Monday, March 6, 2017

The loneliness of the betrayed wife

Betrayal is lonely business. Not only are we left reeling from the shock of a husband's affair, we're experiencing it in a culture that leaves women with few publicly acceptable options about how to respond. No matter whether we leave or stay, there's a stink attached to betrayal, a pervasive blame that, surely, we must have done something to get cheated on. Even if that something was not having the sense to marry someone who wouldn't cheat.
It does an effective job of silencing us, of isolating us from exactly the support we need most. In that moment when we need an army around us, assuring us that we did nothing to deserve this, reminding us of our strength, and supporting us as we heal, instead we retreat.
We have good reasons, of course.
My husband's career depended, to some extent, on being trustworthy. While I recognized the hypocrisy of an industry rife with alpha males with mistresses putting on this public face of honesty and integrity, I nonetheless knew that an unemployed husband (or ex-husband if that was the route I took) would damage our whole family. So even as those around him worked to quietly remove his assistant with whom he was cheating from the office – an expensive maneuver – I kept silent.
I kept silent because his family would, likely, have either disowned him or humiliated him, neither option a good one. I recognized pretty quickly that their long-held judgement about others was a big part of why we were in this mess.
I kept silent because, for years, I had listened to the whispers about others. The knowing glances about a guy who was cheating on his wife. The snide remarks about why.
I kept silent because I live in the same culture as you all do – where I can't purchase bread at the grocery store without walking a gauntlet of magazine covers boldly proclaiming "BETRAYED" over some miserable celebrity's face. Infidelity as entertainment. Betrayal as gossip.
We pay a price for that silence. Aching loneliness. Paralyzing isolation. A lack of perspective. A toxic stew of self-recrimination, shame, fear, loathing.
We need to tell our stories.
We need community.
We need our soul warriors, our sisters. We are fighting at a level that others can't see, not for our marriages or our families but for ourselves.
We need witnesses to our pain.
We need midwives for our rebirth.
Loneliness stops here.
It stops the minute you Google "my bastard husband cheated on me and I'm dying here..." and up popps Betrayed Wives Club, "your kickass survival site".
It stops the minute you begin reading words that sound as though they formed in your own heart. Words about profound sadness, about anger, about fear and confusion and a hurt so deep we believe it will never go away.
It stops the minute you realize that you are not alone. Not at all.
There is an army of soul warriors – souldiers, if you will – fighting the same invisible fight that you are.
Betrayal is lonely business. But it doesn't have to be.
Somewhere we can find the courage to post our story. Somehow we can begin discerning which among our real-life friends can deliver the required compassion we need to help us heal. We can read how others have re-discovered a strength and a wisdom they never knew they had. We read their evolution, whether they stay or go, into women not afraid to value themselves, to be heard, to take up space.
We can pick up the phone and make an appointment with a counsellor. And make an appointment with a different counsellor if the first one says something stupid like "you need to learn to forgive him and stop dwelling in the past".
Betrayal is lonely when isolate ourselves.
Reach out for support.
Ask for help.
We are soul warriors and you are among us.
Not alone at all.


54 comments:

  1. Elle this is interesting .. I was very vocal about my h betrayal both on d day 1 & 2 although I still felt alone .. my family turned against me because I didn't toss him to the kerb . Some friends were great others had the opinion that I should get rid.. my saviour was certainly this site .. you ladies understood Elle you were there for me when I needed you to respond to my pain with such compassion but straight talking which I absolutely needed... I too had a counsellor that taught me how to journal and channel away some of the anger .. I'm so grateful for you Elle and your brilliant life saving site.. the ladies that come here offer up theirs owm hurt to help others heal truly inspirational.. funnily enough I was just thinking today if it would ever be possible for us btw to meet up somewhere everyone could be.. wouldn't that be a dream come true.. maybe one day .. love you Elle Nd my strong warrior princesses xxx

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    1. Sam A, Yes, I too have often wondered about a meetup. Some day, perhaps.
      In the meantime, I'm glad to know that this site helped you. There's such power in a community of "me too". It's the best sort of healing.

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  2. I am so thankful for this site. I have gotten valuable advice, felt part of a group, understood and so much more. My therapist has been excellent. And I am thankful for my husband which seems counter-intuitive.

    Most of all when I come to this site the feeling I get is "me too". That to me has been the most powerful feeling of support and comfort. Thank you Elle not only for your advice but most of all creating a platform where I can feel that way through this process.

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  3. Elle
    Yes! I'm certain that I read each and every post before I felt brave enough to share the story I learned was my life post betrayal! I was a raw bundle of nerves, tears, anger, fear... You name it I lived it for months before I stumbled into your warm nest of wisdom! Oh and the women I found here, some of the strongest, bravest, compassionate ladies I've ever only cyber met! I too would love a safe place to come together. Maybe on your book tour when it's ready for distribution! My life is slowly rolling back to a more normal 'whatever that means', flow. I've learned self help again as he result of your kind guidance, even if in times of stress, I still forget to eat, until the 'hangrys' remind me with a growling stomach! Thanks for what you continue to do! Bringing together sisters that should never have had a reason to meet, but because of choices our h made, made us search out relief...which is what this site does! Brings relief that someone understands 'me too' !

