Thursday, March 29, 2018

Embracing the You You've Become


How often do we read the lament of a newcomer (or an old-timer) to this site who misses "the old me"? What they (or we) are saying is that they miss the lightness with which they used to live life. They miss the naivety with which they lived, the absolute conviction that they were safe with this partner they'd chosen.
I understand the lament. I felt it myself and wailed to my husband, on more than one occasion, that he had "broken me". I imagined myself irretrievably damaged, never again to live with a lightness, a faith that the path before me was clear.
I was no fool. I knew that life could easily deliver pain to the innocent. And yet, I'd convinced myself that I'd had my share. That I'd chosen well. That I was safe.
I was right, of course. But not in the way I'd imagined.
I'd outsourced my safety. I'd placed my heart in the hands of a man who, at the time, was unworthy of it. And I'd kept little of my heart for myself. I had no blueprint for self-love. It struck me as arrogant, as selfish. Self-love meant less for others, surely.
And so I gave it all away. And I was empty.
Which is why, when I discovered my husband's infidelity, I was so thirsty for evidence that I was loved, that I was worthy, that I was safe. But my well, long forgotten, was dry.
Healing from his cheating was a process of refilling that well. It was a daily practice of self-love, of seeing my own pain and not fleeing from it, of holding it and allowing my soul to grow stronger from it, by feeling it and letting it teach me. 
Healing from his cheating was about letting the rain fall and knowing that that water was being collected, that it was nourishing me in some profound way. And that, when the sun came out again – and was slowly believing that it would – that the collected rain would be necessary to quench my thirst again.
Healing from his affair about letting go of our fantasies about "the old me". It's about honouring her, about grieving her. But it's about realizing that the old you has grown muscles in your soul that weren't there before, or at least, hadn't been tapped.
New you = old you + pain x wisdom. 
The lightness inside you has become a light inside you, that illuminates the path for all others still to come, who will learn from what you've learned, who will heal from your healing, who will gain strength from your strength.
This is how we heal. By loving ourselves and then extending that love outward but always making sure there's water in our well for when we thirst. And we will thirst.

33 comments:

  1. Elle, you are a beautiful soul who gives me hope (and goosebumps!) each time I read and absorb your words.

    Thank you for being our lantern - we WILL survive and rebirth into a bigger, greater and wiser version of ourselves.

    xo

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  2. She posted that on her Facebook page this morning! Every time I see her posts I think of you and how you shared her with us here! She is as beautiful as you Elle and fills up my heart with her light! Just as you have done through the years! Hugs!

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  3. I'm struggling with this lately...even after almost 4 years from DDay#1, it hits me. the loss. Of my view out my backdoor with the land we sold & the ugly barn my new neighbors built. Of my kids' young childhood as they now rush into teens & adulthood. Of the certainty of my marriage, the feeling that we were one person. I thought I was building monuments of stone that would last forever, but it's all castles in the sand, washed away. I expected death bringing this kind of loss, but the visceral loss from betrayal is something i never imagined when I married at 18. Marriage, washed away. Friendship, washed away. The feeling of oneness, washed away. The security of another's love, washed away.

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    1. Very well described. Washed away is what I feel like too. Though maybe the waves are not our hs. Maybe they're just (unfair) life. I want to believe the sun will shine on me again- even if my beach looks very different after all it's been through.

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  4. Reading this gives me hope. Made me cry but gives me hope.

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  5. I am a different person since Dday. In many ways, happier, more confident and able to be there for others. Yet, I still feel nothing but abject hatred for his slut. I don't know how to let that go. Although she moved, I still see her empty house (she rented, boyfriend made her move after I told him) , I occasionally see her on the road. Not in a position to sell my house and move. I feel no pity towards her. I tried praying for het, but anger takes hold. Does this ever go away?

