Monday, April 16, 2018

I need your input for the Betrayed Wives Club book, coming...soon

UPDATE: KEEP THE COMMENTS COMING! THIS IS REALLY HELPFUL. 

My dear wounded soul-warriors, I need your help. After literally years of struggling to put together a book for the betrayed based at least partly on this site, I've finally hit on an approach that is working beautifully.
It is part-memoir but mostly a resource book chock-full of everything a betrayed wife needs to know to survive the early days but also to heal long-term.
I'd love your thoughts/stories/comments/advice on the following topics:
What to eat in the early days post D-Day. How did you handle those mind-boggling days when you felt constantly sick. What did you eat? How did you survive?
Single best piece of advice you got/heard/took after D-Day?
Post-betrayal marriage contract: Have any of you tried this, either formally or otherwise?
Revenge affairs
Children of the affair (when the OW has a child that is your husband's too, or likely your husband's)
Biggest mistake you made on or after D-Day
Favourite nickname for the OW

That's it for now. I'm sure I'll be tapping you for more info in the days/weeks ahead.

Thank-you my wounded warriors. For everything.





84 comments:

  1. After d-day 1 is wasn’t quite a contract but a boundary. If he did this again he had to leave the house. So when he did do this again- i found out a couple of years later, there was really not much of a discussion on my part. He knew the rules and he had to get out. I say that as if it was not an emotional decision or day but it was. It was just as horrible, if not worse than the first because there were SO MANY hookers , but since i had a boundary in place i only had to stick to that and not have a big long drawn out conversation at a horrible time like that.”get out” was about just about all the words i could string together.

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  2. Hi Elle, here are my answers :)

    •What to eat in the early days post D-Day.
    I didn't eat for about 3 days, after that I forced myself to eat a piece of toast a day. It took about 6 months for my diet to go back to normal.

    •Single best piece of advice you got/heard/took after D-Day?
    Breathe, you don't have to have this all figured out today (from you)

    •Post-betrayal marriage contract: Have any of you tried this, either formally or otherwise>
    Not formally, but he is aware that we will be done and I will take half of everything if he acts out again

    •Revenge affairs
    No, I don't want anyone else

    •Children of the affair (when the OW has a child that is your husband's too, or likely your husband's)
    Not applicable thank goodness

    •Biggest mistake you made on or after D-Day
    I don't think I made any mistakes, there are no playbooks of rights or wrongs. I made plenty of mistakes before D-Day though, i.e. not listening to my instincts.

    •Favourite nickname for the OW
    There are too many OW for me to come up with that many nicknames!

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  3. Great idea...

    •What to eat in the early days post D-Day. This was really hard for me. Personally I only needed to lose 5lb at most. However I lost 15 lb. One thing I still struggle with was everyone was telling me how amazing I looked then. Well not possible to keep that weight off so now I suffer and feel fat. I know it is wrong but I had to buy an entire new wardrobe and now I am donating that. Clothes literally fell off of me. I really did not eat for at least 6 months. The only time I ate was around my kids or other people. My husband recognized this and and made a huge effort to make me food and be positive with me. When I did eat I tried to be as healthy as possible.
    •Single best piece of advice you got/heard/took after D-Day? This is hard to say just one thing...but I think just worry about your next decision not looking too far ahead (from you)!
    •Post-betrayal marriage contract: Have any of you tried this, either formally or otherwise? Nope we did not do this besides setting boundaries etc..
    •Revenge affairs No, I do not believe in this at all. I knew on dday no matter what I wanted to remain true to myself and not sink to his level.
    •Children of the affair (when the OW has a child that is your husband's too, or likely your husband's) N/A
    •Biggest mistake you made on or after D-Day For me my biggest regret was thinking after dday my husband had my best interest in mind partially based on his professional background and what he was saying. In the end I trusted my gut and dday 2 happened. He had done nothing new. He had minimized the affairs. The lying though in those months nearly took me down more than the initial dday.
    •Favorite nickname for the OW I never gave either ow a nickname. I refuse to give them my time and energy. Early on I decided they already took too much.

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  4. Yeah Elle.
    I'm after a good book to read. I'd like a personalised signed copy please :) xo

    *What to eat? - I too didn't feel like eating anything, but remember having 1/2 a piece of toast and fruit juice.

    *Single best piece of advice - Like SOASA. Breathe. You don't have to have to make a decision today....and exercise. Just getting out and moving - walking/running etc.

    *Post betrayal marriage contract - No. didn't get that far as he couldn't even adhere to boundaries or talk about any of what he did.

    *Revenge affairs - NO WAY. I was not going to stoop to his level.

    *Children of the affair - thankfully I never had to deal with this (my heart goes out to others that do. Phoenix xxxx).....Any adults can make a baby, but a baby made from marriage is something special, wanted for love - not to try and hold onto a man. These affair babies (not the innocent baby - but I wouldn't be compassionate about it still) but the situation, to me, cheapens the whole thing, cheapens human life.

    *Biggest mistake you made on or after D-Day - Hindsight is wonderful. I too, didn't listen enough to the red flags flapping before D-Day.
    I regret not kicking him out the day I found out. I regret not calling the skank and giving her a piece of my mind. But. I did want to give him and my marriage a go for me and our kids. Biggest mistakes I made since D-Day. Not finding a good MC and sticking at it with the ex. He was constantly lying and I really felt there was no use. I felt I've spent too many years already dealing on my own with his shit and he continues to lie -we're not getting anywhere, he doesn't want to change. He was a lost cause and I was sick of always being the strong one to be there for him to help him through his goings on in his warped head. Maybe after a few years of therapy we may have gotten somewhere? I'll never know. Another big mistake was not telling his stupid parents to butt out of our lives.

    *Favourite nickname for the OW.
    I must say "Ho-worker" is a good one, and it fits appropriately for my husband's affair partners from work.....Whore, bitch, skank, slut, gold digger, cheap, easy.

    BUT. What are some derogatory words for our cheating husbands? They get off too lightly!

    I'd like to add. Even though I was living on robotic drive, having my adorable kids gave me a purpose and reason for getting up and doing what needed to be done. It was a distraction having to care for others whilst dealing with your own pain.

    Hugs
    Gabby xo

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  5. I don't remember what I ate only that I lost a lot of weight and looked like a walking skeleton.

    Don't make decisions while being so upset. Give it a few days or weeks. I kicked my husband out the day I found out.

    I'm grateful that he never fathered a child with her even though she was planning on getting pregnant because they were going to be together forever and ever.

    No contract just a promise to have strict boundaries with people which he has kept this promise.

    My advice to someone else would be to have no contact with the OW or her friends. Their perception of what the truth is is distorted. They will even go to the length and tell you that it's your fault.

    My favorite description of her is the crazy fat cow and I have told her so many times.



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  6. What to eat early D-days: It was tough to eat. I lost a ton of weight. I drank too much wine. If I could change i would have skipped alcohol to really focus on my & my kids needs. I did cook for the kids which got me to eat sometimes.
    Best Piece of Advice: Dont make any hasty decisions, wait at least 2-3 months.
    Post betrayal contract: We don't have anything in writting but went to therapy for 1 1/2 years. I verbally made it clear what I was / wasn't comfortable with. Therapy helped both of us and improved our marriage tremendously. He has verbally apologized, gifts, special trips, he is completely different.
    Revenge Affair: I went out with friends and flirted. Could have but just wasn't my thing. Mentally I knew I wasn't in a place for a new relationship or fling. If I flirted I would immediately wonder if husband and OW said / feltsame thing and it would just upset me. I didn't want to stoop to their level.
    Children of affair: Didn't happen. There was plenty of phone / texting sex but luckily they didn't have intercourse. OW kept making excuses not to be alone with him and he later found out she had herpes. They were high school sweethearts and had sex during those years... Husband learned hard way things had changed!
    Biggest Mistake: I made several. I would say kicking him out & then asking him back as his father had just died and the kids missed him.
    Fav nickname for OW: Hoebag Hansen ... later became Herpes Hansen when I found out about that. She was a firefighter who slept her way through the dept so it's well earned. Her maiden name is Hansen, what my husband remembers her by from Highschool. So Hoebag and Herpes go well with that!

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  7. •What to eat in the early days post D-Day. How did you handle those mind-boggling days when you felt constantly sick. What did you eat? How did you survive? I am an emotional eater. So when I did not eat for a few days the people closest to me noticed. Cereal....I lived off cereal. Did not take much energy to make or clean up. Melatonin was a LIFE SAVER. Trying to sleep, even though I was totally exhausted was the worst. I was careful about using melatonin, but it at least short chained my minds ability to keep me awake. With the use of the melatonin I could get about 6 hours in a row. Later into recovery I used it to re-train my body for rest. Sleep was the largest issue for me, but I have always had issues with sleep, but in the past it was just falling asleep that was the issue. After D-day ANYTHING surrounding sleep was an issue.

    •Single best piece of advice you got/heard/took after D-Day? I did not find this site until about 6-8 months after....a friend told me to just wait, not to make any permanent decisions until my emotions were more stable. Also something I read somewhere years before said you can never untell someone something. So I was careful about who I told. HE however texted his parents and brothers.

    •Post-betrayal marriage contract: Have any of you tried this, either formally or otherwise? Nothing formal. After having worked through several issues and both of us being in a healthier place, we now have a better understanding of boundaries and protecting the marriage.

