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General :
What helped you to accept your new reality?


 DailyGratitude (original poster member #79494) posted at 6:35 PM on Saturday, May 7th, 2022

It’s been 9 months since Dday and D. My xwh left for the AP.
I am better in many ways but I am still struggling with so much.
I ruminate over what I lost and am dealing with the uncertainty of my future. Grief is overwhelming. I feel like I am on a hamster wheel.
I need to accept my new reality
How did you come to a place of radical acceptance?
What has worked for you?

Me: BW mid 50’s
Him: WH late 50’s
Marrried 25 years
Dday: EA 2002
PA 9/2021
Divorce 10/2021 (per wh’s request)
WH left to be with AP

posts: 217   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8734102

RealityBlows ( member #41108) posted at 11:23 PM on Saturday, May 7th, 2022

I don’t know if I’ve come to terms in a healthy manner to the new reality that was shoved down my throat.

I’m in a new relationship and it was like a switch was suddenly flipped but…

I’m different. I changed. I adapted to the realization that life and love are fleeting beautiful things and human beings are both wonderfully and awfully, unpredictable. Rather than living for the future, I’m trying to just enjoy and relish the present. The present is really the only thing that you have any control over. The only future oriented activities I take part in is taking care of my health, contributing to my retirement accounts and making reservations to do fun shit. I’m loving and enjoying the one I’m with, like there’s no tomorrow, realizing that there maybe no tomorrow, and prepared for no tomorrow. I don’t fear losing, because I’ve lost so much already, and life always seems to offer something more, something else. Life has so much to offer, it’s quite ridiculous to think that all that life has to offer is contained within one very flawed individual who cares so little about you.
I cherish the good times and memories from that chapter of my life and now I’m focused on this new chapter and I’m going savor this while it lasts.
I work in profession where I see people sick and dying unexpectedly every day. Life is such a miraculous fleeting gift. If you have your health, you have everything. Don’t waste too much precious time in despair. Let this whole messed up experience flow through you and only skim off the benefits of wisdom and enlightenment and let the rest just pass on through. You’re going to come out the other side of this stronger, wiser, with better perspective and empathy for others who are suffering. You’re going to feel more. Taste more. Love more, like any other near-death experience.

posts: 891   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2013
id 8734136

Luckycline ( new member #74682) posted at 12:15 AM on Sunday, May 8th, 2022

I've just really been trying to figure out what it is that I want in my life that doesn't involve a partner. Once I get that squared away it will matter less if someone comes or goes.

Me: BS Late 20s
Her: WS Late 20s. EA/PA

Married - 7 years
DDay - 6/21/2019
Separated - 05/19/2019
Filed for D - 6/24/2019
11/19 - DIVORCED

posts: 41   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2020
id 8734144

Bingo ( member #72835) posted at 12:58 AM on Sunday, May 8th, 2022

It's been 2 years since my divorce. I moved to Florida and bought a home in a retirement community. That's been an adjustment because I had spent the last 20 years out in the country on 9 acres. I couldn't even see my next door neighbor there!

It's been a blessing at times to have so many people around who are in the same stage of life as I am. We all understand each other and everyone seems to have a great attitude about life and just enjoying it today.

One thing I have wrestled with is realizing that I enjoy being alone. I can go for a bike ride and come back 3 hours later because I get stopped by so many people just wantin' to talk. And I can do that and enjoy it.

But as far as doing things with people.....nope! I would rather do most things alone, by myself. That includes going out for dinner, going to the beach, going shopping...I just enjoy these things more when I'm by myself. If their presence doesn't enhance the experience, I'd just rather do it alone.

I worry about this at times...maybe it's just a way of protecting myself. I don't know. But, for right now, I'm gonna embrace and celebrate it because it feels damn good....

posts: 123   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2020   ·   location: Indiana
id 8734149

skeetermooch ( member #72169) posted at 9:05 PM on Sunday, May 8th, 2022

What has worked best is coming up with new goals that are energizing and exciting for me. When I look at any loss and new beginning scenario I've gone through in my adult life this has been what has gotten me through. It definitely took some time for me to want anything besides my marriage and the life I thought I had but eventually new paths presented themselves and I started down them. I had to ask myself a bunch, "What would be really fun for me to do?" before I came up with answers.

I still struggle with not having my person in the world and accepting that I likely never will again. I've pretty much sworn off dating for a variety of reasons - my age and infidelity being the main ones. I know finding a new love can be extremely healing for those who choose that. It's just not for me.

Me: BS 58DDay 1 - 7/2019 DIVORCED - 1/2021

posts: 1208   ·   registered: Nov. 28th, 2019
id 8734246

morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 11:30 PM on Sunday, May 8th, 2022

I keep myself very busy with new goals. I started graduate school and regular workouts at the gym. That, in combination with my full time job and caring for my sick child, leaves me with little time to mourn. It still catches up on me at times, like last night, actually, was rough and I cried a lot. Then after a few hours of that I dove back into my interests and pushed past the pain.

