Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wednesday Word Hug

50 comments:

  1. Hellz yes. This today! I had such a great day yesterday, owning my self, my truth, the space I take up, my life. Been feeling truly blessed and loved. On my run yesterday these words rose in my mind, "I am so much more than I ever believed I was."

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    1. Yay you. And on those inevitable down days, remember that moment. It was real.

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  2. Elle introduced me to Terri St. Cloud and today, I offer you all this lovely entry from her blog. Beach Girl

    https://www.bonesigharts.com/youre-not-back-there-anymore?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=a_thought_or_two&utm_term=2016-08-23

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    1. Beach girl
      I will try it out! Elle also introduced Glennon Doyle Melton and I have enjoyed her blog and I believe I'm ready to read her book.

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  3. My story has been on going for about sixteen years. My husband cheated before we go married that blew me away. I never trusted him after and what i should have done was left. Instead i was busy telling him everything about my life. Things he stored and used as ammunition later. I sat in a guys lap innocently. I talked on the computer to a guy. He gave me these as reasons for the first affair.
    He has had several since. He is one of those persons who thinks its ok for a man to sleep around as long as his wife does not know. I feel stupid because he locks the phone refuses to open ot saying its his privacy etc.he has done nothing in my estimation to regain my trust. Now i have stopped arguing. I want to leave. Now he has a child with his mistress. I see pics of him and her family on facebook and i think they r happy together. It kills me everytime but i am obsessed with finding more. Its like I dont know how to move on and he is just busy living.
    For a longtime he took me nowhere. Now he claims to b broke. So I start going out with friends. I couldnt before because I would be accused of being careless. His idea of wife is someone who he puts down at home to wash, clean and iron his clothes and take care of his kids. I told my family. I am always complaining to his mother about the things he says to me. I feel like I have lost myself. I NEVER took this foolishness from anyone. I was always quick to leave and now I have lost my pride. The last time I called her he told me I was desparate. I keeo telling him to leave but its his house and being the coward he is he wont leave. I am always spending off my money to take care of the bills. When he gets his bonus he buys things for himself. My money goes into bills so I cant see what I am working for. I feel like I have wasted my life.
    I tried killing myself and he told me I was trying to get attention. I wish I had the strength to start from scratch. Because thats what I will have to do. He sleeps in a separate room until he wants sex then thats it. I am really close to cheating because I think I deserve better. I dont call his phone and I stop talking. Every now and again when he realizes that I am not talking to him he engages me but he is so busy with his life he makes no effort to woo me. His idea is that he does not need to work to have someone he already has.
    To think i actually allowed the child ro come to my house and he is still seeing her. I feel like disappearing never to return. I want to move on but I dont know how. I lost my self and my self esteem.
    His idea of spending time together is coming home to sleep. I just want to move on and be happy. I am tired of crying and tired of being sad. I have nowhere to go and I cant afford rent and that kills me because I am forxing myself to stay where I feel uderappreciated. If he is coming home late he says nothing and expects me not to feel anyway. He keeps saying I have no problem. If worring about woman is my problem. Sigh sometimes I want to knock him in the head so he realizes how much his behaviour hurts me. The funny thing is if i cheated i would never get a second chance.
    I told him that the same way he would feel is the same way I feel. This double standard is killing me. HELP!!!!!!!

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    1. Anonymous August 24
      I'm so sorry for what you are living through! Your h is living a double life and expects you to be grateful for him? He expects you not to get angry when he's late with no phone call to you? That is disrespecting you and your marriage! I don't have answers for how to leave the man other than pack a bag and go visit the nearest friend or family member you have! If you don't have anyone else, find the nearest shelter for women of domestic violence! What this man is doing is mental abuse and you deserve better! I'm so sorry for you being put in the position he chose to put you in! Please check back with us here! We care and not one of the women here would ever accuse you of just trying to get attention! My God does this man have nothing in his heart besides a selfish need to fulfill his own desires? Please take care of you! I'm sending you my thoughts and prayers for the strength you need to get away from this abuser! Hugs!

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  4. All so true. I have two narratives in my mind that I flip between. One is focus on conscientiously focusing on what is my reality today. It is so easy for me to dwell on the past, focus on my feelings and emotions but I guess I recenter myself. And ask how is today. This helps me not I guess feel so much noise from everything due to the betrayal.

    The flip side of this is when we are busy, stressed and pulled in a million directions I have to remind myself not to focus on the hectic day. Focus on what have things been like over the course of several weeks and not to let one day define my mood.