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    1. Beagle Mom,
      I've been there and I do think it eventually goes away although I'm not completely there myself. I will say that I don't have the same raging anger toward the OW that I once did. Have I forgiven her? No. Am i able to pray for her? No. But I also see her for the broken person that she was/maybe still is. It doesn't make my disdain for her go away completely but the thought of her doesn't raise the same anger in me. There are days where I would still like to cause her the same pain she caused me, but there's a tiny part of me that knows that just being the person she is with the knowledge of what she's done weiighs on her whether she acknowledges it or not.
      Unfortunately, I think it's another part of this that takes time. And I personally have to try to not focus on her, what she's doing, and whether or no her life is falling apart. I still struggle with that but I've come a long way.

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    2. Hi Beagle Mom
      I totally get your anger. It's a feeling too, and one that is legitimate. You owe the slut nothing, so don't even worry about thinking about praying or anything for her. I'm 28 months from initial D Day and ALL the other shit in between and whilst the anger and hate are still there it only really comes alive when I think about this deeply and that is lessening.
      Thinking of you
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    3. I think that some of this anger we hold onto regarding the OW is where we lose ourselves. I lost my job because of the OW and her friends and I defined myself through this career path I chose. For two years I couldn't bake for anyone not even my family because it brought back all the emotions I felt when I found out and I would freeze, I could't do it. Thank God that has changed now and I have found that passion again and a new growing business in my own catering company that my oldest daughter will be apart of too. But I so understand holding onto that anger where the OW is concerned. Wanting to see her life falling apart. I told her about 18 months ago that someone in her family was going to go through exactly what she did to me and it was going to kill her to watch that pain happen to someone she really loves. Well her brother's wife passed away suddenly. She was only 43 and left behind kids. Now this woman can watch what the pain that brother goes through, the why's... rebuilding his life, people telling him that it's time to get over it. dealing with children who don't understand what happened. But the why... will always be with him as they are with the betrayed. But I doubt she will understand the comparison. My husband could barely understand it. But that's how I feel. Rebuilding has not been easy but it has made me a stronger better person. I found a part of me that I never knew existed, a spiritual part that I now very comforting.

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    4. Thank you Gabby and Dandelion. I am grateful for your words of encouragement. I really do try to not focus on her and throw myself into any task at hand, but triggers surface and it feels like square one. It passes quicker though. May you both stay well!

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    5. Beagle Mom
      I know how those triggers can wash the vile taste of when we first learned that he cheated. I don’t know how long that took/takes to be passed the triggers but I know that I trigger back with no warning. Like you I try to stay busy and with the daily care of my mother I find that I have little time to think of ow and I have been able to pray for her as she lost her son during the ending of the affair. What has helped me is that my h has really stepped up in support of me and the stress we’re all going through. I know with time you will be able to get through the triggers but it’s going to take work and effort from your h! Sending hugs!

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    6. For me that was normal. I had never had such hate for anyone ever before these two ow entered my life on dday. Of course the true blame is on my husband but I hated them since they partook and also stalked him in a sense. One it took her three years to get my husband's phone number. Again it is his fault but I had never hated anyone so much and wished them ill will. I am lucky that they are never part of my life. Of course i had and still do have triggers from time to time even over three years past dday. I would track them down on social media, one of the ow we share a mutual friend. I got to a point though where I just decided I did not care what they were doing as long as they were not contacting my husband. And they had already taken enough from me. If I was going to have any shot at repairing my marriage and moving forward then I needed to focus on me, my husband and us. By allowing them to be so present in my thoughts it was holding me back and causing more pain and trauma. Granted this took time for me to get to this point. One day as I was hoping on social media to "check in" on the ow it hit me I had to stop. It was making me sad, miserable and angry. I had an "ah ha" moment where I knew it was not going to make me feel better and I had to quit cold turkey. It is so hard and this did take a while but it was a huge relief in the end.

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  6. I live in an area where I’ve yet to find a therapist who specializes in infidelity. Our MC is Gottman trained and is fine. But she doesn’t get it either.

    I’ve thought so many times - why not start a support group. Why not get a degree in therapy (I toyed with the idea even at 20) and make a difference. Why not use my new found self to do good?

