Friday, September 23, 2016

Having each other's backs

I was pulled aside at my son's preschool one day because of something he had said. His teacher wanted to talk with me about his language. I gulped.
Apparently he had called some boys in the schoolyard a "bunch of idiots". I asked for context. She told me that these boys refused to allow a friend of my son's to play soccer with them. While my son was included, this friend was not. And so my son threw an arm around his friend and told him that they didn't care about these other boys because they were just "a bunch of idiots."
I assured the teacher I would have a chat with him about his language but that I would also tell him how proud I was of him for standing by his friend, for being loyal and for having the courage to stand up to a "bunch of idiots".
Now 15 years old, he's still that kid.
I was that kid.
Which is why, I think, my husband's betrayal was such a shock. I thought he was that kid. I thought that, no matter what, he had my back. After all, I had his.
That, I figure, is what marriage is. After the crazy can't-live-without-you phase is over, after the why-can't-you-put-the-toilet-seat-down arguments are settled, after kids and mortgages and sick parents, marriage is about always having each other's backs. It's our safe place.
Or should have been. But wasn't.
Those of us choosing to try and rebuild our marriages are really trying to create that safe space. And it's hard when one of the partners doesn't feel safe. It's hard when one of the partners doesn't seem to have our back at all. When he's working so hard to protect his own back that he forgets he's the one who put the knife in ours.
But I'm wondering if the husbands who also want to rebuild their marriages might understand that we need them to have our backs, no matter what. Might they understand that better than rules of "no contact" or rules of disclosure? Can they commit to trying to always protect us from pain? Can they understand that we were hurt because they let their guard down. Because they didn't have our backs.
It might seem like semantics. Or it might seem like minimizing the devastation of betrayal.
But then again, it might work.
If they can wrap their minds around this idea that marriage is about watching each other's backs. Like guard dogs watching for threats and being conscious of any time they are the dangerous person in our lives. Then maybe they can feel less daunted by what's needed of them. Maybe they can step up and be the man they want to be. The one they should have been.
Back then.


  1. I think this is a good way of putting it. And I would think most guys would relate to this since this is how they would treat their guy friends. What is troubling to me is my husband says he knew this all along and as he was starting these affairs he said running through his mind was I cannot do this, this is not right, I need to stop... So even though he knew it I guess he was just too selfish and broken etc. For my hubsand it was a pattern everyone in his life ranked above us and got his attention first. My therapist still finds it troubling. He had never really established us as his primary relationship. I guess that made cheating even easier. It has been a major work in progress for him to really reset his priorities and how he sees things.

    1. Same here Hopeful. I appreciate your comments as well as Elle's. Being the ONLY priority is important. Mort Fertel's book helped my h see that. I never knew that's what I wanted in our marriage but that is a big fix for us. And having my back. I have ALWAYS had his. Great ideas Elle. Women do speak in different tongues then men. I like this reframing.

      Peaceful Weekend to All.

    2. Hopeful 30,

      I completely understand what you mean about everything else coming before you/your family. It is a pattern here too, one of pleasing people. My H has had to shift his persepctive and re-learn how to put us back in the spotlight. I recently read this in Jen Sincero's book titled You are a Badass:

      "When you're dealing with a backstabbing "friend" or some sort of toxic person that you need to stand up to or kick out of your life, you get caught in this self-inflicted trap of not wanting to hurt the other person or latching on to their finer qualities or fearing the worst if you don't put up with their crap. I don't care how long you've been friends with someone or how sorry you feel for them or how they really helped you those eight million times or how hilarious, successful, hot, inspiring, desperate, scary, connected, brillant, or helpless they are, because the rason you're having trouble standing up to them isn't about any of that.
      What's really going on is you're being faced with rewiring your limited beliefs about yourself. And you're using these excuses for these other people to avoid facing your own issues - your own issues around sticking up for yourself.
      When we agree to let ourselves down in favor of supporting the bad behavior of others, it often stems from the same impulse: We're unwilling to make other people more uncomfortable than they just made us. Not terribly studly in the old self-love department, is it?"

