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Betrayed Womenz Thread - Part 4

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skeetermooch posted 11/29/2020 08:44 AM

HI TA999,

Lord, I'm sorry your WH left you with that parting blow. They are angry bitter people, apparently to the end in some cases.

You'll have these aha moment as you're move towards healing, when you realize you haven't thought of them or the trauma for a few days or weeks or months. You'll notice you're feeling joy one day or you'll look around your home and feel serenity and it will hit you, he's not in your head anymore. It's not linear - happiness alternates with periods of ruminating and melancholy. Your self esteem will come from the fact that you've survived a terrible trauma and your new accomplishments, hobbies and friendships.

You've been through hell and you're still standing. You have a lot to be proud of.

I've seen it posted here that recovery takes about two years. That seems about right. I'm about 17-18 months out from dday but did have a little false R, so not sure where my clock starts, but I feel a million times better. Not normal but a lot closer.

[This message edited by skeetermooch at 8:45 AM, November 29th (Sunday)]

Throwaway999 posted 11/29/2020 10:10 AM

You'll have these aha moment as you're move towards healing, when you realize you haven't thought of them or the trauma for a few days or weeks or months. You'll notice you're feeling joy one day or you'll look around your home and feel serenity and it will hit you, he's not in your head anymore. It's not linear - happiness alternates with periods of ruminating and melancholy. Your self esteem will come from the fact that you've survived a terrible trauma and your new accomplishments, hobbies and friendships.

Thank you...that is a great description. It has been a bit allusive to me...and now I know I am on the right path. I feel a sense of peace each day, some days more than others. I am sad for my kids, they never asked for any of this and they are still grieving both the infidelity and his passing.

For me, the last months have been way, way better than living in infidelity and limbo. I waited for my WH to have his ďahaĒ moment but it never came...he thought more about protecting himself than my feelings and well being. I feel he never confessed the second (or other affairs?) vey cause he feared I would not have continued to be his caregiver for him at the of his life. I donít know...he might have been correct in that.

Had I had the whole truth it likely would have broken me completely. In reality I would have preferred honesty, but that was something he could not face. So now I am left protecting his secrets and lies from my kids and my mother in law...I feel my kids are worth protecting. They have already been through enough. But I have a huge desire to expose his second affair with his ex-wife to his mom. I have to work on my whyís I feel so motivated to tell her of the other affairs. I know a huge part of it was because she never once held him accountable or even discussed the infidelity with him. His brothers want me to keep it a secret from her.

This Christmas will be another hard one for me and my kids...but we will get through it.

Thank you skeetermooch.

skeetermooch posted 11/29/2020 10:27 AM

I'm glad I could help a little.

Some of them never have their aha moment and prioritize protecting their lies and addiction over our wellbeing. That's especially hurtful. Getting out from under it is the only remedy. He provided that in his passing.

I understand the urge to tell people. I can imagine it's pretty hard to watch folks canonize him in death (as we're all inclined to do when someone passes). Meanwhile, you're stuck, alone, to wrestle with a very complicated grieving process. Of course you'd want them to understand your reality - we all need that. I'm not sure what the right path is - protecting them with lies of omission or revealing the truth. I don't see why his mother knowing the truth would hurt her - it's not as if he betrayed her, but only you can know the right choice, if there is one. It may be you're damned if you do, damned if you don't, so pick your poison.

Maybe you do something different this Xmas so it's less of reminder of the past? Eat something you usually don't, do any activity, like a family hike or sledding. I don't know - I've often mixed it up on holidays when they might be challenging and it does seem to distract.

EllieKMAS posted 11/29/2020 11:03 AM

TA, you are under no obligation to keep his secret. Especially because he's passed. My mom is a recovering alcoholic and she learned very early on in her recovery that we are only as sick as the secrets we keep. I think there's a lot of parallels in substance recovery and infidelity recovery. I didn't expose my xwh and I wish that I had.

If I were you, I wouldn't waste a lot of energy examining your motives in wanting to share what you've learned. If your gut says that would help your healing, I say do it.

I've learned a lot about myself and my resiliency these last two years since dday1. And I've learned that 'closure' is a complete myth. In my case there's nothing he could ever say that would make his choices make sense to me. And thank god there's not! Because that perfectly illustrates what kind of person I am. I badly wanted that closure early on. But where I am now? I find that I don't need it. I don't need anything from him to move on and live my good life. You'll get there too. It just takes time.

