The Infidelity Iceberg: Rejection

Affair Rejection: Just Get Over It?

There are few, if any, who have never experienced rejection; it’s something most of us experience from early childhood that continues with us through our advancing years.

Rejection is an every day experience, even when we don’t necessarily register events as rejection. It can be as simple as not being invited for coffee when you expected to be, or not being included on an ‘in-joke’, or someone failing to return your cheery “Good morning!” as they’re going about their day.

It can be as obvious as not getting the job you applied for, or being ‘unfriended’ on Facebook, or yes, being dumped.

We learn to cope with rejection as a result of our daily experiences, and there are times when it’s easy to get past it (who really needed that fancy platinum charge card anyway?) and there are other times when we struggle, but we process and grow, and put things into perspective. We learn that not all rejection is personal, and it’s not always about us because we understand that the person/people who rejected us have their own issues and views and values that took them to their decision.

Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothings others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

~ Don Miguel Ruiz

Breaking Up

Many of us have of course already experienced being dumped in our lifetime, and it can start early.

I remember being dumped by the person I was going to be with for the rest of my life. They left me for the someone with a Parka coat - I was 6. I was alone in the playground, holding their parting gift of a wilting daisy, watching them wave goodbye. I got over it when I realized that a Parka was totally the way to go, and when the bell rang for home time.

Being dumped can feel like the worst rejection because of our investment in the relationship, and how much we opened ourselves up to someone else. The rejection of someone ending a relationship with us isn’t a superficial rejection because of that exposure - it feels entirely personal.

In today’s technological culture, some are being unceremoniously dumped by texts and email. There are even websites that will dump your partner for you. IDump4U will do it on your behalf, and in a quick call explain your reasons, and matter-of-factly dump your partner’s ass. Is this the kindest way of being dumped? No, but it’s honest, direct, to the point and leaves no room for confusion. It’s like ripping off a band-aid … and people move on.

Get Over It

So why is it so difficult to get past an affair if rejection starts early and happens so frequently to most of us?

I’ve heard it levied at those who are struggling to deal with their partner’s affair, to “Stop being a drama queen and get over it”. Sometimes visitors to Infidelity & Affair Help sites and chat rooms like this pop in to say, “Your partner found someone else, deal with it.”

Do they have a point? That depends on your understanding of what the real issue is - it depends on your understanding of what makes an affair so difficult to get past.

Infidelity does not necessarily mean that the cheater had any intentions of ending their primary relationship - ‘recreational affairs’ are quite common. Some affairs eventually become a rather pathetic exit strategy even if that was not the initial intent, and yes, some affairs start out entirely as a rejection of the primary relationship.

Is the difficulty in getting past your partner’s affair actually caused by rejection? It’s part of it, for sure - most of us experience sadness and upset when our relationships end, and it’s far better to be the Dumper than the Dumped as far as self-esteem goes.

Let’s be clear here - struggling to deal with the rejection of infidelity is not primarily about rejection; it’s about infidelity.

It’s About Infidelity

The pain of infidelity and affairs is not something that is present in the normal sphere of romantic rejection. The pain and the struggle is about the insidious misrepresentations, manipulation, lies and deceit, abuse of trust, disregard for health, redirection of financial resources, and in some cases, physical and/or emotional abuse.

Love is a state in which a man sees things most decidedly as they are not.

~Friedrich Nietzsche

It’s learning that the person you thought you were with turned out to be someone entirely unexpected.

Dear to us are those who love us… but dearer are those who reject us as unworthy, for they add another life; they build a heaven before us whereof we had not dreamed, and thereby supply to us new powers out of the recesses of the spirit, and urge us to new and unattempted performances.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

An affair is not an honorable way to end a relationship. It isn’t direct, and honest. It’s shrouded in duplicity and cunning. The secret conduct of an affair requires that the faithful partner is miseld, tricked and flimflammed by someone who they believed they could trust and who had their best interests at heart. It’s not uncommon for the faithful partner to start questioning their own judgement, to feel guilty for thinking ill of the cheater, or to want to be reassured that all is well, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

After an affair is discovered the real pain is betrayal, not rejection. Dealing with the knowledge that the person you trusted most could not only deceive you, but put your health at risk, divert funds to someone outside of the relationship, and all the while convince you that it was all in your head, and then treat you badly for daring to think that way … well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The Infidelity Iceberg: What Lurks Beneath

Infidelity attacks our sense of security and safety in all of our relationships. It leaves us feeling devalued and skeptical about truth, loyalty and guilelessness. Our view of unconditional trust, or love, is shattered.

Affairs scrape away any sense of romanticism about life and leaves us with our eyelids forcibly peeled back to observe the world, with our view bleak and jaded.  We make unfair comparisons between ourselves and the other person. We wonder if our whole relationship was built on a lie, and what other relationships are waiting to fail us.

Cheating leaves us feeling compromised, abused and stupid. Our internal sense of equilibrium is so shaken that we struggle to correctly decode what was reality and and what was us being duped during an affair. We feel unable to rely on our own judgment. We feel used.

In short, infidelity alters our sense of the world, and the place of ourselves, and others, within it.

I’d rather be rejected than used because they both amount to the same thing in the end, but being used takes a lot longer.

~ Marilyn vos Savant

Want to Subscribe to our Daily Snippets?

Get the latest posts and information from Infidelity Help Group - sent directly to your email Inbox.

, , , ,

No comments yet.

You must log in to post a comment.