“I fell apart, and I survived”

c703fee12ef1a6dbf67106408e55054aWe all have days that mark different moments in our lives. Some of those days are remembered for joy and others for devastation. Today is a marker for me.

Six years ago I felt my world implode. I was utterly devastated, confused, and broken when I discovered my husband’s affair. As I type these words, my memory surges and the pain I haven’t felt all day is now lingering in the back of my mind… the back of my throat… like a dark shadow that can flood my being at any moment. But I’m okay. I’m really okay.

Six years later and my emotional attachment to my D-day is no longer a weight. Today could have gone the other direction completely. For starters, the exact day of the week aligns with my D-day in 2012. The other strange piece is that my husband is, once again, away on a camping trip just like he was six years ago. I spent a lot of time alone today just like I did six years ago. But I was okay. I haven’t cried. I haven’t been sad or melancholy.

I worry that an emotional detachment from my D-day is signifying something is wrong. Lately, it feels as though my marriage has slipped into that comfortable place it was before he cheated. Sometimes I worry that I am sharing everything with him – but is he sharing everything with me? I notice how much I talk and how much I feel the need to fill the silence. I also notice how much he doesn’t share with me and that I have to probe to find out what is going on during his day. I try not to be suspicious, but I am. I try to trust, but I don’t think I can give trust completely. I live in this space of uncertainty – can I trust him? Is he faithful? Were there other women before Bat Shit? I try not to dwell in this dark space. I find myself asking if I should even care if there are other women because he’s here with me.

That. Is. Fucked. Up. Or is it my reality?

During the last six years I’ve experienced the most rickety emotional roller coaster ride. Surviving an affair is no small feat. Every day I think about all the women out there that are on this ride with me – whether we know we are on it together or not. I think about how hard that first month was after my D-day. I didn’t know if I wanted to live. I just kept waking up each day and focusing on getting through each day. Survival mode.

I was naive once. I believed love equaled faithfulness. I believed marriage was pure. I believed my husband loved me more than I loved him, which meant he could never hurt me and never, ever cheat. I had chosen him time and again. Now I know he didn’t always chose me.

This post is feeling really glum and I that wasn’t my intention when I opened my laptop and started to write. The reality is that on this day, six years ago in the wee hours of the night… my heart stopped and it’s never truly beat to the same rhythm again.

Yes, I am happy.

Yes, my life is blessed.

But my heart beats differently now.

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101 thoughts on ““I fell apart, and I survived”

  1. Sorry in advance for such a long post….
    I just want to say thank you for your blog.
    I found you back in July 2017 after discovering my husband’s betrayal.
    Although my story is slightly different to a lot on here.
    I have been with my hubby for 15 years (married for 8) we have children 2 of which are on the autistic spectrum.
    My hubby lost his beloved grandad and spent 2 years in a spiral of depression and anxiety and self medication with cannabis.
    He did shift work and unbeknown to me, met a woman/whore (I use that term lightly and you will understand why soon)
    1 morning in June I found cannabis in his pocket and was disappointed.. when confronted he shut down completely and I stood looking at my husband the stranger.
    After 5 days of being blanked I couldn’t deal with it any more and told him I refused to be disrespected.
    He told me he was going to stay with a male friend to sort himself out once and for all.
    He was gone for 6 weeks, in that 6 weeks we saw him nearly every day, he told me he missed me and loved me and was trying his hardest. He came off antidepressants as they made him detach. He took me out for dinner and drinks to repair our marriage.
    I asked him to come home…..and we set a date.
    Before that date 1 morning I got missed calls on my phone and then a text from this woman telling me about my husband and wishing me luck. She sent me photos and screen shots of texts and said she was his “girlfriend”
    I went into shock as I drove to her house to catch him there.
    She stood there the whole time smirking at me and brazenly told me she always knew he was married…
    The most devastating day of my life….
    I found out she had been hounding him for months, doing shift swaps to get closer to him, texting him inappropriate messages and nog taking no for an answer, when I found the cannabis she told him he could stay with her, she even bought him copious amounts to keep him happy, she even threw his wedding ring away.
    I let him move home…. to repair our marriage….
    He was loving and attentive and apologetic. I realised our situation was circumstantial…. it was hard but I thought we would get through it….
    I did a bit of detective work and heard “she had form” and wasn’t liked but no one would elaborate….

