I don’t want to be preachy, just understanding, but…

Oh boy, here we go. I don’t really have a lot of time right now for blogging. I shouldn’t be blogging. I should be up, and moving at the very least. I have my alarm set to get me up out of my chair every hour. Sitting is bad for me/us/people. I actually should be getting ready for a meeting at work. Blue Eyes told me to just call in, I don’t need to actually get all “prettied up” ha, get in my car, and drive the three miles to the office when I can call in. The meeting is not that big a deal. He doesn’t want me to have to change out of my painting clothes. He wants me to be able to do what makes me happy. He also wants me to make turkey meatballs with sauce for dinner and I think secretly he believes this is more likely to happen if I do not have to go downtown. I should be working on a couple work projects today as well that I have procrastinated on. I also need some canvases. I have a trip to the art store on my list. What I shouldn’t be doing is sitting in a chair reading blogs and writing a blog entry. But, here I am. I do get sucked in sometimes, and sometimes this is my sanity.

I tend to do better emotionally when I get out my feelings about what is going on with my life, when I am able to talk it out. This morning I was reading some blogs and during that process, I started to question myself and self reflect. I follow some blogs focused on health and I like those blogs because the authors post diligently, pretty much every day or multiple times a day and I can read through the information quickly and it keeps me thinking about how important my health is. The blogs that I find myself ruminating on, of course, are the betrayed spouse blogs, and not necessarily the betrayed spouse blogs, but the blogs I like to call crossovers. I do often comment on other betrayed spouse blogs if I feel I can be supportive. I definitely, I think, tend to share my experiences more as advice in the comments on others’ blogs and I totally appreciate when people do that for me. Sometimes reading through comments on BS blogs introduces me to new bloggers and sometimes that gets me in trouble because it leads me directly to bloggers who have either cheated on their spouse, are cheating on their spouse, or plan to cheat on their spouse (many have been cheated on, these are what I call crossovers). I try to stay away, but I admit, sometimes I do get sucked into the stories and inevitably I come out the other side with the same feelings, every single time. First, do I sound really angry and judgmental and preachy in my writing? I read this in a few other blogs and I hope I don’t come across that way. It is not my intent. And, I’m not really talking about how I sound to Blue Eyes, that is for him to worry about, my question is more about how I interact with followers. My intent is not to be giving advice or insinuating I am better than anyone else, or insinuate I have the answers. I do not have the answers. Likewise, I must stop reading when I hear a spouse who has been cheated on and who is now cheating, going on going on and on about the wife of her current married lover. She’s fat, or skinny, or lazy, or too athletic, or she only focuses on the kids and doesn’t give her hubby any attention, or she is only after his money, or she is bitchy, or condescending, or angry, or timid, or whatever. Really? It’s that old golden rule thing again… the female code is dead! Women don’t do that to other women? Bullshit, women do THAT to other women all the time, unfortunately. I literally have to say to myself, stop Kat, this is not about you this has nothing to do with you. Just stop. The fact that I do not have life’s answers should be obvious in the way I continue to struggle with my “predicament.” My only intent in starting my blog was to share the journal entries I had written about my experience. My intention was not to weave a story of intrigue, or lead people on, or concoct a story that sounds more like a romance novel about infidelity than my true life story. My blog is also not a place where I go to rationalize how I should cheat on Blue Eyes because he cheated on me. His cheating was not about me. My true life story isn’t that interesting, folks. My story is my story and if someone reads it and feels less alone, I still feel sad because they are having to go through a hell like mine, but I feel grateful that I can somehow connect with someone in need, like me, and the bloggers that were and are still there for me. I need to get this all out of me, whether anyone reads or not. I have found that the fact that people do read and comment is a comfort to me. When I was still in the catching up on my journal entry stage of my blog, I hated it. People were reading my story, but they had no idea where I was at the time. I tried to scatter in a few current-day posts and then I posted like hell to get caught up. Then I sat there thinking, what do I write about now? Well, I only had to sit for about 5 minutes before I realized I would never run out of things to write about, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I think I sound like I am clambering away at nothing here, so I want to make a point. The heart of the matter that I am speaking about is, I try not to follow or get caught up in the stories of people who cheat on their spouses. I don’t think it is healthy for me. I have talked about this before, but it still keeps coming up because there is a lot of crossover in these blogs. I know there is one blogger out there who has never followed me and did not accept my request to follow her private blog when I made the request, and who loves to blast any cheater who dares to comment on a betrayed spouse blog (especially if he or she has not cheated, she seems to feel a very strong kindred spirit to betrayed spouse bloggers, having been one herself). She is very very passionate. I appreciate where she is coming from even if I think she is a little harsh. She and I are very different. I have decided it is best for me to avoid the blogs that are about cheating, especially with a married man and also try to avoid getting sucked in by comments of cheaters, if I can. I’m not saying this other blogger is getting sucked in, from everything I have read, I think she enjoys the banter. It has taken me a while to get to the point where I know it is not good for me to focus on the cheaters and I am still not very good at it.

