While is appears that empowering yourself and being betrayed do not go together, on closer examination we find that such a belief is false.

empowering yourselfBy Sarah P.

The title of this article seems like an oxymoron: after all, how can someone feel empowered when their spouse has betrayed them?

Here is the good news.

Empowerment is both a state of being and a state of action. The good news is, you alone control both your state of being (and the feelings you feel) and you control what you do with your life via actions based on your free will.

You are in control of your ship.

But, there are hurdles as well.

The biggest hurdle to empowerment is the nagging and sometimes relentless feeling that you did something to cause your situation.

Here at EAJ, our mantra is that cheating is a choice. This is not just an opinion, it’s a statement based on objective reality. Objective reality shows us that if a person wants something BADLY enough, they will move mountains to get it. They will make decisions and choices that lead to them getting what they want.

What to Say When a Wayward Spouse Blames You for the Affair

Someone does not wake up one day and find themselves in an affair.

Having an affair involves a heck of a lot of free will and many bad decisions and choices. Infidelity is the journey of a thousand steps and at any time a person could get off the road that leads to cheating. If they don’t get off the “cheater’s road” and if they continue to make one bad choice after another, they will end up in an affair.

This process has to do with a wayward spouse’s deficits, denial, lack of judgment, and even plain, old selfishness.  There is no way to cause a person to cheat. A truly unhappy person has many different healthy choices they can make and none of them involve cheating!

Plus, in studies it appears that many wayward spouses are not even unhappy in their marriage. This phenomenon demonstrates that cheating has nothing to do with a betrayed spouse whatsoever. If a person is happy with his or her marriage, never wants a divorce, and still cheats, this has to do 100% with his or her own character flaws.

The sad thing is, betrayed spouses can find themselves mulling over what they did wrong. Betrayed spouses did nothing wrong; it was never about them. Still, betrayed spouses are often left alone to heal their wounds.

Consider this timeless wisdom from the Betrayed Wives Club:

“Betrayal sucks the life right out of you. But I’ve noticed the difference between betrayed wives that quickly get back on their feet and those that floundered long after their marriage ended and even into new relationships, [it] always comes down to one simple question. And the question is this: What can I do about this?

So often we disempower ourselves. We wonder what we did wrong. Or what’s inherently wrong with us. What we could have done differently. What the OW has that we don’t. And on and on, until we’re a quivering mess that feels scarcely entitled to use up someone else’s oxygen.

And then there are the others. Those women who recognize from the get-go that cheating says a whole lot more about the other people involved than the blissfully unaware wife. The women who, though they might have moments of doubt and fear and anxiety, quickly realize that the only way to survive a spouse’s affair is to assert their power. How?

By asking that one simple question: What can I do about this?

And let me tell you, if you think there’s nothing you can do…you’re absolutely wrong. There’s always something you can do that honors and empowers you.

Even if you’re financially unable to leave. Even if you have a newborn baby attached to your breast and four others underfoot. You can still ask the question. And come up with an answer that gives you your power back.

What can you do about this?

You can leave. Or you can start a savings account to enable you to leave at a point in the future. Or you can go back to school to gain skills to allow you to enter the workforce. Or you can rediscover a hobby that helps you find your center. Or you can start walking to gain [more] health.  You can meet with a lawyer. You can meet with a therapist. You can find a support group. You can start a support group.

What’s so empowering is that none of these options rely on your husband or ex-husband to do anything. He can go on being a cheating ass or he can claim the title of Reformed Husband of the Year. Either way, you’re going to be okay.” (1)

She is right; either way you are going to be okay. But, I fully believe in taking empowering actions that slowly lead to an empowered mindset.

I am a big believer in open communication and I think it is fair to ask your wayward spouse to look at THEIR deficits and how those deficits caused them to make one decision after another.

Don’t allow them to defer blame onto outside events like the time in fifth grade they did not win that coveted soccer trophy. Don’t let them say, “Sniff, sob! Not winning that trophy when I was 10-years-old set me up for a lifetime of feeling inadequate and now I must forever use hundreds of men/women to fill that void!”

It doesn’t matter what happens to us as individuals; we always have the power of choice. YOU have the power of choice.