      So, even though he was pleasing others, he was going against his own beliefs. At the very core, my H betrayed himself. Almost every time I go back and question the why and how my H go to such a dark place in his life, I read this. It helps me understand his brokenness.

    3. Yes that is so true. And one thing that has really hit me is he betrayed himself most. He hurt himself the most. He did not get anything, good, happy or positive out of his affairs. And he lost himself most. I never lost myself. I was confused and never really knew what was going on. So that makes a lot of sense the passage you wrote. Our conversations have started to shift but he always gives anyone and everyone the benefit of the doubt and he tells me I am the negative one for not seeing the best in people. I have always been this way but now more than ever I would rather be alone than spend time with people who do not lead a quality life. He does not have an issue with that. He is fine spending time with a friend who lies at work and to their wife. He feels they are still a great friend. But for me I have never had those people as friends and now I don't even want to associate with those types if at all possible. It is really a gradual shift. He does put us first that has been something he can do and has been great about. But it is still what I guess is acceptance and judgment of others that I see him lacking or maybe it is how he will choose to live his life.

  2. YES. This is a huge part of why I am hurting so badly. My husband always had my back. He was there when I needed him. He propped up my confidence when it flagged. He supported my endeavors. He bragged about me to others. He was my rock. I felt safe with him. I felt loved.
    That's why the betrayal was such a shock. Suddenly he was hurting me and helping someone else, siding with them AGAINST me. The deceit was not a big surprise. I knew he had issues with honesty. But his disloyalty stunned me. And my safe place was gone, just as you said. I still haven't recovered from that blow. Sometimes I think I never will.
    Perhaps the image of guarding each other's backs will be helpful to those who are trying to rebuild. I hope so. The way I put it to my husband was this: we were a team. It was us against the world. And then suddenly, he was on somebody else's team. Against me.
    I think the language did help him understand my sense of utter betrayal . But it didn't change his behavior. He was too far gone.

    1. That is so true. My husband was the same way. His friends loved me and always wanted me around. He was so complimentary to everyone about me. The cards he gave me were filled with great things. And when I would confront him about a secretary or ask when he went out if he ever talked with women, he lied to my face. So it is hard to work through that still to this day. I said to him recently I thought I had it all, you acted and told me I had it all to my face but went around behind my back. So it is really hard now to feel secure that this is real. Because for 10+ years it was all lies. He tells me it is more grey than that but I am not that type of person. Maybe it is for him. But I am just never going to be the person that can do what he did.

  3. It's been over 2 months since D day. My H ex mistress contacted me to let me know about 5their 8 month fling that ended over a year ago. She was angry and vengeful. A lot has happened since he stopped seeing her (without any explanation.. Just stopped answering her texts.. I guess that's why she feels so used... My only solace). We had a baby, who is now 4 months old. I've been lashing out at him daily. I don't know how to be kind to him. And he doesn't know how to help me heal. I don't let him touch me. But yesterday, after another terrible fight, he pulled out a knife and threatened to kill himself. We had an hour standoff with a crying baby in the background. At that moment it was almost a wake up call to me... As much as he's hurt me, ive hurt him by demeaning him daily with words... Which I guess was my goal, whether I was aware of it or not. He begs for me to let him help me, but I don't know if I can let him back in. I've cut off my friends and family. I don't have anyone to talk to. I feel so desperately alone and heartbroken that the love of my life could do this to me. After so much hurt, how do you rebuild the trust and motivation to have each other's back...

