Dumped for Another Woman? Take Your Power Back
Being cheating on and dumped for another woman feels like being thrown into a deep black hole with no way out. Even just the thought, “My husband left me for someone else” is a so deflating; crushing – it reeks of “you weren’t good enough. He had to find better and she is.”
But such thoughts aren’t only untrue, there’re BS. Let’s cut through the garbage and look at six ways you can take your power back.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Her
“What’s she got that I don’t have?” It’s totally normal and human to focus on this question – I did the same when I found out about my husband’s mistress. We obsessively find out as much as possible about her — through friends, Facebook, maybe even spying – and we zoom in on her attributes and strengths: she’s prettier, skinner, more successful; she’s so happy, athletic, and has bigger boobs…
But the comparisons and self-torture have to STOP. And yes, it IS a choice you can make. For not only is the obsessing self-destructive and a giant waste of your time and energy, your assumptions about her are wrong. She’s NOT perfect, she has just as many faults and weaknesses as you do, you just don’t know what they are. Moreover, you need to remember that men cheat and abandon their wives for many reasons, many of which have nothing to do with their wives. Lastly, even the most beautiful, smart, talented women in the world get cheated and abandoned – case in point: Sandra Bullock!!!!
Realize that his leaving is about HIM, not you
We women are so quick to point an accusing finger at ourselves and blame ourselves when husbands cheat and leave. Thoughts like “I wasn’t a good wife” and “I drove him to this” see us digging deeper and deeper into that black hole.
But there is no such thing as a “perfect wife” — just as he certainly wasn’t the “perfect husband” either. The difference between you and him, however, is that when it came to dealing with feelings of unhappiness in your relationship, he chose to jump in bed with someone else. He had a hundred other options to choose from beyond cheating, yet he chose the cowardly, deceptive, self-gratifying one.
Think about what his choice says about HIM. It’s time you remind yourself that he didn’t leave you because she’s better and you’re less-than – it’s cause he has issues.
Talk to other women who have survived
When your heart is broken and your life and dreams collapse, it’s natural to feel alone and in despair. This is why it is SO important that you reach out to family and friends who have been in the same shoes as you, yet today are happier, healthier and stronger for it. Believe me, those shoes of yours have been well-worn by millions of women and I know this not just through my own personal experience, but in my coaching practice for divorcing women and men.
Women learn through each other’s stories, good and bad, suffering, loss and triumph. So make those connections and soak up their courage, advice and wisdom.
Reach out online
If you feel too embarrassed or afraid to reach out to people you know, there are a myriad of forums online you can join anonymously to get the support you need. Two that I recommend are First Wives World, which is exclusively for women, and Divorce 360, which is open to men and women. You can use these websites however you need, whether it’s to simply read other people’s stories, ask questions, blog, or find other resources for healing and moving on.
Allow yourself to grieve
For whatever reason, our culture teaches us that feeling crumby and depressed is a “bad” thing and we need to snap out of it as soon as possible. But when a crisis such as yours tears a person’s life to pieces, she SHOULD feel bad. Your job is to accept the pain and allow it to wash over you. It will come and go in waves, carrying different negative emotions and of varying strength and intensity. As time moves on, the waves gradually recede – but time is the necessary ingredient, the saving grace. Recognize that the pain you are in is temporary. You have entered a desolate place, a “wilderness” of sorts that is going to test you to survive, learn, and grow. But you must understand that this is NOT your final destination. There is a bigger picture at work. For now you must surrender. Trust. And hold onto hope.
Work with a divorce coach
In the aftermath of cheating, abandonment, and divorce, you have two options: You can either work through your pain and grow in your capacity to love….or, you can get stuck in the negative emotions and decline in your capacity to love.
In my work as a divorce coach, I see it happen time and time with women: they allow themselves to feel the pain – the jealousy, anger, envy, depression, blame, resentment, anxiety – but they don’t know how to find relief from them. The only way that you can successful rise above these emotions is to transmute them and heal them with love. So make sure you find a coach or therapist who not only specializes in recovery after infidelity and divorce, make sure he/she uses a two prong approach to moving on involving healing the past with love and creating a new future based on action.
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