The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
..or the next day. Gabby xo
And the next...Hang in there Gabby. I know it has been helluva year for you.
Thank you Gabby. You took the words right out of my mouth as did Elle. Gabby, thank you for being such a consistent blessing and reminder that we can be strong and we can survive and we can make healthy choices for ourselves. We are all courageous. One step, one breath and one moment at a time.
Courage is what I need today as I take my mother to the cardiologist and then on to the next specialist as she is slowly dying one organ at a time...thank you for giving me courage!
Sending you hugs Theresa xxx
Theresa, sending you some warm thoughts and wishes today and every day as you walk this path.
Thinking of you Theresa. Sending love and hugsGabby xo
Hope things are a bit more settled now, Theresa. Courage indeed.
Elle Just a bit settled in the whirlwind of the heart attack that my mother had shortly after Thanksgiving, calmed by the fact that I’m still able to make wise decisions for her while still juggling with the lack of emotional literacy of my h and still pulling out Christmas Day with our own family plus the ones that want to join us in our home with the knowledge from each other that this is a traditional Christmas mixed with a new beginning of the Christmas holidays we will enjoy together in our future! I’m weary but in a good way! Hugs!
I like the quiet aspect of this. I have never been a loud or outspoken person. And in our society often I feel overlooked or not heard. But I have to focus on me and not what society values or recognizes.
I am loud and outspoken. I look at quiet spirits like yours and admire them I do not overlook them. My head goes and my mouth flaps sometimes (all the time). There is so much power in silence and thoughtfulness as well. Blindsided
Blindsided. Thanks! That is sweet of you to say. I have to work really hard to get out of my shell and not be so introverted and protective of myself.
Theresa, that's heartbreaking. I hope you're doing ok in the middle of this utter sadness.HOpeful 30 there is a book I have not read yet, but I love the concept, it's called "Quiet. The Power of the Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking". The reviews are good, the reviews BY introverts are outstanding. Here's one quote about the book:"This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves."It's a book that I have on my list to read.
Yes that is an excellent book! And the book for kids/teens is amazing too. It is really insightful. I can identify with so much in this book!
I think of Christmas courage. Put on a happy face, try not to trigger, try to figure out what the hell, try to make it great for our kids just like previous years. All the time my head is reeling with a thousand thoughts but my mouth is closed. I went to therapy about Christmas and my increase in triggers, trying to find courage for me. Maybe this will help someone, but basically it is the same words SS1 wrote in the previous post. For example baking cookies, trigger me. YOU ALL can understand ok cookies and affair equal get hurt. I didn't tell my husband, I just sucked it up. My mind said - WTF you did this for thirty years, where did it get me? My therapist asked me, Did you want to bake cookies? I said I didn't, I was just doing it because my kids expected it. She said - what would happened if you bought cookies? I said, my kids would be disappointed. She said, if you don't feel like doing something then don't. Do you think the cookies will make your kids happier? I said no. She said, you cannot control if someone else is happy. You cannot make anyone any happier or not happier. So you need to lower your expectations for yourself. It is ok. Right then, she gave me permission not to go all out, not do EVERYTHING. I realize no matter what I did, I cannot make my kids happy about Christmas. I felt a huge relief. I have maintained that relief. I'm in control of me again. It feels good. My husband was totally surprised I didn't want to bake cookies. He thought I took joy in it. He said, we will buy sugar cookies, frosted all the trimmings. After that all kinds of other shit came to the surface for both of us, our fears about Christmas and making each other happy. It was good session well worth writing a check for $250. She also asked about the types of triggers. I told her each one in detail. She said it was not good to try to push the thoughts away because our brain will just keeping bringing them back up. She said, when I trigger, think about it, all about it then tell my H about it. She told me not to push him or the thoughts away. She said let him help me. She told him, help her, do whatever she asks. Well we were watching a movie a few days later. This guy gave this girl a necklace and had awesome sex, they were both single but seeing the passion on TV. Trigger town. I told him, I'm triggering. He said tell me. I told him, and starting the boo hoo sobs telling him what it reminded me of him and the OW. I said tell me how sorry you are, tell me how much you love me, tell me why you gave me UGG boots that year. He said, I feel sick, I feel nauseated. Then he hugged me and told me how he felt. I wanted to bash him on the head but I didn't. I have to say it did help. The mind movie went away. He told me he gave her the necklace because he wanted to look like the good guy. He wanted the sex to keep coming. He did pick that out especially for her with thought. We are playing it safe and watching Christmas movies. There are never passionate scenes. It is movies about redemption. I love you all. I hurt when you hurt. I struggle in my heart when you struggle. Although I may not comment every time, I'm thinking about you. I know God and a pray goes up at that very moment when I read about your hurt. I also want to knock on your door and give you a can of whoop ass to serve your H. Together, sharing we will get through the next few weeks.
