Saturday, March 20, 2010
Advice for the Betrayed Wife: Take Your Time...
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.