Rising from Ashes: Reclaiming Joy and Worth After Infidelity

As your guide and confidante, Life Coach Jen, I open my heart, sharing the tumultuous journey of piecing together a life after the devastation of infidelity. Bobby Joe's email was a mirror to my soul, reflecting the agony of watching an ex start anew with their affair partner. Through my own scars and stories shared by many of you, we traverse the path of reframing the narrative we whisper to ourselves in the lonely hours. This episode peels back the layers of illusion to show that the grass on the other side might be far less green than it seems. We'll walk through the pivotal steps of letting go and relentlessly pursuing our truth, armed with strategies to combat the persistent thoughts of a past that no longer serves us.

Embracing happiness post-betrayal requires a battalion of supporters—friends, coaches, and a community that stands firm with open arms. In this heart-to-heart exchange, I extend my hand to anyone wrestling with the weight of a partner's infidelity, reminding you that their choices reflect their battles, not your worth. Your questions and stories are the lifeblood of our collective healing journey, and it's this shared wisdom that can light the way to the life you've always imagined. As we close this chapter together, I offer you the keys to a new kingdom, one where we rise from the ashes, craft our dreams with fierce intention, and step boldly into a future ripe with joy and boundless opportunity.

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Speaker 1: 0:10
Hi, friends, welcome to Happily Even After. I’m Life Coach Jen, a certified life coach that specializes in relationships. I’m a mom of four awesome kids and one amazing senna, a home decorator, a remodeler, a shopper, a scrabler and a snuggler. I want to help you with your relationships, mainly the relationship you have with yourself and your family and God. Thanks for listening and letting me share the tools I have learned that can help you live happily even after some of life’s greatest challenges. Hey, friends, welcome to today’s podcast. So I’m going to do something a little different that I haven’t done before, but I received an email request from we’re going to call her Bobby Joe, just for privacy reasons, but she emailed me and wanted me to answer her question and so I let her know. Hey, I think I’m going to do a podcast about this because she had some really great questions. So I’m going to read it and then I’m going to answer some of her questions that she asked me. In the email she says thank you so much for sharing your experiences, lessons and insights around infidelity. I’m sure it is helping a lot of people coming out of this, like myself, having heard and read a myriad of resources like podcasts, blogs, books to figure out the why, how, now what, etc. I am doing okay overall. So glad to hear that, bobby Joe.

Speaker 1: 1:40
What bothers me is something that you may have seen unfold after your divorce also Seeing your ex-husband build a life with the affair partner. She says it has been one and a half years. For me since discovery day. I have heard all the theory about letting go, focusing on oneself, forgiveness, acceptance easier said than done, but of course, thoughts ruminate like where is the sense of justice? Why does he get to be happy while I have to rebuild my life again? He will do all the things with her which I always asked for. He’s going to put in all the effort and lessons learned into the new relationship. Will they really work out? Is he happier with her than me? When will karma hit them? Do you have any advice for dealing with this, please? Many things, bobby Joe. So, bobby Joe, thank you so much for sending this email.

Speaker 1: 2:45
I’m just going to start answering a few of your questions. The first one is how to deal with when your ex-husband builds a life with the affair partner. I guess this depends. First of all, I want you to consider and if anyone else has this issue, I do. My situation is different because I actually have never met the woman that my former husband is now married to. I’ve never met her. I’ve never. I might have talked to her one time, I don’t know on a phone call, but I have no interaction with my former husband and his new wife. And so, although I have friends that weekly, when they pass off their kids, do the exchange, they have this experience.

Speaker 1: 3:40
And so, depending on your experience, I think you need to create a story that isn’t the painful story that you’re telling yourself now that you’re believing that their life is happier than your life was. First of all, they were living in a fantasy when they were together because they were married to you and they were living in a fantasy Marriage. Reality in marriage happens quickly, so they’re going to have trash to take out, they’re going to have fights, they’re going to have issues. They aren’t the perfect couple that you’ve made them out to be in your head. And I find, like I even have different names that I call my ex-husband and his spouse, like I just made up a different name, it just takes the edge off. So when you’re thinking about them, it just doesn’t carry so much weight. So, even though the story you’re telling them was that sounds like you’re saying is that you had all these problems in your marriage. Now he met the perfect woman and married her.