    •Revenge affairs NO was never an issue. TRUST me the thought crossed my mind, but I just am not sure after knowing the pain that an affair causes I could live with myself after inflicting that pain onto another person.

    •Children of the affair (when the OW has a child that is your husband's too, or likely your husband's) No kids. But a interesting situation. One of my husbands affairs took place during a time when we were doing treatment for infertility. CRAZY I know. So I have told him one of the more difficult parts of healing has been coming to terms with the thought that the child I so desperately wanted (and that I thought he did also) could have been wasted in a condom or on the bed sheets of another woman.

    •Biggest mistake you made on or after D-Day I allowed him to come back home to quickly. Honestly if I had it to do over again I would not allow him back home until we had done some marriage counseling or something. The words said and some of the things done actually caused larger issues.

    •Favorite nickname for the OW His vessel of masturbation--THE VOM for short.

    Thank you for all the work you put into the site. Often it as been an anchor in the largest storm of my life.

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  8. what to eat- hard one. not much but I did try and get out for nature walks daily, to release my pain and enjoy the beauty of nature.
    advice- take care of MYSELF first.
    contract-not written but did tell my husband my deal breakers.
    revenge affair- thought about but didn't.
    children- no I don't think I would of been able to work thru that too.
    biggest mistake- you really need to becareful of who you confide in. I'm the type of person who needed to talk about it. You truly will find out who your true friends are.so in the end it was ok because I found out who my true friends are but at the time it really added to the pain I already was dealing with, being judged and betrayed again by people who you thought would support you.
    nickname-your fat little bitch

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  9. Hope you are almost done with that book! My input:
    What to eat? I lost almost 50 pounds in six months and did not eat much of anything for about a week after D-Day. I had coffee with cream in the morning and nibbled on toast with peanut butter trying to eat at least a quarter of it. When I could finally tolerate food I'd focus on protein like a few bites of chicken breast. I also moved to apple slices. My gut went crazy. I did drink a lot of water to ward off headaches but food was tough.

    Single best piece of advice?
    Take it one day at a time. I decided within the first two weeks that I would give it a year as long as my SA spouse did not view porn, masterbate or pay for sex. That was the line I drew for any possible hope for the marriage.

    No post betrayal marriage contract other than the obvious boundary already in place.

    Revenge affair: Thought about it a lot, looked at options and decided not to go there. I still occasionally have my private fantasy of going there but that is just not me.

    No children were conceived or born that we are aware of.

    My biggest mistake was the hysterical bonding. He never went without sex and although we continue to have a good sex life I'm not sure how he would handle NOT have sex with me for an extended period of time. It is something that I bring up on occasion when appropriate and he swears he will never go back to his old ways. I hate to admit it but I was so pissed off that we had not had sex for 8 years that after we both were tested for STD's and were "clean", I just wanted to have all the sex he withheld from me and it was for me, not "us". That we how I felt for the longest time. He said some very hurtful things early on which may or may not have been true and part of his issue but when he told me he was not attracted to me because I gained weight it just pissed me off so much that I wanted him to have sex with me as often as I wanted to. I ultimately did lose a ton of weight but if you could see a photo of him from those early days, looking like a bloated beached whale you would understand why I was so pissed off.

    My husband used Asian prostitutes and I refer to them as piglets. When I was struggling with mind movies I'd see my husband as a slobbering dog having sex with piglets. Ugh, sick. I still like the piglets.

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  10. We wrote up a formal contract, it took a few weeks to "negotiate" and edit. Lots of focus on emotional transparency and more openness/no secrets or secret behavior. We had a signing ceremony in which I handed him all the copies I had made of his damning emails and texts, and we burned them together, then signed the contract and put it in a safe place in a special folder. From the ashes rise the phoenix of a new improved relationship and honest behavior. I hope. It's still hard almost a year after signing the contract and 2 years after DDay, but we're making our path. Your post is a good reminder to me for us to take it out and read it again.

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    Replies
    1. This is so interesting, Anonymous. Can you give us more information? I'd love to know what was in the contract, whether he had any resistance to signing it, was it drawn up by lawyer or witnessed? Anything you can tell us would be great! Thanks!!

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  11. *What to eat in the early days post D-Day. How did you handle those mind-boggling days when you felt constantly sick. What did you eat? How did you survive?
    This was such a crazy thing. Historically, food was my medication. So in times of stress, or neglect, or sadness and especially loneliness, I would eat. And eat. And eat. I struggled against my weight and body since puberty. Suddenly, I was in the fight of my life, and could not eat. Forgot to eat. Felt so sick I couldn't eat. I knew something was terribly wrong leading up to Dday and had already started trying to lose weight (a preemptive pick me dance). In all I lost 45 lbs in 4 months. Barely functioning does not even begin to cover it. I drank ensure most days or made some other kind of protein shake. And I felt ill after having them. Apples. I ate a lot of apples as part of getting in the moment. I would focus on the apple. The texture, the tart, sweetness, the flavor and the little boost of energy I got because I was otherwise starving. Tea. Miso. Really a lot of liquid things. Because I felt so sick after solid foods. I had never experienced anything like this before in my life. I actually started using a food tracking app to make sure I got enough calories, instead of making sure I did not have too many. This seemed hugely ironic to me.

    •Single best piece of advice you got/heard/took after D-Day?
    Just breathe and move slowly. You don't have to have all the answers today.Let things unfold. ...This continues to be my approach to difficult situations or where I don't quite yet know my mind. Taking my time to feel and check in with my gut, let things play out and see where I land has been incredibly powerful.

    •Post-betrayal marriage contract: Have any of you tried this, either formally or otherwise?
    Never got the chance. But we do have an unusual divorce set up, I think in part because we worked with a mediator vs. two opposing lawyers. I think this changes the dynamic significantly. My ex comes to the house twice a week to have dinner with my son. This works for us all. We've agreed not to introduce our kids with any future significant others without checking in with each other first, as a matter of courtesy and respect. We are very cooperative and feel fortunate that we both are engaged with the kids and communicate with each other about them.

    •Revenge affairs - Wow this is a tough one for me. Not because I went out and had a revenge affair (though I did dive into dating way to early after mediation, both as an act of defiance and as a method to help me detach) But I could not help but wonder if my ex's affairs were a form of revenge upon me, albeit 12 years later, for my own cheating. Certainly, I had been withholding sex as a method of self protection. But its kind of a chicken and egg scenario. I'd always had fears around sex and physical intimacy because of being raped. But I also didn't feel emotionally safe with him because he was emotionally unavailable, always unhappy with me and then expected me too be instantly available for sex at any time. I can't be knee deep in kids and housework and my own full time job and feeling not taken care of and then suddenly be ready to get naked. It was just one more person making demands of me. Over time, I withdrew and withheld. And since we never talked about anything that might feel like conflict, we never dealt with it in a way that allowed us each to feel heard and understood. So, long story short, I feel that there must have been some defiance and not a little bit of "fuck you" in his affair relative to me. (Along with the usual, I deserve this and I am hurting too much to think much about the consequences).

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  12. •Children of the affair (when the OW has a child that is your husband's too, or likely your husband's)
    I honestly don't know how people survive this. Its sort of the ultimate betrayal. Taking the one thing that was still sacred and creating life with someone else. Unintentional or not (that somehow makes it worse). And the thing i, that poor sweet baby is gonna know and carry all that sexual shame forward into their own life and relationships. I've seen it happen with a friend's child, who was conceived during an affair. The couple later got married, but this child was born before that and somehow has known, was sexually very precocious (first encounter at 12) in a very Catholic family. The shame that poor child must wrestle with...

    •Biggest mistake you made on or after D-Day
    You know, I don't know. because my perspective now, is that I did the best I could at the time. And everything brought me here, to the person and place I am now. So I dislike the idea of calling the choices mistakes. However, lessons learned... I should have told him he had to move out sooner. I wish I'd been braver and believed I could stand on my own sooner. I wish I'd been less afraid of him leaving forever and therefore been willing to kick him out right at D day 2. Maybe things would have been different.

    •Favourite nickname for the OW
    Again, I have issues with focusing on the OW too much. because she's not the villain of the story. There is no one villain, really. Just a bunch of sad, pathetic people acting out on their sad, pathetic stuff. I've called her "that person" "waste of skin" "fucking whore" "fuck doll" lots of things when angry. The feminist part of me, and I'm having a hard time articulating quite why< does not agree with the level of blame and hatred we aim at the OW. Our husbands were there too. And if the OW had been a better, stronger person with soome self esteem and boundaries, thhey might have said, "um no, old guy. You are married and I don't need that BS" etc. And our husbands would eventually have landed on someone (sorry, no pun intended) to do this dance with them. Why, then, the disproportionate blame on the woman? There is something deeply sexist about it. It also makes sense psychologically because she is at a distance form us and easier to blame and hate than the person we are married to. When we dehumanize the OW, we make an agreement with the world as it dehumanizes women in general and blames us for the crimes acted upon us. I know that's big and tough to swallow. I now, instead of using phrases like "Homewrecker" which are inherently sexist, try to say words like "that damaged person" or even actually say her (stupid, pretentious) name with the long A sound. Because it is part of acceptance to me. It's all real. She was a real person, whose parents maybe messed up (Just. Like. Mine.) And while I don't ever have to like her or forgive her or whatever, she's less powerful as a real, pathetic person, than she is as a cartoon super villain in spandex and a push up bra.

