Friday, April 17, 2015

For you all...



29 comments:

  1. Can I just say that the number of new members posting here takes my breath away. It breaks my heart to see so much unnecessary pain caused by people who are too selfish to just speak up when their marriage isn't meeting up to their expectations, or when they need a self esteem boost. There truly is an epidemic of greedy, selfish, entitled assholes making thoughless decisions, and the numbers keep growing. Where did the honor and integrity go?

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    1. Random,
      I don't subscribe to a "good ol' days" mindset (have you watched Mad Men??). There have always been people who behaved with integrity and those who didn't. I think we have the women's movement for the freedom women now have to leave. We're less likely to be financially dependent on a man or to have the same stigma if we choose to leave (in fact, Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity, recently said about infidelity that it used to be people who divorced felt shame, now it's people who stay with a partner who's been unfaithful when they could leave). What has changed statistically is the number of women who cheat on their husbands.
      I guess this is a long way of saying that I think there's something to our hyper-sexualized culture creating an atmosphere of permission. But I think that, for time immemorial, there have been cheaters. Women just knew about it less or, if they did, had little option but to live with it.

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    2. SilentScream (former Terry Telephone)April 21, 2015 at 1:06 PM

      random,

      Sadly for many of the "cheaters" there never was any honor or integrity. Many of the "cheaters" had fathers, grandfathers, uncles and brothers (and sadly some mothers, et al..) who were not faithful partners. These men grew up to become dishonest partners because that is exactly how they were taught people should act and there were NO consequences.

      In my grandmother's time women took to the streets because they wanted to vote. In my generation we burned our bras because we wanted freedom and equality. Way too many women and men think that the freedom and equality we marched for meant sleeping around and that is ABSOLUTELY NOT what it meant.

      I think it is high time women take to the streets to demand honesty and integrity in our relationships. The next therapist who tells a betrayed woman that she should pull herself together and move forward because "men will be men" - should be stripped of their license just as a cardiologist who says "oh, it is just heartburn" would be after telling that to someone with severe chest pain!!!!!!!!!!!!

      There is Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, bla-bla-bla Anonymous -- WHY IS THERE NO BETRAYED WIFE ANON ???? I'll tell you why -- WE have not started it yet. A safe place to go and just talk and vent and yes yell and curse if needed. No 12 steps just US meeting and supporting each other.

      A thought.....
      Yes, I know "you" want to kill him. I know why you do not kill him. Jail, the kids, his Mom, the dog and the cat like him. You still love him....

      It is OK - I'm there with all of you....

      (((((HUGS)))))

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    3. There is betrayed spouse anon. It is called BAN-beyond affairs network. If there isnt a group near you, you can start one like I did in the Bay Area.

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    4. Anon,

      Thank you!! I am going to find it if it is here and if it is not here I am going to start one!! ASAP!!

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  2. It went out the door when people quit thinking we and only think of "me".... But to be honest in order to truly love, respect and cherish,with real loyalty and trust, we have to give more than we take. When I say give I mean respectful conversations that voice even when we are unhappy. Also, that includes saying to the person your important to me no matter what. "You are important" yeah if I had said that and " respect me and I will respect you". My life would have changed years ago, but I cowered. My strength came after I learned to deal with the overwhelming hurt, but trust me I don't accept mediocre, and I don't dish out mediocre. We are now learning respect, trust and loyalty at a whole new level. I'm way stronger now.... So I'm grateful for the change through the pain even if I never wanted the pain. It changed so many aspects of who I am fit the better. I'm a no nonsense girl now full of integrity and strength. Love you girls - Ann from Texas

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    1. Ann from Texas,
      I think it's tempting to think that if we had made our boundaries clearer then it wouldn't have happened. Or if we'd had "that" conversation. I did have "that" conversation. When my H and I were talking about having a baby, I said that I didn't want to have a child unless we were both totally committed to ensuring that -- no matter what -- our marriage was secure. Oh yeah, he said. "Even if we're ever tempted, we talk about it, we don't mess it up," I said. Oh yeah, he said. Well...we know how that turned out.
      Some people just need to a serious smack-down to face their issues. Others just never do, they keep running.
      Frankly I'd rather be in the first camp then the second.

