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Being played. Paralyzed.

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Odonna posted 3/23/2019 07:52 AM


Maybe now would be a good time to go back to page 1 and re-read your story. You will gain new insights that you did not see on first reading. And you will see your progress and strength and resilience and feel much better about yourself and your ultimate ability to navigate out of this in the end. View it as an assignment and have a pad and pen handy to take notes. Or cut/paste into a document if that is easier. The bullet points that result will be useful to look at in low moments, and you will find mantras that help you focus and cope.

I hope the one you take from me is that you truly do have friends here, and we are here to help. You may be physically alone, but we are still your tribe.


Stevesn posted 3/23/2019 08:25 AM

What you did was Kickass. And that includes the appropriate crying at the end of the night at home.

Question for you, is your WH in IC yet? Whether you and he get back together or not, he needs to be.

You don’t owe him a damn thing, but if you went thru a service to get your online therapist, if I were in your shoes, I’d give him the contact info for that organization and tell him “I’m still not making you any promises, but if you want to keep the chance for us to be together alive, you will sign up and work weekly or more often with one of these online therapists. If you do, then you can discuss with me what you are working on. If you don’t, then we’ll have very little to discuss going forward as it’s a minimum requirement of mine to even consider working on our M. “

Of course he should have been able to figure this out on his own, but wayward idiots are by definition less than perfect. So giving him the info is all I’d do and then let him come to you and prove he is doing it. If he can’t take that step after you handing him the information for signing up, then as pro-R as I am, I can’t see him being ready to help you heal and repair the damage he has created.

Keep on with the Strength you are showing SB. We can see it even when you cannot!

[This message edited by Stevesn at 8:26 AM, March 23rd (Saturday)]

maise posted 3/23/2019 08:31 AM

The OW in your situation seems to have some common ground with the OW in mine. The OW in my situation was a ‘friend’ we made together when we were both trying to branch out and make new friends that we could relate to as a same sex couple. We met her with two other women that were a couple and had been together as long as my wife and I had been. I connected most with one of the women from the couple. This one that ultimately turned out to be the OW in my marriage was one that I didn’t remain close to. She just wasn’t someone I could communicate with well and lacked a sense of accountability for herself that I wasn’t comfortable with.

Anyway, she would try really hard to be very close to me in the beginning. Flirty close. I never gave it the time of day. I told my wife to be careful with her and keep a guard. My wife didn’t like her at first because OW would use people often for money and such...but then OW and wife began getting close ‘as friends’ because wife was hanging out more with one of the women from the couple we had met in our initial meeting of the three of them.

During the affair, OW would come to my house, hang around me as we were all with our friends, come to our family outings around our children, there’s even a picture we took in our group of friends where she was standing right in between my children and I in the picture. She just played the part around me. During some of the times we’d be together my wife and OW would sneak off to makeout as I was in the other room with other friends. Once when my wife was sick at home she asked if Ow could accompany her to the dr “because they’re friends” I said it would be fine and she had OW come, they had sex in my bed and then went to the dr after.

She really just...both of them were horrible and played me. The worst part was that the entire group of friends we had made knew about it. I looked like a complete fool.

Interesting your husband compared her to being animalistic. My wife compared OW to being animalistic too. The risked a lot. In front of me, while I’m just around the corner, everything. I know one time I was in the living room and they were just outside the door and risked touching and making out knowing I would walk outside often and could have gone out there at any minute or seen something through the window. Ugh.

All this to say that part of my healing has involved gaining my power back from OW. By power I mean no longer allowing her to consume my thoughts, no longer holding the rage I had toward her (the rage involved me sitting outside of her house at times waiting for her to come out to beat her), my wife compared my ass to hers and says hers was better because it was bigger...I had to heal that part too and no longer allow for anything regarding what OW did, or what wife said regarding her, or anything to hold power over me.

What helped me most was understanding the people I was dealing with. OW wants to be chosen. She’s pathetic really. A miserable person that has no real connections with others and wanted my life. My wife being an idiot enough to entertain her. What OW never realized was that my wife didn’t make MY life. My happiness and sense of connection to self and others came from me. She could have had my wife, honestly I told them both to go fuck themselves and kicked wife out immediately when I found out. But even if wife had gone to her that day, and they had started a life together...I knew they’d both destruct. They’re both the same kind of person. Emotionally avoidant, not connected with themselves, miserably unhappy with who they are and both play victim roles in their own lives.