Oh LLP, wow, your post bring me to my knees and I so wish I could hold you and hug you and let you know I care. We all care.
This is all so true. As of right now our tree has been sitting for weeks with no lights or decorations. It has been said that is my job and up to me. I don't really care. Until someone wants to help, do it or keep my company our tree will sit empty. I also still have pumpkins out. Again until someone else cares I am going to give myself a pass.I found it never mattered what I did. It never mattered how skinny, how young I looked, how happy I was, how sad I was, how great our house looked, the amazing meals I cooked, vacations planned, everything taken care of... none of it was ever good enough. I do feel like the work you have done with your therapist is so critical. I hope my kids can learn from this all without directly knowing. I tell them all the time others cannot determine their happiness and we have no control over others. We have to do things for our own joy and satisfaction. Of course we all have daily/life obligations with school, work and in the family. But it is so critical to learn what is necessary and what is us imposing too much on ourselves.
Hopeful 30,You WERE/ARE good enough (in truth, you were/are pretty damn amazing - look at that list). This happened because something was lacking/not good enough in HIM.This is so obvious to me when I read all of what you wrote, but I understand it is hard to apply to ourselves. I was/am pretty damn amazing myself, and he still cheated our entire relationship with many women simultaneously. There was/is definitely something wrong with him.Just know that there are a lot of people in this world that know YOU'RE PRETTY DAMN AMAZING.
Hopeful 30 ... same here girlfriend... now I still do a lot but am way more selective what matters what doesn't or good enough is my new slogan!
I'm praying for you and your marriage and family. My husband did not feel thr remorse that yous did and couldn't recommit. We arw divorcing. I'm envious of situations where the cheating spouse actually feels remorse and try to make it work. I don't have such luck.
My therapist told me, years ago, that doing things I don't want to do for others just poisons the relationship with resentment. Far better to say 'no' than to grit my teeth and do something I resent. Exceptions, of course. Like taking kids to dentist when I would rather not. But, for the most part, it makes such a difference to relationships to take responsibility for yourself and let others be responsible for themselves and their feelings. It is NOT my job to make people happy (not that I could do it even if I wanted to). It is my job to be honest and respectful and decent. Once we realize that, it makes life (and relationships) so much easier. Sounds like you've figured that out, LLP. And, for the record, my mother ALWAYS got store-bought cookies for me, which I hated. Because of that, I always baked cookies for my kids, assuming they'd prefer that, and they FAR prefer store-bought goodies.
LLP, your letter had me crying at my computer. I'm back seeing my therapist, as I am having an awful time with triggers beginning in November through the new year. I honestly thought I was slowing down with that. I'm also having a rough time dealing with my cancer as I have seen so many wonderful women relapse & some die. Add that all together (cancer & triggers) and I'm a mess this year. As my therapist said, I have connected the long ago betrayal with being betrayed by my body. I can see the connection - shocked when I discovered my h's adultery and shocked with cancer invading my healthy body. I didn't have a clue.But I have made some changes this year. No over shopping on my part, no Christmas cards to people who have given up on me, no huge entertaining, and I even made my h sign the few Christmas cards we sent, since I triggered BIG TIME trying to sign my name, which is also the OW's name.We can't control triggers. They sneak up on us even when we don't expect them. We (at least I) am hit hardest by the ones we're not ready for. Christmas time (or all holidays) hit especially hard because we remember such happy times, then think were they really as happy as we remember? and our memories are tainted with his affair.I'm sorry to sound so down but I am today. My h is helping me as best he can but he's a little bewildered with my reaction after all these years. I'm a little embarrassed by needing my therapist to help sort out my feeling and emotions with me, but I'm grateful we did it. Happy holidays to you all. May all you're triggers be small!Carol, the First
Praying for you Carol, the first. That’s a lot for one to handle.