Blue Eyes and I had a rough day yesterday (I’ll keep saying it, sex addiction recovery is a bitch, guys). Yesterday I crashed, I yelled, I refused to listen to him, I stormed out of the kitchen. Blue Eyes followed me. He brought me a cup of tea. He finished his sharing and I sat and listened. I was frustrated with his “share,” but I have not been feeling well (is it a sinus infection, or allergies… is it the stomach flu, or menopause, or STRESS, please just make it go away) and we cancelled couple’s therapy because of it and I felt like I needed to really listen to him. He is trying. He is working his fourth step and he has admitted that doing that step, taking a fearless moral inventory, connecting with that really dark side of him, is horrifying. Going to a fearless place for Blue Eyes is not anywhere he has ever gone. He can only do it in small doses or he will collapse under the pressure. He needed to sit in front of me and say this. I needed to hear it. He knows how I feel about the twelve steps. I could do them all in a day. I am not an addict, so who the fuck cares how quickly I could do them. I try to be sympathetic. I want to understand him. I want to understand how the process feels. It helps me understand how he did the things he did in the name of addiction and it helps release me from some of the pain of feeling like I should have known. When the broken part of me sneaks a peek out from deep inside the secure, self reliant, self assured me, she feels like somehow cheating with other women was my fault. The bigger, better, stronger part of me knows this to be flatly false, but no one is made of steel. I hate that painful place. I want to go inside myself and grab ahold of that little part that feels somehow there was anything I could have done to stop this madness, to keep him home, to keep him safe, to keep him healthy, to keep him sane, to destroy the addiction, but there is no part of me that could do any of that. NONE.

This morning at breakfast, Blue Eyes sat in front of me with tired, red rimmed eyes, held my hands in his, and said he thought I was sent to him to be there when everything fell apart. I had been sent to him because I am a healer. No one else would be able to go through this with him. He is reading a book about Buddhism and life and death that he ordered online. He said I was his Bodhisattva. I do not even know what that is, but if it means something to him, if those thoughts can help him heal, I am honored to represent that to him. He said he felt like people tended to use sex to feed a physical part of themselves that they mistook for emotional, when what they really needed was to feed their spiritual needs. That sex is a weak replacement for spirituality. There was not much I could say as I have not gone to his Buddhism Meditation nor read any of his books. I want this part of his journey to be exclusively his. Once he has made it through his 12 steps, if he wants to teach me about these things and share this part of his life, I welcome it. I am finding my own way right now by reconnecting with my inner strength and confidence and happiness. For now, his connection to his own spirituality is all his. Go Blue Eyes.

Then, after breakfast I sat down to my computer and checked my WP Reader. I proceeded to read some really destructive words written by a blogger who does not believe sex addicts can recover. At first I thought she was an unbiased source in the therapy community, but now I know the truth. She writes as if she is an authority on sex addiction. She is merely an authority on her own relationship and her own ex-husband. I stopped following her immediately because this does not help me on my journey. I know how difficult sex addiction recovery is. I can only metabolize what I am going through with my husband. I am not in a position to read blanket statements about how all sex addicts are or how all sex addicts behave or how there is no such thing as sex addict recovery. If my husband fails, and/or our marriage fails, it will still just be about us, not about every marriage or every sex addict.

The next blog I read included a comment that I will condense and paraphrase here because I merely want to share the words, not the actual authors, or blogs. There are many comments out there like this one. The comment went something like this:

By the time your spouse cheats, the marriage is broken already. Sometimes it begins broken because the cheater began as a person too flawed to be married to. Usually though, it is a dynamic both spouses play into that erodes the intimacy, trust and the belief you can take all of yourself to your spouse. True reconciliation and healing has to begin with the understanding that “I failed you” has to come from BOTH spouses, not just the one who finally went to someone else. That flies in the face of the self-righteous indignation of the “victim” but I think everyone can legitimately ask for compassion and understanding.

