I still live in the town I grew up in. My 20th high school reunion is coming up. I have mixed feelings about attending it. Everyone knows that I’m now separated because my husband cheated on me. I feel humiliated. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. I’m afraid that if I don’t show up the rumor mills about why will be even worse.
– Should I Risk Feeling Humiliated at the Reunion?
Dear Should I Risk Feeling Humiliated,
Break ups are always hard, even harder when the person you loved and trusted cheated on you. I am saddened that you feel humiliated or are fearful of being humiliated because HE cheated on YOU. You are not responsible for another person’s actions.
Feelings of humiliation, shame, and rejection are normal after a breakup. You may be feeling rejected or less than – WHICH IS NOT TRUE! Please don’t let your cheating ex determine your value. You are valuable. You count. As uncomfortable as it is, try to sit with and sort out your feelings. It’s okay to be sad, to grieve the relationship that has ended. Be compassionate with yourself. Use Self-Compassion to address your feelings. Click here for more on self-compassion. You deserve love. You didn’t deserve to be cheated on.
About the reunion. Don’t do anything that will cause you more pain. You are in a place of real vulnerability right now. Protect yourself as you would a loved one, or a close friend. Assess the situation with people you can trust, or with a therapist. If you think that going to the reunion will place you in an unsafe place emotionally, don’t go. On the other hand, if you can let go of the self-blame, of feeling humiliated, and attend with friends who will love you and support you in having a fun evening – go. You might be surprised at how much better it will make you feel.
Only you know what is right for you. Go with your gut, take care of yourself. Value your feelings and do what is going to make you feel the best. I know you can do it. My hopes are with you.