Thoughts from a betrayed wife six months post d-day

ImageI’ve started a few posts over the last few weeks but none were published. None of them finished. Most of them barely started. So if I can’t finish them why not let you know where I am on this journey?

1. I went to a Infidelity Support Group meeting a few weeks ago. I cried the entire car ride to the meeting. Listening to music that was depressing and sad (most of it is after infidelity, right?). I got there and walked through the door seeing a man and a woman who seemed to know each other. In the end there were only four of us there–two rookies (me and another woman) and the veteran betrayed spouses. We shared our stories with each other and I walked away feeling okay. I don’t really feel like I need to go back. Not unless something stirs and I need some companionship for this journey. Maybe it was the group of people or maybe it was just not something I need right now.

Image2. Six Months. We are a little over six months past our D-Day now. It’s bittersweet. I guess in some ways I am glad that I’ve survived because in the beginning the pain was so raw I thought I might be swallowed up into it. I am eating, sleeping and pretty much a functional person in society (at least for appearances sake). Reaching a milestone like six months, one year, two years is like a reaching that illusive pot of gold. You believe it’s there and you keep seeking it at the end of each storm and rainbow, but you just aren’t sure it’s real. That’s how I feel. I am not sure everything is real yet. The cloud is still surrounding me and there is certainly a fog that covers my brain. We made it here though and at this point I can honestly say I have more good days than bad by far. I can go for a stretch of 7-10 days before the pain begins to swell and fill me with doubt again.

The good news is, I recover much quicker now. The great news is that my husband pushed through his feelings of failure the other night. He knew he disappointed me, that I was having a trigger day and he tried to help but didn’t completely follow through. I told him I was upset and why. I expected him to sink into himself and let his hatred consume him. But he overcame it all and was there for me in my pain. It meant the world to me.

Image3. On our six month anniversary of our D-Day we got bad news from a friend. A good friend of ours found out he has cancer. He has two young children and the prognosis is not very good for him. The news shook me and my husband to our core. Immediately, you think of how you would feel in the same situation–how would I cope, fight, go on with my everyday life? Then I thought, what if I found out right now the same news about my husband… how would I care for him and heal from his infidelity at the same time? Would it make me put aside the pain from the betrayal or would it foster resentment? I’d like to say that for me, it would make me push beyond this pain and recognize how fragile life is. But yet again, would it make me angry to think he wasted over a year of our lives when life is so temporary and precious?

4. 

Stay by Rihanna makes me think about this healing process… It seems to be on the radio every time my kids are in the car and tune into the local Pop station. The line that gets me every time is:

Ooh the reason I hold on
Ooh cause I need this hole gone
Funny you’re the broken one but I’m the only one who needed saving
Cause when you never see the light it’s hard to know which one of us is caving

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What does it take to remove the pain after infidelity? I’ve noticed that although I am taking steps forward and I am happier, I still find myself hurt and emotional about things that shouldn’t bother me. ImageThe morning I found out about my husband’s affair I had to go to the grocery store to buy oranges for my son’s soccer team. A few days after D-Day, I had to go grocery shopping. Now, every f-ing time I am pushing the darn cart through the grocery store my mood shifts and I feel like I am walking through a fog. I’ve tried shopping at different grocery stores but the result is always the same. Maybe it’s seeing all the housewives walking through the store, or the fear that his AP will be in the store shopping by some odd chance, or maybe it’s the horrible sappy music they play. Why is grocery shopping a trigger for sadness and feelings of being alone? I’ve been responsible for the grocery shopping for our family for over 14 years. We’ve shopped together through the years, I shopped with the children when they were younger. Heck, I still have memories of grocery shopping with my mom as a little girl. So why does one stupid song playing over the supermarket sound system strip my confidence and make me want to curl up in a ball and cry?

For a few months after my D-Day, everytime I drove to visit my husband at work, in the town where his affair occured, I fell apart. If I was with my husband I was fine but driving in the car alone crushed me. His affair occured once in his office and every other time at her home, which is about one mile from his business. Since D-Day I was sure to have sex with him in his office and we’ve even gotten into a routine of meeting up just after business hours to screw all over the office. I feel like I took back his office space and fulfilled some fantasies of ours while I was at it.

