The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
Elle, so true!! I have seen this somewhere before, but now in the wake of betrayal see the beauty in this. My relationship with my husband is more precious. More importantly my relationship with myself is more precious, as I realize more and more how beautiful I am and that I deserve to be treated with respect and love by myself and others. I will accept no less from those who claim to care about me now. Took me a total break of my heart to realize this. Yes my husband broke my heart with his words and actions. Interesting that when they fix the vase, they do not try to cover the wound, rather you can see the gravity of the hurt being filled by the gold. Thanks for this thought. Jen
Jen,Our culture is so hyper-focussed on perfection and ease that we neglect to respect and even celebrate struggle. I think we'd all be so much better off if we could share in each other's struggles and trust that they would share in our own. In the meantime, however, your point that your relationship with yourself is more precious is something that I, too, treasure. I've come to appreciate myself as much for my "cracks" as for anything else. I no longer demand perfection of myself, or of those around me. I've absolutely come to see the beauty in the cracks.
This is the most beautiful and amazing way to view our broken hearts and souls. After a year of trying to heal, I realize I will never be back to the way I was before Dday but I can be even better. I wish I could pour gold into my cracks and make me instantly whole again :)One day at a time, I am trying to achieve peace and wholeness. Mentally I will imagine the beauty and softness of gold flowing through what broke open and pray to feel whole again soon.This is a good time to tell you all, especially you Elle, how important this board has been to my for the past year. It literally saved me and made me feel understood like no where else did. Thank you to all who share.J.
J,I'm so glad you found us and thrilled that this site has helped you heal. You might be surprised to discover just how much gold is already in you. In my experience, healing seemed to take an eternity and then, on day, I realized that I had come through. I won't ever be that person I was, but, frankly, none of us ever stays the same, no matter what happens to us (or doesn't happen to us). We change, we grow, we struggle, we triumph. That's life. The challenge is to get through the darkness while keeping our hearts open to the light.
how do you mend this broken heart? how long it takes to feel differently, and look at things differently ?
It took WAY longer than I ever thought it would or should. It happened in tiny increments. Days of sobbing and chronic nausea gave way to slivers of hope. Those slivers of hope slowly widened and I had slivers of peace. And ever so slowly I allowed teensy pieces of joy in -- it happened when I was able to be in the moment and stop my mind from obsessing over "what next, what next?". I could enjoy my kids playing. I could enjoy a blue sky, even just for a minute. I could enjoy the comfort in a friend's support. I could bask in my mother's strength. All just briefly, but those brief moments reveal what's possible. I also spend a lot of time healing myself from old stuff -- abandonment issues, insecurity, perfectionism. So that I could get to a place where, while I still wanted my marriage to work, I knew that I would be okay if it didn't.
"Those brief moments reveal what's possible" -- I'm going to write those words down and put them where I'll see them every day. I have been feeling very hopeless and discouraged lately, but these words remind me that I've actually come a long way. Thank you, Elle!
I love this Elle. More importantly it is up to us to fill those cracks with gold. It is up to us to love ourselves and realize our own value to do so. As much as we look to our partner in the end it is we who find our gold to fill those broken pieces in our souls. Thanks for posting this
isnt it funny that the one who cracks us open, breaking our hearts into a million pieces of pain is ultimately the one who must mend it back to health? i find it intriguing.
Wow I needed this! It stops and makes you think about what is really important. I told my husband in a calm rationale voice finally being truthful about our healing. I said I loved him and I wanted to stay married. I also told him if I could not get some type of peace or come to some resolution in my mind then I would have to close the history book on this chapter and begin a new chapter. What I cannot come to grips with is he didn't betray me with one affair but he made a choice 27 times to go to her and he made a minimum screwing 48 times. I saw the first text on December 6th and told him I felt uncomfortable and that he needed to tell her to back off. "Pp bring me some coffee I need some TLC". Like a fool. Well he never stopped never even blinked. He didn't say I think we need to cool it. They planned a lunch meeting that week and he asked her what type of perfume she liked a few days later. I meant nothing to him. I don't know if that can mended with 24k gold.
