Has your wife’s affair left you feeling gutted?
Totally, utterly, wretchedly gutted?
Your first warning sign of deceit was a squirming, worrying, crippling sensation deep in your gut.
You immediately dismissed this sensation, because you trusted your wife completely, believing that she wasn’t capable of cheating.
But, you’d started noticing further danger signs: There was the hushed phone call, which was quickly cut short… there was the bullshit sounding excuses for unexpected absences… there was the shifty, sneaky, frosty glint to your wife’s eyes.
Sadly, the day finally came when your worst suspicions were proved correct. It’s the day when you were ripped to bloody shreds inside, it’s the day when your world was swept away, it’s the day when you felt as if Mike Tyson had delivered a devastating sucker punch to the gut.
To make matters worse, Despite the shattered trust and crushing Betrayal…
You still love your wife.
Frankly, that’s a real problem right now.
Because loving your wife means that you can no longer think clearly enough to make empowering and long-term decisions. For example, should you kick her lying ass out, or grit your teeth and give the marriage another try?
So, what’s the answer?
In this post, you’ll discover six easy-to-use emotional management strategies, which can be used repeatedly to quickly and dramatically change how you feel.
For instance, pissed-off with feeling always angry?
Thought so, but,
Don’t worry. You’ll soon be learning a magic formula for calming down, so you’ll be able to move swiftly forward after your wife’s affair with dignity, courage, and grace.
Great, then let’s get down to business.
Head Clearing Strategy 1: Annihilate Your Anger.
Signs your feeling angry:
- Balled-up fists
- Clenched teeth
- Shaking or trembling
- A raised voice
Let’s face facts, your wife’s affair has left you teetering on the edge of a precipice filled with a white-hot and all-consuming fury.
But, here’s the problem with carrying an inferno of anger around inside…
Suddenly, every minor inconvenience turns into a snarling, gnashing, ferocious beast that needs slaying.
So, how do you keep your mind clear when you feel your anger beginning to boil?
Let me explain by firstly giving you a quick physiology lesson. Once you understand the biology of anger, you’ll have within your grasp the magic formula for calming down.
Basically, anger activates a region of your physiology known as the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates your fight-flight response.
For example, have you ever felt like punching the lights out of a guy whose just cut you off in traffic?
Well, in that moment of road rage, the region of your brain which processes anger is lit up brighter than a New Year’s Eve firework display. Consequently, your brain sends an instruction to your sympathetic nervous system, which means you’re ready to run in with both fists swinging.
The good news is that your physiology also has a system specifically designed to keep you cool, calm, and collected…
Quite simply, the Parasympathetic nervous system regulates your body’s ability to rest and recover.
For example, have you noticed that in the hours leading up to bed, your eyes begin to droop as you gradually become more sleepy?
In this time before bed, your brain sends a hormonal signal that activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which means you’re ready to board the train to snooze town.
What this means is this… Your nervous system isn’t designed to be simultaneously angry and relaxed. These two different emotional states work on two different biological circuits.
Therefore, you’ll annihilate your anger by using a relaxation strategy that quickly activates your Parasympathetic nervous system.
And so, I’d like to introduce you to a straightforward strategy known as Progressive Relaxation, which involves the following steps:
- Lie on your back and close your eyes
- Breathe deeply in for a count of 5-10 seconds. Simultaneously, tense your feet and calves.
- Breathe out for a count of 5-10 seconds. Simultaneously, release the tension from your feet and calves.
- Breathe deeply in for a count of 5-10 seconds. Simultaneously, tense your thighs.
- Breathe out for a count of 5-10 seconds. Simultaneously, release the tension from your thighs.
- Repeat this breathing pattern profoundly and release tension until you’ve systematically worked through every major muscle group (i.e., back, stomach, chest, arms, etc.).
- Once you’re completely relaxed and your anger has passed, open your eyes and focus them upon a point on the ceiling to re-orientate to your surroundings.
If you’re new to Progressive Relaxation, you may benefit from listening to the following guided demonstration:
Head Clearing Strategy 2: Defeat Your Despair
Signs your feeling despair:
- Tearfulness or crying
- Lack of motivation and enjoyment in life
- Chest and/or stomach pains
- A weightiness to the head, torso, and limbs
Despair is like having your heart ripped out by the woman you love, only to have her throw this bloody piece of meat into the dirt where its torn to pieces by starving and ragged dogs.
