frustrated womanAt some point in your marriage we assume you thought things were going along pretty well. You were happy, your spouse was happy and life was good. Then somewhere along the line, things went to hell. The affair crashed upon you and your life was turned upside down.

In a flash,  you and your life changed. Perhaps you became a different person. Perhaps you discovered a part of yourself you didn’t know existed.

Maybe you really didn’t like that person you became. Not just because of all the things that you put up with, but how it affected your very soul. Perhaps it’s how the infidelity and the mind games brought out your worst self – angry, responsible,  resentful, critical, sad …

Here a few comments from readers about how they became different persons during the affair (and prior)…

I turned into an angry, resentful, over drinking bitch in reaction to his selfishness and negativity. The problems were there way before the affair.

I am a bit sad about that. Basically, because I chose to react like that and I gave him too much power (thinking that I would be happy if I could change him), rather than focusing on myself and developing and growing myself.

 

Initially, I thought it was just a matter of me telling him to get rid of her and that would be the end of it. He acted like it was. But no, he’d just taken it underground. When I found out the second time, I went into SERIOUS pick me mode. I bent over backwards, bought him gifts, treated him like a king – and he treated me like sh*t. The more I tried to please him, the worse it got. Looking back, I realize he’d lost respect for me. Lord knows I lost respect for myself. It took me awhile to get it back.

I didn’t recover my marriage, but I recovered ME. Far more important, IMO, given what a self-absorbed hypocrite he’s become…

 

I became me and I am proud to be me. Long-term marriage, mostly grown kids. And I can truly say that I would change nothing about what happened to me or who I was during “the troubles”. Why? Because it made me who I am at this very moment, warts and all (or should I say wrinkles, stretch marks and all)? I have been through what I thought I could never survive, but I did, and the mere fact of my survival is defining.

There were times I wanted to die, there were times I raged against the world (and my kids). There were times I didn’t want to get out of bed. I am sure I drank too much. I was the biggest fucking mess you can imagine. I was the queen of the Pick Me Polka. I did EVERYTHING wrong! But I made it; I came through the other side, dented, cracked and broken. I’m still here, and I know I can make it through just about anything life throws my way. In the words of Maya Angelou, “I still rise.”

So this leads us to the topic questions…

See also  Discussion - Your Needs in the Affair Recovery Process

Who did you turn into, in your relationship with the cheater that you didn’t want to be?

Hindsight being 20/20, what could you have done differently? (Is there anything you could have done differently?)

Has this new you actually turned out to be somewhat of a good thing?

Please share your experiences in the comment section below and be sure to reply to one another.

Thanks!

Linda & Doug

 

    20 replies to "Discussion – Who Did You Become During the Affair?"

    • tryinghard

      While watching the golf tournament this weekend the announcers were talking about how the golfers that had been through the worst adversities were the ones that did the best on the tour. How those men, while adolescents, had been given everything and never felt the sting of losing and rejection were the ones that didn’t do as well on the professional tour. Mentally they hadn’t been given the chance to build that emotional muscle to fight adversity so as adults when faced with it they crumbled.

      Those comments struck home to me. I’ve never been given a thing in my life. My parents were not privileged, far from it. I’ve had to work hard for everything I have. And I was fine with that. But living through my husband’s betrayal has been the hardest adversity I’ve ever had to face. I’ve lost a business, wasn’t chosen for jobs, been layed off, felt the hurt and pain of the death of my wonderful parents and each time I have faced and lived through adversity I’ve come out on the other side a wiser, more loving, empathetic, and stronger person. And while still growing 3 years out and living with doubts and fears, this experience has been by far THE most life changing.

      I don’t know why I had to have this experience when there are soooo many other people more deserving of this, but it happened and I am determined not to let it define me and come out on the other side an even better, stronger, smarter woman. I know this will happen, but I’m still a work in progress 🙂

      • Doug

        That’s awesome, TH. Thanks for sharing.