    Because the new me could just as easily be bitter and full of hatred. I’d love to be the internet vigilante answering all of the Craigslist ads (before they shut them down ... wonder where the new site is to go seeking sex?) and Shane those married men. I’d love to inflict pain on the OW ... make my WH feel the pain he’s caused. But then I remember ... I’m not pearly white in this arena and I scuttle back to my side of the sinful closet and think I should do good rather than evil.

    I think the thing I miss most about the me from last year was the naivety. I’d almost convinced myself in December I’d rather stick my head back in the sand and pretend that nothing was going on and that my WH was who he was saying he was. Almost. But now ... now I’m stronger and braver and angrier (if that’s possible) and refuse to stick my head in the sand. I deserve a marriage. One that is everything I need. And I refuse to settle for anything less. Which is certainly the new me talking.

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    1. Hi Kimberly!

      Congratulations on the new Baby!
      Try and take care of yourself!!

      I am the new me - almost. And I am bitter and full of hatred. I just am. I don't know how to deal with all of that yet - but is a part of who I am on the other side. I want my H and his GF to have so much pain. I want to be in a room with them where I am allowed to pummel both their faces in. Is this normal? This is me. And what do you mean you are not pearly white in this arena? It doesn't mean you deserve any of this!

      It was so much easier when we were in a daze and just went along, having a husband and a family. It is so much harder with our eyes wide open and having to deal with the pain. To heal and suffer and start again.

      You are so right. You deserve a marriage that is everything you need.

      Big Hug to you! Wish I could come over and help you and bring you dinner :)

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    2. I think the anger is perfectly normal and absolutely justified. Ann, your husband has acted so selfishly and caused you and your kids so much pain. How could you not want him to experience some of that? But you also realize that you’re not going to pummel them, so I don’t think your fantasy hurts anyone. In time you can focus that anger and use it to build yourself up. You are angry because you didn’t deserve any of this shit, and he acted intentionally. You gave him chances and he shat on them. You deserve so much more. Use that anger to get what you deserve. Use it to show yourself that you will be better without him. You are strong and beautiful. You can do this.

      Kimberly congratulations! I hope you are able to rest and enjoy your little bundle.

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    3. Kimberly, Congratulations! Also regarding therapist I would suggest trying someone maybe out of your general area. I drove about 1 1/2 hours to see mine. My husband is in the mental health field and I was not comfortable going to anyone where I live and also he is the go to person. How ironic is that??? Crazy! So at his urging as I was falling apart after dday 2 he suggested I go to someone since I chose not to share what happened with anyone else. I searched and found a licensed therapist who specialized in infidelity specifically. They had a ton of experience and the website just clicked for me. Also I reached out and checked in via email. The replies were right what I wanted, needed and expected. I was able to have double sessions the first three times to help cut down on the driving. I found it to be this helpful escape and ritual of going. It was so incredible. I would urge you to keep looking and maybe expand your area you are searching. I literally typed into google the town I was looking "therapist and infidelity". I fell fortunate but I was willing to cut that therapist and move on if there was not a connection. I liked that my therapist said they would support me either way but wanted to know if I knew if I wanted to stay and try and make the marriage work or move towards separation. My therapist had a ton of relateable past stories, was so supportive and our time together was productive.

      Ann, I think that feeling of rage or anger is understandable. I remember early on wanting to destroy the ow property (home and/or car). I thought about going to her door and inflicting pain on her. And I have never had thoughts like this ever for anyone. I think it is part of this process no matter what direction it takes for us. Like the stages of grieving. And I wish we could all bring dinner over, such an amazing idea.

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    4. Kimberly,
      I too thought of starting a support group. Instead, I started THIS group. And here we are...almost ten years later. But I understand the value of an in-person group. What about trying? A meet-up at your local library or some such?
      In the meantime, if you don't feel as though your therapist gets it, would you try someone else? Or have a chat with him/her to explain why you don't think they get it?

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  7. So much of this resonates with me. I miss the feeling of being his only one, that what we had was ours alone. I told him that his affair makes me feel replaceable. He understands how his actions would do that but insists that he only wants me now. I miss feeling confident that we could get through anything together. Now I see how fragile it all is. I miss the ease with which we could get along before, whereas now every day seems to bring up some kind of issue for one of us.

