A Twitter conversation made reference to an impact letter (credit goes to Vicki Tidwell Palmer). It's a sort of betrayed partner's version of a victim impact statement given in court, so that judge and/or jury can not only hear how the defendant's actions caused pain and suffering but also to help determine the sentence.
We aren't anticipating handcuffs and a cell (though we can dream!) but it's an interesting concept for us.
And I think it can help us in a few ways. For one, it can make it really clear to us just why healing from infidelity is so difficult. Writing down the many ways betrayal has changed our lives – from difficulty watching a television show that we used to love (if it features any sort of infidelity) to trouble sleeping – makes clear that, of course, we're struggling. Of course, this is taking longer than we ever thought.
What's more, written honestly and without intention to inflict pain but rather catalogue it, an impact statement can help our husband's understand just how devastating betrayal is. There will be those, of course, who minimize our pain, including brushing aside our "impact statement" as drama or manipulation. (Which should make clear that this guy just doesn't get it.) But for those who genuinely want to make amends, to understand why he made such a choice and how he can help support you, a thoughtful, candid impact statement can lay bare your heart.
And finally, as you heal (and you will, I promise!), you can revisit your letter and make note of the ways in which things are better. Maybe you cry less. Maybe you can drive past certain locations without your heart pounding and your stomach in knots.
I recently suggested we each write our own manifesto – our intentions regarding the life we are creating. While a manifesto is about looking around and looking forward, an impact statement is about looking past, however briefly, to assess the damage.
We need to acknowledge and understand the damage before we can begin to repair it.
- Feeling Stuck, Page 22 (PAGE FULL)
- Sex and intimacy after betrayal
- Share Your Story: Finding Out, Part 5 (4 is full!!...
- Finding Out, Part 5 (Please post here. Part 4 is f...
- Stupid S#*t Cheaters Say
- Separating/Divorcing Page 9
- Finding Out, Part 6
- Books for the Betrayed
- Separating and Divorcing, Page 10
- Feeling Stuck, Part 23
- MORE Stupid S#*t Cheaters Say
- Share Your Story Part 6 (Part 5 is full)
- Sex & Intimacy After Betrayal Part 2 (Part 1 is full)