I like what Brice said about communication by e-mail. It's Impossible to express Thoughts and Emotions with written words - we speak in words that might have a certain meaning to us but may be interpreted differently because of the recepients' take on those same words. What I've tried to express here sometimes is missed/misinterpreted because of this - plus I'm not very forthcoming about my own experience(s).
My Personal Situation is different from Everyone here. My husband was a "serial cheater". He began cheating early in our marriage (during my 1st pregnancy) & he never stopped. He had 11 affairs with relatives and/or friends (that I knew of) and I received 3 different telephone calls from strange women over the years informing me of their "relationships" with my husband. That's 14 affairs that I knew of over a 15 year period. I'm sure chances are LARGE that I didn't know of every affair - there most likely were more. I was 15 years old when I married him and I stayed with him for 15 years.
In spite of this he was a good father so I felt I was protecting my Children by not telling them what he had done and why I was leaving him. They were 10, 13 & 14 at the time. I told them simply that I was only 15 when I married and that I grew up and grew apart from their father. My 2 sons NEVER forgave me for leaving their dad. They began using drugs (which I think contributed to their clouded perceptions) but none the less - they NEVER forgave me. My Oldest Son has had nothing to do with me for 25 years. I have only seen Him twice in all those years at Family Funerals. He moved to another state 20 years ago. From him I have a 20 year old GrandSon and an 18 year old GrandSon both of whom I've only seen once. My Youngest Son (My Baby Son) killed himself with a drug overdose 2 years and 9 months ago. He never forgave me either.
I do not have words in my vocabulary to express the Anguish (anguish is different from anger) and the Grief I feel. I have Huge Holes in my Heart where my Sons and GrandSons are supposed to be.
I do not forgive my ex-husband for destroying our family and I do not forgive him for the loss of my Sons and my GrandSons. If he wants forgiveness - he should ask that of God. It's not my job to forgive him and I TOTALLY believe God would agree with me on this (even if you all don't).
Please know there is MUCH more to my story than I can ever say here - (the first 15 years of my life I spent with a sick alcoholic the 2nd 15 years of my life I spent with a sick husband) DO I HAVE SOME STORIES TO TELL !!
I have always had a Wonderful/Beautiful Relationship with my Daughter who has given me 3 Beautiful GrandDaughters AND I have a "new" (26 years) Husband who loves me as Greatly and as Deeply as I do him. I am very, very blessed but I have scars from my wounds.
I said once before that perhaps I don't belong here. I was encouraged to stay but perhaps I really shouldn't.
You are always welcome! We all have different ways of dealing with things and putting them into words. You are a straight shooter. IT may seem offensive to some at first but we all have said things that have offended others my view is take what you can from it and what you can't , disregard.
Tink, you belong here as much as anyone else. Your opinions are not always agreed with, but are valid nonetheless. Your situation or mine is not a situation that I would wish on any unsuspecting soul. The damage runs deep and long, and I think we all can agree on that.
By not forgiving, you moved on. And you know what??? That's ok, and I think almost anyone in your shoes would have done the same thing. And what youre living through with your kids and grand kids is as horrible or worse than what you've already been through. I truly feel for you. (I know you aren't looking for my sympathy) I truly do not know how I would move on considering those circumstances. I just dont.
To you I simply want to say that I am not judging you, but am acknowledging that although there are similarities within all of these affairs, each and every one of them is different. They are different because they affect different people with different ideals and different expectations. What works for you or I may not work for another. Conversely, something you or I say make strike a positive chord with someone and help change their minds/opinions for the positive. (Their positive may be different than yours or mine)
At the end of the day, after we have either read or posted here, we are all looking any number of a few things. We are looking for compassion considering our circumstances, a shoulder to cry on, a forum in which we cant vent the days frustration, a helping hand, or even just some plain old entertainment. (Sorry if that came off a the wrong word as my vocabulary isnt always just.)
How each and every one of us deals with these different situations has to be different as the problems and affects are different. Sure, you can pull all of the symptoms/repercussions out of a hat and catagorize them. But as individuals they affect us all differently, with different magnitudes and at different times. Some will not experience everything we experience, some will unfortunately experience more or worse.
I personally think it speaks volumes for an individual to come to a forum like this and tell their deepest, darkest, most painful experiences. It shows a great deal of compassion, it shows that we all want help and are willing to help in return. None of us should rush to judgement, none of us. What we should do is rush to assist one another. THIS is the world I'd like to live in, and there was a day not too long ago that that was the world I lived in. Neighbors helped neighbors, kids helped older folks, everyone pitched in. If we were successful, we were as a group. If we failed, we did as a group, regrouped and moved forward.