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  4. Awesome post. I'll never forget the knocked to my knees feeling. How pissed off I was and how the OW was playing the innocent person in all of this mess. When I found out what really happened and that she planned the whole thing with the help of her friends I blew a gasket. I let people know exactly what she and her friends did. I made a scene in the restaurant that we all worked at the day he tried to end his life. I also let her boyfriend know through an email and it ended their relationship for good. She left him to go after my husband and when the whole disgusting mess blew up in her face she ran right back to him and put the blame all on my h. Yes he was to blame too. But he was on an antidepressant because of an accident he had been in and she was slipping him shit in his coffee so he had a major reaction to the medication he was on. That's how desperate she was. It took me a year to put the pieces together. My h was so ashamed of himself that he hated talking about it. He still cringes 18 months later when her name is brought up. I have nothing to be shameful about but, she and her friends do. If it wasn't for this site I would never have pushed for the truth or had stood up to a group of people who thought that they had the right to do this to us and who thought my pain was funny and sent me a letter of restraint to stay away from this restaurant, OW and these other women I supposedly threatened. Which I never did. We ended up moving across the country to get away from her and these other women because they drive by our house and anyone who knew us that went to eat there they would bombard them with questions on our marriage and send my husband messages. The gall of these people. They should be ashamed of their actions, of what they represent and what they tried to do to someone's family because they are selfish and crazy to begin with. But they labeled me crazy and again thought that what I went through was funny.

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    1. Sorry that my post sounds like one big run on sentence. I get angry thinking about what people do to each other and what these women thought they had the right to do to us. Any of us. I found this site about a year ago and I feel like it was a life saver for me.

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    2. Anoymous
      Nothing about this mess nor the aftermath mess is anything near funny! Crazy, yes, this mess left me a little crazy but not nearly as crazy as this ow and the ones in your case. My h had the craziest. She still circles through our neighborhood and probably by my h office. It's taken me a lot of work on myself to deal with her craziness without doing something crazy to her myself. But, I decided to let the court deal with her and she's been humiliated by having to face the judge twice now, so the city attorney thinks she 'gets it' now. Nah! She's just waiting for the case to close and if she ever gets the chance to stare my h down and ask her 'closure' questions. Well he thinks if this happens, he's in a much different frame of mind and will send her away with no attention at all. I'm pretty sure Elle has said that many times! Cut out the attention they crave, and they just fade away! I'm so sorry you too had one of the crazies! Hugs!

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    3. Part of me Thesesa is fascinated by what is actually going on in these women's minds. What makes them function the way they do. I would really like to hear her side of the story. She can't lie to me anymore then she already has. The pain is gone for me for the most part. I guess this is also part of the healing process too. Maybe I can forgive her more if I knew what was really going on in her mind. She called herself crazy. She has pictures on Facebook with little hearts around her deceased father, uses his picture as her profile picture. And the guy she left to go after my h, he is with someone else now but, she still has his pictures with hearts around them on her photos page too. It makes it look like they are still together. I think that it's kind of sad what she really turned out to be. Thank you so much for your support, Theresa, Elle, and all of you.

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    4. Anonymous
      I guess I learned what was going on in our cow mind because she continued to contact my h for six months until the restraining order was signed by the judge, so I know how she felt and I made my h explain every message she sent from his perspective. He realized two months into the affair that she had mental issues, but felt powerless to end it because of his fear of her disclosure. Turns out he put himself through hell for three years because in his words, I'm a coward, and I didn't want to hurt you. Should of thought about that before you accepted her first invitation on a date!

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    5. I guess what I really want to know is what they thought they were going to get from this mess. Why she thought drugging him was an option. Was she that desperate to have my husband when she had a really good man in her life. My husband threatened her with a restraining order to get rid of her. She made herself out to be the ultimate victim. I do know that she has a certain image of herself that she doesn't want shattered and that is why she told all of the lies. The thing is, she isn't attractive and she too is a cow. They all have no remorse for what they have done even though it could have killed him. I guess I will never know. They are the cowards in this mess as far as I am concerned.

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    6. Anonymous,
      Any chance you could pursue criminal charges? What she did sounds, well, illegal. Though I can imagine you both want to wash your hands of this. Wonder if she'd do it again to someone else.

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    7. Elle
      I would love to press charges against them. My husband just wants to move forward and never lay eyes on any of them again. These women are protected because this all happened on the Indian Reservation where the restaurant is located. It was the lawyer from the American Indian Law Alliance that sent me the letter of restraint. So that I would stay away from the Reservation and the restaurant and she could continue to go after my husband even after I had blocked their numbers on his phone the night he tried to end his life. I should also mention that the chief's wife and all of these women are all friends. I never went to court over for the letter of restraint. The chief and his wife also got deceived by these women which I find funny. The HR department of the Nation kept calling me wanting my side of what happened. I wouldn't go and sent them a letter of what was really going on in that restaurant. They ended up auditing the payroll and found out what the manager was really doing with the money there which included compensating my husband's pay among other things. They were all informed by the Clan Mother's that what they did was an embarrassment to their nation. And I know of one other married man that she destroyed his marriage. He was older (daddy issues) and she told my h that it was her sister that did that. More lies. Do I think that she will do it again you bet she will.

