Newest Member: Butterfly19

General :
Activity no longer brings me Joy

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 Chaos (original poster member #61031) posted at 3:07 PM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Something pre DDays that used to give me joy was window shopping. The act of wandering aimlessly in stores, etc. looking at the seasonal displays. Mentally filling my cart and re-decorating everything. Or mentally wearing all the latest and greatest fashions. Things that usually exceed my budget but the visual fantasy makes me smile and feel all giddy.

Post DDay, however this does not bring me joy. I realized this the other day. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was walking through a favorite store cursing those poor cute fall decorations to Hell and back. Ever since DDay, I avoid doing anything other than going into a shop, getting what I came for, and leaving. Attempts at window shopping at best leave me feeling empty and at worst saying "fuck you" to all the lovely seasonal items and outfits. I usually end up leaving and weeping a few moments in my car until my system is purged.

For a while I blamed the pandemic and the overall hopelessness type vibe I felt when just going in for just my necessities [only to see limits and lines and empty shelves] and leaving. But no – I realized it was before all that. It was a DDay related thing. I remember my teen even telling WH when I took her Christmas shopping years ago shortly after DDay 1 telling WH that mom just looked so sad walking around and how that was so unlike me.

Now, things are going well in the Land of Chaos. There is no specific trigger associated with this activity. This is just something that changed unexplainable.

I’m curious if this happened to anyone else – something that used to give joy now doesn’t for no apparent reason?

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decadesChildren (1 still at home)Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBSBrandishing a sword, channeling my inner Inigo Montoya and saying "Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3292   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8691693
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NotMyFirstRodeo ( member #75220) posted at 3:31 PM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Yes, I have felt this way. When it comes up I remind myself that this is an indicator that I need to do some emotional digging and be honest with myself. My joy *must not be solely based upon external sources*. External sources must not hold the keys to my joy because none of that is within my control. I have to be mentally strong and resilient.

Chaos, *your joy must not be solely based upon external sources*. Dig deep. Be mentally strong and resilient, Chaos. Find the strength from within to push on and explore who you really are and what you want to be. Then pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make it a reality. Find joy in your efforts to be happier. It's gonna be a lot of work and you're bound to slip up....welcome to the club.

May I suggest you put shopping in frame though? While it can bring a measure of joy (especially when we buy something that we've worked very hard to attain), it's a relatively superficial aspect of life. Maybe try reading a book to learn something challenging? You're into fashion? Cool!! That's a legitimate art form. Maybe a book about different philosophies about fashion? Maybe you begin to design your own clothing? Even if you only sketch that's something. And yeah, if you've not sketched you're probably gonna be awful at first. But that's another thing you can learn and find joy in developing!

Really, you can begin to learn about *anything*. Don't use the difficulty of beginning something as an excuse. Excuses are like buttholes....everyone has one and they all stink. The stuff worth doing/attaining isn't easy to get!

In short, occupy your mind with positive growth from within. Search for joy in this way as you'd search for the perfect/unique outfit in the past. Your eyes are opened that the superficial things in your past aren't sustainable sources of happiness. Adapt to this truth.

I'm being candid with you out of respect as someone else that faces the exact same thing. Tell ya what, next time I struggle with facing my own advice I'm gonna send you a message so you can give me a slap in the face to wake me up...tell me not to be a hypocrite 😂

Stop trying to outsmart the truth and let it have its day.

posts: 225   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2020
id 8691699
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NotMyFirstRodeo ( member #75220) posted at 3:33 PM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

BTW, if you were just noting a single thing you don't find enjoyable anymore and I went well beyond your gist. My apologies. Just ignore that post and I'll answer your question.

Yeah, there are some things I don't find enjoyable anymore. 😂

Stop trying to outsmart the truth and let it have its day.

posts: 225   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2020
id 8691700
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 3:36 PM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Chaos, yes! I also wondered how much was pandemic life and how much was SI life. I think my former favorite activities would be a pandemic blessing now, but because of the betrayal, I no longer find joy in them. I have tried.

