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How Long Does It Take To Get Over Your Affair Partner

Is there a time frame for getting over your affair partner?

Have you been trying to get over your affair partner but feel like it is taking to long? I understand how you feel. After my affair, It felt like I was never going to be able to move past him. Every time I would turn around it seemed like another memory or emotion would pop up and knock me back down.

Experts say it takes around two years to heal from infidelity and while that may be the case for most unfortunately for me it was not. Two years came and went I was still struggling. I would get so frustrated with myself. I wanted to move forward with my husband but I felt like there was a part of me that couldn't release my affair partner completely. And then on top of all of that pain was the guilt I was feeling for hurting my husband and not being able to give him 100%. So I want to share with you what I discovered

This is what I discovered

I believe there is no one size fits all when it comes to getting over your affair partner. It is more about the individual person and how long they take to process through the pain. However, I do believe there are pitfalls and roadblocks along the way that can keep you stuck and prevent you from healing completely. So in this post, I will share with you the process I went through and why it took me so long to let go of my affair partner. I will also give you some tips on how to move continually through recovery with getting stuck.

The Process/Grieving The Affair Partner

Phase One/The Many Layers Of Grief

Grief is the first step in recovery. Its what we are met with when the affair ends. And oftentimes we don't want to face grief nor feel all the feelings that come along with it. At least for me, I hated the grieving process. The pain was heart-wrenching and so emotionally draining. So I sat in the chair of grief for a while. At first, I ignored the reality of where I was and tried to pretend the pain did not exist. But the more I ignored it the louder the pain screamed, almost in a way that demands my attention.

Tip 1: So my first tip is to allow yourself the space to grieve. Realize it doesn't matter how guilty you feel for having an affair. If you loved your affair partner then grief is apart of the process. And the sooner you heal from the grief then the quicker you will be able to move forward. I have a blog post dedicated to grief and you can read that here.

Grief for hurting your spouse

I cried many nights for the pain I put my husband through. And it was so hard to look me in the mirror and see the woman I had become. The feelings of shame and guilt seemed to overwhelm me to the point of feeling unworthy of my husband's love. I would tell myself " I might as well stay with my affair partner. Because of the pain, I caused my family I don't deserve to be with a man who loves me so genuinely and faithfully. He deserves someone better than me."

Tip 2: My second tip for you is to begin to see yourself as Jesus sees you and not as society sees you or how you see yourself. You may feel like you are marked for life and you will never recover your place of honor in your families or God's eyes from this mistake. But let me tell you God does not see you as your mistake. He does not label you an adulterous woman. In Isaiah 44:22 God says I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me for I have redeemed you.

God also says In Isaiah 61:7 Instead of shame and dishonor you will enjoy a double share of honor. This verse says it all and gives hope that the shame we now feel will be replaced with honor. And your family loves you and love never fails. You can have a new beginning.

Grief Over What You Have Done

This one piggybacks on the previous step but I wanted to add a couple of more points. When the reality of what we did hits us in the face we can have a tendency to want to run and hide. And who better to run to other than your affair partner? I mean he understands and you feel comfortable with him. And thoughts like this can lead you back to your affair partner where you feel accepted. So don't follow your emotions right now because they will not help get over your affair partner.

Tip 3: My third tip on overcoming the grief of this kind is to show yourself some love and mercy. God does not want you to run and hide from him or settle for half a man. And let's face it a man in an affair is not giving us his whole heart, no matter what he says or how good it feels to hear it. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden they immediately hid from God. They just couldn't face him after disobeying what he told them.

To them, it was much easier to stay wrapped in painful fig leaves then to go to their father and ask for help. Don't stay wrapped up in the pain of infidelity. Call out to God and he will come to your rescue. And with God, you have his whole heart for your whole life and beyond.


Phases Two/ Fog lifts

This phase usually doesn't last very long but again it depends on the person. During this phase is where the affair fog or romantic love begins to fade away and your eyes are opened. You start to see your affair partner as a real person with real problems and not as your hero. The red flags he sent up during your time together suddenly become huge. And the escape world yall created comes crashing down. Along with the hopes, dreams, and desires you have for a future together.

