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.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

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.

53 comments:

Sherry said...

I'm just as clueless as you when you wrote this post...maybe you still feel as lost as you did then. I have known since Sept 2010 and the blade pains today as much as it did back then. I feel physically ill still to this day when I think of what my husband was doing, saying, thinking, wishing, wanting, feeling of this other woman.
:(
So I'm posting and joining you as you requested. Let's ride together.

shawn, the wife said...

So sorry for your pain, Sherry. I still beat myself for being so damn blind to all the signs of infidelity. I really need to work on forgiving myself for my stupidity.

I'm much stronger now. It took me a year to find the strength to focus on my furture and not dwell on the pain of the past. I'm lucky. For many it takes much longer. I started this blog in 12/11 14 months after DDay. At the same time, I found the Healing Heart message Boards. The support I fund there truly turned me around and put me on my current road. I call it my road to happy.
I sure hope you find your road soon.
Thanks for being here. Here is a lousy place to be but it helps to be here togther.
Hope & Hugs,
Shawn

White Trash Home and Garden said...

October 12 was my DDay too! Actually, it was my second DDay - the first was October 3, 2011. I am almost 8 months in and the pain is just as sharp as the day I found out my husband had carried on not one but two affairs during the course of 2011 (one with a good friend of mine). I'm 41, he's 40 (the OW were 28/30) with 2 kids, 12 & 7. We are in counseling and trying to reconcile. I feel so crazy so much of the time. I just don't know how to move forward.

shawn, the wife said...

WTH&G: Love that screen name!!
If it helps at all, you're not crazy. Feeling nuts is normal. Counseling will help. There are many support forums online, too. About a year after DDay,
I found the Healing Heart.
http://www.network54.com/Forum/90639/
I can't tell you how much it helped just to know I wasn't losing my mind. There were so many others there that knew EXACTLY what I was going through. They had been there and had fought their way out. Gave me hope and guidance.
Working to reconcile is moving forward and is only possible with the complete support of your WH.
It takes a lot of time. Lots of survivors tell me, you never get over it, but you will get through it. I like that.
If you need to be with people that Get It, we'll be here.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Hi. Four weeks ago today I found out that my husband of 36 years for the last 12 years had been having an affair with a woman 20 years his junior and, concurrently, for the last six months, another affair with a woman in her 50s. This is all very new for me. I never thought that he would actually do it, although I have to admit that there were many times that I believed that one day I would go into a restaurant in town and see him having an intimate lunch with some young woman.

I have been very naive, I guess. Now, of course, he says that he has been 'stupid,' (stupid to have been found out, no doubt) and that he doesn't want us to split up and will 'do anything' so that we don't. I really think that he doesn't want to lose his comfortable life - that he still has because he's still in the family home and nothing, in reality, has changed for him.

He says that the affairs are over but I don't think that I will ever believe a word from him again. He's trying to put a gloss on it all and attempting to create a 'normality' but I don't believe that he's understood the enormity of what he's done.

I don't know how to make things better or how to guide him, apart from seeing a counsellor (that we are doing) and shoving every piece of internet advice in his face!

He can't empathise or put himself into my shoes. He simply doesn't have the emotional intuition. That's the hardest thing: the arrogance, callousness and egocentricity.

Where do I go from here?

shawn, the wife said...

Anonymous: First....just inhale and exhale. Breathe deep and slow and quiet your mind for a moment. 4 weeks post DDay is a vicious time, unbelievably hard. Don't try to make any big decisions yet. Right now, just take care of you. You get to decide if you want to try and rebuild your marriage. Glad to hear you are in counceling. It is possible to make a marriage stronger after infidelity. (I know, impossible to believe right now, but it happens)
Please be very clear with your wayward husband. He must know exactly what you need to help you heal. His words don't mean anything. He has proven himself to be a liar. His actions will show you his true intentions. Complete transparency in his life will help you feel safe.
I don't think many Cheaters ever really get how badly they have damaged us. Many of them struggle with their own issues...why did I cheat?...I feel so guilty...blah, blah, blah. They have to deal with that mess before they can truly be there for us.
So, for now, let us be there for you. Also, please check out the Healing Heart message boards. It is very intimate, filled with compassionate, supportive people that get it.
http://www.network54.com/Forum/233195/
I'm so, so sorry you are struggling. Be kind to yourself. Time is your friend. It WILL get better.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Hi Shawn. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. We have an ocean between us...

My problem is that I actually don't know what I need to help me heal.... I think that this is a really difficult concept. Any ideas?

Interesting that all the help sites are in the USA and none appear in the UK. What does that mean, I wonder?!

Best,

shawn, the wife said...

Anonymous: You should give me a name or your initials. You can be anyone you want online.

Now...what you need to heal? You're going to MC (marriage counseling). That's a huge start, but maybe you should try IC (individual counseling), too.

No one can tell you what you need. Only you can figure that one out. I can share with you what worked for me.

