Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Words of Wisdom

From Tara Sophia Mohr:

"...I see women whose faces have been made soft by tears and tiredness and trying to change things they had to eventually realize they could not change.  Because of all of that, you can see in their faces that they are ready to listen, and empathize, and love. And they do. We are far better to each other because of what we’ve all been through. Life carves us into warriors, and life kneads us into softness."

103 comments:

  1. Absolutely beautiful and so true. Thank you for sharing xo

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  2. Maybe this only applies to the women whose faces have been softened by struggle, but I can't even believe the part about women being better to eachother and more empathetic because of what they've been through. Does it happen? Yes. But I think of every cheater and affair partner who's been betrayed themselves who either didn't love and trust their betrayed deeply enough to be as traumatized by what happened, or isn't a good enough person (temporarily or permanently as a part of their truth) to respond with more empathy - and instead turned around and did the same to someone else. I'm not trying to discredit the post but as nice of a thought as it is, it is also true what is said here all the time. Hurt people hurt people. It's still a mystery to me why because I feel like betraying or helping betray someone after it's been done to you and you know exactly what you're inflicting on another person, gives less excuse and makes me less sympathetic to them, not more.

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    1. I think you have to let it soften you. If you let your heart open to the whole experience and get to the center of the pain, you will find tenderness and compassion.
      Those who don't, are destined to carry on with blindness to themselves and others.

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    2. Yes, MBS, you do have to let it soften you. It's those who haven't worked through the pain and come to a deeper understanding who are destined to inflict pain on others. Hurt people continue to hurt people when they haven't healed their own wounds.

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  3. I think the women described in the quote are women quite like us. Offering a hand, an ear, a shoulder. Maybe not everyone is capable. Maybe some don't try hard enough. Just do not let the actions of another make you bitter.

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    1. The idea that I'm shaped (for the worse!) by someone for whom I lack respect is repugnant to me. I want to be the one who decides the kind of person I am...not some messed up woman who felt entitled to my husband. I never wanted to give away my power to her.

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  4. Being a warrior is not all it's cracked up to be. I still listen with empathy. I'm also sceptical. I'm no longer soft inside. Never will be that gullible, trusting soul, who goes out of there way to help at the expense of my own self. I don't anticipate others needs anymore. This experience has changed me, made a 60 yr. old woman grow up and leave her Pollyanna self like we leave road kill on the road. Building up myself, by myself through tears and pain did not change me for the better in some ways. I have been carved up alright and kneaded into a better person, in my opinion, but the soft side is gone forever. I'm better to myself than I was. No I'm not that bitter old woman who constantly complains and no one wants to around. I hide my devastation it remains in my shame. I will always be the stupid wife. Yes, the new marriage better but it didn't make me better, how could it?

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    1. Lynn
      Just by the mere fact that you are here opening yourself up is a good sign. The soft part will emerge because you are a good person. You are in protective mode right now and that is a good place to be. Yes a certain part gets hardened but I just know with a little time and more introspection your softer side will come out. Your softer side is NOT one of naivete, weakness, or making yourself a door mat. It is not about putting others first and you last again. You will find there are many more good people out there than bad. You will learn to trust again but only when you learn to trust yourself first. I have faith, faith in you and all the other betrayeds here. I am a warrior too. LOL I align myself with the Angel Michael, an no I am NOT one of those angel believing nuts. I will fight against evil and call it out. I will fight against self serving narcissism even my own and will call out wrong when I need to. But to truly see evil you must also see good. And no I do NOT think you are bitter or a Polyanna :)

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    2. Lynn,
      I was exactly where you are right now. Lamenting the loss of my own eternal optimism. What's changed, however, is that while I'm no longer a blindly trusting Pollyanna, I am still essentially an optimist. But it feels like more of a choice now. I am more sceptical. My radar does go off occasionally...and, here's the key, I pay attention to it now. I no longer silence that smarter self, I listen.
      I don't feel like the wide-eyed innocent any more. I make choices based on what I really know rather than what I wished were true (and convinced myself were true). Consequently I spent far less time being disappointed by people. I call people out more often when they do let me down. I'm not quite sure how to put it but I feel more...solid. More sure of my own place in the world. Of my own value.
      And I'm able to support others in a far healthier way because I don't feel manipulated or used. I don't allow it any more.
      Not sure if I'm making sense. I always come back to the William Blake poems -- Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. Innocence without experience is naivete. Experience without innocence is cynicism. What we're after is an innocence borne of experience. A choice to still look for the best in people, even when we know what they're capable of. The key is not letting it make us bitter. Always understanding that how we respond is a choice.
      Does that make sense?

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    3. I love you all! I know I will get it eventually. Yes, it does make sense when you put that way and all this is new to me being on shakey ground.

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  5. Elle,

    I have been carrying my wagon behind me filled with pain and outrage.....suddenly yesterday I read a young woman's voice....and she used that Ana Fels article "Great Betrayals" and my fellow betrayed that kept me alive these past years.....you and everyone here

    Please read the most recent issue of Psychology Today

    Betrayed by Abby Ellin

    Love to all
    v

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    1. Lots to think about. Here's the link, ladies, if you want to read it: https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201506/the-drama-deception

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  6. Very good. I have become softened and hardened at the same time. Change can start with one person Better Half. Be that person. It's hard not to be bitter and I agree many women are very cruel to each other. Thank God I have found that most of the women I know aren't cruel. I choose to be the softened, stronger woman.

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    1. That part I get. Considering the fact that there's no, as I've heard it put here, "restorative justice" in the situation, we have to create our own. I still think less of people. But to be the same asshole you see in others gives you no right to complain, and doesn't make you any different. Early in the days after D-day that part wasn't lost on me, that if you've convinced yourself there's not enough kindness or decency out there, then you start to fix that by being an example of what you'd like to see.

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    2. Yep. I'm always amazed at the number of women who cheat with married men when their husbands cheated on them (case in point: My husband's OW). Why would they inflict that same pain on someone else when they KNOW how awful it is? But I've concluded that we either get better or we get bitter. Our choice.

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    3. Okay I clicked publish midway through the first sentence so please ignore that one.

      Elle, it amazes me even more how cheaters and affair partners (his OW as well) feel compelled to slip this little fact about their romantic past into conversation as if it makes them a more sympathetic character. Why? What conclusion can I draw from that, other than the distinct probability that you are personally acquainted with that pain and yet even having gone through the emotional gang bang that initiates you into the pack of those who have a more realistic knowledge of this, you still thought NOTHING of contributing to that pain in another person? I'll never understand this. I'm glad I don't understand this in the sense that whatever justifies it for them has never resonated or appealed to me, but in another it also mentally isolates me just a little bit more from other people, particularly people of my generation for whom it's become so hopelessly normalized.

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    4. I think it has more to do with whether the cheated upon person actually heals from it or simply moves on from it. I think any time we're hurt by others, we, depending on our emotional maturity, intelligence and access to support, can recognize that what happened was not okay and that we nonetheless have value. It's when we conclude that we don't have value or that people are inherently out to get us and we therefore must always be on guard or we decide that if we want to get our share of the pie we've got to take it (all philosophies which plenty of people are taught from early on in life) that we're more likely to use being cheated on as an excuse to visit that same pain on another.
      Which is why, despite the fact that the OW in my case was relatively bright, I understand why she did what she did. She absolutely had a mindset that she somehow got screwed in life. She was hard and bitter and had no respect for herself, let alone anybody else. She always felt like others had it easy while she had it hard. She hated me. I knew that...but never quite thought my husband was stupid enough to sleep with her.
      It really comes down to the stories we tell ourselves about what happens to us. We can either be the hero or the victim. Or the villain, though we usually don't call it that. ;)

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  7. Hello. I'm after some words of wisdom from you all!

    My husband has to go on a business trip. It will take him near the OW. He swears it is all finished and has been since beg May.

    I don't want him to go. He normally goes for two weeks at a time. I'm not ready for this yet. The thing is our livelihood depends on this...which makes me feel selfish and unreasonable for saying I don't want him to go.

    What do I do? Any advice very much apprecIated.

