Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Tough Time for the Betrayed

This time of year can be tough for the betrayed. With the holidays – firmly focussed on Rockwellian family expectations – just past and focus on "new beginnings" just...well...beginning, we betrayed can find ourselves drowning in disappointment and terrified of expecting that life will somehow be better in the year to come.
Factor in the usual holiday insanity – too little sleep, too much booze and fat-laden treats, perhaps a maxed-out credit card – and you've got a passport to hell.
But...this is no time to make grand plans. Stick to a day-at-a-time (or minute-at-a-time, if that's all you can manage right now) philosophy and trust that, day by day, the betrayal will fade further in the rear-view mirror allowing you to start facing forward.
There's little I can say when the discovery of betrayal still stings. You're sure no-one has ever hurt like this.
But they have. We have.
And the sting will slowly become a dull ache. Then an ever duller ache. And eventually – honestly! – disappear altogether.
How do I know this? Because my husband and I kicked off 2012 with an argument. About how much I've been doing around the house (and with his toxic family!!) and how little he's helped.
And not ONCE until I began writing this post, did I think about how he'd cheated on me. That used to be top of mind. I would think to myself (and often say out loud to him), "it's not enough that you forgot to take out the garbage but YOU CHEATED ON ME WITH A TOTAL SKANK AND LIED TO ME ABOUT IT!" He couldn't chew his food too loud without me thinking to myself that not only was his chewing annoying BUT HE CHEATED ON ME WITH A TOTAL SKANK AND LIED TO ME ABOUT IT."
See what I mean?
And now...nothing. I was pissed off about him not helping me around the house. I wasn't pissed off that he cheated on my with a skank and lied to me about it. Why? Because it was a long time ago. And he's changed a lot since then. I've changed a lot since then.
So happy new year. Really. It's possible that this will be a happy new year for you. Think of it this way – it probably can't be worse unless you're still putting him with his cheating. In which case, it IS time for grand plans. Tell him the party's over and it's time for him to man up and be an honest husband to you...or get out.
Happy new year. Indeed.


  1. Happy New Year!
    It makes me feel better knowing a time will come when my husband's infidelity will no longer colour every thought.

    I'm just coming up to my 3 year anti-versity (end of Jan) One of the things that really pops up with me this time of year; my husband was working on a contract in another city at the time of the affair. He lied to me about when his contract ended so he could spend the last 2 weeks of Dec (except for Xmas day) with his whore. I still struggle to forgive him for choosing her over his family.

  2. Definitely looking forward to when the realization of the timing of his betrayal does not color my holiday season. This is the first one since I found out and the first one since he stopped talking to HER.


    The EXACT same thing runs through my mind approximately eleven million times a day. It would be nice to not have that mantra running through my brain . . . someday . . .

  4. After a nightmare 2 1/2 years I think things are starting to fade as you describe. I have felt so reassured reading on this website. It is a lifeline in a stormy sea. Thank you.

  5. That's great. Hang on to that awareness that things are better...even if they're only marginally better. The story we tell ourselves can either move us forward...or keep us stuck.
    And thank-YOU! That's exactly why I write this blog. I desperately wanted/needed a lifeline when I was going through the worst. Glad to help you through (and, as you're realizing, you WILL get through).

  6. Yes, it is good to hear that. I'll try to forget about how long it takes. I'm not even a year into it and I can't wait for it to fade or just plain end! I can't help but feeling like I am rewarding my husband by staying with him. He gets to cheat AND keep his family? So I wait for this feeling to go away by doing what you've done. I journal and maintain a site in hopes that my experience can enlighten someone else. My husbands betrayal has hurt like nothing else ever could.

  7. I am also about 2 years out, and in fact my DDay anniversary is coming up soon. Things have faded some and I don't think about the affair all day everyday, anymore. Reading this post has been a huge help, just knowing that others have survived an awful experience like an affair. Your posts and the comments are indeed a lifeline during this time of struggle!

    1. Just found this comment. Sorry I didn't respond!
      Thanks for the kind words. I tried to create the kind of site I wanted when I was going through this. Feel free to share your story or solicit (or offer!) support. Those of us farther down the path can be a wonderful support for those just finding out.

  8. Hi Rae,

    Just visited your great site. This is still really raw for you and I well remember how angry and bitter I was at that point. I honestly couldn't conceive of EVER getting past it. However, time (and a whole lotta therapy) does work its magic. And, as one marriage expert put it, the women who are angry aren't the ones he worries about -- they'll get past it just fine. It's the ones who take responsibility for it that are destined to either stay in a horrible situation or recreate it with someone else.

