After the Affair: Shock!
The most common first response to the discovery of an affair is shock, often even after early suspicions have been on the emotional radar. Once the discovery has been made, we begin to reflect on the past & present with a new fear of how far the deceptions & dishonesty have gone. A sense of vigilance kicks in to protect us from further hurt & pain and starts with searching out further information & details to prove to us our mind isn’t playing tricks on us.
Emotionally the injured spouse often has to fight within themselves over what experience to pay attention to the most, the past history of committed, marital relationship or the new betrayed existence. An affair is such a radical departure from what all of us planned & expected, else we’d have never trusted someone with so much of who we are, that part of us wants to fight off the new reality. The injured spouse is not only fighting off the meaning of the lies for their commitment, but is having to adjust to the meaning for themselves as an individual. Part of the shock involves questioning self, sometimes, and how we could have chosen someone who’d do this to us. Often questions of “how blind have I been?” come out in this phase of recovery, as the fight to hold onto the value of our previous decisions begins to waver.