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How to process feelings from infidelity?

Community Member

Long story short, my ex (separated from my husband a little under 2.5 years ago) & I have kept in contact & tried countless times to rekindle our “marriage” as we do have a 3 year old. Reasons for ultimate separation were emotional, mental, financial and physical abuse from him. We live seperate in different states. On the two times we have tried to give it another shot I always find evidence of third party situations on his end.
I feel I am holding onto these emotions & I’m not sure how to process them. I want to feel these emotions so I can attempt to move forward. How do you process them? It’s a bit like I feel numb, it almost feels like I’m actively avoiding it effortlessly but I’m not trying to, I don’t know if that makes sense but that’s the best I can explain it. It’s resulting in me having very vivid dreams of rage around these situations but in my waking life I can’t even “tackle” it. It feels like a burden and a heavy weight.

3 Replies 3

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear anon43,

A very warm and caring welcome to the forums...

I think you are a very brave person, separating from a emotionally, mentally, financially and physically abusive husband.....In my heart I think you the right thing by taking yourself and your beautiful child away from this type of behaviour and out of harms way into a safer environment...

Sometimes talking to a professional can help with the way your feeling numb...and help you move forward...I know you and your child...deserve to be both safe and happy....

I survived a very abusive marriage of 38 years...my husband passed away nearly 9 years ago....and I struggled with CPTSD full on for the first 5/6 years...maybe you have some PTSD from the abuse you went through...just my thinking....and need some professional help to get through it....

I find at night when I’m in bed trying to sleep, that’s when my mind starts to wander back to where I don’t want it to....I listen to meditation vids and sleep stories now when I go to bed....it takes my thoughts away from unhealthy ones and into what my mind is concentrating on with the meditation and sleep stories...it calms my mind and helps stop those vivid dreams...that I also do at times struggle with...

Please dear anon...,the most important thing is that you be very gentle on yourself and know that you have survived an unhealthy marriage....and now you and your child can start to live in peace and feel safe....

Here sweet lady if you feel to talk..

My kindest thoughts with my care..


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Anon, thanks Grandy for relying.

You are unable to trust this person because you never know what's happening behind your back, even though he may be pretending, how can you believe what's he's saying is the truth, and if any physical abuse does happen, then this just shows you how much he wants to control you.

Once you realise this, then all your thoughts must now be pleased that if this continues you want no part of it, trust is imperative with any relationship and not broken promises.

Best wishes.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi anon143

I feel for you so much as you're trying to make sense of everything, in your attempts to move forward. Btw, as a mum I just have to put it out there - aren't 3 year olds such beautiful people. Don't you just love 'em. While my daughter's now 19 and my son's 16, I still see glimpses of the 3yo in them.

Not sure if it will help but I can relate to the emotional detachment aspect of a relationship. I used to beat myself up something shocking when it came to periods of emotional detachment from my husband, who I'm still with. While I used to ask myself the usual depressing questions 'What's wrong with me? Why can't or don't I feel a connection? Why am I so difficult?' and so on, took years to understand what those periods were really about. Constructively labeling such periods as 'Complete emotional detachment in favour of pure analysis' made a huge difference. With 100% emotional detachment, the question then becomes 'What's being analysed here?'. Some hopefully helpful questions

  • Am I being a reasonable person? Am I able to reason clearly but I'm simply not being listened to and respected? Are my thoughts and feelings being largely ignored?
  • Is the other person's behaviour stressful and/or depressing in some way? Am I naturally detaching from stressful and depressing behaviour so as not to experience emotional exhaustion?
  • If I'm appointing reasonable roles for that other person to fill, such as ones that involve responsibility, compassion, clear honest and open communication etc, are they dis-appointing themself from these roles time and time again, in order to serve themself?
  • Am I angered by the lack of effort on the part of that other person? Do they simply expect me to 'get over' past experiences or how I'm currently feeling things because it's easier for them?

Can be a long list, so I won't go on.

For me, emotional detachment always follows a significant trigger or set of triggers. Wondering if you can relate. Pinpointing the trigger or triggers can be intensely challenging. While a trigger might appear minor, like some tiny almost invisible red flag, when a lot of those tiny red flags begin to line up, all in a row, you can really feel them.

Do you feel he's triggering you but you can't quite pick the trigger/s? Rage is a very telling feeling. You gotta trust it's trying to tell you something, even if it's subconsciously, in your dreams. Trust your feelings. I imagine it was your ability to feel that led you out of the relationship.