Grieving For What Was Lost

Rick’s recent article, found here: http://affairrecovery.com/newsletter/founder/infidelity-and-transition-stages-the-mystery-of-change, is brilliant, but poignant for both sides of the affair. It’s relatively easy to understand why a betrayed spouse would need to grieve.  After all, life will never be the same again, and life has been changed forever.  It’s not un-repairable, but the fact remains, understanding why the betrayed spouse would grieve is rather easily comprehensible.

Grieving for the unfaithful is paramount as well.  For me, I had to grieve for what my affair did to Samantha and also what it had done to so many other people.  You may not be a public personality, but at one time I was, and in a high profile position.  My affair affected a multitude of people that have scars due to my actions, although all of them a far cry from the scars Samantha lives with.  When the enormity of what I had done hit home, I can tell you grief took me to a place I’d never been before. 

I also had to grieve for what my choices did to the affair partner and her family.  It was devastating indeed and to this day, I wince at the pain she and her family endured due to my actions.

In a bit of a fresher way, I have had to grieve for what my life was supposed to look like, prior to my failure.  If I’m being honest, at some level, even now I’ve walked through some grief over what was lost. 

Eight years later, it’s pretty fresh all that was lost due to my actions, and it’s taken several midnight hour’s if you will, even more conversations with Rick, and numerous books to get back in the saddle and not think my life will never have the impact it once had.  Thinking through the grief of it all, I’ve really had to grieve for what I lost, and for what I’ve probably thrown to the wind due to my selfishness and deception. 

But part of moving to the next chapter of my life was, and is, through grieving:  through realizing what I’m capable of, and how I’m filled with the potential to hurt and affect so many due to my choices.

Grief is what in many ways helps us to eventually let go of what was, and start to grab hold of what is ahead of Samantha and I.  Life is not over.  Life has more meaning and more beauty than it’s ever had before in my entire life, but it’s come through allowing grief to take center stage for a season. 

Perhaps you too need to grieve today, even if you are an unfaithful spouse.  And yes, there is a stage of grieving the loss of the affair partner and it’s real and in many cases to be expected.   (We’ll talk more about that next week).  For now though, I’d encourage you to grieve and realize that what once was, will never be again. That double life.  That duplicity.  It’s gone, in ashes, and never to be rebuilt. 

However, there is a time to dream again and now just may be that time.  To find a new dream if you will. To allow a new thing to be birthed inside of you, your spouse, your marriage (possibly), and maybe even for your career. I don’t know what you’ll need to grieve for, but I can assure you, grieving is the hallway through which a new dream and vision can be launched.

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your articles are such an

your articles are such an encouragement and so insightful. I appreciate your honesty and your uncanny ability to impart wisdom without judgment. thanks-

grief

I have went through my grieving although a little remains. How can I tell if my unfaithful husband has grieved? He doesn't talk much and shows very little emotion.

grieving...

karla, thanks for the comment. ya know, it's a bit of a tough question. i think at some level, when there has been grieving by an unfaithful spouse, there is a large amount of brokenness and humility. they are not self righteous and have an awareness of their own dark side, therefore they tolerate failures in other people's live and have an awareness for their own 'stuff' ya know? if he's grieved, then he's probably got a decent appreciation for life and for his marriage. have you asked him about it? have you perhaps shared with him how you've grieved and asked if he's grieved about it and what he's done? although, he may get defensive. depends on where he's at with it all ya know? i'd ask and see what his thoughts are. also, if he's grieved, he's probably pretty empathetic to your journey and in touch with what you've had to walk through and grieve through...he's probably also very thankful as when you've grieved through what you've lost and what you've done due to your choices, at some level, the outcome is a joy as you've come through it and come out on the other side and with a great deal of gratitude you appreciate what you have and what is left. just my thoughts on it. i hope that helps some.

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