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I hate who infidelity has made to become...

Throwaway999 posted 4/25/2020 10:21 AM

So I am having a bad few days. Very triggered. It hits me that his infidelity has turned me into a person that I can hardly recognize or remember. Past are the days when I wake up with a clear mind. Infidelity is relentless and I realize I am have become a person I donít know any more.

My self esteem, huge trust issues, I feel stupid, humiliated, lost and hurt. My chest hurts. I have panic attacks out of the blue. I hate having to ďcoverĒ for my cheating husband with people who donít know about the affair, so he has basically brought me down to his level...a liar. I am questioning everything I thought I knew about my marriage. I was there but how could I have not acted on my gut feelings. Now itís years later and I have to figure this all out.

I feel i am not in this cursed limbo where I canít express my emotions and have to put on a brave face when all I want to do is disappear. I know I caní kids need me.

My DD had a bad night. Her BF asked for nudes and she refused...what a butthead. Now he needs ďspaceĒ...I gently urged her to dump his ass. I told her that her head knows what to do, but she needs to let her heart catch up. So here I am trying to give her relationship advice...but look what a mess my own relationship is in. I live with a man who cheated on me for years and lied to me for longer. I feel like a hypocrite.

Am I alone in not recognizing myself anymore? How do I start to like this new person I have become?

PSTI posted 4/25/2020 10:37 AM

It's okay not to like what the damage has done to you. It doesn't make YOU someone else. If you had been in a car accident and your leg had been amputated, you wouldn't just be an amputee- you'd still be you, just a damaged you.

Under all the damage, you're still there. You just need time to heal. It took me over four years to crawl out of the hole I was in when my exH left us, but I was finally not only starting to feel like myself, but a better version of myself.

Then COVID hit and now I don't recognize me again :P I hope it doesn't take four years to recover after this trauma.

[This message edited by PSTI at 10:39 AM, April 25th (Saturday)]

The1stWife posted 4/25/2020 10:40 AM

Iím sorry for you.

Your H has terminal cancer? Iím so sorry you have to deal with that on top of the infidelity.

I hope you have counseling just for you. You need it as your discoveries (some) were fairly recent.

Throwaway999 posted 4/25/2020 13:17 PM

Thank you. I really do hope this makes me stronger and a better person. You are right, I am me just under all the open wounds.

gmc94 posted 4/25/2020 16:10 PM

It really helped me to read up and learn about TRAUMA, TA999. The Body Keeps the Score is a good one IMHO.

whatisloveanyway posted 4/25/2020 18:07 PM

Sending you hugs, I know how those bad days feel, when you don't recognize yourself in the mirror, or even have a clue what you are doing or why anymore. You are still in the surviving stage, still in crisis mode and it is hard not to judge yourself harshly. I promised myself that I was allowed to feel my feelings, and I have tried to be kind and not judge my reactions to the stress and chaos. It really helped me to talk to a counselor and to tell my two best friends so I had someone to talk to in person and kind shoulders to lean on, and to join this support group. I just wish I hadn't waited a year to do so. I remember how numb I felt trying to cope and act normal when I was a shambles on the inside. My friends who didn't have a clue that first year think I deserve an award for acting, and wish I had leaned on them sooner. I wonder if I would be healing a little more quickly if I had reached out sooner. I don't know how to help you wake up with a clear mind, but try finding one good thing every day if you can. I can appreciate a beam of sunlight or a flower or my goofy dog like never before, and I soak up those light moments to help me through the heavy ones.

I went through my DD agonizing breakup, then frightening auto accident in a snowstorm while dealing with my early stages of discovery and emotional trauma. I felt like a liar too, and sometimes I still do. But I did what I had to do to protect myself and I hope you are too. When I talk to my daughter about relationships now, I tell her little truths, like how hard it is to stay married, how much work a relationship takes, and try to give her advice on red flags to look out for or how to stay true to yourself and allow yourself room to breathe and grow in a relationship. I haven't told her the ugly truth, I'm not ready to tell anyone else my story at this point, but I try to temper her expectations or correct her when she says our marriage set the bar high, and she'll never find what we have. I'm quick to point out how much work and compromise it took to stay married and how sometimes it is a royal pain in the ass.

Please don't add harsh judgement of yourself to the mix. You are dealing with so much right now. You may not recognize yourself right now, but in time, I think you may become exactly who you mean to be, in spite of the shitty cards you have been dealt. The first step to liking yourself again is to realize how strong you are for enduring what you already have. You are brave, kind, loving, and so much more. Remind yourself of that and counter the inner critic with the inner cheerleader. It's amazing how strong we really are and what we are able to endure. I'm in the depths of shitty year two, and I am nowhere near healed, but nowhere near as crazy and miserable as I was in year one. But I used to look in the mirror and see a tired old woman who had been made into a fool, but now I'm starting to see someone nice and kind and interesting and now instead of judging myself, I judge my WH for choosing to hurt me with lies and betrayal. I know his crap is on him, not me, and I am starting to realize my worth even if he didn't, or can't. You will get there.

