The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
Bravo! We should all choose that last option. I know I have. Still yes there's the screaming and the wanting to smash things. But TODAY I know I love my husband. He's been trying very hard to make up for all the crap. I'm glad I'm here to see this. And yes I understand that just because I'm having a good moment right now that that doesn't mean that the struggle is over. But there is light at the end of any tunnel as long as your willing to walk and keep walking through it. I pray you all have a good moment like me right now. And I pray that we move gracefully and really quick through the next bad/mad/angry/sad moment that's coming. I'm hoping at the end the good ones will far out weigh the bad ones. For you all and for me. Huggs
I find I struggle with resilience when other parts of my life become too busy or stressful. It is almost I can only handle so much still. We try to make choices how to spend our time in the best way and I try really hard not to overdo it. But it is a constant of saying no lately. I think in general I am just tired. This entire betrayal and recovery thing has left me exhausted both mentally and physically.
I hear you, Hopeful 30. Living with this kind of situation is draining on so many levels. I try to have mini-treats two or three times a week (time out, music, browsing in a bookstore, etc) so at least some minimal nourishing of the soul can happen. I hope you get a chance to rest.
A book I read this summer helped me with this concept. The author boldly stated that everything that happens to you is YOUR responsibility and no one else's. Literally EVERYTHING. (I was thinking, "but some of it is not my fault! How am I responsible for my husband's betrayal! That's not fair!" But then the author spelled it out further and doubled down. He said even when a person is a victim, they still bear the responsibility. Finally, he clarified: just because something is your responsibility doesn't mean it's your FAULT. You didn't cause it, but it is your responsibility to deal with it and decide what happens next. He said it's as if someone dumped a newborn baby on your doorstep. It's not your fault. You didn't abandon that baby. You are now responsible though. You have to make a choice. Even not making a choice is still a choice. You can ignore the baby and step around it. You can spend an hour or 36 hours screaming from the porch that "this is not my baby!", you can feed it to a pitbull, you can take it to a fire station or hospital, you can call the police, you can take it in and raise it as your own. Only other people who've had that same baby dumped on them may understand, and no one should judge you for your choice. It's ok to plan one course of action and then change your mind after experience or further thought (except the pitbull option I assume). This metaphor helped me stop screaming on the porch and helped me own my choice (I make my choice daily, and not once-and-for-all). I do feel like that is resilience. To look at the babies dumped on your porch and take responsibility for what happens next. You do this, in my experience, after a very reasonable reaction of standing on the porch and screaming a while or ignoring and stepping around the baby. That pause is necessary, so don't act until you're ready to stop doing those things, and don't get tricked into thinkikng you can't change your mind later (unless you picked pitbull...). This experience has taught me so much about resilience, and as sad as I still am that this happened to me (and to you!), I am elated to know myself better and what I'm made of. I am tough stuff and so much more capable of love than I ever knew! (And so are you). Now, go figure out what to do with that baby. There are MANY right answers today. And tomorrow. And the next day... To keep it real, I will say that some days I'm tired and have to take a break from opening the front door in the first place. If there's a baby there, it will have to wait until I'm done with yoga and have had a night's rest. Lol.
AnnThat was one good book you found! Thanks for sharing this but what's the name of this book? It sounds like I could really use it!
ann, i love this and the way you explained it. Especially your last two lines ☺️
The book is The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Marc Manson. I highly recommend! It's not about infidelity directly, but about how to build a life that makes you happy/fulfilled. How to choose where you should give a f, and where you shouldn't. If you struggle with self care and boundaries you will love it.
Ann-That is agreat analogy. I've learned I am nothing if not resilient. I feel I have had to be resilient my whole life. Thanks for this and Elle the word hug too
I freaking love Marc Manson! i need to get his book.
Wow Ann. I really like what you had to say. I've had problems putting my feelings into words. I remember feeling responsible for my h affair. I had the pleasure of watching this woman go after him and the things that she and her friends were doing. Only I couldn't really see it at that time because I didn't want to. I never thought that my happiness depended on my husband or his on me. I had always found things to make me happy. But he was having issues with his happiness and who he was at that time. Getting hurt at work caused him to feel inferior in some way. I'm sure the attention that these women gave him made him feel good until it was too late and he couldn't get out of it. His brain wasn't working right. But dealing with mental illness is never easy and we still deal with it today with our daughter. When she had her intake last week he told the counselor that we were having problems instead of telling her the truth. That we moved across the country to work on us, which is partly true. So this (baby) is dumped back on my front porch again. How I deal with this time, I'm not sure yet because when I feel like this I strike out at the OW. Even though this is how I got the truth of what these women did because she was stupid and in anger over not being able to have my h spelled it all out in emails not even realizing she was doing it. And I did it all on purpose to catch her off guard. It took me a year to do this. Each time I felt stronger but angry over what they had done. Now I'm not sure how to go forward with it with the knowledge of what I have and other things to help my daughter get past this anxiety that she is dealing with so that she can go back to school and be around crowds of kids and other people. I guess for me it's to take one day at a time. And every time I open that front door to leave I hope I make the right decisions not only for me but my family too.Cathy
Cathy, that is a lot to deal with for sure. Hard for me as well is the truth that I can't do a single thing about the babies on other people's porches even if I love them and want to help. Your H and daughter have babies of their own to decide about. You can cheer for them and love them, but they get to make all those choices. I hate watching my people in pain more than I hate my own pain, but this is how it must be. The minute I try to take responsibility for their babies, the ones on my porch start piling up.
