Healing from being cheated on is a long, and painful journey. One we never wished to be on, but one only we can walk through. Sadly, the burden to heal is on us. No one can heal our pain for us. I want to show you how to calm down anxiety and how to relax from negative thoughts and feelings. In this post we will discuss how we can use our feeling of pleasure as a healing tool. And it’s a powerful tool to help us calm down when we feel overwhelmed by the infidelity!
The Infidelity Healing Series
Here, the Betrayed Wife shares her Infidelity Healing Series. The eight posts in this Series are full of practical and easy-to-use solutions that reduce the anxiety of being cheated on. Take your time reading and applying each technique to begin the difficult recovery after intimate betrayal. The Infidelity Healing Series is a labor of love from The Betrayed Wife to every betrayed wife. Why? Because she knows first-hand how hard it is to get over infidelity, and is here to support your recovery every step of the way.
After discovering our husband's infidelity, life as a betrayed wife can become unbearable. The anxious thoughts and betrayal trauma take a toll on our emotional and physical well-being. Every day is a repeating nightmare where we experience the most painful losses of our relationship: trust and faith in ourselves. The simple self-healing techniques in this Infidelity Healing Series will help stop our stress response and restore our inner and physical well-being so we can process and heal our infidelity pain.
Begin your infidelity healing now:
In the previous post we looked at using mother nature to support healing our infidelity pain. Since I began turning to nature as a way to heal, I have been amazed at how my ears have tuned into the bird song around me. Honestly, I didn't notice it before. Below is a clip of one of the many birds I hear in my forest. Unclick the mute button to hear its song.
To me, it sounds beautiful. When I hear bird songs now, I desire to pause, breathe, and listen for a moment. What I experience at this moment is a pure and simple pleasure that elevates my heart's energy. Feeling pleasure is a powerful tool to support us in healing from infidelity pain.
Negative Feelings Undermine Well-being
Somewhere along the line, we stopped feeling good. Instead of pleasure, we entered a world of ongoing pain. For me, this started even before my partner owned that they were cheating. But my heart knew that they had rejected me. It oozed out of them, sucking me into a vacuum of free-falling instability. I had lost trust in everything, even myself.
It's painful to remember that time in my life when I wanted to sacrifice my life by ending it. Being abandoned by everyone I loved was an agonizing part of my history. Remembering it brings tears to my eyes and causes my heart to ache.
I wonder if you know what feels good now or how to feel pleasure since infidelity hit your life? Or does it feel like the pain of betrayal has taken all the good things out of your life? Without the hope that there will be pleasure in our future, it saps our will to continue.
My healing didn't start until I found other betrayed wives. Sadly, it took far too long for me to find them. Before then, I was alone in agony. Now I have support and acceptance. While it is not a club we want to join, the social identity of other betrayed women gives us a safe place to land while we heal. Healing is a long journey. Taking this journey truly feels as if we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
Before, I tolerated abuse, pain, and social rejection without knowing that my life could be different. I had no genuine ability to experience pleasure or even hope that it was possible or safe to feel good. Back then I was drowning in fear and barely breathing.
Fear of feeling good
Initially, I feared feeling good, because anything good would make the bad feel so much worse. I was already stuck in despair. I was at my limit of coping with the overwhelming pain. I had no more left in me to handle anything more. My capacity was overextended and I felt like I was drowning. Complete exhaustion had disabled me. I couldn't keep going. So, I stopped feeling anything. I became numb. The problem was that 'just existing' is not living!
Fast forward to now, I live for healthy and positive pleasures. Those things that bring me joy. Really this is about releasing pleasure hormones and all those good feelings. I'm truly living now. It all began with a focus on healing myself through self-care techniques. This focus is not selfish or a new "to-do list". I had to replace those negative feelings with new positive ones.
Instead, I learned how to cultivate pleasure in my life. This self-care technique calmed my anxiety and relieved my stress from the negative effects of infidelity.
How to calm down anxiety
I have been writing a lot about healing infidelity pain lately. Yet, in truth, the healing we want comes when we step out of fear. As we step out of fear, our bodies enter into a state of rest and relaxation. We can't heal when we are wired or on high alert. And the responsibility to heal, to transition out of being triggered into relaxing, is ours. No one can do that for us.
The experience of pleasure is able to sustain us through pain. Knowing how to live from the orientation of feeling good gives us the resilience and capacity to live through our tough times. We can experience the pleasure of being alive again, even after betrayal. Because feeling pleasure is our body's preferred and optimal mode to function from. We are designed to feel good more than not.
Yes, we have infidelity pain to heal from. However, we can still acknowledge that fact while sitting with the pleasure life holds for us. Why? Because feeling good is good for us!
Finding rest and relaxation
But our bodies are designed to be in rest and relax mode more than 80% of the time and not stay in that negative mode. That tells me that we need to put the focus on our pleasure state most of the time and to lean out of stress when it happens. Yes, life is full of ups and downs. But even most of those hard times usually turn out for our benefit. It all depends on how we view them, as they may ultimately increase our lives' pleasure. But how do we handle that 20% of the plain hard stuff? If we learn to live in the 80-20 capacity, then we may have the resilience to handle it.