    Already though, I see strength I didn’t know I had. I recognize that some of what was making life easier before all of this was me keeping my grievances to myself so I didn’t start an argument because it was easier. I see myself asserting myself more now. If we are rebuilding this marriage it needs to be stronger than before or what’s the point? So this period is difficult but it’s difficult because it’s more honest. I’m recognizing what it means to really put our marriage first, even with little kids and a recently widowed FIL who is very needy, and a small business to run.

    There’s been lots of talk of the OW on here in the last few weeks and I’m learning that my experience is kind of unique. I’m also gaining strength from my relationship with the OW, who is an 18 year old that I’ve known for years whom I keep in touch with. Seeing her pain and regret and helping her process through this has been powerful for me. Oddly enough we have gone through some very similar experiences of pain in the aftermath of all of this and she has had a traumatic life and doesn’t have a ton of support or friends. I saw that my strength could help her heal, and I could be one of the few adults in her life who hasn’t fucked her over. This has taken more strength and compassion than I ever knew I was capable of. She is inspired by me and so grateful and it actually feels good. I’m convinced that because of her age and trauma she had no idea how damaging her actions would be. And her trauma left her with such an overwhelming need to be loved that she blinded herself to what the consequences would be. Seeing her regret and shame and commitment to learning from this makes my heart feel softer. And it makes me feel strong, and graceful, and compassionate. It also takes a lot of the mystery away from the OW. I don’t feel the need to compare myself to her or wonder what she has that I don’t. I recognize that they were both traumatized people who desperately needed to feel better about themselves and it is all very sad and pitiful. And it also allowed me to blame my husband right away, and make sure he was owning this. So now he has to own how he hurt both me and the OW, because she tells me what she’s feeling, and I tell him. Seriously someone could publish our texts, it’s that kind of visceral train wreck that everyone would want to read.

    Anyways I appreciate this post because I do mourn what I (thought I) had and who I was, every single day. But I also try to appreciate who I am becoming, and I am compassionate to myself when I get lost or let my anger cloud my judgment.

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    1. NorCal you are incredbly brave and compassionate. After i point blank made my H make the “her or me” decision RIGHT NOW and then immediately write her a good bye email and delete that fake account i then found, (almost immediately), that his OW had no idea that i even existed!!! and i wanted him to write her an”I’m sorry i lied to you” letter too, But we could not recover the account. I had no doubt she was young, i still don’t know how young- and i thought it was an incredibly Shiity thing to do to her too. It wasn’t for another month or so that i found out that she was a hooker, but that’s a whole nother story. But she was still young and he really had talked to her like he was special. She did the same for him and I’ll never know if it was just an act of hers ;lucky me found ALL the emails at once-hundreds of them- ugh) but your story is quite different than mine and i am incredibly moved by it- by you.

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    2. It is so hard to realize that we may never know what any of this means. I imagine when they are paying for it that is even fuzzier. Maybe she was getting something out of their relationship, maybe it was all business. That distinction makes a big difference to her, but how can you ever know? So it’s hard to know how much of an ass your husband was being to her, but he did his damage to you. It seems like you and your husband have explored this question. I think getting them to think about it and feel remorse is important. I keep saying to him that he needs to know about all of the pain he has inflicted on both of us if he is going to be truly sorry. The hard part for me is that the OW doesn’t really see herself as a victim here, and neither does my h, and I do. She wants to own her decisions and he doesn’t want to see himself as predatory in any way. I’m not sure if I’m right, and I don’t think I can ever know, it just feels icky to me. They all recognize that their age difference was troubling but they both wanted it, so what does it mean? I’m trying to let go of finding meaning in that.

