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Community Embarassment?

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FindingPeace19 posted 2/10/2019 16:42 PM

Has anyone dealt with feeling shame, embarrassment or humiliation in your town or community because everyone knows about your spouse's affair?

My WS had the affair in his hometown, a small town where everyone knows each other. The A led to an OC. Everyone in the neighborhood knows and it is completely humiliating for me (even though I've done nothing wrong). We live in another state but we come back to visit family from time to time.

Even WS's ex girlfriend who was always jealous of our relationship knows about this. I feel like she must be gloating. How should I cope?

We are working on reconciling and it has been 3 years since DD. Any advice, stories or kind words would be appreciated.

Smashedhrt posted 2/10/2019 16:48 PM

Hug.you did nothing wrong. He did.
You are showing maturity and compassion by trining to work things out.

Hold your head high. You deserve respect.

Nanatwo posted 2/10/2019 18:38 PM

If there is one thing I've learned is that people have a very short attention span. Your husband's A may have been the talk of the town for awhile - but I can assure you a new scandal has come along to give the town something to talk about. Look at the media - how what is a scandal one week is replaced almost immediately be a new scandal.

News got out quickly that my husband had left me for the OW. When we decided to try R I worried what others would think - would I be perceived as a fool - would I always be looked at as the woman who's husband walked out on her. I realized I didn't care what anyone thought - it wouldn't change my mind to try and R.

You have nothing to be ashamed of. You are a woman of integrity - giving the gift of R - especially when an OC is involved - shows great strength of character. Who cares what others think - it's not their life - it not their marriage.

The1stWife posted 2/11/2019 08:44 AM

At some point you have to stop caring what other think or say.

Because if you D him or Reconcile - the gossip will continue.

The OW in my case used to put out these posts on social media that’s said - “I could never be a wife who stayed married to a cheater” and similar comments. I ignored her.

In her pea brain sized mind it was better to be the OW!

Remove other opinions from your thoughts or brain. Someone somewhere will always have something negative to say. When you no longer care you will gain some confidence in yourself.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 8:44 AM, February 11th (Monday)]

whoami62 posted 2/11/2019 08:58 AM

This is a fear of mine since we live in a small town. I have heard many stories of other people's affairs ( and do not take delight in them like others seem to )

H swears no one knew...no one saw anything but I don't bank on that.
I would be very humiliated if people in my small town were gossiping about us.

I suspect that at least one employee put the pieces together after I ransacked H office. I texted him asking questions about the email his AP had when she was employed...next morning, I trashed the office

whoami62 posted 2/11/2019 08:58 AM

This is a fear of mine since we live in a small town. I have heard many stories of other people's affairs ( and do not take delight in them like others seem to )

H swears no one knew...no one saw anything but I don't bank on that.
I would be very humiliated if people in my small town were gossiping about us.

I suspect that at least one employee put the pieces together after I ransacked H office. I texted him asking questions about the email his AP had when she was employed...next morning, I trashed the office

manofintegrity posted 2/11/2019 09:45 AM

You want to know why men have no integrity or commitment in marriages? Because they rarely suffer any consequences of their poor decisions. Women let them off too easy and men cover for them or pat them on the back for their despicable deeds.

NeverThe Same posted 2/11/2019 11:39 AM

We live in a small suburb of a large city. Three WW ( including mine) all were cheating on their BH and covering for each other. Additional wives in our circle, non-cheating as far as I know, also knew what was going on.

When it blew up, and how could it not with this many in the know, it was literally THE gossip topic in town for months to come.

I am 7 years out and still fight back feelings of extreme humiliation whenever I cross paths with anyone who travelled in our circle, a very large part of the community, back in those days. They all know, and I know they all know, so yeah, I got that going for me.

Amilliondreams posted 2/11/2019 12:12 PM

Move. Someone wrote here that people have short memories. I think thats false. People dont care about the pain you are going through just the titillation of your story. When you are out of sight they wont remember it but when you are around itll be in their memories and theyll talk about "poor so and so..." .
They wont hold your husband accountable but will be watching him for signs hes, "up to his old tricks again." None of them matter, but you dont have to always worry about being a sideshow act.
Move.

FindingPeace19 posted 2/11/2019 13:21 PM

Thank you all for your kind words and sharing your experiences.

@Amilliondreams we live in another state, but my in-laws are all there so we visit a few times a year.

FindingDory posted 2/11/2019 14:03 PM

These words have helped me deal with this and in other situations:

What other people think of me is NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

Northerngal posted 2/13/2019 04:56 AM

Not a small town, but a very small professional community. Mow blew (yes I mean blew) her way through men who she thought would advance her professionally, for years. It hasn’t worked, she’s over 50 and right in the middle, not at the top. So wh thinking they were discreet was very myopic. Everybody knew. I was embarassed and humiliated initially, but 5 yrs out, less so. He made himself the punchline for a while. No one was impressed by his affair. She had a reputation before she started working for wh.

