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ABCOneTwoThree

This is going to be a wildly unpopular opinion, but hear me out. 

I don’t believe being a betrayed spouse gives you free reign to be a miserable, bitter, intolerable person the rest of your life. I don’t believe it gives you the right to treat people poorly. I don’t believe it “justifies” the mistreatment of others. 

I see a lot of people commenting on this post justifying Hilary’s perceived attitude and poor treatment of others, while many of the same of you would scoff at a WS who acted out because of past trauma. Or an Other Person who acted out because of past betrayals. 

I can sit here and type my thumbs away about my past traumas, how it left me a bitter shell of a person, how I was a barely functioning person that wanted their life to end, and the affair I participated in as the OW saved what little sanity I had at the time because I saw it as a life line. I saw the man I was involved with as a breath of new life. But that doesn’t make it right or justifiable. Not one of you would feel pity or sorrow for me, because my actions were MY OWN, and because of the side of the fence you all sit on. 

Being a BS doesn’t give you the right to mistreat other people, it’s not pityable, it’s not understandable. You (and I) have full control over our actions despite the abuse handed to us. I had the choice not to become the OW, I chose wrong, and I definitely don’t get a free pass or understanding on my actions because of my past. People like Hilary (like all of us) have the choice not to be bitter, rude, and to not mistreat the people/staff around them. An affair doesn’t excuse nasty behavior. It didn’t excuse my terrible behavior, it doesn’t excuse hers, and it doesn’t excuse yours (the collective you, no one in particular). 


Are there understandable changes in how you approach life/relationships/trust/etc.., of course! But we ALL have the choice not to become abusive monsters, and simply not participating in an affair doesn’t mean you're doing all you can to be a decent person. 

Formerly EasyAsABC 
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Keepabuzz

stillme wrote:
I do think that when the commitment is made to continue in the marriage, it is very easy for the WS to become a "better person" than they were before, whole the BS becomes a 'lesser' version of themselves so to speak. The reality is, the WS has seen just how low they can go and they are seeking to change for the better. The ones that are truly committed to changing and growing can look back over their life and see growth, the regaining of their dignity, and an opportunity to prove - daily- that they have become better, more trustworthy, more kind and compassionate. 

It is the complete opposite for the BS. The truth is, being a trusting person is generally what got us into this situation. The only reason the betraying was possible in my situation was because I trusted my spouse. I wasn't checking emails, or phone logs, or credit card receipts. When my husband said what he was doing, or where he was going - I wasn't tracking gps on his phone to see if he was telling me the truth. So, it was literally my being trusting that allowed things to go on for as long as they did. 

My husband and I learned to opposite lessons after D-Day. My husband learned that he had a wife that was willing to forgive, if he was willing to put in the work. He learned how much I loved him because of how deeply his betrayal cut - it broke me for quite a while. He learned about redemption and opportunities to make up for your mistakes. 

I learned that people that you trust can betray you. I learned that your kindness and openness can be used against you. I learned that someone that you loved, shared vows with, and had kids with - could look you in the face and lie without flinching. 

If my husband learned nothing from D-Day and didn't change his behavior, everyone would easily call that out as foolish. However, people tend to have a negative response when the BS leans from D-Day and changes their behavior and mindset accordingly. 

I know that I am forever changed, and not in ways that I ever wanted to change. I know that I can never fully trust anyone again, for the rest of my life. Yes, I stayed in the marriage. Yes, my husband has done everything I asked and hasn't stepped one toe out of line since we chose to work on the marriage. However, I remember how low I got after D-Day. My brain went to places that I am ashamed to admit. I don't ever want to feel that way again. And, my husband proved to me that no matter how much someone says they love you, that doesn't mean they won't break your heart into a million pieces for completely selfish reasons. I learned that literally no one on this planet loves me enough to seek to protect my heart and my mind, even if that means they have to give up a few minutes of pleasure (or whatever people feel they get from affairs). My husband will tell anyone that his walk down the porn road wasn't worth it. That brings me no comfort because I was shattered to pieces for something that he knows through and through wasn't worth it. 

