Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Standing strong in the midst of betrayal

“When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them. You are the only custodian of your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you.”
~Maria Popova, Brainpickings

Oh, the mute shame of betrayal. It's not enough that our hearts have been shattered, our reality threatened, our future uncertain. If we've chosen to stay with our cheating cad of a spouse or we're a parent to children of our cheating cad of a spouse, we're also frequently handed the task of grinning and bearing it. At least publicly.
Which can lead to stomach-clenching fury. We suspect the rumours are flying, we don't think we're imagining the whispers. Besides, we see it all the time whenever a celebrity or public figure cheats. The speculation. The judgement. The smug certainty.
And yet so many of us stay silent.
We have our reasons, of course, such as not wanting to expose our children to the mess. Seeking the space to decide for ourselves what's next without input from well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) friends and family. Needing the time to absorb what happened and gauge our partner's response without society's judgement.
We might also want to protect our partners from repercussions. Their career might be jeopardized and we don't want our or our children's financial futures threatened. We may want to shield them from our family's scorn. Or their family's.
At the top of the list of why we stay silent, too often the reason is shame.
But what those who might shame us or judge us will never understand is what Einstein has called "the humanity and nuance" of any relationship. They don't know us
But we do. And that notion of who we are must remain firm in the midst of this storm or we risk losing ourselves. If our sense of self is already shaky, we need to strengthen it. We are not who others say we are. And, as Popova writes, "the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you."
Betrayal challenges us in so many ways but most damaging of all, it threatens our sense of who we are in the world.
We are not what happens to us. 
And we are not a one-dimensional character – the betrayed wife – with a one-size-fits-all response to the experience.
Stand in your own integrity and make choices from there.


  1. This is a great post and all so true. I think initially shame is totally the reason to not talk about the betrayal. For me I also felt the fewer people who knew then my kids would be less likely to find out. And as long as I wanted to work on my marriage I would stick to that. But as time went by I thought hard about it all. As far as I know none of my friends have been through this and I know they dispise the idea of affairs etc. So I thought about it a lot and on my own came to the decision that I was not so sure they would help me. Would they tire of hearing about my angst or what might seem like complaining. Would they not want to do things together as couples not wanting their husbands to be with my husband. So many unknowns exist. My husband was very honest and said I could to whoever I needed or wanted to. I appreciated it. I did not feel held back by him. He never wanted to tell anyone since for him it would only make him look bad. My parents would freak out if they knew and I have no siblings. So in the end I ended up at my therapist as my sounding board and a place to vent. It has helped me feel more understood. I wish I felt like I could open up and maybe help others but I am not willing to do that and have my kids learn about all this.

    Also meaning our marriage together in a crazy way has made us so close. My husband has a new appreciation for me for this second chance. Besides maybe getting support I do not know what others could have offered us. When I look back to the affair years and post dday no one has a better marriage than we did or do have now. It is sad but I never envied any if my friends and now for sure not. Even if they are not being betrayed they live separate and empty lives with little connection. So for us to last we had to so the work and redefine our marriage together.

    1. Hopeful30
      That's what we decided to do! Redefine our marriage and make it more honest open and loving than some of our recent history! Hugs you are an inspiration!

    2. I was very limited on who I told. I didn't tell my parents or current couple friends.

      I went to my 2 female cousins that are like my sisters. Partly because I knew regardless of what I decided to do, I knew they would just support me. And they have.

      This is hard enough without someone judging you.

      More people found out however.....but more on my h's side. The ow ending up telling Facebook. Yes I said that....and no she's not 19...

      42 years old, 4 kids who are her Facebook friend as well as her mother, cousins, aunts, uncles etc etc

      My h and the ow knew each from school and had reconnected during a funeral of a mutual friend.

      So they have about 60 mutual friends who now know....

      What still amazes me was that telling everyone, making him this bad guy..your also telling all 400 of your friends and family that you choose to be a home wrecker.

      Sadly I think she only really showed everyone her true character.

  2. Hopeful I really respect you for keeping the affair between you and your husband, that can't have been easy for you especially in the early days when all you need is a shoulder to cry on and someone to listen but I get that the person you turned to was your husband makes sense.
    I on the other hand was absolutely frantic after finding out about the betrayal and told my family, our close friends and some of my close friends to tbh I didn't give a shit what they thought of me and my husband I was angry and hurt and wanted my h and others to know how much he had hurt me. People had their opinion I just decided when and if I wanted to hear it. Not sure how my h felt about me telling people didn't even consider his feelings at that point. Truth is we don't know how we're gonna handle things until they happen and it I'm just glad I didn't attack the ow or my h and end up on an assault charge small mercy so and all that. All in all I think I handled it to the best of my ability at that time.

    28 months on I look back to them early days and still surprise myself at how I got through with a 5 month old and an 8 yr old who needed me. I'm thankful for this site for giving me many good memories of support and guidance a helping hand to get back up. I'm so grateful.

    It's still one day at a time, rough with the smooth and a whole lot of soul searching but we made it through what I would describe as the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with and we came through we a better understanding of each other.

    Ibe probably gone of track again lol love you ladies goodnight God bles xxx

    1. Sam A,
      One day at a time is actually a good way to go through our lives, no matter whether it's a rough time or smooth. And I'm glad you're giving yourself a pat on the back for surviving the worst of it. My kids were young too and some days it was all I could do to just get out of bed.

  3. This is the number one thing I struggle with more than 2 years later. I still feel such intense shame even though my head knows all the things I should say like "you were faithful and he wasn't so it isn't a reflection of you but of him" and "he didn't cheat because of something lacking in me but because of something lacking in him". But yet there is that intense burning feeling of shame in my stomach when I think about the affair. If I let my mind wander to what it would be like if a there was someone who knew, the shame intensifies. I imagine the talk and maybe worse- the sympathy. I practically panic just thinking about it. I imagine my family's response and I don't think it would be pretty. My heart aches for what my kids would hear. The shame I feel as I think through it all makes me panic. And yet I wonder if it would help to talk to a real person about it. I saw a therapist for a while until he "graduated" me from therapy. I honestly feel if people knew I would have to move away. I don't think I could stand it.

    1. Enigma,

      I agree it is so hard to even know what would happen if anyone would know. I am not sure how it makes me feel maybe shame. I struggle most with looking at my husband and thinking who is he. I think I know no more than ever and he claims that. He tells me how he was so lost and confused. And sometimes I think am I living with a monster or a stranger. It is hard to comprehend how I can be with and love someone that exhibited the complete opposite of all traits I hold dear and respect the most. What he has done goes against every fiber of my being.

