Understanding the pain
I know this post is not going to sit well with most WS here but in my opinion there seems to be a lot of difficulty understanding the pain the BS goes through after an affair is discovered. I know the WS is dealing with a lot of intense emotions such as guilt, shame, remorse, regret. But there seems to be a definite disconnect that I thought I'd address. While I am not the most intelligent or articulate person here on TAM I thought I’d try to describe the way my wife and I have come to understand the difference and how we related it to each other.
A person who has an affair does indeed have to deal with a lot of pain in the aftermath. They have to reevaluate their own identity and who they really are and their willingness to cause so much suffering to their loved ones. The statements “it’s just not in me to cheat” and “I could never do that” are in direct conflict with their actions. They have to come to the painful conclusion that they indeed are not the absolute good person they thought they were. They have to realize that there was something in them that allowed them to be selfish and cruel to the person or people they most cherished. And the scariest part is that they have to realize that since they’ve done it once they can do it again. Those self examinations are extremely difficult but necessary if the WS wants to become the person they always thought they already were and hope to actually become.
Here is where it gets hard for as much difficulty the WS has to go through they truly cannot comprehend the pain and anguish the BS has to endure. I want you to understand and remember two words. These are two very important words and it will help you to understand what your spouse is probably feeling even if they can’t express it. When they discovered your affair…YOU DIED! Let me say it again…YOU DIED! The person that your husband/wife married is gone forever. Think about a time when you lost someone really close to you. A father, mother, sister, brother, son, daughter, or spouse. Think of the grief that you had to deal with. That is the same grief that your spouse has to deal with each and every day. Every day that they wake up after D-Day you die again and they feel it again and it's just as intense. The feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, yes…anger (why did you leave me?) Can you even imagine the pain that he/she is going through? Probably not. Because you are the one that had died and they are the one that is left to pick up the pieces of a shattered life that was taken from. They are the ones that are left to deal with the loss of a loved one.
But here is the sick part. You are still here; but you aren’t! You are a doppelganger, a clone, an evil twin. You are the one that killed your spouse’s cherished love. You took the love of his/her life away forever violently and without mercy. You stabbed them, mutilated them, burned them and ultimately buried them. You are the monster that has torn up a family. You are the monster that has committed such a senseless heinous act. You are a murderer! And here's the part that most WS miss. You were aware of your actions. You stalked your husband/wife's spouse. You planned how to do it. You conspired with another murderer (the OM/OW) and you finally struck without warning and without honor. The BS was left in shock and dismay watching their cherished lover, friend, partner, confidant bleed to death in the street. They felt hopeless and helpless as the person they loved most in the world was taken from them. Their world...you...died that day.
And you want the grieving person to forgive you. Love you. Stay with you. Think about that for a minute. You, the pod person, the evil clone, the look alike murderer that destroyed the one person in life that your spouse cherished beyond all time and space want the sorrow filled, grief stricken, angry and injured beyond belief person to LOVE YOU? They had this involuntarily inflicted upon them. They had no choice. Only pain. And now you want them to choose to love you. Can you imagine going up to the person that murdered your loved one and choosing to love them?
Now you have a little glimpse into the psyche of your betrayed spouse. You also know why I always tell people that the old marriage is dead and the couple must learn to love each other as new…if they can. It is also why I recommend the betrayed spouse read “Just Let Them Go” even if they want to reconcile. Because you truly have to let the cheating spouse go in order to learn to hopefully love the new version of your husband/wife. It’s hard and it’s painful and it can only be done if the WS does everything to make the BS fall in love with them again.
Last edited by Beowulf; 02-15-2012 at 08:29 PM.