Distorted Perception

It hit me today.

It hit me when I was thinking about a friend who is kind and gentle and trustworthy. And a cheater. Although I am far more hardened, less naïve and see cheating around me regularly now, this one took me by surprise. It hit me that I never thought he would cheat any more than I thought HUSBAND would cheat, and that the cheater persona, the very aura of who they present themselves to be is one of the reasons we betrayeds are exactly that: betrayed.

Betrayed

I have beat myself up over the last two years for not seeing. For not knowing. For being fooled by a cunning man who slept in my bed and sat at my dinner table and cried with me at the birth of our babies and worried with me about sending our kids off to college. I know that I have gone back and retraced moments in my mind that I now know were not as they appeared to see what I missed, to see how I was so oblivious to the deceit right there before my eyes.

But that’s just it.

It wasn’t right before my very eyes.

deceit

Because right from the start, from the first date to the day of discovery, there were parts of HUSBAND that I never knew. Never, ever dreamed or thought or figured. He was so very careful to keep any vestige of them from me, to cover the tracks of that part of his being over and over and over. To shake his head in dismay when the pastor spoke of men using porn. To gasp and fold his brow when we heard about one of our friends’ husbands leaving the marriage…for another woman (although to date, only one of those has resulted in a new marriage). To join me in earnest conversation of ‘how could he’ when hearing a news report of a politician engaged in a dalliance.

shockedman

There is no shame for us. The shame is in these incredibly adept pretenders, posers who from beginning to end – until their gig is up – present to us, and to most of the world, an entirely different person than they are underneath. Our perception, crafted so very carefully and steadily and consistently, is what results in their ability to carry out deception. We are not flawed, we are only trusting and believing what we see and feel and hear every day.

trust

And then we find out, and we learn that we are not only trusting and caring. We are strong, and brave, and eventually…whole. How ironic that our belief in the skewed perception of our cheating lovers is what ultimately reveals to us our inner strength. A twisted path and one we would prefer not to have taken, that cost us so much, yet leads to its own kind of beauty…our beauty…

path2

 

 

 

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22 thoughts on “Distorted Perception

  1. I have found myself wondering lately how I became so strong? How am I surviving this? Do you think we betrayeds have always been strong and didn’t realize it? I mean, maybe all the years of hidden deceit somehow, someway was steeling us subconsciously for what was to come. Maybe that strength was hidden deep, being saved for now, during discovery and then recover when we needed it most. I personally think God has lent me Additional strength or revealed the inner strength I already had. All I know is that sometimes I am surprised, then amazed, then humbled that I am still here and healing. That I am not just strong and resilient, but that I am awesome and badass! Thanks to others, like you my friend, who have been honest and open enough to share you journeys, I am able to find extra help when needed and I am forever grateful for that! I, and we, are blessed in the strength we have, the strength we are given and the strength we find. Great post..thank you! **hugs**

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    1. Oh, dear friend….I think this process has honed and shaped and sharpened some parts and others just dried up and blew away. All the while, revealing the incredible strength we always had, yet it was nothing compared to where we are along the journey and beyond! I love that you are awesome and badass! YES! I, too, am so grateful for the transparency our community has on our journeys and the way we use our strength for others when they find a weak moment. God created you, and allowed you to discover and grow that strength just when and as needed…He’s like that, isn’t He? Hope you have a good week. HUGS!

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  2. ” There is no shame for us”………Heartbreaking when the faithful spouse can’t grasp that fact. I think true strength comes when that realization hits home. Great post SS, as always.

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      1. I do feel shame. I feel his shame and he feels it and I feel ashamed, despite not being the one who screwed around. Obviously, I am either not getting it, or one of the weaklings. I hate the incredible deception and the insincerity…The hypocritical behaviour. Although I am very pleased that others like you can deal with that, I am not able to see any beauty…and I wonder whether I ever will.

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        1. Oh dearest E…you are stepping in the hard patches of the journey. Keep walking, just taking that immediate next step and you will start seeing the light. I felt shame too…so much…and for me this was very much an aha moment. Hang on to your strong and brave sisters…we will not leave you as you come to know your own strength. And yes…your beauty. HUGS – great big ones.

