If you take a look at my responses when people write to me, many contain advice to seek therapy. I truly believe, based on your life situation, that some of what a wife goes through once she finds out that her husband cheated is similar to post-traumatic stress. I am not a doctor; it is just my humble opinion. We are often tied to our beliefs, and when we discover that a belief we have strongly held on to is not the case at all, it can be traumatizing.
Many times the focus is on the husband getting therapy to help understand why he cheated, but little focus is on the wife, who often needs therapy as well. As most of you know, the emotions after the discovery of a husband cheating can be strong and unyielding. The pain hurts like physical pain. And the diversity of emotion and feeling is usually unique to this situation. If someone does something mean, it’s easy to categorize them as a ‘mean person’. If someone does something by accident, it’s easy to say ‘accidents happen’. But when someone you love does something that is hurtful, how do you process those emotions? How are you supposed to feel? You might feel sad, angry, and helpless all within minutes of each other. And dealing with those emotions is not something that most people are equipped to handle.
When I first found out about the affair, my focus was totally on marriage counseling. I didn’t even consider that I might need to go to therapy to process what I was going through. I went to therapy a couple of times months later, and the sessions were extremely helpful, though one therapist I went to was not for me. I had to be comfortable with the person I was talking to, and you will know who is right for you once you sit down and start talking. Looking back, I should have gone to therapy much earlier, and more frequently. I am in therapy now; I’m not ashamed of therapy at all and you should not be as well. Many people do not have the insurance or are not in a position to be able to pay for therapy, so if you have the insurance and are having a tough time with processing the complex emotions of an affair, explore seeking therapy. It just might give you the help you need to get to a better stage in your recovery process. Virtual hugs to all of you!