133: Sounding Advice

fb_img_1534946952640A dearest friend gave me a talking to this morning.

Here is some of what I took away from the conversation and her perspective:

You want to be more vulnerable in your life but you still pretend too often that you aren’t hurt, sad, angry, and mad. Vulnerability is about all your feelings, not just the pretty ones.

I overshare, overthink, and my confidence is shot.

I forget what is important to me is not important to others.

The current anxiety of my life makes me reactionary and the pain of my loss is still overwhelming at times. It spills out sometimes as I try to negotiate my life now without her…

It is obvious to those that care for you that you care for C and would do the work to love her.

Regardless of what C claims to others as her intentions or motivations, C’s silent treatment is childish, immature, vindictive, and self-righteous. Her silence says far more about her than it does to you.

You were together for seven years. You lived together for five. You helped raise her kids, paid the bills, traveled with her, was an enthusiastic cheerleader, believed in her, and took care of her when she was sick or blue. You were good to her repeatedly and asked for nothing in return except love and acceptance. I know, I saw it. Her behavior isn’t about what you did. That is simply an excuse.

People don’t grab the lightening rod during a storm. You are at times an emotional storm.

Stop trying to reach her heart. If she isn’t moved by her own heart telling her the truth or your heartfelt poetry, sacrifices, truthfulness or actions pre- and post-discovery – or outraged enough to stand up for you when Warren, Davey and Norm attack you publically and privately with lies and rumors – she doesn’t have a heart for you to reach.

You seem unable to play, let your guard down, laugh, be happy, or move forward because the surviors guilt won’t let you. You keep thinking you don’t deserve to be okay and that you should be a mess indefinitely, or at least until C gives you permission to move forward.

You only see the relationship in light of your behavior but you refuse to look at your betrayal as simply a chapter withing the larger story of your relationship with C. You were looking to K for the same permission. Which is clearly why you struggled to end the relationship with her for so long.

You keep naively believing that you were the root of every problem in your relationship with C but if you want to move on you need to be as honest about the relationship – and C’s behavior – as you are about your behavior in your betrayal. If the only thing you take from this chapter is “cheating is bad” you are missing what actually matters from the experience.

That isn’t being a victim or martyr, that isn’t blaming or redirecting, it is adulting.

You still have C on a pedestal.

You won’t even call C a “bitch” because you think that makes you a bad person. If you do call her out you end up apologizing and feeling bad.

I don’t know where I stand with people, at home or in life. I’m making everything up new. It’s overwhelming, scary, and confusing. I’m doing it anyway.

You don’t know what C thinks, feels, has done or hasn’t done. You only have your overactive imagination, remorse, humiliation, and the words and actions of Bullies. You don’t know why C isn’t speaking to you. You are guessing.


42 thoughts on “133: Sounding Advice

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  1. I don’t agree with the comment “C’s silent treatment is childish, immature, vindictive, and self-righteous. Her silence says far more about her than it does to you.”

    You violated her in the most horrible way, and you knew it wouldn’t bode well considering the fact that you were lying and covering it up. She can cut all ties if that is what she decides. Her behaviour is not childish, immature, vindictive, or self-righteous. It is a valid reaction of your betrayal of her trust, body, love, heart and mind.

    I know it is confusing and frustrating that she has completely gone silent, but she absolutely has this right and it doesn’t make her anything or anyone other than sticking to her boundaries.

    Her silence doesn’t give you closure, but your closure is not her business or responsibility. I hope you will find your peace and closure immediately if not sooner – I really do. Please consider if judging her silence in a way that is berating to her, is the answer to finding your peace.

    1. I didn’t say I agree. C has every right not to speak with me. I’ve never said or acted otherwise.

      However, let’s not pretend that my actions fully represent everything that happened in our relationship or justifies hers. C has a long and rich history of using silence as a power tool and for punishment in our relationship.

      Two wrongs don’t make it right.

      I said elsewhere recently, that C isn’t obligated to provide me anything, including closure. I don’t disagree.

    2. The other thing I will add, is that I have no idea what C intentions or motivations are, anymore than she knows mine as long as she won’t speak to me.

      Not once since this has begun has she asked me a question about my behavior with K…not one. She hasn’t spoken to me.

      There is of course no shortage of armchair psychology about my behavior. Silence cuts both ways…

      1. C did/does not have any questions because the answer was provided to her by K. If her MO is to go silent, then this should not be a surprise to your friends.

        My comments were not to defend her or be analyzed as armchair psychology, they were an explanation from someone who is on the same side of betrayal as she is.

        In a way I understand her reaction, and in a way I don’t. Regardless, there really is no right or wrong way to react in this situation.

      2. I completely agree.
        And I didn’t intent to say you are doing Armchair Psychology. I meant when when there is only silence armchair psychology takes over…people think they have answers they don’t.

        It is a reminder to self that I don’t have the answers…just lots and lots of questions.

      3. I’m doing one last thing to try and make it safe for C to break her silence and confront me.

        If she is finished so be it.

