Friday, May 14, 2010

Re-Empower Yourself with One Simple Question

Betrayal sucks the life right out of you. But I've noticed the difference between betrayed wives that quickly get back on their feet (not me, mind you. I took months...and anti-depressants!) and those that floundered often long after their marriage ended and even into new relationships, always comes down to one simple question.
And the question is this: What can I do about this?
So often we disempower ourselves. We wonder what we did wrong. Or what's inherently wrong with us. What we could have done differently. What the OW has that we don't. And on and on, until we're a quivering mess that feels scarcely entitled to use up someone else's oxygen.
And then there are the others. Those women who recognize from the get-go that cheating says a whole lot more about the other people involved than the blissfully unaware wife. The women who, though they might have moments of doubt and fear and anxiety, quickly realize that the only way to survive a spouse's affair is to assert their power. How?
By asking that one simple question: What can I do about this?
And let me tell you, if you think there's nothing you can're absolutely wrong. There's always something you can do that honors and empowers you.
Even if you're financially unable to leave. Even if you have a newborn baby attached to your breast and four others underfoot. You can still ask the question. And come up with an answer that gives you your power back.
What can you do about this?
You can leave. Or you can start a savings account to enable you to leave at a point in the future. Or you can go back to school to gain skills to allow you to enter the workforce. Or you can rediscover a hobby that helps you find your center. Or you can start walking to lose weight, gain health and feel better about yourself. You can meet with a lawyer. You can meet with a therapist. You can find a support group. You can start a support group.
What's so empowering is that none of these options rely on your husband or ex-husband to do anything. He can go on being a cheating ass or he can claim the title of Reformed Husband of the Year. Either way, you're going to be okay. Because you've asked the question.
What can I do about this?


  1. my husband and I were temporarily living in different states. Our daughter was around five months when he told me he moved in with another woman. He waited until he moved in with her to tell me! I eventually forgave him when he wanted me back. i thought that my lack of committment to moving to a new state with him caused him to cheat. So we worked it out and I followed after him. Later on I was away visiting my family for the holidays and he cheated on me again with the same woman. Not only did he cheat, he also got her pregnant, which is how i found out. Again i took him back. It has been a year since the first time he cheated on me and now i am pregnant with our second child. i'm scared to have this child because i think i may have fallen out of love with my husband. i don't trust him at all anymore. and i don't even understand why i am with him now. i think having this baby will make me feel obligated to stay with him. what do i do?

  2. Of course you don't trust him at all! He's lied to you, deceived you and treated you like a drive-thru wife – convenient and dependable.
    It makes perfect sense that you don't trust him and wonder if you love him. That's your common sense at work. Listen to it. And try to listen even further to that wise voice within that will help you stand on your own feet and demand to be treated with respect. Regardless of whether you stay with him (which I would NOT recommend unless he gets serious help!) or leave, I think you need to figure out what you need. Then demand it.
    You may want to also consider what role you might have played in this. NOT that it excuses his infidelity, but perhaps you're not as committed as you thought – frankly he seems like a hard guy to love and maybe your gut has been telling you for years that you should cut and run. By coming to terms with our own true feelings about things, we can avoid making the same mistakes...either with the same man or another.
    I don't claim to know how anyone else should live her life. But if you're truly unhappy, and it sounds as if you've been living through a lot of pain, I think it's time to take back your life and create one that makes you – and your child(ren) – proud.

  3. I have been making my new choices since finding out as well.
    I call them my plans. Working it out, counselling and everything like that aside. My plans are to get though this, get better, get my children to school age- whilst preparing myself for a job. Get a job and become financially independent.At that point I plan to
    reassess my husbands worth.

  4. Hey Marti,

    Sounds like a good plan. And sometimes having a plan is all we need to feel somewhat back in control of our lives.


  5. I am empowering myself by telling my husband what I want, when I want it. I started taking piano lessons. I have resumed reading (a hobby which I had basically given up once the children came). We never celebrate Valentines day and this year I insisted I want something. When I want to go to dinner, I tell him. I am not ordering him around, but I am telling him when I want something so that he doesn't have to guess. I am also letting both him and me know that I am no longer going to play the martyr role; I am not sacrificing myself for him or anyone else for that matter.


  6. "What's so empowering is that none of these options rely on your husband or ex-husband to do anything. He can go on being a cheating ass or he can claim the title of Reformed Husband of the Year. Either way, you're going to be okay."
    - Very true. Took me two years to start realizing this. But still in the early stages of this realization. Often I fall back into "what is going on in his mind now? Is he thinking of her? Is he in regret mood? Is he feeling guilty? Now he says he loves me, but what happens 5, 10 years down the line? Won't I become the same boring wife again? Will he secretly think about her and get pleasured?". I am kind of training myself not to think about what he thinks or feels and focus on how to live my life better. Sometimes I think that I just want to leave this man and get someone who loves me in a way I deserve. But I also know that this is a fairly tale kind of thought, because to anyone out there in the world, my husband is that person! So I am trying to concentrate on loving myself and trying not to think what kind of husband I deserve.

    1. Be aware of those thoughts...and challenge them. So often, when we ask ourselves the question about our thoughts, "Is it true?", we discover that it's not. Far more often, it's our own inner critic babbling away at the many ways in which we're not enough, or we're going to get hurt, or things never work out, or blah blah blah. Pay attention...and then dismiss those thought. Sweep them away like dirt. You've got the right idea. Focus on you and what you need to feel strong and beautiful.

  7. You always do a great job of explaining things.
    I can definitely see where you're coming from and I appreciate the insight.
    I shared this on Facebook and my friends seemed to enjoy it too.
    Keep it up!



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