My wife and OW ‘connected’ and I use that term very loosely because they’re not ‘connected’ to reality at all, but they drew to each other because they both shared that same lack of happiness within themselves. They look to others to ‘make them happy’ to validate them because they don’t want to deal with themselves. They used each other. Once I realized who OW really is to herself, I took my power back because it really wasn’t about me. It was about her.

I hope this helps somehow.

I do want to add, OW will likely never feel remorse or see herself and her role clearly. OW in my relationship STILL plays the victim and has since Dday. People like them aren’t worth it. They’re pathetic and miserable. They live dreary lives and they do it to themselves. It really doesn’t have anything to do with us at all. The person they slept with could have been anyone willing to take them. Our idiots were the dummies willing to do so.

sinsof thefather posted 3/23/2019 11:01 AM

Wow Speedbump, Even if you cried when you got back - you did it. Well done you.

Justgettingbye posted 3/23/2019 12:13 PM

WOOHOO!!!! I LOVED reading that you took your house back! Even if just for a few moments. I'm sure it felt GREEAT! As it should!!!

emergent8 posted 3/23/2019 17:43 PM

Speedbump, you are so much stronger than you think. Congratulations on taking back your neighbourhood. I can only imagine how lonely you are. Please know that we are all here rooting for you.

Shockedmom posted 3/23/2019 20:09 PM

Taking back your home is a huge accomplishment! I can just imagine you taking a deep breath then crossing the threshold ready to battle the memories. Consider me one of those standing in the audience giving you an ovation.

Scoobydoo posted 3/24/2019 04:02 AM

SB...What a way to take back control, I have no words of wisdom or any tips of do's & dont's I just wanted to congratulate you on your bravery,

Hard times don't create HEROES. It is during the hard times when the HERO within us is revealed

Sunshine184 posted 3/24/2019 09:30 AM

What a great post SB! You have turned a huge corner in reclaiming your house. And deciding to pour a glass of wine and sit outside demonstrates incredible strength and grace. You proved something to yourself that day. Discovering that strength in yourself is a huge emotional step. You’ve always been that strong and I believe you’ve always known you have that kind of strength, it sucks to be reminded of it in these circumstances.
A reason I find you amazing is that I’d like to think I have that same strength; but to tell you the truth, I’ll never know. After my DDay, the only thing keeping me alive was my children. I didn’t eat either although I did drink water. I dragged myself around, preparing food and sitting at the table with my girls. I welcomed the pain of an empty stomach. I felt so dead inside that this empty stomach pain proved I was alive. I journaled every night trying to convince myself to last one more day for my kids. They were old enough to know. If I had ended my life, they would have associated that loss with my hisband’s betrayal - they were already so traumatized.
But something that happened - I’m not one to sit around much (and all I seemed to be doing was sitting or lying around in the dark). I was trapped in my thoughts. I needed to escape that. My job did that for the hours I was there, but at home I was in a mind prison. When I woke up at 3-4am, I went into an east-facing room, lit some candles, sat in easy yoga pose to ground myself, and began a mantra that seemed ‘right’ (I’d never done that before). After a while I included some easy yoga to draw strength and the sun would begin to emerge. I gained to much strength from that sunrise each day.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that you will discover, naturally- if you tune into yourself, the steps of stength that propel you forward. That’s why you continue to amaze me. You are finding your way. It’s so very, very hard and it’s so unfair that betrayal is a means to the self discovery of your incredible perseverance.
There’s a LOT of positive energy directed at you via SI Speedbump!

ohforanewme posted 3/24/2019 17:04 PM


I know what it is like to have the collective wisdom of SI telling you what an inspiration you are, when all you feel is confusion and a little embarrassment. What I realised is that the super star bit doesn't come from being brave and fearless, it comes from being open to accept support and willing to take advice.

I am not sure exactly what part of Europe you are in, or what your interest are, but would like to make a suggestion for you to consider.

I believe Keukenhof to be possibly the most beautiful garden in the world. It has just opened to the public for this season. Because spring came early to the Netherlands this year, much of it is already in full bloom. It is an incredible salve for the soul. Obviously, it can be an incredibly romantic place, but it is just as welcoming to single visitors. On Saturday, at least a third of the visitors were single, and it was clear that each was finding something special to lift their spirits like little else ever would.

