As the New Year begins, it’s time for many of us to reflect upon the past and plan for the future.  We look at what was both good and bad from 2012, learn from our mistakes and our successes and then develop a plan to hopefully make 2013 a better year.

As we do this reflection, we can usually learn a lot about ourselves.

One of the things that I first learned about affair recovery was the importance of taking care of myself – basically getting strong both emotionally and physically and tending to my most important needs. 

Life is filled with times of transitions, times of change, times of trauma, times of death and times of crisis of varying degrees. When confronted with these challenges we can choose to face them head on, or we can turn and run.

These life challenges (including infidelity) can be an impetus for you to evolve and develop into the kind of person you are meant to be and that you truly want to become. And this goes for whether you are the betrayed or the cheater.

With this in mind, and whether you are the betrayed or you are the cheater…

What have you learned about yourself as a result of the affair?

How has the experience changed you?

Please be sure to respond to each other’s comments!

Also, Benny Hsu created a free worksheet that has questions to help you review your year and plan for the next.  Download it, print it out and find a quiet time to complete it. Don’t rush through it. These questions will really make you think. Be honest with your answers. These are just for yourself.

See also  Who am I?

Take care!

Linda & Doug

 

    48 replies to "Discussion – What Have You Learned?"

    • Natalia

      What have you learned about yourself as a result of the affair?
      I’ve learned that I am stronger than I thought I was. That I will never tolerate anyone disrespecting me again and will immediately put a stop to it. Especially if it comes from my H. He now has met the real me and he’ll think twice before he ever crosses the boundaries I’ve established due to his stupid behavior. All the books I’ve read have given me the necessary tools to protect myself and find my own happiness and not depend on him to be happy. He can either be part of my happiness or not it’s up to him.

      How has the experience changed you?
      It has changed me for the better. The process has been difficult and painful and all my suffering had a purpose and wasn’t in vain. I now have the marriage I always wanted and deserved. I now have the husband I always wanted and deserved. And the best part is that he has acknowledged it all. Everyday he works hard at being the man he forgot he was.

    • justbecause

      I have learned that even if you don’t know en EA is going on, it affectes your relationship. Talking with another person online, on the phone but never meeting is harmless — right?? Not. It doesn’t have to be a PA to be harmful. Anyone who engages in a relationship they keep secret is doing something wrong. It damages your real life relationship.

      This experience has changed me. I am a calmer person now. I know that the years of “something is not right” were just that. And it wasn’t all me. It wans’t me at all that initiated the wrongness but i am, however, responsible for how I reacted to it.

      Should I have separated earlier, not enabled his problems by covering for him, let him fall flat on his face (sometimes this was lirerally the case) ? Probably. Water under the bridge. Do grieve for the past but am here to live the present and I do have hope for the future.

      • Rachel

        Great blog, just because !

    • exercisegrace

      What have I learned from the affair? I have learned to always, always, always trust my instincts. They were dead on, and I ignored them. No, actually I let him talk me out of them. Bully me down with angry, indignant denials that ended with ME apologizing to HIM for doubting him and trying to wreck our relationship. I have learned that while I love him, I would not curl up and die if he left. I am stronger than I ever thought possible. I was not “crazy” and “paranoid” and I did not “need to be medicated”. I have learned that the main person I need to learn to trust is MYSELF.
      How has this experience changed me? Well, when your whole world gets blown to pieces, when you are crawling around on the ground trying to pick up the shards of your self-esteem, it makes you take a long look at how you want to rebuild your life. Because that is what we all are truly doing. We aren’t just rebuilding marriages here, we are rebuilding LIVES. We have determined to become stronger people, that cannot be walked on. People that will learn to trust but not blindly. Trust in a healthy way with good boundaries. I have learned that I always put myself last place. I always put his needs above my own, and certainly the children came in way ahead of me. I can see that I made it too easy for him to have the affair. I accepted too many excuses without putting my foot down and calling bullcrap on certain things.
      Something beautiful is rising up from the ashes. It may not be easy or fast, but it surely will be WORTH the effort.

    • tryinghard

      I’ve learned a TON. I’ve learned I am not responsible for people’s poor choices. Given a chance, people are more likely to lie 1. make themselves look good 2. to avoid conflict 3. because they can! I’ve learned that trust is NOT important in a relationship like everyone says. I’ve learned skills that if I am ever betrayed again, I will be fine by myself. I have learned to trust NO ONE! I have learned to say things once. I’ve learned to be more assertive. I am not a rescuer. I do not need to say all that I am thinking. Cooking beautiful meals is NOT important. Making sure the laundry is perfectly washed and ironed is NOT important. Communication is important. Paying attention is important. Listening to your red flags is important. Taking care of yourself is important. Putting yourself first is important. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST……PEOPLE ARE A**HOLES!

