The first year of firsts…

I have read that it takes at least a year to heal from the betrayal of an affair.  If the affair lasted longer than a year, it may take longer, and also depending on if the betrayer was caught or confessed to the affair, the timeline may look different as well.  During the first year, events and dates will trigger more pain. Be aware that this pain is normal and part of the process. Don’t stuff your emotions down, but be willing to honestly share your pain.

I am very time oriented person, so this has made the first nine and a half months of healing very difficult.  I look back at events we were at together and wonder what was he thinking, how was he just going through the motions with his family.  It makes sense why he wasn’t very engaged at this event or why he was so protective of his phone.  It hurts.  I see pictures from the year during the affair and wonder if he was thinking about someone else or waiting for a text from them.  It makes me sad. I remember things I went to alone when he was out of town, feeling stressed and overwhelmed with all of the children, and I wonder if these were times when he was seeing “her.” It would bring up anger and pain from feeling alone and abandoned.  Then I remember God loves me unconditionally, that I am blessed, I am victorious, I am never forsaken and I am a Masterpiece!

Please don’t look back at phone records during the affair times. I did this, and it caused even more pain during those “special” times of the year like, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Fourth of July, anniversaries and birthdays.  I would see texts on OUR days, and be crushed all over again.  I would have to give my heart back to God again and again and ask Him to start the process.  So I beg of you, please don’t do this, and if you have already, don’t keep looking back. Ask your phone company to get rid of them if you need to. It just brings back the pain that you are trying to work through, and Satan will use this to tell you lies again.

You will have difficult emotions come up, it is normal to feel pain, but how you choose to respond to that pain will determine how your healing will occur.  Do you hold onto the painful moments and later throw them at your spouse as retaliation? Or do you take the thoughts to the Lord and ask Him to give you new grace and mercy? Sometimes you’ll need to talk through those moments with your spouse, but sometimes you just need to talk to the Lord about the hurt you are feeling.

We just celebrated our anniversary this weekend, it was a great time being together and celebrating the healing that has occurred.  We focused on the great memories we have had together and made new special ones.  We went to a bed and breakfast, that I hope will become an annual visit some time each year.  It was relaxing and wonderful because we have allowed God to work on our hearts.  Our healing is still a work in progress, and our marriage will never be perfect, but by God’s grace we will continue to make progress.

I cannot say this enough, but if both of you are willing to work towards the healing process and do whatever it takes to repair your marriage, the healing will come.  It will take different lengths of time for each individual, but don’t give up on the process, it is a journey. For some it may take a year, others two, or maybe five, still for others it may take a lifetime of earning that trust back, but if you are committed to your spouse then you should be willing to keep going ’till death do you part.

One Reply to “The first year of firsts…”

  1. You are so right that if BOTH partners choose to seek healing for themselves, and then focus on their marriage, the marriage will become stronger and better than it ever was. Not just restored, but brand new. My husband and I are living proof of that! But it does take a recovery process for both individuals and not just a focus on healing the marriage. A marriage cannot be healthy unless both people within it are healthy. A year seems like a long time, but in my experiences, that isn’t very long at all. In our therapy and recovery groups based on Dr. Doug Weiss’s guidance, he indicates that recovery will take two to five years. There is definitely a huge amount of progress in the first year, but there are always those leftovers that God will continue to work on.

    Very sound and wise advice about the phone records. And anything similar really like checking computer history, etc. It doesn’t help to know. Details don’t provide any extra benefit, only additional pain. Which will only increase the amount of time you need to heal. Betrayal is betrayal. You are hurting enough already, why would you intentionally increase your own pain?! But we do uncharacteristic and harmful things to ourselves when we are in the midst of chaos. We need to seek the light, not the darkness!

    I am very glad that you are creating new memories and traditions and had a wonderful anniversary celebration! God redeems, oh yes He does!! Blessings to you on this crazy, amazing journey God has placed you on. He is writing a beautiful story for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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