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Betrayed Womenz Thread - Part 4

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gmc94 posted 2/17/2021 00:57 AM

OOL - it does get better
It can still kick you in the arse (and sometimes when you least expect it)

Tbh, Iím struggling REALLY bad, and I dunno why (prolly Valentineís Day, but my gut says itís deeper than that 🤷‍♀️)

The kid stuff SUCKS. Iím a bio mom, but my DD has ďdisownedĒ me before. Those feelings are hard and real. I suspect when it comes as a result of infidelity, itís a form of abandonment on top of abandonment


I a super proud of you for giving the gifts and giving them space (which may be the best gift of all). There have been a TON of times that I had to remind myself that kids often treat the ďstrongĒ parent the worst. They intuitively know that (step)parent will love them even when the kid is being a dumbass. And I really believe that the kid knowing that love is available, that there is an adult who has those feelings, can provide a sense of security and value - even if they donít recognize it or show it to said adult.

So, itís ok to feel hurt
And Iím proud of ya for not letting your hurt impact your desire to give/show them you care ...
hugs from a fellow struggler 😊

[This message edited by gmc94 at 12:57 AM, February 17th, 2021 (Wednesday)]

20yrsagoBS posted 2/17/2021 08:49 AM


What gmc says echos my feelings

Outoflove2020 posted 2/17/2021 10:20 AM

GMC - I'm so sorry you've had to go through that with your own DD. I can only imagine how awful that must feel.

Abandonment. That's exactly the word I used with my therapist last night. I feel completely and utterly abandoned by the people I thought were my family. And that clearly brings back feeling of when my bio dad abandoned me.

And then I've also been sinking into a guilt and shame spiral. There were challenges with his daughter. I often disagreed with the way he parented her. Never insisted on her doing any chores around the house. Never put boundaries on screen time. I tried to enforce those, she didn't like it. He used to say I needed to give it time, it wouldn't happen overnight. That I had to try and be less impatient with it. But I still did all the "mom" stuff - would drop her off at / pick her up from school, took her to her gymnastics classes, went on walking adventures with her, took her clothes shopping when she needed new ones. She was my kid, pure and simple. Took her to her first concert (Taylor Swift, I got uber brownie points for that), took her to the movies, read with her.

I overheard her once saying to her father "I wish OOL would just leave", after a particularly bad patch. She also overheard me once saying that I was sick of being treated like I was the bad guy all the time. She got very upset over that. I left the house in tears. Towards the end, I got frustrated with her, although I never shouted at her. I feel so, so guilty, knowing all the crap she was going through with her mum. I should have been her safe space.

She is only a kid. My ex used to say that she was like that with me because I was safe. She knew she could push me because she knew I loved her. And that she really did love me. But he was caught in the middle. She couldn't say what she really wanted to say to her mum as her mum would fly off the handle and turn it around on her daughter. It never really made me feel better, thinking of it that way. I keep thinking, what if I'd handled things better, what if I'd been more compassionate, what if I'd not been so insistent on rules and boundaries. Always wanting to implement these rules & boundaries, which they had at their mum's house but that they didn't have at our house.

It can't have been easy for my xWBF to keep hearing me complaining about the kids. The weekend he was with his OP, I re read the texts I was sending to him (at the time, all deleted now) and it was all about how much of a struggle I was having with his daughter - how she kept saying "I want Daddy", how she didn't want to do anything but lie around the house, on her iPad. That I couldn't put up with it any more. Little did I know, he was with her. But imagine hearing all those things from your partner about your daughter. No wonder he had enough of me.

What if. What if. What if. No wonder he didn't want to be with me any more. It must have been exhausting, playing referee.

My therapist says it's ok to feel the hurt from the fact that they didn't acknowledge my Valentine's Day gifts. The guilt and the shame is coming from my brain trying to make sense of the fact, why they are doing it. And turning it around on myself.

But the last few months with the kids were hard. And maybe if I'd been more compassionate and less focused on how it was all impacting me, maybe I would still have my family.

