Affair healing Blog
During the summer, one of the topics in our online Community considered what questions a betrayed spouse should ask about the affair. In the course of that discussion, a betrayed wife confessed her struggle with comparing herself to the affair partner, losing the comparison most often.
One of the members (requesting to be anonymous) posted this insightful reply:
"Any questions that form a comparison or a competition (Was sex better? Was she prettier, thinner, smarter, wealthier? Did you enjoy talking with her more? etc.) are not necessary in my opinion. I KNOW why we ask them. The affair wounds our self esteem, self worth, everything. It takes over like a monster. But I'd like anyone feeling the pain of those questions to try this exercise:
"Write down all your spouse's positive points, attractions, best qualities. Then really look at them and ask yourself if no one else is as good or better then them in those areas. Chances are there are many people in the world, or even people you know, who are more attractive, thinner, wealthier, better at sex, smarter, or more interesting then your spouse. Do you think less of your spouse because so many people are better then them at any of those things? Odds are no.
"This isn't about putting down your wayward spouse. It's about realizing marriage isn't a competition. You didn't marry them because they we're "the best." You chose them because you loved them. They didn't marry you because you we're the best either, but because they loved you. They didn't cheat because you got older, softer, too familiar, or because they found something better or because you we're lacking anything. They cheated because of something lacking in themselves.
"If marriage to them is just about finding something better, trust me, they will never find it and real long term love will allude them forever. Because there is always someone better at something. Someone will always be younger, more attractive, built differently, more educated, more whatever. That doesn't make YOU any less. Marriage isn't about trading up for bigger, better, newer models.
"I wondered for a long time if the sex was better with affair partner Then one day I realized I could probably have better sex with someone else. I just didn't. There we're many more attractive men then my husband. I just didn't care because I was married. There we're men smarter or more educated then my husband. Does that mean my husband was less then other men? No. He was just him. And I married him. I wasn't faithful because he was the best at everything or perfect. I was faithful because I chose to be and I wasn't lacking things inside me I thought I could fill from outside.
"There is no comparison. In many ways the affair partner is a downgrade. For one thing, they were willing to engage dishonestly in a relationship with a married person. Would your spouse have found that attractive in a partner if they we're in a healthy place themselves? I doubt it. The affair partner wasn't filling anything you lacked, but what was lacking inside your spouse themselves.
"Don't demean your worth with comparison questions. If you compare yourself to other things or other, you can always find yourself lacking something. You don't have to be the best; just be the best you. The best you is worthy of love and honesty and faithfulness and so much more."
Unless otherwise noted, articles are written by Tim Tedder, a licensed counselor and creator of this site and its resources. Twitter: @TimTedder