Thank you UrbanExplorer and Anna26.
I responded to the Thread title.
Apologies to Heidi for the 'talking down', that was my triggered reaction to awful experiences growing up with people hiding behind religion, and I've just come out of a dark place as a result of what happened.
It's not the beginning of my journey - I've been on the journey most of my life, just because others always told me I was wrong... when in fact, the learning from that journey has been ... No, I wasn't wrong all along, but they were.
However, I did not belittle anyone else's pain in my comments ... other than to say:
I've been on both sides ... and in my experience, and the other awful things I've been through - being the OW alone has been THE hardest.
Tell me that it's not, berate me, whatever ... but my feelings are mine and are valid, just as yours are, right or wrong. Just as a WS feelings are theirs to feel. Just as a BS are theirs to feel.
Walk in my shoes and all that...
It's hard to speak about this when you are a WS/OW/OM instead of a BS, but I truly believe part of the healing process for ALL involved parties is to acknowledge our own true feelings and needs.
I grew up with people who tried to smooth over, fix, or otherwise invalidate negative emotions until eventually I couldn't access those feelings within myself and use them to guide me as an adult. My own personal growth involves being honest about how I feel. Having wronged my husband doesn't change that part of it. In fact, it points to a greater need for openness.