It is even conceivable for someone to be stuck in one of these stages for years. Denial Stage of Grief. Most commonly people want to avoid the experience of grief because the emotions are so intense. So they will engage in avoidance behaviors. These can be compulsive, additive behaviors such as abusing drugs or alcohol, over-eating, or gambling. These types of behaviors are escapes from emotions.
People also escape emotions in other ways such as obsessive reassurance-seeking, questioning, or dependency. Or people might just avoid the situation altogether and write the other person out of their lives. These are only a few of the most common ways people avoid the grief process. The Anger Stage of Grief.
A common stage where people become stuck, especially with the issue of betrayal, is in the anger stage. They become so focused on the wrong that was done to them that they never fully experience the other emotions such as the sadness due to the loss of the relationship. Other times, people become stuck in the denial stage by becoming so focused on forgiveness. They are so quick to want to resolve the issue that they deny the full experience of the anger and sadness involved in the loss. The first stage of shock or denial is when you are initially confronted with the betrayal.
You may feel numb or feel like someone just punched you in the gut. There might be a tendency to disbelieve the betrayal. For instance, if you hear it from a third party, you might tend to ignore it or even get mad at them for making things up. This stage, however, is usually fairly short especially if the individual acknowledges the betrayal and the loss.
It may be longer if someone has an issue with feeling anger; then they might want to try and dismiss the seriousness of the transgression or try to focus too quickly on forgiving the transgressor. Once the betrayal and loss is fully acknowledged, the individual is likely to feel intense anger. This is a very delicate stage because this is when many things can go wrong in the process. Primarily, it is critical to recognize that the emotion of anger is perfectly okay, but our actions that are influenced by anger may not be okay.
For many people, when they are first hurt and react with anger, their inclination is to retaliate, to hurt the person who hurt them. There is nothing wrong with feeling this way, but it is best to not react during this stage. It is better to work fully through the stages of grief and then decide how you are going to react. Even if it takes a number of months to work through the grief, it is better to wait than to regret rash actions.
- Why Happy People Cheat?
- On The Night Train.
- Betrayal: It’s Not Just About Infidelity | Psychology Today.
Now, this doesn't mean you have to be completely passive about your anger. In fact, it is okay to tell the person, "I am so angry right now that I can't think straight. Before I do anything I will regret later, I need some space to process this. Venting Emotions. During the time of anger, the betrayed person needs to vent. The tendency is to want to vent with the person who hurt you as a form of retribution.
However, it isn't really a safe way for you to vent.
Marital Infidelity: Recovery for Both Wounded Spouses
Therefore, it is only likely to lead to escalating anger. You need to vent to someone who will listen and validate your anger without feeding your anger. For example, you want someone who will say, "I can understand why you are angry" but not someone who says "He's really scum. You should throw him out. If that's not possible, a minister or a therapist can help you through this process.
Write Grief Letters. Another way to vent is to write out your feelings. You can even write a letter to the person who hurt you. However, it's not usually a good idea to send these initial letters to the transgressor because it may not reflect the final outcome for you. A letter format is frequently helpful in working through the anger stage of grief because it feels as if you are talking to the person and able to vent without having to regret it later. This is also a good method for people who have trouble getting in touch with their anger.
Also, you need to recognize that especially if you aren't venting the anger, you are likely to misplace it, feel generally irritable and angry, and are likely to take it out on people who haven't really done anything to you. Finally, with anger, recognize that it is okay and necessary to release the anger physically. However, it is not okay to physically violate someone else. Therefore, find a physical release such as hitting a punching bag or breaking old pickle jars in a safe way so as not to get hurt.
Infidelity: Understanding the Affair - And Rebuilding Your Relationship -
As you work through the anger, you should begin to come to a point of sadness. The sadness is experienced when you begin to recognize the full extent of what you have lost. You begin to think about the good things in the relationship that you miss. You think about the shattered trust and knowing that you can never get complete trust back. Once someone has violated our trust, we can get to a point where we can continue the relationship with them, but we will forever know that they have the capacity to betray us. During the time of sadness, you need to release those emotions just as you needed to release the anger.
Again, you can write how you feel.
- Betrayal: a psychological analysis..
- Why Happy People Cheat - The Atlantic.
- Vietnam: Van and the Sea Turtle (The World of Make-believe Stories Book 22).
- A Fluffy Pink Christmas.