Three weeks ago, on my way to see him I drove by her house for the first time ever. I wasn’t sure how it would affect me but I decided to own what I was doing.Image I needed to see her house and where my husband had sex with her for a year. It was about 9 p.m. at night and pretty dark outside. I drove by once and saw that there were only a few lights on and it appeared she was upstairs in what I guessed was the bedroom she screwed my husband in. Her car was in the driveway so I knew she was home (which I found entertaining since she is single and it was a Friday night–obviously her life is full of excitement). I turned around at the end of her street and drove by again, this time slowing down and trying to see if I could see anything–then I surprised myself and honked my car horn a few times and drove off. I was laughing all the way to my husband’s office. I told him my childish antics and he laughed. He confirmed the light on was her bedroom and the conversation was easy and light. I am just enough of a stalker that I drove by again the next Friday night just before 9 p.m. This time I only went by once and I could see she was in her bedroom alone again. I honked my horn a few times hoping she would hear and wonder who was being so obnoxious again.

It may be stupid and immature but I am reclaiming the town my husband works in for myself. I need to regain my strength and power and not allow her to strip me of anything. ImageYesterday, my husband and I went to a conference together and I picked him up at his office so we could drive together. Afterwards, we went back to get his car and I couldn’t help but love the fact that he held me tight and kissed me passionately while we stood in a parking lot visible to the Main Street intersection in town. I truly hope that she saw us. Or even better, I hope someone she knows saw us and told her about us kissing. It’s all petty and sounds dumb if you aren’t the betrayed spouse. I need to own my life. I need to know that my husband will kiss me anywhere and anytime he feels like it. I want my husband to look around each corner of his business and picture us together intimately and passionately.

As much as I am reclaiming some aspects of my life there are still stupid things that haunt me. The darn grocery store is one of them that I need to overcome. I need to create a new memory to take the place of the negative one lurking in my brain.

Infidelity Trax // B-Sides // Christina Perri “Jar of Hearts”

I’ve been reading the blogs I follow today and I couldn’t finish the post I intended to write. I read stories of heart-break, broken dreams, pain and so many women finding an inner strength they never knew was within them. The pain can be paralyzing but you can release it and you will breathe again.

This song is for you.

No, I can’t take one more step towards you
‘Cause all that’s waiting is regret
Don’t you know I’m not your ghost anymore
You lost the love I loved the most

I learned to live half alive
And now you want me one more time

And who do you think you are?
Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me
Who do you think you are?

I hear you’re asking all around
If I am anywhere to be found
But I have grown too strong
To ever fall back in your arms

And I’ve learned to live half alive
And now you want me one more time

And who do you think you are?
Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me
Who do you think you are?

And it took so long just to feel alright
Remember how to put back the light in my eyes
I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed
‘Cause you broke all your promises
And now you’re back
You don’t get to get me back

And who do you think you are?
Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me
Don’t come back at all

And who do you think you are?
Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
Tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
Don’t come back for me
Don’t come back at all

Who do you think you are?

Who do you think you are?

Who do you think you are?

The Infidelity Dance: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

I have come to hate the infidelity dance. Over the past fourteen days, I spent ten of them feeling great, happy, positive, no tears/sadness over the affair, just forward progression. ImageThen Tuesday night–SLAM! There’s that wall again. Right in my f-ing way. I didn’t even see the wall, in fact, I drove myself right into it all on my own. My husband and I settled into our bed on Tuesday night and I had some ideas and thoughts I wanted to share with him. After reading the posts about the Hoffman Institute program on the blog Fulfilled Entrepreneur, I felt like a light bulb went off in my head. The process of healing at the Hoffman Institute begins with determining where your negative behavior patterns originate (most likely from your parents–just like you positive attributes/behaviors are learned from your parents). Here was my A-HA! moment:

My in-laws are excellent parents and it’s difficult to be critical of them. They value family as the number one priority and are close with not just their children, but their children’s spouses too. I have a special bond with my mother-in-law and most people have heard me comment that I am very lucky to have them as a second set of parents. But, if I try to be critical of behavior patterns, I find that they have criticized my husband’s jobs and career for his entire adult life. They rarely brag about him or his business(es). His successes are met with criticism and almost a disdain for his career choice. What is even more disturbing is that my husband’s career is also his passion. He is one of the fortunate people in the world that gets paid for doing a craft he enjoys and loves. So how must it feel for your parents to criticize your passion? How must it feel for them to tell you on a regular basis that you should do something else with your life? I always thought my husband ignored these comments. I expressed to him on multiple occasions that it bothered me because I love the way my husband approaches his career and business(es). I love that his business doesn’t shut me out and I can be as involved as he needs or wants me to be.