    1. Anonymous September 24
      Two months is such a short time to absorb the pain of betrayal. With a new born it must be physically exhausting as well. I'm so sorry this happened to you! Just like your h ow, my h ow notified me of 'their love'. She was so vindictive and down right cruel to both of us with her words. Just like you, I began to lash out at my h with ugly words just to see him hurt. I didn't realize it until after it had happened a few times. Truth is that first six months we were a team trying to get this woman to leave us alone and it took harrassment charges for that to happen. I'm not sure what your h needs for his part of healing but it sounds like he needs to be evaluated by dr if he's threatening to kill himself. The feelings that you are having are so familiar to most of the women here. The first thing you do is just slow down and take care of physical needs. Eating and sleeping and loving your baby. The trust issues don't come until after you first process the pain. Therapy can help with this. My h had tried to end his affair for almost two years before she contacted me so for us, life has been hell since 2011. The first two months my h wanted the sex and exciting feeling of the affair but when he couldn't get her to leave him alone he just allowed her to emotionally blackmail him in continuing the affair. Two years past dday and we're slowly finding a new normal. You're right that it will never be the same but it can get better if you're both committed to a new marriage. I'm sending hugs of comfort for you to take the next right step for you!

  4. Elle
    The thing is that's one of the first things I explained to my h that hurt me the deepest! That's when I had to learn about 'compartmentalization'. In his fuzzy mind at the time of his affair, he placed us and our love into a box and I wasn't supposed to find out so I wasn't going to be hurt by his distraction from being so lonely. He's had to really understand how much this hurts and he's also had to learn how long it takes to repair the damage done. He keeps saying why can't you see me for who I am now instead of who I was then. So I'm trying. I'm married to the most unromantic man in the world but he's always been this way with exceptions for special occasions. I'm the one that needs affectionate hugs and kisses from morning till night in order for me to desire sex. Somehow we had a balanced amount up and until dday. Then I was just like everyone here...just blew up my whole way of thinking! We've come a long way from the first of this mess, and if we're going to do this marriage for the rest of our lives, we still have a long way to go! I'm so grateful for all that I learn when I read what you and others are living through! My h is trying hard to be a better man just as I'm working on being the best me I can be. I've just had to learn that he's not ever going to be the sentimental romantic guy who took my teenage breath away again and I'm not the same girl either! Thanks for your blog!

  5. (1/2)Gabby

    I have tried to comment a few times over the last couple of weeks, but whatever has happened I lost the posts. And now I've gone over the quota for this reply, so I'll have to split this up. Hopefully this will go through and this post will contain comments relating to the last couple of weeks. Firstly, Elle. I echo all here and I cannot thank you enough for all your time and words you share with us here. Together with all these wonderful women who share their stories, advice and encouragement, this site has many times been my therapy. I wish we were all close enough we could meet up for a cuppa and have a chat about life and all this shit we are going through. A retreat would be perfect. There doesn't seem to be any support groups for what I need, and you women understand.
    Hopeful 30. I know what you mean. My husband, to a certain big extent, would put his relationship with others ahead of me and our marriage. I hope your husband keeps working on resetting his priorities. You should be number one.
    For my relationship. Something must be in the air, because I too have asked for a separation and for him to move out. This must be the 3rd of 4th time I have asked him to go, and finally, he has gone. Last night was our first night apart.
    Back at the start of August I found out he was still in contact with his whore. She's interstate, so there was no physical contact. So when I first found out this I confronted him which he denied MANY times to my face, but when I presented evidence to him, he could no longer deny, but tried to water it down. For 3 days I asked him to go which he wouldn't, pleading to let him stay, he said he would do whatever it took to rebuild my trust and marriage. I let him stay, but as this was now the 2nd d day, I was approaching with caution. He was making an effort but not as much and in the areas I wanted, such as I wanted full transparency etc. Fast forward to early September. He had a work conference interstate to attend. Before d day 2, I asked several times if whore was going to conference to which he replied "I don't know". Then after d day 2, he told me she sent an email which I asked for him to show me. For 4 weeks I never got that email, until a few days before he took off to conference. The email to husband said she would only be going to conference during the day for 2 days but staying elsewhere.
    So more lies by him. I wasn't comfortable with him going. So anyway, I rang the accommodation where all on conference were staying and guess what? Whore DID end up staying! Lying bitch. I rang husband who denied seeing or speaking to her. (yeah right). He got back on the Friday night and was a bit distant - it just didn't feel right. So I confronted him again, to which he denies hooking up with her at conference, which I didn't believe him for a minute, but by this stage I had had enough and asked him to go. So this time he was saying, "perhaps it is best as I can't give you the love you deserve" etc...blah blah. So he went from pleading for me to give him another chance, to him giving up so easy.
    This happened just Monday gone and I said you can have until the weekend to go. We told the kids which was one of the hardest things to do, to see their pain just ripped my heart out again! Even yesterday morning when i texted him - "time to go today", He still didn't have anywhere to go, even after during the week I so kindly found a few places for him to go to (hell was one of them). I told him I was taking the kids out for the day and when we got back that night he was to be gone. The kids and I had a great day seeing a movie, out for dinner and when we got home....he was gone.

