Monday, September 14, 2015

Reinventing Yourself After Betrayal

If you are staring down the barrel of a major life shift and the inevitable re-invention that must come from it, why not have your re-invention reflect your deepest truth, and your biggest dreams? 
~Laura Munson, author of This Is Not the Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness

I risk your wrath when I suggest that betrayal can be the catalyst for positive change in your life. And I don't blame you if you would like to wrap your hands around my neck and squeeze. After all, in the early days following betrayal, it's all most of us can do to remain upright, to not smother our idiot husbands with a pillow while they sleep and we remain restless and ruined, to stop obsessing over the harlot that tread on our otherwise pleasant life.
And yet...the benefit of perspective, of being almost eight years out, is that I can see so clearly how that plot point in my life where I was cut open and gutted ushered in a reinvention of myself that has left me far better off than I was.
It's a radical thought, isn't it? To think that such pain can not only dissipate, it can transform? And I still have my moments of sadness. When I see a young couple full of hope and promise. When I wonder what my marriage would be like if it wasn't forever altered by the knowledge that we have not been each other's only since the day we said our vows.
Those pangs can still send me reeling but they inevitably reveal something else about myself that I'm ignoring: A dialogue of self-criticism in my head that begins with "you're old and washed up" and ends with "even your own husband couldn't stay faithful". In other words, my husband's long-done behaviour becomes the tool with which I beat myself despite knowing – absolutely knowing – that his behaviour was about him and not me. 
On most days, however, when I'm not looking for evidence that I and my life are a total waste; on days when I'm feeling grateful for the body I'm in, delighted by the mind I've been given, and overwhelmed by the grace I've been shown in my life, I can acknowledge how the abyss into which I fell gave me – finally – the opportunity to heal some long-held wounds that preceded my husband by years and obfuscated who I was.
Betrayal strips us bare and reveals what matters. Love, fidelity, honesty, belonging. But it also forces us to decide who we are. In what other ways was our marriage failing us? In what ways were we failing ourselves? Are we being completely honest about our lives and the roles we play? Are we our best selves?
Betrayal obliterates any belief we might have held that we can control others' behaviour or feelings. Which, once we get over the terror that produces, is actually quite liberating. No more trying to pull other people's strings to love us, to remain faithful, to not abandon us. Clearly that never works the way we think it will. We can only ever control ourself. We can only chart our own course. 
There are parameters, of course, Children might get in the way of our plan to chuck it all and travel around the world. Ailing parents who need our care might thwart our desire to move three states away. But dreams shelved aren't dreams dashed. As long as you're remaining open to discovering what's deepest in your heart, you're prepping for the reinvention.
Reinvention doesn't need to be dramatic. In my case, it simply underscored values I'd held all along. Honesty was paramount so no longer did I tolerate lack of it in any of my relationships. A friend lied about why she cancelled plans? Not okay with me. No more pretending I wasn't hurt when I was.
My reinvention helped me redraw my boundaries in permanent marker instead of the shaky pencil lines I'd always relied on and which had failed me repeatedly. I know where I'll compromise and when I won't. And I'm prepared to lose some things – including my marriage – to ensure I never lose my self-respect. 
Yes, reinvention can be scary. Especially in the wake of a shattering life event such as betrayal. Take your time to regain your balance. Reinvention is taking place within even when you're struggling to simply get out of bed. 
When you do find the space to take stock of how you've changed through this, I suspect you'll see – as I did – that your reinvention has not only ensured your feet are firmly planted on the ground, it has given you wings. 


  1. Such good words for today! My counselor says to focus on me during this time and I have no idea what that means. For the past six years, I have focused on being wife and mom and couldn't name more than two hobbies I have outside of them. I have thought of the idea of reinventing myself, but I worry that if my focus is not on him, then he will stray again. But of course, my focus WAS on him and our family when he originally had the affair, so I know that it was about him and not me. Realizing I have no control over him is just so hard. I feel so old now. I am only thirty, but when I look at my friends and other near my age getting married, I am so cynical. When they complain about their husbands (as I used to) doing something trivial, I want to scream, "At least he's not screwing someone 17 years older at work!" I wish my biggest complaint was still that he wouldn't put his dirty clothes in the hamper. Honestly, that's the biggest thing we ever fought over before... Also, I wanted to ask opinions on sex post DDay. How long did you wait? How did you know you were ready? Is there such a thing as too soon? How do you combat images of him with her? Is there a post on this?

