Thursday, March 9, 2017

Do we ever heal from infidelity?

"The truth about healing is that you don't need to heal to be whole. And by whole, I mean damaged, missing pieces of who you were, your heart—missing what feels like some of your most important parts. And yet, not missing any part of you at all. Being, in truth, larger than you were before."
~Augusten Burroughs, from Running with Scissors

I speak a lot on this site about healing because, frankly, it's more important that we heal ourselves than that we heal our marriage. But I wonder how many of you assume from my words that healing is a sort of destination. A place that you will arrive at and feel whole and happy and "whew, glad that's over".

Though I hate to disabuse you of this lovely fantasy, the truth is far less straightforward. Healing isn't so much a destination as a process. And though we absolutely come to a point where the pain is largely absent, where trust is largely restored, where we come at life from self-love and self-respect, the wound will always be there. 
Case in point: My husband recently went out of town on business. It was to an exotic locale. Good food and good wine. Waves lapping at the shore. And me, home with our kids. An empty seat beside him at the dinner table, the pool, the bar.
He's gone away many times since D-Day. But this time was different. We'd been bickering. Stupid things. Where to take the kids for March Break – he wanted snow, I wanted sunshine. Who does more work around the house. Too little sleep, too much nitpicking.
And so, when he left for holiday, fear took root. What was to stop him, after all? He was free as a bird. And I had been anything but loving recently. Why wouldn't he seize the opportunity to spend time with someone else?
Forgotten in that moment was the years of work he'd done to get to the root of his infidelity. Forgotten were the many many promises he's made to me since, that he will do everything he can to never hurt me like that again. That he doesn't want to be the person. That he's happier than he's been in his life. 
I don't know if I'd have the same fears of betrayal I hadn't already discovered, a decade ago, what he was capable of doing. I might. I know a lot of marriages that have been shattered by infidelity. Even without personal experience, it's not impossible that I'd wonder.
But it's different when you've gone through it. You know it's possible. And you know it's excruciating. 
So here I was, ten years of healing, and I felt vulnerable and sad.
The wound was still there.
As much as I wish healing was complete, it's not.
As much as I wish that what happened to me, to you, to all of us could be erased by years of it not happening, it can't be. It's always there, sometimes buried deep, sometimes breaking the surface.
And no amount of wishing will change that.
Does that mean healing is a myth? 
Not at all.
But it does mean that our healing is never really over. It means that there will be times when we're triggered. It means that we can never un-know the pain of betrayal. And it means that we will always be more sensitive to the possibility of it happening again. Once bitten, after all.
But, and here's where I acknowledge the silver lining part of this dark cloud, it also means that I've spent years learning self-care and self-respect. How to develop and enforce boundaries. How to talk about difficult things. How to love a man who hurt me. How to give second chances without giving away my soul. 
In other words, in many many ways, I've healed myself. 
And I continue to heal, not only from this but from so many hurts in my lifetime. My parents' addictions. My brother's anger. Friends who betrayed me.
I'm changed by those experiences. To paraphrase Rainer Maria Rilke, sadness is life holding you in its hands and shaping you. 
My heartbreaks and my healing have made me who I am.
And that's fine with me. If you want to call that healed, then sure. I call it not a place but a journey. 


  1. I'm still on my journey through and I feel the changes as I move through life. I'm sure that I've been shaped by the many hurts I've lived through beginning with my parents and more recently my h and his betrayal. However, some of these changes are good ones for me.

  2. Thank you. I need to read this every day.

  3. I agree Theresa the hurts definetly shape us into the beings we are.. we live and we learn... great post Elle .. hope you get your sunshine holiday : ) xx

    1. I just stumbled upon this site and thank goodness I did. I just found out about my husband's affair three months ago. The kicker is that the affair occurred 10 years ago for about a year or two (he can't remember). I found out cause they are still in contact every few years (text or email). They refer to me in a code name. I was sick to my stomach as you can imagine. H begged for my forgiveness. Went to counseling for a couple of months. A lot of discovery for both of us. I know I am early in the process but I don't want the rest of my journey defined by this event and the betrayal I am living with. He knows I want to end the marriage. We have been married 29 years. I don't think I ever loved him. We were more like good friends. Our children are grown. There is nothing keeping me with him. I don't know why he wants to remain married. I don't expect any answers from this group but it feels good to have a safe place to express my feelings. Thanks. PS how do I give myself a name on this site?

