I remember the night I finally had proof of the affair. I had suspicions for months but nothing to stand on. And then one night I did.
Like a train, it hit me square in the chest, knocking me straight off my feet and flat onto my back. I sat there on the kitchen floor, struggling to catch my breath. My mind was spiraling as I tried to process through what those pictures really meant.
Discovering infidelity in your marriage is like being the only house on the block destroyed by the tornado, except the damage is only visible to you. You feel exposed and laid bare, yet confused by the fact that no one is coming over to help you rebuild your house. As the chaos whirls around you, figuring out how to step even one foot forward can seem impossible as heaviness sits upon your chest. So, here are six steps to begin getting you back on your feet:
**This information can also give you a little wisdom on how to help a hurting friend. A lot of the time, when we’re at our lowest, those around us want to help but we don’t know how to communicate what our needs are.**
Go to counseling together. Although friends are wonderful resources, find a third-party who has no relationship with either of you (so that there’s no bias on either side) but whom you can trust. Make the financial sacrifice, no matter how tight expenses are. Counseling will ALWAYS be cheaper than a divorce. Often, churches are a great place to look because they greatly value marriage and will be more willing to work with you. Some even offer free or low-cost counseling services. Call around and find the right place.
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Take a break from your social media accounts. Comparison can eat you alive if you let it and social media is one of its biggest fuels. Scrolling through beautifully filtered happy families, pregnancy announcements, and engagements will only hurt you more. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’ll find your support system there. Instead, invest in trusted friendships around you; real people who can love you through this season.
Find one or a few trusted friends to confide in and hold onto them. Make time for them to come over and let them come. Let them hold your baby. Let them bring you coffee or food. Answer their texts and calls. Let them love you. And also let them be a sounding board to challenge, encourage, and love on you. It takes a village. And when life falls apart, our village is there to carry us through and remind us that we are capable and not alone.
Get Some YOU Time
Find a few hours once a week where you can have some time to yourself… and I don’t just mean nap-times. Whether you have a trusted friend who can entertain your children for an hour while you get a pedicure or if you need to hire a babysitter so you can sit by yourself in a coffee shop and journal, do it. Do something for yourself that can take your mind off of the hurt or give yourself the time and space to sort through it. Allow yourself to feel all the feelings you can’t around the littles. Do whatever you can to help you feel refreshed.
Keep Track of Everything
For your own sanity, start making little notes on whatever seems weird or off. It might seem like craziness, but trust me, there is something so incredibly freeing about being able to get these details out of your head and onto paper. Trust your gut and that little voice in your spirit. This is a fine line to walk but it’s necessary.
Remember That You Are Loved
You have purpose. You are beautiful. You are worthy. No spouse and no circumstance can take that from you. And please, please remember that your worth is NOT dependent on others’ opinions. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. Your spouse’s infidelity has more to do with them than it does with you. And never let anyone try to convince you otherwise.
It’s okay to feel devastated. It’s okay to feel alone. For better or for worse gets really confusing right now as you wrestle through broken trust and betrayal. But this doesn’t have to be the end. Just like a home wiped out, you can always rebuild. It requires a new set of tools, willing workers, and determination, but the house doesn’t have to remain rubble.
If your marriage has experienced infidelity, check out our
Written By Lindsay Barnes Kelleher
Lindsay is an entrepreneur mama who works hard from home to support her 2 beautiful girls through her hand-lettered sign business, Ink & Oak Design Co. When not running her business, you can find her writing, designing, or looking for new coffee shops and hiking trails in Lake Tahoe to enjoy. Above all, she loves making new memories with her girls and exploring the world with them!