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    1. Clover,
      This is going to be tough. But it can also be a chance for both of you to work together to get through it -- to have it pull you closer together rather than further apart. Look at it as something you both need to get through, a sort of test of your recommitment to each other. You need to extend a certain amount of trust to someone who's proven himself in the past unworthy of it. And he needs to realize that this is a chance for him to help you do that. How? Well...figure out what you might need from him for reassurance. Truth is you'll never know 100% where he is and what he's doing. But what can he do that will help allay your fears? Send regular texts? Photos of where he is? Call in regularly?
      What if you do have a freakout -- can you two talk in advance about how he can help talk you in off the ledge? What do you need to hear from him when your mind is playing out your worst fears? See if you two can walk through how you can support each other through this, a sort of dress rehearsal for your new marriage.
      And...know that it will be tough. What can you do for yourself while he's away that will help you. Therapy appointments? Hanging with friends? Treating yourself to something -- massage, lunch out, a new outfit -- to remind you that, no matter what he has done or ever does, you are your own best friend?
      Ultimately we all have to get to that place where we make that choice to either close our eyes and leap or remain hyper-vigilant. You want to be able to leap...and trust. So put the nets in place so you can give this a try.

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    2. Thankyou Elle. I'm aware that I'm going to have to try and so I'm making plans to keep busy but being careful not to exhaust myself.

      If I do freak out, it's comforting to know there is this safe place to come to.

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    3. So he left for the trip today. I have kept busy but have felt on the verge of tears a few times. I had friends over for the evening, friends who don't know what happened. It made the evening fly by, but now I'm in bed and my brain is mulling over all the possibilities. Is he lying still? Is it really finished? I hate this.

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    4. Clover,
      Let yourself hate this. But know that it won't kill you. And that when it's over, you'll be stronger. Sometimes we think the only way to survive something is to ignore it or find a way to feel good about it. Not so. Sometimes we simply endure it because we have little choice.
      And know also that all those questions in your head aren't reality. They are questions. And wondering about something doesn't make it true.
      Clover, you'll get through this. Hang in there. Post here when you need to. Do your best to life in the moment (trite sounding but it's honestly it works). You're still standing.

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  8. I read this article last night. I am reading The Sociopath Next Door too. Ever since my H went NC with the OW I understood why he went NC but for her to go NC at the same time was inconceivable to me. One or the other in my world would have reached out. Neither did and trust me I have verified. My husbands story never wavered. He wanted her out of his life. Once I got involved it was easy. But for her to stay out was incomprehensible to me. Now I understand why. The OW in my case was an indisputable sociopath. I have no doubt. Once he cut her lose she moved on. Heck she moved on even before he broke it off. She was busy with her ex step son at the same time. LOL ironic he was being played while playing me. Ugh it's all so ugly.

    Anyway this article and the book has truly enlightened me. I was constantly suspicious about her contacting him now I see she felt no love or emotions for him so when her gravy train ended it was ok with her. All she missed was the financial support.

    I guess I'm lucky he had an affair with a sociopath. She truly has not interred in my life once I sent her an email to piss off. LOL she did!!! She knew I was on to her scam. She wanted as far away from me as possible. He always thanks me for saving his life. It seemed weird but he knew deep down she was toxic. He was scared to death if HE broke it off she would call him out. Who knows maybe she would maybe she wouldn't have. All I know is I am glad she is out of my life.

    This was the one hurdle I needed to overcome and now I know. I believe him.

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    1. Glad she took her freak show somewhere else.

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    2. I too saw lots of signs of sociopathy in the OW. The thing about her that just made it clearer that this person just didn't function like an emotionally normal adult was when talking to her right after disclosure (from my SO), how in addition to her self-serving narrative meant to manipulate and draw sympathy, her responses to things were completely off. It was like I was speaking of something emotionally charged and she could only relate how wrong it was of her to take the last poptart in the box. I can't really explain it.
      But it always makes me happy when someone mentions that book, I loved it when I read it a few years ago. I would also recommend gift of fear to anyone who enjoyed Martha stouts work.

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  9. Fragments of HopeJuly 2, 2015 at 12:43 AM

    Before I discovered the full extent of my husband's relationship with the OW (it first came out when he told me he'd met someone he had feelings for. I naively thought the connection was in it's infancy and he was being honest,) I felt sorry for everyone, thought 'these things happen' and said that I didn't want to be a victim or act with resentment. In the ensuing weeks my husband made some terrible choices while 'in the fog' towards her and away from his family and then again nine months later when he kept in touch behind my back (as friends) for a month while we were reconciling. He tore reality apart by changing his mind, by being intimate with me and then texting her minutes later (the real D-Day in my mind, what a shock when I discovered his romantic and husband and wifey texts to each other, minutes after we'd been in bed together.) While he was in recontact with her, he was sending me very thoughtful and considerate texts about trying to be a better man and knowing how much he'd hurt me. He was obviously still compartmentalising etc. In short, I have grown through this experience, found even more compassion and understanding in myself than I thought possible. But sadly the resentment came and all sorts of bad feelings surrounding the cost on me and the family (even though he stayed and was remorseful) and the cost of his earlier hostility and lack of engagement with the family, particularly our now teenage boys. I can't yet get over and feel bitter (and hardened) by what happened, even though I never wanted to be like this. I now have greater understanding that there are no guarantees, that everyone has demons, that even if I was in another relationship that there would be some issues to face but I still have a very difficult time getting over the destruction of the nice and kind family life that was so important to me and that I thought (because of the way he was) he would help create with me. While admiring the way he has since developed and grown as a person, I don't know if I can accept, in the long term, how he has negatively affected the family. The kids are only young and with us for a while, the eldest will be 15 soon and has many issues (due to his aspergers and low self-esteem.) I feel I have been running the emotional and moral heart of the family for years without input from him. He is trying to step up and perhaps time will give him the chance to make a difference. But at this point I am feeling very cynical.

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    1. Fragments,
      I think your feelings are justified. I'm stuck with the knowledge that my husband was checked out in many ways during the early years of my kids. That I was carrying way more than my share. For quite a while post D-Day, I had every intention of leaving as soon as I felt emotionally stronger. Clearly I changed my mind. And seeing the change in my husband has everything to do with that.
      He's a more engaged husband and father than he ever was before. Without that horrible wake-up call (for him. I was already quite awake, thank-you very much), he'd still be living a half-life.
      Did he deserve that second chance? I dunno. Does anyone really "deserve" it? I think leaving or staying is such a personal choice. But what I do know is that my kids have a far better man for their father. He's fully present in their lives...and mine.
      Whether your husband is able to become that guy remains to be seen. And whether you decide to rebuild your marriage is entirely up to you. Either choice is valid. You can still admire the changes he's making but accept that you need to move on without him.
      I wonder if what you really need is acknowledgement from him that you've been doing all the heavy lifting for so long, that you've been the heart of the family. Whether or not he can give you that, I hope that YOU can give yourself that. Your boys are in large part as great as they are because you're their mom.
      Let the dust settle, knowing that any choice you make today doesn't have to be the ultimate choice. Wait until the future seems more clear and your choice clearer. Be cynical. Be angry. Just don't stay there.

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  10. Freaking out right now. The OW randomly will send me messages full of bitchy information about the affair. She acts like she is trying to help me as "another woman and mother" but it's clearly all about trying to harm me and that she is still bitter he came back to me. It's a nightmare. She messaged last night and it brought everything back, I was a mess all night. Sick and crying all over again. I hate her so desperately and my husband has given me every single detail so she never has new information for me but she pathetically wants to shock me with something, it's twisty and cruel game to her. Today is my 11th anniversary. My husband is trying so hard and doing every thing right. When he walked in with scared hopeful eyes and two dozen roses and wine tonight I know he is trying so hard but I just feel like looking away and curling up in bed hiding the night away. The betrayal is breaking me into pieces right now. What do you guys do when the OW contacts you?

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    1. Rose,
      You need to block her completely. For a lot of these women, the drama is like oxygen. They crave it and will continually stir things up just so they can keep breathing.
      Don't respond. Don't open any texts/e-mails she sends you. Block her number/e-mail address. If she continues to find ways to harass you then let her know you will be going to the police to file harassment charges.
      She's assuming a lot of power...but you need to stop giving it to her. I know it's hard. But think of her like a cancerous tumour that needs to be cut out.

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    2. Today is my 8th wedding anniversary and tomorrow will be 8 weeks from d day. Bitter sweet numb happy sad ... we are going to go out tonight.. 2 steps forward right. Im dreaming about all the bullshit again ... i know this to shall pass ... its still new. Still raw. Still a big wtf. Hugs to all.

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    3. Anonymous,
      I think for a lot of us the year (or two) following D-Day almost feels like play-acting. "This is what a couple does on their anniversary." "This is what how a couple behaves at their child's graduation." I felt numb for a long time. I finally underwent EMDR, a therapy that's often used for post-trauma. It's a little woo-woo but it worked. Gave me access to my feelings again. You're still in the early days post D-Day so your emotions will be all over the place, with numb playing a big role. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and your brain will begin to catch up as it sorts through all this insane information you're asking it to process. Hugs to you too.