      His biggest fear is that or girls find out. He has sobbed to me about it and has nightmares. One of the ow is fb friends and slightly knows one of our daughter's best friends mom. I hate that if she posts photos of her and tags me it comes up on her timeline. I had to explain how all this works to my husband, he had a fake fb account but only to look at women and message them. That does not sit well with me. It will be bad if our girls find out. I think from the 10 years of detached behavior my girls put me on a pedestal and I can do no wrong, if they only knew... They love their dad and I never talk bad about them but I am the one that is always there and dependable. I know everything and am always there to help and support them.

      I have talked about wanting to move even though I do not think anyone knows. For me it would be some sense of a clean slate and freedom. I still wonder if his friends know or have an idea. He says no and maybe so guys are not that observant and he says he hid this the whole time.

    2. Enigma,
      Your response is so intense and so visceral. I can't help but wonder if this isn't also about something else, deeper and perhaps long ago, that's been triggered by his cheating. Putting aside the things you want to believe about his cheating (and which, incidentally, are true) what do YOU really feel? What judgements are you casting on yourself? What about trying to just write about what you really believe this says about you? About him? About your marriage? I think there's a lot there to be unearthed and, yes, I would suggest going back to your therapist or finding another one to help you over this hurdle.

    3. Hopeful30- I also wonder who my husband is and which version of him is the truth. It can be so hard to reconcile all the lies. Elle- I guess I believe it still says something about me even though I know it shouldn't. My husband cheated with someone more beautiful than me and that has done some serious self-esteem damage. I had a great childhood and was raised that you always treat people fairly- no matter what. I guess I'm still in shock that one of my core beliefs seems to have been violated so badly. I feel shame about the way my husband treated me because I think I should have done things differently. I had NO idea my husband was having an affair until he thought the OW and I should become friends (WTF??) so he brought her and her husband into our lives socially. As I spent more time with her she shared more issues she was having in her marriage and I started to realize that she made small but glowing comments about my husband. The clues started to grow and my gut started to twist and turn but I felt I needed proof. I at one point just straight out asked my husband and he laughed and said there was nothing to worry about and that he would never do that to me. Flash forward a couple months and finally a digital slip up on his part and I had the proof. When I reflect back, I knew it before the proof and some things he did definitely made me uncomfortable but I didn't push harder because I didn't want to be the crazy wife. I feel shame that I let some serious inequities persist in our relationship and that I didn't just say "this is BS! You aren't going to treat me like this." I am not afraid of conflict and until this experience had good self confidence so I feel shameful that I didn't stand up for myself and listen to my gut. Bringing the OW into our lives and fostering a friendship really did a number on my mind. I feel like it maximized the damage.

    4. Enigma,

      I feel so similar. I am to the point where I do know none of this is my fault. Yet I feel the same way that it says something about me. I guess at least how did I not protect myself more. Yet I get back to it is hard when someone lies to your face for years even when asked directly. I did not hide and ignore our marriage or think it was perfect. It is a struggle.

      That is messed up welcoming her and getting you two to be friends. I am so sorry. Mine are people I never knew existed and he wanted it that way and to be done with them. It is all messed up.

      And the crazy part is so true. I confronted my husband and he always said no and he was not that way. Anytime I tried to talk with him he had an excuse or it was me. What was the worst was after dday 1 things did not make sense. We talked a lot and I asked a lot of questions of course. Well when dday 2 hit 5 months later that was the killer and I am still dealing with that. I told him it was worse than the cheating. He made me feel crazy and he sat there and kept lying to me. No matter his reasons for holding back it made me feel crazy. And brought back what he did for 10 years. He said it hit him in his office (he is a therapist) and a woman was explaining how her husband had cheated on her and lied and made her feel crazy. He said it killed him. He realized all that time he was protecting himself and making himself feel better yet in turn hurting me more. It is so messed up. I am finding it does not matter how many times I say something it has to click with him. And I think he is on a delay needing more time than me or it is all hitting him now one year after dday.

    5. Enigma,
      I'm sorry for what you are going through. I understand how your self esteem feels damaged. It hurt to read "my husband cheated with someone more beautiful than me". I know that feeling. I spent a lot of time comparing myself physically to the OW. It still creeps up on me from time to time. It took me some time to realize that it wasn't the physical attributes that drew my husband to the OW. It was her availability and the fact that in so many ways, she was as messed up as my husband was at that time. Maybe she has a pretty exterior (although my ideas on even that have changed some) but the interior is ugly and damaged. And that's not something any of us should compare ourselves to.
      Please be kind to yourself. Try not to beat yourself up for being faithful and trusting. It can be hard and my experience has been that I know all these things intellectually, but it's taking a while for my heart to catch up.

    6. Omg!
      I think all of us who feel shame for the choice our messed up spouse made have felt the feeling you express. My h also allowed a face to face confrontation with his ow before I knew for certain there was an affair. I thought at the time it happened but was over. It confused the hell out of me. I didn't find her that attractive then and now that I know all the facts of that time frame, I now see why my h chose to end his connection to that woman. It wasn't because she was more beautiful than me or anything else but the very fact that he was messed up at that time in his life AND she was available! You have to start first by being kind to yourself! Just as the other ladies here have said your she is so ugly on the inside and that's what brought him back to you! Hugs for your pain!

    7. Enigma,
      Talking with my H this week. The OW was temporarily more prettier to my husband. My husband helped me to realize his state of mind to allow himself to have an affair. He gave me some, hard to hear, examples of how he felt and I understood completely. He explained someone held out an olive branch he grabbed it and it turned into poison ivy. So although she looked prettier at the time he thought of her as poison ivy. I'm sorry for your pain and feeling not good enough, which is a hell all its own.

  4. I haven't been on in a while since dealing with all this shit with my daughter.

    My husband mistress was porn and it took me four years just to tell my own mom. And then when my kids got older, I told them as well. My oldest already knew b/c she walked in on it. I did the whole grin and bearing thing and then I just BLEW. I was triggered all the time. I found out 10 years ago when sex addiction wasn't even talked about that much. The fighting really bothered my oldest. Now she battles an eating disorder and her addiction got so bad and she rebelled so badly, I had to evict her last week. She also got involved in drugs last year that were laced with spice and THAT was the scariest thing I have ever been through. She almost died when she took off and we didn't know where she was. All this shit from our husbands affects our kiddos too.

