Month Nine and Ten ... Surviving Marital Betrayal




First off
I really dread writing these posts.

Not because we aren't doing better.
We are.

But because they are a continual reminder
of one of the most painful events in my life.

Which means
they remind me of my own vulnerability.

But they are also a reminder of how far Jeff and I have come
over the last ten months.
It obviously takes a team effort
to not only survive marital betrayal
but come out stronger for it.


Writing although painful reminds me  how hard
Jeff and I  have
and 
continue to work
to restore strength and vitality
to our marriage.

We will celebrate our 31st anniversary this week
and
 I can't believe how far we have come since last year.
It was only last year celebrating our 30th
that I was wondering if 30 years might be indeed long enough to be married.
And that was before I knew about the betrayal.

Sometimes
awful, ugly things have to happen
before you both realize
just how much you really do love each other.

Marriage is hard.
Being married for a long time can lead as it did in our case
to becoming complacent.
To taking each other for granted.


As horrible as being broken open to the core actually is
sometimes
it can give you an opportunity to put the pieces back togehter
in a way that is so much better than before.


Our road doing that has been long and hard
on both of us.
And in case anyone was wondering
I never publish any of our story
without letting Jeff read it first.
Writing and sharing our story
in the hopes of helping others
definitely comes second to repairing
our own marriage.



I think writing almost seems harder these days
because
the betrayal is no longer front and center 
in my life.
More often than not
it only comes up briefly each day
and 
some days not at all.

Which means to have to stop and check in on 
'the situation'
can sometimes feel like a harsh sting.

But I promised myself
I would journal this process for one year
in the hopes that our journey can help others.
I remember when I first found out about the betrayal
I was so scared and hurt my only question was
'How does anyone survive'
and
I wasn't talking about marriage.

So in hopes of helping someone else
in their time of need
 here goes.




Our last therapy sessions was one of 
my favorites.

After being told by our therapist 6 weeks ago
that he thought we had made such tremendous progress
(as in he had never had a couple as committed to change
and
healing
and that in
his opinion  we were good not to continue therapy).

I wasn't comfortable not to return
so we scheduled our last therapy session
for a month out.
And I am so grateful we did.

During the month that we didn't go
Jeff and I began to have disagreements
once a week.


They all started off the same way
were circular and nonproductive in nature.
Just an ugly repetitive dance of words and emotions.

I started to realize
I was stuck in anger and resentment 
of the betrayal.
Life had gotten so complicated with other family issues
like my mother dying and it's vast impact
to my oldest son choosing once again to estrange himself
and 
even the joyous marriage of my youngest son 
and 
their move to San Diego.
It all just left me feeling overwhelmed.


So I think I began to vent at what was an easy target.
I began to loose sight of what I wanted our marriage to be
and 
began to settle into true resentment and anger.


The silver linings began to be something I couldn't feel.
I knew I need to make a change.

I once again pulled out my books about
healing after betrayal.
I saw that I wasn't doing my part as well
as I had in the beginning.

I could also recognize
Jeff was still showing up
even though my angry words 
could have easily sent a weaker man packing for sure.
Who knows
maybe on some level a part of me was testing him.
If I no longer came to our marriage invested every day
in loving intent
and
showed up angry and ugly
would it all be over.

It wasn't.




And I was ever so grateful we still had a standing therapy appointment.
Because we both definitely needed the help.


Jeff was getting frusterated
and 
I felt like I was in the process of unraveling so much of the 
loving progress we were making.


In that session
I was able to truly verbalize how angry and resentful I was
and 
talk about my trust issues
calmly
respectfully
honestly.

Our therapist suggested Jeff 
'check in with me once a day
on how I was feeling about our 'situation'




And Bingo
I felt like a light went off in my head.
My anger and resentment
wasn't as much about the 
betrayal itself anymore
but 
it was more about how I still had to deal with
the ramifications everyday.
The fear that would arise
with the smallest of triggers.


I had falsely believed we had gotten through it ...
but I still had to deal with my life
and
still feeling so broken.

I realized the person who was putting the most pressure on me
to 'put this all behind us'
was me.

I had thought I needed to stop talking about it
which just made the small triggers 
build up until they exploded messily
in anger and rage.

Since our session  several  weeks ago
Jeff checks in daily
in earnest effort
and 
I share with him how I'm feeling that day.


That simple change
makes me realize we are definitely in 'this' together
and 
it's not all on my shoulders to get behind me.


We both are able to talk about how regaining trust
will be a process
but we are both committed for the long haul.


Another important take away from our last session
was
it is my responsibility to know
I will be alright with or without Jeff.


It might sound harsh at first 
but it's so true.


I need to do all the work
that makes me feel whole


I need that  not only for my own piece of mind
but as much for our marriage.


As the hurt partner
I don't ever want to feel 
like it's Jeff's entire responsibility to 
'make me whole again'.


It is definitely my job as well.


It took two of us to get 'there'
It definitely takes the both of us
to get where we want to go.


And one thing I do know for sure
we are both doing our very best to
get there!


Of course there are great days
and
some days that are not so great.