Throwaway999 posted 11/29/2020 11:47 AM

Ellie - I know I have to live without closure...that possibility left when he died still lying to me. I have questions that will forever go unanswered and I have accepted that. Itís okay. He had already said and did the most hurtful things to me when he was alive...knowing more now to get closure doesnít change that. My marriage and husband wasnít what I thought...I have accepted that. Would I have liked that to be different, sure but I am okay with what it was. At least I know the truth.

Sadly his death has provided some benefits. No contact makes life and healing easier for sure. And I take comfort in the fact he canít hurt me anymore. I only have the path forward...and in my 50ís I have been given a second chance. I am not sure what the future will bring, but this experience (both cancer and cheating) has shown me I can survive. My kids and I will be okay.

My MIL just called me...I cringe when she does. Maybe one day I will have a heart to heart with her...living with someone elseís lies doesnít sit well with me. Itís not who I am. Before my WH died...I had prepared a long letter to my MIL, but I never sent it as My WH took a turn and passed a couple days later. I think time will tell me what the right thing to do is.

Christmas will be different and odd...but I told my kids we will make new traditions. That this year full of ďfirstsĒ without their dad will be hard but we will get through it. My kids and I are closer than ever before...another silver lining I was never expecting.

Hedwig posted 11/29/2020 14:57 PM

TA999, I can read calmness in between the lines you write. It makes me happy for you.

I think you know you're on the healing path when you feel pockets of happiness, like pockets of air. When you're no longer just surviving, but also have moments of living.

They say the opposite of depression is not mania, it's vitality. The ability to feel happiness in an otherwise stressfull and sad period and the ability to feel sad in an otherwise happy period.

I think you're on the healing path when you can laugh with bellyache at a stupid meme while going through the recovery shit sandwich.

For me healing looks like making decisions from a place of hope and health instead of fear and pain. For example choosing a partner as a self-confident person, not somebody to pick up the pieces the previous person made. It looks like taking care of myself physically, mentally and emotionally. And also working on my self-esteem and my communication with others.

skeetermooch posted 11/29/2020 15:23 PM

If your gut says that would help your healing, I say do it.

I love this.

Closure is a gigantic myth. The only closure I've ever gotten from a toxic relationship comes from arriving at indifference. I have questions I'll never get answers to and my STBX still walks the earth and talks to me at times. Maybe he doesn't have the answers or maybe he just refuses to come clean. Who knows.

I hope you can figure out a warm, cozy Christmas full of love and new memories.

HeHadADoubleLife posted 11/30/2020 19:42 PM

TA, I know your circumstances are totally different but FWIW I exposed to all of my in laws and do not regret it one bit. And when I say all of it, I mean all of it. The sex addiction, the mutilating of my belongings, all of it.

It's not like they cut him off or anything, and I didn't expect them to. But I wasn't about to let him control the narrative of what actually happened and why our marriage broke down. And it brought to light a lot of issues within the family that needed to be dealt with - his drug addiction, sex addiction and general volatility/abuse and how it was affecting the girls as well as the whole family unit.

The truth shall set you free, and I would be lying if I said I didn't feel like the girls were at least a little bit safer after the exposure than before. They knew what signs to look out for. They knew when they were being gaslit. They were no longer just blindly following whatever he said, they were thinking for themselves and acting accordingly. And my xMIL has played a crucial role in their healing by providing a safe space for them to air their grievances, something I don't think they would have done before because it was this dirty little secret.

Today is DD19's (holy crap, 19!) birthday. I texted her in the middle of the night to wish her a happy birthday, as I couldn't sleep and it's kind of tradition to compete to be the "first" one to say it. She didn't respond, as per usual. I don't blame her for that, I know she has had to put walls up to protect herself in case her dad checks her phone. And I can also admit that it hurts. I feel myself disconnecting from her as time goes on, because I feel like I'm interacting with a ghost. All I get are little glimpses of her life via what little she posts on social media. I smile every time I see that she has liked a feminist message from one of the accounts we both follow. I'm so proud of her for bucking all of the misogynist bullshit her dad tried so hard to ingrain in her. Her emotional intelligence continues to impress me.

