Monday, June 26, 2017

Feeling authentically you when things aren't what they appear

I posted a pic on Facebook the other day. It's of my three gorgeous children. The occasion is my youngest's grade eight graduation. My kids are smiling. I know I sound like their mother but they are radiant.
I could have commented something about endings and beginnings. I could have written about the awesome teachers and incredible school my daughter had the good fortune to attend. Or about the sibling love and loyalty so apparent in their hugs and their grins.
Instead, I posted something perhaps oblique to those who don't know us well. I wrote that it's tough to be a kid. I noted that some hurdles had been cleared but we know there are more to come.
I was referring, without coming right out and saying it, to the mental health issues that my youngest – our current grad – has faced. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and, at her worst, begged her father and I to kill her because she couldn't endure another minute of her thoughts. Instead, we found her help and she participated in an out-patient program at our local hospital. For weeks, she underwent what's called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), a therapy that slowly exposed her to her worst fears – contamination – and taught her that she could not only endure it but, with time and training, accept it.
Today, though she needs to routinely do mindfulness work to stay on track, you'd hardly know she will have OCD for the rest of her life.
I was referring also to my eldest who was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Spectrum Disorder and who, in the past couple of weeks, has been on 24/7 watch to prevent her from harming herself. She's doing better but we are, by no means, out of the proverbial woods.
To most who saw the photo I posted, I'm a proud mom of three beautiful children. Which is true.
But it's only part of the story.
And that's a challenge most of here face, isn't it? How to accept that something can be true – and no less true for being only part of the story.
It can be true that my husband loved me deeply. And also true that he cheated on me.
It can be true that my mother valued being a good mom. And also true that she routinely drank herself into incapacitation.
It can be true that you are an amazing person. And also true that your husband cheated.
It can be true that your husband is a kind, good-hearted soul. And also true that he made choices that hurt you deeply.
Our job, in the wake of betrayal, is to learn to accept these seeming paradoxes. 
And it's to discover that not telling everyone the entire truth of our lives isn't the same as lying. 
You don't owe people the whole story of your marriage, of your life. What people project onto you – that your life looks "perfect", for instance – is about them, not you. You're under no obligation to open the whole of your heart.
Human beings are natural storytellers. And we often fill in the blanks of what we don't know. We peer in from the outside and think we know the inner mechanics of their relationships, of their quirks.
But we don't know.
And we never will know what it is like to live in another person's marriage. That, however, rarely stops people from projecting. We see the put-together woman with her healthy beautiful children and we figure the inside story is as glossy as the outside version. And so we're shocked to discover that perfect makeup is to hide the bruises. Or we see the frazzled mom who's routinely late and are surprised to discover she's a well-respected CEO.
We are so swayed by external evidence that we, again and again, forget that it's a package. The contents can be wildly different. And the we humans are full of contradictions.
And while it's disconcerting to discover another person's life is not what it seems, it's devastating to discover that's true for our own.
But his cheating doesn't alter who you are.
And though at first you struggle to reconcile what you believed to be true with this new information, it can become easier.
This isn't some sort of semantic hocus-pocus. There is unquestionably parts of my marriage, before D-Day, that were a lie. I believed things about my husband that were patently untrue.
But I've learned that the larger part – that I was loved – can remain true.
And, more importantly, that I am a person worthy of love isn't changed by his choice to betray me.
All of which is to say, I get to choose the parts of my story that I share with the wider world. Choosing not to tell casual friends or acquaintances – even those who express envy at my "perfect" family – isn't being inauthentic, it's having clear boundaries. I don't owe anybody my whole story. Our lives are our own, and we get to decide what parts of our lives we share with the around us.
We choose who to tell about the mental health issues we're currently struggling with. For instance, we've chosen to tell close friends. We haven't told my daughter's landlord. We've told some family members but not others.
Don't confuse authenticity with full disclosure. Authenticity doesn't require you to reveal everything about yourself, it simply requires you to be fully present and fully yourself. It requires you to be honest with yourself. Always.
I know a lot of us struggle with this and feel as though we wear a mask. Give yourself time. Share your story with people who've earned the privilege, who will hold your pain in their hearts. Or don't. The choice is always always yours.



45 comments:

  1. Again Elle, you get to the issues that plague a BW so precisely. It was months after Dday until I wanted to be around any of our friends or family and 7 mos out I am still uncomfortable. I worry all they had to do was look in my eyes and they would see my pain. Even a total stranger could see the bags & dark circles from constant crying and insomnia. Only my BF knows about the infidelity. The rest just think I am in an average marriage with typical problems. Problem is my H has more problems than infidelity. And I feel inauthentic maybe even more about the breadth and depth of those problems. Everyone thinks infidelity is the big deal breaker. But how about years of addiction, anger management issues, unemployment and bad decisions? What about when you add infidelity to an already long list of significant problems. I do feel inauthentic around my friends, but it is dawning on me that it is because I have more to hide than just his cheating. I am the only one that sees this much of his dark side. I have given him such a gift not telling our children or his elderly father or our good friends. Everyone thinks he's a great guy. He does have many redeeming qualities. That is what he shows everyone else. I wonder if H ever thinks about or appreciates how much he benefits from my silence...

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    1. Browneyedgirl,
      And that, my dear, is a big piece of this. There's nothing wrong with only sharing the parts of your life that you want to share. But you want to be sure you're not being complicit in his behaviour by protecting him from the consequences -- i.e. other people's disappointment, disgust, etc. The first is healthy, the second is co-dependent. Have you ever read any Melody Beattie? She has written a lot about co-dependence in a clear way. You might want to do some reading and check it out. Your job isn't to protect him, it's to protect you.

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    2. I have not read any of her books. I'm familiar with co-dependency and I don't think that's our issue. I think it's more about the judgment it would bring on me and my children if others knew the whole story. I might not give him enough credit on here for he work he is doing to become a better man. He is or I would be separated. But we all know you don't just go from living a deplorable life to living a clean life overnight. He may have quit cheating years ago, he may have quit drugs and porn months ago. He may be going to his psychiatrist, IC & MC. He may be volunteering in church. But from time to time the old patterns of complacency and anger show. I can't un-forget what I learned about who he was and what he is capable of. And there is the rub. I don't feel authentic because I am not proud of the man I WAS married to, even if I can be proud of the man I AM married to. They are the same person. My head & my heart are really struggling with that. So is the current problem him or is it me? IDK. I just want to move forward and I've weighed the pro's & con's - leaving seems worse than staying. So why am I so unhappy?

