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Hi El.

I’ve been reading some of your posts and just want to lend you my support. Not that long ago, I was where you are. My H (now XH) recently married OW and even had our kids in the wedding party, if you can believe it. Anyway… that was my WORST fear…that he would marry the person he cheated on me with. I imagined back then that I would be absolutely devastated by it. Fast forward three years and it barely even registered with me. Honestly…I actually could not have cared less.

Needless to say, I am not the same person I was - I see things very differently now. I know I wasn’t a perfect person in my marriage, no one is, but I did not deserve to be treated the way I was and neither do you. As Blu said, once you have recovered… and you WILL recover… you will have gained something from this. You will look back on it and realize how much you have grown as a person and, strangely enough, you may even be glad it happened. I know I am. I am happier. I have had many good things happen to me that likely would not have happened if I was still married. I also have more friends than I did before and I am STRONG… so much stronger than I ever realized I could be.

I know how hard this is El. I know that this is not the life you planned and it is unbelievably unfair your H has seemingly gotten away with such brutal behaviour. Notice I say seemingly? I say that because if there is one thing I am sure of, it is that there is such a thing as karma and that you get back what you give. I also believe that the ultimate revenge is a life well-lived so that is what I focus my time and energy on…building a great life for me and my kids. Hang in there El. It will get better. (((HUGS)))


Me 53
H 48
B/G Twins 13
SD 21
Legal SA - January 2019
Divorce filed - June 2019
Divorce final - November 2019

Together 14 years
Married 12 years
BD1 - May 2014
BD2 - September 14, 2018

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Hi E,

I just had a couple of thoughts I wanted to share. First, Wayfarer is my hero but I am not in her league in terms of zen ability, so from my perspective yes, of course aspire to let it go and get beyond BUT it is also absolutely okay to be angry. Be as angry as you want to be! I shoved that anger down for a loooooong time and then it was almost overwhelming to me when it finally erupted. And it still isn't gone. It is totally natural to be angry in your situation. What your H did is unfair and wrong and the idea of that bItch eating her GD crackers while playing house with your H and kids.... of course it hurts and is infuriating at the same time. I'd be furious too. Don't apologize or feel badly that you aren't over your anger yet. It has its time and then you can let it go once it has done its part for you. I don't know how easy it is to find old threads, but AlisonUK who was posting here a lot a couple of years ago talked a lot about how she finally saw her anger as a protective force for her, it helped her see more clearly, helped her set appropriate boundaries, and she stopped feeling guilty about being mad.

I got a punching bag (cheap one on Amazon) and punched the cr@p out of it for a few months. it was great. I might recommend channeling your anger into something like that, or writing a letter that you won't send, or any of a million other things you can do to let yourself be angry, but get it out and then be able to focus your attention elsewhere, ideally on something positive for you.

I also want to say I understand exactly what you mean about losing your faith in your own gut and your own decision making. Being lied to, gaslit, and betrayed will do that. I was talking to a good friend the other day, my only friend IRL who knows about the A, who also was cheated on (her H left her for the OW, he was really horrible). She said she still struggles with this to some degree but it gets better. She has learned to identify when it is the fear and uncertainty speaking and to just wait that through until they subside and she can better focus on her own intuition and logic. I don't know how long this process takes or if you can speed it up. I struggle with this too. But you have been so incredibly strong through all of this and I know you'll emerge even stronger and happier on the other side.

xoxo May


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
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El,

It was not whining in any way. Just so we're very clear. You are stressed to the max, and tired. I can see that. But that's when we tend to lose our path, progress and frankly control. I just wanted to give you a nudge back in that direction, because you are not the kind of person something like this beats down. You are the kind of person who will survive, strive and then thrive after this.

May is right, anger is good, especially in keeping you safe. So just to clear things up again. I'm not say wooosahh your way to spiritual enlightenment, because you are beyond anger. I'm just saying, be angry for the things that H took from you. Like you're concept of self. Or the ability to sit down and relax for one GD second. Or the how he's taken absolutely no consideration for his children in this. But don't waste that precious little energy you have left trying to end this chapter and start the next being angry about things that you can't fix (like the future relationships of your stepsons) or about things you probable should accept a tiny bit of blame for (like expectations.)

