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I don't understand "Don't let them see your pain"

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Kelany posted 6/17/2013 11:17 AM

One thing I don't understand is people saying, don't let the AP know they hurt you, or let the AP know that you still think of them, or that they made an impact on our lives.

Why? They absolutely know they hurt us and made an impact. Why should we be ashamed to let them know that. Of COURSE we think of them, who wouldn't? Of COURSE they hurt us and impacted our lives. Only someone with a lobotomy would be able to say that an AP did not make an impact on their lives.

We are traumatized FOREVER by infidelity. Who are we kidding by saying don't let them see us hurt? We do think of them, we know it, our WS knows it, the AP knows it. Do we really think by not saying it no one knows?

I'm not advocating shouting it to the AP, hunting them down and shoving their face in it (as nice as that would feel) or anything like that. But, I don't understand the concept of "never let them see you hurt" when everyone knows it hurts, including the AP.

SisterMilkshake posted 6/17/2013 11:28 AM

I feel it is because the AP doesn't give a sh*t about our hurt and pain. If they did they wouldn't be screwing married people. They don't care! Some particularly evil AP's actually get off when they see the destruction and pain they have caused. Sociopaths.

It is also, to me, a matter of pride and dignity. I will not let the OW see me cry or hurt because of what it and FWH did. No, OW will not ever have that satisfaction. OW needs to believe that it is totally irrelevant to us.

Kelany posted 6/17/2013 11:32 AM

But our WS's didn't care either right?

One thing that I find difficult to grasp is that my FWH has remorse towards me. But NOT the one AP's BS who was married. He doesn't even think of the guy. And I'm like wow. THat's harsh. Why? He says he doesn't know he doesn't know the guy. He doesn't hate him, doesn't want to cause him further pain or anything, but doesn't feel he owes him anything.

You'd think seeing the pain that his AP's have caused ME that he'd have some empathy for the other BS.

SisterMilkshake posted 6/17/2013 11:39 AM

My FWH didn't think I would ever find out. He was so smart and clever, I wasn't going to ever know, so I wasn't ever going to be hurt.

But, yeah, FWH didn't care at all about the OBS. The OBS even called FWH and asked him why there was so many calls between him and his wife. Didn't stop FWH. FWH felt that OBS wasn't much of a man because he said the OBS should have kicked his ass.

We haven't talked about the OBS in awhile, I wonder if his attitude has changed towards him? I would hope so. Although, we have found out since that the OBS was the MOM that OW was caught in bed with by its first BH.

Sad in AZ posted 6/17/2013 11:48 AM

Look at it this way; you're astounded that your WH does not care about the pain that he caused the AP's BS. Why in god's name would you think his AP would give a shit about you and your pain? You would simply be opening yourself to ridicule from his AP, not sympathy or even empathy.

And, so what if you did get empathy from the AP? How does that help your healing? Someone deliberately trips you on the sidewalk, causing you to break your leg and lose time from work to the point that you lose your job; that person feeling sorry for you does NOTHING to change what they caused to happen. Let it go; forget about the AP; focus on your WH and what he can do to make up for this mess.

karmahappens posted 6/17/2013 11:57 AM

Of course it hurts, but the point is

Show your strength.

The same reason we tell a BS with a spouse that doesn't get it to put on their bitch boots.

A crying,boggered face betrayed hurt person is not who you want to show people.

You show them your strength, and if you havent got any at the moment you fake it til you make it.

Kelany posted 6/17/2013 11:59 AM

Ohhh I don't care if his AP's feel anything towards me at all. I'm beyond that. I've had my closure with all that as I've had quite the different reaction from three that I contacted. I'm good.

I just meant why are we told by other BS's not to let them know/see? Are we fooling ourselves by saying don't let them know we hurt? They "know" we do, you know?

Rebreather posted 6/17/2013 11:59 AM

I would never let her know she hurt me. I don't let anyone who doesn't care about me know they hurt me. Why would I give them that power over me?

catlover50 posted 6/17/2013 15:25 PM

I called the OW on Dday 2 (she lied on Dday 1) to get the truth and she was amazed at how calm I was. I actually thanked her for telling me the truth. She did apologize, but didn't really own it, saying she was "lonely" and mentioning twice that she didn't think she was a victim (but her new boyfriend did -- her new boyfriend who apparently shared her concern that fWH may be moving on to a new OW--which he wasn't-- enough that he posted nasty comments on the businesses FB page--this 18 months after the sick, toxicness had whimpered to a close; what's wrong with these people? An anonymous letter to the innocent BW not enough? But I digress). My point is that I never behaved anything but classily in front of her and I know of some really classless things she did (primarily, of course, making herself available to a married man). I will maintain my class, dignity and self respect.

[This message edited by catlover50 at 3:25 PM, June 17th (Monday)]

refuz2bavictim posted 6/17/2013 16:28 PM

I completely understand what you mean.
I am one of those who did not "hide" my pain.
I fell apart. Everyone had a front row seat to my pain.

It required an admission of defeat and of vulnerability. I did not like how that made me feel, to seem vulnerable and injured. But it was what it was. It was where I was, and I did not have the energy of will to contain it.

My pain, and the showing of it, gave no one power over me. In fact, for me it was the opposite. I learned how to internally generate a sense of self empowerment.