I'm also feeling very angry and resentful today that the drug and sex addict XH who blew up our lives for the mistress gets to spend the day with her and I don't. I know he loves the girls to the best of his ability. It doesn't mean I don't resent him for not working to be better. I know he tried, and he has demons he has yet to overcome. I just wish those demons of self-absorption and projection hadn't defined me as the root of all evil, and precluded me from any sort of relationship with our youngest.

I would really love to give her a hug and tell her all of the amazing things I feel for her in person. I've contemplated sending her a message to detail all of it. I just don't want to put a damper on her celebration where now she feels like she has to hide her phone because a notification from me has popped up. Secrets are a burden, she doesn't deserve that on her birthday.

I don't know how to navigate all of this. It's very, very heavy. I'm not sure how to lighten the load.

[This message edited by HeHadADoubleLife at 9:40 PM, November 30th (Monday)]

Throwaway999 posted 12/1/2020 06:04 AM

HHADL - thanks for you post. His brothers and wives know most of the horrible details...I am super close with my one sister in law....she has been a huge support. But they do feel the need to protect my MIL. My WH hid his true self from everyone, when he passed, his brothers commented that they never really knew him...frankly either did I. Too much shaded shit he did behind my back...he said awful things behind my back as well. My kids donít know their dad...it was all just pathetic and sad.

I confess I have read some of your posts...but not all. What strikes me as so sad is that your XWH has used and pitied your daughters against you....that is not having their best interests at heart. They seem to live in fear of him....how sad that is.

Itís good they have their grandma as a solid presence in their lives...they need that.

I would continue to try keep that connection with them....as hard as it is to see them live their lives only through social media....they need to know you are there for them no matter what. My middle DS never texts me...he lives away for school. Itís not in his personality but I am okay with that...and accept itís just not who he is. But I still call and text him, send photos etc....I want him to know I am there for him. I know itís not the same as your situation...it doesnít compare. I hear the pain in your post...itís so sad that our WH are so clueless to the damage they do to our kids. It makes me angry that their selfishness and entitlement took precedence over the well being of our kids.

All of this is a hard road to navigate. Sending you a virtual hug today.

20yrsagoBS posted 12/3/2020 11:01 AM

My WH lied to everyone about the depth of his cheating.

MIL acts shocked when more is unearthed

Iím kinda meh about it at this point

So he cheated and is still a liar.

Not so surprising any longer

The WH just seems so shocked that I am not interested in fixing it anymore

Outoflove2020 posted 12/4/2020 15:56 PM

Hi Womenz

Sorry I haven't been around for a while. Was really trying to get myself mentally out of infidelity and my constant reading here wasn't helping that.....but then xWBF reappeared (see my post in General) and, well, I find myself here again as a safe space. I haven't told many people that we've been in touch again, and certainly not the details of what has happened. I feel ashamed, weak for capitulating.

What I'm feeling now is in NO WAY comparable to what I have felt. But it feels like a break up all over again. I'm so freakin' sad. I'm not going to lie, when he reached out after 3 months of NC, the hope bloomed again. That he had done some work. Some self reflection. That he was ready to step up.

But no. I'm not really sure why he reached out, to be honest. After making it clear to him last week exactly what I would need to even consider nudging the door open, it's apparent that he just doesn't have it in him. He just doesn't have it in him to step up for me and try to become a better man. And while I know - I KNOW - it's about him and not me and I know I deserve better, that old voice has reappeared....."why does he not want me enough to do that for me?" "Why does he not want to be a better man for me and for our relationship?" He's taken all the blame, all the responsibility, he has not put any of it on me - other than to say he did feel taken for granted towards the latter part of our relationship - but he just, he just doesn't have it in him. It's still about him, and not about helping me heal.

So going NC with him again feels like another break up. Somehow, this one feels more final. Like he reached out, I got hopeful again, but we've now both backed off, it's not as emotion fueled as last time.....and so it feels like this will stick. I don't think I'll hear from him again. I'm certainly not going to be reaching out to him.