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    8. I feel for you all. My H's affair had the OW calling him twice to rekindle. Start again for a third time.

      I finally asked her politely to leave us alone. My H woyld not answer Her b/c he lied and led her on and had her believe he was leaving me, they would be together and sheveould become the stepmom.
      Hahahaha.
      He never left, he ended their relationship a day before I found out.
      But yet she harassed ME on social media.
      I never posted anything about her or talked about the affair. I moved away from her and her low life behavior.

      She claims it was "closure" when she really wanted to continue to be the OW. They had a "connection".

      I told my H he could leave and be with her. Go right ahead but if she is within 1 inch of my kids there will be hell to pay. Of course my H swore he did not want that but AFTER she took revenge and sent me all their emails - well I was devastated yet again.

      I was believing my H - when he answered my questions about the affair I thought he was being honest. She pursued him. She made it happen.

      Actually She was hoping by sending the emails I would throw him out. I did. But he never went running back to her. He had ended it and moved on. Even 1 month later he was not going back to her. It was over.

      So she posted on social media she could never stay with a man who cheated. How do women do that. They should not tolerate that behavior and what kind of women stay in a relationship where the guy Cheated.

      Is she kidding me??? She tried to end my marriage and then I realized how crazy she is.

      My H is lucky she did not file a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. He hired her to work for him. How stupid can some people be???

      But the bunny boilers out there only add to the pain and misery of our suffering. These women are certifiably nuts but our stupid CHusbands want to "help" them. Fall for their crazy drama filled stories.

      How pathetic. How awful that people out there do not care and will just take for themselves. No matter what.

      And my H realky believed his friends and their wives were going to accept a much younger woman (20 years younger) covered in tattoos with a drama queen mentality - like she would be welcome. I still think of that and laugh all the time.

      Shows how delusional my H was firing his mid life crisis affair.

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  5. Three years I have been on this roller coaster. I have sought help in so many ways to try and understand his debauchery. I have visited every infidelity site, read any forum I could find, read a million blogs but there is one place I will always visit. This blog. This group of betrayed women and the wise and kind words of Elle. This is the one place I have found truth. There is no hatred of our adulterous spouses but more an acceptance that they did whatever they did for whatever reasons they found to justify themselves. We will never really understand their selfish decisions. BWC is more about how to let ourselves heal and as Elle says a place where we do not feel alone. Sadly I do find some form of comfort in reading others stories. It is not that I compare my story to others but more an acknowledgment that this is what can happen to us in life. That the one person we had total faith and trust in can deceive so easily and it happens all around us. I now go into a room of couples and immediately think 50 per cent of these people could possibly be cheating liars whereas before it would never have crossed my mind. It is the reality. The cold hard facts of life.
    I am so grateful for this community.
    Thank you Elle.

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    1. Life,
      I think finding comfort in others' stories is exactly what this is about. Not that we take pleasure in others' pain but that it reminds us that we're not alone. And that others have survived what we're going through. They light the path ahead of us so that we can see our next step.
      And yes, it's hard to realize that our view of the world is altered because of this. I sometimes miss that naivety that allowed me to take everyone at face value. But that naivety is also how I got myself into a lot of trouble. I'm not so much distrusting now as I simply expect people to earn my trust. And many many do.

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  6. Wow I am unfortunately new to the blog/club of being betrayed and it's hitting home!

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    1. Brittany,
      I'm sorry for the reason you had to find this club, but you'll find a lot of support here. This has to be the strongest, most compassionate group of women I've ever seen.

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    2. Brittany,
      Glad you found us but sorry you needed to. Yes, there's much support and wisdom and kindness here. The women here are the strongest, most compassionate group you'll meet. When you're ready, share your story...or simply read others, and trust that the day will come when you have healed and moved forward.

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  7. My emotional midwife! Yes! That's exactly what you have been (and still are). I would love to meet up someday to thank everyone in person. The way society responds to betrayal is extremely annoying. I haven't come across a terrible public conversation yet, but I bet I will have a hard time keeping quiet if the topic comes up and someone goes on and on about what they would do...

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  8. Talk about loneliness is right. Unless you have been through the experience nobody understands. Nobody. I run the gamut of, don't know what to say, there must be something wrong with you, you decided to stay so get over it, I don't want to think about it because it makes me think about my husband, divorce, stay, take him to the cleaners, don't want to get in the middle of this, you never did like to be alone etc.. what is not lonely about this? My sister was the only person who tried to understand and actually listened. One day I would want to leave, she agreed. The next day I wanted to stay, she agreed. Then comes the retreat, stay closed in. Then comes the I don't give a shit, stay out. Then comes the lethal flatness. All of this is isolating- well said Elle. You are like when I burn my finger, you kiss it and during that second of a kiss it feels better. That is what your words are like a hug and kiss. Thank you

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    1. Exactly. And after the kiss on the burnt finger, the memory of the love and support stay with me and help me to feel stronger.