Carol, the First,I am sending you my shoulder to cry on through your computer. I am so sorry you're struggling - please know you are not alone. I am reading what you write and feeling your sorrow and anxiety. Unload it here. Stay in the present and focus as much as you can on your health.I hope you're having a better day xoxoAngela
Carol the First (and, let's be honest, the Best!),I can imagine the connection between betrayal and cancer. In each case, it's clear that you don't have the control you thought you did. You are so strong. And you are controlling what you can, which is amazing. Please don't ever feel you have to apologize for having a rough time. That's exactly why we're all here. We know what it's like and we know the power of "me too".
Lol I need my cans of whoop ass to be locked up!!! The man is black and blue !!! I mean emotionally ofcourse...er... maybe a bit physically too:(. I am also spiritual and believe in the power of prayer and redemption... if you are a believer i find it helpful to try to see Christmas for what it is... the birth of a saviour to take all pain away... not baking cookies or putting up a tree. These are cultural man made things. We could have easily been decorating a giant potato and stringing it up over our mantels if that is what our cultural experiences lead us to do rather then a tree. Seems silly to get upset over an imperfect giant decorated potato doesn't it? Someone said here that Love will conquer hate in the end. I truely believe that. That is what Christmas is about. I wish and pray for all of our hate to Leave our hearts this season. Where we can accept the imperfect and love it because that is what we all are. If I could buy elle and all of you women a Christmas gift in the equivallent for what you have done for me this week I would have to buy you all Porsche or something lol but you will have to settle for my cyber stalking of this site until i can get myself fully together. My kids and my family will be forever grateful for the peace I've had over the last couple days :) Blindsided
OK, dear sister, I'll take the Porsche! LOL
Blindsided,"Where we can accept the imperfect and love it because that is what we all are." That is the absolute truth, Blindsided. And it helps so much to be reminded of that. Thank-you. Cyber-stalk all you want. We are your tribe.
To Carol the first, Hopeful 30, Beach girl, Steam, Blindsighted, Pilots Wife, 1998 (you still there?), SS1 and SS2, Gabby, Twins Twice, Theresa, Sam A and all the anonom"s. Man, there is a bunch of us this year. I'm not going to say this is for Elle, our tiger. OK "you all" here is what I want to fix for bless your heart little ole me Christmas Dinner.Can of justified whoop assStone-hinged hamMonogomust mashed potatoesCold glass of shut the hell upSaving the best for last Jackie Chan dessert.Just kidding I"m past that, but it was fun to think about it.
LOL I think a cookbook is in order!
Thanks for the laugh!
Your Christmas Dinner recipe made me laugh! I needed a good laugh. Thank you. Even though I don't post much, I read almost daily and think of all of you often. Your words bring me comfort, strength,and clarity. Love to you all.
LLRSave me a place at your table.HugsGabby xo
I love this! I'm ready to pull up a chair at your table too.
Question for you ladies... My husband’s first OW works for the same company that we both do, although we all work in different locations. Occasionally I go to her location and I know it’s inevitable that I will run into her. Their affair was 4-5 months and ended over 3 years ago. I have always been friendly with her when I saw her because I didn’t find out about the affair until last month.I am feeling very anxious about how I’m going to react when I see her. Part of me wants to send her a text saying something along the lines of, “I know now what you are so please don’t ever speak to me when you see me.” (Many versions run through my head with less polite language, of course.)Part of me thinks it’s best to just leave it alone but I’m so afraid that I’ll end up in a meeting with her in front of other people and not be able to handle it so that’s why I’m tempted to just put it out there and keep her from continuing to pretend that we were ever friends.Also, she has an intense need for everyone to like her so the petty part of me just wants her to know I see her for what she really is.