All of us can recover from this, and recovery can mean different things to different people. The common thread is, there is no wrong or right but there is whats right for you, there is whats right for me, there is whats right for others and ofcourse there is wrong. Wrong decisons create wrong outcomes, but we can all survive that too.
My great grandfather said many a profound things in his lifetime, many of which I enjoyed and remembered. He told me, "its not how bad or far from grace you fall, its how you recover". (This also came from the same old guy who called a man 10-15 years younger than him and old fart)
Everyone on this board has things to offer, things that mean and say alot about all of our lifes journeys. All different, but we are all looking for the same things, whatever those things may be.
Tinkerbell, maybe you are here for a different reason than you think. Perhaps you will eventually take something away from what is said here as well. One situation being worse than another does not mean that the rules of releasing the sorrow, grief, and anger don't apply. I would encourage you to explore it more with an open mind because I really believe your anger holds you back. I'm speaking in a frank manner and cutting through the roses and perfume. I think that this is a good place for you to get advice as much as it is for you to give it.
I do believe that negativity breeds negativity and if one is trying to recover they have to not participate in things that feed the negativity. Hey, if they are just leaving their man------ then that is different. But if they are working it out-------- hearing over and over that their partner is a loser doesn't help. They already know that. They are trying to get past the incident (s).
Anger has its place and it can be a healthy emotion. But releasing it at some point has to happen or someone can not live as full of a life as they are capable of.
And as much as I don't always give roses and perfume, I do wish all a peaceful heart. My intention is to help.
1000 thanx for the kind words (and I've been so mean to You)
I won't EVER like what You did, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER
I am Deeply Touched by Your Remorse!! AND I Respect Your Work to Repair!! I do believe with all my Heart that some Marriages can survive this and I absolutely hope You and DeeDee accomplish that.
I also believe Anger is a Natural Response - a Defense - and one should be "permitted" the Anger along with other Emotions/Insecurities/Questions/Fears that are invoked by the affair - to a degree of course. (I know this is "hard" for the perpetrator but that IS a consequence). I realize that if Anger PERSISTS the marriage won't survive but I would not agree that it is the Anger that destroyed the Marriage - the Anger is the RESULT of the affair - it is the affair that destroyed the commitment/marriage/bond.
RULES???? ("rules of releasing sorrow, grief, and anger") Who made the rules? Why would one think these "rules" ALWAYS apply??
"your anger holds you back" - Holds me back?? Back from WHAT??
You talk about "forgive" and "letting go the anger". I did that. I did that for FIFTEEN YEARS!! I turned the other cheek so many times I ran out of cheeks!!
As long as I was "forgiving" and "letting go the anger" I remained a Victim then FINALLY it was my Anger that Liberated me and gave me the Strength and Courage to set me free!! I Embrace the Anger - he EARNED it!!
My ex husband was a bad man who did bad things & Anger is WAY Healthier for me than was my Acceptance & Tolerance. Anger IS a Healthy Emotion when someone does something to harm You. I no longer see myself as a Victim - I see myself as a Victor.
I've said 1000x's that:
I AM NOT GOD.
IT'S NOT MY JOB TO FORGIVE.
AND GOD DOESN'T MIND IF I STAY ANGRY AND UNFORGIVING OF A MAN WHO DESTROYED OUR MARRIAGE AND MY RELATIONSHIP WITH TWO SONS AND TWO GRANDSONS ! ! ! ! ! !
(there's always the possiblility that my Oldest Son will return someday - but what about the TWENTY FIVE YEARS I've lost with Him? - NEVER to be regained. What about the TWO grown GrandSons I've never known? What about my DEAD Son who will NEVER EVER return to me!!?? - I'm speaking MOTHER to MOTHER - think You would want to let go the Anger ?? I don't think You can imagine being in my place here and I'm glad You don't have to)
You also say "if they are leaving their man - it's different". Well.....I did leave (finally).
There are Women on here who will be cheated on again. We don't know who They are yet but it IS going to happen and I do have something Valuable and Worthwhile to say to them. We do not have to feel guilty when Our Anger is well placed/deserved.
That being said, I understand You mean well, that You mean to "help" but my CHOICE is to be where I am. I'm Happy and Comfortable in this position. It took much Work and Courage and Strength for me to get here and except for the loss of my Sons/GrandSons my Life is Full and I'm having the Best, Happiest Life of my Life.
Listen, I'm just saying that holding onto anger is not healthy. There are studies that link it directly to other issues including the obvious ones like depression and anxiety but also includes heart disease and cancer. Anger is a poison in one's life. Anger is also a choice.
