Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Art to Heal Your Soul

I recently discovered Terri St. Cloud, who seems to have a direct line to my heart. Her work is beautiful and her words perfectly articulate the pain of betrayal, of struggle, of life.
Check her out here:


77 comments:

  1. You know the feeling you get when you finally come to terms with betrayal. I've gotten there. Nope it's not any easier to let go you just come to terms. I've been asking God for this feeling for a while. I know now that I'm ok not just ok but fantastic. I've realized that in a world full of chaos I can bring peace to my soul by allowing God to help me let go of the pain and the fear. My children deserve a calm momma one that is a pillar of strength with a tender touch. I must maintain being a lady at all times so that my beauty, as fleeting as it seems sometimes, shines through. I am not a super model I am just "me" and that "me" is exactly what I'm supposed to be. Obviously I'm good enough because I'm loved no matter what. So are you girls. May you have a path to healing that becomes something amazing to see. Love you girls - Ann from Texas

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    1. Ann from Texas, That is SO good to hear. Just SO SO good. :)

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    2. I loved what you wrote, Ann from Texas! It was reinforcement on a day where I'm feeling pretty good. I'm slowly recognizing that my desire to have what happened disappear is holding me back. Instead of focusing on that, I should be more aware of all the positive things going on in my marriage, all the hard work we are both putting in. I know I still have tough days ahead and I will still struggle with the pain and the anger, but I can choose how I'm going to handle them. Like you, my kids need to see the strong mom that they've always known.
      Elle, thank you so much for this blog which always seems to offer the support and encouragement that I need.
      I haven't quite figured out how to post other than anonymously, but since this probably won't before the last one, just call me...
      Dandelion

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    3. Dandelion,
      My son once asked me, when I was yanking dandelions out by their roots, "Mommy, why are you killing those beautiful flowers?" It's all in the eye of the beholder, isn't it?
      You've reached a pivotal point in your healing, I think. When you're able to recognize that this is never really "over", we simply incorporate it into our larger story, then you move forward without feeling like you're dragging pain along with you. Instead of defining yourself by this, it becomes something that happened to you...and that you faced down. There's strength in that understanding.

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    4. Yes, Elle, it is definitely in the eye of the beholder. For me, the dandelion represents resilience and strength. Interestingly, it's been informally adopted as a logo of sorts for people who grew up as "military brats" as I did. I'm thinking of getting my first tattoo on my next birthday and it may well be a dandelion.
      In the few weeks that I've been on this site, I've found so much encouragement and comfort in hearing others' stories and experiences. I hope that I can offer that to others along the way.
      I'm feeling stronger every day. The low moments don't last as long and the tears don't come as frequently. I see more clarity in the facts of my husband's affair and the reality of who the OW really is. When you remove the delusion and the lies, what remains ain't all that pretty. My ability to see that alone is a drastic departure from where I was in the early days.
      I would be lying if I said I did not still harbor a lot of anger toward the OW, but that's an issue for another day. As my therapist tells me, forgiving her is the "gold standard". Right now we're shooting for reaching a point where she doesn't even matter to me. :-)
      Dandelion

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    5. Dandelion--go to the drop down menu below the "reply" where it says "select profile" then go to Name/url and enter Dandelion--you don't need to put a URL Complete anonymity!! And welcome to the club no one wants to join--but we are filled with the most compassionate, brave and smartest women on the block.

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    6. Thanks for the reminder. I know I get caught up some days of his betrayal that I forget that NOW I'm a mom first instead of a wife first.

      We are separated in the home for going on nine months now. I just feel like he doesn't put our marriage first even tho he's been sober since I kicked him out of our bed.

      However, I'm just going to concentrate on the relationships with my kids, and my mom and sister.

      He and his porn problems be damned b/c they aren't mine anymore.

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  2. Ok girlfriends, talking about you can never go back and make things pretty, I did something that most on this site says don't do. My therapist said don't do this. I went to see psychobitch kindergarden teacher. Yes the big bad OW. I just felt like I wasn't getting the entire story from my lying asshole trickle truth husband. I'm 18 months out, affair lasted 2.5 years, he never stopped it blah blah blah. When something doesn't add up then something is wrong to me and I can't settle it in my mind. I wanted the other side of the story and I wanted to compare stories. My mind was in hell most of the time anyway. I took control of my life. When I get this gut feeling I have to keep going. Until it is settled in my mind. First, I don't hate the woman like many of you do, I prepared myself she could lie, shut the door in my face, be mad at me, opening the door to her in our lives, all the bad stuff. She did let me in. I said I need closure, I have questions and that I meant her no ill will. I told her she probably needed closure as well. I began by asking her general questions which got more specific. I was nice, calm, did not humiliate her which set the tone and put her at ease. I wasn't going to get the information I wanted if she got pissed off. Sugar couldn't have dripped out of my fake mouth. How yeah I was very sweet. I talked to her and used the same technique I was taught on how to get my husband to open up. No judgements, accusations just listen. My goal was to try to find some truth in this mess not beat her up. Ok, like Elle said everything I thought in my mind was not true like she is more attractive, more everything. OMG I am better in everyway and I mean in all ways. Her husband had affairs on her so she understood what is like to be betrayed. She said she didn't think of me because I was a name but reality hit her when I came over to house with my husband when he said it was over. She is pathetic, weak, whining, and unkept. She really didn't have an affair with him to get material stuff. She actually wanted a friend, someone to listen to her, depend on and take care of her like a wife. She did confirm what my asshole told me so on the majority he was telling the truth. But hearing it from both sides put the last pieces of the trickle truth puzzles in place of why why why. No it didn't answer everything but I did get a ton of information to understand WHY and how. She told me how my husband viewed me in this whole affair which was enlightening to her her perception of what he said. Read on Part 2 below

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  3. I asked her if she felt used and why was willing to settle. She said she just wanted him around. She did admit she told him she loved him and he never said that to her. I could understand my asshole's state of mind and what their relationship was all about, why he didn't stop. I mean this woman is really pathetic. I felt empowered and strong once everything I thought about her was so not true. She really didn't want money she was lonely, by herself and wanted someone to take care of her. My self esteem jumped off the Richter scale. I realized how much time I wasted thinking about her. I realized how much I let her into my life with no good reason. I realized she is so not worth thinking about. My husband realized after I told him where I went, I was not a crumpled heap on the ground but a survivor who is not afraid. I cannot telling you how liberating it was for me. If you are newly betrayed DON'T DO WHAT I DID there is too much emotion right now it will not work for you. I couldn't have been rational at that point and I wasn't. I finally found out that I am better in all ways, what I thought in my mind about romantic interludes was not true, that she accepted what little she could get. It all matched what my asshole said. She cried and said she just wanted a man that would love her like my husband loved me. I'm living proof that what ever Hollywood affair stuff you have in your mind is not true. I talked to her for 2 hours. She is a compulsive shopper, shop lifts and she looks Her house is dirty, not clean, run down. She invited my husband to dinner. She kissed him first. He did tell her he loved me and was never going to leave me and she said she wanted his friendship so bad to her, she didn't know me but when I came to the door the very first time, then I became a face and real to her. I started by asking "what did the affair mean to you?". He was brother, dad and lover all in one. He comforted her, she was lonely she had a lot of reasons. What attracted her to my husband was the same things that attracted me. I found out so much by being super nice I'm glad I went. I feel like I have the entire picture now. Sure she did lie about small shit. But I It's my life and I had to do what is right for me and didn't listen to all the advice because I know I could see see why he wants me not her. Everything single thing Elle, Steam, Merilee, Valketie and other say are true about affairs are really dirty and not pleasant. I just got to the point where I had to find out if he was telling me the truth now. I explained to her she had nothing to lose by telling me the truth. She already lost. I mean she is just plain awful as these words don't describe it well. Please quit beating yourself up because the stuff you have in your mind is not true. Read below part 3

