Every betrayed partner I have ever worked with has talked about feeling like a fool when they found out about their significant other’s sexual behavior. Feeling like a fool sprouts from shame. Partners feel their trust in their spouse has been taken advantage of and used to hurt them. They feel shame for trusting someone untrustworthy. They are angry with themselves for giving the benefit of the doubt to someone who did not deserve it. They feel they should have known about the behaviors. They are left unable to trust their partner and unable to trust themselves.
What is happening here is that rather than hold your significant other responsible for the lies and deceit in the relationship, you blame yourself for trusting him or her. When you do this, you are taking the pain of the betrayal and turning it against yourself. You are blaming yourself for what is actually your partner’s responsibility. You are essentially carrying your partner’s shame for him or her.
Here is another option: Hold the betraying partner responsible.
Instead of turning on yourself with your pain and meanly calling yourself a fool, what if you hold your spouse accountable? What if you place the responsibility for the secrets and lies with him or her? Your trust in your partner and hope for the relationship comes from a good part of you. It does not make you foolish to hope for the best from your partner or to give him or her the benefit of the doubt. This kind of goodwill is what makes relationships work well.
Instead of calling yourself a fool, you may need to recognize that you feel sad, hurt, betrayed, or disappointed. Sometimes it is easier to get angry with yourself in order to avoid more difficult feelings that are painful and uncomfortable. However, holding your partner accountable, rather than blaming yourself, is a much kinder way to deal with your feelings of betrayal and it places responsibility for the betrayal in the correct place.