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  2. This totally hits home. And I feel like in general with social media playing such a big role in all of our lives that this is more of an issue than ever. I tend to stay off as much as possible. My husband has said he cannot go on it is not good for him. He had his fake accounts but does not want to have any now. My husband says how much it affects his patients even in how they feel about themselves and their lives not even taking into account cheating. And he said having a smart phone made cheating easier. In the end it is so easy to think you can tell what is going on but I have always said that no one really knows. And I would even say no one even knows what is going on in another person.

    I am at a point of struggle since my husband said he was not "in love" with me anymore on dday. He said he should not have married me that he was too young. Having kids was hard on him. This is hard to process for me. I know I cannot change it but still how do I frame my past since it has been a lot of years and a lot of time together. There are good and bad aspects to this. For years I always wondered what is wrong with me. Dday was a huge ah ha moment for me that wow it was not me at all but that is what he convinced me over time and I also believed. It was gradual and it all wore me down in the midst of a career and having two kids.

    I know I need to focus on today but this is my biggest struggle. My husband says he would do anything for me, loves me more than anything in the world, would take a bullet for me, wants to spend the rest of our lives together and anticipates our future with excitement. This is all great and it feels great. Where I get caught is the reminiscing about our past. How we met, how we got engaged,our wedding, our honeymoon, anniversary trips, trips, births of our children.... and i feel like these things come up all the time. Based on what he has told me and how I felt sporadically while we were married it all feels fake and I wish I could wipe it from my memory.

    So I feel at odds. I feel so lucky I am where I am today and do appreciate it but I feel like I am sucked back into the past almost daily. I still don't want to put on my rings, I want to destroy anything from our wedding. I have tried to tell my husband to not bring those things up. Well not sure that helps or is healthy. And unfortunately it is usually other people bringing it up. So I need to find a way to cope and navigate the past if I want to be able to appreciate the present.

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    1. Hopeful30,
      I think people say a lot of things when their heads are messed up. I suspect the problem is less what he said to you then (given that he's refuted everything he said then and assured you that he loves you, etc.) and more what you are saying to yourself. Why are his words then more trustworthy than his words now? He was a horrible husband, no question. That doesn't mean he didn't love you and that he didn't love his kids. But he admits himself he had doubts about the decisions he made to get married.
      But...this is now. Whether or not he wishes he'd made different choices then, he's with you now. He doesn't have to be. Sometimes we don't realize what we have until we almost lose it. Most of us don't appreciate what we have until we do lose it. Ask people who've survived cancer, or a heart attack. Each day feels sweeter. The rest of us continue to take our lives for granted.
      Hopeful30, it really comes down to this: You cannot change what happened. It is over. But you get to decide where you want to be today. If you can't let go of what he did and said (and that's entirely your prerogative), then you get to decide that you don't want him in your life anyway.
      But to continue to hang onto those old wounds is hurting you more each day. Are you in therapy? Because there's something that's keeping that hurt incredibly fresh. And it might help to really sort through it and figure out what it is. The wound is deep, I know. But I can't help but think it's because the wound was already there and he re-opened it. Something/someone in your life told you that you didn't quite measure up. So your husband's behaviour and then his words simply confirmed what you feared was true all along.
      Does any of that ring true?
      Cause Hopeful30, it's a lie. It's a lie that you're not enough. It's a lie that you aren't lovable. It's a lie that you're not everything a man would want in a wife and mother of his children. It's a lie that, I suspect, you've been telling yourself (or been told!) for a very long time.
      If you can get to the root of that, you might find something open up in you that allows you to let go of it. Far easier to embrace the present when the past isn't wrapped around your ankles holding you back.

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    2. Elle,

      Thank you for your reply. And yes you are right I am stuck and I do think I put too much weight in the security of what I thought we had even if not perfect. And I did raise my husband up on a pedestal even it supported by his lies.

      I have been seeing a therapist but am not going over the summer since there are no hours available when I can go since it is a long drive. I have my next appointment scheduled for August once the kids are back in school. I will say I spent the majority of my childhood and growing up alone for various reasons. I was very mature and self reliant. I just embraced my situation growing up and carried that over into adult hood. As I said I never asked or even talked about marriage with my husband, people were suprised out of school I did not automatically follow him where he was continuing his education etc. I am not sure if I did these things out of habit or to protect myself. I think really I felt like I would just always be alone. I actually enjoy it but then the idea that someone supposedly wants to be with you and spend their life with you is a positive feeling. Even now it is really easy for me to grow detached and be okay with being alone it is my comfortable spot. When I had kids the hardest thing was that I was not alone anymore the majority of my time. As far as I can tell that is the thing I can point to the most it what defines me. I think deep down too as an only child there is a fear of being left alone so when someone wants to be with you it makes you feel safe or like there are others that care about you. So I do think that was all shattered on dday.

      I know I need to find a way to really focus on today and the here and now. It is hard I dread our anniversary coming up. I prefer to celebrate dday way more. And holidays, kids births are hard too knowing that he was basically counting the minutes till he could escape us. It is hard for me to find enough in me to celebrate those moments.

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    3. Elle - wow, once again your words hit right to the core of where I am and what I needed to hear. I am in a place I have mentioned here before - 1 year out from Dday, but it was a long term EA that I knew about and tried to stop for year. But it never worked until I said you stop or you leave...because maybe I wasn't strong enough, or there were just too many lies my husband told himself in the thick of it, in the fog. He chose me - he continues to choose me every day - but because they still work together, it is a constant struggle with me of the past and the present. But your words here - so many of them - hit me where I am. You reminded me that THIS IS NOW. That is all we really have. The past cannot be changed...what is behind me will never change. But it doesn't have to define me now. You reminded me that I have a choice...I get to decide where I am today. I recently realized as my husband and I went back to counseling that much of what I am doing is responding to things today as if it was the past. Treating him as if he is lying rather than telling the truth. And usually I have no reason to doubt him - he is here, he continues to show up, every day and love me and work on us and try to repair the damage he caused - but sometimes we get stuck because I can't move forward. Doesn't mean I have to be at forgiveness yet - but sometimes the hurt I still feel is because I am choosing to stay in the past. Are we healed yet? Absolutely not. We have a long way to go with us, and we have a long way to go because of the work situation. But I believe my husband when he says he wants me, he wants us, he wants our family. That me and our 3 boys are the most important people to him. That he doesn't forget what is at stake. And while I haven't heard the words "thank you for giving me a second chance", it is there - in other words and actions. He recently said "when you said NEVER again...NEVER again with her, with anyone, NEVER AGAIN, I heard you. I heard the pain and I heard those words. And I think of them every day." Maybe it's time for me to trust in myself and really, REALLY start enjoying TODAY. Thank you, Elle.

