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Grieving the losses

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krsplat posted 7/28/2014 14:01 PM

On another thread, I encountered BWs who, like me, lost a child in the years preceding our betrayals. We agreed that as much as those losses hurt, an A is worse. The death of a child is an unpreventable twist of fate. An A is chosen by a WS who should have protected you.

Betrayal is like a death, requiring the same amount of grief and pain and loss and work to recover from. Or maybe itís worse. Itís like a whole series of deaths, all at once. And each loss requires its own grief. So I started tallying up what I have lost:

My husband. My rock. My lover and my friend. That great guy I was so in love with, who I was going to grow old with. He was not perfect by any means, but he was funny and smart and stable and at the end of the day, he loved me and would always have my back. That guy, it turns out, was only a figment of my imagination. I miss him so much.

My marriage. Again, it was not perfect. It had flaws. But it was a warm, solid foundation for my life. Twenty three years of laughter and tears and work and companionship and lust and joy and sorrow and family and shared experience, all turned to ashes, burned to the ground because my selfish WH felt entitled to a sleazy A. Even if we stay together, that marriage is gone forever.

My home. My house used to be a safe haven, a place to retreat from the world. I had confidence that every person in it loved me and would protect me as fiercely as I protected them. Now it is haunted by the ghost of the OW I found my bed. I threw out the rug and the beds that they f*ed on. I reclaimed my bedroom with new paint and furniture and linens, things I love that WH doesnít. It helps a lot, but I still feel the loss of my safe place.

Trust. I miss being able to let my guard down sometimes. I miss the certainty of knowing that some people in my life were good and true and would never, ever hurt me. I will never feel that way again, about anyone. Semper vigilans.

Sex. It used to be effortless and fun, freeing and enjoyable. An expression of true love given and received. Now itís fraught with the baggage of the As: uncertainly about what it means and if itís real. Triggers and mind movies. Having to talk myself into it, or feeling used and sad afterward. And wondering Ė if I D and start over Ė will I ever find another partner, or will it be gone forever, like trust.

Myself. I am not the same person I used to be. Where is the funny, confident woman who made my friends laugh? The energetic, involved mom with the super-fun summer plans? The organized, conscientious counselor who went above and beyond for my needy students? The devoted daughter who called and visited regularly? Gone. JustÖgone. I despise who I am now: suspicious, vindictive, uncertain, defeated, weepy and angry. Always angry. I want that other me back again. I can only hope she has not abandoned me altogether.

What have you lost? Peace to all of us as we navigate this sorrow.

[This message edited by krsplat at 3:58 PM, July 28th (Monday)]

steppingup posted 7/28/2014 14:37 PM

What you post here was so good I've copied it to my private files so I can go back and reference it often.

About me other things that I think were lost and cannot be recovered are:

Peace of mind - the clutter of the brain has spoiled the room for creative thinking, planning and dealing with complex issues, politics, etc.

Sancity - in ashes.

Honor - soiled.

Reputation - aborted.

Want to cherish - (cherish what? No thanks)

Desire to deep connection - afraid of what I will find.

End of life speach - forget it, the kids will get my full blessing and crowned in honor they deserve.

basically, these affairs short-circut my want and willingness to do or say or react to my wife in any way that otherwise is the reason couples stay together. Love notes, why? Little gifts (what gifts did they give?). The cute "I love you's", what did they say to each other, whatever she told him, I don't want to hear her say to me. The peace and joy of the LTR, seems for not....

Honestly, the post-affair life cannot be much more than trying to fall in love with someone you'd likely would never have given a chance if you knew what the potential was, i know I wouldn't have bothered.

F...K! I was SO IN LOVE WITH THAT WOMAN, now what?!?!?!?

jendo posted 7/28/2014 14:39 PM

I can relate to you on some of these...the end is what resonates with me right now. My poor kids. I usually am a fun mom over the summer, but this summer I am distracted. I spend a lot of time on these message boards- I just feel like I have to. When I'm with them I"m not as fun. NOt awful, but distracted. I feel bad because our oldest is 19 and will be back to college soon. It breaks my heart that I haven't spent as much TIME with him this summer as I dreamed I would have. But I hurt and it is easier to be alone sometimes. And our youngest- she keeps asking when we are going to do this or that and I just don't even feel like it. I usually LOVE having my kids home for the summer, but it is hard when you are broken. WH is building himself into a better person- he was the one who was broken. Now I'm broken- ugh. But I know it is getting better- slowly.

TheIrishGirl posted 7/28/2014 14:50 PM

The joys (and challenges) of life as a new mom. His 'worst' year was our 3yo's 1st year of life. His 'worst' ow was the end of my most recent pregnancy and first 3weeks of this baby's life. This is probably my last baby, I want to love every second we have. I want to enjoy and relish in her little noises & movements. I want her tiny face to be burned into my mind. But instead I hardly remember anything. It's all a blur. Forgiving him for ruining this may be as hard as forgiving him for the infidelities.

Faithful w/Love posted 7/28/2014 15:14 PM

I related to all that you have stated. Thank you for that.

SunshineSoul posted 7/28/2014 15:20 PM

This post is resonating so strongly with me, I'm near tears.
My husband has been cheating for 4 years, and like Irishmom, I had a baby during this timeframe, my last. To compound things, I saw that one of my husbands APs sent a text the EXACT minute our son was born. I feel like so much has been taken away from me. Stolen. By someone I loved and trusted.

Another one I'd add: My security.
My husband was supposed to be my biggest supporter and protector, building a life as a family. He's shattered that feeling of security that I had in my family, life, love, finances... And myself. I don't feel secure in my own skin, or head, anymore. Most of all, in my (rare) moments of happiness, I have the realization that it can be stolen at any given moment. There is no longer security in my happiness.

So sad.

TheIrishGirl posted 7/28/2014 15:28 PM

Oh, also, the potential to be a stay at home mom. I wasn't sure I could give up my career since I worked pretty hard building it (masters degree, professional license, etc). But I liked the possibility and we were talking about pulling the trigger in the next few years. Now I would never give up my personal financial stability. I make enough that I could kick him out and maintain the mortgage, not comfortably, but well enough to not rush through selling the house & downsizing.

gottabeabiggirl posted 7/28/2014 15:58 PM

This thread is such a heartbreaking thing to read. Its been so hard realizing all the losses from this.

Its like so much in my life that I enjoyed was a lie, built on false "truths" I was so sure of.

The biggest loss to me is that now I don't look at ANYTHING the same... nothing in life is free of the painful clouds of betrayal that never leave my mind. I'm not the same person and don't act the same.

Going from being blissfully newlywed and thinking my life was finally exactly where I wanted it to be to facing D and realizing the man I married never existed is so hard.

I wonder if the grieving will ever make anything better, if I will ever be able to look at anything in the world as I used to.

krsplat posted 7/28/2014 16:08 PM

I wonder if the grieving will ever make anything better, if I will ever be able to look at anything in the world as I used to.

It does. The one thing I learned from the death of my son is that if you do the work, and hang on long enough, the huge horrible thing you thought you could never live through becomes just one more chapter in your life, albeit a sad one.

I remember so clearly those months after the baby died, how much I wanted to die myself, how sure I was that I could not survive that much pain. 19 years later -- though it still pains me on the anniversary -- I can talk about it matter of factly. I have to trust that this betrayal will be the same, that I'll grieve and live and someday I will be OK again. You will too.

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