    1. Grace,

      You've asked some questions here that I struggled with, as well. Questions about how to best care for yourself, questions about sex and questions about images of the two of them together. I am only 18 months out so I'm not nearly as qualified to answer as Elle, but I can share with you my own personal experiences.

      When my counselor told me to focus on me and my healing, I had no idea what that meant, either. Like you (and most of us here, I suspect), I am a caretaker by nature, too. I have always put my heart and soul into my family. That's where my heart has always been. Even when I worked full time, my heart was still with my family first. I had to teach myself how to take care of me by beginning with the basics. I took extra time for myself. I began journaling my thoughts and feelings. I allowed myself the time and space to absorb what had happened in my life. I granted myself permission to be alone to cry or to read or to write--whatever I felt I needed in the moment. Soon, taking time for my healing became something I looked forward to; it became part of my daily routine. As time goes on, I find my personal needs are evolving. I am coming out of my shell a bit more and including more people in my life. I am once again beginning to enjoy the little things in life.

      You asked about sex. I hear a lot about women having the best sex ever just after D-Day. That did not happen for me. I was so traumatized, I couldn't have sex again for an entire year. In fact, I couldn't let him touch me in any way at all. At first I thought there must be something wrong with me, but then I realized that there are many women who have had "hysterical sex" right away, and many women who can't have sex at all. I think any combination thereof is fine, the key being that you are doing what comes naturally to you. My rule of thumb: if it doesn't feel right, stop.

      Another thing I have experienced with sex is uncontrollable sobbing afterward. I don't know if anyone else has experienced this, but I have and I still do. It is very foreign to me and I can't stop it. I don't actually feel it coming on at all. When it hits me, the tears flow like a river and all I can do is wait until it stops. It's crazy! I believe this is PTSD and it will subside on its own as my healing continues.

      As far as combatting the images of him with another woman, it has been my experience that in time those will begin to quiet down. I never found any way to control it. When I began to feel a little more safe with him, the mind movies began to dwindle. Are they completely gone? No. For me it has been a slow process. However, they are less intense and less frequent.

      The most important thing I have done for myself in all of this is to be kind and gentle with myself. I used to worry that my husband might leave me or have another affair if I didn't have enough sex with him. I was raised with the old adage, "If you don't take care of him, someone else will". Then I remembered that he had two affairs while our sex life was just fine. I came to the conclusion that no matter what I did or didn't do, I had absolutely no control over him. So I decided to focus on taking care of me. I needed time to heal and if he had a problem with that in any way, I hoped the door didn't hit him in the ass on his way out. When I finally let go of control, I regained my sense of self and I was free. To my surprise, my husband likes me much more now that I'm whole within myself. He appreciates my confidence and my independence, or should I say our "inter" dependence.

      I hope this helps you in some small way. I'll be thinking about you as you heal.

    2. Merilee, you write so beautifully. You enlighten me every time.
      Grace, I agree with everything Merilee said.
      As for me, I experienced hysterical bonding briefly and then no sex due to yeast infection, then sex, then no sex as he didn't want to ... then separated ... Back together, sex, frequent and now less so and seems to be initiated by me .... From the beginning I have been fortunate to not "see" him and her when he and I are together ... only sometimes. I believe that is because I immerse myself in the pleasure... and not saying it's a good thing ... I am selfish, like, this is my pleasure and no one is going to take it from me. If I do "see" them, and I do sometimes, I concentrate on the physical pleasure and I am there. This may sound funny, but I was having sex with myself and eventually other men long before my husband; my sexual self and pleasures do not belong to him (and God knows they don't belong to her) - my body, my pleasure. Again, perhaps that sounds selfish, but I do believe I am allowed right now. And it works for me. Xoxo

    3. Wow, Melissa, you've given me an entirely new perspective on sex. You are absolutely right--my sexual self and pleasures do NOT belong to him or anyone else. They are mine and mine alone.

      I don't know about anyone else, but I have always had trouble separating mind and body in the midst of sex. I think that stems from always taking care of everyone else and never myself.

      When it comes to sex, I have always been completely aware of fulfilling his needs and not my own and it took your post to make that light bulb go off in my head. I definitely need to get more into my own head and let go of what is going on in the "real world."

      In a way, this could be compared to meditating. By going into myself and focusing on my own body and my own pleasure, the experience would automatically bring fulfillment to me. Hmmm...I'll have to put this concept in motion. Thanks!

