I have been so touched by the messages and comments I have received here on the blog. I can’t tell you how much hearing from you has meant to me, and I am so honored to spend a little part of your day with you!
Today I want to talk about the heartbreaking messages I receive every week from women who are going through the devastating storm of seeing their marriage end. Each story is a little different, but the pain is the same.
First of all, I wish that I could give you a big hug, and that we could sit and cry and talk over a cup of tea. My heart aches for what you are going through right now. I know that it doesn’t feel like you will survive this. I remember how broken, alone, and lost I felt – but please, please know that you really will get through this. I know you will.
The first and biggest advice that I would have for anyone is to find a counselor that you can talk to. I could not have done this without my wonderful therapist. Having someone who can help guide you through the darkness, who can help you heal and grow, was a huge part in my journey to healing. There are many ways to go about finding a therapist, but I found mine through a local church. Find one that makes you feel safe, someone you can trust during this storm, even if you have to visit a few different ones. They will also be able to help if your children would benefit from having someone work through this with them. My therapist used play therapy to help my boys work through processing their emotions, and I would do it again for them in a heartbeat.
There is something else that you need to do: Go to your doctor and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. I shared here about how embarrassed I was to be tested, but you have to do this for the sake of your health. I wish that I could be there to hold your hand through it, but just know that I am with you in spirit. Don’t delay – just get it over with. You won’t have to wonder any longer – and you won’t regret it.
As far as how to move on and start to heal – all I can tell you is to just do the next thing. Read your precious little ones a story. Give them a bath. Go get groceries. Walk the dog. Concentrate on the next thing that you have to do throughout the day. It helped me to not be so overwhelmed by everything I was facing alone. One thing at a time. One moment at a time.
Keep things as normal as possible for your children. Take a break and go into another room to cry when the tears start to fall. Do whatever helps for just a few minutes – pray, scream into a pillow, or call a friend. Then come back out and tackle the next thing on your list. That is how I made it through those rough days.
Try to keep up your strength and health. I lost 23 pounds in the first five days after finding out about my husband’s infidelity. I tried everything I knew to do, but my milk supply still dried up and I was no longer able to nurse my 5 month old baby. I wish that I had taken a little more time to care for myself – but I did my best while trying to navigate through the pain.
You are not alone. Sadly, there are so many women going through this very thing right now – and there are those of us who have already walked through this very same nightmare.
Do you have a support system? Ask a friend if she can be there for you. Have someone that will let you cry on their shoulder when you’re overwhelmed by the pain and your heart is breaking. Someone that will let you vent when you just can’t hold all of the emotions in any longer… And this can be a two-way street. You can be there for her, too.
I have those special people in my life. My friend Heather sat with me while I had my locks changed. She also lent me funny DVDs to watch and help me relax a little at night after my boys were in bed. My friend and mentor Becky was only a phone call away when I needed to vent. Joanne got me out of the house for a little bit of fun. Andrea hugged me through it, watched my boys while I went to counseling, and cried with me. So many volunteered and encouraged me as I began earning a small income selling jewelry when I became a single mom. My family babysat and camped out on the living room floor when I needed it. I’m telling you…I could not have made it without their love and support, and I will always be grateful for each and every one of them.
Even when you have kindred spirits you can turn to, you might still feel very alone. The betrayal and hurt that come from an unfaithful spouse will cut deep, and can leave you feeling vulnerable and fragile. Don’t build walls around your heart, but instead use this time to grow and heal. I know that it doesn’t feel like it, but you can emerge on the other side of this stronger, healthier, and more whole than you could possibly imagine.
Remember that you’re not alone. I promise.
Do you have any advice for our friends? How have you made it through incredibly rough times in your life?
Do you have any other questions for me? I aways really, truly, sincerely love hearing from YOU. Just leave me a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Until next time,
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