    I was getting a stomach ulcer. All this stress weighs on ya. I'm on meds for panic attacks and now I have to see a GI doc b/c my stomach sent me to the hospital. The fun never ends.

    Well. My 19 year old will have to grow up fast. She's already talking more respectfully to me and appreciating me more. She wanted me to get her on disability but that didn't sit well, bedsides, she's too young.

    So, now it's quieted down more here. I supposed the upside to being on a liquid diet for now is that I lost 7 pounds lol.

    Anne of VA

    1. Anne of VA,
      I'm glad to hear that your daughter is making some progress. "Quieted down" sounds like a nice, a long overdue, change. I hope it continues to get better for you. And I hope you're taking good care of yourself.

    2. Thank you Elle. I rest when I need it. I try to lie down in the afternoon and just chill. I still homeschool a 16 and a 13 yo, but that's not very hard now that they're older.

      I'm not as angry as I once was. And I do things like paint and play the piano for therapy. It's nice to wake up to peace and quiet in the morning.

    3. Elle,

      Well. We let my daughter over for a day and we were going to let her spend the night b/c not even her boyfriend can take her for more than 2 weeks and it turned into a nightmare with sides being taken.

      Well, my husband (the PA) sides with my out of control 19 year old whom we evicted and I kicked both of them out. They're both sleeping in the van.

      I hate to say it, but in my situation, I feel like I've wasted over 13 years on an addict. I feel like just b/c he works hard at being porn free, I'm still unhappy in my marriage.

      But I'm fucking stuck financially and I homeschool my youngest two.

      I'm going to court tom. to make her eviction permanent and I'm going to have to put out a restraining order against her. WE kicked her out b/c she was verbally and physically violent. She pulled so much shit in just four hours, the whole household was in a battle. And there was no fighting while she was gone. A year ago, she was a totally different person. Her drug of choice is food.

      I just feel so STUCK financially and it pisses me OFF.

      Anne of VA

  5. I didn't even tell my own mom for four years. I held it in and grinned and beared it and then I BLEW even in front of my kids which affect my oldest the most and now she deals with addictions of her own. Last year she tried pot and come to find out it was laced with spice. Long story short, we ended up having to evict her last week. Now she's more respectful to her dad and I. She also has an eating disorder.

    All this stuff affects our health too. When I found out ten years ago, sex addiction wasn't even on the online radar yet. We did a lot of fighting in front of our kids. His mistress is porn.

    All this stuff affects our health too. I'm on meds for panic attacks and then this shit with my daughter the last six months sent me to the hospital doubled over with stomach pains. I'm on a liquid diet. I go to the GI doc Friday.

    We bare the brunt of all of this. I even told everyone on FB. I didn't care anymore who knew and if they judged me for telling or judged my hubby then they were no friend of ours. My FB is pretty tight tho. I only have people I trust on there.

    The upside to stomach trouble is that I've lost 7 pounds LOL. We've put boundaries in place and he's been working on being sober for over a year and a half. Putting PB software on helped him a lot. And we try to make it to Celebrate Recovery too. That's a great place for healing.

    Anne of VA

  6. This post really hits home for me, Elle. Sometimes I think people must really be putting their backs into it to misunderstand as badly as they do and read so much into things that I never even remotely intended or thought to begin with. It was a gift from the shitfest that I finally hurt enough to realize that it wasn't optional any longer, I needed a sense of self/self-love that operated independently of any one else's opinion.

    I went the open book route about the affair. I can understand why someone wouldn't and I definitely by no means begrudge them that choice. I have no children to protect. I told everybody else because I desperately needed to connect with people. At the time, I figured if he was embarrassed about the light of day shining on his actions, then maybe he should've made less embarrassing choices.

    My experience has been that most people are amazingly understanding and those that aren't are showing you who they are. This gives you a chance to do some housekeeping/stop wasting energy on them.

    The ladies I've spoken to have respected my choices and listened to my ranting. I cherish the ability to be honest but I still try hard not to abuse my ranting privileges lol I found out that MANY of the ladies I know have been through affairs themselves to the point that it no longer surprises me to hear it from any one. Our mutual friends treat us the same as they always have.

    The downsides are... My mother-in-law immediately blamed me for everything, just as her son did. She faked "being there" for me and basically dumped it all on my lap and continues to do so every time I see her. That was extremely difficult to deal with on top of the shitshow but now I see through her BS and can minimize contact/not give a damn what she thinks about me.

    I have experienced a subtle sense of judgement from some people. I did worry very much in the beginning that people would think I was weak, spineless or had no self-worth for keeping him. Mostly because I was worried that might be the case. The more women I've met and heard here on BWC, women I respect, women I value and feel are intelligent, self-respecting and in possession of finely formed spines lol, the more I've let go of the fear that I'm faulty for what has happened and the less I've worried about the people who might still judge me.

    1. Aelia,
      That's awesome -- sounds as if you've really creating healing on your terms and nobody else's. There can be a silver lining to all this and, in my case, it was exactly what you mention: the ability to make very clear choices around whose opinions matter in my life. No longer am I as affected by the opinions of those who don't know me, don't know my situation and have no genuine compassion or wisdom to offer.

  7. Aelia: I love your post. At first I felt so much shame and that I would be judged. I was worried that there would be the camp that agreed with one former friend who actually said: "he is too hot and sexual for you" or the clowns who gave me patronizing "poor you" while hypothesizing that my weight gain was the cause (yikes I had ballooned to a size 6) and these were the same buffoons I permitted in my life when they called me scrawny or said I was built like a 14 year old boy!! I have shown all those folks the exit door to my life. Out of compassion for anyone going through this alone I have often considered just putting it out there everywhere--facebook status: I'm healing from betrayal, but 4 unwitting children from 13-19 is preventing me. As much as possible I hope we can collectively bring this to the dignified light of day. This is one Heck of a group of women--may they always progress to their best lives. Shawn.

    1. So true. I feel like I want to do that some days just put it out there. I mean maybe it would feel better and liberating. Also not that I want pity or that it compares. But as I try so hard to get through each day there is no support except from my husband. I see friends with cancer which is terrible but I have found myself frustrated they get help and support and I am alone. I know it is my choice to keep silent but for some gut reason I feel like it would not be greeted the same way.