H is a piece of work, and is putting you through the ringer. You deserve your anger. Just don't get twisted in details, or wander off into silly corners that are a waste of your mental and emotional energy to dig your way out of. Get angry and things that deserve that kind of emotional labor.

Next if you read through, which I know you have, a lot of LBWs are not timid little mouse women, who were scooped up by they're high school sweetheart before they had time to really get to figure out who they were and by the time they started to figure it out their husband ditched them with 3 kids for a younger version of themselves. Most of us are really bright, and really self possessed, and really should've known better or done better or picked better. But we didn't.

Everyone who goes through this goes though the kind of existential crisis you're facing. Who am I if this could happen? Who am I if this is my life now? Who am I if I allowed WAS/WS do these things to me? Why did I take this for so long? Why aren't I good enough? Why aren't I enough? How could I let myself end up here? Why didn't I know better? On and on. You have had your life ripped out from under you. You are in the ugly part of a novel where there's just a blank page and then it says "Part III: Post Divorce- Starting Fresh; Chapter 12...."There's a reason they skip over this part. One because it's boring, no one wants to read about painting walls, and packing boxes, checking in with attorneys and stagnant legal processes. The other part is this is just a little too much character development in too short of a period of time to be believable.

You are who you've always been. And you are the person you've always wanted to become. When you're sitting in that anger of yours thinking about all that stbxh has taken from you, focus in on the parts of yourself that were robbed or compromised to keep him happy, to keep him quiet, to keep him off your back, or just general to keep him. Think about all the times you've been happiest in your life. Who were you then? What about her do you miss? Think about all the things you've always wanted to be or do and have had to put on the back burned because it didn't fit into your old life, or the old version of yourself. H may have taken a lot from you, but he didn't take who you are at your core and he didn't take your future.

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Dear Eagle3 and BluWave,

Originally Posted by Eagle3
First of all, you are not whining, you are processing and the purpose of this forum is to let it all out. What you think, how you feel, so please don't apologize for that.

You are someone who kept yourself incredibly strong the first months after BD, I still remember that very well. I was always amazed of how you could still be so positive about everyhting.
I surely couldn't do that in the beginning.

But frankly, there is no person who can keep this up. You are simply somebody who was knocked down by it later than others.

And that's okay, be mad at him, at what he's done to you, what he's doing to his children.

Okay, thanks. It does mean a lot to be able to just get it all out here. I am trying to process and be productive, but sometimes I'm just mad and have to get it all out you know?

Originally Posted by BluWave
I am not going to say that you are bitter or scorned by his A, but I can tell you that I absolutely was! For a long time. And even after my H dumped X-OW, I remained that way to some extent for years. And it didn't just turn off one day and I didn't have this ability to rise above it, even though I felt as if I should. It was serious trauma and even with all the work, therapy and self care, it still just needed time. So I do not see you as whining and I completely empathize with how hurt and angry you feel. It is completely unfair. That is the part that you cannot change and that makes us feel so, so powerless. Some people here try and compare their sitches and give advice, but being left by your spouse for another person -- I mean full blown A, they pick up and leave you and go off with that person -- is a trauma far greater than many can ever know!

Also, I think the trauma is not only from the betrayal of being left for OW. I see you questioning everything that you thought you knew about your life and yourself. When our entire life is turned upside down and taken away from us, it changes everything and we question what we thought we ever knew. And what we thought we knew about ourselves and our identity. Again, not just some EAs and marital rift. It is TRAUMA. But, the good news is, this is the part (perception of reality) you can change. As you begin to heal, you can continue to change the way you see your history, relationships and what happened. Over time, you may actually feel better about how you see things. Why? Because you are not still with a person that would do this and traumatize you. He also has a history of failed Ms now and that speaks volumes to his character. You might not be there yet and that is okay, but you will some day. Have you read DejaVu's story from the beginning?