    In the end I really tell myself I am in control and to speak up when I am not comfortable or okay with anything between my husband in me. This is a long gradual process...baby steps.

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    1. Hopeful 30,
      That's a great way of looking at life -- both micro and macro. The in-the-moment joys and the this-too-shall-pass pain.

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  5. I'm feeling really sad today, I've just had to tell our really close couple friends that I won't be attending their wedding.. They know what my fuk up of a h has done and both are very understanding of my decision not to go... I explained that we hadn't been out in public together since d day 2 and it would be too difficult and fake to attend a wedding together.. This basterd needs to realise the devastation of his actions on many people and I'm so angry at him today for making me feel bad for not going.. He's the basterd who has done all of this I just hope he feels as shit as I do when he goes to the wedding on his own.. What a fuking ass wipe.. Sorry ladies feel really hurt for my friends
    :( .. But I know I have to also do what's right for me and not going with him is def the right thing to do.. Thanks for listening xxxx

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    1. That is great you can recognize what you need to do to take care of yourself. It is so hard. We find it hard since we have not told anyone. Weddings have been hard for us. The first wedding we attended after dday 1 i pretty much had an all out panic attack. for us it brought up a lot of good discussion. I had no understanding how my husband could sit next to me for years at other weddings. I was overwhelmed with so many feelings and questions. He basically said when he was at a wedding he tuned the entire thing out and ignored all that was being said. He said it was the only way he could get through them. And we went to many over the 10 "affair" years. Hopefully he will realize and see the effects of what he has done. So sorry but again glad you are making the best decision for you!

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  6. I have seen this both here and in my weekly 12 step dealing with sex addicts. We don't wallow after a while. We realize our worth and rise above. We are SO much more than we ever thought. Sam A I am so sorry. It's a shame your husband won't stay home. Geez, he doesn't have much belief in wedding vows. What's the point?

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    1. Agree with Steam. It's so good that you can see and choose what is best for you right now. I'm sorry that you had to have that discussion with your friends. It seems (to me) grossly unfair that you must miss this special event with your friends. He's the one who effed everything up. Too bad he didn't decide to stay home.
      I can see, and feel, that going to a wedding even solo would be gut wrenching. I can't even gear about people getting engaged without thinking a jaded "good freaking luck with that bs " before I stop and remind myself to feel happiness and hope for them. Deep breath Sam A. Sending love.

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  7. Today is my day to really start to heal myself. It's been a year since I watched my husband loose his mind from lack of sleep (he was going 90 hours straight without sleep for 3 weeks in row) and get caught up in the manipulations, lies and deceit of 3 women working him night and day so that the one could have him. 3 women because the OW couldn't do it herself. The lies that these women told to cover up for one another is amazing. The OW making herself the ultimate victim from her live in boyfriend beating her and cheating on her, to my h raping her because he didn't want her. None of it being true, she never had bruises on her and my h could barely keep it up for her. She was putting adderal in his coffee to keep him awake so he wouldn't go home and he would stay and work there with her then go to his state job on 3rd shift. I was so lucky to be able to watch all of this because we all worked together. Then I got to pick up all the pieces when it blew up in these women's faces when my husband tried to end his life. I've had to deal with all 3 of these women. Each on there own. The one woman was the manager of the restaurant we all worked at. I went after her because she was messing with the payroll, compensating my husband's pay. She actually cheated him out of money and payed her boyfriend who barely showed up to work an absurd amount of money. They came and audited her payroll after I wrote a letter telling the HR personal what was going on. The OW and I have had words on and off until my h threatened her with a restraining order and last but not least the OW best friend who left her H for the OW brother. I dealt with her today for the last time too. I don't think that they will ever bother us again. They have too much to hid because of all evidence I have on them and the lies they told the owners of the restaurant. These women still have their jobs but, they are being closely watched. This only skims the soap opera I was living through.
    My h has shown nothing but remorse for what happened and works really hard at making our marriage whole again. That included moving us out of the state to start over. It's now my turn to heal and become whole again. I start a new career in a few weeks, maybe helping other people will help me too.

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    1. Anonymous,
      Yes, today is the day to heal yourself. And the next today. And the next. I'm glad you're on that road. And, yes, I think there's incredible strength to be gained from pulling each other through the pain.

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  8. Anon 11:47 am, i have never heard of 3 women! You sound so strong already. The drama is unbelievable. These women are truly evil to dope someone. This is beyond desperate. It sounds you confronted the problems and ran over them in an eighteen wheeler, Bravo. You have an inner strength and sense of self, which will put you on the healing path especially when you confronted these OW. You dug for the truth and won. Your experience will help so many other woman. I'm wondering if your new job shouldn't be a detective. You sound exhausted but resolved. Good.for.you.

