Monday, September 28, 2015

There is no "cure" for heartbreak after betrayal, only healing

"The thing about healing, as opposed to curing, is that it is relational. It takes time. It is inefficient, like a meandering river. Rarely does healing follow a straight or well-lit path. Rarely does it conform to our expectations or resolve in a timely manner. Walking with someone through grief, or through the process of reconciliation, requires patience, presence, and a willingness to wander, to take the scenic route."
~Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday

The scenic route, huh? Not sure what was scenic about the route through hell I took toward healing. It was dark. It was terrifying. It was loud and ugly and full of demons. No way could I pull over and take a few photos for my scrapbook. I was too busy hanging on for dear life.
And through it all, I held on to one question: When will I be over this? Or, put another way, when will I be cured.
We talk about heartbreak that way, don't we? As if it's something we get over, like a cold or the flu. Whew!, we thought after our college boyfriend dumped us and we'd finally get to the point when our stomach wasn't in constant knots, when we could lift our face from the Ben & Jerry's or the gin-and-tonic and realize we'd rather go for a walk or read a good book or maybe even go a date with someone new. Whew. Glad that's over.
We were cured.
And then the tsunami of all heartbreak hit us in the form of our husband's affair.
When will we be over this? we wonder, one month, two months, six months, a year, two years into this.
We read it regularly in the comments on this site: "Why am I not over this?" betrayed women ask, noting that it's been months, even years, since they were slammed with the news. Inherent in that question, of course, is self-blame. What's wrong with me that I'm not over this? is the question buried in the question.
There's nothing wrong with us, of course. Because there is no "over", no cure. There is only healing.
Healing that requires the scenic route, the meandering path, as Rachel Held Evans points out, poorly lit, dotted with potential hazards.
It helps, as she also writes, to have someone on the path with us – a guide of sorts to help us stay far from the cliffs, dodge the distractions and recognize the Do Not Enters, to remind us to listen to our own hearts, which know the way.
It's the beauty of a site such as this one, I think. While I get much of the credit, the true healing comes when those of you further down the path walk back a bit to pull along a newcomer to this heartbreak. Or when those of you at the same juncture offer up a virtual hug and I'm-right-here-beside-you strength and compassion.
"Rarely does [healing] conform to our expectations or resolve in a timely manner," writes Rachel Held Evans. Ain't that the bitter truth.
But knowing that can be helpful too, can't it? Understanding that our expectations are out of whack gives us permission to throw away our unhelpful map and rely on the footsteps of those who've gone before us. Knowing that there is no tried-and-true timeline allows us to instead follow our own agenda. To plod ahead when we feel strong, to rest when we need it, to retrace our steps if we feel lost, to listen to the faint voices of those ahead urging us on.
There is no point of arrival, of course, no neon sign saying "Welcome to Healing" with a doorman offering up a glass of champagne, and a balloon bouquet. Healing is a process that will likely take us the rest of our lives. We will continue to be affected by our spouse's betrayal but not, perhaps, in the ways we expect when we first set out to heal. Rather we'll be affected by it when we hear of another's betrayal in our circle and, instead of averting our eyes or nodding knowingly because the wife, after all, had put on a bit of weight, we'll make the difficult phone call or stretch out our arms and pull her close, whispering our own secrets in her ear.
Or we'll be affected by it when our husband calls to tell us he bumped into the OW and our heart will drop and then we'll hear, his voice catching, how sorry he is that he's put us through this and we'll realize just how far we've come. For a moment, we'll allow ourselves to be grateful before laughing and agreeing with him that, yeah, he'd better be sorry.
Perhaps we'll be affected by it, years down the road, when we realize we hardly think about it anymore. Only when we see it glamourized in a movie and we inwardly groan. Or hear, yet again, of another celebrity forced to endure her betrayal with the spotlight fixed on her.
Until we're there, however, we're here. Helping each other limp along toward that misty destination called "healing". And taking the scenic route.

60 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, one of the most beautiful, eloquent, truest things I have ever read! Thank you, thank you for this. I needed this today in the worst way, it truly touched my heart. I have been a fan of your blog for quite some time. I will come back and tell my story. Healing and peace to all who come here for comfort. Thank you for the wonderful gift that is this blog.

