When you married, if youre like most couples, you made a vow pledging your faithfulness. But now youve discovered your spouse didnt take that vow seriously. It doesnt matter whether it was a one-night stand or a long-term affair, the results are the same Óyour spouses action has left in its wake fear, doubt, distrust, betrayal, hurt, and anger. Ultimately, its what you do with these emotions Óhow you process them Óthat makes the difference. For you and your marriages sake, you need to process these emotions in a positive way. Heres help. Healthy versus Unhealthy Responses Allow the tears to flow. Initially, crying is a healthy response. But your body is limited to how long it can sustain such agony. Allow yourself to cry, but dont move into a poor me attitude. That will do no one any good. Tell your spouse how you feel. Verbally expressing your feelings is also a healthy way to process anger Óas long as you use I statements rather than you statements. When you say, You betrayed me. You took advantage of me. You dont love me, you only incite negative reactions. And we know that negative reactions dont lead to positive outcomes. Statements such as, I feel betrayed. I feel hurt. I feel like you dont love me simply reveal your emotions. Theyre honest and communicate the depth of your pain. Control your behavior. Negative responses to anger can complicate the problem. If you start throwing dishes or speaking obscenities, your out-of-control behavior will only alleviate your spouses guilt. Now he can blame you rather than himself because your behavior has demonstrated that youre an unreasonable, uncontrolled person. Dont retaliate. Retaliation is a common but negative response. Vengeful tactics include having an affair yourself to show your unfaithful spouse what it feels like to be betrayed or going to her workplace to cause a scene. Any effort at revenge is doomed to failure. Returning wrong for wrong simply makes the other person feel less guilty and stimulates him or her to return fire for fire. Seek outside help. After the initial wave of shock, hurt, and anger, the most productive step you can take is to seek the wisdom of a Christian counselor. If your spouse isnt willing to go, then go alone. Youre more likely to make wise decisions if you get the help of someone who isnt emotionally involved in the situation.

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