PoppyI wish I had the answers. Work is a huge trigger for me.My STBX husband - wherever he is for work he has to have his "supply of admirers" and work is where the bulk of his affair partners and inappropriate friendships are from. I hate him and his work, and the people he works with. When he changed jobs a few years back I was happy as he was getting away from one problem woman that had been giving me grief for years. But he just landed himself in a work place that has a toxic culture so the selection of his admirer's were many and they are really toxic people. It was then I really realised and admitted HE has a problem and HE is the most toxic as wherever he goes, he likes to have his supply of admirers and he is the one allowing this to happen. If anyone knows some good books, or talks on this issue of cheating husbands and the people from their work, please let me know. It's too late for me, it may help others, but I still have this need to try to understand, and work through this for myself.Poppy. I hope others have some good advice, because I'm so angry and not in the best frame of mind to advise you as with this work being a trigger, it makes me angry.Just hold your head high knowing YOU have done nothing wrong and are a loyal person, someone who I'd want working for me and with me.Poppy. BTW (by the way). Since my separation and now telling people we have separated, the amount of women coming up telling me how they really feel about my STBX is opening my eyes to what other people are seeing. These are highly educated successful women and mums from all walks of life. So people do see who these creeps really are, just society seems to have a hard time calling them out! So I wouldn't be surprised if people know what this other women is really like. They eventually become unstuck on their own.HugsGabby xo
See her as pathetic. See her as a person who hates herself. Who is so insecure that she would be OK with sharing a guy. See her as a loser. Someone that cant even get a single guy. She is not worth your time. That's what she wants... to be thought about and be important. In any way she can. Show her she is pathetic and not worth even a look. Stay away! Any communication with my worthless husbands whore has been a waste of my time breath and precious energy. I hate that I've even given her another one of my thoughts again. They are so self loving they can't see past their own nose. She will twist anything you say to cause drama and try to still be relevant. Only my experiences. Show her you couldn't care less about her.. that is your best defence and revenge. She isn't even worth your anger. Blindsided
Poppy,I feel for you because I feel that anxiety about running into one of the OW who lives in my town (with kids my son's age). It's bound to happen is my thought. I also worry about running into her H (who I assume has no idea). I worry most about losing control of myself. Of saying or doing something extreme. What helps me most is getting in a place of semi-compassion for her (she's broken, insecure at her core, risked her whole family too like my H for something that meant nothing, I wouldn't trade places with her...) and coming up with a short elevator speech. My therapist helped me get to the compassion piece. That was the hardest. It's easier to feel compassion for my H who showed remorse and I care for him. Right now my speech is this: "your actions and choices along with my H's have been a source of a lot of pain for myself and all the members of both our families wether they know about it yet or not. I've always been curious about what you would have to say about that." And then just sitting back and hearing her response or lack of one with no follow up by me. There is not one thing she can say to me after my question that changes anything for me. It would only be a window into her (likely dark) soul at this part in her life. I'm honestly curious. Planning that type of encounter makes me feel calm, centered, and with my power firmly intact. I imagine my hair freshly done and my makeup perfect. I think we all know in real life I will be straight from the gym, out of breath, and covered in dog hair when it happens. I will probably break out in hives and botch my words. That's ok too. I'm confident now that I won't murder her, so anything I do or say will be ok in the end and less crazy than sleeping with another person's husband. Anyway, the elevator speech written while I'm in a good frame of mind helps. It's possible I'll launch into it automatically instead of freezing, sobbing, or coming out swinging. Hugs!
Poppy, I visually put myself in your position as if I were at work and what would I do. First I would look and see in the HR handbook that constitutes sexual harassment. That way you know the ground rules. I'm sure you don't want her to turn you in to HR. Next, look at your past reactions in emotional situations - are fight or flight? Ask your husband what this OW said about you, what was her opinion of you? My H OW was afraid of me. I can only say what I would do. I'm a fight person served with revenge so I would have a plan worked out ahead of time. The OW will be nervous because she might think you might turn her in. So already you have the edge because she is more nervous than you. IF IT WERE ME. I know I already have an upper hand in the situation I have my husband and she is afraid. Wear a black and white power suite with stiletto heels and textured stockings (not fishnet LOL). I would make her as uncomfortable as possible. This is just me but I would sit by her. Someone in the company has to know about this already even if they don't say anything. You will go up a notch in their eyes. I would plan a story to tell her. Good morning OW, I have the most interesting story. I have a friend who is married, going out with a married woman. (you can make up details that you know about their relationship like he gave her this or said this). His wife is devastated and he says it is the worst mistake in his life. He just used her for sex, he said it could have been telephone sex. That woman was really used. I can't understand why any woman would want to this to a family or herself? Do you have any advice, experience or anything I can say to this wife? I was thinking maybe her husband needs to know. The wife got an STD and the state health department is involved. You it is mandatory that type of stuff has to be report. It makes her accountable, you are giving her the bill for your pain and she is paying.The other thing is to invite your husband then sit by him. Tell him he better kiss you lightly on the cheek. Whisper in his ear during the meeting. Write notes to him to the meeting. Then leave. It will kill her!I ran into the other woman once and was very loud, confrontational but it wasn't at work. It was at the a cash register then I hollered at her in the parking lot about STD's. The next time I went to her house and asked all the questions I was dying to ask and compare my husband's story to make sure he wasn't lying. It was early, she was still in her PJ's. You will figure out what is best for you. Don't worry about your H. He wasn't worried about your consequences or his work consequences. Do what you can live with.
