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Matilda23 posted 5/19/2014 22:13 PM

Today I went to my weekly CoDA meeting and found it insightful. There was a woman who was new to the group and she shared her story, she and her SO were together for 12 years and he cheated on her for 1 year. She thought they were living a happy and honest lifestyle but he was living his own life.

During the meeting I felt the need to help her. I wrote down this website and a book that she should read on a piece of paper. At the end of the meeting I handed it to her and told her she could do what she would like with it, but that she was not alone, even though I am on the other side of the fence.

It hit me hard after I was done talking to her, that I just don't get it. If I got it, I would know how to comfort her because I would use what worked well comforting BBF. But I just don't get it. I understand that he is hurting and that he is in so much pain. I understand that his dreams were all false and based on the manipulation that I caused. I made him believe I was someone who I was not. I shattered his heart and I can not take it back. I want to get it. Right now I'm know I'm just going through the motions but I just don't get it.

Please someone share if you felt this way. How long before you got it? I want to help him heal. I just feel like if I'm constantly working on myself I'll never get it and that I'm just neglecting how he feels. Please hit me with 2x4s.

RomanticInnocenc posted 5/20/2014 08:55 AM

Hi Matilda, just wanted to clarify, because I am a bit confused... What exactly is it that you feel you don't get? How to comfort, why it hurt your bbf so much, something else?

Matilda23 posted 5/20/2014 10:42 AM

Hi RomanticInnocence,
I'm sorry for the confusion. After last night, I realized I am not truly remorseful, not getting it. I thought I did, but I don't. I understand the pain and the hurt that I have caused him. That I never put our love and relationship first because I chose to have an A with another man. I feel like if I did get it, I can empathize with someone who has been betrayed, but I just don't.

After the meeting I went home to tell him about her. We talked, and I told him how I just don't get it. That is was hard for me to empathize with her. I told him that I gave her this website and told her about the After the Affair book. He reminded me that we all progress at different pace, but it's so hard to see how much he has learned from this, when I still feel like my head is barely above water.

So I guess what I am trying to say is if I was truly remorseful and truly got it, I can understand not only him who I have betrayed, but other betrayed spouses.

LostSamurai posted 5/20/2014 11:02 AM

Hi Matilda,
It sounds like you are on the path of getting it. I can't speak from experience like a lot on here do, but the fact you want to get it is such a help.

Removed analogy so not to hurt any ones feeling or to come off as cruel. Not my intentions at all.

[This message edited by LostSamurai at 6:08 AM, May 21st (Wednesday)]

justinpaintoday posted 5/20/2014 11:25 AM

Former BS here. My opinion is that your head and your heart are not in alignment yet. Mentally you are recognizing the impact of your actions, you are earnestly putting in the work and desiring to get to a better place. Your heart has just not caught up. This I think is normal on both sides of infidelity. I would encourage you to keep going down your path. You may not have an "ah-ha" transformation moment. You may slowly start to understand emotionally as your work continues.

Stay on course. If you mentally have to do the right things before you emotionally yearn to that is okay for a period of time. Healing is not always linear. Good Luck

20WrongsVs1 posted 5/20/2014 11:41 AM

LostSamurai, sorry if you're having a shitty day, but did you actually just draw a parallel between being cheated on, and being raped? Unless you've had the experience of someone forcibly using your body, against your will, for their own sexual gratification, is fucking offensive.

You felt humiliated, helpless and dirty, by what WW did to you? That's valid and understandable, so why not just draw from your own actual, relevant, painful experience? Throwing in the rape analogy seems intentionally spiteful and cruel. No offense.

plainsong posted 5/20/2014 14:51 PM

Duplicate post - edited for format below

[This message edited by plainsong at 2:54 PM, May 20th (Tuesday)]

plainsong posted 5/20/2014 14:53 PM


I get it about not getting it. For me, I went through two years of knowing I should get how much my BH hurt, while knowing that I wasn't in fact getting it. I could feel bad for how bad he was hurting, but I didn't understand why having the wife he trusted share what had been special between us with someone else would bother him so much. I eventually figured out that I couldn't understand what he had lost because I had built such a wall around my heart that I didn't know for me how it felt to feel close and safe and loved. I heard him say he loved me but I didn't take it in. It was at that point that I started to "get" what a profound loss he had experienced with my cheating.

I got through those two years of knowing I was not feeling what I should by committing to myself to keep that as my goal, by working on myself in IC and MC, and by being totally open with my therapist so that she could keep me accountable. Sometimes I needed to think about what my BH was feeling more, and sometimes I needed to dig deeper into my whys, and I couldn't tell by myself which one was needed at any given time. And I did what my husband asked me to do, which was to show my remorse in actions. My numbness may have been worse than many people's because I have a dissociative disorder diagnosis, but I believe "not getting it" and numbness are on a continuum and can happen with anyone, whatever their "diagnosis".