  6. 2/2 (Gabby)

    He has been inconsolable the last week since telling the kids.
    And I don’t really have any feeling for his pain, his tears, because he had no feeling for me or mine. Yes. I'm glad he's hurting. It's nothing like the pain he put me through for years and now months since d day. Maybe now he may have an ounce of understanding what I've been feeling. He has asked me to not give up on him/us as he needs to work through a lot of crap. I have just about given up. I say just about, because I suppose a part of me hopes he might be able to sort out his shit away from me, and he has finally admitted he has a lot of shit that has nothing to do with me being my fault etc, to sort out. I'm not holding my breath. I suppose part of me is thinking "better the devil you know". And quite frankly, not that I'm interested, but if statistics are correct and 1/2 ?? the men out there are cheaters - what hope have I got finding someone who hasn't cheated on their partner? I would never get with someone who had cheated once before. That would be a huge red flag. Surprisingly, I don't have any tears with the separation. Albeit it's only been 1 night, but all this week whilst he's been crying, I've had nothing. Perhaps I've just reached my enough point. So this is where I'm at after 30 years with this man, and my big birthday next week. What a present!!! Arsehole!!!
    I don't know what my or my kids future will be so I will just have to take it one day at a time for the moment. I don't know if or when??? the realisation of the separation will hit me and how I will cope, but at this moment for some reason I feel a little empowered, something I have not felt before. It must be crying, and the tears blinding reality, so with no tears, i can finally see reality.
    And I just have to add. I'm so over society and the glamorizing of affairs etc through songs and movies. If I hear a song about an affair, I turn it off. If there's a movie or show about affairs, I turn it off. I feel as a society we are destroying the very essence of family life and decency and I wonder where all this is heading. Humans are one fucked up species where some cannot control themselves for their own self-indulgent satisfaction. As a society we have to have trust in people, yet this is being eroded as we see how some people are just out for themselves and are doing so many things to destroy relationships. I still just don't understand how people (like our husbands) can be so horrible, how their brain works to be so horrible. I don't know enough about this, but there must be some chemical imbalance.
    I'm about to get going for the day. Thank god for my kids and their sport which is helping to be a huge distraction.
    Hugs to you all
    Gabby xo

  7. Gabby .. I'm glad you managed to post.. It sounds like you made the right decision asking him to go.. Sometimes the right decisions can hurt for a little while but you are handling the situation really well.. Now he's gone you can concentrate on you and your needs.. Take a step back breath and take your time, their is no rush to make any decisions. Make some time with friends and family enjoy things you wouldn't normally do.. Get out of your comfort zone now and again .. I recently went skinny dipping in a freezing cold lake o can't tell you how exhilarating it was I loved it : ) .. I'm 6 months into a separation following d day 2 and I wouldn't swap it for the world.. I feel more content now than I have for ages.. It's all about me, me. And me, well with two kids in tow but I'm really enjoying being single..

    I know you'll be just fine gabby... Keep us posted and enjoy yourself : ) xx

  8. I am reading a book that has been very helpful to me as I am attempting to rebuild my marriage. It's called His Needs, Her Needs by Willard Harley. I highly recommend it if you are trying to rebuild or save your marriage.