    2. GPSGirl (I think you did give yourself a name),
      I'm glad you found us. That's exactly what this site is about -- a safe place to talk about what we're going through and how to navigate it. There is no "right" way to heal from betrayal. It sounds as if you checked out of the marriage emotionally a long time ago. He's kinda holding the door open for you even if he's saying he doesn't want you to leave. YOU get to decide what you do about this. Take as much time as you need to get clear on what you want. I think sometimes we think we need to immediately react. And betrayal is a shock to our system. Sometimes we need to digest it all before we make a move.
      Good luck. Glad you're here. Sorry you had to find us.

  4. It's tempting at times to fall back into the mindset that we can somehow control their behavior. If we are nice enough or we aren't fighting, then they are less likely to cheat. In truth, that has nothing to do with it. We can't control someone else's poor choices. My husband and I were getting along just fine when he began his affair. It wasn't about me, although he tried to make it about me to have someone to blame! And I cried many tears. I begged for the "why". Sadly, at one point I wanted it to be my fault. Because then I could control it. Fix it. Keep it from happening ever again.

    I love what you wrote about healing. It isn't a destination. I will never be "there". But I have found more peace. More importantly I have found more confidence in myself. He's making the most of his second chance because I can assure you he won't get a third.

    1. Unknown, my goodness did you hit the nail on the head. Wanting it to be my fault so I could fix it is something I struggled with forever and I suspect it will continue to lurk in the shadows for a long time. I've always been the "fix it" person. I definitely feel out of control when I can't fix something and especially something like this. When I read your post all the hairs on my body stood up and my stomach lurched. Such insight. I have found more peace and enjoyment in life after 20 months but the innocence of my past is gone forever. I'm trying to make that a good thing. My husband is also making the most of his second chance because like you, I've said clearly there won't be another. Much thanks to you for your post.

    2. Beach girl,
      Yes! It's been 21 months for me.

      I am changed forever. I listen to my needs more now than ever. And he's trying yes, but it's a wound that I feel all the time. It's changed how I view the world.

    3. Unknown, everything you said resonates with me. I actually begged him to tell me what I did to contribute so that I could grasp onto some sort of tangible explanation for his actions. And yes, something I could control and fix because we can only fix ourselves. At times I have even made things up in my own mind just to have something that made sense. I am also forever changed with how I love and how I see myself fitting into life. Sometimes I think this is the part I grieve the most.

  5. This is something I constantly remind myself. This is just part of our history now. It will always be there. We have moved forward and are doing well but it is there. It is not consuming us all the time and has made us change a lot about our relationship and us as individuals.

    I find especially under stress or if we get too busy the feelings during recovery come back quickly. The doubt seeps in and I question everything more. I work hard to identify this. My husband feels it and notices it too. We both bring things up if we think it might make things more challenging, bring up old feelings or trigger either of us. That prevention helps lessen the effects and also increases that feeling of we are a team now. This has helped both of us cope with this. Just as we went through phases during the most active recovery time I feel like we will go through phases with life. We would have done this anyways but the affairs and his behavior are now part of the dialog.

    I am not sure if I/we ever will feel healed. We are both aware, transparent and authentic with each other. That will take us far as long as we are both committed and focused on the right things.

  6. Unknown I can so relate with you! If I didn't pick fights with him. Be the perfect wife. Some of many ways I tried to control him. I know now that I can't. But I have to try extremely hard not to go back to those ways. And sometimes I don't know how not to.
    I have found out that I have lots to heal from. Things from my past. My parents. And I love this because it puts it all into perspective. Thanks Elle for this. I so needed it today.

