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How do you deal with the bitterness?

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FeelingSoMuch posted 1/21/2014 16:15 PM

As I approach one year from d-day I find myself hopeful and sad. Also bitter.

Life was good, even WW says so, and life was hard -- as it is for everybody. I hate that most of my energy over the past year has been devoted to surviving WW's affair. I hate that we have to live with it forever and that our marriage history includes this.

I hate that I'll never know what it could've been like to be married to someone who always had my back.

How do others get over the bitterness?

0115 posted 1/21/2014 18:33 PM

This isn't much of an answer but, do you know a bitter person? They always swing the conversation back to "that time" and are just never happy...

I just don't want that to be me.

crossroads2010 posted 1/21/2014 20:50 PM

Well my situation is a bit different...40 years together...then 4 years ago found out he was having A with old gf and had had one 20 years prior bitterness scale was off the charts for a while. I don't think it ever completely goes away...time will tell, but it gets better as time goes on. You are at the point now where you can begin to look at your life from a new perspective...okay the rose colored glasses are off ...this relationship marriage was not what I thought...maybe this person was not my "soulmate" so while I devoted so much energy into this relationship, it was not as I perceived it to soulmate would not have been able to do this.

People I know who are bitter about their situation and life are that way because they did not live life the way they wanted, feel they had no choice, or did have a choice and did not take an opportunity and now it is too late. I think you overcome bitterness by taking control of your life focusing on what YOU need and want.
You have put a lot of energy into that first year of survival...yea it is really hard the first year...survival obstacles will get in your way still and you may or may not decide to put energy into making R work, but put energy into redefining who you are...look at what you need to heal and become a stronger, better you. You ARE a changed person...and you do have control over who that person becomes. Year two is about getting up shaking your head and saying okay ...what do I want for me?

FeelingSoMuch posted 1/21/2014 21:54 PM

0115 -- I say this with a lot of tenderness. Wow, did I have a strong reaction to your answer.

I hated it. I immediately thought, 'what is this person suggesting, that I'm some unhappy loser?'

Then it hit me that I'm thinking like some unhappy loser :)

Thank you for the answer. It was succinct and enough to drive the point home. It shocked me out of my momentary misery. Seriously, it did that.

Crossroads, thank you for the insight into Year 2. You're right, now that the survival instincts are not dominating my life, it's time to actually figure out where to go from here.

I'm glad I read this before going to bed. I was stuck in a rut all day.

dana1234 posted 1/21/2014 22:06 PM

I feel the same way... Dday is 11 days away and I keep thinking the day my life fell apart. I'm still angry and he knows it. I guess I do have bitterness as well.

Ughhh I'm so sick of this....

SAR681 posted 1/21/2014 22:28 PM

I have a whole lot of bitterness. A whole lot. But, I can't change the past. I am TRYING, though I'm not always successful, to turn my focus on to myself. I am taking this opportunity to pick up the pieces of MY life and rebuild them to be stronger than ever. Hopefully my marriage will follow suit, but no matter the outcome, I am doing the work so that I will be a strong person.

knolls posted 1/22/2014 10:00 AM

0115 I so agree with your response.

My mother was such a bitter person and I swore I would never be like that.

After DD I told my H that if this was going to make me a bitter person then that would be a top reason for ending our M. That is how strong I felt about it.

Through the last 8 mos I have done so much work on me and I can say I am not bitter. OH did it take time, work and a lot of anguish at times, but again I so did not want that to be me!

wert posted 1/22/2014 10:21 AM

I hate that most of my energy over the past year has been devoted to surviving WW's affair.

Oh I remember that feeling. I can taste it. I did a few things. Some healthy some not.

I was hard on her. Demanding BJ's, holding her at and emotional distance because I was scared. Really she needed to be in service for a while. It was not good, but I needed the distance. It also told me she was interested in sticking around - at least for a while. I think punishment, in various degrees is well deserved after transgression. Forgiveness can come later.

I realized it was not about me. Once I committed to that and placed the blame completely on her shoulders, I felt a load lift from me.

I thought back on my life and stupid mean things I have done. That helped me see the human side of confusion, selfishness and pain. I saw her then.

I decided what kind of person I wanted to be -after the A. I don't want to be vindictive, cruel or selfish. I was and am determine to demonstrate to my kids, my W and the world that I live my values. Those values include processing forgiveness for those who have earned it and letting go of the past.

Those things have set me free.

take care....

FeelingSoMuch posted 1/22/2014 15:18 PM

Today is a better day. I'm thinking about the bitterness, but actually feeling kindness toward WW.

A major challenge for us is that she works with OM. It's her dream job and this morning she told a co-worker she's not renewing it. The first step before setting up a meeting with her boss. She's been told they're likely to buy out her contract early. She came home in tears -- this is her dream job.

I struggled since d-day to have her continue to work with OM. I have mixed emotions right now. Surprisingly, I'm sad for her.

The circle of damage is so massive for both of us.

crossroads2010 posted 1/24/2014 05:29 AM

I think if my WH had worked with the OW one condition of R would be that he give up the job. I see some people here dealing with that but I had a hard enough time with her living 60 miles away. Also...I know this sounds so cautious that those tears are not a play for sympathy. You sound like a good husband who really loves and wants to protect his wife. There were times when I truly felt sorry for my WH because of the pain he was in. He did however dismiss my feelings for what he wanted pretty easily though.

sisoon posted 1/24/2014 15:31 PM

I think bitterness is a stage in recovery. You'll get through it by keeping up the work of healing yourself.