So yeah, I am definitely a less kind, less trusting, less relaxed version of myself. Even if I would have left the marriage, I still wouldn't trust another soul. In fact, it might be worse because at least I get to see daily that my husband is seeking to right his wrongs. But, if I can't trust someone who committed to me, had kids with me, and shared a bed with me for over a decade - who can I trust? So yes, I can see how bitterness creeps up. I don't unleash anger or rudeness on others. I keep my lack of trust to myself and don't disclose to people I interact with just how little I trust them. But, there are absolutely pieces of my heart I will never share with anyone for the rest of my time here on earth. They are too precious and if they were broken I'm not sure I could recover.


Well said!  I feel exactly the same way. 

Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Keepabuzz

This is going to be a wildly unpopular opinion, but hear me out. 

I don’t believe being a betrayed spouse gives you free reign to be a miserable, bitter, intolerable person the rest of your life. I don’t believe it gives you the right to treat people poorly. I don’t believe it “justifies” the mistreatment of others. 

I see a lot of people commenting on this post justifying Hilary’s perceived attitude and poor treatment of others, while many of the same of you would scoff at a WS who acted out because of past trauma. Or an Other Person who acted out because of past betrayals. 

I can sit here and type my thumbs away about my past traumas, how it left me a bitter shell of a person, how I was a barely functioning person that wanted their life to end, and the affair I participated in as the OW saved what little sanity I had at the time because I saw it as a life line. I saw the man I was involved with as a breath of new life. But that doesn’t make it right or justifiable. Not one of you would feel pity or sorrow for me, because my actions were MY OWN, and because of the side of the fence you all sit on. 

Being a BS doesn’t give you the right to mistreat other people, it’s not pityable, it’s not understandable. You (and I) have full control over our actions despite the abuse handed to us. I had the choice not to become the OW, I chose wrong, and I definitely don’t get a free pass or understanding on my actions because of my past. People like Hilary (like all of us) have the choice not to be bitter, rude, and to not mistreat the people/staff around them. An affair doesn’t excuse nasty behavior. It didn’t excuse my terrible behavior, it doesn’t excuse hers, and it doesn’t excuse yours (the collective you, no one in particular). 


Are there understandable changes in how you approach life/relationships/trust/etc.., of course! But we ALL have the choice not to become abusive monsters, and simply not participating in an affair doesn’t mean you're doing all you can to be a decent person. 



Well you’re right. I wildly disagree with your post!  BUT, not for the reason you said “we” would. I have read this entire thread as people posted, I have just reread it. I didn’t see a single person saying it is ok or justifiable to be mean, rude, intolerable, or mistreat any other human. Literally the only person that said any of that was you while you were telling “us” how wrong “we” all are. Maybe you should go back and reread this thread and reassess “your” judgement of “us”.....
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Keepabuzz
I will add this: The only person I was justifiably rude, or mean to because of my wife’s affair was my wife and I have zero remorse about it, any of it, nor will I ever. Now, there were some innocent victims (not many) of my anger and pain, and for that I am remorseful, but I have never even insinuated that that was ok, much less said it plainly. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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ThrivenotSurvive
I agree with your point ABC - but like Keep, I think you may have misread people's compassion for her and the road it has seemed to take her down as approval.  It's not.  And if I were her friend I'd have long ago told her something along the lines of your post nearly word for word.  

But the same compassion that allows me to accept that people like you and my husband and many others did horrible things not because you wanted to hurt someone else, but out of your inability to deal with your own pain, allows me to see her in the same light.  
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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ABCOneTwoThree

Keepabuzz wrote:


Well you’re right. I wildly disagree with your post!  BUT, not for the reason you said “we” would. I have read this entire thread as people posted, I have just reread it. I didn’t see a single person saying it is ok or justifiable to be mean, rude, intolerable, or mistreat any other human. Literally the only person that said any of that was you while you were telling “us” how wrong “we” all are. Maybe you should go back and reread this thread and reassess “your” judgement of “us”.....


Okay, I’m mobile, so I’m having a hard time going through and quoting what I’m referring to in addition to this.


The OP by Keep says “I watch Hillary Clinton on tv, and in interviews, and she is a bitter, bitter woman. There are many people that hate her. I have been told by numerous people with first hand knowledge that she is not a nice person to put it lightly. This is from people I trust. (...) But every-time I see her, I only feel sorry for her. I know the heII I have walked through. I can’t even begin to imagine the heII she walked though. In the most public light possible.”. 

