The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
Thanks Elle. This is one of my favorite quotes, I actually have it on a cup I use for my water cup all day long every day to remind me I am strong. But sometimes - I'm just so tired of being strong. Anyone else feel that way? I mean, I am proud of my strength for all I have been through in this life (so far) but sometimes I'm like enough already! Thinking of all of you, today and always! (hugs)
Jules, Yes I agree totally. I am so proud of my strength and I have surprised myself too. But yes sometimes I am like why am I always having to be the strong one. Honestly our entire marriage I have been the strong one, the dependable one. I am the one that does it all. Even during the affair years my husband gave me credit. Now the difference is he fights me to do things like the day to day things which helps. But yes I am tired and worn down from being strong. I question the things I struggle with still. What will help? Time? New experiences together as a couple? I know he does not want to talk about the past and not sure how much there is left to discuss but some days and things still are a struggle. I do not hold it in anymore but I am worn down from all of this. But I put on my happy face. Yeah!
I said that exact thing to my therapist early on. I was so sick of always having to be strong. I had spent my childhood being strong and responsible while those around me abdicated responsibility/integrity. I was so SO sick of always having to get back up after being knocked down.So let yourself be fed up. It isn't fair. Some people bear far too much pain. Life is not fair. There's nothing wrong with giving yourself the chance to just be pissed off and to lick your wounds.
Elle, yes, yes yes!!!
Me again...and I can't remember if I put this in my last comment so my apologies if this is duplicate, but does anyone else ever feel like they are just "faking it until they make it?" Does that make sense? Like I would not say that I have not been sincere this week, but I am working to change my mind set and sometimes I can tell I am faking it...but I think that is a path to making changes - believing what you are telling yourself even if in that moment it is fake. Just like I always feel a twinge of anxiety as my husband leaves for work, because they still work together, but I just smile and worked myself through it better today than I have in a long time. Maybe it was a bit fake, but I think that's part of it. Does that make sense? Anyone else?
I know exactly what you mean!!
Jules,Yes. I totally get tired of being strong at times. Sometimes I need to just cry it out still. The good news is that it usually doesn't last long and doesn't scare me like it used to. It doesn't mean I'm stuck and it doesn't mean I'm going backwards. Usually it means I've missed a chance to take care of myself so I get busy doing that and I drop everything else. I also feel like I'm faking it sometimes. This happens mostly at work for me. If I look back before I found out though, I think I was faking it much more then. I was living my life according to a script. Being the wife. Being the mother. Not necessarily feeling connected to my soul or body at all. Just doing and being what others needed me to do and be. Now that I don't do that, there are times I feel more fully myself that I did before I found out. But I do think I know what you are talking about. There are still times I'm working on something internally that I'm not ready to share with my H or the world yet. When I'm processing something and turning it over in my mind, but I just press forward on the outside to some extent. I think it has to be that way (for me at least) so that I don't make a whole issue out of every single fleeting thought I have. I need to make sure I understand my needs before I communicate them. In that sense, I do think it's all part of it. For me, the key is making sure I'm paying attention internally (enough quiet time to think). I think it's important not to push uncomfortable feelings down or ignore them, but it is ok to decide to sit with a feeling on your own for a bit and continue to live your live in the meantime. Hugs!
Jules, yes, yes, yes!!
Yes to this too. I feel like I am faking it a lot. I do agree that to change your mindset you have to do this somewhat. I have always been this type of person to make the best of things and to be optimistic. This though has made me take it to a new level. I feel I am faking it a lot with my kids and others in general. I feel like many times I could throw up. When people tell me how amazing my husband is professionally, as a dad, husband etc... It is nice but compared to my reality ugh. He has made some big changes but it is still hard for me. And my husband always says the one thing he wants is for me to be happy. He has maintained this and said no matter what it is with or without him. He does not like how I am distant from others and lack the ability to trust others in general. I know he does not like this since he created this reaction/dynamic by his behaviors. I hope with time this will get better...
I think we all "fake it til we make it" in lots of ways in our lives. The key, I think, is knowing that we're faking it. That we're not there yet. We want to stay cognizant of our emotions so that we're not just numbing ourselves and going along because it's easier than rocking the boat. Perfectly reasonable to "fake it" as long as it's temporary.