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    1. Cheryl,
      I'm glad you came out of hiding to comment and I hope you will come back and share your story. You're among friends.

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    2. This blog ha been very informational and a forum of support for me. I want to hear you Cheryl! And I might share too

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    3. Elle, I am ready to finally tell my story thanks to you and this blog. Is the best place to do it here in the reply, or in the Share your story? Thank you once again!

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    4. CheylRN,
      Sometimes the most recent posts are the best place to share because that's where most people are reading. But wherever feels the most comfortable is the right place for you.

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    5. And Ms. S. McVee McVee? I hope you realize too that you're among friends who know your pain.

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    6. Thanks so much Elle. I guess it's difficult to know where to begin, it feels as though I have been on this journey forever. It started about 4 1/2 years ago when I was totally blindsided when I found that my husband was having an affair with a woman he knew in high school. I mean I WAS TOTALLY unaware, no suspicions at all of an affair. I found out by seeing an email on his computer, an email notification of a reply in messages on Facebook. My printer wasn't working and I needed to use his to print a document. It was a graphic email and my world as I knew it changed forever in that moment. I do believe I lost my mind for a moment or two. When he tried to get the computer away from me I struck him. I have never touched anyone in violence in my life.

      He was in a total panic, crying, begging me not to leave. He explained that it was an online affair. Online and texts and phone calls. I looked him in the eyes and told him that he needed to tell me everything. He lied looking me straight in my eyes. Such a long story but he called her with me on the other line and explained to her that he had made a huge mistake, that he loved me and that he would do anything to save our marriage. Told her no more contact...ever.

      I so wanted to believe him, but I knew in my heart of hearts that I didn't know everything. We started individual and couples counseling right away. He was saying and doing all the right things, except for telling me the truth. About three weeks went by and I woke up one morning at about 4am. I woke him and told him that I knew he was lying and there was more to the story. He finally told me what I knew from the beginning. It was a full blown physical and emotional affair. I was wild with grief and anger. This woman lives very close to where we live and it's a small community. It was very easy to find her address, which I did. After I threw my coffee cup through the screen of his big screen TV, I thought, well, I can't go to their house looking like I do. Make-up, got dressed and made the 10 minute drive to their home.

      I felt strongly that this married woman's husband had a right to know what had been going on. My hope was that if someone knew, that they would tell me. I found their home and knocked on their door. It was 6am on a Saturday morning. Her husband came to the door and of course was very confused. Who was this strange woman knocking on their door. I explained to him who I was and why I was there. She came walking downstairs and tried to continue lying, denying everything. It took everything to keep my composure. I told her it was MY turn to talk, she never said another word. Her husband was devistated. He then told me it wasn't her first affair. The first was with their married neighbor and friend. Their children were friends and they were friends as couples. The man she had the affair with ended up divorcing his wife, while this souless creature stayed married. Her husband is a very kind, broken man.

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    7. I know everyone reading here knows exactly how I felt. There are just no words to explain the pain. I was working as an RN in the ER while the affair went on for 8 months. My husband has his own company so he works from home. I was gone 14 hours a day on the days I worked, this gave them plenty of opportunities to get together without my knowing. He was never out late, no unexplained absences. I was truly clueless. Hindsight is 20/20, he was not his usual self looking back, but nothing to make me suspect he was having an affair.

      Before I left their home, I told her husband that I was sure he had questions as I did. I gave him my husbands cell phone number and he did call him. I have tried mightly to cope with this betrayal. On the surface he has done everything I have asked him to do. Healing from affairs weekend, counseling, calling me numerous times a day to check in. I am now retired as a Nurse, I became very ill about 3 years after this happened, I believe the betrayal and stress played a huge part in my illness.

      My husband has always watched porn, sometimes before the affair I would watch with him. After the affair I realized it could be a slippery slope and I wasn't comfortable with the porn use any longer. He promised that he would not watch it since I was no longer "ok" with it. While I don't think he has had more contact with her or any other woman, his porn use, it turns out, is a continued problem. About 3 weeks ago he asked me to put an address into his phone for gps. Apparently I pushed the wrong button and instead of searching google, it did a search of his phone history. Porn, lots of porn. It was like D day all over again.

