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Struggling with how I *didn't* react

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 csaiht (original poster Member #77335) posted at 11:04 PM on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Immediately when I found out about my WH's affairs, I was overcome with the most intense rage I've ever felt. I wanted to rip his clothes out of the closet, throw all his shit on the front lawn, set it on fire, and kick him out.

But I didn't do any of that. I only kicked him out of the bedroom and he's been sleeping in our spare room ever since. (I also stopped doing everything for him -- laundry, cooking, etc)

I didn't want to scare my kids (11 & 10 years old) or cause them further trauma. I knew this was going to affect them in a huge way as it is. And we were also in the beginning of the worst of the pandemic and were quarantining, and I was trying to keep my kids and myself safe.

I don't know if I did the right thing. Part of me thinks I did, because that would be scary for my kids to see, but part of me thinks maybe it would be good for them to see the consequences of a betrayal like this. Not that it would be good for them, but it happened and I was affected, and I hid the real depth of my feelings and pain and rage. I don't know if that was a good thing either.

I could barely function in the following weeks. At one point I did take some of his clothes out of the closet and throw them, but nothing like I really wanted to do.

I guess I'm struggling with feeling like I've repressed this need to let out my anger and it bothers me a lot.

I've recently asked my WH to leave, and I've filed for divorce, but he's refusing to leave now until the paperwork is final. It should be soon, but I'm ragey about that too. He won't leave!

I've fantasized about changing the locks while he's at work and setting his shit on the front porch. But until the paperwork is final, this is his house too and I can't make him leave.

I'm trying my best to keep things as calm as possible for my kids through this whole mess. I just don't know if I'm doing the right things.

Me: BW Him: xWH
both in late 30s
Together 19 years, married 12
young kids
Dday 1 - Feb 2020 PA
False R for 8 months
Dday 2 - Oct 2020 Discovered a 9 year long PA/EA & other EAs
Separated - Aug 2021

posts: 66   ·   registered: Feb. 17th, 2021
id 8677357
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This0is0Fine ( Member #72277) posted at 11:15 PM on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

His lawyer probably advised him to not leave. Hard to fault him for that.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1326   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8677359
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 csaiht (original poster Member #77335) posted at 11:17 PM on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

His lawyer probably advised him to not leave. Hard to fault him for that.

He doesn't have a lawyer. We agreed on everything, so we went with a service that just files all the paperwork for us. Uncontested divorce. We don't need lawyers, and it's quick and pretty easy. I'm getting the house anyway when this is all over, he agreed to that and has already signed.

[This message edited by csaiht at 5:39 PM, July 21st (Wednesday)]

Me: BW Him: xWH
both in late 30s
Together 19 years, married 12
young kids
Dday 1 - Feb 2020 PA
False R for 8 months
Dday 2 - Oct 2020 Discovered a 9 year long PA/EA & other EAs
Separated - Aug 2021

posts: 66   ·   registered: Feb. 17th, 2021
id 8677360
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ChamomileTea ( Member #53574) posted at 11:22 PM on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Later on, you're going to be glad that you didn't give your WH the satisfaction of going all rage-monster over him. Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold. And there's no revenge quite as sweet as a life well lived.

I do get what you're saying about the rage though. If possible, exercise it out. That'll improve your mental health as well as your physical health, and hey, if it means you've got a tighter ass while you're walking away, there's that too. Try putting that rage energy into other things. You might take up knife throwing as a hobby. Not only do you get to throw a knife at something, you might even get to enjoy the way your STBX blanches when you hit it. But it doesn't all have to be hard work. I bought one of those adult coloring books and a pack of colored pencils on a whim shortly after DDay, and it's hard to stay mad while you're mindlessly coloring mandalas. This is an exercise which is good for mind and spirit, much the way meditation is. I'm not great at meditating, but coloring pretty much gets the same job done.