  2. Elle, I will tell you this, i want to THROTTLE people who say "everything happens for a reason" and other platitudes. I hated them more when I was writhing in pain. But when I was in that horrible pain I made a promise that I would, like a Phoenix, rise from these ashes. I knew i would, for the simple reason that there was no where to go but up, so why not make the most of it.

    I hurt, I hurt like hell and *thought* i would NEVER make it, I *thought* would never survive this. My rational mind told me that this was NOT trans-formative.

    But my intuition, my heart, my soul, told me something else. It was not the first or last time my gut and my brain battled it out. My intuition was right.

    Like you i have learned the word NO and use it often. I don't hope someone, anyone, can read my mind and fulfill all my needs, I let them know directly HOW they can help (husband included) I also don't "hope" he's doing ok--I ASK him and visa versa. It's quite a ride to get here, going on three years, and the ride is far from over. some times I just hold on, but my knuckles are not quite as white as they once were.
    Would I change how things unfolded if I could? You bet. Could I live without ever knowing what I found? Yup.
    but Would i like to go back to how we were pre D-Day? Not a chance.
    We are both SO much better now. It's ridiculous.
    Grace, focusing one me was writing--getting it out. I'm not sure it was the healthiest thing to do--locking myself in my bedroom and writing for hours on end, but it was a start. I gave up TV almost altogether. Stopped watching what the networks were throwing at me and found things I loved via netflix and pay per view. Just find something you love, or something you remember you love but gave up to focus on others and start there. The rest will come with a bit of coddling and challenging yourself.

  3. I understand how I can't control him. After all, when my life revolved around the roles of wife and mother, he acted out anyway. I couldn't have been more trusting or attentive. However, the loss of control (or illusion of it) is terrifying. It means that he could relapse tomorrow. I'm a cancer "survivor" and it was in the immediate aftermath he had his last, most-intense affair. After losing my breasts to cancer, he was writing to another woman about what he had done with hers. Post-cancer, middle-aged, children all left the nest. I don't even know where to start to reinvent myself.

    Love, fidelity, honesty (especially) were always super important to me. My husband wore his mask well and hid his double-life until the end. His last affair was also an EA and very intense. He got sloppy and got caught. Then I found myself getting trickle-truth over a 2 year period. I value honesty and tolerated lies from him. I find myself wishing it could be "undone". I know it can't. But I'm having a hard time getting to acceptance. Living with the lack of "guarantees" is extremely difficult.

    1. Anonymous,
      It's hell living without guarantees. But it's also something we do every single day.
      When there's been so much trauma, healing takes a long time. And I think it also takes a specific response. Trauma keeps us stick -- like our hearts are in mud. You've had so much to trudge you. Life has handed you too many sucker punches. Are you in counselling? You might want to look at some of the post-trauma work that's being done to help you navigate this. A great start is to tell your story, as many times as necessary, as you process it. Your husband let you down at a time when you needed it the most. That compounds the betrayal, I think. How has he responded to this? Is he taking full responsibility for just how deep his betrayal of you goes?
      In the meantime, I hope you can truly acknowledge just how deep the wound goes. And we're here. To listen and support and share in your healing.

  4. Divorce. He wants a divorce. He loves me but he's not happy. What is he looking for? He doesn't know. He feels that all of this reconciliation- talking, reading books, going to counseling is just delaying the inevitable. It all went down so strange. Yesterday after reading some material on infidelity we start to talk and I said, "I still have questions" and his response: "you know I don't even know if I want to be here." And we talked at length. And afterwards he thanked me for talking and listening. In the early morning we had sex. Today we went about our day. Tonight he wanted to go out without me ... I said it was fine yet I didnt understand- we used to do everything together- he agreed. He said he's alwa been one who wanted a change of scenery... New job, new friends and I guess now ... a new wife, or at least no wife ... (I am scenery that needs to be changed.). We talked some morre He escalated- and left the house. I felt abandoned, rejected... He came back later ... had turned around as he knew I'd be upset. He comforted me and I told him I'm not going to hold him here ... I asked if he wanted a divorce and he said yes. So sad. Further conversation ... and at one point he says, "I came back here to see if you wanted to go to the bar; I didn't come back here to ask for a divorce. So I ask, Do you want a divorce? Yes. And now he's on the couch sleeping... through all this we've never slept separately ... and of course I cannot sleep. I told him tonight ... I wish I had known he didn't take our vows seriously because I would have not married him ... he said he didn't know at the time. I disagree you know who you are and you act accordingly. You did so when you decided to have a long term affair and now, you are doing it now when "you're not happy". No shit. News flash: I'm not happy either. You had a four and a half year affair. We were two and a half months into recovery and you moved out. You got in touch with her again; you went to a concert with her. DDAY number two ... since you moved back home we agreed not to talk about it ... we've been talking about now for maybe 5 or 6 weeks and you're not happy ... you don't see any change. Run away. Run away and hide. Don't try to fix it. I will be fine. If only I could sleep.

