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.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rough Night...for Me Anyway.

He left.  I went in to talk to the kids.  Told them not to worry.  Yea, right.  Told them I was sure Daddy and I would work this out, we just needed some space and a little time.  I was sure putting up a strong front.  In reality, my insides were melting.  Took the kids to Wendy's for a quick drive-through dinner.  My dinner came in liquid form.

I finally got into bed around 10:00.  Sleep would have been such a blessing, but I wasn't gonna get that lucky.  This is the part of day one that gets fuzzy.  Might be because I drank my dinner.  Don't remember who called who.  Did he call to check on us?  I hope so, but I think chances are, I called him.  He wanted to talk to the kids.  Not a chance.  I had them reasonably calm...considering.

Right after we talked about the kids, I lost it.  I mean full blown hysterical sobbing.  The kind where you can't catch a full breath and your nose is running like a faucet.  I think I told him he was killing me.  That's what it felt like.  If he held a gun to my head instead of telling me he had DEEP feelings for another woman (Girl.  I just can't call her a woman) it probably would have felt the same.  His words meant nothing.  I'm not even sure what he said to me.  Maybe there were words of reassurance, comfort. I couldn't hear him.  Didn't matter anyway.

The kicker....Jaymie was in bed with him the whole time.  He had called her as soon as he drove away from our home.  I didn't find that out until maybe a month later.  I had asked him point blank, "Did you see her that night?"  If you're dealing with a wayward spouse, remember that the lies don't just stop.  Lies are addictive and feel normal and necessary for the cheater.

Wanna know how he spent that first night?  Here's an email Jaymie wrote to him the following day, when he came home to us.  Lord, how I wish she could read this blog.  She had a huge part in all the pain.  She should own it.


 to rich
show details Oct 13

I want you to know that I'm following through with that promise. I wrote down the most recent turn of events. I want you to have it. From my perspective for you to remember.

- Jaym

"I want your flowers like babies want God's love... baby... as sure as tomorrow will come." - Iron & Wine

And as quickly as it began and took on momentum and changes everything about our lives, it came to an abrupt and screeching halt. It was inevitable that we would be discovered. Because of the vast quantity of time we spent together and talking on the phone when we weren't together and thinking about each other when we weren't talking. Of course his wife would be suspicious. So she called the phone company for a copy of the phone bill. And it was as quick as that.

Yesterday, I got a call from Shawn in the morning. Why is your number on my phone bill so much? I said he was helping me with some personal problems. I used to work at the firm. That wasn't too bad. She said that was going to stop and she'd be talking with him about it. He went home early to hash it out.

About 5 pm and I'm driving to school I get his call. It went bad. He's driving to a hotel. He left and the kids were crying. I stayed in my class for the first hour. Then I left to go be with Richard. I felt calm. Strong. Like a friend. We met at Chili's and partook. Talked. Got the story out. How she had the phone bill stocked next to her when he arrived. How every time my number was recorded, she'd highlighted it. How she never said my name once. How he demanded he call me in her presence to say he couldn't see me again. And how he couldn't do that. So she told him to get out and how could he do this to his family? He told her he has deep feelings for me and needed to think it through. He needed to make that decision on his own terms. So she told him to get out. As he packed his small suitcase, she reminded him to take socks and underwear. 