You have the power to:

  • Go on a vacation alone to do soul searching
  • Stop being the household maid and chef, unless you still have children at home. Let the cheater figure out dinner.
  • Try a hobby or new sets of hobbies you put on the backburner
  • Buy some new clothes that help you see yourself in a new light and realize that this had nothing to do with you
  • Make new friends by going to hobby groups
  • Move out of the bedroom until you feel comfortable being touched again. Do you think moving out will cause a wayward spouse to cheat? No. He or she already cheated and some will do it again EVEN if they have full access to you physically! They like the high
  • Change your behavior towards your spouse. You really don’t owe them anything until they have shown remorse
  • Take up mindfulness meditation
  • Do activities, like marathons that make you feel mighty
  • Realize that just because your spouse cheated does NOT make you undesirable. You are highly desirable and it’s not your fault that your wayward spouse is a flawed human being
  • Be open to vacationing without your spouse and joining a tour group
  • Call an attorney for a free hour long consultation to know your financial and parenting rights

Empowerment

Empowering Yourself Through Perseverance

One of my favorite and most effective tactics is perseverance. The fact that you are up and functioning well-enough to read this post tells me that you have it in you to persevere. Sometimes, all we can do is persevere.

Last year, I created a 30-Day program called Empower ME! We have seen great results with this program for those who have studied each day and done the exercises. The programs contains ways to change/rewire your brain so that you can face the world with genuine self-empowerment.

One of the most powerful things that I learned while writing the program is that all successful people have something in common: perseverance against ALL odds.

The true story of a woman named Jane Whyte comes to mind…

The year was 1884. (Yes, you read that right: the year was 1884). Jane was bundled up and had decided to take her dog on a walk on New Aberdour Beach in Northern Scotland during a storm. Jane was not deterred by Northern Scotland’s fierce storms; it takes more than that to stop a Scot!

The winds were howling and Jane noticed a large, steamer ship heading for the rocks, just off shore. She noticed that the storm had broken the ship free from its anchor and that if the steam ship hit the rocks, all the souls on board would be lost.

Though Jane had 8 children waiting at home, she walked into the frigid North Sea until she could catch a rope thrown to her by the ship’s crew. She tied the rope to herself and signaled the entire crew to grab the rope and jump into the sea. 

Then she dug her heels into the sand and slowly trudged backwards, digging in her heels more each second, and inching her way to shallow waters and to a place where she could get a foothold.

Jane Whyte

Jane saved EVERY soul on board the steamship that day and hosted them in her home to get warm, dry, and to have a hone-cooked meal.

That day, the ship wrecked on the rocks, was utterly destroyed, and was sold for salvage, but no lives were lost.

Jane was awarded money by the government as well as a medal of honor. She used the money to pay off her small home and to send her children to school, so that they could have better lives.

To me, Jane is the picture of perseverance.

Most people would have walked away because they would have thought there was nothing that could be done. Perseverance does not think that way. Nothing is impossible to the person with a perseverant soul. Make this psychological trait your friend and realize nothing is impossible.

Just realizing that nothing is impossible is an antidote to feeling deflated. You have your free will, you have your choices and can follow your agenda (not someone else’s), and you can persevere.

In Summary

While is appears that empowering yourself and being betrayed do not go together, on closer examination we find that such a belief is false.

Someone’s selfish choices based on their own free will has nothing to do with your self-worth or value as a human being.

Cheating is a reflection of the deficits of the cheater and not a reflection of you. Cheaters would love to blame shift and make you the issue, IF you let them. But, you don’t have to let them. A cheater is an adult and made an informed decision, which was also a destructive decision, and it destroyed the foundation of your marriage.

This says everything about who they are as a person and nothing about who you are. Betrayed spouses have more power than they realize.

If you feel stuck, consider checking out my Empower ME! program, which comes with a money back guarantee – so there’s nothing to lose. Click the graphic below for more details.

empowering yourself

Sources:

http://betrayedwivesclub.blogspot.com/2010/05/re-empower-yourself-with-one-simple.html

Jane Whyte Photo:  https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/948148/north-sea-iron-steamship-sailors-rescued-heroine-honoured

 

    21 replies to "Empowering Yourself: An Essential Part of Healing from Infidelity"

    • Sarah P.

      Hi All,
      How have you been this week? I know that sometimes it seems impossible to be empowered. In fact, it’s not in the interest of your wayward spouse, for you the betrayed, to become empowered. If you are, some wayward spouses fear you will find your power and your voice. Once you do that, a wayward spouse has a harder time manipulating you.

      Let’s imagine a wayward spouse is in the affair fog. His or her number one goal, during the affair fog, is to keep everything tightly controlled. The other person needs to be controlled so they will stay in an affair without pressuring for more, the betrayed spouse needs to be controlled (and often tactics like gas-lighting are used to control the betrayed), and the result is that the betrayed spouse feels powerless. Some wayward spouses make their betrayed spouses feel powerless intentionally and others do not.

      Regardless, most betrayed spouses will feel less than empowered. But, it’s important to remember this dis-empowerment can serve the needs of the wayward spouse.

      Every time you feel dis-empowered, remember who it benefits: your wayward spouse and not you.

      So think about why feeling empowered is your ticket to freedom: it gives you your power back, makes you the Captain of your Own Ship, and empowerment propels you forward.