    1. I have to wonder ... is he really unhappy with you, marriage or is it more so hes more unhappy with himself and divorce is his thought to get away from talking about it ... dealing with it ... having to own up to hus faults? But you know what i told my H and myself ... leaving isnt going to make the hurt any less .... the issue ... the hurt will remain together or apart. Its true we cant control them, change them .. only ourselves and its a confusing fked up roller coaster of emotions that sucks and is unfair even to a point. Im early in and did deal with something similar awhile back when i was trying not to make waves but found he was in contact w ow again. A quickie even ... really fuels me ..
      But after he came clean and the fog started lifting ... and he realized ... all he has to lose vs gain. The back and forth sucks ... i feel for you friend. Sending you strength love and support ...

    2. Melissa, I have been following your journey everyday and I'm so sorry your husband is such a dumbass not to realize what he is giving up. Your posts have been inspirational to me many days. You are sweet, thoughtful, smart and kind. If he can't see that side of you then it is truly his lost and he is a blind dumbass,as well.

    3. Thank you Wounded and Lynn ... he came back into our bed during the night. The next day more discussion ... in essence he doesn't want to lose me, he wants the pain to go away ... for both he and I. Sadly, his childhood taught him to put his emotions in a box and not feel or deal with them, much like what he would prefer to do with his affair. Well, I cannot and will not do that, as I will never heal if I do. We had our therapy counseling session yesterday, and once again she was excellent. My husband and I had gotten to a place where we were feeling much better before the session… And even better still after the session. My h not only has great difficulty dealing with emotions; he handles pain and conflict through avoidant behavior.
      Do I wish that my husband didn't have all of these problems? Yes, I do. Yet, I recognize I have problems too. And I love him dearly. I truly believe if we continue on this path, we will have a stronger even better marriage, and he will learn a great deal about himself, as well as I, about myself.
      One of the things the counselor said which I had read before, perhaps here, from Elle ... The counselor said to Scott if you were feeling overwhelmed or that it feels hopeless or you just can't do this anymore she said to really take a look perhaps even use the calendar and look at how many outbursts or difficult times and you will notice what used to be perhaps two or three times a day turns into two or three times a week and then two or three times a month etc. etc. it is getting better and when you think back to that first week after DDay we all know how much better.
      Lynn, sometime ago I had written a post for you in regards to Lynn Pain not sure if you saw it…
      Love and hugs to all. Here's to a journey of growth.

    4. Melissa,
      I'm so sorry for all you're going through right now. I think your assessment is quite right. And I'm glad you recognize that this is about him and his own unhealthy coping strategies but that doesn't make it any easier or less painful for you when you're riding that crazy coaster.
      And yes, your counsellor's suggestion is a good one, I think. It can be easy, in the midst of a difficult conversation or an argument, to fall into the "I've had enough. I can't do this any more" response rather than taking note that things are improving but that doesn't mean life will be forever after bliss. It's important for all of us to notice those tiny improvements that happen so incrementally that they're easy to miss and yet, within those moments, we see the potential for healing and joy.

    5. Melissa,
      I haven't read every and all on this site, but I have read bits and pieces of many heart-breaking stories. And I am so sorry for the place you are in. But something about your situation rings a bell with me, so I thought I would bring it up. (If it has already been discussed, then disregard)
      Long story short, my husband had an emotional affair with a co-worker. No sex, but none-the-less painful. Besides all of the other things I noticed as DDay approached, I also noticed his mood and energy change. A few months after DDay, I brought it up to his Endo and they ran his testosterone levels. Low. So low. You should not go below like 300…he was 161. We started treatment right away. It has taken 2 years to get him back to a decent level….but he’s my husband again. Don’t think just because you are still having sex that his levels are normal. We still had sex. It was everything else in life that his levels affected….mood, strength, energy, ability to care about anything….depression.
      If you haven’t thought about this, please do.
      I’ll be thinking about you…and every other wonder lady here!

