The voice in my head is powerful. Here are some of the things it says to me:
- You are a doormat.
- You are a coward for not leaving.
- Even though you’ve never once thought that other women who have stayed after infidelity are doormats or cowards, you are different. You are a doormat and a coward.
- He’s not really sorry. Why would he be? The other woman is much more beautiful and fun than you.
- You’ll never quite measure up to what a desirable wife would be, you know, one of those wives whose husbands would never cheat on them.
- Stop trying to believe that you are worthy of love. You aren’t. Period.
- If you discover your inner confidence and strength, then others might figure out that you were never really good enough in the first place. So for God sakes, keep quiet.
What my husband is telling me:
- I love you and never want to let you go.
- I am sorry.
- You are a strong woman.
- You are all I want.
What my friends and family say:
- You are beautiful.
- You are the kindest woman I know.
- I love spending time with you. I wish I could see you more.
- Your friendship means the world to me.
No one in my life says mean things to me, except myself.
So why do I allow that? It makes me panic. It paralyzes me. It holds me back. It hurts.
My own worst enemy is me. When did that become okay? When did the voice in my head hold more weight than the words and actions of my family and friends combined? These people that I love and admire and envy for their own courage and strength and fortitude.
It’s mind boggling.