catmommy
 An affair is emotional rape for the betrayed.  You are never the same you can never be that person you were before. The unfaithful has taken something from you that nothing or no one can every give you back.   You can forgive, have extensive counseling continue with the marriage and become a successful productive person, but, you are not the same. It changes you for life as much as you pray and swear that the affair will not define you it does.  It leaves a scar that will never go completely away it may fade and there will be times you forget about the scar but it’s there……always.
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TimT
catmommy wrote:
 An affair is emotional rape for the betrayed.  You are never the same you can never be that person you were before. The unfaithful has taken something from you that nothing or no one can every give you back.   You can forgive, have extensive counseling continue with the marriage and become a successful productive person, but, you are not the same. It changes you for life as much as you pray and swear that the affair will not define you it does.  It leaves a scar that will never go completely away it may fade and there will be times you forget about the scar but it’s there……always.

Well said. An affair changes you; it permanently alters your story. It may be a better or worse story (you have some control of that) but it will never be the same. And the fact that someone else forced the change on you is the very thing that requires either forgiveness or ongoing expectation for some kind of justice.

I'm sorry you are having to struggle with consequence of betrayal. Keep sharing your insights.
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awaggoner1999
I agree... it will be 20 years from now and I know I will remember this pain. I pray for God to help me forget, but this pain has been so pervasive in my life for the last 7 months since D-Day...
I am certain that I will not forget the giant gaping chest wound where I stored my love for my WS and all the wonderful memories of our life together. As I continue to hurt, memories are darkened and made unreal...and my WS has deftly avoided placing any type of tourniquet to stop the bleeding... and I must work to make a tourniquet while functioning in every day life. I don't think this will kill me, but it is definitely testing every single one of my strengths... and any reserves I might have.


Great definition catmommy...

I'm sorry for the pain you have endured...no one deserves this...and my only hope is that for each of us that has suffered this indignity, grows out of the pain, tears, and anguish to become renewed self - that is wiser and stronger...and able to forgive.
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Robin1971
I hate that you are going through this also. Not even 4 months here for me. You hit the nail on the head! I don't understand the thinking of how someone could do this. My hubby always gets on my case about telling the kids things before hand like " when you go to a bday party don't ask for a second piece of cake". " when we go to friends house don't ask for them to sleepover" etc. he always said why do you do that why do you prepare them for things before they happen. Well I think you should always prepare yourself for situations in life so you are not caught off guard! Maybe if my husband would have prepared himself for what it would have been like to not buy someone a drink in a bar, I wouldn't be on these boards today. My motto in life...be accountable, prepare yourself BEFORE you are tempted. Not real hard to live like that. Doesn't make me a stick in the mud, makes me a committed person, a person with integrity. I am trying everyday to get over this, to pick up the pieces of my heart and try to somehow put them back together. I guess its just not my time yet
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TimeToFly
catmommy wrote:
 An affair is emotional rape for the betrayed.  You are never the same you can never be that person you were before. The unfaithful has taken something from you that nothing or no one can every give you back.   You can forgive, have extensive counseling continue with the marriage and become a successful productive person, but, you are not the same. It changes you for life as much as you pray and swear that the affair will not define you it does.  It leaves a scar that will never go completely away it may fade and there will be times you forget about the scar but it’s there……always.


This is so well put & so true. I've often said that I will never be the same person that I was before my ex-husband had his affair. It has changed me forever & I know that for a fact. It's taken such a huge toll on me from every standpoint. I'm not the forgiving & trusting person that I used to be. It's hard for someone to understand this unless they have gone through it. 

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TimeToFly
awaggoner1999 wrote:

I am certain that I will not forget the giant gaping chest wound where I stored my love for my WS and all the wonderful memories of our life together.


I know exactly what you mean. For me that's one of the hardest parts of all of this....I have over 30 years of memories & most of them (until the last few years) are wonderful ones of things we did together & the life we shared. Everyday is a memory of what we had & what has been taken away. It makes me so sad. How can it not? The reminders are everywhere. I'm not sure how this will ever get better....



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TimT
TimeToFly wrote:
...Everyday is a memory of what we had & what has been taken away. It makes me so sad. How can it not? The reminders are everywhere. I'm not sure how this will ever get better....