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    4. Numb for sure! Glad we went out. Husband very emotional. opened up about himself again how hes sorry and him trying to grasp outloud ... why he saw our child and me as on one boat and him in another he said he sees now how he disengaged himself and doesnt know why when he sees now everything he wanted and needed is here it always has been. I see how i was wrapped up in our child too baby loves guess makes us all oblivious to a point of what really going on around us. Im glad hes talking some and i tried best to be a good listener and not jump in like i norm do. I learned too that besides child along the way he had health job finance change. no excuse but i learned he doesnt feel good about himself like he used to which is not what the world sees from the outside looking in very strong get it done kibda man. A cue i difinantly was not on point with. I know he has to work on himself as well as me on me and us as a whole.. but seems hes really processing something and im learning a thing or two along the way. he thought he was telling me over the years but i wasnt hearing him which lead him elsewhere no excuse you pony up when times get hard not give up on one another. Even when hard to talk we both see that commumication is key seems we may have fallen on separate parallels dealing with daily grind when focus should be on crossroads growing together. We lost each other for awhile and we are both hopeful we can get it back and the long term affair doesnt define us. Hard work for sure. I believe in my heart we are worth it. His sorrys continue putting mini bandaids on my heart. I hopeful for healing while still feeling incredibly raw. Thanks for the encouragement and saying it does get better.

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    5. Anonymous,
      Hurt people hurt people. When we don't like ourselves, when we feel hard done by, when we believe the stories we tell ourselves about how nobody cares and we don't matter and blah blah blah and then somebody shows up in our lives and we really like the reflection of ourself in that person's eyes... Well, it happens.
      The best outcome, I think, is that we learn and grow and deepen our relationship to ourselves and each other. It sounds as if that's what you're both doing. No guarantees, of course. But we're far less likely to make the same mistake when we've really come to understand the path we were on before we made it.

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  11. Fragments of HopeJuly 2, 2015 at 9:56 PM

    Thanks Elle, you're right. My husband has changed hugely both in his interactions with the kids and me. It's of course a journey and there is still room for improvement. He still finds it much easier to connect with the two youngest (my daughter and littlest son) than the older boys and looking back, he was always a good hands on father when they were babies. The two older boys are more of a challenge and some of the challenges and huge stresses (school refusal & behavioural problems in the boy with Aspergers) are still ongoing. In a circular way the stress of these problems and other life difficulties pushed our relationship to its brink but the stress in the house due to the way we were interacting (in the year the affair was going on but I didn't know) made a terrible atmosphere in the house which the older children, in particular, absorbed. Anyway I ramble but it's helping. What you say about all choices still being open to me is very helpful. If I could be where I wanted to be right now I'd have taken a couple of months away to see things more clearly and feel stronger as a person and then started out as friends with my husband to see where things went. As it is I feel as if I'm in a halfway house, not completely sure I want to be 'in a relationship' with my husband yet still here anyway and 'trying'. Everyday domestic life does not help but an impromptu quiet drink in a bar just the two of us made us feel more like people who might want to be together. We'll see.

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    1. Fragments,
      What you describe is pretty common in any household, I think. The resentment builds, which creates stress, which causes the kids to misbehave, which creates resentment and stress and round and round we go. Anxiety is contagious, as my friend says. Our kids are "catching" it even when we think we're not outwardly showing it.
      It's a lot to ask of you but try to be the one who breaks the cycle. It sounds as if you're the most capable, frankly. Insist that your husband step up with the older boys. He needs to create a relationship with them based on who they are now -- almost adults. It's easy for some men to parent smaller kids because there's a big power difference. Once kids become older (especially boys), dads can find themselves feeling a little unsure about their role. But that's why it's so important to connect on a different level. Otherwise, the kids will act out their feelings instead of expressing them in a healthy way.
      I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know. And I'm sure a special needs kid complicates things further. But I do know that it was only when I insisted that my husband participate in our family as an engaged parent that his relationship with the kids completely shifted...and took a lot of pressure off me (and mitigated a lot of resentment).
      And it is important for you two to spend time together -- even if you just consider it as co-parents right now. It's in everyone's best interests for you two to remain committed to being the best for your kids. If that turns into a desire to reconnect as intimate partners, then even better. If not, you've lost nothing by remaining "friends".

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  12. Elle,

    Is there such a thing as cynical optimist? And can I call myself an Infidelity anarchist?

    Between that psychology today article "Betrayed" and "Confessions of a Seduction Addict." Elizabeth Gilbert A.K.A "madame poacher." And yet another recent visit with an anguishing betrayed spouse who's "Discovery" was through contracting STD'S.
    While driving to meet her I was asking myself. "Did I want to kill myself on Discovery because of the shame I felt...? I asked her and she responded "No! I wanted to do it to get away from the pain."

    I woke this morning and the word "Shelved" came into my head. I was shelved for my entire marriage up until the "Discovery." I was spiritually, sexually, emotionally, physically shelved by my husband. I know that now because we are "Activated." I lost many years blaming myself for his distance which he had to keep in order to maintain a "parallel life."

    Pre Discovery

    ( here I have all the delightful characters like Elizabeth Gilbert "Studying me" in order to serve my husband's ego/and theirs, "Differently," for their narcissistic "heists." And there are always those charming faux clinicians like Ester Perel whispering in our ears.... that even happily married people have affairs- secret relationships-emotional connection and alchemy outside of of their primary relationships. And OW a la Monica Lewinsky's targeting married "men" (old Billy wasn't her first) and accusing the world of "cyber bullying." An endless list of "Infidelity Zeitgeist." People needing to feel their freedoms in order to feel "Special." Because after all we live in a cultural time that's all about "Me."

    Then I have my 2 personal OW one a small ball sociopath the other an undercover sexual pirate (physician who does not practice 'safe sex?' "Friend of the family," decides she wants a weekend with my husband and he thinks "Wow, "everyone's doing it." And get this clincher "She's not even physically attractive," to him. Her "breath has a bad odor." These OW all have a clear pattern and want to "Win." but secretly.....

    I have all the people in his office who "Know." and even "Friends." No one thinks to send an anonymous letter so the years roll on....and on....and I'm increasingly depressed, self blaming, physically ill...who knows what right? Chicken or the egg.

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  13. 3-

    Discovery

    I immediately take ALL the blame. And Wow I'm introduced to the world of war terminology. D-Day. I take ALL the blame, He hands me HIS, and then I get bombed and missiled by the entire culture around me...UNTIL I find fellow betrayed spouses and get into the bunker with my war buddies....I am all ALONE. Hey wish Brene Brown would come to my house and study 'THIS" kind of "Shame."

    I can't find a therapist that "Get's it." Until I do...but takes a lot of time and work to find that. Better yet I am re-introduced to what I lost MY GUT INSTINCTS

    (many years ago my husband wanted to end his affair and attended therapy with a psychiatrist "lofty Professional" who never suggested he speak to me directly and/or asked questions regarding practicing safe sex (questions would be much too personal) Even though both of my husbands OW are married and also do not practice "safe Sex."



    Post Discovery

    The real journey begins. Takes about at least a year for me to come out of shock. Start collecting data getting clear. Post Discovery depends on my husbands "Trickle Truth." I can be re-bombed and re-triggered. My hope lies in telling the truth and following my gut. I will live with my husband only if he's willing to cross over to my side and join my tribe. Authentic, transparent, genuine willingness to "Be Disturbed," together.

    So when someone NOW says that we can no longer blame "happy marriages" for infidelity and betrayal and asks coyly "Millions of people can't all be pathological?"
    I argue that Millions of people CAN be pathological perpetrators of sexual deceit and of a whole new type of emotional intimacy terrorism and violence. There appears no "DUTY TO WARN.' innocent victims and willfully ignore this as a human rights issue and domestic violence.

    I am keeping my cynical, angry voice and running with it.....Invisible no longer.

    Love BIG love to all.

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  14. 3-4

    Post Discovery

    The real journey begins. (Takes me about at least a year for me to come out of shock) Start collecting Data getting clear. Post Discovery depends on my husbands "Trickle Truth." I can be re-bombed and re-triggered. My hope lies in telling the truth and following my gut. I will live with my husband only if he's willing to cross over to my side and join my tribe. Authentic, transparent, genuine demonstrating a "Willingness to be Disturbed." Together. (he has to turn around and look at what HE DID.