I know the comment above is one person’s opinion on another person’s blog (the blogger is a cheater whose husband cheated on her first, don’t ask me how I got to this blog when I said I don’t do it anymore, but it was originally in an innocent and legitimate way). But these kinds of comments are really destructive to a betrayed spouse’s self esteem. I understand that even though this person is speaking in sweeping generalities, they are not my husband, or my therapist, or my mother, or whatever. They are fucking nobody to me. But it still pisses me off. Many of us ARE victims. And what the hell is wrong with righteous indignation… “a reactive emotion of anger over perceived mistreatment, insult, or malice. It is akin to what is called the sense of injustice.” (Wikipedia). It does not preclude compassion and understanding for everyone, especially if people could STOP blaming other people and get to the bottom of their own shit. Again, get the anger out. Get the emotions out. You have been fucking cheated on, potentially due to ABSOLUTELY NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN, despite what the commenter might be implying or actually saying. My guess is the commenter IS the cheater and she holds her husband accountable for HER cheating. I don’t know because there was no way I was clicking on her blog. Obviously these things get me in trouble. I do not want to stop following betrayed spouses just because sometimes there are comments that piss me off. There are so many bloody comments like the above out there. I am not shocked by the comment, just dismayed that people have such a difficult time being self reflective. I also don’t want to stop reading comments because they are a great form of dialogue. However, I need to learn to shut it off and shut it down. I hope other betrayed spouses who read destructive comments like the one above are also able to live in their own reality and realize there is never any legitimate reason to cheat. To argue, yes, to talk things through with a couple’s counselor, yes, to leave the marriage, yes. But why the cheating? How is the cheating your spouse’s responsibility, stop trying to make them feel bad for your mistake, if indeed you feel like it is a mistake, who knows. I have talked a lot about my husband’s other women and why they would want the relationship they had with him. One was married, two were not. I still very much believe they were trading sex with a sex addict for emotional stroking, which they desperately wanted. I do not believe it was about the sex for them. This makes me sad, because they were duped, just like me, but in a different and equally destructive way (still doesn’t give one of them the right to stalk ME… ). I just want to scream, STOP CHEATING, and blame shifting, and ignoring your own real and true needs (which most likely have nothing to do with sex). But yeah, it’s exhausting. So I blog, and then, hopefully, I feel better.

Well, in between all this, I did call in for the work meeting. But those other work projects aren’t getting done today. I’ll chalk it up to my mental health! Bring on the paint brushes! 🙂

17 thoughts on “I don’t want to be preachy, just understanding, but…

  1. You are one of the least preachy bloggers I have read, Kat! I do not read unrepentant (or proudly pretending to be partially repentant) cheater blogs. Too much anger would be generated here!!! Our relationship was NOT broken before he cheated. It was wonderful. We hit a rocky patch, but were not in any way broken. More judgemental crap from those lacking character

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree, deep voids in the character department! Thanks for saying I am not preachy. It reminds me of when I was in college in a communications class and I gave a presentation that would count for a large part of my grade. I was marked very highly and when I read back through the critiques by my peers, many of the comments revolved around how they thought my speech was mesmerizing and that I was like a preacher or a news caster. I was kind of deflated as I was going for warm and conversational. Ha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You know, I have had that same problem. If you keep immersing yourself in the negativity, eventually you become it. Always remember, there is more to you than your husband’s sex addiction. You are a multi faceted woman. You are not just your situation. Although it is really important for you to talk about it and feel validated, you have to make sure you don’t “become” it. The goal is to rediscover yourself, and you do that by eventually being able to move on. You have been through something awful, just as I have, but you only hurt yourself if you label yourself as a “victim” when there is sooooo much else to you. You are a mother, an artist, a friend, a woman

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, C as always for your kind and encouraging thoughts. Regarding labeling myself as a “victim,” I guess I have never thought of being a victim as something I had control over or that had a ton of negative connotation to it. It just was what it was. Like, I was a victim of a crime when my purse was stolen. For me it is really more about am I culpable for my husband’s behavior, or am I a casualty of his addiction. I definitely do not hold myself responsible for any of my husband’s behavior and I fear that other betrayed spouses do (especially in light of the betrayal perpetrated on them and it feels really bad to me when one of the perpetrators is implying that we are culpable). I can definitely see where you are coming from, and I hope that due to my connotation of victim, that it is not holding me back from healing. After your comment (and I was sitting around at the hair salon with nothing to do anyway 🙂 ) I did look up different definitions and I find it interesting how the word victim, in some denotations actually implies that the person is just ignorant (i.e. someone that was duped, with the synonym as chump, and chump lady is born?). We definitely all have a unique perspective on life and it makes things really exciting ;).

