There are many feelings that people experience after discovering that their spouse has had an affair. The first is usually shock so strong that it feels like being punched in the stomach or having difficulty catching your breath. The shock can feel painful and like living in a dream. Soon, this shock turns into disbelief: It can’t be. There is some mistake. I heard incorrectly. This isn’t happening…
But with verification, the truth surfaces and there comes a tidal wave of anger so strong that often, one is left not knowing how to handle it. She may scream, throw things, scream at him, curse the world or suffer fits of crying she may not have ever experienced before. Anger becomes a strong emotion, and one that’s difficult to control.
What we need to understand is that anger is usually a “cover-up” emotion. The emotions being experienced are being expressed as anger, but the real root of the feeling is a deep well of betrayal leaving her feeling emotional, physically in pain and sad. When the realization settles in around all that has happened, the end result is often a dark well of depression. Underneath her anger, rage, fury, disbelief and shock lies a sadness that powerfully take over.
Let’s visit Joanne who has been married fifteen years when she realized her husband was having an affair. She heard the news first-hand from a phone call from her husband’s mistress and she knew instinctively that what this woman was telling her was true. As she heard the details of this woman’s life with her husband James, the shock and betrayal were unmistakable true.
“It felt like tsunami. My environment looked different. I couldn’t get my bearings. Everything in my life seemed torn apart. I tried to understand what had happened, but everything seemed different and I couldn’t distinguish what was the truth and what was my imagination. I spent most of my time in bed crying. I couldn’t eat. I had to take weeks off from work and I cried all day. When I tried to talk with James, it ended in my screaming at him. I can’t stop thinking about this.”
Joanne experienced many of the signs of depression. Some of which are:
- Feeling of sadness or emptiness
- Loss of interest in activities
- Change in eating habits such as overeating or a reduction in eating
- Change in sleeping habits--- inability to sleep or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Obsessing over events
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