It's going to be okay. The anger will fade. You'll feel better though if you're finding good ways to let your rage out rather than holding it all in.

posts: 4518   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
id 8677361
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 csaiht (original poster Member #77335) posted at 11:27 PM on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

It's going to be okay. The anger will fade. You'll feel better though if you're finding good ways to let your rage out rather than holding it all in.

Thanks. I have been going for long walks every day and that feels good. I hope you're right that one day I'll be glad I didn't rage on him. All I ever think is how badly I wish I'd actually done it.

Me: BW Him: xWH
both in late 30s
Together 19 years, married 12
young kids
Dday 1 - Feb 2020 PA
False R for 8 months
Dday 2 - Oct 2020 Discovered a 9 year long PA/EA & other EAs
Separated - Aug 2021

posts: 66   ·   registered: Feb. 17th, 2021
id 8677363
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crazyblindsided ( Member #35215) posted at 11:54 PM on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Later on, you're going to be glad that you didn't give your WH the satisfaction of going all rage-monster over him.

If I could have a do-over I would not have raged as I did IN FRONT OF THE KIDS. I am sure they are traumatized from it. It took me a looooong time to get my emotions under control. With medication and lot's of therapy I have healthier coping skills now.

I wish I would have done what you are doing and just went straight to D. Instead tortured the family by staying in limbo. I finally ended up leaving, but feel the damage was great.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 6:00 PM, July 21st (Wednesday)]

fBS/fWS (me):48 Mad-hattered after DD1
XWS:50 Serial Cheater, NPD tendencies
Together 24 years, Married 19
DD(18) DS(15)
DD1 (2008) COW, DD2 (2012) MOW, False R (2014) Same MOW. DD3 (2019) Webcam girl

posts: 8031   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8677375
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Underserving ( Member #72259) posted at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

As someone who did all of the things, and was pretty selfish with how it affected my kids, you did the right thing.

Short of keying his truck and setting it on fire, I let my rage consume me. I did stuff to that man I’ll never admit. I only have regret for it now, as the temporary “high” I had wasn’t worth it.

Be proud of yourself for controlling that anger!

BW (32)
Found out 3 years post end of A
D-day 12-9-19
Meh-ing through R

Infidelity brings out the cuss in me. I’m not as foul mouthed in real life. ;)

posts: 647   ·   registered: Dec. 9th, 2019
id 8677377
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WhatsRight ( Member #35417) posted at 12:00 AM on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

Maybe without intending to, you are setting an example for your kids...how to handle adversity.

You are not accepting being treated wrong, not getting walked over...but you are maintaining your temper, being levelheaded, WHILE taking care of business...DIVORCE.

God forbid they are ever in a similar situation, chances are so much better that they will follow your lead.

And while I can understand you feeling like you are missing out on some of the wacko “bat shit crazy“ response to your husband, in the end, this is better… Especially for the kids. To see your strength and your composure in the hardest of times.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 7187   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8677378
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phmh ( Member #34146) posted at 12:40 AM on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

Later on, you're going to be glad that you didn't give your WH the satisfaction of going all rage-monster over him. Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold. And there's no revenge quite as sweet as a life well lived.

Wise, wise words. In the beginning, I also wished that I had done some dramatic things to show him how much he hurt me. But with the benefit of time and healing, I'm so glad that I didn't - with his personality disorder, it just would have reinforced his importance in my life and it would have given him ammunition about what a horrible wife I was so he had to cheat.

I started making my new life amazing as revenue on my WXH, but slowly -- as I healed -- he became irrelevant and my wonderful new life was all for me. You've got this. Keep being classy and being an incredible role model for your kids!

Me: BW, divorced, now fabulous and happy!

Married: 11 years, no kids

Character is destiny

posts: 4972   ·   registered: Dec. 8th, 2011
id 8677389
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Chili ( Member #35503) posted at 12:46 AM on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

If it helps any, I really never raged at all. I showed him all my hurt emotions initially. He could have cared less. I moved very quickly into icy, distant, and NC - and that was as I was making my move with the legal stuff.