Speaker 1: 4:56
First of all, that’s not true, because when a marriage starts out on a foundation of lies and betrayal, there is no foundation, and so I would just recreate, try to recreate your story a little bit and not make it so heavy and so all black and white like they have the most amazing marriage and our marriage exact. Just there were good things and bad things about your marriage and good things and bad things about their marriage. And consider, remember you divorced this person. Whether you wanted to get divorced or not. Do you want to be married to a man that lies and cheats on you? So remember, if I ever go down the hole of, oh my gosh, I wish I was still married to my husband and I can only think that thought, have things that he’s lied to you about or done to you that’s been really hurtful and just remind your brain like, oh yeah, this is why we got divorced. He was lying to me, he was having an affair. So just have little things in your life, on your phone or by your bed in a journal and just pay attention to what story you’re telling yourself.

Speaker 1: 6:15
As far as letting go, I think letting go is a process. It has to be an intentional process. Depending on how long you were married, don’t judge yourself. There isn’t a timeframe that you are probably always sorry to say, always going to have a thought, pop into your head about this person and whether it’s a good thought or a bad thought, but you are going to have a thought. So just train your brain to either give yourself permission to think the thought, write it down. You can question the thought. You can say brain, not today. You could create a time and space.

Speaker 1: 6:58
So I used to have a divorce, like a time to think and ruminate about my divorce, talked about ruminating in here and so allow yourself 15 minutes a day, maybe an hour a day at the beginning. You’re going to block out this time and you’re going to get all your thoughts out, write them down on paper, yell in your pillow, whatever you need to do to just get it out of you. The letting go. It is going to happen gradually and it’s not going to happen like one day you’re holding on tight and the next day you’re letting go. You’re going to like, slowly loosen your grip on the marriage, on the relationship. Find things that you love doing that bring you happiness, because when your brain what I love about my business so much even though I coach women and men on betrayal I am so invested in your story and helping you that I forget about my own story. I don’t not thinking about mine as much. So finding something working out, doing something that you love, can give your brain something else to think about and do, and so those are some tips that I think are helpful.

Speaker 1: 8:17
Focus on you know, taking care of yourself, getting your needs met, which I’ve talked about in many podcasts. Figuring out what your needs are. Figuring out what you love to do. Focus on your kids, if you have kids.

Speaker 1: 8:32
Another one forgiveness you asked about. I think forgiveness has to be intentional and it has to come when you’re ready. I’ve done lots of podcasts on forgiveness. Recently I just decided to text my former husband I forgive you. It was about four sentences long. It wasn’t that I condone or approve of anything that he did to me and all the pain and hurt he caused me, but I decided I’m just going to put it out there in the universe and I am not going to say I totally forgive him, because I don’t, but I am just experimenting with the idea.

Speaker 1: 9:12
What if it’s possible that I can forgive him, and I can in moments. So if you’re ready to go there now, first I think you have to forgive yourself first. You can choose to forgive the other women or whoever else you need to forgive before you focus on forgiving him, especially if you’re not married anymore. Now, if you’re still married, then probably that component is gonna be important for healing your marriage. But you don’t have to say I forgive you and you never talk about it again, or I forgive you and you just aren’t forgiving him. I think important to just in moments can you forgive him. Could you have a little compassion or curiosity of why this happened? If you can’t, you don’t need to do that right now. You’re not ready.

Speaker 1: 10:07
And acceptance I think if you can get to acceptance, this is really gonna help you. But just remember the reality of your situation is whatever it is and write it down. If you need to put it in your phone like what is your reality today and that could change, but really just practicing, because we have to practice all these things to get them inside of us to believe them. Our body has to believe them, our mind has to believe them. So we have to speak them, write them down, consider them, think about them and then eventually you will feel it, you will feel aligned in your mind and body that, oh, I can accept that I’m divorced and whatever your situation is Talked a little bit about rumination.

Speaker 1: 10:55
I think just distracting yourself is good, unless you’re distracting yourself with things that are unhealthy, like drugs or alcohol or pornography. And if you’re doing that, why are you doing that? Because you’re doing it because you don’t wanna feel hurt or some other emotion. And so look at yourself. What do you need to be distracting yourself off? Because whenever my mind goes down a rabbit hole at like one in the morning, or when I’m asleep and I wake up at three in the morning, I can go down a really negative rabbit hole. So be aware of those things and have like, hey, when that starts happening, I’m gonna turn on this show, because watching a show can take your brain out of going down the rabbit hole and kind of give you an escape from that feeling. But it’s a much healthier than going to eat like a whole pint of ice cream or drinking a lot of alcohol and then you can’t wake up and function the next day. So just pay attention to things that are helpful. They’re gonna take the edge off, but they’re not gonna hurt your life even more. I think.

