From The Triangle of Infidelity Series…
In Part One we covered folks who are tempted to or have had having an affair with a married person
What happens when someone cheats on you? Perhaps you might have had an inkling, even before you found out. He or she is gone more than before, happier more than before or even seems more distant. There may have been other changes, as well. For instance, new clothes that suddenly appear part of their wardrobe. You might notice different smells when they come home or even discern different facial expressions.
Maybe, too, you feel more lonely, confused or sad. Perhaps you notice that you have more of a roaming eye yourself or feel more impatient than usual with your significant other. Maybe you can tell, without putting it into words that something is a bit “off.”
Then you learn about it.
Let’s take some time to think about the dynamics of this position on the triangle of two who are in a committed relationship, plus one “other” who is held in secret.
Once you have made your discovery of the “other,” perhaps you feel angry, betrayed, hurt or sad. You may even feel victimized. You wonder how they could do that to you. Maybe you are blaming yourself and obsessing about the “other.” What do they have that you don’t? You’re finding the entire situation just too much to digest. Or maybe you are putting the entire fault on your significant other. It is hard not to get caught blame and hate.
First, it must be said that you are not responsible for the actions of others. No matter what feelings and thoughts that come up, each of us is responsible for knowing them and decoding them—so to speak, instead of just acting them out. Therefore, if our partner is discontent or unhappy, it is their job to speak up. If our partner acts out their inner pain with drugs, alcohol, food, sex or love addiction, it is their job to address the problem. However, that does not mean the person who has been cheated on has no work to do.
If you are the person who was cheated on, you must do some inner searching in order to help yourself. By empowering yourself, you will be able to come to terms with all the difficult feelings that arise. To begin, let yourself know that this issue in your life has some historical threads to be teased out for your own healing and peace of mind. Remember that everything in our life has meaning for us and is an opportunity for growth and healing, even if it seems impossible to think so at the time.
Whether we’ve been cheated on or not, it is the job of each of us to see the significance and meaning of everything in our lives, If we choose not to, we can stay stuck in the pain and tend to stay mired in repeating the pattern. Some people keep themselves stalled in the victim position where they keep recycling all sorts of feelings and thoughts such as blame, regret, shame and punishment. At that point, rendering themselves a victim, rather than looking at what might be possible, has some secondary gain for them. It could be so deeply embedded in their historical story that they are temporarily blinded, but if they choose not to look deeper, they are disempowering and not being kind to themselves.
If you are embroiled in a very painful time, you may feel overwhelmed. First, may I suggest being kind to yourself. Feel what is there and get the support you need and start looking at the deeper implications as soon as you are able. If your partner is not willing to look inside at what is going on, then you will have to do as much work on yourself as you can to help yourself and your situation. That may mean eventually moving on or holding your partner’s toes to the fire, so to speak.
Statistics show that you are not alone. This is of little comfort when you are going through such pain. Just know that you can get past this, glean from it what you are able and at the end be stronger.
Posted: 3/9/2010 12:12:42 AM
Great post. It''s terrifying for people to be on the "victim" end of an affair. For some, it''s a punch in the gut of an unbearable level of shame. And yet, as Dr. Jennifer talks about, if we can be kind to ourselves and get conscious of the lesson, we will find deep meaning. To me, the strength begins with forgiveness - as that level of vulnerability brings an enormous amount of strength and opens the door towards redemption.
Michael Sherman - www.CourageousLovingNation.com
Posted: 2/26/2012 11:16:10 PM
you go through so many emotions that sometimes you dont know who you are....anger...guilt...at the end of the day you have to except you were not meant to be together...there is no point trying to deal with it because you wont....its like a sore that never heals...dont even bother trying to be strong because deep down its the most painful thing ever...it changes you ...it changes him...your relationship will never be the same....
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