  9. This makes a lot of sense that perhaps he was putting other people's lives ahead of us. I found out my husband was having an emotional affair with another Mom in town. It was three years ago I found out and since that time we have been working on our marriage and trying to make things better. I was in a much better place and it took me a long time to get better. Then three weeks ago he hits me with that he had sex with a different women give years ago. I feel as if he is betraying me all over again although it was in the past. I asked him why he would hurt me again by seeing me get better and hitting me with.something else and he said he dies nit know. He says bexaaue he felt so bad. Bit now I can't help thinking what else is in the closet. And he always git himself caught up in friendships with women going through bad.marriages. Now I am wondering if there is mire secrets and I feel betrayed all over again.

    1. I have felt this way between dday 1 and 2. My husband told me about both affairs but minimized them by a lot. Dday 2 really did me in. It was much harder than dday 2. The two days were five months apart so I do not think that helped. For those five months I knew things were not adding up and kept questioning him. It was so upsetting since I felt like this was the time he was supposed to be honest and transparent but he was anything but that. Now at 18 months it is still upsetting but due to where we have gotten to I realize my husband was a mess at that time. I don't think it was okay that he minimized things but we have had discussions about the harm it did me in the recovery process. He has explained on dday 1 he did not know it was coming first of all, he had no idea what he really felt about anything including himself, he did not know what he was capable of related to rebuilding our marriage, he did not know what he wanted. He thought if any of this ever came out our marriage/family would be over immediately so he never went there. When it did come out he said he even minimized it to himself. He hated all of it and himself. So I in no way feel what he did was okay or right between dday 1 and 2 but I can see and understand why it happened. And he also has virtually no memory of what he said on dday 1 and the following days. He was spiraling more than I knew. I thought well he made all these decisions he is in complete control it is just cut and dry. He wanted this, he had these affairs but it was not that clear even to him. I think that is part of the issue. I remember so many details of my life and he does not. I would not have had emotional and physical relationships with others and not know and remember details. But we are very different people as I have learned. And yes my husband felt bad and these women really were nice. I have heard it all now. I was firm that I needed to know the general overview of everything that happened since there was no way he could give me all the details of 10+ years. I wanted to know more his mindset, ways he communicated, how he met them, those type of details were more important for future recovery than the exact details. Then it was time to set boundaries which really has helped us both understand and work through what we expect from each other and our marriage.

  10. Gabby, sorry he's been such an idiot and so selfish. It seems to be a theme with these guys, so broken and all they know how to do is keep breaking shit. The space will be good for you. From my own experience it will still be a roller coaster. Some days I am good, can breathe, don't have his bs in my face. Some days I am freaking the fuck out because this was supposed to be a constructive separation, but I feel like the target keeps on shifting and still get triggered, hypervigilant crazy. That's all about me and where I am in my recovery. I just remind myself that I won't always feel like this and I only need to get through minute by minute if that is what I've got right now.

  11. My husband has my back today. I tested him having my back financially and he passed. It is a low cost test. Today, which may change, I'm not inclined to trust anyone to have my back. My kids do no matter what happens. I know I can call any of them and they would be here. They try to protect me everyday in their own way. On another note, I'm trying to get off the emotional roller coaster I'm on. I'm either ecstatic or diving into the abyss. I think I have been this way for three yrs. since Dday I'm working with my therapist on learning how to be happy and this is the next lesson. I'll keep you posted on what I learn. I did learn when I'm feeling anxious, I put my hand on my heart. There is scientific proof this act of kindness will physiology calm your body down then your mind. It works for me. Part of feeling compassion for myself.

    Will somebody give me a shout out or amen? I got kicked off a web site for responding too harshly to a wayward spouse who asked what could he do to help his BS. I answered directly, honestly and I thought it was not harsh but honest. I write just like I do on this site. Poor babies if they can handle my words, just let him try to help a BS who rages and he doesn't have a clue. Love you all and be compassionate to yourself today.

    1. Lynnlesspain
      I'm giving you my amen! Too harsh words don't exist for the turmoil caused by betrayal! I'm sure I had never spoken as harshly to my h in any time of our marriage prior to dday! Not that I couldn't speak up when totally pissed off in the past but this experience created such a rage in me and I'm just just getting past that part!! I'm with you on being compassionate to ourselves and yes I do use the hand technique as I was taught that in therapy many years ago but it didn't help one bit when I was raging! I had to spit everyone of those bitter words! I'm sure it was a shock to the wayward to have to hear some real truth! Cudos to you!

