The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
True! VALUE yourself!!
I am amazed at how much this whole experience has changed how I think about myself. On the one hand, I'm better at taking care of myself and watching what I say internally now. On the other hand, there is this hole or dent in my self-esteem/self-worth that I have to work on constantly. I'm also recently aware that this self-worth problem has been going on since childhood. I didn't feel it or know about it because I was so busy go-getting, helping others, and achieving things to prove my worthiness. When I did well, I felt good/worthy. Then Dday happened and proved to me that I can do well and feel worthless. I can do well and have everything taken away from me in an instant. Wake up call about myself! Now I don't do so much go-getting. I pretty much do what I want/what's right for me. I still enjoy doing things for other people, but I'm totally selective about that. When I do it I'm volunteering consciously. No more doing it for other people to be pleased with me. So I'm letting a lot of people down I'm sure (Actually I'm not sure. Sometimes maybe yes, but other times no. This begs the question, then how do people see me?). This leaves me feeling worthless without numbing it with my usual "hustling for my worthiness" ways. So I sit with that. I question where it comes from. My answers surprise me. I chip away at that stuff daily. Heck, hourly. All this stuff has to do with me and is independent from my H or what he did mostly. His cruelty opened my eyes to it, but this stuff is mine. For me, repairing my relationship with myself involves reevaluating my values and who I am. Basically everything. Very hard work. And, yes, most of the time I resent that I have to do it. I loved my over-worked, over-weight, totally trusting, super-woman self too. Now I have to figure out who this is and love her too.
This is a really helpful insight, Ann. I hope I will have such clarity later along the line. I'm still very 'busy' all the time and just feel like a jeep with my wheels spinning in the air any (rare) time I have nothing particular to do. It is very hard to be still when I'm on my own. I do manage it quite well on public transport or in yoga classes though. A long journey ahead of me...
Wow, Ann! You just summed up how I feel. Elle posted something the other day about how we set expectations for other people and then get disappointed by them and I realized how often I do that. But if I'm being honest, I can admit that it's easier to blame my insecurities on my husband's infidelity than to accept them as my own. The truth is I was insecure long before I met him. I tried to make up for it by being an overachiever, trying to be perfect. I grew up believing my worth was tied to my performance. If I got good grades, I was good. If I kept my room clean, I was good. I carried it on to adulthood and into my relationships. I showed my love for my husband and my family by pushing myself to the point of exhaustion, doing what I felt made everyone else happy, advancing at work while trying to be super mom when I was home. And added to this.. my own body image issues. It's a tough cycle to break.I'm trying to make changes a bit at a time. Today I chose not to make an appearance at an event simply because I didn't feel like being social. ;-)
Ann, your words are food for my soul. Like you, I really loved my former self and continue to be baffled over the depth of my emotions due to my husbands disclosure. I could almost have written your post. I have also backed off from the "doing too much for everyone" syndrome although there are times when I fall back into that pattern. Now I recognize what I am doing and do my best to correct the path. I do have some fairly important family commitments that I make and keep for personal reasons but I've even pulled back from my adult kids. They have their lives and when I sit back and watch them with their spouses and children I am so proud of the lives they have made for themselves. Working on me and my life now, just like you!
Ann, I could have written your exact post. A lot of us keep those feelings of unworthiness at bay by overachieving. And we get rewarded for it -- those accolades go a long way toward allowing us to avoid the real feelings deep down. But when we're cracked open by infidelity, we're given the chance to excavate a lot of stuff we'd been ignoring. Like our deep lack of worth. It's why (though I'm loathe to say my husband's affair was "good" for me -- in fact, it did plenty of damage) I can acknowledge that being cheated on forced me to do some reckoning with my own stuff. And I needed that.
I think that I have a pretty good relationship with myself. I've been concentrating on me, what I like to do, what I like to eat, how I want to be treated by other people. I find that I like being alone as much as I love being with my husband and kids and our friends and family. I still have thoughts about what happened and sometimes they are consuming but when they get to be too much I walk the dog and listen to something inspirational and talk to God. Something about the walking and being outside I feel grounded again. I also find writing about what we went through and how I am recovering helps too. One thing about the writing is I've discovered even more about myself and how to value myself even more. I'm not just getting through this journey in my life but growing through it.
Anonymous,It sounds as though you're doing everything you can to heal from this. Recognizing what feeds us is really important. Like you, I found that walking my dogs was like a balm. Journalling gave me clarity. And your ability to use this time to really get to know yourself (and like yourself!) will serve you well going forward.
We see little memes like these all over but none of us really take them to heart. I wish I would have before. It's been 11 months since DDay. We didn't have the greatest relationship before. Let everything else get in the way and drifted apart. It was one time. But that's all it took. She was the one that let me know all of it. Sent me texts. He didn't even try to deny it. I kicked him out. But when she wouldn't leave me alone he threatened her and her husband and it all stopped. He hasn't talk to her since and we are heading down the right path. But still lots of pain. We both recognized that we had stopped paying attention to each other and at times were even pushing each other away. She was an old gf from years ago and WORSHIPPED the ground he walked on. He says I'm prettier, sexier and a better person all together. But I wasn't loving him. And he needed to feel needed and wanted. Which she could do. She told H her husband found out but I don't think he knows at all. Bc I have proof it was her, a friend and her sister that sent me everything. She wanted to see if he'd come to her when I kicked him out. He didn't! He ended it all. Said she was the biggest mistake of his life. He did betray me and the fact that we were that far apart hurts. We work daily on building our relationship. Still working on it. But if we make it through this, we will have the strongest relationship we've ever had. Bc now we talk and we want to make the other happy. We hate that it took this to open our eyes. We know we love each other and don't want to spend the rest of our lives knowing what we each had. I still want to punch him at times but there are times I can't get close enough to him.
Anonymous,Your story sounds like so many others. And your ability to take a look at your marriage (NOT the affair, but the marriage) and acknowledge your own role in it is important for both of you to move forward. And yes, a lot of the time these pithy little memes/sayings don't resonate...until they do. Until we need those words to point us in the right direction.