    • Strengthrequired

      I became the person at the beginning that knew straight away it was a fad, yet I was a mess, yet I also was far stronger than my cs. I don’t like how I begged and pleaded and cried every day during my h affair, yet I don’t think I was weak, if anything I stuck by my cs. Some may say that is weak, I even did think the same every now and then, but it takes a lot of strength and commitment as well as love to stand by your cs, who you see has now shown you a different part of themselves, that is not an attractive side. It isn’t not an easy feat to stand by a cs, while your hopes and dreams are being destroyed in the process. Yet you keep trying for your children, and the husband you knew and who you see returning on a gradual pace, yet just enough to keep you hoping your not imagining things, or your not wasting your time.
      I have been through some rough times in my life, things is never thought I could get through, maybe it is those times that had given me the strength, or even prepared me to get through the biggest most devastating blow I could ever have imagined, my h affair. So maybe these past experiences of loss and devastation as well as trauma I felt during that time, was something that was meant to happen to me, even though at the time, I thought it was the hardest time of my life. I never thought in my life, my h telling me that he loved another woman, and leaving me and our family, only to move back and keep lying about seeing her, ect, would have turned out to be far worst than anything I have felt. Yet although as eg said, it is a work in progress, but the darkness has cleared, and the sun is almost shining again, and I am close to getting to the other side, with more strength and courage than I thought I would ever need, and have my family still together. I may have my hesitations, about where my marriage is heading, yet they are my hesitations, not my cs, it is my work in progress, me learning yo believe in my cs again, like I did at the beginning of his ea.
      So I believe I was given these lessons in life, to become the person I am today, one that wil not be a pin cushion for anyone again, I stand up for myself now, I don’t let things just slide over me. Yet I’m still here and learning that I can be happy again.

      • Strengthrequired

        Sorry -what th said.

        Eg, you must be on my mind lol

    • exercisegrace

      During the Affair:

      Like most betrayed spouses, I fell directly into the script my husband and his AP wrote for me. I was painted as controlling when I wanted to know where he was and if his “friend” and co-worker was with him. I was labelled jealous, paranoid and insecure. If I backed off and gave him space, she touted that as proof I did not love him and didn’t care what he did. When he hit the mean, critical phase of the affair, I “corrected” every “mistake” I was making, ie: kept up with the house better, cooked more elaborate meals, kept the kitchen spotless at all times (it got ridiculous people). THEN I was accused of “only” doing so because I perceived that I had competition, NOT because I actually loved my husband. I could. not. win. I was an emotional wreck and suffered several health issues including three surgeries and bleeding ulcers. I alternated between fighting with him over what I suspected was going on, to being a doormat and doing everything and saying anything I could so he wouldn’t have an affair. I should have known that was already happening!!

      After D-Day:

      Again, like most I ran the gamut. Rage, pain, depression, self-doubt and nearly zero self-esteem. I was almost non-functional for the first few weeks. I was shoved down into a dark, ugly pit and I had to fight like crazy to climb up out of it.

      Today: I’m proud of how far I have come. It hasn’t been easy but we are rebuilding. I stand up for myself much more now than I ever have. I am able to communicate my wants, needs and expectations. Silly husband, he had it so easy with a wife that ALWAYS put HIS needs first. Always thought of HIM first.

      I will never allow anyone to cross my boundaries that way again. i completely and totally TRUST my instincts. They were dead on the entire time.

      • Strengthrequired

        Hey eg, everything you did, I did.
        You know our h did have it easy, they stuffed it. If my h doesn’t like the person, I have become, then he knows where the door is. He helped create the new me. Lol

      • tryinghard

        EG

        I’m pretty sure I allowed myself to be a doormat too in the beginning. I also had one day of crying and begging, but that was only one day. The doormat phase lasted about 6 weeks. He was living at his sister’s and would come over almost daily. We were going to MC. By the middle of June I put my foot down and told him I didn’t believe we could continue with MC and work on our marriage while he was coming over and acting like my husband only to go stay at his sister’s house at night. I really believe this was probably his ambivalent phase and trying to decided if he wanted the OW or the marriage. I don’t remember doing any kind of pick me antics though. I assumed he did want to work on the marriage but was taking his time. I found out the OW was still in the picture and also she was still working at the business. When I left and went to CO for a week and I returned I went into full throttle pissed off, get the fuck out of my life phase and you better gird your loins phase because I am divorcing you with a vengeance. Well that totally snapped him out of his fog and he moved back home. I truly believe he was more afraid of what the OW would do or worse tell me the whole truth as he hadn’t yet. Then there was 5 weeks after he moved back in that he was still in contact with the OW and even saw her 3 times. She made some really stupid things and that was it. He knew he HAD to tell everything and come clean before she did.

        As I’ve said before, I don’t regret anything I did or said. Mostly for the negative stuff it was because I wasn’t in my right mind. Once I got my mind right I KNOW I did the right thing. When I stopped being a doormat and let him know that there was not going to be any cake and eating it too, everything changed. The doormat, pick me scene is by far the most unproductive phase. I strongly advise anyone early in this shit show to stop it immediately and find your big girl and big boy pants and stand up for yourself and the devil be damned!