    • WriterWife

      I learned that marriage takes work — it’s not just something that we all somehow innately know how to do. And it’s okay to get help and put the work into a marriage — that doesn’t mean you’ve failed or are somehow lesser-than.

      I’ve learned that complacency can do a lot of damage as can constantly pushing things into the future. It’s so easy to let relationships slide without even realizing it and it’s important to be a little more vigilant. Not so much so that you’re always on edge, but enough to be aware when there are problems.

      I’ve learned that at the end of the day I have myself and that is the one thing I can count on beyond anything else. I’m responsible of taking care of myself and loving myself and while it’s wonderful to have others in your life, at the end of the day I can’t rely on other people to build the foundation of my self.

      I’d lost so much of myself — I was out of shape, overweight, and unwilling/unable to make decisions about my own life and work without asking other people what I should do first. 2012 was the year I took control and invested in myself by losing 70lbs, getting in shape, getting healthier, finding a strong sense of self, reasserting myself at work, and building stronger relationships (including my marriage). My husband’s EA was a wakeup call and one I’m glad I heeded.

      My goal going forward is to not lose sight of these accomplishments and not let complacency slide me back into a darker place.

    • forcryin'outloud

      I have learned I am pretty damn amazing and my CS is lucky to be married to me! I never thought this before. I measured my self worth through him. Why, I have not a clue but I won’t do that again.

      During the past year I found out my H of 22 years was a skilled manipulator and impulsive human, my father died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and I moved for the 9th time to a state and town I loathe because my husband was laid off. I figure if I haven’t checked into the looney bin by now I will make it!

      This year I will work on being happy again. I will do more things for me and less things because I just want to make others happy. Like “tryinghard” I will cook meals that are not perfection, my house may need tidying sometimes, my hair will be frizzy on occasion and as “exercisegrace” said I will trust my instincts and not listen to the insanity of others. I will no longer be a people pleaser. I will please myself with the hopes that people will be pleased by my true self. And most of all I will NEVER tolerate the load of crap my husband was saying or doing to me, NEVER!

      • exercisegrace

        Woot!! Woot!! I too measured my self-worth by the barometer of wifehood and motherhood. I defined myself that way. Time to move into the new year setting my own expectations. I AM a good wife and mother and I always have been. I really need to wrap both hands around the idea that……..He Cheated Anyway. Not because of something I failed to do, or something I did wrong. Time to be true to myself, and while being a good wife and mother is a very large part of that there are other parts. I just need to re-discover them!

    • tryinghard

      I just want to say EG and FCOL you women sound like women I could be friends with. Let’s keep thinking highly of ourselves and taking care of ourselves. I truly believe that is the only way we can save ourselves from “the loony bin”. Hopefully in doing so our relationships will follow.
      Today is not a good day for me. Looking into past payrolls and finding what he paid that illiterate fool is making me sick. Am feeling like crawling back into bed for the rest of the day. Won’t do it but don’t want to sit and stew. It’s just all so foolish. Why do I continue to live like this? ULK maybe it would have been easier just to divorce him, take him for everything he had, ruined his family business and him. Don’t know if my life would be better or not. I’m too old for this crap. I want peace and I don’t know if I will EVER have it.
      Sorry to dump on everyone but this is the only place I can tell my true feeling.

      • exercisegrace

        Dump all you want my dear! I also see you guys as friends. TH, you and I have the added agony of the AP’s involvement in our business and the fact that big bucks were paid to these sluts that they didn’t earn and don’t deserve. It literally makes me sick when I think of it. On the plus side, he can’t criticize me for anything financial. His colossal salary payouts to the tramp shuts things right up!!

        • tryinghard

          EG
          LOL!!! Yeah at least I don’t think twice about buying myself anything anymore! There is some solace in retail therapy right? I’m still a girl, I like nice things and besides the 60 plus lbs I’ve lost requires new clothes and shoes! I was perfectly happy being fat 🙂
          Thanks for the support. Riding that trigger wave today.