My passion during the years of my WH's secret life was photography and online blogging with lovely people across the globe. My WH actively encouraged my hobby and my friendships. To know now that he was trying to keep me busy/happy so he could pursue his own illicit interests was a tough pill to swallow. I really loved sharing with my online friends and we all grew quite close, and to know that the life I was presenting was a charade is really embarrassing. I didn't pick up my camera for almost 2 years because it reminds me of how passionate and happy I was about it in those years and how utterly stupid and clueless I was. For me, photography was all about paying attention, very close attention, to all the little wonderful things in the world around me. To think that my focus on being present, attentive to one aspect of my life helped enable the deception in the rest of it still hurts. I told my H last year, when he asked why I wasn't taking pictures anymore, that it was ruined for me. He suggested we try and reclaim it together, and we have tried a few times to dust off the camera and lenses, but it just is not the same. Never will be. I also could not reconnect with my online photo/blog friends, I just faded away. I felt like a fraud for presenting the façade and a fool for not knowing it. It was just too embarrassing, and we had been so honest with each other about our lives, I could not make myself tell them the truth or pretend all was well. So I don't do that anymore either.

Something else absolutely ruined for me is reading. I can't concentrate, and the few books I have managed to read in the last three years have broken my heart with the story line and were just too triggery. I bought a bunch of non-fiction books and am trying to learn to love learning and reading again, but I don't really go an hour without thinking about what has become of my marriage, and the horrible MOW that was lurking in my life for a decade.

I'm working on finding new things that give me joy, trying to rekindle interest in things that can hold my attention. It's not easy. One odd thing though, I take thousands of pictures on my phone now, of everything, but also selfies. I always thought that selfie obsession was silly conceit, and I never did it before. I don't take them to share or to look good, but to try and understand who I am now. I can't explain it but on DDay, as I was sitting stunned at the desk where I found my first clue, I took a picture of my shocked face, maybe so I could try and figure out what I was feeling. I still take them all the time, and probably have one from each horrible discovery. If I melt down or cry when I'm alone, I grab the phone, to catch what I was feeling and to maybe shame myself into toughening up. It's not pretty, but I can't stop. So in a way, photography for me has morphed into a bit of a monster. I'm painfully aware of it, and feel the loss.

I'm sorry you can't enjoy the window shopping or decor planning. Maybe it's part what I'm feeling, being reminded of the past you that was able to stroll aimlessly and joyfully and got burned. I don't know. Maybe part of it is just the flatness that comes with this program. I am faking any and all interest in holidays and milestones right now, because I'm just not feeling any of it. Maybe you can find a tiny piece to reclaim? I have become obsessed with fragrance. Maybe because it is a sensory distraction. But I seek out the little shops with candles and scented oils and room fresheners and I have quite the collection now. Maybe the smell of Christmas will give you back a piece of your joy. i hope so.

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.

posts: 278   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8691701
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WTAF ( new member #79274) posted at 4:59 PM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

I actually had a discussion with a friend about this recently. There isn't much that brings joy at the moment. I used to love my exercise classes, reading, crochet, and a whole lot more. And I absolutely loved the Fall and holiday season, which now feels tainted to me. Now, just about everything falls somewhere between loathing and meh. Some of my feelings are directly related to the husband's bullshit, and I think the rest is due to a general feeling that everything sucks. I am actively working on my attitude, and on finding interests that don't seem tainted.

The joy I am finding now is all from my kids. They have big things going on. I am proud of their accomplishments, and excited for their futures. They have all grown up into amazing adults. I am looking forward to grandbabies in the near future, and even the thought of that sparks excitement. I told the husband that I can envision enjoying the holidays again when we have grandkids.

For now, I am working on trying new things and going back to some old favorites. There are a few books I love so much that I have read them over and over. Any one of those will bring me enjoyment in the moment. I recently picked up some favorite books from my childhood, and they were a nice, pure distraction.

Chaos, I hope you are able to reclaim your love of window shopping. It just seems so unfair that many of our joys have been tainted or lost to us.

posts: 44   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2021   ·   location: All up in my feelings
id 8691714
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 5:24 PM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

WTAF, if you would like to share any of those old favorite reads, I'd love some suggestions. Maybe I need to pull a beloved favorite off the shelf for a re-read. One of my very favorite books is East of Eden, but a main character is a lying cheating woman who ruins many lives so I don't think I'll pick that one. The last book that tore me apart had a story line of undying love through time and that ruined me for days. If you can handle it and like SF, check out Recursion by Blake Crouch.

