Rick Reynolds, LCSW
by Rick Reynolds, LCSW
Founder & President, Affair Recovery

Pain and How to Respond, Part 2

My back went out on Sunday, and it sure was inconvenient. I had all kinds of plans for Memorial Day, but I could hardly function. There was a constant low-grade pain, but that was nothing compared to the spasms I experienced when I moved the wrong way. I began to notice how my fear of those spasms kept me ever aware of the problem, and how intentional my movements became as I attempted to avoid triggering that pain. Sad to say, but this isn't my first rodeo when it comes to my back. I know t…
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Thank you for this article. 

Thank you for this article.  It is very helpful.  Your tool for dealing with the pain is so very practical.  I can already see how in the past I've reacted in all three ways at different times, & how the third way was the best.  I just never realized that was what I was doing.  I can now consciously choose to respond in the contemplative (Godly) way.

Help with the grief

A great article, Rick, it gives a great framework... What about the grief? It seems unending. What do I do about the effects of the PTSD when the effects of all the verbal put downs and triggers haunt your mind and emotions? What amIan I missing?I I feel so incapacitated.  The loss of respect for my husband for his past, the loss of my own self respect are not easily overce... I understand from the perspective you propose in your article... but I still seem to be missing something with the grief and rebuilding  sense of security, and of self esteem and of self worth... 

Borderline Suppressive?

I'm 21 months out from D-Day, though maybe not 21 months the wiser in dealing with the pain of my wife's adultery and paternity fraud.  Daily, it remains a seemingly relentless battleground for my mind.  Your three response options align well with my own experience, as I've navigated through these hellish times. 

My concern is this: Can the Contemplative Approach sometimes act as a cover for suppressing issues/feelings/insecurities that need to be talked out in a more rational manner?  In other words, I try and maintain a broader, more Godly perspective and I notice that over a period of weeks, I become increasingly susceptible to emotional outbursts (even my "silent treatment" is a form of an outburst!). Once my wife and I have a "rational" talk (typically post-outburst), I feel freer, for a period of time.  That is, until the cycle repeats...

I used to be a pretty secure, confident, emotionally stable guy, but this has broken me and I am struggling to find a sense of my identity.  For the record, been married 25 years, the affair occurred 1 year into our marriage and produced our first child (yes, also part of what my wife admitted/revealed).

-ABC (alive, breathing and coping)

Pretend Normal?

RICK, THIS IS A GOOD ARTICLE, HOWENER, HOW DO YOU AVOID THE PRETEND NORMAL? I WOULDTTHINK YPUYOU WOULD HAVE TO DO THE 2ND MODEL TOO? DOING JUST THE CONTEMPLATION DOES NOT BUILD COMMUNICATION.  THE COMMUNICATION AND COMPASSION HAVE TO BE IN A HEALTHY STATE BOYH WAYS. 

What type of affair was it?

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