Wobbly legs, pounding heart, flip flopping stomach. Feelings of anger, shock, hurt, disappointment, and disbelief. What has caused this range of both physical and emotional responses? Betrayal. Betrayal happens in a marriage when there is infidelity, abuse, lies, lack of support, broken promises, secrets told, snooping or stealing. Here are some suggestions for beginning the healing process.
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Don't ignore your feelings. What you are feeling is normal. Write down your thoughts and feelings in a private journal. If you find they are impacting your life in negative ways, seek professional counseling.
Eat healthy meals. Drink water throughout the day. Exercise in the fresh air. Get regular sleep. Do something that will make you laugh or smile each day. You can't make life-giving decisions when you let your body suffer.
Communicate. Let your spouse know exactly how you feel and the consequences of the betrayal. If you don't think you can verbally express all that you need to say, write a letter expressing your thoughts and feelings. Don't hold anything back. Get it all out.
It is natural to be wary and cautious, but try not to push others away from you because your spouse has betrayed you. Just because one person violated your trust, doesn't mean others will. Otherwise, you could become an angry, bitter, suspicious individual.
It is important that you not lose confidence in yourself or in your decisions.
If you've decided to work on your marriage, then you will need to make a decision to trust again. Your spouse will need to show an understanding of what you have felt and experienced, and needs to prove that he/she is truly sorry, willing to change offending behaviors, and working on earning your trust once again. Your marriage can't be sustained if there is no trust between the two of you.
This isn't easy, but carrying anger and hostility in your heart is as physically and emotionally draining as carrying large, heavy buckets of water on your shoulders all day. Not being willing to let go of the hurt, or deciding to hold a grudge and not forgive, truly hurts you more than it hurts your spouse.
If the betrayal was so hurtful, that, after giving it some time and thought, you've decided to divorce, then it is important that you spend some time reflecting on the situation. Be honest in asking yourself questions about what you could have done or possibly should have done differently. However, don't get into a self-blaming game. No one deserves to be betrayed.
Recognize that it is ok, even necessary, to go through the process of grief over the loss of trust and the sense of being betrayed. Mourning these losses will help you bring closure to this painful time in your life. Accept that this process takes time.