I second the joy found with grown kids. Mine are single and a day drive away, so I'm hoping to lure them here for the Holidays and try to find some joy in old activities like baking and cooking together.

Chaos, I had a thought, is it possible to enjoy a modified version of the window shopping? My neighbor is a former realtor with an eye for design and decor and a love of all holidays. She has gotten me hooked on several FB groups that do decor, garden design, pretty stuff. It's great eye candy and my ADD brain can handle the scrolling and wishful thinking. Maybe you can start a pinterest board that might inspire you and give you back some of the joy that you have lost.

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.

posts: 278   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8691723
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TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 7:25 PM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Whatislove: Your photo journaling of this journey would, could, make a great book. I don't think your impulse is for nothing. It's your creative mind speaking...

posts: 56   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8691750
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WTAF ( new member #79274) posted at 5:09 AM on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

WTAF, if you would like to share any of those old favorite reads, I'd love some suggestions.

I have been rereading Terms of Endearment and The Evening Star for years. There are infidelity storylines, but they don't trigger me. I think it's because these have been familiar comfort reads for me for years, long before I met my WH. I also recently came across the Ramona Quimby books when I was sorting and decluttering my kids' stuff, and have been enjoying them recently.

I always thought that selfie obsession was silly conceit, and I never did it before. I don't take them to share or to look good, but to try and understand who I am now. I can't explain it but on DDay, as I was sitting stunned at the desk where I found my first clue, I took a picture of my shocked face, maybe so I could try and figure out what I was feeling. I still take them all the time, and probably have one from each horrible discovery. If I melt down or cry when I'm alone, I grab the phone, to catch what I was feeling and to maybe shame myself into toughening up. It's not pretty, but I can't stop

I find this very intriguing. It makes so much sense to me. After DDay when WH and I began spending time together again, he took a lot of selfies of us on various outings and date nights. I see them a lot because he has the pics from his phone set to randomly cycle through a slide show on the TV. The sad, haunted look on my face from those times is really striking. Even when I am trying to smile, it looks pained. That effing slide show is actually an interesting overview of our lives. It has pre DDay pics from when my life was a lie and I didn't know it, pics from the early days after when everything sucked, and more recent stuff that shows us in better days.

posts: 44   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2021   ·   location: All up in my feelings
id 8691792
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78monte ( member #72572) posted at 2:08 PM on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Playing guitar and making music was my passion before her affair. I've only played a handful of times in the last 4 years.

posts: 1268   ·   registered: Jan. 14th, 2020   ·   location: Canada
id 8691808
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Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 2:19 PM on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

I’m curious if this happened to anyone else – something that used to give joy now doesn’t for no apparent reason?

Yes! The reasons though became somewhat apparent as I tried to figure out if it was pandemic oriented...and no the pandemic had no role in this.

For two years after D-Day, and during our R, I shunned the two sports that I used to love. I told myself that it was age related laugh That I was getting too old, my joints hurt, my back hurts, I have no time...etc.etc. All excuses, but don't get me wrong, I do have bouts of arthritis in my joints and yes, it hurts. But it is manageable.

So I kept asking myself the question, why don't I want to anymore, nothing deep, just very curious. I journaled the question over the past two years, without answering it. The journaling was more as a reminder than an attempt to answer the question.. And I remember feeling sad that I could not find the joy in these sports like I used to. So sad.

The answer came to me one night, as I was falling asleep. Of course it was D-Day related! How could I have been so dense about it! Just like for Chaos, It is not a specific trigger, and for me, rather a reminder that during my sport activities, my husband was engaging in another unrelated sport elsewhere in fantasyland. look And it was not the sport itself, but rather the travelling time to and from that gave my husband the opportunity to well, you all know....

So today, I am rediscovering the joy, more happy moments for me each time. I am glad I did not give it up altogether. I am glad I persisted. I am glad I dragged myself to my activities when I did not want to go.

So I think, that for me, over time, with a supportive, remorseful husband in tow, I am fighting for my joy, and I am winning every time.