So I feel unbearably sad. That's the only way I can describe it. I'm not despairing. I'm not wailing. I'm not even angry. I'm just so fucking sad that I want to crawl out of my own skin. The loneliness is really really hard for me at the moment as well. I don't have too many friends here anyways, and with COVID, it's really hard to see them. I thought being alone, moving during a pandemic, and having no human contact for four months over the summer was hard, but at least it was sunny and warm. Now it's cold and dark and I'm really struggling. No motivation. No drive. Just constantly bingeing shows, or mindlessly scrolling. I hadn't had any physical contact with anyone since July (when I saw my family) so when I got a massage a couple of weeks ago, I cried just to have someone touch me again. I've not had a hug or anything. And it feels awful.

I'm also right bang in the middle of affair season, and of course, the thoughts of "this time last year" are running around my head. I have the tools, I've been working so damn hard on myself, I know what I need to do to turn this thinking around. I know it will pass. I KNOW IT WILL PASS. But holy effin' heck does it feel hard at the moment.

I know this is a pity party. And I know it does me no good to stay at this party. But it's a Friday night, when he's likely going to his parents with his kids, having dinner, catching up, and then seeing his best friend who is part of his pod. He has company. He has chat. He has the kids.

I'm here on my own, once again having to suffer the consequences of his actions, and try to find the strength to push on through again.

I sick to death of having to be strong. Sick to death of it.

gmc94 posted 12/4/2020 16:52 PM

OOL - I hear ya. I'm almost at year 3 and been an an AWFUL funk lately. Doing the same numbing you are.

That first year antiversary is just damn fucking hard, no matter how you slice it. It just is. And it's OK to feel shitty. It's ok to GRIEVE this relationship.

Some my disagree, but I believe ALL of us fall back into victimhood at various points. He has friends and I'm alone.... or he has a job and I don't... and it''s just unfucking fair.

I had IC today and she told me about a supervisor who once said to a patient who was sharing the injustice of whatever their trauma was (prolly not infidelity) and the supervisor said: what makes you so special to not have unfairness in life? I dunno about this - IC and I talked about it. Where does the validation of the pain of injustice end and the "what makes you special" begin? I think it's probably a pretty blurry line.

So, we do what we can to find the damn blur and then to try and step outside of it.
Are you exercising? I've been awful about it for weeks, and suspect that has a direct relationship to my funk. I recently received a virtual reality gaming system and, while it ain't cheap (~$400), whenever I put it on and play some beat saber I always feel better :)

I think if Chaos were here, she'd say find something that brings YOU joy. Put on your sparkle, just for you. The fancy panties, or the bubble bath, or chocolate, or whatever.

Dunno if it helps, but my IC says to find ways to comfort myself that are healthy.....

Godspeed, OOL.

Hedwig posted 12/5/2020 07:14 AM

OOL, glad to hear from you!

I totally feel the holiday funk/memories with you. 'If we were still together, we would be doing this rn' or 'this time last year we did that'.

Have you read the thread 'things I've lost but don't miss'? It's a nice change of perspective.


Maybe you can do your own list?

Throwaway999 posted 12/5/2020 08:05 AM

OOL....glad to see you back. I am glad you have made the hard decision of keeping NC...as difficult as it is to stop the Hopium, in the long run I think you will find your path to healing an easier road.

Can I recommend a book I am halfway done....Cheating in a Nutshell. Itís really helping me see what happened from the perspective that healing is easier after the betrayer is no longer in your life. It also examines a lot of other authors writings and point out some of the flaws. There is so much victim blaming in books about infidelity, and a lot of it is so subtle it hard to spot. There is another quick read I liked...but I am not sure I am allowed to mention it on the forum. She has a website and it blunt and direct in her thoughts on cheating.

This will be our first Christmas without my WH....last Christmas was right after my biggest Dday and it was frankly a shit show. I was a zombie who barely made it through the day. Funny story...we were all sitting (all of his family too) at the table having just finished eating and were playing a game. And somehow Las Vegas (he took his one AP there) and gambling came up and cheating at cards....my WH jokingly said that I win at cards because I cheat. You can imagine my reaction...out of his mouth comes both Las Vegas and that I am a cheater....if my eyes could have had laser beams...I would have fried him on the spot. Lol.

This year will be different...Covid and my kids missing their dad. Itís a hard time.