    6. Thank you Elle and Better. I had suggested that to my husband back when he was saying he wanted to split up yet he had not told me of the affair at that point. I did get him into see a Doctor Who ran labs yet I don't know if they tested his hormone level. He thinks I'm crazy for thinking that he may have low testosterone. I will revisit the subject thanks for suggesting it. Xoxo

  5. I am starting to feel better about myself. The realisation that I can only control myself has been a huge part of this. We are six months out, and it is still tough. I still don't trust him, and I still believe that there is stuff I don't know...but I'm accepting that it is stuff that is in his head, and there is no way I can know every text that went between them, and, in truth, nor do I want to.

    I found an email on his phone a month ago, from her. He told me she'd started to email him and he had replied. I didn't freak. I went away for four days with a friend as planned and barely communicated with him during that time. He knew I was furious, he knew he had taken me right back to square one.

    When I came home he sent a message in front of me telling her not to contact again, ever and then he blocked her on everything. I know there is nothing to stop her getting another email address, but we will cross that when/ if we come to it.

    She's married too, and I sent a screen shot of the email to her husband as I felt he had a right to know. Her emails were along the lines of "what's happening? Are you ok? Why are you ignoring me?" And then a scary "life is tough here, perhaps I should get on a plane to come and aee you?" I don't blame my husband for freaking out, I do blame him for not coming to me and telling me what was going on, even though he thought he was protecting me from the crazy.

    I messaged her in the end. I have been polite up until now. But this time I wasn't. I told her that she was dilussional, that she thought she has a hold over my husband but she really didn't. I then outlined the negative things he had told me about her and that I wasn't threatened by her, that I pitied her and she needed to get help.

    My husband also told her she needs to go away and get help, that he loves his wife. Even though she is blocked, and still managed to leave her profile status on whatsapp as "why?"

    This for me was all the proof I needed that this woman has mental health issues, and now I actually do pity her. She has depression, seriously low self esteem and a very damaged relationship with her husband of one year, who she claims is also suffering from a mental breakdown.

    But....this is not my or my husbands circus. We have our own marriage to rebuild and neither of us can be the support for her. My husband thinks because I sent her a hurtful but truthful email we are free from her, but she's a patient woman and she has gone six weeks without contacting him. So I am still walking on egg shells waiting to see what happens next. I've given myself a year. If by March 2016 this woman is still a feature in our lives then I'm walking.

    I'm mad at him for bringing her into our lives. He says he thought it was nothing more than chatting. There was no sex, not even sexual innuendo in their messaging. I know there is no emotional connection for him. He certainly has never pined for her, but it meant something to her , despite her telling him and me it was "a bit of fun"

    Wow....I have really gone on here. Sorry ladies. It feels good to get it all out.

    And I would appreciate advice on how to move forward from here, how should I deal with this woman? How do I cut her from our lives?

    1. Long term affair too... under six months in and have dealt with h contact and one last quickie after dday it sucked but also showed h all he has to lose and not gain. As i demanded . I need to be put first !!! I better start seeing action but i also know i cant lock him away forever. What will b will b. Once the secret was known the sex wasnt all that anymore too and ow true colors shined through .... he seems to be all in to try and reconcile now ... after he went back we went through some hang up calls ... text emails ... its been over a month now since none of her threats munipulations and whines were working anymore that she said shes done. I hope so but i still keep an alert eye out ... is she really gone ... lurking ... planning. She told h its her goal to make me leave and there apparently through their affair have been times they were apart then together. So i said if she resurfaces i need to know even if its years. Months. Whatever. Ow even got my h name tattooef to show her dying love as soulmates. ... nut job who does that without a real commitment and even then not everyone would! I may never know everything ... do i know enough ... maybe ..hopefully. trying desparately to maintain. Get through and keep my grace.
      . What i do know is everytime i replay obcess overthink ... allow her access in my mind i give her power she doesn't deserve so i try my best to keep focus on now ... i cant change anything in past. The future is mine to take and make what i want. Having my h talking to me helps greatly. ..still bumpy but were trying .... ghandi said i will not allow people to walkthrough my mind with dirty feet. Hard some days ..i give in to thinking others i use stop sign. I found w ow any attention good or bad fed her ... no reaction annoyed the shit out of her. Focus on now and finding sparkle in little things. I agree early on us no position to make drastic changes and decesions. Lose your nose to spite your face syndrome. Harder to stay then keave true but i think we are worth it. Not just friends gave me great insight too.