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    1. Thank you for your nice words. And yes 3 women did this to him because the OW could't do it on her own. She couldn't even fight her own battles. She had to have those other 2 women do it for her. My h had impaired moral judgement from lack of sleep. You could have told him to pick his nose and eat it and he would have done it because he couldn't make decisions on what was right and what was wrong because he had no glucose in his brain to make it work right. I hope that when women are going through what we all have that they don't second guess that gut feeling. If you know something is not right go with that feeling, investigate. I had to laugh at some of the names I got called by these women, crazy, fucking psycho, fucking dummy and the one would tell me how my husband was lying to me but, I had proof and I knew that they were lying because I got to watch what was going on and couldn't stop it. They couldn't give me any proof to show otherwise. Not only that but, other people stuck up for us and told the HR people what was going on too. I know that our situation is a little different from other's because of where we were working and the people we were dealing with being considered sovereign. Me being white, my husband being Hispanic, and you can guess what they were and why they were able to get away with what they did because of who was protecting all three of them. Their chief and his wife. But I did win not only for us but because they are now considered an embarrassment in the eyes of their own people and that will stay with them for a very long time.

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    2. This sounds criminal. Unbelievable. Bravo to you.

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  9. Thank you again ladies for all your support.. Your right steam their comes a time when wallowing in this shit just doesn't work anymore and standing up for what is right for us feels good.. Love you guys .. Xxx sad thing is my friends were so understanding of my decision that hurt me even more xxx

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  10. I feel like I've been "rumbling with the truth" over the past two weeks or so. I sat down a few days ago and wrote another letter to the OW. I didn't send it, but it lifted a weight off me. I've told myself so many different versions of the "story" of the affair. I think I've finally reached the point where my heart is starting to believe what my head knew awhile ago. Somehow putting it in writing was more cathartic this time. I find myself much less likely to become angry. But without that anger, I'm experiencing a whole lot more sadness. I guess it's been lurking behind the anger all this time. I hate the sadness, but I know I need to go through it.
    I'm guilty of continuing to harbor anger and hatred toward the OW. And I would never say it isn't deserved. BUT... (and I know this has been said so many times on this blog) I'm finally acknowledging how holding onto anger and hatred toward her is hurting me more than anyone else. And even better, when writing this letter, I think I finally grasped exactly how fucked up she was, still is maybe... I realized that while I'm hurt, my conscience is clear and my soul is pure. I don't have to live looking over my shoulder and worrying that people will find out the truth about me because I didn't lie to and deceive those closest to me. The only fear I have is that his affair would become public, but even so, it's not my shame.
    Now, if I can just work on staying in the present.
    Hugs, ladies!

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    1. Dandelion, it sounds to me that you are close to letting go of the OW. Woohoo! Another crappy adultery milestone down :)

      In my case, thinking about the OW so much was a necessary part of the process. I once felt shame for how much I thought about them, that I was doing recovery "wrong." I now think this shame was more of an obstacle to my recovery than just letting myself be, than letting myself say "this is a fact of my life -- know it."

      Pre-DDay I was super na├»ve about adultery. Both in general in the world and in my specific case. And I didn’t know the OWs at all – either before or after DDay. No confrontation, nothing. So I think what drove me to think about them so much, to cyber-stalk them etc, had more to do with figuring out “adultery” and how it is possible for some people – including my H -- than about them specifically.

      To be clear – I do hate the OW. I think they are losers and all the shallow, petty bits of my heart revel in what I glimpse of their pathetic lives online. I have not risen above, not even close.

      But except for in the very early days, I don’t think I ever really felt threatened by them – thank heavens for that minor miracle. And I never asked “why are they better than me?” I just asked “why are they?” As in a big existential “WHY?” And I asked it a LOT. I think it was Phoenix who said that after discovering she had been in darkness – “mushroomed” -- for so long, she needed to shine all the light she could for a bit. That’s what I needed.

      A lot of women here have talked about having a post-DDay experience of finding out who they really are and what’s really essential to them – with or without their Hs. For me, part of that process has been figuring out what is the opposite of who I am. And it turns out that in so many ways, the opposite is the OW and all they represent. If I had left a stone unturned with them I think I would worry did I miss something, do I not “get it,” am I a fool to believe in more for myself??? Nope. I get it. I know who I am, I know who they are, and I know what I choose – me. And none of that has anything to do with my H.