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    4. Hopeful30, have you considered seeking a new therapist for another point of view? Just a thought. Sometimes,it is helpful to get another point of view. It took me a few to find the woman I work with now. She is trained in addictions, mindfulness and family so that about covers my life. Had a session today. I printed out this new post from Elle and gave it to her to read. We went from there as I was able to process some big feelings and some medium feelings too. Overall, I'm pretty level. I told my therapist that just before D-day 2 year anniversary I realized that I was OK with divorce if it came to that. For some reason, knowing I would be OK if I got divorced was enough of a revelation to move me forward past the gut pain. We have to get our head out of the past. It isn't a good place. I don't think about my actual wedding anniversary as anything other than a regular day. That hurts him and he can deal with that hurt. It is just easier for me not to mention it or think about it. I think about D-day and the day I started dating this new guy. So far he is keeping his word. We are not perfect but it is so much better. My husband also said some pretty hurtful things to me early on and I can now see that he was in some kind of serious self-defense/self-protection mode because he has rescinded everything he said many times over. His choices were not my fault. They will never be my fault. Just celebrate the day you want to celebrate any way you want. Much love to you.

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    5. I have thought of finding someone else but have not pursued it since I travel so far already and found someone that specializes in infidelity. Granted I go alone. I wish I could go more. It is a challenge if I am gone all day the then the questions start.

      And I would not celebrate my anniversary however the kids and others make a big deal out of it. I actually like dday and have found it to be positive and a good day to reflect in the good that has come out of this and also how far we have come.

      I get this all intellectually. My here and now is really good. I totally acknowledge it. it is not something I sit and think about the past but when it gets brought up in conversation etc. And I would say I almost have a physica reaction vs emotional. Thanks for the thoughts. Has anyone has any luck with online therapist or remote therapy.

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    6. Hopefull 30,
      I have this same struggle. Right before Dday my H said he was unhappy and that I was part of that unhappiness for him. He spelled out a few things about me he was unhappy with. Then I found the condom. Then Dday happened. Then he got more specific about his feelings toward me and how they'd changed because of his previous list of gripes. I held up my hand. I told him I was NOT ABOUT TO HEAR HIS "I LOVE YOU BUT I'M NOT IN LOVE WITH YOU" STORY. (I shouted that at him). He didn't finish his story, but I know that's what he was saying. I recently had a melt down (over a year after Dday) and brought this up. An acquaintance of ours (who meant well) was talking about how there are always a few crazy pilots. One had a secret 2nd family in South America. One had asked him to call up a second hooker to his hotel room for him (the hotel allowed only one guest. He wanted a second. Our acquaintance refused and was just relaying the message that people are crazy without knowing our history). I held it together in public. Later I cried. I cried and told my H I shouldn't have to hear things like that after what I've been though. That other women are married to bankers and lawyers that are at least home every night and not calling up second hookers to their rooms while their wives are home caring for their children. I told him he had no idea what I go through on a daily basis. That I'm tired of feeling weak all the time. He listened. He asked what he could do. He told me I was the strongest person he knew. He told me that was not him. He had no hookers in his room. I told him that wasn't the point. The point is that I would have no way of knowing!!! The point is that I have to live with the fact that that is a possibility. He said he loved me. I said I loved him. I said I have always loved him. That there's never been a day that I haven't loved him. He thanked me. Said that made him feel better. He sounded really relieved. Then I said, "But you see?? You DIDN'T love me at several points. Do you see?" He cried. Really cried. He said, "I was confused. I'm so sorry." Here's the truth... I hated having to take him down that road after all this time and after how well we're doing, but that was at the bottom of my panic attack about that story I heard. His "lack of love" for me that he expressed and acted upon (or maybe the other way around) is the most painful part. My love was constant. His was not. It was helpful to hear him call it "confusion" now. He had already admitted that what he did was wrong. That he regretted it. That I didn't deserve what he did to me. That he should have talked to me. But I would really like for him to admit that he loved me while he did these terrible things to me. I want his love to be constant like mine was. But I don't know if that's really true though. I'm not sure how all that works for him. I do like the word "confusion" over "not in love" though. In the end we cried together and stayed with all those terrible feelings and got through them. In the morning I thanked him for listening to my pain and staying with me through it. I told him I want to understand him and I want him to understand me, but some parts of it are harder to understand than others. As hard as the interaction was, I had to get him to understand how his wavering feelings for me were the biggest source of pain. I think he gets that now and I have a new word for his change in feelings.

      That "love but not in love" stuff that a lot of us get is going on my bullshit board (Pinterest). I'm calling that state "confused" from now on. That makes more sense to me (but I still don't like it and it's no excuse either).

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    7. Hopeful 30 I resonate so much with what you write - I ruminate on the hurtful things my H said after Dday in order to escape accountability. He has since taken full accountability and said very different things. But you can't unhear 'I hated you for a whole decade' or 'I wanted a divorce but I never thought you'd agree to one because of your faith so I had an affair' or 'I thought I loved her because she spoke my love language'. Even after they have restated their thoughts after therapy and past the point of defensiveness. My H learned so much about himself and how his childhood and bad adult choices allowed him to become a cheater. He was then able to say 'I never hated you, I didn't love myself and I didn't think I deserved your love' - ok now that makes sense but I still can't un-hear 'I hated you for a decade' even after being told by H and the MC 'that was a bad choice of words by someone acting very childish'. Looking at photos from all those years is a trigger for me. We looked so happy. Our wedding anniversary is next month and I anticipate H will recognize, he always does, but with cliché things like card, chocolate, flowers, dinner. Now I think wedding vows are total BS. I also think that they should be going WAY overboard on occasions like that to try and win the BW back.

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    8. Ann I hear you and feel so similar even though my husband never travelled. It is just so hard. And we have had talks like yours. I think the idea of how we are so different or see things differently is key. He constantly tells me I look at things as too black and white. He is more into the grey. Like there is no big magic answer as to why he did what he did. He was a jerk, selfish, got married too young, etc. I honestly feel like I am dealing with a teen who is throwing excuses at their parent to see what sticks. I know he means better than that. He basically just says it is kind of matter, let's have lots of corrective emotional experiences etc. in the end I do not feel like he is really listenting to me. He has in his mind what he wants. He wants to move past this, he wants me to be happy and he wants everything to be normal but not forgotten. In general I think because of his profession he is just so set on how he feels is the right way and I need more or something different.

      Beg, I agree with everything you say too. I see that he is different and the here and now. I even do understand why he was not 100% truthful on dday. I get it. I know he was not sure where he stood or what he even wanted. I get it all and it makes sense intellectually but it still hurts so bad. And that is when he says to me maybe it is irreparable but he will never leave me unless I tell him to. In a way I feel like it is game playing. I am an only child and I am terrible at fighting and defending myself. I just never had to do it really ever. I feel like it is a mix of his professional knowledge and how he might interact with a sibling. Maybe that sounds crazy but idk it just feels that way. I am really careful to say I feel this way etc but in the end he tells me how that is targeted at him no matter what language I use. What a mess...

