The end of any marriage is likely to be painful, but when your spouse has had an affair, it can be devastating. Once the divorce is finally over, you hope to be able to begin recovering so you can move on with your life. However, hearing that your ex is marrying his or her affair partner can feel like a new betrayal and send you right back to square one. Additionally, if you have children together, you are going to have to manage your feelings about the situation while considering their well-being. Although dealing with this situation can reopen old wounds and create challenges, there are ways you can get back on track with your healing process.
Be Patient with Yourself
Often when people go through a divorce, they put pressure on themselves to be done with their emotions quickly. It’s important to address legalities regarding family law and child custody, but it’s also important to focus on your own emotions. Just because the paperwork is complete and the divorce is final, it does not mean you have to be finished with how you feel. You have experienced a loss, and it will take time to process your emotions. When your ex decides to marry the person he or she cheated on you with, it’s understandably going to bring up painful memories and thoughts about how the infidelity impacted your life. A good place to begin is by not being hard on yourself. This is a time to seek support from good friends or a skilled therapist. Having the insight of others can be validating and help you maintain perspective.
Make a Shift in Your Thinking
When negative thoughts and emotions about your ex and the new spouse come up, it can be easy to dwell on them. If you find that you are spending a lot of time talking or thinking about this situation in a non-productive way, you may need to make a shift. When you notice you have reached a harmful place, it can help to have ways to reset. You could take a walk, read a book, meditate, or choose another activity you find soothing and can take you away from your thoughts for a moment. Another way to keep from perseverating is by not visiting your ex’s and his or her new partner’s social media sites unless absolutely necessary. You could also redirect conversations with friends and family about the subject when it is uncomfortable for you.
Talking and Not Talking with Your Kids
When you have children with an ex, usually you can’t simply cut ties and never see one another again after your divorce. Like it or not, you will have to talk to and be around one another while the children are growing up and beyond. It will only be hurtful to them if you, your ex, and your ex’s new spouse cannot be civil to one another. Depending on their ages, your kids are probably going to have difficult emotions and questions about the situation. Be careful how much you say about your own feelings. They are looking to you for guidance in a very confusing situation. If you make bitter and angry comments, it could create feelings of divided loyalty and anxiety.
Of course, you should listen and support your kids but be careful not to allow the conversation to become destructive and unhealthy.
No matter how you look at it, having your ex marry the person he or she committed infidelity with is hurtful. However, there are ways to manage your emotions and grow beyond this pain. Attorney Karyn Youso has extensive experience assisting clients during and after divorce and can help you take a “first look” at your circumstances and connect with therapeutic resources that may be of help.