1. Lots of marriage counseling. In those sessions Richard was very open and honest. He participated willingly and completely. Actually, he asked me to go.
2. Total transparency. I had complete access to his computer and phone at all times. I knew his complete schedule and as much as I hated it...I checked up on him frequently at first.
3. I needed to be alone sometimes. I took a few nights away for myself. Usually no more than 2 nights at a time. Great excuse for a little spa treatment! Richard stayed with the kids at home.
4. Richard has done everything I've asked and some of the things were harsh. Telling his sisters, talking to Jaymie's dad, giving up his best friend. I needed those things partly because I needed to know he was truly willing to earn my forgiveness and partly because punishing him felt REALLY GOOD!

So...that's a start. Hope some of it helps. I still say the most important thing is the actions of your WH. He has to own what he did and learn why he did it so it never happens again.

It is weird that all the sites about infidelity are in the US. Thank God for the web! We can help each other from anywhere! Stay strong!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Shosh said...

Hi Shawn,

Interesting that both our husbands are lawyers. Mine high achieving, charismatic, centre of attention seeking, larger than life personality. Ego, ego, ego. My problem is that I have a morbid desire to know the ins and outs of the affair: where they did it, how they did it and when. He gives me snippets, withholds some and I just become incensed! I've felt such a jolt to my very essence. This was going on for 12 years!

He says that 'it wasn't so often... maybe three times a year...'. So that's at least 36 times for full-on sex and whatever kind and type and position that you want over twelve years. It was also lunches and coffees and phone calls and emails and texting and... You name it. It's eating me up inside. He still (I do believe) cannot get his head around entirely that it was WRONG!

He hasn't told anyone in his family and none of his friends know, so basically he's unscathed by it all and that eats me up too!

So we'll go to counselling together and he's looking for a personal counsellor too but where do you ever regain trust and belief and respect? As much as he says that he's 'always loved me and put me first', he was making arrangements all these years to see her - even if it was from time to time and not consistently.

Does he 'own' what he did? Only now that he's been found out. Who should tell his family? Him or me because I really, really think that they need to know who this man is.

I used to be this really strong person. I've had a lot of stuff thrown at me over the years - in fact I had a book published about it four years ago. This is far, far worse. The realisation that someone who I thought I knew and loved could have been unfaithful with four different women during a marriage is just too much to absorb.

I have to decide whether there's enough to salvage. At the moment I'm doubtful - but then I'm completely nuts!

Thanks for sharing with me.

Maybe I should start a blog here in the UK - I already write a blog under my real name but don't want to overlap yet - although I've posted a couple of things there recently that can be read differently...

Best,
'Shosh'

Emotional Tornado said...

After several years of mental self torment and thinking I was losing my mind or seriously paranoid, I found out about not only my husband's affair, but a 7 yr old child. The Dday was Oct 26, 2008. Now more than three years later and so much crap deeper, I am still a mess.

I'm on this roller coaster, like it or not. I'm still married. Getting close to doing this blog thing also to get the demons out of my head.

I've only started reading this, will be going through it in the next few days. I hope to get some insight from you, maybe just feel more normal in my craziness.

I am thankful to those like you who are strong enough to share with the rest of us.

shawn, the wife said...

Shosh: I kept telling Richard I wanted him gone for at least 4 months after DDay. He still thinks I might change my mind and toss his ass out anyday! I couldn't think straight the first year! So many emotions that I had never experienced before. Before DDay, I was decisive, sure of myself, lacking in patience and a bit controlling.

Toss all that out. The girl needs to reinvent herself. It takes a lot of time. You'll probably love him more than you ever have one day and want to bury him in the back yard the next. That's normal. Don't let it freak you out.

About his family....I made Richard tell his family. I threatened to throw him out if he didn't. That's gonna be my next post. I was BIG on ultimatums.
Not the best technique for reconciliation.

You should talk about who to tell in counseling. If what you're looking for is some type of punishment for WH, that would do it, but it might not help your relationship. If your looking for him to own his crimes to validate your pain, he can do that by showing you everyday how sorry he is, never lying to you again and by making every detail of his life available to you, total transparency.
Hope some of that helps. You can email me from my profile page anytime!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn, the wife said...

Emotional Tornado: Now that is a perfect metaphor!

There is no limit on how long it takes to deal with all the turmoil of infidelity. A 7 year old, huh? So sorry. That's brutal. How long as he known about the child? Was the affair ongoing after the child was born?

Are you in counseling? Hope so. Does your WH want to save your marriage? Is he willing to do the work required?

I'm glad you found us. We'll be here for you!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Emotional Tornado said...

Shawn,
My WH knew about the child the whole time. He was supporting him and part of his life. Thankfully he saved documentation of most of it. We wasn't declared the father until after I knew and pushed him to take care of it before we had a legal disaster on our hands too.

He says he wants to save the marriage. I've only had one session with a counselor. Shortly after I learned of all of this, WH lost his job. So many jobs lost around here. He has since worked out of state most of this time. It hard to heal your marriage when you seem them only 1wknd every month or two. That is what has delayed the healing so much. There have been lingering issues with a "friend" who is female who knew about this the whole time. He talked to her about it while keeping secrets from me. The affair with the baby momma ended before she even knew she was pregnant.

I recently found out that "friend" has been in contact with him again. I'm not dealing with it well.

