Good Wednesday!

I was out cutting the grass in between thunderstorms yesterday afternoon, and while doing so I was trying to come up with a topic for our weekly discussion.

I wanted to keep it in a positive mode like the one we had recently on success stories after the affair, and one indeed came to me. A comment left by Lori yesterday confirmed to me that it could be a good one.

There is a saying that goes, “With adversity comes strength.”

Without question, an affair is probably the most adverse thing that could possibly happen to most people. Even so, there is the opportunity to seek, and find strength as a result – both physically and mentally.

I think that no matter the situation, we can all find some small ways that we have gained strength as a result of an affair. It may take some hard looking, but I bet it’s there somewhere.

In what way(s) have you become stronger as a result of the affair?

How has this strength manifest itself?

How has this new found strength helped you in your affair recovery?

Please share your stories of strength so that others can benefit!

As always, please respond to each other in the comments.

Thanks!

Doug & Linda

See also  Forget About the Affair Fantasy and Get the Playbook

    9 replies to "Discussion: Finding Strength After the Affair"

    • Saddenned

      Lori’s story touched me too. I am 7 weeks after D-Day and still try to find strength. Some days I am stronger than others. I have to get mindset correct before I get out of bed each day.

    • Lori

      I am so glad that my story has touched you, honestly, every single story on this blog has touched me in a loving and supportive way, I’m happy to give back. One way I find strength is by reading, absorbing and learning all I can about human nature and specifically relationships. If I would have known what I knew then, I wouldn’t have been in so much pain. I also learned that I need to acknowledge my actions in the course of all this. I was actually ‘reacting’ most of the time to what ‘he did to me’ and then I fell into the ‘victim’ category and felt somewhere that I needed to be ‘right.’ There comes a point where being right doesn’t matter as long both partners can move past the pain. I also learned that forgiveness is key to moving on. However, both parties have to be willing and participating in the relationship for this stuff to matter.
      Doug & Linda asks how did this strength manifest itself. Well in my case, I had to hit rock bottom first. I have never felt so much pain and despair. I didn’t want to do anything, I couldn’t eat, I just worked (and barely), and was in bed by 8:30. I had a huge hole in my heart that I would fill by putting my fist on my chest so the weight would help replace the hole. In my situation, my partner had daughters who were practically like step-daughters to me. We weren’t married, nor living together, but we did everything like a family and I was planning on a future with these 3. So, not only did I lose the love of my life, I lost his 2 wonderful kids as well. I have never felt so much pain and loss. Never. So, back to the bottom….. I really think that if I didn’t feel that physical and emotional pain in my life, I wouldn’t have wanted to learn as much as I can and ‘self-correct’ myself. So, I started reading. I found this blog. I downloaded or ordered every book that was recommended to me and then I put the mirror on myself and realized my role in the relationship. I made so many mistakes. I didn’t trust and I didn’t let him correct himself. I damned him to purgatory and didn’t let him forget what he did to me. In hindsight, the pain and misery came from the fact that I allowed him to ruin my self-esteem. I have always been smart, independent and very self-confident. Many people think I’m attractive as well. I have my own house, a great job and am very well-traveled. But he took a pin and busted my self-esteem balloon. I became needy, clingy, untrusting. I snooped and found all this proof that he was lying. Then I became obsessive and needed to chart it and cyber-stalk her. I compared myself to HER! I would ask him a question that I knew he would lie about and then call him a liar. I didn’t know who I was – I was a mess. I knew I had to get back to being me. The road back to Lori is long – but it’s a journey of self-discovery and one that will result in a life that I am worthy of. I will find myself again, and I will find a real, deep love and connection. I am blessed to be able to learn from others and share back my story.

      • HY

        Hi Lori where can I find your story? Can you share the link pls? Thanks so much!

