Saturday, December 31, 2016

The most simple advice for healing: How do I want to live today?

Quick story: My yoga instructor has lost two children to suicide. I hesitated to take classes with her because I thought I'd spend my "me" yoga time feeling horrible for her. I simply couldn't imagine how anyone could move on with life after such pain. And yet...she's warm and lovely and incredibly grounded. She speaks occasionally about her grief but always in the context of meeting grief with grace.
Over the years that I've been downward dogging and head-standing, my admiration for her strength has grown. And I've wondered how she does it. The answer is deceptively simple. She's made a choice: To live today.
And it's a choice each of us has to make every single morning.
How do I want to live today?
I can already hear the resistance. But what about the fact that he lied to me last night about a text on his phone? What about him being 10 minutes late? What about him refusing to tell her to stop driving by our house?
Valid questions, every single one. And questions that can be addressed by establishing clear boundaries and then enforcing them.
We get in trouble when we try to control other people. We get in trouble when we lose sight of the only question we need to pay attention to: How do I want to live today?
Lots of you have shared how you found your way to this question. One of our betrayed warrior wives told us that she imagines looking back from the future and seeing a picture of herself. How does she want to look in that picture? Another noted the wise counsel of her therapist who urged her to ask herself each day how she wants to live – and then behaving accordingly.
None of this means brushing aside dishonesty or disrespect from a partner. There's nothing about asking yourself how you want to live today that is about ignoring your pain or pretending that things are fine when they are anything but fine. It's about paying attention. Honoring your feelings. It might mean making some really hard decisions. And today might include plenty of moments where you are decidedly not living exactly as you would like. But the goal is to work toward a life in which you are exactly where you want to be and surrounding yourself with people who value you.
With 2017 just looming over the horizon, what if your only goal is to approach life from that question: How do I want to live today?
It would usher in a zillion smaller shifts that can't help but make your life more full – more full of joy, more full of people who deserve you, more full of opportunity.
Happy new year, my wonderful betrayed warrior wives. I can't wait to watch you all heal and share all of your wisdom and strength and compassion. It's there. I promise.
How do you want to live today?


  1. Elle.. this is exactly how I want to live my life day by day.. deciding how I want to plan my day and Who I want to spend my time with.

    I made the mistake yesterday to spend sometime with my h (whom I've been separated from fir 8 months) I thought we could go shopping for a few hours.. this must be our 3rd outing in public together since I found out about d day 2 .. I just don't feel comfortable in his presence other than in my home with our children. Anyhow I hated every minute of the time spent with him, he is miserable, impatient, angry the list goes on and it justified my decision for not having him back maybe ever.. I felt so much hate for this man his behaviour is awful, I'm just glad I don't have to live or be around him anymore I now do what I want to do without his miserable face around.. I'll continue to have very little contact with this man as I've realised that this is when I'm at my happiest.. big changes to come I'm sure but I'm taking them in my own time ... love you ladies.. see you in 2017 xxx

  2. Happy New Year! I'm going to start today with this question and hopefully every day after today too. Flying out of the snow to the sunshine today. Peace friends.

  3. Thank you thank you thank you. This is what I am wrestling with. And I am making my question too big. On the one hand I have this big beautiful blank canvas. On the other hand I have this giant, empty, intimidating canvas. I am going to try and shift from "what do I want to do with the rest of my life?" to "how do I want to live today?" I want to be proud of who I am. i want to be forgiving when I notice I am medicating with cheesecake. Or social media. Or exercise. Or anxiety. (yes its a thing I do. Better to be busy worrying about some story I have made up that deal with the discomfort or boredom and the feelings that rise up.) Own my shit. Be courageous and brave. Accept the things I regret as sources of great wisdom. Be grateful to my ex for setting me free of our old dance, free to let go of all the old shit that doesn't, has never worked. Grateful to him for my children and the chance to finally learn to love myself. And grateful that he's taken himself out of my life. I am grateful to birds who have been messengers and a sign of the universe's relentless love for me. The kind of love I need to give myself. This is how I want to live everyday. Making joy. Accepting sorrow. Its all part of being alive and it is an incredible thing to be a part of.

  4. NYE is my anti-versary, it has been 3 years since I decided to stay. For the most part it was a good day, I made the conscious decision to not let the memories of that world shattering day engulf me. I am thankful to have found this site, for the wonderful love and support that comes from women I have never met. May you all be blessed in 2017.

  5. Happy New Year! Elle you nailed it i find it much easier to just stay in the current now. The past i cant change and the future i cant control. Doesnt mean its ok or brushed over it means im taking care of me and still standing choosing daily to do what i want. 20mo out soon ... i have alot of path still ahead of me but see ive covered much ground too. I still think about it but its not consuming me i can see happy again and happy is within us not taken or granted by another. Peace be with you ladies.

  6. Elle
    I love how you put words together that leads us to a better understanding of ourselves! My h took six long months of his cow interfering in our lives before he silenced her with the court order. This caused me to doubt his choice to reconcile our marriage. He had begged this person to leave us alone but found he couldn't control her actions anymore than he could control my response to the pain I was dealing with. Happy New Year! Looking forward to a year full of brand new memories!

