The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
I’ve been doing lots of guided meditations lately and one of the themes is healing your heart and finding happiness or peace. I’ve always been the slightly melancholy sort but I’ve learned to find joy in the cracks. My special moments, a walk on the beach or ear woods, paying attention to nature, close up photography of nature inspiring documentaries, movies, music and sometimes my old love dancing. Sing anyway, yes it does help. Another inspiring movie was The Martian. Stranded alone on a planet he played the music, kept on with tasks, figured things out, kept going, kept singing. One of the most difficult things I’ve found about the latest betrayal is that I just can’t tell family members and friends (I’ve told just one but haven’t dwelt on it with her). My family know about the first major betrayal but if they knew he did more they could not interact with him in the pleasant way they do now. All I have is the MC at the moment and you ladies. We go through massive shock and grief and alienation and mental health difficulties and no-one knows. Not a straight comparison but the huge outpouring of support by friends and community for my sister on her son”s death has been a huge solace for her and has given her strength. She has received many personal messages about what she and her artwork mean to others. I’m not saying in any way that it will make up for the total loss of her beautiful, kind 12 year old son or that the grief of betrayal is comparable but, apart from this wonderful site, there is a dreadful feeling of loneliness and going it alone, day to day. I cannot tell my story outside of here to preserve the possible future, to protect others. So yes, I don’t feel like singing each day but I do try.
FOH - yes, yes,YES!! Elle thank you for this outlet you’ve provided. I’m sure that I am not the only one who has experienced infidelity but because we don’t talk about it I will never know. We have a male friend who has lambasted his wife on FB. He is constantly posting Memes that I’ve seen about cheating. I have to be very careful about how I respond and find myself wanting to hide him because he’s saying and posting so many things that I feel. He doesn’t know how well I “get it” and I refuse to out my H.
FOH, I have had similar feelings. And yes I love The Martian and can see parallels. I have always been an optimist and even if I am down or having a bad day I guess I fake it. I was taught to push through. That is a good trait but also I think contributed to the years of affairs. I too find it hard sometimes day to day since no one knows. It was my choice. And it sounds horrible but I look at others going through cancer, death of a child etc and see the outpouring of support as you say and think no one knows. And I know none of us really knows what someone else is going through. But I do find that hard. And I know it is my choice to not tell anyone. Unfortunately I do not feel that by telling anyone it would be helpful. I think betrayal and reconciliation is misunderstood in our culture. In some ways I wish I could change that. I am just honestly not up for it and have chose to shield my kids from what has gone on. I do find satisfaction that my husband says he is a better mental health professional and has helped many people more than he did pre dday.
Hi Kimberly, hope you are getting on well with your new baby. Remember to treat yourself like a queen, treats, rest, anything you can get to honour you and what you are going through as a mother and as someone in a difficult situation. It is helpful to come here and see what we feel said by someone else but as a SAHM I know how isolated we can feel, we need to reach out to people whether we tell them the whole story or not. I guess though sometimes we wish that others would check in with us and see if we are okay. Hopefully you are getting some of that with the new arrival.
Hopeful it IS hard that others don't know. Sometimes I find myself falling into a pit of disappointment and low energy and I wish others knew so they could offer to do something with me. The other day the kids very chattily/affectionately mentioned me as sometimes shouting and the ten year old said how one day I'd gone into the bedroom crying and that it had nothing to do with Dad because he had gone into the living room. I've had to reveal a lot to my 17 year old as he has a radar and to my 15 year old I've given a shorthand version how Dad was depressed at one point and wanted to leave. The line I keep using with the younger kids 13 and 10 is that its been a stressful few years but I know that they've heard a lot of stress and tense conversations if not the content. As a SAHM I feel a lot of pressure to not pass on my low mood to the kids (and I've done a lot of work on myself) but sometimes its hard. I'm not going to tell them why but sometimes I can't be jolly and fun, sometimes my nerves are on edge. After yet another shock of inappropriate friendships and lies at the end of last year, huge money worries and the awful sudden death of our 12yo nephew in Jan we are doing well to be keeping going at any level but its been several years of stress and being below par (my eldest son was very volatile with his Aspergers and our of school for two years). This is the childhood my kids are having with me being below par for years despite my best efforts. I've gone off on a bit of a tangent but I suppose I'm talking around what you say when you say you must shield your kids. I'm not sure how much I've really done that. I certainly don't want to take away my younger kids innocence and great relationship with their father but when he repeatedly does things that I have to deal with it gets harder and harder to quietly sacrifice myself.
