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Possible Analogy for Friends/Family who just don't understand...

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Feeling Consumed posted 10/26/2013 20:23 PM

And yet again I was slammed by my friends for bringing up my ex - I am not allowed to do that anymore seeing as how it has been over 2-1/2 years since dday and I am definitely supposed to be over everything and moved on by now and they are sooooo worried about me because I still bring his name up.

I told my friends that I don't obsess over ex-shat and that I am still moving forward with life, so they should not worry about me. What the hell am I supposed to do when I am trying to tell a story about something that happened to me while I was married? Like it or not, the asshole was an integral part of most of my life - it's hard to leave him out of every story!!

Irregardless of the fact that most of my stories include ahole, I would think I would still have a right to talk about my pain to my friends...guess not because I am supposed to just fahget about it - no big thang, right?

I tried to explain to my friends that what happened to me is a BIG FUCKING THING and that I may never "forget" about it. They act like it was a high school crush that didn't pan out and I should just go get me someone else and forget about my 27 years with asshole. We here know that is a task easier said than done. We will never forget what happened to us.

But it occurred to me that they are not being mean - they just really, truly (thank God) do not understand the degree of pain we had/have to go through. So I came up with an analogy so they can maybe understand a little.

My one friend has a cute bull dog who she loves like crazy. I asked her to picture her and her husband out walking their cute little bull dog on a nice sunny day, everyone seemingly happy. Life was good. Then, as soon as they got back into the house, without warning, the husband takes out a gun and shoots and kills the dog. Just bam - dog's dead! You ask WHY DID YOU DO THIS??? and all he says is that he has a new cute little bulldog so didn't need the old one anymore. Then he just leaves you to sit there wondering WTF just happened?

I gave her time to really try to think about it and how much it would affect her - the person who she loved more than anything, and who she thought loved her and their life together just shot and killed their dog, the dog she loves more than anything, for no apparent reason except that he got a new dog. Then I asked her how long did she think it would take for her to "get over" what had happened to her and how long would it take to "forget" it all. She looked at me and said "It would take me a long time to get over that and I don't think I ever could forget".

She did say she was sorry that she got on me for not moving on faster, so I maybe did get through. I don't know. I just really think that the "untouched" do not understand the depth of pain we experienced and they maybe really think they are helping us when they give us their unsolicited and incredibly inaccurate advice.

Does anyone have any other analogies or can you improve upon this one?

Next, I'm going to try this analogy on family members who won't get off my damn back! I hate that family and friends make me feel like some kind of psycho freak because I still am not totally over the shit storm.

Gemini71 posted 10/26/2013 20:39 PM

Wow. Good analogy.

I'm stuck with the picture of the following conversation.

Grab a plate and throw it on the ground.

-Okay done.

Did it break?

-Yes.

Now say sorry to it.

-Sorry.

Did it go back to the way it way before?

-No.

Now do you understand?


jjsr posted 10/26/2013 20:40 PM

I think your analogy is perfect. Don't change a thing

LifeIsBroken posted 10/26/2013 21:09 PM

If they haven't experienced infidelity, they have no clue the depth of the pain & familial destruction. A new friend asked why I'm now living in MA, I gave her an abbreviated version of lying, cheating xh, she said: "Oh, just forget about him, he's not important, and get on with your life." This from a woman who has been married a good 35 yrs, as I was. I thought, Really? Just 'forget' about 35 yrs of our life together.... just forget ? And 'just' get on with my life ? I may be using the bulldog analogy given the next opportunity. Unless you've lived the lies, the cheating, the dishonor, the shock of it all.... you have no clue.

Nature_Girl posted 10/26/2013 21:24 PM

My life is just as destroyed if a tornado had come through the neighborhood, destroyed my house, killed my husband, destroyed my bank & all my money, destroyed every single business in town where I might have worked. I'm having to start from frickin' scratch when I'm past my prime. That's not the kind of thing one just gets over. It can be done, but it's a total game-changer in the middle of the game. It's like going to sleep one night with everything as you know it to be, then when you wake up you're on a different planet.

damncutekitty posted 10/27/2013 12:20 PM

The thing is, people never really understand grief or trauma unless they have been through it. Even people who have experienced other forms of trauma or loss (like say, losing a child) can't really grasp another type of trauma (other trauma victims always think theirs was worse).

After a while I just stopped talking about it to people I know would not understand. There was no point.

tesla posted 10/27/2013 12:31 PM

At this point, my story is just so fucking comical, that I tell it purely for entertainment value. But I can tell no one that I tell it to truly grasps the pain and betrayal.

How many of our friends and family have truly been betrayed? I am the only in in my circle of family and friends that I know of. How do you explain that depth of pain or sense of loss??

I think you've come up with a pretty good illustration to help convey to others the depth of our pain and trauma.

Dreamboat posted 10/27/2013 13:29 PM

I like your analogy. It really captures the brutality of infidelity.

In the past I have used the analogy of being hit by a Mac truck. You are hit by the truck and obviously injured. Everyone can see that you have broken bones and massive bruising. You spend some time in the hospital and maybe even need physical therapy so you can walk again. Then you seem ok because the bruises have faded. But you are not ok on the inside -- your bones still hurt and feel tender. You have scars from where you had massive cuts, but they are under your shirt so no one sees them. You are scared to cross the street. And when it rains you positively ache. Eventually the bones do heal sufficiently and you are able to cross the street again, but you still positively ache when it rains and you still have those scars hidden under your clothes. Those things will never go away.

