Posted by: Cindy at Affaircare | December 4, 2012

Acceptance & Hope–the final stage of dealing with an affair

The trauma of discovering  the betrayal of infidelity can be devastating.  Trying to describe the pain is impossible, because literally nothing in the world is as emotionally painful as a betrayal of that magnitude.  Although no two couples recover exactly the same, we have found generally seven stages in the healing process.

The first stage is “Shock and Denial,” and as we mentioned it can last hours, days, or weeks.

The second stage “Pain and Guilt” begins as the numbness wears off and is replaced with unbelievable pain.

The third stage  “Anger and Bargaining“ finds you may lashing out in irritation at those around you–and laying all the fury and condemnation for adultery on your disloyal spouse!!

The fourth stage is “Depression, reflection and loneliness.“   Just when your friends are telling you that you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you.

The fifth stage of dealing with an affair is “The Upward Turn.”   Slowly but surely you’ll be pulled back into the world — perhaps even against your will.

The sixth stage of dealing with an affair is Reconstruction  and Working Through” – you and your spouse will begin working together to find realistic solutions to problems posed by life after infidelity

The final stage of dealing with an affair is “Acceptance and Hope.”  During this, the last of the seven stages, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.

What you might be feeling:

  • Moments of surprising joy and satisfaction

What you might notice:

  • At least for short periods, you feel like yourself again.

What to do:

  • Give back to others. Many people, when grieving a loss, find solace in helping others. It can take you out of yourself and put things in perspective to help others in need. Volunteer in your community or at your place of worship, or offer to help a friend or neighbor who is going through a hard time.

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