    2. clover - there's no complicated answer - you cut her from your lives by blocking and ignoring. If necessary change phone numbers and get off social media. Remember everything you send from an electronic device can be copied, distributed or come back to haunt you - she might like to bear that in mind.

      Any communication with her is feeding her obsession - telling her not to do it is just as bad. She knows she gets to you. She will still get to you (I know it) but that doesn't have to be obvious.

      'I still don't trust him, and I still believe that there is stuff I don't know...' I suspect you're right about this. On the other hand it might not have taken much for this woman to create a situation out of relatively little. I have a friend who had a Russian stalker for years, ringing him up multiple times a night, offering to marry him, telling his wife she was coming over.. they felt sorry for her. My friend is nearly eighty and had only met her through blogging. People are extraordinary.

    3. Clover,
      What Iris said. There's no secret formula. Block and ignore. Attention is like oxygen for some people. Cut it off.
      And thanks, Wounded. Sounds like some hard-won wisdom

    4. husband's first affair started the same,way your husband's affair did...he always made it known to me that he didn't want her in his life....she was sick...he was just being nice..etc. then came affair number 2 ..same thing...he even called her in front of me to tell her to leave us alone....she calls,me to tell me he is only covering his butt. I told her to leave us am sure he still communicates with her...please be on your guard..cheaters have a habit of repeating their offenses. I am still with my husband but gave the final utimatum...38 years more call text or thought..and I am divorcing him.

  6. For the first year after D-day, I would not have believed any of this. How could anything good come out of this? I thought. I felt like I was on the verge of a mental break every single day. I wanted to die. I chose to live each day only because I didn't want to screw up my son's life by committing suicide. No matter what good would come out of it, surely it would always be overshadowed by my husband's betrayal, right?

    It's been 15 months since D-day. I will say that while I will never think that my husband's betrayal was a good thing, there has been good to come out of this. I finally believe that I can stand on my own two feet. While I love my husband still and we are reconciling, I don't NEED him anymore. In a society that seems to encourage co-dependency in so much of our popular media, this has been especially freeing to me. I am with my husband because I chose to be, not because I can't live without him. For over 13 years I thought I needed him (or at least someone) to make my life complete. Now I know that I don't. That makes staying with him much more joyful than if I felt I needed him to survive.

    I won't pretend that I don't still have hard days. I do, and I'm sure I will for a long time to come. But the desperation is finally leaving me, and that is a huge relief.

    (I will also add that I have just finished reading, "Is it Love or is it Addiction?" by Brenda Schaeffer, and I highly recommend it if you are struggling with co-dependence.)

    Love to all you ladies!

  7. I find myself conflicted about this post. Betrayal catalyst for change? The damage begins like a small chip in my windshield. A pebble of pain. The windshield we see to drive? Yes, that one. You know how you look at the chip? It is going to cost to get the entire windshield replaced so I watch the chip. The chip grows into crack. The crack itself doesn't become larger but the veins of the crack run in all directions until it obstructs my view of certainty. The lust bell rang so change the sheets on their bed. I suddenly turned into shock absorbers forgetting about the windshield. Forgetting how I watch the crack spread little by little.

    Does there always have to a happy ending, something to salvage from a wreck or look for the silver lining? Are we just at saying, something good came out this to make us feel better? I had the illusion of certainty about my marriage and about myself, I guess. The push came to shove. Regardless, I think whenever something bad happens we automatically question everything about it, circumstance, ourselves, other people, was I wrong, was a good enough, did I say the right thing - you get the idea. Betrayal is something bad that happened to me but it is the not center of the universe. I have to disagree this time Elle, nothing good came out of this. Nothing. The catalyst came from the questions we asked ourselves not the betrayal. Would I have eventually saw how bad the window was cracked? Would I have eventually asked myself the hard questions? I'm not sure. But I would have like the courtesy of a choice.

    I can't sing Kumbaya this week. I made my husband feel like a piece shit this week and he didn't do anything to deserve it. I'll come around, I always do. Old thoughts that surfaced this week. I don't want to discourage anyone, it does get better everyday, just like Elle, Steam, Wounded and Clover. Says. We all can't be wrong.