Lynn,There isn't a woman on this site who can't go back and examine the myriad ways in which her husband made incredibly stupid and devastating choices. But all of us, if we're going to heal from this whether with our spouse or on our own, has to get to a place where we let it go. Where we stop counting the stupid choices and lump it all into one big ball of "WTF was he thinking?"...and then focus on today. Who is he today? What is he doing today? Is he worth my time/effort today? Do I want to be here with him today? That's where we begin rebuilding.
I've read this quote almost daily since everything has happened. I love it. I'm also struggling these past few weeks. I feel stuck. My husband has made wonderful changes within himself and just in everyday life. We've been going to counseling since day 1 but i'm just stuck. I noticed Elle, you said you had comfort from a friend. Did you tell friends or family about the infidelity? How do they treat your husband now? If they didn't accept your husband and marriage would that affect your decision to stay? I've lost friends. They hate my husband and won't talk to me anymore because I'm staying. Its mindblowing. I hate all this. In the grand scheme of things, our life, it seems dumb to not fight and give it all up over (ive posted before) what i like to call an almost one night stand. It went as far as him grabbing a condom from her and going to put it on, but he said his life flashed before his eyes and said he couldn't do it, and thats when he called me and told me. Its been a year and some months..we had some really good weeks and then boom back down and up and down. I babbled on, i'm sorry. Thank you.
This is your site to babble. Please don't apologize for sharing your story.I told very few friends. One friend was quite dismissive and, consequently, hurtful. But there was one woman, not even a close friend but she worked with my husband and his assistant (with whom my husband was having an affair). So when she kept probing about things, I finally caved and told her what I'd found out. Her face was so shocked...and so compassionate. And she became such a pillar of support for me that I never regretted telling her (unfortunately, she discovered for herself just a year or so ago just how devastating betrayal is). Friends who use your husband's behaviour as an excuse to cut you off are quite simply not friends. They are putting their own needs and comfort before yours. How dare they presume to know what the best choice for you is? As sad as it is, they're simply revealing to you who they really are. As for feeling stuck, I think many of us experience that after the dust has settled and the shock has worn off. We're left with...what exactly? Not the marriage we thought we had. Not the life we thought we'd have. We're left with what can feel like a poor imitation. A guy who's cheated on us. A sham of a marriage.Push through that. It's a normal phase. Some call it "the plain of lethal flatness" or "the dead zone". Trust that you've made your choice (which you can always change) for good reasons. Trust that your marriage can become stronger and deeper for the storms it has weathered.And trust that the day will come when you've rebuilt a marriage and a life with intention. Friends will be in your life because they deserve to be there. Your husband will be in your life (or not) because he deserves to be there. One of the upsides of betrayal is that, often, we become so much more discerning about who/what we allow into our lives.Life will always have ups and downs. Nothing is forever, including the pain of betrayal.
After 17 months my pot still has some huge holes of despair in it. But it also is not on the floor in tiny pieces. there are still times when I cant stand to even look at him without feeling that hatred and sorrow, but that then changes to feeling somewhat normal with some hope filtering through. My personal pot at the end of the rainbow may not be full of gold, but strengthened with it... if all there is, is darkness with no light, then it might be time to start afresh, but its those times of hope that keep me going, and when those bad feelings of insecurity and pain return I know they won't last, and that I just have to ride out the storm, and wait for that rainbow
Alias (lovely name :) )Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's typical to go through those wild roller coaster rides of emotions. It will level out. Let yourself feel it all.
"We have two lives. The life we learn with and the life we with after that." Bernard MelamudIt takes years to recover from an affair or learn from it but that isn't to say that there can't be some good times in the midst of the pain. Time does help a lot but I don't think you can ever erase the memories. So many people have said that it is like having a child die. The memory is always with you of the broken marriage but the trick of course is staying in the present. Here I am in the dangerous holiday hell when both affairs began. Keeping busy is the only way through it even 25 yrs later. Wisdom only comes through pain...
