The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
That usually works in my greenhouse! Continuing to fix my environment!
I have definitely begun to "fertilize my own flower" through this process. People all around me who have no idea what I've been through keep asking me what I'm doing. Why do I look so great? What am I eating? At first I lost 26 pounds from the trauma in 2 weeks (NOT good). After that, I have been eating foods that take care of me and exercising to avoid murdering people. I feel badly when I want to answer their questions with, "You want to know my secret? Go search through your husband's things. It's the quickest way to life long changes I've found!" Instead I just grit my teeth and tell the part of the truth that matters to them: I finally reached a point in my life where I could no longer ignore my own needs. I eat healthy foods and exercise regularly. My time as a caterpillar simply expired.
I can relate to this so much Ann. Finding out about the affair has forced me to take care of myself. Eating. Exercising. And the long journey of learning to love myself. When people say you look great it takes so much for me to not respond the way you said.
That was so annoying the questions of how I lost weight and why I looked so great. I really did not need to lose any. I lost a lot fast and leaned out. My body was cut. Now not so much. I look back and for probably 9 months I barely ate. I would eat really small portions and push the food around on my plate. Now that we are in a better place I am able to eat and my husband and I eat together a lot. I am healthy but I sort of miss the leanness I achieved. But I have not been able to get that look since we have been on the mend. I know this is healthier and maybe that low of a body fat % is not for me. And even though it was not what is considered "low" i stopped having my period for 9 months. So in the end it was too low for me.
Thank you, Katie P. and Hopeful 30! I was a little afraid it was just me. I've finally stopped losing, but I was worried for a while that I wouldn't be able to eat again. I have been amazed at how messed up our culture is about that stuff. Here I was in crisis, slightly suicidal, some hair falling out due to stress, and other people were dying to know my diet secrets. Surreal. My "glow" now is due to extreme self care and my determination to save my soul and my health from being swallowed up by all of this, so the compliments don't seem quite as misplaced (although still hard to answer). The compliments during the early days were crazy though. Those made me want to scream the truth and expose our culture's obsession with inappropriate female body expectations. I was beautiful and worthy before. Too focused on others, but beautiful and worthy nontheless.
Elle,You are amazing. Day after day posting exactly the right thing. Like you see through to my (our) souls. Almost always exactly what I am thinking about and dealing with at the time. The ground, the earth, the air, the environment. The house, the city, the friends, the support network. Changes. Many many changes required. So many of them, and each one of them feels as if it is another painful cut. I have to keep reminding myself, it is not self-harm, but it is cleansing.I am just about to walk away from friends. The support is not there. Over the last year they have, one by one, socialised with my ex and his OP. They know truths. They know hard truths. And details. Each of them has their own reason and justification. Clearly not one of them gets it, really gets it. Each and every time it has felt like a dagger. And they have known it. They have hidden it, not confronted it, let it slowly eat away until it could no longer. So I am now going to tell them, one by one, that none of it has been okay. I am going to stand up and stop putting on the fresh it is all okay face. I am going to stop saying sorry for how I feel. And then I am going to quietly slip away to pastures anew. I am so sad that on top of everything else I am losing girlfriends. But I question what kind of friends these are anyway. I often question whether I am the friend that I wish they were. I know in reverse I would never have done the same things, whether having known this from the centre or not.The real problem is that I cannot really get away. They are all around me. My ex and his OP moved around the corner. My children are with them half of the time. She has encroached on everything. She contacts my children via WhatsApp when they are not with her. She is now socialising with my friends. She will move her child to my children’s’ school in the next year. It is in my face. I cannot escape it. I try to keep my head high and move forward but it has become clear. These were people who said they would never, ever do what they have done. These are people who say that they worry about me. These are people who watch it all and slowly accept it on a social level. I feel like I am being smothered. One thing at a time. If I could have been picked up by giant fingers and moved out of my house, from my street, from my neighbourhood with my friends, I think it would have happened. I am so very close to being able to buy our house. I wanted to keep it. The one solid and stable thing in my children’s’ lives. Now it begins to suffocate me. They are young so I cannot run away. I have to be here for them. I have to make it all okay. But little by little, slowly and almost unperceivably it is being all taken. I loved my life which is now gone. I quietly thank you every day for what you do here.Inchworm
Inch worm,I'm so sorry your friends are responding this way. I wish we could all be each other's real BFF's. I, too, would love to have close friends who totally get it and support me with this particular issue.
