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.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Awkward & Pointless

The countdown to our meeting was tense to say the least.  The plan was to meet Jaymie at Richard's office after our son's soccer game.  I may have said this meeting was set up for the Saturday right after DDay.  That seems wrong.  I think it was the second Saturday after DDay.  Details like that don't really matter, except I am fairly certain I didn't have the strength to deal with Jaymie face to face just 4 days into the collapse of life as I knew it.

Richard was freaking out.  I've never seen him so nervous.  I didn't know he was capable of so many emotions.  Seriously, he was like a teenage girl right before her period.  Guess that's what happens when you are caught with your hand in the pussy jar.  (Sorry.  That was crass, but I'm not gonna delete it.)

He was insistent that I tell him exactly what he was supposed to say to Jaymie during the meeting.  That would kind of defeat the purpose, right?  I wanted him to tell her the truth!  Or, at least what he told me was the truth....He never loved her!  It was fun.  He thought he deserved a mistress. It was exciting, but he lied through his teeth when he told her they would be together forever.  It wasn't real love.  It was a selfish fantasy, nothing more.

I was a complete fool. (do I say that a lot?)  Thought I could ram-rod a confrontation that would help me figure it all out, fix everything.  If not everything, than perhaps start to climb out of the depths of relationship ruin and see a way forward.  Such a good reason to write this blog!  Try to save others from making the same ignorant mistakes I made!  Shine a little light on the utter darkness that is DDay!  Richard did love her.  It was a love enveloped in the fog of his breakdown, but I am sure it felt real to him.  Took me another month to get him to admit it, even though I knew it on DDay because of "the Flinch."

The drive to Richard's office was 45 minutes of nerves on steroids.  Richard, still scared to death that he would say the wrong thing and I'd throw him out of the house again.  (I let him back on the third night, in the guest bedroom.  The lovely, Dr. K, suggested it.)  For me, it was about facing a pathetic, immature girl that let herself be swept up by a man old enough to be her grandfather.  I felt nothing but disdain for her.  I wasn't nervous, because I was in control, my comfort zone.  Not nervous, but oh, so angry!   I felt explosive.  I had to reel it in and get through this, accomplish my lame as it was.  I thought this would make it better for me.  I was soooo grasping at straws.  If I could be convinced that Richard was only in it for hot sex with a young hard body, that might be less painful.  If he really loved someone else, truly gave her a piece of his heart, I couldn't fathom how our marriage could be redeemed.

We arrived first and waited on the street by the main entrance.  She was late.  Hey, no one wants to be on time to face the jury when the verdict is sure to be "Guilty as Hell"!  She drove by once.  I remember Richard spotting her instantly.  "There she is."  He seemed to breathe out in relief and anticipation.  Not the reaction I expected.  Nothing is normal in my new reality.  She parked.  Headed toward the door and never looked me in the eye once.  Into the elevator we went.  Google AWKWARD.  You'll find an image of the 3 of us in that elevator.

We decided to sit in Richard's conference room.  She chose a chair at the back.  I sat with Richard on the opposite side of the table.  Can't you just see it??  Jaymie trying to look composed.  Sitting up so very straight with her hands folded in her lap.  Striving for the essence of dignity, knowing there might as well have been a colossal "A" stitched to the front of her chest.  I was sitting across from her on the edge of my seat, ready to hear MY husband set this little piece of morally corrupt trash straight.  Richard never sat down.  He squirmed, fidgeted and tried to use humor to lighten the mood.  He can be such an ass.  He actually started the conversation with, " chance of a three way, huh?"  I seethed, "Get on with it."

I am about to disappoint you.  If I tell you what was said in the meeting, I'd be making most of it up.  Only one of us cried.  That was my poor hormonal husband.  Jaymie had her head down for the most part.  She spoke after Richard finished telling her their affair was not real and he was more sorry than he could say.  She spoke, but I can't remember a damn word of it.  What could she say...I'm such an idiot....I'm truly sorry...your husband is pretty good in bed for an old guy...What?  I didn't go there to hear a thing from her.  I wanted, no...I thought I NEEDED, to hear Richard tell her it was over and it had never been real.  Reality is honest.  In his midlife crisis, she was his Porsche.