I do feel like I was doing so well, but I think it's because much of what I had been studying was based on DB'ing or future relationship improvements, processing MLC, improving myself, etc. So in short, I wasn't really examining the past relationship. I mean, I pretty much thought I knew what happened. It was only when I started to realize that I still wasn't feeling the way I felt logically I should (flashbacks, anxiety, trouble sleeping, numbness). It was actually some Instagram posts from others that had me taking the time to really think back to different events in my last few years, the more I realized that there was so many things I had not processed or understood. Many trauma posts rang true to me. Definitions of gaslighting and other mental abuse rang true. You don't know what you don't know. I'm not one that has had many relationships.

You describe my feelings very well Blu. It's overwhelming. I think I'd feel more resentment towards the OW if I felt she was a normal person and I could see why he'd fall for her. But she is very strange and nothing about her makes any sense. So to me she is just being used by my STBXH. So yeah, they connected over past history, but I don't see this one lasting. Regardless, it's my H that has done it all. He's the one who made the decisions he did and he's the one who treated me the way he did. So my anger is aimed at him. And a bit at myself. Sure, I was super curious about her and followed her social for a while...and it was entertaining because she is a bit whack, but now I just pity her...she has no idea of who she just blew up her family for.

I do know I will keep putting one foot in front of the other to work towards healing from this. I want a better future and I will do what it takes to get there. But, boy the recent revelations have thrown me for a loop. It's more processing and stepping back. But that is okay as long as I don't get stuck here.

Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate them so much.

El


Me 51, H 55
T10 M7, 2nd MR for both
2 Step Sons (18 and 20)
BD: Fall 2020
AP for at least 6 mos prior and still ongoing...
Divorce Started: Spring 2021


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Hello DejaVu6 and May22,

DejaVu6 I can't imagine what that must have been like. I'm sure I'll feel something if that happens in my sitch, but I also feel like it's a train wreck waiting to happen. I also believe in Karma. And I try to focus on me and not interact with STBXH with anger as I know it won't help me as well as Karma has a great way of doing it's job. It's my goal to be where you are now. It's inspiring to hear you are living and building a great life for you and your kids now! Thanks for your words and encouragement. ((hugs back))

Wayfarer is also a hero to me. RAISED HANDS. But May, I know from reading your sitch that anger has been a struggle for you too...and reading yours and Wayfarer's story have helped me so much. I've not read AlisonUK's sitch yet. I'm really behind with all that has been happening with work and getting the house finalized for sale without the STBXH's help. Writing a letter might really be helpful. I've been trying to do the journal, but that too has been pushed aside. But yes, that would be more me than punching a bag. But I get why you might like it!

I believe strongly that I will need to work on trusting my gut instincts again with therapy. I know that I'll need to work on this, better boundaries, as well as just overall trauma healing. First order of business when the house sells and my schedule opens up in the next month is to find a good trauma counselor. The PTSD program I started on my week off was a good start thought but not enough.

Thank you both for your encouragement and sharing your ideas and feelings. It means a lot. Even just to be heard and understood...and it also helps to be pushed forward. So thank you!

xo
El


Me 51, H 55
T10 M7, 2nd MR for both
2 Step Sons (18 and 20)
BD: Fall 2020
AP for at least 6 mos prior and still ongoing...
Divorce Started: Spring 2021


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Wayfarer,

I hope I didn't sound offended, because I certainly am not. I realize you are pushing me forward and I need it and I want it every time you see that I need a push or a 2x4. And to me if my post is that long, I feel like I'm whining. But okay, I'm venting! smile

Originally Posted by Wayfarer
It was not whining in any way. Just so we're very clear. You are stressed to the max, and tired. I can see that. But that's when we tend to lose our path, progress and frankly control. I just wanted to give you a nudge back in that direction, because you are not the kind of person something like this beats down. You are the kind of person who will survive, strive and then thrive after this.

May is right, anger is good, especially in keeping you safe. So just to clear things up again. I'm not say wooosahh your way to spiritual enlightenment, because you are beyond anger. I'm just saying, be angry for the things that H took from you. Like you're concept of self. Or the ability to sit down and relax for one GD second. Or the how he's taken absolutely no consideration for his children in this. But don't waste that precious little energy you have left trying to end this chapter and start the next being angry about things that you can't fix (like the future relationships of your stepsons) or about things you probable should accept a tiny bit of blame for (like expectations.)