Inchworm I'm so sorry you feel like this but it's totally understandable.. how incredibly insensitive of your ex h to do this to you and your children..inchworm do you see a counsellor? maybe moving away from the area is an option, you don't have to live round the corner from him and his ow god I think I'd have commit murder by now!! Inchworm it's time to take some control back get rid of your fake friends.. look to seek a counsellor and if possible move out of the area to give you some space from the drama and a fresh start it doesn't have to be far just far enough that you don't bump into them.. inchworm what doesn't kill you makes you stronger And let me tell you, you can do this ..figure out what's good for you and your children .. let us know how you get on .. feels like ages since we heard from you.. sending you strength and peace xxx
Oh Inchworm, how horrible. So sad for so many relationships to end but you now see their true colors. I hope you put yourself in situations where you can be surrounded by new genuine people. I had to give up my CH's entire family on his mom's side. This hurts my children more than me. CH still communicates with her. I'm hoping the MC/IC will show him he has to sever ties. I feel awful for you. Virtual hugs.
Inch worm my heart goes out to you and I don't know how you do it. My very best friend for the last 20 years did not contact me, call me for a year after I told her. She apologized to me after 1.5 years. It was too late for that. We still do things together as two couples but in my heart it is not the same. This OP is slowly taking over your life. You might consider this an immature response but I'm an action person. It has served me well but everyone is different in how they respond. You sound depressed so doing something may be good. I would invite my family or friends for a BBQ to your safe place. Invite your ex but not the OW. Have her children come over to your house for a play day but not her. Even better a slumber party. Take everyone to the movies. Invite her kids through your ex. I would rent a jumping house for a day. Have her kids and neighbors kids. That app won't seem so important anymore. I would crawl out and make my safe place a "happening" place." For kids friends and family. I would buy a wooden play gym, above ground pool or something. The OW will look boringggggg. The best revenge is to get moving. You sound sweet and caring. Why are your children with them half the time? Who cares if she socializes with your friends? Think about the why's. Both of them have no morals and liars, why would you want your children around these two? YIKES! She could win my husband but no way in hell could she use the same tactics to win my kids. It is like she is doing the same thing to your kids that she did your husband, creating an affair fantasy atmosphere for your kids. Your self esteem has to be in a puddle on the floor. Sit down and make a plan to get your life back. Do what works for you. I did crazy stuff that only worked for me no one else. I mean crazified. My mantra was the worst thing in my life has already happened so nothing can be worse than that. I let all my old "I can't do this or that" go to the moon. I don't give a shit how I look to anyone else. I had to protect my oldest from his dad. He was toxic. My son at 40 years old told me, "Thanks mom you did the right thing." Previously he was angry at me but it took 40 years for him to know I did the right thing by protecting my son even though I looked like the bad person for years. A victim cannot save anyone.