    Fast forward to this year…
    I had a feeling I couldn’t shake…
    Intuition is a woman’s super power…
    I had 1 digital eye on her… something wasn’t right….
    I felt like I was on a cliff edge and she was there waiting to push……

    I discovered things she was posting on social media..directed at me… goading me…. telling me my husband had been cheating on me for 2 months… calling out my own social media posts, she had been watching me all along….
    I confronted my husband and to sag I lost the plot was an understatement and I threw him out…
    The truth then came out…
    She had started doing shift swaps again and contacting him… in a state telling him how much she loved him and how he has ruined her…. he felt bad and they met up to talk in which she booked a hotel room. Tried to convince him that she could give him everything blah blah blah…
    He met with her 2 times after that and then told her that he loves his wife and they don’t have a future together to which she flipped.
    She contacted him every day…. all day…
    She black mailed him and kept repeating our address over and over…
    She was unstable…
    And then the social media posts because she wouldn’t take no for an answer…

    All this information was too much for me to handle. He begged me to not give up on him and he will prove he isn’t the man he has portrayed himself to be….
    I was diagnosed with PTSD after I had detached from reality and the trauma stopped me from sleeping and eating and in a constant state of fear I tried to take my own life……(very nearly sucessfully)
    My husband hunted me down and took me to A&E.

    I know what everyone is thinking…how do I know he was being truthful and this whore is vengeful and spiteful???
    Because it came out that in the past 10 years she has done this to 6 other marriages….. same thing…same behaviours and same destruction….
    We have had 5 months of bliss…he changed his phone number (we don’t live together) we spent every day together and has been like the man I married but only last month the whore has reared her ugly head again….. this time with fake text messages claiming they spent the night together (on a night that he was with me) and she has begun court proceedings to the small claims court for money she spent back 18months ago and these fake texts are proof that he owes this money… again more social media posts…
    He is adamant that he has had no contact with her… that he hates her and hopes she gets her just dues…

    Turns out she has done this exact same thing before too and fake texts (who even knew this was a thing???)(and how is an app like this legal?) And who knew Apple to Apple calls, texts and imessage doesn’t show up on itemized bills…. and then she plays the victim….(she plays it very well)
    We have been to the police twice…can’t do anything… he has been to HR twice….and he has changed his phone number yet again…

    My story is different… very traumatic and something out of a Hollywood plot…
    There are people that walk this earth that think married people are fair game and set out to get that person for themselves no matter what and no matter who gets hurt….
    What the future holds I don’t know….. but I’m more scared that there are people out there that are that malicious, calculating and vindictive than the people that actually cheat…….

    Thank you for your blog, at the time I desperately wanted to know that I wasn’t alone and that my pain wasn’t unique… another song for your play list…
    Sam Smith not the only one….

    Sending love, strength and understanding to anyone who finds themself in a similar situation…

    • What an amazing story and so glad you had courage to let all to read.

      You are so right about the evil other side that roams this earth. I don’t mean that in any religious way or any way other than a true mental disease of pure evil to take and want what is not theirs you are not Alone!

      • Thank you, what I wrote was only the tip of the ice berg as I am sure you can imagine. The full details are a million times worse than what I could put in 1 short post.
        This whore acts so entitled, the way she acts is like I ran off with her husband not the other way around. It’s been 18months of mental torture.
        I spent5 months in intensive therapy to deal with my pickled mind and self esteem, PTSD is horrible.