          • exercisegrace

            hee hee! Two cheers for retail therapy! Before having kids, I had a job where I had to be very well dressed. After quitting to have kids, I let my wardrobe slide into mom jeans, tees and sweatshirts mostly. Now I am indulging in some nice handbags, cute soccer mom adidas outfits, with coordinating kicks! Planning to branch out into wearing dresses…just because. No special occasion, just to change it up a little. Definitely indulging in a wardrobe change.
            It’s only fair. After I found about his affair, I got rid of every stitch of clothing he owned. I replaced it the same day. I didn’t want ANYTHING he had possibly had taken off his body by her or with her or in front of her! Look on his face to see the bedroom covered in garbage bags of his clothes? PRICELESS.

            • Natalia

              Exercisegrace, you did the right thing by throwing away all his clothing. To me it’s the only way to start fresh, without such a horrible trigger. I would have done the same thing if my H had had a PA (claims he never did). I did get rid of a couple of things his “friend” gave him for his birthday and our anniversary. I sold them at a yard sale! So thanks for the tip, I’ll keep it in mind. The only difference is that he’ll go out of my life along with his clothing if I find out there’s been a PA!

            • tryinghard

              Natalia
              What’s a PA?? I feel stupid!!

            • Natalia

              Lol! Don’t! It took me a while to figure out some of acronyms used in this blog 🙂 Guess I’m not into writing like that I actually prefer to write out all the words.

            • Natalia

              Duh! I forgot. PA is physical affair.

            • tryinghard

              Natalia
              OK now I get it. I thought EA stood for Extramarital Affair. I guess it means Emotional Affair. Well my H had both. Started out as an EA and turned into a PA. After reading the book Not Just Friends it seems pretty inevitable that an EA will turn into a PA.. I’m happy your H’s EA didn’t get the point of a PA but you know for me it is the fact that he attached himself to someone else and detached from me. Also the lies are worse and the thought of the physical relationship. It’s all heartbreaking.

            • Exercise grace

              Sadly, I felt the same way. But I have stayed, and am working on forgiving and rebuilding. Getting rid of any gifts or reminders is a great step in removing potential triggers!

    • tryinghard

      EG
      Yes go for the dresses and skirts! I always wear skirts in the summer especially. I love dresses and tights in the winter but I wear a lot of jeans too, skinny jeans!!!! Banana Republic and Nordstrom’s sends me thank you notes 🙂 BTW no more cheap handbags for me! Thank you very much Mr. Prada and Mr. Gucci and Mr. Louis Vuitton for making such lovely handbags! You know I think he is jealous that I have maintained my thinner self for over a year now. OK I didn’t throw all his clothes out just his boxers. I felt like it though. I always bought him really nice clothes. I wanted him to look nice. JEEEEZ what a fool I was.
      BTW I think it’s not only fair, hell it’s mandatory!

      • Exercise grace

        OMG I wish we could shop together! I used to buy him nice clothes too. Now I buy whatever. Sadly I don’t put much thought into it. Hey, he CAN always shop for himself ya know! I have a teenage daughter who is a great fashion consultant. I buy nothing these days unless she is with me or confirms the outfit via exchange of texts, LOL. Brutally honest!!!!

        • tryinghard

          You are lucky to have a daughter to shop with. Yes we could shop together!! You know if we are going to be stressed we may as well look good and carry good handbags!!!

        • tryinghard

          Yes I hope you have some pampering planned too. Yes especially a nice bag. Hey I have a thought how about taking an old bag, fill it with bolts, and pitch it at his well coiffed head!!!! JUST KIDDING, but it’s a nice fantasy 🙂

    • forcryin'outloud

      Try.hard and exc.grace you have me laughing with the retail therapy and handbags. I too no longer buy cheap handbags. I also threw out every old maid article of clothing I had!
      Exc.grace I love the tossing of his clothes! It still erks me that I washed my H clothes that the EA wench was probably hugging him in. Errrrrrrr! In the long run for him it’s been a very costly laundry service both mentally and financially!

      • tryinghard

        FCOL
        Well when the going gets tough the tough go shopping, right:) I used to love to buy nice clothes for my H. I always wanted him to look nice. HA!!! Now I don’t help so much. OK little secret here. Sometimes when I see hair growing out of his ears or nose, I DON’T TELL HIM!!!!! HAHAHAHA I am cracking myself up just writing that. I on the other hand NEVER leave the house perfectly dressed, made up or “coiffed”. The other day we were at the grocery store and as we were coming out a couple nice looking “younger” men flirted with me. HAHAHA he saw it too. I didn’t do anything to ask for it either. I just smiled and kept walking.
        FCOL don’t you feel better carrying a nice handbag? Go for the most you can afford and then double it!!! No more mom jeans and baggy t shirts. Oh yeah I have a draw full of sexy lingerie too, OHLALALALA

        • forcryin'outloud

          Lmao over the nose hairs!!!!!!