With intention, accountability, persistence, digging, courage to recognize and feel my feelings, and actions, I believe it is possible for me (or anyone) to emerge from the fake world where I have to defend myself all the time into the real world where my husband loves me and I love him.

(edited for format)

Matilda23 posted 5/21/2014 00:46 AM

Hi justinpaintoday,
I understand what you are trying to say, however, I feel like my head and heart are aligned. They are both wanting to feel and understand the pain that I have caused BBF. They both want to find him at the end of this nightmare that I have caused. I will continue to work on myself mentally and emotionally and heal the broken in me so that he can trust and feel secure around me again.

Healing is not always linear.
Thank you for the reminder. He would say to not compare and apple(him) to an orange(me) because we are different and will grow and heal at a different pace.

Hi plainsong,

I eventually figured out that I couldn't understand what he had lost because I had built such a wall around my heart that I didn't know for me how it felt to feel close and safe and loved. I heard him say he loved me but I didn't take it in.
Everyday, I am trying to tear down the wall that I built. I built this wall because my mother left us when I was about 3 - 5 yrs (never talked about in the house) for OM. My dad became an alcoholic when he broke his back from working on top of my mother leaving. We moved around from place to place and never really had a home. I was in foster care while my parents where going through the divorce. I was sexually abused by both my dads friend and my dad. I never felt safe or loved. I don't know what that is. I realized in my CoDA meeting that I push people away because that's the only way to protect me. And now I don't know how to empathize. I know I have emotions, but sometimes I am afraid to share them as they may be wrong to feel. I have cried all day and just like you I have numbed myself to it. I will keep telling myself, he is safe and he does love me. He only wants to see me heal and be stronger so we can get back together and have a real and not a false relationship.

Thank you both again!

plainpain posted 5/21/2014 02:09 AM

It's very difficult to 'get it' if it has never happened to you. As someone who actually has been raped, I find the parallel not so far off. I have said this before, but I have found my WH's infidelity harder to heal from. It's pretty bad when you sit around thinking, "I wish he would have punched me in the face, or poured gasoline on me and lit me on fire. At least then people might be able to SEE how badly I hurt. At least then maybe people wouldn't say, "get over it"."

I think, like anything in life, you just can't really know unless you've experienced it. I don't at all "get it", as far as what my WH is going through. I can try to empathize, but I won't ever truly understand.

Unagie posted 5/21/2014 05:50 AM

To be honest I get what you are saying but I think you are getting it. Perhaps you're not getting it in the sense of every moment is your being the perfect remorseful wayward spouse but you are doing the actions and trying to understand. You gave a BS that was hurting a safe place to go and an outlet to get it all out. Sometimes it takes a little while to truly understand the pain however you will never truly full-length understand it. You will learn to see triggers and how to truly comfort through them, you will do more then just do the actions they will come naturally to you because its the right thing to do. Dont think you arent getting it, you're working and trying doing far more then any unremorseful wayward would.

Deeply Scared posted 5/21/2014 07:14 AM


You have a PM.

Trying2LoveAgain posted 5/21/2014 15:10 PM

I too think that you are on your way to "getting it" as much as you CAN, unless you were actually in the betrayed seat. The best way I know to explain it, is that the betrayed person goes through many of the same emotions as a person who has lost a loved one..the denial, the anger, the sadness, the questioning of why, except that the person is still living.( I will add that I still think losing a child would be worse than infidelity). It feels like a million times stronger than the WORST nightmare you've ever had. It feels daily like you've been hit in the stomach (literally a knot in the stomach). It feels like deep depression at it's worst. It feels like a piece of your heart has been ripped from your chest! Your BS has freely given something away, and the AP has freely taken something that was not theirs to give or take! In the Bible where it says "And the two shall become One"...I feel that the "One" is now three and that my H freely brought this third person into our marriage. It feels so invasive of my very OWN soul! These are just some of the feelings I have gone through personally, so I do not want to give the impression that I'm speaking for others. I hope this has helped you some and I wish you luck on this difficult journey!

anothermoron posted 5/21/2014 18:40 PM

I know what you mean Matilda. I feel exactly the same sometimes. Forgive the bluntness, but I've discovered the thing to do is read posts on SI. Ideally, read posts written by betrayed husbands/boyfriends (in your case) about the pain they're feeling. That seems to do the job for me. At least it seems to pull me out of whatever funk I'm in and get me focusing on my wife's needs.

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