Part 1There is something I wanted to share with you all.Last night was the concert for valor, the free concert in DC where Dave grohl (of nirvana and foo fighters and one of my long time personal musical heroes), Bruce Springsteen, the black keys, eminem and others performed to honor our veterans. The day before the show, my SO and I decided that we would go, on a whim, just collect my first paycheck from my new job and take off for a 3 hr drive to DC the next day since I wouldn't have work for a few days this week. Then I was disappointed to get to work that night and see that my paycheck didn't include some of my earliest shifts, so a significant enough portion of the money was missing. So I knew there was no way I could work it out soon enough and I couldn't afford to go with the money I had.Later that night, after I got home, the other woman who I'll kindly refer to as Bitchface to protect her privacy, texted my boyfriend which he promptly informed me. It had been a couple months since she tried to contact him. She said she was going to this free concert where such and such would be playing, and she just thought he'd like to know about it. Ugh. ****ing psycho she is that she still thinks it's appropriate or kind to text the guy she's tried to displace. But anyway, it was nice to know that at least us not being able to go would maintain the miles and miles of distance from her that we've enjoyed. Still, the next day it kind of made me sad that this was one thing she had that I wouldn't have. We ran errands throughout the day and got home in time to watch the live broadcast. I felt a little defeated (and petty, I assure you, knowing that this was about honoring the veterans) hearing john Oliver and other admirable performers thanking everyone (which technically included her) for being there.And then Carrie underwood performed her song "Before he cheats". Not only did I want to burst out laughing (which I had to refrain from as our neighbor stopped by to hang with us briefly), but I didn't even realize the best part of it until Ms Underwood ran through some of her verse lyrics, during which she makes the other woman in the song sound like a total useless twat with no integrity. Bitchface had to sit through that. She was there, and couldn't avoid hearing the role that girls like her play. It was sweet and satisfying.Even satisfying enough that later on, when Boyfriend and I were talking about it and laughing, that I was already content by the time that he got a look of surprise on his face as if he just had the best idea.
Part 2He was like "you should text her! Just make a comment about those lyrics or ask her how she liked that performance, hint at it!" I admit, it was tempting, and it's not as if she didnt deserve to have her night ruined. She is a sociopath who enjoyed trying to ruin my relationship with the person who has enriched my existence and who I love dearly. But I knew she would just text back things that could ruin my night, and it was a door I didn't want to open. He said he could send her a text telling her never to contact him again. This was more tempting. And more scary just for the simple fact that it would be the first time he has said anything to her in months. I hate that she both tried to call and text him that day. I hate that the misery she enabled into my life and his, the damage done by what she encouraged and the disgustingly snarky attitude she had towards me after what SHE did, is completely lost on her to an extent that she feels it is appropriate to call him in hopes of a casual chat with him with me in the next room? How can someone minimize that? This would have been the no contact message he never actually sent. He knew she just wouldn't get it and try to argue, so he simply stopped talking to her, stopped answering the phone/replying to any texts shortly after he made his choice. He ignored her completely and told me about it every time she tried to make contact, so it was good enough for me. As long as she can't poison us from the world she lives in. Anyway, I didn't let him. It is something I would have jumped at months ago, but as there already is no contact, we had had a few drinks at this point and I did not want to let him make that decision right then. I feel like at this point I might have been taking advantage, so truly, I felt better for letting it go.I would have loved to go to that concert, and while the idea of her being there seemed like an injustice to my ego, I was at home, being happy with Boyfriend. She'd still do anything to trade places with me. I'm grateful last night was what it was.Boyfriend was telling our neighbor when he came over that there were 800,000 people at that concert. They both laughed when I corrected him that no, there were 799,999 people and one devil incarnate.
What a great story. And serious karma re. Carrie Underwood, given that's an OLD song. Kinda weird that's the one she chose to sing. VERY smart to not text and open up that door. Keep it firmly closed. Shut her out. Attention, even negative, is like oxygen to these women. Cut off the supply and they'll slowly wither.
