Watching the news, and all the reports of cheating has been difficult. Before DD it was always “other women” that had to deal with the repercussions of affairs, I felt for them but I was so much removed from it I never really “got it”. The torture that ensues was completely off my radar. I have been sensitive, since DD to the fact that so many movies, feature cheating…sometimes in a comical way…it’s not at all funny. There have been times when a chosen movie with H has dealt with cheating..and I find myself squirming. Does it affect him in the same way, if it does, he does not show it, nor does it spark a conversation.
It angers me, as of late to see Trumps supposed mistresses coming forward without much shame. It is all about the damage he has done to them, rather than the shame of inviting him, a married man, into their lives. All parties are culpable. His deflecting is disgusting. I do not feel empathy for the public scrutiny, the character bashing they are all getting. They all knew he was married…it just didn’t seem to matter to them, in light of what he might provide. Now that the jig is up, there is a minute amount of shame but no acknowledgement of the pain and suffering they have caused his wife. I have no idea if Melania knew and turned a blind eye, or was hell-bent on maintaining the lifestyle…we all stay for different reasons but she is paying the price in embarrassment now that it is public.
I am still angry at times over my H’s cheating. I do not show it outwardly, but when I allow myself to think about it…the anger comes. When I am not silently angry, I am guarded, I have not been able to let myself “love him” in the way I used to. He is doing all the right things, and I see him trying very hard…when will it crack my shell? Some days I find comfort from his presence and other days I wonder what the hell I am doing. It’s a work in process I guess…still after almost two years. I wonder if this process will be forever.
I was having a conversation with a girlfriend last week. Her husband also left her over ten years ago…for another woman (it did not last but he had a string of messy relationships and has recently married). She has yet to admit to herself that the relationship started during the marriage but it is clear, at least to me, it had. People just do not move in with another person within a month of separation. In any event, a comment she made struck a chord with me. She had seen a documentary on emotional abuse and she said that during the horrible months leading to and during my separation, the revelation of DD, I had hit all the markers described. She said “I could forgive the physical cheating your H did but the abuse you suffered would be impossible for me to forgive”. Can we really separate the behaviours, some being more excusable than others?
I thought about this for a while, and the truth is, I feel she is wrong. It truly is all-encompassing. It was the emotional abuse, the cruelty before during and after but it was also the deceit and the sickening feeling that another woman was physically with my H and shared an intimacy that should have only been ours. I think the things I grapple with, are common. The amount of effort and constant lies it took for him to facilitate the cheating, and the mental maneuvering it took to allow him to get to such a cruel and dark space. The feeling of trespass on my territory, the danger to my physical body (disease). There was also the willingness of the “others” to try to usurp my position, for their own gain. H not only abused me in this way, but was also cruel in the end to the “others”..using them for his own purposes and discarding them when they no longer excited him or if they made any demands on him. It became all about what was in it for him…replacing me, replacing them, he was in a sick and abusive state. Again, they signed up for it….so as a woman on the receiving end of this type of predatory female behaviour, my compassion for them is limited.
I guess in the end, I have learned a great lesson about myself and also about the lower common denominator in our society at large. There seems to be a sickness of self of taking what one wants, when they want it, no matter the consequences. I have placed myself in H’s position, and in the mindset of the others, and I can honestly say, there would never be a time when I could behave that way. What is it about the moral character of a person…that allows them to make this huge lapse in judgement? I am not speaking of those that have exit affairs (also wrong) but rather those that live only in the moment. They seem to lack ability to navigate through a challenging time. They have no ability to turn their backs on what they perceive an opportunity to gain from another’s misfortune. I know my H is ashamed of what he has done. His behaviour and his patience with this process shows me this. Trump shows no remorse and he will defend himself to the death but where there is smoke, there is often fire. Can we feel better if the cheaters own up? Can we excuse them if they apologize? The mess that is left in the wake of infidelity, is a long haul battle for those on the receiving end.
I am sad for the state of things, for those of us that have to suffer this and so many other injustices. I am not wounded all day every day, I am working on my thoughts, I am trying to find my way to forgiveness…not an easy path but then who says life is fair. I try to remind myself that I am not the only one (sadly), that there are others who have a life much more difficult than my own. Best to focus on what you can do for others than what can be done for yourself….sometimes this brings my upsets into sharp focus. Every day I have to choose the right path…and I do my best.