Dealing with Social Shame

text hereThe other day I was getting my haircut. If you are a woman, or even know a woman, you most likely know we can be in there for hours. I pay to be blonder than I am.

Not long into the process, the conversation started. One woman said,
"Did you hear about so and so?"
The floodgates of opinions opened.
"I can't believe she hasn't just left the SOB".
"What a jerk. How could he do that?"
On and on it went.

My heart sank and I cringed. Insecurity blanketed me and I was certain it was obvious how quiet I had become. I finally managed to say,
"I'm sure it is a difficult time for all of them."
I sheepishly offered that until you've walked a mile in anyone's shoes it's hard to know what to say or do.

The truth was I felt like screaming. If you're reading this you already know the excruciating pain of infidelity. Perhaps you have even been in this kind of situation where it wouldn't be wise to share your heart. You freeze because the onslaught of their words is dangerously close to your own private pain.

My heart broke thinking of the shame my betrayed husband must feel with every opinion he has heard about what he needs to do or what he should do with me. Well-meaning family and friends believe that my husband is foolish for waiting or hoping for reconciliation in light of my poor choices, deception and lies. He is judged as a fool for seeking to repair something my behavior sought to harm. As we are finding out in the midst of our own recovery, you don't know what you will do until you find yourself in the situation.

As the comments continued to unfold that day in the hair salon, my heart broke for me too. A year ago I wouldn't have believed I was worth enough to feel sadness for myself. But as my shame has started to subside it was hurtful to hear how easily the unfaithful are also labeled and cast aside as trash because of our affairs.

One lesson I was reminded of that day was that less is more; less comments, less judgement, less opinions. The honest truth is before our own tragedy, I probably would have been right there in the mix of the conversation. Simply because I didn't know any better.

I love the verse in the book of James where we are reminded to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. One quick, two slows.

I'm sorry for all the painful comments out there we have to deal with—including my own. It is salt in an already gaping and infected wound. However, I hope you can find solace and truth in some safe places.

Affair Recovery is full of them.

Add New Comment:


When the Shoe changes feet

If I could take back the things I thought and the words I spoke BEFORE my husband’s struggles with sexual addiction reared its ugly head...I grew up in a family of addiction, abuse, & serial infidelity and I swore “I’d never stay with someone who...As a young girl of 8, I knew nothing of grown up relationships.
Many, many years facing THIS same pain...I know so much more and I too Am Ashamed. Ashamed of the wrong judgements I made of my mother and countless family members and Now, I’m ashamed because my childish judgement calls are accusatory of Me. I Am the Weak, Desperate, Foolish Woman/Wife.
People THINK I am Weak because I haven’t divorced and I must think I’m nothing without my man..THIS sick man.
People THINK I am Desperate because I haven’t divorced and I must think I need a man..No, I need THIS sick man because a sick man is better than no man at all.
People THINK I am Foolish because I haven’t divorced THIS sick man and I MUST be a fool after All he’s done and everyone KNOWS Addicts never change...
For someone who’s recovering from people pleasing, I’ve been given loads of practice material!
We’d like to believe we’re more mature than the person who cares what they think, but it’s just not that easy. I Do Care!
But, I’m learning to put people in perspective. Those making massive judgements with no real understanding possess the same emotional immaturity and relational ignorance that I once carried until the school of life educated me.
I refuse to let others control me. Oh, Im not cured of caring altogether with the opinions of the crowd, but now I know that I have the right not to listen.

Well said. Thank you for

Well said. Thank you for sharing your story and your perspective. It is a tricky balance to know when to care and when to not give a blank, isn't it. I'm still learning that every day.

I’m so thankful for your blog

I’m so thankful for your blog, Elizabeth. I look forward to reading more from you!

Thank you for your kind words

Thank you for your kind words. Writing is a vulnerable task. Glad we are all in this together and we aren't alone in our pain.

It's great to see an

It's great to see an unfaithful female blogging here on AR. Thanks for your contributions. Our struggle is how do couples (female unfaithful) make it through this trauma. Specifically, the male betrayed partner. There are such limited stories of this dynamic, as nearly all are relating to unfaithful husbands.

What do make partners do for their recovery besides, time and Harboring Hope....?

Thanks for the encouragement.

Thanks for the encouragement. I can't really speak into what your husband can do for his own pain and healing. However, I would assume in time he will have to figure out what else he needs for recovery. I know that might look different for everyone. I am also learning my husbands recovery is allowed to look very different than mine and I cannot judge what he is doing or not doing. That can be hard.

As an unfaithful woman

This is exactly what I've been looking for . Some perspective from women who are the unfaithful. I've been so stuck in shame and self hate for what I've done. I'm just now seeing how selfish that was.

I understand the feelings you

I understand the feelings you just shared. I hope we both continue to figure out a way to love ourselves, yet appropriately hate the sinful, unloving, and selfish parts of ourselves that used others to get our needs met. I hope you allow God to shower His love and grace on your shoulders today.

What type of affair was it?

Our free Affair Analyzer provides you with insights about your unique situation and gives you a personalized plan of action.
Take the Affair Analyzer

Free Surviving Infidelity Bootcamp

Our experts designed this step-by-step guide to help you survive infidelity. Be intentional with your healing with this free 7-day bootcamp.
I would highly recommend giving this a try.
-D, Texas