Was I wrong to assume this means “She’s bitter and doesn’t treat people well, but I only feel sorry for her”? If so, I apologize, but I’m really not sure how else to interpret that. 

 

Formerly EasyAsABC 
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Keepabuzz


Okay, I’m mobile, so I’m having a hard time going through and quoting what I’m referring to in addition to this.

 


The OP by Keep says “I watch Hillary Clinton on tv, and in interviews, and she is a bitter, bitter woman. There are many people that hate her. I have been told by numerous people with first hand knowledge that she is not a nice person to put it lightly. This is from people I trust. (...) But every-time I see her, I only feel sorry for her. I know the heII I have walked through. I can’t even begin to imagine the heII she walked though. In the most public light possible.”. 

Was I wrong to assume this means “She’s bitter and doesn’t treat people well, but I only feel sorry for her”? If so, I apologize, but I’m really not sure how else to interpret that. 

 



I do feel sorry for her, for what she was put through, but I certainly don’t think it’s ok the way she treats people.  I would be willing to bet that if I met her, I wouldn’t like her. 

 

Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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ABCOneTwoThree
Keepabuzz wrote:


I do feel sorry for her, for what she was put through, but I certainly don’t think it’s ok the way she treats people.  I would be willing to bet that if I met her, I wouldn’t like her. 

 

 




The way the OP is worded, it seems like it’s giving her a pass for her behavior based on her husbands affairs. Especially when you said you “only” feel sorry for her, there’s no indication of any other feelings in the OP, just “She’s bitter and not nice, I feel sorry for her”. 

And then yeah, I skimmed through the posts that seemed like they were in agreement, and posted mine. 

Formerly EasyAsABC 
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Keepabuzz



The way the OP is worded, it seems like it’s giving her a pass for her behavior based on her husbands affairs. Especially when you said you “only” feel sorry for her, there’s no indication of any other feelings in the OP, just “She’s bitter and not nice, I feel sorry for her”. 

 

And then yeah, I skimmed through the posts that seemed like they were in agreement, and posted mine. 




No harm, no foul. I could have worded that a bit better. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Phoenix
I have also had good and bad changes. I have become codependent on my BS. I have isolated myself from friends and family. I smile far less but on the other hand I have discovered many things about me that I have improved. Like my compassion, patience, honesty, etc. Those are all things I definitely needed improvement on. I was happier before all this. I hope my BS and I can again smile again with out faking it. 
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tobefree
I've known people that are funny, smart, loyal friends who would give you the shirt off their back.  But as a partner, they sucked.  It's as if there is a whole other side of them that gets activated the minute it is a romantic relationship.  I've often wondered if he was like those friends of mine.  They are confusing people.  They come across as genuine because there is a whole side of them that is.  But what is harder to pick up on is that other side that is kept from view - one that often has wells of self-doubt, a huge need for validation and a lack of trust of themselves or anyone else. 

This lack of trust in the world or anyone in it (including themselves) causes them to live with a lot of fear.   They can't be deeply vulnerable with one person because they don't trust that other person not to betray it. 


Thrive, this pretty much describes my WS fairly well, although I must add that, he has very little friends but with the very few he has, he behaves this way. We were 'great' friends for a year before we started dating and he was every bit of that you mentioned above. So when I read what you wrote, it brought back a lot of memories and pain because for me, I realize all of those behaviours were a front and a lie so he can feel better about himself. It's like what Rick (from affair recovery) says, actions are meaningless without understanding their motives. And now I understand, with my WS' agreement that while he acted like this supportive, loyal, etc. person, none of those actions were genuine. They were all for the purpose of making him feel better about himself. It was never truly about the other person. 

 

On the other hand - I do think I am less apt to take things at face value.  And I trust my instincts more than ever.  Once I got through the period we all seem to go through where you don't trust yourself or your perceptions, I realized I was looking at it wrong.  I HAD known something was up.  I didn't know what, but my spidey senses were definitely saying something wasn't right.  I didn't need to trust myself less - I need to trust myself MORE.  I will never override my gut again  - but instead use any information it gives me to dig deeper.  And that is in every facet of my life, not just with mu husband.  
 