      I feel as though all of the work we have done has been for nothing. He has been open with all passwords, his phone etc since the affair. I just reached a point where I stopped checking. It felt like I was torturing myself by looking and I stopped. I had never found anything that made me suspicious. I am just so very exhausted at this point. I have started seeing a new therapist. I had an ah ha moment, I thought, damn, I have been trying for so long to "fix" my marriage, it's time to work on myself. And I am. He seems to be terrified that I am going to leave. I also need to protect myself, financially and legally so I have gone to see an attorney. It's pretty straightforward in the state we are in. We have been married over 25 years, no children, so he gets half, I get the other half. I don't want a divorce but I just don't want to live like this any longer. He has made an appointment to see someone himself but I'm afraid it may be too late. I'm sorry this is so disjointed, I am all over the place at the moment. There is so much more to my story that I just don't have the energy to explain. My body and soul are so, so very tired. Thank you for letting me share my story. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. I never knew that something could hurt this much and yet not kill you.

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    8. CheylRN,
      Thank-you for sharing your story with us. I know it's hard but I also know it can be healing to put it down in writing.
      Your story is like so many on this site. The total shock, the initial lying, the nagging doubts, the porn use. While I don't doubt that some people are capable of using porn in a "healthy" way, I've heard of far too many for whom it's something of a gateway toward cheating, including my husband.
      I'm glad you're focussing on you right now. I think that's the right thing to do. Forget about "fixing" anything. Just get yourself to a place where you feel on solid ground and can then make a choice around whether you want to continue in your marriage or not. It will be a choice, not a reaction.
      I'm so sorry for all you've been through. But glad you found us.

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    9. Thank you Elle, I am so very glad to have found you! It has been a saving grace for me. Very wise advice you give and I am going to focus on me for the moment. That is my fear, porn as a gateway to cheating. I am having a difficult time finding that solid ground at the moment, but I continue to search. Everything is complicated by the fact that my mom has become very ill, very quickly with Alzheimers and I am the primary caretaker along with my wonderful dad. I am not in a position at the moment to decide if I can stay or if I must go. I am angry that my husband has put me in this position once again. I am fearful that all of the hard work we have done has been damaged beyond repair. One day at a time. Thanks once again for giving all of us a safe place to fall.

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    10. One day at a time is exactly right Cheyl. Don't get ahead of yourself. Focus on what you need to do today to keep yourself grounded. You'll get there.

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  2. It must be that everything you post is just so incredible that it resonates as if it were written just for me...because I find myself thinking that with every new offering.

    I want so much to "get over it" that I'm causing myself more pain and distress obsessing over how and when that will happen. I hate the thought of feeling like this for years and I often wonder how I will be able to keep the both of us from losing our minds during my long healing process.

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    1. Dana,
      Because the process takes years, many think they'll feel exactly as they feel today for years. That's not the case at all. Healing happens incrementally. Each day, even the tough days, you're getting a bit stronger.
      Notice the ways in which things are getting better. Maybe you're crying less often. Maybe you notice that you actually laughed at something. Maybe you spent some time with a friend or with kids and, for a few minutes or a half-hour, you weren't focussed on pain. Pay attention to those slivers of peace. Let them expand. Trust that you'll get there.

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    2. This is EXACTLY how I feel. Then I have the tendency to beat myself up because I can't just choose happiness and let my anger and resentment go.

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    3. Miserablemind,
      You DON'T have a miserable mind, you have a traumatized one.
      Please give yourself the time and space to absorb all this. It takes such a long time -- far longer than most of us could have imagined -- to begin to feel as though we're inching forward and not just stuck. Be gentle with yourself.

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  3. This really resonates with me, Elle. I'm 2 months out from D-Day now, and my husband, while exhibiting remorse for what he's done, continues to ask when I'm going to be over this. When are we going to be past it? I don't have a definitive answer, and it's comforting to know that's OK. While the days that I random burst into tears still happen, they're fewer and farther between, and the OW doesn't constantly occupy my thoughts. It's long, bumpy horrible road, but I know somewhere there's an end, and on the really hard days, just that thought can be enough to help me through.

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    1. Anonymous,
      Consider letting your husband read this post. It says a lot to those husbands who wonder why we're not "over" it yet: http://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.ca/2014/04/my-letter-to-husbands-just-talk-about.html

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    2. Elle
      I tried to follow that link but it had a sorry that page does not exist on this blog. It just took me back to this page with the error message at the top.

