I started this blog as a means of reaching out to other betrayed spouses, in the midst of my own pain and healing journey. I’ve always found that helping others is a great way to also help yourself.
As my story was unfolding, bit by bit, I would blog in order to obtain support, but also to show others going through the same thing that they weren’t alone. As I reached a place of healing, I didn’t want to simply stop blogging, because I realized that blogging wasn’t simply about *ME* getting support, but also the giving of support to others. I can’t tell you how many emails I receive, or comments left here on the blog from random strangers, telling me how helpful this blog has been to them. I can’t tell you how much those comments mean to me, even today, after my marriage has healed.
The focus of the blog has shifted in recent years towards more of a place of healing and support for others. I hope that it is that for you, if you have been betrayed.
I am also aware that this blog is also a place for OW’s and OM’s to get a glimpse into the mind of the betrayed spouse, and I suppose I should be grateful that they are interested enough in our experience to be looking up and reading a blog like this one, but my experience has shown me that usually, they are interested only in seeing the pain and devastation, in the rubbernecking into the misery of others in order to feel better about their own lives. While not as numerous as the comments of support, I do from time to time, receive comments that attempt to belittle me, to belittle or invalidate my choices, to make me second-guess the happiness I have worked so hard to reclaim. I can tell you without one shred of a doubt that these comments come from:
2. Children born out of an affair
3. Those who have never been betrayed and who stand in their glass houses throwing stones, having absolutely no clue about what they are contributing commentary on.
The reason I say the above is because no person who has ever experienced the devastation of a betrayal like this would ever dream of making un-supportive comments towards a betrayed spouse. It would be like plunging a knife deeper into your own chest, because you fee her pain as she does. You’ve walked in those shoes, and you know how they feel. No one who has been through this would dream of inflicting further trauma.
OW’s: OW’s by the very nature of their actions have shown that they don’t care about the betrayed wife, and are in it for themselves, at whatever cost. It is the ultimate in selfishness, and then in later cowardly comments like “I didn’t owe the wife anything” (Read: I don’t have to atone for my poor choices to sleep with a man I knew had a family, and I can get off scot-free if I just point out that we didn’t have the contract). That is so simplistic and a cheap way out. In what other scenario can a person contribute to a wrong-doing, having had full knowledge that it was wrong, and when caught not have to bear any responsibility? There isn’t one.
Children born of an affair: These responders I understand completely. Their anger is understandable, yet I don’t think it is constructive for them to take their anger out on me simply because my husband’s affair bore a child also. Those who do comment who are children of affairs are likely carrying a great burden of anger and feelings of being unwanted, unplanned, not having a “real family”. These aren’t even children from broken homes, they are children from a home that never existed, a family that never was. Some hold anger because their fathers denied paternity for them. Some are angry because their father’s never contributed to their upbringing, and they watched their single mother struggle to raise them without his contribution. Others are angry because they’ve never met their father, and perhaps has chosen his children from his legitimate union over them, adding to their feelings of being unwanted, unloved, not-counting, and “not real”. I feel a great deal of empathy for these children because affairs are never the choice of the child whose life is the result of the acts of two selfish others who were transiently involved. They are also not the choice of the betrayed wife, so truly the OC and the betrayed spouse are the only true victims here.
People who have never experienced infidelity: We all have opinions about many things in this world, some of which we have yet to actually experience, so our views are limited and possibly also incorrect. This is the case for the readers who come to this blog and comment about how “if it were me, I would have ______”, and “I can’t believe you are so weak that you ________. If it were me, I would have ________”. Look, every betrayed wife will tell you the SAME THING, and I know because I’ve spoken with and counseled many of them and that is that until they went through this, they thought they knew exactly what they would have done, and yet when the shit hit the fan, they reacted in a way they never would have expected. I am a great example. I blogged a long time ago about a friend who confessed her affair to me 6 months before my husband confessed his. Speaking frankly with my husband about the situation, I told him if that ever happened to us, he could pack up and leave. That didn’t play out that way because although you THINK you know what you would do, and how you would feel, you really don’t have a clue. There is nothing in life that can prepare you enough emotionally for the devastation of an affair that you could accurately use your past life experiences to inform your choices post-disclosure. You just won’t know until you get there. So, while I understand the non-valid comments that some of these people make, I also like to encourage them to do a little reading into affairs before they post malicious comments on a blog of someone who has fallen, lived to tell the story, and gotten back up. Mine is a success story, and it belongs to me. What you think of it doesn’t matter. Whether you agree with my choices doesn’t matter. I live with my victory every day. If you are on this blog, chances are you have an interest in infidelity or affairs or whether a relationship can survive one. With that in mind, do some reading, do a lot of listening, and perhaps less judging, and see what you can actually learn from those who have been there, instead of what you suppose it might be like.