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  13. I’m looking forward to the book! This site has been a major part of my healing.

    What to eat in the early days post D-Day - Toast and hot tea were the things you mostly remember being soothing to me. I was constantly nauseous in the early days.
    Single best piece of advice - You don’t have to make any decisions right away. I think I felt rushed to decide whether I would stay or go, rushed to know if our marriage would survive, rushed to decide if i could forgive. And in the midst of trying to make all these decisions, I was rushing my healing which I know now can’t be done. It takes time.
    Post-betrayal marriage contract - We didn’t do a contract. But I did try to decide in my head, what my boundaries were and what I would do if they were crossed.
    Revenge affairs - I thought about it but I wouldn’t want to live with that on my conscience.
    Children of the affair - No
    Biggest mistake - Asking for too many details. I wish I had believed when I asked that many of these would haunt me. It was a mistake and I wish i didn’s know a lot of it. But at the same time I’m not sure I could have handled not knowing. Double-edged sword
    Favourite nickname for the OW - “the whore”, “your whore” or “your girlfriend” (when speaking to my husband and mainly said to piss him off, especially “your girlfriend”). “Joker Face” was one of my personal favorites buf I never outwardly referred to her as that when speaking with my husband. Petty, I know but I swear she looked like the Joker on one of her FB profile pics. ;-) I’m actually laughing to myself as I type that because I still find it funny.

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  14. Eating: I could hardly eat. I lost a dramatic amount of weight. I needed to make sure each bite had nutrition since there were so few. Salad without dressing was my friend added chicken eventually. Clear soups. Almonds. Water. Hot, green tea. No dairy or coffee. I couldn't handle creamy, spicy, or dense foods. No crackers or bread for me. The goal was eating things I could keep down.

    The best advice I got came from you. Self care. Part of that was not rushing myself into decisions. I gave myself time and lots of TLC like I was my own parent or best friend. I took care of ME first. Every day I got stronger and had a little more clarity than the day before.

    My biggest mistake? Letting myself believe at the beginning that this was a failure of mine. I slowly came to understand that my survival of this horrible experience is my greatest success so far. I developed resilience when I could have folded up completely on myself. I did not choose this, but daily I choose my reaction to it. This major accomplishment felt like failure when I started. I was so wrong. My H may have failed (and learned from it), but that failure does not belong to me.

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  15. 1-I could not swallow food for a few days,at least 5 days. I drank coffee, tea and water as my throat felt like it was shut.

    2-My best friend reminded me that I was the victim, the OW was not, as the OW knew of me before their affair started and I found out only hours before. My friend also told me not to leave, as was my first reaction, so I could think clearly before I reacted.

    3-No contract. H wanted to forget it ever happened and go on as usual. No one cared what I needed. The only thing I said is that I would kill them both if he ever saw her again. (He must have believed me as he never did!)

    4-No revenge affair. I thought about it but couldn't do it. I flirted to boost my ego but couldn't hurt another woman the way I was hurt.

    5-No children resulted from the affair. She told him the second time she saw him for drinks that she couldn't have anymore children, thus clearing that hurdle for them!

    6-My biggest mistake is not seeking help immediately. H brushed it under the rug & I simmered in silence for years and years. It needed to be talked about, questions needed to be answered and understood, as we all know now, but his affair was for 1 year in 1980-1981, way before home computers and helpful sites! (That's why I went to college & became a therapist-so I could understand, finally, what happened!)

    7-Since we share the same name, I NEVER called her by her name. I always call her his slut! (I get way too much pleasure calling her that!)

    Carol, the First

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  16. What to eat - I think that this could go 2 different ways. As a WW leader I know some will over eat. I didn’t. I actually lost 10 lbs that first month. I really only started eating again when I found out I was pregnant. I did however drink A LOT —- I don’t recommend that!

    Best advice- actually came months after DDay - it’s ok not to know what you plan on doing. Stay, go ... kill, not kill ... it’s ok. (Wink). Set a deadline and then reevaluate. Also - do NOT contact the OW. It won’t give you the satisfaction you want.

    Revenge affair - oh how I wish. The offer was made but there was no good to come from it.

    Contract - no. I put a boundary in place but he blew through it and I didn’t follow through with the “consequence.”

    Children- not from the affair but due to the affair. I ended up pregnant on or soon after DDay. I do not regret it ... he’s an amazing little guy. But he certainly complicated my decision making process and I stayed when I probably would have left otherwise. It was also hard knowing how far along I was represented how long I’d been in this hell.

    Mistakes- I didn’t leave when he made it apparent he couldn’t end things with the OW because it would destroy her. From there after it was nothing but deception and lies. If I’d left he would have had to win us back. My biggest mind torture is that I’m the consolation prize because she cut things off (supposedly). I am not confident that it really is.

    I also set a boundary (no contact or the kids and I leave) that I couldn’t follow through with. I often feel like the CHUMP! So only set a boundary you can follow through on.

    Nicknames - I don’t have any. I’ve called her a worthless whore but not often. I actually feel sorry for her. She’s truly broken if she has to pickup married men on Craigslist. But so is he for doing it this way.

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  17. •What to eat in the early days post D-Day. How did you handle those mind-boggling days when you felt constantly sick. What did you eat? How did you survive?
    I lived on fizzy water, ginger ale, hot tea, and popcorn. I lost so much weight and could barely eat. But try to find something mild and comforting and drink plenty of fluids. How did I survive? I'm really not sure. It it is a bit of a blur.
    •Single best piece of advice you got/heard/took after D-Day? take care of yourself, go get tested for STDs, and take care of yourself. Just try to get through the first few days, that is all you can do. Just try to make it through. Deep breaths. Yoga, running. whatever it takes.
    •Revenge affairs: just don't do it. it may seem like a good idea, but it really isn't. it won't help anything. Just have healthy fantasies about killing her, running her over with your car, etc, but of course don't act on them. haha.
    •Favourite nickname for the OW: stupid effing whore. I still have trouble even saying her name and feel sick if I hear her name, 4 years later.

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  18. Once again I feel this site or maybe I should say the people on here let me down.
    How petty the above is.
    I read a blog recently that was from the OW.
    And I really liked it.

    ‘On being the other woman. It has taken a bit of regurgitating of the past in this post, to get to the point. Words have drifted into a foggy but at times crystallized memory of what happened in that time with Him. It happens in affairs. So, I want to clarify what for me has been the definition of the other woman.

    Fuck that. I am a woman. All the blogs, all the counselors speak of the male cheating; the wife left and betrayed; the stalking mistress. None of them have spoken to me. I am a woman, who was the other woman, for far too short a time. Heard of that before?’

    This is ridiculous!
    You are asking what u eat after finding out or divorce!
    What does anyone eat or not eat and does it matter!
    Your world is exploding but now you are writing a book to advise others what people in this situation eat? - who cares!
    So disappointed!

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    1. I’m not sure what you saw that disappoints you.

      If you are the OW I would love to hear your side of things. How did life implode for you after his DDay? How was your life turned upside down because of the lies either he told you or that you told yourself?

      Personally I hate that I’m both the OW and a betrayed. My AP and I never talked about destroying our families. We obviously didn’t think about our spouses and what we were doing and how it would destroy them to know what we were doing. BUT my WH and the OW wanted to escape their realities and make house together. They fell in love. I’m sure she had a huge hole in her life as does my WH as a result of what they lost when I found out.

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    2. Anon, it's tough to feel disappointed and your anger is right out there too. You are allowed to have them. But I'd like to try and reframe this for you, because I don't think the question is about a quick fix guide to what to eat after your world has been blown up. The question is really about our shared experience and survival. If you look at the responses, they are less about the food and what will make you feel best (again, not what this question was about) and instead is about a shared experience. About how hard it was to eat anything. About how sick we all felt. About how some of us who used to medicate with food could not even manage to do that anymore. It is about how the trauma affects all of us in some similar ways. The question was much deeper than simply trying to get to a list of foods like some new fad diet. It may be, for the women who up reading the book, about seeing themselves and their own pain and experiences on the pages and realizing that they are not crazy for feeling too sick or crazy or ill to eat. And to provide a few steps that guide them on the path out. What does self care look like when you are too devastated, too sick, in too much pain to even eat? And when you shift to self care, you are now focusing on individual recovery for the betrayed spouse. It could be a life line.
      The book says it is to be intended to be a resource for survival, about many things and many shared experiences. So not just about the one thing that made you feel so much anger. It might help you to get curious about why the question about food triggered you and what that is really bringing up for you. Our anger, when it is big, is often about more than we think it is.
      Hope you are having a better day today.

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    3. I may be reading this wrong, but did you take the time to comment/criticize that this post is petty and women on the site let YOU down? REALLY? Are we supposed to apologize for your disappointment in something you read? I'm actually laughing at my desk right now!

      I wasn't aware that the world is responsible to only write words that bring YOU up.

      I'm quite sure we would ALL have taken the the time to read your answers to these questions - despite you being on the home wrecking side of an affair - if you "woman-ed up" and weren't so bitter towards women who are hurting (because of women like you).

      Clearly you have far too many issues. Move along.