I too have told myself to listen to my gut more, as it is me not fully trusting my gut that have allowed myself to be in state for so much longer than if I had listened to myself and stood up for my gut feelings. I was never assertive before this happened but I am much more so now. I don't let things slide when he behaves in a way that is triggering or hurtful and that is all new to me. I am still managing my feelings in how I feel after I call him out on it, as it is a learning process for me to state my needs and how I deserve to be treated/loved. But thank you for your post Thrive, because you are correct, we can actually trust ourselves because of our gut feelings and not the other way around. It certainly helped me reinforce the 'self-trusting' aspect of this whole ordeal so thank you.

Keepabuzz wrote:

I also used to be a very outgoing person. Most people I know expect me to still be that same person, because they don’t know what was done to me. I still put on a good show when I have to, but it’s such an effort. It’s literally exhausting. If I had my way, I  wouldn’t go anywhere or do anything. Not that I’m still some depressed guy, I just have no desire to do those things anymore.


I do think it’s far, far easier for a WS to have a hopeful/positive outlook, especially ones that didn’t get dropped like a bad habit.  They got to go have their fun at our expense, abuse us, and THEN get to keep us! I’m not saying they don’t suffer consequences, but it’s extremely minimal in comparison to the damage done to the BS and the consequences of their actions that we suffer for years, and possible for the rest of our lives.


Keep, I agree with all that you have said above. I too feel very exhausted in doing anything or even have the will to do much. Maybe it's still early for me (7 months from 1st dday) but I have change a lot. Most of time I am working hard to not become a very bitter person that I feel is bubbling inside of me. I feel compassion for Hillary because of what she went through. I always saw her as being strong (despite her bitterness, as that is unfortunate) because not only did she stay married to him but she kept moving forward in her career. I don't think I'll be able to do that given her experiences, not to mention how public everything was. 

I totally agree with the WS part and I often tell my partner that as well. They so have the easier route and that angers me often given how much pain I am battling with still. The bitter side of me just want him to suffer as much as what he did to me and us. It is just so extremely difficult to be the BS. The next 7 months for me will be a living hell since it's a year of everything. I am so completely dreading and fearing it...

stillme wrote:
I do think that when the commitment is made to continue in the marriage, it is very easy for the WS to become a "better person" than they were before, whole the BS becomes a 'lesser' version of themselves so to speak. The reality is, the WS has seen just how low they can go and they are seeking to change for the better. The ones that are truly committed to changing and growing can look back over their life and see growth, the regaining of their dignity, and an opportunity to prove - daily- that they have become better, more trustworthy, more kind and compassionate. 

It is the complete opposite for the BS. The truth is, being a trusting person is generally what got us into this situation. The only reason the betraying was possible in my situation was because I trusted my spouse. I wasn't checking emails, or phone logs, or credit card receipts. When my husband said what he was doing, or where he was going - I wasn't tracking gps on his phone to see if he was telling me the truth. So, it was literally my being trusting that allowed things to go on for as long as they did. 

My husband and I learned to opposite lessons after D-Day. My husband learned that he had a wife that was willing to forgive, if he was willing to put in the work. He learned how much I loved him because of how deeply his betrayal cut - it broke me for quite a while. He learned about redemption and opportunities to make up for your mistakes. 

I learned that people that you trust can betray you. I learned that your kindness and openness can be used against you. I learned that someone that you loved, shared vows with, and had kids with - could look you in the face and lie without flinching. 

However, I remember how low I got after D-Day. My brain went to places that I am ashamed to admit. I don't ever want to feel that way again. And, my husband proved to me that no matter how much someone says they love you, that doesn't mean they won't break your heart into a million pieces for completely selfish reasons. I learned that literally no one on this planet loves me enough to seek to protect my heart and my mind, even if that means they have to give up a few minutes of pleasure (or whatever people feel they get from affairs). My husband will tell anyone that his walk down the porn road wasn't worth it. That brings me no comfort because I was shattered to pieces for something that he knows through and through wasn't worth it. 

stillme, what you said is so very true. I have become 'lesser' while he's 'growing.' He's given a chance to really live his life well and genuine, while I now have to reassess my 'genuine' way of living and being honest and vulnerable because like you said, it was used against us. I am happy to hear that your husband has done everything right since then, as that is very important in your healing. Mine just started out and while he's really motivated to learn, he is definitely not doing everything right or even close for that matter. I get it's a learning process and will take time but it does not make it easy. 