The circumstances of your marriage (and divorce) will never get better. That story is written in history. But what you do with the reminder and what you focus on in regard to today and tomorrow are very much in your control. As time goes on, your ability to take control of these things will increase, if you want it to (and exercise that choice).
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Processing4Growth
Timetofly hits on one of the things I struggle with a this point. Even happy memories can become sad ones now because you know what happens in the future. Those memories are tainted. You can still look back and say that was a good day but in the shadow is this sadness.
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TimT
Processing4Growth wrote:
Timetofly hits on one of the things I struggle with a this point. Even happy memories can become sad ones now because you know what happens in the future. Those memories are tainted. You can still look back and say that was a good day but in the shadow is this sadness.

Yep, some things (dates, places, events, etc) are forever changed. For some of these, ongoing healing will allow you to hold on to grace when you feel the sting of painful reminders. But some things you can choose to let go of (stop certain events, change places, etc) and some things you may choose to reclaim in a different way.

I worked with a wife who struggled with all the places her husband had taken his affair partner. Things that had belonged to the marriage were now soiled with the awareness that "they" had used them as well. 

In some cases, she just chose not to go there anymore and choose new places to make their own. But there was one place -- a hill that overlooked a town -- that was difficult to get over because they had to pass it every time they visited his family. She would get anxious and physically sick every time she knew they would be going there.

She worked to prepare her "reclaiming" of this place. On their next trip, she asked her husband to drive to the overlook. She had already written out every ugly thing the affair had done to that place (known affair encounters, imagined images and conversations, the feeling of something precious being ripped away from her and handed to another woman) on pieced of paper. 

The parked on top of the hill. Together, they sat in the car as she recounted the dark thoughts and feelings to her husband. Then, she got out of the car, dug a hole on the hill and buried the written testimony of pain. On that spot, they each collected stones and built a little monument of their commitment to each other.

Did this act change history? No.
Did it make her forget the pain? No.
But it allowed her to begin taking control of her story. And as they drive past that place now, the last memory is one of forgiveness and commitment. 
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TimeToFly
Processing4Growth wrote:
Timetofly hits on one of the things I struggle with a this point. Even happy memories can become sad ones now because you know what happens in the future. Those memories are tainted. You can still look back and say that was a good day but in the shadow is this sadness.


I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who struggles with this. I think I will deal with it for a long time since there were over 30 years worth of memories. You can't just turn the other way & forget it. I agree with you that now there is so much sadness associated with it all however I just have to start trying to make some new memories for myself & hopefully that will ease some of the pain. I guess only time will tell...
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TimeToFly
TimT wrote:
Processing4Growth wrote:
Timetofly hits on one of the things I struggle with a this point. Even happy memories can become sad ones now because you know what happens in the future. Those memories are tainted. You can still look back and say that was a good day but in the shadow is this sadness.

Yep, some things (dates, places, events, etc) are forever changed. For some of these, ongoing healing will allow you to hold on to grace when you feel the sting of painful reminders. But some things you can choose to let go of (stop certain events, change places, etc) and some things you may choose to reclaim in a different way.

I worked with a wife who struggled with all the places her husband had taken his affair partner. Things that had belonged to the marriage were now soiled with the awareness that "they" had used them as well. 

In some cases, she just chose not to go there anymore and choose new places to make their own. But there was one place -- a hill that overlooked a town -- that was difficult to get over because they had to pass it every time they visited his family. She would get anxious and physically sick every time she knew they would be going there.

She worked to prepare her "reclaiming" of this place. On their next trip, she asked her husband to drive to the overlook. She had already written out every ugly thing the affair had done to that place (known affair encounters, imagined images and conversations, the feeling of something precious being ripped away from her and handed to another woman) on pieced of paper. 

The parked on top of the hill. Together, they sat in the car as she recounted the dark thoughts and feelings to her husband. Then, she got out of the car, dug a hole on the hill and buried the written testimony of pain. On that spot, they each collected stones and built a little monument of their commitment to each other.

Did this act change history? No.
Did it make her forget the pain? No.
But it allowed her to begin taking control of her story. And as they drive past that place now, the last memory is one of forgiveness and commitment. 


Tim,

This is really good that she was able to "reclaim" that place. I'm quite certain it wasn't easy but she found the strength to do it & she had a husband who was with her & not with the AP. I can see how she was able to begin taking control & move in a different direction. 

I do believe however that it's much harder to do when you are on your own & even harder when in my case my ex-husband is still with the AP. I've got to do all these things by myself to try & ease the pain of everything that's happened. My ex decided not to honor our commitment to each other & chose another path. Now I'm left to put my life in some kind of order & it's tough. I guess I just need to find different ways to "reclaim" my life. Perhaps starting to create mew memories is a good place to begin.
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