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    4. Anonymous,
      It sounds as though you come to this site occasionally. I'm curious what it is you're after that you're not finding here. I'm also curious what it is about that OW's definition of herself that resonates with you (I'm assuming you're a betrayed wife since you've come to this site seeking...what?). I see little in the OW's definition than self-pity. I certainly don't see introspection of an accounting of the role she played in the deliberate deception of another woman. Nonetheless, every one of us needs to seek comfort or support where we find ourselves best served. If this site isn't it for you, that's fine. I've no doubt there are many many women who drop in, don't see what they need and move on. But, for your own healing, you might want to consider what it is about the question re. how did women keep themselves upright and relatively nourished in the early days post-D-Day that upset you enough to write. A nerve seems to have been struck by that innocuous question. You've piqued my curiosity why that is.
      I do hope you'll let us know.

      Delete
    5. FYI my wounded soul-warriors: I googled the phrase that Anonymous posted (I don't recommend it. Trigger-y for any newly betrayed). And what it turned up was "regurgitated" indeed. The usual drivel about how what they had was magic (until it wasn't), honest (until it wasn't). Writer learned nothing other than that it hurts to be dumped. #thankscaptainobvious

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    6. Anonymous 4/17,
      I’m also curious as to what on this site left you so disappointed. Certainly, we all react to trauma and heal from it differently. If you are a betrayed spouse who was fortunate enough to NOT struggle with what to eat in the early days after learning of the betrayal, I consider you fortunate. Others were not so fortunate. While what to eat may seem trivial or insignificant to you, there are others who may have struggled with getting enough nourishment to keep themselves going while they held down jobs, raised kids, and tried to function normally at one of the hardest times of their lIves.
      It’s very obvious that something here triggered an emotion within you. Ironically, I read this quote earlier today and it spoke to me. It seems appropriate to share it after reading your post...
      “Every time you judge someone, you reveal a part of yourself that needs healing.”

      Delete
    7. Anonymous
      It’s hard to tell from your post if you’re the ow or you’re a betrayed like us. Either way it’s apparently not what you’re looking for by reading this blog. I’m here because it’s what helped me get through the worst time of my life. Four years of trying to understand how another woman could inflict her pain and anger towards me when I didn’t know she existed until she decided I needed to know her ‘truth’! She was tired of being rejected by my h once the new wore off the sex! She was willing to be his fuck buddie without doing the hard work of real life! She lived in her fantasy life with my h and then she stalked me from the day I moved into our house with my h and she insisted on meeting me that one time and was hoping that I was weak and would run away the day she spit her truth out on texts! I spent a year or so hating her for what she chose to do but then I began to pity her for being so broken to think of sex as love. There’s such a difference in the two! You seem to think it’s petty asking what we ate in the early months so if you’re the ow, I don’t know how or what you’re able to eat every day knowing you’re responsible for causing such pain in someone’s life that you don’t even know! I’m guessing you’re the one left behind from your affair and he chose to go back to his wife and family! This blog is for the fierce women that choose to pick up the pieces of our shattered heart and help the newly betrayed find a way to cope with the stress of a major life crisis! I doubt you have the courage to respond to your post seeing how we feel about your thoughts about what it takes just to survive! Like the crazy ow from my story, I will choose to say a prayer for you that you find the peace you’re searching for if this isn’t the place you can find it! For many of us, this blog and the love and support of virtual strangers has helped keep us alive and functioning! May God above lead you to your destiny!

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    8. To all I would sincerely like to apologise for a badly written response that I realise (as messages can be) has been misunderstood. And that’s totally my fault, as I wrote it in one mood and now realise how it can be read pretty badly.
      I was very calm and not angry, was just trying to say that when this happened to me, everyone had advice and eventually I was drowning in it. And the food advice used to make me want to punch someone. I couldn’t eat, sleep etc and lost weight and honestly it kind of helped a little bit short term, feels great to be fitting into your thin jeans and they are not tight.
      But we are humans and we need to eat so it will kick in eventually and if u want to eat ice cream all day, well you deserve it.
      My badly made point was don’t sweat the small stuff, no advice is going to help.
      Surround yourself by listeners and those who stop you from doing anything u will regret long term, like jumping off a cliff or maybe sleeping with 20 men on the first night. And change his name in your phone to ‘Don’t contact ever especially when drunk!’ You won’t believe how much that actually works when you are drunk!
      And my quote was not about the affair etc or the OW’s take on the affair, it was her line about not being defined as an Ow but as a woman.
      I was trying to say, very badly, you define you, whomever you are, don’t let someone define you. Look at yourself in the mirror and decide what your self worth is and stick with that.

      Again apologies, I travel a lot and respond and read this site in my phone. So spelling or way too blunt and awfully thought out messages happen.
      I just want us all to concentrate on us etc
      Sincere apologies

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    9. Thanks for clarifying Anonymous, and my apologies if I was harsh in my response to your initial comment.

      I'm still not sure why/how you felt the site and/or the women on the site let you down, but this site and them women on this site have provided MANY newcomers to the "Club" with experienced guidance and knowledge of which I was so grateful to receive. I was normal and not alone in not eating, not sleeping, ruminating, enraged, blaming myself while still loving him (talk about mass confusion).

      I was welcomed with open arms from women I have never met and they provided me with the most relief early on post DDay(s). This site and the women on this site were a warm hug, a heated blanket, a cup of comforting tea, a "keep your chin up" and a "breathe". I saw them standing on the beach, waiving to me as I was alone in the middle of the dark and rough ocean, unsure of what was below the water.

      This site, Elle and the women on this site single highhandedly kept my head above water as I was floating in the middle of that ocean.

      I would not be where I am without this site and the ladies on this site.

      We are brave warriors xo

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    10. Anonymous
      I'm so glad you clarified that for us. I was pretty confused by your initial post but I get what you're saying re. defining for ourselves who we are. We are more than just 'betrayed wives', though that's exclusively why we're here on this site.
      And yes, I can see how you might feel you were drowning in advice. However, when I was in the thick of the pain, I really wanted someone who'd been there before to tell me what had worked for them. I was desperate for that "me too" advice. Someone recently mentioned that she'd relied on Ensure or Boost drinks, which is something I wish I'd thought of then. So...vive la difference.
      'm glad you didn't take offence at the responses and can understand where people were coming from. As you know, feeling as though someone is here defending the OW's point of view isn't too popular here.
      And yes, the advice to change his name in your phone is brilliant. Thank-you for that!
      I

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    11. I’m glad you didn’t disappear on us since we reacted differently than expected but we were a little confused. Some of the words you used were also used by the cow to justify her relationship with my h. Triggers but I was able to bring it back under control! Really no hard feelings that last, you will find we’re a very forgiving bunch of fierce fighters!

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    12. Ladies thank you for forgiving me or at least not kicking me out of the club.
      I have really thought hard and realised now as I had no one in my life who had been through it I didn’t realise that, that maybe would have helped at the time.
      So again I apologise.

      Delete
    13. Anon, sweet bean, please stop apologizing. We've all said things or written things that have been completely misconstrued. We all have. You put your feelings and your pain out there. I totally get being sick and angry of advice from people who just don't get it. So I understand your reaction to something that was particularly triggering for you. It is OK. truly. Having people who understand, who have been where you are standing, and can see you in your pain, makes all the difference. You don't need to be sorry. It was a simple disconnect of language and intent. Happens all the time. You're good and its a new day.

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  19. My h cooked and fed us in the first weeks and did dishes as well because I was just numb and weak. Salad became a favorite when he traveled for work because it was easy. I lost about 20-30 lbs but mostly because I began walking my dog daily. My best advice came from you. Breathe and sit with the pain. No contract but we renewed our vows and bought him a wedding ring. His job prevented him from wearing one for years but he no longer has the same job so he now wears his with pride, his words, he lost it the first week washing his truck and he panicked but he searched until he found it and to my knowledge never takes it off.
    Revenge affair no I’m a germ phobe! No children from the affair because we’re middle aged but cow tried to use the death of her teenage son to renew contact with my h. I call her the cow because she’s crazy other women. She called herself his ‘fuck buddie’...she has the most common name so I have no choice but to hear that name and now 4 years later I don’t cringe every time I hear it! I can’t wait to read this book!

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  20. What did I eat? Anything I could get past the lump in my throat. But sadly dinner was vodka and pills. I stopped that after about a year.

    Single best piece of advice - Get a therapist. Don't do anything that will get you on the show Snapped

    Contracts - he refused, but would let me check his phone on demand. Which really was nothing because I'm sure all evidence was deleted.

    Revenge affairs -No, but didn't rule it out, but my life then was home, work and just trying to breathe.

    Children - no, but she has 3 brats that I used to babysit. He said he would never live with her because of her kids. But he had no problem taking them all out when I was at work.

    Biggest mistake - staying and succumbing to all the gaslighting and grooming. Losing myself for fear of not being pretty enough, smart enough, Trying to be like her so he would love me. It didn't work. She is really quite dull.

    Nicknames? - In public, slut or whore. In our private discussion, f'ING awipe c. I too have trouble saying her name. For the first few months, just talking to a customer with the same first name could trigger panic attacks.