It's your road & yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.Though nobody can go back and make a new beginning... you can start over and make a new ending.

posts: 220   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2020
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 2:20 PM on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Chaos, hope this isn't a t/j.....I really hope you keep us posted on what you can find to add to your life to bring joy to replace what was lost. This is a strange one, but I consoled myself and had a lot of fun shopping for a new wardrobe online when my weight plummeted. I wanted to look good for me, not him, and I spent money on myself with no regret for the first time ever. I redid my closet, bought all new matching hangers and then organized everything by color. I have never had a closet like the one I have now, I have never owned a designer purse or expensive jeans until now. It has brought me great satisfaction, if not joy. My far away best friend just visited and she said she wasn't sure if she should be happy about my awesome closet or concerned for the OCD overtones. I said yes, to both. I will also add that I got perverse pleasure from strolling MOW's pinterest for fashion ideas, and I've told this story here before, but I got a great pair of boots I saw on her board Fun Looks for Fall, and I made sure WH knew why I bought them, and I say FLFF every time I put them on. Also deeply joyful was seeing her delete her pinterest after realizing blocking me did not stop me from seeing it. Thanks to me, she is social media free, except for her little crafty etsy business. I have an uncontrollable itch to buy something from her, custom made with a crimson A. (I think I need to find some joy that isn't tinged in revenge or bitterness!)

TheEnd, thanks for that notion. I don't think the selfie pictures do the inner turmoil or pain justice.

WTAF thanks for the reco's, I have a great collection of YA novels I will revisit. I really want to enjoy reading again. And about those pictures? I would lose my mind if that slide show was on the screen. I absolutely cannot look at any pictures of us or my family from 2009-2018 without anxiety and sorrow, so I don't go there. I made a photo album of him during the false recovery and have spent a lot of time looking at those lying eyes and my clueless ones. So confusing. I made one of just me, my friends and my kids and that is my current happy place for photos. It reminds me that despite this, I have lived a full and fascinating life filled with people who love me and it helps with the sorrow of the lie of the cheating years.

[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 2:21 PM, Wednesday, October 6th]

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.

posts: 278   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8691810
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 4:16 PM on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Well, I replaced listening to recorded music with SI, the the A was going on when I got my first hearing aids, and they made my hi-fi sound like AM radio, so that played a big part in not listening. My business, which had some promise, went to hell.

I also stopped reading.

But ... I went back to reading, I came to accept my love for TV and movies, even though most of it is garbage and even though I have trouble deciding what to watch, I went back to my bicycle (thanks to a poster on SI). It took 3-4 years for that to happen, though, and I had pretty clear sailing after d-day.

*****

The more one heals, IMO, the more one opens themself to joy. Recovering from infidelity takes a lot of effort. The more you recover, the more you'll have the energy you need to find joy. So have faith in yourself to heal. You may not go back to the old sources, but you will find new ones.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 26130   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8691825
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 6:34 PM on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

You may not go back to the old sources, but you will find new ones.

So true and very well said! I may not enjoy some of the same things I did Pre-D-Day but life (post D for me) has been a rediscovering of who I am and finding new passions and experiences.

fBS/fWS(me):48 Mad-hattered after DD1
XWS:51 Serial Cheater, NPD tendencies
Together 25 years, Married 19
DD(18) DS(15)
DD1 (2008) COW, DD2 (2012) MOW, False R (2014) Same MOW. DD3 (2019) Webcam girl

posts: 8063   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8691843
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ladyphoenix ( member #72766) posted at 8:47 PM on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

I lost all the joy. My grandson was born two months post dd1 and I had a hard time focusing on the joy of this new person. I am learning to enjoy time with him. I have residual bitterness that the A stole that experience from me as well.
I feel peace and love with my youngest. One day he made me laugh so hard I started to cry, partly from laughing and partly from the realization that I had not felt joy in so long. These moments are a gift for me, letting me see that I am not so broken.

I used to read fiction. I always had a book in my bag. It took me a long time after to pick up a book, and even longer to finish it. I listen to non-fiction books now. Not for joy, for healing. I have eased into listening to fiction, and can usually get lost in a good mystery.

I wonder if the loss of joy in pre-dd activities also has to do with those activities fulfilling a need to escape. We don't have the luxury of escaping anymore. Our brains are on constant alert, so we can't relax and enjoy.

What in your life now brings you joy?