    • suziesuffers

      Thanks Lori. The pain is amazingly unbearable at times….and the continuing lies are the salt in the wounds. On a positive note, if there is one in this mangled mess….Doug asks
      In what way(s) have you become stronger as a result of the affair? I think I have always had low self esteem, even though, as Lori, I was a successful high paid manager and always self sufficient…but there was this little voice in the back of my head that told me I was not OK. I was the little fat girl. As my self esteem strengthed, I became more confident in high school, but then I met my husband. He was a womanizer throughout our marriage. A number of EA’s and PA’s….drug and alcohol addiction too….And as you ask, why did I stay…what sane woman would tolerate that abuse? What I had to start looking at was WHY DID I STAY? I had a million excuses I used at first, only to myself because I was too ashamed to tell anyone that I was tolerating this kind of abuse. My excuses were pretty consistent through the years, I had 3 kids..I would have to take care of them on my own (not as if I wasn’t already) but I would not be getting alimony or child support (self employment and really never made any money) and most importantly I told myself how much I loved him….and maybe I did and still do, but it’s hard to really believe you could love someone that spent their life hurting you….So as they say, I had to start to unpeel the onion and look at the layers. Sure my self esteem was crushed as it is in all affairs, but was there something more. I fear of him leaving me was overpowering…but why, he was never really there for me emotionally. I started looked deep inside. My abandonment wasn’t about him leaving, as much as it was about my fear of never finding someone to love me. My self esteem had been crushed and I had begun to believe the “lies” my H had told me. He didn’t have to say it in words but his actions of womanizing had told me I must be undesirable and unlovable. As I continued to believe these lies I became more and more fearful of his abandonment. My belief was now that I would never find anyone after him and that I would be alone and unloved. That he would move on as usual and find another woman to love him, so he must be lovable and I must not. I let him redefine who I was and my worth. I would never attract anyone because I was not as beautiful as the woman he attracted. Strange thing is I would always go back to him to get the validation that I was ok….and he might give it to me, but then be back at his old tricks and I would be broken again. I am reading as much as I can and listening to some wonderful self esteem tapes. I am rebuilding me………..I….I….not asking for him to build me up, I am looking instead for me to build ME up. It’s hard, but I feel stronger. When you really face those demons, they seem smaller than you imagine. You believe you can conquer them. My new mantra….you women are absolutely beautiful–from the inside out, from your head to your toe, straight down to the core. your absolutely one hundred percent beautiful, no matter what people have told you, no matter what you have told yourself, no matter what you see in the mirror, no matter what you see on the scale, no matter what television or the magazines are telling you, you are fearfully and wonderfully made and absolutely beautiful. know that. I am finding new strength in ME. A strength that will sustain me no matter the outcome.

      • Doug

        susiesuffers, your comment took so much courage and trust. I really commend you for looking within yourself and finding the stronger and beautiful you. Your husband does not define who you are and I am sad that he allowed you to believe all of those terrible things. I am sure that once you realize what a special person that you are and you do not need anyone to make you believe that you are ok you will find all the happiness you are searching for within yourself. Linda

    • changedforever

      Not one of your best posts for me – almost ‘rationalizing’ what ‘good’ came from my CS’s affair(s.) I can answer that at less than 7 mths post D-Day: nothing – nothing ‘good.’ You say…” I think that no matter the situation, we can all find some small ways that we have gained strength as a result of an affair. It may take some hard looking, but I bet it’s there somewhere.” My CS still is rationalizing and this post is asking me to do the same.
      I have not yet become ‘stronger (nor do I see becoming stronger) due to the affair – case closed, for now. I am a ‘reader-in-between-the lines,’ therefore, you are asking how I am a better person since his affair. Direct answer – I am not. And finding out that my husband’s indescretions LEADING up to his full blown affair were due to slippery slope-like behavior: ‘baiting’ women, leading them on and his being ‘led on’ willingly, keeping all of the emails between other women and he SECRET from me, made me and our marriage more of a joke than I thought. Part of recovery? I guess so. Considering this a ‘new found’ strength? I don’t think so.