I remember reading how others handled their own pain, by keeping it together, wearing a poker face and acting on the outside as if nothing was wrong. I remember people complimenting them on how they handled it with "grace". I felt I had not an ounce of that grace.

MOW and every other gossip loving soul knew...that I was devastated. Perhaps they enjoyed it...who knows? I can't control it anyway. If I seem weak for it, so be it.

I felt like I wasn't doing this whole infidelity aftermath "right".

With that said, I don't think there is anything wrong or right in quietly working through this pain all on one's own. It takes a great deal of effort and energy to appear composed when you are falling apart inside. That is no small undertaking and requires strength.

Nor do I think it shows weakness or shame if you show the pain. Allowing others to see your pain, takes some guts. It requires you to set aside your pride and admit that someone was able to infiltrate your defenses. And nothing shrivels an ego faster than an admission of vulnerability. It also gives you a chance rebuild from the ground up. As an added bonus....there is a certain advantage to being underestimated.

When I look at this from a long term perspective, those who were/are watching in the front row have to accept that, From that great hurt, I came back stronger and more focused. And I have yet to finish the work. I have built myself up with more substance and far less ego. I like the knowledge and strength I gained from that experience.


sri624 posted 6/17/2013 16:33 PM

there is no way in the world i would ever let the ap see me crying or all upset and emotional. yes, i am sure they know we are upset...but it is about me having some dignity and self respect...when that is pretty much already in the toilet. and you know what? she doesnt give a shit anyway that i am in pain. she was willing to sleep with my husband...without any regard for me, or my family....she was hoping that he would leave me and be with her. believe me...these affair partners RELISH getting that kind of attention...knowing that they are relevant to you and your marriage. they want you to be talking about them...and crying about them. make no mistake about it.

sometimes they will even try to "understand" your pain...and apologize....and at the same time....be WILLING to sleep with him again.

they cannot be trusted.

any emotion the ow is getting from me if she is ever dumb enough to cross my path is nothing. and that will go a long way at letting her know she is just that....nothing.

sailorgirl posted 6/17/2013 23:45 PM

WH's short NC letter to OW started by saying, "Our relationship was wrong, unhealthy, and deeply damaging to Sailorgirl, and to my children."

I know OW was in denial about that. She saw herself as a sensitive, caring person who would never hurt a fly. She rationalized the affair by believing that WH and I had "grown apart" and were headed for divorce (despite knowing that we were still happily married after 12 years). As for the kids, she decided what they didn't know couldn't hurt them (bulllshit! they still don't know, yet were definitely negatively affected).

The NC letter made it much harder for OW to lie to herself about being such a good and nice person. There were no details about how I felt or my pain. Just a judgement from WH.

That letter was very healing for me. To have it in black and white: It was wrong. You (OW) helped me damage the most meaningful thing in my life. I am grateful to still have the people I love, and I never want any contact with you again.

After reading the letter, she cried hysterically for days, threatened, stalked etc. but WH blocked, avoided and ignored until she slunk away.

So, the short answer is, I didn't want her to see me suffer or know the depth of my pain. She doesn't value my feelings or opinions. Instead, I wanted her to know that WH sees her as an unhealthy, destructive, undesirable woman. That was far more devastating to this OW.

RidingHealingRd posted 6/18/2013 01:05 AM

Letting the AP know that they hurt you would only matter to the AP if they actually cared about you. I think that it is safe to say that the majority don't care.

Yes, common sense tell them that the BS was hurt but I would never offer up just how badly. Many would bask in the glory...don't give them that.

My WH, witnessing the tremendous pain he caused me, has always said that he feel badly about the pain he knows he caused MOW H and children.

In his quest to become a better person he is willing to look at himself with "eyes wide open"" and realized what a complete POS he is. I don't believe that all WS are willing to do that.

refuz2bavictim posted 6/18/2013 06:58 AM

Letting the AP know that they hurt you would only matter to the AP if they actually cared about you.....

Given that this may be true, my question then.... Is why on Earth would we adjust our reactions based on the AP? They don't care...so why would we adjust our healing process to avoid "giving" them something.

There is no way I would allow them or anyone else to determine how I process my pain.

Also I want to make sure this isn't misinterpreted to mean that I advocate contact with an AP. I believe that NC with any AP reigns in our focus allowing us to conserve the energy we need for healing.
What I do mean by "showing" is that I took no effort to "hide" it.

I was in contact with some of the MOW's for several months, as I was completely unaware of their betrayal.

That little piece of TT came almost a year later.
I believed them to be my friends so I turned to them. They insisted that my FWH maintain that secret, so that they could "help me through". All because they cared about me.

I realize of course that the goal was to keep an eye on the situation and to do damage control...self protection was priority number one.

That must have been stressful. I bet they require more gray upkeep after all that.
Keeping me that close, must have felt a bit like living in Edgar Alan Poe's "Tell-tale Heart". There I was with my heart, thumping away under their floor boards night after night.


At any rate...I have given them nothing, except maybe a few gray hairs.

Knowing posted 6/18/2013 08:09 AM

You know what? Being 9 months out and seeing my fWH doing the work of figuring out his WHYs, MCOW is no longer in my thoughts. She doesn't matter, she never really did. I'm over her. She could have been anyone. At first, immediately following DDay I thought it was about her, what she had that I didn't, but 9 months out I know it's about my fWH's fucked up coping skills and boundaries. Forget her.

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