    • Gizfield

      Like everyone else, I was certainly NOT MYSELF. I was letting myself be controlled by two slimy whores. Accused of pretty much everything you could think of. Fat, lazy, jealous insecure, crazy, blah, blah, blah. Did I mention I was hearing this from two adultering whores. I was a snivelling, groveling twit who said she would not tolerate this crap, then did.no wonder it continued.

      Oh well, all good things come to an end. I returned to myself, and did what I should have done originally. Tossed his ass out. He then became a believer. He still can go back to his old ways of course, and if thats what he wants, hes welcome to it. he will pay the price though, and so will any whore hes involved with.

    • Gizfield

      Oh well, looking back I’m going to cut myself some slack. My original actions were true to myself. I did not grovel. I told him to go fuck himself.I left. I was never going to speak to him. This is what my true self would do. EXCEPT there was a mitigating circumstance, another party I was choosing a life for. She was five years old. About to start kindergarten in less than two months. And I did not want her calling a whore Mommy. I still think from that context it was the best decision I ever made.

      • Strengthrequired

        Me too giz, the last thing I wanted was my one yr old or my three yr old calling it mummy. I know the others would not off, but these younger two were at the most impressionable stage of their lives. I had to stand up for my children and not let that happen, or at least put it off a lot longer.
        Probably why it was easier to be the doormat.
        Early on, I told my h that he was treating me like his doormat, he was so offended. He didn’t think he was. Funny the mentality of the cs while in the midst of their crisis.

    • Gizfield

      Yes, Strength. Somebody had to look out for our kids, and we were it. The stupid slut dating my husband actually accused me of causing “the drama” and “to think of your daughter”. That level of delusion is truly beyond my comprehension.

      One thing I enjoyed was seeing “good” (marriage) win out over “evil” (adultery). I realize it doesn’t happen that often, but I still enjoyed it. For all his girlfriend’s smug attitude, don’t nobody really want to be with her ass. If he really wanted her, he would have left to be with her. It was almost pathetic how thrilled he was when I told him I loved him and wanted to stay with him that day. How stupid should she feel that for all their yapping, my husband wasn’t going anywhere. He knew who was a quality person and who was not.

      It took soooo much effort to slime around with her. It was just his way to shirk his responsibility and act like a teenage boy. That’s what all forty something year old women should look for in a forty five year old man.

    • Gizfield

      E.G., I also heard that I “only wanted him cause I thought someone else wanted him.” ??? What is with these people? I would love to have heard the conversations between these two cause if they were as stupid as their emails I would probably just burst out laughing, hysterically. I actually did spend an evening in her company, and all I can remember about her is thinking just how stupid and vapid she was, lol. He was always telling her how “quick witted” and “funny” she was, lol. I seemed to have missed that about her. It’s amazing how this guy could zero in on what this dumb ass wanted to hear. He’s not a salesman for nothing, lol.

      • Strengthrequired

        Eg,giz, I heard similar things too. More like, now you want me, why?
        Ohh and I had, she looks after me, she does this for me, blah blah puke blah.
        I was the worse thing in earth for a while, even my children she thought was better off with the both of them. Lol what a joke…..
        I remember the times we did spend with her before the ea, all i thought was, what a hypercritical she is.
        You know what’s funny, he brought home a stray, and we had to turf her into the tip, she was used and broken, and no matter how much my h wanted to fix her, there was no hope, without him breaking everything else around him.

        • Strengthrequired

          Out with the old, in with the broken, makes sense. Lol

    • Strengthrequired

      I recieved a email today and in this email it said something that I know I am guilty of.
      Now what it said is along the lines of – we often get caught up worrying about the past, and what the future holds, when we should be living the present and being mindful. So living for today, not yesterday or tomorrow, but today.
      I have failed that miserably lol.
      Time to try hard and start living for today, and not thinking about the past, or what the future holds.

    • Tryinghard

      Boy SR did I need that right now. I saw a couple friends that we don’t socialize anymore with. He is dying of cancer and looked awful. She didn’t look much better. I went to two wakes this week. One for a friends husband who died 75 days after diagnosis. They were so in love. A great couple. She was the epitome of grace and beauty. Another friend whose husband died of cancer. She caught her husband cheating with her best friend in 08. She was very kind and helpful to me when I found out about my husbands cheating in 11. She also lost two children. She’s had a lot of heartache in her life.

      My husband and I had a nice life and who knows what misery lies ahead for us? Just seems like such a waste to invite misery into your life by asking for trouble like having an affair when just being human has plenty of unasked for misery.

      When I looked at the dead cheater in the casket I could only think “you stupid fuck for cheating on your lovely wife!” So no matter what good he did otherwise his legacy even into death is being a liar and a cheater. Sad.

