Because the aftermath of discovering betrayal can be so emotionally overwhelming, one of the coping behaviors that many partners employ is to block out what they have learned or sweep it under the proverbial rug. This is different from putting aside your thoughts and feelings about what happened in order to pick the kids up from school, grocery shop, or meet a project deadline at work. That is a necessary, good, helpful skill that enables you to continue to function.
I’m talking here about forgetting that your partner is a sex addict or forgetting the behaviors that were disclosed because it feels too daunting to live in that reality.
Tucking away such difficult, painful information is easy to do, and the temptation is oh so understandable. However, if you can be aware of the tendency to do this and try to help yourself stay in reality, you will be better able to take care of and protect yourself appropriately.
When you block out information, you no longer know what you need, what boundaries are appropriate, how to protect yourself or what the best course of action is, because you are operating without being fully present to what is unfolding in your world. It’s like having one of your senses go missing. You can hear but not see, see but not speak. It limits you.
Working to help yourself stay aware of what you know, using your journal to write things down, asking appropriate friends to remind you if they see you forgetting things, talking about what you have found out to help process and digest it – these are all tools that can help you to stay grounded in your reality.