As he left, the guilt came on. Just feeling like he fucked up. Turned intentions and let the situation get out of control. He called me because he was lower than low. I went to him because he needed my friendship. I said I'd be there for him. After we talked and got every every thing out, he looked so hansom. And I assured him that everything would be okay. Because whatever happened-- A. He stays with his wife and they work it out and they live with more openness, honesty, forgiveness and love than would have been possible before; or B. He tries to work it out with Shawn and they analyze, reflect, talk and decide that they don't want to be together but they will love their kids. Time goes by, healing occurs, and they can finally be free to find honest satisfaction. Or situation C. where he chooses to leave now and they still work together for their kids, time still continues, healing, etc. Any way we go, it will end up okay. He said I was better than he was and he couldn't be so unselfish. And he didn't know if he could manage to not be with me. He said that today, when I didn't anticipate meeting him, had no makeup on, wearing my sweatshirt, I looked more beautiful than he'd ever seen me. He asked me to stay with him and we walked over to his hotel. The Merriot. We walked around the back and had a cigarette, which I smoked down to the very nub. It tasted uniquely bitter and ashy and like fire. I asked him to taste it. To remember has it felt and tasted and looked as the paper rolled off until I snubbed it finally out. We went upstairs and took everything off. I hung up my articles of clothing one by one. Telling a small story of significance for each thing. Then I removed his clothing one item at a time and he told me each time that his clothes didn't have any special significance. We laughed. How good it felt to be there together. Laughing. Loving. Appreciating. Giving. I massaged his tired body. Had him take deep breaths. Felt the tension go away. Then he turned over and grabbed me and loved me. The instant he entered my body I knew he had lost all his burdens. For the very first time since we've been together, now he was the most himself, with nothing to hide, nothing left to lose. And he gave himself to me so completely. It was so wonderful. All at once we were the same. Our spirits touched and we both came together at the same time. Emotions broke free and I cried to him, asking him not to leave me. I cried as I clung to him. He was still inside me and I gripped him with every muscle as I pleaded for him not to leave me. To just chose me. He held onto me and said he would never leave me. He repeated it until I stopped crying. He said he loved me for saying so and he would not leave me ever. And it was that quick. And that simple. And I believed him.

Sleep came eventually for me. With his arms and legs around me. He was my pillow, my blanket, my comfort and my dream.

A while after, I woke up to his movements. He can't sleep. I moved down to put my head on his stomach. With my arms around him, I told him I had a trick for falling asleep. To close his eyes and picture how the room looks. Visualize the walls and the distance from here to each wall. Imagine where the tables and the lamps are. Remember the picture hanging above our heads. What color is it? How large is it? Think of the area of space in the room and try to conjure as much detail as possible. My head rose and fell as he took in deep breaths. He didn't say anything else and we both feel asleep.

The next time I awoke he was in the shower. I lay sill and drifted in and out of sleep. I saw the bathroom light appear and the water shut off. I saw his body walk past. In that instant, two things happened. First, I was filled with joy at the sight of him in the morning. Second, I saw his face was completely sad and I knew that he was torn. He came back over to the bed and dropped down next to me. He proceeded to tell me everything that I just saw in his face. He didn't want to hurt anyone and he felt sorry for putting his wife and me both through this. He didn't know if he could walk away from his marriage. He also admitted that while he was on the phone with Shawn that he told her things that contradicted what he'd said to me. He told her that he hopes they can work it out. And he wants to be with her. He just needed to buy some time. Then he brought his face close to mine and with all intensity told me to believe he loves me and he hopes he can be with me.

When he said these things to me... I felt like an idiot. For being there naked. For losing control and begging for him to chose me. Over the life he's built. Over his family. I told him so. And he closed his eyes and saw clearly how I felt. Saw the consequences of his actions. I left him hold me for a while. Then I told him to stay with his family. I sat up and wrapped a sheet around my whole body. He needs to work through this. Because I know he's not ready to leave. I wanted him to tell me now, but he couldn't. So I suggested we go downstairs and have some breakfast. There's not use talking about certain things on an empty stomach. 

We emerged into an unglamourous breakfast hall. Bright lights above. Floppy looking eggs. We decided the canister of oat meal looked the last threatening. Bitter tea. Bitter coffee. OK oat meal once you put on the brown sugar. We felt better. He looked across at me and his face was lost. I said nothing. Conflicting ideas ran together in my head. "Stay with me" collided with "go fix this with your wife". So I said nothing. I remembered everything that transpired to get us here at this table with pieces of someone else's cornflakes on it and I knew it was because of love. So all I did was smile. He smiled too and said we were both thinking :"love".

We walked down the hallway and stood by the door. He looked like a mess... and I loved him for it. He took me up in a hug and it made me feel sick. This is goodbye. He asked if I had anything to tell him and I said I could forgive him for not knowing what to do next. Specifically, for saying he'd stay with me without knowing if he could. I understand how we got here and how he feels not.