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    3. Dear Anonymous....that seams to be the million dollar question. Our husbands need to realize that they have had a great deal more time to think about it and deal with it than we have. They have dealt with it daily for as long as they have been actively involved with the OW! In my case 14 years. We have only had as long as D-Day till present. In my case 11 months today. Remind him that grieving takes time and if he really wants to help, he has to join you on your journey. After all he purchased the ticket for both of you on this journey. My husband is going to give me all the time it will take, and this is without the certainty that he will get to spend the rest of his life with me. I will decide if I can heal or not. It is not his call

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    4. H'mmm..it's working for me. I had to cut and paste it though. I can't seem to add hyperlinks to comments.

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    5. Yes it worked for me once I cut and pasted thanks!

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  4. Thank you Elle for all that you and this site does for so many of us. I wanted to write something to hopefully help a few of the newcomers to this site. When I first found out I was so sad and confused and I found this site and needed comfort. It's so hard to know what to think or do. Over the last couple of days I have been thinking about my journey and I wanted to offer some hope to those who are newly struggling with what they have discovered. I got my H to read a few things from this blog. It took time for the dust to settle for him to be able to see what I was trying to get him to understand about how I felt and what he had done. He read a few things including the letter to husbands and then some months later re-read it. It was only then that he could really see it from where I was standing. I think it helped because it wasn't me saying it, because there were no tears, because my feelings were expressed so well in Elle's words and because he felt like what she wrote acknowledged that he wasn't a bad person just someone who made a really bad mistake. I also told him a bit about the other wives on this blog that feel like I do and how time will help and that this site gives so many people strength without judging anyone. It offers support whilst you find your way. As Elle always says -"we each walk our own path," but it doesn't feel like we are by ourselves. I still feel like I'm drowning at times and it still is in my thoughts everyday. But time has helped and although it doesn't feel like I'm ok I look back to how I felt a year ago when I couldn't eat, sleep, stop crying and I didn't know how I was going to get through the day. I don't feel like that now, life goes on and I get busy with things and then it pops into my head and it may have been hours without me thinking about it. I am grateful for that and know from all the other strong women that one day this will be days or weeks or only surface when I am triggered by something. Stay strong, keep reading this site - hold onto it like a life jacket, it stopped me from drowning. Don't expect it to be better just keep breathing and one day you will just be able to look back and see that things are getting better. I look forward to looking back when I am a little further down my path as I still have a long way ahead.

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    1. Alone,
      Progress doesn't follow a straight line, nor is it the same for each of us. It sounds, frankly, as if you're doing great for one year out. But yes, there's still road to travel.
      Glad we're your "lifejacket".

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  5. I needed this. Thank you so much for this. It's been 6 month, and it feels like an eternity. Your words were comforting, as I ask myself "why do I still feel like it was yesterday". My heart is shattered into a million pieces and I feel there are too many pieces to pick up. I want to get over it, but it feels like it has become worse. During Nights feel the worst as I am left with my thoughts.

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    1. I sometimes think that the pressure to be over it is part of what keeps us stuck. It keeps us thinking we're somehow bad or wrong or ineffective because we're not "over" it. Giving ourselves permission to process this incredible pain, to slowly find our way back can, paradoxically, move us further more quickly. But even if it doesn't, it helps ensure that our hearts remain open as we heal.

