Dealing With Infidelity In Marriage
You Can Take Your Marriage Higher by Surviving

3 Steps to Restoring Your Self-respect and Confidence After an Affair

What you have to deal with from the aftershock of your husband or wife’s affair can seem like a traumatic period. During this time you can experience an assault on your sense of self-worth caused by your spouse’s betrayal. Getting help may be a welcomed way out.

If you are ready to try and regain the self-worth that was shredded after your spouses affair, then read on. What is in this post are 3 of the steps that can help you begin to reclaim a healthy sense of self-worth and respect for the person that was ‘you’ before it was taken by the infidelity.

What the Victim of an Affair can expect Afterwards

You can become overwhelmed by the many different emotions after you learned of your spouse’s cheating. You may feel numb at first but once the reality really hits you your whole body will tingle with pain as the infidelity causes hurt and anger. Some of that anger will be at yourself for letting it happen.

You try to run away from the negative images, thoughts, and emotions but they are wreaking their havoc on you and starting to affect your health and eating away at your self-confidence.

This is when you start beating yourself up with:

  • How did I not see this coming?
  • Why didn’t I recognize the signs that he/she was chaating with the long phone calls?
  • Is there something awful about me that my spouse had to turn to someone else?
  • Wasn’t I enough to satisfy him/her?

Telling yourself things like that, it is no surprise you lowered your self-respect until you are your own worse enemy. Just remember only you can make yourself happy by deciding how you look at yourself first.

The anger you are feeling towards yourself is natural during the post-affair time and is usually full of doubts about things such as your marriage, who your spouse really is, who you are, and indecision of what to do next.

You may have to sink to the bottom before you can start to rise up again so you can tell yourself it wasn’t your fault. Then you will start the massive task of taking care of yourself and get a better perspective on your life.

Just keep in mind that you control your own happiness, not your cheating spouse, so it is up to you what you think and how you feel.

Rebuilding Your Self-Respect after the Affair

You may be want to feel responsible for your spouse’s decision to cheat. It is easy to say you should have done things differently but the truth is there is no excuse for your spouse deciding to betray your trust and marriage vows by thinking looking outside the marriage were the answer. It was your spouse that should have done things differently.

In other words your spouse having that affair is like someone throwing gasoline on the fire trying to put it out.

You’ve become a victim of someone else’s ill-advised decision to carry on an affair when all that had to been done is your spouse talking to you. As a result it is you who is now has to deal with the negative feelings that are the residue of your spouse’s affair you didn’t ask for. Now your life and everything you knew about it is now in a spiral out of control and you don’t know where to turn. All this can work on your self-image making you feel your life before was a lie.

Here are 3 Steps to consider in getting back your self-respect:

Step 1: Forget about your spouse for now, take responsibility for yourself.

You have always been in control of your life and that should not change. The affair was something out of your control and not your fault. If you feel though it is going to be up to you if the marriage is going to be saved, that’s entirely different. But your spouse is the person who cheated on you and you didn’t cause his or her dicision.

When you start having those inner thoughts make sure they are telling you the right things that will help you overcome the situation. If your inner thoughts drift off to start saying things just to beat you up and lower your self-esteem then block them out.

Step 2: Embrace Reality

Finding out about the affair is in the past now. Accepting that it happened now will give you a direction to go now. Working from there you should be able to empty out the negative thoughts of the initial impact on your life and carry on. It is time to start feeling sad about the affair and feeling awful because it only prevents you from gaining back your self-respect.

When life throws you lemons you make lemon-aid. This is a nasty time in your life and only you are going to be able to flip it around and turn your outlook from negative to positive. Accepting this is what you are going to need to do will do a lot to boost your self-confidence and extinguish the power of the negativity.

Step 3: Feed Your Emotions and Spirit

In between running the kids around and making sure bills were being paid your marriage may have been in poor shape for a while before the affair happened. Irritation, bitterness, and other seething sentiments may have manifested in the days leading up to the affair—and certainly describes the days after the affair.

Regain some of your self-respect by having fun and quit denying yourself the pleasure that are all around you. Get back with the activities you enjoyed doing because of the fulfillment you got from them. It may seem awkward at first but after forcing yourself to do them you will learn how much you needed to do them.

It doesn’t mean you stop working on trying to save your marriage or become so engrossed in having fun that you ignore the heavy work involved. It simply means that your emotions and spirit have been damaged—and only you can lift them back up. By nurturing and loving yourself, you will build your self-respect.

The length of the road back to self-respect varies for each individual. I can’t tell you that you’ll have it back next week, or even next month. But once you acknowledge that you really have lost respect for yourself, only you have the power to turn that around.

I would like to hear from you about how discovering your spouse’s affair damaged your self-respect, and what you’ve done to take care of yourself and gain it back …

I would like to hear from you about how discovering your spouse’s affair damaged your self-respect, and what you’ve done to take care of yourself and gain it back …

I know it’s painful to talk about, but what has been some of your inner dialogue going on? What are you saying to yourself, or did you say?

Have you regained your self-respect and self-confidence?

What actions did you take that were successful? Which ones weren’t so successful?

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2 Responses to “3 Steps to Restoring Your Self-respect and Confidence After an Affair”

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