      I haven’t stalked them in a month or so. I still hate them. They owe me a mega apology. But I won’t get one, and I’m going to be okay with that.

      Thank heavens for you ladies!!! Dandelion, your integrity really shines thru in this post and keeps me focused on the right track!

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    2. Sal
      My h had a cow that did sort of apologize to me but she refused to apologize for'love two ways'. In her mind she and my h were 'in love' so I should forgive her for being his fuck buddy. Her words. Did it make me feel better hell no! I just wanted the crazy stupid bitch to leave us the hell alone! Do I still hate this person? No because hate only hurts me. What I feel for her is pity. She lost everything that meant anything to her. Her life is still lonely because while she was busy fucking my h, her h divorced her, got custody of their kids, didn't have to pay her anything and she didn't get to keep her boyfriend my h that picked her up out of the gutter. She thanked him for that. Now that the judge has silenced her from commenting on the state of my marriage, my h and I are busy working on a better life together. This vile woman is educated in marriage and substance abuse therapy. BS degree. She used her education to emotionally blackmail my h into continuing the affair far longer than he desired. She just would not stop even as he told her over and over, I do not love you, I love my wife. She was/is delusional. She almost managed to make me lose my sanity. When the judge orders her to leave us alone, she still reached out to my h for emotional support when her son killed himself. Seven months later, she asked my h to meet up for drinks, no hard feelings. My h sent her back to the judge to be reminded of what the harrassment charges mean and did she really want to go sit in jail. This was only 5 months ago. I continue to pray for this sick individual to find peace in her life. She is mentally disturbed and her license allows her to treat people going through the pain of what she caused me. I suppose if I harbored enough hate, I could help the state take her license away but that wouldn't change the fact that my dumb ass h decided to become her sex toy. So, I choose daily to pray for her, because I know God is watching over me and blessing our second marriage. With time, you will find a way to let the hate, anger and hurt go. It's a much better place to live without that drama. Hugs!

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    3. Sal, crappy adultery milestone is a perfect way to describe it. Who ever thought I would find myself grateful for letting go of justified anger toward someone who hurt me?
      I think we all find our way through these feelings. Some people are able to forgive, others to feel pity for, and some get to a point where the OW just doesn't matter to them. The latter is what our therapist has encouraged me to do. And it's taken me nearly 15 months. I agree with what you said about certain things being a necessary part of the recovery. There are a lot of people who don't ask for details. I did. What I would have made up in my mind would have been worse. Cyberstalking... I did plenty. I know far more about the OW than my H ever did. But all of this got me to this point. There was a point where I questioned why he chose her for the affair, what type of woman cheats on her own husband with another married and what type of mother risks her family for an affair. I don't anymore because as you said, the answer Is the opposite of me. I may never know what made her that person, but that's an entirely separate issue. I spoke with my H yesterday about the difference between people who stay true to their morals and values and those who ignore them or just make justifications and cheat anyway. I still don't understand it but I'm grateful that I haven't been the person who did it.
      I saw a lot of thought and honesty in your comments. And a whole lot of strength. That's what I love about this site. We each take a little bit from what others write. All this put together is really helping in my healing.

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    4. Theresa, I admire the compassion you show. I read your posts and am just amazed. I think I still have a LONG at to go before I could pray for the OW in my situation.
      Hugs!

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    5. Dandilion
      You will get to where you need to be! You're already so much better than you were this time last year and tomorrow you'll be even better! I'm where I am because it's where this mess has led me and as I look around at the world and how short life is. I figured that it's up to me to get above and out of the mess that was created by their lousy choices! Hugs!

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    6. That OW piece trips so many of us up and keeps us stuck. But it's great to hear from those getting themselves unstuck. There is no "right" way to heal from betrayal. And we each get to these crappy adultery milestones at different speeds. Which is where self-compassion comes in. We need to be gentle with ourselves.

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  11. Just a general comment...
    I have a love/hate with the anti-spam device for posting here, where you have to select the photos. It only shows up when I post from my computer, not my phone:
    "Prove you're not a robot."

    Some days I'm all "Good Lord have I not been emotional enough for you?!?!?!? Would a %#$@# robot cry all over the $@&%#$ keyboard?!?!?!? What more do you need from me?!?!?!?"

    But other days I feel validated. "Damn right I'm not a robot." I actually talked to my counselor about it. (Yes, I'm that weird.) Because in some ways I think letting myself become a robot is part of what got my marriage into such a mess in the first place.