      But, back to you… how have you been this week?

      Please chime in, whether you are new here or a regular reader.

      And please accept my apologies for not being active in the comments. My grandma passed away recently and there was so much that happened leading up to her passing. My attentions were elsewhere, but I am back here now.

      I would love to hear from you! So again, how have you been?

      Sarah

    • A leopard with go faster stripes

      So, here’s the story of my wife, the other man and my road to empowerment.

      I’ve taken full responsibility for my part in the affair. I enabled their ‘friendship’, I supported him, I showered him with gifts and attention, I made plans to integrate him more closely into our lives, I even looked away when I knew something funny was going on. I sacrificed everything for her too; my happiness, my health, my vision for the future, I loved her completely. I would’ve done anything for her. They were my best friends and they betrayed and abandoned me. It hurts so much. Poor me.

      Rule 1: I must stop playing the victim.

      I made myself weak, weak enough to make him feel like the better proposition and just when I was at my weakest, he struck. It was a plan that took him 6 years of stealth seduction to achieve. He’d been watching and waiting, looking on enviously at our relationship and he wanted to take it for himself. He sidled up to her one night and said ‘I really love you’ to her and that was it, her interest was piqued. I was going through a tough time and she’d had enough of waiting for me to come out of it. Her subconscious mind said ‘here’s a better option for your affection, a stronger more breed-worthy male, try this new person out’. It’s like The Devil whispered ‘the grass looks greener over there’ into her earhole. I blame myself for allowing that human piece of garbage to ever get close to her. I blame myself for my pain, her pain and even the pain that the trash feels. It’s an awful situation for everyone concerned and it’s all my fault. No, it’s all their fault, they’re terrible people.

      Rule 2: I must release the blame and stop focusing on the past.

      Since D-day 3 months go, I’ve been relentlessly working on myself. Yoga, Pilates, meditation, art classes, bible study, Reiki, therapy, hypnotherapy, long walks in nature, sound healing etc. I’m throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the issue but this is a problem that can’t be fixed, not even with personal development. You see, I still love her and want her back. I’m not working on myself for me, I’m doing it for her, I’m doing it to win back the love of my life. I know that’s a recipe for disaster but I just can’t help myself. It’s part of my programming.

      Rule 3: I must stop chasing an outcome and rewrite the script.

      The thing is, I saw him as zero threat to my marriage. He’s a useless loser with no life plan, charismatic maybe, earthy perhaps, muscly but not that handsome, intelligent or talented, no money and he lives in a 1 bedroom house-share with a shared bathroom and kitchen. A typical hopeless playboy type. She’s living with him now and will have to be there for the next 4-6 months while the divorce goes through. She’s used to the finer things in life and now she’s living like a student. Big round of applause for my wayward wife please. Way to affair down. I was better than him even before I got buff, lost a ton of weight, found God and got my mojo back. I’m now outstripping the both of them by a country mile on paper, so why don’t I feel any better?

      Rule 4: I must stop the judgments and comparisons.

      Perhaps it’s the whole striving to be ‘better’ concept that is actually holding my healing back? Perhaps I’m trying too hard? Perhaps I’m yet to do the 180 properly? Perhaps it’s just way too soon? Perhaps I’m expecting too much?

      Rule 5: I must stop questioning the process and surrender.

      Do I really think that their relationship will last? The chances are slim. Do I think that she’ll come crawling back? It’s highly likely. Will I be able to forgive and show her unconditional love? I’m extremely hopeful of it… but what if it doesn’t work out? What happens then? Well, at least I’ll have a body to die for, a clear mind, money in the bank and a whole load of new opportunities and in the end I’ll be OK. I doubt they’ll be so lucky.

      Rule 6: I must stop obsessing about the future.

      Karma is going to get them. I hope that they both suffer as much as I do. I hope that every moment of happiness they experience is tinged with guilt and shame. I hope that when they make love they see my face looking back at them accusingly. I hope that they’re haunted by my memory. I hope that all of their dreams end in tatters and they’re left with nothing but bad feelings. Damn them both, I hope they rot.

      Rule 7: I must stop focusing on them.

      I’ve done hundreds of hours of research: websites, Youtube videos, books etc. Everyone is keen to give me their advice on what I should do. They either tell me to hold on, move on or do something in-between. They tell me to save the marriage, end it or wait patiently to see. They tell me to go no contact, Smart contact or to flood them with contact. They say that either I should stay friends or that I shouldn’t be friends. I’m so confused. Somebody, anybody, tell me what I should do.

      Rule 8: I must take advice with a pinch of salt and follow my intuition.