    2. I have found all your comments very fair, measured, heartfelt and real. Personally I'm looking forward to hearing how you can smooth out that rollercoaster or get off it. I know I need to do the same and find some consistent way of being happy and less anxious in a world that is changed and very difficult but still has many riches.

  12. Big shout out for speaking your mind Llp .. Some people don't like the truth.. Their problem not yours.. I'm gonna try the hand on the heart I feel myself feeling out of my depth today .. Thank you Llp for all your wisdom xxx

  13. LLP, your words are absolutely perfect!! They are usually just what I need to hear, when I need to hear it. The timing of when I read seems to just resonate with me.

    Elle, this post is perfect for me today. I always thought my husband had my back but I now realize that I came third. Not second, but third. First was his work. Always always work came first. Then his golf. Yep, golf came before me & the kids as well. Then me. There are some days I feel he has my back and other days I'm just not sure. I stay on high alert - always. Wish it wasn't that way. I have 3 very good friends that I KNOW always have my back. They are so honest with me.

    Theresa, my husband, too, is just so unromantic as well. As much as I'd like him to be, he just isn't. And I want it so badly! It didn't bother me too much until dday. And now...I just keep wondering if he was romantic with his OW. And I do want to see my husband as he is now, not how he was, but it's so DAMN hard some days. I'm so afraid of being hurt again.

    It's so weird. My h doesn't want to talk about "it" any more. He says he's happy, it was stupid, he's ashamed, he'll never do it again. I just need to trust him. I feel like I'm always on high alert. I just don't have any "happy" no matter what (except for the times I'm with my grandbabies and then I don't even think about "it"). I'm in the process of finding the right counselor. I just hate that I'm like this. It shows in my face that I'm not the person I was 9 months ago before dday. You ladies here give me the strength to know that I can and will get through this.

    I can't remember who said it, but I can't stand cheating songs, tv shows that glamorize cheating, etc. I just can't watch nor listen to them any more.

    I'll be having a rough couple of days since my h is traveling for work. In some of his last texts to the OW they were planning for her to go with him on a trip. Now I can always feel the tightening in my chest whenever he travels. Mondays are bad too as that's when they usually were together. Triggers. When does all this shit stop.

    LLP, I need to find my happy too! Please do share what you learn. Since I'm very anxious today, I'll try putting my hand on my heart to calm me down.

    Hugs to you all today. And Elle, thanks so much for the help you provide to me by having this site.

    1. Feeling lost
      I feel your pain. My h doesn't see the need to talk about 'it' anymore as well but if I trigger, he does have to help me through them and that in itself brings 'it' back to the surface. It's very painful for both of us but we get through them when they occur.
      The cheating songs, shows, ect. I'm sure they affect all of us and not in a good way. I'm very aware that his cow had a passion for country music but by God. I was country way before country was the cool music so I refuse to allow that to be stolen from me! My h has taken me to see so many of our favorite artists in the past two years! He too is reclaiming what he feels like she spoiled. I'm lucky to have one of the most remorseful h to rebuild with and I hope more of this for you as well!
      I'm with you on the traveling h! My h actually did take his whore/fuck buddy as she called herself on a trip that actually ended the affair for him! She used that trip to try to prove to me that it was her he loves and just stayed with me cause it's the 'easier choice'! Well I know for a fact that it would have been much easier to walk away from me and the reality of the fall out but he knew that wasn't what he wanted so he's worked so hard to try and make up for the pain he caused and it's getting better with time. I still have bad days but not as often and I find myself having more good days. It's a struggle everyday but I choose to do and find something to be happy with even if only for short periods of time. When my h travels for work he's more aware of calling me and texting me as he understands why this is a trigger. Perhaps this could work for you. Monday was tough for me as well for the same reason that was a volleyball night when they met and fell in lust. So I just spend my Monday busying me with more happy activities and distractions until I get exhausted enough to sleep till the next day. It's hard the hardest thing I've ever been through but if I look back I've come so far from that shivering little girl who found herself huddled up on the couch just waiting for my h to return from his out of town trip and tell me it's all a lie and the truth is he couldn't so I've just had to accept a new reality! God, I'm so sorry for all of us who have found ourselves in the pits of this miserable mess caused by very bad choices! Hugs!

