You’ve heard the statistics, but you never thought it would happen to you. Now here you are, reeling from the impact of infidelity. Whether the affair was emotional or physical, you are bombarded by questions about what this means for the two of you. Your mind is racing, going over everything you know and wondering how this could have happened. You feel angry, sad, and unbelievably hurt. And sometimes you just feel numb. One moment you are hopeful and loving, reaching out to your partner for comfort. The next moment you are back to the hurt and anger, pushing away your partner’s attempts to be close. You wonder if you are going crazy.
If this sounds like what you’ve been feeling since learning of your partner’s affair, you are not crazy. You are experiencing the mixed emotions that come from being hurt by the person who is most important to you. This is the person you love, that you planned a future with; you can’t turn those feelings off. On the other hand, this is also the person who has caused you pain. At times one side will rise to the top and at times the other side will do so. This is ok. Of course you will have mixed emotions. It only makes sense given what you have experienced.
You may worry that your variable emotions will send mixed messages to your partner. Or you may wonder if, by still being close to your partner at times, you are giving them the message that their infidelity is forgiven. This is not the case. But by allowing yourself to get comfort and enjoyment from your partner at times, you are allowing the possibility that the two of you can recover from this. Acknowledging the part of you that still loves your partner and hopes you can repair your relationship is just as important as acknowledging the part of you that feels hurt, betrayed and hopeless.
Relationships do survive infidelity. It takes time and effort on the part of both partners. It may be hard to see how you can possibly recover from the affair. You may not even be sure that you want to try. And that’s ok. But if there’s a part of you that sometimes thinks “maybe we have something worth saving”, give yourself permission to explore that possibility.