Reality Check: Mermaids and Mermen

If your husband or wife has left you for another person, you will understandably be going through a whirlwind of emotions. The betrayal and rejection can weigh so heavy on the soul and lead to feelings of anger, confusion, shock, guilt and inadequacy. It can cause you to inspect yourself and your relationship through a microscope, looking back for signs and reasons for why this has happened.

When your partner has had an affair, it is also natural to focus heavily on the ‘other woman/man’ and we may ask ourselves many questions. What does that person have that I don’t? What makes them so special that my partner would risk everything? While this is a human response, it can become unhealthy when too much focus is placed on the other person.

There was another person involved in the breakdown of my marriage. In the early stages of learning this, I repeatedly asked myself, ‘why her?’ In the absence of answers from my husband (who wouldn’t even admit to the relationship), I began piecing together the answers on my own.

I told myself, she must be beyond beautiful, she must be extremely smart, she must be so very successful and she must have the most engaging personality. As I thought each of these things, I began to feel a little less beautiful, a little less smart, less successful and of lesser personality. In upgrading her in my mind, I was downgrading myself.

In a short space of time, I had conjured up this image of the other woman as an almost mythical creature, like a mermaid. Someone my husband found so appealing and enticing that he risked his marriage, his home, everything for.

We can often make the other person into these mermaids or mermen. We see all that our partner has sacrificed for them and think they must be extra special in some way, but the reality is they probably aren’t. Let’s be honest, if someone has been willing to go there with a married person, how wonderful can they truly be?

Another thing we can do is to afford them magical powers. For a while, I had it in my head that this other woman had lured my husband away by her powers of enticement and stolen him with her siren song. I told myself that he was powerless to overcome or break free from her grasp. Poor guy! This was another lie I was telling myself, giving the mermaid powers in the process.

The reality is my husband was an intelligent, grown man who made a choice to form this secret relationship. He was the one who made vows to me and he was the one who choose to break them. It is easier sometimes to believe that the other person entrapped them, as then you don’t have to face the cold reality that your partner made the decision to do this but they did.

Don’t give the other person power. Power over your partner. Power over you. Power over anything. Don’t make them mermaids or mermen. You were the rare find, you were the real deal, they just didn’t value you enough to see that.

They are probably viewing the other person through the rose-tinted glasses of a new relationship, when everyone puts their best foot forward and tries to project perfection but that simply doesn’t exist. Maybe they have made the other person a mermaid in their own mind. They have gambled everything on someone who they probably don’t know fully but overtime they will come to see their flaws. I mean, we all poop, even mermaids!

In the midst of all the turmoil and questioning, please trust me, YOU ARE AMAZING. Despite how all of this may have made you feel, YOU ARE STILL AMAZING. You will naturally go down these roads in your mind, it’s normal but remember that mermaids are mythical (they don’t exist!) so rein it in when you start seeing them sprout flowing, purple hair and scales on their legs!

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