I’ve reacted without drama (outside the house). It will pass. Since mow has still reached out to wh in the 5 yrs, the stinky stank is on her, not me. But I doubt she cares. My life has improved ten fold. That’s a win, regardless of what happens in hers.

HouseOfPlane posted 2/13/2019 06:18 AM

...everyone knows about your spouse's affair?

First, why does it matter what they think? More specifically, what they think of you personally?

I know it does. This isn’t one of those statements hidden as a question. Instead, it’s asking a deep question. How important are other people’s opinions to you, in forming your own opinion of your self?

That importance today is the same as before the affair, but I bet you never thought about it. The A dragged it out of the deep currents and plopped it up there for you to stare at.

Flipping it around, do you do things to seek their approval or “go with the flow”? Of course. We all do.

Should it be that way? Or should you operate completely off of your own moral compass? Tough question...

The second point is the people whose opinions you should care about, aren’t going to care. Or more correctly, they will know the fight you are fighting and empathize. They will reveal themselves. The ones that know life is hard. The others will reveal themselves too, and you can drop them from your life. %#$&’em.

Sending strength!

FindingPeace19 posted 2/13/2019 07:29 AM

Thanks so much @houseofplane. You've given me a lot to think about. I guess before the A I knew that certain people (mainly jealous ex girlfriends) were rooting for our relationship to fail and I prided myself on the fact that our marriage was working and we were happy despite their ill wishes.

This A and its living breathing reminder (the OC) proves to the world that our marriage was deeply flawed and I was stupid to take such pride in it. I just feel stupid.

marriageredux959 posted 2/13/2019 08:41 AM

Huh.

Just for discussion's sake, I want to look at this thing from a completely different place for a moment.

What would happen if, instead of trying to hide from it, you OWNED it? Stepped right up to it and made it yours?

Make absolutely no bones and no big deal out of insuring that your husband sees, has a relationship with, supports and nurtures the OC? What if you set firm boundaries (and enforce them!) around any contact with OW (the child's mother) but you facilitate the relationship between OC and your husband? What if you see to it that he mans up to his responsibilities and obligations, emotional and/or otherwise, to this child?

What if you refuse to ignore or hide from the fact that the affair happened?

"Yes, my husband did a stupid thing three years ago. This is his child. It's not the child's fault, the child should not suffer. We're all going to be grown ups here for the sake of this innocent child, who doesn't need to hear about the unfortunate circumstances of his paternity every five minutes. So, how have you been? How's your mom? That's a nice dress- great color on you! Have you been to the new department store downtown? How is it?" etc. etc.

Matter of fact. It happened. People do stupid shit. You're not hiding from it. You are not ashamed. And you are going to be the adult here and insist that everyone give the kid a break- the kid deserves no drama from this thing at all. You're going to be the grown up and set the standard for decent behavior all around. :)

kimwik posted 2/13/2019 21:19 PM

Hugs. It is difficult to think people are looking at you. Double hard when you feel ashamed for staying together even when you are the innocent party. I felt judged for staying, of all things, like it would have been more acceptable to divorce, or I'd have gotten more sympathy... just hold your head high.. and " let them burn their eyes on you"

sofaithful posted 2/14/2019 06:12 AM

I feel totally the same. He told all of this friends (he told me he felt it was the end of us and when I found out he told many people as he was very low). Im finding it very hard to face people he knows. I feel like a doormat for accepting someone who treated me badly. I would feel proud if I kicked him out as this is more acceptable in society. Im 1 year after DD and I'm struggling with this thought each time I see some of his friends. So I feel with you.

sofaithful posted 2/14/2019 06:12 AM

I feel totally the same. He told all of this friends (he told me he felt it was the end of us and when I found out he told many people as he was very low). Im finding it very hard to face people he knows. I feel like a doormat for accepting someone who treated me badly. I would feel proud if I kicked him out as this is more acceptable in society. Im 1 year after DD and I'm struggling with this thought each time I see some of his friends. So I feel with you.

psychmom posted 2/14/2019 07:29 AM

Peace, hold your head high, live your best life possible, and don't let small minded people worry you. It sucks that we need to feel that others are judging us, but really, we can't control what others think. Know you're not alone in this, as many here havecsyruggled with similar situations. But in the grand scheme of life, those who would look down on us for our choice to work on our M and give a cheating spouse a chance at redemption are pretty insignificant. In reality, they may even be jealous..what badass would do what you're doing, and with such style! We are warriors who took a hard path and some people don't know how to deal with that. Ignore the haters. Live a good life, make it as wonderful as you can.

The1stWife posted 2/14/2019 16:39 PM

Marriageredux has the best response.

FYI I have a friend who married an mean nasty Narcissistic guy. He was mean to her and kids.

They are D. He cheated the entire time. He was never well liked anyway.

No one talks badly if the Betrayed Wife. We all support her.

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