That is why I emphasize self-care so much. Self-care is the top priority for living, not just healing. I can never live my best life without taking good care of myself. Without it I cannot heal the pain I feel as a result of my husband's infidelity. Life is a gift; life is short.
Learning how to reside in feeling good again instead of pain can become our goal. Cultivate your pleasure by starting with what is in front of you now. I am sure you can find something if you relax and breathe. Perhaps something you love is nearby to focus on, or maybe a song you enjoy is playing in your environment inviting you to dance.
Giving something that you like or enjoy your full attention takes your mind off the infidelity pain you don't like. Try doing something right now that makes you feel good. Here are some ideas to bring you into a positive space:
- Drink a glass of cold water
- Slip into more comfortable clothes
- Take a long hot bath or shower
- Massage your hands with a scented lotion
- Step outside for fresh air and sunshine
- Take a walk
- Enjoy a beautiful view
- Create a safe space in your home with your favorite personal belongings
- Call a friend
- Start an easy project
- Make an effort to smile
- Hug a loved one
Initially, it takes effort to find pleasure until we have orientated ourselves to it. Then it becomes a new way of living. Suddenly, you hear the birds singing! The outcome is a resilient life with the capacity to handle the hard stuff when it comes our way.
Pleasure needs to be a part of our life now (at this present moment), as changing our state is the key to healing our pain. It's not the destination of our healing from our pain. It's the state of being that allows us to heal in the present moment.
Finding positive support with other betrayed women
But knowing we have others traveling the same journey makes it bearable. And as we walk together, we share our burdens, and somehow they become less heavy, and we regain our hope. A hope that life can become a safe place, a place we want to be in, a place we want to make the most of and feel pleasure in.
Heal Infidelity With Positive Memories
Feeling happiness is not a reward; it's supposed to be our default mode. If you can't find pleasure in front of you right now, then reflect and find it somewhere in your past. I remember the joy of holding my babies while they slept or when I was nursing them. That remembering fills my heart with warmth.
It takes work to transition from seeing the pain, ruminating on the affair, to reengaging with life again; the life we were created to live by feeling mostly joy, pleasure, relaxation, and peace. While hard at first, it is achievable.
Self-care to Heal from Betrayal Trauma
In the self-care program, the focus is on creating habits that heal while living our lives. It's not about adding more work into our life. It challenges us to focus on what heals and to release what pulls us down. Mainly, it encourages us to reduce our stress while opening our capacity to become more resilient. Resilience is the opposite of trauma.
Tony Robbins says, "Energy flows where attention goes."
Our energy flows to where our attention goes. In other words, what we dwell on or think about is where we focus our effort. It's found in self-care, the filling of our vessels with what we love. It’s us orientating toward pleasure. If you can't find something that feels good, then find something that feels less bad. And find joy in that. Just acknowledge it, and accept it.
Finding Relaxation in New Pleasures
Often when we do something for someone, and they thank us, we can respond with, you're welcome, or it was my pleasure. We feel good when we choose to do something loving or friendly for another person, whether large or small. But only if it's done obligation-free.
When we feel compelled or have to do something, it kills the pleasure of doing it. Maybe that’s why the term "My pleasure" has been ruined with negatives like, "forget it, it's nothing, no problem, no worries, or not at all." Because, yes, doing it was an effort, and maybe it was something worth noting.
I want to encourage you to use the term, "My pleasure." Because if we use these words, I am sure it will change the way we feel about our actions. Try asking yourself, was it really a pleasure? And if it wasn't, then why am I doing it? Or if it was a pleasure, am I taking the time to feel that pleasure?
As betrayed women, we are grieving and healing from a painful trauma. Self-care puts us in control of ourselves, our time, our life. Healing occurs when we are in a relaxed state. And feeling pleasure, mindfully so, is a beautifully relaxed state.
My self-care challenge for you is to find pleasure. If that is just too hard to do on your own, please reach out to me for support. No one deserves to suffer hopelessness alone or to feel isolated, especially after infidelity. Solitary confinement is a cruel form of torture, and being alone with your pain or overwhelm is an unbearable place to live. I know because I have been there. That's why I set up and dedicated my time to creating healing and supportive coaching courses and programs for betrayed wives. No one should ever experience the social rejection of infidelity, swim in those dark cold waters, alone.
If you have been conditioned through being stuck in unhappiness for a prolonged period, remember, our human patterns can change. Sadly, the longer we remain in fear though, the harder it is to find pleasure in life. If you are worried about this, please accept my free offer to talk about it together.
Below is a letter I received this week from a betrayed wife. What a joy it is knowing that my contribution to betrayed wives helps.
I thought you should know that your courses have quite literally changed my life. I have been in therapy for years and the year and a half we've spent together has been far more impactful. I don't know how else to describe it other than... priceless.
You taught me that I am valuable, how to take care of myself (in the self care course) you gave me the tools and questions to question my beliefs (in the happiness course), and to rebuild myself into someone I am very proud of! The mindfulness course has been just what I needed to really be present in my life and blissfully unaware of my problems.
I thought getting divorced was going to be the worst thing possible but it turns out it's what I needed. Now my future is full of hope!
I look forward to more time together.
With love and gratitude,
As I sit here in my little office writing this post to you, hearing the birds waking up and singing, surrounded by my potted plants, with healing music playing, and essential oil diffusing with healing scents, it is my pleasure.
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