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    3. NorCal,
      Your ability (and willingness) to be in contact with the OW as you both heal shows a level of grace that I don’t know if I am capable of. It’s pretty amazing. Our situations are all so different but I always try to take a little bit from everyone’s posts because I think it helps to hear others perspectives and experiences. The OW in my case is someone I’ve never met. She is younger than me, but not by much. She was also married during the affair. She has children of her own, her youngest is around the same age as my oldest. It was easy in the beginning to just label her as a homewrecker and a whore, as the kind of woman who would betray her own spouse and try to destroy someone else’s. In the absence of seeing her remorse, I assumed there was none. This could be true, but it could also not be. I have no way of knowing. What I do know is that it takes a broken person to do the things she did and that is what I continue to remind myself of. Your post provided an insight that many of us will never see into what some OWs go through. Thank you for sharing it.
      I also was struck by what you said about the affair making you feel replaceable. That’s a struggle. I don’t doubt my husband's remorse or his love for me. I do miss the illusion of the marriage I thought I had. I’ve been guilty of labeling our whole marriage pre-affair as a lie. I’ve allowed his past actions ito jade my memories of significant events in our lives even when they were well before he started using porn and having an affair.
      I am grateful for where we are now, although I hate what it took to get here.

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    4. NorCal,
      Your story is heartbreaking on so many levels. Your ability to extend compassion to this girl is incredible and inspiring. I don't doubt that it's helping you heal but I think that the healing it's generating in this girl is changing her life. I hope she pays it forward in many many ways.
      I agree that your story is compelling and could be instructive to so many. If you ever do want to share it, even anonymously, let me know privately.

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  8. I think some of the most interesting things that I’ve learned from the OW were that she thought that our marriage was failing and broken and she has been surprised to find out how much it meant to him in the aftermath of the affair; that she feels worthless to him after seeing how he was able to just break contact with her; that she feels like she uses sex to punish herself, and she was pursuing someone who was unavailable because she doesn’t value herself enough; she thinks both she and my husband were lying to themselves about how this would impact me. She has said she goes back and forth between believing that what they had was special to feeling like he was using her for sex. And that she doesn’t trust him at all now. We have communicated about a lot of this extensively. Some of the hardest parts for me have been reassuring her that she is special and valuable and that my husband does love her. Things I keep from her are that my H says he was wishing that it were me who was making him feel that way, and he loves her but he thinks that most of what he got from their relationship was feeling good about himself, and he doesn’t believe he was “in love” with her. It is so complicated but my conversations with her are insightful. She was in the same affair fog the guys get into! The self denial and deceit are the basis of their relationship, when it’s all out in the daylight it’s not so sexy anymore...

    I’ve also told my H that I thought our whole relationship pre affair was a lie! Then I realized that those 16 years were the biggest reason besides my kids that I was staying. I knew this was out of character and it has taken me months to see that it all came from a place of damage, pain, and selfishness.

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  9. I feel like I have moved on and yes there are days I miss that carefree feeling. It can be so hard still even years later. I have changed and so has our marriage. I can see how good our marriage is now and I am thankful. I see the changes in my husband and I still see the pain he is in and feels from his actions.

    I think my biggest worry and what I struggle with the most is just an emptiness and almost a jaded view of the world. I still struggle to put myself out there with family, friends and others. After dday I assessed all of my relationships. What I found is pretty much every single relationship in my life was kept alive and fostered exclusively by me. So then I think what is wrong with me that I attract those type of people.

    Part of it is a lack of energy and the other part is not wanting to be hurt again. I also am skeptical of others. Even watching strangers I look at them and wonder what their stories are. We were out of town recently and in more bars than normal in a very social place. I watched groups of women and men whooping it up. I look at it and see bad and I am sure some of it was me wondering was that my husband or was that the ow. Who knows and honestly the past does not matter. But I do see everything different, more seriously, less fun, less happy. I miss feeling happy. I have moments of happiness but either thoughts or triggers slip in. And honestly I am not even sure what happy is. At this point my only true happiness is when I am with my kids spending time with them doing the simple things.