- My Cheating Heart: What Causes Infidelity;
- Post Comment?
Or you can imagine telling the person the hurt you have experienced and the loss of the relationship that grieves you. And, of course, it is okay to cry. The grief process is a healing process. It was built into our systems to help us cope with the numerous losses we experience in life.
If we trust the process fully, we will heal. Trusting the process means allowing the feelings to be what they are, whatever they are.
Feelings are never wrong or bad. What we do because of feelings can be wrong or bad, but that is a choice. The feelings themselves are not bad. Therefore, they won't hurt us. They help us in healing. In these cases sex may be not as often as they would like or as fulfilling as they would like; either because they are not receiving pleasure or reaching climax, or because it lacks a certain chemistry or passion.
Because they miss the high of sex with a new partner and have not put effort into redefining how sex can still play a fun and satisfying part in their current relationship, they seek it elsewhere. It can also be difficult for some people who have sex with someone they have deep intimacy and connection with. One thing I have observed in my practice is that there has been a shift in thinking, especially for younger generations, about the practicality and benefits of monogamy.
More and more people are choosing lifestyles and relationships that are non-monogamous. But there is not yet a road map for how to have successful open relationships. For instance, the primary factors that delineate an open relationship from an infidelity are mutual agreement and honesty. Open relationships tend to be defined by boundaries and rules, and the violation of such can result in deep feelings of hurt and betrayal. Unfortunately, many couples who ideologically believe in polyamory make a lot of mistakes in its application.
Read books, take a workshop, talk to a counselor. Study your sexuality as you would any other subject you were trying to master. Have an honest conversation at a time when you both feel relaxed and close.
- End Time Prophecy Unfold:2007-2014 (The revelation)?
- Unser anderes Kind (German Edition).
- Malice In Marin.
- ‘I love my partner more since his affair’ – Guardian readers on being betrayed.
If a tool would facilitate the conversation or if you need some structure around it, take a questionnaire together and compare answers. Keep in mind, it may be difficult for your partner to share their sexual desires and fantasies with you if they are not used to talking about sex or if they are fearful that their answers will hurt or offend you. Make sure that when you do ask, you are ready for whatever the answers may be. Do your best to be encouraging and supportive.
Try not to judge! Many people fantasize about things they are actually not interested in trying in real life or are only willing to try within the safety of their relationship. Affairs are distractions, and people distract themselves when they are bored or unhappy. Do due diligence in your personal work. You owe it to yourself and to your partner. Honesty early on before an affair about your concerns can create an opening for a new level of intimacy.
It can be hard to talk about the fact that you are unhappy with the sex in your relationship or that you are finding yourself attracted to another person. Too many couples avoid the topic of sex, especially when it has been a long period of time since partners have had sex because the subject feels too tense and overwhelming.
Honesty after an affair will demonstrate accountability and remorse. So what happens when an infidelity has taken place? Those who do make it through tend to possess two qualities: a genuine commitment to the relationship and a willingness to show remorse and accountability on the part of the person who has acted outside of the implicit and explicit relationship agreements.
Helping Families Thrive™
Also necessary is a willingness to forgive this may take some time by the person who feels betrayed. For the person who had the affair, a first stance when faced with the discovery of the truth and the potential loss of their relationship may be defensiveness or blame, masking their true feelings of guilt, shame, and fear. This partner MUST acknowledge that it was their choice and their choice alone to have an affair, and that nothing, including a lack of sex or disconnection from their partner, justifies their betrayal.
This partner can expect to be in for some rough times ahead. A betrayed partner will most likely want details; many details, ALL details, and be terrified of new information being discovered, leaving them in a locked place of terror, anger, and hurt. I believe that it is best to honor their request for information as it is the first step to rebuilding trust.
They will also tend to question all aspects of what they believed to be true for the relationship, looking back over time with a view now clouded by the idea that what they believed to be truth in one area of their relationship was not truth, and so surely there are other areas in which similarly they were living a lie. Perhaps that even the whole relationship and who their partner presented themselves as being is a lie. A couples counselor will be helpful in navigating these very difficult conversations.
Both partners can also benefit from individual therapy to have a space that they can share their feelings without filter. It is the meaning we attach to the act and the way we proceed with the information once it has been made known. She works with individuals and couples and specializes in relationships, sexuality, and women's identity development. For more information please visit PortlandSexandRelationshipTherapy.