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  4. I could clearly see why my husband was sorry, remorseful and afraid of losing me. I could clearly see why he said he still loved me but went to bed with her. I can see why my husband didn't want her, he is not a complete idiot to fall in love with a a woman that I now see her for what she is. I now see I was enough but it was his problems that he didn't deal with that compelled him to her. My husband was desperate and had sunk so low about what he thought about himself to go to bed with that thing made me realize his condition and mindset as well. I finally feel free of her. She is out of my mind for good. I mean girlfriends I felt like I needed a shower after talking to the OW.The high point was when I told her my kids knew and hated her. My friends in town know and she shouldn't be surprised if unexpectedly one of them say something unkind to her. She said well I guess I'm the talk of the town. I lied and said yes. She thought it was all a secret, but she knows now that is no longer a secret and the consequences of what people think of her. I embellished on how many friends in town know but seeing her reaction was worth it. Remember she was a public school,teacher with an image of herself in a good light. I also told her that my OB GYN reported the STD to the state and county health dept. She maybe getting a call about notifying all the men she had sex with. That was the A Bomb to her, deer in the head lights. She grabbed both sides of her face and started screaming. I just calmly sat there. Let her worry for awhile. Touché. Read the end of the story below.

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    1. Wow Lynn. Not sure where the end of the story disappeared to but it sounds as if you got what you needed.
      I hope this is also a wakeup call for the OW and that she starts demanding more for herself.
      So often women are shocked to learn that the OW wasn't some skinny supermodel but an ordinary woman with flaws. But that's what people don't understand about affairs. They're not about the OW at all, they're about the reflection they see of themselves in the other person's eyes. They're about feeding the ego. Feeling young and alive and sexy. Affairs are a house of mirrors in which the reflections range from "I'm a stud" to "I'm scum" and they're a trap.
      I'm glad this worked out for you. The reason I encourage people to avoid it is that it often doesn't go this way. Too often the OW takes this opportunity to further hurt the betrayed partner. To make things up. To share intimacies that are hurtful. To turn this into a competition, which it is NOT.
      But Lynn...you've got some brass balls. I take my hat off to you.

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    2. Wow, Lynn! Amazed by your strength. Quite a few similarities to what I'm beginning to see in my husband's affair. Just reading this offered more reassurance.
      Dandelion

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  5. How do I deal with the story discrepancies? What were the discrepancies? He said, I never told her anything about our sex life or marriage. Well he did. I know from her why he never talked to me. He was mad at me, felt like I didn't care but was afraid to say anything because he knew how hard I was working at the time. He told her on the weekends when I came home I was too busy for him. She is spot on on all his reasons and it was true. I confronted him with where all the stories didn't add up. He told me something's he didn't remember at the time or things he recalled when I mentioned them. She did the exact same thing to me. She said I didn't buy him gifts. I said he said you bought him gloves. She said I have tried to put this out of my mind behind me but now that you said that I did. So I have concluded and please feel free to disagree, that my husband put so much out of his mind that what he did tell me was the truth AT THE TIME. He could and did explain it all to me. We also discovered that he puts things out of his mind so he doesn't have to deal with it or avoid the pain. So what comes out of his mouth is what I call a lie. To him it is out of his mind so he tell me half truths of what is left in his mind. For example I asked him if he felt guilty, he said yes but they didn't talk about it. Well he talked about to her many times and even said to her "we have to stop". When I asked him, he previously said no but then said yes I remember now we did. She did what ever she could to keep him, that is why he never stopped, he didn't want to and she manipulated him in all ways and anyway to keep his friendship. Meanwhile I wasn't home and really was mad at him too. I said how could you be so open to someone you didn't love but so closed off to someone you did? That is his therapy question I think. Bottom line is I'm moving on now because I can. He knows he has to work on learning to not avoid or conveniently forget because that is lying to me. I'm so relieved and coming from a much stronger place. If you want to talk to the OW about your pain, she doesn't care and doesn't want to face you, if you want to tell her she destroyed your family she doesn't care. I asked her why she called the my house she said it was cut off so abruptly she just wanted to understand what happened so she could move on. I like it that she sat there no knowing. Love you all hang in there everybody's path to healing is not the same but you will eventually find yours.

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    1. Ah, there's the rest of the story.
      You ask how he could be so open with someone he didn't care about? Because...he didn't care about her. Think about how easy it is to share things when you don't really care what the other thinks, when they don't have the power to hurt you.
      I also think you raise some interesting points about memory. We know, from the Brian Williams fiasco and various other stories in which high-profile people have "lied" but they insist the story just got twisted in their brains. Studies show that, during times of heightened emotion, our memories do get tied in knots. It's bizarre how much reliance we place on eyewitness testimony when research reveals just how unreliable it is. We get stuff wrong all the time.
      This, in no way, is meant to give your cheating spouses a free pass. It's just to help us understand things better.

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  6. Holy Moly. I came here today to vent, lament, and to ask for advice or just an ear (eye) or two. But this quote really spoke to me...now to just figure out how to implement it.

    H and I have been married for almost 20 years. We are 4 months from D-Day and almost 9 months from the end of his 3.5 week betrayal (I won't call it an affair...that word sounds like a torrid, forbidden romance and nothing they did was romantic...yuck). We are in MC and doing well, all things considered. BUT...

    Right now, I am looking at having the marriage of my dreams with the man I've loved for most of my life...but there's that stinking betrayal between us. And I don't know how to let the pain go.

    Prior to his betrayal, if anyone were to have kept score, he would have won hands-down in the "Better Spouse" category. Unlike many of you, I was not the loving, sweet wife for the better part of our marriage. I had learned early on in my childhood that the surface was what mattered most...you see, in my childhood family, what was important was the "appearance" of status and success. Sure, within our actual family dynamic, alcoholism, violence, fear and emotional trauma were our constant companions...but as long as we wore the right clothes, drove the right cars and kept ourselves attractive, we could pretend that we were just dandy. Unfortunately, I never quite measured up and felt constantly rejected. And so, what I brought into a marriage was a pathological fear of vulnerability and the same need to control everything around me so that things "looked" good from the outside. I made my husband feel that he was never handsome enough, well-dressed enough, made enough money, etc. And my husband is a man who had experienced sexual and emotional abuse as a child, a man who needed to be told that he was worthy, that he was good enough...maybe even more than most. That's not to say that our entire marriage was a misery...I have my good points (I promise)...but it was very difficult for the both us at times and, for him, he never felt truly loved for who he was. And, let me be clear, this is also not a case where I can lament, "If only he had told me....". He did. I just couldn't or wouldn't truly listen.