    • Nicole

      I found out about HEA 5 weeks ago. I have never been through anything so painful. We have 4 young children and he has ended it. He has strong feelings for this other woman. Which is so hard to hear! A problem I’m having and not finding anyone addressing is my young children and hers are very close friends and are in everything including school together. She goes to all the things my family and I enjoy doing. Because my husband invited her to do these things with the kids when the EA was going on. I have to be by this woman all the time! If it’s not me then it is my husband! It’s like being kicked in the face pretty much every day. Will this ever go away? Do we need to move. Does anyone else have a story like this or a way to deal with this?

      • Healing Mark

        Nicole, so sorry to hear of your predicament. I came close to having to endure what you are describing, and initially dreaded going to events where the children would all be there and I would have to act like nothing bad ever happened. It was difficult for me and my wife and her AP had already ended their EA (my wife still acknowledges feelings for the AP, but through actions and words has with very little doubt, also confirmed by AP’s actions and words, that her feelings are now such that they are not damaging to our family), so I can only imagine how hard it might be if my spouse still had “strong feelings” for the other person.

        A few thoughts. If it was my husband, I would consider having him not attend any of the events you described unless it was absolutely necessary. At least until you have received a heartfelt apology from your husband and feel as though there is not only nothing going on between your husband and the AP, but little chance that anything might once again develop between them.

        I am not a proponent of disclosing the occurrence of the EA to anyone other than a professional counsellor, in your case, given that the children are in the same school and the EA apparently has not ended, I would consider letting the husband of the AP know what you know about the relationship between your husband and his wife. Perhaps he will also attempt to limit his wife’s appearances, and he and his wife ideally will get back to a place where the wife is no longer interested in participating in an EA with your husband which should make it easier for you and your husband to successfully move on with a happy, albeit changed, marriage notwithstanding the EA.

        Sure, moving seems like a viable alternative, but it seems a bit harsh and unnecessary at this stage.

        God bless you as you attempt to get over all of the hurt and negative emotions that you are no doubt experiencing at this time. If things develop in a positive manner, my experience is that there will be a time where you will be at an event with your children and husband and the AP and her children and you will feel almost normal and be able to enjoy yourself notwithstanding the presence of the AP. And when I say “develop in a positive manner”, understand that at a minimum for me, this was heartfelt apologies from my wife and the AP, promises to continue a relationship in an appropriate manner and actions backing this up, and finally a foregiveness, not acceptance, of the occurrence of my wife’s EA.

        Healing Mark

    • Star

      WOW… I have become a stronger woman due to affairs. I have learned who I am in Christ… I learned how to love unconditionally. I learned how to forgive. The affair resulted with a child and I learned through series of crying nights and prayer… that love is not perfect. My heart and mind is not a glass house, so I was in no position to cast stones. Did all this discovery happen over night… HELL NO, but when the spirit came to me to let it go and let GOD, I did.
      Now every so often the enemy creeps thoughts and images into my mind and I immediately rebuke them. I still get sad and question “why me Lord”… the hurt is surreal, but as I sit and think… all the pain made me a better wife, made me understand a little more. Yes it is still hard for me to trust him and get suspicous still… Hoping that I dont have to feel the pain again, but I ask GOD to lead his heart so that he doesnt fall short of the temptations again. I also pray that I dont fall short of temptations either…
      The devil came to kill, steal and destroy and that goes for marriages too. Our vows says for better and for worst… it didnt give a description of the better or worst, the good or bad times and think… GOD dont divorce us when we fall short, why is it an option for us to do this.
      My suggestion for you is to lean on GODs understanding and not your own… yes your flesh will question but your spirit will sing praises.
      I love my husband, our kids and my step-daughter and thank GOD for our little family.
      GOD has his hands in all of it… REMEMBER THAT ALWAYS!

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