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  21. Anonymous 4/17
    I can't wait to see what the other wives have to say to you on here. You really have a lot of balls posting something. You sound like the woman who went after my husband, "for a short time" did you plan it too? Have your friends and coworkers helped you?? If you must know, that it matters a lot how to survive the first few days, weeks and months after your husband sleeps with a whore. I hope you get to experience this someday but, it sounds like you are too selfish to understand what decent women go through.
    cm

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    1. My sincere apologies to have triggered something in you that I feel is unwarranted.
      I certainly have nothing in common with the woman who went after your husband and am not even sure how to respond to the coworker comment! Seems you are taking your anger out on me and it’s incredibly misplaced.
      I would not be on this site if I wasn’t the person who was cheated on.

      Delete
    2. Anon
      There have be OW on this site and I looked up at one time the quote that you made because I wanted to know what it felt like to be them. But it just made things worse at that time. Now I see it differently. But, I do hold a lot of anger for the people (cow-workers) of ours that helped the OW go after my husband. The manager of the restaurant was playing with his paycheck and bought him a futon to sleep on in the office. (he worked overnights in corrections) He had been doing this woman's job while she stayed home and calling and texting him on what needed to be done. The OW's best friend was a part of it too demanding that he leave me for her. These women all knew he was on medication for depression and anxiety because of the job he had and they used it to there advantage. Someone posted on here about making sure you get 6 hours of sleep, my husband was getting no sleep and wouldn't listen to me about getting rest. The medication he was on (Citalipram) has severe side effects where the person taking the meds feels nothing and doesn't care about anything. And I have watched my daughter go through this too, she is on the same meds now. And yes the sentence where it said "it only lasted a short time, heard of that?" is what did it. My husband's affair lasted 10 days. And this woman was planning her wedding and a baby because she was crazy. So you can see why I reacted to this the way I did. I always tried to trust other women but I find I have a hard time now because these women played me so well.
      cm

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  22. What to eat in the early days post D-Day. The only thing I could keep down for weeks were atkins shakes and bananas. I lost 25lbs in 3 months because I couldn't eat.

    •Single best piece of advice you got/heard/took after D-Day? Don't make any decisions, the heart and mind are in a state of trauma so just self care until you can level out.
    •Post-betrayal marriage contract: Have any of you tried this, either formally or otherwise? We didn't write anything down but we discussed some boundaries. Like no more contact or the marriage is over, and NEVER another affair emotional or physical or again the marriage is over. Also Therapy is required if he wanted me to stay and work on things (which he did)!
    •Revenge affairs - NO, I suppose I can understand why someone might want to do this but it's just flooding a house that's already been destroyed by a tornado.
    •Children of the affair (when the OW has a child that is your husband's too, or likely your husband's) thank god there were no children from the affair.
    •Biggest mistake you made on or after D-Day I feel I was to civilized with the other woman (who'd been a friend). I should have let her have it with both barrels. She kept trying to get my husband to leave me because she thought I was too weak. Foolish woman, so selfish so foolish.
    •Favourite nickname for the OW. Cum Dumpster. I can't even say her name (challenging since my daughters best friend has the same name).

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  23. I had no trouble eating- sleeping was my hardest thing!
    I got my favourite foods (late summer, so great fruits and salads available) and ate out to treat myself.
    I figured, this man is treating me badly, so I will treat myself well to try and even up the balance.

    Best piece of advice: it's ok not to know what to do. Not knowing is a valid response. You will feel in yourself when a decision is coming.

    I found my throat drying up whenever I tried to speak about the OW (to my h, to counsellors, etc). I could literally not say her name or be heard. My body was rejecting her even while my mind was trying to be reasonable and find a way forward.
    I am a teacher and often have girls with the OW's name in my classes. I do a sort of mental shutdown (very useful in teaching, where we are not always supposed to show our personal reactions) but find it so energy-sapping.

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  24. Anon 4-17 That was a bit of a weird quote, when you had an entire article to choose from. although regurgitating is a good word. I will tell you, that I was an OW when i was incredibly young. When I found out the guy was married, truly married and not "in the middle of a divorce" all i felt was TERROR. Terror that I would be found out. TERROR that his wife might know. How in the world could I ever stand up to that gaze? I felt awful for my choices and awful that I did not put two and two together. But mostly, i felt true terror and embarrassment, such was my fear of being 'found out' Although my heart was bruised, I was more ashamed of myself that feeling sorry for myself. I have not the slightest idea of how anyone here let you down. I think few of us are interested in what you are looking for here that left you so disappointed. is it that we rely on others to get by? maybe that we help each other? that we dared to live? that we dared to move on together? what has you so angry?

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    1. Apologies, never meant to offend anyone and probably wrote it too fast without realising that things can be read badly and I did not soften my message enough. I should have been more clear, my point about posting that quote was about the OW stating she had decided not to be the OW but a Woman. It wasn’t about her running off into the sunset etc.
      I was trying, very badly, to say a bit of power to us all and decide what you want to be defined as not what others define you as.
      When it happened to me I was so sick of everyone’s advice.
      My main message is everyone can give advice but actually the best is to rather be surrounded by listeners and people who stop you from making massive mistakes that are only going to harm you more.
      All I want is for anyone betrayed to look deep in themselves and decided what they are going to let define them. I want all women to realise their self worth from an ow to a betrayed. I hate women bashing etc and that includes a women who cheats with another’s husband.
      I like this site and apologies disappointed came across harsh but I want the focus to be on support and us rather than them.
      But under no circumstances do I want to change this site or the people on it or the posts. I apologise for an over harsh message which was not intended to be that way, more a small frustration of a few posts that i had read and just wanted to hug the people and say forget that. Decide what u want, who u are and then get back out into the world and deal with this. I waited 3 months for him to decide my future!
      No one should decide anyone’s future.
      Hope that makes sense
      Again
      Apologies to all

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    2. I understand better now. I really prefer to think only of the people who matter to me. I don't want to give too much importance to the ow. I prefer to see her as a troubled person who made selfish choices... If there was a future for my relationship with my h, I would like to regard his affair as a blip. Sadly, my h's problems run deeper than that.

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  25. Oh Elle, so happy that your book is coming along! Please keep going. Write for yourself, put it out there, and your fans will find you. You've saved me hundreds of times and I am eternally grateful.

    What I ate: Almost nothing. I felt like someone had died, I felt like I’d been raped (not to minimize those, it was just that traumatic). A friend appeared with chicken soup and french bread, and while I only took two bites, her effort was never forgotten. I became lightheaded and sick, and went for the smallest bites with the most impact. Nuts, cheeses, peanut butter, crackers, protein shakes. The 20 pounds fell right off, but they came back.

    Best Advice: Give it six months. Don’t decide. I had thrown h out, and kept it (mostly) that way for six months. When I got upset, I told myself, “Not today. Don't decide today.” With ow, I wrote her letters I did not send, and edited them every few months. I listened to Elle's advice: Cut her out, give her nothing. Not. One. Word. I like to think it drives her nuts.

    Contract: Nothing formal. As I've said here before, I told h if he could not control his behavior, we might be friends, but we would not be married.

    No revenge affairs, no kids, but one regret: I danced provocatively with a classmate at my school reunion a week after d-day. I liked the attention, but ugh. Don't do it.

    Nicknames: I have referred to ow as an opportunistic blow-up doll, the soccer mom from hell, she who shall not be named, and many things I won’t repeat. Stay strong, warriors, and thank you, Elle!

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  26. So glad you are writing this. After reading too many essays by the affair havers and affair partners (I am looking at you NYTimes), we need this out there. You are a game changer, Elle. So here is what I have to say to your questions
    •What to eat in the early days post D-Day. How did you handle those mind-boggling days when you felt constantly sick. What did you eat? How did you survive? I don't remember eating. I must have. But I know my usual appetite for breakfast disappeared. I was often dry heaving every morning. I do remember a period of desperate need for wine or alcohol. I am not a drinker, but I felt constant craving. I only over did it once (went out for a solo whisky and stumbled home and puked) but I am sure even the glass or two I was having every night didn't help things.
    •Single best piece of advice you got/heard/took after D-Day? Telling myself, forcing myself to believe that I will survive. Willing myself to envision a time where I wouldn't be in constant agony even if I couldn't trust that would be true.
    •Post-betrayal marriage contract: Have any of you tried this, either formally or otherwise?
    •Revenge affairs: Of course I fantasized that I would or could. But it isn't me. I did feel some attraction to men I knew but would normally find unappealing.
    •Children of the affair (when the OW has a child that is your husband's too, or likely your husband's)
    •Biggest mistake you made on or after D-Day: Not putting myself first. I wish I made my expectations and demands loud and clear to my H and the OW. I wish I got directly in her face and his. I was too magnamous and generous. I assumed that they were thinking straight and could clearly see what delusional lie they were telling themselves. I also wish I ditched the terrible couples counselor we had. She told me I didn't have a right to tell him to end the affair, that I shouldn't stop him from using my ipad even though he was using it for porn, and that I should hold a crystal to deal with my resentment. We kept seeing her for 2 years after d-day..... I wish I stopped accommodating other people and giving them the benefit of the doubt, and instead stand up for myself and told these people to eff off. Also, I wish I didn't tell half the people I told--but I was desperate for help and I had no pride left.
    •Favourite nickname for the OW: Besides the common "whore," I called her "train wreck" or "your trainwreck girlfriend" and "skank"--that one was mostly in my head.

