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Family gatherings

Lsja posted 10/20/2020 10:55 AM

My WH and I haven't really gone anywhere significant together since March. The main reason being that I just feel so ashamed to stand by his side after I found out about his cheating. The second reason is Covid. I hate to say it but Covid has gotten me out of many public gatherings that I couldn't have stomached.

I'll start off by saying that I realize how it sounds when I admit that I am feeling shame because of my husband's actions. After all, he made the crappy choices, lied, and cheated his way through half our marriage. I chose to love my one and only faithfully, so I should be proud that I'm a person of integrity and morality, right? If only it were so simple. I'm just so embarrassed!

My WH's family is having a bday party on Saturday. We have missed every family gathering with them since February. They are the type of family that raises eyebrows and take it personally if you don't attend--covid or not. They know he was unfaithful, but not the full extent of what he did.

WH's Mom always kept me at arms length. She never once asked me about myself or seemed genuinely interested in who I am as a person. I know her husband (WH'S father) was also unfaithful earlier in her marriage, so now I truly understand why she never liked me. The last thing a betrayed wife wants is a 'pretty young thing ' joining the family. I was possibly a trigger for her baggage that was never properly dealt with. (Disclaimer: I'm not saying I'm pretty, but from a betrayed perspective, I now see how she must have felt.)

Before I get too far off track I'll just say that it has always felt like his family were polite strangers. Even after nearly 20 years of marriage, I still feel like I'm an outsider. His Mom recently passed, and his Father immediately remarried after 48 years. (That's a whole other soap box full of triggers for me.) I haven't met his new wife and I don't really care to.

Back to this weekends party...I just don't want to go. I feel like I have to, because after all I can't avoid people forever. I feel like they're going to be judging me and making assumptions about me in their minds. They never really liked me, I'm quiet and reserved, never outgoing socially unless I really get to know someone. I feel like they will judging me for my husband's actions.

I feel like if a Man truly loves a woman, he doesn't go out seeking other partners. Now, all who know what he did also know that he didn't truly love me. Maybe they think I wasn't worth it or deserving of that kind of love. This is just one of several insecurities running rampant through my mind. I picture myself sitting in the corner watching the clock and wanting desperately to leave. WHY! Why should I put myself through that kind of misery for a man who never had my back in the first place? Im struggling.

Chaos posted 10/20/2020 11:25 AM

I'm pretty pragmatic so forgive if this comes across short.

If you don't want to go - you both don't go. And your WH can be the one to inform his family that you both are unable to attend. He needn't give any other explanation than that.

LemonSpearmint posted 10/20/2020 11:27 AM

I'm sorry to hear they have always been cold to you.
When it comes to feeling embarassed or less than because of his cheating, try to remember that his cheating is all on him. Halle Berry and Beyonce were cheated on and no one is going to be thinking they weren't enough for their men - the same should be said about you.

TX1995 posted 10/20/2020 11:52 AM

You have two great reasons not to go. A) COVID is a real thing and B) you don't have to if you don't want to and your WH should 100% support you.

Right after DDay 1 AND DDay 2, we were scheduled for weeklong vacations with WH's family (parents, siblings, etc.).

After DDay 1, I had no choice but to go as we had just sold our house and I was an F*ing disaster emotionally so I couldn't go somewhere by myself or leave the kids. His parents noticed that I had dropped 20 pounds but said nothing else. (They don't do feelings in that house or depth - which is where WH's issues come from - much like your In-laws, we are polite, even after 20+ years.)

After DDay 2 I told WH that I wasn't sure if I'd go (the trip was 3 weeks after DDay). He supported me and even wrote up an email that he would send, cancelling the trip and telling them why (his affair). My kids were so excited though, so I ended up going and spending 90% of the time crying in our room. Again, parents and family said nothing.

If I were you, I'd say no. And I'd probably give WH the choice of saying it was COVID or his A. And I'd expect his support on my choice to stay. Will they judge you? Probably whether you are there or not. One thing I've learned in going through infidelity is that NO ONE UNDERSTANDS unless they've lived it. That it's life-changing, that it's not because the OW is "better", that it's because of the CHEATER being insecure. Because if people really understood that, they wouldn't be judging the victim in this mess, but the person who not only betrayed their partner but their own morality.

Lsja posted 10/20/2020 16:51 PM

Part of the reason I feel obligated to go is because of our son. He's young, wants to see his cousins, and just doesn't understand. The family thinks I'm being overprotective because of Covid, and can't understand why my child goes to school, but hasn't been able to come visit. I'm so sick of feeling judged.