But wait. What if your child was with you when you got hit by the Mac truck? There were not hit but they saw what happened to you and they were even hit by some of the shrapnel from the accident. So not only have you been brutally cut down your child is also hurt. So while you are trying to heal, you are trying to help your child heal. Your child will not cross the street. Hell, your child barely will go outside let alone get close to a street. They also do not have any visible scars so no thinks they were even hurt. But you know and you see it and you feel inadequate because you really cannot help them forget any more than you can forget.

Yeah, try getting over that friends.

ruinedandbroken posted 10/27/2013 14:06 PM

In the past I have used the analogy of being hit by a Mac truck. You are hit by the truck and obviously injured. Everyone can see that you have broken bones and massive bruising. You spend some time in the hospital and maybe even need physical therapy so you can walk again. Then you seem ok because the bruises have faded. But you are not ok on the inside -- your bones still hurt and feel tender. You have scars from where you had massive cuts, but they are under your shirt so no one sees them. You are scared to cross the street. And when it rains you positively ache. Eventually the bones do heal sufficiently and you are able to cross the street again, but you still positively ache when it rains and you still have those scars hidden under your clothes. Those things will never go away.

That is really good.

I try not to bring up EXH anymore because I'm supposed to have "moved on" by now. I don't think anyone can really grasp how devastating and life changing something like this is unless they've experienced it.

Eyeofthetiger posted 10/27/2013 14:12 PM

I am only on 4 1/2 MONTHS and I already feel like that is how my friends think. I don't even say anything anymore.

Pippy posted 10/27/2013 14:48 PM

We have all been through this and I know it is hard when you feel you can't mention him to your friends and family.

It is human nature for us to cluck around someone who has suffered a loss, whether it is a D or loss of a loved one or even a beloved pet. We want to comfort them "in their moment of need". I've seen parents say that they fear people will forget about their deceased child.

Our marriages were years of our lives spent with a loved one and suddenly they are gone, but people just expect us to forget about it/ get over it. Not that easy!

But there is the other side of this too. From their point of view, it is like the aged widow who goes on and on about her late husband Henry. At first everyone understood her grief but as the years go by, they do get sick of hearing about how poor Henry died. Of course this is a generalization to illustrate my point but you know what I mean. :)

Our real friends were there for us when we needed them and will forgive the odd mention of our EX. But there comes a time when we really do have to start moving on.

That doesn't erase the years of marriage and the events that led up to the D. No one could forget that, but time really does heal. When you are ready, he just won't matter any more.

I am at this stage now after 30 years M. It took me over 8 years to get to the acceptance stage. I still slip once in a while - especially around the full moon. There are times I have to bite my tongue, but it is getting easier and you will get there too. Time.

clralb posted 10/27/2013 15:52 PM

My best friend had been through infidelity about five years before mine hit. At the time she was going through it, I really did not understand. I tried to be supportive, but I really had no idea.

They stayed together, but it had been rocky and I do not know how much longer they'll be together. She told me she only stayed because of the kids; otherwise, she would have left in a heartbeat.

Then my private hell hit. I then understood how she felt.

Everyone is right, no on can understand unless it happened to them.

h0peless posted 10/27/2013 16:09 PM

My little sister's husband went through the exact same thing I went through (down to conversations we had with our exes) a few years before he met my sister. He was a huge help to me when I was still raw. When she introduced him to me and then later told me about why he had been divorced, I felt bad for him because he seemed like a nice guy but I wondered what he had done to drive his ex into an affair. I'm glad I didn't verbalize it. I still feel like an idiot and an asshole for thinking it.

My experience really changed my perspective. I don't think it's possible to truly understand how much infidelity hurts unless you've experienced it.

Thefly559 posted 10/27/2013 18:29 PM

I was happily married at the time (I think) that one of my best friends wife cheated on him with his best friend , with no remorse. He called me and I listened but I was an asshole I gave bad advice and I was not understanding. I listened as he cried to me but you are right. Until it happens to you , you never understand ! I have since apologized and he has been a great help in my recovery. Other friends that listened in the beginning and now just give tough love ! I think mean well but truly do not understand. That is why this site is awesome. Over 40,000 people who truly understand. Thank you. Oh and the analogy was great I would not change a thing.

Gemini71 posted 10/28/2013 09:10 AM

Dreamboat, that is a fantastic description.

Me, I'm just wondering around dazed with my STBXH's dagger sticking out of my chest, and my XBFF's sticking out of my back.

Vulcanized posted 10/28/2013 13:58 PM

My analogy is closer to this:

Standing on my porch w/XH, my dog & my mother. XH kills my dog, rapes my mother, burns down my house, tells me it's all my fault, walks away & I never see him again.

surviving1963 posted 10/28/2013 20:36 PM

I love all of your analogies.

The reason we all come to SI is because we ALL understand. If you have experienced it - you can't really understand.

josie11 posted 10/28/2013 22:11 PM

It's not an analogy, but people who just don't understand why betrayal and lies are devastating should read "Great Betrayals" by Anna Fels in the New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/opinion/sunday/great-betrayals.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

Feeling Consumed posted 10/29/2013 00:51 AM

I like all the other anaologies, and Vulcanized - wow, I don't know how anyone couldn't understand the level of pain after reading your analogy.

Thank God for SI so we can all come here if we need to rant. Still, it would be nice if we could talk to our friends without their disconnected interest. I understand how they can't understand and I would have been like all of you who said you weren't that big of a help for your friends that were going through trouble because you didn't understand the level of pain they were in.

Some day we will all be like Pippy and none of this will be in the forefront. That day can't get here too soon for any of us!

Williesmom posted 10/29/2013 07:23 AM

Yeah, I pretty much had to go through it alone. About a year after my D, my SIL left my brother - it was textbook, right down to the ILYBINILWY.

He realized that he was not supportive at all to me when I was in the midst of it. He has since apologized, and now calls me at random times to thank me.

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