    It was about 2 months before D-Day when things came to a head and I realized that the marriage I had taken for granted (you could have asked anyone and they would have told you that H was the most loyal man they'd ever met...so I thought I was "safe") was in serious jeopardy. The kicker was, I truly did love this man (still do...probably more than ever)...and I finally got my head out of my ass enough to make the changes necessary to do my portion to save our marriage. And when I started behaving more lovingly, when I started showing simple kindness to the man, he reciprocated by being the husband I'd always dreamed of. He'd always struggled with allowing himself to be emotional and handling MY emotions, he'd always struggled with being affectionate (damned fear of rejection reared its ugly head for both of us)...but when I made him feel safe to do so, he started to change as well. So, this all sounds great, right? Sure...except for the betrayal.




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  7. Part 2...

    Now I know that my husband didn't cheat because of me. He cheated because he was severely depressed with the lowest possible self-esteem and a professional husband stealer (who we now know is a narcissistic sex addict and has bedded multiple married men) brought him homemade goodies and told him he was handsome, strong and "the best man she's ever met". So, when she initiated a physical relationship with him, he didn't want the adoration to end. He admits now that the sex wasn't good, he had trouble even performing, he was overwhelmed with guilt, and he kept wishing they could just go back to being "friends". But the feeling of being special to someone gave him a light at the end of the long tunnel of depression he'd been stuck in for over a year and he was afraid for that to end. He did end it...3.5 weeks too late.

    So, now, he's on the right meds, we're both getting therapy for our issues and we have a real shot at a marriage many women would give their left arm for. Except for that one pesky problem...his betrayal.

    Is this making any sense? We've both worked hard to change and be the kind of spouse the other has always wanted, we can see that we're building a marriage that is stronger than most and we love each other more wholeheartedly than we ever have before. But then that voice in my head whispers...but he had sex with someone else...he betrayed you. Is his betrayal really any worse than the years of contempt he felt from me? It feels like it to me...but is that really true? I had a husband who was never sure of my love...who begged me to just love him for who he was. And now I am able to show him what he's been looking for and be the wife he deserved and he's treating me in kind. So what will it take for me to "let go" of the past and the pain of his betrayal?

    Any advice, admonishments or just support would be most welcome.

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    1. Dana,
      Wow. I could have written your exact letter. Except that my husband was already "using" sex to medicate depression, low self-esteem, etc.
      Four months out is really raw. And you have an incredible understanding of the dynamic of your relationship. Please trust that the feelings of betrayal will fade as your new marriage gets rebuilt on more solid ground. We tend to view infidelity as a deal-breaker when it's rarely the sex itself that's the most painful -- it's the lying and deception. I suspect that once the raw pain of betrayal begins to wear off, you'll be able to move past this -- more easily than many of us, I imagine.
      Hang in there. Keep focussing on what you have today without focussing quite so much on the price you had to pay for it (which, admittedly, is steep).
      Sometimes when our partner can't hear our whispers, we have to scream. It sounds like that's exactly what your husband did. Does that make it okay? Absolutely not. But it's not surprising.

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    2. Thank you, Elle for your understanding and wisdom. I wish you didn't have the history that has brought you so much insight into betrayal, but I'm grateful that you've used your pain and subsequent healing to run this amazing site.

      Deep down, I know you're right....that the sting of betrayal will ease as I continue to enjoy a better relationship with my husband. I just need to work on rewriting my brain....it seems to like reminding me of that steep price I'm paying. "Oh, you're feeling good about your marriage? Did you forget what he did....if so, let me remind you with a mind movie." I've always been an overthinker and I tend to primarily ruminate on the negative...which is such a waste of precious time.

      My marriage imploded in the worst way possible, but I have a chance at real happiness in my marriage and a sense of peace in letting go of all of the junk from childhood. Now I guess I just need to truly BELIEVE it.

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    3. Yeah, it's a four-letter word but "time" really does work magic, assuming we're doing some of the heavy lifting ourselves. Time also helps you realize that there are so SO many women who are going through the same thing, though they keep it hidden. There are more of us than we know...

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  8. You are spot on about putting something out of your mind so only what is left comes out of your mouth. I think he felt free to say anything to her because she never would never criticise him, tell him he was wrong, make judgements etc... She created a fantasy world so he felt like a man. she told me needed to feel like a man that was a key to her manipulation. So she created a false fantasy world to say or do whatever would make him feel like a man. She was desperate and did anything to have someone take care of her. My husband never saw it like that until we discussed how she manipulated him that to make him feel good 100 percent of the time is a fantasy. He agreed and we both see her for what she is. I told him putting painful things in a part of your mind to forget is great for a military man but sucks as a husband. I could also see whenever he said something, I added more meaning than what was intended, judged, criticized and really didn't listen to him. He realizes he really didn't listen to me either. He realizes so much since he heard the OW motivation, desires and weaknesses. That was too painful, shameful and guilty for him to think about it. I would have never gotten to this point without this site and all of you helping me everyday by pouring your pain, hurt, advice and especially your I sites. My sister gets a round of applause for her unconditional love. I'm finally feel free.

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  9. WOW !! Lynn!!! I have often wondered in this day and internet age what the hell I would have done had I been able to track the OW. I found one via Craig list, but she disappeared as everything on craigslist does (just looking at her I could tell you, this was so NOT about me--lol--I can laugh NOW)
    I found two more who he didn't sleep with but wow did he "communicate" with. One persuing him and he responding with such filth. I could tell he had zero interest in this one. The other he persued and she had zero interest in him. Gawd, the lies he told that one were incredible.
    Ahem. I didn't bother with them.
    Well not true. In FRONT of my H I wrote to one he was lying to/pursuing, on facebook from HIS fake account that said "I am closing this account now, I am married and I am an idiot"
    But the one he had the actual "affair: with, and I agree with you Dana--Betrayal is a MUCH better word than affair--thank you for that. The one he REALLY betrayed me with did not have a phone OR a Facebook page. Thank the good Lord. I do not know *how* I could have possibly stayed away had I found her.

    I am SO glad you got some closure and that you can reiterate to the rest of the betrayed world ENDLESSLY , that this had nothing to do with you and it hardly had anything to do with HER. It is all about his choices. What an amazing story. I could picture it unfolding--the appearance, the house, the-the-the everything.

    And I too agree with Elle and you as I have said so many times here, My H does not remember everything that happened in his fog, and I don't remember everything I found out during *my* fog, the days, weeks, months following betrayal while in sleuth mode.
    I would hit him upside the head with someone or something I thought I had JUST discovered, and he would calmly tell me that we had talked about this last week, or last NIGHT. It was that bad. I had to keep notes and lists.
    Memory is a tricky thing.
    and you are an amazing woman.

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    1. Steam!! That should be the Web site for husbands who've cheated. "I'm married and I'm an idiot". They should wear shirts and hats emblazoned with that slogan. It should be written on their cars! You're a marketing genius.