LLP YOU ROCK!! I would have loved to redo my confrontation with the OW and had it played out that way. Unfortunately I have to say to poppy that your approach would have backfired on me if I would have taken that route. I knew how vandictive and cruel this whore already was... we had met once before the affair started. And like the stupid fool that I was she dissed me and flung her hair at me and took off. I had no idea they were flirting with each other then. I brushed it all off as she was a bitch...i mean I was 7 months pregnant at the time with both my babies by my side.. Who could be that rude for no reason? I thought she had mental problems lol. I smiled and went on my merry life is good way. But now it all makes sense. After the affair details where out sHe stared texting ME. I was NICE even though I'm crazy mad on here... I was NICE to her. I use to be nice. Even sweet. Blaaah. Anyways...She started texting me how sad she was. And I said I'm so sorry for you. She told me she was hurt and devastated... I said yeah he is awful. I knew getting the info i wanted could only happen if I fed her ego. As soon as I knew she wasn't going to give me any more truths I just frankly told her that she chose this path and now would have to deal with the hurt she has caused herself. I DIDN'T EVEN FREAK OUT. I regret ever being nice to her just so I could check the story out. I should have ignored her and I know that would have killed her more. She tried to set me up so she could have ME charged with harassment. Oh man. My story is for the books of worlds stupidest human beings. The charges would have been dismissed I had saved all of our messages and backed them up so that I was protected... but I would have been taken off work in my field until the charges dismissed... or I wouldn't be able to go back when I was due to... because I was in maternity leave at the time and harassment is a criminal charge. It would have been another thorn in my side another stress in my life I just didn't need. You juat dont know how crazy someone will be when faced with the secrets they don't want out... just be careful. Work can get very complicated and drama filled if things go haywire.Be strong. Be beautiful. Be you and all your glorious loyal wonderful loving self. And leave her to be in awe of you and wonder what is wrong with her that no one cares about her. Pathetic stupid whores.Blindsided.
Ann,I love this: "I'm confident now that I won't murder her, so anything I do or say will be ok in the end and less crazy than sleeping with another person's husband." So wise. Such a good reminder for me. Keeps it in perspective. There was a lot of crazy in my H's 5 year secret relationships with 2 married women, and NONE of it was mine. I needed your reminder to be less judgy of myself for my occasional hard-earned crazy now. Thanks :)
Poppy,You've been given some good advice here so I think it's up to you what feels "right". If you can avoid being in the same room with her, I think that's wise. My husband's OW worked with him and despite how fierce I felt at times, I would get shakey when I saw her even though I could hold it together. It was brief.It might help to write out what you would say to her if you're given the opportunity. And I don't think it would hurt to give her an e-mail telling her to give you a wide berth, though as LLP suggested, make sure you're not violating any HR policy by doing so.Whatever you choose to do, you have the upper hand because you have behaved with integrity and she has not.
Christmas is about hope and joy and potential. I think the contrast with our situation really hurts us. But I'm going to focus on hope as much as I can.
Selkie,As much as you can, put down the load. Disregard the pressure. Perhaps try and let this season be about rest, about finding peace in the darkness with the knowledge that light is coming. But for now...rest.
