The Loneliness of It All – Part 1 Wikipedia defines Loneliness as a complex and usually unpleasant emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship. Upon disclosure, I’m quick to share that we lost all our friends with the exception of one or two. Samantha had two friends that stayed and I had one. The backdrop of our lives though, was perpetual community. There were people in our house almost every day and night, and we were surrounded by people. I was almost never alone, with the exception of when I traveled on planes or when I drove to meetings. Poor me I know. When the affair came out, hundreds of people vanished. Friends we had known for over 10 years were either told to stay away so we could work on our family or that we didn’t want anyone around us in such a tough time (which is a total lie). Our lives were turned upside down and the lives we knew for 10 to 12 years were gone and the best thing we could have had was loving people to support us and stand with us, especially Samantha. Just yesterday I was working from home and was listening to a song which instantly brought me back to the lonely and depressing times we walked through early on. Within a few minutes I wept at how alone we both felt at one time. Samantha was actually much happier that we had relocated and left so many people behind, including the affair partner and the affair partner’s family. I however, was devastated and was in many ways miserable. It was like I was bipolar. I loved the fact that I was in the same house as my three kids and Samantha, but I was so alone and knowing I caused this isolation was even more cause for shame and self-hatred. Infidelity is just that, isolating. If you’re an unfaithful you don’t want to tell anyone for fear of being labeled every bad name in the book. It’s not dinner party or little league game conversation. If you’re a betrayed you also don’t want to tell anyone for fear of the labeling or the pity or the sense of shame that betrayed spouses can feel, or the unsolicited advice many choose to give. The potential labeling from stupid people who have the nerve to think you were a bad spouse or why else would they have cheated? Or, if you’d have just done this, then they wouldn’t have needed to go outside the marriage. What’s worse is it’s almost impossible to find a safe place or group of people you can find to talk to and not be told what you should do or how you should feel. Not to mention the unending pressure and ridiculous amounts of opinions of people who’ve never had to go through this agony and how they know what they would do. The “if it happened to me this is what I would do’s” are just about enough to make you want to take a long drive and never come back. Another group of hurt people can also lead you down a dark path. Even therapists who have been betrayed before can do damage. If their marriage didn’t work out due to infidelity or the like, it’s hard for them to find objectivity in their candor without having inclinations towards divorce. You may disagree and I understand that, but if you knew the amount of people I’ve talked to over the years who have experienced therapists who have unresolved issues, it would shock you. Additionally, you’ll find comfort in knowing that Affair Recovery has had a long, very long, longer than you would imagine, list of therapists who have had to come to them for help and healing and insight to their own affairs or addictions. Where do you find objectivity? Where do you find a safe place? What is a safe place to begin with? Tomorrow I’ll be posting some examples of safe places as well as a list of what the unfaithful or betrayed are tempted to do when they are lonely.