Mourning the end so we can create a new beginning

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A few nights ago, after the kids have been tucked into bed and kissed goodnight, I made us a pot of tea. I intended our night to be relaxing but I ended up opening the can of worms instead.

Earlier that day I found out the OW’s ex-husband left a letter at my husband’s business while we were away for the holidays. He found the letter upon his return to the office and it simply said that he wanted to talk with my husband and a phone number to contact him. Nothing else. My husband decided to throw away the letter and ignore it but wanted to disclose this information to me. My husband was told by the OW that her ex has a temper and that is why she left him. Hearing that he was trying to contact my husband worries me–what will he do? Does he know and why does he care what his ex-wife does?

All these thoughts led into me asking how he did not recognize what a trainwreck the OW was from the start? If there is one thing I can tell you about my husband’s character, it’s that he HATES people that surround themselves with drama. And she has proven to invite and encourage drama in her life. Of course, NOW he sees this about her…. but why the heck did it take this long? Anyone reading this who has been betrayed knows that my next line of thought led to questions that I really didn’t even need to ask.

Did you kiss her every time you saw her? Like how we kiss when you come home or leave for work?[him: not always, maybe half the time.]

Did you get a hard-on from just kissing her like you do with me? Or did she have to coax that out of you? [him: why are you asking this? No, I was  never desiring to have sex her. I did it because she wanted it and for some reason I thought she needed it.]

It was only a few questions but he began to get quiet… sink into himself… his eyes dropped. When I leaned over to hug and hold him, I told him that I am not asking these questions to hurt him. I am asking them because when I lay in bed at night this is what keeps me awake. These are the thoughts that haunt me. Why did you write these words in an email? How were all the words meaningless? Am I missing a detail?

What if, what if, what if….. ?

These thoughts become like a downward spiral for me. When I ask them and get an answer they don’t haunt my mind anymore. But these questions and thoughts for him are like knife to his heart. He told me that all he thinks about when we discuss the infidelity is the pain he’s caused me and how much causing that pain kills him. He regresses inside and believes he is a failure… that he no longer deserves me. As the sadness was looming in the room and I was holding him closely, he began to speak after a long silence.

You will never look at me and not see me as a cheater. You will never trust me again. Our marriage will never have that beautiful essense that I cherished, or that I wanted to cherish. I ruined that part of our marriage. I ruined that part of you. I hate that I did this to us, to you. I hate myself. I am a failure. You deserve everything and I knew it. I never thought about what this would do to you or our marriage. I hate what I did. I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to make this up to you and I fear I will never be able to do it. I’ll never be the man I want to be because I fucked up. I hate myself and what I did.

In this breakdown of emotions, I realized he hasn’t allowed himself to mourn the end of the marriage we had. I remember in the wake of D-Day telling him what we were before the affair is irrelevant. The marriage and wonderful relationship we believed we had is over. We will never be that couple again. He rejected this thought and told me his love for me never changed and why did we need to let go of our past? Yes, it kills me too. But I’ve been living the past few months knowing that is what I needed to go. Let go of the marriage we thought we had and start building the one we want. It is sad. It is like a death. A death of something so sacred and special that it shakes you to the core.

I reminded him that hating himself doesn’t help us. He needs to hate what he did. Failure is not defined by a single action. Failure is determined by the end result. Where will you allow your mistakes to take you? Will you improve yourself or let your failures choose your life path?

The mourning of the end of our first marriage sucks. There’s no other word I can write. It just plain sucks. I hate the way my world was shaken apart but it happened. And to quote another blogger… I have to deal with this no matter what path I choose. And so does my husband. He had an affair and that changed everything.

