Bouncing Back

My ex was right. Well, partially right, at least.

In the typed letter (which, for some strange reason, was in duplicate) he left on the kitchen counter after leaving me via text message, he wrote this –

“I know that once you recover from the shock of this you will bounce back and live a happy and satisfying life – a life better and more honest than I could ever hope to offer you.”

I was livid the first time I read those words, almost 24 hours after receiving the text and with no other communication from him. My world was completely shattered. I was honestly afraid that this would literally be the end of me, as the shock and trauma were so all-encompassing. I was fighting to breathe and at the starting line for the fight of my life.

And those two little words – “bounce back” – seemed to minimize and dismiss everything he had done. As though embezzling from, cheating on and abandoning your wife is on par with recovering from the flu and I would “bounce back” and be as good as new after some rest and perhaps some soup.

Needless to say, that’s not what happened.

Well, not exactly.

I collapsed.

I cried.

I shook.

And grieved.

Learned to breathe.

Opened my eyes.

I crawled.

I took some wobbly steps.

And fell again.

I got back up.

Took some more steps.

Got a little stronger.

Went the wrong direction.

Cried again.

Got angry.

Tried to climb.

Too soon.

Declared I would make it.

Secretly doubted it.

Put on a brave face.

Hid a terrified heart.

Started to trust again.

Built a wall.

Started to love again.

Felt foolish.

And hopeful.

Had good days.

And terrible moments.

Wondered if I was broken.

Too damaged.

Tried climbing again.

Fingers bloodied from the effort.

Heart pounding.

But felt good.


I hit rock bottom.

And I made it back.

But I never bounced.

I fought like hell for every inch.

Every breath.

Every step.


Yet he was right.

I am now living a happier and more satisfying life than I ever did with him.

And I may not have bounced back, but I got there. And that’s the part that matters.


Thank you for sharing!

9 thoughts on “Bouncing Back

  1. It’s just amazing at the lack of understanding they have of the enormity of what they have done. I have not gotten to the generous stage, yet. I certainly don’t longer. But, I certainly do not forgive

    1. Crystal – Hair color chameleon, lipstick junkie, eye shadow addict. Loves to lift, does occasional yoga, and in the process of completely uprooting her life.
      Crystal says:

      I marvel at the disconnect sometimes, trying to explain how something he did can affect me so much more than it does him. Oh God, the number of times I’ve heard “why can’t you just trust me that I’m telling the truth?”

      Gee, I wonder.

      He’s better about understanding now, after hitting rock bottom in terms of infidelity/addiction, but it’s really only because now it actually had severe repercussions for him.

  2. I can most certainly identify with this process.

    How I wish I knew back then with some degree of certainty that I would look back at this whole ordeal and realise that freedom would ultimately come, albeit in small doses. Freedom from the lies and deceit, freedom from regrets and heartache. Freedom from being terrified of what the future holds. Freedom from being unsure if you will ever be whole again.

    Yet it comes.

    You will love again. You will take every step with the same assurance you did before. You will heal. You will be wholesome once again. And most importantly, you will be stronger.

    My turning point came when I consciously decided that I was not going to be a victim any longer. That I had enough strength to move forward and that I had to take charge and responsibility for my own happiness. One day at the time.

    I assure you that it comes.

    I look back still feeling angry and betrayed. But I know that I am living a fulfilling life now that I could have never achieved with her.

    Solder on. Your moment will surely arrive. Your destination is just ahead.

  3. At some point, I have to figure out if I should fish or cut bait. My wife had a 2-year emotional affair and I decided to stick with her. But 4-plus years after the affair was disclosed, she is still as disconnected as ever and my heart has pretty much gone through the shredder.
    How do you bounce back when you are still together (as roommates — we are actually in the same house but separate rooms with no emotional or physical connection of any kind).
    Marriage SUCKS! If I didn’t still have one child still at home (a junior in high school and the other two are adults and out of the house), I am not sure what I would do at this point. I keep hearing that leaving marriages like this can lead to a brighter future with someone who would actually love and desire you. I can only hope and pray because this marriage is so DEAD!

  4. I feel your pain! We were roommates for about 8 months, except he was having an affair with xxx on cable! He also had multiple emotional affairs throughout our 30 years together. I was willing to see an IITAP or CSAT therapist, but he refused. I did not want a divorce, but he was too full of fear and pride to deal. Now he’s made a giant mess filing for divorce (thought I was), alienating 2 of our 3 kids from me, spreading lies throughout the family, and financially abusing. He completely imploded on the inside and is spending bucks, love bombing the older teens with new cars, luxury goods, rental—all of it on the outside. He rendered our marriage a counterfeit. This all could have been avoided if he’d just told the truth and admitted to all the immorality.

    My ex sister in law had some emotional affairs and they worked it out with therapy and getting themselves together. She’s still a massive narcissist, who is very jealous of all females, but they figured it out.

    Marriage is intentional and work. I told him how much our marriage and family meant to me and if he still wanted it too, then get off the couch and let’s get on with it. We have to be on the same page though, especially for our kids and the chaos will cease. Well, he hoovered me. The whole time I thought he was back in the marriage he was looking for a place to live and had filed for divorce. Yeah, that happened. I married someone deeply disturbed. It’s been rough. I’ve been alone while my mom has passed away, my dad is recouping from a fall, dealing with all their stuff that he was supposed to be there supporting me through like I was there for his parents. His character is childish and I’m embarrassed I married someone so cowardly, weak, and foolish.

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