I know I need counseling. Lots of it. But there isn't the money. At times I think we are getting there, and then something tips my boat over again. I haven't slept a decent night in about a month now, since I found out about the most recent contact. I don't trust him. It's even harder to trust someone you don't see or touch very often. I still love him. But I am a mess right now trying to get through this.

I appreciate the chat, no one around here gets it. Many don't know because I couldn't deal with telling anyone at the time. Now I still haven't had the strength to do it. The OC lives out of state now, so he isn't with us as much now.

Holding onto my marriage and wanting to heal it, wanting WH to be able to be home so we can work through this. I think I need to look into HH also.

shawn, the wife said...

ET: First..well done with covering the legal issues of paternity. So important!
Second: If you can find a BAN meeting in your area, those are usually next to free and can be very helpful. http://www.beyondaffairs.com/BAN_support_groups.htm

Or, try one of the many online support sites. I love the Healing Heart. It's smaller than most, very personal and intimate. You get to 'know' the posters.
http://www.network54.com/Forum/233195/

Many people from all sides of the infidelity triangle post on Surviving Infidelity.com
https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp
You will certainly find many others that know your pain and will be there to support you and offer any advice they can provide.
Plus...stick around here. We care and we are stronger together!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Hi all, what a relief to find this blog. I'm 33 with a 3.5 yr old and in August 2011 I found out about my husbands 4 yr affair. Reading all these posts helps me process. I thought I was dealing with it well lately but then I found 'her' on Facebook and I'm back to square one emotionally. Thinking of you all.
E x

shawn, the wife said...

Welcome E x: I can not imagine trying to ride the roller coaster from hell alone, so I'm very glad you found us. So, so sorry that you need the support at all. So sorry for your struggle.
I don't claim to know ALL about recovering from an affair, but I do know this....'SHE' is not important! We refer to 'HER' as the OW (other woman) or my favorite BW (bitch-whore). Not to say we all wouldn't love to ruin her life, may her pay, see her suffer....she just ain't worth the effort! Dragging her sorry ass back into your life can only bring you extra heartache. Goodness knows, we don't need any more of that! Try to let her go.
Take good care of you. Hopefully, your WH (wayward husband) is working to help you heal. If you can, seek counseling. And...stick around here. We get it and we want to help.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Shosh said...

Hi Shawn,

I've been away for the past 12 days and had no way to respond to these posts. I feel punch-drunk. It transpires that my husband has had eight, yes 8, affairs over the last 20 years. The one with the girl 20 years his junior lasted for 12 years until I found out. It appears that the two of them were completely compatible sexually - they fulfilled each and every sexual fantasy invented. I got him to tell me everything. I know what they did and where and how and how long it took and what they used and how it felt.

I don't know whether it's right that I probed so much but I HAD to know! I think it was ultimately cathartic. When she was pregnant with her children they didn't see each other for 18 months each time, so he had affairs to 'make up' for it! Extraordinary.

He really doesn't see completely why I'm so shocked! A lot of the time it was simply, simply sex and he couldn't equate what he was doing with someone else with having a wife at home.

I have to admit that our sex life was pretty pedestrian, so in some ways I don't blame him - high libido, sexually very active, emotionally insecure, egocentric - you name it.

He's going to go to a psycho-sexual counsellor. He realises that he has a problem vis a vis commitment and loyalty and that he knows that he needs to be able to stop himself when another willing female answers his need or when he's desperate to get back in touch with the 12 year affair. i don't think that she will be able to stop being in contact with him.

I'm also going to see someone for myself. I certainly need to understand what's happening here. As it is, I don't intend giving up my marriage so that he will install someone else in my place! I'm going to try and work it out somehow and get the best out of it for myself as I can. The alternatives are far too painful and, ultimately, would be a pyrrhic victory.

An excellent blog. Thanks.
Shosh

shawn, the wife said...

Shosh: You truly impress me with your decisive nature! You're a real fighter! I love that!

So glad to hear you are both seeking counseling. I can't imagine how couples survive infidelity without it.

I gotta send up a little warning shot for you....Now that you KNOW all the sordid details, those evil images could be obsessive. If you find yourself focusing on what he did with her, try, try , TRY to redirect your thinking. I tried to switch my brain to What he has done with ME since DDay. It takes practice and it sure ain't full proof, but it helps.

They young BW your WH was doing... Does she have a whole family unit? If so, does her husband know what a little whore bag she is?? I'm not saying you should tell him, many betrayed spouses think you should, but I was just curious. To me, dragging the BW back into the mix is like shooting yourself in the foot. It won't kill ya, but it just makes life harder.
Good luck with the therapy. Please let us know how it goes.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Ros Morris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shosh said...

Shawn: The BW does have a family unit: A husband and two small children. She would send the kids to kindergarten and my spouse would go over there while the hubby was at work and the kids away and they would bang away together for hours. She is not a nice woman. She continually tries to get back in touch with him on all kinds of pretexts - ok, admittedly I did send her some rather nasty texts - but she deserved them. She seems to think that SHE is the injured party here and contacts my husband to ask HIM to tell ME not to send them!