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve thought a lot before commenting today. I never comment on other blogs but like it when I see that you have. Of all of the blogs I follow, I feel like your blog and advice “shoot straight from the hip”. It’s also comes with “experience” which helps me understand the addiction from both sides. It’s hard to help the ones you love to deal with this illness, if you don’t truly understand it. I feel that as you have begun to move to more self care, your comments are even clearer to me. That may be threatening to some, but looking from the outside, it’s coming from a place of good intention. Keep at it Kat. You are helping so many!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, A. How I am on my blog and in the blogging community is how I am in real life. For me, it’s not a game or a storyline, it’s my real life splattered on a page… again, the good, the bad, the ugly. A lot of my “righteous indignation” as the commenter so aptly puts it, comes from baggage I have with my relationship with my husband and his family. I have been scapegoated for years by his family. I was to blame for everything that went wrong in their family even though I came along WAY after they were all broken. Abusers love an easy target and I just tried to be compassionate, and to get along. I really try to be understanding and loving to all people, but it blows my mind how many people are rationalizing bad behavior and hurting innocent people in the process. I don’t believe they should be belittled, or punished for their behavior, they should just learn from it and stop blaming. We all have our own unique experiences and it breaks my heart when I look at my husband and know, for a fact, that he was terribly abused, but then, he turned around and hurt me, another innocent victim. I know it hurts him as he has now woken from the fog and sees me, a “victim” of an addiction he was unable to control and it hurts him to his core. It is difficult to metabolize. This is a painful process but a necessary one for both of us, whether we stay together or not. I am happy to finally feel like I am healing. Thanks again for your very kind and helpful comments.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I feel your outrage and indignation every time these other blogs come up. I want to say that I am relearning the concept of powerlessness in the face of my own reaction to my ex’s continued compulsively and how I perceive it will eventually affect our son. I cannot control him. I cannot control what has been done and I cannot change it. I am compelled to look for things that only hurt me and send me into a state it’s hard to come back from. I relive the shock and betrayal all over again. It’s devastating every time.

    You are not preachy.
    You are reliving trauma when you read those blogs though. Is it helping you or is it hurting?

    Liked by 2 people

    • No doubt reliving the trauma when I read the blogs is hurting me. I need to learn to stop and remove myself from the situation. It sounds so easy, but you know, it isn’t. Before dday, it wouldn’t have held the same meaning to me personally (and I never read anything about betrayal or sex addiction before dday). I wouldn’t have felt like someone didn’t understand ME, or my husband and somehow because of my crazy personality, I really want to yell at the commenter, stop, can’t you see all your rationalizations are also really hurting YOU in the end. In my mind, the commenter above was insinuating there are no innocent victims. If only that were true. I really want to be able to have a conversation with her and get her to understand that messing around in a marriage (unless it is open, and even then, from what I have seen and read, PEOPLE STILL LIE) is just plainly not fair to the person (or persons–most likely she is being lied to as well, otherwise if I believed all mistresses, I would have to believe most wives are just plain horrible people) who does not know that their spouse is being unfaithful. I don’t care how she is rationalizing it away. I realize it doesn’t matter if people don’t understand me. Only I can understand what I need, but I still have this burning to desire to say my piece, but I don’t comment on those types of comments, so I am using my own blog to hopefully release it.

      Within the trauma, we need to somehow distance ourselves from the negative triggers. It was so easy for me to shut down the ex-wife of a sex addict pretending to be an expert and although I mention it above, I did not ruminate about it. I have gotten pretty good at unfollowing, and people unfollow me all the time. It is a healthy thing to do if you don’t feel like what you are reading is helping you (or making you laugh, or whatever the reason is we read a particular blog). I read your blog every day. It helps me get outside myself and my little cocoon and understand what other people go through. Regarding how your husband’s behavior will affect your son, I can see why you have to release yourself. I still have days where I sit and think about how my boys must feel now that they know their father lied to them for years. I hope that because I was their primary caregiver most of the time, that they can put it into perspective. That they can look at my integrity and honesty and love and devotion to them and realize not everyone is going to lie to them and put their own selfish needs before the needs of innocent children. That their dad has a problem and that he is getting help. It was about a year ago when our youngest, Sammy, who is very quiet and gentle and kind, through lots of tears, yelled at his dad, “you broke mommy.” Hopefully as we all work through this, especially their dad, he can see that this is not about me. I am in pain just like him, and his dad hurt me, but he didn’t break me. At least in your situation, even though your husband is not in recovery, you know the truth and that will not be your issue. Sex addicts can get into some pretty scary behavior. Hopefully he is with it enough to not put your son in danger. The stronger you are, the better it is for your son, but I know that is a lot of pressure.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Kat..

