Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

There’s an expression in the Alzheimer’s community, “You lose the person you love twice: Once while they are still living and again when they pass on.”

I remember watching my mother suffer throughout this ugly disease. To the world, it appeared I still had my mother but I had grieved her long before she passed and then again as the aforementioned thought appropriately conveys. Only those who have lost a loved one to dementia understand the compounded anguish.

Divorce is a severe loss and therefore, its companion is profound grief. 

The easiest of divorces can prove devastating to both the individual who initiated it and to the one who resisted it.

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Add an affair on top of that and the brutality of emotional upheaval cannot easily be expressed let alone processed. 

Even in a typical divorce, there is often a sense of betrayal. After all, you both once stood before God and family, and friends and declared a lifetime devotion to each other. The individual walking away from this commitment promotes a feeling of betrayal…to the love, to the friendship, and the marriage.

An affair is the most egregious betrayal of love. It also presents compounded grief.

There is an enormous sense of loss not just once but twice.

The first loss is coming to terms with the affair itself. The loss of the marriage and relationship as it was. The sense of being married to a stranger and the troubling questions: How could you do this? Why would you do this? Do I really know you? Don’t you love me?

An individual who has been cheated on is dogged by a perpetual reel of questions. Ultimately, for many, ending in the realization the person they once loved no longer exists. 

The second loss arrives when the marriage ends. 

In the Alzheimer’s community, there is comfort sharing its trademark expression. It’s a silent nod to the others who have lost one precious person twice in their lives.

Sadly, the affair community fits a similar profile: You lose the person you love twice: Once while you are still married and again when you move on towards divorce.

One precious person lost twice in your life.

 

(Photos courtesy of Pexels)

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