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    2. Elle and Steam I love it that you got it. I couldn't understand the word fog. All the contradictions between what he said, what I found out, what he said later, he loved me the entire time and all that shit in between. Now I understand it as he put the guilt and painful parts out his mind so he could forget about it. He didn't even have the ability to put it all together for me because of the fragments into various pieces and part. He didn't even know her side of what the OW was thinking about him because he didn't care what she thought. My asshole wears an XL in case you want to send HIMSELF a tee shirt or a scarlet letter with an A will do. He has to wear that tee shirt for the rest of his life everyday and I'm so glad i don't.

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    3. Yup....gotta love when we are BOTH foggy. Makes for some interesting conversations!

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    4. XL it is, Lynn! Perhaps we should just create a branding iron and skip the t-shirts altogether.

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  10. I use art as therapy. Hubby bought me watercolors 3 years ago and for my birthday, my mom bought me water soluable oil paints. I try to work on a painting every day b/c it relaxes me and gives me a hobby to look forward to.

    I also play piano too.

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    1. I think anything that allows us to (healthily) express ourselves can be such a liberation from our pain. I think we're all creative -- just sometimes takes time to figure out how that shows up in our lives.

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  11. Hello everyone…although my husband is back home, I am having a difficulty that I do not hear many, or frankly any, of you speak about. He tells me that he loves me, yet he does not love me the way he used to. He is specific that he does not feel the passion he used to feel for me. It rather reminds me of Esther Perel's talk on love and desire.
    No doubt he is coming from a place where the affair, smothered in endorphins and the excitement of secrecy, is clouding his view of our relationship. I have read various sites that speak of affairs and the immediate aftermath to the affair from the cheater's perspective. He appears to be classic. He has told me that our six-week separation didn't even feel like a separation to him. And I pointed out to him, he was the one reaching out to me continually. I asked him why did he come home and he said because he knew how upset I was while he was gone. He couldn't stand to see me so upset. I then proceeded to tell him that if he feels he cannot return to the love that we had, that he should just leave for good and realize that although I will hurt tremendously, I will get over it. And I am certain that I will have a beautiful life. In essence, I do not want him staying here out of pity for me. I want him to be here for him, and me and our marriage.
    That conversation was two nights ago and he is still here.
    It is all really rather strange. I recognize that we need marriage counseling and further help if we are going to make this marriage work. We have both agreed that our marriage counselor we were seeing previously was not effective for us. In the meantime, we spent a great deal of money on that therapist and I think we are both hesitant to spend more money at this time (money is tight as I have recently started a new business) In my area therapists do not give free consultations. And of course insurance does not cover marriage counseling.
    So, I will say to the ladies out there who have husbands who are sure in their love and commitment to you… Please recognize how wonderful that is. Again, in thinking back to what my mother said, I realize that my husband is simply lacking in emotional intelligence. When I said to my mom, "H says he doesn't love me the way he used to" Mom, with a 59 year marriage behind her when my dad died, quipped "doesn't he know that's normal? Sometimes you don't even like them! And love changes in your marriage to a place where it is pure contentment."
    Thank you all for sharing. I have not been writing much lately, however I have been sharing in your stories. Love and hugs.

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    1. Beloved Melissa,

      I know a woman who decided to "help," her husband feel what betrayal really feels like, that specific gutting. She decided to get a disposable phone and imaginary lover. She acted out all the ways you could have your "special" person, lover and confidant. Her husband began to notice and sense her distance and distraction. (It's like the old T.V. show and Johnny Carson suddenly lost his Ed Mcmahon). I'm not saying to do that but boy did that guy wake up to what he might really lose. She actually set out to make him jealous and pretend Uber independence of spirit. (when inside she felt like a mouse-wife). She acted the part and began to actually feel it.

      In any case if you even "fake it till you make it." Why not Jump into life with self care and love. Dress up go out with friends. Pretend your in love...with life. Who knows right? Go out dancing! We love you...will dance with you...

      You are an amazing woman!

      Love
      Val

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    2. Melissa,
      Your mom is absolutely right. Right before my husband and I got married, my parents sat us down and essentially told us the same thing: there will be days, they said, when you don't even want to share the planet with your spouse let alone a house. But, they told us, you work through the tough times and enjoy the good times. They did that for more than 50 years when my mom passed away and not a day goes by that my dad doesn't miss her. She was, he says, his best friend.
      That's what Esther Perel gets at in her talks. That lust and crazy-love doesn't last. It's not meant to last. We're not wired that way. But if we're constantly chasing that, we miss out on a richer, deeper love. Without fireworks perhaps, but also without the burns.
      And frankly, I call "bullshit" on your husband's assessment of your relationship and that he returned because you were hurting. I think he has a really tough time imagining you moving on without him. I bet it terrifies him. At the same time, he's still in post-affair fog so he's afraid of letting go of that other possibility.
      Time, I think, to kick him off the fence. Either he's there to recommit to the marriage 200% or you go for a legal separation. That's my take on it, anyway. Although...did you ever read Laura Munson's "This Isn't the Story You Think It Is"? Check out how she handled things (admittedly there wasn't an affair...but anyway): http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/02/fashion/02love.html?pagewanted=all

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    3. Thanks Elle ... I believe you are right on your bullshit call. And your assessment of the fog. I'm less convinced of a legal separation ... now, anyway. And I will go to the link.

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    4. Melissa, my husband said much the same thing for months..the old "I love u but I'm not in love with you." He would say all these nice things about me from dday on, "your a beautiful, amazing woman," but detatched--like I was a painting on a wall. He would say eventually, almost apologetically, "well deep down I love & care about you." Or " I want to want you.."..on & on. ( He had an intense ea/pa for 6 months before I found out.) One night after yet another conversation about " losing the spark," I said something to the effect that if he wants sparks, he can light a sparkler & shove it up his ass! I'd had enough of the crazy. But we didn't separate at that point cause his behavior was pro-me. He was doing everything right: no contact, trying to communicate, be accountable, weekly therapy, be there for my pain, etc. Just his emotions didnt follow. But it took indiv counseling and the full 6 months (which was my private limit to the bs) to slowly come out of this & let the fantasy go. It made things worse for me & really if I had kicked him out @ the beginning I feel like it would've sped up his process. But I knew it would destroy our kids & our business (small bible belt town--his family knows everyone). It was so hard... Our counselor was very positive & encouraged me to be patient...but I still think about all the wistful crap he said. A few days ago he apologized for the "I love you, but I'm not in love...."comment. That was nice. He's been so slow to wrap his brain around the fact that this was a sleazy, selfish AFFAIR--not true love. Cause that makes him an asshole like all the other sleazy liars...and that is very very hard to face & live with!

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    5. Val ... I have noticed through all this, the less interested I am ... the more he becomes. Human beings ... we are funny animals lol. Thanks for the lovely comments ... and how did you know ... I LOVE to dance!
      Elle, I read the NY Times article ... fantastic!! I have employed some of her tactics and at times feel strength in distance. I did a great deal of reading on mid-life crisis ... I even read an article to my h and he readily agreed to having 9 out of 10 of the symptoms of a mid-life crisis - which can last up to ten years - I do believe the affair was all part of it. Thanks for sharing that great article and your constant care and insight.