I do feel I am angry about the things he took from me, his lack of support now, etc. The kids, well, that is another area I just need to figure out on my own and try to keep him separate from it. And I am doing my best to not let the anger block me. I am feeling it, but I am also looking for all the ways to grow and learn from it. That's the goal anyway...including the anger at myself for putting up with what I did and yes, my expectations.

Stating that truth "Most of us are really bright, and really self possessed, and really should've known better or done better or picked better. But we didn't." helps me to feel less alone...and you are right. I admire the strength I see in all the women (and men) on this site.

Originally Posted by Wayfarer
Everyone who goes through this goes though the kind of existential crisis you're facing. Who am I if this could happen? Who am I if this is my life now? Who am I if I allowed WAS/WS do these things to me? Why did I take this for so long? Why aren't I good enough? Why aren't I enough? How could I let myself end up here? Why didn't I know better? On and on. You have had your life ripped out from under you. You are in the ugly part of a novel where there's just a blank page and then it says "Part III: Post Divorce- Starting Fresh; Chapter 12...."There's a reason they skip over this part. One because it's boring, no one wants to read about painting walls, and packing boxes, checking in with attorneys and stagnant legal processes. The other part is this is just a little too much character development in too short of a period of time to be believable.

OMG, so true.

Originally Posted by Wayfarer
You are who you've always been. And you are the person you've always wanted to become. When you're sitting in that anger of yours thinking about all that stbxh has taken from you, focus in on the parts of yourself that were robbed or compromised to keep him happy, to keep him quiet, to keep him off your back, or just general to keep him. Think about all the times you've been happiest in your life. Who were you then? What about her do you miss? Think about all the things you've always wanted to be or do and have had to put on the back burned because it didn't fit into your old life, or the old version of yourself. H may have taken a lot from you, but he didn't take who you are at your core and he didn't take your future.

^^THIS!^^ I think I will print this paragraph and paste it to my mirror. smile

El


Me 51, H 55
T10 M7, 2nd MR for both
2 Step Sons (18 and 20)
BD: Fall 2020
AP for at least 6 mos prior and still ongoing...
Divorce Started: Spring 2021


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That’s the spirit El!! That paragraph by Wayfarer really resonated with me as well. Funny you should say that about putting it on your mirror. When I was still really struggling with things, I had about a dozen or so sticky notes with inspirational quotes and personal goals stuck to my mirror. I’d read them every morning before I went to work. I also had a mantra that was introduced to me by DnJ…the ever popular “choose better not bitter”. I said that over and over to myself countless times. I also wrote some on a list in my phone so I could read them throughout the day when I found myself going down a negative path. It really helped me to stay on track.

Some of my faves…

“It is truly a frightening thing to face, see, and embrace the unknown, but you can do this. all it takes is opening your mind and heart to the vast and endless possibilities of what you can become within yourself.”

“He REPRESENTS stability, validation, and a resumption of your ability to have control over your future. That is really what you want, you want what he represents to you based on where you are right now. Step back and realize he is NOT those things.”

“Boundaries are the first line of defence to preserve your self respect.”

“Acceptance, forgiveness and healing are required in order to become completely whole within yourself.”

Hopefully these will help you too. (((HUGS)))


Me 53
H 48
B/G Twins 13
SD 21
Legal SA - January 2019
Divorce filed - June 2019
Divorce final - November 2019

Together 14 years
Married 12 years
BD1 - May 2014
BD2 - September 14, 2018

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Thanks DejaVu6.

These are wonderful! I've added them to the list and will look them over every time I need a push in the right direction away from my anger.

El


Me 51, H 55
T10 M7, 2nd MR for both
2 Step Sons (18 and 20)
BD: Fall 2020
AP for at least 6 mos prior and still ongoing...
Divorce Started: Spring 2021


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An update.

Spent most of the weekend on house sale preparations. STBXH has not been here, but did have our son move some of his stuff to storage for him. However, I had to pay the handyman to help me to move the rest of his stuff out of the home and into the garage to deal with later.

