When you find out about the affair, the first few hours, days and weeks can be emotionally wrenching to say the least. Or, if someone you deeply care about begins “pulling away” you may also experience intense feelings. Read through this list and pick out a couple things you can do to help yourself during these times.
1. Walk. Run, if you are fit enough to run. Work out. Get the blood flowing. Physical exercise drains off the adrenaline and physically you feel better. You also think better of yourself because you are caring for you.
2. Talk. If you typically handle problems by talking them out, find someone who will listen as you pour out your heart. Give them explicit instructions: “I need to talk, vent, cry, rage, and question. Just look me in the eye, nod your head and listen.”
3. Write. Get a kitchen timer. Set it for 5 minutes. Spend that time writing…anything, everything that comes to your mind. Don’t censor. When the bell goes off say to yourself, “OK, there it is. Now I need to get on to other things. I will come back later and write more.” Put the writing in a safe place or destroy it.
4. Find a safe place and spend some time there. Do you have a favorite lake, wooded area, park, room, chair where you feel safe and can “get away.” Intentionally spend some time there.
5. Use good “self talk.” Tell yourself, “You are ok. You will be ok. This too shall pass. What you are feeling is normal and will not destroy you.” Develop that “observing part” that can speak to your turmoil.
6. Pray. Meditate. Use your spiritual resources, if you have them. If you don’t have them, it can be a good time to develop them. Spirituality often affirms your worth and enables you to see the larger picture.
7. Be aware. Notice what you are thinking, how you are feeling and what you are doing. Pay close attention to these chunks of your life. Just noticing often creates distance from the emotional pain.
8. Encourage the rhythm of your feelings. Your feelings will come and go, often as in waves. There will be lulls and sometimes they crash. Notice the intensity and frequency of the waves.
9. Get professional help. Supportive therapy might be helpful. Personal and professional coaching, often via telephone, is a helpful phenomenon that is increasingly popular as a way to find support and direction for specific problems.
10. Gather resources. Start reading, exploring the internet and talking to people about your situation. Believe me, you are not alone. Many people have walked your path (well, not exactly your path, but close) and are there to offer their understanding and point out the bends and turns of your road.