      I’m worn out, obsessed and scared that I won’t do the right thing. I’m trying to do everything by the book. There are too many rules to follow. My head is spinning and all I can focus on is the pain. Just getting through the day without crying is an achievement. Real men don’t cry. No, real men do cry. I’m too much in my head. I think about them 85% of the time and the other 15% is spent thinking about self-improvement and making sure that I’m not going off course. I want things to go back to the way it was when it was comfortable. Getting comfortable was the problem in the first place. This is too hard. I don’t want to be here anymore. Oh! Damn it, stop thinking and focus on the present moment. I must focus on the present moment, that’s another rule right?

      Rule 9: I must throw out all of the rules.

      So, where am I in the process? Empowered? Nope. In control of my ship? Nope. I’m totally and utterly lost at sea (but I’m doing the best that I can). Somebody throw me a rope.

      • Sarah P.

        Hello A Leopard,
        I am sorry for what you are going through. What a double betrayal. I want to write a proper response, so please hang in there. I admire your courage.

        I will write a longer comment tonight or tomorrow because I want to address all of your points thoroughly.

        Hang in there and remember that you DID NOT cause your wife or friend’s actions. You unfortunately got stuck with two people who are acting like a pair of rotten apples. That’s on them, not on you, Leopard.

        Sarah

      • Nearly Normal

        Hi Leopard.

        My story is very similar to yours in many respects, yet at the opposite end with respect to time. My D-Day was slightly over 19 years ago.

        He was the best friend I had at the time (back when I trusted men enough to have a “best friend”). My wife was very close to him and they had a lot in common. They spent more and more time together, and what was an emotional affair became physical.

        Of course they denied, denied, they would never do anything, they were just close friends, blah blah blah. I confronted them, and so did his wife. But that got nowhere. Could I have done more? Of course, there is always more. Was I stupid? You betcha.

        But we know where the blame is. Not me. I did not cause the affair.

        When she eventually was forced to admit it (after he had moved out of the area) she was still under the affair fog. She was so sad, but still thought she loved him. I soon forgave her (probably too soon, but I am willing to forgive myself for mistakes made under extreme trauma). Self-forgiveness or self-compassion is a kind of empowerment which takes a long time to really learn. I’m still working on it.

        After two decades of struggle and pain, I am usually in a much better place. She left the fog long ago, but never really faced up to the defects in her personality that made all that possible in the first place. I know she won’t do all that again, but the defects are still there that rub at me the wrong way from time to time. But better than the Really Dark Days.

        It takes so much damn time. That’s the real problem. And it’s not all one direction. One day is great, the next is crap. Steady progress gives way to setbacks. I think this would be true if she comes back to you or not, either way.

        Sometimes I think of myself as a badass who has endured an incredible amount of pain. Other times, all i feel is the wounds that can never completely heal. Perhaps it is best to picture yourself as a war veteran who earned the purple heart injured serving your country, but your war wound sure hurts like the devil. Over time, it will get better, but sometimes the weather is cold and your wounds ache.

        Most of all, give it time and take care of yourself. Time by itself does not heal all wounds, but it is necessary. You’ve been deal a major trauma. Your emotions will a mess for a long time. Heck, even the other day I had a good cry. Hopefully you will heal better than I.

        Sorry, this was not much about empowerment, but maybe something here will be helpful.

        • A leopard with go faster stripes

          Thanks NN. Your story is exactly what I needed to hear. I used to be afraid of pain and I’d avoid it at all costs. Now I use it as fuel. Thankfully, the wounds I have aren’t fatal.

          I too am concerned that she’ll never own up to her defects. She has apologised for ‘the way it ended’ and I can forgive her for that. I can’t forgive her yet for the way that she’s behaving right now though.

          I’m impatient though and I want this whole sorry business to be over and done with. From what you say, it’s never really over and that you just have to live with it. Better man the trenches and get ready for some more incoming fire then.

          Good luck to you in your healing.

          • Nearly Normal

            And you as well

    • Sarah P.

      Can anyone else tell Leopard about their experience?

      Any other betrayed men out there who would please chime in?

      Thank you!
      Sarah

    • Betterdays

      Leopard,

      It’s true, you made some questionable choices about your soon to be ex and her d-bag lover. Is any of it your fault? Nope. Are there valuable lessens to take away? I sure hope so. The fact is, even if you didn’t make their affair a cake walk, they may have still done it. I think your biggest hang-up is trying to control anything but your own actions. You have no control over the rest. None. I know you’ve received many opinions. Here’s one more. Mourn the loss of your wife and “friend” like they were in a plane that fell from the sky and burst into flames on impact. Then move on. She’s gone and not coming back. You’re doing all the right stuff for the wrong reasons.