    I’ve never found you “preachy” or self righteous.

    I’m pretty sure your blog and SW’s blog are the first ones I found and followed and read consistently…

    There are so many blogs about infidelity… Sadly … That by itself is enough, but then we all have the circumstances and details that make our situations personal. They all hurt and suck.

    I follow the rainbow of blogs too.. I’ve become selective in my responses… Cheaters can be harsh and defensive! Pretty hard to take in a fragile state sometimes!

    You keep on doing what you are doing. You have a good heart and strong mind. You have a husband that has a horrible addiction but no doubt loves you (I must say I cringe when I say that.. I cringe sometimes when Matt says it to me.. Because cheating doesn’t express love or caring… Quite the opposite. ..)

    I think your situation is different in most of the betrayed blogs..

    Blue eyes didn’t cheat because of faults in your marriage or you. He cheated because of an illness, and his weakness to it. (not justifying…) the only way you could have “stopped” or prevented it was to have known about it in the beginning. Unfortunately he kept that from you.. That is not reflection on you or your marriage. He already had broken pieces.. But didn’t recognize it.

    Obviously I’m speaking in generalities…

    just want you to know I always look for your blogs and love your comments

    ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Rac, thanks so much for your thoughtful and reassuring comment. I am glad you said what you did about Blue Eyes’ type of cheating because it gives me the opportunity to say I believe the same about a lot of the betrayed spouses. We all want to somehow find fault in ourselves for what our spouses have done, but that is not fair. If these people are willing to cheat, I have to believe most of them were broken when they got married… obviously not as broken as Blue Eyes or other sex addicts who have really struggled with shame since childhood, but the cheaters are struggling with something inside that allows the other person to get to them. Even if they believe it is about something actually happening within their marriage (because they never considered themselves to be a cheater), it is still their responsibility to talk it out with the person they have promised to spend the rest of their life with if they even come close to lying to them about their behavior with another person. Why is it that so many cheaters never leave their spouse? If the spouse is so bad and their marriage is so bad, why don’t they leave first, then find someone else who is supposedly better? Both in my betrayed spouse seminar and in general with what I read, the cheater leaves their spouse less than 10% of the time. What is it all really about? It’s about them. Each cheater is different, but it is still about them and I don’t believe most of the time it is about having sex with a hot body. That is a lot to put at risk for some hot sex (which many cheaters admit the sex wasn’t that great). That is what we are led to believe by the media, but I don’t believe it. AND, I have had so many comments on my blog about how can I believe my husband didn’t have feelings for the other women. In my trauma, I found it difficult to understand too. But eventually I did come to understand it because I now understand sex addiction. But what about the non sex addicts? Because I read so many betrayed spouse blogs where the guys are not sex addicts, it does make me think. I really do want to understand these people and how they explain it all away without blaming the non-cheating spouse. The mistresses themselves are part of the broken system. They are both in it together and both culpable. Anyway, I am rambling here, but I guess my point with the whole post was… I am sick of the wives being the scapegoats for the abhorrent behavior of the cheaters. All the rationalizing isn’t helping anyone. I need to just walk away… slowly walk away from cheater comments, ha. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Hugs to you. I think you needed those yesterday but here they are now. I don’t find you preachy at all. I have more to add but I am so tired. I’ll try and write more to you later. I do think you are giving your marriage the best you possibly can!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Have to agree with you here Kat in regard to the text you inserted. Crap. But there are so many perspectives out there. Many perceptions. Many stories. I can easily become entrenched reading about others lives and how they cope and it is hard sometimes not to judge or have an opinion.m I am learning to read and let it go. Sometimes I ponder and sometimes I will bring up an issue for discussion. Life is so complicated and I am just starting to realise that there are so many varied reasons for infidelity. This is a whole new world opening up with deep seated emotions. Interesting. Painful. Sad. But sometimes funny and warm.
    Love those bright colors on your palette.
    Hugs xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • “let it go” yes, your are correct, that is what I need to do. I cannot make everyone understand how wonderful it feels to be honest, and live with integrity and not blame others. Only they can figure that out for themselves. I need to keep reminding myself. Thanks, CF

      Here’s to a brightly colored day for you in every way! ❤

      Like

  8. I don’t think you’re preachy, just a real person doing the best she can. You love your husband and you’re not a doormat. Hang in there, you obviously love one another. Did you make the turkey meatballs?

    Liked by 2 people

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