  9. Yes, thank you Elle. Eventhough you and I are in different places at this point, I do know that you can relate. You've been there and you understand the pain. I guess in time it will change, I just can't help but to wonder if I am doing the right thing FOR ME. I know its the right thing for my husband and kids. Thanks for your great site also.

  10. That answer, too, will come with time. I stayed in the beginning because I didn't want to blow up my kids' lives...and frankly, I didn't have the strength to pack a bag let alone find an apartment, etc. In time, however, and with my husband's relentless determination to get help for himself and to make amends, I've found myself happy to still be here, together with him.
    In the short term, it helped for me to recognize that my pain was the result of trauma – and to treat myself gently. I'm one of those ultra-capable types who always has the answer...and it was hard to barely recognize myself. But I've emerged again, certainly different than I was, but not worse. Easier on myself and those around me. And, as you so perfectly put it on your blog, no longer willing to cheat myself.

  11. Oh I hope it will get better. I am less than a month out of discovery. I found out on Christmas night. I was talking on his phone to his family several time zones away to say merry Christmas and see how the holidays were going. As soon as I hung up, a text popped up from his MOW sexplicitly wishing him a merry Christmas. I had no idea. We had guests staying with us, 2 beautiful tired boys to put to bed, and I was speechless. I agonize now at the thought of another Christmas. I believe they are no contact. He is shocked and remorseful. Surprised at how hard it is on him. Hello. She is married. This is not her first affair during marriage. And a kicker is that she sent my boys gifts over the course of the affair. And dutiful mama that I am - they wrote her thank you notes. I sure threw away the one from this year though. She was on our christmas card list She knows so much more about my family and private life than she should. I had no idea.

  12. It will get better, I can guarantee it. But first, you've got a lot to wade through. Your emotions likely are (and will continue to be for a while) all over the map – you love him, you hate him, you're depressed, angry, numb... You need to know, as much as it's possible to "know", that there truly is no contact if you're even to consider keeping your marriage together. Three people is one too many. (This also means, hard as it is, that you need to put her out of your life and mind as much as possible. Yes, she's a lonely skank...but ultimately she was simply a person of "opportunity." If it hadn't been her, it could easily have been someone else.)
    Your husband needs to be transparent about where he is, who he's with, when he'll be home. He needs to available 24/7 so that you can slowly learn that his word is worth something.
    And your job is to keep your own head above water and look after your kids who will have likely picked up on the anxiety/fear/pain you're feeling (and your husband is feeling too).
    Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, lean on your husband as much as you can, talk as much as you need to (though be careful about asking for details that serve no purpose other than to hurt you further) and find support – whether friends, family, counsellors. Being betrayed is a lonely thing and it helps to have support, including from those of us who've been there.
    I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. But you will get through.

    1. Thanks, Elle. It's a club I wouldn't have joined. That is how we all feel. Thnks for the support. I think no contact is going along. It is impossible for them to see each other without me knowing. Geography is working in my favor. She did reach him at his work on week 2. He stressed no contact. And immediatey reported the call and its content. I am monitoring smart phones; he has work and personal. And as much as I monitoring email. I can't easily access his work email. He is being transparent and remorseful. My boys picked up on tension over holidays but thought mommy was sick. Now that they are back in school I am getting better at scheduling grieving and compartmentalizing. It is great to read stories and histories of other people who have survived.

  13. That's exactly what I did -- schedule my breakdowns for when the kids were at school. Bizarre how good I got at compartmentalizing (though there were a couple of weekends in there that I, truly, thought I would lose my mind waiting for Monday morning).
    Sounds like you've got this as much under control as possible. Just be sure to allow yourself space (and support) to break down. Trying to do damage control within your own marriage is exhausting...and ultimately a losing proposition. Slowly you'll have to loosen your grip and trust. And that's scary. So, please, the best advice I can offer is to take care of yourself -- sleep as much as possible, eat well, avoid stuff that messes you up (alcohol, drugs, toxic people) and take nourishment from what feeds your soul (friends, family, kids, exercise, a hobby). This, of course, is good advice under any circumstances but particularly in the midst of a crisis.
    And yes, keep reading stories as long as they keep you strong. It's why I started this site -- to offer (and receive!!) support from the only people who truly know what this feels like.



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