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New Beginnings :
About Infidelity Grief & Trauma

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 Fablegirl (original poster member #56784) posted at 9:45 PM on Sunday, May 1st, 2022

I am working on an essay about my experience with infidelity with the goal of helping others through a profoundly destablizing experience. When I was going through the worst of my own experience I became very frustrated by the scarcity of resources to help me beyond this forum; meaning that most of what was written about infidelity seemed geared to reconciliation. In my own case --and certainly that of many others on this forum -- that wasn't even an option. My ex denied the affair and gaslighted me even as he was dating someone else and living under the same roof. I became unhinged and found my way back to sanity but recovery looks a lot different than I expected. A few revelations:

It never really goes away, we carry it with us, always and it just become less interesting to engage with over time.

Grief is not chronological. It's more like a jack rabbit. I can feel fine for a few days and then a trigger moment can send me into knee-buckling grief.

My best healing came from re-storying what happened, creating a new self.

Anyone else have any surprising truths to share?

posts: 234   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2017   ·   location: Mid Atlantic
id 8733056
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leafields ( member #63517) posted at 10:38 PM on Sunday, May 1st, 2022

For me, it was practicing meditation and mindfulness on a regular basis to help my ruminating thoughts. Pre-A, I thought affirmations were a little silly. Post-A, I did some daily for 6 months or so, and it helped with my self-esteem issues. That, and listening to Chaos and channeling my inner BASGU.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: 2/18, Dday 2: 8/19, D final 2/25/21

posts: 1099   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8733062
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Bingo ( member #72835) posted at 7:30 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Two years from the divorce, what has helped me is just trying to accept the triggers. Like you, I can be fine and then all of a sudden, a thought will cross my mind from seemingly out of nowhere. What the hell...

When that happens, I sit with it for a moment, say outloud "Well, that was a helluva trigger, but I'll be ready for it next time...maybe".

I do have days where the infidelity seems to be on my mind a lot. I don't know why, it just does. I just tell myself it's just the trauma of it all...."it doesn't mean that you don't enjoy your life now, you dumb broad!"

I have really made an effort not to rely on other people to help me with my loneliness. I have purposely spent so much alone just so I can get used to it and I have learned to embrace and celebrate myself only.

I have a mantra now. If someone doesn't enhance my solitude, I will continue doing things alone. That includes going out to dinner, going to the beach, shopping, playing golf...whatever it is that other people seem to enjoy doing with others. I have found that doing things by myself can be so enjoyable. Because I really like me now....other people, not so much! The more time I spend by myself, the less tolerant I am becoming towards other people.

That may be a bad thing....not convinced right now, though!

posts: 123   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2020   ·   location: Indiana
id 8734398
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 Fablegirl (original poster member #56784) posted at 10:22 PM on Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

I know what you mean about the trauma and triggers. I do believe that infidelity grief is not chronological or monochromatic; it's more like a jackrabbit that zigzags across our lives.

posts: 234   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2017   ·   location: Mid Atlantic
id 8734755
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courageous ( member #34477) posted at 5:22 AM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

I recently heard on a radio show, one of the nursing moms on the show talked about weening and how it messes with your hormones to the point of suicidal thoughts.

My d day was around 6-7 months after giving birth. And 3 months after getting my tubes tied. I was primarily nursing but after that day I had to supplement/ween because I wasn’t able to keep food down for days. I lost 60 lbs that year from the affair. I went to doctors to get std tested and put on 2 antidepressants at the highest doses. I had never heard about the hormonal effects of weening. To add those 2 events together…. No wonder it was so hard. Knowing this now a little weight has been lifted.

I struggled with very dark thoughts, with not being able to sleep. Since THAT day I have felt fractured/ broken. It’s been 10 years and I’m started to mend. I’m still on antidepressants and I have ptsd.

Our marriage counselor kept saying I was angry because I’m sleep deprived and that if I just got more sleep it would be so much better. And her idea of addressing the MOW was too try to get me to acknowledge that ex wh could love us both at the same time. I told her love is not like that. If you love someone you don’t stab them in the back.

There needs to be more training with
1- doctors- more support for new moms. If I knew the domino effect that was happening I might have done some things differently.

2- Marriage counselors- must get trained in affair counseling as a requirement. It was ridiculous how hard it was to find one. We didn’t and I think that made things worse.

Sorry for rambling….. the grief, anger, and other things come and go like riding a roller coaster. You have some really good days, some medium bad days and then the bad days that you just get slammed with out of nowhere.

Me: BW (40ish) Him: ExWH EA/PA with MOW coworker(also married). He ended up marrying his mistress.

posts: 870   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2012   ·   location: Texas
id 8735805
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 6:39 PM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

If someone doesn't enhance my solitude, I will continue doing things alone.

Amen to that! Love it!

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: 8217   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8735885
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 Fablegirl (original poster member #56784) posted at 2:37 PM on Friday, May 20th, 2022

Crazyblindsided what you wrote is so heart-breaking and true. I don't think that enough therapists are trained in infidelity PTSD. That you went through such a rupture of your primary relationship at a time when you were at your most vulnerable as a nursing mom should have been immediately acknowledged and treated by a clinician. I am glad that a weight as been lifted now that you have some sound data points about the hormones of weaning and your betrayal... but that is a powerful trauma and I just want to acknowledge your pain. I am deeply sorry you had to live through that.

posts: 234   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2017   ·   location: Mid Atlantic
id 8736205
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