Yes Yes Yes!!!! My kids know nothing beyond that relationships take a lot of work, couples argue but should always be respectful. My kids would loose their minds if they knew what my husband did. I think they think the extent is he works too much and hung out with friends too much. That was one of the first thoughts when dday happened that my kids would even know and never do what he did even at a young age. They understand so strongly how horrific betrayal is. Saying all of that one of my most distinct memories is when my youngest asked me one day why my husband was always gone and liked being with his friends more than us. She was not even 2 years old at that point. And she was just asking in that curious way kids do. It did hit me and not any surprise. I had addressed that for years with my husband but was always given reasons work, parents, etc... I did bring it up to him one more time and of course he became defensive and said I must be prepping her to say that and speaking negative of him while he is not home. And had to hear how hard he works and how much money he was making. So I totally get it. And I think you are right there is this burden as a mom. I too feel that I need to create a safe place for my kids and have their home be positive. And I know it will not be perfect I and think that is good for them to see. We try to be honest that not every day can be amazing or perfect but it is how you persevere and handle those down days and periods of time. And also how to be there for others. Post dday my kids especially my oldest would ask me what was wrong. All she said was she noticed I was more quiet. I blamed it on not feeling great since I got sick within the first four months of dday. Also lots of weight loss for me which I worried about that as a negative effect on my kids. I really stopped eating for 6-9 months. I only ate in front of them. Now we are at a point where this is really hard for my husband. As they have gotten older and talked about what they see in movies or hear about with friends or other adults they know he struggles. They talk about people like him with such disgust. My one child said that there is no way they could ever forgive someone that could do that. My other is totally into second chances. I try to use what I have learned about myself, my husband and our marriage to guide them to take care of themselves and all of the other lessons I have learned during this process.
Hopeful, thanks for telling me how your kids have responded and how you are putting the lessons of life into practice for them, its touching to hear. I'm sure all my kids know more than I'm even willing to admit. Wow to hear about your daughter before she was two! My now 13 year old daughter has also been very intuitive since she was tiny, and I'm sure she has heard too much. One of the things I'm most angry about is the effect of my husband's actions on the wellbeing of the kids and the atmosphere of our home whether through his distance and coldness at the time of the affair or through the tension and my struggles. My eldest boy who knows the most doesn't quite get why I would still be struggling years on (this was before the last lunches and meetings). After what happened with my h my mother confided in me that my Dad went "Talking to women" at one difficult point in their lives. I remember how tense things were between them for years (financial worries, deaths etc as well) and they still bicker and pick at each other though they will be together 50 years this summer. Its not a relationship to inspire. I'm disappointed that my kids have seen a similarly tense relationship between their parents all these years. When I hear you talk about how you are doing what you can with the kids I see someone who is making the best out of a horrible situation, this is the best we can manage.
FOH, Being a parent is so hard and then throw in all of the issues related to betrayal and it can be overwhelming. I will say that I try to instill empathy in my kids more than anything. I feel like it will serve them well for the rest of their lives. It is easy to look at anyone and think you understand them. I know I thought I understood my husband. And in the end he was hiding who he was even to himself. You are right you are doing your best and I am sure your kids see that. And I am sure they appreciate you. Through this whole thing I try to slow down and focus only on the things I have to do. The good that has come out of this is I am with my kids more than ever. Lots of quality time. And for us at least I think things would have been worse during the teen years if my husband was still lying and cheating. On dday I told my husband the only reason I was going to try to work it out was for the kids and I thought they deserved that. I had no idea where it was going to take us. I think initially it gave us that push. Does your husband go to therapy. What about you or your kids?