[This message edited by Outoflove2020 at 10:30 AM, February 17th, 2021 (Wednesday)]

Outoflove2020 posted 2/17/2021 10:28 AM

I'm sorry for the ramblings. I said to my therapist it feels as bad as it did after DDay. She said this is a completely different type of grief that I'm experiencing - that up until recently, I felt like I still had an avenue of communication with the kids, but that now appears (to me, at least) to have closed up, so it's the grief of losing them that I'm experiencing.

That may be true, but the physical pain feels the same. And the fact that right now, I truly, truly hate him for doing this. Not just to me, but to them. How dare he allow them to bond with me and then discard me so callously. He has not thought about them AT ALL. They are just collateral damage.

JulyDD posted 2/17/2021 11:12 AM


I am posting this here because it is for women (and I don't really feel like male input on this). I wanted to post a new topic for women only. So I'll post here.

Betrayal Trauma Support website. I just want to share my experience in case it helps anyone.

I am dealing with finding our about my H's affair years after the fact. No porn use but my betrayal PTSD is huge. I mention the porn because BTS really is for wives of porn addicts based on what I could see.

I was so excited to sign up ($125 a month) and attend their sup[ort zooms. I want to save anyone else from what I went through because my second zoom-I knew someone!!!! Not well but from the city we just moved from (thousands of miles away). It was also someone who is part of a circle who would not wish me well necessarilly. What are the odds?!?!?

Again, this is just my perspective but I wish I had known our names would be used. Anyone could take a screenshot of the Zoom. Of course I assume no one would but damn, it took the buzz out for me. I would caution you to be super aware of that if you sign up. I gave it a solid 5 Zooms because they say not everyone is dealing with a porn element. But I did not find that to be the case. Plus no one reconciling from the sessions I attended. So I was a loner in that.

Maybe it will be helpful to someone here. I hope it is. But my $125 experiment wasn't right for me. Wish I had known about the privacy and the very very heavy focus on porn. It's an issue if that's not part of your journey.

Outoflove2020 posted 2/17/2021 11:41 AM

I think a lot of it is the fact that I highly doubt the children know that the reason I left is that he cheated. He told me at the time that he would tell them if I wanted him to. I was in so much shock and pain at the time that I said no. I also thought we would get back together. I didnít want them thinking badly about their dad.

Now it really hurts that they might blame me for leaving because they donít know the truth. But I feel itís too late for me to do anything about it. Iíve thought about writing a letter to each of them. But I also donít want to be thought of as being petty. Itís just unfair. I want them to know. I donít want them to think Iíve abandoned them.

Sorry. Iím tearing this place like a journal today.

UnstuffedGiraffe posted 2/17/2021 13:09 PM

Outoflove, how old are the kids? Kids seem to know/sense a lot even when they know nothing. Itís possible that if they do know the real reason you left they will eventually figure it out. Donít be so hard on yourself for being a responsible adult.

Outoflove2020 posted 2/17/2021 13:28 PM

@Unstuffed - Daughter is 11, son is 18. I've been in their lives since they were 6 and 13.

With regards to son, he and I have been texting on and off. HE's also called me a couple of times to catch up. He's old enough that I can engage directly with him now. He even suggested coming into the city and spending some time with me, which I readily agreed to. Since then, we've chit chatted but in the last week or so, he's not really been responding unless I reached out a couple of times and pushed him to respond. It's VERY unlike him not to reach out and thank me for his gift. He's a polite and respectful young man.

With the daughter, she set a boundary back in October when she told her father that seeing me and engaging with me on text was causing her anxiety because she knows I'm upset about everything that happened. I think this stems from the first time I saw her after some weeks, I couldn't hide my sadness. I never wanted to make her feel worse so I have been trying to honour her boundary and have not been engaging with her directly. I did send her a birthday gift (about which I got advice from her mum) and she did reach out and acknowledge that / thank me for that, and we had a bit of chit chat but nothing between then (end of December) and now (when I sent her the V-Day gift). I figured sending a gift / card would let both of them know I love them, without them feeling the pressure of having to engage with me. I also ensured the gifts were thoughtful, and based on something I know they each enjoy.