        Karma needs to hurry up, after 6 marriages destroyed by this sociopath and the destruction she causes in such a malicious way when she is tossed aside like the trash she actually is, you would think she would of had a taste of her own medicine by now.
        People are taken back when they hear my story and they can’t believe I’m giving my hubby another chance, but as I learnt in therapy, sociopaths, when they set their sights on something they don’t stop until they get it, take a emotionally vulnerable man and they are easy prey.

        He is to blame for the affair and for breaking his marriage vows but she is to blame for her actions and dragging me and my children through hell out of revenge.

    • I thought of you as I found a book that just came out in last year. “The State of Affairs, Rethinking Infideltiy” by Esther Perel. My husband and I have been reading a chapter each night aloud and discuss. We’ve been in therapy for 2 years (started right after D day after a 13 year affair). My point is GET this book!!! We’ve read horrible books that bought me tears and frustration to an already violatile situation. Ms. Perel is speaking like no one I’ve read/heard (she also has some great you tube clips). I feel like she is the only one that addresses the pain of the betrayed and how to process through this in a very insightful mind blowing way. Added bonus is it’s truly up to date as the last thing we all need is bad advice from 15 years ago. Our world is changing so rapidly that even sorting out that much as been tough. I know this will sounds strange but just in one chapter, I’ve been able to loosen the grip of pain in my head to actually feel sorry for my husband for the images of the things he has done. The whore he was with all the years, heck, the memories he has alone makes me smile of my personal justice. I never reduced my character, my body, my honor, my self worth or my privacy for the trivialities of some lowsome 2 trick pony who even in the “glory of an affair” still needed her out dated vibrator or lubricant. I giggle as I type this and wish I had put all of this together months ago to end some of the horrible trigger moments of the past. Hope it helps you as much as me.

  2. It’s funny how these pop up in my email when I need them most. I could have written these words myself right now. I feel exactly the same way. Has been over 4 years, since my World was turned upside down. Things were amazing for a while, we even chose to renew our vows, but now, I feel very much like I used to. It’s like we’re living parallel lives, instead of living for each other and our son, like we were before…before her. He’s distant, busy, pre-occupied by whatever. I’ve talked to him about it many times these past few months. He insists everything is fine. He wants nothing else. Loves me. Our family. Etc. But… I just don’t believe him. I don’t. I’m starting to wonder if it truly is possible to go on after a marriage is broken in this way?? I worry that the scars may simply be too deep to ever really heal. I walk around looking at the photos on my walls and feel devastated at times. Like my happily ever after is nothing more than a lie. A joke even. I love my husband, and want so desperately to see him the way I used to. Heck, to see myself the way I used to. An affair does a number on your confidence and self worth, as you all know. Makes you feel like you’re never enough, nor will you ever be. It’s rough. I have a friend that just got divorced from her husband after he cheated, and if I’m being honest, I envy her at times. Her freedom to mourn and move on. It’s so much harder to stare the person that hurt you in the face every day, and convince yourself to relax and trust that he’ll never do it again. That you are safe. I am feeling lost and confused. I suggested marriage counseling, but he doesn’t think we need it. I suggested maybe just for me to go, he thinks it’s silly. In the mean time, I feel myself pulling away more and more. Putting up that wall. I call it my “self preservation mode.” I’m wondering now if it really is worth it and if I can sustain this life until death do us part. It’s awful to feel this way. I don’t know what I am going to do…

    • KR…. I too am surviving the devasting aftermath of my husbands affair with my next door neighbor. Go to therapy, with or without him. It is essential in your healing. If you husband loves you, he should support you in your efforts to rebalance yourself emotionally. I considered myself a very strong, successful woman prior to my husbands affair. D- day and the aftermath cut me like a thousands knives. The PTSD is real, you need to heal and rebuild for yourself …. therapy continues to help me heal, with out it I believe I would be bitter, resentful and afraid to such an extent that forgiveness would never be possible. I’ve not yet forgiven but I do believe we’re on the path thanks to professional help. No one can survive infertility alone and expect to function happily in life…

      • Marybeth I’m so sorry you’re struggling as well. Your neighbor!?!? Ugh!! That is beyond unfair. I can’t even imagine the hurt that caused. I’m so sorry.

