Mustering Up Dignity in my Grief

This isn’t supposed to be a Surviving a Break Up Blog so please bear with me and know that I’ll try to write less and less about that.

I’m at the lowest point of my life. I try with all my might not to think about my husband with another woman but the idea haunts me. I’m ok while I’m swimming but the rest of the day and night feel unbearable. I can’t sleep, and when I do nod off, I dream of him having sex with someone else. I wake up crying.

I can be at the market picking out some avocados when the image of him with another woman (very explicitly) creeps into my head. I find myself literally shaking my head as if I could shake the image out. I take long, slow deep breaths. It gets me through only that moment. I would not wish this pain on anyone.

You see, I thought his body was mine alone.

I wish I could fast forward a year to a time when the pain isn’t so fresh and debilitating.

I wish I were younger so that I could know that I will find love again.

The most pathetic part is I still love him and simply cannot believe someone I loved and someone who I thought loved me could hurt me so badly. Shouldn’t there be rules?

So many men and women have survived a cheating spouse. I have to assume I’ll be one of them someday and that there will be life after this.

I wrote him an email trying to express how much pain I am feeling over his infidelity. Thankfully I did not send it. What good would it do? It’s not up to him to console me any longer.

I just came back from seeing the movie Nebraska, a great movie but perhaps a bit bittersweet for my current state of mind.

I pulled over on the way  home and screamed and cried. And I wailed, “Nooo.” Because this feels like a nightmare I can’t wake up from. Why did he throw us away?

I must have been in shock when I got the news on Wednesday that my husband has been having an affair. Even though we’ve been separated for three months, we’ve had our dalliances (with each other), and he’s lead me on several times, played with my vulnerability and emotions. On Thursday I was still in shock, but starting yesterday I’ve just been crushed, lost, beaten, and filled with despair.

I can’t fathom ever getting over this. There are so many emotions, the least of which is shame and self hatred. I keep telling myself that I should not be hating myself, but I do. If I’d been thinner, younger, calmer, I’d still be with my husband. And then there’s the humiliation that I’m too old for this to be happening to me.

What’s really horrendous about this is that we aren’t really a good fit. In spite of the fact that at times he’s been cruel to me, and that he is allergic to actually working, I want him back. Well, wanted. Past tense.

I know me. I know that I’m changing for the better in many ways, but I’m almost certain that I’m not the kind of woman who could ever get over being cheated on, even if he wanted me back. And I don’t think I could trust him again. I know that it would haunt me, it would affect our daily lives, and I would never get it out of my head. No. I know myself. Even I have limits to my masochism.

Since I am bombarded with images of him having sex with another woman I’ve been asking myself what can I say or do to push the image away and give myself a few moments of peace. I decided I would do this, I will close my eyes, take a slow, deep breath, exhale it slowly and say the word, “Dignity”. I will pull myself up tall and try to imagine that I’m Grace Kelly and I’ll handle this pain with as much dignity as I can muster.

I didn’t make him cheat. I am still a lovable person. I have a wonderful future ahead of me. I will find love again someday.

Right now, those are hardly more than words on a page. In time I hope to actually believe them.

I swam today and as always it was wonderful. The pool is closed tomorrow, so I must find something physical to do. I hope it’s as sunny as it was today, perhaps I’ll take the dogs and go walk by the river.

This is the lowest. It can’t get much lower. Breath and survive this. Breath and survive.

Dignity.

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2 responses to “Mustering Up Dignity in my Grief

  1. I just read a comment you made on the Guardian,have read about your problems and empathise.Weight control and swimming are essential but your fear is of death,please read Tolstoy’s essay “On Life”,you will never see life in the same light again,please let me know what you think.Good luck in your life,it will be well.

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