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My hope for myself and all betrayed spouses is to find peace.

Peace in knowing whatever you decide, stay or go, its the right decision for YOU and you owe no explanations to anyone for it. Peace in finally realizing your worth. Peace in knowing that you did not cause your spouse to have an affair. Yes, there was most likely something lacking in the relationship that you contributed to, but you did not cause the affair. They caused it. Their choices. Something lacking within them made it possible for them to justify their actions. They blame it on us, at least initially. But know for certain, that YOU DID NOT CAUSE IT. Peace in knowing that you are special and amazing for who you are and what you bring to the table. Peace in learning that your happiness doesn’t depend on someone else. How someone treats you says more about them than you. Peace in no longer obsessing over the other person. Realizing that they were a means to an end. By obsessing over the other person and the details of the affair, you are only hurting yourself. Find out what you need to find out, but tread lightly. Once you know a detail you can’t “unknow” it. Peace in focusing on the present. Look at what is good today. Peace in loving ourselves. Peace in taking care of ourselves. Peace in looking towards a brighter future. Just because life hasn’t turned out the way we thought, doesn’t mean it still can’t be beautiful.

Peace in healing and letting go of the past, in the sense that it doesn’t harm us anymore. Peace in knowing that our personal healing is not dependent on the marriage, or how our spouse treats us. Reconciliation depends on that, but not our individual healing.

Peace in forgiveness. Forgiving your spouse and even their affair partner doesn’t absolve them from their sins. It doesn’t mean their behavior was acceptable. It doesn’t mean you like them. It doesn’t mean you want a relationship with them. Forgiveness is for you. Forgiveness means you don’t excuse the crime, it just means you’re no longer willing to be the victim. Forgiveness frees your heart and mind from the prison of bitterness. Forgiveness does not say the pain wasn’t real but rather that the pain no longer controls your life. Forgiveness is about taking back control. No longer allowing this event to control you, your emotions or your actions. This is a daily choice. Forgiveness is also often granted in steps. You may forgive all aspects of the affair at the same time.

If you chose to stay in the marriage, I hope you truly open up and give this relationship a new beginning. Because you deserve to be cherished. Loved. Respected. I hope you find peace with your decision. I hope you find peace in knowing that your spouse doesn’t define you or your worth moving forward. I hope you find peace in not settling for less than you deserve. I hope you find peace in a new found marriage. A marriage with love, respect and honesty.

If you chose to leave the marriage, I hope you take time to become comfortable and fulfilled on your own. I hope you find peace in knowing you are all you truly need. And one day, I hope you find love again.

This is a life changing experience. Each of us has the choice on how it changes us. We can be bitter, angry, afraid and numb the rest of our lives. Or we can open up, be vulnerable; allow ourselves to be loved and love in return.

This all takes time. You can’t rush healing. Healing isn’t a one time thing. You need to practice letting go every day. Over and over again. You need to truly feel the pain before you can move on from it. So give yourself permission to take your time. Just be cautious to not get stuck there. Don’t allow this pain to be your new normal. Don’t allow it to be acceptable for too long. You were betrayed and devastated. But don’t ever let that be your excuse to stop living. Don’t let what someone else has done be your excuse to just give up on yourself. You are worth more than that. You deserve more than feeling broken the rest of your life.

Above all, I hope you find peace in learning to trust yourself enough to know that whatever happens you will survive.