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Grieving the End of Your Marriage, as You Know it

By Brandi Simon

The pain of finding out that your partner is cheating on you can be the worst pain you'll feel in your entire life. What is happening to you, you may wonder. You are grieving. You are grieving the loss of your marriage as you know it, of the spouse as you knew him or her. You know that although you may heal that nothing will ever be exactly the same.

This is just what happens when you lose someone in death. What can you do to make the pain go away?

Understand what grief is! Understand the stages of grief!

Grief is defined as the emotional depiction of great loss accompanied by a sense of hopelessness, anguish, denial, anger and confusion.

The stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

How each stage feels to you is going to be different than how it feels to another person. Also, the length of time you spend in each phase will differ.

The first stage is denial. When talking about a relationship afflicted by infidelity this stage is usually gone through before you even find out about the affair. You see signs and you ignore them, thinking your partner couldn't possibly have an affair. You basically deny that the warning signs are there. If you found out about the affair suddenly or were ambushed with it then you may also experience denial. This is usually the case when someone comes to you and says that you're partner is having an affair and you say that they are not, they couldn’t possibly be.

The next stage is anger. You will be angry! You have every right to be angry! Anger will take many forms and you will be angry at many people. I personally had moments when I was outright ANGRY and he knew it and other moments when I was passive aggressive. I was also angry at a lot of people. I was angry with him for having the affair, I was angry with the other woman, I was angry with all his coworkers that knew about the affair, I was even angry at his parents. Anger can be the hardest phase to get out of. For many people, staying angry is a lot easier than feeling the pain. I would start to hurt when thinking about it and I would then go straight into anger because being angry was easier than feeling the pain.

If your spouse has left you or is going to leave you, you may start bargaining. Bargaining is when you beg. Please don't leave us, what will we do with out you. How will we make it. These are all words of the person who is bargaining.

Depression is the next stage. I think that pretty much everyone knows what depression is and knows how it relates to infidelity.

And finally there is acceptance. You have accepted that it happened, that you can't change that it happened, you are no longer stuck on the WHY and you can finally move towards the future, either with your mate or without.

No one person travels through the stages of grief the same. You do not have to go through the stages in order, nor do you have to go through each phase. What matters is that you find a way to get to acceptance.

If you have decided to leave your relationship because you just can't handle what he/she did to you, I must caution you. You will still feel grief. You will still go through the stages of grief. It is important to get through the stages before beginning another relationship.

You should start doing some things for yourself! When you are grieving it is all too easy to let yourself go. Do not do this. Eat, get sleep, exercise.

Many people find it therapeutic to start doing things for themselves that they didn't do before they found out about the affair. They will join a gym, go on a diet, and develop new friends. Any number of things that ultimately lead to you feeling better about yourself.

Take the time to do something nice for yourself today!

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