      • A leopard with go faster stripes

        *Chuckle*

        Thanks Betterdays. I’m having fun visualising all of the different ways the universe could end them. I’m thinking decapitation by motorcycle and razor wire, double spontaneous human combustion mid-coitus, mauled to death by ill-tempered goats, that sort of thing.

        Oh! I’ve been a total control freak to the max. Since she left, it has been my coping strategy. I’m loosening the reigns more since I’ve realised there’s not much more I can do to entice her back. The washing up is NOT getting done every night now, just so that I can tell her that I’m being tidier than her mother.

        I can’t consciously change the reasons behind why I’m doing what I’m doing but I can accept that wishing for an outcome that might not happen is pointless. Ultimately, whatever I do, I’ll be doing it for myself anyway.

        The main lessons I’ve gained are these:

        1) Don’t ever let yourself slide physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.
        2) Have a vision for your life, don’t let it pass you by.
        3) Seek help when you need it.
        4) Never rely on someone else for your happiness.
        5) Get out in nature.
        6) Go easy on yourself. Don’t add more burdens onto your shoulders than you can carry.
        7) Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself not them.
        8) Don’t mourn what you’ve lost, celebrate what you have.
        9) Walk away from people that don’t care about you and keep the ones that do.
        10) Pay attention to your farts, they can always lighten the mood.

        I’ve come a very long way from where I started. Before the affair, I was a fat, miserably depressed, hopelessly suicidal, terminally frightened, needy, weakling of a man. I couldn’t even deal with the basics, look at myself in the mirror or go outside without panicking. I deserved a bitch-slap from the universe. I should give them both a big hug and thank them for doing me a favour… and then I’d kick him square in the nuts.

        • Hopeful

          I agree with the others. Your wife and best friend made those decisions and who knows they most likely would have found a way to do what they did no matter what. In my book no matter how broken you are there is no reason betrayal is okay. There are many avenues to cope with and face issues besides lying and cheating.

          What worked for me and I still practice it is I spend a lot of quiet time in self reflection thinking about I want or need in my life. I really think about what I want without taking into account others and outside factors. This helped me to provide a lot of clarity and reprioritize my life. It has been my version of empowerment. This was not easy for me. I am someone that does everything and I am too selfless. Over time I can see how selfish my husband is. He has admitted to me that he has to work to think of others before making decisions. He is always happier when he does but it does not come naturally to him. Just like for me to put myself first feels wrong. Between kids, business, careers, health, life etc it can be hard. But in the end I decided whether we ended up together or not I needed to figure this out for me. Kind of a bare bones approach. And in the end I can only control my self, actions and decisions.

          • A leopard with go faster stripes

            Thanks Hopeful.

            You’re right about them doing it later on in our relationship, highly likely I’d say. Their affair was perfectly timed, as we were about to buy our dream house. A countryside utopia. If they’d have done it after the purchase, I’d have been even more crushed. It’s almost like a higher power orchestrated the whole affair just for laughs. Where I’m living is a great place for self-healing and for being selfish in a positive way. There’s a yoga/hypnotherapy/reiki centre on my doorstep, art class and a therapist 5 minutes walk away and nature all around. They’re not so fortunate on the other hand. She’s told me that her place for reflection is the local cemetery. Fitting, don’t you think? All she does is cry whenever she talks to me on the phone. She’s definitely not having the fun that she imagined. Her negative version of selfishness is starting to have consequences and eventually they’ll become too much to bear.

            I was always too selfless in my relationship too. It was her above me. In fact, it was her, then the cat and then me. Now, I have no other option but to be selfish and to focus on my wants, my needs and my future.

            The betrayal isn’t OK. There’s a reason why Dante put traitors on the lowest ring of hell next to the devil. It’s a nuclear explosion of awful. The thing is, I don’t have to view the fallout from it as negative. If I can come out of it in the end stronger, better and more full of life, then that will change my whole perspective on the affair.

        • Sarah P.

          Hi Leopard,

          I am a fan of farts. I have two cavalier spaniel puppies. Small they are, but they can CLEAR a 50 foot long room of all humans. That’s a pretty good party trick and why I don’t have to host dinner parties. Humans don’t like eating while wearing gas masks. Yes, everyone, I like fart humor. Supposedly, Einstein’s favorite jokes involved farts as well. That makes me feel better.

          Onto all seriousness now….

          I know you love your wife, but I don’t understand why. What did she provide you with, while married, that caused you to love her so much. No judgement on your answer. It’s just a curiosity on my part, but it’s also a testament to the fact that the human mind is not logical. We think it is, but it really isn’t.

          Why do you continue to love her?

          I do agree with your list of 10 lessons learned. They are true and helpful. And I think they are things that would benefit everyone here.

          I am just so very sorry that I can intuit you still blame yourself for some of this. I am glad that you pursued self-improvement and continue to do so.

