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This is what it feels like

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WhatsRight posted 8/20/2013 12:29 PM

I constantly try (in my mind)to find things that bring forth the same feeling as infidelity. I don't know why - maybe to try to understand it.

So here is my analogy. True story.

My oldest was having a horrible time in his mid teens. He was ranting one night because we had found out that he broke a bunch of rules. He ran to get his keys to take off in his car. I KNEW he would have a wreck if he drove at that time. So, I got in the car, and would not get out.

He pulled on me for a while, but I wrapped my arms around the steering wheel. He got angry and threw open the door, which knocked my husband (wheelchair user) on the concrete. Then my son proceeded to lean over my husband who couldn't get up - and scream and curse at him.

I was afraid he would hurt one of us he was so mad. So I yell for a sibbling to call the police. So my kid then leaves.

I can't express what it was like to see him in that emotional / psychological state, saying the things he said, and doing what he was doing.

As I see my precious son running down the driveway I think I just lost it. I literally lost my mind. I feel down on the driveway - on my knees - and started praying out loud. He heard me and started making fun of me.

So, I am sobbing / screaming out loud, "Somebody please help me!" "Somebody please help me!" The kids that didn't leave just stood there. My husband is telling them that I need them to hold me - he can't get up from the concrete by himself.)

Noone comes. Noone comforts me. Noone helps me.

After a time, I got up and my life started again. I helped my husband get up, and made sure the kids were OK. I calmly explained to the cops about my sons issues, and asked for their help.

That is what infidelity feels like to me. When I was on the driveway, kneeling, praying, screaming, sobbing - and noone would help me.

It also feels the same as infidelity, because now, years later, I have picked myself up - I go about being a mother and wife as best as I can.

But its almost like both of those events wiped away part of me. Like deleting something unintentionally. Something good. And no matter how hard you try to 'get it back', it is never quite the same.

My husband knows this is how I feel - and yet, he still does not 'help' me.

I know I can't count on his help - I know I am a grown woman and need to help myself.

But what I want most in the world is for someone (him) to care enough to just want to help me.

Sorry for the rambling. Just how I'm feeling today.

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 12:30 PM, August 20th (Tuesday)]

babbs posted 8/20/2013 12:35 PM

My heart is broken for you. I'm so sorry you feel that kind of loneliness.

I'm curious what could your husband do to help you? What would comfort you?

ladies_first posted 8/20/2013 13:26 PM

WhatsRight, all of your posts seem to revolve on one theme: "You believe that your WH WON'T help you heal your pain."

Can you simply accept that you're WH CAN't help you. He tried and failed. He's stopped trying. (Google learned helplessness) He can't help you.

As the remaining adult in your family, you have to help yourself. If you divorced, you would have to help yourself. If he died, you would have to help yourself.

WhatsRight, help yourself.

How about some IC?

crazyblindsided posted 8/20/2013 14:52 PM

I understand how you are feeling (((WhatsRight)))

Sometimes my WH will help me and others not. Most of the time I feel as if I am the only one who has helped myself get through my WH's fucking A. My girlfriends were the most supportive and were there for me more than my WH was. Problem is now I am starting to feel too empowered almost like I have a chip on my shoulder and am not sure if it is a defense mechanism or the cause of helping myself. Whatever it is I am a survivor.

krazy8516 posted 8/20/2013 14:57 PM

WhatsRight, my heart was breaking reading your story. You have been through so much, and you deserve so much better.

Surely there must be something more you can do for you, beyond simply picking yourself up and dusting yourself off...


WhatsRight posted 8/20/2013 15:08 PM

Thanks for the kind words.


As I said, I know I need to help myself. I just wanted to share how I feel today with the only people I think can understand.

Butterfly24 posted 8/20/2013 15:14 PM

As sad as this is to admit, I understand exactly how you feel. My son is a drug addict. He was in a psych ward after a suicide attempt at which he almost succeeded this time, he was in ICU for a few days before that when my WH decided he wanted something for himself, got a prostitute off CL and gave me herpes.

At the time I would have given anything for someone to help me get through that time. After I found out about the A it was the same, there is no one to help me get past this.

Sometimes wh does and sometimes he doesn't.

He told me his IC asked him one day who I was supposed to trust, my drug addict son or my cheating husband. As sad as it is, this is my life.

WhatsRight posted 8/20/2013 15:34 PM


I think I love your husband's counselor!

So very sorry for your pain.

So very sorry for all of our pain.


Do you mind clarifying? Do you feel it is me or my WH that has 'learned helplessness'?

confused615 posted 8/20/2013 15:36 PM

As always,WhatsRight,I understand exactly how you feel.

Hugs honey.

WhatsRight posted 8/20/2013 15:37 PM

I ask that because I do feel helpless.

-I will not abandon my kids

-I will not abandon a disabled husband

Oh, I CAN do those things, I guess. But I feel all I have left is my integrity. I simply must do what I believe to be the right thing.

Is that learned helplessness??

(I am not being rhetorical - I am truly asking a question.)

