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“Get over it and let it go”


In talking with people who have been through this, and those that haven’t, I’ve learned something rather interesting, and witnessed a disparity.   Unless you’ve been through this, you cannot have the appreciation for the depth of the pain that one feels when this happens to them.  What’s worse is that in your assumption that you do know, you may say or do something that causes them additional pain and suffering due to your lack of sensitivity.

I’d heard of affairs a lot.  I’ve read of affairs.  Heck, I’d even experienced affairs first-hand from an arm’s length.  Marriages of my childhood friends have ended over affairs.  Family friends have, in my adulthood, confessed to me that there had been infidelity in their marriages.  My father was unfaithful to my mother, at least three times that I am aware of…probably more.  I learned of it, I shrugged my shoulders, and yeah, I felt bad for her, but I knew it was her business, not mine.  I assumed she would feel sad. I assumed she would feel hurt.  I assumed to know a lot of how she felt because I could imagine it – or could I?  What I didn’t realize, until recently, is that until you are IN this, looking in from the outside, you can convince yourself that you understand, that you “get it”, and that you have an appreciation for the suffering.  Trust me when I say that you don’t.  You don’t even have a clue.  Assuming that it hurts a lot isn’t even scratching the surface.  It is just common sense, but doesn’t show any true appreciation or understanding.

I had someone recently use the words “let it go”, in relation to the hurt and suffering caused by my husband”s infidelity and the ongoing attempts by his ex-mistress to cause me emotional and legal distress. It was this person’s hope that I would be able to “let go” of the hurt that I have been carrying, and lift the weight from my shoulders.  I am sure the comment was made in good faith, with great intentions, but hearing it made me think that that they really may just not “get it”.

The best that I can describe the experience of living with this situation, is that of being diagnosed with a life altering, but non-terminal disease. You will never look at the world the same way again.  Everything you see, do, feel, say, experience, is all filtered through the lens of this new reality.  It won’t kill you, but you will wake up many mornings wishing it had taken you in your sleep so that you wouldn’t have to wade through another day with the oppressive thoughts and experiences that come with it.  There will be days when you wake up in the morning, and for a brief moment, a transient time, you will awaken thinking that it had been a dream, and that it never happened.  A lightness and glow will come over you, and for a brief moment you will believe it, until reality comes and pours a bucket of ice water over you.  For a moment there, LIFE WAS BEAUTIFUL.  Food will taste different, things will feel different, you will BE different. Never again will you wake up carefree and open…because instead you will wake up plagued and haunted.  Living with this is what I imagine living with Cancer to be like. You wouldn’t tell a cancer sufferer to “get over it”,or that you hope that she can “let it go”, would you?  Why is this considered any different?  Someone is irreparably hurting, their life forever altered, and their days continuously plagued by the onslaught of this reality, and yet you hope that they can “let it go”, or “move on”, or “get over it”.

Personally I can’t “get over it”. It’s too hard. It is in my face ALL THE TIME.  The best that I can do is to learn to live WITH it.  Part of learning to live with it is to adapt to the new reality that is my life.  I need to adapt to the idea that the money that rightfully belongs to my family, to my children, is being given to a dirtbag whore who didn’t have the common decency to stay out of a married man’s pants, but who feels entitled to take, take, take.  I need to adapt to the fact that because she refuses to get a job, her “income” is deemed so disparate to that of my husband that he is responsible for 90.5% of the additional child care costs, while she pays 9.5%.  I have to get used to the idea that a woman used my husband to capitalize on the “free ride” of having a baby and having it COMPLETELY financed for her (She pays less than $10 from her pocket per month for this kid).  I had to adapt to the idea that I could, at any time, receive yet another call from the police because she is once again making up stories designed to get me in trouble with the law, placing herself at the forefront of my mind, or both.  I need to adapt to the idea that one day, this demon spawn may show up on my front door wanting to know her father, spurred and encouraged by her mother to do so.  I have to adapt to the idea that my children may one day be made aware of the existence of a half-sister, and either be angry at us for not disclosing it, or disgusted by the infidelity.  Either situation is not good.  I have to adapt to the idea that I no longer hold a special place as being the only woman to carry my husband’s children.  I now forever share that, as the title has been stripped from me.  I have to adapt to the idea that this will never go away, it will never resolve, and I will always wake up faced with the prospect that THIS DAY may be one to present more hurdles for me where this situation is concerned.  I can not rest, I cannot become complacent, I must be ready for battle at any time….because she comes out of nowhere, and wants me to suffer.  It is not a way I wish to live – it has been placed on me, and while I will never GET OVER IT, or LET IT GO, I will perhaps learn to LIVE WITH IT, and that will take a lot of time, therapy, and self-love.  I really wish it were different, and trust me that I am doing my best.  I still have to talk about it from time to time, but I rely on my therapist for that. I don’t want to burden friends and loved ones with this enormous weight all the time.

