Not a good day

Despite my efforts to think positive and be strong, I am not always full of inspiring thoughts and happiness. Sometimes I just want to cry, curled up in my bed. Today I went to the grocery store which is the most common outing possible. As I was walking between the paper goods aisle into the frozen food section I began to think about how I shopped at this grocery store last year for our family while he was cheating. I started to dwell on how I was committed to taking care of the family–doing the things I didn’t want to even do or be responsible for–all the while, he was lying, deceiving his family and cheating. I finished my grocery shopping, loaded my bags in the trunk and began to drive home with tears streaming down my face.

My thoughts? Despite our healing and growth–this is now a permanent part of our love story, our marriage, our history. He can never take back what he did and the lies he told. No matter how I forgive him, he forgives himself and we rebuild. This is part of who we are. Problem is… I’ve always held myself to very high standards. Even as a child I wasn’t happy with myself if I didn’t try my best. If I got a B+ on a test, I was not happy with that. When I went to college I didn’t involve myself in relationships that weren’t good enough for me. I’ve never smoked a cigarrette or tried any drugs–because I want to live my life without that blemish. So now here I am with a husband that cheated on me. I guess I didn’t cheat. I didn’t cause the infidelity. But I have to live with it because he is my husband. His mistakes are mine. If he had invested all our money in his own business and gone bankrupt–would it hurt like this? No, because that would be chalked up to poor business decisions, bad luck or the economy. It wouldn’t reflect on our love.

Often when I tell him how I feel he gets upset with himself. He hates that he’s caused this pain. He said: “You didn’t and don’t deserve this. You have always been an amazing wife. I have a hard time looking into the mirror at myself right now. There’s isn’t much I like about myself.” I struggle with how his suffering makes me feel. I feel as though I need to love him and support him through his pain. But I should be more concerned about myself, right? I should be taking care of myself, not worried about his guilt and pain. He brought that on himself.

When I got home from the grocery store I called him to say I was having a rough time. He was at work and called me back right away. I told him everything I was feeling and he got very quiet. I asked him why he never weighed the consequences of his actions before he got in over his head with her. Why didn’t he think of what he stood to lose–me, the children, our marriage? He answered: “I thought about it but I never really believed it. You don’t truly think about it when you are in it.” Really? I don’t know if I can accept this. I’ve never been actually put in a situation where someone was directly trying to get me to enter into an adulterous affair–there have been men that flirt with me but never anyone that suggested openly that we cheat. But I work with many good-looking men and one of friends asked how my husband felt about that. I told her he knows I would never risk our marriage for a meaningless tryst. I thought about it–but it wasn’t ever a real scenario in my life. So is that the difference? When you are in it–you don’t think about what is at risk?

Yesterday my husband was reading his book about how to help me heal after his affair. He told me how he cannot believe how perfectly he fits the profile–how “generic” his situation was and how much he hates himself. As we were talking I asked him why it was easier to cheat on me than just tell me the truth. The truth could have been his self-doubt, his unhappiness or that he was in too deep with this woman. Any of it would have been better than cheating. He says he doesn’t know yet why he couldn’t tell me. Hindsight is always 20/20…. There are so many things I wish he had done differently. I find myself focusing on if he had done one thing–be honest about telling me this woman was going through a divorce or that she was coming into his office to talk more and more or that she was helping him with things with his business–even though she didn’t work there. Which thing could he have told me that would have prevented all this? Then I remember it doesn’t matter… I can’t go back in time and change anything. Nor can he. This is our life. And sometimes that makes me sad.

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5 thoughts on “Not a good day

  1. You will have sad days, I wish I could tell you it would be otherwise. That is the unfortunate legacy of being a betrayed spouse. After a year and a half, I still have sad and bad days but, thankfully, they are becoming more like sad and bad moments.

    Fortunately for me (and it sounds like for you too) we have husbands that love us deeply and are remorseful. An affair is a painful wake-up call for a marriage, but for us it has created a new level of love and appreciation and funnily enough, recommitment. We don’t take our marriage for granted any more. He knows that I could have left him and been fully justified. I know that he could have chosen the OW; that is what she always hoped for. But he wasn’t in love with her. He was, admittedly, flattered and caught up in the extramarital sex and the unbridled attention. I truly believe that in the majority of affairs, the women involved are in it for “love” (whatever that means to that particular kind of whore) and the men for the sex and the ego boost. Most marriages are just not still burning with that white hot intensity any more…how could they be? But when you are forced to look at your marriage, really look at it and decide what it means to you, it is amazing what kind of gratitude can emerge. That gratitude is what sustains me, and my husband, as we enjoy a new, distilled and conscious way of being married.

    Sending love to you..

    • Dear Stephanie,
      Just stumbled on your post of 2012. I seem to be at the point you were then and wonder how the path continues!?
      Although at a similar point of peace now, my husbands AP is involved in my husbands business as he set her up in a consultancy. They don’t meet. Another year of the contract and I sometimes lose all progress burning over that fact. Any words of advice??
      Cheers, Robin

  2. Your blog rings so true! I too have moments where I feel like I have conquered, but then WHAM, a situation, a song, a phrase…brings it right back. Would love to know the book your husband is reading to help himself. My husband, like yours, claims guilt , remorse and regret, yet can’t explain how he could willingly make the decisions he did while knowingly harming me, our family and our marriage.

    • Hi Mel,
      My husband is reading How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda MacDonald. You can get in on Amazon or on the Kindle if that’s easier. He read the first few chapters and his response to me was: “It [his affair] was so clinical. My self absorbtion, my inability to see things as they truly were. I disgust myself. I failed you and our marriage.” That was after only about 20 pages…. It has really helped because he understands how to deal with me when I get in a mood or something triggers me. Last week I got upset over something small–but at that moment it was huge–and he said: “I am sorry that I made you feel this way. I am sorry that I have given you this sadness.” Those words alone are worth him reading.
      The other book I have been trying to read (but it’s difficult to read) is called: “Not Just Friends” and it give you a look into how a relationship that may have began as a friendship can become an affair. I am only 1/3 of the way through that one. I had to stop reading because it was making me question things that weren’t part of our story. If that makes sense.
      My husband can’t yet answer how he was able to separate his actions from our marriage. I know he was questioning his sex appeal, his libido, his success in his career. And that played into his low self-esteem. Instead of seeing that these were his own issues he reflected them on me–I wasn’t attracted to him anymore, I didn’t want as much sex, the passion had diminished from our marriage. These are all things we’ve uncovered post-affair. I still feel hurt that he could enter into an affair and think it wouldn’t affect our relationship or hurt it. Now he sees the damage and hates himself. But when I read her emails and start to decipher what was going on–she really had control of this affair. He’s said to me before that the relationship became sexual because asked and told him it was going to happen. He kept telling her that is not what he was looking for and would never leave his wife (me). But he said it was like he felt he was filling a void/need she had and once she got back on her feet and felt stronger he could get out. But everytime he tried to end it she pulled him back in. My anger is that he wasn’t strong enough to say no. But I think we have to remember–sometimes the Wayward Spouse is in a fog and the decisions they are making are not reflective of themselves or even what they want. That’s my own interpretation–not his. He wants to give me a better answer. And he will.

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