    So when all the therapy jargon says NOW "Oh, we can no longer BLAME because even "Happy Marriages" have infidelity and betrayal. And when someone coyly asks the question "Millions of people can't all be pathological?" I argue that Millions of people CAN be pathological perpetrators of sexual deceit and of a whole new type of emotional intimacy terrorism and violence. There appears a cultural collusion of no "DUTY TO WARN." innocent victims and willfully ignore this as a human rights issue and domestic violence.

    Ever see a dog rolling on the grass and relishing it? I'm rolling in my cynical, angry voice and running into the fields with passion...invisible no longer.

    Big BIG love to all.

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    1. Val,
      A whole lotta good points. And yes, I do think it's possible to be a cynical optimist. I suspect I am too. I expect the best...but keep an eye out for evidence that I'm wrong.

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    2. Elle,

      I apologize for the repeats in passages! of my recent rant..I lost track of what I was sending and kept starting over!

      And apologize for talking too much! but feel so passionate about this topic. I just heard on the car radio and grabbed the quote:

      "Narcissism is meeting history, colliding with it."

      I'm stunned by the sea of people who feel entitled to hide behind secrets and deceit and be "One Up," on unaware partners.

      I have become dedicated to fighting not only the personal gaslighting I experienced first hand by my beloved "narcissistic," husband but further gaslighting by the dominant culture around me.

      Love to all
      v

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    3. Dear Valkyrie,
      I love it when you get on a roll. Pre discovery the word shelved is right. My husband opened up this weekend after I had a serious melt down. He said, "you may not want to hear this, but you made a life for yourself, you had new friends and a successful career. I was in a job I hated, felt left out, lonely and felt resentment toward you. When you reached out to me several times to connect, I pushed you away because to let you in would have destroyed this macho imagine I made for myself. It would have destroyed what I built up in my mind about resentment. So I kept my lies to myself intact by not letting you in. This was all of my own making. ". So I was shelved for a long time about 20 years of resentment in my husband's mind. I didn't know why he turned me away but it was good to hear him tell the truth about himself. The second part intertwined what our culture told us as we grew up including moms. In my moms time it was worse and grandmothers time would be intolerable. But today secrets sell, forbidden sells, lies sell and sex sells. i don't intermingle what the media sells, our culture and my circumstances. . What I do know after being an ED, surgery, pediatric and ICU nurse is I'm very cynical about changing much as a whole after all I have seen but I do think our speaking up has a ripple effect. My sister and best friend were educated through my experience which ripples to whomever they talk to. I think the ripple effect eventually makes change happen. I will say it is an uphill battle to reconcile staying based on our culture. Sometimes I feel Ike I'm betraying myself by staying or that is what I grew up with. Revenge, pay-back just look at the betrayed wives movies. First wives club for example. Staying is much harder on me than I thought. Everything says are you crazy or what?

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    4. Lynn

      I so identify with your "20" years. Me too..... That "resentment" (why it could be anything) that gave my husband justification for his "parallel"secret life."away from me. I believe our experiences have a powerful ripple effect in a very meaningful way. I guess all we can do is speak our truth and stories that open up discussion. I look back in wonderment and daily question leaving. Especially since I have three daughters part of me wonders.....shouldn't I just go? and 'Actually I'd be really happy on my own at least it would be peaceful?" For me It IS an uphill battle and harder to stay ....in so many odd ways. It's like maybe, my husband is honest now I'm not sure I can fill that seismic hole in my heart.....in order to stay for the rest of my life..... and can't unpack this specific sense of unrest (self betrayal?) that makes me keep entertaining leaving. I'm believing that I will know .... I agree am I crazy or what? Dunno...

      All my love

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  15. Elle,

    This was just in my inbox from a friend...have not read it but am already cringing and preparing myself.....

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/05/fashion/first-comes-sex-talk-with-these-renegades-of-couples-therapy.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

    ReplyDelete
  16. Rose
    I know her contact is disturbing but maybe you can help you look at it in a different light.

    Her continual contact is only making her look worse and your husband's eyes and this is what you want. She is going to do and say anything. She's a miserable person and she wants everyone to be as miserable as her. She is jealous of you. Probably always has been. I would play her. Play her big. Make her say stupid things that you can show to your husband. If he's told you everything nothing she says has any power to take you off guard.

    I can say I only with the OW had the balls to do that to me. I'd have eaten her alive!!! I would have loved a chance for my husband to see the real her! LOL she probably knew it this is why she didn't dare try. I would have told her "bring it on bitch!"

    OK well that's just me :) Truly if she is getting to you, block her. Just block her number it's easy. If you can't do it go to your cell phone provider and they will show you how. These people all react in different ways. This was my husband's worst nightmare. That she would contact me. She never did but I was ready for her if she had.

    You are the better person and her actions are proving it. I hope you do what is right for you. I would bet your husband is quickly coming to the realization what an asshole he wasted his time with.

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    Replies
    1. Rose,

      I'm with Tryinghard!,(especially "Bring it Bitch.") Hey but T.H. looks like we got (coward) OW's not the bat shit variety....... and if your dealing with a sociopath forget it. Rose if your gut says danger and she's "getting to you." Everyone's sage advice is block her! Don't respond to her. Don't focus on her because your sadness and grief only gives her fuel. If she's shameless and shows no remorse whatsoever, she will never speak your language and it's pointless.

      The more crazy any dumped OW gets the more your husband gains his little badge and affirmation sticker that he lost his mind.

      Stand tall, you did nothing to be ashamed of....the calmer and quieter you get next to her crazy? the better....just breath into that freak out and try and ride the wave away from her toxicity. Bring it here reach out for support anytime you need it. People here get it. When things press hard do any positive type of "Self Care." get support....ride that pain wave....

      love
      v

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    2. Rose, in my case OW is bat shit crazy. I did have a few conversations and message with her and they are pretty useless. She is nuts. One made me very anxious but I was able to recover and take back the upper hand. Best thing I ever did was out her to her BH and watch her self destruct and show how crazy she is. My WH sees how crazy she is and literally says "I don't know what I ever saw in that crazy ***"". I won't use the last word as its not a nice one. Whether she now sees that she meant absolutely nothing to my WH or not, I don't know, like I said she really is bat shit crazy. My WH and I have blocked her entire family on our devices and Facebook etc accounts and would like to never speak to any of them or see any of them again so we can look to only the future. My advise to you would be that if its filling you with emotions of any kind....ie anger, resentment, anxiety etc....block her and try to concentrate on making yourself feel more at peace.

      Delete
    3. Ladies, I understand the appeal of watching a train wreck but I honestly think it's dangerous (emotionally and possible physically) to engage with the OW. Block her. Attention is like oxygen to these women. Cut if off. Move forward.

      Delete
    4. Yes I agree Elle, attention is like oxygen, she is crazy and no matter what I say or do it doesn't register with her, she twists things to create her own morally corrupt reality, so I'm done trying to reason with her. She is jealous and dim witted, she still wants my husband and wants out of her own marriage, she hates that she didn't "win." It's such a sick game to her. I will never respond to her again, I'm all about moving forward. My husband does know she is completely crazy he warned me of that from the beginning of the fall out, he is scared of her. He is actually relieved in a way that I got to see it for myself, to see he wasn't lying about her insane ways. He is beyond embarrassed and horrified that he got involved with her in the first place and is super depressed about what it has done to me. I'm not the women that I used to be and in some ways that is a very good thing. I'm stronger and more in tune with myself then I've ever been, I suddenly have a backbone of steel and that feels amazing. She can't compete with me, we are a different species.

      Delete
  17. I have cried so many tears and I'm so very tired. I don't feel much like a warrior. Hoping that my softness remains. I would hate to think that something as awful as this could make me be someone without softness in my heart.

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    Replies
    1. Alone,

      Oh yes....those tears are exhausting....

      wish I could reach out and give you a big hug...yes beautiful Alone keep that softness.....none of us should let this take best parts of us.....our sincerity, compassion, BIG love, and most importantly hope.

      So, wish I could give you a hug and then help hold up a shield for you. We are all here and you are not alone, Alone......:)

      Delete
    2. Alone, we are all with you and understand. I felt like I had hardened. I often still do but am now seeing some of my softer side come back out and some joy coming back....little bits at a time. I still feel the hurt, anger and resentment but they are finally becoming a little less and some of "myself" is showing through again. The "myself" that I thought I had lost and was gone forever.