This phase is where I got stuck. I didn't want to give up my dreams of a future and I didn't want to stop feeling loved. I loved the way he loved me and I resisted the reality of that being gone. So I out of my stubbornness I held onto him in my mind. I was like a child fighting to keep an old torn and tattered toy. If I couldn't have him in my life I could tuck him away in a private room in my heart. And use him as an escape when life got hard.

And wow will the fantasies keep you in pain for much longer than you need to be.

Its Time For Spring Cleaning

When the seasons change I usually clean out my closet. I want to get rid of anything that doesn't fit me or that I don't wear. Well, I have a problem with doing this because if there is a shirt I haven't worn in a while but I still like it I will keep it for the "just in case, or you never know" time that might come up and I need that shirt. Over the years the "just in case" never showed up. By doing this it just prevented me from buying new things that I would actually wear and enjoy.

Now you may be thinking what does closet cleanout have to do with affair recovery? well, I use this analogy because I like to think of our minds as a closet. Our minds are the closet that contains our thoughts. And they can become clutter with memories and fantasies of our affair partner. So its time to clean them out.

We have to "let go" in our mind

We must learn how to let go of our affair partner in our minds. That means we have to do a thought cleanup. And we do this by getting rid of any thoughts, fantasies, desires, or dreams that no longer serve us. Do you have any thoughts about your affair partner that is keeping your closet full? If so its time to toss them out. And focus on what is serving me now and what kind of future you want?

When I couldn't deal with pain in my life, then I would go to that part of my closet( where he lived) and pull out a memory of when I was happy. The problem was that thought didn't fit me any longer and to be honest, continuing to dwell on those memories was actually hurting me.

Dopamine is released at just the thought of an encounter with our affair partner. So this behavior was keeping me attached to him and preventing me from fully loving my husband. I had to find a new way to cope and I knew if I wanted to experience love again with my husband then I needed my ap out of my mind and heart and since our thoughts feed our hearts I needed to change what I was thinking.

How To Clean Up Our Thoughts

It's not easy to get rid of the memories and dreams you had for the two of you but it can be done. You can arrive at a place where the memories are pain-free. It just takes effort and determination to replace those thoughts with new ones.

Something to remember you didn't get addicted to your affair partner overnight so you won't heal from him overnight.

One way you can get rid of unhealthy thoughts is by telling yourself. I will not hold onto the "what if's" or "just in case"For example

  1. What if the kids grow up and we meet again?
  2. What if my marriage fails?
  3. What if somewhere far in the future when we are old we meet again?
  4. Or what if he is my soul mate?
  5. Just in case my marriage doesn't work out.

You see all of those what if thoughts will keep a part of you waiting and expecting for another chance at a relationship. This will cause you to keep your heart from fully loving your spouse and from giving the restoration a chance. Those thoughts will cloud your vision of how you see your spouse and you will flaw and mag

Just To Recap

There is no one size fits all. The time it takes to recover will depend on you.

Dont allow yourself to sit in grief of any kind.

Dont trust your emotions durning this time. Because they will lie to you and try to lead you back into the affair.

Clean out those thoughts. Dont hold onto memories or allow yourself to take a trip down memory lane.

Recovery is not easy and it does take a while. But the best thing you can do for youself and family is to take the time to heal. In this way you will return to them a stronger woman.

I linked a post from the Gottman Institute on healing from an affair. It offers some great tips for you and your spouse. Click here.

Lets Chat

If you are struggling and would like some 1:1 help I would love to talk with you and show you how can heal from your affair. Click here to schedule your free girl chat session and let me show you the path to healing.

I also have put together a self-paced online 4-week video course along with a workbook

If you're struggling to end your affair and you feel frustrated, confused, torn, or alone, I'm here to help. Book a 30-minute consultation with me and I'll provide you with the clarity you need to move forward. Remember, you don't have to go through this alone.

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