Saturday, March 20, 2010

Advice for the Betrayed Wife: Take Your Time...

I didn't receive a whole lot of advice regarding my husband's infidelity, mostly because very few people around me knew I was dealing with it. I did confide in my friend Ally in large part because she worked at the same office as my husband and his OW and had asked me, point-blank, if anything was going on. I've never been a good liar and so I sang like a heartbroken canary.
Though she was wonderful support and a true, "I'm-in-your-corner" friend, she never really offered advice, trusting that I was getting through as best I could. And I did well to put on a brave face. Behind that facade, however, I was crumbling. And one of my biggest challenges was thinking that I should be doing something. As in filing for divorce. Or at least meeting a lawyer. Or packing my bags. Or...or...something.
Instead, I was mostly roaming my own house at all hours, like a ghost of marriage past, occasionally pausing to sob into my dog's neck. For someone like me, who'd always prided herself on getting things done, I seemed unforgivably pathetic.
And yet...those months of apparent nothingness were actually quite important. While I may not have been actively doing anything, I was emotionally processing the shock and subsequent fallout of the betrayal. And in that time, I got clear about a lot of things. That, though I was angry and more hurt than I'd ever felt, I wanted my marriage. That though I'd always said infidelity was a "deal-breaker", I wasn't ready to break the deal.
A year or so later, I came across the advice I would have loved then on Surviving Infidelity. Don't make any major decisions for six months to a year is perhaps not a cardinal rule...but one worth observing. And one that would have made those decision-less months seem less like a character flaw ("I'm weak", "I'm a doormat") on my part and more like careful consideration. Which, of course, is what it was.
So that's my advice to you, if you're still sifting through the wreckage wrought by betrayal. Give yourself time to excavate. To figure out what's worth salvaging...and what's just too wrecked to bother.


  1. I was looking for Advise on breaking up and found this great site I gotta admit its great and it worked for me and helped me a lot.

  2. I'm glad it worked for you. I'm always skeptical of the "save a marriage" Web sites but if it worked for you, thanks for letting us know. Cheaper than a divorce!



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