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    1. adding: don't email or text anybody in the middle of the night or when you have had less than 6 hours of sleep

      Delete
  27. 4/17 Anon response made me very angry when I read it and I exploded on here. I truthfully thought that she was posting as the OW because that is something the OW in our lives would have done. I don't know how all of you realized something different. It bothered me all yesterday and I kept rereading it. The OW in our mess was living some kind of fantasy out that she had about my husband and this just triggered me so bad even after 3 years. Especially how it was too short a time. I apologize for my out burst. I guess I still have anger issues that I need to get under control where she is concerned.
    cm

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    1. cm,
      I’m still perplexed by the post. And to be honest, it kept me thinking too. Trying to give the benefit of the doubt, I’m assuming the poster is a betrayed and obviously triggered by something. I did google and read the post she referenced (I’m 3 years out and felt like I could handle whatever it said.) I found nothing there I, as a betrayed, could relate to. Just more confirmation of how people who have affairs managed to justify what they’re doing. That’s something I’m still trying to work through in my own healing process. In my case, the OW knew my husband was married with young kids but I think she thought he was the exit ticket from her own marriage. So, she was willing to cause damage to me and my kids for her own selfish motives. I’ve also listened to my husband when he tells me how he managed to justify that he wasn’t hurting me because he didn’t intend to leave. It was only intended to be sex. Two broken people manipulating each other for different purposes. I hear it, I can process it, but I’m not sure I’ll ever understand it.

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  28. What to eat – I was numb & honestly welcomed the feeling of hunger. Hunger pains woke me up to the reality that I was still human and had needs. I ate enough to be nourished and I drank A LOT of tea! I still had my kids to cook for so I ate a bit of that. I didn’t lose any weight. I think the elevated stress hormones kept me from losing any weight!

    Single best piece of advice- Fortunately there was a lot of good advice. I’m going to list 3. Most important #1 was to exercise to increase endorphins to help me avoid seeking into a bottomless depression. It was like a something that I had to get done, something to motivate me, and absolutely kept me from staying in bed all day. #2 From a friend - be careful who you tell. The OW was someone I now know pretended to be a good friend to me. When I found out, I wanted to expose both my H and her for their phoniness. I didn’t want to be a part of their lies anymore (“nothing to see here”, everything is just dandy). #3 From Elle- when the possibility of seeing the OW at a party was very real, Elle gave me words to say in the event of a confrontation – “I have nothing to say to you”. I rehearsed it over & over again. I still have not had a confrontation, 10 months post dday.

    Contract – Nothing formal. We did agree that he was to have no contact with her despite their work proximity. So far so good. However, the unwritten contract is that this chance to have a marriage at all is a bonus after blowing his second chance. There are no more chances. Any violation of our vows, anything questionable will end in divorce.

    Revenge Affairs – no. I recognized that I was vulnerable. I didn’t go to a night out with old high school friends that included an old crush I hadn’t seen in 20 years.

    Children – No, he couldn’t, plus his 2 affairs were emotional, so I’m told

    Biggest Mistake – There were 2 separate affairs 8 years apart. Affair #1- I went to a therapist who told me after 2 sessions that because H was remorseful, I really didn’t have to come back for more therapy. I believed her. We went to a marriage counselor and though it helped in some respects, I was never validated for the trauma I was experiencing. My take away was that because he expressed extreme remorse, my pain should disappear. His apology would take it all way. The MC gave me a book called “coping with anxiety”. My H never went to IC. He was never encouraged to at all, not by me or our MC. Had he gone, we may never have experienced affair #2. The mistake was that my gut said that I wasn’t getting the help I needed to heal, and I didn’t follow through on making the necessary changes. (I have a better IC and MC now!!!)

    Nicknames- AP #1’s name begins with D so I called her “Dogface”. No insult to dogs, but people aren’t attractive if they look like one! We both call #2 “piece of shit”

    -Gem

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  29. Favourite nickname for the OW

    So this is a timely question...I kind of freaked out reading it last night. Here's why: I don't have any nicknames for the OWs, but I have consistently called them "your girlfriends." That really pisses my H off. He always says that's not what they were, he didn't even like them and he hates being associated with them that way. (Didn't even like them! Nice, right?) I always answer what the hell else are women you go on bar dates with, share sexual intimacy with, text 200 times a day, share MY children's photos with, etc. Sure sound like girlfriends to me. I tell him I don't like knowing you had "girlfriends" during our marriage either, but here we are. Then... this year during Lent, seemingly out-of-the-blue (to me), he started volunteering at a homeless shelter. Waaaaayyyyy out of his comfort zone. Last night when he was waiting for the bus after his shift an addict shit on my H's shoes. I told him he didn't have to keep volunteering, Lent is over. He said he did. He said working there actually didn't have anything to do with Lent, but instead it was about our marriage. He said for too long he looked at people -- including me, including his "girlfriends" -- only for what they could do for him. He had dehumanized us. He said when he's at the shelter he sees people in their most basic humanness -- he can't not see them -- and he has to respond to them with respect. Whoa. Not what I was expecting. I am going to have to rethink the whole calling them "girlfriend" thing.

    So naturally this morning I blew up at him about his affairs and rehashed old pain. Why do I do that?!?!?! It's been nearly 3 years since DDay. He's become the husband he should have been all along. I've been sitting at work all day thinking about how that is probably me not ready to admit that someone who hurt me so badly could be a "better" person than me in any way. Ugh. Marriage is hard.

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    1. Sal,
      There are a few things you said that felt very familiar to me. I also referred to the OW as “your girlfriend” when speaking to my husband and mostly when i was trying hurt him or piss him off. My husband also says she meant nothing, yet I feel like he gave her too much insight into his/our life to include allowing her to meet our kids once when he took them to the office. That still infuriates me. But I also don’t understand having sex with someone just to use them.
      My husband has also worked really hard on himself. He’s very aware of how what he says and his actions affect others now. He tries to do good and no longer feels he’s “owed” something in return. He’s a good person with a past he wishes hadn’t happened. I feel sometimes like I keep him tied to that with my pain. My healing has been slow. I, too, just hit the 3 year mark. I’m not always as kind and forgiving as I would like to be, It was Elle who pointed out to me that perhaps the affair dredged up long-standing feelings of not being worthy. She also encouraged me to look back at instances where I might have learned that people who make mistakes aren’t deserving of forgiveness. I’m paraphrasing as she’s far better with words than I am. I fstruggle with forgiveness and am quick to think “I would NEVER have hurt him in the way he’s hurt me.” Sometimes it’s hard for me to see past what he did to really see who he is now.
      I agree. Marriage is hard.
      Hugs!

      Delete
    2. Dandelion, I think we've been on much of the same path -- your posts always seem to speak to where I'm at. This says a lot: "I feel sometimes like I keep him tied to that with my pain." I'm not sure how you meant it, but for me I think I could add "intentionally."
      In my blowup yesterday morning I told him that he cheated for at least 5 years, and its been only 3 years since DDay so buckle up because he still owes me 2 more years. So ridiculous! Even as I hear the words come out of my mouth I know they are ridiculous. I feel like I've begun sabotaging myself. I think I'm afraid he's forgotten how much he hurt me. I haven't forgotten -- I am tearing up just typing this. So I think I'm testing him -- will he stand there and take it, will he say he's sorry, will he say he loves me no matter what. But it's starting to feel like a test he's passing and I'm failing.
      In the early days when I read it would take 3-5 years to recover from betrayal this isn't what I thought it would feel like. Its getting better, for sure. But in some ways it was easier when I could point the finger and scream "you did this to me!" I'm thinking about starting counseling again. Sigh.
      Hugs

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    3. sal, when my H go frustrated with my timeline of healing, I said, just so you know, you could say you’re sorry to me daily for the next 20 years and that would help me. Just as I could say I forgive you for the next 20 years and that would help you. A daily dose of that, plus I love you isn’t going to waste, if they come from the heart. It happened, it’s painful and it doesn’t just get erased due to time. They knew about the affair and may have felt bad, have regret, etc, but they didn’t get PTSD over it.

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    4. Sal,
      I think when the healing is spread out over the course of several years, it’s harder to see how far we’ve come. I remember mornings where i would wake up with my heart pounding, nights where I would lay awake for hours and instances where I would rage at my husband. I don’t get as angry anymore, but I do get frustrated and sad. Often, when I step back and look at why I’m reacting the way i do, it’s more about me than anything else. Of course, I’m not excusing the messed up things he did. But when he’s trying every day to be a better person, how long can I continue to punish him? And even more, why do i want to? I think discovering that last part is a huge missing piece in my puzzle.
      I know I need to spend more time in counseling. The affair has dredged up a lot of issues for me from feeling unworthy to grief from losing my mom nearly 15 years ago. I’m watching my daughter get closer to the teen years and I want so badly to set a good example for her when it comes to self esteem. I feel like I say the right things to her but I feel like a bit of a fraud because I’m still incredibly hard on myself.
      I’ve found that this journey is forcing me to learn a whole lot about myself... some good, some bad.
      Hang in there!