I'm really trying not to read too much into it. After all they are kids. Plus they undoubtedly have a lot of dram going on right now with their mum's broken engagement (her ex fiancť did not interact with the daughter AT ALL. How is that even possible when they are in the same house? The daughter used to tell xWBF's mother how much she hated him. Her mum never really took it seriously). So, I know that mum will be causing all sorts of drama for them.

I'm just a mess. I miss them.

[This message edited by Outoflove2020 at 1:30 PM, February 17th, 2021 (Wednesday)]

20yrsagoBS posted 2/17/2021 16:17 PM


They are old enough to know

Outoflove2020 posted 2/17/2021 16:50 PM

I agree. They should know. But I donít think
Itís any longer my place to tell them. I havenít seen either of them since October and Iíve been completely moved out since end of March.

Iím not sure their dad will tell them. When I last saw him in November, he seemed to be mired in shame.

TX1995 posted 2/17/2021 17:19 PM

((OOL)) This is such a difficult situation to navigate when kids are involved that you aren't bio to, but love just the same. I'm so sorry. I think the therapist is right in that it's a whole new trauma/grief situation and loss. Big huge hugs to you.

July - If you are talking about BTS coaching/podcast of the same name? I have always found her stuff VERY VERY angry. I think she has reason to be, but I listened to a few things and just couldn't connect with that style. Two things - regarding the Zoom - YOU can change your name, it has nothing to do with them. Right click your picture area and there is a choice to rename. Use a pseudonym or something. You can also turn off video. Bummer that they don't tell you that. Also, there are two other resources that I've found helpful that are free. Check out Bloom for Women (Love Rice podcast). Jeni Gessel hosts that podcast and she and another therapist host a free betrayal trauma class that I've found very helpful. Bloom also has free resources. Another resource is the Betrayed, Addicted Expert podcast, the insta is Beyond Enough and AshlynnandCoby. They have paid coaching stuff but I like their podcast quite often and they have some free videos as well. Sorry you ran into that. :(

Checking in on other TX ladiez! Unstuffed, you okay? We finally have had regular power for the last (fingers crossed) 6 hours. Since Monday at 2 am it was on/off every 30 minutes. Blew our microwave but honestly we have gas stoves so we were fine. Had to go get my mom because she lost power entirely and so many are still without power and water. It's been a shit show in Texas and I tell you, we are SPOILED to live the way we do with water at our fingertips and no worries about freezing in the winter. Makes me VERY thankful for my blessings.

ETA: Also made me really thankful for my husband who did nothing for the past three days but pull ice out of the pool, shovel snow, and re-light water heater pilot lights PLUS drove two hours in the ice to get my frozen mother. Hard to not love a person who is literally keeping me warm.

[This message edited by TX1995 at 5:23 PM, February 17th (Wednesday)]

UnstuffedGiraffe posted 2/17/2021 17:52 PM

TX- weíre fine, had to deal with a couple of busted pipes today, my job was to slide up and down the driveway to turn the water on and off at the meter. Husband has been working his ass off all day and heís making pizza. Weíve only had 1 power outage and have to boil our water. Weíre almost out of propane which is our own damn fault for not checking the tank, so no baking or laundry for a couple more days. Weíre also out of milk. I know people all over the state with power problems.

LadyG posted 2/17/2021 17:58 PM

Outoflove2020, you are concerned about the kids and rightfully so.

Recently STBXWH finally confessed that he met the exAP kids just 3 weeks into the A. AP introduced him as ďmy new boyfriendď like the old one had been discarded. (Actually the old one was still hanging around too, that pissed WH Off).

AP kids, 10, 12 & 14 at the time. WH was about new boyfriend number 6, since her divorce only 2 years earlier. Sickening right! And I am still pissed WH introduced my DS, then 22 about 3 months into the A.

I could strangle WH for this as my DS kept this secret from me for 7 months causing him so much stress, anxiety and depression. DS barely left his room. I blamed myself thinking that the impending separation was the cause. But my DS couldnít look at me because of what his father was doing. My DS wanted his father to leave and never come back.