      Thank you, Elle, and everyone who contributes here.

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    2. Awww...I can't tell you all how much it means to me that this site has become a place of safety and compassion. We all create it by responding to others with kindness and decency and a deep sense of "me too", even when our circumstances are different, or our responses are different. None of that matters. We walk our own path but are joined by everyone here.

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  9. I don’t post very often but I come to this site every morning with my cup of coffee. I find comfort in knowing I’m not alone, thank you for this wonderful healing place to come to.

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  10. This is so true. We feel so ashamed of being betrayed. We feel scared to tall anyone in our lives because we fear that in case we do stay with out H after he betrayed us they will hate our H or think we are fools.

    I've learned so much in the past 4 months. One thing that stands out is I need support EVERY SINGLE DAY. I need someone to talk to. I have told a priest (can't talk to him every day, maybe 1x/month), we have a MC/IC (meet with her 1hr/wk), a faith based support group (was meeting 1 afternoon/wk, now going to 1x/mo - but there you don't talk about WHY your marriage is/was on the brink, just about how to restore it), my GYN who I saw 1x and will go again to get my antidepressant adjusted, and 1 girlfriend who I speak to 1-2x/week. Yet, with all that support I still feel incredibly isolated. And isolation can lead to depression or worse. This blog has done so much to help me not feel as lonely. I am on here nearly every day.

    I would love to meet you all in person in some clandestine way. I know we give lots of virtual hugs, but most days I feel like I really need a physical embrace. A place to have a live conversation with others who understand all of it.

    Thank you, Elle, for keeping this blog up so long after your own betrayal. There is a place in heaven for each of you who share your stories and support others - you are truly angles.

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    1. BEG, You do such a great job with your support. When you list it I am so impressed and good for you. I know we have discussed this in other posts but I am just so impressed and it is so smart you have such a variety of support. I am not going to tell others because of the kids possibly finding out and for other reasons but it is interesting even with all that great support you still feel isolated. One thing I did think about is how people can lose interest and not understand the long term effects of a massive trauma like this. I have seen it with friends with cancer, divorce, other health issues, issues with kids etc. Over time most people either care less/become less engaged, become less supportive, tire of the whole thing, don't know what to say or how to help so they back away.

      I feel lucky my husband had been such a great support verbally, emotionally and physically. He has made such a huge effort to say kind things, hug me, kiss me and all sort of things like that. At first it felt odd like he was gushing at me but now I have grown used to it and that does help.

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    2. Brown eyed girl
      I'm caring for my mother in a nursing facility following a near death experience. I've met some of the long term residents, some with dementia that need constant hugs. I've allowed these strangers to hug me as if I was their own daughter. These old ladies look as if no one loves them but even if that's not true, I smile, answer any questions I can and provide a pat on the hand or a hug.! I've found these simple things I do help me more than these individuals are capable of knowing two minutes past the hug. The nurses on our wing have said they all appreciate my willingness to take time for these small things. I've pretty much done this kind of thing my whole life. I tend to adopt the older generation no matter where I've lived. It helps me with self esteem and just generally makes me happy. Hugs and wishes for you to find less loneliness!

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    3. BEG,
      I'm glad this site has become a daily source of support for you. And while you might not feel our arms around you in a literal sense, I hope you nonetheless know we're reaching out and wrapping you in compassion. The beauty I see here is that every single one of you wants good things for everyone else. We really want to see each other rise and heal and move forward, no matter what path we choose.

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    4. I'm new to this site today. Caught him for the second time. First was about 13 yeas ago, I caught him 1 yr into it. This one just killed me as the photos with her on his phone dated back over 6yrs. I feel so dumb. I feel twisted asking him to talk about it as if I'm now the mistress and asking him to cheat on her. She's never asked him to divorce me, so he states, interesting to me. Her response was she's sorry I had to find out this way (sexting pics and videos on his phone) I don't know where to turn now. Our 3 girls have no idea yet. However, I told both our parents and in laws. I'm so done with how perfect everyone thinks he is.thank you all for listening.

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    5. Twisted. I can understand your position. This was my H's second affair (that I know of). He travels extensively for business all over the World.

      His 1st was an EA that lasted 4 years. She was after him but he refused to end contact. 4 years of stonewalling me and omitting facts and truths.

      Last affair 3 years ago almost led to our divorce. He asked for a divorce 3 x - twice in one week. Total midlife crisis affair.

      My H never told his family about it. Until I decided I was done pretending he was so perfect and I told his family all the details. He tried to gloss over it like "oh well I cheated a bit". I had the opportunity to tell them he cheated and wanted a divorce. That is very different than the story he told.

      So it is interesting to me how the cheaters all want to keep their "good guy" image intact. How despicable.