          • Teresa

            Ok, exercise grace, forcryin’outloud, and trying hard….oh my goodness! You three have me giggling as I sit here reading all of this!! LOL!
            You three are amazing ladies. And woohoo for the weight loss! Good for you! Nothing like losing weight to boost your self confidence!
            Y’all know what I did to boost MY self confidence? I got my hand gun permit and a sweet little .380 that I carry with me all the time…in MY designer handbag! 😀
            It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I know it’s not for everyone, and that’s ok, but I like they idea that “I” can protect myself!!
            I have come to realize that ALL BS are strong!! So much stronger than we all thought!
            To deal with affair recoverey, whether it’s a PA or EA, instead of walking, takes a very determined, strong individual!!
            So pat yourselves on the back….and hit the boutiques!!
            Mr. Prada, here we come!! 😀

            • tryinghard

              Teresa
              You know I have learned that if I don’t laugh sometimes at the ridiculousness of my life I will go buy a handgun, or a high powered rifle, and just start taking pot shots!!! Not really. But seriously I have to laugh otherwise I will go mad!! I have thought about getting a hand gun but it is so not me. I would shoot the dog or something of maybe even my H. He would deserve it not the dog. So I say Eff it. If I’m going to deal with crap I am going to look good doing it.
              ROCK ON FELLOW GOOD HANDBAG LOVERS!!!

            • Exercise grace

              I. Love. You. Guys…….seriously! The laughter, the support, the caring, the tenderness, the tough love, the understanding, the sympathy, the occasional kick in the pants. The determination, the unjudgemental attitude, and I could go on and on. You are each so unique and wonderful and valuable! Blessings friends, it’s gonna be a GREAT year. And darn if we won’t look great going into it! Raise your handbags high my friends!

            • tryinghard

              EG
              LOLOLOL! We need a flag with us raising our handbags! We can call it our flag of survival. It is nice to be supported and hear other’s perspectives. It also helps me to know I am not alone and that I am not crazy for the feeling, triggers, anxiety etal that I am experiencing. Love you tooooooooo

    • Disappointed

      I have learned that my heart is stubborn. Though my mind tells me to give up and move on, my heart says wait this MLC out, somewhere in there is the man you love. I have learned that affairs are inconvenient for friends and they do not care if you are the wronged party. And they do not blame the OW for her behavior of pursuing my husband. In fact I think they feel sorry for both of them. I have learned that you should never give up one of your main desires for the one you love. If they truly love you, there is no way you would have to. I gave up trying for a family for my H and now he is throwing me away when it is too late for me to achieve that goal. I have learned that the lies are worse than anything. I have learned that many people assume self esteem issues when you want to save your marriage. I think I am pretty, loyal, caring, resourceful, kind, loving, smart and a good catch. I am not afraid to be alone, but prefer to have someone to share things with. My problem is that the one man I chose above all others would rather justify his bad behavior by holding on to resentments and close off his heart rather than look at himself and change. And what is worse, I think he will never wake up and realize what a fool he has been. Instead he says I will not change. How convenient that it is all my fault. How I wish my H was not a narcissist, but he is. He has missed so much by being the way he is. And I have lost so much by wanting to be with him. You can never be enough for a narcissist…

      • rachel

        No dissappointed you can never be enough. Your story sounds like mine. I am in the middle of a divorce, a divorce that my h wanted. He is miserable. But of course he won’t admit it. Even if he came begging for to come back I would not ever forgive him. I didn’t want to be alone and hated and struggled with it for months. Now I enjoy it. Its peaceful. I do what I want and don’t have to listen to the negatives from him. His ow persued him for 25 years. She is at fault and when this divorce is over I will confront her as part of my healing process.
        My son visted his fathers parents yesterday and his grandfather said to my son that his father has a nice house with a big t.v. My son said ya I can’t go their it makes me cry. His grand father said ya it makes me cry too. He shouldn’t be there he had a home but he is so head strong I can’t say anything to him that he has made a mistake.
        This comforted my son because his grandfather is 86 years old and he knows it too that he made a mistake. He said also that he misses his son. He is there often but my H has become a different person. Someone none of us recognize.
        A narcissist never admits to their faults, mistakes.
        As much as I wanted to work out my marriage I knew deep down that I would never be able to trust my husband again.
        He lied to me as well. I knew I couldn’t live with that.
        So now I put one foot in front of the other. I put a smile on my face and hide the tears. This helps my boys. They are having such a hard time even at the ages of 20 and 16. We were a family. We now are an amazing strong family only minus one.

