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.