I also operate in the "fake it till you make it" mode at times but not as much as I did the first year or two. My therapist told me that this was unwise and early on I told my husband that I had to fake my feelings ever day and he also did not like it. The fact is, I seriously doubt my spouse would survive emotionally if he knew what was going on inside me when I need to go into that survival mode and I think of it as my survival mode. I have to do whatever it takes to keep ME sane and functioning so if that means putting a smile on my face until I can get out of a situation/conversation/etc, then that is exactly what I do. It is helpful for me to remember that I have many more authentic times now than before and that those moments when I need to fake it will pass. It is so comforting in a way to know that most of us, without ever knowing who we are, what we look like, where we live or what we believe in go through similar internal experiences over betrayal of this magnitude. I am so grateful for this blog and all of you.
I just get exhausted. It is not like a light switch I can turn off. I have to fight each day to remain in a balance. Sometime my mind goes off to the races and won't stop. I'm still triggering once a month very bad and I think that my mind gets so exhausted I can't take on more thing, thought or problem. So I escape either drinking too much. I may take a Xanax and go to bed at 5PM. All of this helps me reset myself. It is like a reprieve, a rest. I know the drugs and alcohol aren't the solution but it is the best I can do to escape the exhaustion in my mind. I have to practice everyday to do what I learned in therapy, it doesn't come naturally.
I have good news to share - we got rid of the affair car. Now I don't need to look at the scene of the attempted crime (ED) in my garage anymore. 1 less trigger. Hooray!
Next on my list is the silverware and wedding china the cow ate off of when I served her and the rest of his family a holiday meal. Then I will have nothing left cow touched except my H.
browneyedgirl,That is great! We have been attempting to do the same but unfortunately there are some other issues with his truck (which he bought during the affair and was also the "scene of the crimes") that mean we would take a pretty big loss if we sold it right now. The other issues are actually not his fault (dealer didn't disclose info about a previous insurance claim which decreases its value) so he paid way more than what it's worth. But it's still a sore spot in more ways than just the link to the affair. As much as I would love for it to be gone, I'm not willing to lose a bunch of money over it. I will be celebrating the day it's no longer in our driveway.
Jules Yes, I faked my way through about a year every time I had to go to or host family gatherings. I'm not sure how I managed that and to be honest, I'm still able to fake it when out in public and face a trigger! I'm still a work in progress but I do know how strong my life struggles have made me! I think that's the best I can do for now. Hugs?
browneyedgirlI'm jumping for joy for you! I know exactly how good it feels to be rid of a reminder because my h had many 'dates' with his cow and when he gave it away to our daughter, I was glad that she and her husband were not seriously injured but was thankful that the car was totaled. I remember feeling free! Hugs!
Dandelion, I know exactly how you feel = it took 9 mos for us to get rid of it because of finances (H was not working and damned if I was going to buy him a car) so I just refused to be in it and he had to get a new one after he got a job. And thanks, Theresa! I think I was happier that day than on our recent wedding anniversary. Ha!
That is awesome! So glad you got rid of the car! I never knew why my husband wanted to sell his car so bad but once dday happened I realized why. He broke up with both ow 15 months before dday. He got rid of his car a year before dday and same here much of the activity from what I understand took place in his car. So gross.
It is so amazing to me that I somehow continued to function in partial ways in the early days. I felt so weak and depleted. So completely low and was in so much pain. Now that the pain is much less, I look back on those days and really admire my strength! I felt the opposite of strong at the time. Those times when I thought I might not be able to take my next breath, but did somehow...Those moments I begged the universe for an end to my life, but knew the only option was to keep living for my son so I kept moving... That is real strength. I see that in all the women here who have been or are going through this pain. When you feel at your absolute lowest, if you are able to reach out for help and take care of yourself, you will celebrate that as your finest hour in your very near future. Your strongest self. Sometimes the strongest thing you can do is keep going with no answers and no idea what your future holds. Asking for help is a very strong thing to do too! Don't forget to do that.
So true.We have strength reserves we never realized we had.
Browneyedgirl, we got rid of the affair pickup real quick. They did nothing in it, but her skanky ass ride in it & that was enough for me! I never asked him to, but he knew I was mad as hell when I found that he drove me around (before Dday)in the same vehicle she rode in. So we always took my car when we went anywhere. Good for you! A step in the right direction for sure!