      Delete
    3. Alone. I understand exactly how you feel. I am harder because of this. I refuse to wear a wedding ring anymore, and if someone asks why I simply tell them "because it holds no meaning for me".

      I wore it every day of my life for seventeen years. a while after DDay I went for a walk and threw it in a field of long grass. I know I will never be able to find it again. It symbolised for me the realisation that I won't ever have the same relationship with my husband ever again...and although this thought makes me sad, I'm also finding I feel lighter for acknowledging this.

      Hugs to you All

      Delete
    4. Yes! Alone and Clover I relate so strongly to this, I feel so much harder and I too took off my wedding ring and I threw his in the trash the moment all the life altering truth came out. We recently bought some very simple matching silver bands that we now wear as a symbol of our now united fight in saving our marriage from this trauma. Our old marriage is dead, but I have hope for a brighter new marriage one with much better communication. Joy and light and a softness has been coming back, it's slow but coming. I hope you start to feel it, you aren't alone and it is exhausting but it does start to ease with time and change.

      Delete
  18. Valkyrie. Both of the articles you have post here have been great. The first one on "duping" especially

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  19. I really found this essay below, truly inspiring. I am trying to take more steps to think about being a warrior for myself and less preoccupied with "him" or "her" or how no one else get it, or how fu-ked up other people are. Hoping that we all find the right way to focus on ourselves that is not narcissistic but truly honoring and valuing who we are when so many things can leave us feeling dishonored and less than.

    http://thespiritscience.net/2015/07/05/a-time-comes-in-your-life-when-you-finally-get-it-this-is-your-awakening/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "You learn the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake."

      Of the entire article, that's the sentence that hit home for me. Two days of struggling and feeling like I'm sliding backwards. My husband is still doing his part. He's having open conversations with me. He tells me he loves me. He has apologized over and over. There's been no more contact with the OW on either of our parts. Why do I suddenly feel stuck? Why am I being triggered? Why am I going back to things that have already been talked out? He says if I'm still having issues then he must not be reassuring me enough. I don't know what more he can do. We've talked about why it happened. We're in therapy. He is ashamed of what happened and acknowledges that he was "a fool" (his words not mine). He's truly present in our relationship and our family. My mind knows that I can't understand where his head was during the affair, so why do I still try to put it in a neat little logical package?

      My anger toward the OW has dulled but it's still there. I feel like the lack of a face to face confrontation with her leaves it unresolved. My first two interactions with her (first by phone and second by text), she attempted to lie and cover up what was happening. The third interaction (also by text and the day after I found out the full truth), she just rolled over and apologized. At first, I felt better, but now it just makes me angry. I fully expected that if she had the balls to screw my husband, "fall in love", and give him ultimatums that she wouldn't screw him anymore "until they were both single" despite his telling her he would never leave his marriage that she would at least stick up for herself. And I'm angry that after that apology she went crying to her sister who then sent an e-mail to my husband at work accusing me of attacking her (the OW) and threatening both of us... him if she ever saw him and me if I ever did anything to harm the OW or her family. Not sure how my stating facts... that she slept with my husband, that she lacked class (they did have sex in his truck in public parking lots), that she appeared to lack self esteem (again, they had sex in his truck in parking lots), and that she showed a lack of morals and acted selfishly as did my husband... turned into me attacking her. I mean she did knowingly involve herself with another married person. I have never contacted her husband or addressed any of this with anyone other than her directly nor have I ever threatened her in any way. Why does she get to play the victim?

      Is release of all of this something that comes with time? Am I expecting to heal too soon or am I "pain shopping"? When do I get to choose not to carry this cross?

      Delete
    2. MBS thx u for sharing i am moved ... so much i might even share with my husband ... needed this today may need to read it several times more.

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    3. Dandelion, keep the threat somewhere just in case but also ignore it. It comes from a biased person with no intellect regarding what her sister has done. The OW in my case is/was very pissed off that she was outed and I would advise that if your OW's BH is not aware, then you should tell him and btw...it was very freeing to do so in my case. A huge weight was lifted off me when I did it. My WH's OW was extremely pissed off that she was outed and yes the situation was similar, they met and screwed in a parked car in public parks in the middle of the day for anyone who might happen to walk through to see...wtf. Who does that? My WH doesn't even know why he did that. Turned out that my WH's nephew literally worked within 1 minute of that park and a neighbouring golf course during the time and could have seen them at any time. I went to the park it happened most often and I could see right into the cars that were passing so anyone passing by car could see-there was no enclosure or trees....who does that? In this case they both lacked class, self respect and morals....something I have definitely enlightened her of as well as my WH.
      We all get stuck. I get stuck all the time, I feel like I regress all the time. My anger feels worse some days and better other days. Its going to take time and from everything I have read, here, on other sites and in books, it will take a LONG time so we all need to give ourselves that....time to heal and be able to leave it in the past.

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    4. Thank you, Lizzie. Yes, so many moments where I have said WTF and questioned who does that? All but one time, they met in broad daylight and always in his truck in parking lots and in surprisingly close proximity to both of our work places. Classy. And most definitely the way you treat someone you truly care for, right? I have been tempted to contact her husband but have decided against it for now because she does have three kids who I wouldn't want to experience what mine have in terms of upheaval at home in the wake of D-Day. My children being exposed to problems between us is my greatest regret.
      Thank you for helping me feel less crazy about the emotional rollerccoaster! :-)

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    5. Dandelion,
      Healing from betrayal is not a straight trajectory. It goes up and down and all around. Just when we think we're there -- bam -- we get triggered by something. A remorseful spouse willing to support us is definitely helpful. But it's not some magic panacea. We just have to do the work of grieving. We just have to endure some days. We have to trust in our strength to get through this.
      But we also have to be careful we're not taking on someone else's stuff. The OW running to her sister is absolutely NOTHING for you to take responsibility for. Of course she ran to her sister. And of course her sister took her side. But that doesn't mean for a second that you did anything wrong. Her sister slept with a married man and has to now endure the consequences of that. Of course she won't like the consequences. Of course she's scared that you're some mad woman who's going to ruin her life. Too damn bad. I frankly think you should tell the husband. He has the same right to know what's happening in his marriage as we do. However, we each get to do what feels right for us.
      But please...just worry about keeping your own side of the street clean and let the OW take responsibility for her side of the street.
      I suspect that will go a long way toward helping you move forward in your marriage. You get to choose when to put the cross down. It's not your job to be "nice". It's your job to keep yourself safe and to protect what matters to you. That's it. And when we simply keep our own side of the street clean, life suddenly becomes a whole lot less complicated.

      Delete
    6. MBS,
      Thanks so much for sharing that. There's a ton in there that really reminded me of what matters. I'll re-read it often, I think.

      Delete
    7. Thank you, Elle, for those words and the ones below. I think you are probably on track with my anger being an easier outlet than sadness and fear. My therapist has said since very early on to focus on what I can control (keeping my side of the street clean) and not what I expect or want others to do. While telling her husband would give me great pleasure, I know that I would be doing it only to hurt her and not to help him. And I do honestly want to prevent her kids from being hurt in the process, despite everything I feel she did to damage my kids' home life. I truly believe that she will, at some point, be found out and have to accept some accountability for her actions even if I do nothing. But, there is that vengeful part of me that also knows I have that option (along within the phone records and our text messages in which she acknowledged what she did) in my back pocket in the event that she crosses any lines.
      I guess I just need to wrap my head around the fact that there are going to be triggers and tough days for awhile and focus on healing myself. I SO want that beeline to healing rather than the roller coaster! But I'm sure I'm not alone in that feeling. ;-)

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    8. Dandelion, when I found out, I wanted to tell her BH out of spite and anger and I didn't say anything. I knew it would become bigger mess as he would become part of it then so I kept my mouth shut to her family for a year. That year was torture for me, not because I wanted her outed for the sake of my anger but because her BH had a right to know what he was living with. It haunted me everyday. The weight that was lifted off me was not because I finally got to see her self destruct (which btw was a happy side effect for me though) but because HE was now aware and my conscience was clear that I was withholding information about his marriage that he had a right to know and everyone including me around him was keeping it from him. Whether you out them or not is completely your decision but if you find there is something weighing on you and eating at you, consider that as at the reason...jmho. If the situation was reversed, would you want to know. I would want to know and I would be so much angrier if I knew that I wasn't being told by people who knew and had every reason to let me know.