Outoflove2020, you need to be cautious about being the one to tell the kids the reason that you are no longer with their father.

In my WHís case, the exAP had a new, newer boyfriend within weeks of the A ending.

The only thing that WH and I agree with is that those kids are already damaged by their parents crazy life choices.

Sure, part of me wants to tell the now 16 year old son of the AP that his mother is a vile whore, but I am guessing that he may already know or someone else, closer to him will tell him.

Outoflove2020 posted 2/18/2021 11:37 AM

I'm really sorry for using this like a brain dump. I've tried journaling, but for some reason, pitching up here is more helpful. Just knowing this is going out into the ether.

I reached out to the kids mum to find out how they are doing - they got my gifts, they really liked them. Daughter still struggling. Son waiting for college acceptances.

But then, as always, I found out things I don't want to know. Like my xWBF is going out of town next week, to his old University town and the kids mum is staying at his house with them while he's away (because of the shit show that is her current relationship and it gives her the ability to be out of her own house).

Of course, my mind starts racing, is he meeting AP there (she's from a completely different state). I go back on FB (which I've been off since this time last year) and reactivate my account, doesn't look like he's friends with her on there any more, she stopped commenting on his stuff at about the time he reached back out to me at the start of October - when he said he'd gone NC with her. His FB seems to be less public than it was - he never had any privacy settings on it, but now I can only see a list of 'mutual' friends. Why has he changed that?

Why is he going to Boston? Who is he meeting? He never arranges anything himself? Is it her? Is it another woman? Why does he get to live his effin' life and go away, is he not worried about COVID? Why is he not miserable? Pining for me? Reaching out to me? The last thing he said to me was that the communication we had in November was not "final", just him taking the time to do the work that we both know he has to do.

And then I have to take a breath, take a step back, and remember it's none of my concern any more. Who cares what he's doing. I have no idea what he's doing. I can't change him. I can't know his thoughts / feelings. I can only control mine and my reactions. I'm the prize. Not him.

But it's clear I'm no where near over this. And I resent, resent, resent the fact that I'm still having to deal with this emotional shit when he has appeared to get off scott free.

NC No New Hurts. You'd think I know t his by now. But how do I stay NC and still keep involved with the kids. It's a binary option to me - I keep in touch with kids and risk finding out things I don't want to know or I cut contact and feel the pain of their loss, and the fact that they might believe I've abandoned them. I feel like I can't win.

[This message edited by Outoflove2020 at 11:38 AM, February 18th, 2021 (Thursday)]

EllieKMAS posted 2/18/2021 11:43 AM

OOL I get it, I very much do.

But this is why NC is so so SOOOOO important.

Call the xwife to ask about the kids, but I think if you are going to keep her as a contact for them, let her know kindly that you wish to know nothing about xwbf. As you have seen over and over again, knowing what he's up to does nothing good for YOU.

I have kept in contact with my xbil, but we have an agreement that xdouche is not a topic for discussion. I told him early on that I did not want to know anything whatsoever about what dickhead is up to, where he is, who he's with... nada. And if xbil were to start crossing that line, I would block and cut contact immediately for my own mental well-being.

This is a good opportunity for you to practice laying down your boundaries.

Outoflove2020 posted 2/18/2021 11:52 AM

@Ellie - I know you are right, of course I know you are right. In this instance, she is only half to blame. She mentioned that he was going out of town, as a way of explaining why the kids would be with her and why she would be at his house......I'm the one who asked where he was going. She said the city to which he is going (which is where he went to Uni) but said she didn't ask why or what for. I recognised that I'd gone too far and so I didn't probe further.

She is a chronic oversharer, and she does refer to him when it comes to the kids, for example, "xWBF is trying hard with daughter to help her with her schooling" etc, and when it comes up like that, it doesn't bother me. But this is the first time I've learned anything specific about him.