    I do know, my heart was trashed out. Anger showed up come on in. Revenge can pull up a chair, too. Pity wants a party I'll show her the kitchen. Can't anyone say no? Having cancer maybe a catalyst for change but it may also kill you.

    1. I hear what you're saying, Lynn. But I hope what I write doesn't come across like Pollyanna singing Kumbaya.
      For me, surviving my husband's infidelity meant excavating a lot of old pain that was getting in my way. It wasn't getting in my way enough that I would have actually done anything about it except be annoyed. But when the rug was pulled out completely from beneath me -- courtesy of my husband's cheating -- it left me having to completely recreate a foundation on which to stand.
      Perhaps for others who didn't have old shit to deal with, betrayal is just being blindsided with no redemption. Even then, though, I think we can still come away with something, even if that something is a greater solidarity with others who share the same pain.
      And yes, it's true that some of these experiences that can be transformative -- ie. cancer -- can kill us. I walk regularly with a friend who's a breast cancer survivor and there's no doubt that she has a different approach to life than before her diagnosis. She's the absolute first to reach out to anyone going through a tough diagnosis. But she's also the first to realize that her happy ending isn't everyone's but that, in the struggle no matter how it turns out, there can be a grace.

    2. My husband and I recently went to see that animated movie Inside Out. If you have not seen it, it’s absolutely wonderful! So funny and thoughtful.

      However, here comes a spoiler alert****

      It’s the story about the emotions of a little girl (Riley). You have normal daily emotions and core emotions. And it’s the core emotions that define us and give us our retreats during bad times. JOY (yellow) was in control of all of Riley’s core emotions, and life was good. One day SADNESS (blue) touched a core emotion and turned it sad.
      I held back the tears. I thought, that’s me. I have a sad core emotion. And no matter what the joy was before that…it’s now forever sad.

      Fast-forward…so much good and sad and funny stuff happens. (You seriously need to see this movie)
      In the end, Riley gets her core emotions back, but guess what?
      They are all different colors…yellows, blues, greens, reds...

      And that’s where we are Ladies…we’re a mixture of so much emotion and we can’t let any one of them define us. We need all of them…and we are whole.

    3. I love your synopsis here Better. Made me smile. Thank you :-)

    4. I saw Inside Out with my 12-year-old who was in treatment for her OCD. She was riveted. It's so rare to have something so profound -- that sadness is simply a part of life -- be presented in a way that's so accessible. The movie made so clear that our frantic attempts to bottle sadness and tuck it away simply don't work and have negative consequences in other ways...and that the quickest way out of sadness is to feel it, to reach out to those who can support us, and to trust that, like any feeling, it won't last forever as long as we're willing to remain open-hearted.

    5. Lynn, thank you. Your words are salve to me. No, nothing good can come from this that couldn't have come from another direction.

  8. Wounded and Lynn I put a post for you above and of course for the ladies.
    Hugs my friends!

  9. Oh Melissa!
    Your h sounds so much like mine! He has placed it all in a box just so he can work daily! On top of the stress of his job he now has a wife that behaves like a lunatic at times! Not easy for him or me! He has mamy times said it feels hopeless! We should be a year out but since she would not go away it took longer to get to even this point! Hugs for our pain!

  10. Yes Theresa, yes. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone. Love & light :-)

  11. Lynn Pain--I hear you and I am in NO way trying to talk you out of your feelings. I cannot stand it when people do that, or tell anyone to look on 'the bright side" so I hope I don't come off doing that. I think that the wording is very important "it can be the catalyst for change" not "it can be a good thing" (and others have said that and I too bristle at that type of wording) -- it is nearly impossible to tell the different between the two when you are exploding or crushed by pain, anger, etc. The sad reality of the world is that the darkest of darkness cause people to seek the light. Without naming the famous people who have made good things come from tragedy (Ok a few--Ghandi, MLK, Mother Theresa) there are normal every day people who's lives have been shattered, taken those pieces and put them together and used them as a catalyst for change. A friend of mines sister was killed in an auto accident that could have easily been avoided if not for the road pattern. She was not the first to die there, but she was the last, as my friend did not just see what was but what it could be. As a result there is a HUGE change in the pattern of the road, she fought the city for years, she never gave up. She lost her sister and although grieving that made sure that no other family went through the same ever again. It's been over 10 years her actions that came from that tragedy saved more than a few lives. I don't think she was ever looking for a silver lining, I think she wanted justice and in the process many lives were spared and changed, and they don't even know it.



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