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  3. random thoughts- I have been thinking the exact thing for some time now. What has happened in our society? Where is the integrity and honesty? Why are people so selfish that its okay for them to destroy the person they say to love the most so easily? Why are so many people acting so selfishly and not thinking of consequences until its too late. What is wrong with people today?

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    1. I maintain that we live in a culture where the true impact of affairs isn't understood. And I think that as long as we subscribe to this cultural belief that "boys will be boys", that nobody will ever know, that affairs are about great sex with someone who isn't a nagging bitch like the wife...then they will continue to flourish. Look at Ashley Madison, the cheating site with the tagline, "Life's short, have an affair" and with a CEO who argues that he's saving marriages by providing partners with an outlet for their lust. It's insanity. I would love him to honestly address a betrayed wife who's devastated by her husband's affair. He has admitted that he'd be hurt if his wife cheated. But that his marriage is a "good" one so that won't happen. I'll go short of actually wishing such pain on him because that would be bad karma. ;)

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    2. Elle,

      I so agree with you about the culture and the common myths that continue about boys will be boys. Look at high school today, the movies, and music that teens and younger kids are saturated with. What's the common theme? Go to parties, get drunk, and hook up. No big deal and move on. Heck, middle school kids are doing blow jobs on the bus. How sad is this?! My daughter is a school psych and does an after school program for elem girls called " Girls on the Run" that's spreading across the U.S. To help empower girls. More programs to build self esteem in girls and boys about self respect are certainly needed but we all know it starts with a loving family. This is where the pain comes from. Children searching for love cause their families are broken. When I read so many sad stories here on your incredible site, all I can feel is sadness for the children caught in their parents mess. Thanks for all the great counsel you give.

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    3. Hi pilots wife, I agree we need to teach our children about loving themselves and others. We also need to make them aware of today's issues, it's a big tough old world out there and the more they know how to deal with certain issues the better.
      Children do unfortunately get caught up in the web of affairs even when parents decide to work things out it's still a long road of working things out and outbreaks will sometimes be made in front of the kids. I've learnt to try my best to control myself and wait till the kids are out the way but it's not always possible. Our children will experience problems in their own marriage no doubt and seeing their parents working through a marriage will hopefully help them. Here's to all the ma ma's out there, lots a love : )

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    4. Hi Sam A,

      I agree that children need to be aware of the tough old world but that it should be guided by what's appropriate for their age. And I'm a strong supporter of the necessary shots that can prevent some types of HPV. That gets the conversation going about protecting your body in sexual experiences. But I'm always going to be against losing control, loud voices, and any physical arguments. That's my bent because I grew up in domestic violence with a mentally ill father. We try to teach children in a classroom to work things out with words. How can teachers do that if the home is not? And there really aren't words to describe the terror a child feels when he sees his parents fighting. He feels it's his fault. Maybe if I'm " good" my parents will love each other, I will feel safe, and Co- Dependency is born. That is a pattern that is hard to break.

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  4. Elle, thank you so much for your encouragement about a month ago. That week I heard from you and 2 other people to stick up for myself and have some more boundaries. I didn't need to go back to counseling. I was just very clear with him what I was okay with and things started changing. He no longer talks to her and we are growing a much better relationship than we've had for 20 years. I started reading a book called Boundaries, and I continue to get stronger every day.

    This quote is so true. I have been strong in every area of my life except with my dh. Now because of all of this, I am strong there too now. He actually respects me more and is finally realizing where he has gone wrong in our long past.

    I have always said, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." :-)

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  5. SilentScream (former Terry Telephone)April 22, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    Hello all,

    There are times when genius - TRUE GENIUS - must be shared !!

    Elle posted this some time ago. I just discovered it and I LOVE it so being me I wanted to share.

    http://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.com/2014/03/after-his-affair-you-must-acknowledge.html

    After you read it go to a window, open it and shout to the world, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!!" (whispering is OK -but- make it a forceful whisper)

    ((((HUGS))))

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  6. I'm so tired of being strong, taking the high road, fighting to let go of the psych kindergarten teacher who my husband sought comfort with for 2.5 years. My heart aches to feel something other than pain today. I delight in the thought she was left with absolutely nothing. It makes me feel good but not strong. i just want some peace. I want some relief but I have no hope it will ever come except for brief moments. I'm tired of being the strong one for my kids, my husband and myself. I want to get in my car and just drive away. No one deserves this, it is not right. I only thought I was strong but I'm really not only on the outside not on the inside. I'm just plan tired. I cannot get through a weekend without medication that is not strong. I'm so tired.

