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Betrayed Spouse 101

Rebuilding From The Ashes: Obstacles, Page Two

The cheater being perceived as 'weak' by the Other Woman/Man: Why??? Because they didn't choose to 'brave it all for love'? To suffer the condemnation of the world, the destruction of his family to be at their side? What planet are they on?

Most cheaters DO suffer the condemnation of the world, because like many affairs, it's probably not the 'secret' they think it is. The fallout from the affair DOES tear their families apart. Running off with that Other Woman/Man would by far be the easier way out. How much more difficult is it to face the ugliness you have fostered, the pain you have inflicted, the truth about what your deceit has brought to the people you proclaimed your love for? How hard is it to live with the one person you hurt more than any other on the face of the earth, and bear their pain, anger, contempt, anguish, paranoia and distrust day after day, unable to truly combat it or offer protest, because you were the cause and you brought this on yourself?

How much easier would it be to be told again and again how special and wonderful they are, how they had to do what they did for the sake of love, how they're a wonderful person and still a great parent even though they only see their children twice a week and every other weekend. The Other Woman/Man could give them backrubs and make their favorite dinners and they could make love the whole night through just like when they were 21.

Sounds nice, doesn't it? But the truth is, that fantasy is just that - a fantasy. Some cheaters choose to go through the fire instead of living that wonderful, cozy fantasy. Why would they do that? Because they realize that when all is said and done, it is a fantasy. It will change. And in a relationship based on deceptions, infrequency and ego-stroking - the bubble is bound to burst. And in between all that pain and anger and emotional crap you're working through, is your love for each other. Your devotion to your family. Your friendship. Your way of looking at issues and events from a common ground. Your laughter. Your sensuality. Your friends, your families - all the millions of little details that intertwine our lives and our hearts. They can't just turn their back on that and run. So they face the music, ugly and painful as it is. Your spouse is not weak for doing so. They have shown that they have the courage to stand and fight for what REALLY matters to them. They have the courage to fight the one person who threatens to take it all from them: themself. And they will be a better person for it.

Fence Sitting:  You're scared. Your world has been turned upside-down and you are handling this the only way you know how. You are actively, constructively trying to rebuild your marriage. Your cheating spouse, on the other hand, is sitting on the fence, deceiving you still, and deliberately keeping facts about their contact with the Other Woman/Man from you so that you won't be upset. I KNOW you are afraid to push them off that fence, afraid to kick them to the curb for fear that they will end up with that Other Woman/Man. Too late. They are already there.

That cheater knows that by keeping in contact with their Other Woman/Man, they CANNOT truly rebuild their marriage. They know that by keeping in contact with them, they are TORTURING YOU and ripping their family apart. They know, and they do it still. What does this say about their choice? What choice have they made? They are choosing the other person. Their contact, their friendship with them, their intimacy. They are choosing it ALL over you. In the meantime, they just want to drag you along for the ride as a personal safety blanket. But the CHOICE has been made.

So now its up to you to make YOUR choice. You can CHOOSE not to live this way. You can CHOOSE to command the respect, love and commitment you are due and refuse to settle for less. It won't be easy, but only by standing firm will they see you for who and what you are, not who they're trying to make you into. Eventually, they may see that their choice was wrong. If so, then YOU can make a choice about how and when (and IF) you want to let them back into your life, on YOUR terms. If not, then GOOD RIDDANCE. You can move on, to a life lived in integrity, respect and honor instead of one lived with lies, deception and tears.

Be strong, and live your life by YOUR STANDARDS. Stop waiting around for them to stop INVENTING THEIR OWN.

Feeling like you're stringing them along:  Even after there was nothing in my spouse's actions to worry me, there were days when I felt I was deceiving HIM. Even though he was doing everything right, the truth was he'd gone and done this AWFUL thing. I honestly wasn't 100% sure that forever was such a good idea with a guy like him.

I decided to stick it through. Have you heard the old phrase "Fake it till ya make it"? I faked it some days, I really did. I cried, I yelled, I lashed out, I obsessed. But in between, we talked, we held each other, we made love, and we treasured the joy we shared raising our child. I still hit my down days - those triggers will come out of nowhere. But we get through it.

I guess what I'm saying here is its perfectly normal, and no, you AREN'T deceiving your spouse. If your spouse has even a few stray brain cells that function, they KNOW you have issues with rebuilding, and you're going to need some time. You have told them that your staying together hinges on THEIR ACTIONS. If they decide to stray again (or continue straying, as the case may be), if they don't treat you with the respect and tenderness you need, if they shirk off their responsibility in this, if they coldly turn their back and demand you 'get over it', those ACTIONS are not what you need to survive in this marriage. So many cheaters think that once they stop the affair, they can pick that marriage back up and dust it off, good as new. What they need to see is that its not the AFFAIR that wrecks the marriage - its the REASON they felt they wanted to have one. What was within them that made them feel it was OK to do this? What flipped that switch in their mind and made it acceptable to ignore what this could potentially do to the two of you? They have to realize first that they have some serious changes to make. Then they have to realize that their actions have forever changed YOU. YOU are a whole different person now, and they need to take some serious time and effort to get to know YOU.

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