The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
Love it! Thanks for a good laugh to start the day!
In my case...I need to check myself to be sure I'm not being an asshole. The one BIG thing I haven't gotten back since DDay is my self confidence. I used to be "overly" sure of myself. Self doubt continues to plaque me 4 years later. Something to work on in 2015.
That's interesting Shawn. In what way do you experience self-doubt? Where does it show up in your life? I've had the opposite experience. I no longer doubt myself nearly as much as I did before. It's so much easier for me to just shrug things off and accept myself (and all my quirks) as part of me -- not necessarily good or bad. That's been, perhaps, my consolation prize for playing this god-damned game. I like me better and don't really give a damn if others do or don't. :)
I used to be a black or white kind of girl. Rarely did I see the grey in any situation. For me, everything was right or it was wrong. Well, well, well...now we all know there is nothing black and white about infidelity. It is all kinds of shades of grey. (I'll never read that stupid book) It's hard for me when I feel like I am over analyzing anything, but yet I do it very often now. Decisions don't come easy anymore. I ponder and consider and often procrastinate because a snap judgment might mean I'm not seeing it all or I haven't considering all the repercussions.Maybe I could look at my self doubt as a positive thing. I could spin it as being so much more open minded....but I'd need to consider that for a while first!! ;-)I'm glad you found a better side of yourself. I hope to get that back. I think I still feel some disdain for how blind I was to the affair. How in the hell did I miss so much? DDay left a big scar on the part of me that made me feel safe, my solid faith in my own judgment.
Oh Shawn...you're being so hard on yourself. I was exactly the same. Black and white. Right and wrong. Good and bad. But when I donned the mask of post-betrayal grin-and-bear-it, I realized that anyone making assumptions about me had NO idea what the real story was. Made me realize how often I'd drawn conclusions about people and situations without having any real understanding of what the true story was. Bizarrely, I'm better able to make decisions because I no longer worry about whether my choice is "right" or "wrong" but only right for me or right for my family. All we can ever do is use the information we have right now in front of us. The rest is conjecture. A lot of "if"s. I did beat myself up for a period of time about how I could be so fucking stupid. I mean, honestly. I had my head completely up my ass. Or did I? Maybe I was just a trusting woman who took her husband at his word. Who had no reason to believe that he would engage in such deception. I kinda like that woman, even if she was gullible. The faith in your own judgement takes longer to come back, I think. I'm far more likely to pay attention to that little early-warning system in my gut that whispers "crazy" when certain people cross my path, or people say certain things. I may not write them off immediately but they're on my "do not fly" list.
I have the same issues. Why do I always feel like I'm in competition with the OW? My husband has told me a millions times - "believe me your not". I know it is true but I don't feel like it is true. Something else is I feel like we are getting to a new normal then I get a familiar pain in my chest and my mind goes back to "how could you get in bed with her on Monday each week she touch your penis then you get in bed with me three days later like it it us no big deal.
Lynn,Those triggers can take a long time to disappear. If you know that a certain time of day or day of week or whatever tends to remind you, then consider switching up your routine so that it doesn't become a sort of auto-pilot response. As for feeling in competition, as my husband's counsellor said to me, "what she has, you don't want." I completely got it. I didn't want to be her. I had no respect for her. I liked who I was and what I stood for. My loyalty was something to be proud of. My self-respect was something to be proud of. Take a full inventory of what you've got that she doesn't and I suspect you'll see that you're the real winner in this, whether you "got" your husband back or not.
My therapist also said, " Why would you compare yourself to the woman who has major character flaws?" And as far as the sex, I think a lot men just look at it as why get so upset about that. It's just sex. Families tend to teach certain taboos and in mine it was sex. Just don't talk about it but it in my husband's it was no big deal.
Since she got cast aside, the idea of being in competition with the OW didn't bother me so much because I knew I was "winning", and because she really wasn't anything special outside and certainly not on the inside. But a few weeks ago I felt like shit because my SO was sitting around talking with his co workers on a really slow day at the bar and when they started discussing ex girlfriends with a screw loose or something like that, he showed them her picture from online and apparently they all agreed that she has a strong resemblance to me. It is something he's said before, except she doesn't simply look like me so much as she, is me if i had sagging cheeks injected with pure evil and then run over by a mat truck. They also agreed she was nothing special and I KNOW some of the things they've said about my appearance (in a good way, even if creepy) so I sort of got mad at my SO for even telling me that when I would think he'd know that I wouldn't wanna hear that I "look like her". I mean I'm confident in my appearance (in adulthood at least), something I've been able to enjoy after years of being made fun of in school before I reached high school, so I know where I stand compared to what they thought of her but how could I "look like her" then?I think there's always gonna be these little things that sneak up and bother us in regards to comparing ourselves or if you're unlucky, being compared by others. And by the way, even if your OW looked like a model which I somehow doubt, no one stays that way forever. It's why, among many other reasons, we take care of ourselves as best we can but build a better foundation as a person that will be there for as long as we live and coexist with other people.And like Elle and most of us will remind anyone here, it didn't matter who she was or what she looked like or how good a lay she was. She was a warm body available and deep down, meant nothing more to your husband than a distraction to fill the emptiness he was feeling. And you can't fill a hole with a hole.
Any time I wonder about appearance, I remind myself that Halle Berry was cheated on, Elizabeth Hurley was cheated on, Eva Longoria was cheated on...the list goes on and on. This is not about looks, ladies. But looks are too often how we measure how self-worth, thanks to the beauty industrial complex.
