WARNING AFFAIR SURVIVORS!!! Avoiding bitterness after an affair is one of the most difficult things you will ever go through, but do not let yourself become another Gloria!
We’ve all met people like her. I remember working in retail sales in a major department store in a section of ladies wear, where the elderly women liked to shop. I want you to know there seemed to be something wrong with these women before they even got to my cash desk. They were in a bad mood. I felt like asking them, “Who peed in your corn flakes this morning?” Some of them seemed as if they had been frowning for so long that their frown was permanently wrinkled into their face! I didn’t understand these ladies problems, but I made up my mind then and there, that I would never be one of them (like Gloria), filled with bitterness, resentment and un-forgiveness.
After discovering my husband, whom I love beyond measure, had had an affair, I remembered those grouchy old ladies, and I thought to myself – I get it now. By the time you’re 65 or older, it doesn’t matter who you are, you will have been through a number of major heartaches, disappointments and sorrows, and if you have not processed them properly, you will be hardened and cold, someone that no one wants to spend time with. Therefore those of us who are recovering from infidelity must process our tremendous pain in a healthy manner. It is one thing for our present to have been destroyed, but are we going to allow our unfaithful spouse to steal our future as well by allowing our experience to turn us into negative and bitter people that no one wants to spend time with? People like Gloria? (I think Gloria’s husband might have been unfaithful!)
When we are recovering from infidelity we must apply ourselves to the work of recovery by educating ourselves through books, counseling, seminars and support groups such as the Beyond Affairs Network. We cannot just sweep this under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist. That’s not a good strategy for avoiding bitterness after an affair. We cannot just take a pill to make the pain go away. We must grieve, we must be angry, and then we must forgive, gain understanding, accept that it has happened and discover the new life, the even better life awaiting us beyond the affair.
I have also met elderly women who are refreshing to be with. Spending time with them is like drinking cold water in the middle of the desert. You find yourself longing for more of their tremendous inspiration and wisdom. I have also discovered that these beautiful women of tremendous strength and inner beauty have often been through even more pain than those who have allowed the trials of this life to make them bitter and abrasive.
We do not have a choice over what will happen to us in our lives, but we do have a choice over how we will react to it. Avoiding bitterness after an affair is possible!
“I believe life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” – Chuck Swindoll.
“Some of the world’s greatest men and women have been saddled with disabilities and adversities but have managed to overcome them… Cripple him, and you have Sir Walter Scott. Lock him in a prison cell and you have John Bunyan. Bury him in the snows of Valley Forge and you have George Washington. Raise him in abject poverty and you will have Abraham Lincoln. Strike him down with infantile paralysis and he becomes Franklin D. Roosevelt. Burn him so severely in a schoolhouse fire that the doctors say he will never walk again, and you will have a Glen Cunningham, who set the world record in 1934 for running a mile in 4 minutes and 6.7 seconds. Deafen a genius composer and you will have Ludwig van Beethoven. Have him or her born black in a society filled with racial discrimination and you will have a Booker T. Washington, a Harriet Tubman, a Marian Anderson, a George Washington Carver, or a Martin Luther King, Jr. Make him the first child to survive in a poor Italian family of 18 children and you have Enrico Caruso. Have him born of parents who survived a Nazi concentration camp, paralyze him at the age of four from the waist down, and you will have an incomparable violinist Itzhak Perlman. Call him a slow learner, “retarded” and write him off as uneducatable and you will have Albert Einstein.”
If these men and women can overcome great adversities in their lives and make their lives count for something, than we who are recovering from infidelity can as well.
The Beyond Affairs Network offers tremendous hope for those recovering from infidelity. One of the benefits it offers is perspective which is very important when recovering from infidelity. For example some time ago, one of our members pointed out that she had been watching a special on the Oprah Winfrey Show, about cults or colonies which practice polygamy. Young girls (age 15 or younger) are forced to marry (within their colony). They are only given a grade 10 education (within their colony) and they are told that in order to please God they must bear lots of children. The young boys are told they must have lots of wives. We all agreed that we (even though we are recovering from infidelity) have so much more going for us just in the fact that we can read books, do research on the internet, join the Beyond Affairs Network and talk to each other. Education is power. The more we know the better WE can make OUR lives!
©Copyright 2012 Anne and Brian Bercht. All rights reserved.
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