submission sixteen (16)

Your Age: 51 +

Length of Relationship : 21 years or more

How long ago did the betrayal occur?: It's been a while - over a year ago

How did you learn about it?: 

He told me . We were laying in bed going to sleep and he told me he had cheated with someone he met at a bar. He lied, trickle truthed and hid secrets from that moment on.

Describe how you are feeling now, or how you felt when you found out.: 

When I found out I went numb., we had been married for 27 years and this was the second time he came and told me , the first time we were only married 3 yrs. we worked through that first infidelity. Now, 24 yrs later our son was two weeks out from starting University so I kept quiet till he moved out. Then I took a LOA from my job as I had a breakdown. I still suffer PTSD from the emotional , social, and verbal abuse I endured trying to reconcile. He lied through therapy, and I later discovered he was drinking a lot. After 2 years of therapy I discovered there might be a child involved with another AP which I knew nothing about. I continued medication : Wellbutrin and ciprilex to function.

How have your normal habits changed (eating, sleeping, etc)?: 

I rarely eat - I drink a lot of coffee, I started smoking, doing drugs, and drinking to soothe the pain.

What are you using to cope with your emotions? Is it working for you?: 

Now, four years since DDay I still see a therapist one on one , I use the “Tapping in” method to block the trauma. I have quit smoking and doing excessive drinking and drugs. I work out regularly and I’m fit. It’s still a rollercoaster as we are still separated not divorced. I have a tremendous support team : parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends that have helped me through the tough days. I go on long walks , or ride my bike to breathe and feel alive. I started painting again which helps express myself and releases anxiety. I’ve rid myself of all his friends and family which was very hard after 34 yrs of being together.

What are your next steps?:

 I’m starting a new beginning for myself. I’m building my confidence, my self worth, my dignity. I’m getting better at being assertive and standing up for myself. I’m learning to put myself first and to say “no”. I’m living on my own and I’m very happy, I spend time with my son , we do soecisl things togy: concerts, bowling, sports watching, cooking and lots of laughing. I’ve landed an amazing new job, I’m traveling and I’m in a support group helping others going through the same trauma which helps me put things into perspective and makes me stronger.

What emotions have come up for you as you've been going through this? (select all that apply): Shock/Disbelif, Anger, Sadness, Alone, Afraid, Strong, Empowered, Voiceless, Replaced, Betrayed, Devalued, Invisible, Shame/Ashamed, Cornered/Forced, Relieved

What emotions are missing from the list?: Traumatized , Humiliated, Belittled, powerless, Depressed, Lost, Suicidal, Revengeful

What advice would you give to others in this situation?: 

Every situation is different , regardless it was never about you it’s the BS and their lack of self respect and inability to be honest in their committed relationship that caused it. Communication is the key to a strong foundation in any relationship , always make time to talk and always be honest with each other. When difficult times arise that’s the time to really hold together and work through it before hurting each other.

What else would you like to share?: 

Once trust is broken it can’t ever be rebuilt. I believe in reconciliation- it’s hard work - it’s painful and tedious - it takes two to make it work. My STBXH never made reconciliation a priority and did nothing to mend our broken relationship, once I decided enough was enough and I left he went through the same set back as I did. Unfortunately he lost everything, his business, his fry, his family, his son, his loving wife - he’s left with looking at himself and wondering why. It breaks my heart to know that our life was going to be amazing cause we were getting ready for early retirement, his stupid choices has given us both a new future - we are now learning to live a life separately. I wish he had done the work to mend our marriage - he took everything for granted never even thinking I would one day say goodbye. I will always love him I just will never be able to trust him or forget how it made me feel.