      Yes, the whole sex in broad daylight in public parked cars/trucks.....wtf? I shake my head everyday about that. My WH was a police officer at the time and sex in a public car in the middle of the day is in fact illegal and he could have had employment consequences also. I can't wrap my head around the foolishness of it all.

      Delete
    9. Lizzie, he did have a right to know. I can appreciate your anxiety and the need to wait but in the end this was the right decision.

      There are security cameras everywhere these days, it seems extraordinary that people take these kinds of risks. It demonstrates that their world has become smaller and smaller until they're the only one in it, the rest of us hardly exist.

      Delete
  20. I loved reading this just what I needed today.

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  21. I read today, when I look for the bonfire (like I do everyday) I miss the candle. When I'm waiting to hear the shout (like I do everyday) I miss the whisper. I dismiss my new husbands awakening like his kindness, thoughtfulness, remorse, guilt like an apparition, accident or something just plain weird to experience. Hyper-vigilance verses missing out on some goodness finally coming my way.

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    Replies
    1. Lynn,
      That's so true. When I read about women second-guessing their choice to stay because they worry they're betraying themselves, because they worry that our culture thinks they're shmucks, it makes me wonder what it is about our society that supports the idea of punishment over reconciliation.
      Even when we leave -- and there are many instances where that's absolutely the right choice -- it shouldn't be to punish the other person but to save ourselves. Our focus should always be on our own experience and what best serves us. That doesn't make us narcissists, it makes us healthy humans.
      I love what you wrote above. So often we miss the transformation taking place under our noses because our fear gets in the way. As the Buddha reminds us, suffering comes from living in the past or the future.

      Delete
  22. Hey Everyone,

    MBS and Lynn P that is a BEAUTIFUL awakening poem....

    And adding a little piece of joy....we went to see that new kids movie "Inside Out." WOW.....

    (and the night after I had a dream with 2 mandala's in it.....and here is just something to laugh about as I told my daughters the very next day...I had am image of myself lying down on the forest floor like a character in a Tim Burton Movie.....I was a cartoon character of myself with snakes and bats all over me...but WAIT, they were lovely and humorous creatures and when I woke up they were singing like in a Disney movie....and it made me laugh out loud....My daughters of course looked at me and the youngest said....."Damn mom, you are really crazy..." :)

    That movie "Inside Out,"is so beautiful and maybe it will be a healing movie for our planet who knows...one can only dream....

    much love to all

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    Replies
    1. Val,
      I enjoyed Inside Out for the revolutionary message that sadness is a part of life. When happiness is pursued 24/7, we've come to believe that if we're sad it's because we're doing something wrong. But it's a part of life.

      Delete
  23. Dandelion
    Yes it comes with time. Yes you may be pain shopping but it's totally normal. We feel if we let go of it,it will happen again. We hold onto it like a gold brick while trying to swim. We are keeping on alert because we were hurt once and we aren't going to let it happen again.

    No the last thing you need is any more conversations with the OW or hearing anything she has to say. They lie. Plain and simple. Leave her alone. Write a letter telling her what a low life she is then tear it up. Get it out but don't contact her. She is of no value to you.

    Focus on the good that's going on. If your husband is willing to talk and not sick of it yet, set aside a few minutes during the day to discuss. Then drop it. But keep talking until you have the answers you need. Talking is good, but listening on you part is very good.

    You are probably at that stuck stage but it passes as long as you do the work. I found that I kept asking the questions because I wanted to hear a different answer. I wanted to hear it didn't happen. LOL I was fooling myself right? When you truly look at it as long as you have the Who, What, and Where, the Why is never satisfied. There is NO answer in the world that would satisfy short of him telling you he was drugged and forced into it :)

    Do your own reading and research and you will learn how people are tempted and do things they normally wouldn't do for a myriad of reasons. It's not about love or lack of love for you. It's about their character. I do believe people can change but it takes a lot of work. It sounds from your writing that your husband is making the effort to do so. Keep reinforcing it. When you see him slip, bring him back. Reinforce the good he's done. Men freaking LOVE that. They love knowing their efforts are appreciated. Praise him for it and it comes back ten fold.

    You'll get there but it takes time and hard work and lots of reading and talking and listening and letting go of that damn gold brick.

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    Replies
    1. TH,
      Thank you for the insight on the repeat asking of questions and for making me feel less crazy! :-) I think in some way I am hoping to hear something to make me feel better but short of it all being a really bad dream, not answer he gives will do that.
      I will definitely take some of the suggestions you made. My biggest struggle will be letting go of that need to confront the OW. It's a repeat theme in our therapy sessions. I am hopeful based upon the changes he is making and my own acknowledgment of the issues I brought into the marriage long ago, that we will get there, even if it takes us a long time.

      Delete
    2. Dandelion,
      TH has given you really solid advice. As for the OW, it's like quitting anything that gives us some sort of rush (and I suspect there is some sort of adrenaline rush or distraction or something you get from staying focussed on her), the best thing is to just go cold-turkey and then a day at a time. Today I won't contact her. Today I won't stalk her FB page. Etc. We've all been there. But I stunned a few months ago when something reminded me of the OW and I realized I couldn't remember her name. It came to me...but that's how far removed she now is from my thoughts.
      Sometimes when we hyper-focus on the OW, it is because we fear what will take the place of those thoughts if we let them go. Anger is more comfortable for us than sadness and loss and fear.

      Delete
  24. Clover
    I'm sorry to hear he went on the trip. I can only imagine how your head is spinning. No actually I don't have to imagine, I know!! It's awful.

    But I'm going to tell you something. You have NO control over others. Ok one more time, YOU HAVE NO control over others. That includes your most cherished. He dies the have to be gone to make poor choices. Men men do it right under their spouses nose. So just try to let go of it a little. I know you can't completely but maybe little by little you can. Mantra: I have no control over others, I have no control over others.....

    Truly this has to be his decision to be faithful and commit to his own moral compass. Otherwise he will slip again and for what? ne slips you will know it. Your gut is on high alert. He will not be able to fool you again. And it's no fun now that it's in the open and YOU know.

    I hope you can rest and keep good thoughts.

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    Replies
    1. Wow TH, I'm ready to hand the reins over to you and let you run this blog. Thank-you so much for all the help you're offering. I think what you're saying is really helpful and so appreciated.

      Delete
  25. The above advice is EXCELLENT

    also, thanks to Elle I now get daily bone sigh emails & this is today's. When I read it it reminded me of this site & all of the wonderful women here who have helped me the last 2 years:

    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, bone sigh arts

    Thank u to Elle & all of u wonderful ladies (& men too) who have been giving me virtual hugs & crying with me.

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    Replies
    1. Sam thanks for sharing such a powerful piece. I found myself reading it a number of times. It really made me think about the masks many of us wear to hide our pain from the world and how we really don't know what's hidden by the mask of the person next to us. I'm so grateful to have this site so I have somewhere I don't have to hide my story.

      Delete
    2. Sam
      I can't believe you posted this today. I have a friend who was a serial cheater. Last woman he cheated with was her very best friend. They reconciled but not without a whole lot of therapy. They are older than me and I'm old, ok well 60 is the new 50 right?? Anyway he was in his 70's. Came from a wealthy, entitled family. Thing is that family was wrought with tragedy. Children dying, cancer, divorce you name it. And this meat head thought it would be good to have an affair with his wife's bff. Enough background. He gets cancer and it's aggressive and he dies. Even after him being dead I still see the hurt in my friends eyes. I see when she talks to me her eyes say, "I know how you feel". It's a look we give each other. We don't even have to talk. We know. I don't but have confided in her. She is very busy traveling and volunteering I consider her more an acquaintance than a friend to whom I would call and pour my heart out. Much easier done here.

      But this is true. We all know what each other is going through, what stage is next and even get that gut wrenching churn when we realize our sisters at earlier stages of discovery and recovery are going to go through. We know. And sometimes it's as if we are going through it again ourselves. HA talk about living vicariously!! I think we do it to exercise our own demons, put those bastard to rest!!

      While I tell Clover her mantra it reinforces me to repeat that mantra, I have no control over others...

      You are all awesome women here. I don't feel like we come here to tear down others so much as to support each other. Although sometimes in blasting the OW is cathartic. So do it here girls where it's safe.

      Thank you Elle for giving us the safe place where we know we won't be criticized or blown off but will be supported.

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    3. Isn't she wonderful? Thanks for sharing that Sam.