What's WITH these women? The other one wanted a long term relationship with him too. When he told her that it was over and that he was going to make things better between US, she became incensed and wrote an email to him, "You will have to live with the life you have chosen... Will you find happiness in this life you caved into last week? You know that you and I had a chance at happiness if you'd have been brave enough to back up your words with actions." He said, of course, that he never gave her the impression that he would ever leave me... Men say one thing and mean another and that's to ALL their women!

There is really a book here. I'll have to get my head around it sometime.

I hinted to his mother (when she finally rang me) that 'things were not right.' I asked her to remove a photo of spouse and me from her shelf. She told me that I was 'bitter' and couldn't understand why. I told her that her son was not perfect. She said, 'What's he done that's so bad and made you so bitter?' I said, 'Use your imagination...' She replied: 'I can't imagine that he could have done anything so terrible. I can't imagine that he would have an affair...' Just wait until she knows that there have been EIGHT affairs at least and that one of them has lasted (and to all intents and purposes) is still lasting for over twelve years! I'd like to see her face then...

Ok. I'm getting angry. Shouldn't be but writing it makes me so.

By the way, do I email from your profile page on the front page of your blog?

Thanks for reading and replying. Until I start my own therapy, it's a spot where I guess that I can rant a bit! I've made copious notes.

Oh, and by the way, I checked his phone last night. Yup, an email exchange between them. Him APLOGISING to her about the heinous text I sent her and then calling her to 'find out if she was alright!' You can't make it up.

shawn, the wife said...

(((Shosh))) You must be a very tough cookie. If my WH had been apologizing for all the crap I did to BW, he would have found all of his clothes on fire in the front yard.
Have you agreed to a no-contact rule? That means NO ONE contacts BW. If you need to get new phones, do it. If you need to shut down emails addresses, do it. If you need to threaten to tell her husband about the A to get her to back off...DO IT! To move forward she must be GONE! If your WH husband can't agree to no contact, then he is not ready to fully commit to your marriage. You may need to try the 180. If you aren't familiar with it...here's some info.
http://www.network54.com/Forum/233195/thread/1302875291/last-1339174629/The+180
This works well if you want to reconcile but WH isn't on board.
You can email me from my profile page. which is on the blog homepage. Just click my screen name and then on the profile page, you will find the 'email me'
info. Also...please utilize the new support boards...
http://afterthebetrayal.com/
You will be surrounded by compassion and understanding. You can ask questions, tell your story or just bitch and moan about the whole damn mess! We're here for you, Babe!!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Shosh said...

Hi Shawn. Yup, I'm one tough cookie. Have had to be over the years. Life has thrown all sorts of stuff at me and I've had to be the strong one to get through it.

He can't get a new phone number because it's a work one that all his clients know and that she knows and his work one isn't difficult to find either.

Emails: Likewise - although he has a private email address too that she knew the password to! Even I didn't know that. Extraordinary...
Can't even see his mobile phone records because it all goes through his office. Clever, huh...

He's blocked her email address but she can always come up with a new one. She won't let him alone. It's now a struggle to the death for her. She's going to be a woman scorned. It's not going to be pretty. All sorts of other stuff will come out of the woodwork.

I saw the support boards and will post an entry at a later stage.

shawn, the wife said...

Shosh: Just tell me this...does her husband know? If not...why not? If so, does he know she is still contacting your WH?
Plus...did you read about the 180? I really think that might be the way to go for you right now.
Good luck. Sure wish I could wave a wand and make all the shit fly toward BW!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Shosh said...

I don't know if the husband knows. I don't know how to find him and tell him. I wish that I could. She told my spouse that she had told her husband but I don't believe her. What's the best way of letting the husband know?

I read the 180. Some of it makes sense. He says that there will be no contact. That he wants to do everything to get our marriage back. I told him that I don't want to be manipulated and that he shouldn't say stuff that he thinks that I want to hear.

He told his mother - but only about one of the affairs. I filled her in on the others. He went to the therapist for the first time yesterday - now he has another private life there too...

sapphire said...

hi shawn,

it's been a year since i found out about the infidelity. my husband, with whom i have high respect, who i look up to as near to "perfect", was involved with a call girl, a prostitute for 4 years without me having the slightest idea. he was 57 at that time, the girl was still 17, a student. i found out thru his cellphone (i don't normally read his messages). but still, it was not a confession because he told me this girl was quite a flirt and he just answered her messages in jest. the following day, i found condoms in his bag which totally left me numb, speechless & incapable of thinking clearly. little by little, i delved thru his other phones. i found out he has another SIM card in his wallet. i went thru our phone bills & foudn out he'd been calling this girl. i saw pictures in his phone of this girl, posing for him, in a motel room. i cannot digest each & every information that came flooding in. i texted the girl, asking her to help me out, to identify herself, because i really have to know what's going on. i told her i would not be judgmental & that this is not her fault. luckily, she asked me to call her & answered all the questions i have in my mind. they had been going out for 4 years now. sometimes when they have sex, he wanted to capture it in video but she refused. i even suggested that we meet & she obliged. i saw their meeting place & the motel they often checked into. all the sordid details. when i confronted my husband, he cannot deny it anymore but he told me i should not have done what i did - because the girl was paid for - it was just paid sex. i could not understand him telling me he loves me & banging another woman behind my back. i resorted to texting him using another number, telling him i was her (the girl), and he still responded that he will call me the following day. when he did, he found out it was really me. i could have left him then & there, but he begged & cried for me not to leave him. we have tried to work on the relationship. there are times i feel ok, but most of the time, there are flashbacks of what went on behind closed doors - things i imagine. the worst part is that my timeline now reverts automatically to the year they started seeing each other & telling myself what i fool i had been. i don't know when i can totally heal. this feeling sucks! i hope i can move on. i know he's really sorry for what he did, but i cannot trust him completely now. is it true that "once a cheater, always a cheater?" thanks for this blog, shawn. and thanks for haering me out. God bless you. i am from the philippines.