    I really should set it as a daily reminder on my phone. "Prove you're not a robot." LOL.

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    1. Ha! Sal, I love this. And I remember those days when the slightest thing could completely send me into a crying jag. As if I needed ONE MORE FUCKING THING to get in the way of just getting through the day.
      And I'm sorry for the spam filter here. I wasn't aware there was one. And you'd be amazed at the robots who managed to get through. Real robots...or is that an oxymoron?

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  12. Celebrating these milestones for you Sal, Sam A, Dandelion... everyone.


    As for the OWs, I often think about these words of Glennon Melton Doyle about OWs:
    "Maybe you got sex confused with love. I get that because I got booze confused with love for decades. And I hurt people I love, too. And I really, really need you to know that to me the world is not divided into the wives and the other women. Just not at all, anymore. I put us all into one big flailing heap of folks desperate for love—and sometimes settling for dangerous almost love. And then forgiving ourselves, and trying again—trying better, trying truer."

    Even though I know that I personally am not a person who uses love as a drug (or any other substance) to feel better about herself, hearing GMD, an ex-addict identify with OWs, helps me to remember their humanity and their failings as human beings. It helps me to soften my blazing hatred and not fill myself with toxic feelings.
    At the same time, my eyes are open to the lengths that people like OWs/cheating spouses/addicts can go to fill the gaping hole in themselves--the ways that they can not be trusted and the ways they fail those around them. I now know to expect better from people who come into my life and not put faith into everyone around me.

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    1. MBS, I see a lot of compassion in what you've written too. To be able to look at the OWs of the world and see that they are humans is further than I have come. Right now, just working past the anger and hatred and not letting her matter to me is all I can do. I'm a work in progress.

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    2. I am still reckoning with this---compassion is coming, forgiveness? not so much, yet.
      But this I know: I am not a person like the OW but my H is so I have to understand what it is that made him so desperate for attention (which he equated with love) that he betrayed his entire family and lost his compass. He is trying better, trying truer. I really don't think the OW is because it sounds like he was just one more pit stop on her desperate journey, but maybe...who know. I can't imagine that she has had the "come to Jesus" she needs, the one that GMD clearly has. I am just trying to accept that humans come in all stripes and that all are works in progress. And many of us end up as collateral damage in the paths of the really destructive ones.

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    3. "I now know to expect better from people who come into my life and not put faith into everyone around me."
      After rereading this sentence, I realize how I put so much faith in my H, so much of my identity on our relationship/marriage that I forgot who I was and how to be my own person. I put him up on a pedestal and gave up my own power. When we first met, I thought our love/relationship would make me better. But the reality is that I doubt myself, judge myself, shame myself, devalue my self and when he appeared to take his love away, I completely collapsed my sense of self. My healing process has been to work through all of those things so that when people fail me, I still value myself and can hold my self up. I hope all of us can do that and not rely on relationships, husbands or boyfriends, intoxicating substances, clothing, money, hot bodies, perfect families, brilliant children, careers, validation, external attention, or anything else to prop up our sense of self. That is what the OWs do, that is what our cheating spouses did.

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    4. MBS - thank you for your post and the quote you included. I've been thinking about it for the past couple days and I'm hoping it will be instrumental in helping my healing. I really struggle with my feelings towards her, like all of us do. My struggle is that if I really consider her the devil who deserves no compassion and should rot in hell, then how can I extend any compassion and understanding to him as he betrayed me far worse than she? Every evil thought I entertain about her, I have to apply it to him as well, don't I? Am I only working on forgiving him because I love him and don't want a life without him and then transferring my hatred to her because it suits me better? Is that really forgiving him? Or is it okay to not forgive her because she's not technically part of my life while he is? If I'm to stay, I know I need to truly forgive him. I want to understand the why of it, which we are both working on together and separately. But can I ever truly forgive him if I can't forgive her? They did this together. Does forgiveness of the people involved in the affair go hand in hand or are they exclusive? Does anyone else feel this way or struggle with this? I know if I don't let her go, then I won't be real in moving forward with him because his actions deserve my disdain just as hers do. I'm hoping that humanizing her as a person with failings as well will help me resolve my feelings and help me move forward on the journey to truly forgive him.

