Waiting for direction isn’t easy. When the blackout of betrayal shrouded me, I sat there in the darkness, knowing I had to respond. But how? My initial reaction was strong, as it is for most women. It’s usually based in fear, stemming from varying degrees of pain and anger. We’re afraid of the unknown—what happens next. Doubts about making the right choices leave us confused. Unable to decide which way to go, we move around in a swirl of emotions.
At the moment of blackout, we’re angry at our spouses, at others involved, or at God. The anger then usually morphs into fear. That fear attaches itself to any number of preexisting issues like low self-esteem—“Is there something wrong with me?”—or lack of self-control—“How can I hurt him back?” All these emotions and issues can easily lead the betrayed spouse into rash actions that may cause even more damage to all parties concerned. The extent of ongoing damage seems to depend on our initial reaction, so the goal is to minimize the damage that occurs at the point of blackout.
Photo Credit: Thinkstock/AH86