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    9. Beach girl,

      My reply must have gotten lost in the internet last night since it is not posted.

      I have thought of trying to find a different therapist. I already travel over 1 1/2 hours each way and would not feel comfortable with anyone closer. So it becomes an all day endeavor which then with the kids not in school creates lots of questions all well meaning. Then to find someone new. I have also throught about telling my husband that he needs to find someone for us to see together. I am not sure how he would react at this point and not sure if it would benefit us.

      I will say my anxiety was triggered by his day/night out with friends a few months ago and him coming home a mess. I think even though he did not do anything wrong regarding women it all feels connected to me. He sees them as totally separate. He says he can see how I feel the way I do but does not agree. So it has put me on edge and questioning everything more. I was really direct with him that I do not want to spend my life with someone that cannot control himself and make such poor decisions at his age and after what he e have been through. I told him I am getting tired and worn down and just do not have tolerance for any of that. He heard me and it has improved but still some issues since them that have made me pull back. Again more life issues like saying he would prefer for others to think I do not work so he looks more successful. He admits it is an ego boost but he says the main reason is it benefits us and our family if others perceive him as more successful. In my opinion total crap since he is more than happy with the money I bring in. And when he recently said after talking to a divorce friend that he 1% of the time wishes he had zero commitments or obligations to others. I did not take that well and of course he does not believe me when I say I have never felt that way. I mean everyone can is a day/night off from the kids but that was not what I was saying. I feel like he lived his entire life only for himself and getting constant praise. When he hits his 30's that all diminishes.

      Intellectually i understand 100% I need to focus on today and the good in my life. And I do not sit around and stew about this at all. It is when I am reminded. And I would say forget the anniversary but the kids are relentless in all of this. I would never wear my rings again. I hate when they bring up how we met, our wedding, honeymoon.... I feel like I live in a world where everyone is constantly reminiscing.

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    10. Hopeful 30, (part 1)
      You are in a tough spot. I don't know if you even have the option of finding a therapist closer to you but at some point, maybe you can consider that fact that many of us, at some point in life, just need someone to talk with about the stress and pressure of life so finding someone closer because you want to explore your feelings could be just the fact of your life. I don't talk about seeing a counselor except my husband and best friend know, of course. I've decided that if it came up organically in conversation with my kids I would just say, "You know, sometimes it is just good to talk with an unbiased person about things that are bothering you and there are things in my life circles that I need to talk about with someone who doesn't know me." I have such an uneasy feeling in my gut when you post about how you are managing your day to day life with the ongoing things your husband presents you with. I feel for you deeply. It is a shame that you feel such pressure to travel so far (unless you really don't have anyone even 30 minutes closer) to just have a safe person to talk to about your life.

      I'd be pretty pissed if my spouse needed so much outside validation of his own self importance and self worth that he wanted people to think I did not work because he thought it reflected positively on him. What is that about? I work because I like to work and I like to earn money and I get great satisfaction from what I do. My husband has always said "You don't have to work you know." I would respond, "yes, but I like to work". Truth is that when both of us work it makes his life more difficult because he has to help out which may be inconvenient. Oh well.

      I suspect your husband has a lot more issues than he is willing to admit/face/deal with and you, my dear, are seeing them front and center.

      Oh, and regarding the anniversary thing. Since D-day if anyone else remembers I just say we are going to do something quietly and reflect. I've told my kids "that is not a special day for you to celebrate" it is just personal. Enjoy your own anniversary any way you want to. As far as all those memories that were once upon a time lovey dovey, I've told my husband to never bring them up to anyone again in my presence. More recently when we took the mindfulness class I walked into a conversation with him and the teacher who said, "Oh your husband was just telling me about the lovely way you met and how you fell in love". I just said, "really?". As soon as we were out the door I told him to never ever tell that story again in my presence. I no longer feel like that has any value to me even though it does to him. That just escalates my anger like nothing else. I feel like those reminiscing stories only serve to make him feel good about himself and completely undermine my reality. Although this post says that our spouses could love us and do very hurtful things because they still loved us, I am clear that I have a long road ahead of me to fully embrace that truth. This is what I talked to my counselor about yesterday because those statements bring up really big feelings inside of me. You know, my husband's acting out was premeditated. He had to seek out the right prostitutes to engage with. He had to make conscious decisions which ones to choose and which sex acts to pay for. There is deep disgust and hatred buried inside me about this that is unhealthy and will slowly strangle me to death so I'm trying to deal with this in therapy.

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    11. Hopeful 30 (part 2)
      As for the rings I made him take his off and I took mine off because I was not going to have him touch me with the ring I put on his finger after he had been touching whores with that ring. He bought us both a single band and he put mine on my finger last year vowing to be faithful. I had all my diamonds set in a new setting and added a band full of diamonds. The bottom line is that the original diamond he gave me is in a necklace that I took off the day after D-day and placed in my jewelry box. All the diamonds I wear were either given to me by someone else or picked out by me because I happen to like diamonds. There is a really lovely story about how he got the money to buy our original wedding rings but I never want to hear it again and I've told him that. Time may very well temper how I feel about all of this because I never thought I could be where I am right now but when I look at my new wedding rings I don't think about him at all. I don't think about being married to him either. I just like the fact that there are eight beautiful diamonds set into white gold and they will get me a nice chunk of change if I need money. Nothing sentimental about them at all even though he now has a lot of emotional energy around them because they represent a new beginning for him. When my daughter asked me about them I just told her that her grandmother had left me a bunch of loose diamonds so I just bought a new setting to pull it all together. She did not ask anything else. I said, "it is just a hunk of metal" which is exactly what my husband said to me when I told him to take his off. I said to him, "See? They mean nothing to you either. Just a hunk of metal that you wore with your whores." Ugh, just remembering that conversation makes me want to hurt him the way he hurt me. But I won't. I've divorced my feelings about my rings from him.

      I don't reminisce either about my life with my husband. He was a mess when I met him but I did not know it. He never shared any of his feelings with me. He just lied, cheated and was horribly selfish and he still is on many levels but he is doing much better putting me first, thinking about me and my feelings and seems to be keeping his word to cherish and honor me. "Forever" is just a word for today. Much love my friend.