        Thank you for your kind words. I completely agree that it helps. I went many times, the first year after, and it helped so so much. At this phase, I feel like I literally have no one to talk to about it as my family and friends would never understand. Especially given the fact that I have chosen to stay in my marriage and move forward. So I remain silent and it eats away at me. I can’t even talk to him about it without it erupting in a fight. It’s a very lonely place to be.

        Same here. I was very strong, confident, and independent before. Now I feel like a hollow, anxious, pathetic and sad version of myself. It’s awful. I just can not wrap my head around what the heck he was thinking and how he could hurt me in this way?? We’ve been together 18 years, married 12 and have an incredible 6 year old son. He wasn’t even two when the affair started. I just don’t understand…

        I wish you well in your healing journey and hope that you are able to find forgiveness. Or at least to find happiness and feel like yourself once again soon. ❤️

      • I couldn’t agree more on the therapy. There’s no way to survive this without it. (There’s evidence to prove it that couples will do well the first couple of years post “d day” only the plummet in the relationship. Who wants to go through all this just to perish?).
        I can’t say it enough to find. “Gottman certified” therapist. I’m not a paid person for this research but they are the top 10 marriage counselors going right now and psychology has done some great work over the last 40 years to discover what really makes relationships tick.
        I’ll give you some more advice that has helped me. (FYI: I’m 2 years from d day of a 13 year affair, “celebrating” our 29th anniversary this year. But every story IS different).
        Purge your house! You mentioned pictures on the walls. Take them down. Only place things up that remind of happiness or bring you joy. There should be no triggers in your life right now. My PTSD was so great that I had to get rid of clothes, pictures, etc. Let someone else have those memories. That life is over. There’s no way new memories can come in when I’m crying over the past every day.
        I get the “fantasy” of divorce but if I believe that then I believe in the ‘fantasy” of the affair. Trust your gut. This affair was a huge fantasy. It’s lies, lies and more lies. What you had/have is real. The OW was a fraud or a wannabe-you are the woman who got your husband’s heart, she came in with tricks, mirages, lies, receipt…playing into all th parts that you hate about him. Who wold like that other than a whore?
        I agree on how much I love this website as it points me in the same direction of all of us “walking wounded”. The only different between us and all of them is the simple fact that “we know”. I believe that in the course of every marriage, there IS an infidelity along the way. There IS some inappropriate moment or relationship. We are human and full of mistakes. Our culture (US) supports infidelity left and right and sadly, it believes that we all should leave our spouses instantly learning that an affair has happened. Why I say? If that’s the case, everyone would be divorced. I see more “unhappy” marriages than mine and I’m dealing with a 13 year affair? It doesn’t make sense.
        I want to support you a thousand times to wake up every morning with the positive intent of working on loving your husband and even more so, YOURSELF! This too shall pass and I know that in the end you will be stronger.
        Give yourself the gift of feeling everything—mad, disgust, hatred, all the way to pure bliss. In the last 2 years, I too have had numerous moments of thinking I can’t do it. I’ve woken up in the middle of the night in a panic so say to my husband “It’s too much to bear”. I’ve kissed him and felt disgusted by his actions. I’m no expert but there’s something in your husband’s actions that arent’ helping you recover. He is a huge part in your recovery. Does he truly understand the painful place he has placed you in? Does he show you true remorse? Does he tell you how much he has absolutely devasted everything all for his libido/ego?
        I know I’m long on words today, but one of the best days ever for me was a very strange day/discussion. We sat and discussed “their sex”. I asked every question under the sun. The more I asked the more “humor” I was getting because I had the great fortune of realizing my husband’s affair had limited and really bad sex. It was the day all my “power” returned to me as I laughed in my head on how stupid he looked. How idiotic she looked thinking she had “gotten” him. I haven’t been in this marriage for nothing, created children, loved him unconditionally, gone on amazing vacations….only to listen to the worse “sex stories” ever! Not sure this type of discussion is for everyone but for me, it was huge. While it was a 13 year affair, it was only “8 times” of physical contact. I know my husband, if it was amazing sex, it would have been a thousand times.
        Don’t give up! Don’t give into the whores that walk this planet stealing what’s not their’s. Don’t give into the culture that an affair is supposed to end a marriage. If the marriage is dead, then end the marriage.

