One thing I want to change that will positively impact my relationship is...

 Letting go of this obsession I've built with her. 

For context here, I signed up for a free newsletter through our marriage counseling group, Mindful Marriage and Family Therapy. The first newsletter was a set of journaling prompts and I've done the same set of prompts almost every single day since late August. They are simple but I love them and highly recommend. I'm not a meditator (I've tried, I'm terrible, I know one cannot be good at first but I truly hate it) and journaling gives me a sense of meditating while still letting me use my brain and a little kinetic energy through writing (v kinetic over here). 

One of the final prompts is, one thing I want to change that will positively impact my relationship is--. And the answer above came to me incredibly clearly. This morning, I'd gotten up early after at least an hour of lying in bed silently plotting my very public takedown of this woman with whom my husband had his virtual affair. In my little fantasy, I'd somehow been discovered and invited onto the Girls Gotta Eat podcast to tell my story to their hundreds of thousands of fans while Rayna and Ashley laughed along with me and agreed that women who target married men are THE WORST. This was not a dream. I was 100% awake and hoping this will magically happen. WHY? My husband is with me. We are both actively putting so much work into therapy, communicating better every day, hitting bumps along the road and dealing with them as they come. The other day I had a complete meltdown about the affair, with no apparent trigger, in the middle of the day. My husband responded with zero defensiveness, just empathy and concern. This woman is completely out of our lives, blocked on all social media and through our phones. So why am I losing sleep over her? 

Because I was traumatized. Because I felt not chosen. Because this infidelity cut into the very heart of my lifelong struggle to feel good enough. It's scary to put this into words because I like having this security blanket of hating her, of blaming her. But enough is enough. Will I ever wish her well? No. Do I have to think about her every day? Also no. Please hold me accountable. Tell me to change the channel if it gets stuck on Rumination Station. I will mess up and I will try again. Eventually, I'll get it. I'll read a chapter of a great book, take Rex for a walk, crush a tough workout, and move on with my life. Have a great one, friends. 

Comments

  1. Holding her your thoughts and giving her power is like drinking poison and expecting her to perish. I know you. I know this hurt. I also know you are strong and know this is not a reflection of or on you. You got this. Biggest hugs.

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    1. Ah that's written so perfectly - drinking poison and expecting her to perish. Thank you and hugs back!!

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  2. Hey, I've been watching this play out with tangential relation to the gym where this happened. As someone with experience in the matter, let me tell you: you are on an information drip/diet. Your husband is not telling you the truth about this situation and likely others. I'm not telling you this to cause you pain, but as someone who doesn't even know you, you are trying so hard and you deserve so much better.

    Here's the truth: they hooked up physically in the bathroom of that bar.

    Is that the truth? I don't know for sure. Only a few people were there. But I can tell you something. You will never be able to trust your husband to tell you the truth. You will never know. It's not the other women, it's the fact he is lying to you and has been lying to you. Without a personality replacement I don't know how you will ever be able to trust him to not do this again. Maybe they cover that in therapy. But consider this. He didn't tell you about any of these situations, other information came out as you demanded it, not of his own volition. He travels for work. I am willing to bet my whole life savings, just from your description, that he has been unfaithful physically on these trips.

    Infidelity aside, the saddest thing I have seen you write is that he said "he'd replace you with another female on the team". This is not a normal or ok thing to say to someone you love. An appropriate response would be "I'm sorry you're feeling that way, I really want you on the team. You don't have to do it if you don't want to, but is there any way I can help you feel better about it?". Or even "I'm sorry, that sucks boo, you don't have to do it if you don't want to. Just let me know if you want out". It is not normal for someone in a committed monogamous relationship to respond to someone saying "I always had a crush on you" by making out with them in a bathroom, or sexting them. Some people would say "thank you I'm very flattered, maybe if I wasn't married, I'll miss seeing you around."

    You deserve so much, infinitely better. There are people who will not cheat on you in any way, who will love you the way you are, who will not blame you for their mistakes. Use the energy you're spending on thinking about ruining her life, and use it to figure out how to live your best life. I'm so sorry this happened to you. Please focus on yourself, not a man who can't or won't step up to the most basic level of decency, not a woman who should have known better (but it takes two to tango). I wish you the best.

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    1. Hey Ned. Thanks so much for reading and reaching out. I so appreciate it. It was hard to read what you wrote (my stomach dropped into my feet when I first read the bathroom bit - I have to believe him when he denies this). Everything you pointed out are definitely all things I've ruminated on and am pursuing answers /changes to in therapy. I have no idea how this will all turn out and am possibly naively believing that there's nothing else out there that will blindside me in the future. Thank you again for the well wishes :)

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