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    4. I know I've probably said this before, but this site has had a huge impact on my healing process. I know it can't be rushed but I have found so much comfort in the words here and the insight all of you offer. Several times, I have been brought to tears by the words of encouragement I've received. And on few occasions, I've even been able to laugh. Most importantly, I've found a place where people actually "get" what I'm going through. Our stories and our experiences may be different, but many of our feelings are similar. You all are awesome! Thank you!
      Hugs!

      Delete
    5. As Brené Brown has said, the most powerful phrase in the world is "really? Me too." There's such comfort in that isn't there? Not necessarily in answers but in community. Glad you're here, Dandelion.

      Delete
  26. Dandelion
    OOOO I so get that need for revenge against the OW. I was freaking obsessed over it for months!! I went back to therapy to deal with it. The obsessive thoughts of revenge, calling her, sending her a letter, CATCHING HER HOUSE ON FIRE were driving me mad and stupid thing I KNEW IT! I.Could.Not.Stop. And how do you talk to your friend "yeah I have this crazy need to go burn down her house". Um yeah, straight jacket and paddy wagon please. At night if I couldn't go to sleep I would fantasize about shooting her or running her over with my car. It was awful and the worst thing is I was doing it to myself!!!

    Back to the therapist not because I was afraid I would actually make my fantasies a reality but because I wanted her to explain how a normal, nice girl like me thinks these things and PLEASE HELP ME MAKE THEM STOP.

    Therapist was great. She explained why I had these thoughts. Laughed with me and assured me I wasn't some kind of crazy psychopath intent on hurting anyone and that I most certainly wouldn't.

    Thing is about revenge is it's never enough. Yeah it might feel good for a while to tell the so and so off but you only look like a fool in their eyes. You words have no meaning. I don't care if they are kind words or mean words. I did get my pound of flesh in an email I sent her when she tried to contact my H and a couple of other legal things that she was trying to pull. She also saw me in action after DDay and well that was probably enough for her. While I think it's good to stand up to them, let them know you aren't going down without a fight, it is unwise to expect any kind of rational, logical, let alone empathic conversation with these people. They are incapable of it. Don't waste your breath or you time.

    You can try the age old write a letter. Say everything you want to say. Write it, edit it, read it, re-write it, BUT DON'T SEND IT. Seriously, they love knowing they are getting to you. Don't give them the pleasure.

    I hope you don't get obsessed like I did but if you do, find a therapist that deals with infidelity and talk to her. My thoughts aren't completely gone but it's better. Thank God!!

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    Replies
    1. TH,
      It is tough to handle when it just doesn't go away! And thank you, for reaffirming that I'm not alone. I have been ok for weeks and now all of the sudden this burning desire for revenge is back. It makes me feel awful because it goes against my nature.
      I have no thoughts of doing anything really harmful, it's more a desire for her to be outed for what she did... to publicly humiliate her and have everyone know she is the kind of woman who has sex with her married co-worker in a vehicle in public places on her lunch break and then goes back to work. Yuck! And, seriously, she's a married woman in her 40s with three kids having sex in parking lots in broad daylight!
      But you are right, when is it enough? I thought it would be enough when she "apologized" but now that just pisses me off. And there is this tiny, rational corner of my brain that can acknowledge that there's clearly something about her that is off if she was willing to be or maybe enjoyed being treated the way my husband treated her, which was pretty much like a prostitute who was paid in compliments and a few fast food lunches instead of cash.
      I did block her on FB awhile back so I would stop stalking her page and I refuse to spend any more time trying to get information on her. I've written letter after letter that has never been mailed which is also something my therapist recommended. Maybe a few more can't hurt. ;-)
      I need to try to let go and focus on channeling my energy into something that will benefit me.

      Delete
    2. TH and Dandelion,
      Guilty as charged. I used to fantasize that I caught them in the act, chased her naked out of my house and then followed her down the street in my car -- my headlights on her jiggly naked body -- as she tore down the street terrified that I would actually run her over. The idea of that always ended up making me giggle. And, after a while, I just stopped needing to imagine humiliating her like that. I ultimately realized she was doing a better job of wrecking her own life than I ever could.

      Delete
    3. Elle,
      That definitely brought a giggle for me this morning!
      My current revenge fantasy...
      The OW has a reserved parking space at the office. I Imagine replacing her name so instead it reads "Reserved For: Lying, Cheating Whore" and then seeing her look of horror as she pulls into her parking space and tries to figure out how to cover it up. :-)
      Too bad for those damn security cameras in the parking lot! LOL

      Delete
    4. yeah, security cameras wreck our fun!! That would be a good one. Alas, it must remain a fantasy.

      Delete
    5. So this is not so much a fantasy as a plan. There have been several events my husband & I have been together, usually hospital related cardiology functions where he thought we might run into the first sexual affair partner as she is a cardiology nurse in our area. It hasn't happened but I reviewed with him how he should behave what he should say etc. but I told him if we saw her he should say something to me like honey do u remember this is so and so we used to work together at such and such at which point I would pretend not to remember her AT ALL, even though I had been to her house once, we attended her daughter's christening, & she has been to our house once. If I were her it would irritate the hell out of me if I thought I was so important in this mans life that I wanted him to leave his wife for me & yet the wife didn't even remember me. THAT would be my revenge.

      Delete
    6. Love it. Hope you get the chance to carry it out.

      Delete
  27. OMG Elle, Even before you said you would giggle, I was giggling. That's such a great fantasy. I am lucky I didn't have too many. I so badly did want to contact his 'whore' (no really, she was one) and tell her she was not enough for him, that he was STILL SEARCHING for the next big thang while carrying on this long distance e-mail relationship with her. I wanted to send all the links to everything he had posted in his many drunken stupors. I am SO FORTUNATE that she had no phone or facebook and we deleted her e-mail address. I really do not know what sort of trouble I would have gotten myself into. I'd like to pride myself on my self control, but in all honesty, I just did not have access. My hats are really off to all of you.

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  28. I actually did something really stupid a few days past and messaged the OW to ask if it was really over. She replete saying it was and she regrets it every day, and what did I want to know?

    After reading some of this blog I replied saying I didn't want to know anything and that I would not be in contact with her again.

    I know she is blocked on my husbands phone but guess what....she worked out his business email and took a screen shot of some of the messages and sent them to him asking him to tell me not to pester her!!!

    My husband phoned me last night and told me. He said that he could see I'd never been abusive and he realised that there was probably some messages on the thread that she had deleted. He also said that if she really wanted to be left alone she would have blocked me. He said he wasn't going to reply to her and he thinks she is just trying to keep a link between them.

    I think I believe him. He didn't need to tell me. He just seems exhausted by it all and wishes it would all go away. I've learnt my lesson though, and that is the OW is manipulating and dangerous. I am done with her.

    Problem is, whilst my husband has been away I'm coming to realise that being on my own is much easier, less painful. I can control only myself as Sam says....so I'm starting to think I would be better without him.

    This makes me sad. To be honest, the whole thing makes me sad. I still cannot understand why he threw everything away for something that meant nothing to him. He even said she was a bit needy and high maintenance and nagging. Not the sexy carefree OW I imagined!!!

    I'm in limbo until he returns next week. But until then I'm going to continue doing the things that bring me joy and try and work out how I feel?

    First dDay was mid March. Second one was mid May when I found out he has carried on and met up with her after the first one where he'd told me it was over. I think it is the second round of lies that is killing me.

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    Replies
    1. Oh goodness Clover, I am recognizing your pain over 2 d-days. Actually, I had a 3rd and a 4th, come to think of it.

      1 and 2 were about the physical affair
      3 was continued conversation and meetings (non physical)
      4 was discovery of "massages" at parlors

      Anyway, good to resolve to do things that bring you joy and work out your feelings. The stuff with the OW ended Dec 2014, but we are just now at the point where I can imagine a life with him that is not completely painful and hard. Limbo lasts a loooong time, sometimes.
      At this point D-day #1 pales in comparison to the constant hiding and lying and avoidance that came after. Letting our guards down after this takes alot of work on both your parts. Hope that you can one day.

      Delete
    2. Clover,
      Yes, absolutely keep doing what you can to build yourself up so that whatever choice you ultimately make, you're doing it from a place of conviction.
      As for the OW, she's a crafty one, isn't she? I think the best thing for both of you to just delete, ignore, delete, ignore. She's desperate for contact. Even her wanting to "tell" you whatever you wanted to know reeks of a desire to feel important, to be part of the drama. It's pathetic. Cut her out.

      Delete
    3. MBS,
      Yes, I think the shock of D-Day is one thing but the lies that follow feel like death by a thousand paper cuts.
      Glad you're at a place where the pain is subsiding. It gets better. Honest.