I hear you about loneliness and sadness. But I can tell you it will get better. I am lonely for a partner in life...just not lonely for my WH. Maybe if was still the man I first met...but not the man he was when he passed away. Your partner showed you who he was...and as hard as it is, believe it. With time, you will find joy and happiness...from your writing I can tell you are an awesome person full of love to give...there is more out there for you.

skeetermooch posted 12/5/2020 09:49 AM

((OOL)) there's no shame in anything you've done or felt. He dangled a familiar carrot during a damned pandemic, and of course you were tempted enough to give it some consideration. He's a colossal pos for going anywhere near you when he wasn't truly ready to step up and make changes. More evidence of how entitled and selfish a cheater is.

I hope you feel better soon. I'm binge watching and numbing out too, with tiny pockets of industriousness. It is what it is right now. We're all just doing the best we can.

crazyblindsided posted 12/5/2020 10:37 AM

HeHadADoubleLife your post resonated with me about your daughter as it is what I am struggling the most with post separation. When she is at her dads she rarely speaks to me and doesnít answer texts and your post made me realize itís probably for the same reason you listed in fear of her dad. He is playing the victim role pretty well while I am thriving now. I too feel as if I am withdrawing but I will still text to show her Iím always here and that I love her.

Also second the Cheating in a Nutshell book for the ladies here. It explains the trauma so well and why I think true healing doesnít happen until the cheater is out of your life. I held on in limbo for so many years and never felt like I was truly healing. Now that STBX is not around I am actually living my life, happy and thriving. I think true R is rare.

skeetermooch posted 12/5/2020 20:40 PM

Cheating in a Nutshell is the best book on infidelity I've ever read. So much evidence and clear explanation of the entire shit show that infidelity is and why R is usually a nonstarter.

I've been allowing my idiot STBX to have some contact and can totally see how it's derailed my healing process. I was having moments of actual joy before this. So, yes, NC here we go again.

They suck. They won't stop dangling carrots and playing on our vulnerabilities and at some point we have to stop it if they won't leave us alone.

Hedwig posted 12/6/2020 00:52 AM

Throwaway999, omg, I have a similar story about cheating in a game during the holidays!

It was New Year's Eve last year and we were playing Werewolves. I confessed to the group that I usually peaked through my eyelashes but that it's much more fun not to cheat during the game and that I won't anymore.

He called it "disgusting" and gave me a look that could kill.

Uhm, my good sir, it's a game...you *ACTUALLY* cheated. Get off your high horse. How fucking dare you call something as innocent as that disgusting.

It was a huuuuge trigger for me. I ended up crying on the balcony.

Fucking asshats.

Throwaway999 posted 12/6/2020 06:01 AM

Hedwig....they can give us some gems canít they?

Another great one...about 4 days before he passed. His friend told me that he had witnessed my WH texting multiple women from a bar they were having a drink together at. I tell my WH this revelation, WH said his friend was lying...that he would NEVER do that to me. I just looked at him with disbelief...and he says....wait I guess I canít say that...Do ya think?

Nerve to call his friend the liar when all he did to me for 10 years was lie.

Sometimes I just wish I could have known a fraction of what went on in his head. Uggg, he told his friends and APís awful things about me...worst was that he stayed because I was his meal ticket to a good life. But you know...he ďlovedĒ me...if thatís love, no thank you.

God how I wish I had the strength I have now, back then. If he had not had gaslighted me so much and if I had proof....how I wish I had kicked his ass out and started a new life for me and my kids. But I accept that I didnít...life played out the way it meant to happen I guess. I am a strong believer in fate.

Canít wait for 2021 to come...new year, new life for me...that is my hope. If I survived all of the lies, cheating and cancer, I can take anything thatís coming. You all can too! One day at a time ladies!

skeetermooch posted 12/6/2020 10:01 AM

Canít wait for 2021 to come...new year, new life for me...that is my hope. If I survived all of the lies, cheating and cancer, I can take anything thatís coming. You all can too!

I'm hoping for the same. Fuck living in pain.

Here's my story: I needed a special, somewhat pricey tool that I would only ever use once for a project. I suggested to my STBX that we buy it from Home Depot, use the one time and return it (as good as new). His response with a look of indignant disapproval: "No, that would be dishonest." I felt like scum. Obviously it is dishonest but man, he got off on his supposed moral superiority. I didn't know then that he was seeing every hooker in town.

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