Affair healing Blog
I begged God to help me get through the grief. He was so good to comfort me and to restore my hope as I prayed. Before I knew it, I was going about life again and even enjoying it. I would begin to find my rhythm and to embrace the life I had come to know that included the big A in it, only to be slammed up against [a] wall again within a matter of days because something triggered my crushed heart and made it start bleeding again.
It wasn't until I started down this painful path that I realized that grief comes and goes. It definitely came and went in my life up to this point, but I never really got it. In the early days of loss, grief is a constant companion, the kind of "friend" who smothers you and gets in your personal space. You give in to that friend, and it gradually starts giving you some room to breathe. But if you don't pay enough attention to it, grief decides it really needs to be close to you again. I grieved the loss of my marriage as knew it, and as odd as it sounds, I began to heal at the very same time.
One of the things I learned about grief is that you don't lose the person (or the dream or whatever it is you lost) all in one day. You lose him, her, or it gradually as you go about your life. When you experience something that reminds you of what you lost, you grieve. When you see something that takes you back to an old memory, you grieve. That is probably why the first year of a loss is so difficult: the first Christmas, first birthday, first anniversary, first dance recital... many firsts that do not resemble the way things use to be.
When this started happening, I learned that I had to give myself permission to cry, to feel the sadness, to carry the weight of the burden, to realize that if my husband and I made it to a 60-year celebration of marriage, he would not be able to say that he was faithful to me all the days of his life. That was my new life, my new normal. If I didn't do something with all of these emotions, I would never make it through. I had to push through the pain, or it would be with me until I did.
I cried at home, at work, at church, at the grocery store, in front of people, and all by myself. I cried when I felt fear and when I felt joy. I cried when I saw others hurting over my husband's actions, and I cried when I saw him overwhelmed with the mess his actions created. I cried when the tears came on, and I didn't hold them in. If I've learned anything about allowing myself this, it's that if you don't stop the tears when they need to fall, they'll eventually stop themselves.
This post is an excerpt from the book Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken and used with the permission of the author, Cindy Beall. In her book, Cindy's writes about her experience of recovery following her husband's confession of multiple affairs, one of which resulted in pregnancy. It is a story of faith and of her journey toward of grace and redemption
Unless otherwise noted, articles are written by Tim Tedder, a licensed counselor and creator of this site and its resources. Twitter: @TimTedder