If Amy Koko’s new book, “There’s Been a Change of Plans” is even remotely like the blog post she wrote below, I cannot wait to dive into it! Amy’s pain and anguish in coping with her cheating spouse is so blatant, the story immensely captivating as her emotions truly pour onto the paper. In the guest post below, Koko talks about the day her now ex-husband told her he was cheating.
What To Do When Your Spouse Has An Affair by Amy Koko
Maybe you had an inkling, a gnawing question in the back of your brain that you chose to ignore because, well, if you stopped and looked at it, pain would ensue,unbearable pain in fact, and really, who needs THAT? So, you load the kids up for carpool, stop at Fresh Market for the chimichurri salmon he loves and keep on trucking.
More and more, he is not there for the salmon because there is something “going on at
the office.” (YOU GOT THAT RIGHT.) You begin to notice he doesn’t come to bed until you have fallen asleep, which in some ways is kind of nice when you have a whole new season of Downton Abbey, calling your name.
But then, there are cold silences, weird absences, mean comments about how you look, (“THAT’S what you’re wearing?!”) and still you forge ahead. And then one day, he will come to you and say “We have to talk,” and you will know, THIS IS IT…CANCER. And as he leads you to the patio lounge chairs, away from the kids and the dog and the laundry room, you begin thinking of who can stay with the kids during the surgery and he sits you down and you think “I will be brave for him. I will not fall apart,” and then he takes your hand, looks you in the eye and says, “I’m having an affair.”
For a moment you will think, “What? Who is he talking to?” and then you look around andsee you are the only one out there. You have to face it, your husband has been with someone else. He is telling you this because he is torn. Life as you know it, has just come to an end.
For me, it was a pain so gut wrenching, so unbelievably unreal in its intensity that I felt I
might pass out right there. But there it was, and now, there was no hiding from it. We all
deal with it in our own ways. I made many mistakes and wish I had done things
differently. We are all different, our relationships are different, and even the affairs are
different. Perhaps it’s a one time thing, a flash in the pan, maybe it went on for awhile
but now is quite over. For me, it ended in my divorce and his remarriage to the OTHER
WOMAN. I am offering advice based on MY experience, if it helps I am so glad. If it
doesn’t do what YOU need to do to survive and carry on.
1. DON’T IGNORE IT! He may say it’s over and cry tears of sorrow, ask for forgiveness
and let’s just move on. If that’s the case, you can decide to forgive him but trust me
when I tell you, you will never forget. Feel the pain, and make sure he knows the pain
you are in. If he is serious about your marriage he will help you through it every step of
2. DON’T DO ANYTHING DRASTIC! You know, like get a facelift or something. When I
found out about my husband’s betrayal, that was my first stop, the plastic surgeon. One
mid-facelift and 9 months later, my husband left for good with the OW. I no longer had
staples in my head but still, you know…OUCH.
3. DO LOOK FOR SUPPORT! There are all forms of support out there, and find one
that works for you. Perhaps you have a friend who has been through this and
weathered the storm. There are books out there (mine included) that help you realize
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I turned to a counselor who helped me to see that it wasn’t my
hair, or my age or the little lines around my eyes that caused him to seek attention
elsewhere. (Unfortunately that was AFTER the facelift.)
4. DO PUT YOURSELF FIRST If you need time to heal, ask him to leave for awhile.
Being alone first off, can bring you clarity and give you time to come to terms with your
feelings. The other thing it does is helps you face your fear. For me I could not imagine
how I would cope being alone. Turns out, I began to relish my alone time and learned I
was strong and could take care of myself after all.
5. DO TAKE YOUR TIME MAKING DECISIONS.I believe marriage can survive adultery IF the offender is committed to restarting the marriage. That means he is there for you, will hold you when you have a painful moment, will show you every day and in every way that the affair is over, and it is YOU he loves. However, YOU have to decide if it is something you can live with. Take your time deciding and don’t make hasty decisions based on fear. You are strong, you are capable, YOU decide how you want your life to be from here. Dig deep! It is in you.
Amy Koko is a Transitional Midlife Coach for Women and the founder of her practice, Ex Wife New Life Coaching Services. Koko is also the author of her new book, “There’s Been a Change of Plans.” To learn more and to buy the book, visit Amazon.