      I also feel that some of my friendships feel less authentic. My closest friends who I share everything with do not know. So many people ask why I am more quiet. I am getting better but this is such a huge part of my life. Others I have chosen not to be friends with based on how they live their lives and their values which feels great. We had struggled with finding couples to do anything with. We really do not know any that have what we would call a healthy marriage and willing to do things with other couples. My husbands friends are all guys. He keeps setting up couples things and many times it is me with the guys and zero reciprocity. My friends are too busy. And several other couple friends we like are so busy they do not see each other at all due to sports commitments every weekend. This has been challenging.

  8. For some reason, I stopped visiting BWC often (my mistake because I feel so much better soaking in the topics and discussions I missed) but I came back at th right time as this was EXACTLY what I needed today. I've been feeling stuck (a whole other topic) but a large part of my stuck is due to shame. Because my H fathered a child with the ow and because we've chosen to take responsibility for his actions, we're living out our story rather publicly. Until we had the DNA test back, we told only family and close friends. We did lose some through that process, but I chose to see it as a blessing, I don't really need anyone in my corner that isn't truly supportive of my journey and choices. But, and this is a big BUT, we live in a small town. The ow didn't see any shame in claiming my H as father (she put our last name on the birth announcements before we got the positive DNA test back), I can't go anywhere without wondering if someone is talking about it or judging me. I used to not care what people think and while I'd like to say I don't care, it's exhausting and I spend so much time in shame and embarrassment. I know people are talking about me, about staying, about my husband, and I wonder if there aren't people that think he really should be with her since they have a child together (we do too, a 4 year old). I grapple with the shame of staying. I believe and have loudly voiced my belief, that staying can be seen as a sign of strength, but not many, outside of the Warriors here and those who have lived this, believe that. So I wonder if people think I'm weak or have no self confidence/worth. While this has greatly dinged that, I do know I could leave and eventually be okay, I stay because I believe in our ability to rebuild. But people are so quick to judge what they haven't experienced. I bounce between being comfortable telling people when they ask whose baby I have with me to complete and utter anger, shame and all other emotions I can't name when someone asks. I don't believe everyone deserves a seat at my table and needs to know the whole story, but I also can't lie, so my party line is that it's a long and private story but she is a part of our family, although she's not with us full time. Many people assume adoption or a family connection but as she grows it will be more obvious as she calls H daddy and me by name. I've shared with a few I trust (although I don't feel I can really trust anyone) and one ended up having a connection with the ow I didn't realize. He shared with his wife, who shared with ow, that I told him and ow got pissed (not like I care but we do need to be on decent terms for baby's sake), mostly I think because she's been spinning the story that she didn't know he was married, which is a bald face lie as they had an EA for months before it got physical and he told her about me, but when I tell it, I tell the truth, which paints her in a less than favorable light.

  9. I ran away last week, just for the day, but I arranged sitting for my son, dropped him a preschool, drive 4 hours to the beach, where I spent 4 hours sitting on the beach crying and talking out loud to God and journaling (thank goodness for an empty beach), only to drive 4 hours home because I needed the freedom of walking down the street without someone knowing my most private pain and judging it. Shame is an ugly beast that I seem to be losing the battle fighting. My son knows only that God wanted the baby to be a part of two families, but he's a smart cookie and realizes she has a mommy that's not me, but they share a daddy. He asked me the other day if Daddy was going to marry someone else (H went to a baseball game with his uncle and wasn't home by bedtime, which is rare). I told him no and asked why. He replied that he thought maybe Daddy didn't want you (meaning me) agin anymore. I'm not sure my shame has ever been greater. What am I teaching my son by staying? But conversely, what am I teaching him if I leave? Much love to all of my BWC sisters.

    1. Out of the ashes
      I really feel for you. I haven't written anything for a while either and I was so glad to see a post from you as I have been wondering how you have been. I struggle with my husbands betrayal as we all do and I think you show such strength and courage. I have kept everything in my life very quiet and when the world sees us no one knows my inner turmoil. You have had to face the world and have the ow in your life now, but you manage to do that with such integrity and compassion. The new baby is lucky to have someone like you to care for them. You wonder what message you send to your son. If you stay or go I think that the message you send to your son will ultimately be the same. You have nothing to feel shameful for. I think it is that he has a very loving mother who is prepared to take on the world and their judgements and to put the needs of her family above all else. I think you show him you are strong, compassionate, courageous and determined. I hope that you can see how strong you are and continue to draw on this strength as you travel your chosen path. If things get too difficult know that there are friends out there (even if we have never met) thinking of you and holding a light to shine the way through the dark times.

    2. Out of the ashes
      You are teaching your son how to be a strong individual who has a heart big enough to have compassion for his half sister and as time goes by he will view his family as normal! I'm standing in awe of you as you are dealing with a mountain of new pain from the old pain! That trip to the beach sounds perfect to me! I learned when I was 18 that I have a half brother from my biological father that I didn't even meet until my fathers funeral. I was a little messed up from learning all the skeletons in my parents closet but I had a really good therapist and now I'm a stronger woman for all I've been through. My h betrayal brought me back to the original pain and shame from my childhood but as time goes by that experience is now making me a stronger than ever me and I learned to love me again! You are the bravest of the warriors! Having to continue a relationship with ow for the sake of the child has to be a very difficult way to live but you are the one that can teach both of these precious children compassion unconditional love and how to live a wonderful life one day at a time! You are such an inspiration to me! Hugs!

    3. Oh Ashes,
      You are so strong and have such a huge heart. This is not your shame. I hope you can put that load down. People will judge you. They probably always have but anyone who sees what you're doing as less than compassionate and incredibly strong doesn't know you.
      As Theresa said, you're showing your son that life can be tough but we can be tougher. You're showing him kindness and mercy and forgiveness and incredible grace. You are a warrior queen and I bow to you.

  10. Out of ashes ... i cried reading your post ... ive told noone ... i feel for your struggle and applaud your getaway to the beach thats taking care of you. I dont have much to comment on how to handle the baby as far as dealing with the ow you remain classy not trashy and speak your truth ... a hard position no doubt but i know you have the grace in you to get through until everything ... anything becomes clearer to you. A big cyber hug to you wrap yourself up in sparkle what a strength you show in even trying to make the best out of a very difficult circumstance. Ps i dont have a beach that close ... i sometimes scream in my car ... cry in the shower or just sit in silence on my porch staring out and sitting with it all.