To make matters worse, dispair has entered your life, accompanied by four wretched companions, isolation, hopelessness, loneliness, and fear.
How are you currently coping now that these four horsemen of the emotional apocalypse have ridden into town?
Let me take a wild guess…
You’re currently coping with your wife’s affair by shrivelling up inside, shutting the world out, and severing all connection to hope. Because sometimes, hope is just too Damme painful.
How do I know?
I’ve supported many people who have suffered a bereavement over the years. And I’ve arrived at the following conclusion.
Despair is another word we use to describe grief.
Think about it like this… You’re feeling despair because you’re grieving a loss…
You’re grieving the loss of trust that bonded the two of you together.
You’re grieving the loss of a relationship that has started to wither and crumble.
You’re grieving the loss of the hopes, dreams, and goals that you shared.
Now, I’m not suggesting that the two of you won’t be able to work on your relationship and find a way to move forward. But, what I am suggesting is that your despair tells you that the relationship, as you knew it, has come to an end. Hence, any new kingship that emerges between you in the future will be different from what you’ve experienced in the past.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking…
“James, understanding this whole grief-despair thing is all well and good, but how does this help me when I feel like shit?”
Well, I’m about to reveal a strategy that is guaranteed to help…
The key to defeating your despair is con-finding in a close friend.
When you confine in a close friend, you invite them to offer empathy, compassion, and understanding. As a result, your isolation, hopelessness, loneliness, and fear will feel like they’ve been driven out by the biggest, baddest and meanest sheriff in town.
Let’s be frank, you’ll want to carefully consider those friends you choose to confide in about your wife’s affair. For example, having a heart to heart with Belching Barry, after a rugby game and 15 pints, may not be the ideal choice.
So, here are several guidelines for you to consider:
- Someone who can listen and understand, whose not tempted to offer quick solutions, advise or judgments
- Someone who is neutral and can be trusted to hold what you tell them in confidence
- Someone you can rely and depend upon in the future for when times get rough.
- Someone you can go out with to have fun, although you might consider doing this with another friend or group.
If you find the prospect of confining in a friend daunting, consider working with a professional instead, such as a Therapist. You can find details on finding a therapist within the Men Who Connect Resource section.
Head Clearing Strategy 3: Conker Your Confusion
Signs your feeling confusion:
- Lack of mental clarity experienced as fogginess
- Lack of purpose and direction.
Confusion turns your mind into a chiming pinball machine…
Your thoughts are chaotically, and crazily bouncing from one to another.
You’re experiencing this deluge of confusing chaos as a stream of questions that keep swirling around inside your mind.
Should you higher the most ferocious divorce lawyer in town? Should you hunt the guy down who she was seeing and string him up by the balls? Should you choke back your fury and give the marriage another try?
Here’s the problem with how most people view confusion…
They’ll assume that confusion means something is terribly wrong. Consequently, they’ll rush to make a decision which later they regret.
For instance, let’s say that you and your wife decide to give the marriage another try. Let’s also assume that you prematurely forgave her for the affair, because you wanted to clear your mind of confusion. Consequently, you’re now in a marriage where you don’t know all the facts: You don’t understand why she had an affair, you don’t know if she regrets her actions. You don’t know if she’d consider cheating again in the future. Furthermore, suppose you want to find out what exactly happened later on. In that case, you’ll end up wrestling with yourself inside, because you’ll already have let her off the hook.
What if, you considered confusion from another perspective? What if, you viewed confusion as serving an essential purpose?
Here’s the real truth about the purpose of confusion…
Confusion is warning you to (1) slow-down, (2) find out the facts, and (3) proceed with caution…
So, your strategy for channeling confusion is to first slow down and consider it an opportunity to exercise patients.
Secondly, you channel confusion into a fact-finding mission by asking specific questions that will eventually empower you to make long-term decisions.
For instance, consider these questions as part of your fact-finding mission:
- Has your wife shown genuine feelings of regret and remorse over the affair?
- Has your wife broken off all contact with the third party?
- Would your wife have left you for the third-party, if they had asked?
- How did you discover your wife’s affair? I.E., Did your wife volunteer this information, or did you find out through an alternative means?
- Do you value your relationship enough to commit to the hard work required to rebuild trust?