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But maybe he doesn’t ignore these comments and disapproval as much as I thought? What if this disapproval was magnified when my husband was unemployed for the period before his affair? What if my husband couldn’t see reality because the perceived disappointment was overwhelming?

A few scenerios may be the result of this perceived and presumed disappointment. One, the advances and attention from his affair partner was appealing and felt good for his ego. Interestingly, he never revealed to his affair partner that he was unemployed for an extended period of time  before they met. Since she did not know the truth there was no question to his success and talent. Had she known his length of unemployment and the difficulty it imposed on his family, she may have found him less attractive. All she knew is that we live in a wealthy suburb and he drove a luxary car. He didn’t want her to know what could be considered “failures” in his career. In fact, he even hid them on his LinkedIn resume. Two, he wanted to revel in the feeling of disappointment. As his wife, I never faulted him for not finding a job. I actually expressed on multiple occasions that he should hold out for a position suiting his level of experience–don’t settle for a miserable job. We weren’t broke (although we went through quite a bit of our life savings). Disappointment has been a part of his life and nothing he was doing managed to deter my confidence in him. Nothing. He was still the best at everything in my mind. But it’s possible he wanted to disappoint himself and punish himself for not meeting his own expectations. Three, another part of this equation is that I began working again and I gained a sense of independence. There was a thought in his head that I no longer needed him to save me. I could save myself. I could even decide that I wanted someone else to save me. Fear sets in and he may have realized he was comfortable in the feeling of disappointment he evoked from his parents. Afterall, even in disappointment he gained their attention. Growing up in a big family with a bunch of siblings you have to steal your parents attention somehow and if disappointment is the solution–then you found what works. Maybe his wife [me ]might respond to real disappointment. Maybe I might give him the attention I was neglecting to give him if he actually disappointed me. I know he felt neglected. He felt like he had to fight for my affection and attention and he was at the bottom of my list.

And the truth is, he was last. 

The kids came first. My best friend was a huge focus in my life. The dog was competition. I was trying to impress people at work so I could earn more money, get a promotion, and feel needed. I loved my husband but I didn’t make our marriage my number one priority. Everyone and thing else seemed to come first because I was certain that our marriage was a rock and nothing could shake it. I was content and happy. I felt our lives needed to be centered upon the children because they are only living in our home for eighteen years and after that we had the rest of our lives together. I thought about how small of a fraction those eighteen years really are in the grand scheme of things… and I wanted to focus all my energy on loving and developing amazing kids. And they are amazing–so I must be doing it right. Right?

Wrong. 

I was so certain my marriage was indestructable, unbreakable, solid. Our love is admitedly like nonother and unique. The love we share with each other was perfect, fulfilling, inspiring and true. The love we share is like a fairytale romance and in many ways his affair hasn’t changed that feeling.

So the question begs: How did I hit a wall? Why did I feel like I was moving backwards in our progress on Tuesday night?

Because my husband sees his childhood as it was–good, happy and fun-filled. He sees his parents as the amazingly wonderful people they are and he does not want to blame his mistakes and failures on them. They did not fail–he did. I am not sure if he was offended at my suggestion that his choice to enter into an affair may be rooted in the lessons he learned from his parents, but he was going to defend them and continue to blame himself for being a “bad” person.

I couldn’t communicate with him that he’s not a bad person, he did a hurtful and wrong thing. But while we were talking Tuesday night he shut down. He wallowed in his shame and guilt. He got stuck in the hatred he has for his actions but he directs it at himself. He defines himself by this one mistake–cheating on me–instead of all the amazing things he’s done for me.

He had an affair and he didn’t want or go looking for one. He slept with another woman for a year and he didn’t even want to be with her. How do you continue to have sex with a woman that you don’t want to sleep with? Most men that have affairs admit to being caught up in a false reality where there were no consequences or responsibiliites. But I am struggling to find a man that relinquished his own desires and needs for the lustings of the affair partner. If you are out there–explain to me how you can’t end the affair when you don’t want to be there in the first place? Why even pretend to be interested in the other woman when you really feel nothing more than a mild friendship, if that. Why allow her to even continue to contact you? My husband’s most famous comment post D-Day is:

My relationship with her [the AP] was built to end.

