Find Some Coping Mechanisms

Samuel shares practical insight on how to generate momentum and consistency in recovery.

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Coping by avoiding?

My unfaithful husband's coping mechanism is to avoid discussing the entire situation. Or to acknowledge it briefly but then refuse to think or talk about it, since he 'doesn't like feeling sad' and 'focusing on things that make him sad is stupid'. Not a coping mechanism that is helpful to the betrayed.


After disclosure of one 6 month affair 22 months ago, the grueling work getting and dealing with the facts and finally finding a level of sunlight and peace...another d day! 4 other affairs over the length of my marriage 40 years. One "friends with benefits" affair that lasted half of my marriage and which he admits he would not have ended because he would be talking to her now about our recovery and his love for me if I had not insisted he end his friendship with her 22 months ago. He loved their talks, laughter, praise and ready sex (she was always hot). He misses the talks and being able to tell her what is going on in our lives. He figures that the sex part had ended some years ago, so it should have been okay for him to not tell me about the sexual part and continue his innocent friendship. Says she was not attractive, but easy and he felt so good because she praised him so much and I did not. BUT he never kissed her or any of his affair partners. Kissing was reserved for the wife he loved even though he admits that whenever he saw me he felt anger and rage towards me for no reason. Needless to say I am overcome with grief and told him I cannot work on the marriage, that he should go find her or go get help or whatever he wants to do. He stole every memorable moment of our lives, births, weddings, deaths, everything. How do I cope with this level of betrayal and pain. She had a window to my life and intimacy and I was clueless that I was naked and bare to her eyes. She might as well have been the wife. He got his needs met and yet he said he didn't miss her really, just the talking. At one point she invited me kayaking and insisted I go so we could get to know each other. I told her several times that I cannot swim and she said it didn't matter because she is a great swimmer. She tried to "get to know me" with my husband encouraging me to go. I have never seen this level of deceit and disgusting disrespect. My mind is reeling! There was no uneasiness or clues in their interactions in front of me. She would always say to my husband "your wife is beautiful as always". I had no clue.....tears of rage and humiliation! Grief is overwhelming. How do I cope with new reality after such pain and hard work after d day #1?


amelia, it's a lot to deal with for sure.  the devastation is palpable.  for starters, it's going to take time, no matter how diligent you are in your recovery work.  the processing of this trauma will be just that:  a process.  i would take harboring hope on the site found here:  I would also find a therapist who specializes in ptsd and look into emdr which is for those who are dealing with anywhere from minor trauma to major trauma.  a specialist will know if you need it based upon your symptoms and what you're dealing with in everyday life.  i would, and this is something i know that's not rocket science, but take really good care of yourself mentally and physically like eating right and doing what you can to not bottom out physically as it takes a toll.  there are no easy answers to make it all go away or make it all vanish.  it's a process.  you will make it to the other side and you're going to heal, but you'll need to go slow and steady.  perhaps also journaling and finding a new hobby that can help you distract yourself at times and help you escape from just processing all the time.   i hope all this helps you.


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-D, Texas