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  6. Everyone,
    I too have been quiet on posting but follow this all the time. I feel for everyone who is a part of this "new family" that I have joined. I wish none of us had to endure this but we all have chosen to remain in our marriages, and at times I do not know why. I strongly believe and hope that someday many of us will be able to look at our situation and firmly say that although it was the worst possible event in our lives we managed to have the strength to get through it. I believe that you never forget or get over it, but pray that we get through it. I know my husband loves me and I do love him, but marriage or relationships need to be built on more than love. Honesty, integrity and communication are more important to me. We daily work on our marriage and all these issues. If we are upset we only argue or disagree naked and in bed. A simple little thing for us as it works. We also cuddle for 15 min a day in the morning. Just cuddle. There are days when everything falls apart and we just hold each other. I blurt things out and he holds me. He cries I cry but in the end we both agree that we are worth holding onto. We do little things that encourage each other. He calls all the time from work, I put notes for him to find, things we used to do long ago, but life just got in the way. The triggers are getting less but they at times are unbearable. I am not sure if he truly understands, but he does know me and when he feels I am having a trigger he holds my hand or holds me. We do not have sex. We never refer to it as that...We do make love and there is a difference. I know we are getting stronger but there are days when it does overpower me. I told him that it make take a long time for me, I will ask more questions if I need to. I told him if he felt he was so ashamed and guilty and could not handle the rollercoaster then he could leave as I do not want to destroy US while we both heal as we both need to heal, not just me. He remains at my side and I at his. We do believe in US. We have been married over 40 years. Recently he dropped down on one knee and asked me to marry him. He bought me a new ring. I at first said please do not ask me now. We have communicated now more than ever, we love more deeply than ever, and we still remain committed to each other. I just have a difficult time as I still get to a point where I just burst into tears or out of the blue ask a question. I know that it will fade someday and I look forward to that day. The dvd's do not play in my head like at first. I do still have a few nightmares about it all, but for the most that has gotten better. I am stronger than I ever knew but also weaker than I ever knew. Enough from me. What I do need to say is THANK YOU to each and every one of you. Elle to you for helping all of us and the rest for sharing. I know that if I would have not found all of you I may not be where I am. Like I said each day we work at us. Our husbands also need to heal. I know some feel that they are the last thing we should think about, but I do think about his feelings. We are healing together or so I think. Time will tell and I wish all of you peace. Never has anything touched or challenged me like this. Nothing. So again, I am so grateful for all of you, but wish we did not have to meet like this.

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    1. Sammy
      Your post touched my heart so deeply! I like you read this blog over and over again to gain as much wisdom as I can. I have found a wealth of information and support from these posts and I can see how much progress I have made and my h has made in the six months without interference from the ow. Elle and the other wonderful women that share their stories and support have brought me to where I am as well! I only hope that any thing I post helps someone else find their way to a happier marriage! It's hard at times to really see how slow the progress is until you look back at where you began! I love everything about this blog other than what brought us all here! Hugs!

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    2. Sammy,
      Thank you for sharing. I, too, was touched by what you wrote. I think it really hit on the pure, raw love that you experience when you and your spouse are completely honest and open with one anither.
      And thank you for the reminder that our husbands also need to heal. Sometimes, in my own pain, I forget that he is hurting too.

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    3. Sammy,
      Thank-you so much for your kind words and for sharing your story of healing together with your husband.
      And Dandelion, yes, I think it is hard for us to sometimes see that our husbands are hurting too. I remember telling my husband that no matter how awful it was being me during that horrible post-D-Day time, it was still better than being him, because he was stewing in his own self-loathing.

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  7. Sammy I love your story. I had heard, and then our therapist had asked to us to "argue" only while holding hands, facing each other. Almost impossible--and really difficult. It ends up not being an argument when it succeeds. but the naked it bed? That's really pretty amazing. So are you.

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    1. Yes, it is a good idea though the vulnerability it would require feels almost crippling to me...which clearly indicates that's an area I still need to work on.

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  8. Hams are cured, people heal.

    What a wonderful post. Indeed the enigma around healing is treacherous. There are many twists no turns and back tracking. But it is our healing and our journey. While it's common to expect help from the cheater they are so damn reticent or unable to help. They can answer some questions but ultimately the healing is on us. Very good article

    I wish there were a nice way to tell the cheaters it is THEY who need to get over it. Over the fact that this is NOT a small infraction of trust but rather a total bombing of trust. It takes time and two months does even come close to being enough. Sit back and buckle up bub, it's going to be a tough few years. Or not, there's the door

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    1. TH,
      It's so true. The tendency to minimize this simply because it's so commonplace (we see it play out so frequently in news, movies, TV shows, books -- but rarely with much more consequence than a few tears and a slammed door or two) makes it so hard for us to feel that the depth of our pain is valid. Factor in the shame that many husbands feel and too often we're pushed to be "over" it in order to make everybody else comfortable. This is NOT a small infraction of us. It is a total annihilation. And rebuilding begins at ground zero.

