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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

8 things to help the healing

8 things to help the healing, heal faster, healing from an affair, healing
There comes a time where the storm is over. 
It seems that the worst of it has past. 
In my situation, my husband came to his senses and realized what a mistake the whole affair was.  He remembered how much he loves me and how utterly sorry he is for the pain he's caused. 
I can feel his tenderness again. 
I can feel his love for me. 
I can say that we are going to be ok. 
I can say that there are many moments where I feel that I am happy again. 
But it does not mean that I am fixed.
The hurt is still there.
Underneath it all, it still hurts enough that it can make me cry at any random moment of the day. 
What does this mean?
Is there something wrong with me?
Why can't I feel better?

I have been seeing a therapist for the past 8 months.
 I have read article after article online
I have read books
I have gone to classes
It doesn't make me an expert
But I'd like to share what I've learned
All of this can be applied to most kinds of trauma, not just an affair:
8 things to heal, healing from the hurt, healing from an affair, help the healing process
 1.  THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU:  Remember to tell yourself that it is normal to feel the way you are feeling.  Anything less than a year from the affair is still considered early.  The recovery process for successful couples is rarely less than two years. For me, we will have many good moments together, but then I might break down the next day.  This is hard for me to understand, but just knowing that is normal helps me avoid deeper depression about what's going on. 

2.  CRY : I'll be laughing one minute and crying the next.  I'll cry when I do the dishes, when I'm driving to the store or when I'm in the shower.  A day doesn't go by that I don't cry.  Since the affair, I cry less and less, so that gives me hope that one day I won't cry about it anymore.  But for now, I am told that crying HELPS the healing and I need to let myself do it.  Bottling it up inside and trying to be strong will only make it worse.

2. TALK :  I need to be able to talk about what I'm feeling and have support.  Hopefully, it should be the ones that are closest to you. Your husband, a best girlfriend, a family member, or all of the above. Emotional connection is crucial to healing. It calms our nervous system and helps us find balance again, psychologically and emotionally. For several months after the affair, I sunk into depression.  It seemed to get better, but even months after, it would get worse.  And I found it was because I didn't feel the emotional closeness with my husband.  We would try to talk, but he couldn't be there for me emotionally.  Mainly because my emotions would stir up his own feelings of guilt and he hated himself for it.  Unfortunately for us, it actually took counseling to solve this.  For a counselor to see how we interacted and to help my husband understand how he could be there for me.  Once that started happening, the depression started to lift.  You won't need to go into counseling if both people are willing to research and learn what it is that they can be doing to help their partner.

3.  REBUILD : It is inevitable that I will be reminded about the past. But why not also dwell on the future?  How do I want my relationship to be NOW? Where do I want it to go?  Talk about how things are different in your marriage NOW as opposed to how they were.  Create things to look forward to.  My husband and I talk about dreams of going on road trips together.  Or even short term plans like hikes and camping trips with the family.  Just anything to give yourselves something to look forward to helps. 

4.  GET OUT : Staying isolated is one of the worst things you can do. I am guilty of this and still struggle with this.  As much as possible, resume your normal activities and routines. Structure can provide feelings of security as you slowly regain your sense of stability.  Having kids certainly helped me with this...I HAD to get out of bed and get them off to school or drive them to their activities or set up play dates.  So that helps.  I still struggle with wanting to do anything with friends.  For me, I've just been starting small.  Going to lunch during the day while my husband is working.  Or resuming contact with friends through social media.  Small is better than nothing, right?

5. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF : Recovery is a process. Even if your pain isn't physical, you still need to give yourself the proper rest, nutrition and exercise.  I also still struggle with this one. At least the exercise part.  I DO know how important it is.  And I have been sure to encourage my husband to keep up with his has made a world of difference for his depression.  As far as sleeping goes, I have taken IB Profin PMs every night since the day I found out.  I find that if I don't take them, I can't sleep and if I can't sleep I am up all night reliving the betrayal in my mind.  Sleep is important and I have been told it is ok to take those as long as I need to.

6. REMOVE TRIGGERS : Become aware of your emotional triggers and learn to cope with them creatively. You may have a flashback to your trauma by engaging in a similar activity, going to a similar place, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting or feeling something that reminds you of the original trauma. The best way to cope is to remove any triggers that you can.  It helped me to explain to my husband what these triggers are so he could also be more sensitive. Another way to cope with this is to recognize that you are experiencing an emotional trigger and engage in positive self-talk (e.g., “This is frightening but I am safe now.”)  I have to admit that I'm not so great with the self-talk, but I know it works for a lot of people.

7. THINK POSITIVE : For every hurting and negative thought you have, tell yourself you need to think of 3 positive ones.  What are you grateful for? What do you love? What are the GOOD things in your relationship?  What are your favorite memories of you and your husband together?  Go outside and feel the sunshine and breath the fresh air.  Say a prayer.  Read your scriptures.  Find an inspirational quote to read. Listen to a song that makes you happy.  This will keep you from dwelling on the hurt and sinking into an endless pit of despair.

8. BE PATIENT:  Healing takes time. Your recovery will have it’s ups and downs. It is what it is and there is no magical cure.  As much as you want it to, it can't be fixed in a day.  So be patient with yourself.

For those that are religious, Christ can heal your heart as well. Good luck to you.

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