  7. Wow. I needed to hear this. I have been guilty of seeing healing aa a destination.
    The idea that we are either, at the place of healing or not, means I can easily undo the good work we have done.
    This post ties in so well with the picture from Wednesday about letting me take care of me, and you take care of you.
    I have been coming to terms with things recently, but stumbled on a thought that I don't know what to do with:
    If all this healing gets us to a good place, how will it ever be worth the coat? The cost for us has included DH not working for years, our children have grown up with our fragmented relationship, the cost the other relationships, as we pushed them away.
    Would love to hear from someone who has thoughts on this.

  8. That's the thing ... i thought I was the perfect wife putting him and everything else before me. Truth .. perfection overrated, shit happens and ill take authentic over perfect anyday ... perfection is exhausting and in hindsight it way better use of time to have self care do our best as a wife mom friend sister daughter than worry if i dont do this or that ... then what .. control is an illusion... you only are control of your own action and some days that even hard esp when hurting or triggered I know ... communication that's legit. Self satisfaction totally legit and knowing you made the efforts because you want to not have to is a way better day to live. I'm sad too this is always going to be in my rearview mirror and with some childhood shit i was crushed in thinking and even saying outloud I thought my husband would be the one person to not let me down. 22mo out im wounded not broken and still here. I'm smiling again and sometimes don't think about it not consuming but there... It's my choice everyday and as long as I see his efforts and feel good in the day .. im here continuing to build my team. Hopeful when life gets busy we feEl it too and need to work hard to carve out us time. Tgif warrior princesses

  9. Elle if you think this too much or hurtful just delete it. This helped me but I wasn't sure if this was appropriate to post. I rely on your discretion. I am posting these comments, I read. I'm always wondering what are these OW thinking? You can say, well she deserved that! My therapist kept telling me, you won, when I played the pick me competition with the OW in my mind. I told my therapist every time, what did a win a cheater? Well yes, the OW does deserve this and more, but these statements helped me realize there is no competition with the OW. She is not better than me. Jealous of what I have eats at her everyday. Yes, she does deserve to feel like shit. The OW hardly ever mentions what she does to the BW. She doesn't care. It is her competition not mine. Please note these women cannot spell worth shit.

    -I was always on the outside. I found myself envious of her and over time it drove me just about nuts.

    -I find myself on an island alone, and he has gone back to his loving wife, parents and I have NONE of that. I would tell him all the time how lucky he was to have a blessed life, but he didn't understand. It was all normal for him to have it all. I have lived years of a lie. I lied to everyone.

    -Now, that he has wiped his feet and gone on with his life, I am miserable and eat up with many things.

    -I know when the affair ends, I loose moments of joy and are engulfed by lonliness at home. Then the MM continues on in a blessed life filled with laughing, love and a fullfilled life. They seem to have it all and there I am with nothing. How do I overcome wondering all the time what "they" are doing. She never gave up on him.

    -I know he isn't suffering nearly as much as me because he goes home to his wife. He may not be totally happy with it but he is proud of it and he created it all with her. 

    1. LLP, I don't think this is too much at all. I think it can really help us when we realize what often goes on in the OW's mind. What we imagine can be so different from the reality.
      The other thing I'm always struck by is how "easy" they think the cheater has it by going back to his wife. They somehow think that there are no consequences to the cheating. That he's getting off easy and she's stuck alone and miserable. THEY HAVE NO IDEA THE HELL WE PUT THESE GUYS THROUGH. And it also speaks to this lack of conscience. They don't seem to realize how horrible it is to have to make amends to someone you love and whom you've devastated. It's beyond them.
      But I do think that, at some point, we need to let them go and realize that no matter what they're thinking, it's not about us. Never was.