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tobefree

This is going to be a wildly unpopular opinion, but hear me out. 

I don’t believe being a betrayed spouse gives you free reign to be a miserable, bitter, intolerable person the rest of your life. I don’t believe it gives you the right to treat people poorly. I don’t believe it “justifies” the mistreatment of others. 

I see a lot of people commenting on this post justifying Hilary’s perceived attitude and poor treatment of others, while many of the same of you would scoff at a WS who acted out because of past trauma. Or an Other Person who acted out because of past betrayals. 

I can sit here and type my thumbs away about my past traumas, how it left me a bitter shell of a person, how I was a barely functioning person that wanted their life to end, and the affair I participated in as the OW saved what little sanity I had at the time because I saw it as a life line. I saw the man I was involved with as a breath of new life. But that doesn’t make it right or justifiable. Not one of you would feel pity or sorrow for me, because my actions were MY OWN, and because of the side of the fence you all sit on. 

Being a BS doesn’t give you the right to mistreat other people, it’s not pityable, it’s not understandable. You (and I) have full control over our actions despite the abuse handed to us. I had the choice not to become the OW, I chose wrong, and I definitely don’t get a free pass or understanding on my actions because of my past. People like Hilary (like all of us) have the choice not to be bitter, rude, and to not mistreat the people/staff around them. An affair doesn’t excuse nasty behavior. It didn’t excuse my terrible behavior, it doesn’t excuse hers, and it doesn’t excuse yours (the collective you, no one in particular). 


Are there understandable changes in how you approach life/relationships/trust/etc.., of course! But we ALL have the choice not to become abusive monsters, and simply not participating in an affair doesn’t mean you're doing all you can to be a decent person. 


ABC, I agree with your post. No one has the right to treat another human being terribly because of their traumas. It is our choices and decisions in leading the lives we live. This is in part why I am so angry with my WS because he used his traumas as an excuse to justify the life choices he had made up to this point. He always saw himself as the victim and needed to get back at the 'world' that owed him so much. I experienced a lot of traumas in my life and I made completely different life choices; therefore, I had very little compassion when he kept saying 'poor me therefore I did'. While I do feel for him every bit for all that he went through because that wasn't his fault, I fully believe that that doesn't mean he can just go ahead and become a perpetrator himself. 

Now onto my point about Hillary. I agree with Keep in that feeling sorry or compassion for one's traumatic experiences doesn't automatically mean we agree or ok their poor life choices or bad behaviours afterwards. I see it as being similar to what therapist tell us that, during conflicts, while we can say we understand how our partners are feeling at the moment, it doesn't mean we agree with it. I feel compassion for Hillary because what she went through and had to face was horrendous. Being betrayed is hard on it's own, not to be mention the publicity they got from it all. But I totally don't agree with her choosing to be bitter and mean to others after this (hence why I said 'unfortunate') in my other post. I always find it heartbreaking that 'hurt people hurt others' because there are other ways to face this, no matter how 'right' that might feel at the moment or time after. I actually have been asking myself that a lot during the past few days and I have yet come up with an answer. I don't know if it's useful but I'm stuck at the "why am I the way I am and my WS the way he is, given both of us have experienced a lot of trauma?" We are completely polar opposites in how we have dealt with our traumatic experiences and I'm trying to understand why that is.