Sometimes I feel like I was too strong in the beginning. Meaning, I didn't cry it out enough. I found out about my husband's affair during the summer when my kids were home all day so I rarely had an opportunity to let the rage and tears out. Looking back, I feel that hurt my ability to process everything. Maybe I would have made different decisions if I had broken down more instead of remaining strong. (Not that I would have done it in front of my kids but I should have removed myself to process things better). @Jules - yes I feel the same - enough already! Good grief. I've had many traumas in my life. And, yes, I feel like I'm faking it as well. My husband and I are still trying to have a future together but it feels forced. When we are with mutual friends who say we are the best couple they know, I often have to hide my face because I don't know how to respond and sometimes I'm hiding tears.@Browneyedgirl - My husband used MY car to transport his mistress to OUR home for an evening of sex. I hate my car. I hate our home. We are in process of selling our house so the car has to wait. Congrats on getting rid of one of your triggers!@Ann - I also keep going - with no answers to questions my head/heart seek and no idea what my future holds. Keep breathing in and out; not just for your kids. (I write that as a reminder for myself as well).~Sunflower
Sunflower, you're certainly not the only one who went into some sort of survival mode at first. I don't know too many who don't look back and wish they'd responded differently. However, when we're in shock, we go into auto-pilot. And that can sometimes keep up upright while we process this new reality. As for hiding your tears, I think you can be honest without spilling everything. I, too, often heard about our "great" marriage from other people. Made me crazy. So I began responding with, "every marriage has its challenges, even the ones that look great from the outside" with a smile on my face. Allowed me to feel like I was living my truth without dumping the news on people.
Sunflower Yes I jumped right into forgiveness first few weeks but it sure didn't last because I still had to deal with the rage, pain, shock, you name it. It just postponed that phase until later. I sometimes wonder if that's not what held me back and stuck at times but I did eventually get through that part. One day at a time.
I feel the same way about wondering if I was too strong especially early on. My kids are on top of things and they notice everything so we were very careful. My kids did notice I was quiet but never saw me cry or looking like I had cried. It was not easy. When I struggle now I think is that the reason why. I also think I was confused and had a hard time verbalizing my feelings and I am not a person who gets angry easily. It is all so complicated. I try to focus on today and if I still feel upset or angry about how post dday was handled then my husband has to listen. And it still dose come out at times.
Sunflower, when the time is right I hope you can replace your car with something that makes you happy - a car that you would buy if you were single and make it all about YOU. I really wanted to treat myself to a hot little sports car and give H my SUV, but his new job is a long commute and him driving a gas guzzler isn't practical so he got a small sedan (and even though I feel fairly confident he learned a very hard lesson and will never cheat again, I made sure his new backseat is too tiny for me to even worry that he could ever do the deed there again, I don't need the stress of even thinking about that). Let us know when you move out of the house!
Sunflower, I also have to hold back tears and turn away when someone says what a lucky couple we are to have each other cause you don't find many couples as happy as we are together... only if they really knew... I used to think that but now I wonder what I've done so wrong to have yet another husband hurt me like this. ( 1st H of 10 yrs. 2nd H 20 yrs. )I mean are there any faithful men who can be true to one woman ??
Elle...totally agree with your response to people thinking how wonderful we are. I hear it from everyone how we "give hope that true love exists"...that's the most painful one. Just recently I have taken your same approach and just being more vaguely honest. Simple as "no relationship is perfect" or " we have struggles too". It has really taken a lot of internal pressure off myself to always have to "put the smile on my face so no one suspects anything". Screw it!! They don't need the details, but just saying I am having a hard time is releasing enough.
I love this. Being strong was all I had left. Let's hope that our daughters and sons never have to find out how strong they are by experiencing what we have.
Yes, this is awesome. When I spiral down, I feel like I've been doused with bacon grease, forced to drink acid and drug by my hair through a bed of glass shards when I sink into that great dark abyss of a betrayal I knew nothing about. However, when I come out of whatever fog or slump or underlying grief/rage I experience emotionally and physically over my husband's sordid past I am forced to accept that as HIS truth and reality. I then emerge as my true self who feels strong and capable of meeting any demon who dares to cross my path. Elle, is there a name for this? I feel like I have a split personality. When that "victim me" spirals out of control and experiences all of the negative feelings surrounding my husband's past I just want to crawl into a hole and die. When I feel strong and capable and happy it is very difficult if not impossible to conjure up that other me. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind. At least those spiraling days are getting farther apart. Keep smiling friends.