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    6. Melissa you are wonderful. Start to Live again inside ,) I called BS too when my husband treated me like that. Being me I totally went all out though. I packed clothes and child into the car, moved to a place I'd never seen, because it was my dream job (in the Florida Keys) and just focused on learning to breathe, sleep, eat and heal again. About two months into it he called yelling about something to do with me being gone and my older child who was on his own and said he wanted a divorce. I had learned by then I could totally make it with no man taking care of me and calmly replied, " well ok then let's figure out away to end everything and part ways as peacefully as possible because I'm done fighting and I won't anymore". I said goodbye and hung up. Well the next day everything changed in my life. I never realized that it was me never knowing my strength in myself that held me back. It didn't mean I needed another man. It meant I needed to show the existing man ,) what and who I was. To me we were a "WE". He totally didn't see it that way and it was always "ME" for him. So when I learned what "ME" was he learned "WE" was way better. Who knew that breaking my heart, shattering it into a million pieces, where even physically my heart suffered not just emotionally would make me see with or without I'm worth it now. You will get there. Yes, we are still together, but trust me, when I started to feel good about myself I had to set distance and remember who I was inside mattered. So I prayed GOD help me make the right choices. What is pure in me stayed pure. ,) I'm true to what I believe still to this day. Love you girls - Ann from Texas

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    7. Hi Melissa,
      I think most cheaters go through that period of "I don't know if I love you like I used to." Mine did. Of course the rush of an illicit liaison can't compete with real life--cranky, overtired, and neglected wife, other people who depend on you. It feels so good like "true love" --[insert eyeroll]. With the help of a therapist, he began to see the illusion and the unfair comparison. Money is very, very tight in our house too. But my though is that my happiness ad mental health, my husbands mental/emotional problems, my children's future, our family's future, our financial future, all depend on us putting therapy first on our list --after food and rent. There is no choice for me. The money is well spent if you can turn your family and relationship into one that has a good foundation and will last.

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    8. My H's prob was porn.

      He says he loves me, but I feel and say I don't feel loved. He's been sober for 9 months with only one slip up. I feel he doesn't have the passion for me he did before the porn. I cried myself to sleep on Monday b/c I just feel like divorcing him and either staying single or finding someone else who doesn't need me to TELL him how to make me fee loved!

      I just feel...bleh about him. I told him I don't really love him anymore. How can I after over a decade of porn!

      I have a women who I can call who has been through this and that has helped me a lot and so has venting on the internet.

      We are currently going to Celebrate Recovery too. I am holding back my mind, heart, body and soul right now until I decide IF I want to stay married. I do have three teens I have to think about and I'm a homeschooling mom so there's that too.

      I was teaching piano, but my health this past year went way downhill so I had to quit. However, I can make pretty good money and support myself and still stay at home.

      I just feel like I'm in limbo, ya know.

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    9. Anne,
      Limbo can feel like hell and often we rush into decisions just to make one. However, limbo can also give us the space we need to really make a choice that feels the most right. You've been through so much. And your husband's dedication right now is likely to his recovery, which takes up huge emotional space.
      Whether it feels right to stay or go will become clearer. Allow yourself to just be in limbo. One foot in front of the other until it's clear where those feet are headed.

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  12. Wow, Wow, and Wow,

    Lynn what an amazing story! I will play it in my head the "Dear in the headlights," and "Holding her face and screaming" part for days to come. That moment when the OW receives the bill for theft and deceit. You can proudly say you simply held her accountable. And strangely it may be her only chance to change.

    If you don't get called out or caught - why stop?

    I ask another young woman to re-tell me her OW story every time I see her and it makes me whoop and holler with laughter and delight.

    Her OW not only bragged about what she'd done on 'facebook,' but she foolishly walked no swaggered (thinking she's so sexy you know) into a club where my friend was. Other people saw her and warned her but she was just "Oh, so over that!" Meanwhile like a cat who's been just waiting and biding her time. My friend saw her went over and pounced! cornered her at the bar put both arms down on the counter and in got into her face. The woman started howling......anyway my friend when asked by her 'therapist,' repeatedly says "No, I have NO regrets and No, I don't feel bad......No, that felt right."

    Well, we can't all be that lucky......and Elle's right there is potential further harm to us...(and especially if they are bat shit crazy)

    As for the men and their memory of the sexual and emotional betrayed with these women? They seek "safe, Objects." and tending to their own needs. When my husband say's "I had a parallel life." I regard that as minimizing and lying. But I understand enough now to be able to move on with my own life. I'm grateful I won't see his mistress at his funeral. If she comes I will add her to his casket.

    Wow again what a story and one I will cherish.

    Love to all,
    Val

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    1. You guys are so funny ;) yes to all the above for sure. Yes to the fake accounts and crappy trash emails from faux hoochies ,) I'm sitting here laughing to myself.... Finally I see humor in the stupidity.... Really and the idiots thought we wouldn't find out... ,) well well look at who is laughing now. Love you girls - Ann from Texas

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    2. Val,
      "I will add her to his casket". LOVE that. And frankly, I don't doubt it. ;)

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  13. This popped up on my FB page today and it really spoke to me. Many of us are not at this point yet, but one day...

    "
    Mindful Schools
    A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they'd be asked the "half empty or half full" question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: "How heavy is this glass of water?"

    Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

    She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

    She continued, "The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything."

    Remember to put the glass down.

    (Courtesy of Jimmy Harmon)"

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    1. Thankyou for sharing this it's so true x

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  14. Ann and MBS thanks so for sharing your stories and kind words. I am blessed and grateful to have found this site and all the fierce, fabulous ladies who wrap their arms around me :-)

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  15. Yes, exactly! The relief that comes when you can put the glass down, even for a day, is so worth it. I feel like I've come a long way in just the past week. I've reached a point where thinking about the negative is just too much work. I pray that this is not short-lived, but recognize that there may still be setbacks. My focus is on not getting stuck there if that happens.
    Continuing to find strength in the things I read here.

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    1. Wow. what a great metaphor (the glass of water one). I needed that. I have been feeling like I have been holding a glass of water for a decade now. I have been sinking into deeper depression recently and have been unable to connect with my H. He doesn't seem to understand except that it means I won't have sex with him.
      Anyhow, today I actually experienced not holding the glass for once. We went to a water park with our kids and it felt so light and free to be outdoors in summer. I felt playful and forgot how sad and overwhelmed I have been feeling. But then when we came home, my husband exploded horribly over my joking with him. I didnt see it coming and I felt completely retriggered and sunk back into feeling horrible and stuck again.
      I wish this all could be over.
      I don't have anyone to talk to. My sisters don't get it (one of them actually told me in an email that I should just forget what happened... I ripped her a new one). Anyway. I feel lost.
      Thanks for listening folks. I will be seeing my therapist in 2 days but I appreciate having others who with me for free :)
      (PS-anyone in the San francisco bay area want to meet up, let me know)

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    2. MBS,
      I'm so sorry. It can feel more hurtful when we've "allowed" ourselves to let our guard down and actually have some fun.
      But this is so clearly HIS problem. Don't make it yours. My husband also has (he's working on it) an anger problem. I've had to learn that when he explodes to say clearly and calmly that I won't listen to him if he speaks to me like that and, when my kids were younger, we'd leave (usually to get ice cream!). No drama. Just 'get in the car, kids, we're going for ice cream'.
      I also made it a condition of reconciliation that he seek counselling for his anger. He and I both came to understand that, underneath it all, he was mad at himself. But it was generally directed outward.
      MBS, Melissa (below) is right in that I would encourage you to start seeking out those experiences that remind you what it feels like to be alive and enjoying life. If it's time with your kids, that's a great start. But what about taking up something you like -- a sport or a hobby. What about visiting art galleries or museums? What about volunteering (incidentally the Infidelity Counselling Network is located near San Francisco and they're always looking for volunteers/board members/fundraisers/etc.)?
      Please don't let his issues define your life. You can't "forget" this but you can choose not to dwell on it right now.
      I would also give some thought to your husband's anger and the role it plays in your marriage and your life. And get clear (perhaps with your therapist) on putting boundaries in place around it.
      Hang in there, MBS. And oh how I wish I lived in SF! One of my favorite spots...