At this point, you're really comprehending what the A does to you and your M. Who wouldn't be bitter?

You've changed a lot for the better over the last year, and you'll continue to change for the better. It's just painful to go through the recovery process.

PRNDL posted 1/25/2014 00:57 AM

R does not exist. Cheaters should never be forgiven. Its in their nature. U stayed out of fear.

If you dont want to be bitter, then leave. Trust me. I learned the hard wat. 7 months of limbo hell called R.

I was bitter. Im getting better onlt now after leaving that heartless monster.

The bitterness, triggers, and obsession is you body asking you why the fuck would you stay with the source of your pain.

Just my opinion.

No R. No mercy. Be strong and dont be affraid.

jupiter13 posted 1/25/2014 03:07 AM

I'm not sure how I am handling the bitterness. I do think it is now a part of who I am becoming. WH took too long to answer my questions. (Over 2 yr.) He did not do any heavy lifting and dragged his feet at every turn. SO I am bitter and resentful. He NOW has been trying to be everything and do the right thing but it may be a little too late. I am not only bitter but very resentful over the fact I will never have or be able to trust someone to watch my back or pick me up should I fall. This from the very man who confessed he was a one woman man couldn't sleep around with anyone he didn't care about and wanted and expected fidelity from me as well. So look who falls off their white horse? I was told I could have another 20 years of good life if I did not stop smoking. I have not stopped nor do I see being able too in the near future. I have used up 12 years of those 20 and having to go through all this now is such a waste. There is not enough time left to do and be all that I dreamed of since I have now taken 2 years to deal with this crap and am still very unhappy and miserable everyday. I can't wear my wedding ring and it is the size style and picture prefect of the ring I have dreamed of for the last 50 years. He has even robbed me of that.

Melian40 posted 1/25/2014 05:26 AM

Bitterness and cynicism are my new ways of thinking.
I also waste a lot of energy in this. I feel stuck.
D or R? I'm still processing. I don't want to rush in any quick decision yet. When I decide, I want to be sure.

Nitrobob posted 1/25/2014 07:05 AM

I'm only three months out, but yes, the idea that WW wouldn't bolt if you got sick lost your job, developed depression, gained some weight etc is firmly there. After all, she cheated when I was at my best. Now that I am a broken hearted man, how can I hope for fidelity going forward? The bitterness is palpable, your life is worse, like having cancer in remission. You may not die or you may. Before the cancer, life was different, and no one can fix that. I think the best way to accept it is to realize that life isn't fair, it's just life. You get one shot, and you just have to make the best of it.

Crumbled324 posted 1/25/2014 07:19 AM

The bitterness really came to me in year 2 along with the anger. For me year 1 was me spinning a lot of plates trying to keep myself together an weeding through the TT.

Through it all I rarely showed my anger or bitterness and just choked on it (not healthy), but that is how I am. I created the best possible safe world for her to get her head out of her ass and work on our marriage. But my head was a really ugly place as a result.

If I can make a suggestion - journaling. Even if you never had done it before, start journaling and get the bitterness out. It will help to lessen the bitterness by releasing those feelings.
It has helped quite a bit for me.

0115 posted 1/25/2014 09:05 AM


Wow...I just reread this thread and even I looked at my response and went "ouch". I really did throw quite a punch. Sorry about that.
I'm 3 years out...big difference at this stage of the game. You have every right to feel bitter for a long time, just don't get stuck there permanently. I also remember cussing like a sailor for quite some time and then thinking I WILL NOT let his behavior change WHO I AM. Same way with the bitterness. Go through all the phases, not around them and then let them go.
I'm glad to hear she's leaving. She needs to. There will be other dream jobs. Appreciate her sacrifice but remember this is her consequence. Let her change herself and when she's away from the OM hopefully the fog will be gone and she can see herself clearly.
I do believe in R but only if both partners really want to work can't be one sided. It took me at least 2 years to decide and it was based on my WH's behavior.
It was a 12 year affair with all the horrific details. It can be done.

Good luck and I'm glad the sucker punch helped

mchercheur posted 1/25/2014 10:25 AM

Hi FeelingSoMuch,

First of all, I have the same problem as you--WH still works with OW. Before Dday, they used to sit next to each other all day long, but after Dday, he did get himself transferred to a different part of the building & he states that he tries to avoid her at all costs----lately he has stated that he hasn't seen her in months (its a big building.) WH has had the same very specialized job for 30 years, & is close to retirement now-----he told me that he can't switch jobs because he would never be able to find a comparable job, & we have 2 kids in college, & 2 more to put thru college. (We both work outside of the home, but he is the major breadwinner.)
So I truly know what you have been going thru---every day when WH leaves for work, I wonder if he will see her ( & altho he says he has no feelings for her now, obviously, they had such strong chemistry between them that he was willing to throw everything away to have sex with her.) This has been very difficult for me.
I am sure that him still working with her has greatly impeded our R. We could really start a new chapter if she was completely out of our lives.

2 yrs 8 1/2 mos out, & I still feel bitter at times, but it is not so pervasive. I can also look at WH with a lot of kindness----I understand why he did what he did & I accept it. It is now a part of our marital history. Our marriage was extremely child-centered & he felt unappreciated.

R has been very slow, but I think we are finally making some big steps now.

As long as our WS is doing the work, I think what really helps with the bitterness, is to look at our WSs & see that the person that they are now is not the same person that they were when they betrayed us. The A does not define them. I try to focus on what I love about WH.

It is a long long road. Sending you strength

[This message edited by mchercheur at 10:27 AM, January 25th (Saturday)]

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