Beach Girl,I think the name is "healing". :)It's especially hard for those of us whose pain and strength is something that stays in the shadows. I suspect that's where this split personality comes from -- the hiding. And you are both those people. The incredibly wounded one who is still healing and the strong one who is able to hold that pain while still facing the world and the future. They are both you.
I feel this way too. I feel as if I am two different people. I agree that some of it must be from it being something that is not shared. This sounds terrible but I struggle with other people when they are going through hard times like fighting cancer. It sounds so bad but I watch as everyone supports them and feels so bad for them. In a way I feel like this betrayal is like a cancer diagnosis. No one asks or wants either. And yes it is my choice to tell no one because honestly I feel as if the implications of telling people about a cancer diagnosis vs a betrayal in our society are total opposites. Or even my husband will talk about how he feels so bad for friends who their wives have cheated on them and left them and go on about how rough they have had it. He is understanding of me but I know he has always had more empathy and understanding for others. I know I cannot get a gold star or applause every day for what I am going through. It is confusing when some days can be so great and others are so dark. In general before dday I was not rattled by these types of feelings but since then it is hard to escape that fear.
Hopeful 30,I too have kept quiet about my life and can relate to longings for support and compassion. That is why I feel this blog has been my sanity! I have been able to share my pain here and chat with others about theirs. I'm even able to be sarcastic and grumpy here if I need to be. It's a great relief! It has been a time of inner strengthening as I was used to talking through my struggles with friends and family and seeking encouragement from them. So, to all of you bwc, I may not see you but I feel you!
Not feeling that strong. Friends are asking what's wrong I just say I have a few things on my mind. Not doing much for the kids just making sure they are eating. Ordering in a lot. Not able to cook. And yes faking it a lot. But I think that's actually good. I have a responsibility to fake it. I can't let my kids see me cry. When I'm down I just say momy has a headache. I decided to not make a decision till 6 months have past. H is doing everything right. But I keep waiting for the big gesture. Something like setting fire to the affair car. It's a shame this happened. I'm very sad that the way out of this is by being strong. I really loved the feeling of being volnurable in my marriage. Guess I will have to become captain of my ship.
Emma Yes, I finally found myself as the 'captain of my ship' as well. My sister died suddenly about a month before dday and I had to stay focused on my mother whether I was strong enough or not! I used the tears from my grief over my loss of my sister to cover for the tears from grieving my marriage! That first year was hell each and every day! The second one had many bumps as well but as we approach the third anniversary of dday, I feel we are in a much better place. Not perfect by any means but given my mothers health issues and the amount of time I spend on her care, I sometimes feel I'm slipping back to 'is he feeling neglected and lonely' again! The difference now is that I can communicate my feelings to him and he understands that and he steps up and helps me to feel secure that he has the tools not to go through that pain again. I suppose in our case it helped that she showed her true colors of just how mentally unstable she is/was. Take your time! When I was at six months, I still had a bag packed and one foot ready to run out the door! Hugs! This walk takes time and hard work because some of it is straight up hill and then you just have times when it feels like that first day!
Emma, I can't believe how many of the CH's had A's in cars. And what that says about how little they truly valued the ow's. The backseat of your family car is not where you 'make love' to someone special. It is awkward. I can feel 'exciting', but it surely isn't romantic. I think you are smart to wait at least 6 mos. I am 9 mos out and that is advice I would give someone new to Dday and undecided. It takes at least 6 mos until you can make clearer decisions. You are captain of your ship!