I wonder does anyone share my experience? I'm 2 years past D-day, and I can honestly say that it took 18 months before I started to feel 'normal' again. And by normal I really mean no longer paranoid, crazy, angry, etc etc. But I'm left feeling that my relationship is no longer 'special'. I'm struggling to articulate here. I can't bear to be around my husbands family, whom in the past I would have felt were superior to me somehow (because he's my second husband and I have kids to a previous partner). I know this embarrasses him, when I duck out of the many family events, but I just don't feel the same obligation anymore. I have cut ties with his cousin with whom I used to be close too. I know that cutting out his family from my life will make me/us unhappy in the long run, but I just can't seem to help myself. Has anyone experienced anything similar? Thanks
Anon, It took me a long time and those feeling still surface from time to time and we are past 2 1/2 years. As far as my husband's family goes I struggle since they put him on a pedestal. He says he struggles too with them since he feels fake. One of the hardest things for me is social media. I have thought of getting off of it but there are so many things related to my kids school and activities that I need to be on there. What I struggle with the most are all of these gushy posts about marriages and anniversaries. I was never the one to gush myself and I knew our marriage was not perfect. And I know what others put out there might not be 100% accurate. And I know those relationships should not affect me but I tell you lately it has really been a struggle for me. Even my kids saying how they tell their friends how we met and have been together for so long. I just do not know how to get past it emotionally. Intellectually I can see what we have gotten through together and how we have grown together. We are stronger and closer than ever. We have known each other a long time for our age and 10 years is a long time but only 1/3 of the time we have known each other. Sigh. This is just hard...
Anonymous,Yes. I've noticed the same thing in myself. My in-laws are not terrible (They approach terrible at times), but I have so little patience for them now. I do think I blame them for the raising of a son who would do this to another person. I had so much anger about my H doing this that, in order not to kill him, I think I spread some anger out to some other, only slightly deserving people. My H's parents and the OW were fair game. Since I did not attend any therapy with any of them or put any attention or effort into that, it just sat and festered. Now I try to at least examine my feelings through that lens. The feelings are still there, but at least I know where it's coming from. I'm most successful when I take that ball of anger and put it back on my H where it belongs (he was an ADULT after all when he did this), and look underneath it only then. It's sadness under there. Always sadness. Sadness about what happened to me, sadness about how lost my H was, just a heaviness. I sit with it some. I assess where we are now, then I turn back to my feelings for my in-laws or the OW. They aren't as intense. I can certainly point to things my MIL does and did that are unhealthy, misguided, or controlling, but after this exercise, I feel a little sorry for her and less angry. I do have to keep boundaries with her and I minimize contact for my own sanity, but it doesn't always eat me up or leave me feeling like there's something wrong with me for feeling this way. I will keep doing this (sending my anger back to my H and sitting with it) because I can see it working. Also, I don't have to involve my H in conversations about this. This is my work, the way I see it. I have told him what I'm doing, I mean I don't tell him every time his mom irritates me or how I hate her so much sometimes (not productive!) I just said I have anger toward her because of the affairs that I work on. He states really clearly that he does too (have anger towards her). Probably for the same reason--to avoid having to put it all on himself. That's his work though.
Hi Anon. I'm 2 years 3 months post D-day and it has only been in the last month or two that I sometimes have days that feel "normal" to me. Oh, yes, I often have intrusive thoughts and things that might have brought me to my knees in the past but the impact is far less most of the time. I was lucky in that my MIL was dead when I found out and it was truly a good thing all around that she died prior to this because I would have had no problem being a raving maniac and bitch towards her. She broke up both of my husband's brothers marriages and gave ours her best shot however I had no idea of the childhood trauma my husband survived because he never told me or let on until after D-day. I had begun setting limits with my MIL very early in our marriage and toward the end of her life and on her death bed I also stood firmly against her. I know she had trauma but I knew she was toxic to all of us and especially my husband who was self-medicating with porn and prostitutes. You did not say why you cut out the cousin who you liked so maybe there is more to that story but I only kept people I truly loved in my inner circle after D-day and if the cousin is someone like that maybe your relationship with that person does not feel all that safe for you right now. You must take care of yourself first and foremost.
