At some stage, without consciously being aware, you’ll realise you’ve had more good days than bad.
Dealing with the aftermath of an affair is draining. Your body is in shock. You stop eating. You stop functioning. It’s tiring. It’s humiliating.
It’s just fucking exhausting.
So when the sun shines on your face and you realise you’ve had more good days than bad, you see a glimpse of hope.
What turned it around for me was a simple quote I read. It’s funny how one thing can strike such a chord with you that it forces you to not only see things a different way but actually ACT a different way. The quote that turned my life around was simply this: “You are what you think about all week.” For some reason, it hit home with me. You are what you think about all week.
So then I took stock of what I thought about all week: “My husband cheated on me. I’m married to a cheater. I hate my life. I hate myself. I’m going fucking crazy. I don’t know what I want. I hate what my husband did. My husband doesn’t love me. I want to leave. My children are stopping me from leaving. I shouldn’t have married him. I should have seen this coming. His father was a cheater. I hate that he has so many female friends. He’ll do this to me again. I should leave him. I’ll never trust him again. I’ll never forgive him for how he treated me and the children. I cannot even look at him. I HATE HIM!”
THAT’S what I thought about all week.
What a joyless, bitter, hate-filled existence.
I didn’t want to be that person! I DID NOT!
During the week, I read another powerful mantra used by a fellow betrayed wife: “That was then, this is now.” I love the hope in that statement! This is now. It’s different. It has the potential to be great!
I love that there is this wonderful band of strong women online who are encouraging and supporting of their fellow sisters going through this shitty journey.
Speaking of which, did you know affair blogs even existed before you discovered your partner had cheated on you? I can honestly say I had no idea. Only people who have suffered as a result of an affair go looking for help online.
On that note, be aware there are affair blogs that pretend to be resources for betrayed spouses but are really just a front for cheaters to defend themselves, blame their (non-sexual and/or non-caring) spouse for their need to cheat, and justify their selfish actions. Please, if you have been cheated on, be careful whose advice you read and take. Those of us who have been around for a while know exactly what I’m referring to. For those new to this heartache, tread with care.
(The first book I read post-affair discovery was ‘The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity’ by Scott Haltzman. It helped me understand I wasn’t alone in my mad thoughts, that my husband’s behaviour had indeed been inappropriate, and the basic need to set boundaries. I loved the author’s position that an outsider is either a friend of the marriage or a threat to it. I can recommend this book if you are looking for something to help you make sense of your broken life.)
As I was saying, the only people who frequent these kinds of blogs are those who have been cheated on, or cheaters themselves. Not many people just casually drop by to read how the lives of women have fallen apart because of cheating asshole husbands.
What saddens me is that in the few short months I’ve been writing this blog, it’s had more than 50,000 visits. That number blows my mind. So many cheats, so many shattered lives. Every time I hear yet another news story about how the number of prescriptions written for antidepressants is going through the roof, I think “Well, of course it bloody is! There are so many cheaters out there and cheating is easier than ever. The only way women can take the edge off the depression, the sadness, the anger, the hopelessness, the suicidal thoughts, the constant triggers, the insanity, is with these drugs!”
I am now 11 months out from D-Day. I can honestly say that I have more good days than bad, but this week will be a huge challenge for me. It’s my husband’s birthday. This time last year, my husband was a complete asshole. He was short with me and the kids. His nose was always in his phone. He bit my head off when I tried to compliment him about a project he was working on. He was unimpressed with the birthday card and gift I gave him. He was sullen when we went out for his birthday. He didn’t comment on my appearance (hey, I went all out!). He seemed ungrateful. He wasn’t interested in me.
Naturally, it all made sense when I busted him a few weeks later messaging some married whore telling her he want to put his lips inside her pussy.
But at the time, none of it made any sense to me. I was completely and utterly lost.
I am thankful for the blogs, books, comments and words of encouragement from all of you. Some are past this point in the journey, many of you are just beginning.
I want to give you hope. The days do get better. There will be a time when you are not completely consumed by thoughts of the affair, of them together, of how fucking selfish and stupid your husband behaved, of your pitiful life.
I cannot tell you when that day will be for you. For me, it came at the 10-month mark. Don’t get me wrong – I have crappy days where I ask myself what the fuck I’m still doing here and how I can still be with that ungrateful man who was willing to risk everything.
But for the most part, I try to remind myself that I am what I think about all week. That I want my children to grow up with two parents. That we can get back on track and create a marriage that still means something.
I wish the same for you, too.