After an affair, your life doesn't belong to you anymore. For over a year, I couldn't control my own thoughts.
The turmoil in my head was viciously repetitive but savagely random. With this blog, I began to exorcise the demons holding my head hostage.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"The Flinch"

Thought he would be home by noon.  Nope.  I had to squrim for another hour.  When he walked in the door, I was sitting at the kitchen bar with a print out of all the phone call records next to me.  I'd highlighted them.  (I had time to kill)  I'd marked days when he was obviously with her.  It was easy to tell because those were the only times when there were no calls.  I can't remember how the conversation started.  I can't really remember much about it at all.  I think I said, "Tell me everything and DO NOT lie to me."

He started telling me how he had been spending time with this girl.  I still didn't realize that it was Jaymie and that I'd met her more than once.  Told me she was only 24 and that he had told her he was only 54.   Thinking back, I heard very little of what he said.  It's what he didn't say that was alarmingly loud.  He never said, "I won't see her again."

I told him to get out.  He was shocked by that.  Can you imagine?  Not sure what he thought was gonna happen. Maybe he thought because he came home and told me the truth (or his version of it at that point) that I'd just find a way to get past it, right there and then.  I explained to him that it was what he didn't say that bought him a ticket out the door.  I really didn't want him to leave.  I kept thinking about my kids.  So, for my kids, I gave him a chance to stay.  "Call her right now, in front of me.  Tell her you can never see or speak to her again.  Then, you can stay and we'll try to figure this out."  Without even a minute to consider his answer, he told me that he couldn't do that.  He needed time to work this out his own way.  That pivotal moment in my life has become known as "the Flinch".

This is when I think I experienced the second layer of shock.  What in the hell?  How could he NOT call her?  What does that mean?  Just thinking about it now makes me swallow hard.  I challenged him.  Why can't you do it?  What is the issue?  Tell me, damn it!  Over and over.  Finally, he looked right into my eyes and admitted, "I have deep feelings for this girl."

And it just keeps getting better!  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  This man loves me, at least he has always claimed to love me.  We had a great marriage.  We were the couple everyone else wanted to be.  Does that sound like self-deception?  We sure lived the illusion, enough that I thoroughly believed in our indefectible union.  It's a huge part of the puzzle.  That fact makes the curves on the coaster bank much harder.  How can he be in love with me but want to be with her?  It took many hours of therapy to make any sense of that particular piece of my new reality.

It was time to face telling the kids.  He had to go.  I couldn't stand to look at him.  Never have I felt so many emotions at once.  Agony, despair, rage, confusion and utter disbelief all pulsed though me like acid, burning and melting my heart.
God, help me.  What would we tell our children?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Facing the Unthinkable

I barely remembering calling my dear friends, Julie & Nikki.  I know I did.  I had called them before I called "the number".  None of us knew what to do, what to say.  I think I was sobbing.  I know I was in shock.  There must be different levels of shock.  This was just the first one.  I would experience a great many more before the day was over and in the next few weeks.  One thing my friends and I agreed on was that I needed to talk to Richard pronto.

No way I could actually TALK to him right then, so I texted him.  It was short and direct.  "Come home.  We need to talk and I want to do it before the kids get home from school."  I emailed him the same message.  The response was, "Yes.  We do need to talk.  I have a client at 11:00.  I should be home by noon."  I think the son of a bitch even tried to make a joke.  Something about...Didn't need to email. I could have just texted because his phone had become part of his anatomy.  Hilarious.  The night before I had tried to get him to give me his phone so I could have it upgraded (totally lame ploy, I know.) He didn't give it up, so I made a remark about how the phone seemed to be attached to him like his manhood.

Richard has always hated confrontation.  He uses humor to diffuse uncomfortable situations.  It helps him a great deal in his work as a divorce attorney.  I hadn't shared that yet, had I?  He's a family law attorney!  He sees crap like this all the time!  He knows how cheating can destroy families.  I always thought that was one of the reasons our marriage was so great for 29 years.  He sees all the awful things that couples do to each other and he was grateful that our marriage never went to those dark places.  Until now.

It was still only about 9:00 AM.  I had a long wait ahead of me.  It felt like waiting for a loved one to come out of serious surgery.  There's nothing you can do.  You can pace.  I did that alot of that.  You watch the clock barely move. There's hand wringing and for me, a wicked stomache ache.  But, all you can do is just wait and imagine the worst, while hoping & praying for the best.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Her name is Jaymie