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    1. Lynn Pain,

      I walk with a walking stick (cane) now. The cane helps me and keeps me strong enough to walk. Your medication keeps you strong. Your medication is your walking stick. When you get back ALL of your strength when it comes back in all it's brand new glory - you will toss that medication away and be STRONGER. You are STRONG. You are not weak. You will get STRONGER!!

      Take some time for yourself. Get in the car and drive to the library or to the movie.. Take YOURSELF out for a burger or a cup of coffee that someone else makes for you. Do not take the kids because this outing is for you.

      Do you have a peer counselor yet?? Call the Infidelity Counseling Network and see if you can get a phone counselor. They are not therapist they are just women you talk to. Women who have survived this madness. Yes, talk. Just simply talk. Talk for free...

      Link:: http://www.infidelitycounselingnetwork.org/counselor.html

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  7. PTSD ?? Nope! PBSD !! What in the world is that?? It is "betrayal trauma" better known as Post Betrayal Stress Disorder. Let us call it what it is. No more hiding behind pretty words. "cheating" and "infidelity" are what we call "IT". Hell no! It is TRAUMA folks -- pure and unadulterated TRAUMA. Betrayal trauma to be exact.

    If our arm was BROKEN no doctor in the world would look at the x-ray and tell us "it is just a simple sprain" -- NO -- the doctor would say - that arm is BROKEN and must be cast or perhaps even cut open and metal plates inserted to help the bone heal properly.

    We have been traumatized. We have been violated. Yes, we have been abused psychologically. Betrayal is an insult and an injury to our psyche. In 'betrayal trauma' our psyche has been broken and it hurts like hell just like a broken arm or leg would hurt - or worse.

    However we start and wherever we start - slowly but surely this injury WILL heal. It will take lots and lots of work and each of us will do this work differently. Each injury will heal differently.

    I've got to believe this or else I will literally go nuts.

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    1. Silent Scream,

      You're absolutely right. Language is powerful. Call someone a cuckold spouse is more hurtful than betrayed wife, isn't it? And what about the idea of this experience being labeled sexual trauma because that's at the core for some of us. I've been trying to find if sexual affairs can be thought of as rape. That's what it felt like to me. In no way ever did I agree to be a " swinger". My body was thrown into a cesspool of germs against my permission. That's why the shadows of my husband's affairs still follow us.

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  8. Silent Scream this is exactly why I personally know I would never have been able to recover without therapy. I sure could not set a broken bone and I had no idea how to repair a shattered heart. you go girl.

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  9. Pilots wife,

    Indeed sexual trauma is at the core for many of us. Many of us have been spared the "infections" that many times accompany betrayal and sexual trauma. Modern medicine has given us the ability to go to a doctor or clinic and "clean up" the filth that our husbands/partners have "gifted" us with. A gift we never ever asked for and absolutely never expected to receive. Some of this filth can be removed from our unsuspecting bodies. Most people believe that as long as they practice "safer" sex (condoms) they will not get infected. Well folks, HPV can be spread skin to skin - and syphilis can be spread even if the man has condom in place -- if the sore is present and is not covered by the condom. There is NO 'safe' sex -- only safer sex.

    The diseases HIV/AIDS and HPV can never - ever be removed. There are medications for treating gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, chlamydia, non-gonococcal urethritis and others. HIV/AIDS and HPV however can not be cured. There is also herpes and hepatitis to be concerned with. There are others.

    Cesspool is one of the best words to describe what our betrayers 'gift' us with. What type trauma your betrayer was involved in should not matter when it comes to getting yourself and the betrayer tested. Emotional betrayal, at times, is found to have been actual physical (sex) betrayal. Get tested folks, get tested.

