Posted July 27th, 2008 by justBcoz in Personal []
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*yet another emo warning*

Mmk, so this is a follow up to recent comments I made in this post, in reply to my Dad and B, wherein I mention the realization and acknowledgment of certain issues that I still need to work through and my need to start sharing more of those things with people in order to help me release some of the pain that I’ve been swallowing, avoiding and numbing out to.

I recently discovered that a friend was facing a situation in her marriage so similar to what I went through that it pierced my heart and prompted me to write her a letter. Not that I ever sent it to her, I didn’t want to interfere or offer unsolicited advice, it was just me putting pen to paper, so to speak, in an attempt to try and make more sense of all the craziness that came rushing back into my head when I heard about what she was going through.

I’ve not shared this with anyone, apart from Sir G. And I now want to share it with you. I want to give you an insight into a dimension of my past that still haunts me and sometimes shades my world with an unwelcome presence of fear and cynicism.

In unleashing this very private pain, I hope to bring it to the surface so that it can be dealt with properly. I know that’s going to take time though. Trust me; I have no illusions about a single post being entirely cathartic. But I have learned that ignoring or disregarding or even minimalising the very real trauma that I’ve allowed to warp my life and cause me such enormous distress is not the answer anymore. It’s not the way to fix what’s broken. My emotions, both negative and positive, have a right to be acknowledged and handled appropriately. I don’t have to hide from them or think that I am weak for experiencing emotion. My current lesson is deal with them effectively and now that I am able to be more rational, I think I can.

I also need a visual reminder to myself of how far I’ve come. Writing this letter was a huge step for me, one that showed me that I am indeed on the right track to rediscovering my essence and that I am not going to allow myself to submit to a victim mentality. I have made some choices that were not in my own best interests and this letter serves as my cue to pull my own strings, to take responsibility for my own life and happiness.

So here goes …


To the beautiful woman whose husband vowed to love you forever, to honour you, keep you and cherish you until death parts you, to the devoted wife whose husband has now decided that you are not good enough for him, and that he would rather be with another. To that woman who is now suffering the most excruciating pain, the most sickening agony … I am right there with you.

Not too long ago, the same thing happened to me – the devastating blow of betrayal hit me with such a force that I am still reeling from the shock and pain and anger. Hearing of your story brings that insane time to a fresh place in my mind and forces me to process those horrid events all over again. It’s taken a while for me to get to this point, where I can contemplate the destruction of my marriage without breaking down and I need to write this to help me process things a little more and bring me a few steps closer to total acceptance and forgiveness. My son would tell me this is so emo, and yes, it is. But these words may also be of help to you, so it’s worth every second for me to put pen to paper and get this “out there”.

Apart from death, there is no greater form of rejection. That your husband can willingly destroy your life in order to give his heart to another woman is insanely cruel. That he can do it with cold precision and then lay the blame entirely at your feet adds unbearable insult to injury. In his own mind, he can only justify his behaviour by completely denying all wrong doing and portraying you to the world as a “cold bitch”. He simply cannot take responsibility for his actions and he cannot own anything he does. He does not have the strength of character required to do that at the moment. He won’t consider that he may have had a large part to play in the development of your ice queen persona. Doing so would expose a weakness on his part and potentially shut down his exit strategy.

Yes, his exit strategy. You see, he’s been planning this for a long time. Actually, he’s slowly but surely been setting you up, strengthening his way out of this marriage. It’s taken many years to wear you down from the strong independent woman you once were to the controlled, emotionally and mentally abused victim you have become. He has quite deliberately changed the very essence of who you are by controlling every aspect of your life – your finances, your friends, your body, your clothes, your time, hell, even the food you eat. Without you even realizing, you have lost yourself in his domain. Your life now revolves around him, to the point where you are entirely dependent on him and so afraid to lose him you would do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Perhaps you have become withdrawn, submissive, or even lost a lot of weight recently. It seems like you’ve done all you can to make him happy, sacrificed so much so that he could realize his dreams while your dreams and happiness take a back seat. You’ve become miserable without even knowing why exactly. Things just don’t seem right and you started feeling resentful. He’s neglected you, pursued his own interests, it seems like he’s deliberately ignored you and excluded you from things that are important to him. (I remember tearfully saying goodbye as he went on yet another camping trip without me, wondering why he never wanted me to come along, and didn’t ask if I wanted to.) Sometimes it feels like he goes out of his way to keep you low, doubting yourself, stripping you of all self esteem. This has all been quite intentional on his part – he’s been building his case against you, strengthening his exit strategy, arming himself with a defence that would make his future (cowardly) actions acceptable in other’s eyes.

As your relationship declines, he’ll tell everyone that you are cold and irrational, that you have issues, and that he can’t live like that anymore, he’s “tried so hard” to make it work. You suggest counseling and perhaps he agrees, but his heart won’t be in it at all. You wonder what’s happening, if you’re losing your mind. You feel so lost and lonely. By now, you have no close friends and there’s no-one you can talk to. You carry intense pain every day, never quite knowing what will happen next.