I've held on to one clear memory of this ill-conceived meeting, at the end, I had my say.  I told Jaymie any woman capable of causing so much hurt to another woman, was not at real woman at all.  A person so selfish might never earn her place in the ranks of womanhood.  I was trying to give her the smallest benefit of the doubt because of her age.  I told her that, too.  Then I said, "I hope the pain you have brought to my family comes back to you ten fold."  Then, she said that she was not there to defend herself, as if there was any defense for fucking another woman's husband.  I told her that, too.  Got in the last word.  Meeting ajourned.

She left alone.   Richard and I waited to give her time to get to her car so she could drive her worthless ass back to Mommy and Daddy's house.  On our ride home, Richard was sweating it out, waiting for my approval of his performance.  That's all it was.  An Oscar worthy performance.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Who to Believe?

Back to the regular program....We set up a meeting at Richard's office for that weekend, only 4 days after DDay.  DDay means Discovery Day.  I've also heard it described as BDDay, or Bomb Drop day.  Why I thought meeting with Jaymie was going to help diffuse the bomb is beyond my comprehension.  I always feel like I can run the show, fix the problem and get the job done.  I was so naive!

My plan was to get Richard and Jaymie in the same room so they each had to tell me their stories at the same time.  That's how I get my employees to settle disputes.  Lay it all out on the table.  The details I got sitting in the dark, talking to Richard were not in sync with the total love fest scenario Jaymie portrayed.  I told her as much and she said he was not being truthful with himself.  She was too damn "sweet" to call him a liar.  She asked me how I'll know if he's being truthful?  I remember my exact words.  "I've been married to this man longer than you've been alive.  I'll know."  Bravado and then some!  I sure had my toughie girl pants on and they were constricting the blood flow to my brain!  One thing I remember about those first conversations was that while I was being all territorial, Jaymie seemed so innocent.   Richard talked about her that way.  He said he was attracted to her "sweet nature".  To me that just meant, the polar opposite of me.  No one would use those words to describe me.

Richard's side of the story was that he had been feeling old and very depressed about his lost youth.  He met Jaymie for the first time, at a coffee and wine bar near his office.  She was exactly his type.  Tall, thin, kind of Bohemian.  Here's an email he sent her about that day.  He sent it after the first time they had sex.


 to Jaymie 
show details Sep 7
Hi. It’s my turn now.

You already know I couldn’t pull my eyes away from you the first time I saw you. I elbowed Lori and said “look at her.”  I watched you move with ease and grace and I noticed you were warm and natural with your customers. You laughed with Lori and me and made good suggestions on white wine. When I left, I told you that you were so pretty. I wasn’t hitting on you. I was stating a fact. You smiled at me.  Your face stayed in my brain for a while after that.  I knew I wanted to see you again.  Everyone has a “type.” I saw instantly that you were my type: slender, soft, athletic shoulders, pretty face, thin lips, kind, sweet nature.  I loved when you came over to see me at my office. It was awkward. I noticed you looking around at pictures of my family. I guessed you were thinking…hmmm who is this guy and why did he want me to come see him?  But I was just happy you came.

There is  comfort in my life. I have so much to be thankful for.  There is sameness and that is ok. But there is no passion. I have fire inside of me.  I need passion.  With you Jaymie, it goes way beyond passion. There is explosiveness. I am drunk and consumed with images of you. It gets stronger every day. I knew you wanted to be with me when we were holding hands and dancing in our places together at the Eagles concert. Your words said one thing but your lips did not lie when I kissed you softly in my office.  The elevator at Mr. A’s. The parking garage. And Friday. Oh my God Friday. Drinking every inch of your body with my eyes, my hands, my fingers, my lips, my face, my tongue. You responding by giving me everything and trusting me completely.

You have awakened me Jaymie.  I am ok taking this one day at a time even though there is so much I want to do with you. I want to wake up with you and see the sun on your hair. I want to shower with you and see the water dance of your shoulders. I want to hang out, go on road trips, take you places. I love you.    