Take care. Cry when you need to and scream when you can if it helps. Oh and I'd have to restrain myself to not give that pos boyfriend a piece of my mind. Your advice to dump him was spot on.

Throwaway999 posted 4/25/2020 19:11 PM

Thanks for all of the words of encouragement, they mean a lot. My day got harder but I powered through. My DD and my oldest DS have clear mental health issues from the stress we are under because of my H illness. My son was in crisis mode today. Thankfully he called me and we went for a drive. He has dark thoughts ruminating in his head. We talked and I think his therapist is correct, they stem from the pressure we are under. His issues started with the terminal prognosis and then the affair. To put it bluntly, we are waiting for his father to pass and thatís not an easy road. There is no happy ending for us. At 22 years old, itís a lot to process. My kids know about the affair and that adds to his issues.

He is going to reach out to his therapist this week to talk and think about maybe medication to get him over this hump. My Daughter is going NC with the BF and trying the 180 to give her space that she needs. She has let the BF have the control in the relationship and I told her to she needs to take it back. I feel he has wronged her and SHE needs to decide what she wants and not let him call the shots. She has her own therapist and she finds it a great help to her. I am thankful they both are in therapy. I do my best but I am clearly winging it as a Mom and I am definitely not impartial to the situation.

Another day done and I am on to my second glass of wine...

[This message edited by Throwaway999 at 7:27 PM, April 25th, 2020 (Saturday)]

Cooley2here posted 4/25/2020 19:38 PM

Please, please tell your daughter that once she puts pictures on the Internet they are there forever and they can follow her no matter what. Please tell her her body belongs to her and to no one else, and she does not have to take nude pictures for anybody. She needs to dump him yesterday. It might impact jobs etc.

Throwaway999 posted 4/25/2020 20:40 PM

Luckily...I didnít have to tell her any of that. She already knew she would never send nudes, I was very proud of her,

cocoplus5nuts posted 4/27/2020 10:19 AM

I felt like a liar and hypocrite for years. We move a lot. Every time I made new friends they would comment on how amazing my H is. I would smile and nod. In my head, I would be thinking, "If you only knew."

I had a new friend recently to basically tell me to stop complaining about my H because he does so much more than so many other husbands. I wanted so badly to scream, "That fucker cheated on me! He ain't worth shit no matter what else he does!" I didn't. I just shit my mouth and stopped talking to her about my H.

I have come to realize that is not me being a liar. I have never flat out said or implied that he has always been faithful. If someone asked me, I would tell the truth. What I am doing is protecting myself. I don't want to have to deal with all the questions and the possible pity and people saying I'm weak for staying, or strong. I am neither. I'm just doing what everyone else is, the best that I can.

Trust is a big thing. I never fully trusted anyone or anything. Idk if that's a learned thing or part of my innate wiring. It is what it is. I did think I could trust my H more than anyone else other than my father. That is gone. Now, I know I can't ever really trust anyone at all.

That finally occurred to me last night when I went to bed. My H was on his phone in bed. The first thought that popped in my head was that he was messaging someone or hiding something. He wasn't and I don't really think he would. But, I can never fully trust that he won't.

cocoplus5nuts posted 4/27/2020 10:21 AM

Forgot to say that I started having panic attacks after dday. The first time, I thought I was having a heart attack. I don't have them anymore. As a matter of fact, when I take the anxiety questionnaire now, it says I don't have any problems with it. So, that can be relieved. I think EMDR is what finally helped me recover from that.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 4/27/2020 11:00 AM

I had my own version of anxiety related issues after d-day 1 and d-day 2...the biggest one for me was forgetfulness which in and of itself sounds like no big deal, but it was dangerous. I would feel like I was pushing myself though everyday and that I was getting by, but noticed that multiple times a day I was "forgetting" things that were potentially harmful to myself and to others: leaving the burner on with a pan on it to the point that the metal started to melt filling the house with smoke (if not for my dogs I would have slept through it and who knows what would have happened), getting gas and leaving the pump connected to the car and then driving off ripping the hose from the pump in the process (did it TWICE in a week) and driving the wrong way down a busy one-way street by my house a LOT - a street I've driven down for 5+ years. I would not be able to remember my commute to work - I mean absolutely could not remember even being in the car sometimes so I'm sure my driving was less than safe. I would forget my purse at home or at the counter of a store or on the roof of my car just about daily. I would forget if I had fed my dogs and I'm sure I didn't feed them for several days at one period and likely fed them 3-4 times a day at other times instead of twice. I forgot to take my medication all the time, and I'm sure sometimes I took it multiple times a day which was dangerous too.

EDIT: Funny but I actually just remembered that one time, on the way back from the store, I got lost driving home. I mean I seriously could not remember what street to turn on to get to my house, and ended up like 3 miles away in the wrong direction. I have driven to and from that store so many times I cannot count, yet I was lost coming home. I actually had to pull over and breathe and cry for a bit as I didn't have my phone so GPS was not an option (I'd forgotten it at home) and think about where I was. It was a major panic attack I think, and I'm not "one of those people" who generally is too stressed out about things.

