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a moment of recognition

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caregiver9000 posted 5/26/2013 10:43 AM

I have been reading on SI this morning and a combination of thoughts about triggers, WS and BS and a thread in General got me thinking...

I realize that I don't define myself as someone who was cheated on. It happened. It doesn't define me NOW. I am so much more than that.

I know that for a long time it did, just as being married defined me before that. It was a defining event and it consumed my emotions and my daily chores and tasks as I fought my way free to a NB. But (for me) being a BS was akin to being a martyr and I think as long as I was betrayed, I could not be healed.

I think this is related to detachment but not quite the same as. It is more a choice not to let my past define my present.

I remember reading taglines who had no BS/WS markers or even a "him, doesn't matter anymore" and I remember thinking HOW can it NOT matter??? Now I get it. There comes a time when it just doesn't matter anymore... or at the very least it matters so much less that it doesn't really matter.

FaithFool posted 5/26/2013 10:48 AM

I feel exactly the same way today. I'm at an interesting place right now, offloading the condo and finally saying goodbye to the building where it all went down initially and where I spent several years licking my wounds.

This year is a huge turning point. I now find myself focussing on the next five years, planning what I'm going to study and dreaming about where I want to end up.

Five years ago you could have told me that and I never would have believed it.

Very long journey, but the end result is worth the ride...

caregiver9000 posted 5/26/2013 10:54 AM

Well FF, I am glad to share my journey/path with such friends!

FaithFool posted 5/26/2013 11:09 AM

Sad in AZ posted 5/26/2013 11:09 AM

I don't know that being a BS ever defined me outside of SI; it's not like I expected people to treat me differently because the X cheated. I'm especially nonplussed by folks who expect a new SO to treat them differently (i.e., "How could s/he cheat on me?? S/he knows I'm a BS..."

Once I decided to D, I was very open about what happened; prior to that I didn't want to let too much out in the event that we R'd.

Here, I continue to use the designation so that newer members can orient to whatever I'm saying.

caregiver9000 posted 5/26/2013 11:14 AM

It defined me for me. It is how I thought of myself. I went from wife and mother to BS, to single mom...

And I think all the labels mean something in my own mind, so it is good to have let some of them go.

Sad in AZ posted 5/26/2013 11:19 AM

Well, I do always tell people that I divorced him because I didn't like his girlfriend. It's important to me that they know I didn't D because we 'grew apart' or some other reason. It's personal because I was very against D unless there was a really good reason. Ongoing infidelity to me was a really good reason.

I guess you could say that's a form of self-definition.

caregiver9000 posted 5/26/2013 11:25 AM

Sad, your tagline says what I was going for

no longer betrayed nor a wife

Nature_Girl posted 5/26/2013 12:48 PM

I see myself less as a betrayed and more of a survivor. That may be due to the strong abuse component of my marriage. I am very much still working through processing the abuse. I'm aware that the abuse does still affect me. However, I do not walk around thinking of myself as a victim. Furthermore, I absolutely refuse to allow someone as disgusting, perverted & sick as STBX to define me. I tolerated it longer than I should, but there did come a point at which I recognized the abuse & stopped tolerating it. I got myself and the children out of that situation and am trying like hell to make a new life for us.

The cheating/betrayal was the least of what he did to me. No, I don't define myself as a betrayed wife. Just like I don't define myself as an incest victim. I don't define myself as a victim of rape. All those things are external. External things don't define me. Furthermore, they're things that were done to me against my will. I'm not going to let someone else's choices define me.

Amazonia posted 5/26/2013 15:06 PM

I'm one of those who really feels the ex no longer matters. I even took BS out of my tagline here because I simply don't see myself that way. It's still in my profile for anyone who cares or wants context.

In many ways, I feel like SI has opened my eyes to understanding people much better, both on the hurting and the hurt side, and I feel like I can empathize as often with the WSs as I can with the BSs. I think that may be a little odd, but I've always been a little odd.

Outside of SI, I'm starting to not even identify as a divorcee anymore, which is weird, because it REALLY defined me for a while. Not having kids and having been married such a short time helps. No one would guess I am divorced if I didn't tell them, and most people are pretty surprised to learn it. I could very easily just never tell anyone.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have any problem with being divorced. It just isn't relevant anymore, as so many more important and current things define me instead. I guess the more that I develop in myself, the less my relationship status (in any form, whether "divorcee" or "girlfriend" or "single") defines who I am. Rather, I am defined by myself, not to whom I am attached.

[This message edited by Amazonia at 3:06 PM, May 26th (Sunday)]

cmego posted 5/26/2013 16:25 PM

I was shopping with my Mom today at Target...and a totally cute man walked close to me, and I looked up at him, he smiled at me....AND I SMILED BACK.


So huge for me. Openly flirting (for me...that is a flirt!).

Yesterday, I was volunteering at my local botanical garden, something I've done for over a year now. I know the director of my area fairly well, but no "details" about my life. He asked what I was doing this weekend, I said, "Kids are going to their Dad's, I'm hanging with friends and family".

He said, "Where does your ex live? What are they (kids) doing this weekend?"

I replied, "He and his partner are taking the kids to a park."

It flowed off of me so effortlessly, I stopped talking. Director said, "Well, cmego, as beautiful and sweet as you is totally his loss." (This was flirtatious...he is like my Dad's age)

I smiled and said thank you.

And for the first time...I believed someone. It was a comment that made my day.

I'm beginning to realize that I AM attractive. It is OK to flirt. Men ARE going to like me. I'm not broken any longer. I'm not defined by my marriage any longer.


caregiver9000 posted 5/26/2013 16:31 PM

(((cmego))) yay!!!!

Must be something in the air. Or maybe there is something to the timeline and the process.

"me too" affirmations are the best.

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