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Fighting the Urge to Leave After a Husband's Affair

by Jae Kemp

Being cheated on has the power to rock your outlook on life, and to make you want to flee. While your feelings are perfectly natural, leaving could mean surrendering what is still good about the relationship, along with the possibility of coming through this trial as a stronger couple than ever before. If the relationship is worth salvaging, you can stave off the urge to run by working with your husband to determine what went wrong and to heal your marriage.

Uncover Underlying Reasons

To move past this blow so that you stop feeling the desire to leave, figure out what factors contributed to the infidelity and what meaning can be taken from it, suggests Douglas K. Snyder in the article “An Integrative Approach to Treating Infidelity” in “The Family Journal.” Accomplishing this step without descending into insults, blame and shame might require the assistance of a couples counselor. Your goal will be to constructively assess the flaws in your relationship that may have contributed to a rift or discord between you.

Work Past the Trauma

You might experience emotional repercussions similar to the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. This occurs when one's basic assumptions are violated, according to Kristina Coop Gordon and co-authors in the “Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy” article, “Optimal Strategies in Couples Therapy: Treating Couples Dealing With the Trauma of Infidelity.” Accept that there will be times you need to be alone to process your feelings. By working the needed space, time and freedom to express emotions into your routine, you might lessen the desire to leave for good.

Learn to Feel Safe Again

You might only feel safe if you know that your partner is avoiding settings conducive to cheating, whether bars, out-of-town work conferences or even social networking sites. Honestly avoiding the tempting person or setting is an effective means of preventing cheating, advises Mark D. White in the "Psychology Today" article, "How You Can Resist the Urge to Cheat on Your Partner." Talk with your husband about what boundaries are now acceptable. His willingness to stay in the "safe zone" can help you feel safer, and less tempted to abandon the marriage.

Acknowledge Your Own Courage

You may feel the urge to leave based partially on the desire to shield yourself from becoming vulnerable again. Many people blame themselves when they've been betrayed for having left themselves too open and for not having seen the signs. Moving past this shame involves consciously declaring to yourself that you value the courage it takes to open up within appropriate boundaries, and applauding yourself for having this courage, as Brene Brown states in her book, “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.”

About the Author

Jae Kemp has been writing and editing professionally since 2010. In addition to reviewing novels, memoirs and psychology/self-help books for major review services, Kemp has served as a copywriter, commercial and creative editor, and staff article writer.

Photo Credits

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