  14. My husband not having my back is the hardest thing to get over. I can see how people can turn away to others to make themselves feel better but as Phoenix said, for him to side with someone else against me, to give her ammunition to use against me, to go back to interacting with her knowing how much both their actions had devastated me, to put himself ahead of all of us, including his children, that has been so hard to get round. I met him when he was 19, he was the 'nice' guy, we were friends first and that was so important to me. I'm close to my two sisters, although we sometimes fight, if someone from the outside was to threaten them, I would pull immediately to their side. The first day we went to see the MC, she asked me if I was having problems with my back. I didn't really feel it at the time but I guess that's what she was referring to, the way I was holding myself, that I was transferring that feeling of being stabbed in the back to my body. This is the key thing that like so many here, I don't think I will get over, it's the source of that initial shock, that massive slam into the chest that he had allowed (a thief) into our lives and then allowed her to hurt me and after that, after she had mugged me and committed psychological violence, then he went and chatted to her about frivolous things like an old pal. It really sickens me. 'Sickens', yes, poison, stomach problems, none of this is a coincidence. I have to find a way of putting that back stabbing somehow to the side, to get rid of the poison and to live free of these crushing symptoms of sadness and anxiety.

  15. I agree on the tv shows, movies, songs bringing up cheating. Even in the news. And the debate I just could not watch it after all the talk of having a past ap of Bill Clinton in the front row. Whether it was a joke or not it just sets me off. The more I am aware I feel like it is everywhere. My husband could not believe I did not want to watch the debate. I just cannot allow any of that in my life. I need positive. I do not want to hear about affairs. Whatever is put out there is not entertaining and if it is meant to be factual I just do not really believe any of it. I am so tired of it all.

  16. Hi beautiful ladies, I have been offline for a while trying to cope with the 1 year 'anniversary' of D-day approaching (9/26) and I triggered so bad that I needed to get back to you all for strength.
    YOU women, whom I will never meet, are the only ones I feel that have my back. I love this group.
    The worst thing I have discovered in this past year is his betrayal destroyed my trust in my own perception. I *knew* beyond a doubt that HE, my best friend, lover, father to our children, had my back 100%. I would have bet my life on it. Pfffft. So that profound loss and jagged wake-up call is what I am the most damaged by.
    Fragments, I like your observations about him giving her the ammunition to use against you. One of my H's slam-pieces, the one he had the real affair with was a former coworker of mine who was always in competition with me (our boss preferred me, I have more skill and knowledge than her. I am not being egotistical here, it was obvious at work, she made many mistakes and I have years of experience on her). She was nice to my face but I have found out since that she had a lot of issues with me. Their affair began after I left the practice, but I have since gone back 1 day a month and have to work with her which has actually been empowering to me. 2 of the doctors, my boss, and the core staff know what she did and I have been welcomed back like a rock star by staff and clients alike which gives me a petty satisfaction over her, I must admit. She doesn't have much respect there anymore so it has helped me to see the repercussions to her actions firsthand. She is also becoming known as the town hump so I have a scornful pity for her now more than anything at what she is letting her life become, while raising 2 small children.
    Even tho it was hard initially going back to work with her one day a month, it diffused a great deal of the mental power she had over me by being able to view her as a broken mess, the same as H.
    I admit, I was helped by my psychological advantage of out-performing her skill-wise and knowing the practice looked down on her for what she did to me. I realize this would not work for many of you, as each of our dynamics are different regarding the OW, but it has helped me immensely to see her as pathetic, not powerful. Just that small mental shift shift has diffused so much toxic anger from me...try viewing the OW in your own situations through that lens.
    Healing thoughts to you all.



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