      Delete
  30. Hi Sal
    Don't be hard on yourself. You are a better person, who didn't need to hurt others with betrayal like your husband, to understand compassion, loyalty, fairness etc.
    Hugs
    Gabby xo

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Gabby. That was good for me to hear. Your message is a good reminder that it's still all on him. Seriously, the learning curve to "decent person" really shouldn't be that steep.
      Still, I've been thinking about my reaction a lot. I thought I had given up on forgiveness, that it wasn't important to me. But it nags lately... Maybe this is what forgiveness is going to look like for me: I will admit my appreciation for the man he has become. And then maybe at some point I'll say it out loud, to him. Baby steps.

      Delete
  31. Single Best Advice

    "My heartbreak, my rules"

    Read that here in early days and haven't let it go. Its how I knew this blog would be a safe, healing space. Speaks to our vulnerability and our empowerment -- both essential to recovery from betrayal.

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  32. What to eat in the early days post D-Day. How did you handle those mind-boggling days when you felt constantly sick. What did you eat? How did you survive?
    - I barely ate the first few weeks, and anything I ate upset my stomach. I tried to make sure I stayed hydrated and that was about as much focus as I could manage for food and drink.

    Single best piece of advice you got/heard/took after D-Day?
    - That just surviving is ok. The early days are a blur for me. I barely remember anything, and felt like I was just surviving the day, and being told that was ok, felt like a huge relief. The other thing that helped me immensely, was having a friend to talk to and bounce things off of in the early days, to try and make sure I did not make my situation worse than it already was.

    Post-betrayal marriage contract: Have any of you tried this, either formally or otherwise?
    - I have not written anything formal, but my husband is well aware of my boundaries and knows if he EVER has another affair, emotional or physical I am gone, he will not get another chance.
    Revenge affairs
    - It never even crossed my mind. I personally think it would bring another of pain for me, because it is something I would then have to face within myself, that I acted in a manner that goes against what I believe. I knew if I walked away, I wanted to be able to look myself in the mirror and be proud of who I was, and having a revenge affair would have impacted my ability to do that.

    Children of the affair (when the OW has a child that is your husband's too, or likely your husband's)
    - N/A

    Biggest mistake you made on or after D-Day
    - Accepting any level of responsibility for it. Our marriage had not been doing well, and I initially believed that if I had just been better, it would not have happened. and that included allowing him to manipulate me into believing he felt "controlled" and that I should not check his devices, etc.. This allowed the affair to continue for another 7 weeks. When I found out, I was done. I asked him to leave, accepted to responsibility for his actions, and when he wanted to reconcile, explained that would come with full transparency. I wish I had done that for the start, but I believe I was in shock and just had NO idea how to respond.

    Favourite nickname for the OW
    - I do not have one. I would prefer to forget she ever existed.

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  33. What did I eat? I too lost a ton of weight and eating was not really happening for several months. I tried my best to enhance my appetite with things I liked...veggies, fruit. I drank lots of coffee because being so thin suddenly, I was always cold. Wasn’t the best thing with anxiety but that was my comfort.

    Single best piece of advice - Boundaries!

    Contracts -No

    Revenge affairs -No

    Children -No

    Biggest mistake - Allowing my health and mental well being to take a huge hit.

    Nicknames? - You will like this...”Whistle Tits” It sounds moronic so it works for me. I don’t say it aloud, only in my head.

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  34. Smoothies was the first thing I had with any substance. This was a week after d day. After that it was candy and caffine. I wasn't sleeping more then two three hours and I had 3 babies to care for. I didn't want anyone to tell me to eat. I wanted to die. Hunger pain if they ever did come was a welcome distraction. All 50lbs of baby weight dropped in prob 1.5 months. Weight loss was necessary for me to gain my confidence however.

    Whore. I wanted to call her whore. Not his whore ... that bothered me when i started saying "his". It's best to not think about them at all really. But try saying that to someone shortly after discovery... it's just not helpful. I could not think of anything else. I was below her and she was above me.. Until time made it clear that it was the other way around... and then wisdom made it more clear that in fact we are equal, both making good and bad choices in our lives and her very bad choice happened to me at my very tragic expense.

    I thought there was a baby for the longest time. Then I was sure of it after I saw a picture. Finally after we drew closer to the potential due date I had calculated and no concrete social media info was there I dropped it. It was awful to live in the thought of a baby. I am connected forever in mind to thus stupid affair.. but to be connected physically would be unbearable for me. It would be a special kind of woman to make it out from that kind of trial.

    Advice don't tell anyone.

    Mistake telling the one wrong person after keeping it so private.

    No contract... after divorce was off the table it was no friendships with attractive women and full disclosure when interacting with women he finds attractive. It was an agreed approach but in reality it wasn't. He juat said yes to this to shut me up. He intends not yo cheat. But also intends to act differently when I'm not around to get some flirt-joy.

    Blindsided.

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  35. No revenge affairs. Was clear this was destructive. Thank God I had that sense. I seemed to do everything else wrong in early days.

    Blindsided

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  36. Elle
    Is there anyway to contact u privately

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure. Send me a message with your email. I won’t publish it but will contact you.

      Delete
    2. How do I send my email privately?

      Delete
    3. Just post a comment here and I won't publish it. I moderate the comments so I'll just note your e-mail, send you an email from my account, and then delete your message so it's never public.

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    4. Sorry not sure how to do that

      Delete
    5. You do exactly what you're doing. Except that you provide an e-mail address. I just won't publish it.

      Delete
  37. Starting with the biggest one, because I just wrote “War and Peace”, and I have to break it up.
    •Children of the affair - Sadly, I have a lot of thoughts on this one. I’ll just throw them out there.
    It’s betrayal on a whole new level.
    There was a feeling that something else really sacred had been violated. Sharing pregnancy and childbirth, the miracle and the beauty, was a special bond we shared. When he shared it with her, it no longer felt special. They ruined that for me, like they ruined so many other things. When I remember the births of my children, there is a sadness and a taint there now. That is a tragedy, and I’m hoping it fades with time.
    As mother of his child, she gets a status and respect she doesn’t deserve and hasn’t earned.
    There are more triggers. For a year, looking at babies or hearing the words “little brother” made me unhappy. Which sucks, because I love babies. That is getting a little better.
    I am now permanently chained to her, and to the most traumatic event of my life. Instead of getting to move on and leave it behind, it will always have a presence in my life, because my children are related to her child. That won’t go away. Ever. The brutal injustice of that truth was devestating.
    I am often conflicted, because every child is precious. But what this child represents to me is horrible. I would never hold it against him, it is not his fault. But I can’t completely separate him from it in my mind. Maybe one day.
    The situation with my children is excruciating. I have to watch their joy and delight in a little brother, which they’ve always wanted, while grappling with the fact that they have a brother who is not related to me. One of the most significant events in their lives - and not only am I excluded from it, but the very thought of it makes me bitter and sad. The best me I know is the me that can celebrate with my girls because their little brother took his first steps, and they got to see it. But that is the surface me. The hidden me is flinching from yet another blow. The blows keep coming. They won’t ever stop.
    I have felt powerless. My family has been warped and twisted. My kids weren’t supposed to have a half-sibling. But there was nothing I could do to stop two selfish people from changing my family forever.
    And my children are not just tied to that precious, innocent boy. Through him, they are tied to HER. A heartless skank who still pretends that I do not exist, because it would be inconvenient to her view of the world. She is part of their family.
    These are all thoughts I’ve had over the last year and a half. They are not all present every day, all the time.
    These are the wounds that are dealt, that have to be processed, accepted, and healed.
    Elle, you spoke of acceptance and it was a profound truth - but learning to accept THIS kind of change in your life takes another level of strength and endurance.
    But never did I consider keeping the children apart, or keeping his existence from them. I could never do that to my girls. And if something happened to my ex, I would hold my nose and deal with the OW so that my kids could see their brother. The children, all the children, are innocent.
    I’m hoping that one day the pain will fade to the point that I can be a small part of his life, as the mother of his sisters...someone who cares about his welfare and is kind to him. Someone whose life was once changed in a very painful way by his birth, but that was so long ago that nobody thinks about it anymore.
    That’s the dream, but even though I’ve met him once, touched his little hands and looked into innocent eyes that reminded me of my older daughter’s - even so, I have long way to go.

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    Replies
    1. Phoenix - I want to hug you right now. The strength you have and the compassion you show in all of this ... it’s simply breathtaking. I know that you will reach this dream place - not for the adults but for yourself and this beautiful boy.

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    2. Oh Phoenix, thank you for your deeply honest yet compassionate words. I believe you will endure but I wish for you that it will be the easiest, most peaceful path possible.

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    3. This is very sad Phoenix. How beautifully you express what must be the cause of so much anguish for you. I don't think I could be as strong and graceful as you are

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    4. Phoenix, I can barely imagine the pain this delivers on a regular basis. But you are the epitome of grace and integrity and kindness. You are the light your children need as they move forward. And your ability to show up for their joy with this other child even when your heart aches is what makes you such an incredible mother, and has earned you so much love and appreciation on this site. You will get through this. There might always be something of an ache, like arthritis on a rainy day. But I firmly believe that the sting will fade. You will move on, despite being tied, to some extent, to this painful time in your life. It will become part of your larger story. And it will always be a time when you managed to shine in the darkness. You might not see it. I suspect you don't. But you are what's good in your children's lives.