    1. Wounded,
      I did that too. Screamed in my car, sobbed late at night when I ran. Let it out. The day will come when the tears dry.

  11. Out of the ashes, your amazing!!!!give yourself and your son a big hug. Wishing you peace honey xxxx

  12. Out of Ashes, your strength is amazing. Sending you hugs and letting you know that you are a wonderful, strong, brave, caring woman. Your h is lucky for a second chance with you and your son is blessed to have you for his mom. I'm very happy you were able to get a day away for yourself.

    This site has become a great source of comfort me as I work on my healing. I, too, have told only my best friend because of the shame I feel. Also, I'd never want my adult children to find out. My h has expressed deep regret over his actions and is doing his best to help me move forward. He assures me he'll never do it again. We've had much more open discussions and things are going fairly well. Although I've been told, by him, that he's much better at moving forward and looking into the future than I am. It makes me feel like there's something wrong with me that it's taking me longer than he is. Many days I think I'm just going crazy because my head keeps playing mind movies with me.

    Just knowing I can come to this site where others can relate to what I've been through, and am going through, is such a great comfort to me. Thank you Elle.

  13. Out of the ashes, what a strong and amazing woman you are. F*** anyone who you feel is judging you. You are the best judge for what is right for you and your son. We all come at these things from our unique life experiences and that is why we do what we do. Hugs and love... you are doing amazingly

  14. Out of the ashes,

    Thank you for sharing. I am so inspired by you and your strength. I can understand why you would want to escape for the day given your situation. I think that is smart. We need to escape. Kids are so smart and it sounds like you are doing an amazing job with your son. My kids do not know and are late grade school/middle school age. I have talked with my therapist about how to handle it if they were to ask or find out. For me it has helped having a plan. If you see a therapist maybe you could discuss what is appropriate at which age. The basic core of it is my kids will understand in general without throwing my husband under the bus but with him taking full responsibility.

    And as far as staying with him only you know if it is right. It would be a huge deal in our town since it is small and he is a well known professional who is a therapist and does a lot of child custody cases. I know it is easy for me to say but we have no idea what other marriages are like. Most are not that great and it is becoming more obvious. My husband tended to glorify what others have but he sees things more realisticly now and how bad it is when his friends lie to their wives etc. I decided I need to work with my husband to see if what we have is worth it. Am I happy and is he happy. We both wanted it to work. I think a big reason is for our kids but I know our kids will be fine no matter what.

    Hang in there and keep us updated.

  15. Not feeling so strong today or proud. Wasted stupid hours this morning pain shopping online. Looking up the OW to see if she really is leaving the company where they both work. Last month my husband started drawing back to me and I think she sensed that, pulled a "counter move" and said she was leaving the company, maybe even the country. Good riddance. but I don't trust her to follow through with this emotional blackmail threat. I do wish she would go away. They are still in touch via text. So her linkedin profile shows she changed her job title at the company last month. So maybe she is shifting away. I just need to snap out of it, to stop giving her so much power. I just hate this BS victim crap she is pulling. I need to focus on me and my own care and my relationship with my husband, but sometimes it is hard. Thanks for support!

    1. Still Standing
      You are so right about how hard it is sometimes! I'm so thankful we are finally rid of our COW! I'm so sorry you still have that one in your life! I also hated that our COW had played the victim from every angle! Her pain and her husband and how he was so controlling, and on and on! She had already been emotionally black mailing the man for two years before dday. He knew it but felt powerless to change it until one day when he had just had enough of her! That's when she really showed him her ugliest side! I'm also guilty of the pain shopping! I'm not sure how long that part lasted but Elle gave me the rubber band to remind me to keep my thoughts off the ow and I remember that helped along with my stop sign at the end of the street! I'm still a work in progress! I did finally get to the place where I don't need to know what she's doing or care one bit about anything she thought their relationship was! I'm not sure what I could say to help you get there but I'm sure if this ow does get all out of your lives, rebuilding you relationship with your h will become easier, not easy but just a wee bit easier! Hugs for you and just know it will be better than you think!

    2. SS,
      Why does your husband have any contact with her at all? Let's hope she is leaving. Good riddance indeed.

    3. I hope she does leave! I can't imagine how awful it would be to still have her in his life!

      I will never understand how they feel untitled.

      My ow told me her granddaughter was sad he was gone (she's freaking 2) to which I replied
      "F you and her both. Since you apparently forgot about our son. His son. His flesh and blood"

      That's the only kid that matters!

      your granddaughter will not even remember him!

  16. Still standing don't be too hard on yourself for looking her up online, you just needed reassurance she was leaving, you needed that feeling of being safe. I suppose it's all part of the healing process checking up every so often to confirm what our h say is actually true, completely understandable too.

    Today's another day and today you can focus on you and your relationship. Keep strong my dear xxx

    1. I've Facebook stalked the ow.

      To me, it helped.

      She was everything opposite of what my h likes.

      And is haggard and run down looking. No job, 42 years old and lives off her mom. Thinks her oldest kids daughter was a result off affair with one of her ex husbands. In a nut shell, she's the definition of rock bottom. The only thing she does all day is get drunk or stoned.

      I am more attractive, have lots of good friends, a great career, my own home, a brand new jeep in my driveway and a great kid.

      Like I don't get it.

      It's not like this amazing woman came in while we were struggling.

      I tell him at times when I'm angry that he really dug deep in that trash can to find her.

      So for me, seeing she offers nothing has helped.

      And in several pics in the months followers by she looked really sad. There was a noticeable difference than pics in the months before while the affair was going on.

      Could be just me, but thinking she's hurt brings me comfort.

      Now if only our h's could be burdened with the pain we all feel for the duration we feel it, that would help.

      Mine says the guilt of what he did to our family is worse. I'm not so sure.

      My rough days reading others stories helps.

      Thank you all. Cheapest therapy!

  17. Thank you Sam A and Theresa! I do need to be a bit nicer to myself, you are right. I love "COW" for the OW. Dare I ask what the C stands for? I went back and looked at my journal of the last two months. Things are improving, if slowly. Apparently, some guiding force in the universe wants me to learn patience. I am a work in progress too. Hugs, your words lifted me up today.