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  9. Oh what i would have given for a cure to this wounded heart. A sip of cure for even a day an hour of sanity in those first few weeks after dday i would have given an eye or an arm even. Looking back a wounded girl sobbing on the bathroom floor, the breath taken from me, and a wound penetrating so deep i swear it was going to swallow me whole. The sinking feeling inside that wakes you in the middle of the night or keeps you up for days and the loud wails trying to take the pain out with no tears to fall as youve bleed your swollen eyes shut and dry ... i still carry that fragile girl inside but 5 mo out, almost ... it feels like the auto pilot numb shell is waking up to really feel the hurt to try to not obcess over unknowns but now review actual time places and events to process to an accepting point of ... i may never know it all but hopeful i know enough to get through and even start to look for the sparkle in each day. Marginally improved at best but maybe this is healing? and that girl sobbing on the floor just might be kneeling now ... and i stick to the thought im wounded not broken. This journey is maybe the hardest thing ive done in my life ... have courage ... be kind i chant. And i mentioned from a movie quote ... time passes and pain turns into memory. A terribly slow process but the only path to take ... a scenic route indeed. This blog you ladies have been a saving grace to the isolation, loneliness and despair our shattered hearts feel. You provide insight when i feel ive lost my way, confirmation that im not crazy and gentle nudges when needed to advise what you do, dont do or have done. A reminder to take care of me and even a thought to be conscious of his scenic route too. I know there are no guarantees in life but i also know my cup is still half full too. Big hugs and a little sparkle dust to everyone of you.

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    1. Wounded,
      Cup half full is true. This pain is crippling...but it's not forever. And it's so important to notice even the smallest shifts forward because it reminds us that it's possible.

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  10. Wounded
    Yes there's more tears to come. Just let them go. You will get there. The more you hold them back the more residency they make. This is not the end. Only the end of the affair for him. Hopefully this is where you and he want to go on your journey together. Make him accountable. Don't settle for less. Make him realize how lucky he is to have a second chance with you. Be your own biggest fan. You'll get there it takes time. Lots of time. Hugs to you dear one. I feel your tears as if they were yesterday

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  11. Trying hard ... thx you ... in your words i do feel less alone. My H although he was the one who told me had some trickle truth difficulties at first and now is trying his hardest to let his actions speak louder then his words. Ive found his ability to now talk w me tell me details fills in some blanks which has allowed my obcessing to settle down some it was truly drowning me to a point. It much better to know then wonder and some details i know too much and others will never know. We are still early in, incredibly raw and down right painful but not the nonstop crying of the first few weeks though i do have my moments. I cant change what he did ... no matter how hard i wish. I am in control of me and so far ... we are in this mess together ... i hear that somewhat of the battle. A quote i read .... love isnt obligatory but reciprocated. He tells me often hes sorry, doesnt deserve me and i let him .... these are many mini bandaids to a hell alot of healing we have to do. Communicating and just work all together. It feels good to get it out on paper .... thx for listening. The days are still full of highs and lows, understandably so .... the 3 to 5 years to feel somewhat normal is scary. Healing is slow while other days time flies. ... looking forward to leaving it all in the rear view mirror as ive read on here ... like remember when .... ahhhh who cares about that anymore anyways! Hopeful but caution.

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  12. Talk about the scenic route! Today is exactly 4 months post dday. I had my first real good day yesterday. I didn't think about his affair much and when I did, it didn't have the usual physical and emotional effects. Today, though, has been a tough day. It's raining outside and the horrible thoughts are bombarding me. But I'm still here. Getting through another day. One day at a time.

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    1. Karri,
      Sometimes having a bad day after a good one almost feels worse. We wonder what happened, why we're not feeling better and better. But you've had a taste of better...and even though it was just a taste, it has shown you that "better" is possible. Stay focused on it. Remind yourself that healing is an up-and-down process, not a straight upward trajectory. One day (or hour!) at a time.

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  13. These posts are so helpful. I'm not the only one, going thru this horrible pain. We do forget about how far we've come. It has been 18 months since Dday, things are so much better, but when I do have a bad moment or day I can't help but really beat myself up, because I can't choose to be happy at that moment, day. It's not realistic no one can be happy 100% of the time even if the aren't dealing with the added pain of betrayal.