Anon--It took me at least 18 months to feel the earth was no longer shaking under my feet!And yes I have cut my h parents not totally out of my life but for the most part. It feels so.damn.good!!! My h is even supporting that choice now. He didn't in the beginning and actually wanted me to go with him every time he went because I was a good distraction as his mother would direct all her conversation directed to me. Now when I do have to go I sit there and it's yes or no answers and I give him the eye "let's go" and we do.You need to set your own boundaries. You may only feel this way for a while and then you will feel more comfortable being with them occasionally i.e. holidays. Since I've been setting my boundaries I even manage a little bit of humor when I have to be with them. BTW they have done horrendous things to me and my family. Just one they actually sat behind me for both my mother and fathers funerals and laughed!! She has also accused me of stealing from her. I could go on and on but I'm sure you get the gist.Now I'm off to buy the book Ann has recommended because learning how not to give a fuck is right up my alley!!!Great comments, thanks
love this Ann, got me thinking : ) xx
Ann-- LOL!! As odious as my MIL is and all the rotten things she has done to me and my sons and my family I can't even blame her for my h's affair. Trust me I tried because she's a total NPD histrionic that I am certain is at the center of my h's FOO issues. But it would certainly be a stretch for me to blame her or my co dependent FIL for my h's grown ass choices. She did send up a big HOORAY when he told her he left me after DDay. Oh lord don't get me started on her. They really are my hair shirt for my time here on earth :) I must have been really bad i a past life!
I love this quote from another betrayed woman. It is tough but I put something together that was a better me than before. Yes, I still trigger. Yes, I still have doubts. But about ME, there is no doubt, triggers. Going through this made me look at myself, my life and so many other things about my life that I thought was normal. I discovered I suffered from self-esteem issues although professionally I didn't show it. I got used to hiding so much of me and did it for years because it served me well, got me by. I'm no longer just getting by. I"m no longer afraid to ask for anything. I no longer think I"m selfish. He cheated HE IS THE ASSHOLE OF THE UNIVERSE, but I found out that I'm not. The work was extremely painful, exhausting and hard but I reclaimed ME again that I let slip away. On another note - I was thinking you can test honesty and trust but there is no test for love. I can't test him to see if he really loves me. This makes the betrayal so unsure of motives.
LLP, Thanks for your response. It caused a 'light bulb on' moment for me when I realized that I too no longer have any doubts about ME. What a hopeful thought to dwell on! I'm still unsure about my marriage, h, etc.. and that tends to be at the forefront. On your other comment, 'no test for love'. Just because someone is kind doesn't mean they love and value you above all else. Is it even possible to know? I can't dwell on the thought long or it starts gnawing at me. 2010 Myth of a Soul mate in the archives has been extremely helpful to me! I've tried to learn to love and appreciate myself and let go of my need for another to approve and affirm me. Your response helped me realize that I may be further along then it feels like! This is such a lonely road. The bwc has been a lifeline and I'm very thankful for you all.
This! This is me - struggling with the acceptance of my new reality. Two years post D-Day and I still cannot believe what he did. He's not suppose to be THAT guy. He was the one person in the world who was not going to hurt me this badly. This traumatic experience has changed me in ways I did not know were possible. Today I am still learning what changes have occurred. It scares me - the new me scares me and I'm not sure I like her. Prior "Me" had nary a suspicious bone and the New "Me" sees suspicion in far too many places/spaces. When he apologizes for what I know, I secretly evaluate his words and wonder if he's actually apologizing for more things he's done (or women he's done) than I'm aware. I'm afraid I will find out this is bigger than one woman. I'm fearful it has been my reality for our entire 20 years and not just the 3 years I know about. This struggle is keeping me from moving forward. I'm seeking the power to get past this hurdle and move on with m life <--- whatever that looks like. ~Sunflower
I went back and forth on this concept too. I felt like whoa this is crazy. I beat myself up. In the end it is on him and he is the one who made these decisions and had a million other ways to handle whatever he was feeling. I work really hard to not slip into old ways of thinking and also to think what do I want and what is best for me. My husband minimized things on dday 1. I knew things did not make sense. I pushed and pushed and dday 2 came. I wrote him a very moving and detailed letter that made him open up about everything. And by everything I mean in generalities. He had two overlapping affairs over the course of 10 years. He honestly still has no idea what year one of them began since both were sporadic. It is crazy to me but he said he blocked out as much as he could. So I focused on making sure I understood the overall aspects like what these women meant to him, how the communicated, etc. I knew when I wrote the letter that there was more that had happened. It is like they say someone does not get caught for a DUI the first time the drive drunk. They usually do it often. I told him he better be honest and transparent with me otherwise there was not shot and even starting to rebuild trust. And I have told him every time new information comes out it is more damaging. I am very matter of fact and it is the truth. I thought dday was so bad but it was dday 2 that was worst. Here he sat and promised me he was committing to moving forward but he was holding back. Now he has gone back and explained that he had no idea he was telling me that day, he did not know if he could change, he did not know who he was. So on that day he told me as little as possible and committed in his mind to giving it six months. And I totally get the idea of the stress of it being more women, more time. I hate that my husband had two affairs over ten years. But honestly it is all just a bunch of horrible bad decisions. At this point at 2 1/2 years past dday I work really hard to focus on our current relationship. It is not easy to do every day. I find social media and tv shows/movies/books make it hardest for me. Just keep swimming!