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    3. Thanks Elle and everyone. I have hooked up with ICN and will be training as a peer counselor in the fall.
      Got some clarity from my therapist and she is encouraging me to find my own passions to focus on. Easier said than done. Depression and low self-esteem are a passion killer. Anyway, at least I know my target and I am trying to hit it.
      My H does recognize his mistake, usually after the fact, after acting out. He is still trying to work on himself but he still misses the mark around addressing his breach of trust with me. Mostly because of the immense shame he is still working through. And probably him hoping that I will get over it soon.

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    4. MBS,
      I'm so excited for you to be working with ICN. It's an incredible organization and you'll be such an asset to them.
      Your husband's recognition, after the fact, of where he messed up is a start. I remember my therapist explaining my own behaviour to me like this: first we walk through the muddy puddle, look down at our mucky feet, look behind us at the puddle and go, shit, I stepped in it. After some work, we notice our feet are wet and look down to see that we're IN the puddle. With more work, we get to a place where we spot the puddle in front of us...and walk around it. But it all takes the four-letter word we hate so much: T I M E. And the other four-letter word: W O R K.

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  16. MBS, I certainly hope your husband is receiving individual therapy to handle his anger. I am so sorry you had to contend with his anger after a light and wonderful day. Of course we hear time and again to concentrate on ourselves ... and I knew what that meant, yet it really hit me recently when I saw it this way ... "engage in life with passion" ... whether h does or not, especially if you are slipping into depression. I know, easier said than done. The day in a water park with your kids is perfect ... exercise, outdoors and with the ones you love. Do one thing daily that you love ... you are so worth it! Even if it is a ten minute meditation, or stepping outdoors, closing your eyes and looking up, washing your face in sunshine ... and remember, much of what you love about you and about your life was yours before you even knew your h. For now, maybe it's easier to embrace those things. You love life; yes you do. Remember that, and love it ... even if little bits at a time. Love you Dear ... and if you're ever in Florida ... :-)

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  17. MBS nobody can steal you joy and peace unless you allow them too. So when he becomes a jerk say you have to respect me if you want me to respect you. Then " I want peace and anything less is just darn unacceptable so either we gave a problem to work in or we can respect each other and move on." This works because men have this desire inside to be respected. They understand this approach. Women on the other hand can express emotions better so we don't feel as put off as men do when they feel slighted. Love you girl stay strong. You can do this. You are beautifully and wonderfully made. Nobody and I mean nobody can take your place. By the way my sisters did the same to me, but God always listens and he is so much wiser. ,) - Ann from Texas

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  18. Elle, perhaps you can repost the link for the group of folks who volunteer to talk ... and they have all been through it. The person who I have actually spoken to who has helped me the most through all this is a girlfriend who's husband had an affair ... we've been girlfriends since fifth grade and are now in our fifties. Only those who have been betrayed truly get it. And MBS, I was happy I told so many of my close friends and family ... sometimes I would tell them exactly what I needed. For example ... I would text them, individually but several of them, and say, "I am anxious; I need words of encouragement." After my text the words would come in immediately and throughout the day or night ... it was wonderful, much needed and entirely appreciated!
    MBS, you are fabulous, fierce! beautiful and gentle ... your husband is a fool for putting himself in a position of potentially losing you. Yes, be kind to him, as he is a foolish man ... And know your strength and wisdom will liberate you ... with or without him. £>

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  19. Hi ladies, need a pick me up been having a few issues with my hubby lately just the general things like him not doing enough around the house. We've both said hurtful things in anger. When I feel let down I go back to feeling like I did when he had the affair. I get sad then angry like ' I'll be ok without him' etc etc when I'm feeling like this I don't want to be in the same bed or house for that matter. Feel like things are going downhill and not sure if I care in this present minute. I'm 18 months post d day and thought I was doing ok up untill recently. Any thoughts?

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    1. Sam A,
      I think when we're ready to throw up our hands and walk out over something relatively small (but that adds to the mountain of hurt we already feel) it's important to expect a certain amount of backsliding. That's when we need to practice radical self-care. It can help to create something of a catalogue of what you know makes you feel better. Talking with a friend? A walk? Good music? Curling up with a book? Whatever it is, that's what you do. Maybe it's writing a horrible letter in which you call your husband every name you can think of (but don't give it to him). Maybe it's driving somewhere remote in your car and just screaming at the top of your lungs for five minutes.
      We get tripped up when we think our healing is a straight trajectory toward joy. That's not realistic. That's not life. We have ups and downs. Even if you two rebuild a fabulous marriage, there will be days when you want to throttle him for reasons large and small.
      This is a dip in your trajectory. It's not backsliding. It's not regressing. It's simply a dip. Pay attention, however, to whether this dip is telling your something important. For instance, sounds like you two need better skills to talk about your respective needs/responsibilities in a way that doesn't turn into an argument. It can be so hard at the best of times to talk about this stuff -- almost impossible following betrayal. We tend to think, "for chrissakes, I put up with your cheating and you can't even pick up your damn socks?"
      Do your best to separate out the issues (are you talking to him about helping around the house or are you talking about a larger issue of feeling taken for granted and unvalued and like he doesn't participate in the family?) and then try and address it in a neutral way. The goal isn't to shame him, it's to get your needs met. But you need to know what they are first.
      And you both need to agree to walk away before you say things that are hurtful to each other. That doesn't serve anyone.

