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   Home  > Marriage Clinic > Infidelity and Affairs > Tips


The shock and horror of finding out that your spouse has betrayed you by being unfaithful can smash your world apart. A whole range of feelings can flood in threatening to overwhelm you, you may feel stunned, bewildered, confused, angry, miserable, helpless, despairing, or even numb. We may want to hurt our spouse or do something dramatic like walking away.

These feelings are real signs of the pain and hurt within and do need to be faced rather than suppressed. Writing down our feelings or sharing them with a trusted friend can sometimes help. When our feelings are strong they tend to drive our actions, but later when weíve had more time to reflect we may regret our behaviour. Try not to act on your feelings alone.

Betrayal can cut very deep. It may have taken a lot of courage for us to commit ourselves in marriage. We may have opened ourselves up to our spouse, risking some of the more tender and more private parts of ourselves in love. We may share things that we would share with no one else. We allow ourselves to be intimate not only physically but emotionally. When we are betrayed, it seems as if the precious gift of ourselves has been thrown in the mud and trodden on or worse revealed to someone else. Something has been broken and we wonder if it can ever be fixed.

If it canít ever be the same again, does that mean itís the end of the marriage? For some it is, but others want to find some way forward. If you are one of those then there are a number of issues that you may need to think about. These include forgiveness and learning to trust again. Some people just want to move on quickly, others want to understand why it happened. Is there something in your relationship that contributed to the betrayal in some way? Do you need to change the way you communicate, resolve conflict, deal with stress, balance work and leisure, prioritise life? Would some professional help make a difference, either relationship counselling or help with an addiction that is causing stress?

Donít rush things, the pain and hurt of betrayal can take a long time to heal. Donít hang onto the hurt unnecessarily but donít expect some quick fix either!

Tip by Kate

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