Discovering that your partner has had an affair can arouse feelings of anger and the urge for revenge. Retaliation runs through your mind constantly. You want your partner to feel the same emotional strife that you are experiencing. However, if you want to repair your relationship, you must learn to deal with the feelings of revenge and anger effectively in order to move on the healthy way.
Rick Reynolds, founder and president of Affair Recovery, explains that a person's physiological response to danger, whether physical or emotional, is a hyperarousal reaction of the nervous system in which the human body prepares for protection or escape. When confronted with the emotional turmoil of an affair, you are more likely to experience bouts of anger, depression and the urge for vengeance. Depending on your personality, the method of treatment of such negative emotions can vary from time alone for reflection to anger management.
Confronting Your Partner
In the event of infidelity, you should always express your emotions to your significant other. Suppression of such emotional distress can have lasting effects on your relationship, should you choose to continue it. Anger, resentment and even diminished self-worth can result from denying yourself the closure of confronting a wrongdoer. Researchers at Oklahoma State University state in the article "Getting Past Anger" that self-esteem can be affected by improperly dealing with anger, as well as physical health issues concerning the heart and blood pressure. When you are angry, you want vengeance. Take the first step in getting beyond anger and let your partner know exactly how you feel.
Take Time to Reflect
Whenever there is an event in your life that causes you to feel sadness, anger or resentment, it is important to give yourself the proper time to heal. Come to terms with the situation. It is vital to understand that humans are hormone driven and will make mistakes. Try not to dwell on all of the possible things you think you may be doing wrong. Spend some time taking care of yourself. Take some time off work, or spend some quality time with friends and family. Get out of the house and exercise. You owe it to yourself to do everything possible to be happy again.
You can only do so much to rid yourself of the urge to get revenge after learning about an affair. What you are feeling is natural. However, vengeance will only make things worse. If talking to your partner and taking time to yourself isn't helping you get over the affair, it may be in your best interest to seek counseling. Elly Prior, couple's counselor, supports marriage or couple's counseling in the event of infidelity. Your relationship can be normal again, so don't lose hope.
Christa Orion is a psychologist in training with focus on family and relationship health. She has years of experience working with individuals going through domestic issues.