It's especially hard as I'm really struggling at the moment and resent the fact that he gets to go out of town for something. Of course, logically, I know I have no clue what it's for, and am catastrophising and making up scenarios about which I have no information whatsoever. But he's the one who reached out to me in October, saying he wanted to reconnect. He's the one who told me he was filled with shame, wanted to do the right thing, wanted to work on himself. That he'd cut things off with her. Realised the error of his ways.

And now he's swanning off?

Again, I know it's instinct and betrayal and lizard brain all reacting. And I know this will pass. I know logic will reign soon. But on the back of the grief about the children, well, you know how that works.

EllieKMAS posted 2/18/2021 12:03 PM

I DO get it OOL. I promise I do. And I feel for you hugely cus that ol lizard brain is an asshole. Took time and practice for me to not fall into the 'what's he doing' trap, but these days I am well on my way to meh. Cus I know that it doesn't matter what nasty vag he's falling into these days, he is still HIM. Still fucked up and dysfunctional. Still searching for happiness as a gift from others. He hasn't and won't ever change because he doesn't possess the capacity for it. But I have. And my changes move me forward and make me better and faster and stronger.

But he's the one who reached out to me in October, saying he wanted to reconnect. He's the one who told me he was filled with shame, wanted to do the right thing, wanted to work on himself. That he'd cut things off with her. Realised the error of his ways.
Aaaaand you can think on this and look at his current actions and know just how full of shit he is. Use nuggets like that to stoke the 'fuck-this-shit' fire. He wasn't ever 'stuck in shame'. He is just a giant overgrown fuckwit man-baby that didn't want to have to adult cus it's hard.

FTG seriously OOL. You are so much better off without his dumb ass dragging you down!

Outoflove2020 posted 2/18/2021 13:16 PM

I just went back and re-read some of the posts / threads / comments from back when he reached out to me in October, and when I delivered my needs / expectations and he wasn't able to meet them. That he was struggling with sobriety. Had gone back to daily MJ use. That he was impressed with my progress, that he realised how lazy and self-loathing he was. Uh, yeah. That's who you've always been.

Why on EARTH would I want that back in my life. The truth is, I don't. I really don't. It's my self worth issues rising to the surface again. My strong sense of justice. "Why is he out there, living a life, while I'm at home miserable, alone and crying on the sofa". Those are my issues to work on. Absolutely nothing to do with him.

Reading those threads, I could see my strength. Reading them, made me remember how strong I felt. I don't need him. I don't want him. He's the loser in all of this. And so what if he's going to see some woman next week. He's still him. He's still the idiot that threw me away. She's welcome to him. (Of course, I have no idea if that's what it is, but using that scenario to bolster my own mindset).

I'm super glad our post history is here. It helps during the tough moments.

Enough of my self-obsession and internal focus - I hope everyone else is doing ok at the moment. We have had an ice storm here today, but seems to have passed through already. Hope everyone in Texas is able to stay warm and safe.

[This message edited by Outoflove2020 at 1:17 PM, February 18th, 2021 (Thursday)]

EllieKMAS posted 2/18/2021 13:22 PM

Reading those threads, I could see my strength. Reading them, made me remember how strong I felt. I don't need him. I don't want him. He's the loser in all of this. And so what if he's going to see some woman next week. He's still him. He's still the idiot that threw me away. She's welcome to him. (Of course, I have no idea if that's what it is, but using that scenario to bolster my own mindset).

That's the ticket OOL. BTW it is totally fine if you don't 100% believe this yet. Just keep saying it and it will eventually sink in to that stubborn lizard brain.

JulyDD posted 2/18/2021 15:33 PM


Thank you so much for the additional resources. I will absolutely check them out. I didn't have time to quickly correct my name on my Zoom profile before I saw the person I knew. AND the facilitator read off our full names (!) from what can only be our having signed up on the site. You could choose to not have your video up once the session started, but my strong sense was you had to be up and in view as she checked everyone in and then formally said, "You may take yourself off video now."I could be wrong. But the whole thing was bizarre.

Thanks for responding as I know I may not have posted exactly in the right place.

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