    2. LLP and Elle, I can't thank you two enough for putting this out there. It wasn't too much at all. I too wonder what the hell these OW are thinking. It has to suck to know that most times the wife comes first. We've been married almost 28 years and my h told me he never intended to leave me, didn't intend to hurt me, that they knew it was wrong (the 2 of them talked about that), she wanted to end it several times because she knew it was wrong but he convinced her I was okay with it, so just once or twice a month and sexting. Really?!? So this OW was willing to just be available when I wasn't?!? She was willing to be "on call" when I was at work?!? I still wonder (at 15 mos. out) about my h's OW, what she was thinking, and truthfully if she's gone on with her life. LLP, your post helps me to think this through.

      When my h called his OW to tell her it was over (I told him to choose me or her - he couldn't have it both ways), that I knew about them and we were going to marriage counseling, he told me that her response to him was "put your heart and soul into your marriage". And he has. Thankfully.

      But what kind of woman would do this to another woman?!? I don't think the OW have any idea the debilitating, excruciating, and unbelievable amount of pain it inflicts on the wife, the family if they find out. The OW just have no idea. Until it happens to you, you just have no idea. I know I didn't.

      Thanks, LLP. I appreciate your post.

    3. Lynn less pain and Elle
      I didn't even have to guess how the cow felt. She watched my h move into the house and witnessed our joy, sent him texts telling him how crushed her heart was...left him alone for a couple of weeks, and pursued him even harder until their final physical encounter, and then he truly blew her off right before she blew us both up and into her drama! Thankful that one full year has almost passed with no further real contact! I'm fairly certain she's still the same sad piece of mess he thought he wanted so damn bad only to find out she was like chewing gum stuck to his shoe and he'd tried everything to remove it! Glad I helped him find a way! Easy...trash the gummy shoes!

    4. LLP Thank you for your comment on this post. I often wonder what the OW was thinking since she went after my h in front of me and had help from her friends in trying to destroy my family. She made it clear that she didn't care about my feelings. But in the end she is the one who is lonely. The guy she left and then went running back to when it blew up in her face has finally moved on without her. We moved across the country to get rid of her. She was very obsessed with my husband within a short period of time. She was jealous of the relationship that we had and everyone we worked with saw that. It took drugs and sleep deprivation to get him away from me. The whole affair lasted 10 days and she was telling him she was in love with him. She still has pictures of her and her ex fiance on her Facebook page while his new girlfriend has pictures of them kissing and being happy together on her Facebook page. I gave this piece of garbage the opportunity to tell me her side of the story. But, being the coward she is she hasn't answered me. Her and her friends pretended to be my friend too all to through me off of what they were doing. The thing is, she couldn't get my husband on her own and then she couldn't fight her own battles. She had her friends come after me. The arrogance that she was showing through this mess is what got to me. She even thought that my h would run back to her if I had contact with her. She was wrong. And now her life is not what she had planned 18 months ago.

    5. I can't live with the pain of knowing who H cheated with, that they did it when I was 8 mos pregnant with our 2nd child, that they panned it a week in advance and had to drive 2.5 hours and remove our daughters car seat from the backseat to have sex with COW, that they went on communicating through email intermittently for 4 years, that H invited COW to do it in our car again 4 yrs later, just weeks after we went out to a family dinner and unknowing BW, I paid for COW's meal (b/c she was poor) and afterwards she cruelly sat on my lap and flirted with my husband (I thought it was so odd but who would ever suspect) and luckily failed (ED). That when I found out a decade later (4 mos ago) and was in excruciating pain not only that H cheated on me, but further that COW was married to his cousin. H's first words were "they should have never been married" that he thought he loved her that he thought they had a future together and invited her to get an apartment and move in with him (they didn't), that he only stayed with me for the kids, that he "hated me for a whole decade" and was "one foot out the door", that he was justified because he thought I didn't love me, he accused me of "having an affair with my career". All the while I was doing my best to love a man with addiction and anger, I was making our house a home, I was kind & generous to his family, I was supporting him financially.

      COW is a total looser, had another A, married to a divorced man who also cheated on his ex. She is not educated. He has filed bankruptcy. She has been taken to court 2x for credit card default. They are childless. They rent a rundown apartment. Yet she took something so precious from me that I can never regain.

