If you had seen me on the street 10 years ago, you may have thought, “What a perfect family.” You may have described us as happy, loving, clean, and beautiful. We had the perfect house, perfect beautiful children, we were all slim and healthy, we had money, we had it all. You may have even been envious of my life. If you thought all those things, I would have to say to you, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Because underneath all that was a cheating wife.
I have recently laid out my story, or rather the beginning of my story and my affair. It was very difficult. As I have said, I am telling my story in hopes that it will help others who are in the same predicament or trying to move out of it. There are many! I have faced some harsh criticism over the years and more recently. It will always sting, but I understand it. I used to be the most judgmental person I know. I had the perfect life. I created something I wanted because I would accept no less. I worked hard for it. I made good decisions. I judged others who were unable to do the same. I had harsh criticism for someone who complained about their life and where it was going. “Well fix it,” or “Why did you do something so stupid in the first place.” That was my attitude at a young age. That was how I was treated growing up and in turn, how I treated others. If my experience brought only the fact that I am no longer that person, then I am beyond grateful for it.
I became one of “those” people. Someone I would have scorned. I was humbled. I am humbled. I grew up. I learned that we all make mistakes and that even little ole ME, is NOT so perfect. We all have our demons and our secrets. I have looked down on people and I have felt shame for that. I am no one to judge. Not because I have made mistakes, but because it is not my job, nor my place. I have had women who were on the other end come at me with hatred. It is something that I have dealt with and will write about at the right time. I respect those women. I have been on the other end. I know the pain, but that is not my story to tell. I don’t ask for acceptance. I don’t ask for forgiveness. I don’t ask for respect, but do I ask that comments be respectful and thoughtful. I am not anyone’s punching bag.
Here are the beginning posts of my journey thus far. It is a beautiful, gut-wrenching journey and I have learned more than most do in a lifetime. If it makes you feel something, learn something, heal something, change something, or even makes you cry, I am grateful. Thanks for listening.
5 thoughts on “Judging a book by its cover.”
I have read these three posts and I must admit my first instinct was to run away from your blog. That is my problem, not yours. When something pains me I tend to run away from it rather than face it. It pains me deeply to hear about ‘the other side’. As I respected some of your comments to me, I pushed through the pain and kept reading. As I read these posts I initially thought ‘she blames her parents’ and then ‘she blames the internet’. In this most recent post I see you are taking responsibility. Many people who partake in affairs (my ex-husband included) blame the betrayed spouse / partner entirely for it all happening, find some reason as to why the spouse drove them away or made them drift away. This leaves the betrayed partner with all the losses and guilt and identity crisis.
I respect you for the fact that you have not done that and it is obvious from your writing that you are striving to be the very best that you can be which is all we can ever be – the very best that we can be.
I feel we each serve a purpose to the other. I have thought of you often in my posts. You have represented my guilt and shame at times. There are many factors in my life that lead me my path, but I ultimately do take full responsibility. Thank you for sticking around. I do appreciate you very much 🙂
Over the past 48 hours I have thought about this post and my reaction It was strange. I felt some empathy for you (perhaps lack of the right care in your childhood) yet not for my ex-husband. From my perspective, it wasn’t just the betrayal (although that stings); it was the fact that he could discard me, and that he did not love me enough to put my feelings above his own supposed needs. It has been a long slow realization that it was not about me at all. It was all about him. I suppose what I am saying is that part of the pain has been me accepting who he is, rather than who I thought he was and what I wanted him to be, and not expecting of him any more than he was / is capable of. This has been a hard step – the acceptance of that fact. Can that translate into me forging him? I don’t know.
I have to forgive myself first for trusting too much and therefore hurting too much when trust was gone.
Please don’t think this is the same as your situation.
You have taken responsibility so there is a huge difference between your situation and mine.
I started a blog to write about my experiences and what I’m dealing with now. I have found it’s stressful being open on wordpress because people freak out if it reminds them of their own lives. Maybe I need to worry less about community and more about working through my issues by blogging. The good. The bad. The ugly.
I understand your sentiments. I think it is important to have a strong purpose. I want to help others because I’ve already dealt with myself. Maybe defining your purpose will help you decide if you want to put yourself out there now or write in a private journal first.