I remember telling my IC at the time that I never did have a nutty at assclown and he was absolutely shocked. But you know, I also thought maybe it was an intentional thing happening in the back of my brain. Once I saw how indifferent he was to my sobs, I wasn't going to give him the privilege of seeing my emotions any longer. To ignore him was also actually the best revenge. He just didn't matter anymore. And I know it drove him crazy. "Talk to my attorney, talk to my attorney" was the only thing I had to say to him.

And frankly I have zero regrets handling it that way. I never did anything so outside my character that I'm now embarrassed by myself. I got up on that high ground and looked down my nose at him (still do actually if pressed think about it).

Edited to add: I DID, however, get all of that anger out of my body. Did some of the demo on my kitchen remodel myself with a sledgehammer...that kind of thing.

[This message edited by Chili at 6:50 PM, July 21st (Wednesday)]

2012 pretty much sucked.
Things no longer suck.
Loving flying solo with the co-pilot chili dog.
"Life teaches you how to live it if you live long enough" - Tony Bennett

posts: 2136   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: Reality
id 8677391
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BluerThanBlue ( Member #74855) posted at 12:54 AM on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

Given the circumstances, you are handling this splendidly. Let me specify the ways:

-First and foremost, you’re maintaining a safe and sane environment for you’re children.

-By keeping your cool, you’ve denied him any opportunity to claim that you’re an abusive spouse or an unfit parent.

-You’ve refrained from doing anything that could undermine your case in the divorce, like damaging his property or locking him out.

You are not doing the pick-me dance.

-You have cut him off from all the “wife benefits”— sex, comfort, meals, and housework. The only benefit he has maintained while he’s married to you is the roof over his head.

-Last but not least… you kept your dignity.m

As someone who did everything at the extremes of wrong— from practically begging for his love to unloading vitriol on him— trust me when I say that the momentary catharsis isn’t worth the long, deep, slump of self-loathing that follows after succumbing to the worst of your emotions. Your future self and your kids will thank you.

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, tone, and rewording. I'm not being sneaky; I'm just critical of my own writing.

posts: 470   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8677394
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Marz ( Member #60895) posted at 1:19 AM on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

You should inform the other betrayed spouse if there was one.

posts: 6611   ·   registered: Oct. 3rd, 2017
id 8677397
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Seeking2Forgive ( Member #78819) posted at 6:27 AM on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

You're responding to a traumatic event unlike any other. You're rightly feeling crushed, angry, and betrayed and you need to express that. But your safety net has been ripped out from under you. So suddenly you have no safe way to express those feelings.

Recognizing that this is a traumatic event and not just another relationship problem is really important to understanding what you're going through.

I recommend checking out the podcasts linked on this thread about dealing with infidelity trauma.

https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/topics/617809/finally--therapists-that-get-what-a-bs-goes-through/?AP=1

Me: 59, BS
Her: 58, FWS
Dday: 11/15/03
Married 37 yrs
Reconciled

posts: 76   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8677419
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Chicklette ( Member #70303) posted at 9:59 AM on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

To be honest I think you should be grateful that you didn't do any of those things. You have remained dignified in your pain. And in years to come your WH can't tell people about the terrible things you did to him which 'prove' that you were an awful person who 'deserved' to be cheated on.

You are not only saving your children from the pain of seeing you behave that way, you are maintaining the higher ground. Good for you!

When my first marriage ended due to cheating I sometimes dreamt about doing awful things to him, but now I'm glad I kept the moral high ground. He can (and did) make up lies about how awful I was, but I know the truth.

Me: BS 59 at DDay
WH: 61 at DDay
Married: 27 years at DDay
Dday: 22 March 2019
In R since 11 April 2019
I love him and have forgiven him. He’s very contrite.

posts: 129   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Essex UK
id 8677423
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Want2BHappyAgain ( Member #45088) posted at 1:17 PM on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

I didn't want to scare my kids (11 & 10 years old) or cause them further trauma.