This is why I kinda can't help but feel guilty on the rare occasion that I buy actual make up (anything besides just eye liner). I can't help but feel involved in something that lets us be programmed to focus more on how we look than how we feel and how we are. Of course they have sneaky ways of making it a better thing in their advertising by equating good looks/presentation with confidence or strength like you can be ready to take on the world for the low low price of $12.99, but it'd almost be insulting to really believe that's all we would need. I think a lot of us go through life for a significant length of time not realizing (that is, until we do) some of the notions we've been raised to believe and use to quantify our worth.There's still people out there who are ignorant enough to think cheating has more to do with the wife/gf letting herself go than it does HIS faults, real ones. They push Halle berry out of their minds and believe what is convenient and simple. I've heard this in groups of people where unfaithfulness comes up in conversation and of course they don't know that it happened to me, so I've heard some really stupid comments fly and then I have to try not to hate someone that would otherwise be easier to like.
There's a significant mythology around infidelity that supports the idea that people cheat because of the spouse. It's a way of making it the other person's fault. But we're a culture that loves to blame people for their problems. Overweight? You're lazy. Unemployed? You didn't take the right courses in school. Child with learning disabilities? Too much sugar. Husband who cheated? You let yourself go. It's a crazy way to view the world but it's a way of reassuring ourselves that it's someone else's problem -- that it will never happen to us. The idea that we're not 100% in control of our lives at all times is terrifying. Far easier to blame the victim than understand a larger issue.Re. your hesitation to use makeup etc: I think it's important to note that we can use clothing and makeup and shampoos and lotions as self-care. It can be a way of treating ourselves with respect and acknowledging our gifts. So while I object to being told I SHOULD be doing something to look attractive, I love to apply makeup because it feels like I'm celebrating myself.
It's so weird about this conversation abt competition. My husband always says I win no contest against them. He says it was never a competition because he never intended to leave me. I also know I beat them. For starters, I have morals. They were all married with their own kids & knew he was married with his own kids.And yet, just the other nite I was triggered by a movie That had 2 actors who were in another movie which he saw with his first physical affair woman. So I wasn't triggered by the movie they saw together (although I have been in the past), but simply by the same couple of actors. So of course he could see later that I had been crying & actually had the insight to ask if it was because these 2 actors. I said yes I asked him which movie was better & he said the one he saw w her because he thought the movie was funnier. He then said but he liked the experience of watching the second one better because it was with his family and me. So the perfect answer-- he told the truth Abt which movie he liked but then something sweet abt me. But I was still upset. I told him I'm sick of feeling like I'm competing with the past. He said but u won. So why do I still feel like I'm in competition? Like Elle, I feel my self esteem is higher because Im not afraid to say what I want & get it. I feel and act as though I deserve certain things such as respect & honesty and I feel like I'm getting them. I don't feel invisible anymore or like the babysitter or like I'm less important. But yet periodically these feelings come up.Sam
Sam, I think it's a long road. And I think the "competition" aspect is far more a narrative in our own minds. Culturally we're ignorant about affairs. We believe it's about a guy "choosing" between two women -- which one's younger, which one's prettier, which one's more sexually adventurous, etc. etc. But the truth about affairs, as we all know far too well, is that it's not about that at all. It's about escape. Fantasy. Ego stroking for the insecure man. It's about the story he's telling himself, not some real-life woman with needs and wants and occasional bad moods. Sometimes yes, it's about a guy who finds someone he'd rather be with. But those guys are the exception, not the rule. And they're far more likely to continue cheating on whomever they're with so it's sure as hell not about true love. Pay attention to what you're saying to yourself. Do you compare yourself against other people generally? I always did. And the only way I could feel as good as anyone else was to feel superior to them (I know, yuck.). I would get myself tied up in knots if I didn't (objectively) think I was more successful, prettier, thinner, blah blah blah. I was barely aware I was doing it but kinda hated myself for it. And it was entirely about my own insecurity. My own fear that I didn't quite measure up.I'm now a recovering competitive female. Turns out most of the women I felt threatened by are amazingly funny, wonderful friends now. Who knew? :)
I am 10 months since D Day. I have my really good days and I still have some pretty bad days. I can't help but wonder if he really wants to be with me. If he is with me because of the kids and his image. He is the type of guy who wants everyone to like him. I secretly think did I really win him or was I just the easier choice (financially, our children, family and friends etc.) He swears he loves me and is so sorry for what he has done. He has been very loving and he is trying to do the right thing. Our marriage was not great before he met her. We actually are a much better couple now. I try to focus on that, but I can't stop all the thoughts in my head. I don't let him know what I am thinking most of the time. How do I stop thinking all of the negative thoughts. They keep me up and night. At times I honestly don't know if I can do this. I love him and my children and don't want my family to break up. I just want to be happy again.
The negative thoughts are horrible. But there are things you can do to at least reduce them. There are mindfulness techniques or behaviour modification techniques -- picturing a big read stop sign when you being thinking them, saying loudly "STOP IT", snapping an elastic band around your wrist when you begin going down that road. The idea is to recognize when you begin to focus on that and bring your mind back to the moment. Meditation helps. It trains the mind when it begins to wander to come back to the now. It takes time...but really works.
Thanks for the help. I will definitely give it a try. I am just so scared of getting hurt again. I know that worrying won't stop something from happening, so I will do my best to focus on the moment. It helps me to see how far you and many others have gotten. I look forward to the days when it is not so much work.