  7. My husband swears his affair is over, and has been for over a year. Despite that the OW keeps cropping up from time to time on social media (liking my things, following him.)

    My issue is he refuses to allow me access to his phone. He says I will snoop and although he has nothing to hide, I may find a number I don't know and freak out. I did this when I found the OW and sent her a shitty text. He says he is worried I will do it again only to a work customer or something. It sounds like bullshit to me. But maybe he is telling the truth?

    He won't budge. I stand to lose my marriage over a pincode on a phone.

    1. Ohh, Anon. That sounds fishy to me. Why have neither of you blocked her from your social media? And why can't you two have conversation about reasonable boundaries and safeguards WRT to technology. You may be right, if he won't budge, he may have to lay down a consequence.

    2. I'm with MBS on this one. He doesn't get to set the rules about this. He's asking you to give him a second chance. You're asking him to show you, by being fully transparent, that he deserves that second chance. There's some reason he doesn't want you seeing his phone and maybe it's just that it hurts his ego to be policed like this. But maybe it's more than that. And you deserve to know. If he's willing to lose you over refusing access to his phone then he's not very invested in his marriage.

    3. I have found that when my H and I can't agree on something we're at an impasse on related to repairing our marriage that if we discuss it with our MC we are both usually willing to accept her suggestions. Maybe try discussing it together with you MC. Any sane person would agree you need full transparency.

  8. How do I want to live today?
    Without bitterness. Without anger. Without being chained to the past.
    With joy. With forward momentum. With positive action. With love.
    Happy New Year, Elle and Friends.

    1. Well said. Happy New Year Phoenix, Elle and friends. Thank you for helping me survive the past 2 months. Good riddance 2016. 2017 I am going to be strong again.

    2. Phoenix, i love your post. I to want to live today Without bitterness. Without anger. Without being chained to the past.
      With joy. With forward momentum. With positive action. With love. My D day is almost 2 years ago and then a second one 1 year... both happen the same time frame but I found out a year apart. I still have huge trust issues and I ask myself everyday if I should stay. If my love is enough.... he is open and has been trying to regain my trust. I have full access to his phone etc. Although he used a second phone back then. I like to read the stories that it can work out and then I can maybe trust again. Right now it is hard for me to believe that this will actually happen... maybe 2017 !

  9. This is my first time ever commenting on anything but I am so broken right now, it's very hard to see the light. The more I read, the more I stop crying but for the most part, I cry myself to sleep and then as soon as I open my eyes in the morning. I was not married so I can't say that vows were broken but we have been together for 12 years and have a 9 yr. old together. 5 days ago, I discovered that he was in Cancun with another woman. We have not been in a good place for at least 6 months but I did NOT see this one coming. Although he had told me 6 months ago that he didn't love me like he used to, I didn't want to believe it. I love him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I've never had eyes for another. I'm so sick to my stomach. When we actually did things together, it was great. But I could tell that something was wrong. I think the biggest battle that I am facing is the fact that he doesn't love me. I've been so depressed the past couple of months. It hurts so bad to see him, talk to him, mention his name or even see a vehicle like his. Any suggestions on coping with the pain of loving someone who doesn't love you back?

    1. Anonymous, the only way out of pain is through it. Of course, you're heartbroken. And it doesn't matter that you're not officially married. You loved him and you had a child with him and you expected a future with him. To discover that he doesn't share your commitment to this future is devastating.
      So be devastated. Let yourself cry. Give yourself permission to feel really really awful. But trust that you have the strength to get back on your feet. Not tomorrow but eventually. Find support wherever you can. Be gentle with yourself. Treat yourself with radical kindness. Be a friend to yourself, just as you would to someone else going through what you're going through.
      Recognize that, as much as you love this guy, he took another woman to Cancun without having the decency to break it off with you. That's a pretty shitty thing to do (not only to you but to his child). So, as much as it hurts, i suspect the day will come when you realize he wasn't such a prize.
      But for now, it's going to hurt like hell. But the day will come when it doesn't hurt quite so much. And your heart will begin to heal.
      For now, see a lawyer to determine what you're entitled to. Find support from friends and family. And be good to yourself. You didn't deserve this.

    2. You don't deserve this. If I was not married I would not stay. I know that is easier said than done when you love someone and more complicated when you have a child.

    3. So sorry to hear about that horrible betrayal. I understand your feeling unable to stop loving someone who has shown himself unworthy. I ask myself if I feel real love or if it has now become a habit, because I truly believed we were a great couple- and now I cannot face the void and the idea that he could turn his back on me so callously.

      I truly hope your pain will lessen. Sending you virtual support and thinking of you today.

  10. Anonymous im so sorry for the way he has treated you, it shows his lack of respect for both you and his child. You are in shock probably feeling numb, head in a daze and can't think for all the tears.. anonymous this is absolutely normal and it's a process we have all been through following d day.. like Elle says you need to look after you as best you can right now, get some counselling if you can, ask for help with childcare .. sleep, eat and listen to some self help techniques on mindfulness, deep breathing really helps in times like these.. please keep posting because this site is a safe haven and has a wealth of knowledge from wonderful women who have been where you are now.. it saved me ... sending you strength anon xxx



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