      • YES!! The “Gottman” certified therapist is key. In my darkest days after D-day I didn’t think I could get through it. He had recommitted to me after a 5 year long distance affair with a co-worker, but I just didn’t know how to get up the mountain in front of me and onto the other side. The despair was crippling at times. I could never have made it to this place we are at 3 years later without that therapist. She is/was a godsend. She taught us methods that I wish we would have known when we got married. Our marriage is not the same as it was before the affair – for better and worse. It will never be the same. But I can actually say that in ways it’s better because of what we have learned from the experience. It’s a new marriage. Don’t get me wrong – I still have “the days” when I think WTF – how could he have done this to me. I will never be the same – I have wounds that are triggered by movies, books, even locations – I still have yet to take a vacation anywhere near the area of the US where she lives – which is sad because a best friend just relocated and wants me to visit. Baby steps… But you know what….”I fell apart & I survived”. I am the strong one. I am resilient. He is lucky to have me still. I don’t ever want to go back to the before. Always looking forward and not back.

  3. Kathy and Heather,
    Thank you for the kind words, support and advice. I will definitely make sure my therapist is Gotman Certified. I have an established counselor, that I saw on my own, and that saw us together, in the months after it all happened. She was extremely helpful and two years after IT, I honestly felt like it may have been the best thing that ever happened to us as we were communicating better than we ever have in our years of being together. Sadly, year three was filled with many stressful moments for me. Starting with an urgent hysterectomy for me, then my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer (which meant I spent 1-3 days a week holding her hand at appointments, procedures, consults and chemo because she was a wreck and the rest of my family was “too emotional” to be able to step in and help, all fell onto me), then my Dad’s Dad passed (whom I was extremely close with), then my other Grandfather (leaving my 90 year old Grandmother who needed a lot of help), then I had recovery issues with my surgery and needed PT, then I had a six month long sinus infection that kept coming back resulting in a lot of appointments, tests, medications, etc, it was just a tough year. I have always been the back bone of our marriage, taking care of literally everything, esp with our son. My husband was forced to step up and help, which I felt his resentment and frustration often, and all of that stress just added to well, everything else. That was year three. In year four, things are much better, as far as all that goes, but our marriage feels very broken and disconnected again. I try to do and plan things to show him I’m all in, here, commited and want this, and he verbalizes that he is as well, but his actions do not say the same. That, in turn, has sent me down a spiral of emotions. Anxiety, fear, anger, sadness, mistrust, frustration, you name it. I definitely feel that we are in trouble. It’s heartbreaking. Going to restart counciling as soon as I possibly can.

    I wish you both happiness, love, healing and forgiveness. It is so unfair to HAVE to “survive” this. I’m very sorry. ❤️

    • KR, stay strong. It’s time for a reboot. Sorry that you’ve had such tough year but life gets crazy and we lose our way – then it’s time to get back with the therapist and reset. You can get back to where you were at year 2 post D-day if you are both committed to it and do the work. I have a friend who is a therapist and she and her husband do a therapy reset about every 5 years. Life and old patterns have a tendency to creep back in. But being aware and addressing it head on when it happens instead of ignoring and sweeping it under the rug is the bright side of fresh eyes after what we have been through. We are able to see the red flags before it’s too late. Good luck to you sister! xo

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