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    1. Mis,
      Absolutely true. Nobody can be happy 100% of the time, especially when dealing with such pain.
      When you find yourself unhappy or having a bad moment, try and do some mindfulness work. Bring yourself into the right now. At this moment, what do I have to be grateful for? It might be simply that you're able to breathe. Or that the sun is shining through the window. Or that you can call a good friend to chat. Whatever it is, notice it. And enjoy it, even for a moment or two. Gratitude is one of the few proven ways to deliver happiness, even if it's in slivers.

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    2. Elle this really hits home today. I'very been reading a book called The Gratitude Diaries, the author spends a year living gratefully and gains so much more, transforms her marriage, family life, work and everyday experiences. Today since it is Oct 1st I thought it would be a good day to start my OWN Gratitude diary. Thanks for just another push for me to do it!

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  14. This is a hard reality to accept. Last week i was in full on pity mode for myself. I was just feeling bad for myself about everything. It has been just past 6 months since first d day 2 months since 2nd d day. And i think the enormity of the situation is hitting me. Has that happened to anyone else? I feel like especially with the info trickling in it made it worse. Who knows maybe getting all of that info at first would have been too much. I honestly see it now as my husband was not able to tell me then or even face himself. I think it tore him up so much and since we had gotten so much closer since the first d day he opened up. I try to look at that in a good way.

    So last week was hard. Major bumps lots of activity related to the ow and their friends etc. But we made it through it. And interesting enough he seems more intensely committed than ever. I will take each hour, day, week, year as they come as you say. And be thankful we are moving forward in a positive direction. I try to look back and then i can see wow how far we've come. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. H30,
      Sometimes when the shock wears off, the full impact begins to settle. Though it can sometimes hurt even more (If that's possible), try and recognize it as a step further down the road to healing. Only when we can truly process the pain (by feeling it) can we begin to move out of it.

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  15. Very timely post, as I've been in that "why can't I just get over it?" phase for a few
    weeks now. He's over it, why not me? I'm trying to think of this as a marathon, but there's no destination to urge me on. We just have to keep running. Just keep
    swimming...

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  16. He's over it because he's the betrayer...that's how I view it in my situation.

    My H said to me this week "I don't think about it, I don't remember dates"

    Of course I on the other hand remember, I think about it. Not everyday, there are certain triggers of course, I'm having a huge one this week. He gets it, but wants me to forget...

    My response "find me the magic pill to forget"

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    Replies
    1. We have a much harder time getting "over it" for many reasons. It's a shock, for one thing, which completely turns out world upside down and we spend a lot of time sifting through what happened in order to figure out what we missed, what we should be looking for, how to make sure this doesn't happen again. It's trauma for us, and that's something that most betrayers just don't get. It's trauma. It's not a "disappointment". It's not just "hurt". It's trauma. And our response is "normal" under the circumstances.

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  17. I can definitely use some company on this "scenic route ". I feel so alone. It's been a month since Dday, and H is my best friend - so to whom do I talk? What do I do with all this anger and grief? Thank you for sharing. This helps. I know we have so far to go...but there is hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phoenix,
      The loneliness is killer, which is why it's so important to have people -- even this virtual club -- to listen to you, support you and remind you that everything you're going through has been survived by many.

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  18. Phoenix
    You have all of us to talk to! Shoutout all of your feelings on us! We know those feelings so well! You have to give yourself time to feel the emotions and then you will be able to let some of them go! A little at a time! Love you first! Take all the time you need for you! We will be here to listen and help you as best as we can as we are all still just moving through it together! Hugs!

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  19. It's been almost two months since D Day and I just found this blog about a week ago. Thank God I did! It's been my lifeboat. Reading all of the comments...it's amazing how people are writing down exactly the same things I am thinking and feeling. I am saddened there are so many wonderful women out there feeling this pain, but also comforted knowing you are out there. Today has been an especially difficult day and I want to thank Elle and all of you for your words and insight. Knowing that people have healed and even just feel better as time goes on gives me hope. Kim

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    Replies
    1. Kim,
      You'll have those difficult days...but they will be come fewer and further between with time. Know that they will pass.
      One of the hardest parts is believing that we'll feel this way forever. We can't imagine ever feeling better again, ever laughing again, ever not having this horrible knot in our stomach. But feelings never last -- they're just feelings. Let yourself feel them, trusting that they'll pass. And each time you process some of the pain, you move yourself inch by inch toward healing.

