deeply. This
in itself generates a great deal of guilt.
Emotional Trial #2: Shame
hand-in-hand with guilt; however, they are distinct in a number of ways. While
guilt is a way that your unconscious helps you judge your own actions against
your personal beliefs about right and wrong, shame is predicated on
expectations that we have about our social environment. Shame is the disgrace
you feel in front of others – people in your real life, people from your past
(in your imagination), or imagined “others” – when you have engaged in an act
that is seen as unacceptable. There are many things to feel ashamed about when
you have cheated on your partner.
Emotional Trial #3: Fear
If you feel
afraid of losing the person you love and the life you’ve worked so hard to
build, there is no wonder as to why. This, also, is a natural feeling for
someone who has committed infidelity. This is a well-founded, rational fear.
However, I hope that with the help of this book and your commitment and
follow-through to do the hard work required that your fear will prove to be one
that is unwarranted.
Emotional Trial #4: Anger
Anger is as
natural a feeling for the cheater as it is for the injured.
You are likely
angry with yourself for having gotten involved in an affair to begin with.
What’s more, you may be angry at yourself for having the emotional responses to
the affair that you do. You may feel like you don’t deserve to have these
feelings, and this gets turned into anger.
Emotional Trial #5: Hopelessness
You are probably
worried that your relationship is damaged beyond repair. If you are trying to
rebuild your relationship and you feel like it is damaged beyond repair, you
are likely to feel hopeless.
experience hopelessness, take heart. Look for the small improvements that you
see day-by-day in the relationship. Use the program in this book, and move
forward to a better-than-ever relationship. If you don’t, you won’t ever get
there. Small steps add up to large improvements.
Emotional Trial #6: Condemned
You could reach a
place where you feel as though you can never be forgiven. This worry often
extends beyond the need for forgiveness from your partner. Some people feel as
though they can’t be forgiven long after their partner has already forgiven
with yourself. You are human after all. If you don’t, your relationship will
feel the brunt of it.
Emotional Trial #7: Loneliness
Being the cheater
in a relationship that you are trying to repair can be a very lonely place to
be. At this point your partner might not be engaged in your relationship in an
emotionally supportive way. As such, it is likely that you are feeling pretty
emotionally disconnected from your partner right now. That kind of emotional
isolation can be hard to cope with, particularly when you are maintaining the
secret of your affair.
Be mindful of
whom you choose to talk to. Make sure that they will be able to listen to you
compassionately without holding long-term grudges against your partner.
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