Thirdly, remember to proceed with caution:
As a rule of thumb, I recommend waiting at least six months before making any final and long-term relationship decisions. You’ll need a period to elapse before your mind is clear enough to make choices that are in your best interest.
Head Clearing Strategy 4: Embrace Your Emptiness
Signs your feeling empty:
- An absence of emotion and reaction
- Feeling disconnected from others
- Numbness and/or blankness in your mind and/or body
- Experiencing life events as if they’re happening to someone else or a character in a movie.
Feeling empty after your wife’s affair?
Emptiness is an evolutionary advantage that humans developed to ensure species survival after a near-catastrophic physical or emotional shock.
For instance, have you heard of people who have walked away from a near-fatal accident, and appeared to be perfectly normal afterward? However, later on, they completely crash?
That happens because our brains cope with near-death experiences by temporarily shutting down all non-essential systems, which includes our emotions. However, we’ll crash hours after the initial shock has passed because our brains will reboot our emotional systems, which means we become overloaded by trying to process the rush of bamboozling feelings that were pushed aside during the ordeal.
The emotional shocks you experience in life have the same effect as those caused by a near-fatal accident. In other words, your emptiness is caused by the brain temporarily shutting-down the emotional systems, so you can cope with the initial impact due to your wife’s affair.
Let’s face it. No one likes feeling empty inside, because we worry about our lack of reaction, and assume that we’re defective in some terrible way.
So, what can you do about feeling empty?
The answer is straightforward, but probably not one you want to hear. You’re likely reading this and hoping that I have a strategy for banishing emptiness for good…
Sadly, life is never that simple…
Don’t worry, there’s something you CAN do…
The strategy I recommend is that you accept that emptiness is an indication that you’re still shocked by discovering your wife’s affair. And, trust that beneath the surface, your mind is working hard on finding a solution.
What does that mean?
Imagine your mind as if it’s a deep blue ocean… On the surface, the sea can appear still and calm. However, in the murky depths, powerful forces are pushing enormous volumes of water around.
Quite simply, accept your calm surface reaction as a typical sign of experiencing an unexpected shock. Eventually, your emotions will surface from the deep, and that will act as a sign that you’re beginning to move forward.
As a rule of thumb, if your emptiness continues beyond four weeks, you’ll want to consider discussing the issue with a professional who can offer further coping strategies (i.e., a therapist). You can find details on working with a therapist by referring to the Men Who Connect Resource section.
Head Clearing Strategy 5: Beat Your Betrayal
Signs your feeling betrayed:
- Unusual or uncharacteristicbehaviors
- Sleeping too much or sleeping too little
- Brain fog, an inability to think clearly
- Overwhelming feelings of anger or outrage
After discovering your wife’s affair, Betrayal can be crushing, devastating, and painful, because the trust between you has been shattered.
And, as you already know… if you can no longer trust the woman you vowed to spend the rest of your life with, your relationship will begin to crumble.
Sadly, merely being in your wife’s presence is enough to remind you that your trust has been broken. Consequently, your feelings of Betrayal are high-jacking your brain, causing a downward spiral to occur repeatedly.
What does this downward emotional spiral of Betrayal look like?
A break from tension, a buildup of frustration, a point of explosion, an angry screaming match, a slammed door, a plunge into despair… a break from tension, a buildup of frustration…
Fuck, this reoccurring downward spiral is exhausting, right?.
But, consider this…
Similar to confusion, the purpose of Betrayal is warning you to proceed with caution.
Here’s what `I mean… Your feelings of Betrayal tell you that your wife will need to work hard to prove that she is worthy of rebuilding the shattered trust.
Therefore, I’m going to recommend a strategy for coping with Betrayal intended to deliver two primary benefits. Firstly, to develop greater objectivity by spending time away from your wife. Secondly, to find space for thinking carefully about whether rebuilding trust is something you actually want to do.
So, the strategy will focus on practical methods for scheduling time apart. And, you’ll accomplish this by considering the following suggestions:
- Take a long walk with a trusted friend, preferably somewhere green, lush, and flowery.
- Relieve the explosive tension of being around your partner by booking yourself into a hotel for a few days or weeks.
- Request that your wife temporarily moves out so that you have space and time to think.
- Listen carefully to your feelings of Betrayal, and remember that their intention is to keep you safe.
Head Clearing Strategy 6: Pummel Your Panic
Signs your feeling panic:
- Rapid and shallow breaths
- Pounding heart rate
- Excessive sweating or chills
- Feeling faint, nauseous, or a desperate need to relieve your bladder or bowels.