This past weekend, I was notified of three separate comments from the same reader within an hour. She was obviously reading through the blog, and choosing to spew negative comments about my situation wherever she could. At first, my response was very reactive. I felt attacked. I felt my story, the work I’d done, the pain I’d endured, that my husband had endured were being invalidated, and I desperately wanted to reply reactively. But I was not in a place where I could quietly sit and ponder a reply, and so I sat on it while I went away with the family. I discovered a few things: If you sit on things, they do get smaller. A few days later, I didn’t have the same need to “put her in her place with her poorly informed comments”, and so I decided simply not to reply at all. After all, the affair recovery for ME took a lot of time and energy. I am always willing to give more to help others who are struggling with the same thing, but I refuse to spend my energy on readers’ comments which are clearly uninformed, cruel and show a sincere lack of support. It isn’t my job to educate you on affairs, why they happen, and what the right and wrong outcomes are. After all, the comments show already a closed-minded individual, and I am simply not prepared to forcibly pry it open in order to “reach you”.
That being said, I also discovered something interesting. I am much less bothered by the comments that attack me than I am at the ones that attack my husband. Those ones really get me going. Let’s face it, there isn’t any substance in attacking a betrayed wife. After all, I didn’t have the affair, and I didn’t make the choices. I am simply being involved in the clean-up. So those roll off my back pretty easily. The ones that attack my husband…those are harder to take.
Let me be very clear. I am not a weak, sad, pathetic, little wife who has ALLOWED her husband to walk all over her, who has ALLOWED herself to be taken advantage of, and who accepts her husband back into her life because she doesn’t think she deserves any better. I am not a broken woman with low self esteem. I know full well that what happened had NOTHING to do with me, so my self worth isn’t suffering. I also know that if I were single, I would have no trouble reconnecting. I’m not with my husband out of desperation. I’m with him out of a genuine love for him, an understanding of his weaknesses and his immense lack of judgment, but moreso because he proves to me every day that he is deserving of the trust I have put back into him and I know he is worth the risk that once felt like. It doesn’t feel risky anymore, it feels secure. We worked hard for that. I worked hard for that. Those who claim he was let off the hook or got away with it, or that he wasn’t given the same heat and hatred given to the OW is simply incorrect. My husband and I went through a lot. Therapy, marriage retreats, suicidal ideation, immense sadness, complete marital breakdown…and we did it together and came out the other side. What you see as more anger towards her than him is simply the result of him having “made right what he did wrong” while she continues to do wrong. So yes….he has risen above her in my eyes, but they were at one time the same two scumbags who deserved to be together in hell. He’s just made all efforts to heal, while she continues to destroy. Therein lies the difference and what you see as being “let of the hook” is simply a man who has re-earned my respect. The OW you see as “bearing all the heat”, is simply a woman who hasn’t borne any responsibility.
I suggest readers go and read the in uninsightful replies both on this entry and others. It certainly helps me understand the kind of trolls that get wrapped up in garbage like this. These scumbag mistresses and bottom feeders all think the same way. Justify the behavior…see themselves as faultless…blame and hate the wife. Grow up people, and pick up some empathy on your way up. Instead of putting your energy into hating someone who has turned a trauma into a victory, go direct your energies to something positive. Hug a puppy.