This is part 2 to a series I am writing about: WHAT TO DO AFTER AN AFFAIR. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, you should before reading this.
When I began to realize that I was that woman, the one who had been cheated on… I found that I had so many new questions about life & meaning & God. & even a greater number of new fears – these fears turned into doubt & it felt like the fear & questions & doubts suddenly came into my life without warning. I think the enemy loved it. He saw it as a HUGE opportunity to take me out & to distract me from what God had for me through my pain & situation. Looking back, I believe that God saw this “worst” moment in my life as an even GREATER opportunity to upgrade me & be close to me! I discovered His love & intentionality on a whole new level & learned to trust Him from a place I never could. They say (whoever they are) – that pain reveals a strength you never knew you needed or had, & it is so true. I believe this strength comes from God when we give our weakness to Him.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” So I am very happy to brag about how weak I am. Then Christ’s power can rest on me.
Shrout and her colleague found a connection between mental health and health-compromising behaviors. Experiencing greater depression, anxiety, and distress after being cheated on were associated with an increased likelihood of engaging in a variety of health-compromising behaviors. “As we expected, people who experienced more emotional and psychological distress after being cheated on engaged in more risky behaviors,” Shrout told PsyPost. “They were more likely to eat less or not eat at all, use alcohol or marijuana more often, have sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or over-exercise. Being cheated on seems to not only have mental health consequences, but also increases risky behaviors. We also found that people who blamed themselves for their partner cheating, such as feeling like it was their fault or they could have stopped it, were more likely to engage in risky behaviors. However, blaming their partner for cheating was not directly related to risky behavior involvement. It was interesting to find that these effects were stronger for women than men. This gender difference is consistent with previous research showing that women experience more distress after being cheated on,” Shrout added. “We think this is because women typically place higher importance on the relationship as a source of self and identity. As a result, women who have been cheated on might be more likely to have poorer mental health and engage in unhealthy, risky behavior because their self-perceptions have been damaged.”
The interesting thing is that only a few weeks before I found out my husband was cheating – I spoke a message at Elevate Life Church that was all about how God wanted to upgrade you. I remember explaining to people that, just when you feel like it is over… it is actually just the beginning! Little did I know, in just a few weeks – I WOULD SO NEED THIS MESSAGE IN MY LIFE PERSONALLY!
I thought that up to this point in my life, I had faced some hard times. I really believed that I had an understanding of deep pain & loss in my life… But really – I had no clue! I am sure as some of you can relate as you read this – pain, like love, cannot be fully understood at the depth – unless it is experienced… There are always new levels that we will only know through experience & honestly, even since that time – I have continued to face new pain – Life is just like that, just when you think you have reached the depths of love, of pain, of hope, of loss, of joy, of peace – you go through something or have an encounter that totally takes it deeper. If you are interested in listening to that message I spoke you can watch it below or – Click Here to watch it on my youtube channel.
The second point in this series is very important to your personal healing & growth beyond the hurt/pain/betrayal you experience.
2. DON’T GET STUCK IN YOUR PAIN.
This can be so freaking easy to do… but don’t fall for it. Pain is real. The loss is real. But VICTORY & the BEST that God has for you are more real than those things.
It was such a temptation for me to just S.I.T. in my emotions & pain because I could. What happened to me & what has happened to many people through cheating & affairs is not fair or right. & it can be so tempting to just go over & over it in our minds… we try to figure out why & how & who… etc. However, I never wanted to be a victim. That means in my mind that someone had power over me & I gave them permission to hurt me… So, I made the choice to not act like one. You see the way you begin to not feel like a victim, is to stop acting & thinking like one. & instead act, live, & think like an overcomer, like a person who has the victory – & you will see it happen a lot sooner than you think. One thing my dad has always taught me is that – YOU CANNOT CONTROL WHAT OTHERS DO, OR HOW THEY TREAT YOU… BUT YOU CAN CONTROL ONE THING – YOUR RESPONSE TO IT!
So what does it mean to S.I.T. in the past?:
S – Stuck in the past/what was.
I – (think) It shouldn’t be this way…
T – Thought’s Control You.
This is not easy to conquer – but I am going to share a secret with you that I learned through my hard times, when I felt like I couldn’t get over the betrayal, over the hurt, & over my own questions… YOU HAVE TO GET UP! Do NOT stay in bed, do not sit in your sadness, do not get into atmospheres that pull you away from healing. These are things that you must follow if you want to move past the hurt & into healing!!!
The way out—for betrayers and betrayed alike—is for each person to create more value and meaning in life. This is utterly necessary, whether or not a couple afflicted with betrayal decides to repair the damaged relationship. Trying to repair the relationship with open wounds of betrayal—or to build a new life apart from the relationship—is fruitless and ultimately dispiriting. If you feel betrayed, healing and growth begins with the realization that you are not damaged, but your relationship is. You must heal first and, if you so choose, attempt repair later. You must heal first, to love and live fully.
I list 3 rules for healing below:
1. HAVE ONE GOAL EACH DAY.
Even if it’s just to get up. I remember days like this. Getting up was a win those days! But eventually your goals will expand & grow & you will get excited about what is next! It is easy to want to stay in bed. Depression & anxiety were something I encountered during my time of healing & I found that while rest was important to my healing – staying in bed all the time & being sad was not. I needed fun, & sunlight & activity… All of those things literally trigger healing in your body/mind/ & emotions.
2. STAY IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD.
Too often I hear people tell me that they can’t get over someone or something… & I get it. Trust me! But my thought when they tell me that is – they must not be filling themselves with things that contribute to healing. We have go-to’s when we get sad: movies, music, friends, etc. – that make us “feel better” – but it actually makes things worse… WHY IN GOD’S NAME do we think it is okay to listen to sad love songs when we just got our heart broken… or watch movies that contribute to our hurt not our healing. We must focus on putting into our spirit & emotions what will help us, not set us back further.
3. LOOK ONLY AHEAD.
It is way tempting to romanticize the past. To remember it better than it was, that is what makes things & people so hard to get over at times. I am not saying to remember them worse, but some of us need to STOP thinking that someone/something was better than what it was. I look at my own situation & marriage, & it is easy to ask myself: what went wrong? To be honest there are so many answers I still do not have. But looking back & trying to figure it out or justify or reason it, will not help me move forward. Especially if someone has chosen to move on or leave you. You cannot force someone to work it out or be better… so I look at my life & realize that God knew him & He knew me. God knew the kind of man he was & the choices he made & would make, & I really do believe that God delivered me from that relationship. I know that sounds weird, & it could have happened in a better way in my mind. But in a weird way I felt loved by God through my situation, that He loved me that much to move out of my life what wasn’t working & wouldn’t work, so that I could have & live better in the future. But that means that I would have to also improve myself in the process… but that talk is for another time.
Thanks for reading part 2 of this series. I hope it helps you & I would love to hear from you! Part 3 will be coming soon! Make sure you get on my mailing list to get personal updates sent to you first from my blog etc.