Oh Inchworm, I feel you so much. In your face doesn't begin to describe it. And yes, people around you will slowly accept the OP and your ex, because people don't like to make waves, people don't like to be uncomfortable and at a basic level, if it hasn't happened to them, they just don't get it.Take your time about the house. keeping that stability for your kids may be a big deal, but your health and sanity are going to be a big deal for them too. I know at first, I wanted nothing more that to keep my home, my life and everything stable for me and the kids. I've got that (complete with Mother in law in an attached suite - yes God has a sense of humor). But I'll be honest, as much as I love this place and have claimed it, made a new life for myself, I do feel trapped sometimes. Its big, a lot to maintain, expensive. How will I feel when my oldest goes off to college? What if I meet someone and want flexibility to move etc.? So while 99% of the time, I am good with being here, I sometimes worry when I think about the future. It sounds like you have very mixed feelings about your Ex and the OP being so close. Give yourself time to get clear on that. What if a great opportunity comes up? You have, in some ways a beautiful blank canvas to paint a new life on. Be open to the new. And if it feels right, talk to your kids about what they might like. It may not be time, but at some point engaging them in discussion might show you, you have less to fear about selling and moving that you might believe.PS Elle is amazing with her ability to tune into what we are all writing and feeling. I am often amazed at her ability to write what I need. And also at how often this amazing group of women are in tune with each other. This is a fantastic place.
Inchworm, give serious consideration to selling that house. It may actually be better for you and your children to have a fresh start. Their stability comes from YOU, not bricks & mortar.
I have stood by the premise that I will not change myself. I am going to stick to my beliefs and core values. I was always true to myself and lived a high quality life. I was determined to not let my husbands actions and decisions make me feel as if I needed to change. I am a great catch and if he wants to be with me then he needs to clean up his act and make our marriage and family life something worth being a part of it. Luckily he has gotten on board and understands.
Great attitude Hopeful 30. We ARE great catches. The more I learn in MC/IC, this blog and through reading, reading, reading about affairs and reflecting on my 18 years of marriage and 21 years knowing my CH the more I come to recognize he feels inferior to me. When he cheated he always cheated "down" someone less educated, less successful, the one he had sex with was average looks, similar age, not some young bombshell. CH thinks I could get any guy I want. What he doesn't understand is that is irrelevant - I made a commitment and I've never been looking for anyone else. I have always wanted CH to be the man I deserve, which means HONORING ME and treating me with RESPECT. Which he clearly has not done by having inappropriate relationships with so many OW. If our marriage succeeds it will be because he looks in the mirror and decides to improve himself and then recommits to keep our wedding vows.
Brown Eyed Girl, Exactly. You hit the nail on the head cheating with inferior women. That is my husband too. And what is interesting is the one person who introduced him to the two ow felt I was too classy, elitist, privileged. He never told me before but my husband said he always felt inferior to me and never felt like he could live up the standard I lived my life. He says that he was intimidated a lot around me and situations I brought him to whether it was work, friends, wedding, fundraiser, etc. So same as you of course he cheated with these low level bottom feeders. People who he chose not to learn very much about and said he was terrified anyone would find out about them. And I of course questioned if our kids ever met these women and he flipped out and said that would be one of his worst nightmares. This is all so revealing about what someone's true character is. I agree 100% it is up to my husband too to make the right decisions and changes in his life for good.
Today hurts. I don't know why it feels like this today in particular. Just started like a burning in my stomach and took over.I'm trying to water the flower. Give it gentle sunlight and a soft breeze. Fresh soil, fertilizer when it needs it.My friends don't know. And because I couldn't tell them, because I couldn't face them, most have dropped off. I couldn't bear to have them know this shame. To look at me "that" way. I didn't care or want to hear if they thought I should go or stay, or if they thought my H was a Grade A Dick for doing this to me. So I find myself mainly alone in this journey. My H is here. We are taking it a day at a time. My children are here. For them I can put on the makeup and the smile... for a little while.The ladies here share my sorrow, my shame, my desolation.It's very much like being on an island. Just this one little flower struggling to make it in the sand. I feel sad that my friends haven't noticed that I'm not ok. I was always the friend that gave more and got less.I'd love to have a meaningless conversation with any one of the right now simply to distract myself.MY H wants to talk about the future, about how sorry he is, about how he knows he was so wrong. He says he gets it, because he knows he caused it. But he doesn't really. Because he cant. He is trying and I see that. What he doesn't get is that every day he gets up resolving to be a better man and tackles his day with that goal. I get up hoping I can just find a way to make it through the day without letting this be the driving force for all I do. Hoping I can find that glimmer of myself that I was once, that happy carefree girl who captured his heart and loved with all of hers. That girl that faced the world head held high,even though she was afraid. Today I didn't find her. Today I worry about the what ifs and the how bad can it gets. Today the details hurt. How does one find that starting point? That place where the hurt starts to soften and the future starts to brighten? I am grateful to turn to this place in times like this.Going to keep working on that flower.