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  11. It's amazing that I don't "know" any of you and wouldn't recognize you if we passed on the street but I am so thankful for every single one of you - my new friends who can understand me, accept me, listen to me without judging me (or H). And Elle. Your words ring so true, your advice is spot on and so very welcomed. I don't think I'd be in this step of my healing without you. I didn't understand the need for self care or healing in the very beginning (mostly because I thought my life was over), but my friends here explained why it was so important and I took the advice. I'm just now, at almost 15 mos. out, feeling better. I've gained weight (almost too much), sleep better for the most part, and am learning not to take on more than I can handle. I'm beginning to see my H as he is now, not who he was (this is HUGE). I know I'll never know the entire truth about the period of time of his involvement but I've come to realize that I'm not sure I want to know. What good would come out of it. The loneliness is still with me but getting better. I had been seeing a counselor, but quit because I just didn't feel comfortable with him and didn't think I was making progress. So, once again taking the advice here, I'll be looking for one that is a good fit.

    This site is just what I need when I need it. Hugs to you all!

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  12. This site has been my saving grace. For the last few months I have found sanity in Elle's words and advice and stories from all you women. In some weird way I feel so close to all of you, and in some ways more so than my friends and family. I draw my strength from you all! I have no idea what I would do without this place and all you beautiful, strong women.

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  13. My first hesitant post....three years in I just started with a new counselor to deal with the aftershocks that keep hitting me. The isolation and shame keep me silent from my friends, family and husband of forty
    years(whom I stayed with and is dealing with his own shame). I took a deep breath and posted this as a first step out of the shadows of the isolation of betrayal.

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    1. Anonymous, welcome to the club nobody ever wanted to join. I am married 37 years to a man who has a long history of "acting out" with prostitutes and porn. Only my best friend and counselor knows and it took me 6 months to tell my BFF who has been emotionally supportive and understanding. Many of us feel isolated for a very long time, me included. This blog helps so much. We are secret friends. A sisterhood of friends who are invisible yet understanding, supportive and helpful. I just learned a few months ago how to give myself a name (Beach Girl) by using the drop down menu and typing in Beach Girl for name. When you feel brave enough to identify yourself, please reach out. We have a basket of arms to catch you and hold you. Peace and love.

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    2. Anonymous 3/7,
      That first step is hard. I remember the first time I posted here. I was so hesitant, but I was met with nothing but kindness and support.
      Hugs!

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    3. Anonymous, That is HUGE and I hope you give yourself credit for the courage it took to seek out a counsellor and to post, however hesitantly, your story. It gets easier. And it's crucial that you realize you are not alone. Infidelity is this dirty secret that millions of us deal with -- it's crazy how hidden it is when it affects so many. I'm so glad you found us but so sorry that you needed to.

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    4. Thank you all so much for your support for my first posting. I stumbled onto this site a couple of months ago. I can't tell you how reassuring it was to read my own thoughts written by so many women with so many different stories, but the same shared pain of betrayal. I was one of those naive, smug women with the envied marriage to my high school sweetheart. He fell off the cliff after early retirement and took me with him on a journey that seemed like a bad lifetime movie produced in hell. Like Elle, I was blindsided at Christmas time (week before), but I kept a good face on and hosted the Christmas parties and family dinners while being blasted daily with emails from the ow (from my h to her) and new revelations daily. Now, the holidays bring great stress and that is when I found this site. So, thank you from all of us who get such comfort from your stories-but may be too hesitant to post....maybe I should be known as The Good Wife?!

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    5. Thank you for posting. I hope your new counselor can provide support to you. I have posted a lot about the isolation. A lot of us feel that. My husband had two affairs over 10 years. He was less typical and started it all up in his 30's. I am coming up on 2 years since dday. This site and my therapist have been so important in my healing. It has been hard and at times felt like a roller coaster. One thing I did not expect was how long and hard this would be on my husband. Honestly I figured since he chose to do all of this he would not struggle but it has hit him hard. We are here to listen!

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    6. To you... The Good Wife :) Thanks for finding us. Please think of this as your handle now and embrace it.

      I remember April 13th almost 2 yrs ago, like the back of my hand. I can literally see myself in slo mo anytime I wanna hit rewind. Who can say that about a day??? I found out April 12 - day after my birthday. An email to my H on his iPad was what finally synced my gut with reality. It was a purchase for her and a short note, in which the OW responded and said, "I love you more and more each day". It was mostly an emotional affair, but through a work trip, he made it physical for a weekend as well. The email discovery brought me to my knees. I went into shock. I tried to leave, but physically was unable to move. We talked, I shook uncontrollably. This still happens to this day. When faced with it, my heart beats out of my chest & my body shakes like when I gave birth. On the outside it appears as if I'm freezing, but nope. It's my body reacting to stress, adrenaline, etc. Never had a panic attack in my life until d day. I still have them with triggers :( but they are less frequent.