I left the hotel first. I saw the ashtray holding our cigarettes from the night before. I saw a heavy while sky holding us down. I got into my car and pulled into a gas station. I don't know what my face looked like as I walked inside. Walking back to my car, I saw the blue flash of his shirt and then he was standing in front of my car. I ran to him and hugged him and didn't feel sick. We stood together in silence for a while. Then he took my face and kissed me. Smiling and backing away, he looked to me like hope.  Then I saw a semi truck pulling around the corner so I told him to watch out. He came back to touch my arm and he laughed aloud, "The last time i saw him, he was flattened like a pancake." Then he disappeared. 

For a second time, I got into my car and began to drive. Sadness came up to me as I listened to one of the many songs I gave him. Derek and Emily sang: "I know things break down. If this falters, dear, I'll swim till I drown." And I had to call him to say I do love him. For a long time he said nothing. Then he sighed and said believe that he loves me. He said we must make a pact to be productive and not sit around waiting and hoping for each other. This I already know. Because we changed each other's lives for the better. Everything will be okay because we are better people for having done this. There had been an awakening. He's given me so much and I know what I've given him. We promised to stay open and emotional and honest and loving in our own lives, regardless of if we could be together. That's how I know it's okay. Life is beautiful because it is full of love and pain and forgiveness. It is fat better to embrace and feel these things genuinely than to be complacent and asleep. This may feel terrible, but the situation is far from hopeless. There is actually quite a bit of hope.

We left on that note.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Fog

When the kids got home, Richard and I were moving slowly.  I couldn't accept the fact that he wouldn't call Jaymie and tell her it was over.  I know now that he was still in "The Fog".  I learned that term from others that have been in this exact place in an online support group.  Didn't find those wonderful people until just a month ago.  Better late than never, to be sure.

"The Fog" refers to the mindset of the cheater, or wayward spouse.  It's a fantasy place.  A place where no one asks the cheater to take out the trash or drive the kids to soccer practice.  A place where Jaymie took Richard by sending him emails and texts that told him how amazing he was, how special.  Where the sex is new and exciting and the phone conversations pulse adrenalin through every fiber of the body.  Can you remember what it felt like when you fell in love for the first time?  Your heart jumps every time the phone rings and you always feel a few butterflies in your tummy.  Pretty good feeling, right?  You bet.  Especially for a man that feels he's getting old and has lost much of his self-esteem.  Mid-life crisis opens the door to the "The Fog".

I must have asked him a dozen times why he wouldn't call her!  It was just so surreal, completely out of character for him.  He insisted he had to do it his own way, in his own time.  I asked what he would tell the kids?  Of couse, he wanted to say he had to go away for the night for work, but there was no way in hell I would stand for more lies.  Besides, in my mind, he wasn't just going for one night.  At that point I had no idea how long he'd be gone, maybe forever.  I told him he was going to tell them the truth.  He needed to face the pain that he had caused to our family.

We called the kids outside.  Our daughter had just turned 17 and our son was nearly 13.  They listened as Richard told them that he HAD to leave.  I think that was his way of saying...this is Mommy's idea, not mine.  Without missing a beat, our son asked, "What did you do?"  With his head down, Richard answered, "I've been dating someone else."  Our daughter began to cry, but she managed to say one thing to him before they both walked away from us.  "That's a crappy thing to do."

Truly, she understood the situation perfectly.  It was the crappiest thing a husband and father could do.  Selfish, cruel and more likely than not, unforgivable.  Betrayal of this magnitude cuts deeper than you can imagine.  I have always abhorred men that cheated.  Richard knew that about me.  I mean, who doesn't?  They are low life, chickenshit scum bags that want their wives to keep washing their underwear while they create a separate fantasy life for themselves.  It's disgusting!  You want another life?  Tell your wife!!  Maybe she'd like that kind of life, too.  But, he thought he deserved a mistress.  Yep.  Those were his words.
I watched him pack.  I told him to be sure and take enough socks and underwear, all of which, I had been washing for the past 30 years.