          I am going to say that the person you are has improved so far past who your ex wife was or is.

          I would ask you to let go of your wife and to look for a true equal in life. You were too good for her when she was cheating and all the self-improvement you have done has made you 20 times better. Go out into the world and look for your equal, for your ex-wife is so far beneath you.

          You can love again and find someone who loves you for who you are and who is monogamous at heart. I know so many terrific, beautiful, single and successful women who are looking for someone like you.

          Please slam that door on your ex and go find someone of your caliber. There are many gorgeous women out there looking for a guy like you; so go find one and make her happy.

          I would really like to know why you still love your wife, if you don’t mind sharing.

          Sarah

          • A leopard with go faster stripes

            Hi Sarah,

            Dogs are the perfect scapegoats, don’t you think?

            To answer your questions…

            What did she provide me with? Why do you continue to love her?

            1) Love. We had an intense bond verging on the telepathic. We could sense how each other was feeling. We could communicate whole sentences with just a look. We spent most of our spare time together. We had so much fun just doing the mundane things in life. We missed each other fiercely when we were apart. We gave each other gifts when it wasn’t expected. We had a deep understanding of each other. We could talk for hours, about anything and everything. It was love at first sight, we met in a place called Eden, the student union club at university. I left university soon after and wasn’t allowed back in. I was expelled from my favourite place. Divinely guided, perhaps.

            2) Growth. Constant growth. She introduced me to meditation, reiki, yoga, tarot, crystals, aromatherapy, ecology, horticulture, sound healing, acupressure & massage, vegetarianism & veganism, the list goes on and on. I helped her learn more about herself. I used my intellect to guide her when she was feeling unsure. I was a constant source of guidance, helping her to overcome her doubts.

            3) Support. She was my biggest fan. She went to all of my gigs (I’m a musician) without fail. I supported her businesses and projects, I was her biggest fan too. I was passionate about her success and helped deepen her learning. When we split up, she was about to embark on one of the biggest projects of her life, which now lies in tatters.

            4) Inspiration, she was constantly dropping little nuggets of useful information that I could use in my creative projects. She was my muse. She amused me greatly. I was her source of rational guidance when her ideas would fly off into fantasy. I kept her ideas grounded.

            5) Guidance, she was excellent at switching negatives into positives. When I was down or depressed, she could change this with a smile. I was able to stop her from taking too many unacceptable risks and calm her impulsivity. She was mentally my equal, she had a different type of intelligence that complemented my own.

            6) Shared values and hobbies. We had the same ethical values (organic food, green living, spirituality). Both of us are apolitical and not religious. We loved the same music and films, computer games, walks in the countryside, trips to the seaside, travel etc. We were excellent dance partners and got loads of attention when we took to the floor. We looked good together, as though we were made for one another.

            7) Mutual reminders. Both of us will never be able to look at the moon, sun or stars without thinking about each other. Whenever we see a tractor, both of us will be reminded of the relationship. Certain animals, flowers and plants will set us off. Places have massive significance for us also. Even the tattoos on her body record all of the things we’ve done together. She will never be able to forget me even if she tries, our relationship is written all over her skin.

            What was missing from our relationship? What were the problems?

            1) Physical contact. She would pull away when I hugged her when she was feeling emotional. She had a problem with intimacy due to childhood trauma and parental shaming. I was hesitant when dealing with this issue due to my own mirrored trauma. This is the missing 10% that the Affair Partner offers. He’s not hesitant and she has had a sexual awakening due to coming off birth control a year ago. He also provides her with an ego-boost by finding her attractive, as she’s now moved into middle-age pre-menopause.

            2) Co-dependency. We played the runner/chaser game for many years with each person switching roles at different stages of life. I provided her with financial stability and she dealt with most of the physical aspects of life. I couldn’t look after myself physically and she couldn’t financially. Our mutual happiness was tied into how the other person was feeling. We needed each other for survival.

            3) Addiction. We both have had problems with addictions. Since the split, we’ve been resolving this separately.

            She’s tortured by the end of our relationship. She cries whenever we are in contact. She misses me intensely. She can’t stop seeing the Affair Partner due to the hold that Limerence has on her. She isn’t in control of the situation. She’s entirely being driven by her subconscious mind. Both of her parents were unfaithful to each other. She hates herself for what has happened but can’t stop what she’s doing yet.

            She’s my equal. She’s just a ‘good‘ person that has done a ‘bad‘ thing (or rather an addict that is acting out and is in need of healing).

            There’s much more to the story than this but that’s for another time.

            Kind regards

            Leopard

            • Sarah P.

              Hi Leopard,

              Dogs are excellent scapegoats. But, only my husband and sons use them for that purpose. However, two gassy dogs have truly exceeded anything a human can produce.