      Delete
    4. correction.
      *stuff with the OW ended Dec 2013 not 2014.
      phew. I would not be with him if he took more than a year to end it with OW...

      Delete
  29. It does get better I'm 2 years 4 months out and it's finally getting to where I don't second guess every action I personally take and it to where I can finally enjoy a really good day in peace. Yes, it's been a long time, but that's normal for me. No, I don't cry sporadically anymore, but when something does affect me negatively I turn to doing something positive to better myself. Right now I'm working on weight loss and strength training with power stretches. ;) All of this because I'm good enough, strong enough and gosh darn awesome. (Just like you girls) I've been to hell and back for sure and the "bunker" analogy Valkyrie spoke of just has too apply in my life. Major General Ellle has magnificently led us through small victories daily. Love the fact that we can "feel" here and work through the pain together. Keep fighting inside for you. Never allow yourself to fall to far without reaching out. We are here an army of one? Yeah right!!!! We are many strong. keep your chin up and I'm praying for all of us together - Love you girls - Ann from Texas

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  30. Clover,
    You asked why? My husband just this week has opened up to me tremendously about himself. He was trying to explain it to me, I don't know if this helps but he said, " It is like going to a bar, having a good time and realizing you have had too much to drink. You know you don't want a DUI but it is easier to get behind the wheel. Our town has zero tolerance. You know you might be caught but you get behind the wheel anyway and drive home." I began to think about all the time I took small chance, knowing it was wrong but did it anyway for a number of reasons like speeding because I'm late. I'm sharing what he tells me because it might give someone insight to the words that haunts us all is "WHY RISK IT ALL?

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    Replies
    1. That is helpful. I'm going to show this to my husband, Thankyou Lynn

      Delete
    2. Clover,

      I just listened to the Life Church podcast: Part One: Direction: Do I Know What Path I'm On at http://yourlifechurch.org/sermons/
      For the record, the podcast is "churchy" with references to The Bible. I am not hugely religious, but I found this sermon very enlightening. I have been curious how a married person goes from "just friends" with someone inappropriate to jumping into bed with that someone. Does one of them say, "Hey, we should have sex?" It's so mind boggling to me. A couple of take aways from the sermon are that we don't get lost on purpose, we don't intend to hurt ourselves or others on the path. Another highlight for me was the story referred to in the sermon is said to be NOT unique. There is nothing special about an illusive relationship. Not sure if the podcast is up your alley, but I found some gems that hit home for me.
      My best to you and ALL,
      diana prince

      Delete
  31. Rose
    The next communication to her if she contacts again should be with the police. Sociopaths are dangerous people at times. And sometimes they just move on to their next victim. There is nothing from her you need to hear. They lie. Block her on the emails and phones. I think an order of protection will send the message she needs to hear. Obviously everything you and your husband has said has NO effect on her. Not shocking at all. Some of these people will stop at nothing and yours and your husband's words only motivate her to carry on whenever she feels the need for stimulation. You two played the game long enough with her. You cannot play nice with these people.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thank you lovely and wise ladies, these last few posts stopped me from doing something I would regret and contacting the OW. It is now 15 months from DDay, and 11 months from when my husband stopped working with the OW and I thought NC began. I have just experienced my DDay3, overhearing my husband talking to OW on another phone when he pocket answered my call.

    Turns out that despite him swearing numerous times she has not tried to contact him she has rung him a total of 4 times since the so-called NC. I was always skeptical (not so much lately) and wasted a lot of time checking up, imploring him to just tell me what he was hiding when my intuition was screaming at me things didn't add up. I explained to him how I wouldn't blame him if she called, I was expecting it, I wanted her to call so that he could tell me about it and I could trust that he was keeping me in the loop. To this he actually responded a few times, yeah I wish she would just do it, or yeah I'm surprised she hasn't called at this time of year (she HAD!!!) ARRGGGHHHH so furious with him, he could have put me out of my misery but instead lied to my face. ANd we have gone through a similar thing while he was still working with her, that was my DD2. The thing is now I am secure that he is done with her emotionally, he see the affair for the fantasy it was, he is so present and loving now, he is very open about details of the affair, he is sickened and shamed by what he did. The shame is his issue I think, he definitely has a lot to do there. She contacts him, his heart sinks and he feels sick he tries to "deal with it", he tells himself that is the end of it, tells himself things are so good with us he doesn't want to "Ruin it" by telling me. No instead he ruins it by treating me like a stupid fool, going along with my requests to send NC emails, and lying to my face when I am going through hell wanting to trust him but my intuition is telling me otherwise.

    When she calls he starts off trying to cut it short, tells her he can't talk to her but she sucks him with tears and emotional blackmail, and stories of the latest drama in her life, eg her marriage breaking up (really what a surprise given that she treated it with no respect at all!), her brother having cancer, the latest is that she rang him to apologise as she had attempted suicide with some pills a few days earlier. She makes him feel guilty for not choosing her even though she was the one who persued him and he always told her he would not leave me and the kids.

    I was so close to sending the OW an angry email, I wanted to put her in her place, stopping her pathetic delusions that the two of them had this amazing real love and they belong together, as my stupid husband cannot be harsh enough to do so. This is another thing that has always bothered me, he always tells her things like he can't be with her, he has made his choice, she has to move on. I want him to go further, tell her their affair was nothing but a fantasy, it sickens him, that while he told her he loved her and believed it at the time it wasn't real. This is how he feels, I know this, but he feels sorry for her and guilty that he didn't choose her - even though he never promised her this!! But she is very good at manipulating him.

    (part 2 to follow)

    ReplyDelete
  33. part 2..

    The suicide thing really freaked him out, he was terrified that she really wanted to do it and that he was a factor in it. I might sound harsh but knowing her I don't buy it for a second. Even if she was in hospital. If she really wanted to kill herself she would be dead. She has a 4yo daughter and my heart breaks for her with a mother like that. I had an alcoholic mother who overdosed on pills not long after my parents marriage broke up (actually pretty much the same story as the OW's marriage and affair minus the alcoholism) who often used the suicide threat as her trump card to get attention or to get her way and the selfishness of it infuriates me. I am so pissed off with OW as now I can't even ask him to be harsh with her, as she has that over us - the off chance that she would go through with it to prove a point or something.

    But after all that even though I thought this would be a deal breaker, after a few days of full on raging and crying, conversations way into the night, I think we still have a chance. This has been a huge wake up call to him about how far he has to go as far as honesty with himself and with me, working on himself and prioritising my healing. I have made a list of all the things I need from him (his idea), he needs to start on them NOW and he needs to keep doing them. This includes a very specific plan for how to deal with the OW, we are doing this together now. We have a date in November and if he is not consistently doing these things by then then that is it. I have been waiting a long time for this stuff, and if he's not ready now he never will be. It is actually a relief to have a plan and to know about the contact, I think I always knew deep down. Maybe I am being an optimistic fool but I think if I gave up on the marriage now, when I still have this hope, I would always regret it and wonder if I made the right choice.

    Anyway thanks for listening, turned into a long rambly post, but feels great to share.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A post here is just that. We are giving a written report on how we are dealing with everything and it's exactly what is needed. Nobody need be ashamed just relieved. It's how we all get through. Sometimes a post among friends that understand is Heaven sent. It's a peaceful thought out break from the hurricane winds that have been flying above. It's the peaceful eye of the storm coming by to remind us there will one day be an end to the chaos. Please everyone post away. It relieves the pressure in your hearts. I gave journaled since day 3 after DDay 1. Last night I went back for the first time in 2 years and 4 months to read where I started. It had so much detail in pain that I struggled to remember writing, but it was there in my hand writing. Proof God has allowed my heart to weather the hugest storm on my life. Slowly but surely I'm healing up. Stay strong and know you are loved by many. - love Ann from Texas

      Delete
    2. LC, Ann from Texas is right. It can be helpful for you to post but also helpful for others to read. We gain insight from reading others' posts (amazing how clearly we can see OTHER situations, isn't it??) and support.
      I hope your husband has finally recognized that "protecting" you from the truth is only hurting you more deeply. By sharing with you, he's pulling you in instead of pushing you out. It puts you two on the same team when you're fighting a common enemy. Yes, it's hard. And shame-filled. But it's the only way to heal together.
      Keep us posted. No matter what happens, you sound really clear-headed and strong. You're going to be just fine.

      Delete
  34. Thank you Ann for your kind thoughtful words. It truly is a gift to be able to share here with friends who understand.
    LC

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