BEG so true about how little they valued that relationship. In some ways I felt better with perspective from the point that my husband had two overlapping affairs over the course of 10 years. At first I was horrified but then I thought they meant that little to him really nothing. And neither one of them was enough. Then the online im'ing, fb etc. So really he is the one with the major issues and they were a convenient option/escape but meant so little as his actions show. That took me a while to see. And yes sneaking around in cars, meeting up drunk, parking in church parking lots.... Emma, I stopped doing all but the minimum after dday. I focused on me and my kids. Those were the only things that mattered and however I had to get through the day I did. My kids still know nothing but they were great. I did put on a happy face for them. And yes sometimes I was quiet or didn't feel well but they were great. Even now 2 1/2 years past dday I work hard to not add extra stress/obligations/responsibilities to my schedule. When i/we over schedule we both feel it. This has been good for me overall to stop over committing myself and take care of me and if I have any extra time sit down watch tv, read, relax...not that it happens but more likely now.. So in the end I have taken it up as a new habit to focus on the minimum vs maxing out my schedule. And I have never felt bad about my time focused on being a mom. It will get better
To all of you warriors who read and post on this site: I am 2 yrs. post DD #2 this week. In those 2 yrs., I have quit my toxic job, broken my collar bone in a way that required surgery, lost my Dad to the great beyond, started a new career, quit drinking (off and on – now off), and have currently been hospicing my Mother for the last 4 months. Through it all, I have depended on this website as a compass and barometer to help guide me through the storm. I have often thought of posting, but until now, I never felt the right words bubble through my consciousness and rise to the surface. I realized this morning, while paging through the various sections of this glorious site, that I wanted to say thank you. Thank you to all of you who have shared your stories. You have helped me to weed through my own over-grown garden of heartbreak, devastation, loss of faith in humanity (let’s just say it: men), rebuilding, reconciliation, resilience, and resurrection (not always in that order). While I realize that there is no conclusion to this journey, I do feel like I have left the scorched earth phase and can see green growth happening within and around me. You women warriors have been a sisterhood of shared sentiments and a wisdom that has helped to keep me centered and sometimes sane.I would like to offer a special shout out to Elle: Queen of all things warrior, Phoenix, and Still Standing 1. You have been the three wise women for me whose words and wisdom resonate and percolate. You have taught me that there is no right path. You have caused me to ask myself difficult questions, and you have spoken your own truth with compassion and empathy for all of the others of us to sift through and learn from. Thank you, Elle, Phoenix, and Still Standing 1, for your fierce, take no prisoners, kick ass response to the horror of infidelity. Elle, there have been times that your words have caused the earth to move under my feet and my level of awareness to expand in ways that often feel like a growth spurt happening right before my eyes. Thanks to you and this site; I am kinder to myself, to my husband’s pain, and to my never-ending process of healing. In your care and maintenance of this site, you have given the rest of us a gift that has no bounds.I send love and strength out to all of us who have found this site, no matter where we are in the many manifestations of the healing of our hearts. I hope that others will continue to find this priceless gem of internet sisterhood that we never had hoped to need. Thank you one and all, I hold you in my heart and in my soul.White Stripe
White Stripe, thank you so much for your message. I was moved literally to tears when I read it. I'm so grateful for your message, especially at a time when I don't feel like I know what the hell I am doing.You remind me that there is no right path. I can only be on one path and if I think I can see the many steps ahead, I am probably fooling myself.Today I am out sweating in the yard (little water and BWC break right here) thinking about the two directions I am being pulled. One, this new guy, who is so good to me, so patient and thoughtful and affectionate (the thing I lived without forever) and my almost ex husband, who is sad and expressing remorse and getting sober and I can see some changes but recognize old stuff too. And one of my friends asks me, why are you even considering going back to someone who has hurt you so much vs a choosing a guy who hasn't hurt you at all? and its a good question. For my almost ex, its all the same arguments I made to him when trying to save the marriage more than a year ago. Isn't the shared history worth fighting for? and the idea of fixing this for my kids (and for all the rest of the family because divorce doesn't just affect me and him) has a strong pull. And with the new guy, I recognize that it is all shiny and new. We are both still on our best behavior and making allowances for things that in ten years will annoy the shit out of us. And we've weathered no real difficulties (or have we? he didn't bat an eye when I disclosed my hsv1 infection to him. Just asked how to be safe. and he took the idea that I was confused about my ex expressing regrets in stride too.) But I don't know how he and I will handle real conflict between us yet. I don't know if my almost ex will be able to truly change. I just don't fucking know. And as I consider the merest hint of the possibility of giving him a second chance, I feel what some of the warriors below are expressing, that I will be weak for letting him come back. That I will be doing that whole adult child of the alcoholic thing where we worry about taking care of everyone else first thing. At the same time, I don't really want to give my new guy up. I was happy. And now my ex has thrown a shadow over that. I'm kinda grumpy about it. I feel a tiny bit like a crazy person.So the long and short of it is, White Stripe, the idea that the messes I'm in and how I've talked about them have helped anyone is such a blessing. Thanks so much for this today.
