It has been almost one year and I still shake my head that my husband and partner of 30 years could commit the most heinous marital crime; Infidelity.
For myself, this journey has been the worst experience in my life. Pre-D-day, I was very happy, very resilient, and very strong. I’d fret over something and then quickly revert to “Fuck it. Let’s change direction.” Today, I am often found paralyzed in my own thoughts, depressed, and riddled with anxiety. On November 14, 2018, his infidelity destroyed the person I was. I’m getting stronger every day but I have a long ways to go.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about being cheated on. This doesn’t apply to partners who have experienced infidelity and are trying to work things out. I’m amazed how few and far between these people are.
Trust No One
Trust is much larger than spilling your life story to someone and hoping that person keeps it to themselves. I DO trust a small group of people with my innermost fears. I will never trust another person when it comes to my well being and future. I was with this person for 30 years. We shared a bed and a bank account. We shared future dreams and goals. Ottawa was a stepping stone for a new beginning as empty nesters on an adventure (or so I thought). I was blindsided by the person I loved the most and I will never ever put my well being or future in the hands of another again.
They Either Didn’t Care or They’ve Stopped Caring
I was at lunch with a few ladies this week. I asked them two questions. One was, when you initially broke up and you were worried about your financial future, did they say they would never see you go without anything and that they’d always be there to help? They smiled and nodded their heads.
I also asked if their husbands said that they’d never stop chasing them or give up on them, if they left. They smiled and nodded yet again.
These women were fed the same loaded bullshit that I was. I was astounded. Floored. Here I held on to the belief that he was being honest, when, in actual fact, those lines came from the secret society book of “How to get rid of your spouse while making them feel a tad remorseful.” or maybe it’s just the “Narcissist handbook for getting away with everything.”
So for those of you who truly believes that your spouse, either male or female, will go to the ends of the Earth after you leave because of their pig vomit actions, think again. Once the sheets are changed and your scent is gone, you’re FINISHED mind, body, and pocketbook. The opposite is RARE!
My spouse would rather fight and see me on welfare, than negotiate and be fair based on all that he’s done. However, he can order Skip the Dishes for himself and whomever he’s with. If you’re giving him a piece of ass, he’s willing to put out the cash. However, if you’re a partner of 30 years, the mother of his children, buying his underwear, dealing with his smelly farts in bed, and having dinner on the table every night, your well being means nothing anymore. HE needs to live. HE deserves to be happy.
It’s now all about HIM.
Again, trust no one. God I hope I find a high paying job so I don’t have to be intertwined with this man for remainder of my life.
Someone Else’s Spouse is NOT Your Soulmate
While this doesn’t apply to me, I have created a community where SO many have experienced infidelity and their spouse leaving and living with someone else. I have learned that cheaters are a whole different breed. Cheaters are out for themselves only. They are cling ons to something new and exciting, while being cowards and not ending previous relationships ahead of time. So for those of you currently hooked up with a married man or woman. Be warned. They will do unto you as they have done to the person they swore to love and cherish forever. They may or may not cheat, but it’ll be all about them.
Nothing is Personal
If there is one thing that I’m proud of is that I realize that his infidelity had nothing to do with me. This is why I can forgive him for this and was willing to work on this with him for about three months. I saw and believed who he was as a person and then I decided to leave in hopes that this would be the wake up call that he needed. Cheaters, and liars in general, are often lost within their own kingdom of pain and we have to recognize that.
After many months of therapy, I have learned that no matter what has caused their kingdom of pain, it doesn’t excuse the fact that they hurt you. It was intentional. Everyone on this Earth knows what they are doing, who they are hurting, and how much damage their secrets could cause. They are adults. There are many ways to kill the pain inside, like therapy, without destroying someone else.
Alcohol and Drugs
While I never touch drugs, I abused alcohol profusely the first few months of my separation. This only prolonged my healing. It was a mask that only made me bitter while drinking it and sadder the next day or two. I discussed my fears with my therapist and she bet me that by the Fall, I’d be back to myself when it came to alcohol usage.
I’m proud to say that I’m back on track again. I only drink when I am in the mood for happiness and smiles. I will never ever touch alcohol again to ease the pain or prolong healing.
Healing Fucking Hurts
After a year, the pain is as fresh as it was on November 14, 2018. I have a long way to go, but I am getting stronger every day. I can tell you that, without drinking, the pain of healing, the memories, the flashbacks are profound. They can cause insomnia, anxiety, emotional eating or no eating, the feeling that you may go crazy at any given moment, irritability, blaming others, insolation, and guilt (what ifs). I realize now that it happens daily and at any given moment. It happens profoundly when another road block steps in my way.
I have now learned to acknowledge it, apologize to those I may have freaked out on while in that head space, forgive myself, and then move on. You must forgive yourself for this reason. Every fibre of your being has been stripped of you. You are a new person now and you may be fighting or resisting the changes. People assure me that you’ll come out stronger and I will trust that they are right. I just live through the process sober and with forgiveness.
Your Soulmates Are Your Friends
I am blessed. I am so very very blessed to have the friends that I have. I have two special friends who called me everyday since D-day. For a while, they thought their strong, independant, and funny friend was going to kill herself. Now, they just check in to hear my daily rants about what’s going on and how he’s playing me. I have also made new friends. Friends, who I knew before, but they decided to be there for me. Friends who I have made through telling my story. Some of these friends have been through it, while others are walking the same path as myself. I just love my little community that I’ve created because of my story. I cherish my two (actually three) besties now and they are my soulmates. No man will ever come between us!! I am blessed.
Expect the Unexpected
When I left, I felt with 100% certainty that my spouse would come chasing me. After all, with 30 years and unconditional love from someone else, who wouldn’t come to their senses?? He even said it! “I will never stop chasing you Trina”
Boy, was I fooled. He not only did he NOT chase me, he came for Easter weekend, saw me for about an hour, same with the kids, and then hung out with the guys, got massages, and stayed in Toronto rather than celebrating Easter with the kids and I.
They are cheaters. Cheaters are liars. Don’t expect much out of them. Expect the unexpected. For me, it was 100% abandonment.
Open the Doors to Forgiveness
I have forgiven him for his infidelity a long time ago. In fact, I don’t even think of it anymore. Every morning I do wake up and say “I forgive you” and it’s so I can move forward.
Then he makes an asshole move on me, I quickly revert to my inner pain and don’t forgive. I realize that overall forgiveness will take time. The process of divorce isn’t over yet, and I’m sure there will be many devious tactical moves that he will make to ensure that he is financially secure. After all, he did what he did while he loved me, so I can’t expect him to be a superhero of compassion and love now.
Take Your Time
When I arrived in Cambridge, I had ego. I thought I’d get that job right away. I thought I’d get over him right away because I had my friends and family near. Boy, I was wrong. Even with the coaxing of my daughter to join Tinder, I met a guy who is now one of my closest friends. It didn’t take long to realize that I was blindsided by my one true love. I had a whirlwind of emotions to deal with and I had to deal with them first, so I can be healthy if and when I decide to venture into the dating world. I dove right into weekly therapy and really took my homework seriously.
I have no desire to date or even have a one night stand right now. I realize that’s ok. Letting go of the old me comes first. Healing comes first. Finding myself comes first. Loving myself comes first. This season in my life is ALL about me.