I don't know how I accept how hard my life has been. It's been a very tough life, not just since the break-up. I'm used to pain, I guess. I still have goals and I enjoy as much of my life as I can.

posts: 173   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8734261

keptmyword ( member #35526) posted at 12:34 AM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Your life and your value are NOT defined by a marriage or a spouse.

It doesn’t matter if you have been married for 75 years and have spent the majority of your life with a particular person.

A spouse/ex-spouse does NOT wield judgement on your value as a person - at all.

Your value was never, is never, and will never be in the hands of anyone else but YOU.

If you ever leave your happiness and value in the hands of another - then you are guaranteed to NEVER be happy.

NO ONE ELSE can "make you" happy and content - that is solely your responsibility.

It has nothing to do with you.

Filed for and proceeded with divorce.

posts: 1209   ·   registered: May. 4th, 2012
id 8734271

morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 12:58 AM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

NO ONE ELSE can "make you" happy and content - that is solely your responsibility.

A person's happiness actually is largely decided based on the circumstances of their lives, not just what hoops they make themselves jump through mentally. That's reality. The "you create your own happiness" mantra is magical thinking, and is also sometimes used a way to shame or blame others for the painful times they're going through.

posts: 173   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8734273

leafields ( member #63517) posted at 3:07 AM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Why do you think you need to be at a place of radical acceptance? It's ok to take the time and process through the betrayal trauma, and all the stuff that goes along with it. For me, I had to process through atom of memories. Was I happy then, was he happy, was he lying, etc. Then I had to process through the plans we had made for the future. Our house was paid off, he was going to retire early, I was going to be a traveling consultant and he would travel with me, etc.

It's been 4 years from dday1 and not quite 3 years since deciding to D. I'm just now getting to the point where I've come to the acceptance part. Still not at forgiveness towards him (may never), but I've accepted that I'm not able to change the past.

Mindfulness and meditation was a game changer for me. Helped me control my thought spirals and get some of my concentration back.

[This message edited by leafields at 3:08 AM, Monday, May 9th]

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

posts: 1080   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8734284

funnelcakes ( member #45249) posted at 6:00 AM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Honestly, part of it is taking agency over my reality.

We are handed this massive shit sandwich and need to grieve, no matter the direction we choose for our lives afterwards.

For me, acceptance came more once I was making decisions about what I was matters small and seismic. Untangling from a life partner is hard work and heart work. But acceptance for me accompanied the control I exerted over my circumstances and in responding to the situation with integrity and care for myself and my kids.

d-day in August of 2014, when I was SAHM 34 weeks pregnant with kid #3
A year of incontinent alcoholic cheater word salad and shitweasely blameshifting during R/S
I got a job and busted a move with three kids to a 1BR apt
D final 4/27/17.

posts: 1168   ·   registered: Oct. 15th, 2014
id 8734301

HFSSC ( member #33338) posted at 12:44 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Oh, Daily Gratitude, first of all I just want to send you virtual hugs if you are a hugger. If not, then whatever your comforting gesture of choice is. (Picturing Tempe Brennan or Sheldon Cooper offering an awkward “There, there,” in my mind). IRL I am much better at giving than receiving hugs.

I’ve had a very painful and difficult life as well. CSA was rampant in both sides of my family. My mom had untreated bipolar disorder and our home was just chaos as my dad did his best to keep us fed and clothed and all of us alive. I got pregnant at 19 (my first sexual experience, which I processed as a rape for many years until I realized it was truly a drunken very bad decision) and gave my baby up for adoption. I was treated horribly at the time and was essentially completely abandoned by the father. My first M ended due to infidelity and I was treated horribly by that oxygen thief and his OW. Abandoned again, this time with an infant son that I raised alone until I met JM.

I was an addict and alcoholic from the very first drink I had. Anything to numb the pain and take me out of this reality that was so horrific. As a nurse I was forced into rehab and AA over and over. I would sit in meetings and just dissociate. I really, really hated meetings about acceptance and surrender. God, I hated those words. First of all, surrender. F*ck that noise. I fight. I don’t surrender. And acceptance? That would be like saying all that stuff that happened to me was okay. And it wasn’t. None of it was acceptable. It was all decidedly unacceptable.

But in 2008 something changed and I desperately wanted to stay sober. I spent 30 days in rehab and came home willing to do anything. I started listening in those AA meetings. And one day I heard a guy say this: “Surrender is nothing more than joining the winning team.”

It seems simple now. But it was a radical change for me. I could do that. I was tired of losing. Maybe it sounds like semantics to you but that little sentence opened the door to my next radical change.


You know what? Acceptance doesn’t mean any of the stuff that happened to me (or you) was okay. Acceptance means saying “This happened to me and I am okay.”

And you are okay. I know it doesn’t feel like it right now. And I completely understand your view on the whole “you control your happiness” thing. But my friend, you truly do. (Now I am picturing Glinda telling Dorothy she’d always had the power to return to Kansas. I always felt like that was really f*cked up for her to let Dorothy flounder around, almost get killed by the wicked witch and all the other stuff).

