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It's like finding out you're adopted.. only worse

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ItsaClimb posted 7/6/2013 07:17 AM

There is this “thing” about being a betrayed spouse that I wish I could articulate and I just can’t find the words, it's so frustrating! It’s something I can’t describe and in a way it’s the most deeply painful part of the whole thing. I sometimes feel that if I could just get my head around it and find the words to actually express it, it would really help me in my healing. But I can't, I'm going to try to explain it as best I can here, because I NEED to get this out!

In a way it’s a sense of almost being divorced from my family. I feel like fWH and our daughters are all still a unit, and I am now somehow on the outside. It’s weird because HE should be on the outside, but he’s still the daughters' Dad, their relationship with him is still as it was. He wants us to be “normal” the girls want everything to be back-to-normal… I’m the one who can’t feel normal.

But it goes deeper than that: For me everything has changed, nothing can ever be normal again, there’s no going back.

The closest I can come to describing it is, it’s like I imagine it would feel to be told you’re adopted when you’re 27 years old. Only it's far worse because adoption was likely done with your best interests at heart, this wasn't!

All of a sudden this person who is the closest person in the world to you is not the person you thought they were. You can never look at your most hugely important relationship in the same way again, your entire relationship has done a great big “shift”, you feel alien, insecure and traumatised. You thought you had “this relationship”, when in fact you had “that relationship”. And worse still they knew about it all those years and you didn’t. So not only has your entire relationship changed forever, but your trust is gone with it. It’s mind-bending and profoundly disturbing.

So many of the books and well-meaning friends etc are inclined to not focus on this aspect of infidelity. They focus on the “surface stuff”… yes the betrayal, the humiliation, the actual act of infidelity, the lies to sneak around etc etc are deeply wounding, but I think over time I can get my head around all of that. It’s THIS part of it I am struggling with far more deeply.

My husband is not who I thought he was. My marriage is not what I thought it was. And because I have knit so much of myself into the fabric of this relationship over the last 28 years (since I was just 17 years old!) I have to also ask myself if I am who I thought I was? It is so scary. It's like the foundation of my life has cracked wide open.

People keep on saying to me "the affair has been over for 9 years, he's so sorry, it was a huge mistake, he has been a good husband for the last 8 years etc etc" Those people don't get THIS. They don't understand how DEEP infidelity goes. They just don't get it!

[This message edited by ItsaClimb at 7:18 AM, July 6th (Saturday)]

trumanshow posted 7/6/2013 07:29 AM

Amen-I agree-nobody gets it until it happens to them ( and nobody believes it will)

MoreThanMe posted 7/6/2013 07:31 AM

It is like that. I read somewhere-the worst thing about an affair-isn't the sex, or even the emotional part-it's that the one thing you knew to be true-your rock-the home you came home to isn't true. wasn't true. That while you thought everything in your life was okay-it wasn't -it was built on sand.
F people who think you should be over it. Don't entertain that bs. That's probably b/c THEY want you to be over it. Quit talking to them about it-its immediately not their business. Find people IRL who support you.
I'm so sorry. There WOULD be something WRONG (emotionally unhealthy) if you were "over it."
So sorry.

MoreThanMe posted 7/6/2013 07:38 AM

I just remembered -that when I found out-I started wondering about every person in my life-was my mom lying to me about who she was? Was she really my mom ? What if my brother (who I adore) really hates me? Isn't who I know him to be? What if he is living a secret life-what if he is secretly a horrible person-like a serial killer??

It sucked-I felt like my life was thrown into a blender-I trusted no one for awhile. I've never had a reason to doubt anyone else in my life-and haven't since. But it never occurred to (naive) me that he would do that to me-so who else was a wolf in sheeps clothing?"

Things are better now-I trust everyone else in my life again-as much as anyone ever can after something this horrible.

[This message edited by MoreThanMe at 7:39 AM, July 6th (Saturday)]

nowiknow23 posted 7/6/2013 09:16 AM

When I read your post, I thought again about the movie "The Truman Show," and then I see that trumanshow is the first member to respond. The realization that nothing is what you thought it was, that the "real" story was going on behind the scenes, hidden from you, is shattering.

What is real? Who can you trust? And how can you ever believe anyone or anything again?

We get it. (((((ItsaClimb)))))

caregiver9000 posted 7/6/2013 09:28 AM


I understand that need to define the hurt. And the almost impossible search for the right comparison.

timeforchange posted 7/6/2013 09:29 AM

I am adopted and a BS.

I think it is rather unfair to compare the 2... And unless someone has lived through both experiences one can't say which is "worse". I feel this comparison could upset other adoptees. I don't think any of us should say on here "my experience is worse than yours", you know?

Both are rejections. My personal experience is that I have healed from infidelity but even aged 43 have not 100% healed from being adopted.

I hear your pain though and am sorry you are so sad.

Area2 posted 7/6/2013 09:58 AM

Thanks so much for putting into words the feeling I had but could not explain. I will try to get WH to read this but he still won't get it. So sad for us all.

ElectricBlue posted 7/6/2013 13:11 PM

My husband is not who I thought he was. My marriage is not what I thought it was. And because I have knit so much of myself into the fabric of this relationship over the last 28 years (since I was just 17 years old!) I have to also ask myself if I am who I thought I was? It is so scary. It's like the foundation of my life has cracked wide open.

I totally get everything you're saying, especially this quote. That's how I feel, too. How I've felt everyday. But I could never get it across to my WH so I finally have just given up. WE've been together since I was 16 and he was 19. We were onlies....never even dated anyone else. What the hell do you do after your whole life disappears in a fiery explosion of betrayal and lies?

ItsaClimb posted 7/6/2013 13:12 PM

timeforchange: I never meant to imply that being a betrayed spouse is "worse" than being adopted. Perhaps I didn't explain it too well, but I was likening the "shock" for want of a better word, of discovering that your spouse has been unfaithful after 27 years together to what I imagine it must feel like to discover that you are adopted, when you had no idea that was the case, at the age of 27.

I think it must lead to the same sort of confusion.... It's probably not a good comparison, but I can't think of another situation in which you would feel so confused about the real nature of your relationship with a person, so "kept out of the loop". I'm sorry if I offended you, that obviously was not my intention.

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