That statement drives me f-ing crazy. Why would you build and invest time in something that you wanted or expected to end? Why would you spend one speck of time with something that was dead from the start?

So my wall was hit. I spent almost all of Wednesday pissed off and angry. I recovered by Thursday and now I am feeling good again.

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The only thing that makes sense to me is that he is comfortable feeling like a disappointment and as long as he was with her that is exactly what he was–a disappointment.

Infidelity Trax // Ingrid Michaelson //Be OK

I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok
I just want to be ok today
I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok
I just want to be ok today

I just want to feel today, feel today, feel today
I just want to feel something today
I just want to feel today, feel today, feel today
I just want to feel something today

Open me up and you will see
I’m a gallery of broken hearts
I’m beyond repair, let me be
And give me back my broken parts

I just want to know today, know today, know today
I just want to know something today
I just want to know today, know today, know today
Know that maybe I will be ok

Open me up and you will see
I’m a gallery of broken hearts
I’m beyond repair, let me be
And give me back my broken parts

Just give me back my pieces
Just give them back to me please
Just give me back my pieces
And let me hold my broken parts

I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok
I just want to be ok today
I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok
I just want to be ok today

I just want to feel today, feel today, feel today
I just want to feel something today
I just want to know today, know today, know today
Know that maybe I will be ok
Know that maybe I will be ok
Know that maybe I will be ok

Put your burdens down

Put your burdens down

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

Sometimes I forget he ever cheated and then I hit a wall.

loveyThe first half of my weekend was filled with a blizzard–kids home from school, I was preparing for a long weekend possibly without power, all while having some hot sex with my husband. In fact, we joked that if I wasn’t on birth control we would probably be pregnant by the end of the blizzard. We kept settling the kids to play video games or watch a movie and then we’d run off to the bedroom for some kinky, raw sex. Each time I felt his hands on my hips, thrusting harder into my body I was pushed beyond euphoria. At one point during the Friday evening I realized that I forgot he had an affair. Even when I reminded myself, I let it go and still felt calm and happy. I just read about the female orgasm and a study done in the Netherlands. Apparently, when the clitoris becomes stimulated the female begins to shut down the part of her brain that controls anxiety and fear and when she climaxes all emotional activity in the brain shuts down completely. Now it’s all making sense to me. My husband and I had sex six times between Friday morning and Saturday morning (a twenty-four hour period). I was elated, on top of the world. I was not only happy–I was super horny. I could not wait for him to touch me again. Tease me. Punish me. My mind was racing with fantasies and I was telling him all of them… .

But then on Saturday the daily chores kicked in and we had to shovel out of the ten feet of snow in our yard. We went outside to clear the driveway and un-bury our cars (we aren’t lucky enough to have a garage). The kids were playing in the neighborhood with their friends–sledding, trekking around, climbing the snow banks–enjoying the mountain of snow. When we finished shoveling, we headed back inside and I made some coffee and cocoa. I wanted to snuggle up together and watch a movie. My husband said he would sit with me but he had to do work while we watched the movie. It was now seven hours since the last time we had sex. Seven hours doesn’t seem like a long time but, remember, we were snowed in all weekend. We made dinner and ate with the kids enjoying each other’s stories from the day. So the night went on and my husband went back to his work with me laying at his side helping him go over some marketing materials. But he wasn’t making a move on me, he seemed content to work and make love later.

fear

When eleven o’clock arrived I was irritable and the fear began to set in. I started asking questions about the OW and him. And then I found something out that I didn’t know. He told me that before their relationship became physical and he believed it was a friendship they discussed her ending marriage. I may have already mentioned this but she asked him if he was happy in  his marriage. He told the OW that he was very happy but if he had one complaint it was that our sex life had decreased through the years. At this time, we were having sex only 2-3 times a month and while I admit this is not enough–I do believe it is completely normal to go through highs and lows in a marriage. I thought it was because we were both too busy and exhausted and needed to make more time. My husband believed this was how our sex life would be for the rest of our lives (he says he was okay with it but missed the days when I was friskier). Let me point out–he never told me any of this. But he told her. What I didn’t know that I found out last night is that she began to ask him every time she saw him:

Were you and your wife intimate this weekend?