      The day after d day I worked from home. Forgot to take out the trash and that sticks in my mind. I forgot to take out the trash one day and he returned home frustrated with me. He had an affair and I got PTSD and the trash didn't go out. BFD. I wanted to end my life, cry a river or live in a hole. I was in shock and unable to get a grip. For weeks and weeks I dealt with for the very first time low self esteem. I struggled for months, felt very stuck and had no way of getting out. I found this site <3 LOVE

      Then one day I had a Stewart Smalley moment- "I'm good enough, smart enough and gosh darn it - people like me!" I got over it and my low self esteem. I Mattered, my needs mattered and I began to live life again after 12 months. Almost 2 years out and I'm not afraid of ever being alone. I believe in myself and if this all works out, well that's ideal! If it doesn't, I'm not wrecked. I've been tested to know I'm okay...I'm really okay. Time is what it takes and patience and faith. It's hell, but you come out! You come out with a vengeance and know that ladies! I felt so lost and alone and like many mention, even when the affair is shared, you are so very ALONE. Reach out here when you feel so alone. We are here. We KNOW a little about how you feel and have complete love and compassion for other BW. This site is an amazing resource for daily healing and connection.

      This Betrayed Wives Club comes with a high price to pay for entry, but really in the end, it's priceless. Can't ever thank you enough Elle and all the BWs!!

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    7. Heartfelt, your story is identical to mine. My dday, Dec. 20, will never be forgotten. It shook me to the very core and brought me to my knees. I didn't think this would ever happen to me. Sometimes when I walk into a crowded room, I look around and wonder who the 50% are that have cheated on their wives. What happened has become my secret, one I'm not willing to share with someone who doesn't "get" it. With a lot of work have discovered I WILL be okay no matter what happens. You said it so well...membership in this club comes with a high price and we didn't ever want to join, but I feel comfortable here now. Thanks everyone :)

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    8. Good Wife, I'm sorry you have to be here, but welcome. The holidays are awful for me as well. Dec. 20th forever will be my day to grieve as I discovered his affair that brought me to my knees. We've worked hard these past months but his retirement is coming up and I will still be working. It scares me. I'm hoping we can go to our MC for a refresher course. I, too, was the good wife. I put everyone first. But no more. This has been a life changing event for me. At least I know now, that I will be okay no matter what happens.

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    9. Heartfelt I found out about h affair a day after my birthday too (how weird is that) 40 months out from d day 1 and 10 months from d day 2.. dday 1 was excruciating .. disbelief initially then anger a lot of hurt an sorrow.. I wanted to fix things but I couldn't . That had to come from him..Thought we were ok we had healed had counselling done the rollercoaster then wam bang the bitch got in touch 3 years later!!! He didn't tell me,he tried to handle it himself and here we are today living separately due to his stupid brain that didn't/ doesn't function like mine he was 'reeled back in'. His words ..the only person I'm fixing right now is me.. I hope the separation the absolute shitfest he has caused to so many people has given him a wake up call if not he's going to be a very sad lonely man.. if it has he might still have a shot at this marriage we will see.. still lots of fear going on will he cheat again?? Etc etc But I can't worry too much about that I can't control anything he does.. taking things really really slow ..thanks for listening ladies .. I know I can always count on you lovely people xxx

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    10. Sam A - yeah the b-day thing is weird! I think it was kind of a double whammy that it coincided with that, because now my b-day is not a day I look forward to at all (and I don't care about getting older :) My goal this year is to make it a good day for myself and will do everything in my power to knock out the negative thoughts.

      I think all holidays are hard now too. It really is equivalent to a death in some ways. Something has died inside you and on certain days you long to be that person again or for the relationship to be as it once was.

      I'm sorry that for whatever reason your husband doesn't get it and 3 years out he is lured back. We've had highs and lows and the lows far outweigh the highs, but we keep trying. After the discovery there is so much shit to sift through together and often times I feel the sifting through is done more on my part. I too wonder how long will the change will stick, if ever. When can I stop thinking or trying to avoid this happening again. When is it off my radar?

      Taking things slow is the only way. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. That is the hardest part for us 'fixers' is to wait for their actions or no action and wait it out. We are forever changed by their decision, so it's unfortunate to have the attitude that "the only person I'm fixing right now is me." Their action has a ripple effect and I for one would want to un-ripple this for another if I had caused them pain. That would entail empathy and for some reason I think with some H's it has caused them so much shame they internalize it's just their shame and pain.

      Have a wonderful weekend Sam A! Thanks for answering and sharing. It feels so great to relate to another.

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    11. Feeling Lost, It's kind of like when you decide to buy a Honda Civic, everyone and their brother seems to have that same car and you see them on the road all over in your travels. Now with the affair, I don't necessarily find people in my circle, but it seems to be on tv, in a song, on the magazine covers and I'm blasted with it. sigh :) It feels good to come here so that I can find compassion to help with the constant blast.

      Have a nice weekend!