        • justbecause

          A lawyer friend of mine that speializes in divorce, told me that son’s seem to be more affected by a parents betrayal then daughters. I have one of each. Neither know of my H’s EA. They do know of problems in the marriage, my H’s drinking . . but not his EA betrayal. Not sure where this lawyer got this info or if it is just her assumption. I’m sure every situation is different.

          Rachel, I feel for you and your boys. Be strong. You can do this. You are doing this. But hey, tears are ok.

    • Paula

      justbecause, that makes some sense, depending on whether it was the mother or father that did the cheating. Sons’ image of their father, when he seemd to be such a good guy, but cheated, is diminished, if not destroyed, in some cases. Even mothers who cheat affect boys differently to how girls are affected. I think because, even when we try not to bring them up as such, society dictates that boys are supposed to “be tough” not be as emotional as girls, and that makes emotional stuff harder for them to cope with. In my case, when my parents divorced (I was at uni – they had a good marriage, and a “good” divorce) I was fine, very sad for them, and for us as a family – we were a really great unit – my youngest brother acted out quite badly, for some years – he was only 14 – but is fine as an adult, my middle brother is the one who struggled the most, but because he saw himself as “the cool guy” he had no outlet for it all, and still struggles to this day with his demons (not all caused by divorced parents, might I add!) One thing I do see, time and time again, is boys who have huge respect for their mothers (if they are the betrayed) especially if she ends up the custodial parent. They see strength (and weak moments as normal!) beauty, wisdom, honesty, love and fidelity. These are GREAT qualities to enable them to have good relationships with the women in their lives, friends, lovers, mothers-in-law, workmates, etc, as long as everybody continues to be honest and loving (even if the cheat is not able to participate in this process, they will defend their mother forever!)

    • Paula

      Oh, and an aside – I also always ensured my partner was tip-top and ship shape, he was known as the sharpest dresser in our small town (I remember a girls night years ago, where the girls had voted on this about a week earlier, and told me that night over a few wines, I laughed out loud, I bought EVERY item of clothing he has owned for the last 25 years!) I never leave the house less than perfect, either! My workmates always comment, let alone when I dress up – I even always wear a dress, makeup and heels to the supermarket! I never used to be a huge cosmetics queen, was a bit more of a natural makeup look girl, more often then not but man, do I love the primers and anti-age foundations now! Now I don’t trim those ear hairs he can’t see, haven’t bought him the smart new clothes I always used to, etc. It is quite funny, huh?!

      • tryinghard

        Paula
        HAHA on the ear hairs!!! I love the primer that Make up Forever has and their HD Foundation and Powder is awesome. OK one word BOTOX!!!!! Love it. All the money I am saving on his clothes and pedicures I can now afford to spend on ME!!! Hey don’t forget the good handbags either 🙂 We should start a “Hey Mr. Prada, My H May Be a Jerk, but Your Handbags Make Me Feel Better About It.

    • Paula

      tryinghard, I lost 18kg, the first 15 in just five weeks (too fast, couldn’t eat, or drink alcohol, exercised furiously, fanatically, to hurt myself physically, hoping that would help with the emotional pain) I was not a great one for a decent fitness regime before then, knew I should, but was a little lazy and disorganised about it, and I had a physical job most of my life, so didn’t need it until I changed careers and sat behind a desk for a great deal of my day. Bounced back a little (I had got too skinny – wow, first time in my post-children life I’ve ever been able to say that! ) to about 14kg lighter than I started out, and kept it off for more than two years, felt great, best I’ve EVER looked in jeans, but ended up on anti-depressants around the two year mark, and the SSRIs I tried did not work, so the shrink tried old-school tricyclics, 7 kg weight gain the first month, followed by another 5kg the second, and that wasn’t the end of it! I wept in his rooms, telling him the drugs weren’t working at all, AND NOW I really was depressed (I didn’t think I was clinically depressed, just experiencing very drawn out grief) because it didn’t matter that I had changed nothing else, but I was now FAT, too! Grrr. I have struggled to lose it again, losing about 2kg, after tossing all the meds out after faffing about with different types/dose rates, etc for around 7 or 8 months. That annoys me a lot! I don’t have access to the kind of funds you are talking about – I wear good designer pieces, mix them up with chain store finds – and shoes, not handbags, are my thing! I hate shopping, only enjoy it when I kind of know what I want, and go out and get it! I have had some IPL done on my face (hair – I have PCOS – means excess hair growth, and difficulty with weight control, if not careful) and have been considering a tummy tuck for some time – still have difficulty with the idea of spending so much money on me – with two kids still financially dependent, and a much needed kitchen reno about to start, which I have worked and saved for for two years! I will look into it properly in the autumn (I’m southern hemisphere) when I can take a little downtime for recovery from work, as we are in our busy season at work presently. Botox not yet required (mid 40s, still hanging in there, lol) I always thought no, not putting poison in this face, but my IPL nurse (self employed) is also licensed, and much awarded, for this and other fillers, etc, and being a farmer’s wife, self employed from a home clinic, her costs are amazingly achievable. We have chatted, bwahahaha, and I haven’t ruled out fillers in the future – look what has become of this “natural” girl!!! Blame the cheating a-holes of the world for this slide And their support of the cosmetic “enhancement” industry. Sad, I think, but it won’t stop me if/when I think I need it!