    I've not found any research on sexual betrayal being classified or thought of as rape but an article I read a few weeks ago classified relationship betrayal as abuse - and after I read the article I agree -- it is abuse. Rape is severe abuse. My partner's 5+ year affair with one woman and his other affairs during that same time with different women -- was in my mind severe abuse.

    This is a long and very detailed article. If anyone is interested in reading this article the link is:

    http://www.healingafteraffairs-bloomington.info/infidelity/trauma-of-infidelity.html

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  10. To pilots wife:

    Thank u so much for the above link. Just when I thought I had read everything meaningful about infidelity. This article was long but great. It covered everything really well. I'm actually crying right now because whoever wrote that article really gets it. I'm going to print it up later & reread in its entirety. The advice in healing and self identity issues are most applicable to me right now since I'm 1 1/2 years out and beyond the crisis stage. I think this article would be helpful to women in earlier stages as well. The description of gas lighting is dead on accurate.

    Thank u again

    Sam

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  11. To all the women who want to know what's going on in the world today with an epidemic of infertility the answer is not today but always. Now we know about it because it is all over them media whereas before it was covered up. And now women are pressured to divorce over it which also makes headlines.

    President Roosevelt & Kennedy cheated but clintons was a huge scandal, again a sign of the times and the publicity around it now.

    Sometimes I read the stories here & it seems unfathomable-- sex in a closet with ur kids & in laws in another room, sex in a hospital bathroom, blow job from a complete stranger in ur car at a parking lot at Walmart. Yes some of these people had serious childhood issues, were abused, etc. but my husband had a perfectly normal childhood & is not a sex addict. Hurt people hurt people but he wasn't hurt, not any more than any other ordinary kid. He had two loving parents and was not abused. He was ignored by girls in high school and all of a sudden as a married successful dr in his 30s & 40s was bombarded by nurses techs & residents flirting with him; much like a celebrity or rock star. So what? Deal with it. At times I feel sorry for him at times I hate him.

    I was just getting gas while my kids were at swimming and saw a guy who I found completely unattractive drive up in a nice convertible car & I thought what if I walked up to him and had sex w him in the gas station bathroom? How would that help my self esteem which was at all time low after d day? The thought of it seemed utterly ridiculous to me and yet that's what people do. I thought what the hell planet am I on? Maybe we are the abnormal ones for not doing these things? Maybe most people really secretly live or want to live their lives like a porno movie that they open the door for the pizza delivery guy then have sex.

    Sam

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    1. Sam, your post made me laugh. I think, for some people, you're right. They do somehow get off on getting strangers to have sex with them. However, let's hope it's not the majority or we're all doomed. :)

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    2. Sam,

      My name is really Jane (from Chicago) but I use the name Valkyrie just to give me strength (and appease the desire to scream).

      I strongly identify with your comments and also married to a doctor. They sound like they went to the same "Lofty Professionals," once upon a nerd- asshole-class. And agreed! feel like a martian with my odd moral compass but relieved not to be so tormented or need to live and maintain secret lives. For that I'm grateful.

      I will say my husband has become accountable and turned his shame into compassion for others. He was selfish, arrogant and did what our former president did acted out sexually "Because He Could." He turned people into "Objects," and truly believed having a secret parallel life wouldn't impact his wife or three daughters.

      Until He got caught and his world flipped upside down and he LOOKED at what he'd done

      He had a problem with intimacy.

      So we had a problem with intimacy which started early in our marriage.

      From which we are now working together and healing. And I take nothing (the future) for granted (never did) but hope we make it on our long journey together.

      Peace Out All
      Valkyrie

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  12. Dear Jane from Chicago:

    I'm from New York. I still use the name Sam just in case someone I know from this site or someone just perusing this site recognizes my real name. Isn't that ridiculous? I have nothing to be ashamed of; I didn't cheat nor did I cause my husband to cheat.

    I too am a doctor. Let me tell u that infidelity among physicians like some other professions is rampant. My husband did what probably 50-70% of male physicians do because he could. He is a cardiologist & often saves people's lives in the Cath lab (apparently infidelity is also very common among surgeons who work closely with nurses & also save lives). Not that any of this excuses their behavior, but it does become easier to cheat when everyone around u does. As with politicians I believe it is almost the norm. I expected him to be different, I am disappointed that he wasn't, but I do try to understand (sort of).