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    12. As far as travelling it is related to his practice. His practice is really the go to spot in our town which means our region. He is hard to get into for people and so many friends ask if I can get them in sooner. And then I get to hear about how he has changed their marriage or their child's and family life for the better. Which is awesome I just want more of that in my house. The other factor is confidentiality. I know they are supposed to keep everything confidential and I get that but being in is profession and knowing everyone in the region personally is hard. Even medically I would say sometimes we seek treatment outside our region. He works with so many physicians. And when I was considering contacting an attorney I would never do it here. He works with almost every attorney especially family law due to child custody and divorce situations. Again I know ethically any of these professions are bound to confidentiality but I am cautious when he has a working/friend relationship with pretty much anyone who has any regular practices. He is who these professionals go to for their marital help, help with their kids or other family issues. So they not only refer between each other but they hold him in such high regard since he has improved their lives in some major way. I pretty much have someone come up to me daily telling me how amazing he is and how he has transformed their life in some way or someone they know has gone to him and benefited. So those are my reasons for leaving town to seek help.

      I did reach out to a new therapist and need to discuss with my husband. She wants each of us to come in individually first. So we will see.

      I am still taken aback by the working comment. I know it slipped out and he did not realize what he was saying. But that is how he truly feels. To me that is at the core of who he is. What else does he think. He just admitted the other day he realizes for 20+ years I have made all the sacrifices for his career. He again has the blanket maentatliy it is all for the best for our entire family but it never hit him even when I said it over and over to him that it was not good for me. But he did not hear it, only heard what he wanted that I was complaining and not appreciating how hard he was working and how much money he was making.

      I would love to do that with my rings. At this point with where we are in our lives I do not have the cash to go out and create anything new with college tuition and other expenses. I did plan to just melt it all down and sell it off and put it in a bank account and he freaked out about it. Granted he lost two wedding rings over the years and just went out and bought new ones without telling me. I wish my kids were not as in tune with things and did not notice every detail. It is sweet and I love that about them but they are on it. I have tried to minimize things with them but they jump on it immediately. If I don't have my rings on they ask why each and every day. I will say I forgot after working out or say I don't wear them when showering etc and forgot to put them on. But if we go out to eat or do anything they will notice. They want to see the cards we give each other etc. They are both very detail oriented, have a high level of empathy and a high emotional intelligence. For the affair years they constantly asked questions about what my husband was doing as young as two years old they asked why he wanted to spend more time and take more vacations with his friends than us. I never defended him but never bad mouthed him to the kids. I would bring it up to him but of course he became defensive and accused me of saying things to set that up. I told him every time that is what they see I am always positive.

      Looking forward to this long weekend and having a chat about future options with this potential new therapist.

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    13. Hopeful 30, your children sound amazing and sharp, just like we all wanted for our kids. Honestly, after reading all of our stories I am trying hard not to be surprised by anything. I think we are all doing the absolute best we can in the moment but some moments are just hard and lonely. I feel such affection for my husband much of the time and I also feel such disgust at his behavior. My goal is to do my best to reconcile the fact that his public persona and his private life really had nothing to do with me. It is all him and the demons that live inside him. Just like your husband. When I give up the old fantasy that he was Mr. Do the Right Thing even in the face of adversity my life is better. His past behavior has forever changed the way I look at him every day. He knows that. I know that. I'm still going to do my best to live a rewarding life participating in things that bring me joy. Maybe if your kids ask questions about their dad you can tell them to go ask him. It pains him that I am still suspicious of him since it has been two years since D-day. Well for him, being sexually faithful for 2 years is a major accomplishment! For me, it is just two out of 38 years so while I appreciate this for sure it is not something I ever thought I would even need to think about or deal with. Two years for the betrayed spouse is just the beginning. Have a wonderful long weekend. Mine will be filled with family and crap food and babies galore. Then I will rest.

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    14. Hopeful 30, been thinking about you in regard to you needing to travel a distance for IC because of your H's practice. There is a confidentiality expectation in the field. Anyone who violates it can loose their license & risks their livelihood. You can make that expectation very clear up front with a local counselor. Of course, it's so much easier for us BW to give advice to someone else than ourselves, I certainly understand that. If this was a friend or one of us might you advise that H made this mess and he doesn't get to limit your access to someone who can help you heal? If H didn't want one of his peers to hear about how he betrayed you he shouldn't have made those bad decisions. You can certainly use pseudonyms, especially if you are paying cash. I can't imagine the entire mental health community knows him. I am in healthcare and not everyone knows each other even in the same specialty. Your health is more important than H being uncomfortable at the possibility a professional in your community could violate their ethics. Also, have you considered telehealth counseling? That might be a reasonable compromise...

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    15. Beach girl, I feel very similar. I think what I need to focus on are those down times for me. I totally agree this is just the beginning for my husband too. He said on dday he was unsure if he could or even wanted to change. I am sure he was scared. He had lived his entire life one way and knew it would be a big change. The good thing for him is that he says honestly it has been easy to make the changes and has never felt like work. So that is my goal not only to focus on the present but being mindful of finding ways to manage when I am feeling down. I think for me being aware as soon as it helps otherwise it sinks in. I want to start journaling again too. That was helpful when I was down or to see my progress too.

      Beg, Locally within an hour anyone that has any sort of practice knows him. I mean there might be random therapists that see 1-3 people out of their homes but otherwise he refers out a lot of patients since he is so busy and the mental health community is small especially since he is with the largest practice. And using an alternate name would not work as in the offices they know who I am or someone else does in their offices. I do agree they should keep everything confidential however anyone I would consider seeing is in his office and that would just not work even for me. I do not think it would be worth it and I could open up with these people. I have thought of telemedicine. I know it is a growing industry. I did find one person where I could meet once and then if we felt okay we could have our appointments via phone which would help a lot.

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  3. Omg it's like you wrote this post specifically to me!!! I've had a terrible weekend which to be honest has come after a terrible few months!!! I've spent the weekend having panic attacks brought on by a verbal spat with my H"s brother which I know I was totally out of order (and full of wine!) This then led to me worrying myself sick that his new girlfriend will tell people about my H affair! I'm torn between wanting people to know as I feel I'm deceiving everyone and then I'm terrified of people's reactions if they do find out.....I'm so exhausted and my head is wrecked with the constant conversations I have with myself!!! I'm so annoyed with myself that I spoke too freely( in anger) about my business! Sometimes I feel I'm going to burst! It's nearly 2 years tsince D Day.... I don't seem to be getting over this! My H says there's nothing more he can say.... He doesn't know what to do anymore.... I feel totally lost, angry and disappointed in myself for not keeping it together! I finally went to my Doctor today and she wants me to go back to counselling ( I stopped 6 months ago) and go on antidepressants for the anxiety for 3 months. I want to be there for my kids... I feel I've only being with them in body but not in mind for the last few years! I'm afraid of the effect that will have on them! I'm afraid of everything to be honest! I think I'm going crazy......