Speaker 1: 12:08
Planning for your future, even if you thought they were gonna be in your future, we all still have a future, but what is yours gonna be? And you get to create whatever future you want with your kids or with your family. The next questions you had were like sense of justice, like this isn’t fair and just remind yourself, like life was never meant to be fair, and how can you make it the fairest you can for yourself? Don’t go into the blaming them, because that’s gonna create shame for you and you’re gonna just go in the circle of blaming them, shaming you, blaming them, shaming you, or blaming you, shaming them, and you’re gonna get stuck, which isn’t gonna be helpful for you to rebuild your future. So, if you can accept what’s going on, realize life is not fair and that’s okay, like it wasn’t meant to be fair, there’s good and bad.

Speaker 1: 13:15
Some people have horrible diseases. You and I had a spouse that was cheating on us. Is that fair? 100% not. Is them getting sick, 100%. Not them losing their home because they lost their job. It’s not fair. So I think getting out of life isn’t supposed to be fair. Can help you A few other ones that you had.

Speaker 1: 13:44
Okay, what if they become the perfect husband because they divorced you? Okay, that’s just a lie. Your brain is trying to tell you no one is perfect they especially if they don’t choose healing from whatever caused. What I’ve learned is when people jump, jump, jump, jump immediately to a new marriage and they don’t heal from the first marriage, they are bringing all the garbage from the first marriage, all the unhealthiness that they brought to the first marriage, into their second marriage. And then there’s gonna be new garbage and then they’re gonna have a lot more garbage. And I know on the outside they’re hiding it, they’re pretending their life is amazing. I guess I don’t know what you’re looking at, but it’s just not true. And so just remind your brain. Like garbage plus garbage does not equal amazing, it equals more garbage.

Speaker 1: 14:43
And if they have social media, try, if you can, do not look at their social media, do not go down that rabbit hole at three in the morning, because you’re just gonna make you feel bad about yourself and there’s no need we’re trying to rebuild your confidence and be so proud of you for getting out of this marriage or from rebuilding a new marriage. Okay, so just watch yourself. Know your weaknesses, know what you easily succumb to. I get it Like I’ve done all the things that you’re not supposed to do and I’ve done them, but remind yourself like that’s unhelpful and that is not gonna help in your healing and karma. We never know. I mean, I totally believe in karma. We don’t know when that person is, what exactly that means, and we may never know if they experience it, but that doesn’t matter.

Speaker 1: 15:44
Instead of focusing so much energy and time thinking about what they’re doing or not doing, why not spend all that energy, bobby Joe, on what you’re doing and not doing, and I promise you’re gonna be so much happier and so much healthier as you continue healing, focusing on them, because I guarantee they’re probably not focusing on you as much as you are to them. I don’t know that, but I’m guessing, because they went off and got married and they’re still living in their fantasy world. So don’t give them your time or brain, energy or anything, because you already gave them a lot, right. Don’t judge yourself. Just regroup.

Speaker 1: 16:31
Every day’s a new day and if you can have a friend, have a coach, have someone that you can vent to, that you can get this out, so that you don’t keep on going back to like, oh, what’s wrong with me, because their affair was not about you, this was about them and what was going on for them, and I promise you can create the most amazing life because you’re gonna have so much more brain, energy, focus to create the life of your dreams. So hopefully that was helpful for Bobby Joe as well as anyone else that struggles with any of these questions. If you’re interested in emailing me and asking me a question, I’d love to answer it either on my podcast or I can send you an email back, but I think it’s helpful when we can all. We’re all in this together and we might all have the same question or different question, but we all can learn from what your problems or concerns are. So I think it’s really helpful.

Speaker 1: 17:37
Thanks again for listening. Have a beautiful rest of your day. If you want to learn how to live happily even after, sign up for my email at hello at lifecoachjenn with one n dot com. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook at happily even after coach. Let’s work together to create your happily even after.

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Hi, I’m Jennifer

I love helping women and men heal from betrayal. I originally started this podcast with my husband and since my divorce I have taken it solo. I love sharing and talking about the 50/50 of life and providing tools to help you along your path to healing.

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