shawn thewife said...

((Sapphire)) I started this blog about a year after DDay. I was such a wreck. Writing out my story felt like a last resort to get my life back. Now I know, a year is not long at all when you have been betrayed by the person you trusted and love most in the world.
I'm going to try and give you a few suggestions to help you move forward. Nothing is worse than being stuck dwelling on the affair. You need to focus on you. Take care of you.
Are you in MC? Are you in IC? It is almost mandatory to get professional help. Is your wayward husband giving you total access to his phone/computer and schedule? Most betrayed wives require that to feel safe. Is he willing to answer all your questions? Does he comfort you when you're sad or angry or scared? He should. He needs to allow you to feel whatever you feel and be there to accept the damage he caused.
Your trust for him, or any man really, may never be the same. It won't be for me. I have learned to trust but verify! No more blind trust! Never again.
And...MOST important!! Stay away from OW!! Don't call her. Don't text her. PLEASE just let her go. She doesn't want to help you. I can't imagine she would be honest with you. Talk to your Husband instead. Set boundaries with him. Try to create a the safest place possible in your relationship for you to begin to recover.
On the homepage of the blog are links to two message boards, the Healing Heart & After the Betrayal. These forums are filled with many people that have been where you are and they will answer any question, anytime with compassion. Both boards are very easy to navigate and are FULL of support. Please check them out.
One more thing...you can email me privately. You will find a link to my email on my profile page. When you get to my Google Plus profile page, click ABOUT. Under the pics of people in my circles is a small link to my email. I certainly don't claim to be a professional, but I sure understand the pain. If that qualifies me as someone that might be able to help you, I'm all in.
Hang on, Sapphire. It can get better. Your marriage can be stronger when you come out the other side of the affair, but you both gotta do the work. All of us here will be sending you tons of positive healing vibes!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Sapphire: One more thing!! We've all heard "Once a Cheater Always a Cheater". For some, I'm sure that's true. For most, I don't buy into it.
Good people sometimes do dumb ass, rotten things for all the wrong reasons. After colossal mistakes, good people show remorse and sincere effort to redeem themselves.
Only actions of the cheater will show if they will ALWAYS cheat. I'm hoping Richard has the capacity to be a totally honest man. The jury is still out. It's about actions, not just words.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Hi Shawn,

I have been married for 20 years and have 3 children. My husband had a 2 year emotional affair with his massage therapist. He wrote a "book" about her, and poems to the "face that launched a thousand ships" etc. I found out 1 1/2 years ago. I gave him a new computer with spyware installed, and found out he was saying bad things about me to everyone. And I had saved his life after his heart attack while he went from successful manager to being disabled. I did everything around the house and worked too. It was a double load and very hard on me. Now I want to leave but I don't have the money, and I don't want him to have custody because he was verbally abusive to my 14 year old, calling her names and cussing her out every day.

He found out about the spyware and had it uninstalled. He passcoded his computer and phone. And he saw the massage therapist last week for the first time in a year and lied about it!!!! I feel so depressed and have low self esteem.

Pearl

shawn thewife said...

(((Pearl)))
I am so sorry for your pain. You have some very difficult choices to make. The depression and self-esteem issues are completely normal for those of us that have suffered such heinous betrayal. Can you seek the help of a qualified therapist? In times as difficult as these, counseling is like a lifejacket. You don't absolutely need it to stay afloat, but it sure makes keeping your head above water a hell of a lot easier!
Most therapists will tell you not to make any big decisions until at least 6 months after DDay,but it sounds as though your DDay was over 18 months ago so perhaps you know what you want or, at least, know what you wish you could do. Knowing just the little bit you shared in your comment, if I was in your position, I would find a therapist first, then I'd find a good family law specialist and schedule a consultation just to cover my bases and know what I could expect if I wanted to separate from my spouse.
If you want to save your marriage, you both need to be in marriage counseling. Again, not essential, but extremely helpful. Your WH needs boundaries. Please don't let him steal your happiness. You can't control him, but you can control how you react to him.
You're not alone. Please check out the Healing Heart support forum. The link is at the bottom of my blog. Lots of very compassionate people much wiser than I help people like us everyday. That message board saved me.
We'll be here for you, too. The pain of this kind of trauma is much too hard to bare alone. Let us help you.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

I just found out my husband had an affair... And she may be pregnant with his baby. I am devastated. It's been almost 2 weeks and we are going to a marriage counselor. I don't know what to do or how to feel. Any advice ???? Words of Wisdom or Prayers ?!?

