At 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…
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.
Linda & Doug