Maiden,I am so sorry you are struggling today. I am 10 months out and I do remember feeling very much the way you describe not too long ago. My brain told me I was wrong to feel shame for staying, but I felt it in my heart anyway. Afterall, he made a choice that wrecked our life, I made a choice that put it back together again--why should I be ashamed? The shame for me comes from that internal voice saying, "Strong people wouldn't put up with this. Strong people would march out confidently on their own." All of us on this site know that these statements aren't true at all. I continue to challenge that voice on a daily basis, and I'm winning most of the time now. That shame kept me isolated and feeling disconnected from the whole world. It felt like the whole world was in on a secret way of life that I couldn't agree with (like everyone was out to trick me). Other times, I just felt slow and unloved by all my good friends and family that I had always helped through so much. The truth is that many of them would have helped me if they knew. I, too, was always the friend who gave but never learned how to receive. The truth is if you never give a friend a chance to help you, you're refusing one half of the transaction of friendship. You deserve the full experience, so I encourage you to learn over time to accept help. We all need help because we are human. I encourage you to pick one person you think will listen without giving advice. Someone who loves you and maybe has had family issues of their own. Someone who normally doesn't have direct contact with your H might be nice. I told someone at work who never crosses paths with my H who I knew I could trust. It helped a lot. Just seeing the way she continued to check in with me to see if I was OK and the way she did not think what happened to me was fair at all, but she had no idea what the right thing to do was either. She felt angry for me and that felt nice. Of course it could backfire I suppose, so consider your own situation carefully. If you can't think of someone, a therapist can do that for you. Ridding myself of the shame of staying opened me up to again experience all the goodness all around me that has nothing to do with my H. As you sit with these dark feelings now, know that there is light headed your way very soon. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Treat yourself as if you're your own child. Brene' Brown says that the antidote to shame are the words, "me too". So, Maiden, a huge, "me too" and hugs to you from me!
Maiden, I hear you and I have been in your shoes. It is so hard when these feelings overwhelm you. I too told no one. It was after dday 2 and 5 months after dday 1 that my husband suggested I go to a therapist to at least have someone for just me to talk to. It was a really good decision. This website and my therapist have been so good for me.As far as not telling friends. I did not and I am glad I did not. Many people noticed my weight loss and some commented on me being quieter both in person and texting. My kids would ask why I was so quiet too. It was a hard period. I have to say some of it was based on my feelings of if I did not tell them then it felt like we had I guess a friendship that did not feel authentic. Also my husband really spent all of our non work and kid time focusing on each other and ourselves. It did not leave much time for friends. I did even go on one girls trip but it backfired as there were some women with us who were not friends of mine and their behaviors disgusted me and were a total turn off. I guess I still even now 22 months out feel fragile. I am extra sensitive and it seems when I am with my friends cheating and affairs always come up. And I have to hear their judgements of how the others are handling it and judging what the husbands did. It is so hard. My husband has struggled since he feels like his affairs has caused me to loose or be more distant with friends. I am more alone for sure still. He has said it seems as if I am sort of feeling now how he did during the 10 years of the affair. Where he became detached from me due to his shame and hiding what had happened. This is hard for me since I feel like there is no good answer or way to resolve this. I just stay true to myself and think before I do things if I really want to do them and if it will make me happy.As far as a starting point it will take time. Be easy on yourself and do not pressure yourself. I honestly found what made me happy every day. I worked out, cooked great meals, spent time with my kids. That was what made me the most happy. And with time things felt better and better. I think as you get past the pain that helps. I think I mentioned this before but for us having a talk once a week helped so we were not both focused on the affairs every single day. It made it easier for me to be happy and focus on what I wanted to do.