Want to quickly recognize the warning signs of a panic attack before it gets out of control?
Yeah, I thought so… picture this scene…
You’re walking down a gloomy alley, and out of the corner of your eye, you spy a hulking shadow lurching your way.
You spin around, and you’re confronted by a gigantic maniac.
His eyes are rolling, his chin is dripping with frothing saliva, and he has hands the size of dinner plates, which are reaching out for your throat.
His hands curl around your neck, and he slowly, mercilessly begins to squeeze.
Your fingernails claw bloody gashes across the back of his hand as you desperately try to loosen his monstrous grip.
Your vision starts to go black at the edges, your heart is hammering, your bowels feel loose, and your brains feel like they’re being squeezed out through your ears.
I’ve described the above scene in graphic detail because I want you to have a visceral idea about what a panic attack looks like.
If you’re ever gripped round the throat by panic, then you’ll remember the strategy I’m going to share with you shortly as a way of calming down.
Before we dive into this strategy for coping with panic, let me explain why you may experience this fear-based emotion after discovering your wife’s affair.
Our brains have evolved to prioritize specific emotional, psychological, and physical needs that drive our behaviors. For instance, our minds are hard-wired by our need to seek and maintain relationships that offer us a sense of love, belonging, and safety.
So, you can be gripped around the throat by a panic attack, while you’re coming to terms with your wife’s affair because your core psychological needs are being threatened… Your need for love was repelled, your need to belong was smashed, and your need for safety was ripped to shreds…
As a result, your brain becomes overwhelmed by fear and jumps to the conclusion that you’re in a life or death crisis.
Do you know how our brains react when they’re threatened in this way?
Your brain will activate our old friend, the sympathetic nervous system, and get you ready to fight or flee.
But, here’s the problem… your fight-flight survival response isn’t sophisticated enough to cope with a complex social issue like a cheating spouse. Consequently, your brain can’t see a quick way of reducing the threat, so its only other choice is to further drive up the fear. Before you know what’s happening, you’re in the midst of a full-blown panic attack.
So, how do you calm down during a panic attack?
Similar to anger, you cope with panic by using a specific strategy that activates your Parasympathetic nervous system.
An easy to use, sensational, and straightforward strategy that I teach my clients, who suffer from heightened anxiety and panic, is called 7/11 breathing.
7/11 breathing is useful because it activates your Parasympathetic nervous system through deep-breaths. Meaning, you’re tapping into the biological circuitry, which is designed to help you cool down.
If empowering yourself against panic, with 7/11 breathing, sounds useful to you, then here is a breakdown of the steps involved:
- Breathe in deeply for a count of seven seconds.
- Hold your breath for two seconds.
- Breathe out for a count of eleven seconds.
- Repeat this pattern for five to ten minutes, or as long as it takes for you to feel calmer.
Ensure that you’re using deep diaphragmatic breaths. Meaning, that your belly-button moves all the way to the bottom on an out-breath and all the way to the top on an in-breath.
If you’re new to 7-11 breathing, then check out the video below for a guided demonstration:
Your Wife’s Affair Doesn’t Mean Your Life Is Ruined
There’s no doubt about it…
Your wife’s affair is gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, devastating.
I guarantee, If you master these six emotional management strategies, then you’ll not only step off the chaotic emotional rollercoaster you’ve been riding…
You’ll also gain mastery over your life.
I know that’s a big claim to make, so allow me to explain with these parting words.
Believe it or not, your quality of life is directly affected by how you handle emotions.
Think about it this way…
Have you recently had a blazing argument with your wife?
Furthermore, did your feelings of anger, sadness, and despair linger like a foul stench for days, even weeks afterward?
Now, How would you rate your quality of life during this hard time?
You got it, pretty shitty, right?
Basically, what this all boil’s down to is making a simple choice…
You can choose to allow emotions to run the show, to be in-charge, to ruin the day.
You can choose to master your emotions, to be the man in charge, to live a remarkable, amazing, spectacular life that is filled with passion, adventure, joy, and excitement.
My friend, your wife’s affair doesn’t mean the rest of your life is ruined. In fact, it may even be the start of the life that is waiting for you to claim.
So, go grab your life by the balls right now, by mastering these six simple, quick, easy, and proven emotional management strategies.