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    1. Wl
      Hang in there friend, we are all here and feel your anxiety. Sorry, I'm not remembering your story if you shared, but,you have a right to be feeling all that fear and exhaustion.
      Can you talk yourself into getting up and changing your scenery for even a few minutes? (I understand if not! Sometimes all I see is the work I have no energy for, depressing.) If you can make your way to a mirror, tell that woman in there that she is one strong, beautiful woman. Remind her she has lived through her biggest fear (it was mine anyways). Then go find something beautiful and make yourself look at it. Try to notice color, pattern, texture, smell. Ive even closed my eyes and listened to the sound of wind through the trees. Anything to focus your mind elsewhere, on anything but 'that'. Praise yourself for a job well done, even if it was just loading the dishwasher.
      I have felt half-mad at times with the constant replay of thoughts, thoughts, thoughts! Physical exercise has helped me tremendously. No one is more surprised then I that I do it! I've never been accused me of being naturally athletic, ha.
      Good for you for reaching out to these women. They are kind and wise, have made it through these long, hard days. They assure us it does get better. I believe them, tho I'm not there myself.
      Brighter, calmer days to you.

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    2. Womanlost
      This makes all of us think we're crazy but in the end we all have to realize that he was/is the crazy one for those choices he made. It certainly makes us feel crazy and some of us act a little crazy during some of the fall out, me, I went totally livid more than once, but at some point, we finally understand, it's not us , it's them! I'm finally finding the old me and the man I thought he was before he went nuts, and based on how he lives each day and how he treats me is making all the difference in my world. That said, each day is a choice for me as well and I choose to live each day for what it brings and finally I stopped looking back and began to live for today and make plans for our future. It's hard sometimes but totally worth it when both are willing to do the hard work! Hugs!

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    3. Womanlost, you are most decidedly not crazy. We've all been there. But you are stressed and anxious and deeply hurt. You're probably holding it together just enough and then a couple of drinks and there goes your willpower to hold it down. Kaboom.
      Forgive yourself. You screwed up. Big deal. Nobody died. This is your lesson in learning self-forgiveness because you can't possibly move past your husband's betrayal if you can't forgive yourself for this mild mistake. Compassion starts with yourself.
      I agree with your doctor. Therapy. Some medication to take the edge off while you work through the pain.
      And, I will add, self-forgiveness. Look in the mirror, straight in your eyes. See the hurt. See how incredibly hard you are on yourself. And tell that wounded warrior woman that she is doing everything she can to get through the worst pain of her life. And that she is going to be okay. That it is tough but that she is tougher. That you are going to do everything you can to help her through this. That she is worth loving.

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    4. Wonanlost,
      I have done and said so many things that I wouldn't have done or said before all this. We are dealing with a lot! I remind myself that all this is a motive for murder a lot. I have not done that! Success!!
      An app I have (Aura) has guided meditations. I like them a lot. The one I recently did on self compassion was really helpful. It had me place my hand on my heart, breathe deeply, and imagine myself as my own best friend. As my best friend, I would wish for an end to my suffering. I would accept my own apology for anything I'd done and hug myself, accept myself. Somehow that thought of wishing for an end to my own suffering like I would wish for any of my friends to be out of suffering stuck with me. Now when I do something I wish I could take back, I can close my eyes, put my hand on my heart, feel that warm, orange glow, and wish for an end to my suffering over it. Super crunchy, but it works for me. I wish for an end for your suffering over whatever you said to your brother in law. When we speak our truths, it doesn't always come out perfectly. We learn and adjust, but we don't deserve to suffer over it.

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  4. I can so relate to what everyone is saying on here. After Dday not only was I dealing with the mental issues of my husband and his suicide attempt but I had to deal with it with my youngest daughter too. I think that it is important that we tell our stories. Especially so that other kids can get the help that they need.
    My husband had told my oldest daughter the day that I found out, that "he loved me but wasn't in love with me anymore and that the OW understood why he worked so hard." She had ulterior motives. The day after I kicked him out he was back home crying, telling me that he did love me, and that everyone that was part of creating this mess thought that I was crazy for having the reaction I did and he did too but, he still loved me anyways. After he got out of the hospital he had a different story on who were the crazy ones. And believe me the things that he said to me that day I found out still haunt me almost 2 years out. He shared things with her that he should never have shared regarding me and I was made out to be the bad person in this mess. Taking care of him and my kids made me the bad person go figure. And that makes it hard to let go of the past. But I think understanding what really was going on helps me let go of some anger I felt towards him and this group of women. Elle said to try and have compassion for her to help let it go and that has helped too. We now take things one day at a time. The future isn't really mentioned too muck yet unless we are talking about buying another house in a few years or what we want to do on our anniversary that is coming up in October. I finally feel like I can take care of me now knowing that both of them are mentally ok. Both are out of counseling and off the medications that they were on. I have also realized that the OW and her friends are mentally unstable with the things that they have done and will continue to do to other people long after I let everything go. My main concern now is me and how I heal and finally put this nightmare behind all of us.
    Cathy

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    1. Cathy,
      Compassion absolutely must start with you. And self-care is crucial. You've been in crisis mode but it sounds as if the time has come when you can exhale and begin to really take care of you.
      Your husband was crazy. Literally, from the sounds of it. He preferred to die than live the life he'd created. That says a lot. Now, it sounds as though he's creating a better life for himself. And understanding, I hope, just how distorted his thinking was. It's hard but your going to have to try and let go of some of the things he said at that time. They were the rantings of a lunatic, not a reasonable thoughtful man. His brain wasn't firing normally.
      But forgiving him for being mentally ill begins with forgiving yourself for doing what you thought best, no matter how anyone else judged your actions. You were fighting for your family. That's what mothers do.
      You heal by seeking help for yourself. By being gentle with yourself. By being compassionate with yourself.