Maiden of the Shield, First, have hope if "every day he gets up resolving to be a better man and tackles his day with that goal." I wish my CH had that as his goal. He is so focused on the present and wants to not talk about my pain. Yes he says "you're beautiful", "I love you", "I am so lucky" etc. But it's 2 months out and he's not taken much accountability or made restitution for all the betrayal and decipt. He doesn't want to talk about the A outside of MC. Yet everyday I have at least one or more often many hours of crying, not sleeping, not eating and he just doesn't see it or want to acknowledge my suffering. I'm about ready to join a gym: a) because it will increase my endorphins and I desperately need some emotional improvement, and b) if he doesn't improve himself I know I will have no choice but to speak to an attorney and I want to look good for whatever my future holds...
Maiden of the shield It's ok to have one of those bad days! We all get them. I have them often having spent the day with my mother as I slowly watch dementia take over her brain yet realizing I can't change that situation anymore than I can erase the fact that my h cheated. I call it a pity party and believe me, I've had my share but I feel I deserve to have them given the amount of pain this chapter has caused. Let me tell you how I found my starting point. I slowly returned to doing things that both occupy my brain and make me happy. Some days that would be nothing more than cleaning the house to rid it of the ugly memories his cow gave me. Then I returned to gardening. Since dday, I have six new spots of beauty. Some days, I spent the day with music/exercise. Then I returned to painting with watercolors. And I finished the quilt for my h that I love in spite of his many flaws. But the real thing that I did was spend as much time with my lab who has never let me down and just lets me nuzzle and love on her and she is the one friend I told this story to that does not judge me besides the ladies I've met here! But what I'm really saying to you is that I chose to find my piece of happy one day at a time and filled it full of new memories and finally started to dwell on this rather than those hurtful memories that began in October 2014. It took many many baby steps to get where I am and every once in a while I still enjoy a good pity party! Hugs!
That kind you ladies. I cried today, a lot. Because sometimes that's all I can do. And sometimes it what I need.Tomorrow is a new day. I'm hoping it's a little bit brighter.
Theresa,Thank you so much for your words on handling those days. I actually get a lot of comfort from all your posts. I have sort of just started to handle the bad days like you describe, but I can find more things that I love that are just for me. That is great advice! When those days hit, it annoys me how "out of the blue" they feel. Last time it happened I was just cleaning out a drawer where I found a valentine card from my H where he wrote how much he, "loves me more and more every day." He wrote it during the time of the affairs. That's all it took for me to spiral into a down day. I just waited it out (I did exercise), but dropping everything in pursuit of things I love would have been a better plan! Next time.
I did that too. Sometimes it was all I could do. I would sit in my closet or lay on the bathroom rug and cry. It was where I was at the time. My husband started to learn where to find me when I wasn't around. Gradually I worked through it, figured out what I needed and how he could help. I remember posting why can some days be okay and others be so dark and hard. But they do get better! Sending lots of positive thoughts your way!
