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Betraying Yourself

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dana1234 posted 7/4/2014 09:33 AM

I'm 17 months months out and still struggling. Do I stay or do I go? Great interview

Am I betraying myself by staying with a cheater and a liar?

mozzchops posted 7/4/2014 09:43 AM

Yes, this is what I struggle with the most.
I've betrayed myself !

cantaccept posted 7/4/2014 10:00 AM

Thank you so much for posting this.

It is just what I needed today. I struggle with this lately. Self betrayal, not valuing yourself, not listening to your gut.

This is that feeling of anxiety.

It is our duty to ourselves to honor ourselves, our integrity, our beliefs, our core.

Another bit of strength.

MissTrust posted 7/4/2014 10:00 AM

I am also struggling with this. How do you forgive yourself for staying with a cheater? Would be interested to hear how others have dealt with 'betraying themselves'

tfkeel posted 7/4/2014 11:26 AM

How do you forgive yourself for staying with a cheater?

A) You recognize WHY you stayed, and WHY you decided to go, and give yourself credit for the validity of those decisions within the time frames when you made them.

The decision to "go" is always accompanied by either
1) more information than that available when "staying";
2) a better understanding of the available information when "staying";
3) both.

B) You also recognize that you were making decisions based upon the welfare of people other than yourself, such as children, etc, and your desire to provide the best possible outcome for them.

brokensoul73 posted 7/4/2014 11:39 AM

I'm also struggling with this. Do I stay or go

Brandon808 posted 7/4/2014 12:07 PM

Am I betraying myself by staying with a cheater and a liar?
If they continue to cheat and lie and (very important part) you know they still cheat and lie, then you are definitely betraying yourself in my most humble opinion.

Giving someone a chance to redeem themselves. To fix their own issues. That is not automatically self-betrayal. It's a choice.

Lark posted 7/4/2014 13:39 PM

This is something I struggle with as well. Some of it comes from my own perception of "respect yourself" that my mom ingrained in me as a child. She left my father - who was abusive and a cheater - and she did so with just $10 in her pocket and two very small children. She was very adamant throughout my childhood that I be independent, strong, and respect myself enough to not put up with someone treating me poorly.

I swore to my husband when we were first together that my dealbreakers would be anything that betrayed that respect - affairs or abuse.

When I found out, I was so shellshocked I didn't even know what to think or do. And I was hesitant to say anything lest I later regret it - either committing to try with him or telling him I was leaving. I ultimately only promised him until the first counseling session, and that was only if he met all of my requirements. He did and it left me even more confused about my own feelings of what I felt I *should* do (leave) versus what I *wanted* to do (try to fix this).

I talked with a friend who went through infidelity with her husband and said they came out stronger. I found out my grandmother dealt with infidelity and came out stronger with my grandfather. A mantra started in my head of "when something breaks, you fix it, you don't toss it out."

Mostly what comforted me was talking with my mom and my MIL though. My mom was completely shellshocked as well as my husband is nothing like my father - absolutely nothing like him - and so she never would've expected this betrayal of him in a million years. My MIL was shocked and said she has no clue who he is.

After I told my mom that I wanted to try and work on it, my mom told me - my mom, the strong one who walked out with $10 and two preschoolers - told me that if she'd had my marriage, she would've stayed and tried, too. Because she believes in my husband. And she believes that I need and should see for myself if we can fix this so that if I do walk away later on, I will have no questions about it.

And talking with them also affirmed to me that whoever *this* man is not the man I married, and that man got broke or lost or something along the way... and if anybody can come back from this and put in the work and change, it is him.

So I no longer feel like I am betraying myself. Sometimes I feel weak and wonder whether it's the weakness in me that's driving it, but I dont' feel that so strongly anymore and don't wonder it so much. Because this - staying, trying, dealing with it - is actually much harder and requiring way more strength than leaving. And as for betraying myself, I have multiple parts of myself and they feel differently depending on which part i'm focusing on. But the overall me is made up of all those parts, and the overall me knows that this isn't betraying me but rather staying true to my own values, beliefs, and strengths about at least trying and putting the work in before giving up on something that meant and means the world to me

HighlandPaddy posted 7/4/2014 15:09 PM

Very poignant topic...after much thought it so very apparent to me that I am my own worst enemy. My biggest betrayer is me. Tbh, right now I can't even stand to look at myself in the mirror.

I'm known as a strong person, a guy who doesn't take shit from anyone...except for in my marriage. I was a a doormat, and a coward for all these years, and I'm disgusted by myself.

doggiediva posted 7/4/2014 15:29 PM

I am disgusted with myself too..

Divorce laws make it hard to leave a cheater.. Especially the older one gets and the more invested in the marriage one gets.

Cheater is somewhat protected by virtue of being legally married....

Many of us think twice and try R before divorcing because of our lives/livelihoods at stake..

Some of us wonder what did we do to deserve cheating spouse who is either out to take advantage of us or out to ruin our lives..

sohowamI posted 7/4/2014 16:37 PM

Highland Paddy, you don't need to feel disgusted with yourself. Like so many posters here. We try to project onto our 'significant others' what we see in ourselves: honest people with moral compasses. We can't understand that there are people within our environment who are bereft of a moral compass. Having been through this trauma, we hope that the people with whom we have spent the better part of our lives will finally see the light and decide that WE are worth far more than the OWs or OMs. Who knows?

I go through these existential debates on a daily basis, If he were ever, ever, ever to transcend those borders; if there was ever another woman, if he ever, ever, contacted OW (with 2 other children), then I am OUT of this...There is no other chance. This is IT. Doesn't help my daily struggle: Do I stay or do I go?

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