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    2. Elle,
      I wouldn't say that he was crazy, the whole situation was crazy. This is what happens when you mix two different anti depressants together because you can't sleep, then having someone spike your coffee. She had admitted to me for the most part that she had done it. He was working two jobs. His real job overnights in corrections and then at this restaurant to help out old friends, who were conveniently fired after we started by the manager of the restaurant, who was helping the OW in trying to destroy our marriage. He knew enough to go get help that day that he wanted to end his life, when he literally woke up after falling asleep in his truck. He was a mess and he knew it. One of the side affects of antidepressants is changing who you are and the Physicians Assistant told him that the day I kicked him out. They had put him on the amitrityline for nerve pain, a year before, after getting hurt at work. When this medication wasn't working the way it was supposed to they changed it to Celexa. The Dr, who is not a Psychiatrist told him he was depressed from the injury and put him on Celexa. Celexa is known to change your personality. It makes you not care about anything, again it's one of the side affects of the medication. As is thoughts of suicide. He had only been on this medication for about 7 weeks. And that day I kicked him out he went to Dr's looking for help and they did nothing for him but up the medication and give him a prescription for Cialis because he couldn't keep it up for the OW. Then told him to get marriage counseling. It all changed a week later when I was in the Dr's office with my youngest daughter trying to get her a physical to play sports, but she was so dehydrated and hadn't been eating that she couldn't pass the physical. She ended up being able to pass the physical after 2 hours of making her eat and drink to get her levels up. They told me that she should have been put in the hospital because 99 percent of the time this never happens. I had my father take her to the Dr's that day because I was looking for her father. I had gotten a phone call from the Office manager at the Dr's office to hurry up and get there. When I got there to deal with my daughter's issues I told them that he was trying to end his life and I had been out looking for him. So I had to deal with both of these situations at the same time. They talked to me about sleep deprivation and what it can do to people. But they couldn't tell me what they had talked to him about when he was there the week before. He told me what they had said and done. And while I was talking to them about him and what was going on he was at the emergency room trying to get help. So I don't judge him, this whole mess was lunacy to begin with No sleep and the drug interactions is what caused this mess on his end. And when he told the OW how he never wanted this and didn't know how it all happened she was very proud of herself telling him that she planned the whole thing.
      This is why I keep posting what happened to us so that I can find someone else who has been through what we have. At least with the medications. But I guess our situation is so different that no one can relate to it. Everything that I have posted on here is the truth and I was just looking for someone, anyone who has experienced what we did.
      Cathy

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  5. Oh my dear Elle ... holding you up with betrayed wives club strength and mama bear unbreakable power to realuze we might not be able to fix all things but to keep doing our best to just show up everyday to hold ourselves up along with anyone else we feel matters. Authentic is way better then bullshit and perfection any day even if it hurts, is uncomfortable or seems difficult it's what we have or are given and everyday we can find thankfulness in something and a glimpse of glitter somewhere. Peace and love to you and your family. Thank you so much for sharing. Bare raw and simply beautiful... wounded not broken. Fact of that matter if everyone worries about their own grass vs others how many more green grass and gardens there would be. I read a quote I'm too busy watering my own grass to care if your is greener. Blowing some pixie dust your way. To all the btw club warriors too.

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    1. Pixie dust is gratefully accepted.
      Life is funny. A woman in my morning yoga class made mention of an artist who's bipolar. And then commented about her daughter's bipolar. She knew nothing of my daughter. I asked a bit about it, heard that her daughter is doing great 15 years after diagnosis, is mom to two kids, etc. So I told her about my daughter and she responded with such warmth and kindness and wisdom. Gave me some ideas and suggestions and told me to not hesitate to contact her if I need anything.
      I do think people are put in our path for a reason. I felt so grateful to speak with someone who understood, who didn't recoil, who didn't judge.
      We're all just walking each other home, says Ram Dass.

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    2. Elle...your post about the woman from your yoga class gave me chills. Sounds like one of those things...just what you needed. Many hugs to you and your family!

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    3. It's was that ME TOO we all so desperately need and can make things seem a bit lighter. Crossing paths i believe in too or it's a gift of karma to you for all you do for us! Goodness and reward come full circle. Absorb it. Accept it and in moments it feels overwhelming thing of that mee too lady in yoga like this instance about bipolar.... if only betrayed wives were this outspoken too but instead most of us suffer and struggle in silence. Feeling understood and not alone can work wonders. I hope now too that your daughter will run into a warming person that understands too but I have no doubt shell be just fine she has you ... I think your mom's just show up maybe work in regards to this too. Just saying

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  6. Thank you so much Truth and Theresa! I admit to shedding a tear on reading your post Truth! Sometimes when I look in the mirror I don't know who is looking back at me.... Hopefully the meds will help bring the panic attack under control which will help me feel calmer! Like yourself I would have been a bit of a couch potato lol but now am running 8-10k 2-3 times a week!! Who'd have thought!?!? Maybe there's good in every situation! Running definately helps release the pent up anger I feel most days!
    when I woke this morning and saw all your replies I didn't feel quite as alone or crazy as I did last night!! Thank you so much! Hers hoping today is a better day x

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    1. Wl
      Be assured, you are not! not! not! alone!!!! We are here. Keep us posted if you feel to. I hope things will steadily look up for you. May you begin to see your wonderful, beautiful self as you truly are! Elle talked above about self-compassion and self-forgivness, that and all that running,I have a feeling one day you will discover you are Womanfound! Have a good day! Love to you!

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  7. This is such a clear statement of what authenticity means. I'm going to use it to try to help my h understand that while 'washing his dirty linen in public' may be cathartic for him, it is not the only way to proceed.
    Some people just don't need to know.
    And, as I pointed out to him (several times), it's not just his story to tell, because it involves me and our daughter too. Having had zero choice in his past actions, I would really like to have some say in who gets to 'hear all about it' these days.
    Boundaries.

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  8. This is such a clear statement of what authenticity means. I'm going to use it to try to help my h understand that while 'washing his dirty linen in public' may be cathartic for him, it is not the only way to proceed.
    Some people just don't need to know.
    And, as I pointed out to him (several times), it's not just his story to tell, because it involves me and our daughter too. Having had zero choice in his past actions, I would really like to have some say in who gets to 'hear all about it' these days.
    Boundaries.

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    1. Selkie, forgive me if I missed part of your story - did your H share the story of his infidelity publically?

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    2. Hi BrownEyedGirl, thanks for asking. First he told his brother about the affair, THEN he told me. (The brother advised him I should not be left in the dark!) A few weeks later he told some of his friends without telling me that they knew. Cue awkward conversations when I saw them next.

      We had 'decided' to tell our parents about his affair -
      his idea - (although I wanted to wait until we could add "and we're trying to fix things" or "and we're going our separate ways") and we asked them to say nothing to other family. Recently his mother discovered that my h had also told two of his aunts (her sisters). It's like he has a compulsion to 'confess', except he's not really sorry. He told people at his work too that we were going through a rough patch- but not exactly why.

      If he had talked as much to me instead of having an affair with a co-worker, we wouldn't be in this situation now.

      Serious communication issues.