      • tryinghard

        Paula
        The weight gain is one of the reasons I went off the meds. Heard too many horror stories. 40’s might be too young for Botox but I tell you if or when you think about using it you will love it. I felt the same way about putting poison in my body but this is worth it. I think all the research has proven it’s ok. More to the point it is feeling good about yourself. Whether it’s dresses, make -up, new handbags, hair styles, Botox whatever. We need to be able to look in the mirror and know, both inside and out that damn we are good. We know it and we are going to make sure our outside appearance reflects it, right? I’m embarrassed and ashamed of my H’s actions that the whole town knows about. I am not about to go out looking like something the cat drug in!! I’ve kept my weight off for a year and a half. I will do anything not to gain it back. May sound superficial and probably is but this is how I feel. He disrespects me again he’s out and I know I won’t be alone for long. He knows this now too.

    • Rachel

      Heading to court today. Pretrial. New handbag purchased last night. Haha.
      New coat too. It’s fake leather and fur but it looks awesome!
      Boots with heals (I’m only 5’2) .
      And of course my bitchen confident attitude!

      • Doug

        Way to go Rachel. Knock them out! 😉 Let us know how it goes.

      • tryinghard

        WOOT WOOT Rachel. You are going to look great, especially with that confident attitude, and, btw , the outfit AND new handbag sound AWESOME. Good Luck and COURAGE. I know you can do it. Knock em dead. This is NOT the time to be nice. Go for it.

    • rachel

      Court is over thank goodness. So draining! First of all I set off the metal detector. Off came the necklace, belt and shoes. It was like a scene from sex and the city. I looked good walking in and then I was in shambles.
      My attorney put me in a back room so I wouldn’t have to see the ex. Of course my curiosity got the best of me and i peaked around the corner and saw him. Texting like a teenager! It made me so sad, he looked good, happy, at peace. And very handsome with not a hair out of place.
      This made me so sad. Then I started hearing his words in my head and I walked back to my hiding place.
      Every thing financially went in my favor only the alimony weekly payment because he works overtime and that is unpedictable.
      I will sit with my attorney on Friday after he has done some playing with the figures.
      We have a trial date set for april just in case necessary.

      • Doug

        I imagine that can be a very nerve racking and emotional experience. I’m happy you survived!

      • tryinghard

        Rachel
        I thought about you all day yesterday and was keeping you in my prayers. I hope you found the humor in having to disrobe after setting off the detector! I’d have been shaking in my boots. Your H sounds like a narcissist. They generally don’t have any empathy. He also sounds very shallow. You deserve better and I’m sure you will find it. Probably not now since you have to end this relationship. The most important thing now is to get what you deserve financially. Sounds like you have a good lawyer. Well you should be proud of yourself, you got through that one and survived. Stay strong.

      • exercisegrace

        I was thinking about you yesterday too. So glad things went your way. I am praying for you that things turn around now. You are headed out of the worst. Once the lawyer and court thing is over with, I think you will feel so much freer! Do you have anything planned to celebrate? To treat yourself? Maybe a weekend away or at least a spa day? And there better be a darn good handbag in there somewhere. Or we will bring one to you!!!!! Right GIrls???

    • rachel

      Doug, Yes my day in court was very emotional and nerve racking. I had my divorce care support group last night and I didn’t even have the energy to go. I love this group but chose to sit on my couch with a cup of hot tea and stare at a beautiful boquet of pink and white tulips that my friend sent to me to brighten my day.