    1. Still Standing (and I'm not sure how you are!)
      The C in our case stands for crazy as we had to fight like crazy to get her to leave us alone! We are past baby rearing days and not far from our planned retirement. My h had a midlife crisis thinking he hadn't had enough variety of sexual experience before we were married. He had other girls but I was only 19 and he was 21 when we married. His ow fell in love with with him and destroyed her marriage and family and then tried to do the same to his as she thought the love was mutual. He tried desperately to rid himself of her but as I said she was delusional and we ended up having to get a restraining order against her! Now just so you know, you show so much poise and compassion for all parties and still you are so hard on yourself! You also deserve the same kind of compassion from your h and he needs to step up and realize he needs to put you and son and new baby first and tell ow to eat cake her opinion of your marriage doesn't count! As time goes by you will most likely be the one that makes the biggest difference in both children's lives as the other parents are just a bit on the selfish side even though they created the situation! My heart aches for what I know you are going through and what I can't even imagine living with! You go girl! You have what it takes!

    2. Teaching patience maybe ... learning and applying grace most definitely... finding inner strength and being a better decipher of whats important and whats not but ultimately knowing you are and can be in control of yourself even when life is swirling around you. Still standing ... hats off to you girl ... i chant im wounded not broken and u might feel shaky but your standing ... showing up everyday and that my dear is more then enough ... i know u know this and i hope the time evolves you feel it to. Time to fast some days and a four letter word others ...work on what u need from your husband to better align your family u will have to have so m e contact with ow but put up a wall and give her a window .. u dictate your circle i deal with my h ex and stepchildren i know how that can be even though ur circumstance is a little different knowing what i know now i invested far to much time in her and conflicts w my h bcuz of it ... if nothing else be classy not trashy and act as u see fit.

    3. Thanks Theresa, I can assure you I was thinking of a much nastier "c" word. But crazy will do for polite circles.. My h is showing compassion, we are closer than we've been for a long time (and you may have my story mixed with another - my kids are 13 and 16 and this is for sure a mid-life crisis - she is a 28 yr old "dumsel"). He's just still in this awful intense ambivalence. he can't believe what he has done and is doing to me. And he also can't imagine a future where he is not "friends" with the COW. he's been very clear that he is unwilling to give up contact with her, feels he owes her a "debt of care." Obviously I know this is self serving BS and about his compulsion vs. any real healing for the OW. What is broken in her was broken before he decided to stuff his cock into her and it is not his to fix. But he is super co-dependent and I am daily making the choice, for my kids to live with this indignity until he gets his head out of his ass. I still love him and believe that the good guy, a better guy is working his way out (there is a lot of progress since dday) and I feel like I deserve the chance to enjoy life with the good guy when he shows up. I've worked too hard. On the other hand, I've made it clear that contact under my nose is not OK. Don't sh!t where you eat, etc. so no contact in our house. I also know in my own mind that there is a limit to how long I will wait in this abusive triangle. For now I stay for my kids mostly and for myself some and for him a little. But I also have an escape plan and limits. I just haven't hit that limit yet, I guess. It still sucks. I still get filled with shame and anguish when I choose every day to be here in this crapfest. But at least it is my choice for now. Thanks every one for your words of encouragement and wisdom. Love you all!!!!

    4. Still standing
      You are right that I got your story confused with another I'm sorry for that. All of our storylines are different but still share so many of the same emotions at any rate! Here's to hoping your h will pull his foggy brain out of his ass!

    5. Same pain, similar struggles, easy to mix up, no worries. I'm just appreciative of the support and understanding I get here. Some days it is all that gets me through, when I have to decide "am I going to power through this BS one more day?" So far it has been "yes, for the kids, etc." Today might be more about anger and rage for me, but I am going to ride it out. Hugs.

    6. SS,
      I give you credit for giving him time to smarten up. But I would make it clear that there are limits. The clock is ticking....

    7. Yes he's really stuck. He has acknowledged that this is about him and not about me and has roots long before we ever met. Progress there at least. We have only just begun couple therapy and it is some heavy going. he can't give her up for a variety of reasons; obsessed/addicted IMO, afraid to lose the what if or the idea of the life he thought he'd have with her (she was his salvation, you see), and because he feels he has always just gone through the motions, always doing what others expected and not what he wanted, so giving her up is not just about him and me, it is about that whole set of external expectations and would again be about doing what others what and no what he wants. A serious mid-life crisis. In some ways I am happy he has come to realize it is his stuff he needs to figure out, maybe he'll get to where he can be more present and live an authentic life. I'd like to be here when that guy shows up. Our couple counselor suggests to me one on one, that is we wait for the OW to just disappear, he may get angry with me and resent that his "missed his chance" for me. Not ideal. Instead, she says, he needs to feel the pain of losing you and then chose you. she says so far he has gotten to have his infatuation/romance and still play house with me. She is suggesting that I consider a trial separation for a few months so he has to face up to that pain and reality. My gut has been telling me she is right. But it is really scary. There will be no stopping him if he chooses to use that time to pursue her. On the other hand, one of us has to decide not to play in this triangle anymore. I am trying to get thru the end of this month, close to the end of the school year for my kids. He and I have a one night trip for our anniversary (again keeping up appearances for the kids). And then I plan to go away to my sister's for a week. If nothing has shifted by then, then I will open the discussion for a trial separation so he can figure his sh!t out. Frightening, but honestly, I can't do this forever. We are on month 5 of ambivalence.

    8. Still standing--I was in the same boat as you were--For three months he was in a fog. At one point (against my IC advice, I finally told him that maybe we should separate, and I asked him to leave, and that I had contacted a divorce lawyer for advice. He took his things and left, and that weekend, he hit rock bottom. A week later, he came back groveling for a second chance, and promised he was done with the OW for good and wanted to be a better man and stay in our marriage. Again (against advice of others) I let him move back in, and we began to repair our marriage. I'm not sure if this would have happened anyway without the temporary separation, but I think the reality of the situation shocked him out of the fog. It is a huge gamble, though, and if you do it, you have to be prepared that he might leave you for the OW. I think I was just so sick of the "fog" and the ambivalence, that just couldn't take it any more.

    9. I see this comment a lot calling it a fog...

      My h said it was a high. That he didn't love the ow, he was in love with the attention. She's separated and alone. No job, lives with her mom and well, spend her days drinking and being a worthless human....Her exhistence is pathetic at best. But I feel like her having nothing going on made it easy to go out of her way to play this game.