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  3. Great post! I often sit back and wonder how I’ve survived any of this. I never considered myself a weak person, but I always thought H was stronger than me. I am learning that is not the case, and never has been. Perception is everything, even when it’s wrong. If we survive together, H will have to build more strength, and I will offer my hand to help steady him as he works at it.
    ☀️

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  4. Great post, thank you. Ladies we can take on the world , it is the betraying men that are weak and cannot face reality. They choose the easy path, unfortunately a path of destruction for us with dreams that are crushed. They are so blinded in the moment that consequences are the furthest from their mind. My heart aches for us who struggle but find the inner strength to survive and shine 💟

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  5. This weekend I found myself sinking into that dark abyss we all know so well. I was consumed with disbelief, hate, shame, and such deep sorrow. I kept thinking I just cannot do “this” anymore. I literally had to pull myself up and out and honestly don’t know where the resolve came from. Is my husband loving, caring, and professing life long love to me? Yes. But for the first time since I discovered his affair it hit me- that’s just might not be enough. I have come to the very frightening realization that I’m just not sure I can find it in my heart to move on in this life with him. The memories of all of that fake life with him may be just too much. I’m going to sit on this awhile but my perception has shifted. Perhaps you would call it strength or belief in myself SS? Thank you for your words. As always very meaningful.

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    1. Taking Back…And yes…I would absolutely completely and utterly call this strength and belief in yourself. I do not think there is one end to the story of betrayal that leads to our wholeness, or our future, or our healing. Even your decision to sit on this, to be deliberate and intentional – wow. I admire you so much. I’m so sorry we have come to know each other like this, because of this, but I am grateful to know you and learn from you. HUGS!

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  6. This was beautifully written and probably spot on for all of us who consider ourselves “betrayed”. I remember well how my ex would stand against coworkers and friends that he knew that cheated. And yet it was him all along. I remember reading his messages to his mistresses and thinking “who is this guy?”. Because you’re right, in them exists someone we never actually knew. And your last paragraph, well I hope to discover all of those things in my own life.

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  7. Isn’t it, well, gross that they could just keep lying to us and to those around them?

    Just keep looking inward, because she is there. That beautiful, strong amazing woman that cared, trusted and has persevered despite all odds. HUGS!

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  8. The thing about OH’s affair that shocks me the most is the self-deception he practiced in order to convince himself that, because it wasn’t physical, he wasn’t doing anything wrong. Of course not, OH. Sneaking around texting, messaging, emailing and meeting another woman behind my back isn’t at all wrong!!! He realises it now of course, AFTER the damage has been done to my trust, my love, my belief. I am honestly not sure I can ever get those back. Over 2 years post-DDay and I am still struggling every day.

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    1. It is really shocking. H and I were just talking about this – about how he really deceived himself into thinking that somehow his character was different than those other really bad guys out there cheating on their wives. He, together with his affair partner, would say, “I’m not that guy. I’m not that woman.” Such deception. And the damage to us is so profound…so deep. I understand, and hurt with you. Do you feel like you have transparency now in your relationship?

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  9. I do think we have transparency now, but it took him to see the pain of trickle truth and two big lies over the first year and a half post DDay to get to that. It took counseling to show him that lying was a lifelong coping strategy that he has had to work really hard to overcome. I think he is being truthful now, but then I thought that for fourteen years, only to find out eight and half of those years he was lying to me in the worst possible way. I don’t trust my own ability to detect lying any more. I think that is my difficulty. I just don’t know if the life I am living is real or not. So now I tend to doubt the veracity of everything. That is the complete opposite of who I have been all my life. Maybe that is why I struggle. I have been forced to become a different person too and I hate that. *hugs*

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    1. This is much of my struggle. Is it real, now? But I thought it was real, then? I still struggle with figuring out how I didn’t see it all? HUSBAND tells me it isn’t me – it is that he was a “master liar.” Ugh.

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