Hello all. It's been a long while. I wanted to drop a line and see if there were any old-timers still around and maybe give newbies a bit of hope.
In early November a decade ago was one of the worst days for my marriage. (We're sitting here trying to remember the date, and we can't.) I snitched on myself and confessed to an EA with a married man. My husband was understandably devastated. Four days later I found SI and some wonderful people. Some of the best people on this planet met me in the wreckage of my marriage and held the light while I fought my way out. Some of those people I'm still friends with, some have passed away, and some floated out of my life for various reasons. But to each and every one of them, I owe a debt of gratitude. I don't know that I could have survived without them in those early years.
From being here, I came to the horrific realization that I'd had not just 1 but 4-5 EAs through the course of my marriage. It was one of those things where looking back when the scales had fallen from your eyes, you recognized the behavior for what it was. I was emotionally stunted, carrying suppressed grief, and an insane amount of anger and resentment. Boundaries didn't exist. I had zero self-awareness. And I had like, zero filter. I posted all.the.time. about everything. In a way, I'm grateful because this place was my therapy. But also, it's horrifying that I allowed THAT MANY PEOPLE into my marriage. Regardless of if they were trying to help or not. 20,000 people knew all my business.
There's been a ton of blood, sweat, and tears put into the work. It's not just flowery words or following a formula. I tried that. Honestly, the "formula" for everyone is different. We all have our own whys, our own personal traumas and issues, and we're married or partnered with people who are different. You can do all the right things, say all the right things, and at the end of it, your partner/spouse is just done because what you did is a dealbreaker. Surviving infidelity doesn't guarantee that your marriage/relationship will survive. You might come out of this alone. It's a gamble because of the choices that brought us to this site. Giving up control of the outcome was one of the greatest gift I gave myself throughout this whole process. Regardless of the outcome, if you do the hard work, you will be a better person.
My marriage is in a place I never thought I'd see it. Stable. Happy. Content. Strong. Flourishing. We did the dang hard work and we've been reaping the benefits of it. We're approaching 20 years of marriage We've got 2 teenagers. We've survived deaths in the family, including my closest pet companion earlier this year that I've still not recovered from. We've survived my auto-immune disease and disability with one of the kids. We carry positions of leadership within several areas of our lives. My husband has built a successful business. We're happy. We're content. We made it.
If I could give any advice it would be: (Not necessarily in order.)
1. Don't lie. Ever. For any reason. Not even little ones. Post Dday, the slightest lie could be a death knell on your relationship.
2. Drop the defensiveness. You screwed up, now own it and fix it.
3. Be open with your partner about where you're at in your journey. What you're reading, what you're discussing in therapy. Communicate!
4. Learn your partner's (and yours) love languages. (Also apology languages. I discovered those a couple years ago and it's really interesting)
5. If you go to therapy, find one that is legit. Don't just go to the first therapist you find that will make you feel good about yourself. Find someone that is well versed in infidelity and will push you to do the hard work. Find someone who will hold you accountable.
6. Find your whys. When you think you've found one, ask yourself "why?" again. This mess is like an onion. Layer upon layer. Peel them back.
7. Be transparent. If your partner requires passwords and keyloggers, just do it. It's the price we pay for what we did.
8. Realize that this is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes years. We weren't on real footing till probably year 6 or 7.
9. Be patient with yourself and your partner.
10. Forgiveness. It's one I never thought I'd get to. And super controversial. "How DARE a WS forgive themselves." For me, forgiveness didn't end up looking like what I thought it would. It wasn't "Oh I forgive Aubrie for shredding her husband's heart strings out". I had to forgive the emotionally stunted me. The me who was abused as a teenager. The me who lost a child. The me who was hurt in a terrible way by someone I loved. Those traumas and hurts, those choices are what I forgave. Little by little. All of those shattered and broken pieces that made me, me. As I did the work, I had to find a sense of peace and forgiveness for each one. Some were harder than others. Some took longer than others. But I stand today a new woman. Confident in who I am, in how I've healed, and where I'm going.
Love and light to you all.
23 comments posted: Wednesday, November 10th, 2021
Christmas colors and puppies!!!!