But like so many times in life
it's continual steps in the right direction
that can get you there.

I know it is still a long road
but I know long journies
are all about one step at a time.

I have also learned never to take relationships for granted.
Especially
the very important ones.




As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life


















17 comments:

  1. Continued success. I am glad you haven’t given up but chosen your marriage. It is worth it

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    1. Donna thank you very much dear, for your encouraging words! xo

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  2. Thank you for sharing Tamera! I admire your guts,courage and determination that you have every single day! As always such great words of wisdom no matter what we are dealing with! Wishing you continuous love,strength and gratitude each day❤️🙏

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    1. Aww thank you ever so much dearest Loreen, for your sweet gift of words and sentiment! xo

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  3. I am wondering if these blogs about MB are in your best psychological interest. I trust you are undergoing therapy. What does he/she say? I hear pain... self inflicted torture... why? Perhaps you are on the right track... I'd have taken a different tack. But each one has to find what's best for them. Best of luck..

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    Replies
    1. All great questions Nina. I've asked them myself plenty. But I do know that the MB posts definitely help with the processing and moving forward. And our therapist is on board. I think we all process pain differently, for me writing has always been therapeutic and also knowing the posts can help others. I get so many emails saying so. That all being said ... I am doing only one more on the year anniversary. I will be quite happy not to have to write on the subject again.

      Nina thank you for taking the time to leave your thought provoking questions. I truly appreciate them. xo

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  4. I remain wishing you both well. I also like the "I am not a Robot" game before publishing a comment is accepted :)

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  5. Your journey reminds me of after 10 breast cancer surgeries and eight rounds of chemo and my doctor said, "Go live your life. I don't need to see you, again. If it recurs, you'll find it before I would anyway." Not having the crutch of those visits and blood tests and scans made me feel like I was walking on a tightrope without a net, but eventually I got to the place where I couldn't live in that zone anymore. It wasn't healthy for me or my husband. It was time to let go and live my life and see who I was without breast cancer. In your case, it's who are you beyond betrayal? That's a healthy place to be. I hope you get there, Tamera. xoxo, Brenda

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  6. "As the hurt partner"...and he's not hurting?

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    1. People generally hurt a long time before acting out. Some people decide they're going to leave when the kids are grown, and verbalize it to others all along the way. Some people are impetuous and act on the moment. Whatever way, both partners are hurting. There are times someone points the finger at their partner for a "big" betrayal, when betrayal of the marriage has been happening at their own choice for years and years through seemingly small decisions made along the way. Taking responsibility for what led a partner to seek fulfillment outside a marriage, is what comes with having walked awhile in healing.

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    2. Anon 11:16
      Very cogent thoughts.

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  7. My dear friend, I’m in awe of the strength and courage in your continued vulnerability. Your posts are a beautiful example of the fierceness of Midlife as you open your heart for the gift of your healing along with helping others. You’re a treasure and I’m humbled to call you my friend.

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  8. It seems like you're saying that your husband is putting forth his best effort to try and repair this. It seems like you are still harboring anger which is understandable; everyone moves at their own pace. Maybe this won't work out in the end, but if he is truly, truly sorry and you can feel this in his voice and eyes and heart when you speak honestly to each other, well, I hope you can work it out because (from experience) I know that you can sometimes live to wish you had been able to see things in a different light.

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  9. Hi Tamera

    Your words ring so true to me! I have been through this and it is a constant test of strength and commitment. You're so right when you say that you just never know when something will trigger thoughts and anger and hurt and there is really nothing you can do about it. You need to be reassured and you have every right for your feelings to be acknowledged. It's a fine line we walk when we want the marriage to work and we still want to be angry some days. I admire you for your honesty and you are definitely helping others who are going through the same thing. You have every right to take as much time as you need and to also take care of yourself! I think you are are an amazing woman and that you have handled this situation with grace. I don't know what is happening with your son, but I'm sure that your heart is hurting over that as well. Life sometimes gives us everything at once, but you are an example of how to deal with it all beautifully. I'm sending you, as always, all my love.

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  10. Goodness. This is my first time here...and I have to say, even as you're writing on such a difficult subject, your writing is so lovely.

    I hope you continue forward through this...and gain the outcome you want.

    Bettye
    https://fashionschlub.com

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  11. I'm in awe of your honesty and courage as you continue to document the ups and downs of this very difficult year. Wishing you love, comfort and perseverance today and everyday. xo

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  12. Dearest Tamera, I decided to drop by today in response to your pic on Instagram where you turned up fresh faced with no make-up and challenged the role of intsa in our lives. After reading this too, I'm so impressed at your openness and bravery at sharing things so many of us would shy away from. I admit that I use my blog and Instagram as my happy place, but that's not because I want to masquerade as being wonderful and perfect. No, it's because we all need inspiration and just as you and another blogger have inspired me of late, I'd like to think that I can be a small ray of sunshine in others lives too.
    It's a difficult thing to open up and share this tumultuous journey that you're currently on, but oh how I admire you your honesty, determination and sheer grit that you will make things work.
    Bravo dearest Tamera, keep going, rebuilding your marriage one brick at a time.
    Anna x

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