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  • Writer's picturePaul Hopkins

Being used in an affair

Seems a strange question but during and after an affair there is a thought process that one goes through (both the betrayed and the one having the affair) on being used.

  • Was I used

  • Did I use someone

Firstly let's talk about the betrayed. The answer here is yes, they feel and felt used. When I reflect on how my wife felt (and I am sure I only scratch the surface) she must have felt so hurt by my actions that it would have caused irreparable damage. When the betrayed puts so much work in to try and change the out-come but they continue to be hurt, So inevitably they feel used. Not only this but during an affair (which always starts as a secret) your actions represent a piece of damage that will reshape there mind and soul.

What actions? Let us be frank.

  • Did you sleep with your partner during the affair.

  • Did you make plans

  • Did you lie

  • Did you spend time together

All these equal betrayal and hurt but also seen as them being used. The impact is so deep it affects their mental health. That's without all the other worries.

What about the one having the affair. Do they feel used. Of course and when an affair ends which is difficult there is always a spectrum of 'I have been used' this is where the resent and hurt stems from. Even if the affair was genuine and there was no intent to hurt anyone, they will feel used.

So to feel used is normal. But how do we deal with that feeling

Healing from being used can be a challenging process, but it is crucial for your emotional well-being and personal growth. Here are some steps to help you on your healing journey:

  1. Acknowledge your feelings: Allow yourself to feel the emotions that come with being used, such as hurt, anger, or betrayal. It's essential to validate your feelings and not dismiss them.

  2. Practice self-compassion: Be kind and gentle with yourself. Recognize that being used is not your fault, and you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

  3. Set boundaries: Learn from the experience and establish clear boundaries to prevent similar situations in the future.

  4. Seek support: Reach out to friends, family, or a therapist to talk about your feelings and experiences. Having a supportive network can provide comfort and help you gain perspective.

  5. Identify patterns: Reflect and try to identify any recurring patterns. Understanding these patterns can help you avoid similar situations in the future.

  6. Forgive yourself and others: Forgiveness is not about condoning someone's actions but about releasing yourself from the burden of carrying resentment. This includes forgiving yourself for any mistakes or perceived naivety.

  7. Focus on self-care: Prioritise self-care activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. Engage in activities that bring you joy and make you feel good about yourself.

  8. Engage in hobbies and interests: Pursue your passions and interests. Doing things you love can boost your self-esteem and provide a sense of fulfilment.

  9. Surround yourself with positive influences: Spend time with people who genuinely care about you and respect your boundaries. Positive relationships can have a significant impact on your healing process.

  10. Learn from the experience: Use the experience of being used as an opportunity for personal growth. Reflect on what you've learned about yourself, your needs, and the value you bring to relationships.

  11. Practice mindfulness and self-reflection: Mindfulness can help you stay present and process your emotions in a healthy way. Regular self-reflection allows you to understand your feelings and reactions better.

Give yourself time: Healing takes time, and it's okay to take it one step at a time. Be patient with yourself and trust that you will gradually recover.

Remember, healing is a process, and it's okay to take breaks and seek professional help if needed. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself the space to heal and grow from the experience. With time, you can overcome the wounds of being used and build healthier, more fulfilling relationships in the future.

Self Help and Recover After an Affair

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