      Despite H asking for my forgiveness, apologizing over & over, showing true remorse, making the apts for MC, going to a psychiatrist to get evaluated, telling me I am the love of his life, planning dates, sending flowers, writing daily love letters, finally admitting that it was himself, not me, that he hated, admitting that he and COW had nothing in common except complaining about their spouses, that he realized a future with her would be void of trust b/c of how it started, H has deepening in his faith in God, since Dday has been saying that he is the luckiest man on the planet to still be with me. All of that is what BW would ask for after Dday.

      Yet, my pain is SO big, how can I heal ENOUGH from the enormity of it. I know the hurt won't change whether we stay married, separate or divorce. The anguish will be with me until I die.


    6. Maiden of the shieldMarch 12, 2017 at 1:18 AM

      Brown eyed girl....I feel you. The anguish is so Damm big. I don't know what to do with it. I just want a moment of peace....just one.

      I never knew I could be this broken. Healing isn't a destination it's a process. But some days it's like f this.....why do I have to live this reality every day, whether we make it or not. I wish she had to face this same demon. Because she helped make it. She should have to fight it too.

    7. Maiden,
      Your last three sentences hit home with me. On the bad days, these are the thoughts that go through my head. And if I'm being 100% honest, there have been moments when I question whether she has faced this that I feel like I should have blown her world up like she did mine. Then she would be forced to face it, forced to look her own husband in the eye and explain to him how she could have done this.
      But on the days where I'm feeling much stronger, I know that no matter how badly I hurt, my conscience is clear. I can say that I've been faithful, I've not lied, I've not jeopardized my family, especially my children, for my own selfishness. She can't say any of those things and her failure to own up to what she's done and change her behavior means that she still lives a lie. I've also watched the pain my husband has gone through being the cause of so much damage and pain. And as much as this hurts, I wouldn't want to be in either of their shoes.

    8. Good point Dandelion, "And as much as this hurts, I wouldn't want to be in either of their shoes." My H has repeatedly said he is sorry, asked for my forgiveness, shown remorse. COW is a callous whore with no conscious. I doubt she is capable of feeling guilt. She'll learn too late on her own judgment day by someone far greater than me.

  10. I was recently reminded by my h's absence that this flippin journey may go on forever, even if he never cheats again. hello triggers, it sbeen a while.
    If he does cheat , I may never know (but i think i could figure it out).

    Even if he can be the most wonderful, understanding and tuned in person in my life I doubt very much that I will ever trust him like i did before.

    This is not hopelessness, this is reality. I know women here and further along on this road, years ahead of me that still "verify" when things feel off.

    I was so so naive after D-Day 1. I trusted him implicitly, because he felt so connected with me! That blew up in my face with a D-day 2 in 2016. He pulled a damn good charade for a long time, while he fell deeper into the pit into Sex addiction. Not that he could not have tried to pull himself out, which ticks me off.

    Why do I stay (at least for now)? Because after I was gutted by the person I trusted the most, I realize that I could be gutted by someone different in the future. It's possible. anything is possible. I'm not willing to give up on this relationship, that I believe is worth rebuilding, just yet. So we carry on.

    1. I agree I do not think there will ever be that 100% trust blind trust actually. That is gone forever. My therapist said it is smart as long as we can move forward and it is not me holding back or holding it over his head. My therapist said that does not work long term. However my therapist said that it is okay to reevaluate how things are going and if I have a gut feeling to speak up. It is important to have that skill and use it.

      The other night my husband met friends out to watch some games. Everything was on the up and up following all of the boundaries we have agreed to. So no reason to doubt him. He came home and could not say how much he misses me, wished I had been with him all night, I am the most important thing in his life and his biggest priority... he said of course you know all of that. And I thought for a minute and told him those are all nice things to hear but I am cautious and skeptical. He lied to me, to my face for 10 years and even though things are totally different I am not now or sure if ever I can have complete trust. I said I cannot control him and I am fully aware of that now. So I cannot assume anything. He understands and does not take it in a bad way at all which is good. I am not sure what that means long term. And I cannot imagine really trusting anyone 100%. So we will see as time goes on but for now we are vigilant and talk openly together all the time.