Please believe me, another person who has suffered much since childhood. You really can change your perspective from that of victim to victor. I refuse to spend one more second of my life feeling victimized or broken by my past. None of the abuse I endured was my choice at the time. None of it was in my control then. But now…. Now is entirely within my control. And if I use that abuse as a reason to drink or drug, or to be miserable today, then I am choosing that.

I love your user name. And daily gratitude is one of the tools you can use. Make a gratitude list every day. 5 things for which you are grateful. It can be as basic as air to breathe. Or the fact that coffee tastes so good first thing in the morning. When you choose to live in gratitude it is much harder to tolerate living in misery.

Please know I am not making light of your pain and your situation. It sucks. And you are still so new to this shitty deal that was forced on you. Echoing a previous member when I say that you really just have to go through the healing process which takes time. You can get there. You can live again, maybe for the first time with joy in the life you choose for yourself.

Much love and compassion from SC.

Me, 54
Him, 45 (JMSSC)
Married 24 years. Reconciled.

posts: 4701   ·   registered: Sep. 12th, 2011   ·   location: South Carolina
id 8734323

GoldenR ( member #54778) posted at 1:40 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Without sounding too crude...

Sex with someone else.

It literally woke me up.

posts: 2708   ·   registered: Aug. 22nd, 2016   ·   location: South Texas
id 8734329

ISurvivedSoFar ( Guide #56915) posted at 2:51 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

I think it takes time for the new normal to sink in. It just does and that's what I think HFSSC means. Accepting our new reality is different than saying what happened is acceptable. These are different and to me mutually exclusive.

I didn't want to accept my new reality and everything seemed so tainted because of the trauma caused by the infidelity. I worked hard to be okay with ME and to take back as much control as possible since I lost agency not only for the time period during the A, but the reality I thought I was in prior to infidelity. That's huge - that's a lot of years of history that gets rewritten for us.

Can you figure out what you want/need to control to make you comfortable? Is there something you can do for yourself that makes you feel satisfied, good or fulfilled? Getting that joy intrinsically gives us a huge boost after suffering a gigantic hit to our reality.

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

posts: 2796   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
id 8734344

Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 3:49 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

The key word is REALITY.

Reality is what it is. It’s how we face it and deal with it that then determines how it develops.

As an exercise replace infidelity with a trauma such as your home burning to the ground.
No matter how much you miss your home, wish the fire hadn’t started and regret not having checked your insurance to be adequate it wont change the fact that you are standing at the curb beside a smoldering pile of ashes and needing a place to create a new home.

I think the key is accepting what happened. Doesn’t mean you have to enjoy it or be content with it. But rather that you simply recognize that your "reality" has changed then you also recognize that you can have impact on your future – how your reality develops.

"Reality" is only today per se. It can be different tomorrow, as became clear in how your reality transformed on d-day.

I’m a great believer in our power of change. I’m not so naïve to think you can decide to be happy and then all of a sudden you become rich and have a great new spouse. But I do think you can decide you don’t want to be unhappy, and thereby gradually step-by-step move towards a more positive place. It’s deciding to go for a walk and NOT revisiting the charred remains of your old home, but to try to see something bright in the future. Do this again and again – think how can I chose actions today that get me closer to a point of content – and chances are you will move in the right direction.

Remember – reality is only what it is today. The reality you aren’t happy with… nobody says that tomorrow has to be the very same reality.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10602   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8734365

Jorge ( member #61424) posted at 4:12 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

1) The decision to decisively move on. Meaning regardless of her reconciliatory actions, my decision was irreversible.
2) The conviction to stay no-contact. All that was needed was recalling her treatment and disrespect of me. Nothing else needed!
3) Pursued fun activities, which in turn created internal joy and happiness.

posts: 709   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2017   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8734370

crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 4:57 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

It took me YEARS to accept my reality. I am still trying to wrap my head around it all 2 years after leaving. I do hope my mind will put this to rest one day.

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: 8211   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8734381

The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 12:00 PM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

By choosing to not allow his affair to negatively impact my life for one more second, I was able to reach a place of acceptance and peace.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11864   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8734504

 DailyGratitude (original poster member #79494) posted at 6:16 PM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

So many great advice! Thank you all

I keep going to a place where I wish this didn’t happen

I wish things were the way they used to be

I wish my xwh isn’t who he is - a cheater and a liar

I know this is not healthy

I am just so stuck in the past

I joined a gym, went back to work (took time off after Dday discovery because I couldn’t function) and am taking care of myself.

But my heart hurts everyday

For the loss of my marriage

The damage this has done to my children

Loss of a family unit

Loss of a future I had envisioned - life as empty nesters. Finally being able to travel, do fun things on a whim. XWH is doing that with the AP

Fear I will carry this broken heart for the rest of my life - i realized I could live another 40-50 years given my family genetics.

[This message edited by DailyGratitude at 6:18 PM, Tuesday, May 10th]

Me: BW mid 50’s
Him: WH late 50’s
Marrried 25 years
Dday: EA 2002
PA 9/2021
Divorce 10/2021 (per wh’s request)
WH left to be with AP

posts: 217   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8734541
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