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    3. Hi Selkie
      How are you going? I've been thinking about you - were you going away for a bit?
      My h told his whore we were having marital problems. Funny how I was never told this!!! Whilst things weren't the best between u, it really was like just about every married couple I know of who has kids.
      I then discovered he had told a family member of his without my consent of course - willing to talk to others, but not me and unwilling to be accountable for his load of shit. My h has serious communication issues too. There's only a few of my good older friends (20+ years older) who I have confided in, and their support has been amazing. Do you have family nearby? If not, do you have any really good older neighbors that you could talk to, so you can have some support also? (I think from memory you don't have family close by?)
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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  9. I struggled so much with this (feeling authentic) in the months after Dday. I still struggle some with this. I've never been really good with secrets. Never really had any. Was an open book really. Now, for good reason, there are things nobody (except H and counselor) know. I did find a few good ways to deal with this that I'm proud of. In the 2 weeks after Dday, I (like many of us) lost 26 pounds and a ton of hair. I wasn't sleeping or eating. The strange part is that I kept getting compliments on how great I looked from family and friends. How "healthy" and "happy" I looked. I mostly just stared back at them in amazement. Not at their stupidity, but at my amazing talent (curse) of hiding my feelings. I had the best poker face in the world and I'd had no idea. It did not serve me well. Anyway, one friend of mine (ONE!!) asked me, "Is everything alright? I'm worried about you." Of course I told her I was fine. Everything was peachy. (No authenticity awards there!!) A few months later when I was sleeping and eating, I found a way to revisit her question. We were alone and I said this: "I wanted to thank you for asking about me and worrying about me a few months ago. I told you I was fine, but I was certainly not. It meant a lot that you asked about me. My problems were with my marriage. They were really bad problems. The kind you don't think will happen to you. The kind that you need to find help to resolve. We did that. I'm getting better. I just wanted you to know how much it meant to me that you asked about me and cared about me. I was really hurting at that point, and you asking me that was so helpful to me." That's it. I didn't go into details or make it about me. I made it about her. About our friendship. I was vulnerable, but didn't over share. She cried with me and said she was sorry I went through a terrible time and didn't feel like I could share it. We are still close friends, but she has no details about my H's choices or mine (except that we had problems and sought help). I thought those words might help someone else who's looking for ways to connect with a friend without telling the entire story. I told enough to feel real with this person. I just couldn't continue on with my statement that I was "fine".

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    1. Ann, your post is beautiful and so very thoughtful and kind. My body had the exact same response as yours after D-day. My hair fell out in clumps, I stopped eating and lost 40 pounds. I didn't sleep. I stopped seeing anyone except those whose paths crossed mine with the exception of my best friend. She has her own challenges but she kept asking me if I was OK. At one point I broke down and cried and just told her things were not good in my marriage and that I wasn't sure where I was going. Six months later I told her the truth. She and I have been BFF for more than 50 years. She has my back like nobody else and I am grateful for her presence in my heart. I hide my feelings well and have always been an open book like you. This post was so helpful to me and my therapist loved it too. Getting to really understand that authenticity can be solid without over-sharing every detail of your life was an eye opening "aha" moment yesterday. My personal pain and heartbreak of my husband's infidelity is mine. I can be genuine and still have boundaries around my story. Your words feel so genuine and thoughtful. Thank you for sharing.

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    2. This has been an issue for me. I feel like this is a huge aspect of my life and at least the recovery defines a lot of who I am. However I have not been able to open up to anyone. I worry that even in a less detailed approach it could get to my kids in some way and they are inquisitive, ask a million questions and have high emotional intelligence. And i am not sure how my closest friends would handle it. They are who we do the most couples things with and I am almost sure that would
      Affect that dynamic. And my husband's
      Friends are useless couples wise even after major efforts.

      I too lost a lot of weight and hated how everyone told me I looked amazing. Yeah the gaunt look of depression and the worst pain and sadness ever. And friends did say things. I also just stopped communicating as much. We were focusing on us and I really had so little to say since I scaled back and said no to pretty much everything. It was back to basics. I still feel almost a barrier with others. It seems whenever I am with others cheating, divorce, etc come up. I have gotten so tired of it.

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  10. It's not often I pick up a People magazine, but I was traveling for work and I'm obsessed with Chip and Joanna Gaines. Beyonce had twins, but I don't much get caught up in that. A side note was Lady Diana. I combed over the magazine but somehow got caught up in reading about Lady Di. I guess it never consumed me how or why she and Charles divorced. Always knew of Camilla but never really focused on the timeline. Well the article clearly laid out that the lady Di tapes revealed that she actually learned of their affair pre-marriage. It was too late for her to change her mind. Charles purchased Camilla a bracelet with their nicknames and Diana was clearly aware. This awareness let to her paranoid state and bulimia nervosa. Sound familiar? Feel like you are going crazy and then you suddenly get an eating disorder. I couldn't help but feel complete empathy with her and it was so very long ago. A family that was reluctant to air their dirty laundry, but rather hide it from the general public. I think we truly all understand how she felt. So trapped and unable to share her world closing in. You want to disappear and are truly suicidal. Gosh, the magazine that I got for pure entertainment filled me with complete empathy and compassion. She had it all, but we all know that what looks good from the outside isn't reality. Anyway, somewhat interesting to learn of her hardships and our similarities. All walks of life experience this.

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    1. I have thought of that often. It is so sad and really set her up for everything she went through. It is so sad it was "too late" for her to not marry him when she knew what she was walking in to. I think hearing her story is such a reminder that so many of us are going through the same things. My husband always says he regrets that I said yes when he asked me to marry him and wishes I got someone that was faithful. Then he says how his friends would never do it. I tell him statistically that is next to impossible with his size of friend group. You just never know what others are doing or going through. And also he says he hears at work there are so many men especially that are miserable but never act on it. I feel like the majority of my friends are in marriages with men like that. They live as roommates and very separate lives. The wife the child rearing one the husband the worker. And they never can do anything together. I just wonder what will happen when all their kids go to college. I am glad we went through this now and have the best marriage we have had and also my husband has stepped it up in a major way as a parent.

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  11. Omg Cathy why would any woman( or person even!!) want to do that to another man??? She must be crazy?! I don't understand there sort of people!! What a terrible time for you and your husband in fairness!!

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    1. I wouldn't call her or her friends that helped her crazy. They did this maliciously. They are all know to be pathological liars especially the OW and the manager of the restaurant. The OW wanted my husband and she was going to get him anyway she could. The last conversation I had with her she told me that he and I were a couple of idiots. But in another text she said that she hopes we end up with a great marriage and to be happy. These are also the women that ran scared when I should up at the restaurant looking for my husband the day he tried to end his life. I was here when the Dr's office called me and said to get there right away. They told their chief that I had threatened them. I never threatened anyone, I just demanded to know where he was and that he was trying to end his life. The 3rd woman in this mess was who I was screaming at because I was desperate to find him. Neither the OW or the manager was there at that time. That's why he sent me the letter of restraint. These women all lied but, there is a whole restaurant of people who can verify what I said and had done and one of them was a Clan Mother to the Indian Nation. The whole time I was out looking for my husband the OW was trying to weasel herself back into the life of the guy she just left to go after my husband. This is they type of people that we were dealing with.
      Cathy

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