Reeling From Infidelity

Every once in a while I step back and think about the messages I give to couples in my practice, seminars, keynotes and in my writing. To be sure, I have been a psychotic optimist about people’s ability to survive whatever comes their way in terms of marital challenges. For example, my mantra when interviewed by media about the impact of infidelity is that it is by no means a marital deal breaker. In fact, I say, that when a couple is willing to do the hard work of healing from infidelity, their marriage can be stronger than ever before. True? Well, yes, but not, I now believe, without considerable hardship and devastation along the way. Suffice it to say, infidelity is not for sissies.

As I have observed the fallout from infidelity from the discovery throughout the lengthy process of healing, I have noticed that, even when couples are devoted to rising above adversity, facing their demons, keeping their hearts open, working through pain, grief, anxiety and loss, the process is incredibly difficult. There are predictable twists and turns. Roller coaster-like days, months and even years take their toll emotionally, spiritually and physically. Forgiveness may come eventually, but forgetting never does. The marriage is changed forever, innocence and dreams lost.

About mwd27

Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW is an internationally renowned relationship expert, best-selling author, marriage therapist, and professional speaker who specializes in helping people change their lives and improve important relationships. Among the first in her field to courageously speak out about the pitfalls of unnecessary divorce, Michele has been active in spearheading the now popular movement urging couples to make their marriages work and keep their families together. She is the author of seven books including her best-selling books, DIVORCE BUSTING: A Step-by-Step Approach to Making Your Marriage Loving Again, and THE SEX-STARVED MARRIAGE: A Couple's Guide to Boosting Their Marriage Libido. Michele's work has been featured in major newspapers such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and magazines such as Time, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Essence, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Woman's Day, Men's Health, New Woman, and McCall's. Michele is a marriage expert on Redbook's advisory board, ClubMom.com and iVillage.com. She has made countless media appearances on shows such as Oprah, 48 Hours, 20/20, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News, CNN, and Bill O'Reilly. Michele's Keeping Love Alive program aired on PBS stations nationwide. She recently completed a reality based show for the BBC about helping couples save their marriages. Michele maintains that her true expertise in helping couples have great relationships is derived from first-hand experience. She and her husband have been married for more than thirty years.
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  • http://divorcebustting.com terry

    I’m filling today unless a miracle happens.I’ve tried everthing since last sept.11th when I got the “I love someone else “speech.yesterday she rented a limo to take her and her boyfriend out 8 hours to party.I know I have my failings but shes unwilling to work it out.and then theres our son age 10.wish I could help him , but I can’t even help myself. any advice?
    terry

  • Elaine

    Terry,
    I feel for you. I found out last Sept. too, got the “I love you but am not in love with you” speech. We’ve been on the roller coaster ever since, on top of a major mid-life crisis. He spent the weekend at a hotel thinking about his options (where she came for a visit), after I gave him the ultimatum of no contact or were done, big mistake. Well, he came home and said we’re done, he needed to find what’s missing in his life. After hours of talking we have decided to a 3 month moratorium on our marriage decisions. No questions, no working on it, no nothing but being parents to our three teenage boys. It will be very hard but I believe so strongly we are good together and I do not want my boys to come from a broken home. I have to put them first until I know there is absolutely no chance left at pulling things back together. So, I picked myself back up this morning, slapped a smile on my face, took the kids to school and went to work and will do it all again tomorrow. You can take care of your little boy and yourself because that’s what you have to do. He needs someone who can rise above the bad decisions his mother is making and show him how to be a man with integrity and a will to make the best life for himself regardless of the circumstances thrown at him. He needs to know you can be happy even when those around you are doing hurtful things because our happiness has to come from within not from someone else, afterall, thats how our spouses got into this mess, they looked outside themselves to solve their problems. So, go for a walk, make a list of what you have to be grateful for, do something with your son that will put a smile on his face. Remember, we never really know how strong we are until the going gets tough and I want to be proud that I did everything I could to save my marriage for myself, my husband and especially my kids. I’d like them to learn when you love someone and commit your life to them it’s only a commitment if you live by it when it’s hard. Yes, our spouses didn’t do that, and that’s sad and I wish you the best in however your situation turns out but it is up to you to make the best of it. Good luck!

  • http://DIVORCEBUSTTING.COM TERRY

    THANKS ELAINE FOR THE SUPPORT STILL MARRIED BUT HATE MY SITUATION.AND WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY,FOR AN ATTORNEY.
    STILL LIVING WITH MY WIFE,JUST A DAY BY DAY ROUTINE.ONE DAY ANGRY,ONE DAY ANGRIER.HOPE MY NIGHTMARE ENS SOON.

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