I'm thinking of staying home, but then my son would ask a million questions because its out of character for me to stay home without them. We're trying to keep our personal business private because he's too young to grasp it. He knows something is wrong and that mommy and daddy have been having serious talks, but it's hard. I may just find an important reason to excuse myself, but I can't keep doing that forever. I'm wondering if I'll ever be ready.

[This message edited by Lsja at 4:53 PM, October 20th (Tuesday)]

TX1995 posted 10/20/2020 17:14 PM

I totally understand the pull because of a child. My kids KNOW about the affair and I ended up going on that trip last summer because if I hadn't, it would have been logistically difficult for the kids to really do all that they wanted on the trip.

I skipped out on quite a bit after DDay 1 (before my kids knew, they found out right after I did on DDay 2 bc of the yelling) and made excuses that weren't lies. I either had something else to do, wanted to get something done, or even said I was tired/didn't feel well (which was 100% true).

Balancing real life in the middle of trauma when you feel so disoriented and DIFFERENT is extremely hard. I'd say pick and choose where you spend your "acting like everything is fine" energy. I saved mine for things like sports games that *I* didn't want to miss, time with my own family or choice friends. The rest of the stuff was not worth that energy to me. In time, you might feel better, but I personally figured out that saying no is okay sometimes and excellent for your mental health.

jailedmind posted 10/20/2020 21:16 PM

I hear ya. Pretty soon Iím in the same boat. My wifeís moms funeral. No way out of that. Brother in-law I havenít spoken to for 6 years. Tried setting my wife up with his buddy. Really red neck stuff. And a sister in-law who knew about affair and kind of supported it. So Iím going but I stated I might need time alone. You do feel ashamed for what they did. But remember they did it. You have the moral high ground. I actually wonder how the heater feels going to this stuff knowing everyone knows. the

Unhinged posted 10/20/2020 21:24 PM

Pay attention to the CDC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


BearlyBreathing posted 10/20/2020 22:19 PM

Duplicate post

[This message edited by BearlyBreathing at 10:20 PM, October 20th, 2020 (Tuesday)]

BearlyBreathing posted 10/20/2020 22:20 PM

So let me see if I understand.
1) They arenít nice to you and you really donít want to go.
2) You WH is not supporting you on this and has not told them the full extent of his cheating.
3) Weíre in the middle of a $#()$*#)$* pandemic and over a quarter million people have died.
4) Your kid goes to school but there are guidelines and distancing in place (Iím assuming that but schools seem to be trying to take precautions from what I have read.)

You do you. The status quo is no more. How your WH supports you will tell you a lot.
And if they judge and raise eyebrows no matter what, then why even care? One thing I learned after infidelity is that I no longer had any F$#4s to give for how others judged. They are not in your marriage, they are not you, and frankly, if they are not supportive, then you really really do not need to worry about what they think.

(And it takes time, but DO NOT BE EMBARRASSED. Hold your head high.)

Hang in there, and take care of YOU.

Justsomeguy posted 10/20/2020 23:17 PM

I get the embarrassed thing. Although I only stuck around for 7 months, I was always ashamed of my WW. Prior to her affair, I was always proud to have her by my side, but afterwards, I saw her as polluted. I don't think I would have ever gotten past the contempt I felt for her. It was just a deal breaker for me. It might not be for you, but put yourself and your needs first.

Booyah posted 10/21/2020 05:36 AM

Life is too short.

If you don't want to go and these people (his family) aren't people that you really care about than do NOT go.

"They never liked me".

Than why waste your time with people who don't like you!!

No reason to come up with an excuse either.

Just tell your husband why you aren't going. Because you don't want to. End of story.

If he wants to go let him but make sure you let him know that he's not to make up an excuse to tell them why you aren't there.

If your son wants to go than let him go with your husband so he can see and play with his cousins.

BellaLee posted 10/21/2020 15:39 PM

Hi @Lsja I'm so sorry you're having to deal with the pain and aftermath of betrayal. I do understand the emotions you're having and I just want to encourage you to be gentle with yourself. Do remember that you're self worth is not a reflection of the wrong choices your H made.
You are certainly worthy of love that can be trusted.

I think it's important to spend your energy on getting whole and healthy emotionally. Are you having any counseling to help you process what you're going through.
With regards to the family gathering, I suggest you go with the decision that gives you the most peace and try not to worry about what people think.
It might take time for you to be ready but praying that you will get stronger and heal from this trauma.

Lsja posted 10/21/2020 19:38 PM

Thank you for all the kick-in-the-pants good advice. I told him tonight that I will not be going. Its just too soon for me. I'm afraid I'd end up in tears, and embarrassing myself. I don't have much of a filter right now, and thoughts and feelings just spill right out.

He said he wouldn't go without me, and was supportive of my decision. We decided to have our little one create and send a special card instead.

Thanks again. Its so nice to be understood.

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