In a nutshell, I was NOT me. Not by a long shot. And I was worrying myself, a lot. I was concerned I was losing my mind, that I was broken beyond repair, and that I would never be "myself" again, which in some respects, made it worse. The more I focused on the forgetfulness and the stress the more I forgot things. If I focused on remembering to feed the dogs and when I took my medication I would forget something else important - it was like my brain was only capable of dealing with a limited number of things at a time. I made lists to help me remember and then would forget where I put the list, or that I even made one. It was distressing.

The good news is that was a year and a half ago and those problems went away. I don't have those issues anymore...BUT I could not have stopped them had I wanted to. I can't tell you how long it took, but it was a slow progression back to normal. And as hard as it is to do, try to give yourself a break, as I think focusing on how "different" and uncomfortable you feel often makes it worse.

Accept that while you didn't so this, that this is a consequence for you, whether you want it or not, and get to work on the underlying issues. I think for me, accepting that this was not my fault, and seeing my WH for who is was/is helped me start to feel more like me. But please do give yourself a break...I would never have believed I could feel much more "back to normal" but I do and the real healer was time. So try to be kind to yourself now and know that this too shall pass.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 11:05 AM, April 27th (Monday)]

Throwaway999 posted 4/27/2020 11:19 AM

The panic attacks come out of nowhere and feel 100% like a heart attack. Luckily, I know what they are...and the feeling will subside.

Itís a running joke with my kids each day as to whether I have left the stove burners on. The kids tell me something one day and I have no memory of it the next day....scary stuff.

I also find it hard to focus on when I am having a conversation with someone. My mind is so consumed with the A and cancer, itís like it canít focus on anything else. I sometimes feel like a bad mom and friend because I am so consumed with my own emotions and hurt that I feel I am ignoring everyone else.

Just trying my best each day.

HeartFullOfHoles posted 4/27/2020 11:27 AM

It sounds like you have advised your daughter well.

I'm going to challenge your topic sentiment. Infidelity did not make you anything. How you have responded to infidelity has shaped where you are now and while it is certainly understandable you may have initially responded in a dysfunctional manner you get to choose how to respond long term. If you do not like where you are now don't get stuck in the blame game, work on how you respond. If you can't do this alone then IC may help.

To me this is fundamentally the flip side of the assertion we as BS are not responsible for the affair even if there are marital issues. We are responsible for how we respond; period. Some choose to live in the dysfunction and become bitter, some choose to stay and build a new marriage, other choose to leave and either build a new life or get stuck in their bitterness. Of course our choices are also limited by what our WS chooses.

You have chosen to stay with your dying husband. If you can't do that with the grace you want you don't have to stay. The choice is yours. I understand the pain of dealing with an unremorseful self-centered WS. I could not deal with that kind of dysfunction and ultimately left.

The1stWife posted 4/27/2020 11:31 AM

I think infidelity has made you a stronger person and mother. You just donít feel it yet. Hugs 🤗 to you

northeasternarea posted 4/27/2020 11:56 AM

I sometimes feel like a bad mom and friend because I am so consumed with my own emotions and hurt that I feel I am ignoring everyone else.

You have to put on your own mask first. You must change your self talk. You are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for.

thatbpguy posted 4/27/2020 12:01 PM

You say you feel like a hypocrite for giving your dd very sound and sage advice?

No you're not. You're being a good mother, that's what.

Keep at it!

Throwaway999 posted 4/27/2020 12:21 PM

These last posts have made me do some thinking. And you are all right. I am struggling right now...but I think itís understandable given what I am going through. I know things will get better and I will heal...I have no doubt about that at all. It just takes time.

The advice I gave my daughter was sound and it was the same advice I would have given her. With or without the infidelity in my life. And if I really look deep into myself, I can see the infidelity has made me a better Mother. I now feel much more empathetic to my kids and their struggles. I have a strong framework to pass along to them about how to handle difficult relationships and for my son, his struggles with overthinking every situation. I have learned all of that from my friends here on SI.

I thank you all.

LadyG posted 4/30/2020 02:40 AM

I have been reverted back to my insecure little girl... I have been told that I am just too damn innocent for this world... That person was being kind.

I was almost there... A confident stable woman...

YOU will go through many phases during your separation... Unfortunately for me my WH and STBX and HIS AP have made this very hard on me... Why, i will never know

Bless you and learn to love the broken ypu 🙏

LadyG posted 4/30/2020 02:40 AM

I have been reverted back to my insecure little girl... I have been told that I am just too damn innocent for this world... That person was being kind.

I was almost there... A confident stable woman...

YOU will go through many phases during your separation... Unfortunately for me my WH and STBX and HIS AP have made this very hard on me... Why, i will never know

Bless you and learn to love the broken ypu 🙏

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