  11. Has anyone thought that renewing your vows would help in the healing process? I thought about this initially and asked that we do this to commit to one another. After kids, jobs and almost 18 years of marriage I figured that we kind of lost what we had originally committed to. I expressed this and he didn't really ever say yes and really stalled. Now he wants to and I'm like...too late...I'm past that now. Why would you not have said yes initially? Like I don't ask for much at all in life. He's the one that broke vows and I just wanted to recommit so that I would feel trust again and get this monkey off my back. I don't need a dress, flowers, venue, gathering of people, etc. I'm a no frills person. I just want honesty, commitment and special moment that could be thought of as a fresh start. Just he and I in front of each other in our own home looking at each other and voicing our vows (something a lot different than 20 years ago) Now that he says yes, I'm frustrated. He doesn't get it.
    It's our 20th this year and I'm soooo not a cliche person. It's not a milestone for me at all....cause in my mind it got f'd up at year 18 with his affair.

    1. Heartfelt,

      My H offered to renew shortly after my most recent Dday 4 mos ago. In our case we've had 3 wedding ceremonies. 1st one was just the 2 of us in a civil ceremony on an island. 2nd was when we returned home from honeymoon, reception with friends & family and said our vows with a minister. 3rd time was just before my H got baptized as an adult in the church, a few mos before our 10yr anniversary and we went on a 2nd honeymoon to the place we got married. They all felt so real & true. I meant every word. Problem is none of those stopped him from cheating, he couldn't keep a promise he made THREE times. If H asked me to marry him again I would say "no way"! For me, a 4th promise would be meaningless. But that is me and my feelings and our circumstances.

      If you and your H both want to renew your vows then you should. I've heard of others doing this after an A and it can be beautiful, especially if the CS is the one planning it.

    2. Heartfelt
      In our case, his ow told him if he was serious about his marriage to put on his wedding ring, she would not have given him a second glance if he would have had one on. We had already bought his new ring long before she began telling us how to run our relationship. It was my h who wanted a new ring as his was too small and lived in a tray. It was my h that said he wanted to renew the vows he had broken, so sitting together we each recommitted to our vows to be honest, love, protect from further damage by reckless choices, his words for discussion before planning activities. I think it's a personal decision for each couple and others have shared in earlier blog posts.

    3. Personally I wouldn't want to renew our vows it would be too much of a trigger. After all I didn't break mine so why would I renew? Maybe I am too jaded :)

    4. I personally cannot imagine renewing our vows. I would not wear my rings if it were not for my kids. My husband always wore his ring. The ow both knew he was married and had kids. He said he never complained to his friends or them about me once. The one ow tracked him for 3-4 years and would find out where he was and just show up. She asked him that entire time for his cell number and he did not give it to her. So I feel like all that matters are your actions and decisions. All the words are great but they mean nothing to me. We have celebrated our wedding anniversary which is not my favorite thing to do or the day we met. Mostly it irritates me. Again the kids are into all of the dates and stories. For me I am probably more of the odd one out that I find dday 1 anniversary to be something to celebrate. I do not consider my marriage over but I do feel that everything got reset that day. Without it who knows where we would be. It has been hard but I am thankful it happened. In the end I expect day to day commitment, honesty, authenticity, transparency, and affirming that all with words and actions.

    5. We did very soon after D-Day. In hindsight, not such a great idea, but I was going to "get over it and through it" as soon as I could...I thought. We did it in private on our wedding anniversary. The kicker is that he didn't put much thought into it and didn't realize I wanted something in writing- still in la-la land, I guess. So I still think it was a good idea- I think it would have been better after we had worked through more things, though.

