Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blaming the Innocent for the Affair

A recent comment from Mrs Bad Ass has led me to this post. It's so true what she said about people blaming the innocent person in an affair. As soon as everyone found out that my husband cheated on me, I suspected people must have thought "What's wrong with her that he cheated on her?" So not only did I get slapped in the face by my husband but my friends as well. My ex best friend even, (yes, the one who wrote that email in my last post) asked me about our sex life. She was under the impression that I didn't like sex or didn't give into it often. Is almost everyday often enough for you? Yes, so when he was having the affair...he was having sex all the time.

But that's beside the point, the point is that no one truly understands the reason for infidelity...sometimes not even the people caught up in it. Of course, there's always things you can point your finger at...but they may never be the real reason why he strayed.

People really need to keep their eyes on the sinner rather than the abused. It's like when people blame rape victims saying that they deserve it because they dress or act a certain way. People want to blame the hurt because the hurt ones won't fight back since they are so weak.

Meaning of Infidelity

Check out Meaning of Infidelity!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Best Friend Turns Against Me

Well, it was a matter of time before one of the only people I allowed to enter my world of dealing with an affair hurt me like I know my other friends would do, which is why I isolated myself from them. I don't need to hear what I should or shouldn't do. I don't need to hear that the decision lays in my lap and how my husband is being so great now. That stinks for me. He is one that did wrong and it seems I am the one who has to suffer the most. Here's the email my best friend sent me:

I’ve been thinking about you guys since I saw you last and there’s some stuff I just need to say. Remember above all how much I love you and that yours and your children’s happiness is my priority.

My main concern here is not about missed dinner plans. I was annoyed about that part only because I knew my husband was really looking forward to it and I knew it would be our last time to see you guys this trip. Then to not hear anything from you was surprising. Then to hear nothing on Friday was at first disconcerting and then just upsetting. I knew I wouldn’t hear from you while he was around, but I felt sure I would hear something before he got out of class on Friday.

I guess I let the fact that we’ve stopped talking as much lure me into thinking that things were getting better with you guys. After getting to talk to you face to face and then seeing how quickly things got really bad on Thursday (I’m assuming), it seems like you’re still right in the thick of the affair aftermath.

I have to speak to you now as the child of divorced parents and as the grandchild of a SUPER dysfunctional marriage. First of all, my mother’s marriage to my sister's father was a raging nightmare. However, the only reason I know that is because she told me…long after it was over. She was able to shield us from a lot of his nonsense and their fighting. As a result, even though things were terrible with them, My sister's and my memories of that time are good ones. Your kids deserve that. You may be in a very awful situation, but it can’t become their problem. It just can’t. And I know you both love them tremendously, but it seems like when you get angry, the focus completely turns to each other and the kids end up waiting it out. I’m sorry, but if you’re both still so emotional about things that you can’t pull it together in front of the kids, there’s a problem. My grandparents loved each other a lot, but I spent three weeks with them every summer growing up and I saw them drink themselves into oblivion and scream at each other—usually it would end with my grandmother accusing him of cheating, crying hysterically, and my grandfather walking out. I can’t even be NEAR that kind of tension now without being afraid that it will end badly. Every time two people argue, I’m afraid their relationship will end. Even now—more than 20 years later. Your children need to learn from you how to fight productively and they need to see you make up and move on. The kind of unleashing that you’re talking about just cannot happen around them. You guys have the formula to have a great family…so my next question is whether or not you still want that. Do you?

It may very well be that ---- has violated your marriage in such a way that you simply cannot move past it. That is completely understandable. It may be that this was an unforgivable breach and you will never be able to be happy with him again. If that’s true, do the humane thing and end it. If you choose to stay, then part of that has to be about him, not just to keep him close to his children. Do you want to stay with him? Do you want to be back in love with him, and to be proud to be married to him? Do you want to work towards that goal, or are you staying because a) your kids should be physically close to their father or b) you’ll feel responsible for what happens to him and to your kids if you leave? The bottom line…do you want to forgive him for this? Even if you feel like you can’t forgive him now, do you want to eventually forgive him? I just feel like that’s an important question, and it’s a choice that only you can make. I think he is genuinely interested in making things right, for which I commend him. But it may be a case of ‘too little, too late,’ and no one can fault you for that. I know how important the concept of family is to you, and how obligated you feel to try and keep yours together. But if you guys can’t find a way to reign in the emotional stuff your children see, I promise you it will be detrimental.

When we all had dinner together on Tuesday, we really got a glimpse of how good you guys can be together and that you really seem to be at least getting a friendship back. And I’m serious when I say how much we miss your little family and wish you lived closer. But back to my original point about your happiness…you know I’ll back you up either way. I just want what is best for you…which in this case really boils down to your kids. They can be happy, well-adjusted children of divorced parents, or they can be happy, well-adjusted children of parents whose marriage went to crap for a while but who stayed together and worked hard to get past the bad stuff. But they cannot be happy or well-adjusted if their parents are miserable and stuck.

So yeah. Thanks for telling me I am a bad mom. I am doing the best that I can with what I have. My daughter, who is 5, talks to me about how she feels about what happened and she opens up to me about her fears. I feel that I am teaching her something valuable. That people make mistakes and there are consequences and also that marriage isn't something that is given up on easily. My husband and I are not miserable all the time. I just still have triggers (since I only 7 months in) and then things get out of control. If my children are shielded from stress they will never learn coping skills, which already one of my husband's biggest problems since he was shielded from that.

Anyway, just wanted to post that because I know a lot of you are in my same position of having people point fingers and place blame on the betrayed rather than the betrayer.