Imagine how warm and fuzzy it feels to read that there was "no passion" in his life.  Ugh.  For clarification, I didn't find out about the emails they exchanged until about a month after DDay, so I was going into this meeting wanting desperately to believe my wayward husband.  He told me it wasn't love.  It was a pathetic grasp for younger years.  He insisted that he was delusional, in a total downward spiral brought on by a belated midlife crisis.  He was seeing a shrink during the affair/breakdown.  He knew he was out of control, but that 24 year old easy catch was just a little too tempting.   He thought he "deserved" it.  He worked hard.  Provided a wonderful life for his family.  Who could blame him?
(hope you're feeling my sarcasm)

I'm gonna have to pause here.  Sometimes writing about the gory details makes me a little sick.  Soon, I'll tell you about the meeting.  What a joke that turned out to be.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And now, a short break...

I need to interrupt the flow of my blog for a sec.  All of my posts have been semi-chronological until now.   I write to purge demons.  I revisit old wounds to analyze them with new insight.  A friend from the online support boards I visit, a friend I will probably never meet, but will consider very dear to my heart forever, reminded me of something today.  She rode this coaster many years before me.  She was finally able to disembark and now shares the map with those of us that desperately need her guidance.  If anyone out there reading has boarded the coaster from hell, my friend says you might want to know where I am now.  Writing about hope can be more therapeutic than writing that just rips the band-aids off quickly.  Today I focus on healing.

I'll tell you right up front that there is nothing fast about this process.  There is no doubt that I heal a little everyday.  Some days it's only one step forward and then I trip and fall backwards, usually directly on my heart.  Still, I can say with conviction, that I'm getting stronger.  This isn't something that I could have done alone.  Lots of people have moved into my village.  Our family therapist, my closest friends (and a few not so close, but they just happened to be around when I had one of my many meltdowns) and most recently, the intensive understanding of "The Healing Heart", my salvation, the online support boards that welcome all participants of affairs.  You might think "participant" is an odd choice of word to use.  I certainly didn't CHOOSE to participate.  I was drafted.

 All participants, the betrayed, the betrayers and the "others" post on this forum,
It's about perspective.  I can't stress enough how badly those of us that have been betrayed need information!  The questions are boundless!  It's the answers that are so damn few and far between.

Much of my healing is due to open communication.  Richard has been tolerant of my questions, if not quite generous with answers.  Our therapist, Dr. K, has some pretty strong opinions about the path to healing.  She rarely pulled punches.  I liked that about her.  Many friends, means many insights and much comfort.  I took something from each conversation.  I also tossed much away, mainly when I found myself in the "How could they possibly know how I feel?" mode.   But, each connection, each perspective, every answered question counted.

Still, I haven't mentioned where I am now.  I can only say, it depends on the day.  I haven't forgiven Richard, but I have accepted what he did.  Acceptance is a BIG leap.  I am still deeply in love with Richard.  That love is scarred with disappointment and mistrust.  I think I will always have hate in my heart for Jaymie.  But, that's because its easier to blame her than to lay it all at my husband's feet.  I continue to grieve the loss of what I had believed my marriage to be for almost 30 years.  A year ago, I couldn't imagine Richard remaining in my life.  Now, on most days, I can't imagine my life without him.
I'd say that's HOPEFUL.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What was I thinking?

I was in so much pain.  I wanted Richard and Jaymie to hurt, too.  Not just as much as me.   No.  Way more!  A thousand times more.  You know how they say there are two ways people react to conflict?  Flight or fight.  I have always been a fighting kind of girl.  Damage me or someone I love and I'll come back at you with guns blazing.  Take no prisoners.  Leave a trail of destruction.  Many times at my own peril.  This was one of those times.   Seeking to take control of the situation, (I am all about control.  Or, at least I WAS.) I thought I could manipulate Jaymie into giving me the information about the affair that I wanted.  I wanted it, but I sure didn't need it.  If, during the process, I was able to belittle the crap out of her, humiliate her....ding, ding, ding!  Bonus!

