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.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Thank God for Pharmaceuticals & Napa Valley

Longest dinner in history!  I never take a moment with my grandpa for granted.  He's 98 now and I am so grateful for everyday I still have him in my life, but that night my heart forgot to appreciate my time with him.  My heart was much too busy thinking about Richard's time with her.

This would be the night that Richard decided to come clean.  Come clean...Odd phrase for revealing something so dirty, so shameful.  Richard "deciding" might not really be accurate, either.  He didn't have much choice.  I'd found the truth myself.  He couldn't very well lie his way out of the digital damnation.  He was ready to confess a multitude of sins, but was I ready to hear them?

Grandpa went home. (yea...he still drives!  LOVE that man!) The kids both retreated to their rooms for texting, Facebooking and other teen social activities.  Richard and I headed outside, into the dark.  I went out armed with a fresh pack of Virginia Slims and the rest of the bottle of a lovely Napa Valley white I'd been sucking down for the past two hours.  I was feeling no pain, not even in the emotional sense.  God bless pharmaceuticals.  We sat in the stools by the barbecue next to the pool.  I had no idea how to start this conversation.  I left that up to him.  After all, it was his story to tell.

He wasted no time.  It seemed to me he needed to expel all the lies, like the dishonesty had nearly poisoned him.  He needed his soul pumped clean, just like you might pump the sewage out of a cess-pool after years and years of unattended use.  He gushed foul truths about himself, recent truths and some long past.

Yes, he had loved Jaymie.  He couldn't explain it.  He never stopped loving me.  He told me repeatedly that he always wanted to come home.  Yes, he had stayed with Jaymie the first night I sent him out of the house.  Jaymie was there when he spoke with me on the phone, but he asked her to wait in the hall for privacy.  WHAT??  To this day, I don't buy that one.  Mostly because in her email to him that chronicles the entire night (see Post Rough Night)  not once does it say she left the room.  On and on, he continued to try and cleanse his soul.  I learned about a night he spent with a stripper 5 years ago, a mutual friend that he slept with multiple times 15 years ago and a woman he met at work that needed attention of a very personal nature.  He was compelled to help her in her time of crisis, 20 years ago.

In my drug induced zombie like state, I managed to absorb what he was telling me but I could not even begin to process it.  I probably wouldn't have been able to process it even if I was stone cold sober.  Hours ago, when I read the emails, my brain said, Good Night!  I'm over it for now!  Closed for any further input this evening.

If what they say about confession is true, that its good for the soul, Richard was ready for the Rapture.  Soul all freshly scrubbed, spic and span!  If he was hoping for me to contribute more to our conversation, he was extremely disappointed.  The only emotion I remember is empty.  I know, that's not technically an emotion but, that's all I felt, a big, black hole inside.  Void of any feelings.  I think I even thanked him for finally loving me enough to speak the truth.  The Xanax and wine had worked like a charm.  It served two purposes, I didn't flip out or lose it.  I didn't collapse or go ballistic and Richard was able to survive the night, but not in our bedroom, of course.


Susan Rubinsky said...

I love the title of this post! It's both hilarious and emptily true. I can't even add up how much wine I sucked down that first year when I couldn't bear to feel anything more. I guess I could fine out by checking my bank statements:

liquor store
liquor store
phone bill
liquor store
liquor store

But, truth is, I don't really want to know. There's so much pain and truth forcing itself upon you the first year that a little emptiness, no matter how you get it, is good.

shawn, the wife said...

Hey, Susan: I thought the drugs and booze helped, but they were sort of like a band-aide on a severed artery. BUt, at the time, I couldn't imagine functioning without a little synthetic assistance!
All paths to healing are different. With my story, I hope to share what worked for me and what backfired!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. My situation is probably not as bad in the eyes of the world, but betrayal is betrayal is betrayal. My heart goes out to you for the betrayal you suffered, and I truly hope that your recovery continues unfettered. I've literally had tears in my eyes whilst perusing your blog for the past hour or so... but not all of them have been sad tears!!! I love your outlook, and the humor you inject into your writing. "If what they say about confession is true, that it's good for the soul, then Richard was ready for the Rapture" had me laughing out loud. It is hard to understand how these pathetic individuals are able to blithely pursue so selfish a path... but you know what? I'm glad it's hard to understand. I'm sure it would be easier if we were more like them, but I'm perfectly happy to be much, much better than that.

shawn thewife said...

