It hurts so badly, and it robs us of so much.
It felt like a sucker punch to the gut.
At first I couldn’t believe it… couldn’t take it in. It felt as though all the blood drained out of me, and then I felt nothing.
He says there’s no one else and that everything is okay… that I’m just paranoid. It’s work… it’s the kids… it’s me that’s the problem. But I know in my gut something is terribly wrong.
When we opened up our relationship and set the rules and agreements, everything seemed fine. But now I find they’ve been lying, breaking the rules, and hiding. I’m so disappointed and confused.
Ever since I discovered the affair I’ve been disoriented, anxious, and afraid. I haven’t told my friends. Why do I feel ashamed? I’m not the one who cheated!
Our marriage was the envy of our friends and community. We taught the “communications model” for couples at our church. I feel as if a part of me has died. The embarrassment and confusion are overwhelming.
We’ve been together for five years, and I know gay men often open up their relationship. I wasn’t expecting monogamy; I expected honesty. I can’t believe he’s been lying to me for months.
I never thought I would cheat on my partner. He’s been my friend, and I don’t know if I can bear the guilt and the shame.
I see now how selfish I was – how I blamed him for the problems in our relationship and told myself the affair meant nothing. Now it means everything, and I can’t undo what I’ve done.
I always told him that infidelity is a deal-breaker; how can I even be contemplating trying to make this work. I feel weak and stupid – like I can’t trust myself anymore… let alone him.
The loss of trust is like a death, and the grief is overwhelming.
You may have suspicions of infidelity, or you may have discovered the ugly truth. You may have confronted your partner, or you may be planning to and wondering how to do it. You may have concerns about the kids, your extended family, lifestyle, and the consequences of facing what you now know.
You may be coping well to the outside world but dying inside… feeling overwhelming sadness, hurt, anger, and rage. You may “pinball” from feelings of hope one moment to desire for sheer animal revenge the next!
You may be having feelings of despair or self-harm like never before, and it’s scary to be in that place. You may be “numbing out” through work or substances while at the same time spiraling out of control.
Worst of all, you may be blaming yourself and wondering if somehow you should have known, should have seen it coming.
If you are the partner who has cheated, you may feel a toxic cocktail of shame, judgment, and recrimination, wondering if there’s a chance to repair this… unsure if you deserve a chance… tempted to give up and leave, get it over with, and end the daily moment-to-moment facing of the harm you’ve caused.
You do not have to do this alone.
I understand the pain and the anger and the anguish. I understand the fear and the confusion… the shame and the regret of so many things.
Coming for help is the right thing to do and you are brave to face all of this.
It’s the right thing to do… NOT because there is a guarantee that your relationship can be saved, but because once you work through these turbulent emotions, you can discover whether this is a relationship that you can “remake” into something new together. You know in your gut that the relationship that you thought you had is gone, but a new relationship is possible.
Together or separately, you can get through this… and how you feel now is NOT how you will always feel.
There is hard work to be done, but you can do it. Start now.
In our work together, I will always take the side of your relationship. That means I will support each of you as you communicate your feelings and needs in a way that your relationship wins – that is, in a way that your relationship is protected as you move through what today may seem overwhelming and unsolvable.
As we work through your grief and loss, we will not engage the “Four Ds”: Defend, deny, dismiss, or distract. Nor will we support spiritual bypasses or quick-fix forgiveness!
It’s time to discover how you got here… and to understand the meaning of what has happened for both of you and to your relationship. I know that doing this work will be painful, but I also know that the reward of understanding, self-compassion, and empathy can create the foundation for a new relationship.
Act now. Call for your free 15-minute consultation: (705) 795-0240.