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    5. MBS - brilliant and true!
      Anon - yes! I have always said my husband betrayed me more than the OW did. The reason I am more able to accept and potentially forgive him is because I have seen his pain and I have seen his struggle. In her case, I have not witnessed her pain, nor her struggle; I am certain she is experiencing both. Recently, she reached out to my husband again. ( it has been over a year since he moved back home.). She is having to sell her house and move in with her mother due to financial circumstances. Mind you, she is 50+ years old. She reached out to my husband because she is going through a tough time, sad and scared. ( moving in with her mother involves moving to another state. ) Yes, I was very upset that she reached out to him. It is extremely difficult for my husband to not reach out to her. It is his nature to help anyone and everyone. I explained to him: she has her mother; she has three grown daughters; she has two ex-husbands and one husband she is separated from; I would hope she has a few friends - he does not need to be her hero. Do I feel compassion for her? I wish I could say yes, I actually feel… Nothing for her. What I mean by that is she has her own life to live and her own problems to solve. I am not responsible for her problems, nor is my husband. I do wish her the best, mainly for the sake of her daughters. One day I hope to feel compassion for her, just as I would any human being,
      As for forgiving my husband, my therapist and I discussed this. I may or may not forgive him and I will know if and when the time is right.
      Peace and light ladies

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    6. Anonymous 8/29, what you've written about is something I've put some thought into. How can I forgive my husband without forgiving the OW? I read something about this and it may have been on this blog. I have seen my husband struggle in the wake of his affair. I have sat in therapy sessions with him and watched him talk about his childhood, his relationship with his parents, etc... I've seen him cry because of the things he did. Most importantly, I've seen a change in him. He and I have a 16 year history and we've been through good and bad together. I know the person he was when I married him and I know now how he changed over the years and how and why he justified it. The OW is someone I have never met. All I know of her is what I've been told by my husband, what I've learned of the affair, how she responded to me on two of the three d-days, and her actions following that. I haven't seen much true remorse, but I recognize that all I've seen is what she puts out for the public. I don't know what type of person she was prior to deciding to have an affair with my husband. I don't know her history. Maybe if I did, I could have some compassion.
      I know that some people feel like the cheating spouse bears more responsibility than the OW does, but I see them as equally responsible. Each is 100% responsible for their own actions. My husband didn't uphold our wedding vows and the commitments we made to one another. She made no promises to me, but she could have extended basic human decency to me. She chose not to.
      So I think what allows me to forgive him and work toward healing our relationship is the effort he puts into himself and the marriage. I don't expect to ever see that in her because she is not part of my life. I've struggled with trying to forgive her and have not gotten there. I felt like I was failing myself and my values by not forgiving her. I've mentioned this a few times on this blog, but our therapist told me that forgiveness was the "gold standard" and that maybe I should just aim for not letting her matter to me. For me, in the absence of actually seeing a change in her, not allowing her to matter seems to work. I may never forgive her but I know I can't allow thoughts of her to inhibit my healing.
      We all go through this process in our own unique way and I think you'll find the end resolution that works best for you. For you, that may be forgiveness. Your post definitely shows you're working through your own feelings on it. Hugs!

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    7. Hey anon,
      I found alot of truth in reading "How Can I Forgive You?" by Janice Spring. She talks about letting go and acceptance VS. forgiveness. I am working on the first and maybe will get to forgiveness but not trying to force it. I need to make sure I give space to all the angry, resentful, bitter, sad, and vengeful feelings I have, for both of them. I am primarily thinking about how to work through this with my H. Like Melissa, I often feel nothing about her, occassionally I feel sorry for her, and sometimes I fantasize about kicking her in the lady bits. Most of the time, I work on giving her as little mental space as possible and focus on resolving my resentment with my H. But as I do that I do feel like I can let go of her more and more.

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    8. It is all so tricky, For me forgiveness for my husband came unexpectedly. I was in a really good place and I could see the level of effort, thought and work he was putting in. Just as I had read the forgiveness was so freeing for me. It allowed me to really move past so much of what was holding me back. I know we can never undo the past but by seeing his real progress it made it possible. And with my forgiveness I think it had a major effect on him. It was really a turning point for him. He recently said he would feel bad to do this to any human but to do it to the love of his life is really hard for him to deal with. He said it goes beyond feeling bad, sorry or having remorse and that it is at such a deep level. Just something to think about.

      And as far as the ow. I am not at a place of compassion or forgiveness. I guess for that to happen I would need to know more. At this point all I know is they were both predatory single women not really wanting much. Again this is from my husband. One he broke it off with a year before dday and only heard from her when a mutual friend died. He never responded to her and never heard from her again. The other one texted when the mutual friend was dying. He told her to leave him alone and she has not contacted him since. So it does not seem to me they are that invested in him. Granted these were sporadic long term affairs with sometimes a year between contact. From what my husband has told me the one pressured him for 3-4 years for his phone number and he finally gave in. Again it is ultimately his decisions but I do see them as predatory from all I can tell.

