He's having an affair: how you might feel

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Depression Stress Anxiety
Here are some of the emotions you may be feeling, once you've found out


Shock affects everyone in different ways but it usually makes you feel completely numb, as if you're walking around in a daze. Outwardly, you may seem absolutely fine and your friends may think you're coping very well, but you're not really. Once the numbness wears off you may experience what experts call 'denial.'


This simply means you can't believe what's happened. It's another very common reaction to upsetting news. You tell yourself it can't be true, that your partner must be lying or playing a sick joke. Denial is your mind's way of protecting you from the pain in these early days. It makes you carry on 'as normal' as if the affair never happened.

There's no time limit for the denial stage - it can take hours, days or even weeks - but once it wears off you will probably feel anger.


This is a very healthy reaction. Of course you're angry! But be careful how you deal with the rage building up inside. By all means let him know how you feel, but don't do anything you might regret later, such as fighting in front of the kids or destroying his possessions.
TIP: If you feel the urge to punch him, punch a pillow instead.


Some women don't feel angry at all. Instead, they quickly start blaming themselves, looking for things they said or did that could have 'made him' cheat. 'Wondering "what if" or "if only" is very natural too,' says Paula Hall. "But try not to dwell on it and keep these thoughts in perspective." Remember, he's the one who committed the act - not you.


Panic soon sets in and you start worrying about the future. How will you cope practically and emotionally if your marriage is over? How will you manage for money? What will you tell the kids? These issues will usually become clearer with time and, as tough as it sounds, try not to worry about these too much.

Continued below...


'This reaction takes many women by surprise but is also surprisingly common,' says Paula Hall. 'Some women find their sex drive goes through the roof and their desire for sex with their partner, or with someone else, is suddenly very strong.' Experts believe this desire is simply a basic, human instinct designed to help you keep your mate or to find another one. Don't worry about it. You aren't going mad, but do be careful and always practise safe sex. 

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After my partner suddenly ended our relationship a few months ago, I've been going through all of those stages of bereavment described in this article - shock, denial, terror, guilt, anger... But this is the first time I've seen 'increased libido' mentioned, and what a relief! Recently, my sexual feelings have started to return and have been causing me some distress. In my late 30's, my partner was only the 2nd man I've been sexually compatible with - the first was back in my early 20's, and inbetween were various unsatisfying short-term relationships and a celibate marriage! So, all my sexual feelings revolve around him, what we did together, what we shared, and so are just highlighting what I've lost - I find other men sexually unattractive so can't direct these feelings anywhere else. But, maybe it will help to think of these feelings as just nature's way of making babies - I'm not having sex any more, so nature's giving me a big prod to get him back (even though in reality that's impossible). Well, I don't want babies, so I can tell nature to butt out!

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