I knew I had a certain amount of strength but I didn't know I was a survivor. It takes herculean strength when it comes to infidelity. I do feel weak on some level for staying with him. I have this nagging feeling in my mind and heart that I compromised myself. I have this nagging feeling that I think less of myself for staying with him. I know logically this is not true but the "feelings" are still there. Maybe I need to forgive myself for staying with him? Anybody else feel like this?
LLP, Probably my biggest hurdle and obstacle to overcome.every day. Especially since my previous marriage was verbally abusive and took me 9 years to leave. Now here I stand again facing someone who "did me wrong"...i try to offer myself that forgiveness in a way of hopefully reaping the rewards of a beautiful marriage in the future that made it all worth it. Also reminding myself that I CHOOSE to stay, I am not AFRAID to leave or be alone. I have to have this conversation with myself every day though.
Yes! I feel that way. I would say in general I am hard on myself. This is a natural way for me to act. Even though I do not take blame for his actions but it feels contradictory to be staying sometimes. I think how can I still be with him. I mean someone that has done and said what he has and for a long time it is hard for me to accept that I am okay with staying. And I agree I know logically and intellectually this is not true but it is all about the feelings and emotional aspect of all of this. I think that is a good way of looking at it we need to think about forgiving ourselves for staying. I like that.
Yes, I told my therapist that I feel like I'm betraying myself for staying and she seemed surprised. Glad to hear I'm not the only one. It's something I also struggle with and feel like keeps me trapped in this indecisive suspension with our marriage. Broken
I'm still working on forgiving myself for staying but, I love the ahole....even if I hate what he chose to do! I feel forced by my love sometimes but then I remind myself that our relationship is growing stronger together and I feel like we are living a better life...
I feel the same way. I told him I'm scared of looking in the mirror years from now and disrespecting myself for staying. I keep reminding myself that everyone makes mistakes. I keep reading that some couples come out of this stronger. Everything I read says that if he shows remorse and does the work then things will be fine. Leaving now would mean breaking up a home. I won't do that as long as he's doing the work and as long as I can stay. I'm taking the advise of waiting 6 months. Probably by then I will be taking the advise of waiting a year . Loool. Sorry for laughing. My sarcastic side has been jumping in lately. Hugs...
Yes, LLP, I often feel like I am betraying myself and selling my soul by staying. Knowing now about my husbands childhood experiences and how he viewed himself and how he self medicated with sex and porn is slowing allowing me to slowly and painfully look at the definition of "addiction and addictive behaviors" and accept that his choices were made to alleviate his pain but it continually led to him feeling worse. It makes little sense to me, a non-addict, however like Hopeful 30 said, "I am very hard on myself about staying sometimes." All of our lives are forever changed. I know I am strong. I come from a long line of strong women but darn it sisters, we never asked for this and now we are forced with making probably one of the most important decisions of our lives. I weigh everything when making the decision to stay. There is a lot at stake. Today, I still feel more positive than negative about staying with this man. As long as my scales tip in my favor I'm good with staying, even when I feel like I am betraying myself. This too shall pass.
This is LLP, thank you for your responses, it helps to know I'm not the only one who has these thoughts. Thank you for your responses.
Beach Girl, I think this is what is so hard. More than ever I realize we have such strong differences. We agree on so many things and share so many similarities. But my husband has more of an addictive personality and is more likely to take risks. It is so obvious now. I am the total opposite. And it does make it hard to understand. He also is so good at compartmentalizing. I see everything as connected. I have always felt like everything has an effect on something else. I remember at a young age being so aware of these things. He is not. But I also think is this just because deep down he is a selfish person. This is who he is. He is working hard to prioritize and change but deep down this is who he is. When we have times of stress individually, as a couple or family these tendencies come out. For me I work hard and am more giving but he turns to his selfish side. This is exhausting. Just keep swimming...
