Broken Moments: The Other Side of Betrayal


There are moments that grip us in a deep place of our being that we, from that moment forward, will never be the same. We try to pick up the pieces. We often find strength in ourselves. We search for and perhaps find, a deeper meaning. We may or may not figure out the “whys?” We go down a new path. We may even one day find some healing. But from that moment on we are different and changed. That moment rooted in us how we now perceive life. How we may even perceive ourselves.

I have been extremely hesitant to share any part of this story publicly, in many ways I have been extremely hesitant to even digest that this is even a part of my own story. However one of the most valuable elements of being able to have a voice through writing is that in some way there perhaps will be a connection with someone else and in that connection perhaps good can be found. Perhaps maybe in my words, another will not feel so alone. So today I find myself several months later navigating these waters of telling my moment. Please bear with me, and please provide grace as not every detail will be shared and there are no tied-up bows in the end. I’m still figuring it out.

On a summer day this past year, I sat in my bedroom in a state of disbelief, shock, and numbness. I have experienced significant tragedy in my life but this experience was different. Not harder, easier, more or less intense just different. You see I came face to face with the fact that a huge part of the life I thought I was living, despite how real it had been for me, was in fact merely an illusion, actually, it was a lie. On that day I realized that I had been manipulated, deceived, and blinded. As a mother, I felt broken. As a woman, I felt tainted. On that day I learned that for three years, I had been “the other woman” and I never knew it. The man I had been dating was married.

Since I was young, I dreamed of the day that I would be a mom and a wife. It was not the fairy tale that I was after but truly the life of living in companionship with another person; of having someone to grow old with, to trudge through life’s challenges, celebrate life’s joys. When I had my daughter before marriage, I was fearful that this dream was lost. I was fearful that I could not find a man of integrity that would be accepting of me. I spent two years not even considering the idea of dating. I invested myself in being a mother and sifting through the dynamics of myself and my daughter’s father. However, that desire inside of me to have a partner did not go away. So I took a leap that many single mother’s dread: I launched back into the dating world. I am very protective of my role as a mother. Those closest around me can testify that there is little I sacrifice to making that the top priority in my life. I refused to date a man that I could not 100% trust to be a part of my daughter’s life. This was the sieve that I put each date through.

I thought I was safe, I thought I had made a protected decision. I had worked with him for over a year, I met his close friends, even met his children, and involved him in my family. We had developed a group of mutual friends, began traditions, embraced life routines. Sure there were challenges and snafus; dating as adults with children is not easy. But with grace, diligence, and commitment I was happy. That dream that I had thought was lost somehow seemed to breathe life again, that maybe it could be real. I started to believe in my future with him. That I had found a man who loved my daughter, protected me, and respected my family.

I never imagined in my life I was going to have to hear the words I heard on that summer day. I never imagined that I would have to look into another woman’s, another mother’s eyes and tell her the truths that I had to tell. That with truth, I would hurt another and cause a moment where emotional scars are created. That in one moment, I learned and she learned a reality that seemed impossible.

[quote]I will forever know the moment that we both looked at each other and saw the truth that was behind the years of lies. [/quote]

As a mother, I had to find a way in the brokenness to explain to a five-year-old little girl that someone who had been in her life was no more. I had to answer her innocent questions with tears and truth. As a daughter and a friend, I had to cling to those around me for support and protection. I felt lost as I had been thrust into a world that I had no awareness of. As an educated, strong and independent woman, I instantly became weak, wounded, and violated.

Being a single mom now means something very different to me than what it meant before; goodness, being who I am means something very different. That moment changed me and forever has now made me a different person. There are many stories, maybe the same as mine probably many more that are different. Stories that women do not talk about, do not share, never say them out loud. The shame, the embarrassment, the hurt, the confusion it all seems too much. Maybe we fear questions or blame. Maybe we feel tarnished. Maybe we want to contain what was broken. Maybe in quietness, we do find strength. Much of this story I probably will never share publicly in part because of some of the stated reasons above and in part out of respect of others that were involved. I feel though in some ways I have been gifted with this forum of sharing, a platform of words; and because of that in my own brokenness, I know that I am not alone. That in my story there are other women who share these “moments” of life-altering, moments that they never imagined would be in their life story. And by simply telling one of my moments out loud perhaps there is a freedom that I can give to just one other woman in her moment. That somehow out of the ashes small moments of beauty and healing can be found.


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I am a born and raised Cincinnatian and love all that this “big-little” city has to offer. Gardening, organization, maintaining life-long friendships and finding new places around town with my daughter; I always like to be busy but am also quite the homebody. Learning to truly find balance in life and being more “wholely” healthy are things I am leaning more into these days… well at least making the effort to.


  1. Amy, it takes such strength and courage to write what you just wrote. Many of us have been fooled and betrayed by those who are only the illusion of a real man. My heart pours out for you and your daughter. This too shall pass, and you will rise from these ashes, stronger and more deserving of real love than ever. You are an incredible woman, and you have a mass of support behind you. Thank you for sharing your story. Much love.

  2. What has happened to you is not you, nor does it define you. It’s incredible how very more common this is and you are most certainly not alone. You are not tainted and its so unfortunate men get to skip along, many of his friends/aquantainces simply look the other way. The real friends and people will not judge you and will feel compassion for your trust being abused. You also must grapple with, how much of it was real? What was I really to him? Was is it all a lie? The promises, what he saw in me? Should I even care? Does it even matter? I hope you’re honoring your own feelings and processing this end of a relationship – Bc even tho the circumstances now proved to be very different, it all still happened & you’re left to make sense of it all. Sending big hugs & hope you’re finding peace bit by bit. Thank you for sharing, Julie


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