This post may not be what you want to read if you recently discovered your husband’s affair or are within the first six months after D-day.
Immediately after my D-day I hated Bat Shit and I wanted my husband to hate her too. I’ve never hated anyone like I hated her. I wanted to destroy her life. I wanted her to suffer and hurt the same way I was in pain. It seemed like the easiest way for me to hurt her was to be absolutely positive that my husband no longer was attracted to her, no longer cared about her, and he didn’t want to be around her. When I wrote the letter to Bat Shit (that I never sent), my main focus was to invalidate every emotional connection she thought she had with my husband. I tore apart their relationship in my letter and I used words that I knew would cut like a knife if she ever read them. I wanted her to know that my husband had revealed intimate details of their sexual affair to me. I wanted her to know that I knew her insecurities and the secrets she had shared behind closed doors with my husband were exposed to me. I wanted her to know that I was the one holding all the cards going forward. She was powerless and meant nothing to me and my husband.
As I dissected my husband’s affair I never wasted an opportunity to point out when Bat Shit was manipulating him. It was more important that my husband hate Bat Shit than it was for me to hate her. I needed him to feel nothing and sever whatever emotional bonds that remained of their relationship. My husband needed to hate her. And honestly, I think I was successful in reaching that goal.
My husband told me he knew he never “loved” Bat Shit yet, I read emails that not only said “I love you” but were also gentle, affectionate, and sounded sincere. There were words in those emails that I still haven’t forgotten. They sting. They hurt. They still have the power to bring me to tears if I let them. He shared with her intimate thoughts and emotions. He shared with her things he couldn’t tell me. Now, two and a half years later, I am realizing that some of what my husband might have told me was not whole truths. I don’t think my husband lied to hurt me, I think he lied to save our marriage. I think he told me what I needed to hear, and perhaps, what he needed to believe too. I wanted him to tell me she meant nothing. I needed to believe she meant nothing to him. I wanted to believe there was no passion, no real relationship.
I have a different perspective now and I think he did care about her. He probably did love her in some way. Some people may minimize these feelings to infatuation, but I think there was an element of love. Their relationship was invented out of fiction and the lies they told each other were to avoid the truth. Fiction or not, they still felt something.
I guess it wouldn’t make sense to risk our marriage for someone that he didn’t care about. It wouldn’t make sense for a man who’s never even had a one night stand to cheat on his wife with a woman that he didn’t feel connected to intimately. I’m not saying what he felt for her rivaled our marriage, love, or passion, but I am recognizing that she meant something to him during the year they were involved.
This recognition doesn’t make it any easier or harder to move forward.