      But the email is right. Learn form the past, live for today, and hope for the future. Life’s hard so it’s difficult to keep these good thoughts.

      • Strengthrequired

        Th, I’m glad you found it as something needed, like i did. Omg about all of the sickness around your friends. It’s sad. Life is it so short to keep dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. We aren’t spring chickens anymore.

    • JennyN

      For me the affair has become the “Best worst thing that has every happened to me.”

      It forced me to look at other challenges in the relationship and not take them on. I needed that. I truly believe my FOO and life skills were such that I was going to be in a relationship with challenges (affair and addiction), and I needed something drastic to get me out.

      It forced me to learn to take care of myself emotionally (I already did physically and financially).

      I learned how to set boundaries and I learned to figure out when someone was trying to make something mine that was not.

      When I stopped being so emotionally intertwined with another I was able to live more in the moment and be in today.

      I started to learn that feelings are just that, feelings. I am entitled to them, and they are important to my well being and safety….having them is not the problem, my behavior aroudn them is (I tend to stuff them). I learned that it did not matter if they were validated by anyone else if I validated them.

      I lost a whole lot of baggage when I started focusing on the only person I could (me).

      I was “fortunate,” I was set to leave for a three week trip the day I found out (my father in law had been sick for the year prior and I had not been home in two years). After he passed I had planned the trip home.

      I had the time off as a result, and I stayed home. I got to be shocked and grieve and had space to do it. I did not have to care what I looked like.

      I also had good reason to share (which was important to me) why I was not coming home….and it was not something I deliberated about. I had to make a decision of taking a flight or addressing the affair in less than two hours.

      I did not like the lessons, but I really needed the learning. I am becoming a person I was meant to be and I think it is in part that the affair cracked something open in me that needed to be. I don’t know that I would have gotten to this deep level of healing if it had not been so bad.

    • Oceangirl

      I had been a doormat for 30 of our 36 year marriage. Not proud of that. I was too much of a people pleaser. After Dday, I became even more a person I was not proud of. I had no idea that I was capable of such rage and vengefulness. I wanted him and his AP to hurt as much as I did. I threatened to tell his company and her husband. I cried, begged, raged. He wouldn’t answer questions and became abusive- physically, emotionally, and verbally– when I kept asking him questions about his two affairs over and over. I finally moved out of the house. We have been separated for 10 months now. I think my leaving woke him up. He is going to anger management therapy and I am learning that I can make it on my own and don’t need him. I am working on making my own happiness and not depending on him. He is pursuing me to come back home, but I won’t go until I know he is safe. I have a new found self respect and refuse to ever give up that part if me again. I am forever changed and I hope it is for the better. I don’t know if our marriage will survive, but I know that I can survive and I am getting better each day, with God’s help. But I will never be the trusting, secure person i was before. That “me” is gone forever.

    • tdleea

      I often put a lot of thought into- how did something that made me feel the highest of high in my life (my husband and marriage) turn and make me feel the lowest of low in my life?
      I was really forced into trusting my journey and being true to myself…..not easy to do in an affair situation. Looking back right now, I am mostly pleased with how I handled things, amazed and slightly bewildered while sometimes angry and how non-revengeful I was. Is it weird that after almost 2 years of the affair, divorce filing and a legal no-contact for him, we reconcile, things are really good between us and NOW I have all of these mean, vengeful things that I ‘wish’ I had done except that in the same thought I’m glad I was the bigger person?? I don’t know how to explain it except that I felt I took the high road as far as things I could have done and said to the OP and sometimes, now, I wish I had done those nasty things. I think I still search for a release of my anger with HER. I’ve dealt with my anger with him….and, I deal with my anger with him when it comes up. My hindsight? Seems to be more my regret. I had just had our second child when I found out….and, I mean just had him. I tried so hard to be focused on him as I knew he wouldn’t ever be this age again and they grow so fast AND he wasn’t getting it from his father. Now, I try so hard to remember those little things about him and I just can’t come up with many.
      The person I turned into seems to reflect much of what other say-turned into the worshipper of him. Meals, clean house, cards, blah, blah, blah. Anything to SHOW him that I loved him. Much of it at the expense of my kids and giving them the attention they needed and deserved. Makes me feel somewhat ashamed and weak.
      Ultimately, overall this has been a good thing. My H and I reconciled a little over 3 years ago. I work daily on my self worth and self esteem and security. I’ll go for a while feeling so good about everything and then I seem to head down hill. The good part is the feel good feeling lasts a lot longer and the not-so-good feeling. This is why I searched out this site-to talk with others who have reconciled. It’s so validating to read others comments about things they did or felt during the affair and after-makes me reassured I’m not crazy! 🙂

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