Without thinking it through, I called Jaymie.  There have been numerous impulsive decisions the past year.  Called a few times from my phone.  Realized that wasn't gonna work, so I called from Richard's phone.  Still, no luck.  Decided to talk him into leaving her a voice mail asking her to call him back.  That did the trick.  She called back in minutes.  She was less than thrilled about me answering the call.

I'll give her credit for not hanging up.  I asked her to tell me about her relationship with my husband.  She used words like...undeniable, completely connected and passionate.  I really didn't need to hear that.  Those words were red hot daggers piercing my soul.  Through my online support group, I've learned that when your husband has an affair, the other woman should be treated as irrelevant.  Her perspective doesn't matter.  What she thinks about the affair is only her side of it.  Why give a rat's ass what she thinks?  She is a woman that gave no thought to the family she was damaging and possibly destroying.  She begged my husband to leave us, for the love of the Lord!  This is a person with no moral compass, not to mention...she was a baby!  Only 24!  And yet, I hung on her every word.

I became sure that she had something that I didn't.  I mean, something other than her youth.  I was convinced she had filled some kind of hole in Richard.  I examined the affair from every angle to try and understand what it was that I was doing wrong.  I asked Jaymie questions like, "What made your affair with Richard worth the risk?  Didn't you realize how wrong it was?"  She told me, "Our love was worth it, regardless of the limitations or the consequences."  Asked Richard the same things and he said he was out of control.  Didn't give much thought as to what the affair would do to me.  He thought he could get away with it and he deserved it.

Two different realities.  I bought into Jaymie's.  Why??? I wasn't thinking clearly, hadn't since the first day I was thrown on the coaster from hell.  How do you know what to do in situations that you never imagine will happen?  In my confusion and panic, I assumed I must have been less than he needed.

Bottom line....I didn't do anything wrong!  This has become my mantra.  Hold My Head Up.  Be Strong.  I Did Nothing Wrong.   If there was a hole in Richard's life, he should have come to me, reached out to me.  He risked our entire lives because he was selfish, narcisistic and just plain cruel, not because I was less than he needed.  He just wanted more.

But at that time, still functioning in shock mode, I needed to know what she had that compelled Richard to risk everything.  I wanted every detail of their time together.   I asked Jaymie to meet with Richard and I at his office.  She said, "Yes." Shocker.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Rollercoaster from Hell

I know he came home the next day, Wednesday.  And, I know I told him to leave again.  He spent that night in a tiny motel near our home.  But, that day, and the rest of the days following for a least a week, are nothing but "maybe" memories.  I think it happened, but don't ask me to bet the ranch on any of it.

He kept trying to talk to me.  I couldn't even look at him. (forgive me If I repeat myself.  None of this is in focus.)  He asked me to go to a family therapist with him for emergency counseling.  No doubt this was a full blown emergency.  He kept crying and apologizing.  I'd never seen him like this.  He was such a shell of himself.  I truly couldn't bare it.  I was beyond crushed.  In more agony than I knew I could feel, but I thought he was gonna lose it!  I wanted someone else to deal with his breakdown.  I figured I could handle mine, but there was no way in hell I wanted to get wrapped up in his shit!  So, that afternoon we spent two hours in Dr. K's office.  Let her try to clean up his mess.

How can I help you understand this roller coaster?  My brain was like scrambled eggs.  Thoughts were only fleeting and never became clarified enough for true consideration.  Dr. K seemed to get it.  For the first few sessions she just let me rant.  She tried to pin Richard down with specifics, but she sensed that I didn't have any answers, only an infinite amount of questions.  She was very intuitive.

We were in her office everyday for a week, 2 hours at a time.  Neither of us went to work.  How can you work when your strapped in on the ride of your life?  At night, we sat outside in the dark, smoking and, of course, drinking and trying to talk.  I still couldn't look at him so talking in the dark was our only solution.  I was riding the roller coaster 24/7.  My stomache churned and my head ached.  Too bad.  No exiting allowed.  I just rode on, deeper and faster on the manic coaster.  I'll tell you this....if it wasn't for my kids, I'd have jumped off quick.