              On a serious topic….

              I see the trauma that bound both you and your wife as well as the good things that bound you together. I like that you two experienced alternative spiritualities together and lived a healthy life.

              As for the pill… Most people don’t know what the pill does to a woman’s hormones and sexuality. There are many articles about it. The pill is good at preventing babies, but it appears to affect a woman’s drive as well as who she finds attractive. It’s a complex biological process and worth reading up on. Did her entering her menopausal years lower her self-esteem? Not all pre-menopausal women are unattractive. Their bodies may be different than their 20-year-old forms, but female beauty transforms with age, but female beauty doesn’t fade. Maybe the affair partner mirrored that beauty back to her and used this as a manipulation to pull her in.

              I still don’t understand the events that led up to them getting together. I am referring to what they did; not what YOU did. You did not do anything.
              What did they do… Were there signs?

              And how does contact look these days between you and her?

              Limerance does fade, but you have to ask yourself how it will be if she comes back. Will you be able to love without fear? Love without insecurity? Love without resentment?

              Ideas?

              Sarah

    • Betterdays

      “I’m loosening the reigns more since I’ve realised there’s not much more I can do to entice her back. The washing up is NOT getting done every night now, just so that I can tell her that I’m being tidier than her mother.”

      This advice may seem counterintuitive but… The more you create a nice soft return/safety net/plan B for your cheating wife, the less she has to worry about what you. Meaning, your feelings are broadcast out there. You’ll always be there with open arms for her return whenever she is done with her AP. What incentive does she have when her pathetic ex(her view of you) will take her back at any time she desires. Zero fear on her part. This guy likely won’t be the last one either if this is the environment you create for her. It’s just like raising a kid at this point and rewarding bad behavior. The door needs to be closed hard on her.

      • A leopard with go faster stripes

        Thanks Betterdays. Did you close the door hard? If so, what did you do?

        • Betterdays

          Leopard,
          For me, when I found out my attitude was, “you are choosing someone else, see ya.” Of course the trickle truth started. “Oh, it’s not that serious.” “It’s already over.” “I never liked him like that.” “We only did this or that and only this many times.” All were lies that were revealed in the following few weeks/months. As I started to find out the seriousness of their relationship(coworkers a 20 sec. walk apart), I started coming down real hard and over the first two weeks and(as far as I know) they severed the relationship and she was at a new place of employment. I made the decision(best move with the greatest outcome) to contract the other betrayed spouse. I hammered it out of her and she admitted their first talk was an agreement to lay low for a while. They absolutely cannot be trusted in the first few months after discovery. Nearly every single word out of their mouth is a lie during that time. This is the pain of trickle truth and living their lies they use to control the outcome.

          • A leopard with go faster stripes

            Thanks Betterdays.

            “See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya.”

            I’m starting to get the picture.

            Cheers.

    • A leopard with go faster stripes

      Hi Sarah,

      Yes, it was a trauma bond that we had. She has monkey-branched into another trauma bond with her new person. When she met the other man, he was broken. He was sat in an armchair around at a friend’s house with a deep cloud of depression hanging over him. She didn’t find the other man attractive at all until she came off the pill. She took pity on him at first and invited him around to our house. He did have something she wanted though. He was a DJ and had ‘contacts’ who could get her what she needed. We partied together for about 6 years and, in that time, his confidence grew because of our close relationship.

      He used to spend days over at our house right up until D-day. I learned how to DJ because of him and I was playing a gig with him just before it happened. That was in October 2019. It was during the gig that he said that he loved her. Before that point she had never indicated any attraction to him at all. In fact, she used to be disgusted by him physically. We were in the process of moving house and she had also changed jobs. She was getting very sexual with me around this time and I thought we were starting to click. I had no idea that this would be the beginning of the end. It all happened so fast, by November they were sleeping together and I was done. They did it right in front of me. I saw it, didn’t notice what they were doing and went about my business. Even though that little voice inside said ‘STOP THEM’.

      She’s very attractive, in an unconventional way. Her beauty transformed into something special when she hit 42. I desired her greatly, more than I ever had before. She worried about her looks fading though. She was losing self-esteem fast. Having two men desire her super-charged her libido and fed her ego to massive heights. She thought that she was living in the Twilight films. She called me ‘Edward’ and him ‘Jacob’. She wanted to have her cake and eat it. She wanted us to live like a happy polyamorous family out in the countryside. I said ‘NO!’ and was sent packing.

