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Stages of Infidelity
The stages that I always refer to are the ones that MH went through and that our therapist educated us about. Here they are in the order that MH and I experienced:
- Shock/Denial. Meaning right after d-day, he couldn't fathom that I cheated. He said things like "this isn't happening" "you would never do this to us" "this must be a nightmare". That stage lasted about 1 or 2 weeks.
- Anger. This was a very self destructive phase and one that I almost gave
up on us with. He lashed out verbally to me many times, he called me names,
questioned my every move and pretty much had me on house arrest...I had to
keep in check that it wasn't personal...he needed to vent and release his
anger and disappointment with me. So I let him, and I tried to comfort him
when he would let me. I remembered our therapist telling me, MH didn't hate
me...he hated what I had done.
I don't remember exactly how long MH went through this phase...but it's safe to say it was about 10 months.
- Depression/Grief. This one hung around for over a 15 months. He tried very hard to pull himself out of such a bad place...but many days, he couldn't. He shared with me his thoughts of suicide and wanting to die. I was heartbroken, to say the least and suffered my own depression for what I had put him through. It was a very, very dark place to be for us...I really don't know how we pulled through, except holding on to the fact that we truly loved eachother.
- Recovery. We reached this stage when MH made the decision that we would
reconcile. Once that happened, things started to fall into place...slowly,
but surely, we made progress.
Reconciliation happens when both spouse's are ready and willing to accept the pain and accept that the old marriage is gone and you're rebuilding a new one together. It's a grieving process that you need to acknowledge and come to terms with.
Nothing is the same again...whether you stay with your spouse or not...you're changed forever from being so violated. But, as time goes by, your deep wounds will start to heal and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I hope this helps you understand that your feelings are very normal?don't give up on yourselves, you WILL survive this awful time in your lives.
~ Deeply Scared