How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

A painful memory haunts me after 40 years - when I recall

This answer was rated:

A painful memory haunts me after 40 years - when I recall the incident - it hurts like it just happened. I was only 16. I found out my soon to be fiance had a (rigretable) one night stand and I found out about it. The pain/anger was unbearable and I never really had the chance to open up and really express how it hurt me. I was overwhelmed with my feelings but somehow got over it. We were married and have been for 37 years. How do you manage to keep this kind of anger and hurt after so many years? It affects me in very negative ways, my self worth and health are effected by binge eating and I don't know how to control it.
Can anyone help?

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

While it is common to feel some pain about a difficult time, even after many years, feeling deep pain and anger after so long indicates that there is more to what you felt about what happened than just the one incident.

You mentioned binge eating and self worth issues. Along with what you feel about the incident with your then fiancé many years ago, points to something deeper that is bothering you. In situations like this what is usually the cause is childhood trauma or abuse that occurred and was never resolved. The pain from childhood abuse/trauma can greatly affect your self esteem, self worth and ability to recover from painful times in your life. When you are dealing with betrayal, just like you did, the pain can be especially deep.

I can understand your reluctance to consider therapy. However, with the right therapist and support, you can address how your pain and anger and improve how you feel in a short period of time. Consider talking with your doctor about a referral or search on line at By using referrals or screening the therapist ahead of time, you increase your chances of finding someone who can help you work through this.

Also, you can use self help to work on what you feel. By educating yourself about infidelity, betrayal and how to let go of the feelings, you can help yourself move on. Here are some resources to help you (some of these are for during a marriage but the same principles apply):

Not "Just Friends" : Protect Your Relationship from Infidelity and Heal the Trauma of Betrayal by Shirley Glass and Jean Coppock Staeheli

The Anger Trap: Free Yourself from the Frustrations that Sabotage Your Life by Les Carter and Frank Minirth

Emotionally Free : Letting Go of the Past to Live in the Moment by David S. Viscott

I hope this has helped you,

May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you