Going through an affair is an emotionally excruciating experience that can leave you feeling broken and changed. This traumatic experience can trigger you to experience anxiety you have never felt before. Even if you were never affected by anxiety or depression in the past, you may feel rife with it now.
This can add unnecessary tension, sadness, and fear to an already terrible situation. So, what are the symptoms of emotional anxiety and how can you cope with them?
The good news is that experiencing anxiety after a husband’s affair is extremely common. Infidelity not only takes away your trust, but it also leads to emotional and physical insecurities and thoughts about how much of your relationship was really real all along.
Here are the signs of anxiety and what you can do to get over anxiety after your husband’s affair.
Signs of anxiety after husband’s affair
Everybody experiences anxiety at some point in life. But anxiety disorders are much different than common stress resulting from work, finances, and relationships. If the anxiety you are experiencing after your husband’s affair has left you feeling crippled, you may be experiencing the following symptoms:
Feeling short of breath
Antsy feelings or the inability to keep still
Nausea and Dizziness
Feelings of unease, panic, and undue fear
Emotional anxiety is commonly triggered by environmental stress and changes inside the brain. This happens when under extreme emotional duress, such as the emotional effects of your husband’s affair. Anxiety after being cheated on can be more damaging than you think.
The question that keeps coming to your mind is how to cope with anxiety?
There is a myriad of psychiatric research that strongly associates post-infidelity anxiety as a branch of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Post infidelity stress disorder symptoms are similar to the symptoms when someone experiences a life-threatening event such as sexual assault, war, or a physical attack.
Anxiety after a husband’s affair can be an emotional side-effect of the traumatic episode. You need to learn how to deal with triggers from infidelity and how to get past infidelity.
What to do after your husband cheats to manage your anxiety? Here are some suggestions for coping with a cheating husband experience.
Give yourself peace about where your relationship is going
After some time has passed and the anxiety after your husband’s affair has subsided, you can give yourself some peace of mind by deciding the fate of your relationship from this point on. Sometimes working through infidelity can bring up more painful memories than ending the relationship altogether.
Anger, resentment, and panic attacks may plague you as you look back on every memory and wonder if something deceitful was happening behind your back.
On the other hand, working through infidelity can be possible when anxiety after a husband’s affair no longer impacts the couple. In fact, many couples report a stronger, more communicative, happier marriage after working through their troubles.
The choice is yours. Do you want to end your relationship or seek counseling and work through infidelity? Decide what is best for you and your family in this situation.
Gather a solid support system
If you are experiencing anxiety after infidelity and thinking how to get over your husband’s affair, you’re going to need a strong support system to help you during the dark days. Gather trusted friends and family and connect.
Connecting with others and having someone who cares listen to your problems can be incredibly therapeutic and can help soothe the anxiety after a husband’s affair.
Give yourself time to process
How can you overcome an affair? If you have just found out about your husband’s affair, the smartest thing you can do is give yourself time to grieve. When thinking of how to cope with an affair, you may consider this as grave as the death of a person.
Even if you choose to try and work on the relationship, your brain may still experience a loss that is sometimes mentally compared to death. This may be the end of your old relationship, and it’s perfectly acceptable to take time to grieve. Anxiety after a husband’s affair is difficult to overcome and often takes time to process and heal.
Create a routine and stick to it
If your husband had an affair, your whole life has probably just turned upside down. This is made all the more complicated if you have children together.
How do you get past an affair?
While it’s important to wallow and grieve your relationship, it’s just as important to maintain a routine and stick to it to cope with the anxiety after a husband’s affair. A routine will help keep your life in order at a time where everything else seems chaotic. Take comfort in your everyday habits.
The troublesome thing about anxiety is that while it takes just one action to bring it into your life, it can take forever to get rid of. Emotional anxiety after your husband’s affair could plague you, annoy you, upset you, and you may hate it. Overcoming emotional trauma of adultery takes time.
But, this too shall pass. So be patient. Anxiety after a husband’s affair is not going to stay with you forever.
Sleep, eat and move
When you are experiencing anxiety and depression it’s important to focus on the three basics: sleeping, eating, and exercising. For surviving emotional affairs, you must try and get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
Sleep is the time where your body is able to relax and recharge – two actions it will desperately need if your brain has been wracking your mind, body, and soul with anxiety after a husband’s affair.
It’s also important to continue to eat. Many find that their body shuts down during the depression and the brain will stop signaling the rest of the body to eat. Continue eating three meals a day to keep your body strong for the process ahead. This is an important tip on how to cope with a cheating husband.
Lastly, exercise. It may not sound like the first thing you want to do after experiencing emotional trauma when thinking about overcoming an affair, but it’s good for your body.
Exercising releases feel-good endorphins, improves mood and mental health, relaxes your mind, reduces anxiety, and combats depression. Not to mention you’ll look amazing.
Practice true relaxation. For dealing with a cheating spouse, it is important you don’t get the grief and anger get the best of you. Relaxing can soothe you.
Focus on the good things
Discovering your husband’s affair can be devastating. No one will argue that your life is going to change, whether you are still with your husband or not. But, you can’t stay like this forever.
You need to breathe and reboot. Help combat emotional anxiety by focusing on the good things in your life. Your health, the friends and family who love you, the God you believe in, and the little things in life that make you happy. Allow yourself the chance to dream about your future again and imagine only the best possible scenarios.
Dealing with anxiety after your husband’s affair may last you a month or it may go on for years. No matter where your journey takes you, knowing how to deal with anxiety now will help you get a firm hold of your life so you can start living it again.
If you still want to give another chance to your relationship and are wondering how to work through an affair, there are useful resources that can guide you. But before any of that, you need to heal yourself first.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.