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  20. Thank you so much Elle, you hit the nail on the head. We sometimes find it hard to talk about the trivial stuff ( not sure why) in fact the only time we have ever talked so well was following the betrayal. But your absolutely right it's not about him not changing the babies nappy it's much bigger than that and I agree thAt maybe I though post betrayal we were gonna live happy ever after( yeah right) save that one for the movies right lol. I think he's as fed up as I and will prob go if I tell him to leave one more time, is regret it if he did I know I would but sometimes I get so frigging angry I couldn't care less. I've got to accept the highs and lows of marriage like you say but I also need to talk to him without having basterd in the sentence. Joking aside I can't live in an atmosphere it's awful especially with the kids around I don't want them picking up on our arguments. Thanks Elle you have given me lots to ponder over, I really appreciate your time and effort I really do. I'll let you know how I get on xxx

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    1. Sam A,
      I did the same thing myself but learned it was good because at least we were still talking. I learned to say I need more help around the house because it shows me you care about. Then sit back and see what happens even if he doesn't do it immediately. My asshole actually said to me, let me know when I'm slipping, I'm on new territory, call me out, our word is bull shit. When either he or I don't feel like we are being real we say "I call bullshit". It also needs to be clear about what you expect. I found if something was bothering me it is easy to go back to the affair. That was my lapse. Sit down and calmly say I need xxxxx help. Then make a plan together to resolve the conflict. My therapist also said if I go back to the affair then I'm not getting a need met from my husband. She was right and took me several months to figure it out. It is hard no doubt. My asshole is like a caveman, I have to say exactly what I need in specifics. Like, I'm very tired and I want you to clean up the kitchen after dinner every night next week. Then I wait and watch. He likes to clean up the kitchen in the morning which I hate but at least he is doing what I ask. it is not easy, sometimes I would think this not going to work, I looked at him and felt disgusted. There are still many emotions it was hard for me to sort out what is normal marriage stuff.

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    2. Sam A,
      Whether or not you think your kids are picking up on your arguments, they're certainly picking up on the stress. Tension is contagious. And children tend to take responsibility for it, which is what you absolutely do NOT want. So yes, definitely time to reign in the fights.
      I think what Lynn posted (above) is brilliant. So many of us are brought up with this vague sense that our "soul-mate" will magically see our needs and wants and respond to them without us ever having to point them out or ask. Life just doesn't work that way. It's incumbent on us to learn to ask for what we need in a straightforward manner. And to work together to come up with a plan in which all family members' needs are respected and worked into the whole. By doing that, we create a really strong foundation on which to keep building. We feel like a team, a true partnership. And yes, the "normal" marriage stuff tends to often get eclipsed by the infidelity stuff. And yet, if we look at statistics, infidelity is "normal" marriage stuff. Ugh.

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  21. After a period of REALLY good days, I've hit a bit of slump, too. Hoping it is just related to it being Monday and being back to the normal routine after a nice family-oriented weekend. Just last night I was thinking that while my husband and I have scheduled "talk time" for tonight where we address any questions I still have or issues I need to discuss, I have no questions. And we have a joint appointment with the therapist next week and I don't have any burning issues to discuss with her either. I've even been pretty successful at keeping the OW out of my head.
    But suddenly this morning, the anger toward her is back. It's definitely dulled from what it has been, but it's still there. Yesterday was two months out from the day where I got all the dirty details of what happened, but almost six months out from the day I found the phone records and was given the story of it being "just" an emotional affair. From December to February, he had no contact with her, but in early February, she contacted him again and it started back up. All contact with her ceased when I discovered they were in contact again back in early April. We've both been in therapy since February; his appointments picked up in April after the full truth and fact that it had resumed came out. I wonder sometimes if having that extra four months where I thought we were healing together was helpful for me in this whole process and maybe when I found out that it was more than emotional, I already had some skills in place to help process the pain. Have I just exhausted all my anger toward him so she now gets 100%? Is it because I've seen him so broken down as a result of his actions and the consequences or because I see the effort he puts into our marriage every day now? When do I stop wanting to see her hurt as badly as I have? When do I stop feeling anything at all about her? When does this dull anger go away?

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    1. Fragments of HopeJune 16, 2015 at 2:04 AM

      Gosh Dandelion, you are so close to the D-days and the recontact I am amazed that you are doing as well as you are and you are bound to have these relapses, it would be unusual if you didn't. My husband's affair was emotional (although once he chose to stay I received a message from the OW saying it was a full and intense physical and emotional affair - he says no) and he only told me to clear his head and decide between us. He'd become so cold and hostile and we'd been discussing seperating (without me knowing about his year long emotional affair.) We went through a very emotional reparation for 9 months when she contacted him and he was in contact with her for a month without saying ('as friends' - as he worked out his feelings). The recontact after what I thought was real reparation was immensely damaging and has really set us back. I just wondered how it was for you, getting new information and finding out about recontact. You say the original reconcilation time may have helped you. In my case I just felt the subsequent actions made a lie of the reconciliation somewhat. In December I found a saucy card she sent him in an old coat. It turned out to be from during the affair, not a new thing but it set me back. When can healing really start. Maybe the whole thing is a mess until they really get their heads together whenever that is and you can only start the real repair once it's all in the open. Sorry for these garbled thoughts. Re the OW, 18 months after the original D-day I have understood her, felt sorry for her and today also hate her, remembering the sense of entiltement in her message, knowing that she had children herself and was only concerned for the interests of her family and had no regard for the fact her actions would hurt my children and family. I feel that the OW, along with the spouse, made an assault on us. I am still angry too and angry at my husband for never calling her out on contacting me and saying those awful things.

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    2. I do think that we often direct our anger at the OW as a way of distracting ourselves from the deeper pain of what our husband's did. They're a sort of "safe" target in that we have no emotional investment in them. But perhaps that's a good thing, in that it allows us to work through a lot of grief and pain and anger towards someone who means nothing to us.
      In my case, it was only when I began to recognize just how sad, for lack of a better word, the OW's life was. She'd made such a mess of things, had incredible anger toward the world for situations she'd created herself and was essentially a one-woman wrecking ball.
      From recognizing that she was never somebody I would want to be and that I had zero respect for her and the decisions she'd made, it was a short trip to actually feeling sorry for her. And within that pity/compassion comes the ability to let go of anger.
      Of course, this takes time. It takes an ability to see the larger picture. It takes perspective (which brings us back to time, which often gives us perspective).
      In the meantime, however, don't feed the beast (and by beast, I mean the anger, not the OW. But don't feed her either). Do your best to not dwell on the OW. She means nothing to you. She was a distraction. An escape. A tumour on your marriage.
      Now you're in recovery. The tumour is gone.

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    3. Fragments of Hope,
      Thank you!
      Trust me, I still have my days. I even have days where I wonder if I'm really doing as well as I think I am. I just try to embrace the good days and not get stuck in the bad ones.
      In answer to your question, yes, D Day 2 was unbelievably painful and for a time, made me believe that everything in the prior four months had been a lie. It's taken close to two months for me to really, truly grasp that this was not ever about me. It was about two people deluding themselves and being incredibly selfish. But this did not come without moments of rage, deep sadness and feeling completely alone. I do think that some of the things I learned prior to D Day 2 helped me to better process the pain. I also agree that having your spouse finally pull their head out of their a** helps greatly in the process. D Day 2 was a huge slap in the face for my husband, who had been living a double life on and off thought the affair. He had convinced himself that what I didn't know wouldn't hurt me and reverted to that behavior. The night that I found out forced him to come out with the full story and I went in for ALL the details. Telling it without the affair-tinted glasses was his moment of revelation where he knew it truly had to end. Therapy has been very helpful for him in identifying what within him allowed him to make the choices he made. He struggles with the weight of what he has done and the damage it has caused but is working on both himself and the relationship.
      As for the OW, I can say that I hate her. I am hopeful for a time when that is no longer the case. I texted her the day after D Day 2 because I needed her to hear what I had to say. She replied with a kind of lengthy apology. Initially, it helped, but in the long term, what did it really matter? I don't know how much of it I really believe anyway. I do believe she regrets demoralizing herself for someone who told her he would never leave his family, but it didn't stop her. She is married with her own children and sought out in my husband what she wasn't getting from her own. But telling me that she never intended to take my husband away from his children... It doesn't really make sense as she was working every day to damage their family. And nevermind the ultimatums to stop having sex with him unless he left.
      Please do not mistake any of this for excusing or condoning my husband's behavior. It is not. He made awful choices and did things I would never have thought him capable of. While he can't undo what he did, I give him credit for ending it, recommitting to our marriage and looking inward to try to figure out what he needs to fix.