The signs are there, they always are – the signs that he’s met someone who appeals to him more than you. But you don’t see them, you’ve given this man absolute power over you and has manipulated your world so that the signs are covered. If you see something amiss and confront him about it, he’ll deny it (“she’s just a friend”) or he’ll rub your face in it (“you deserved it/you asked for it”). You probably never saw the moment of truth coming and you were unprepared for the instant that it was revealed. Your entire world was rocked and your life, as you knew it, was over. Forever.

Now you feel robbed. The future you planned together belongs to him and another. You feel so foolish – all this time (and god knows how long it’s actually been) he’s been in love with someone else but living as your husband. You trusted him with your life and he stabbed you in the heart. He chose to love another, to turn his back on all the promises he made you.

He feels no remorse. He is focused only on being with her. He’s made up his mind and that’s that. Right now, he is 100% determined to be with her, and nothing and no-one is going to persuade him otherwise. She is his fantasy; the one he thinks can make him happy. He is convinced that his peace and joy depends on not being with you, but being with this other person. He really believes this, he hasn’t thought about his happiness as being his responsibility, his choice.

It’s pointless trying to make him see reason at this time; he’ll distort the truth and hand the responsibility heavily over to you. He will never admit to hurting you because in his mind he’s done nothing wrong (you’re a cold bitch, remember?).

Just know this: it’s not about you! He is the weak one, not you. Of course, it takes 2 people to make a marriage work, but it only takes 1 person to destroy it. That someone can do it with such calculated intention is insanely cruel. As bizarre as things seem right now, you are not losing your mind! You are in deep shock – your world has been turned upside down and it seems totally crazy, but it’s the situation that’s crazy, not you!

In the days ahead, there will be so many lies and accusations hurled around, it’s going to be an agonizing and confusing ride. You may seem completely alone in your suffering, but I want you to know that you are not alone, and that you are not to blame for his actions (he chose his own path) and you certainly didn’t deserve it. No-one does.

It will be a while until you reach the point of acceptance, and even longer until the day where forgiveness becomes an option you can consider, until you can wake up every day and choose to forgive both of them. I don’t know what the outcome will be for you but try to hold on to 2 things while you grieve the loss of your best friend and your marriage:

1) Everything happens for a reason, and
2) What goes around, comes around …


  1. Dad says:

    Stunning!! I am truly amazed at your depth of understanding of what went down in your relationship and what goes does down in so many others. I hope that what you have written here can somehow be shared with many others going through what you went through.
    I am now also sure that you are going to come out of all of this a stronger and better woman of the world who has much wisdom to offer to others. Much love, Dad

  2. justB[coz] says:

    Thank you Dad xxx

  3. SwissTwist says:

    Wow! I commend you on coming out of this situation a stronger, independent and forgiving person. From my own experience, not so long ago, I know how hard it is and I sure do know the pain. I myself am still learing to forgive and it will still take a long time to let it go. Your letter, your post, is inspiring and gives me hope.

    Thank you for sharing with us. *hugs*

  4. justB[coz] says:

    @SwissTwist … I’m so glad I’ve shared this. To know that it has inspired and given some hope to just one person is just brilliant!
    *hugs* to you too and all my love and encouragement as you also take the hard, long road back to peace.

  5. JOC says:

    Hugely, big, brave step…..well done :-)
    Lots of love.

  6. SheBee says:

    Wow, JBC – you really put it all out there, well done my lovey, and beautifully written.

    Its certainly X’s loss and Sir G’s gain :P

    More importantly though, you deserve such a happier life than what he quite obviously didn’t give you.


  7. StevenMcD says:

    damn deep stuff. I think a lot of people will be able to relate this, not only women who have gone through this but guys as well.

    This is definitely getting nominated for SA Blog Awards next time round. I salute your openness, this must’ve been really tough to type, let alone publishing. Well done!

  8. justB[coz] says:

    JOC – and lots of love to you too my friend, you are doing great. I’m proud of you :-)

    SheBee – yes, you are so right – realising that I do actually deserve better was a breakthrough for me. I was so used to things just being the way they were (as bad as they were). That’s why I am now so dead-set on not getting “stuck” again, you know what I mean? I am SO aware of how easy it is to get complacent – not only in a relationship, but in all areas of life. You HAVE to keep things fresh. Nothing grows in dull, dark ritual …

    Steven – true, true … this could be something that ANYONE who has to deal with infidelity and divorce can relate to. Like death, I have found it to be a topic that most people avoid – it’s uncomfortable, it’s awkward, no-one is really quite sure how to deal with it. So many of us keep silent, afraid that our trauma is either “imagined” or being perceived by others as a weakness. It’s so sad, all these broken people walking around, carrying so much pain and not knowing what to do with it.

    And sure, this was incredibly hard to write and publish. But I did it! And it really does feel good to get it out there, not only in that I’m helping myself but also because I can help others …

  9. Dad says:

    You posted this over 2 years ago so was just wondering how things have changed for you since then form a personal point of view?