Newest Member: cobblerock


Married to an SA
Many DDays after discovering many, many EAs/PAs Working on R

Accepting That No One Cares About Infidelity

My greatest issues with infidelity are the injustice of it all and victim-blaming. It's not a crime, so there are no true consequences that can help you heal. And movies and books romanticize infidelity, like Jack and Rose running around the Titanic to escape her big, bad fiance who's just rightfully mad that she's cheating on him with a teenager.

I realize people will initially be shocked, angry, sorry for you, but that dissipates quickly, and then they expect you to move on. Those who haven't experienced meaningful infidelity (i.e., not someone they dated when they were young and had no significant life investment in) don't get it. They sit there and say, no one died, get over it. I feel the heat rise in my face when I see social media comments saying people cheat all the time, who cares?? Or worse, they'll say, "my high school boyfriend cheated on me and I got over it!" rolleyes

I guess I've just had trouble accepting that people will poo-poo or even blame you for possibly the greatest, most life-altering trauma you will ever experience. It's not just your relationship; it's your entire life. Your family, your children, your house, your livelihood, your lifestyle, your orbit, your self-esteem, your confidence in your ability to judge others, your everything. And there's no good outlet for dealing with it.

I'm glad I chose to R for many reasons, but now looking back, if we had separated immediately, I would have been so vocal and outraged that I know people would have made me feel worse or even petty for my valid feelings and reactions. When BSes speak out, people roll their eyes or--worse--attack. You have to be the perfect victim of infidelity (i.e., demure, silent, strongly carry on) to not be seen as less than.

At least now I've done enough healing that if my H came to me tomorrow and told me he's leaving me for his mistress, I would know how to react to get to support--which is to say: don't be angry or sad. Avoid being human. It's unfortunately the only way.

This epiphany came when I read about how Mary Jo Eustace's son publicly scorned her for being vocal about the infidelity regarding his father and stepmother, Tori Spelling. He blamed her for making him feel guilty for loving his other family and seemingly trying to wreck their dynamic. Initially, I thought, "this poor woman gets cheated on and left for a celebrity when she had young kids, including a 3 week old, the father all but abandons his son to start a new family with Tori, Mary raises her kids essentially solo, and her son still sides with the cheating ex/absent father and awful mistress??"

But that's how it is, because children have a biological need to be loved by their parents, no matter how terrible they may be. The son desperately wanted to be a part of his dad's new family and feel comfortable and stable and experience the two-parent/multi-sibling lifestyle. So, sadly, Mary should have just swallowed her feelings in order to not look like a bitter, scorned woman and not get rejected by her own son in favor of the cheater.

People would never treat someone this way if their H were killed or if some other life-altering accident befell them. I think it's because they assume they're too amazing or too good at judging their partner's character to get cheated on, and it would never happen to them. But everyone knows a loved one could die or other terrible things could happen to them, so it's a relatable fear they have sympathy for.

I guess this is a rant but also a celebration of finally coming to terms with the reality that I can't complain about infidelity or explain its layers of trauma to anyone other than a therapist or internet strangers on this forum, because they will just make me feel worse for it. And I guess if you're new to infidelity and have young kids, this is advice on how to proceed in the best way to avoid your children one day hating you for your WS's actions.

19 comments posted: Saturday, May 11th, 2024

How often do positive reconciliation stories stay positive

I'm a few years post-DDay, and it's been an extremely long, hard journey, but my WH has done a complete about-face, taken full responsibility, is in IC and group therapy and we're in MC, has been NC with any of the many OW (serial cheater/SA from day one of our relationship and has never been faithful in any of his previous relationships), become a much better husband, father, business partner, person, etc. He owns his past feelings of entitlement and puts in the work every day. It seems things are going well and we are on track to reconcile completely and have a long, happy marriage. Right now, I believe he's my soul mate.

Then I come here looking for reinforcement. I read positive reconciliation stories from years ago, and I recognize our situation in many of the posts. I see the hopefulness that I currently feel, the comfort I currently feel, all the details that are very familiar to me. So I look to see if there's an update on each one. I can't tell you how disenfranchised I feel when I see that five, ten, fifteen years later, the H cheated again, left for a previous or new OW, or otherwise slipped back into being a jerk and instigated a D.

I know I'm looking for reasons for this to fail; I don't want to get blindsided again. I know I still have a wall up and issues I need to work through. I know there are probably many, many stories of reconciliation that last the next fifty years until the couple dies hand-in-hand Notebook-style, and I am only focused on the ones that don't.

I can google statistics for how often marriages survive after infidelity, but I just want to hear from this community--how often do positive reconciliation stories stay positive?

24 comments posted: Monday, September 5th, 2022

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