Need a little support. Felt like I was making some progress with my husband. Some good feelings....more trust. This week I got that bad gut feeling somenot adding up. I caught the lie...not another woman but a lie. I tried not to over react but after all we have been through I cannot comprehend how he would even think about lying to me. I did blow up. Wish I would have tried a more strategic therapeutic approach because now he can justify his actions by thinking I am the problem. Sad and discouraged...and terrified that my 20 year marriage has been a string of lies
Anon, I hear you. This was something I had not expected to deal with initially after dday. I thought it would all be affair, ow talk etc. Well what I discovered was my husband lived his life a different way. Always pushing the boundaries. Sometimes small and not really that big of a deal. But after going through the trauma of betrayal it was a big deal. Even if meeting friends out to watch a game and the switch locations because one was too crowded and not telling me. Nothing was going wrong at all but not okay. Or I could go on with a million other times. My husband also surrounded himself with friends who I would say pushed the limits and lied at work, to their spouses etc. And again nothing as bad as cheating but still. After going through the trauma of betrayal I just could not tolerate anything except 100% transparency. I would say for the first year we dealt with the betrayal trauma. But since then more has been about him as a person. I can tell now that he lived his life that way since he hated himself, was ashamed and had to do whatever he could to make himself get through the day since he was such a low life. He hated himself for 10+ years and what he had become but had no idea how to get out. We had been married 20 years and known each other 25 years as of dday. It is hard. My husband had two affairs over 10 years. He broke it off with both of them 15 months before dday since he knew he hated it. I thought since he made the decisions to have the affairs and broke them off he was over it all. But he was not and he is still working through it more than me almost three years past dday. My focus almost 100% is about what type of person he is and what kind of marriage I want. I care more about how he got to that point to do that and what kind of person he was/is. The most important thing I read in what you wrote is now he thinks you are the problem. My husband tried to avoid all of this since it is painful. But I was relentless. And I challenged him on every little lie and half truth. Why did he defend and trust friends that lie often and none of us would respect at all. It took a lot of time but my husband had to see that it was not just about an affair. Maybe he could have made that argument if it was a one night stand but not based on what he did and how he led his life. He is in a great place now but it took a lot of hard discussions. I too felt sad and discouraged. It happens and this feels like a roller coaster at times. It is hard to believe after dday they can tell you any lie but I too had it happen. It can be better though and we are in the best place ever. I hate we had to go through it all but we are both the happiest we have ever been together. Not in a gushy naive way but in a reality way that he is living transparent, likes himself for the first time ever and we did this together. Hang in there!
Anonymous, My husband lied as much as he breathed. It was normal and natural to lie. About stupid little things. Things that didn't matter. And, of course, things that did matter.Lying had become such a reflex for him that it took (still takes!!) effort to be honest. In the wake of D-Day, I decided for myself a path of radical honesty (and I was already someone who was honest). But no more lying about being "too busy" to help out a friend's volunteer effort. Instead, I was honest about why I was saying 'no'. No more, "I'm full" when the truth is I don't like broccoli casserole. Etc. But to someone who has lied his entire life, if your husband is like mine, it has become a survival strategy. My husband lied because it was far easier than dealing with his mother's disapproval and his father's abuse. Better that they didn't know who he was friends with, where he was going, what he was doing.... And that extended to his relationship with me, with his job, with everything. He wasn't late because he was disorganized, he was late because of traffic. He didn't forget a friend's birthday, he had "ordered something and it hadn't arrived yet". He was so terrified of other's disappointment or disapproval. But when lying becomes such a habit, even they lose track of what's really true and what is bullshit. I caught my husband a few days ago in a stupid little lie about a stop sign. He claims he saw it. I know he didn't. Sigh...Work in progress. He'll likely never be "radically honest". But if we continue to point out when he's being dishonest and when the price of dishonesty becomes higher than that of honesty, he'll get better.
Hopeful 30, thank you so much for taking the time to share. Elle, this site is giving me strength during the most difficult time of my life. Thank you
You are stronger than you know but it helps to have an army of women to remind of that.
I have been away for a while. I'm back today and I wish I could respond to each and every one of your posts. I've been coming to this blog for a year now. I'm reading, and crying, sometimes laughing and most definitely empathizing. So I'll just say this: I love you girls. I hope each and every one of us finds peace this season. You are all truly incredible women and deserve the best in life.