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: My advice is...just breathe. In and out, slowly and as calmly as you can. This is a very long, rough ride and I'm so sorry you had to get on. Strap yourself in tight. Realize that this will probably be the hardest thing you've ever done, but it will get better. You can have a stronger marriage after infidelity. It just takes a very long time.

Two important things NOT to do:
First...Do not contact the OW. As long as you are sure there is NO contact with her and your WH, for now...let her be irrelevant. You need time to focus on your WH and find some common ground so you can see if there is any way to heal your marriage. If the OW needs to contact you about a baby, use an attorney. You and your WH do NOT need to speak to her.
Next...Repeat after me...I did nothing wrong! My WH did not cheat because of anything I did. He made all the mistakes and he needs to own them.

I'm so glad you are in MC. Your WH needs to do whatever YOU need to help you begin to process HIS mess. Please consider IC, too. Taking care of you right now is paramount.

I don't want to try and tell you too much all at once, but you're gonna have a shit-ton of questions invading your sanity so please come here often if you need support. You can email me privately, too.
The Healing Heart message boards saved me from a year of turmoil. The members of that forum are compassionate, experienced and just plain ole' angels in my book. The link is at the bottom of my blog.

You are not alone. We care and we want to help. Please let us know how you're doing.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Shawn,
Thank you for your response. It helps to know I am not alone in this. I feel so alone. I have never been more devastated in my life. They were only involved for 2 months. But he got involved in her life with her kid. It would be easier if it was a one night stand. I don't know where to start. My world as I knew it is shattered in a million pieces and I don't know if they will go back together.... And if they do they will certainly never be the same. Thanks for your blog!
Devastated

Anonymous said...

Shawn do I make the affair public.... Air our dirty laundry? So far no one but our pastor knows and our MC. I really want to call her.... Get her side of the story. Much like you I want to know ALL the facts and gory details so I can process it all... I don't want to be blind sided by anything in the future. I also had a miscarriage during his two month affaire.... So much to deal with. Your blog has been so helpful to know there is light at the end of the tunnel. The toughts and visions of them together are relentless and pop up randomly.
Thanks again for your blog and the avenue to vent and know I am not alone in my struggle.
Devastated

shawn thewife said...

Devastated: If I had to do it over again...I wouldn't have shared the affair with anyone but my two best friends, Nikki & Julie. That's it. I think you need someone you can reach out to at anytime of the day or night when the weight of it all gets too heavy to manage alone.

Sharing my story with others online that have been exactly where you are now and where I was then made the biggest difference for me. The support, and guidance I received from the members of the Healing Heart turned on the light at the end of the tunnel for me. I told way too many people. None of them helped me.

NOW...BIG LETTERS>>>>DO NOT CONTACT THE OW!!! Her side of the story is just that...HER SIDE. Why care what she thinks? She has already proven her moral compass is way outta whack!
Nothing good can come from dragging her sorry ass back into your marriage.

The thoughts, I call them brain worms, almost destroyed me. I thought I'd lose my mind. (well, I kind of did...but I mean I thought I'd end up drooling, rocking and banging my head on a wall for hours on end!) My therapist taught me a trick. I thought it was sooooo stupid, but it actually helped. It's simple behavior modification!
When the brain worms invade, try this mantra:
I don't need to think about that now.
It will NOT help me to think about that now.
I WILL NOT think about that now.

I know...sounds lame. It takes practice, but give it a chance and a little time and you'll see. That mantra can put those brain worms into hibernation!
You're gonna be OK. You've already started to look for ways to heal. That, my friend, is a HUGE step on your Road back to Happy.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Devastated said...

Thanks for the advice. I am really trying. I keep going back and forth .... I want to ask him to leave ..... I don't know that he would ever come back. There is so much to process. I won't call her.... Although I really want to try and see if I have the whole truth... They communicated through Facebook and text and of course he deleted all the messages. I am going to pull the cell phone records. He is still very protective of his phone and won't let me look through it unless he holds it....Makes me feel like he is hiding something still. I just want the WHOLE truth .... And I don't know that I am getting that. How will I ever know....He blocked her number from his phone.... And on Facebook.... So many thoughts and fears running through my head. ..... He said he is tired of hearing about it all the time.. It's only been 18 days......It truly is one minute at a time ....thank you so much for your blog... To read of your struggles and triumphs really helps me know I am not alone.
Devastated

shawn thewife said...

Devestated: You're in MC, right? If so, how has your WH not learned that he will be hearing about this for the foreseeable future?? 18 days is not enough time for you to even begin to process what he did or for him to figure out why he did it!
I understand how you need the truth. That is the reaction most betrayed spouses have. Maybe during your next MC session you can say this:
I need the whole truth. I need you to answer my questions. It will be so much easier for me to hear the truth come from you than finding out details later. More lies would mean starting over. I need truth to begin to trust you again. I will not lash out at you. This is a safe place to tell me what I so desparately need to know.