Just a thought.

Cooley2here posted 3/24/2019 18:20 PM

Speedbump. If you have time read his story. He went through all the pain and was finding his footing when he got some scary news. He has been busy DOING. He is doing things. He travels with the people he loves. He is living his life.

The internet is the craziest thing. I feel love for people I will never meet. You will love Ohfor. He has our hearts.

MamaDragon posted 3/25/2019 09:17 AM

Way to go SB.

You are reclaiming your life - and showing how bad ass you can be. Crying after ward? All a let down of the endorphins. I cry when I'm angry, sad and happy - no shame. I just never let anyone who has hurt me see my tears (unless I'm pissed)

I'm the type of person who will show up just to rub it in their face, I did with my BH's AP. I'd show up with lunch for him and ignore her completely - well except for staring her down when I first arrived.

I hope that by going over there you felt more empowered. I bet the look on your WH's face was priceless. (hugs)

SpeedBump posted 3/25/2019 09:20 AM

Ohforanewme, what a lovely sounding idea but sadly I am not in the Netherlands. It is going on my list now though, so thank you. I still have so many places to visit and get to know closer to home and I will work on ticking boxes off that list. Thank you for thinking of me.

I have a lot on my mind. I'll return to post more after work today.

HouseOfPlane posted 3/27/2019 08:26 AM

SB, this made me think of your husband, and for that matter of nearly all WS, minus the ones that are flat-out evil.

In 1961, The New Yorker commissioned Arendt to cover the trial of Adolf Eichmann. How could anyone, she wanted to know, perpetrate such evil? Surely only a wicked sociopath could participate in the Shoah. But Arendt was surprised by Eichmann’s lack of imagination, his consummate conventionality. She argued that while Eichmann’s actions were evil, Eichmann himself – the person – ‘was quite ordinary, commonplace, and neither demonic nor monstrous. There was no sign in him of firm ideological convictions.’ She attributed his immorality – his capacity, even his eagerness, to commit crimes – to his ‘thoughtlessness’. It was his inability to stop and think that permitted Eichmann to participate in his crime.

Just as Poe suspected that something sinister lurked deep within the man of the crowd, Arendt recognised that: ‘A person who does not know of that silent intercourse (in which we examine what we say and what we do) - that person will not mind contradicting himself, and this means he will never be either able or willing to account for what he says or does; nor will he mind committing any crime, since he can count on its being forgotten the next moment.’ Eichmann had shunned Socratic self-reflection. He had failed to return home to himself, to a state of solitude. He had discarded the vita contemplativa, and thus he had failed to embark upon the essential question-and-answering process that would have allowed him to examine the meaning of things, to distinguish between fact and fiction, truth and falsehood, good and evil.

SpeedBump posted 3/27/2019 10:47 AM

There is a thread on another forum here that is having an impact on me. It deals with the physical aspects of APs and disparaging descriptions about them that are also hurtful to BSs possessing those descriptions. The real crux is how different the BS is from the AP and that no matter what, nothing can be done about it.

I lately haven't strayed too far from my own thread but every now and then I do (for wisdom) and I keep coming back to this one because it really speaks to me, I guess in a trigger-like way. I'm sorry for the pain for that OP and understand it. For me, it is all about body image and not feeling "sufficient." There is a voice that exists inside my head thinking this all the time, even before the A happened. My issue, clearly one of quite of few, is I have never felt "voluptuous" enough for my WH. I am and always have been a tomboy type. I guess you'd call me "cute" but never use me as an example to describe someone who is physically beautiful. And now, after so much weight loss it's even worse because even cute doesn't describe me. Mal-nourished, anorexic, emaciated? Yep, that's me and believe me I am trying to get better.

I am nothing like the women my WH was with before me, either dating, married or having an affair with. I can't compete! And in my thoughts, I struggle mightily with that insecurity. Sure, I can change my body surgically but I'd never do that because that’s just not me and I hold no judgement against people who do. If I haven't used surgical means to “fix” me up to this age, I'm not about to start now BUT it still doesn't help me deal with feeling "not enough" for WH and believing I'll never fulfill him...that way. It was a problem before the A and in the after-math, OMG. I think about it constantly. If today he told me that's not true at all, I would not believe him, not one iota. To me, it would only be said out of damage control and for no other reason.