When I find myself thinking about his affair and I am either out walking my dog, at home or in my car, I try to sing something happy. It helps raise my spirits whether it is a hymn, holiday song or a made up song. It also serves as a stark reminder to keep my day job. But it really helps.
Hi Elle and all lovely, brave ladiesFragment of Hope, high five and big hug...I am very much doing what you do. To give thanks for little things I see every day: from 2 butterflies trying to mate (lol) to seeing more rain falling to leave beautiful drops on the flowers by the path. Though I am back with H, I am very clear it is for my son.After his first affair, H gave me ALL his passwords and bank account no...whatever confidential to him, he gave me access. But know what, just when I was completely healed after 6 years to the first affair, I discovered the second affair and his sick fetish for used underwear. I filed for divorce and though it was tough heading that way, I felt liberated. Like I finally broke away from the vicious chain of emotional abuse of 15 years.Though I was coping well, my son who is 6 years old...he was not. His dad is a fantastic dad...he sucks big time as a husband but truly I cannot find ANY fault in him as a dad. What broke me and forced me to have H back in my life was when my son begged me.Anyway now that H is back, I still treat him cordially. But I have let go on checking his phone, social media and such. I realise if someone wants to cheat, he will do it anyway. No point policing. No amount of MC is going to help unless HE wants to change.So yes, I am at the stage I am singing for the peace and love of a mother's heart.Love Lynn
Lynn, You are so right. I totally agree that they have to want to make the changes. I had that same liberating feeling when I stopped working in private detective mode. It was draining me of my entire self. It really was horrible. I feel it was a phase I had to go through. And honestly with technology anyone can find a way if they want. Throw away phones are so cheap, free emails, fake fb pages.... I try to follow my best advice to talk less and listen more. I try to sit back and really watch and assess my husband's actions and what he says. I look to see if they match.
Oh Lynn I feel for you and can really understand your decision to keep stability for your son. But I also feel outrage on your behalf that you had to go through all that and have it happen again. It is so hard. Be proud of your choice to help your son but honour yourself as well for standing in this position. Do what you need to bolster yourself and your mental health and stability because you deserve it. Kids change as they grow older and can surprise us with their wisdom. My kids have just lost their very close friend and cousin (12) and their grandmother was changed suddenly after a massive stroke and is now disabled. The younger ones now 13 and 10 look at things very much in the immediate, the older ones see a wider picture. You may find the right path changes over time. Thinking of you Lynn
I learned eight weeks ago of my husband's 10 years of infidelity with four different women. My father died this week, and my father in law will pass within the next month. It has been all I can do to put one foot in front of the other, but I have forged ahead with IC and MC. I am trying to find moments of joy and trying to stay optimistic. The words above remind me that my happiness will come from me, and that now is the time I need to summon some of it, day by day.
Loner, I am so sorry to hear all that you are going through at the moment, you will hardly be able to process anything right now. My 12 year old nephew died without warning recently, he was very close to our family. Deaths brings certain perspectives about what is important and that we need to find the small gaps of joy. I'm hoping you can hold onto that. Please let us know how you are getting on.
Loner, I am so sorry. It can be so overwhelming. Make sure to take time and take care of yourself. Also do not rush yourself through the healing process since you are dealing with so much more than betrayal. Thinking of you!