        But if she is simply hiding that it is a different issue as her Partner I have to be patient and loving her through her pain.

      4. I’m really defensive right now…it’s been a rough few days. I keep trying with C & feel the fool, my new doctor keeps opening wounds to the light, my best friend through this (and someone that would like a deeper relationship with me) is hurting b/c I can’t, and I know I should never have left C alone in YoTo Town. I avoided conflict…
        And I’m scared, lonely, tired, confused, and hurting too…but I keep trying to pick myself up off the ground and rebuild my life brick by brick.

      5. That’s all you can do, rebuild in healthy ways. You’ve told me (a few times :)) that pain unfelt is pain unhealed. Go to those places with your new Dr. don’t stay for long, but go there.

      6. I got busted repeatedly this week that I’m so busy trying to love C from a distance and from a vulnerable place that I’ve hidden the reasonable angers, sadness, and loneliness. I’ve at times made trying to show my intentions and motivations to C that I’ve excused behaviors as still my fault.

        I think her comment to me about the silent treatment was to burst the balloon…to help give me permission to be angry.

        But IDK…

        9 months is a long time to keep trying to honor my other commitments to her.

        Also, don’t quote me back to me. It’s disconcerting. 😉

      7. Also, the doctor yesterday really pushed me yesterday about why I stuck my dick in K…I’m glad she called me out. The truth of the answer made me sick.

        I don’t even know how to begin to talk about it.

      1. Sidebar: I will ask what is the difference between someone applying meaning to the motives, intentions, and actions of C’s silence treatment and applying meaning to the motives, intentions, and actions if the betrayer (not happy, selfish prick, narcissism, etc)?

        Still a bit unclear how my damage playing out in my daily life justifies/excuses C’s behavior. Just mulling it over…

        Just a thought that occurred to me as I walked through the warehouse.

      2. I don’t think there’s any justification for anyone’s motives/behaviours or even feelings. It is what it is and they are what they are – because of our choices and who we are.

        For example, C’s reaction to the betrayal is different than my reaction to the betrayal. No one is better or worse, just different. But I will say that in most (if not all) cases, betrayal of the heart causes pain – and that is the same.

      3. This is the same…and NOTHING I do can unring the bell. All I can do is move forward. I’d like to move forward with C.

        That is not what she wants…all I can do is what I can do. C isn’t interested right now…maybe never.

        Do you listen to podcasts? I heard an excellent one this week that really changed my perception of more than a few things. There is an edited and unedited version, and a transcript available. Here is the link: https://onbeing.org/programs/alain-de-botton-the-true-hard-work-of-love-and-relationships-aug2018/

        Intro –> “What if the first question we asked on a date were, “How are you crazy? I’m crazy like this”? Philosopher and writer Alain de Botton’s essay “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person” was one of the most-read articles in The New York Times in recent years. As people and as a culture, he says, we would be much saner and happier if we reexamined our very view of love. Nowhere do we realistically teach ourselves and our children how love deepens and stumbles, survives and evolves over time, and how that process has much more to do with ourselves than with what is right or wrong about our partner. The real work of love is not in the falling, but in what comes after.”

  2. You know, the part of C being childish etc. I agree with most, but disagree a bit with SSA in this regard. I told you before that I envied C for being able to say no contact and stick with that. That being said, there are possessions and things that need to be sorted/split up, and in that case, there should be some contact as you’ve had disagreements in each others’ stance (eg the clocks, camper). In this case, I do agree with your take on it. I have been on your side and I wished C would give you the opportunity to talk, but as SSA says (and I agree), it is entirely C’s decision. I do think at some point an arrangement to sort out possessions is the grown up thing to do and if she feels more at ease to have a 3rd party there, so be it.

    I will say as with SSA, I’m also a bit confused with the conversation about K.

    I know you’re hurting, C may be too, but as your story unfolded, I’ve had my questions/suspicions about C’s motives. The answers may never be revealed. I personally don’t do well with things being unresolved, I like to have things nice and neatly done, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. And sometimes we have to learn to put it in the back of our minds and move forward. xoxo Dolly

    1. Oh, I absolutely agree – the possessions, shared and not shared valuables need to be dealt with however they can i.e. through a friend, an email – whatever. The silence part I am referring to is regarding their relationship, the affair, reconciliation etc.

      1. I’m more than a bit annoyed by the “friends” things. Look if C had tried to talk about the shared things and I was being an ass I get using outsiders. However, she had NEVER dealt with me directly. Every time some Flying Monkey gets involved.

      2. The shared possessions need to get worked through, however that happens. I understand the annoyance, but I think it’s more that you want to talk to her and see if there’s still a (chance at) connexion. Maybe?

        If you were emotionally done I don’t think you’d care who helped sort out the possessions. Just my two cents.

  3. I just wonder if C started seeing a counselor or talked to a lawyer after her DDay or if she was just smart enough to figure it out on her own because she is doing what we are told to do once we make up our minds to leave, we are told to go No Contact and she is doing an excellent job at it. My lawyer and counselor both told me to not have any contact with him which I couldn’t do and I ended up going back.