Hi Anonymous!
Nothing makes me smile more than when someone writes that I made them laugh! Grins can be few and far between when dealing with the aftermath of adultery. If my blog provides a little respite from the pain...Wow. I'm so grateful!
And, you are so right! Betrayal is all the same. It hurts regardless of the gory details. It takes lots of time and iron will to get past the pain and move forward.
Thanks for commenting. Don't be a stranger!! You made my day.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

I love this title and your raw honesty. It has been a year since my DDay of discovery and it has been a roller coaster ride. Seriously there were times I felt like jumping off the roller coaster but hung on due to God, my children and the help of a good glass of Chardonnay. Feeling is too hard, numbness is easier. We are still together, have had extensive counseling and have attended a World Wide Marriage Encounter. We have a better marriage but there are days I still want to scream, punch them both and walk away. But of all my flaws, I guess I am not a coward and can't give up. Thanks for your writing. God bless

Anonymous said...

I am so afraid of drinking or using any type of pills to numb the pain. I don't want to become dependant and for some reason it seems like holding onto my pain keeps me closer to my wh.

shawn thewife said...

I haven't revisited this post for a while and I missed a couple of comments. I try hard not to let anyone that comments go without a reply. I read every word my readers share and I appreciate each one.
To the Anonymous that stated "feeling is too hard."....I so get that! That's why I directed all my anger at Jaymie for so long. Being that mad at Richard scared me to death! How could I stay married to a man I hated so passionately? But, I finally figured out that you have to go THROUGH the pain, not around it. I needed the help of the lovely Dr. K. She held my hand and taught me how to deal with the brutal emotions. You seem determined and steadfast in your desire to save your marriage. I applaud you! Just remember to take good care of you while you nurture your lives together.

To the anonymous that is afraid of booze & pills....Good for you! You're a smart cookie! Numbing yourself is not the answer....BUT...holding onto the pain is not a good choice either! I kind of get what you mean about the pain keeping you close to your WH. The reason I knew I didn't want to toss Richard out the door was because of how much I hurt. I analyzed my emotions to mean, if he can hurt me this much by professing to love another, I must really, REALLY be in love with him! I mean, I knew I loved him, 30 years and all, but WOW! I never thought anybody could hurt me like that!
That said...using your pain to be close to him is not helpful. You gotta let him HEAL your pain. That will keep you close.
Hope & Hugs to both of you!

Anonymous said...

Shawn - I love your honesty and I regret some of my posts to you. How dare I defend the other woman. I wasn't I want you to know - I just cannot fathom defending the husband ever. I've been around some women who do that - it was a midlife crisis, the therapist said they never saw a man so, so and so, this or that. I hate OW - no matter who they are - but the men feel such entitlement that I cannot blame the other women. They did not marry me. They did not lie to me. The OW knew more than I did, you know?

As far as the stripper, I knew it, I knew it Shawn. See, the men, they get this taste of perfect body, hair, face, youth and it's their drug of choice all the way. They can't get enough. I want you to realize that for your husband to be able to spend a night with a stripper, see this wasn't his first rodeo. He was a frequent contributor to the stripper cease pool. I'm sorry, I'm not gonna let him get away with it. He was a regular to the strip world - a big spender, in money and time in strip bars, probably many of them.

I know, who am I to try and hurt you more? I'm not. He did. And I'm not sure you know everything. See, my H told me the very worst of it very quickly. Then the trickle truth. I had him finally write it all down in my presence. It helped. But now, maybe you are too far along. You have treated your husband very well and you see to be in a good place now. I do not forgive and unfortunately my memory is so impeccable I frighten people. It's tough to live in my mind. But, I'm sorry, I shouldn't send this off, but I will.

Please understand, I adore and admire your writings. It's husband's I can't stand.

Anonymous said...

Being empty is a blessing, is it not? I had a Dday, and within the first year, lost my mom in death, my favorite job, about 40 lbs, my best girlfriend moved cross country, I had to put down my family dog of 11 years and I quit using any of mommy's little helpers, or pharmaceutical's or wine because my husband had always felt it was a problem and he never felt first, (wow., really?) I embraced empty! Empty was relief compared to trying to cauterize the huge gaping hole in me that spewed pain. I've learned, I can do "empty"
Formerly, Brokenonce

daphne3631 said...

Hi shawn
I just wanted to ask that what reasoning did he give for his previous infidelties?
and also I read the rough night post and my heart broke and I could not imagine how you would have managed. what was his reply seeing that rough night post? did he agree with jaymie 's version of events?

shawn thewife said...

daphne: I don't know that he ever gave me a reason for the past affairs. There is no good reason. Doesn't matter. There is no reason for cheating that helps a betrayed spouse heal.

Knowing WHY Richard cheated helped him learn to deal with his issues (selfish, hated getting old...etc.) but it didn't make me feel any better.

The "Rough Night" letter was brutal to be sure, but no more so than all the rest of the trauma. He had already told me that she stayed with him that night before Jaymie sent me that email. That was so early on after DDay. Richard was still hiding specifics, guarding the whole truth by sharing only what he thought I already knew or what I could discover. Trickle truth is so normal for betrayers.

Did he "agree" with the email version of that night? Yes, I guess. He said she begged him to leave me. He is so conflict avoidant that he didn't even have the balls to tell her that would never happen. He told her what she wanted to hear so he wouldn't have to deal with the fallout. As he lied to me and her..he also lied to himself.