      He was manipulating her right from the start. He ALWAYS showed his best side to her: gallant, polite, protective, charming, supportive etc. When he was on his own with me, that dark cloud that I talked about would descend on him again. I could never figure out why this was. MY INTUITION WAS SCREAMING AT ME! I didn’t listen. I now know that he was mirroring her ‘happy-go-lucky’ persona to get what he wanted. He said to me after D-day that he would ‘take what he can get’ from her, he even faked having cancer to elicit sympathy from my wife. He also let me know in no uncertain terms that he was a ‘seductive bastard’. She has been conned by a playboy parasite that was feeding on her and our love. Now she’s trapped. Turns out that he’s the vampire and I’m the lone wolf.

      I now understand that from the moment that they met an emotional affair had begun. He provided her with something that I could never give to her. A party. I asked my wife what she wanted out of life just before we separated and she said ‘fun’. Well, the party’s over now. All the music that she listens to, all of the good times that she has with him and every time she celebrates will be tinged with sadness and grief because I’m not there. She’ll never be able to interact with the old party crowd because they’ll know what they have done. She’ll see the dark cloud that hangs over his head, his mask will slip, he’ll reveal his true self over time, he’ll see her demanding nature as a threat (he told me that he got rid of his last beautiful girlfriend for buying things for the house and asking him to contribute, what a crime!), they’ll argue ferociously and, at that point, perhaps Limerence will fade.

      She has an ‘avoidant’ personality type, so contact is minimal at the moment. I’m about to go into a phase of no contact with her. Partly out of choice and partly because we’ve separated our finances and I’ve nothing left to talk to her about. I’ve said all that I can say right now. Divorce is the next stage, which she’s arranging. The next time that I’ll speak to her will probably be just before the divorce goes through in 4-6 months. My last attempt to get through to her will be a Hail Mary letter and then I’m done.

      If she does come back, I won’t trust her one bit at first. I’m highly aware that Limerence fluctuates. I won’t want to live with her either, she’ll have to date me. I’m not about to disrupt my calm with that level of crazy. Seriously, Limerents are totally and utterly ga-ga. I’ve never seen anything like that level of delusion. It’s like they’re eating a turd sandwich but they’re convinced it’s smoked salmon and cream cheese.

      Love without fear? Love without insecurity? Love without resentment? That’s a tall task even for a ‘happily’ married couple! I’m willing to give it a shot though. It’s her that could be the problem there.

      I’ve seen the advice to close the door hard on her. I get it. It’s certainly the only move that I can now make to guarantee my sanity. It’s coming. I’m just not quite ready for it yet.

      There’s so much more to this story, condensing a lifetime of experience into few paragraphs is difficult. You haven’t heard her side. You don’t know who I was before my ‘awakening’. That’s for another time perhaps, if you want to hear it?

      • Sarah P.

        Leopard,
        You are right. It is impossible to capture the experience of a lifetime in a few paragraphs. I do want to hear more and I am sure others do too.
        I want to hear all about it.

        Now, I do understand how the other man weaseled his way in. You are right about what will happen between the two. The other man sounds like a narcissist and a charlatan. As you said, one day the social mask will slip.

        So please do tell us more. Life is not cut and dry.

        • A leopard with go faster stripes

          Thanks Sarah.

          On reflection, I think I’ll stop obsessing about the past here. I can’t change any of it and I’m not the same person that I was. Splitting up with my wife, even though it hurts, has produced massive benefits. I’m no longer numbing myself to death in a co-dependent relationship.

          I’ll talk about the present and future instead. I now have a bucket list. I’m planning to face my fears head on.

          I’m getting a tattoo done (something that I swore I’d never do). I’m planning solo trips to Barcelona and Bali. I can quit my job and go travelling for a year if I wish. I can even emigrate. I can go sky diving to overcome my fear of heights. I can choose who I let into my life as friends. I’ve met over 100 people in the last month and can remember their names. I’ve been speaking in public, which is something I plan to do more of. I’ve reconnected with my family, building better relationships with them. I can eat when I want, sleep when I want, go out when I want, do the hobbies I like and do nothing when I want. I can focus on the creative activities that I love without distraction. I’m not bound by another person’s rules or expectations. I can pet a dog without someone turning their nose up. I can eat spinach. I can remove alcohol from my life without a fight. I can buy myself flowers and chocolates just because. I don’t have to ask anyone else’s opinion before making a decision. I can decorate my home anyway I wish. I can even pray without objection or ridicule. I don’t have to be the bank for a financial dependent. I can spend money on my own projects. I can put myself first. I’ve lost a ton of weight and have ordered new clothes that I’ll look super sexy in. I can eventually date and love someone that is better suited. I can leave a bad relationship because I now know that I’ll be OK on my own.

          So, it’s time to close the door on the past. The person that I loved is dead. She’s not coming back. Time to rip the band-aid off and gain the empowerment I so rightly deserve.

          Good luck out there Sarah and thanks for the inspiring article.

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