It was a common question for her to ask him and he didn’t feel at all strange about telling her if we had sex or not. I felt violated finding out this piece of information. That some woman who was interested in my husband had full knowledge of when I was having sex with him. I don’t even tell my best friend this information–maybe I tell her a few times a year–but never do I reveal our calendar of sex to anyone. And if someone asked me–I don’t even know if I would tell the truth or if I would tell them to mind their own business. He told her the truth every time. He says he told her to make her realize that we were having sex. I told him that she was not going to be deterred by our sex life–she was now knowledgable about something highly personal in our lives. She had inserted herself into our bedroom. And without him even realizing it, it was now affecting our sex life in a negative manner. I don’t have a calendar of our sexual activity but I can tell you it began to diminish even more and throughout his sexual affair.

He also revealed that one of her conditions was him telling her if he had sex with me. He says that he never outright told her that we had sex but that she always figured it out. He claims that he would retreat from their relationship and be unresponsive to phone calls, text messages and emails and then she would ask him: “Did you have sex with your wife?” He maintained he only told her the truth to let her know that he was being intimate with me–because he claims he constantly told her that he loved me. He claimed he hoped that her knowing we were having sex would make her stop offering it to him.

I started crying. I looked my husband in the eye and told him that it’s amazing that her condition was knowing if or when we were intimate but he is married to me. My expectation in our marriage is that if he was ever intimate with another woman he would tell me. I deserved the knowledge of where his penis had been–NOT HER! I asked him if he ever thought that he didn’t need to answer her gd questions and he said he felt like if he was honest it would turn her off and she would leave.

I realize that men don’t understand women. I realize men are clueless. But when I explained to him that the knowledge of our sex life may at first be hurtful to her it became a tool for her to manipulate him too. If she knew when we were having sex then she could try to control that from not happening by offering him more sex. She knew he wanted more sex–that was his only complaint about our marriage, right? So if she offers him more sex than I do–she might win him, right?

Well, it was a good try Bat-Shit, but you didn’t steal my husband by offering him sex. He never wanted you and he still maintains you were a bore in the bedroom. That’s why he pictured me to orgasm–or faked one to get out of your house. And that’s why he couldn’t get an erection sometimes–even with your mouth sucking his cock he couldn’t get an erection. That has NEVER happened to us. 

I was angry and I felt violated. I am trying to move past the brick wall that was dropped on my head last night. I guess finding out these details isn’t a game-changer… I just wonder where my husband’s judgment was when he was involved with her–telling her when and if we were intimate.

Infidelity Trax/The A-Sides: Jason Mraz – I Won’t Give Up

Music is a crazy thing after you experience infidelity. It either empowers you are breaks your heart all over again. My A-Sides Trax are the ones that give you hope and empower you. The B-Sides are when you want to cry and feel the pain.

Like most people, I sit at my desk in my office listening to Pandora while I work. About a week after my d-day, I was working away when this Jason Mraz song started playing from my computer…. I clicked over to the tab with Pandora and started reading the lyrics, tears streaming down my face. I copied all the lyrics into an email and send them to my husband and he immediately responded with love. … It was the first time I gave him hope. It was the first time I told him I wasn’t going to give up. That was his fear… that he had done so much damage that I couldn’t see an “us” anymore. Some people would say that I made the decision to work on the marriage too early in my healing process but I disagree. I realized there was hope for us.

I’ll never forget when this song came on the radio in our car over the holidays and all my kids began singing the song. My husband and I holding hands tightly. He pulled my hand to his and kissed it gently as a tear fell from his eye.

Our wedding song had a special meaning for both of us but this someone has proven more powerful for both of us. Here are the lyrics:

When I look into your eyes
It’s like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
Well, there’s so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you’ve come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?

Well, I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up

And when you’re needing your space
To do some navigating
I’ll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find

‘Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We’ve got a lot to learn
God knows we’re worth it
No, I won’t give up

I don’t wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I’m here to stay and make the difference that I can make
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got, yeah, we got a lot at stake
And in the end, you’re still my friend at least we did intend
For us to work we didn’t break, we didn’t burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I’ve got, and what I’m not, and who I am

I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up, still looking up.

Well, I won’t give up on us (no I’m not giving up)
God knows I’m tough enough (I am tough, I am loved)
We’ve got a lot to learn (we’re alive, we are loved)
God knows we’re worth it (and we’re worth it)

I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up