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    9. There's so much wisdom and compassion and, yes, forgiveness, in these posts about the OW. Forgiveness, I think, is so...slippery. It's so hard to actually define it but, I suspect, many of us misunderstand it -- we think it means to somehow absolve the other person of responsibility for what they did to us. To...let it go.
      And I'm not sure that's it at all. I think a lot of you have forgiven, though you might not call it that. You've loosened any hold the other woman has on you and your life and your sense of self. You have freed yourselves. Is that forgiveness? Maybe it is.

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  13. This post is the essence of healing. Rise strong, wrestle with the truth then decide what to do - stay or go. I was looking up in the barn loft and I keep a box with all my rise strong stuff. I cannot throw t away I'm not there yet. I may never. For some reason I want someone else to read it when I'm gone. Anyway after meeting with the OW, I wrote down exactly what she said. Now that I read again a year and half later. Her desperation jumps off the page. She would do anything to keep his friendship. She said he was father, brother and lover to her. I could see how she dragged it out for as long as she could in many different ways. I could almost feel her inventing drama to keep him. She said sex was not that good. She had many tricks she used before to keep him as long as she could. I read our posts. None of us are like that! Not a single woman. Yes, we wrestle with different issues but not a single woman sounds that desperate. Imagine doing all that fake stuff just keep our husbands? I'm working on who I am which in turn as he is doing the same keeps us together. Not a bunch of fake shit. Not inventing stuff. It came to me as a revaluation of the OW. Never doubt for one minute that she is better than you. Even if you stay or go , you are a better person right out of the gate. Have you ever seen or had your kids hold on to your leg dragging them across the floor as you are leaving? That is the OW, I'm already better than that and so are you. I picture me holding my husband's leg as he is leaving NOT going to happen ever. My story doesn't end like that. See how desperate that is? Not compared to our strength, our ending. If I leave or stay it will be on my own two feet. She was available that is absolutely it, not her captiviting personality, not her body, she failed in every way. She lost. She was not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, good enough in bed to keep my husband. Her only really good talent was desperation and on call sex. Not very captivating really.

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    1. I think that of all the post I have read on this blog this is the one that has helped me the most. These women are desperate and I told the OW that when I had to deal with her after my husband was admitted to the hospital for his suicide attempt. And the picture of her holding on to his leg being dragged across the restaurant floor just made me laugh out loud because she followed him around the restaurant we worked at like a dog in heat. I also like how it was written that they confused love with sex because that is exactly what they have all done. Desperation makes these women do unbelievable things to live out some delusional fantasy of living happily ever after with our husbands.

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  14. LLP, I love reading your posts. Thought provoking and honest and often gives me insight into my own shit.
    Everyone, I'm having such a tough day. Been back in a sad, grieving place since my trip to NY (see my post over in the "separating" tab). Restless, lonely. Trying to just honor and sit with, breath through both. My daughter vented to me last night. SO hard to hear that even with all my efforts, our home does not feel all that safe for her, that some spots trigger PTSD for her (where her father parentified her outside before the holidays, told her he didn't love me anymore and wanted a divorce before he ever spoke to me, cried when she asked him if there was someone else, and even though he denied it, she felt it was true - then I untintentionally confirmed her suspicion during a panic attack a month later - both awful, so much for her to deal with). So when she struggles, I fight with myself to a) let her have her feelings and struggle and b) not brutalize myself for it and c) feel the normal ache as a mother when you can't fix it, can't just make it all go away like when they were little. So shit am I tired. Tonight's his night to have dinner with the kids. I don't know if I want to be here or not, but I don't feel like being driven from my home either. And I want to see him.
    There are huge walls up between my h and I right now. I don't know what he is thinking. I don't know where he is regarding his relationship with the OW. My gut tells me not much can be going on, especially now that he doesn't have the excuse of business travel to go there anymore ( I can't think how would have dealt with this crap if she was more local.) And he had his last day at the company where they both worked on Friday. But so many walls and almost now windows for me. If I had to guess, he's taking a step back from us both. I am making sure I am not pursuing.
    It just all sucks today. Maybe because I am also sick, something I ate? I'm going to give myself the afternoon off and drink some chamomile tea and read a book. It started slowly, but the murder finally happened, so now I am in. I don't like feeling this way, but I know it is temporary. I will have better days too. Patience. Keep breathing.