Please talk to the therpaist. Let him know your WH is not yet aware of how long a process this can be.
Did you check out the Healing Heart? If not, please do. There are so many people there that are much better at reconciliation than I was.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

AName said...

I'm going to start from the beginning of this blog. I'm a year out of a DDay right now. In fact, I had about 5 DDay's since then. My husband saw fit to have an affair with an old high school friend. For two years. The level of deception he used on me is mind blowing. Including the broken promises, gaslighting, and refusal to remain NC with her. It reset the clock each time. So really, I'm just 6 months out from there. I'm still clueless. I SHOULD be "over it" says he. I never felt I had a heart-felt apology. And he's done nothing to be transparent. He has now locked up his AirMac AGAIN and refuses to talk to me. Oh, and one of his good friends I'll call FTFred was totally complicit in the deception and encouraged the affair. Not to mention the total vitriol I had to read about me from the OW.

I'm still totally alone. I've haven't had anyone to talk to about it. I had a therapist, but, she really wasn't that good. I left therapy.

Thanks for listening.

shawn thewife said...

(((AName))) You found a safe place here. We all understand your struggle. You do not have to deal with the pain alone.

I don't want to assume anything about your situation, but it sounds as though you are aware that healing can not begin with out true remorseful behavior from your WH. Have you been able to have open communication with your WH at all? Does he know what you need, what you require for possible reconciliation? If he thinks you should be "over it", he doesn't get it.

PLEASE go to the Healing Heart message boards. The link is at the bottom of my blog. READ! You will learn how others that have been exactly where you are have managed to find their Roads to Happy.
For me, the members of that support forum were my life line....SO much better than my therapist!!
Of course you can always write here, too, or email me privately. The Road back to Happy can be wicked. It's easier if you walk with friends.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

I just read this blog, never gotten into blogging. It's been 10 months of the worst roller coaster ride of my life. Its good to hear other women going through the same feelings. I have just finished individual counseling. It helped a lot because I found my own identity again. He is trying everything to make it up to me and make things right but I just wonder if the anger will ever subside. I know its gotten better, but some days it's like I'm a ticking time bomb and only towards him.

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: I'm glad you found us. The Road back to Happy after an affair is much easier to travel with friends that understand your struggle.

Don't know how much of my blog you have read, but my anger lasted well over a year. I was a Crazy Town resident for way too long! I could not find a way to begin healing until after I found others that could support me because they knew my pain. Just knowing there were other betrayed spouses that had survived the aftermath of infidelity gave me hope.
The beginning of healing is Accepting what happened THEN while focusing on NOW.
You can have a better marriage after DDay. Hard to imagine, but I'm living proof.
You're not alone. There are many readers here that care.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

7 years ago my husband had an affair. He slept with her twice, his story. He talked to her and saw her several times. I forgave him even though he refused to discuss his affair. NOW, last year I had a 2 month affair and slept with the Guy several times. Husband wants to talk my affair constantly and wont forgive me. Doesn't seem fair to me!

Anonymous said...

7 years ago my husband had an affair. He slept with her twice, his story. He talked to her and saw her several times. I forgave him even though he refused to discuss his affair. NOW, last year I had a 2 month affair and slept with the Guy several times. Husband wants to talk my affair constantly and wont forgive me. Doesn't seem fair to me!

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: A Fair is where you take livestock to be judged. There is nothing fair about infidelity. The fact that you healed more quickly from his betrayal has no bearing on how he will heal from yours.
Seems like both of you could benefit from MC.
Sure couldn't hurt.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Mela said...

My first Antiversary is closing in, and here's what I'm gonna do:
I'll make a tattoo on my body that says "Here lies a girl whose heart has been scarred."
I've been wanting to make those tats, just couldn't decided on the "when". Now I've figured it out.

It would serve as a reminder, both to him and to me.
To him, so he'd be reminded to what a fucker he had been and hopefully, so he wouldn't ever betrayed me again.
To me, so I know that heartbreak is something I can get over with.
After all, his betrayal was not the first I had to endure.

shawn thewife said...

Mela! Love the tat idea! There is a betrayed spouse on the Healing Heart forum that has a tag line under her signature...My Heart is Broken. My Spirt is Not.

I love that! If I wasn't too scared of the pain of a tat I might consider inking those words but I would change one thing...Mine would say My Heart WAS broken.

Whatever helps you walk forward on the Road to Happy is a very good thing!!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Trust Broken 1972 said...

I can't believe I just found your blog. I'm in about 18 months after finding out. I stopped therapy about a year ago and found it weird that I called to go back a year later and as soon as I leave a message for her I find your blog. I figured I would be in a better place than I am right now. After reading ALL your posts I realize it's ok. Thank you for starting this and sharing your story!! My husband and I have been married 18 years and together since high school and have 3 children. It's funny how that date (August 23, 2012) has become a new date stuck in my head, like one of my children's birthdays. August 23rd 2012 the day my life changed forever! Oh I handled everything with class, sent one email that made her cry and have never contacted her since. Why is it now, 18 months later that just not seem to be enough? I'm ready to create a greeting card that I can send on the anniversary every year. But I don't. I don't want her to know she is still such a huge part of my life. I won't go into long detail, but I am dealing with an issue (the reason for my call to the therapist a year later). See this woman lives in my town, has a daughter the same age as mine (they were friends). I have managed to point my daughter in another direction but it's getting hard to say no to parties this girl has, or groups/activities she hangs in. Any suggestions? It's bad enough I see the slut most days around town, but to actually run into her . . . I just don't know if I could keep my mouth shut.
Thanks for any advice you can provide. And THANK YOU again for sharing your story, I found it at just the right time!

shawn thewife said...