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    2. Welcome to "The bunker" my friend.... I'm so sorry you need us but am relieved you found us... Yes, we are many.... But we as strong and growing stronger together. There is no shame in our pain. There is "triumph and hope" we are working together to heal and achieve the best "we" with our spouses we can be. Love you girls tons - Ann from Texas

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  20. Kim
    Not only will you heal, you will be better than ever. A lot of folks here have their proverbial black belts in healing after betrayal. There's nothing you can't say or ask here. Stay strong, be good to YOU. You will get there. Hugs to you

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  21. CherylRN
    I believe you did the right thing confronting her and telling her husband. Brave but right none the less. Who knows what could have happened. People are crazy. I know I was on DDay. This last affair wasn't my husband's first and I truly believe the reason it happened again is there were little to no repercussions after the first one many, many years ago. He learned nothing from it. I did. I think it's great she had to face YOU in front of her husband. She is then forced to take ownership.

    You husband should be scared you will leave. They all should be. Many think we are fools for staying.

    You are smart to take care of your financial and legal responsibilities. Go into every situation with your eyes wide open.

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  22. Ann from Texas
    I love that, "Welcome to the bunker." And your words are so right, there is NO shame in our pain. That took me so long to realize. I was so ashamed that my husband did what he did and with whom he did it. Trashy town whore. I felt people judged me and I know they did. It's certainly not that they weren't judging me but the judged out of their own fears and ignorance. I know they wondered why I stayed after being so publicly humiliated. It took me a long time to sort through that. LOL I'd go the grocery store wearing sunglasses!!! I've finally gotten to the point of understand no one's marriage is perfect, nor are they so eff them, I'll do what I think is right for me.

    Boy this road has been long and winding and thank God for all you women here. My heart goes out the the new "bunker" mates. But take advantage of the wisdom all we weary warriors have to offer. You will be good. You will move on. You may have lost some battles but you will win the war. And you will be mightier!

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  23. My h and I adopted a new family motto!
    Our perfect marriage is two imperfect people who refuse to give up on the other!

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  24. I wrote this last month, at the 9 month mark of D-day. Not realizing until after I wrote it why I was so angry, It has everything to do with the 9 month anniversary.

    I have days where I want to scream and kick and hit and rail against the people who have hurt me to the core.

    Today is one of those days. I want to show him how angry I am but I won't do that. I can't do that.

    Every time I so much as hint at how deeply wounded I am he gets this "I'm still not doing enough?" look on his face. I wish I could make the pain and anger just go away but, obviously, it doesn't work that way. Nevermind the fact that I'm not the one who caused this pain and anger. What did I do to deserve to feel this way? Absolutely nothing. He has no idea how painful this is. No Clue. So when I get the "not enough" eye roll and anger I need to remember that just because he caused this pain doesn't necessarily mean he knows what it feels like.

    I don't want him to feel like he's not doing enough but sometimes, through no current fault of his own, it still isn't enough. Sometimes, nothing will be enough. Sometimes, I'm going to have to get angry just to release some of my frustrations and sadness and anger. I don't want to direct it towards the wrong person.

    So, rather than show my anger to him, or anyone, I sit here, pulled over to the side of the road, writing a blog, with tears running unchecked down my face.

    I don't want to be angry and I don't want to direct my anger towards him, even if that is where it belongs. I don't know what to do with my anger. I can't play sports because my body is failing. That is the only thing that I can think of to exert this anger.

    Why I am angry right now, I do not know. But do I really need an excuse? I have been scarred for the rest of my life. Am I not allowed to feel the pain from time to time?

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  25. Red hot mama
    Yes you are allowed to feel the pain! In fact that was the only way I could begin to let go of some of my pain. It was a very slow process for me and my h just wanted to get past it and 'be happy' together. I had to be heard by him. I didn't feel like he understands how deep the pain was and at times still is. In the beginning I tried not to mention my feelings but that left me feeling some resentment that he was over what he had done but I was stuck with my pain. I didn't express my feelings well. I had more than one screaming fits shouting obscenities and just not being me. I began to send him email with my thoughts and feelings carefully thought out. I also wrote some I didn't send but just writing them down helped me get past them. Keep reading this blog and the other ladies that are farther down the road can give you advice on how to get to a better place! Hugs for your pain!

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