PS: Wanted to add: this conversation reminds me of one of the podcast that I heard from here (can't remember which one). But Sharon was talking about how she now is able to see both her ex-husband's strengths and flaws. I think again, being able to see someone's strengths doesn't mean we agree with their flaws or bad behaviours. I see that as 2 separate things. I often tell my WS that I do see his strength in being finally able to face his life choices and wanting to get better but that doesn't (by any means) take away what he did and has done for the past 20 years. He's issues started long before me, which he had hide from me extremely well. Which makes me want to add this: I have read many of your posts and I never had a chance to respond because I wasn't in a good enough head space due to how close it was to my ddays. I wanted to let you know that I admire your strength in being able to be so upfront about your wrongdoings and getting the help you needed to heal from your past and your actions. It's never easy to face the consequence of our actions and our past traumas. This is also why many of us are here because our WS kept running away from their issues instead of addressing it in healthy ways. I understand the pain and hardships that comes from recovery work, as I am in the midst of it all, not just the betrayal but also my past, as his actions has brought back my entire life's traumas. It is never easy.
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Misericordia
I agree that it is easy to slip into bitterness. Hard to be vulnerable after betrayal.
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ThrivenotSurvive

tobefree wrote:

stillme, what you said is so very true. I have become 'lesser' while he's 'growing.' He's given a chance to really live his life well and genuine, while I now have to reassess my 'genuine' way of living and being honest and vulnerable because like you said, it was used against us. I am happy to hear that your husband has done everything right since then, as that is very important in your healing. Mine just started out and while he's really motivated to learn, he is definitely not doing everything right or even close for that matter. I get it's a learning process and will take time but it does not make it easy. 



I strongly believe there will be a day when you are not less, but more. 

It is my personal belief that finding a way to be vulnerable, gentle and kind after knowing just how much it can cost you is about the bravest thing a person can do.  It is natural, normal- REASONABLE to shut down, close off your heart after something like this.  I wouldn’t say a word against a soul who did.  I understand exactly where they are coming from. BUT that doesn’t mean that I don’t live in awe of those who find another path. Because they are the ones who continue to make this world just a little bit better every day.   

I recently read a book called “Everybody, Always” by Bob Goff that reminded me how important it is to live by your values even when you feel fear, doubt, anger.  And even when it is taken advantage of. Because if you don’t they are just ideals - not an intrinsic part of you.  Granted I haven’t always been able to live up to that - and that’s okay.  But I think is the striving to reach them that make us better. 


A side note in case this comes out wrong (print is a hard medium) - I do not mean passivity, not setting boundaries or anything that puts you in harm’s way.  I mean being willing and open to take calculated, well measured risks to fully engage with life.  I would not, even for one second, council someone to open themselves until the other person has given ample reason to believe they are worthy of it.  Which means that WS are going to have to earn that back slowwwwwww with years of repeated growth and effort. 

I am only trying to say that what should occupy the BS’s mind a full 80 percent of the time, especially in the first year or two, is how they can gently, lovingly and healthfully refind themselves.  The other 20% can be spent on the marriage.  If their WS is truly repentant and ready to change they should support their BS in these efforts, watch the kids while they attend a retreat, take a class, clear their mind and reconnect with themselves.  And while they provide that space they need to work like hell to resolve whatever faulty thinking/habits got into an affair.  

Focus on YOU, not him.  Use that as a mantra.  Best case scenario, in a year or two when your nervous system has been able to quiet down and you’ve had time to reconnect and fall in love with yourself, your husband will have grown too - and you find that you get to keep all the good from your old relationship and replace all the bad with two people who are wiser, more compassionate and well aware of how fragile and valuable their relationship is. Who guard it like a prize. 


Worst case scenario? You are still healthier, happier and more whole - but you realize he’s in the same damn place emotionally.  But you are stronger now, and you pick yourself up and go make a life with someone worthy of you.  

Both scenarios require that YOU focus on YOU.  Treat yourself as if you are your child, sibling, parent going through something like this.  You wouldn’t be angry with them when they didn’t just “get over it” but you would get them to eat as healthy as possible ( you’d know their body needed fuel to deal with the stress), you’d encourage them to focus on things that make them feel good about themselves( hobbies, volunteering, learning new skills), you’d encourage them to focus on what they are doing right, and give themselves a break when they fall down the pit of despair.  

Be kinder and more supportive of yourself than you have EVER GIVEN YOURSELF PERMISSION TO BE. Remind yourself daily that you will be restored to yourself - it might take a year - it might take five -  but with, or without your husband YOU are going to stay true to healing YOU for better or for worse.  

I hope this doesn’t come across too preachy - I don’t mean to be.  I know how hard it is to do what I am saying because it took Herculean effort for me.  But I want you to know I believe it because I’ve lived it. 

BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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