    He admits that he learned a hard lesson. He found it exciting that he had these secrets & also thought he wasn't hurting me or the kids since "we didn't know". We did not have intimacy issues. He did it because he could, everyone around him was (almost) & he felt his self esteem needed that boost. Part of my healing has been to repeatedly tell him how on some level I either knew or strongly suspected and how damaging that has been to MY self esteem & our relationship over the last 10 years. I had the courage to do that because I read Peggy Vaughn, whom I feel experienced all the same emotions & thoughts during her husband's affairs as I did.

    Sam (not really) from New York

    Ps as I have said before, I wish it were feasible to set up some sort of bwc weekend retreat. I would love to meet so many of u have been an integral part of my healing, including the anonymous women who just post ME TOO. Thank u to ALL of u. It will get better. After 1 1/2 years I have many many moments of joy.

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    1. H'mmm. Sam. You've got me thinking. Not sure how it would work logistically. But wouldn't it be fun?? A Betrayed Wives Getaway...

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  13. Sam,

    I'm deeply moved by your experiences and grateful for your response

    Agree! Peggy Vaughn had major impact on my healing. We now live by a new vow to the 'Truth.".

    And "As with Politicians," lawyers, doctors and the list goes on.....that Ashley Madison, "Life's short why not have an affair," bourgeois men's club attitude of "because I can," and how about "I can - but you can't." ......have sex outside our primary relationship.

    My husband had a secretary 'office Wife,' for 18 years and might have crossed the line with countless women, nurses and those high heeled marching "drug reps?," Barista"s. If it had not been this primary (younger-married) mistress it would have been others.

    He had a female colleague initiate a brief affair (which he ended quickly because it "freaked him out" and didn't find her sexually attractive). Besides we were considered "family." This "Inscrutable" doctor appearing with such probity, while portraying herself as "friend," viewed herself as a sort of underground sexual pirate? And none of these people use condoms? Remarkably she went around reporting that her MD husband would never cheat on her? the.....

    I can do onto you what you can not do unto me

    Yes my husband's a royal "opportunist." Our very own "Sisyphus.".... "Everyone" is doing it....and "it won't hurt" Jane or his THREE DAUGHTERS.

    My middle teenaged daughter discovered the LT affair (which started at the time of her birth) almost 2 decades ago when a certain secretary made an offer he chose not to refuse. And that invisible-lethal-arrow was shot across my bow secretly....while I held infants in my arms and others watched on the sidelines.

    It's not the sex its the secrets, deceit and years of living in a fog knowing that something is amiss.

    Those "Secrets?" can kill a person. All the years I sensed and couldn't put a finger on what was going on (asking myself maybe this is just what marriage is?) blaming myself for everything....because he was our "Lofty-Hero."

    I'm so grateful for Elle for creating this website this safe home for us, you Sam, and everyone here because it brings tears of relief to my sad, sorrowful eyes......

    With Great love and Respect
    Jane (Valkyrie)

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    1. This site -- and all you women -- make me so happy!

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  14. Valkyrie,

    I so agree with u about the lies being worse than the sex. If he had come home & told me he had a one night stand I would have been just as shocked and I'm sure the devastation I felt after d day would have been just as bad as what I experienced.

    However, prior to d day I went thru 10 years of feeling something wasn't right. 10 years of suspecting him of cheating. I didn't know what an emotional affair was. Whenever I hinted at him having inappropriate relationships with these women whom I knew he was friends with I would get "we r just close friends". For 10 years I was gas lighted, my self esteem took a beating because I repeatedly asked myself if he loves me, if I'm good enough then what does he need these other women for? I actually used to tease him & refer to all his women as his harem. If he developed a new relationship I would refer to her as the flavor of the month. But I was too unsure of myself and too afraid of him leaving me to really put my foot down. He always said he wouldn't let the relationships get too far & I naively believed him instead of telling him to end it with all of them, whether I knew about the sex or not.

    While d day and confirmation of all the sexual/emotional/sexting affairs was like a bomb going off, the 10 years of my suspicions but being too afraid/naive to know how to deal with them was like slow torture, eroding my sense of self identity.

    Sam

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