M 23 years, together 29. DD1 Feb 2019, DD2(TT) June 2019, DD3 (TT) July 2019, (TT) March 2020, (TT) Sept 2020We have 3 children: 22,18, 13 and a grandson April 2019. We work daily on R and building a stronger relationship.

posts: 97   ·   registered: Feb. 8th, 2020   ·   location: Canada
id 8691857
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 12:29 AM on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

Yeah, I get it. The A cauterizes something inside us. I used to be a positive and happy person, but I just dont feel those things anymore. It's like my emotional life was a piano keyboard with the full range of keys. Now, I have one or two octaves I can play, but they arent the really good notes. Instead of happiness, I can only .Ulster something that approaches indifference. Hell, I honestly have no idea what joy feels like. I know it exists and I can remember having felt it before, but i couldn't define it in any visceral way.

After four years, the rage has mistly dissipated, only to be replaced with a sort of apathy. Like losing ones sense of taste, but still being expected to eat, cause, you know, it's good for me. I've learned to appreciate life in the animal sense, the taste of a cold beer, the feeling of freshly laundered sheets, the smell of a meal cooking. Maybe it's because I've learned just how impermanent life is, that everything can be taken from me no matter how careful I am.

I anticipate it will get better, but not by much. I think the reality is that I can realistically shoot for contentment. Maybe that's what wisdom is...getting to a place that life has kicked the shit out of you so much, you don't have anything left to hurt. You can turn into your troubles with quiet confidence, not because you can defeat them, but because they no longer have a hold on you. You see things as they really are and you carve out a place for yourself...

Me:53STBXWW:51DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off.Denied having an affair in court papers.

posts: 1115   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8691885
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 12:52 AM on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

Just some guy, great analogy about the octave range. I'm sorry for all who have lost music in the collateral damage. I am rediscovering my piano and my music books. I'm not much of a player, but while I'm making music I'm not thinking of awful things and the break is lovely. Here's to having nothing left to hurt...

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.

posts: 278   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8691888
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WTAF ( new member #79274) posted at 1:01 AM on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

I will also add that I got perverse pleasure from strolling MOW's pinterest for fashion ideas, and I've told this story here before, but I got a great pair of boots I saw on her board Fun Looks for Fall, and I made sure WH knew why I bought them, and I say FLFF every time I put them on. Also deeply joyful was seeing her delete her pinterest after realizing blocking me did not stop me from seeing it. Thanks to me, she is social media free, except for her little crafty etsy business. I have an uncontrollable itch to buy something from her, custom made with a crimson A. (I think I need to find some joy that isn't tinged in revenge or bitterness!)

OMG, I love everything about this. Thanks for the laugh laugh

Chaos, I think the Pinterest suggestion is a good one. You can see if you're still interested in browsing and planning without having to be out and about where it is all annoying and peopley.

posts: 44   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2021   ·   location: All up in my feelings
id 8691890
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BeenHereBefore ( new member #77290) posted at 3:03 AM on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

Reading was my joy. After discovery of second affair, my attention span was shot. Couldn't concentrate. It's just now beginning to return. It's incredible how much is taken from us with discovery.

posts: 25   ·   registered: Feb. 11th, 2021   ·   location: USA
id 8691907
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1girlsmom ( member #63541) posted at 5:49 AM on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

Count me in on this too.
I used to love to go to thrift stores & take my time digging, looking for treasures, reading, going to second hand lumber yards for things I could repurpose into something cool, walking in our neighborhood.

Now i don't do those things anymore.
Can't concentrate, don't care about treasures, don't do crafty things anymore. I prefer a dark house over enjoying sunshine.
My sadness is overwhelming. I'll never be the same.

posts: 201   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2018
id 8691915
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WTAF ( new member #79274) posted at 10:15 PM on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

I would lose my mind if that slide show was on the screen. I absolutely cannot look at any pictures of us or my family from 2009-2018 without anxiety and sorrow, so I don't go there. I made a photo album of him during the false recovery and have spent a lot of time looking at those lying eyes and my clueless ones. So confusing. I made one of just me, my friends and my kids and that is my current happy place for photos. It reminds me that despite this, I have lived a full and fascinating life filled with people who love me and it helps with the sorrow of the lie of the cheating years.

whatisloveanyawy, this is a great idea. Thank you for showing another perspective. My entire life wasn't a lie. I had wonderful, genuine times with my kids and friends and family. As for pics from the whoring years, it's the eyes that I stare at as well. I have used those exact words to describe his eyes and mine.

posts: 44   ·   registered: Aug. 13th, 2021   ·   location: All up in my feelings
id 8692046
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