So for those who have never been through this, you will undoubtedly one day meet someone who has.  Be a good listener.  Take the time to listen and care.  Don’t allude to being tired of hearing about it, even if you are.  Sadly, the statistics bear out that if you haven’t been through this, you will.  If that is the case, before it does, wake up every morning and take a mental snapshot of your life.  Give thanks for all that you have, remember the beauty of that moment, and soak it up completely, because when it changes, it changes forever, and you can’t go back.

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Comments

  1. so well put… even the offending spouse has no idea how it feels… I have never felt this much pain ever… and I have been through many many painful experiences in my life thus far. you are right… no one gets it unless it has happened to them.
    I have adult children and they all know about the infidelity. they don’t get it. The pain they feel is extreme, I see that. but it is not to the degree of which my pain is. and yes life has not and will not ever be the same… I am different. there is a cloud over head, the rain has stopped but the sun is not out yet and I am not sure it ever will be. I pray it will grow smaller as time goes by. thank you for your thoughts and words.

  2. Ditto…….. living with it and ready for battle everyday. The only thought that comforts is despite everything … I have my husband and my family intact. Yes, we have suffered monetary losses and embarrassments. But, My husband has proved over and over the last 10 years his loyalty, devotion and determination to prove he still loves and that he only ever truly loved me. What they had was not love, it was a sick need driven by guilt, threats and emotional blackmail.
    Hugs…….. now go buy something pretty for yourself !
    WE SHALL THRIVE…… not just survive !

  3. I’ve been reading about your journey for the past few days, and I think for the first time, I’m having a close up look of what this experience must have been like for some of the women in my life. My grandmother, my mother, and my sister. I knew it was hurting them, of course, because just the idea of it hurt me. But I really didn’t get the depth of the pain they must have felt. The grief and the loss. My grandmother was the type who never talked about anything, I was too young for my mother to share her feelings with me, and my sister, who I am the closest too, only shares a few things before changing the subject. Reading your story, I’m beginning to understand just how much she kept to herself. It really breaks my heart because I would have liked to be a greater source of support to her. Your situation reminds me a lot of hers. She, too, is married to a nice guy who found himself entangled with a crazy-ass-psycho-bitch-turned-babymama, who never misses an opportunity to drag them back to court demanding more money from them or to call the police to lodge another “complaint” against them. She has cost my sister and brother-in-law thousands and thousands of dollars in court costs, attorney fees, and child support. OW also took it upon herself to inform friends, family, co-workers, and perfect strangers who she believed would stand still long enough to hear her version of the story about the affair. Interestingly enough, skank-whore also seems to believe that my sister somehow “robbed” her of the life she should have my sister’s husband. Until I read your blog, I thought OW must be uniquely insane. It’s a little disturbing to find out it’s more common than I thought. But I suppose it takes a certain type of person to willfully pursue a married man.

    I’m really sorry that you’ve had this awful thing done to you. I’m sorry that this awful thing has been done to anyone. But I want you to know that I admire your strength and your courage and your willingness to talk about what this has been like for you. I hope you get the life and the happiness that you deserve.

    • Thank you very much for your compassionate comments, and for reading about my story. I’m always so grateful that there are people out there that read it, and then I can help others, even in a small way.