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 3:37 PM, August 20th (Tuesday)]

babbs posted 8/20/2013 16:20 PM

You don't sound helpless to me. My best guess by applying my own life experience is that you are so overwhelmingly hurt in so many different facets of your life that you don't know what could possibly help you feel better. It's not that you are helpless as you have done what you needed to do to survive, but you don't know how to move away from the pain. I too have an issue with letting go of pain from a horrendous childhood. The sadness of it has become like an old friend. When I hear a sad song I trigger and pick at the scab of my past. It's not as awful as it used to be. I use exercise and music to soothe me when I feel like that 5 year old kid. I suggest you take up some sort of hobby that can help you "help" yourself when you are in a funk. As I said I'm using my own life experience which is why I said it was my best guess. Good luck

ladies_first posted 8/20/2013 17:13 PM

Learned helplessness is a feeling that you can't control events and circumstances in your life.

You believe your actions are largely futile, and you've little real power to change your situation.

Learned helplessness is a condition of resignation.

You feel like you've been banging your head against a brick wall, and there's simply no point in trying any further.

You think, "What's the use?"

You've 'learned' to believe that control lies outside the self; it's in the hands of others - the powers-that-be, the authorities or fate.

Your own actions count for little. Destiny rules.

So you simply surrender, withdraw within and suffer in silence.

You 'give up,' and passively endure; accepting 'the inevitable,' you submit to your fate.

Learned helplessness is generally the result of repeated failure to control unwanted events in your life. It can be a serious health problem.

It reduces your self reliance, motivation, personal performance and social assurance. You can feel trapped and manipulated by circumstances in your life, and powerless to break free.

Learned helplessness will hold you back from achieving your goals. Awareness is the first step in overcoming it.

Learned helplessness is generally associated with stress. It has been linked to many dangerous diseases and it may lead to depression.

The link between stress and learned helplessness may be important. It appears that chronic (long term) stress can lead to learned helplessness. Chronic learned helplessness, in turn, has been linked to higher risk for many illnesses.

[This message edited by ladies_first at 5:14 PM, August 20th (Tuesday)]

Nohopeleft posted 8/20/2013 21:54 PM

I can relate to how you feel. I feel much that way now.

When I am able to I can see that really my husband is in a lose-lose situation. No matter what he does trying to be who I want him to be, it is never enough or never the right thing at the right time.

I think the hardest thing for me has been the isolated feeling. I feel like there is no one to turn to.

Any way that was a bunch of rambling to say your post resonated with me.

[This message edited by Nohopeleft at 9:54 PM, August 20th (Tuesday)]

WhatsRight posted 8/21/2013 09:00 AM


Thank you so much for the information on 'learned helplessness'. I STRONGLY believe that it applies to both my husband and I.

I think one reason I have stayed is that I believe that we are just one mm away from 'getting it' and being able to work together.

Neither of us is strong enough to make the move to spend time together - to be vulnerable again.

If I knew of a good marriage counselor, I would set up the appointment today. My husband might not go - but he might.

My problem is that if we go to yet another dud counselor, I am afraid that will be it for him. He already says he has tried everything and it hasn't worked.

You are so kind to provide that information for me. I do think that we are both depressed. I have the ability to get myself together and be the supermom and wife for periods of time. The family seems to do better, then I run out of steam. I have a hard time for a while (which is where I am now) and then I get up and try again.

It is just that the periods of being 'superwoman' are becoming shorter, and the recovery time in between is becoming longer.

That's why I'm in a bad place right now.

I know it will pass and I will get through it.

ladies_first posted 8/21/2013 09:27 AM

Didn't you say your fWH is considering a run for local office?

Working on that project together could pull out the "feelings" of teamwork -- if, in fact, you are a team.

In the meantime, I suggest IC for you.

I do think that we are both depressed. I have the ability to get myself together and be the supermom and wife for periods of time.

Until *you* have more to give ... you simply have no more to give. That's OK. Please get a good IC to help you over this rough spot.

solus sto posted 8/21/2013 10:05 AM

((((WR))))) I had to accept that my husband could not (and would not) help me.

It is a terribly lonely feeling.

You can recover, though. You don't need his help, really.

We have to mend ourselves.

All of us, whether we have remorseful, helpful spouses or not---we all have to take responsibility for our own well-being.

Does being ignored, as we sob on the driveway, hurt like hell? Absolutely.

Sometimes, the things we learn in the aftermath of infidelity really are much harder to reconcile than the infidelity itself. It's excruciating to discover that you don't know a man you thought you intimately knew. It's excruciating to discover your life is a lie. (And I will go out on a limb, because it was the case for ME, and might be for you: it's excruciating to learn that a disabled man you've cared for and excused from many relationship responsibilities has chosen to share, with someone else, things he was "unable" to share with you, that he exploited his disability to get out of things with you that he did with others. Again--if this doesn't apply, I apologize.)

It all sucks.

It does change us, fundamentally.

But we can work with those changes to become the women (or men) we want to be.

ETA: My husband's disability kept me in my marriage far longer than it should have. If your husband is capable of cheating on you, you might consider that he's capable of caring for himself or arranging his own care.

Remaining with him is a choice.

I bring this up because, honestly, I never CONSIDERED it a choice---and my husband exploited this.

All along, I had a choice.

You do, too.

[This message edited by solus sto at 10:08 AM, August 21st (Wednesday)]

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