      Tryinghard, I did find the humor yesterday with those extremely loud detectors going off in my ears. I said only me!!! The security guard made a comment on my boots and said that they are full of metal even a spiked rod. I said no wonder they are so uncomfortable. He had a slight grin and held back his laugh. Yes, my husband is a complete narcissist. I was thinking today, that i married the wrong man. I was never special to him, never meant anything to him. He never respected me.

      Exercisegrace,
      The final day I will go to court with my friend. Apparently you don’t need to but I feel I have to for the closure of my marriage.
      A spa day sounds great. But a new pocketbook sounds even better. Perhaps a designer bag. Possibly a coach bag. I will charge this to my ex husbands charge card and then I will cut up the card.

      Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. You are all so supportive to me on this sight.

    • Maxine6

      Hi Doug,

      I haven’t been on here in a while as I am going through a lot right now. But when you posted this song, being a former singer at Retirement Singer’s, I had to listen to it.

      I don’t mean to sound judgmental, but I couldn’t even listen to the whole song as I listened to the lyrics. I agree with you, it would be a perfect song for your first song at your wedding. But I guess it surprises me that Linda can even listen to those words and not feel so sad about what happened and what was lost. It just made me angry to listen to it, as all the memories of my Husbands, supposedly emotional 3 year affair came to mind. It’s been over 25 years ago and due to the stock market crash that happened over 3 or 4 yrs. ago and he lost so much money. Our daughter owing us $10,000 where we bailed her out of a situation to protect our 3 granddaughters and she wasn’t paying it back. Him drowning his anger and depression in even more drinking at night to dull the pain and then there would be more very angry arguments between us. In addition to his turning away from me for about 3 yrs., not interested in sex or even very much affection or compassion, brought the affair back to me. I then realized that the man that I thought I married, fought to save our marriage, when he lied, barely went to therapy only in body and didn’t show remorse for 5 yrs., was a huge mistake. It took me almost a yr. after trickle truth and talking to the other woman, since he wouldn’t tell me anything to try and find out something about what happened during those 3 yrs. when he was in his early 40’s. I should have never married him as we were to young at 18, but I thought we both loved each other so much. I was so wrong. I put everything into the marriage after the first 7 yrs., he just took and didn’t do anything to make me feel special. Yes, I felt loved, but I was looking at this man through “Rose Colored Glasses.” I saw my whole life in front of me and it didn’t look good.

      I went back to therapy but couldn’t find the right person. He went also, but things were still being shoved under the rug by him. I’ll never know the whole truth and it has made me feel nothing towards him. Now he’s stopped drinking 3 yrs. ago, trying to work on the marriage for the past 2 yrs., but there has been so much hurt throughout these past 27 yrs. that I don’t know if I want to stay. Unfortunately, I’m now 71, not 44 when I found out about it, have many health problems and have been married 53 yrs., so it would be a major change for me. But I’m not happy and life shouldn’t be this way. I’m now looking for a new therapist and trying a new anti-depressant to get out of this depression and panic attacks that have come back. This one doesn’t seem to be working.

      Doug, for a man to be as emotional as you were when you heard this song, speaks volumn’s about the man who has learned from his mistakes and can feel the empathy for his wife that my husband can’t seem to find about the pain he caused me. Something inside of me died when I found out that day and I’ve never been the same since. I can’t remember what caused you to stray, but I do know that my husband had no reason, which he admits. I loved him after 25 yrs. as much as the day I married him and he definitely was shown that by me in every way.

      I admire Linda also, for being able to get through it. Maybe it’s because you were honest with her from the very beginning, I can’t remember. If only my husband had, but I would have divorced him once I found out that they had went off for 2 weekends in 3 yrs. and he slept in the same bed with her. We have only had sex with each other in our life and he claims that she suggested that they go off for a weekend, he made the arrangements, but says that he was never going to take that step or anything sexual with her, other than touch the top of her breast. It was done just so they could go to attractions, eat dinner and dance and not have to look over there shoulder all the time. I did check all receipts and could only find those two weekends, which he could get free, due to the business he was in, where he also took me on our Anniversaries. So after a lie detector test, done by a top detective from the police dept., he passed it. If he actually had sex with her or did much of anything to lead up to it, that was it for me.

      But even after all this, I’m not getting over the betrayal and lies. I did it once, 25 yrs. ago after 5 yrs. of therapy. But at that time, I was to upset to ask a lot of more personal questions about his love for her, why he wanted it to continue, his lack of respect for me and the possibility of me finding out and getting a divorce. My mind just couldn’t handle it.