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    1. Hopeful 30, I will hit the 3 year mark in June and I also struggle with an emptiness I've never had before. It is as if the joy, lightness, trusting self I lived with my entire life went down the drain when my husband told me about his affair and prostitutes. I gave him my heart and he crushed my soul. I also enjoy my kids and grandkids but I do not live near them now that we've bought a winter home in the southwest. I will soak up my time with them in June and then, come fall, I'll return to my warm climate and continue to seek personal enjoyment. I know my husband feels remorse and is doing everything he can to make up for his selfish choices over the past almost four decades but it still feels like too little too late. I another post, Elle said she still felt pain at 3 years so I'm hanging in there. I know that from my husband's point of view our marriage is stronger than ever and that is his newfound commitment to himself to honor his core values but now that I know how he lived his life of deception it is much more difficult for me to see the world through a positive lens. "I miss feeling happy" is so true for me also.

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    2. Hopeful,
      You’ve described how I often feel. His affair opened my eyes to a lot of the ugliness that goes on around me. I have shut myself off from a lot of people because I either don’t have the tolerance for things/behavior I accepted before, don’t want to be hurt/let down, or don’t want anyone to get too close and find out about this big secret that I hide in my marriage.
      Shortly before my husband’s affair, my relationship with my best friend began to deteriorate. She had some pretty significant issues and her life sort of unraveled. She’s doing much better now but she has moved across the country and has become a very different person. There was a time where I felt I could tell her anything and she is now the last person I would ever share anything about my marriage with. It hurts that I feel like I lost that relationship of over 20 years as I was losing the marriage I thought I had. I think it’s just one more loss that ties in with my internal narrative that I’m not worthy. But at least now I can recognize it’s just a story I’ve told myself. (Thank you, Elle for helping me to realize that. ❤️) I was a good friend to her for a long time, as she was to me, Unfortunately circumstances changed, we both changed as people, and it’s no longer the friendship that I once was.
      On the other hand I have another good friend who I shared my story with who has supported me when I initially did not think she would. But there are still a very limited group of friends in my life who I trust with my story.
      I miss the ability to truly connect with people on more than a surface level, but I hope in time that I become less guarded.

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    3. Beach Girl, I am lucky since my kids are still with us for a few more years. It has been really helpful. Also restarting my career has provided a lot of positive aspects for me lately. It has created some extra stress but I think overall it has improved my self esteem and even security over my future. I do worry when my kids go off to college. Granted I do think the fact that my husband and I have worked through this all before that is a good thing. Otherwise I am not sure we would have lasted or we would have grown apart even more. My husband also is very reflective and feels horrible. He too feels our marriage is in the best place ever. As he has said he thought he lost it all and never imagined he could be where he is today. So every day for him is his best day/life. I love his perspective. But I am left like you feeling the same way. I work hard to see the good.

      Dandelion, My husband feels guilty as I was supposed to meet my best friend on dday. He had been out of town the night before and left his Ipad behind by accident. I heard it ping at 2am and saw the questionable texts. The ow were gone at that point but he was not living a life of transparency. I chose to not meet my friend since I wanted to confront him while the kids were at school. I never imagined I would hear what I did. And I have not seen her since, over three years. He takes this really hard. I though looked at the fact that she never initiated getting together. I had to go to her. Even that day I said I was sick. She never contacted me ever to ask if we could get together. Other close friends have very moralistic views of betrayal. I know it would only put more distance between us and then as couples it would end that. So I am left alone. Thankfully this site exists and I have all of you as amazing online friends!!

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  10. Still Standing 1April 3, 2018 at 9:17 AM

    Hiraeth - is a Welsh word that means a longing or homesickness. More recently it has taken on the meaning of a longing for a home you can't return to or was never yours. It can be a feeling too, like a longing for a lost love or the lost potential from a missed connection.