      She had all this time to text him pretty words and make him promises with out any reality to his bad side...

      He said to me it was never real. It was nice to have someone tell you nice stuff non stop.

      I get it to a point but crossing the line is another story.

  18. I agree don't beat hard on yourself. If my husband was still texting the ow I would be on heightened alert. Have you addressed no contact boundaries with him? Once I felt like I had assurances that there was no contact it was easier for me to not care what the ow was doing.

  19. Wow Still Standing - I went through a similar situation, as did a dear friend of mine. In my case, my husband completely gave up on the OW for the first 2 1/2 months after DDay and then found out she was with another man… Just before a trial separation that he and I had agreed upon. He admitted to me just prior to our separation that he had called her. That was devastating to me as we had a controlled separation and in the agreement we agreed not to see other people. As it turns out, he was in touch with her during the separation. It was a six week separation we had agreed upon. When I found out that he was in touch with her ... and he told me he intended to continue to be in touch with her, I told him, dramatically, as I was quite upset… not yelling, but crying… what am I supposed to do now? What am I going to do with all this? Referring to everything in our home ... As I told him then - The purpose of the separation was for us both to cool down our emotions step away and have time to think. The purpose of the separation was not for him to see the other woman. I explained to him, by him seeing her the situation was only muddled and would not allow for him to make any real decisions. ( he maintained that it was not a choice between her or I, it was a choice as to whether or not he wanted to be married. ). Further, I told him he either needed to come home and work on the marriage or we would be getting a divorce. I did not do this as a threat or an ultimatum, as I explained to him, it was simply what I needed. Honestly, he was not ready to come home, but more than that, he was not ready to lose me. Now the ladies here know that he has had his moments where he has still wanted to bolt since he came home.
    We are doing better than ever, and it has been almost a year since he came back home from us being separated. It has been/is difficult for him to get over her. Or should I say for him to get over the 'he' that he felt he was when he was in that fantasy. He is getting clearer, and clearer about the situation the further he is away from it. And yes, classic midlife crisis. It wasn't just about the affair; that was a symptom. He wanted to get away from any and all responsibility. Even that has been a challenge for him. He has told me "I am having a hard time coming back" and when I ask him to explain he says for example doing things around the house… Like I said, responsible activities. The last time he said this was in January and he has definitely become more involved with home life. My friend that I spoke of went through a similar situation, yet even more difficult. Her husband had moved out into an apartment and was still seeing the OW yet my friend and her husband were in counseling together and also individually. It really is interesting how all counselors act differently. Many suggest that you do not have the same counselor for individual counseling as that of marriage however this couple did. Also, our first counselor would not continue to see us if my husband was in touch with the OW. So, an update on my friend… The affair was between 2008 and 2010. They were in counseling for about a year in 2010 and now they are still together, going strong. Obviously, you're in your own situation and will make your own decisions. Please know, that I totally understand what you're going through. The ambivalence sucks and you will know when enough is enough. And as Elle pointed out I did make my husband aware that I could not live like that forever. And the wonderful thing that happened from all of it… I learned, deep down, that I would be absolutely fine without my husband. Allow yourself to think about the good things that would happen if you and your husband were to get divorced. If you were on your own. I am not saying that because I think you should get a divorce, I say it, because it helped me to gain my strength and to see, absolutely clearly, that I would be fine.
    Peace & Light

    1. Did you find it more hurtful when you found out about the affair or that he still was seeing her.

      I am still so raw and my only peace has been that despite me telling him I was done and to go be with her, even had all his stuff packed and ready...was that he said he only wanted me.

      If I found out he was still talking to her I feel like my heart would break totally...

    2. Shelly
      My story included one more night of sex with his ow after I was living in the same house as he but before I knew the details of the affair. That hurt me deeper than the affair itself but it was the one thing that his crazy ow thought would destroy my marriage and it was what finally gave my h the courage to stop running to her every time she threatened to give me truth. Some call it fog but my h was out of the fog but she just wouldn't leave us alone until he brought harrasment charges and then she broke the no contact order twice and she had to go back and face the judge again and he threatened her with jail if she bothers either of us for a year. Every one of us have similar stories and pain and we all have to find our own way through. For me I was ready to be divorced if he didn't get rid of her and I just had to wait until he had enough for the charges were brought. She even joked about him getting a restraining order after one more meet up which never happened! That's how crazy she was/is. Now that we are two months past her last contact we are back to work on our relationship and it's getting better every day! Take your time and watch how your h behaves toward you. One day at a time!

    3. Shelley, I'm not sure how to say which is more hurtful. Both were hugely traumatic. It is sort of like asking "which hurt worst, having your foot cut off or having your hand cut off?" Both monumentally suck. Initially, on Dday, I did a lot of self delusion to protect my brain, believing it was only an emotional affair, believing that he would recommit to our marriage, blaming myself so I could have control and try to fix it. I was running on fumes. Slowly, I came to realize, over the course of two weeks, that I was an idiot to believe there hadn't been sex and when I confronted him about it he was at least honest about it. I think in part because the affair was coming apart. My teen age daughter had found out and a heavy dose of reality had set it. The OW had tried to end it and they went no contact, but she drunk dialed him one night and then I am sure a couple weeks later he called her "just to see how she was doing." I think my second discovery that they had been talking and he had not been transparent with me was even more traumatic because I had extended my traumatized heart out there and he put his addiction ahead of us or me. But people in affairs/addictions are incredibly selfish. Based on my extensive reading and hunting for answers, his behavior ad the continued ambivalence, contact with the OW is in the "normal" range of behavior for someone in an intense emotional and physical affair. Yes my heart is broken. But I have to believe that if he is being this ambivalent and back and forth with me and I get to live with him and see him most days, he must be equally confusing and back and forth with her only she gets the dregs. Luckily she lives several states away (they met through work) and so there is little in person contact. The downside is that this on again, off again, infrequent contact serves to intensify the "wanting what you can't have" triggers in his brain, I am guessing. When I get wrapped around the axle about the OW, I remind myself that she is nothing special, in fact a broken pathetic human being if she could stoop so low and still hang around waiting, rather than grabbing her self esteem and seeing this shitshow for what it is. Obviously if she could do that, she wouldn't have been vulnerable to an affair n the first place. So like Elle so eloquently said "she's got nothing I want." In the meantime, I have created emotional space for myself in my home, moving on with things that are good for me and make it clear I am not pining away. I am willing to wait while he works through his stuff (and he is both in IC and we go to a highly skilled MC once a week) but have thresholds and timelines in my own head. Taking it one day at a time. Some days. like today, I am good. Some days I experience huge fear and anxiety. I am doing a meditation course on releasing anxiety that has been super helpful. The only thing I can control is me, so I am working on being my best self. Feels good.

