After the Affair: When Does the Pain End?

We think of it like a finish line.

Or a wall.

Some clearly defined boundary, delineating pain from not-pain.

After all, that’s how this all started.

You had that moment before the discovery of the affair when everything was okay and the world was as it seemed.

Then, you had that awful moment, that image or those words, that turned your world upside down. And every moment since has felt like a slow water torture of realization and grief, choking you while you somehow still manage to breathe.

And so we dream of that day when the pain will end, when the tortuous thoughts will cease and we can again sit up and breathe fully.

We place faith in the calendar, thinking that we can simply out-wait the pain as though we are in some staring contest.

Yet grief does not speak calendar.

We tell ourselves that once we receive an apology or altered behavior or a divorce decree that the pain will realize that it’s closing time and will make a dignified exit.

Yet pain does not leave when asked to do so.

We spend hours delving into our emotions, dissecting and processing, in the hope that eventually we can turn them into something of substance.

Yet betrayal leaves a lasting stain.

No matter how much time passes, what the person who betrayed you said or does, or how much you process what happened, you will always remember that you were betrayed. It is now part of you, woven into your very fiber.

Yet that doesn’t mean that you will hurt in the same way forever.

The pain of betrayal comes from two places – the treachery itself and the impact that it has on your ability to feel safe and loved again.

As you begin to trust again, in others, but even more importantly, in yourself, you will begin to heal some of that secondary wound.

As you begin to understand that the betrayal was not a rejection of you but an act of cowardice and selfishness, you will begin to restore your self-worth.

The pain doesn’t end.

It changes. It recedes. It quiets.

You will always remember.

But you will not always be submerged.

As slowly as the tide pulling away, you will again surface.

With the salt of your tears still clinging to your skin.

And the strength of survival encouraging you forward.

 

 

Thank you for sharing!

12 thoughts on “After the Affair: When Does the Pain End?

  1. David & Laura Speer – United States – Were a Metro Detroit, Michigan, couple – second marriages for both of us – and we dream of retiring early to Travel the World. Follow us while we try and figure out to raise our kids, and save to retire. David is a Robot Programmer, Laura is a Medical Physicist. We put our kids before ourselves for years, saved and ate at home and now after years of all this sacrifice and raising our kids - we are closing in on empty nesting, and we realized we have the opportunity to retire earlier than most and follow our dreams to travel the world. How are we going to do this? Well we have a lot of ideas, but lets see how it works out. Our original retirement date was January 1, 2021. We are reviewing the option of working another 3 years but prefer to keep the 2021 date, either way we will be retired by 55 years old - still trying to figure out how, but working toward our goal everyday, while enjoying each other and our blended family. Follow us to see what happens. All images on this blog are copyright (c)
    David & Laura Speer says:

    It ends years later, but it does end. Then one day you say…. wow I am glad that is over and you barely even remember it – make that a celebration day….

  2. RosieJoseph – France – Welcome to both my blogs. Due to my memoir I have had to use change my name after blogging for four years and use my new pseudonym: Rosie Joseph. I thought I would use my parents second names because I know they would be proud of me telling our story. Despite my blog Making this better being about infidelity I am still happily married to my darling husband. The affair happening in our lives encouraged to visit France and we moved to France in 2015 after an eight year love affair with it every summer. But life in France was tough, and we learned not to be afraid to make change, so we moved to Ireland at the end of 2020. I published ‘Making This Better’ the memoir where I share the whole 21 days that RD was not with me and how that affected me, and my journal entries for the first five years after 'The war' happened in our lives. I hoped that sharing our story will help others but I know now it really did from the feedback I have received from all over the world. Six years ago I wrote how I ‘loved my life in France, but I am loving the idea of an adventure more. I have the wanderlust bug who knows where life will take me next!’ Well now I know it took me to Ireland! Always remember what is important in life. The only moment is now. If you like to laugh, cry and reflect, then join me on my adventure. Rosie
    RosieJoseph says:

    Made me smile, in that we wait for the finish line. As you say there is no ‘finish line’ it is one of the threads that weave your cloth of life.

      1. RosieJoseph – France – Welcome to both my blogs. Due to my memoir I have had to use change my name after blogging for four years and use my new pseudonym: Rosie Joseph. I thought I would use my parents second names because I know they would be proud of me telling our story. Despite my blog Making this better being about infidelity I am still happily married to my darling husband. The affair happening in our lives encouraged to visit France and we moved to France in 2015 after an eight year love affair with it every summer. But life in France was tough, and we learned not to be afraid to make change, so we moved to Ireland at the end of 2020. I published ‘Making This Better’ the memoir where I share the whole 21 days that RD was not with me and how that affected me, and my journal entries for the first five years after 'The war' happened in our lives. I hoped that sharing our story will help others but I know now it really did from the feedback I have received from all over the world. Six years ago I wrote how I ‘loved my life in France, but I am loving the idea of an adventure more. I have the wanderlust bug who knows where life will take me next!’ Well now I know it took me to Ireland! Always remember what is important in life. The only moment is now. If you like to laugh, cry and reflect, then join me on my adventure. Rosie
        RosieJoseph says:

        but it would be original, and strong, and resilient. No shrinking in the wash.

          1. RosieJoseph – France – Welcome to both my blogs. Due to my memoir I have had to use change my name after blogging for four years and use my new pseudonym: Rosie Joseph. I thought I would use my parents second names because I know they would be proud of me telling our story. Despite my blog Making this better being about infidelity I am still happily married to my darling husband. The affair happening in our lives encouraged to visit France and we moved to France in 2015 after an eight year love affair with it every summer. But life in France was tough, and we learned not to be afraid to make change, so we moved to Ireland at the end of 2020. I published ‘Making This Better’ the memoir where I share the whole 21 days that RD was not with me and how that affected me, and my journal entries for the first five years after 'The war' happened in our lives. I hoped that sharing our story will help others but I know now it really did from the feedback I have received from all over the world. Six years ago I wrote how I ‘loved my life in France, but I am loving the idea of an adventure more. I have the wanderlust bug who knows where life will take me next!’ Well now I know it took me to Ireland! Always remember what is important in life. The only moment is now. If you like to laugh, cry and reflect, then join me on my adventure. Rosie
            RosieJoseph says:

            Brilliant, so am I now. But look at us, cyber friends brought together out of pain & sadness that we now use to help others. That’s got to be in our wooly as well.

  3. Four years after my wife’s 2-year emotional affair was exposed, and I still have that stain of pain just sitting there. It pops up off and on, especially when I am having trouble communicating with my wife (which seems like it happens more than I’d like, especially since she has still remained disconnected spiritually, emotionally and physically).

    It’s very hard to deal with daily triggers and even suspicion now and again when she works late. It’s that agonizing pain of what could have been — a marriage that wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the mean on either side (I know I’m not perfect either), but a marriage that wasn’t bad and had more good moments than down moments.

    But now that is all in the past and these 7-plus years of disconnect continues to haunt me daily. Just had our 25th wedding anniversary in June. Haven’t celebrated an anniversary in I don’t know how long. Just another year — another notch on the belt — to say we are legally together.

    And the pain just dwell there, like a guest that has overstayed their welcome for years and years but you can’t find a way to kick them out.

  4. It is so painful. I don’t know how much more I can take. I’m grateful to have all of you for support and to let me know there will be a time when it won’t be.

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