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    1. Yes, Still Standing, when you are feeling ill you truly must be extra gentle, kind and compassionate with yourself. Do not make any decisions… Other than, have a cup of chamomile tea, read a book and perhaps take a nap. Just as you did… Oh, I added the nap part :-)

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    2. Still standing,

      Thinking of you right now. So much of this and the way I feel about it and deal with it is connected to my kids. Without kids I am not sure I would even be in this marriage. It is just too hard to know. But we have kids so I continue on a lot for them. My kids are younger and even though we have carefully kept things from them and the only other person who knows is my therapist who is 1 1/2 hours away from where we live they still pick up on things. I have daughters and we are very connected. They will ask why am I quiet or ask if I am okay. They can just tell when I am down or not feeling great. I thank them and talk about how we have hard times or days that are just not great. And that it is okay to feel that way. I talk about how important family is and we can be there for each other. It is hard and some days I want to say it all so they understand the way the world works but I am not at that point with their age and also due to my husbands efforts. I guess I think what you have said to your daughter is so well spoken and you are showing her how to deal with life and how to cope. We all face challenges at some point and I wish someone had shown me along the way. You are doing a great job and your kids are lucky to have you.

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  15. Lynnlesspain
    Pretty much sums up the ow in our story! She told me my marriage was fake and asked me why I'd want to be in a fake marriage. She just couldn't handle the real 'truth' but I'm not giving her space any more! Threw her out with the trash!

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  16. MBS - I too read "How Can I Forgive You" as recommended by a therapist. I too loved what she said about acceptance. Funny, my husband did not read the book, nor did I speak to him about the contents. One day when we were talking, I am not certain about what in particular, he said to me that he accepts the fact that he had an affair because he cannot change the past, yet he does not forgive himself.

    Interesting point I would like to make… In the last month I have found out that one of my dear friends and a young male family friend are having affairs. In both cases they are married and are having affairs with a married person. It is astonishing to me how many people I know in my circle of family and friends that have been or are currently involved in affairs. As Esther Perel points out in her TED talk, affairs touch all cultures across the globe, all socioeconomic classes, all ages ... stepping aside from my current situation, which is easier and easier as time passes, I am simply fascinated by all facets of affairs, in particular the "why." I am captivated by human dynamics. I so look forward to her book.

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    1. I read an interesting series of articles yesterday on the Affair Recovery website that answered a few questions I've kind of been going back to. It was called the How Could You? series. It talks about the justifications and actions people use to permit themselves to do things that go against their conscience. It enlightened me and made me a little sad at the same time. I've told my H several times that of you looked back at Facebook history during the course of the affair, you can see how I almost disappeared from my his life. I get those stupid Facebook memories that pop up in my feed and if you look at my life and his involvement two years ago, you find very little. I know Facebook isn't a 100% accurate picture of people's lives but it still makes me sad. And part of this series talks about how the cheating spouse dehumanizes the "victim" so it's easier to justify their actions. Feels like my husband just made me invisible to continue his behavior. Most things I read about the "why" and "how" of the affair help me even if I have those initial feelings of sadness. Now that we're almost 15 months out, I think I'm in a better place to hear and process this stuff. And the majority of it just reinforces how much it WASN'T about me.
      Don't know if the articles will help anyone here or not, but here's the link...
      https://www.affairrecovery.com/newsletter/founder/why-we-commit-betrayal-with-infidelity
      Hugs, friends!

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  17. Thank you Dandelion. The article on secrecy resonated with me - really the whole series did. A difficult read at times, given the author's use of abstract references, it is enlightening nonetheless - especially when he uses concrete examples. The part about justifying ones behavior - this especially rang true when I think of my affair on my first husband. I told myself, and others, "if he really cared about me he would be able to see how I am struggling" - meaning during the six weeks I lost my mind, couldn't sleep, could eat, smoked like a fiend ... because he didn't see, or to his credit didn't approach me about what was wrong - he was the bad guy, and of course my AP was my soulmate - I had no choice but to leave my husband - my actions were not only justifiable, they were necessary! Although I knew fairly quickly after I left that it was me, and not my husband that had issues - it really took years to see it all with some sense of clarity. Articles like this which you shared help me to see my behavior then and now, as well as my current husband's behavior, during and after the affair, in a more educated light- thank you for sharing.

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    1. Melissa, I'm so glad it was helpful to you. I find myself reading as much as I can from both perspectives. Maybe I think if I educate myself enough I can see it from a less emotional perspective. Maybe it's just my nature to research. :-)

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