Self-Esteem and the Betrayed

I was talking to a friend yesterday whose husband cheated on her for a little over a year and she mentioned her self-esteem is still taking a hit.

I was like, “What? Good lord, why?”

I explained that since this began, there was just a short time at the beginning that I believed it was me who caused The Player to cheat (remember, just thought it was one affair and a one night stand at that time) because he basically told me that. I was a mother who didn’t understand her kids, I was fat and I didn’t have any common interests with him. It being about me lasted maybe just a month. As his behavior (gaslighting, lying, reaching back out to last whore) continued, I realized it was all about him. It was his problem, his deficiencies, his shame, his lack of insight and morality, his, his, his.

I said these things aloud to my friend yesterday and I meant every word.

I’m fucking awesome. I’m still as awesome as I ever was.

The Player’s self esteem should be hit, not mine.

He feels lucky to be in the home. Better yet, he IS lucky to be in the home after what he has done.

It would be easier on me to break up than recover, this shit is hard.

I have been able to mother well under extremely hard circumstances.

I told her he is privileged to be speaking to me, for me giving him a real chance to recover and heal our marriage. He is privileged that I am working my ass off to heal myself and hopefully the marriage, fully, someday.

I am an amazing person for surviving what I have the last couple of years even though the pain was caused by someone else’s choices.

I am a thoughtful, loving and caring mother to want to preserve my kids’ family. The thing that probably gives me the most self-esteem in all of this mess is that I’m  showing another human – one who betrayed me for 20 years – a generous amount of grace by allowing him time in our home to recover during the worst time in his life. He abuses these privileges and opportunities, it’s on him, not me. I can live with myself and my behavior.

So yes, my self-esteem is just fine. And yours should be, too.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Self-Esteem and the Betrayed

  1. For me the trauma-induced lingering self esteem issue continued for quite some time. I was not proud of it, and there was always a part of me deep inside that didn’t believe it, but it took a while to convince the whole of me, like everything else. No matter how many times I told myself, or someone else told me, there wasn’t anything I could have done differently, I still collapsed every once in a while for the first few months. I dare say though, this is an individual journey of healing and beating ourselves up really doesn’t get us anywhere. Indeed, the causes of their infidelity are not our burden to carry and healing ourselves, betrayal and all, is truly the goal. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I hope your friend understood what you were saying. If not then at least it might start her thinking on a different path. Everyone is different as Kat says and we will all,have different ahhahahahaaa moments. For some a light switch, for others a long journey.
    An analogy that hit me when I was in my early days and the therapist said to me. Get a $20 bill. Scrunch it up….what is it worth? Still $20. Get it dirty and step on it ….what is it worth. Still $20. Our self worth is just like this $20. It will never change.
    And for all of us that are here and healing and reconciling and trying to find our way to live our lives in truth and wisdom…we are all awesome and those men are so lucky to have us. Xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is a great analogy- the other thought I had when I read it is that anyone who would crumple up, step on, and dirty a twenty dollar bill is obviously an idiot. Add that he will put that $20 bill aside and try to find any bit of value for himself instead with a crust covered, dingy penny and you’ve got a complete, fucking, obtuse asshole.

      Like

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