This is something I keep coming back to when I think about the future and the decisions I have to make. Right now I believe that no matter what, I'll never feel I'm enough to satisfy him, be able to keep him happy, be his "type". I'll never be "the love of his life", his "ideal woman". Believe me, I know how ridiculous and that I should not care at all about any of this is but it won’t go away and also doesn’t negate my current reality, and man, it sucks. I know I don’t have to do one damn thing for him or because of him but it doesn’t negate the thoughts filling my mind. I know it’s me, my insecurities, my issues. But the damage from the A is making me feel obsessive about this and I hate it.

Intellectually, I know I am "amazing" ... on paper. Any man would be lucky to have me in his life. I'm strong, loving, loyal, responsible, hard-working, financially successful, adventurous, generous, kind, funny, warm and affectionate. Physically? I'm "less than"... AP, past girlfriends and dead wife and I feel inferior. I will die never having been the “love of someone’s life” and I hate that. Sure, I can convince myself it doesn’t exist, is just romantic mumbo-jumbo but damn, I want to feel that. It sounds shallow but I think about things now that I never would have thought have before, all because of them and that damn affair!

Up until the A, this was just a “trade-off” for me. That having a good, functional and healthy relationship was what I really wanted and needed and I was lucky to have it. There was always a niggling thought in the back of my mind all the time but I managed to enjoy what we had, which was a lot, kept it at bay and managed to not let my own insecurity ruin what I thought was a good and functional marriage.

Now Pandora’s box is open and I can’t stuff all that insecurity back down. I don't know how to overcome this in my head, how to battle and win, ignore, not care about this stupid argument in my head. You know what is even worse? I actually feel sad for my WH, too. I wonder why he should have to sacrifice something that seems so important to him in order to be with me. How messed up is that?

Yes, I do also think about whether I really want to live the rest of my life with someone whom I believe feels I'm not enough for him. Even if we divorce, will anyone find me desirable enough? And again, intellectually I am saying to myself, "how ridiculous that I even think such a thing, and that I am incredible and amazing and any man would be lucky to have me.” But the truth is, I feel so damaged, so sad, so inadequate and I can’t make it all go away and now, it’s larger than life. This is something I do plan to bring up with my IC so I hope I can work through this

Just recently, I have also decided I am going to meet with WH and tell him all about how I feel, what bullcrap it is I feel this way, and just…GET. IT. OUT. Right now I think I will just feel better getting it out and if I’m being honest, I hope to transfer some of my pain to him. I’m tired of having full blown discussions with him in my head, worrying about how he will take things, answering on his behalf and just holding on to all of this. I’m gonna have that conversation and release it all. I plan to head over there tonight and just let it flow.

Because you are all so awesome, I know you will work very hard to “pick me up” and explain this all in a way that makes sense, is truthful, sane, reasonable and will likely make me cry. And I do appreciate that and hope it helps but I also know it is my reality, it hurts and it sucks. I wish I didn’t feel this way but I do.

Hold me close. I could use your strength.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 3/27/2019 10:54 AM

I’m tired of having full blown discussions with him in my head, worrying about how he will take things, answering on his behalf and just holding on to all of this. I’m gonna have that conversation and release it all. I plan to head over there tonight and just let it flow.

This is the beginning of really letting go of the outcome. Apparently my WH has felt like throwing in the towel numerous times when I've done what you plan to do...but for whatever reason he does not. I don't know why - and I'm not sure he does either as it would be much easier just to leave and be done. But say your truth - your peace - and to hell with how he feels so long as YOU feel okay with what you're saying. I only caution you as it's easy (at least for me) to slide from "this is how I feel" to a bunch of hateful stuff that I wish I hadn't said later. So long as you think about what you would be okay with having said, you'll be fine.

beauchateaux posted 3/27/2019 11:10 AM

Speed, the body image insecurity is a normal part of this whole crappy process. I can SO relate - I was 6 weeks postpartum when my H cheated with an 'old friend' who was an avid runner and had never had to carry a big old 9 pound baby inside her. The physical comparison crushed me at the time - there I was with stretch marks, baby weight I hadn't even begun to deal with and leaky boobs. And I had to get clued into all of it by looking at his phone when it kept going off at 2am, while I was feeding my newborn, and seeing a topless pic of her and her flat stomach, perky boobs and cheeky, smug grin. It SUCKED harder than my nursing baby.