Trust Broken 1972: I'm glad you found us and that you think we might be able to help you find your Road to Happy.
You already know where to start. You said, "I don't want her to know she is still such a huge part of my life." You asked for advice, so here it comes....
Only you can allow her to remain such a huge part of your life. You are stronger than you think. You won't crumble if you see her. You won't lose it on her like a rabid animal either! (even though I know that sounds like too much fun!) Your WH didn't cheat because of her. She could have been any easy open legged target. Only you can give her power over you. Once you let her go...you take back control. It feels so good!!
You can hold your head up! You did nothing wrong!! I would go as far as to say if you had to drop your daughter off at her house for a sleep over and she saw you at her door...She would SHIT herself!!
Please let me know if you have specific questions. You can email me: shawnthewife@aol.com
Or...check out the Healing Heart message boards. The people there are so amazingly supportive and they always have wonderful words of wisdom to share. They saved me. The link is at the bottom of my blog.
It will get easier. There is no time frame set in stone for healing after infidelity. What you feel is normal and how you choose to heal is the right way. You're not alone. We all benefit from walking the Road to Happy together.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Broken but fighting..... said...

It's been 6 months and 8 days since DD for me. Unlike most I didn't discover but had a feeling something wasn't right. He told me about it he had already ended it and it was just physical several times. She was easy and gave him attention I couldn't because we have children a home and well just real life. He has been nothing but coroperative during everything I have full access to everything he checks in daily upon arrival to and from work and throughout the day. I was blindsided the mean came out of me I busted things broke things threw things tore up his truck I went stark raving lunatic mad but hey he was lucky it was things and not him. He went to his parents for the night so he could think and I was beside myself nineteen years of marriage and for a BW trashy and nasty. Not gonna make excuses he was in a bad time in his life and he is not a talker and I am his best friend died and he didn't communicate so his head was total screwed up but no excuses for infidelity whatsoever in this marriage.

There is hop I think sometimes I wonder. I seen a man I had only seen cry at the birth of our children and at the loss of o e of our children cry uncontrollably several times. I stopped wearing my wedding band and told him when I can forgive I will put it back on until then I won't wear it. I forgave him but he has a long way to go to ever earn my trust again. I love this man with everything in me but I won't be walked on or come second ever again.

Thanks
Bro kent fighting......

Anonymous said...

To correct a few errors from broken....,his best friend died but since DD I have became his best friend. I know their is hope. Thanks for the email. You now know who I am, your a brave and wonderful woman I stayed up for hours reading your blog.

Much love
Broken

Nermine Naboulsi said...

OMG i nearly cried when i read your blog because your story and your feelings are the same of mine its been a year though and i cant get over it although my husband is doing everything to make it better....but i feel like my life is meaningless and nothing i mean nothing can make me happy anymore.

Anonymous said...

merry Christmas and happy New year... YEA RIGHT!!!!! I can not believe I am here AGAIN!! YUP six years ago I found out my husband had been cheating.. and with multiple partners... Much like your post that day six years ago was just a normal day... came back from the dentist and found the hidden phone. he promised to work on it and yes he did... he actually classified himself as a sex addict.. LUCKY ME!! any way.. a year in SAA group and all is forgotten.. well not forgotten but well one day at a time. Took years to get to a new normal and when I did get to the new normal guess what... another normal freaking day and yet again I am facing this all over again. What did I do to deserve this.. We were the perfect couple, we look good together, we raise our kids together... he says he loves me and will do the SAA progam again and will do it forever but really... AGAIN?!?!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Here i am 2 months in and trawling the internet for answers! Today i am so angry at myself today, as just like you I saw all the signs and dismissed then. Red flags everywhere. I believed my husband of 23 years wouldnt go for the flirty woman at work even if she was presented naked on a silver platter. I was so wrong. And now i feel so shattered and broken i cant begin to understand it.
So sorry to anyone feeling this way, we didnt sign up for this and certainly no one deserves this level of heartbreak.

shawn thewife said...

(((Anonymous))) We know how broken you are right now. We know the agony and the desperate seach for answers. We understand your anger and your confusion. We also know you are doing the right thing by reaching out to others that have been exactly where you are today. If anything is helpful right after DDay, it is finding comfort and support with others that truly get it.
Please consider joining us on The healing Heart Message Boards. The link is at the bottom of my blog.
You can also email me anytime: shawnthewife@aol.com
You will be happy again. Your marriage can be better than it was before...or you will find a brighter future alone.
Whatever Road to Happy YOU choose, you don't have to walk alone.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn