“If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you will find an excuse.” E. James Rohn
Being betrayed sucks. I remember feeling at the time like my then husband threw me down, and while I severely wounded and lying on the ground, he kicked me off the cliff without a second glance. I had that vision over and over during the shock of finding out about the affair and trying to get myself together. It was horrible. And I just think cheating is wrong. I don’t care if you are married or dating, straight or gay. None of that matters. Betraying a beloved partner, lying and deceiving are just awful ways to treat another human being, particularly someone you claim to love.
Having said all that, I did pick myself up, shake all the crap from him and his affair off, and create a fabulous life for myself. It took a lot, and I mean a lot, of really hard work, which is ongoing, most likely for the rest of my life. I looked deep into myself, at the parts of me that I didn’t like. Where I wasn’t authentic. I looked at what I needed to change in me to have the life I wanted. I took responsibility for where our marriage wasn’t perfect. (Not for the affair, that is all his burden to bear). It has been a steep, uphill climb, with a lot of trips and stumbles, including total melt-downs, along the way. But I am doing it.
And I hear so many yea buts… Yea but this. Yea but that. Like I had it easier than other people. But it hasn’t been easy. People would say yea but, but in actuality, I had my own difficulties to overcome.
I have heard “yea but you don’t have young kids at home”. And that is true. But I lived in a different country. Not my home country. 2000 miles from family. A place where I didn’t have roots and didn’t feel like I truly belonged. And my then husband moved out just 9 days after I came home after initially leaving after finding out about the affair. I was alone in a house in the Canadian prairie. I went to Canada with him and our kids, on his work visa. My kids were now grown and out on their own, back in the US I was truly alone. The fear that struck over my future was so huge. No kids to occupy my time. No kids to exchange hugs and kisses with. No kids to love and nurture and distract me from some of the pain I was feeling. I would look at the women whose husbands cheated while they still had kids at home, and they would be eating dinner with their children while I was eating alone.
I heard “yea but your ex husband supported you”. And that is true. But I gave up my life and my chance of a career for my husband and kids. I never had my own bank account, checking account or credit card. Everything was tied to him. I was a part of him, and then that was suddenly severed. While I ran my family household, I was pretty frugal. I worked odd jobs when I needed to, to make sure that we always had money in savings. I supported my ex as he worked his way up the corporate ladder. I was a big part of where we were financially. I made sure we put money aside in IRA’s, savings accounts, whatever we needed to do. And once I found out about the affair, I took immediate action. In my total crazy mind, I had the sense to copy everything I could find. Every bank statement, IRA, credit card statement, insurance policies, everything. I went crazy copying things. And I kept them all in a box, that I would seal up and give to my girlfriend Patty if I thought my ex was going to be around. I guarded the contents, as I knew I had some evidence of things that could potentially help me in the future. In my heart I always knew I would be okay financially. I have an abundance mindset, and just have a faith about it. But more than that, I took the actions to make it happen.
“Yea but you have a place to go because you have family there.” Again, true. I had to try to figure out where I would go. Calgary wasn’t the right place for me. I had left Cleveland and Columbus 30 years prior, and never wanted to go back. Now that seemed like a viable option. But to now to have to go running back, at 56, because my husband left me, wasn’t easy. It was downright scary. I had to make the decision to move from my house in Calgary, and get that home sold and packed up, all by myself. Once that house was in contract, I had to go to Ohio to find a place to live for me and my 85 pound lab. Renting was out of the question. I had to buy because of the dog. But I found out that I was a credit ghost in the US. Having lived in Canada for 13 years, my credit score in the US was 0. Truly, it was ZERO. I couldn’t get credit, at least not on my own. I didn’t know how I was going to buy a house. It was a huge difficulty, but I am pretty resourceful, and did find the way to make it happen. My family did help me out when I was in need. But I did make sure to nurture those relationships, and they know how grateful I am for their help. I believe when we want to make things happen, and put our minds and energy to it, we can do it.
“Yea but you don’t have to co-parent and see your ex regularly.” True. After 36 years together, just under 30 years married, suddenly my husband and best friend no longer wanted anything to do with me. After the chaos of the first 6 months after finding out about the affair, he went totally silent. I wouldn’t hear from him. I’ve only seen him 3 times since. I had to do everything on my own. Shoveling the snow that can be quite a lot in Calgary. Mowing a large lawn. Maintaining the house. Going through everything when I was moving, and having to make all the decisions on what to keep and what he may want. I knew women going through this who had their then husband’s help. But not me.
The point of all of this is to say that let’s not compare ourselves to others. Though other people’s journeys may look easier, we really don’t know. When we want something, but say “yea, but…” we give ourselves an out, never giving ourselves the chance to get to where we want to go. Why not say “she did it, I can too!!” And that is my wish for everyone. For everyone going through infidelity, affairs, betrayal, divorce, to find their own Fabulous self!!