^^^THIS^^^ !

YOU acted unselfishly Dear Lady...you have your children's best interests at heart...and one day you will see that you did WELL .

RAGE is a very normal feeling for right now...and I was not very good at keeping it at bay. I APPLAUD your restraint!!!

I guess I'm struggling with feeling like I've repressed this need to let out my anger and it bothers me a lot.

A BW on here came up with a solution that I WISH I had known about when I was in that RAGE stage . If I remember correctly...I believe she also had her daughter join her in this...and it probably helped her daughter to get out some of the rage she was feeling as well. This could be something you and your precious children could do to let off some steam and have a little fun while doing it!

This BW would take paper plates that had lips around them...add water to them...then put them in the freezer. Once frozen...she had ICE PLATES . She took these ice plates out of the paper plates...then brought them outside...and SMASHED them to pieces on the concrete driveway! She said it was very cathartic to hear them smashing to the ground. The BEST part...NO cleanup .

A "perfect marriage" is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.

With God ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26)

I AM happy again...It CAN happen!!!

From respect comes great love...sassylee

posts: 5567   ·   registered: Oct. 2nd, 2014   ·   location: Southeastern United States
id 8677446
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JanaGreen ( Member #29341) posted at 3:04 PM on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

From where I sit it sounds like you have handled yourself beautifully.

posts: 9411   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2010   ·   location: Southeast US
id 8677484
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DevastatedDee ( Member #59873) posted at 3:21 PM on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

Agree that you have handled this well. There's nothing you could actually do to come close to being justice without going to jail, so really, keep on being mature and looking out for you and your kids.

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 4437   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8677489
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 csaiht (original poster Member #77335) posted at 6:22 PM on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

Thank you all for this validation. I'm honestly surprised to hear so much regret for raging. I thought it would feel better to let that out.

You should inform the other betrayed spouse if there was one.

There aren't any other betrayed spouses. One AP who was an EA is the only one who is married, but I cannot find any information about who her husband is (and I got really good at finding people through all this), so I stopped trying. I don't have any proof of anything physical anyway, and most of their EA happened in 2013 (though they continued contact all these years).

The rest of them were/are single.

You are not doing the pick-me dance.

I definitely haven't done everything perfectly. I did the pick-me dance for a while, and I've unloaded my rage verbally on him (very quietly, again because I didn't want to scare my kids).

Some of the things I've done and said make me feel pathetic and shitty about myself. I basically pleaded with him to love and care about me. That doesn't feel good at all.

BUT, after reading what you've all written here, I'm feeling better about not having done the things I really wanted to do.

I recommend checking out the podcasts linked on this thread about dealing with infidelity trauma.

Thank you. I listened to both and it was very validating.

God forbid they are ever in a similar situation, chances are so much better that they will follow your lead.

And while I can understand you feeling like you are missing out on some of the wacko “bat shit crazy“ response to your husband, in the end, this is better… Especially for the kids. To see your strength and your composure in the hardest of times.

I hope so. Thank you.

She took these ice plates out of the paper plates...then brought them outside...and SMASHED them to pieces on the concrete driveway! She said it was very cathartic to hear them smashing to the ground.

I like that idea. Thank you!

Agree that you have handled this well. There's nothing you could actually do to come close to being justice without going to jail, so really, keep on being mature and looking out for you and your kids.

Thanks. I have fantasized about all the things I want to do that might land me in jail, too. Sometimes it sucks having a conscience and the ability to think things through.

Me: BW Him: xWH
both in late 30s
Together 19 years, married 12
young kids
Dday 1 - Feb 2020 PA
False R for 8 months
Dday 2 - Oct 2020 Discovered a 9 year long PA/EA & other EAs
Separated - Aug 2021

posts: 66   ·   registered: Feb. 17th, 2021
id 8677542
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