    4. I agree, the other woman must be broken herself.

      In my case, my ow initially told me she was telling me because she found out he was still with me then continued to send me screen shots of their conversations that included times she told him that she would treat him better. Oops

      She's not very bright. But then when your 42 and your mommys support is all you have, I guess even a married man looks good.

      Than you both for the replies and I hope you both get the happiness you deserve!

  20. Thanks friends. Still hanging in. Progress in some areas and advice from my sis is to give time. She was in along emotional affair and ended up working things out w her husband so she has some amazing insights for me. She was in the "fog" for 10 months before she had accumulated enough clarity, whatever to realize she was crazy. I'm not sure how long I'll last but I have some milestones in my head. I am doing my best to stand strong for myself and my family and my marriage. Thanks everyone for all the love and support. I can't tell you how helpful it is to hear your stories and successes, alone and together.

    1. So did your sister love the other person or was she trying to fill a void missing in her marriage?

      My h says that's what he did. And we really were in a bad place. Sleeping in separate beds etc..

      He tried to end it but the OW threatened to tell me and finally she told me figuring he would end up with her I think... Based on how she talked to me.

      But I'm curious about a case like with ur sister, she's probably being honest with you about why...

      I feel like I'm having a harder time now, 3 months since I found out than I did at first.

      And he fought for me. I was ready to end things and in anger told him to go be with her and his response has been he doesn't want her every time.

    2. Shelley
      I said that same thing to my h in the beginning of the first six months of contact from her trying to get him to meet her just one more time! She was already in a bad mental state and my h was finished with the fog of the affair! Three months is just so soon for making any long term decisions. I'm so sorry for the pain I know you feel! We are all here because of a h that decided to be assholes but some of us have an h that owns his choice and what the pain for all involved others have an h that continues to be selfish and those marriages tend to end. Every couple has to do the hard work to get through the mess that the affair caused! Marriage is hard work for all but one with the extra stress that an affair causes is even harder work but it is possible to pick up the pieces and have a better relationship! Sending you hugs for the strength to make it through!

    3. Shelley, For my sis it was both. her H had been an alcoholic and even physically hurt her a couple of times wen drunk and didn't remember. She tried to power through until both kids were in college. Living like this crushed her self esteem. Then on a cycling/fundraising team she met a man who paid attention to her, flattered her so yes it filled a void, but yes she also developed feelings for this man. There was someone else out there who could love her (her words). Her affair partner was also married, so my sis was also the OW. Got many harassing calls from the wife,etc. My bro in law knew he had to change, gave up drinking etc. And my sis, in her heart somewhere, knew he was a good man and still had love for him, just had to work through her ambivalence and felt she had to give her marriage a decent shot (all while still being in touch with the other man!!!). Talk about confused. My bro in law, to his credit, knew she was in touch and patiently waited it out, gave her space, and stayed consistent with the changes he had been making in himself over the course of 10 months.He had moments of anger and frustration too and has been a great resource for me, when I am at my wit's end. My sis said that eventually it was like a light switch went off in her head. "Look at how much this man loves me, look at what he has worked through and stayed through for me." And she knew then that she anted to stay married. She said looking back at her affair it was like she was a crazy person, just not herself at all. This is helpful to me because I see similar behavior in my husband and it lines up with my research and reading.
      I think if you are having a harder time now at 3 months, it may be because you are moving through grief and have started to accept his affair in to your reality, maybe. Are you in therapy together and individually? He needs to dig in to the reasons why he did this, it wasn't just about the state of your marriage. You may need to dig in to past hurts that this betrayal has brought up for you. Together in couple therapy, you can go back over the affair and get your questions answered, build a new narrative together and work on communication skills, intimacy, whatever other issues were happening in the marriage. I can't say enough about doing the work... And be patient with yourself. 3 months is not a long time in terms of recovery. You are still processing and if you have unanswered questions, you may need to work through those. I am glad your husband fought and is fighting for you. To be honest, I feel some envy. :) but hope my time will come. I've also worked on accepting that there is a great future for me, even if it is not the one I think is the right on for me. I deserve a relationship with a man who can love me without reservation and respect who I am without holding back a part of himself. That may or may not be my husband. Only time will tell.

    4. Thank you both for your comments. Crazy how much it helps us all!

      Still standing, we have looked into therapy but finding someone close that takes insurance has been a struggle. So that has not happened yet.

      But he deep issues back to childhood. His mom has 11 kids and 6-8 different dads. Meaning she's not sure on a few. He has memories of one man leaving her room and another coming in a few hours later. She never married. It was a trail of men. Many abused her and her kids.

      And at one point, she dated one that hated kids and left him and his older sister with a relative of his in Mexico where they lived in a barn and we're basically slaves. Also endured physical and sexual abuse. His mom didn't come get them for 6 months so I KNOW he has deeper issues and I feel like he felt abandoned by me and that girl fed that fear.

      Again, just my take on things based on what I do know.

      No dad was ever around so he had no one to show him how to do right.

      Doesn't excuse anything. Just explaining some of his history.

      He tends to anger easily and I'm starting to realize he wants me to move on now.

      I'm just not there and like I mentioned before, I feel worse now at 3 months.

      I agree, only time will tell for all of us.

      I know my fear is this will happen again.

    5. Shelley
      Your husband has a world of hurt to work through. And while I'm sure it helps you, to some extent, to recognize that his cheating was about addressing his own hurt, I know how agonizing betrayal is, no matter what drives it.
      That fear of it happening again is something I think most of us deal with, at least at first. And it's reasonable, of course, to acknowledge that it COULD happen again. The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour, right? It's why we need to see our husbands working through their stuff, doing the work to heal themselves so that their issues don't become OUR issues. In the meantime, while he's healing himself, you focus on you. Be gentle with yourself. Grieve the loss of the marriage you thought you had. Don't let him dictate the terms of your healing. His anger is simply a countermove to get you to back down. He needs to remain fully accountable for the nuclear bomb he ignited.



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