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    4. Elle, you hit the nail on the head. She's sn easy target because there is no emotional investment. I do pity her in some ways because of the things she did to try to get an emotional investment from my husband. I don't know for certain but I'm guessing her husband knows nothing about this, so in addition to the humiliation of knowing that I know all the details (Ewwww!), she also has to go home and live a lie. Every. Single. Day. Sad... I have told my husband she is most likely broken in some ways because no woman with self respect allows herself to be treated in the way she was.
      Eventually, I guess that will overpower the anger.

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  22. Hi dandelion, I think you seeing your husband try really hard at the marriage does help with the healing, him being committed to you and the marriage is a great start. As for the anger towards her it will fade gradually till you go days, weeks without thinking if her and that generally happens when your at a good place in your marriage. She's not worth a place in your thinking, she's taken enough of your time and energy now focus on you and your marriage. Celebrate the good days you have you!!!
    Your doing amazing by the way : )

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    1. Thanks, Sam A! I have to keep reminding myself that she's not worth my anger. I look forward to the time when she doesn't even occur to me. :-)
      This site has been a HUGE help to me. Knowing that there's a place where others really "get" what I'm feeling because they've been there too always makes me feel a little less crazy.

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    2. Dandelion this type of recent disclosure again just took me back to the beginning of the whole mess and I couldn't do anything to stop it. It was like it just happened. Plus you have more details to deal with. I don't have any advice just I know your new cuts, wound got bigger. The size of the betrayal equals the length of the healing. he needs to totally transparent about everything. You need to expect that from him.

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    3. Lynn,
      Thank you! I agree, transparency is a must.
      I'm also sorry that you've also had to experience this. I get frustrated sometimes with the inability to control the emotions. Not fun for a control freak like me.
      I know he and I still have a long way to be where we ultimately want to be.

      Delete
    4. Lynn Pain:

      You said "The size of the betrayal equals the length of the healing". So how does one determine the size of the betrayal?

      I'm approaching the first anniversary of Dday #3. Marriage is much better, but I am still having trouble letting go of the AP. Ugh, how I hate to admit that, but it is the truth.
      Would love your thoughts on your comment.

      Delete
    5. Diana,
      I think the best way to get past the AP is to recognize just how incidental she was to the whole sordid situation. She was convenient, not special. She represented escape.
      Keep your focus on the ways in which your marriage is better. Understand that sometimes the price we pay for wisdom is pain. And trust that time takes care of the rest. Just don't feed the beast.

      Delete
  23. Fragments of HopeJune 16, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    Dear Dandelion, I find your comment about two selfish deluded people very comforting. I try to tell myself that but it's good to hear it from someone else. I have felt sorry on many levels for her, she was a mother of six undergoing a separation from a depressive husband and my husband (though depressive at home) was 'her rock.' during the process. What I have felt most difficult to get over - although I KNOW it's part of the affair process - is the lack of loyalty from my husband to me and the sniping about me to his AP. Also, when he saw sense and cut her off, at first without explanation but then with an email - she saw red and sent me a Facebook message. I only saw the message (check the 'Other' folder ladies) several months later. Hers was a message of entitlement 'he promised me a life together' and he met my 'innocent' child under the premise of this life together. She said it had been intense and both physical and emotional, she was still staking her claim, understandably since she was hurt by his turnaround. She blamed him for his lies though. When I saw this message months later, I felt the need to have a voice, to answer back (I'd suffered from laryngitus, could not speak a word, straight after D-Day.) So I sent a balanced note saying how I could understand how they both found themselves in bad places but that she should take responsibility too. By coincidence she had recontacted him and it was her triumph to be able to tell me that he had been in contact with her for a month. So me finding my voice and feeling my husband and I had moved on, as he kept it all from me, and she had the upper hand by letting me know. Humiliating. He did not challenge her in any way re her note (even though it contained lies, I believe him). I have a close family and if anyone had threatened them or hurt them in any way I would leap to their side, even if I wasn't getting on well with them. But those same values did not occur in him. He was avoiding conflict with her as well. I guess nothing they do at that time can be judged along normal behaviour. I just find it difficult to know how to just get over these particular betrayals, even though he's remorseful and from the very start, having a qualification in psychology I understand how good people do bad things. I guess I just have to stop see his actions as an attack on myself and your shorthand (selfish, delusional) Dandelion helps with that.

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    Replies
    1. Fragments of Hope, I am so glad to hear that what I said brings some comfort. I know that a lot of what I've read hear has helped me immensely. I have told only two people outside of our therapist, so this is the one place I can come and "talk" with others who really, truly get it.
      It is so hard when you try to understand their behavior during the affair. But you are right, nothing about it can be classified as normal. I also suffered from feeling like he had never defended me. I felt like he opened up my world to her and that in itself was a failure to protect me. I think I've given up trying to understand his actions during that time because they seem to make no sense to anyone but the two involved parties.
      I'm sorry that you had to suffer her trying to hurt you. As if you had not already been hurt enough... I don't understand how women who knowingly involve themselves with married men can ever claim to be the victim.

      Delete
  24. Fragments of HopeJune 17, 2015 at 4:41 AM

    What is terrific about this site is that, at a time when we feel invisible and wiped off the page by our husband's infidelity each of us can come to be acknowledged, heard and respected. Thanks to all, and to Dandelion for your comments here.

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    Replies
    1. Fragments,
      Selfish and deluded pretty much sums it up. A big part of that stereotype of the bad wife at home comes from the fact that many of these guys tell themselves stories in order to justify what they're doing. So a small fight becomes a huge one. A disagreement becomes "she doesn't understand me" and so on down the slippery slope. They're lying to themselves...which makes it easy to lie to someone else.

      Delete
  25. thank you so much for sharing my art! i really appreciate it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a pleasure to hear from you. I was thrilled to discover your work. You have such an eloquent way of describing the beauty and the pain of being alive. Thank-you for what you do.

      Delete
  26. 'the beauty and pain of being alive'.....no kidding, huh? what an incredible ride.thank YOU for what you do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This one? For us perhaps? Thank-you!

      The Healing Began

      feeling dirty, ashamed and damaged,
      she hid her story.
      not knowing that the woman next to her also hid hers.
      and the next woman, and the next.
      finally someone whispered the truth.
      and their eyes met,
      and their tears came,
      their heads nodded softly,
      and their arms reached out.
      holding each other gently, telling their stories,
      the healing began.
      © Terri St. Cloud

      Delete

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