    I know you are trying so hard to heal yourself and help C so please don’t take bad advice and into that True Cheater mentality “it’s not what I did, but her reaction to it”
    Hang in there!

    1. I would never blame C for my behavior et al. There is no “wrong” reaction…however, that doesn’t mean I don’t feel the hurt and loss. More will be revealed…but not from C.

      And yes, I too admire her power and consistency. It is one of the things I do love about her. It is one of the things I’ve always loved about her.

      “I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity, and her flaming self respect. And it’s these things I’d believe in, even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn’t all she should be…. I love her and that’s the beginning and end of everything.” – Fitzgerald

      1. Oh no that’s not what I meant – that you blame her, but honestly I don’t know how to clarify what I mean here in writing, that’s a conversation we would need to have over a cup of coffee in person with feelings coming from someone on the other side of your situation.
        I do not know your whole story I have missed many post along the way but I don’t blame C for her behavior unless she has told lies on you and I do think I remember you writing that one time which is why I don’t comment because I can’t understand that from your side or hers – why tell lies – that makes no sense? She shouldn’t lie that is wrong.
        I did tell everyone I felt should know about what my H did and especially those who asked – it’s my story and my truth and I have every right to tell it and I would never lie about what he did so y’alls story confuses me as I’m sure it confuses you too hopefully with time you will heal.
        I can tell you it’s taking me forever to heal if I’m healing at all?

      2. As time as gone on, I don’t think C lied. I think she did what we all do: she sought understanding by making meaning. She made meaning in a vacuum…just like I am. It’s the stories we tell ourselves that we use to justify our behaviors and explain the behaviors of others?

        It’s like the BS story I hear: “if you aren’t happy you should have left and not cheated” . The story is they must not have been happy.

        Or the other one I hear that pisses me off is: if you loved me you wouldn’t have cheated.

        What a bunch of horseshit. It is a story we make up to try and explain our pain, not the behavior.

        My point being, i’ve made up stories and excuses for C’s behaviors – and mine – so that I can better understand or manage my feelings, pain, or anger. That doesn’t make any of them true but it also doesn’t make them lies.

      3. Lol… well I’m one of those that don’t understand how he could cheat on me and lie to me and betray me in the worst way if he truly loved me but if you say that’s horse shit that’s really good to know – it will just take time for me to believe or understand that one, if I ever do. God this is soooo HARD! Sometimes I feel like I am broken beyond repair, But hopefully not 🙂

      4. Great podcast this week: we are all broken. Also, “if we really loved someone we would never marry them. We wouldn’t want them to subject them to us.”

      5. Every situation is different but you’re making the same assumptions I see so many betrayed Partners make: if he/she cared for me he/she wouldn’t have done this to me.
        We tend to make ourselves the center of every story – especially if pain is involved. “You did this to me!”
        Hence my misplaced and misguided assumption that C’s silent treatment is about me at all.

      6. I just don’t know. I just know my counselor and so many others told me to go on his actions not his words. And his actions of lying to me and betraying is hard to assume he loved me. That doesn’t show love at all. So I try to go on what he is doing now and not what he did but I fall short all the time! Sigh! 😞

      7. I guess my fall back is this: did he do no loving behaviors or actions?

        One of the best statements in the podcast I mentioned was Exactly. This gets in the way of growth/learning –> “So often we blame our lovers and don’t blame our view of love. So we keep blowing up relationship.”


        “in love we have the defensivlessness of children & yet we don’t face up to that & therefore we get defensive, cold, avoidant around emotions that we can’t convey to others.”

        I cannot speak to your situation, but I know my behavior was about me and how I am broken and not about C or K. I lacked the tools and addressed the hard things the way I knew how…

      8. IMO is C contribution to the problem is related to her not knowing how to talk about her feelings either…so we both a avoided the conflict. She has her suspicions and instead of having the fight she fled…I was desperate for her to help me work through it but that was never her job.

        “If you loved me you would never have cheated and lied.”

        “If you loved me you would have fought with and for me.”

        Of course, we never talked so all I am left with are the meaning making stories…

      9. Yes he did and I try to remember those too as I am remembering the bad it’s just so hard to comprehend. I will never understand it because I don’t think like him. My counselor kept telling me to stop trying to understand it that I will never understand it and I do good for a while then I fall short again

      10. Pain sticks. Which is why we overlook the good. We embrace the negative and overlook the positive. It’s human. It’s biological and psychological.

        I have a list of C’s good qualities…it helps me stay focused on why 9 months later I keep trying. It helps me keep away from the blame and bitterness that swallows so many of the betrayers that get bogged down in recriminations and rationalizations.

        It also, sometimes helps me make excuses for what is clearly BS which isn’t always good either. I’m trying to focus on what is true about her and not what I think is true about her…but I still have her on a pedestal and I grovel too often still.

        I’m learning.

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