      I know I’m way off the subject. But my point is, I listened to that song and even though I admired you for having the emotions to feel what your wife, Linda had been put through by you, I couldn’t see how she couldn’t listen to it and feel good about the song? It was almost like it was a song about 2 people who loved each other so much, they wouldn’t do anything to hurt each other. So, I can’t see how it applies?

      Thanks for listening and I am happy that the two of you could make it through it and still be in love.

      Maxine6

      • Doug

        Hey Maxine, Good to hear from you and I’m truly sorry that you’re still battling your husband’s betrayal after so many years. I hope that you can some day conquer the pain and have the happiness you deserve.

        As for the song, you must be referring to the one here: https://www.emotionalaffair.org/a-staind-emotional-affair-trigger/ And the only thing I can come up with as to why it doesn’t tear Linda apart is that it just doesn’t. On the rare occasion that we hear the song, she always wants to turn it up and then tells me to be quiet 😉 I’m guessing it reminds her more of how much we really love each other even through all the problems and pain and all, and that’s still the case now as it was back then.

        So sorry it brought back the bad memories for you and I wish you all the best!

    • Maxine6

      Thanks Doug,

      Yes, I wish I could be as strong as Linda, the song just tore me apart to listen to it. My mind is always, or at least a lot, thinking of him being with her. I guess I can’t say that I love him anymore, I don’t really know. I sure haven’t told him in over 3 yrs. I just can’t as I don’t feel it inside and it’s so sad, as I loved him so much. I did get it back and even kept it after the affair. I was to hurt by what he did and couldn’t focus on anything but the pain. Not knowing the whole truth by his lying kept the love there for a while. It took 8 months to find out a lot of things and it was from the OW, not him. Proof in receipts, etc. was how I found out things, not him telling me the truth. He even lied to our Priest, which still floors me. I fought for our marriage, he didn’t, he just lied so that I wouldn’t leave him.

      I did this for 5 yrs., including therapy, which he went to, but wasn’t really there but in body. We finally went to a seminar at the Franciscan Center for a weekend, then a month of a couple of hours every weekend to group sessions. I participated, but he really didn’t again. I finally decided I had enough and when they said, “Love is a decision you make” and I decided to love him again and move on with my life. That was 25 yrs. ago and there has been a lot of up’s and down’s. He still continued to drink to much at conferences, his 3 drinks of wine every night and didn’t treat me very special after all I had been through. I devoted a lot of my life to my grandchildren as all 7 of them came along and sang at the church and Retirement centers to keep myself busy, plus play tennis on league’s. This kept my mind occupied a lot, plus exercise. Then the girls moved away, my Granddaughters who sang with me for about 10 yrs. and I stopped singing, which was my love for the elderly. I was so depressed when they moved away as I was so blessed to have 6 grandchildren live by me. Plus, it’s hard to do an hour show alone and run the equipment. My heart just wasn’t in it. Then I had to stop tennis about 10 yrs. ago due to 8 slip & falls after my Mom died. All freakish accidents, never fell on the court in 35 yrs. of tennis. That really damaged my back, enough that I couldn’t play anymore. Went back once for a summer and had another accident, so that was it. So all the activities that kept me busy went away. Couldn’t travel much, due to pain and then went into depression and have always had panic attacks since the affair. The last 2 things got much worse about 5 yrs. ago when he started ignoring me again and no desire to make love except every 4 months and then it was my idea. So that’s when the love started to drift away and all the thoughts of the affair came back.

      Been to several counselors, tried several antidepressant’s which none of them worked, so I am stuck and don’t know what to do. I have a Dad that is 94 and he thinks the world of my husband and he would be so upset if we separated. My two daughters blame me for bringing all of this back again and are angry with me for messing up the whole family. Now they are ignoring me and feeling sorry for there Dad and have actually told him to leave me. He went to one of there homes and cried on there shoulder, which he should have never done. None of the Grandchildren know about what he did and I don’t want them to, yet I know that they can feel or see the difference when they are around us. I would feel so humiliated if they ever found out. I didn’t do anything wrong, but for me, it would be embarrassing for them to know that he didn’t love me enough to do something like that to me. I think about that every time I think of even separating, all the questions and I think they would blame me as they see now that I don’t treat there Grandpa with a lot of love and don’t know why.

      So to say my life is complicated is an understatement. I just know that I’m not happy and haven’t been for several yrs. It’s very hard to end a marriage of 53 yrs. when your 71 yrs. old. So who ever believes in prayer, I really need them as I don’t know how much longer I can live like this. Still looking for the right counselor to talk to.

      Thanks for listening, I know I totally went off the subject, sorry.

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