Our older son wanted to do some work for pay so I had him help the handyman to do some yard cleanup. While they were chatting, he asked my son what he thought of his 'new step-mom' referring to the other woman that is living with his dad. It appears our son was annoyed by her. It appears that she was making sexual innuendos about his dad and our son wasn't very comfortable with that. And this is a woman is supposed to be a pastor and spiritual advisor. Appears she even apologized for her behavior before he left. I'm not really sure if she sensed he was uncomfortable with her behavior or he actually said something to her about it. He is usually pretty vocal, so I'm guessing he said something or a snide response. But just WOW. How inappropriate. I mean, hell, she played her part in destroying two families (hers and ours) and she is joking about her relations with his dad. Just wow. Not sure if my STBXH knew about this or not. I've not had a talk with our son about her or this event yet. I feel weird asking or bringing it up. But now I may need to see if he is okay mentally after that. He is over 20 now, but he is still a kid. I knew she was a bit whack, but I didn't expect to hear something like this. Should I ask or should it be up to him at this age to decide on the relationships he wants to have and only talk about it if he brings it up to me directly?

Otherwise, I'm still struggling. I've been kind of numb and feeling a bit lost. I'm just so tired and just ready to have the house sold already so that I can get closer to moving on with my life. I've not had enough time for self care or the counseling I want to do. And I know I need to work on things to heal. But I'm just so tired. Between the house stuff and extra work right now, I'm just exhausted. Still no word on the job front, so I do feel dragged along there too. Everything feels so overwhelming at the moment, in my life and in the world. I keep telling myself it will get better.

One day at a time. One foot in front of the other.

El


Me 51, H 55
T10 M7, 2nd MR for both
2 Step Sons (18 and 20)
BD: Fall 2020
AP for at least 6 mos prior and still ongoing...
Divorce Started: Spring 2021


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Hey El,

I know you're exhausted and stretched to the limit mentally and physically. But is there any time at you can take for a reset. Just a break. Something that isn't divorce related for a few hours or a day or overnight if you can swing it. I feel like you're drowning in this and having a hard time grounding yourself. This is all very hard, and stressful, but it seems to be kind of all consuming for you right now. Are you doing any GAL? Self care? Are you carving even a small amount of time out to do things just for you?

Next, I'm going to say this as kindly as I can because I know a lot of this is coming from a place of exhaustion, stress, and frustration. You gotta start minding your own business. Honey, there is always going to be stbxh gossip. There is always going to be another crazy chapter in this story until he can get his crazy in check. Ok so OW is having her own MLC. We see that here a lot with WAW/WWs. Prissy, sweet, diminutive wives become rock stars and groupies rolled into one over night. I imagine it's not that far of a venture for a spiritual, god fearing woman to go down the same road. The fact is though, who cares?

Ok it made S20 uncomfortable. You said he's vocal. Sounds like he spoke his mind. He got an apology. So it's done and over. What's there to concern yourself with? Yes he is 20 and 20 isn't as much of a man as some people would like to think, he is a kid, but he's not an actual child. He knows what sex is. He knows his dad is on some sh!t right now. He knows what he is and isn't willing to put up with, clearly. You need to start leaving this stuff alone. There may come a time when S20 wants to unload all of this and more on you because you seem like the only person who's going to understand. There may not. Don't involve yourself in things that have nothing to do with you. That's step parent 101. That's also not my circus, not my monkeys 101.

You my dear are wasting precious bandwidth and energy worrying a whole h3ll of a lot about your stbxh yet here you are drowning in your own stress levels and things to do. All of that, every single little bit of that needs to be refocused on you. You would have 20-30 min of self care time to squeeze in here or there if you were pushing your exhaustion to new heights focusing what little mental energy you have worrying about OW and stbxh. Yes, I do know you genuinely are worried about those boys. I know you are genuinely concerned about how all of this is affecting them. But is that really what all this is about, because based on your recent posts it's not. You're trying to control the uncontrollable. Control what you can, namely, what can you do to bring those stress levels down a little?

El, you got this in the bag. You're so close to the finish line with the heavy lifting portion of this. You can do this, you just really need to focus on you, your needs, and your mental health.

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