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8 thoughts on “Mourning the end so we can create a new beginning

  1. I agree with you. Him hating himself doesn’t help you at all. And he needs to hate what he did. While he did fail you, that doesn’t make him a failure. The infidelity is one chapter in the story of your life together (albeit currently significant and painful chapter) . But it’s not all of your life. There, hopefully, is lots more to cone. My husband initially had the same response. And the extent of his remorse and shame consumed him and interfered with our recovery. It’s also another form of self-absorption, another way of thinking mostly of himself-which prevented him from doing the needed work and introspection. He needed think of how he failed me and what lead to that and atone for it–but not get stuck on being a failure which is really a victim’s position and helps no one.

    • Your comments really synced up some thoughts floating around in my head. How did your husband realize he needed to stop focusing on his shame? How long since your d-day?
      I told my husband he should feel remorse and shame but it shouldn’t put walls up between us or make him shut down. I think he still tries to put the affair in a box and put a lid on it. He is painfully aware that it’s there. Sometimes he can talk about it without it overwhelming his shame. But sometimes he sees with clarity what he did… And he can’t yet handle the reality.
      It’s a struggle…. I didn’t choose this. I wasn’t given a choice in his decision to cheat. He held all the cards.

      • The one thing about this whole mess is we were NOT given a choice…and now the 2 of us are living with his choice…and I have heard the fear in his voice and seen it in his eyes as he tries to answer my questions… I asked him the other night “when you weren’t having sex wit this woman what did you talk about?…their jobs and their kids….I became extremely sad and…told him he had NO RIGHT to tell her anything about our children and their lives… I told him his children would be so disappointed knowing he was sharing their lives with his lover …
        it was none of her business… he was always one of the biggest defenders of their privacy whenever gossip or just general talk about them came up with friends etc… my weekend was good and bad… I really had a tough couple of nights and even at one point went to sleep in the guest room…he pleaded with me to come back to our room…I told him being sad and scared is the most overwhelming feeling…he just held me and cried…

      • I can relate. My husband said the same thing–he would share with his AP about our kids and even us. Why would another woman want to hear about the things my husband and I were doing? She didn’t like to hear about us much but she liked to know about my kids. My husband even shared pictures of our kids–pictures I took!!! I was livid for the same reasons you spoke of above. But now that I can get some distance from that pain I realize that we (myself and our kids) are my husband’s world and she couldn’t penetrate deep enough for him to abandon that part of him. Ironically, she didn’t talk as much about her kids. He knew bits and pieces but no pictures and he couldn’t even remember all of their names after a year-long affair! What does that say?
        There will be things you hear that make your skin crawl… I always have to remember how screwed up my husband’s mindset was to even believe one word this woman said. To even walk into her home and think she didn’t expect sex–which he said he never asked for or expected. Which used to drive me crazy but it just goes to show how vulnerable men can be. He was seeking a feeling… and she gave him a glimpse of it. It wasn’t real or genuine. Sending you hugs.

  2. I also had a D-day recently. I discovered my husband had been carrying on a textual affair with an ex girlfriend via facebook. It started while I was 8mo pregnant. There were pictures sent and lots of disgusting things said. Perhaps though, most disgusting was when they would have the nerve to talk about my son or myself. Anyway, I chose to try and mAke it work but frankly, I feel as though I’ll never love him the same and we will never be the same. We are both in our early twenties and have been together a little more than a year.. And a small part of me feels like I am just biding my time so that the baby is older before admitting what I suspect: this won’t work. I’m not the type to stay with someone if it isn’t working and if you’ve betrayed me so soon- what is there to EVEN salvage? But then there are days when I can treat him decently and even enjoy his company. Like you said:
    Roller coasters.

    Anyway thank you for sharing. It is really helping.

  3. These early posts of yours help me so much. I am 4 days out from what you refer to as D-Day and my emotions are every where. I know I love my husband, and I know we are going to try to make this work. I know you are so much further in your journey now, but thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing all of this. You have helped me more than you will ever know. I don’t know if you will even see this comment on such an old post, but it has touched me so much tonight as I lay here beside my snoring husband, that I could not help writing to you.

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