I have been married 36 years and I am 17 months from d day. I still waiver on my decision to stay. My H won't talk about it or any feelings. I know there are more women in his past but is that something I really need to know? My heart tells me that I do but I try desperately to tell my mind that I don't. My H acts like it never happened...it's not like I want to talk about it all the time but I don't want him to think that this is easy for me. I don't want him to just brush this off. Sometimes I think by staying I am sending that message. I have grown children and grandchildren that would be devastated by his actions. I can't bear to see that happen so that is why I stay...mostly. This is exhausting and for me there seems no right way. I don't care what others think but I do care about my family. If they were to find out would they think I was weak because I stayed...and if I leave it will tear us all apart. I don't have the same feelings as I used to. He is always referred to as such a great guy great father great husband great son...on and on. And I am never referred to as anyone. A survivor someone strong..because I have to remain silent with his secret. It is so unfair. We were out for dinner the other night and he asked the waitress to "light his fire" (candle) and I looked at him and said to never do that again..what are you thinking. His comment was "point taken"...really? I don't think he really gives a crap....it is still all about him.
Anonymous,"Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets." It's a quote by Paul Tournier, a Swiss doctor. And it's true, isn't it? Your loneliness and your pain come through loud and clear in what you wrote. You deserve so much more than this. You deserve healing. And healing often doesn't come until we've thoroughly processed what happened to us. And we do that, first, by knowing what happened to us. It sounds as if you still have questions. And it sounds as if, by not speaking with you about what he did, he's imposing silence on you. And that is, to put it mildly, unfair at best, cruel at worst.Here's the thing: You get to decide what reconciliation looks like. He's asking you to forgive him a devastating betrayal. Sounds like you're willing to do that BUT...what are the terms? What do you need in return for giving him a second chance? You do not have to tolerate his terms. I would urge you to challenge your notion that by leaving you're somehow devastating your family. No children are going to be uprooted. No-one's going to have to move schools, or lose their best friends. They might be sad, sure. But they will handle it. It isn't your job to protect people from sadness. It's your job to treat yourself with dignity. It's your job to respect your own needs and wants FIRST. That's not selfishness, it's self-respect. If you're not already seeing a therapist, I would encourage you to. And I would also insist that your husband accompany you to couples counselling. There's a world of pain that you're feeling forced to hide and it's going to continue to come out in resentment and anger, which is doing the opposite of healing your relationship, it's poisoning it. Anonymous, if he's worth a second chance then it's because he DOES give a crap. If he's got an ounce of decency, he feels enormous shame about what he did. And, unfortunately, that keeps a lot of these guys desperate to pretend it never happened because their shame and their guilt is terrifying to them. But that's HIS problem, not yours. Yours is to get what you need to heal.
Anonymous I think it's all about him is because we always made life about him before he chose to cheat and then after that happened he didn't understand how it couldn't be all about him. That said, it's time he learns that it's not about him anymore but it's about how he responds to what you need now! He needs help to learn these lessons!
Yes I am lonely. Lonely and wanting back what we had but knowing that is a far stretch. How can it ever be the same again? I have questions yes but does it really make a difference whether it was one four or ten women? At the end of the day..he cheated and hid it from me for over 2 years. I can't believe I didn't know...that alone makes my pain worse. How can I ever trust him again? I am with him more now as he works away alot but I almost feel like I am babysitting to make sure he stays focused...on me. I just find it so draining. I am at the age where I should be happy for retirement....but now I am not so sure.
Anonymous,You can't babysit him. That's just not a sustainable life model. And you ask how you can ever trust him again. You can't right now. Trust is built back, slowly over time, by him showing to you, again and again, that he is being honest and transparent -- by being accountable for what he says and does. Here's the thing: If he wants to continue to deceive you, then he will. So you need to see remorse from him, you need to see a willingness to be held responsible for the poor choices he's made and a desire to make amends. Without that, there's not much point in moving forward in a marriage that's less about commitment than avoidance.
Elle, is there a way that I can email you to discuss?
Hi Anonymous,We keep things on site because I think the collective wisdom of the women here is a powerful force. I'm no wiser or more insightful than the zillion women here. Do you have a specific question?
No specific question just searching for some peace and calm in my life...