Dialing the number, my hands were shaking and my heart was pounding as I frantically searched my brain for the words I'd try to speak if someone actually answered the phone.  Just a couple of rings and a woman's voice, very small and sleepy said, "Hello?"  I have no idea how I was able to form words.  I had no spit and my throat felt like it was closing, but I did.  "My name is Shawn.  I'm trying to figure out why your phone number is on my mobile bill so many times."
"Sorry, I don't know."
"Well, my last name is ******.  My husband is Richard.  Does that ring a bell?"
That woke her ass up.  "Oh, Shawn!  This is Jaymie .  I used to work in Richard's office.  You know me.  We went to the Eagle's concert together."  (Little side note: I now know that when Richard offered to buy Eagle's tickets for everyone in his office and get us a limo, it was not because I wanted to go.  It was to impress her.)  "Richard has been helping me with some personal family problems."
"Well," I said, as the anger built, "that's about to come to an abrupt halt."  Clunk.  Actually, the clunk of the phone was only in my head.  Phones don't clunk these days.  You click a button and the conversation ends.  But, in my mind, I SLAMMED down the phone and threw it across the room.
Then, I pushed my back into the chair, gripped the side arms until my knuckles turned white, tried unsuccessfully to slow my breathing and felt my stomache pull up into my throat.  This was a roller coaster I would never forget, a ride I never thought I'd take.  This ride has more abysmal drops and ferocious curves than I could ever have imagined.  It's savage and it can devour you.  I knew I needed support.  This was a 911 moment for sure.  Thank God for friends.  Nurture your friendships.  If you're dealing with torture like I'm trying to describe, caring friends are imperative.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Opening My Eyes

As I mentioned, I was so unaware of what Richard was doing, ignorant to the point of absurdity.  That might sound harsh.  You might think I should lighten up on myself a bit.  Trust me, I was a fool.  It took a friend to sound the alarm.  One night we were hanging with our friends at a neighbors' home.  Richard dissappeared for a while.  I didn't notice, but Lori did.  She asked me where he went, so I said probably out for a cigarette.  I went out to check on him and found him down the street, in the dark.  As I approached, he shut his phone.  I asked who he was talking to and he said our son. I knew he was lying.  I KNEW it in my heart and soul.  I called him on it, but did I ask to see his phone to check....hell, no.  See??  Ignorant.  Luckily, I did tell Lori about the call and the lie.

By the next day, I forgot about it.  It was over two weeks later when Lori, my obviously smart friend, asked me if I ever found out who was on the phone.  At that point, I started to open my eyes.  Within 24 hours I knew he was having an affair.  It was so easy to find out.  Once I realized I couldn't get my hands on his phone, it was attached to him like an extra apendage, I just checked our cell phone records online.  It was early on a Tuesday morning.  My day off.  Glad I hadn't eaten yet.  No way I'd have kept that breakfast down.

There it all was.  Hours and hours of calls, more texts in the past month than he used to make in a year and all to the same obscure number.  Incredulous doesn't even begin to describe how I felt.  I couldn't breathe.  It might sound hokey, but the room was spinning.  Sitting at my desk, scanning the pages that proved my life would never be the same, I came to a very quick decision.  I picked up the phone.

Totally Clueless

Yep...that's pretty much been how I've felt since October 12th of 2010.  That's the day I found out that my 60 year old husband, Richard, had been....How do I say this?  Are there rules?  Cheating, having an affair, sleeping with, that all sounds MUCH too tame.  He was fucking a 24 year old that he met in a coffee/wine bar.  He worked her like the land for months trying to get in her pants.

About the clueless part, I mean that on many levels.  First, the fact that I am attempting to BLOG just screams desperation!  I can barely get my email, texting is a major challenge, Smartphones are way outta my league, but I think I'm gonna blog?
Hey, a girl can can dream.

Guess where part two of the clueless label comes in?  It's been over a year and I am just as lost as I was the first day I found out.  Feel like I've been through the ringer.  Can't seem to find a way to mend my pathetic, broken heart.  This is my out-of-the-box attempt to heal, to move forward by writing down the past and leaving it on these pages.

Clueless part three, I can not stress enough how unaware I was when Richard began the affair.  There were red flags everywhere.  Hell, there were freakin' flares!  He had been working a lot more. He whitened his teeth.  He dyed his hair.  He lost a lot of weight.  He joined CrossFit, fitness boot camp.  He SHOPPED and bought new clothes!!  Shopped??  Richard??  PLEEEZE! After 30 years of taking care of this man, where had my brain gone?  I will never be able to forgive myself for being so clueless.  BTW...clueless also equals:  trusting, naive, blind and just plain stupid.

If anybody reading is trying to find your way through the anguish of betrayal, my hope is that we can rebuild our lives together.  This blog will start with the beginning, the initial impact.  I'll try to share as much as I remember.  It helps to know you're not alone in this devastating experience.  The emotions we feel are normal.  At times I sure feel crazy but I've learned my brain is trying to protect me by not letting all the havoc of the affair in at once.  Our brains are not equipped to deal with so much torment.

Please post.  Please join me.  I don't want to ride this roller coaster alone.  That's why I'm here.  Gotta shake it up to shake it off.  Keep reading.   I'll tell you how a good friend helped me wake up and smell the stench of adultery.