  12. I have to say healing is possible because I'm proof of it. Tomorrow is year 4 since d-day. Tomorrow is year 4 since I lost all
    I had worked for. Tomorrow is all I can say now tomorrow is also another beginning. Tomorrow is one more day I'm still "alive." Tomorrow is one more day it didn't kill me.
    Tomorrow is one more day to prove I've survived....... You see now I look forward to the "date" because it's proof I've survived the worst injustice anyone has ever done to me. I survived as my little girl would say like a "boss." So bring on tomorrow and every day after. I'm so blessed to have found all of. I'm
    So blessed to have met "Elle." I say this because now I sleep through the night again.... Like a baby..... It took over three years to get to this point but I did. I won't lie and say that sometimes my heart hurts or my fingertips even feel pain or that I don't sometimes have a bad dream but you see that God didn't make us to be aftaid he made us to overcome. So I'll say it again bring on tomorrow and I'm gonna punch tomorrow in the face straight on and celebrate the fact that I'm still alive. His actions didn't kill me..... It taught me to stick up for myself and never ever accept mediocre!!!!!! So he actually came home the other day and said he just couldn't get over what he has done.... That I did something, Godonlh knows what, and he was reminded how horrible he felt when I found out. So I told him he needed to learn to deal because I have. Then I said if you feel that my existence makes you feel bad that's not healthy for you.... So maybe you should look inside yourself and figure out what you want because I'm nobody's footstool..... Me I said this.... So proud of me ;) All I know is that we were put through literal hell by the bad choices our husbands made.... And that even through this we have survived.... So live every at like you are blessed. Even if your hair isn't washed because the kids need work and you haven't slept in days due to pain in your heart. Know You are loved and cared about. Stay strong you are not alone and in year 4 I want to hear how you are doing too ;) love your girls - Ann from Texas

    1. Ann from Texas, thanks. I'm going to tackle tomorrow with a vengeance every day now...because of your words. I'm almost 15 mos out, been married almost 38 years. I'm looking forward to more if things continue to improve between me and my h. I have noticed that I AM stronger, and I AM alive (I seriously wanted to end it all, but thank goodness I didn't - my grandbabies need me:). I'm still working on not settling. I settle too often when I shouldn't (I'm acknowledging this and working very hard on it).

      Thanks, Elle, for a forum where I can go to help me with my healing and be totally understood.

    2. Ann from Texas, wow, you are just amazing my friend and I hope I end up exactly where you are. I'm pushing 21 months out now and doing pretty well but honey, you rock. Love and Peace

    3. Ann from Texas, thank you. I thought I sent a much longer response but the "internet" must have eaten it. It's people like you who hold the torch for those of us way behind. It is 21 months today for me.

    4. God bless you, Ann, thanks for giving me hope.

    5. I just found this blog and I think it may help me begin to heal. D-day was Halloween night for me. I unfortunately confirmed my worst fears and found an explicit email from the OW to hy husband. She works for home and the affair had been going on since April. They traveled together weekly.
      I fell apart, screamed, raged,kicked him out, called him every name in the book. We have been married 21 years and have 3 children- who all know her and all about the affair.
      I have taken him back and have told him I'm trying to fall back in love with him. He says he is full of shame and guilt. He never saw her as anything more than a piece of___. He says she was the aggressor. She was constantly feeding his ego and he says that was what was so attractive to him. Because after 21 years of marriage I didn't -right?!
      I think about his betrayal constantly. I know he has lied about many many details, I have caught him many times. If he can't come clean during the discovery process how will I ever trust him again?
      I feel like I have sold a piece of my soul to remain in this marriage. He WAS the love of my life. Now I sometimes look at him and wonder who he even is? Although our kids are almost grown I love our family and the life we had together too much to just throw it away without trying to heal myself and forgive him.
      The process is brutal on my heart and soul. The pain is unbearable at times. I never know when a trigger will pop up and it all comes flooding back over me.
      I am comforted to have found a tribe of women who, sadly, completely empathize with where I am and what I'm going through.
      Thank you for sharing and supporting those of us who are still newly hurt and struggling along.
      "We are all broken, ... that's how the light gets in ." Ernest Hemingway

    6. Sorry I'm so late coming to this post. Thanks Ann from Texas. What an amazing post for all of us.



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