      No, the other woman in your case was certainly not unique. They seem to all share the same personality imprint. They’re all damaged goods, trying hard to reclaim the shattered pieces of the broken lives, by trying to break the lives of others. There is sad lot indeed

      What I find most interesting, is that the men, our husbands, were unable to see these women for who they truly are. As women, we are much more in tune with other women, their motives, their agendas, the unspoken between the lines stuff. Then simply Art. He thought the other woman was smart, funny, exciting, vibrant. Because she was single, infrequently talked about going out with her friends to martini bars, he longed for that lifestyle again. Her life reminded him of a life he was no longer living, and he missed it. I guess a mortgage, work, and three small children take you away from that partying atmosphere. It’s funny to hear myself say this, because my husband was never a partier.

      I’m not clear on whether the affair happened to you, or to your sister. It sounds like it might’ve happened to both. I do, however, recognize and admire the strength that you show in wishing to support your sister and her pain. Even when you are hurting yourself.

      • Michelle says:

        Thank you for your reply.

        I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear. It didn’t happen to me; it happened to her. But your circumstances are so similar, it’s hard not to think of her when I read about you. My sister has talked about it a little with me, but not very much. I didn’t realize that until now. Especially in those first few days after finding out her husband had impregnated another woman, I thought she confided in me a lot, but after reading about your experience, I realize there must have been much she kept to herself. Her feelings about the discovery itself and the depth of the betrayal and what a struggle she must have had day in and day out. Hearing your story, I have a new appreciation for the need for a network of support. If there’s something I can do better to support her on her path to healing, I want to do whatever that is.

        Thank you again for your willingness to talk about your experience with such candor. Your husband is very lucky to have you.

      • And your sister is very lucky to have you.

        I think for some of us, myself included, the reluctance to talk about it, especially in the early days, is due to a sense of shame. Sure, we haven’t done anything wrong, and we are the victims, but there is a certain shame in admitting to those around you, better husbands cheated, that he looked elsewhere for something, that perhaps we weren’t enough. It’s everyone’s first thought whenever to hear of an affair: she must not have been putting out, they mustn’t have been sleeping together, she obviously wasn’t enough for him. I found myself explain the situation to people, and adding my own disclaimer: “he got tangled up in an affair, but it was really her who is driving the car, navigating the relationship, forcing him into a relationship”. I didn’t want people to think about me if my husband, and I didn’t want them to think badly of me. It was more than embarrassing, it’s humiliating.

        I would certainly tell your sister how you feel, and let her know that you were open to talking with her about it. Let her know that you hold no judgment toward her. I’m sure she will appreciate it. Also, share with her your understanding of how you think it would feel, and direct her here 🙂 we can all use the support.

  4. The story you tell could have been mine exactly- except that it happened 20 years ago. I’m still married, it still upsets me what happened, but it seems a lot less important now so many years have passed.
    Here’s the only difference. I encouraged my husband to have a relationship with his child. Why? Because although it nearly killed me to have to see her mother I couldn’t have lived with myself if I didn’t.
    That child is your husband’s child and your children’s sibling. Referring to her as demon spawn is a million kinds of wrong. You’re a grown up- none of this is your fault except for one part- your reaction to it. You are acting like a child, thinking by ignoring your husbands other child you can make her disappear.
    When your children find out I don’t think they’ll understand. I think they’ll resent you.
    That little girl is innocent- she did nothing to deserve not having a father. You aren’t punishing the OW – you do that by staying married. You are punishing the child- and truly, your own children too. You’re depriving them of a blood relative because of your jealousy.
    My children know their half sibling- love her, as does my husband. And you know what? I like her too- she’s a sweet girl despite my feelings towards her mother.
    All these years later her mother is remarried and I’m sure her feelings for my husband are long gone. What isn’t long gone is the happiness my children get from their sister and in truth that my husband does too. I don’t feel any hurt when his daughter comes to family events although I could never stretch to seeing the OW there -not without losing it.
    All those years of paying for this child seem worth it too when you see the beautiful happy adult she is- I resented it at the time but I’d never in a million years call her demon spawn- it’s not her fault.
    Really think carefully about yours and your husbands refusal to let this child into your life. I think in the end it will break up your family either because your husband realises how wrong it is not to see her and starts to secretly resent you, or because your children find out from one of the many people who know and end up hating you for not letting them see her.

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