A picture of DM sometime during “The Phase”
When people think about adultery and abandonment, they rarely understand just how traumatic these experiences are for the faithful spouse. I truly believe fewer Christians would respond with the Shared Responsibility Nonsense if they understood the consequences faithful spouses suffer due to their cheating spouses’ sins.
Certainly, if they had any sort of a heart, they would be slower to condemn knowing how they were kicking that person while he/she was down.
One of the real ugly parts of surviving adulterous betrayal and abandonment is how it impacts daily life.
It is not an exaggeration to say that
I had to remind myself to eat during the most intense months.
Some people respond to loss differently. But I know that I am not alone in loosing an interest in food when going through extreme stress and catastrophic loss.
I loss about twenty pounds in two weeks simply from the stress of discovering my (now) ex-wife’s lover. That sort of soul-rending pain puts a real damper on enjoying life.
Discovering adultery is no joke.
It hurts like nothing else I have ever experienced in my life.
I describe it as a dismemberment.
It is soul rape.
That combined with the blaming, gas-lighting, and spiritual abuse generates an especially dangerous brew. Loss of dreams, security, sleep, and health all combine to manifest as shifting ground that such a betrayal presents a faithful spouse.
Life is really hard.
Faithful spouses need kindness, not condemnation at this phase. Practical advice about taking it one step or one hour at a time is helpful as I found.
And I want to assure you that “Remind-Yourself-To-Eat” Phase is precisely that:
It will not go on forever.
The shifting ground does settle.
Sleep does return.
And life is worth it.*
*If you have a plan or are seriously considering suicide, please reach out to your local mental health provider–or to friends, minimally. Life is definitely worth living. It is a precious, precious gift. Pain is only transitory, even if you cannot see that right now.
***I would add that I am not a mental health provider, and this blog is not a substitute for their professional care.***