It is fair to be angry after a traumatic event caused by another but to carry that anger for an eternity is a burden.
And don't think I don't understand this first hand. I had my beloved mother taken from me at a young age at the hand of another. I could spend my life hating the one that did it-------- but I know that is not a productive use of energy. Instead, I pity them for what their actions have done to their own life. Instead, I release the anger to go to another level of acceptance over what happened. Finding peace is something all should strive to do.
I write here from two perspectives--------- one that has suffered great pain myself and one who has helped others professionally recover from their own painful experiences.
I will say that mother to mother, there is no greater pain than losing your child. I'm so sorry for that loss.
Yes, anger is good. It is good to get it out. But getting it out should mean letting it go at some point as well. It is the only way to find real peace inside.
And most who come here are in a relationship that they are wishing to salvage. So, I speak to them in a way that may be (or maybe not) constructive to helping that relationship make it. And I will say that remaining positive is part of that process. I'm not a doomsayer and think that any couple that has suffered infidelity will end. Quite the contrary, with work------ many couples absolutely recover and go on to possibly be stronger.
Last, I just want you to know that I'm sorry that you have suffered so in your life and continue to do so. I hope that someday you can reconcile with your children (son) and grandsons. I also really really wish for peace in your heart.
To two beautuful ladies who have come through adversity with streanth courage and grace, its good that you agree to disagree.
I had everything happen to me at once.It has left me on 300mg of Effexor ....blood pressure tabs and apt to get in a muddle and easily overwhelmed about things.
Fibromyalga hits every so often ...I get so frustrated with myself and its hard to accept that my mind cannot control my body.
I only sleep about 3or 4 hrs a night now and its really getting to me.I had a chat with my daughter last night and told her I am still nowhere right and to my suprise she said she felt the same.
I wonder if i will be like this for the rest of my life ....I hope not as its not fair on my lovely guy although I NEVER take it out on him.Could never do that.
Hi hon. I encourage you to talk to your doctor. You do sound like you are still suffering from depression and anxiety and perhaps a med tweak and pursuing more talk therapy would help. No, you should not have to live like that the rest of your life. Depression and anxiety are treatable. Sometimes it takes some work to find just what is needed but complete communication with your physician and counselor should definately happen.
We all get the blues and are sad (or mad. . . ) but if it is lingering and intefering with day to day life-------- address it for your own well being. You are right----------- it is a visious cycle. If we have depression/anxiety that isn't treated to its fullest, all of our other health problems get worse. Dealing with life in general gets harder. So it is important to be aggressive about it.
Whew. hope that wasn't too long to make the point that I'd call your doctor and let them know about the level of anxiety/depression you are having and you don't want to live that way forever. Also chart it ------------ if it is every day for at least 2 weeks that is important to know.
specialmom brings up an intersting point, and its kind of something that I am supposed to be doing in order to address my depression/anxeity. What I am supposed to do is note the triggers to my anxiety/depression and address them with my therapist.
The damned thing is, sometimes I wake up depressed and have no clue as to what triggered it, and sometimes it sneaks up on me and I cant remember the last thing I thought of before I knew I was feeling depressed or any anxiety.
What I do find as interesting is, by keeping this idea of charting my depression/anxiety in the front of my mind....I am finding myself less likely to find myself in a "mood". I dont know how that works or if thats supposed to work that way, but damned if it hasnt so far.
For me, I have lived with different levels of depression and anxiety for so long and left it addressed until I began to address the aftermath of my affair. (Was diagnosed 13-14 years ago and was too "smart" to get real help.....friggin idiot!) Perhaps if I had addressed these issues with a professional when I was diagnosed, maybe this thing wouldnt have happened. The fact is, I was depressed well before that and still did nothing about it. Maybe it was the stigma that society had placed on "being a man" and dealing with problems....I didnt deal, and thats what led to the depression, and the depression led to the anxiety.....
It really does help. So many things are related to memories. I could not even drive to the chiropractor without getting depressed or moody b/c I realized ( it is almost a 2 hour trip) b/c I realized that one time when you went alone he used this time to be on the phone with her, so every time we would go up I was in such a mood. We decided to suspend our monthly visits until I was strong enough to handle it. Now we can go without a problem b/c I have dealt with it. Another one was passing her office when I would be in town. Last night was the first time we drove past it and I thought to myself ( this is where the @#% works ) but I did not get mad or upset! I was so proud of myself. Sorry! It just felt SO GOOD, not to be a prisoner to my own emotions.
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