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  14. This site has helped me to feel less alone. I, too, would love to meet you all in person some day if that were possible.
    I'm fortunate that neither of the people close to me who know have judged me, but I'm far more comfortable "talking" with you all. It's surprising to me to feel so comfortable with people I've never met. But I read new posts daily, I sometimes shed tears when a new sister joins our group, and I smile for little victories fellow warriors have in their recoveries. I have so much gratitude for each of you and I think I've become a whole lot more compassionate because of the things I've read and learned here. ❤

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  15. My husband had an affair, I found out about it 4 years ago, he said it was over and she continued to contact him for a year while we were trying to make our marriage work. I wanted to leave him when I found out, but did not have the courage and did not want to make any decisions at the time, I then went into a depression that lasted for more than a year. After some counseling and lots of help from websites like these (and friends) I got myself together - my husband never left me, but we were not in a good place, we slowly have been working on our marriage. I have HUGE trust issues. Well, last summer his ex-affair partner was promoted to his boss - I could not believe her nerve - I could say a lot of the negative things I think about her, but it would serve no purpose. I was in shock! They have contact frequently - he says it is all business, but how would I know - he travels and says he's being faithful, but I have no way of knowing. I feel vulnerable most of the time, it is not a good place to be. I have been judged by friends for staying in my marriage, I don't know what the right thing is for me to do. Thank you for this site,I find comfort in it.

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    1. Anonymous,
      I'm so sorry for everything you've gone through. And I've no doubt that his contact with the OW must be excruciating.
      I'm glad you've had some counselling. Are you still seeing someone? If not, i wonder if that might help you gain some clarity about what you want going forward. I'm curious why he's in a position where he sees her frequently. Is he aware of how untenable that is for you? You're being asked to trust someone's word when that someone has been revealed as a liar. In other words, of course you have trust issues. What has your husband done to help you regain some trust? How transparent is he?
      That feeling of vulnerability makes perfect sense when you don't feel safe in your marriage.
      As for your friends' judgement of you, unfortunately that's pretty common. Until it happened to us, many of us felt the same way -- that sense of smug certainty of how we'd respond. But nobody gets to live your life except you and YOU get to decide how to move forward.

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    2. Anonymous, I am so sorry. My therapist has told me from the beginning that it is okay and normal to have trust issues and to question my husband and his actions. He said this is healthy and a good sign that I was watching out for me for once. At least for me I did not put myself first or watch out for me for many years. I can understand how you have these feelings under these circumstances. Is it possible for him to look for a new job opportunity? I know for me going to therapy even by myself helped me figure out what I wanted and work through all of my thoughts. It really guided me and helped me realize that what I was feeling was healthy and normal. I have realized and even said to my husband just yesterday this will always be part of our lives and it will affect how we both see things. I am not sure if that will ever change but for now it is that way. Not that we talk about it daily but we do discuss it openly together. It affects both of us and I have a feeling it will on some level forever. My therapist says that is good as long as we can move forward and use it as a discussion topic or leaping off point vs a place of pain or holding it over him.

      I am sorry your friends are not supportive. I have not told any partially because of this. I never thought I would have reaminted with my husband under these circumstances but here I am. I know now all I can say is no one ever knows until they are in the situation. Even I hesitate to say if he were to slip up that there would be no second chances. I just cannot say for sure. Instead I tell him that transparency and authenticity are crucial. If anything comes out or if I discover anything from the past or in the future it would be a major setback. I honestly feel that is true. We had a dday 2 and that set me back so far and was much worse than dday 1. I did nto think it was possible but it was true.

      We are here for you and ready to listen!

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  16. Wow...so many words I could have written myself. I just found your sute this weekend and I can't wait to dive in more. This is the support I have needed. I have felt alone. Coming up on first anniversary of D-day at the end of this month...husband had long term emotional affair with a coworker. Unfortunately they still work together and that is a struggle for me, even with all the promises and reassurances. I am curious if others out there have been in that situation. Am exhausted now...could write more but will wait until I read more and can write more. Thank you for this site! (Hugs)

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    1. Julie,
      I'm glad you found this site but sorry for the reason you had to find it. I hope you've had some support over the past year.
      My husband also had an affair with a coworker. When I found the phone records, I confronted him and was told that it was an emotional affair. It stopped for a few months and then resumed after she re-initiated contact via a Facebook message. I knew about the message as I walked in when he was responding. I had no clue the affair resumed. About two months later I saw another Facebook message pop up on his iPad. I confronted him and found out the full truth which was that it had been an ongoing physical affair. We had been in therapy separately but immediately started joint counseling. At this point I learned that he had developed a porn addiction which then led to an affair. We are approaching 2 years from our last d-day.
      She continued to work at the same place for 8 or 9 months after our first d-day. It was very hard for me. We put boundaries in place, as well as a timeline for how long he would stay if she didn't choose to leave. We were very fortunate in that she did finally leave and move about 2 hours away. My biggest struggle now is that they have mutual friends and through them she continued to try to "show up" via social media. Because of that my husband has gone off Facebook. I still can't bring myself to visit his office although she's no longer there and he assures me no one has a clue about the affair. He may be right but I still stay away.
      I can understand how hard it must be for you. Is there any chance either of them will find a different job?
      Hugs!