Not having people know is hard, I hear you ladies! DDay was New Years Eve (talk about having to reclaim a day...I like the ideas from a previous post) and the only person I have told is one of my sisters, because I needed to leave and she was the only person I felt I could go to. But she is the perpetually single career woman, I think her longest relationship has been less than a year, so she definitely doesn’t understand. She has been supportive but I have stopped sharing with her now that we are committed to reconciliation. Since DDay, we have gone on vacation to Mexico (2 wks after DDay. What a shit show), had my parents and other sister stay with us for a week (this had been planned for months; they live cross country), had my 40th bday (my sisters planned one family party, and my H planned one with friends), and have had a few other families come stay w us. It has been so hard at times pretending we are the happy little family. Other times it’s been a nice distraction from my inner pain and turmoil. . Not to mention the fact that my H and I own a small business which is kind of a community hub in a super rural area. Everyone thinks we are such a happy couple, and such a great support system for this 18 year old that he fucked. I mean, her grandmother literally gave us a piece of art that she made for us to thank us for helping her granddaughter. I have to just play along and it makes me feel complicit in their secret. I have told both of them that I am mad they have ruined some of my friendships. How can I continue to be friends with this girls mom after what my husband did with her daughter? She thinks we were this wholesome family supporting her daughter during a difficult time (so did I) And yet her mom invites our family over to dinner so how can I keep making excuses. I’ve avoided it twice now. If we stay in this town I will know these people for the rest of my life. I feel like I need to move away after all of this. It’s just too small and secrets don’t stay secret forever as we all know. If people find out what he’s done our business and life here are ruined. I hate that he couldn’t see any of this when the affair was happening. I know people would never understand how I could stay after finding out.
That is such a difficult situation NorCal and so unfair! To undermine all those 'wholesome' as you put it relationships including the strong community base, he has taken so much apart. At the moment I've started to look at what my husband has been doing as a type of crime. While most of it was emotional affair (he was about to leave for her), inappropriate friendships, a huge amount of deception including financial deception, porn etc and one kiss with an ex, its the extent and repetitive nature that has made me look at it as him stealing from me, over and over. My h is looking for another chance after more revelations from the end of last year and I have thought about how he needs to face into his deeds and the extent of them. Even though they never think of the consequences of what they are doing at the time, I think that they should face and be held responsible for everything that happened whether they meant it or not. If a person gets into a car drunk they don't mean to kill the pedestrian but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be held accountable. "I was drunk and didn't know what I was doing" is not a true defence. In your case the consequences of your husband's actions have been huge. It is his responsibility to do whatever he can to make up for his actions. However from what you say, some things are spoiled and that can't be undone. I really feel for how hard it is for you to keep these secrets in the face of the community and with your friendship with the girl's mom. It seems to much a secret to keep but not keeping it will mean sacrificing other things.
I like your analogy of drunk driving. I have had a hard time making him understand this and that is a helpful way to frame it. He always says that his intentions weren’t to hurt her or me. I of course was not supposed to find out, so I wasn’t going to get hurt. She was making the choice as a (barely legal) adult. She came on to him. And she is a very mature 18 year old. But she is still 18! And he’s 42! So I have told him that I consider her a victim because he had all of the power in that dynamic. He was her boss, she trusted him, she looked up to him, he was the only one who understood how hurt I’d be (although I don’t think he actually fully understood), he was supposed to be looking out for her. He was too selfish and under the spell of the ego stroke to see how damaging it was for this girl to have another big secret, for her to not be fully loved. I don’t care if he never thought of it or never intended to hurt her, he should have. It took me less than 2 hours after finding out to stop thinking about how this impacted me and my kids to how it impacted her! And he had 5 months!
We are all three striving to do our best to help each other heal. My h is very supportive and loving to me. He has cut his drinking way down, is an open book in terms of my questions, constantly reassured me that he wants to be with me, and is even open to moving. He is helping out way more around the house and with the kids and is emotionally available. So he’s working on himself and our relationship. We have limited our affair talks to once a week. We are trying not to hurt each other further but we are being honest, so these talks are hard. We are trying. I finally think we will make it through this. But some days I’m so fucking angry!
We had talks once a week and that worked really well for us. The rest of the week we spent as much time together as possible. We also eliminated all necessary obligations. We went back to basics. For the entire first year we did very little outside of our home or related to our kids and work.
NorCal, yep the talks are hard and it may seem like you are going backwards at times. I felt like some weeks we took 2 steps forward and then a talk would take us 10 steps back. Each time it would help heal and want to push forward.I’m happy that he has stepped up fo you and the kids! That is huge! Keep on keeping on. It’s hard, painful and a living hell, but in the end worth it! Your anger is valid and very normal.
Lynn My heart hurts for you and I just want you to know that I’m thinking of you and praying for peace!