20 comments posted: Monday, December 7th, 2015
I need a life
Wanna see something funny? Walk into the floral section of your grocery the night before Valentines Day and watch the people meandering around with glazed over or panic stricken eyes. It's better than last minute Christmas Eve shopping.
Wanna see something even funnier? Talk to your husband on the cell phone as you're wandering the floral department discussing random stuff, and when your husband asks, "Are you sure you don't want anything?", laugh and exclaim, "Babe. You know I hate this holiday. I don't want anything." I swear two gents will have to be treated for whiplash. The shock and awe on their faces was priceless. The poor young man that was agonizing over baby pink or coral colored roses was probably wishing his girlfriend would say something similar.
Two more days till half price chocolate! That's the real holiday! Woot!
Oh. And I totes bought myself some flowers. They had eucalyptus, dangit!
2 comments posted: Friday, February 13th, 2015
The purple is back! Home Sweet Home.
I love the holiday colors and all, but there's nothing quite as comforting as seeing the good old purple skin pop back up.
9 comments posted: Friday, January 9th, 2015
Holiday Cheer thread
Okey Dokey folks, let's get with the program. Post it all. Favorite holiday traditions, decoration pics, (I wanna see everyone's trees!) favorite candies/cookies/dessert/whatever, least favorite Christmas songs, most memorable moments, etc.
Moo, you got a poll you wanna start or did I just steal your thunder?
Tradition: New jammies on Christmas Eve for the kids.
New family ornament every year. This year, our 2014 ornament is the end of our Christmas tree that the farm trimmed off. I'm going to paint it with glitter paint, put the year on it, and bedazzle it.
Favorite song: (This week. I change my mind often) I Heard the Bells.
Favorite treat: Molasses Krinkles. Oh! And there's these Gingerbread muffins that I had recently that are to die for!
Something fun I'm doing this year is what I wrap the kid's gifts, I'm labeling them wrong. All of DD's gifts have DS's name, and vice versa. They've been guessing at what their presents could be and have no idea they don't even belong to them. Contemplating on whether I tell them Christmas morning, or just let them go and watch the chaos ensue. Mwhahaha
Most memorable moment this year: Picking out an awesome tree, getting it 95% decorated, going to bed, and waking up the next morning and finding out the tree fainted during the night. Thank Jesus no ornaments were broken. QS may or may not have secured it with rope and weights. Just in case it faints again.
Ok. Your turn. Neeeeext!
19 comments posted: Monday, December 8th, 2014
When does the Christmas Puppy and Creepy Santa show up?
*drumming fingers impatiently*
Let the puppy/beaver/badger debate begin!!!
13 comments posted: Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
QS is working a project. He's got a helper with him. They're using 2 items that require cords. They've got 1 cord plugged in one outlet, another cord plugged in another outlet. So 2 outlets being used.
The homeowner walks in the house, looks at the helper and said, "Do you mind plugging both of those cords in the same outlet? That way it won't use up so much electricity."
QS said, "You know it takes a lot to shock me. I about tripped and fell over my bucket."
Then he texts me a bit later and said, "I have a favor to ask. Will you go plug all the crap in the house in one outlet so our dang power bill will go down?"
Thank you Jesus for people who makes us laugh. Bless them.
20 comments posted: Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
I know it's early, but I have a request.
Someone, who shall remain nameless, plugged an air fresher thing in upside down, thus pouring out all that highly concentrated oil and scent all over my hair straightener. I've tried to clean it. But every time I plug it in, "Sweater Weather" permeates that entire end of the house, and the oils seep out of the iron, oozing onto the counter top. And lets not discuss the transference into my hair.
Can I have a new straightener? It doesn't have to be fancy. This one was a cheapo from Ross.
Also, world peace, food for the hungry, homes for the homeless, families for abandoned pets, more easily available resources for those with disorders and mental illness, comfort to those who have lost loved ones, rest for the weary, and happiness to those who are heartbroken.
Thanks in advance.
*Feel free to add your Christmas wishes*
14 comments posted: Monday, November 24th, 2014
Free Books to Give
Hey gang, I have a couple books that I'm willing to mail anyone free of charge if you need them. I bought them used, but they're still in pretty good condition.
ALL GONE! Thanks y'all.
[This message edited by Aubrie at 8:12 AM, November 7th (Friday)]
2 comments posted: Monday, November 3rd, 2014