So I'm not going to minimize how you feel, because I have been there, but I will say that this lessens over time. Or at least it did for me. People don't pick their life partner over a set of boobs or how shapely someone's calves are or what color hair they have. The physical aspect is what sparks the attraction, and that leads to the deeper, more vital stuff.

Your WH married YOU. He obviously wouldn't have done that if he wasn't attracted to you. He's trying to win YOU back because you are worth more to him than being with a woman who is his 'type'. Attraction and having physical 'types' is a thing, sure, but it doesn't mean that being with someone outside of that 'type' means the attraction is any weaker or less electric. My H isn't my 'type' - I like tall, broad, beefy guys and he's average-height and lean. But boy, was I attracted to him (still am). Because attraction is a sort of intangible thing - it just IS. It's like chemistry. It sparks, and when it does, the whole 'type' thing ceases to exist. So, he's not my type, but I was attracted to him and so maybe I don't have a 'type' after all. Am I making sense?

In the end, you are the prize. You are, because of ALL the qualities you listed about yourself. THAT is the stuff that makes an enduring, deep relationship.

And you're still dealing with a huge amount of emotional heavy-lifting, so don't be hard on yourself or your body right now, okay? Hugs to you, and let us know how it goes with WH. We're here for ya.

Northerngal posted 3/27/2019 11:42 AM

Time is the only way to heal the intense pain. The insecurities can be crippling, and I know, because I’m a hot ticket and my wh chose to cheat with a dirty pillowcase. Older than I am. No matter which way it happens, the betrayed get the shit end of the stick.

I’m a work in progress, but I do realize more and more that she could have been anyone. Any set of wet holes. She was never the issue, she was the weak animal trailing the pack and easy to pick off.

Like all wounds when they heal, there is pain that returns, itches, irritates. It’s not a linear path, it’s a dynamic one with setbacks. You’re killing it, be gentle with yourself - you’re a rock star.

Sallie2 posted 3/27/2019 11:43 AM

Hi Speedbump,
I can relate to everything you are saying, and I think it is all a normal feeling, but man oh man it's tough to get through, but you will.
My husband and I were both married before we got married. His ex wife is far more attractive than me. I always had hidden insecurities about that. She's glamorous and a fashionista, and I am probably like you describe, decent looking. People tell me i'm attractive, but i've always seen myself as plain. My husband's affair partner was like his wife, extremely attractive, fit, fashionista. All the things i'm not.
My first husband also cheated on me, with an extremely hot, fit, sexy woman.
To have this happen to me again, has put my self esteem in the toilet. It has been a huge struggle for me. I also feel like I will not be enough, that if another smoking hot woman comes after him he will be weak and do it again. He says he could never do it again, that I am the love of his life, that those women only look like that because they are high maintenance and it takes a lot of work to look like that, that I am naturally beautiful and don't have to spend hours and hundreds of dollars on myself.
At this point, it is still all words to me, but I talk to him about it often. It is my insecurity,I get that. It was always there, but his affair brought it out to the open and now it is right in the forefront.
We talk about it, he reassures me, I am working through it in counselling, but it is not an easy thing to get over.
I look at all my friends with long term marriages and I think, "what is wrong with me?" I've had two husbands and couldn't keep either of them faithful?
We actually talked about this in our MC session yesterday. I said I feel like I am going to spend the rest of my life tying myself up into knots trying to be the perfect wife, and I am never going to be enough.
It breaks my husband's heart that I feel this way. He works hard to show me that is not the case. Our MC counselor has explained to him that is all part of the trauma. It will take time and consistency, and open and honest communication for my brain to settle down.
I think you should definitely talk to your husband about it. He will be hurt that his actions have done this to your self esteem, but that is his burden to bear. He needs to know everything that you are going through, all of your deepest darkest thoughts and pain. It's the only way to work through it.
I am so sorry you are going through all of this. Sending you a virtual hug.

Sallie2 posted 3/27/2019 11:45 AM

I should also say one more thing. My dad cheated on my mom with a bigger, very unattractive woman, and left my mom for her. Everyone would say to my mom, I just don't get it, you are so beautiful and she is not, why would he want her? My mom said that made it so much worse. If your husband leaves you for an over weight, unattractive woman, what the hell is wrong with you?
Either way, this shit storm will destroy your self esteem.

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