He knows all the mistakes he made and he has done a whole lot of soul searching to be a better man....the man I knew was in there.
Repairs can be made. Our marriage is stronger than ever. When I think back about the first year after DDay and how unbelievably hard it was, I can still tell you was worth it. My marriage was worth the effort.
Not saying I'd do it again, though!!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

CourtneyCallen said...

Wow. I have no idea how I missed this post while reading your blog start to finish, but I did. Now I feel really, really bad about the shitty comment I made (I'm the asshole who said I didn't blame Richard for cheating). I'm so sorry, Shawn. I can only imagine how awful this night was for you. I really truly hope you're happy now because you really went through the wringer.

shawn thewife said...

Courtney: Let it go, Girl! No need to feel bad. If I wasn't tough enough to deal with a few quick flying judgmental remarks, I'd never have kept this blog public.
No harm. No foul.
I am happy now. My life isn't a fairy tale, but it's pretty darn terrific.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

CourtneyCallen said...

I apologize if this has been addressed in another post, but I have to ask, why did the affair with Jaymie upset you more than any of the other infidelities? Especially the mutual friend he slept with multiple times? Obviously this isn't really any of my business so feel free to tell me to fuck off but I had to ask.

shawn thewife said...

Courtney: No worries. You can ask anything here. The Answer is simple. I never knew about any of the others until after I found out about Jaymie. When Richard came clean about all his cheating, the other women were old news. I didn't have the strength to deal with any of that. I was pissed about the Hooker in Vegas. That happened after our children were born. That made a huge difference in my mind. But I was so crushed about the emotional connection he had ith Jaymie, the rest seemed like small fish. Lame? Maybe. But fact, as well.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

First time I have ever commented on one these blogs, which are helping me immensely 5 months past DD. I found out two days after New Year's, while on a family vacation that my husband was cheating on me after being married for fourteen years, together eighteen. I, like you were, am raging with anger. I have had a few emotional breakdowns, but my natural outward response seems to be anger, not tears, though I have shed many. I also feel like our stories are very similar in the fact that what I initially discovered, a sexting affair with a previous coworker, was just the tip of the iceberg. Two weeks later, I found out that the real issue wasn't the whore he was sexting with, it was the other girl from his work whom he was sleeping with. Asshole! It was after admitting to this that he decided to let it all out. He confessed that there had been another sexting, random hook up, though not sex, with another girl from work eight years previously, that he still occasionally kept in contact with. It was a fucking shock to say the least. I feel like I had suspicions here and there throughout the years, but I had confronted him about them but he had sworn that there was nothing going on. I had also witnessed him become more and more involved with his phone, where he wouldn't leave the room without it. I would question him and ask him repeatedly to stay off the phone while with the family, but he would tell me it was work related. In hindsight, I wondered, why did I never break into the phone? Why did I never demand his password? With the absence of any real evidence, and him coming home every night to our family (they would both leave work early and meet in a parking lot) I had let myself believe that I was just "crazy" and had an active imagination. Ha! Not even I imagined what was really going on. I will say this, I think for my husband, who is in counseling, the first meeting/sexting affair was like a gateway drug. It felt great, he got away with it and worse, now he had something to hide. Adding more secrets just made any type of real intimacy with me almost impossible, because there would always be this secret between us. So, the next time the opportunity arose, when he found some pathetic girl who would blow smoke up his ass and he could be a hero to without any real commitment, it was just that much easier. He told me he never wanted to leave us and he never thought he would get caught. Again, what an asshole. He tells me he feels like a weight has been lifted. I tell him, yes, you've handed it me. Thanks so very much for ruining my life with your insecurities and poor choices. Why?? Anyway, thank you for giving me hope. Upon discovery, my husband cut off all contact with these people (I, too cannot say women and usually refer to them as whores, as two of them are married and one is trying to have kids with her husband-are you kidding me?) He is very remorseful and feels a tremendous amount of guilt, as he should. He's trying his hardest, and I think wishes it would all go away. Wouldn't that be nice? I, meanwhile, am working through my rage, sadness, disbelief, and just trying to keep up the facade of happy family for my three children. I, like you, never thought I would stay with a cheating husband. I consider myself strong and I value who I am. It turns out it's not so black and white when there are children involved, when there is history, when your spouse is remorseful. I hope that one day we will get past this, that I will know joy again, that I will be able to at least trust him somewhat (I will never trust completely) but I think one of the biggest obstacles I face is that, he says he's sorry now, but what happens twenty years from now? My husband is almost twenty years younger than yours, I have to believe there's another mid-life crisis waiting in the wings. He swears never again, but I say history isn't really showing in his favor. Sometimes, I wonder if I wouldn't be better just jumping ship rather than living life with someone I can't trust. .