In our post on Joseph’s Letter, a lot of you shared that you wrote similar self-abasing dreck.
Nomar wrote: “What humiliating dreck! What unholy drivel! What bullshit! I want to build a time machine, travel back to 2009, find the gutless asshole who wrote that, and punch him in the face. I *hate* that guy!”
I think a lot of us can relate. We hate who we were in those relationships. Not just chumpiness — that’ll make you cringe for sure — but the soul death. How the infidelity and mindfuckery brought out our worst selves. Hyper responsible (and resentful), critical, twitchy, sad, angry…
Who did you turn into, in your relationship with the cheater, that you didn’t want to be?
Personally, I became constantly stressed. Before his first affair, I was turning into a first-class bitch, in reaction to his negativity and selfishness. Realized that and got myself into better shape. Then for a longish period, I walked on eggshells bigtime, then when I stopped that, I was still far more irritable w/my kids than I would EVER want to be. I had lost part of my usually huge ability to enjoy the small stuff, and I had neglected ME, my self-care, my friendships, my pleasures, terribly. And I had stopped being the invested, highly affectionate life partner who loves sex! (I was still damned nice to the guy, and we still had lots of sex, but my heart wasn’t in it like before.)
And very little of this had to do with the cheating! It was mostly just the day-to-day grind of living with a selfish, disrespectful, entitled, negative, critical, judgmental, occasionally threatening, selfish selfish selfish person!
The part that bothers me the most, to this day, is how much more irritable I was with my kids, when things were not going well with my ex (which was probably 3 or 4 days out of every 2 week period). They deserved the patient, loving and attentive mom I can be.
At least they have that now, and I have myself back. Two years post DDay last week, this weekend will be 2 years since I told him we were separating, in the fall it’ll be two years that I actually got him out of the house. What a difference 2 years makes!!
So the question today is — who did you become? And who did you get back when you left? Assuming you left. For those of you still living it, perhaps you’ll gain some inspiration. 🙂