    I sometimes feel this way about the lost opportunity to rebuild with my ex. I know how big the payoff can be if you stay with something difficult and do the work. But I also realize I'm missing something that never existed. Sort of like being homesick for a place you have never been (that's my relationship to Scotland).
    I don't miss the old me. Not one little bit. Because although I am changed, I think significantly, she is essentially with me. Not separate from me. She's just wiser, kinder, more patient and more compassionate with herself and others. Still guarded, but making efforts to step out from behind the curtain more often. Still sometimes sure that no one will ever love me ever, but also recognizing that this is bullshit.
    Some of you have talked about still feeling empty at three years. I think this is normal for people recovering from trauma. Many things I used to enjoy like reading and gardening, don't have quite the same savor to them anymore. Maybe its the knowledge now that there is no solid ground. Not ever. Something could come along at any moment and shake everything up again. But this is a reason to fight on, to keep doing things, to try new things and to focus on what is good right now. Because now is all we've got. But I want to share with those of you who are struggling with the empty at 3 years. It will get better. I have been through some traumatic stuff before. I was raped by a close friend at 20. It took a long time (lots more than 3 years) before I got to the point where I didn't think about it all the time or define myself as a "survivor" or get triggered at that same time of year. Imagine telling me at three years that I should be healed and over it and "normal" again. Its unthinkable, isn't it? But years out I rarely think of it. It causes zero pain when I do because I've done so much work on it. So I promise you, that if you keep at it, process your stuff as it bubbles up, you will find one day you've gone weeks or months without thinking about it. And eventually it will be a thing that happened long ago that isn't in charge anymore.
    You all are kicking ass. Hang in there lady sisters!

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    1. SS1 - thank you for this! I won’t lie - I came to BWC because Elle talks of such hope. I so needed that and I needed the reassurance that normal could be achieved again (albeit a new normal). I needed to know that reconciliation was possible. And I needed to know that time could heal wounds.

      I cringe when I see where so many are still struggling 2, 3 and more years out. I feel drained and depleted and I’m not even a year out. The idea that I could still be struggling years from now makes me question why it’s worth it to endure all of this if it’s still going to suck.

      But this gives me hope. Maybe one day his affair won’t be the first and last thing I think about every day. Maybe one day the excruciating pain in my chest will lessen and could be replaced with love again.

      There is still hope.

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    2. Kimberly
      There is always hope! Sometimes it’s a struggle just because of every day life but it does get better with time and effort from both people in a relationship. Marriage is a hard job but betrayal just makes it a little harder! I hope you are getting rest and snuggling that little bundle of joy! Hugs!

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  11. I am no doubt a changed person.All in all 3.5yrs later. I've finally found enough inner peace to realise my growth and strength on this recovery of my soul has pointed me in the direction of learning to be kind and loving to myself. I still carry a deep sadness with the loss of my perceptions and acknowledge trust will never be restored.But despite,the new'shame' view of staying in the damaged relationship. I tried to view the episode as that an event. Yes an extremely traumatic event. But it didn't warrant our whole relationship. I was absolutely tormented for 3yrs everyday haunted and mentally exhausted with the jigsaw puzzle of information I received.The thoughts, triggers were so close to pushing me over the edge. And then,something changed. I stopped looking to him to help me.No matter what he was trying. It just didn't feel sincere. The answer is that space inside of you. The negative self talk, the thoughts, are just that, thoughts. Do meditation, never done it before, but it helped me immensely with letting a thought be just that. A thought. Let it pass through. It doesn't define you. I lost a lot of myself that I knew but I have gained more than I ever could of imagined.An amazing resiliency, that saw me scrape myself off the floor at 53yrs of age sobbing and literally calling out for help from my mother ( who lives thousands Kim's away).To enjoying the very now moments. Yesterday is gone. I don't know what will happen tomorrow. But I have now, and I'm choosing me.💗

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    1. Unknown - your words are beautiful and touched me today. They were just what I needed. I am just 2 years out, but my "cross to bear" is my husband still works with the women he had a long term EA with. We have done counseling and tried working on us and for the most part, I feel we are doing much better. We are in a much better place. But - I feel it could be better. Lately I've just been tired of it all - wanting to talk with him, but wanting to just enjoy today. And it recently hit me - like your words above - that I need to choose ME. The past is in the past. Tomorrow - who knows what it will bring. Am I happy today? If yes - great - enjoy it. If not, what can I do to improve TODAY? Usually it boils down to taking better care of myself...not relying on my husband to save or heal me. Thank you for sharing your words. (Hugs)

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