      Delete
  38. And here’s the rest of it....
    •What to eat in the early days post D-Day -Comfort food. Not limitless donuts or Haagen-Dazs, of course, but a few special things that make you feel good.
    •Single best piece of advice you got/heard/took after D-Day? Take care of yourself, because you are strong and beautiful and lovable, and just take it one day, one hour, one minute at a time.
    •Post-betrayal marriage contract: No contract, just agreements that he kept breaking.
    •Revenge affairs - Abso-freakin’-lutely not.
    That being said, I understand the impulse. If someone has done that, I would question their judgement but I wouldn’t blame them.
    •Biggest mistake you made on or after D-Day - letting him call the the shots. Sleeping with him and catering to him and trying to meet his needs. Letting him control what I did and believed. That’s hindsight, of course, looking back and knowing that there was no saving that marriage. Nothing I did or didn’t do would have mattered, because he didn’t have the character to make the sacrifices and commitments he needed to make.
    •Favourite nickname for the OW - If it walks like a skank, and talks like a skank, and lies and cheats and manipulates and sleeps around like a skank - guess what? It’s a skank.
    Like I said, I’ve still got a long way to go. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh god, soooo true •Biggest mistake you made on or after D-Day - letting him call the the shots. Sleeping with him and catering to him and trying to meet his needs. Letting him control what I did and believed. That’s hindsight, of course, looking back and knowing that there was no saving that marriage. Nothing I did or didn’t do would have mattered, because he didn’t have the character to make the sacrifices and commitments he needed to make.

      Delete
  39. Elle, if you want better advice on the child thing, check back before you publish. Maybe I’ll have made more progress. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't imagine that you need more progress than where you are.

      Delete
    2. Phoenix, I think you're doing incredibly in such a difficult situation. Your kids know you love them. You are their soft place to land and that is worth everything.

      Delete
  40. Hello sisters

    Oh the early days/months..... the zombie period. The basics are so important- I ate mostly smoothies with yogurt fruit & a protein powder, toast with peanut butter, a simple vegetable broth soup, I exsisted on basically these for several months. When I could eat nothing else I would force myself to have one of these 3 options. Also sleep is so important, the sleepless nights were so long..... and the sleep deprivation was awful for trying to keep up with everyday life. Use an herbal or over the counter sleep aid or see your doctor. Please dear sisters let’s get some rest. Also do your best not to drink alcohol ect... truly it does not help and puts you at risk of unhelpful choices.

    Best advice: don’t make any big decisions for At least 6 months. When the world falls about, don’t make any sudden movements. Breath and take one day at a time. Get an individual therapist.

    Mistake: I didn’t tell anyone.....no family, no friend, only my therapist knew for about a year. This was a huge mistake, I kept thinking we were going to work things out and I wanted to protect him and “us”. However, really I was just very very alone (except for my sisters here) and I could have used the support especially with things like boundaries and accountability for my H’s continued bad behavior. Thank God for this community and my therapist, I eventually found my way to a better place and where I need/want to be. And eventually my family and friends learned the truth and thank God for them too.

    Love and support sisters
    Becky

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  41. Phoenix I’m welling up right now, my heart is breaking for you and your children and ultimately their little brother who was born into all this confusion. Your right this is endurance on a whole new level one which not anyone could handle but you my lovely friend have dealt with it with absolute kindness and love and I want to hug you right now and tell you just how wonderful and strong you are. I never really thought how deep this cuts until you described it Phoenix and it’s life changing for you all.. sending you the warmest hug there is.. love you lots xxx

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  42. •What to eat in the early days post D-Day...I lived on Garden of Life protein shakes with a mashed banana added to it. That’s it. My body wouldn’t hold down anything solid but this got me by as I lost 50 pounds in the first 5 months

    •Single best piece of advice...Actually, my one friend that helped me keep my head above water, asked me early on “What do you want for yourself?” It took me a few days, but my answer was peace. Peace of mind and soul, and that set me on MY journey of rediscovery and reclamation. It wasn’t until just about 5 weeks ago that I finally really achieved that by finally letting go of the victim/blame mode I was stuck in and letting go of worrying about “what is he doing?” Don't get me wrong, I sometimes have passing thoughts, but they are just that, passing thoughts, and yes I have triggers, but most of the time I make a sick joke about it, and it makes him feel more uncomfortable than I did for a moment. I finally get what it means to not let his choices define me. My life, My rules for me. Elle, Radical self care is what I did, thanks to you and the other warriors of this group.

    •Post-betrayal marriage contract...Only to myself really. It took months for me to finally speak up and call him on his shit. I am not his mother/keeper and don’t want to be. Radical self care meant learning to not worry about him and how he chooses to heal himself cause it’s none of my business. Does that mean I trust him? No, but I no longer allow him to manipulate, gaslight, etc. He seldom does that now and is making strides to deal with his shit, which is great for him, but this is a partnership, not ownership. It’s been liberating to no longer listen to the voices of chaos, created by HIS choices, and live my life according to my own rules, respect, and with dignity and integrity. I’m learning to turn the negative “what if” questions to positive ones like...“what if I do succeed at being happy with myself?”

    •Revenge affairs...Not a consideration. It wouldn't have fixed anything.

    •Children of the affair...none. He’s neutered

    •Biggest mistake...Living in the shadow of “what if’s” far too long. I was afraid he would leave and my life would end without him, and too much apologizing for feeling like as did. That ended 8 months after DD1 on “fuck this shit” Tuesday. It was a turning point day. I became brave when I realized that I wasn’t going to change any more for him and had no reason to be afraid of life without him.

    •Favourite nickname...Horrible person and/or cunt, but it’s also the same names I used for him.

    I’d like to add that we are all Warriors and we will transcend. His choices weren’t about us. Our choices are. Let’s make the best of ourselves cause we deserve it. Love you all...Michelle



    Every ending is a new beginning, we just don't know that at the time.

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    Replies
    1. I’m working on getting to “fuck this shit” Tuesday. Your words truly describe my thinking about not being his owner. I also learned that no matter what I did (sexual goddess, yes sir, change me to match all that he complained about) it wasn’t enough to keep him from stepping back out even if just through texting with her.

      I need to focus on my healing ... mine alone ... because that’s all I can take ownership of.

      Delete
  43. Sadly, eating was far and between i still feel like I lost some sensation as to being hungry dont get me wrong i eat now but didnt for months ... i drank coffee and lemon water i gulped a smoothie when i could and a piece of bread or chocolate here and there i lost 20# and i think my surgery 6mo later might gave been due to this .. maybe not founded.

    Best think i still think of is when i didnt know which way was up, down, to run or sit idle... Elle said just show up thats all that required thats it and it took pressure off.

    No kids came from affair thou ow claimed she aborted their love child? Maybe or not idk

    Worse thing was thinking the affair had something to do from what i lacked. Nope it wasnt about me

    Also the need to check recheck and check again till i had details and a timeline that made sense was just that i knew i wasnt being told everything but be care on the flip once you know something you cant unknow it

    Ow name whore ...call it like i see her

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  44. Thanks olive mee I love the ow’s nickname : ) I also love how you have chosen yourself, here’s to a new beginning xxx

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  45. I didn't eat for 5 weeks. I lost 22 lbs and I was a skinny thing to start with. I looked like a skeleton.

    I too thought it must have been me. My husband didn't help, blaming me for the affair to justify himself. Two years later I realise it was all about him and how he saw himself. He thought he was a loser, and she told him how wonderful he was.

    No revenge affair.

    No children from the affair thank the lord. I don't think there was sex.

    Best thing I did: Surrounded myself by family and friends who really listened. I am sorry I told so many people now but I was isolated in my pain otherwise.

    I truly believe that I survived because I went into a state of shock. How I was able to continue to go to work and function still amazes me.

    My favourite nickname is skanky.

    The best advice I received was from myself: don't be clingy and needy. Throw him out and don't contact him.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Elle, you and everyone here who posts have been a lifesaver for me. I don't post often but read almost everything. It's impossible to understand this unless you've gone through it. I'm looking forward to reading the book!

    What to eat? Anything you can keep down. Toast, crackers, a banana, anything.

    Single best piece of advice? Take care of yourself, GET SOME EXCERCISE! It truly helps relieve the horrific pain and stress.

    Post-Betrayal marriage contract - I did write up a "contract" of sorts. It stated that I would open a personal bank account, so in the event our marriage did not make it I would have a means of support until I could get on my feet financially (had given up my career decades earlier to stay home with our children and support him as he moved up the career ladder). The contract listed lines he couldn't cross or I was done: porn, strip clubs, affairs, contacting the other women, etc. In the event of a divorce, the personal account would be mine alone, never to be considered a joint asset.

    Revenge Affairs - absolutely not! My self esteem was non-existent - I could not imagine being physical with anyone. I also felt that I had lost absolutely everything, except my integrity and self respect, so I knew I could not go there.

    Children of the affairs - none that I know of (yet...)

    Biggest Mistake - Because I valued honesty and openness so much, I told him about the personal bank account I was opening. I wish I had just transferred money and not told him. He was so caught up in the double life, and had always let me take care of the finances. He would not have known... (And as I type that, I'm reminded that he got bonus checks over the years, decades actually, and hid the money in his locked desk at work, to spend on himself and the other women. I found this out after disclosure.)

    Favorite Nickname for the OW - There were multiple, including the secretaries at work. Now referred to by me as "sexataries".


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