I am desperate for some advice. I am 6 months out from DDAY. I recently found out that my husband, who has had no contact with the AP all this time recently called her. I was suspicious and at first he denied it but finally after a lot of probing he told me that he called her. He said that because of the explosion of the way things ended (she called me, we confronted him together, she mostly screamed at him about how he wronged her! and then we left) he was never able to say the things to her that he wanted to say. He said that for the first 5 months he put his own feelings to the side and concentrated on me and making me better. I have been a mess! But he said that he had gotten to the point that he felt like he needed to heal too so he called her. He claims that he just apologized for everything and that they didn't get into anything else. But here's my problem. He didn't tell me he was going to call, and he tried to hide it. Classic affair behavior at which I am extremely paranoid about. He told me that he does miss the friendship they had prior to the affair and that he does enjoy talking to her. I had no idea they were even friends before I found out about the affair. I tried explaining to him how wrong it was for him to contact her and how it scares me that he still has "fond" feelings for this woman who helped destroy me. I kinda get the "he needed to say some things" but I guess I feel that at this point he shouldn't feel like he should owe her anything. I feel like this is opening the door for him to go right back to her. After my first initial discovery that something was going on, he had no contact with her for a month. Then he called and the affair started over again. I'm so afraid this will happen again. Do you think it's normal for him to feel this way? Or should this be a huge red flag to me? He swears he is committed to me but he also didn't disagree when I said that he was drawn to her. I can't go through this again. Please help.
Yes, it's normal for him to feel this way -- he lost what was, to him, a significant relationship. BUT it is NOT okay that he contacted her. No matter what was said, he's sending a message to her that the door is again open. What's more, by doing it behind your back, he's making it clear that his feelings re. closure are more important than your need for safety and healing. He needs to get his head in order. No contact, which is what is required for you two to heal from this, means exactly that. No "just wanted to say bye" texts or calls. No "I want to do this in person" meetings. If he wants to rebuild a marriage with you, then she is OUT and must stay out. Your instincts are right. His behaviour is hurtful for you and damaging to any trust he's trying to rebuild. Plenty of us are attracted to other people who aren't our spouse. But we recognize that as the threat that it is and, if we value our marriage, stay the hell away from that person. He's either in the marriage, which means the OW is persona non grata, or he's out. He doesn't get to have it both ways.
I totally agree. I was getting to a point that I felt more secure than I had since the revelation and now I feel like the carpet has been pulled out from under me again. He can't seem to understand why I am so upset. He thinks that I'm going to regress to the emotional basket case I was until recently. He says that's why he didn't tell me. I just can't understand how he could still have "good" feelings toward her after all the hurt she helped cause. I just don't understand the "mourning" for the friendship. I am so scared of being hurt again and I'm so scared that he will go back to her. I understand that I can't control that and I had gotten to the point that I felt like I was healing. Today I feel like I'm back at day one paranoia. I'm trying to act ok because I don't want to send the message that he can't tell me things because I will break down and then he won't tell me anything anymore. I know he loves me. I just don't understand why this destructive relationship is so damn important to him.
You don't need to understand. That's HIS job to understand why was willing to jeopardize your marriage for this. And if he's not in counselling to figure it out, he should be. Simply know that it's a whole lot less about this OW and a whole lot more about your husband's notions of maturity, loyalty, honesty and his inability to handle life's contradictions.And let's please turn around his notion that he was somehow protecting you by NOT telling you what he was doing. If he truly wanted to protect you and help your healing, he wouldn't have reached out to her. No matter how much he wanted to. Again, that's why he should be in counselling. To understand why he's willing to lie and cheat in order to get what he wants but at YOUR expense.Once he figures it out, he can share it with you. Until then, however, he needs to prioritize your relationship. I hate to sound like a broken record (or a doomsayer) but everything you're feeling is your instincts telling you that you're not safe in this relationship right now. You're not being paranoid. You're not regressing. You're responding to a very real threat right now.As for worrying that he can't tell you things -- if there are things he can't tell you, that's his freaking clue that he shouldn't be doing them. I get impatient with guys who pull the "didn't want to tell you because I knew you'd over-react" bullshit. You're reacting exactly the way any thinking (not to mention already cheated-upon!!) woman would react when her husband is reaching out to someone with a vested interest in ruining her marriage. You're the sane one in this picture. Again, he needs to find a counsellor to help him get clear on his messed up priorities. Or get out of the marriage. I know you're in pain. And I know how horrible it is to feel as though you're always waiting for the other shoe to drop. So establish clear boundaries around what you will and will not put up with. No contact should be an absolute clear boundary. If he violates it, then he accepts the consequences -- whatever you decide those are. There simply can't be this grey area.