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  • Writer's picturePaul Hopkins

Post Affair Grief.


One of the great walls to get over during and after an affair is grief.

Of course, the betrayed has grief as well. But today, I want to talk about the betrayer. I write this blog so that we are aware of the struggles that go unmentioned.

This is not about a continuous offender but an affair that is a one-off, as the two are very different.

When an affair happens, there are feelings involved. It is not just a sexual act. So feeling and emotions play a huge part. There is attachment, bonding, love, etc...

So, when these emotions are torn away, there is a huge amount of grief. Anyone who has been through grief knows how painful this is.

Imagine being so torn that you cry until there are no more tears. I am sure betrayers and betrayed have both been in this spot.

Basically, it is bereavement. A loss. Like a death. And one does not simply just move on from that.

This is why mending a relationship after an affair is so difficult. Not only is the relationship in a place of despair, in terms of trust, feelings, betrayal, but also loss. This makes the whole mending process much more complicated.

The betrayer is dealing with loss. But going through all the stages that equal bereavement.

Shock - The pure shock of ending an affair. This is basically walking away or losing a loved one. The mind can not conceive that you will not see that person again.

No matter how the affair ends. Shock is still a huge effect and causes many other emotions.

Anger- Anger at ending an affair when you didn't want to. Who's fault is it that you have to end the affair? Who to blame? How can you blame anyone? How do you end the affair? There is a large amount of anger when ending an affair.

Guilt - Guilt at ending the affair and the pain you caused the person you have feelings for. Guilt for the whole event. Guilt for the damage you have caused. Guilt for feeling guilty.

Bargaining - All the whys. Why do I have to end this? Why do I have to go through this? All the reasons why you should see them again. Bargaining continues! The whole affair starts with bargaining and the affair continues with bargaining and ends with bargaining.

Depression - The phase that changes your life. The depression that obscures your rational thinking. That hinders your healing and your relationship growth. The depression that affects your whole life.

All of these are part and parcel of grief, and all the above are so much deeper and more complex than the few words I have written down. They are all life changing emotions that take time to process.

The point is this. Yes, they had an affair. They had feelings. They made the call to end the affair.

Yes, it was wrong. Yes, they hurt the betrayed.

But even though all of this stands and they want to move on and mend the relationship, it takes time! Time! TIME!

The betrayed will not know the feelings or emotions of the betrayer and the betrayer will not divulge their feelings, due to guilt and not wanting to hurt the betrayed any more than they have.

It is a very very lonely place after an affair, and it is not a quick fix. It becomes a taboo zone for the betrayer. Not spoken about. Hidden but not out of mind. It pokes and prods. Every thought a torment!

The bereavement process takes time.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. It just takes time.

Bereavement is huge, and there is no quick fix.

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