Sunflower, yes, I feel the same way at 2 years 3 months post D-day. Only one D-day for me. It was a crushing blow because my "Mr. Rogers, Mr. Clean, Mr. Perfect" was not supposed to do what he did either after 38 years of marriage. I am not the same person. I always looked at the world as a not so bad place. I am distrustful of almost everyone now. I doubt I'll ever trust my husband again. I understand his history, which he never told me about and he understands it too. January, my anniversary month, is a huge trigger and I don't know if we will ever be able to celebrate that date again. Right now I say NO flipping way. Who knows what the future will bring? I'm taking care of myself the best I can. Now when I look at my husband, I see a compatible traveling companion and housemate with benefits. He professes all kinds of love and devotion to me daily. Of course he would because if he makes one wrong move, we are DONE. I don't know how to describe our current relationship except to say it is calm and respectful. He is attentive, devoted, thoughtful most of the time and very loving. I wish I could say I am loving this but I am suspicious that at some point he will get bored or whatever and decide to click on that porn again. He says he will never ever go back to prostitutes and for his sake, I hope he can do that but if he does, we are DONE. I am so disappointed in his life choices around infidelity. That doesn't mean that I can't go to concerts, out to dinner, exercise, travel and have a good time with my companion. I just wish I could get that same loving feeling back that I had every time I saw him until D-day. If I've had a bad trigger, even if I can mindfully deal with it in my head calmly, I look at him with contempt and disgust and ask myself "why are you still here?" That passes and I rationalize why I'm still here. At some point, I hope it moves past the "I want to save my adult kids and grandkids from knowing exactly what their hero chose to do for years and years and years." I sound bitter and I don't want to sound that way. I'm just resolved to stay the course in hopes that time will heal my heart and that my soul will wake up again. I stay away from social media, television, movies, etc, just like my good friend Hopeful 30. If we are in mixed company and something pops up, I just excuse myself and leave the room. My husband knows why. Life is so much better than it was a year ago so I harbor hope.
Beach Girl, Many things you say hit home as always. I have this stress, anxiety and worry that he will get bored one day and slip up. My husband also says no way. He would never do that. If he was not happy he would talk to me. It is hard for me to trust and feel okay with those words. Lately I feel us slipping away. Our lives have been really busy the past few months with our kids lives and work. I mean we are both just exhausted and tired. I feel like we are roommates living together or just co parents. It is hard to know what to do. We are not over scheduling our kids. We are making choices of what we can and can't do. Both of our work is extremely busy and not always predictable. It is interesting I read this today since I have been having these feelings lately. I was going to try to bring it up to him tonight. Of course pending how early we can get our kids to bed. Depends on the homework load etc. I feel our relationship and us slipping away very slowly. Almost like that same feeling when we first had our babies which was of course when this all started. So of course I see it as a trigger. Trying to juggle kids, work and taking care of myself and I just want to cry and collapse. And he continues to reassure me daily just like your husband. But are we just best friends, co parents, roommates? Always good to hear from you!
Thanks for your comments - it's so good to know I'm not alone xxxx
Anon- thanks for your sharing. I don't like who I am right now either. I just want some truth and honesty. Unlike most of the posters on this blog I don't have any options with regard to H. He just out of the blue went to a lawyer and I had divorce papers show up in the mail. This was 16 months ago. 28 years, three beautiful children. My youngest is a senior in HS. Too, I feel like I don't know this man and am so stressed about relationships. Most of his family has been through divorce and I feel that they don't think it is a big deal (his parents were rock solid though- he had 8 sisters and 1 brother). He won't talk at all and dismisses everything I have figured out. My son plays soccer and had "senior night" the other night, H didn't show and the next day calls my son "so sad" that he missed and would have been there if he knew! Hello, there are scheduled, and HS routine that we have through with 3 other sports over the last 8 years. I am already dreading graduation- they have been a big deal with this huge family- I can't bear the thought of the whole ordeal which would mostly be for his family. I feel like I am broken forever.