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    2. Hi Dandelion - thank you for your reply. Like you said, I'm grateful for your support and but so sorry you have that support to give since you've lived through this pain, too. It's been rough - hearing your story and others I sometimes worry about what I am missing, mainly since they do work together. It's hard to explain how sometimes I can have almost complete trust in my husband that what he is telling me is true, and in another moment I have no trust at all. I think it is because of many things, but his was a long term affair that for years I begged him to see his "friendship" with her was crossing the line. And he refused and lied and hurt me over and over. When I finally did some serious snooping and heard them say I love you to each other...that was it. I called him on it and was ready to kick him out - and honestly I thought he would leave - but he didn't. At first we "stayed together" mainly for the kids (we have 3 young boys) but I felt at the time it quickly morphed to more than that. She tried to move to another building a year ago when it all happened but didn't get anything. My husband has not been willing to move (teacher) and says things like working through this will only make us work harder and stronger. Sometimes I believe it, a lot of times I don't. I have known him for 28 years, married almost 20 and one thing I do know is when he decides something, he sticks with it. I have seen it in many situations, including the years he cared more for her than me - that was his decision then and he stuck to it. Knowing he "chose" us, our marriage, I do believe that he has changed and that any "personal" communications with her have stopped, but he is still not good at "including" me in work talk. And that keeps me wondering. I tell him this many times and he listens and talks and reassures...but it's still hard. Part of it is we are one week away from D-Day, so many, many triggers are hitting me from last year. It's funny how the mind and body can just bring it all back. So sometimes I wondering am I responding to where we are now, one year later and what I know to be true of our relationship or am I responding to past memories and where we were a year ago?? Also since it was discovered by me (even though I had known for years) but it was brought into the open by me and I am the one who actually sent the e-mail to the OW telling her it was over, I missed out on hearing him say those words to her and things like that. I just hate that they still work together. As much as I hate it I don't think I am ready to "force" an ultimatum with him - yet I need to figure out a way for him to understand that no matter what, no matter how good our marriage becomes, it will NEVER be okay or feel safe to me that they work together. Does that make sense? Thanks for listening and supporting. I am struggling to get through D-Day but I haven't even brought it up to him yet. I am sure he is thinking of it - we had a trigger point in December over things that started what lead up to D-Day last year and he was thinking of it before I brought it up - we just need to talk I guess. It's just hard - I always feel like I am bringing up the past, or saying things he did or didn't do and it makes him feel like I am always accusing him when I am not. Hugs to you too!!!

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    3. Julie, it absolutely makes sense that you don't feel safe with them working together. Moreover, I think you have every right to demand that one of them ask for a transfer or better yet a new job with another company all together. Don't ever feel bad about insisting on a no-contact boundary. I wish I would have had that option the 4 years my H was using his work email to have an EA with his cousin's wife. Unfortunately, my H, his cousin and the COW all conspired to keep it from me. So that Dday was not for almost a decade after H ended it.

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    4. Julie,
      I know that I struggled a lot with increased triggers and emotional reactions around the anniversary of our final d-day. I wa so stressed out that it was going to be a horrific day that I put a lot of pressure on myself. Looking back, I wish I had been kinder to myself because that's really what I needed. The road to healing isn't straight and if you have some bad days, that's okay. I'm rapidly approaching the second anniversary and I still have tough moments.
      On the work situation, if you are feeling that it's too much for him to be there (which is completely understandable) but aren't ready to say he has to find another job, can you put some guidelines in place to reassure you? Have you all talked about how he will handle it if he has to interact with her for work or what he would do if she approached him in a way that's not work-related? Prior to the OW quitting, my husband and I agreed on what I needed to feel somewhat safe. For us, it was that he would tell me immediately if he had to have any contact with her for work or if she tried to initiate any kind of non-work related contact with him. He also had to text me if he knew she had left the office for the day. While this sounds a little odd, I needed it. It was almost as if I could relax once I knew she wasn't in the same building with him. During the affair they would frequently talk on the phone as soon as she left the office and was on the way to pick up her kids from school, so It didn't prevent anything from happening but it was a reassurance to me anyway. He also spent a lot of time in his office with the door closed because after d-day, she would make a habit of walking by his office. That was his decision and maybe his non-verbal message that he didn't want any contact. Also, any kind of social event with work people was not an option for him. I know none of these things could prevent him from having contact with her, but they showed me his commitment to making me feel safer.
      I didn't have the benefit of hearing my husband end it with her either. It's been an issue with us and we've gone over it a lot in therapy and outside of therapy. I asked him to call her with me present and end it and he chose instead to send her a message. Our therapist feels like it wa a continuation of his established pattern of taking the path of least resistance. It hurt me because I felt like he wasn't standing up for me and our marriage. He realized a long time ago that it added to the damage but we can't go back and change it. He may not have stood up for me or our marriage then, but he does it every day now in his actions.
      Hope you're doing okay and taking good care of yourself.
      ❤️

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  17. I kept silent many years ago when I uncovered my H's affair by hearing the ow's voice over the phone while he was on a "business trip" out of state! I am an only child with deceased parents, so no family to back me up. Our children were 12, 14 & 16 at the time and I wanted to protect them. After he broke it off with her, she continued to phone our home under the pretense of work. We bought our first answering machine. After 3 months of no return calls, she had her brother-in-law call so I wouldn't know it was her to talk to my H. She had the support of her entire family and had them thinking she was the victim, when she knew from day 1 that he was married with children! Not one word about me, the BW! I was certainly alone and silent. I'm a very private person so only 2 old, dear and trusted friends know to this day.

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