Need help badly. :( I am not sure if this is the right place to start. But this is my story...About three years ago, I found out that my husband cheated on me with my sister in my home while I was there right after I gave birth to my son. My son was in the hospital due to being born premature and I was recovering from a C-section.He confirmed this with me 13 years after it happened. My sister came to stay with me from another state to help out. She stayed for a week. I habe not confirmed how many times it happened during her stay with us. But it happened.I had a feeling that it happened. I also believe that my sister was dropping subtle hints throughout all these years. Finally one day, I had enough with the gut feelings and he confessed.I never really had insecurity issues before this or was a jealous person. My life has totally been turned around the last three years and I have just been sick. I live my life with him the best that I can but I am slowly dieing inside.Yes, I do still speak to my sister on a daily basis as matter of fact. I know... I am crazy right? I haven't dealt with this tragedy thr right way.I can't help but think that there had been more of the cheating with others that he will not tell me about. He claims there was no one else ever.Now, his job is now wanting to send him out of the country and possibly other trips. He has confirmed with me that there is no benefit that the company he works for is offering for these trips (i.e. raise, promotion).Today I finally made an appointment with a counselor. But I am so desperate to talk to someone as this is just killing me inside.
eashook,There is no right way to deal with a tragedy like this. You have to deal with the double betrayal of your H and your sister! I'm so glad you will be talking to a counselor. Therapy can help you unpack all the emotions you've been swimming in for these last 3 years. Once you're more clear on all of that, hopefully you'll see a way forward that doesn't make you feel like you're dying inside. I know I started running (small distances at first) when I discovered my H's affairs. It was one of the only times during the day that I felt somewhat clear about who I was and wasn't. I, too, am much more jealous, insecure, and generally needy than I ever was before. There are reasons for that! Good reasons! I'm not sure those things will ever go away, but I do know that part of loving myself is accepting my needs as my current reality. I have to use boundaries and clear communication with my H to get them met. (which is not easy!) Hugs!
Eashook, I am so sorry. I think your decision to meet with a counselor is an excellent idea. I think it is important for you to get the support you need. My therapist helped me with clarity and setting boundaries. It really was the best thing I could do. Just remember take care of yourself and do not feel like you have to make and rushed decisions. But make sure to look after yourself so you can feel like you are in a better place.
eashook, I am so sorry for what he has done to you. My CH screwed his cousin's wife which is bad enough. But your sister. Ugh. If you can find it in you heart to forgive her you should, but if it were me I would never speak to her again. Forgiving is not the same as protecting you and your marriage from anymore hurt. I too am over a decade from the affair when I found out. The pain is no different. I would insist he go to MC with you. When you go insist he put it ALL on the table. It may be a rough session but those of us who have had the "trickle truth" will tell you - rip the bandaid off with the pain, full transparency on each and every affair (cyber, emotional, physical, all of it). Then YOU get to decide what to do with all the facts - heal together or heal alone. You NEED someone to talk to. I stumbled upon 2 girlfriends who I am not that close to but both of them are BW. I talked to a priest. I have an IC and MC. Even with all those people I don't feel like I have enough support. I can't imagine how lonely you feel keeping this to yourself. Be choosey, but do find a MC and a friend you can confide in. In the meantime, keep coming here - these women are the most amazing strong women you will ever virtually meet. I think the only thing more devastating than what has happened to all of us would be the loss of a child. I wish we had a live chat option so we could talk to other BW in real-time...
EashookI'm so sorry for the pain I know you feel. You had a double betrayal. I'm glad you found a counselor. It will take time and much patience on your part to get where you want to be. Go slow, love yourself, and just know that our circumstances may be different but the shock and pain stings the same. And by the way yes this is the best place to be!
eashook, I can't imagine the agony of discovering that two people you trusted so completely betrayed you. I'm so sorry for what you've gone through. Getting a counsellor was a really important step. You need someone to guide you toward healing. It sounds as though you haven't really held either your husband or your sister to account for what they did and that could be a big part of why you feel stuck in your pain. But that's something that a counsellor can help you sort out. Of course, you can continue to share here and you'll find, as you already did, that the women on this site are always quick with their support and their wisdom. I suspect you'll discover through therapy that you need some help creating really clear boundaries around what you will and will not tolerate in your life and your marriage. You'll learn self-care and self-respect. You'll discover a depth of strength you might not have known you had. But it starts with exactly what you've done. Reaching out for help.