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, April 24, 2012

Richard is Dead

Richard loves Jaymie, the Movie, consumed my thoughts first thing each morning as soon as I opened my eyes.   Most of my days started with tears seeping into my pillow.  Anticipation of struggling through another day of mental mayhem was so damn daunting.
Jaymie loves Richard, the Sequel, played in my head for hours when I would try to rest at night.  I'd say try to sleep, but that was never what I hoped for when I crawled, emotionally spent, into my bed.  If I was able to rest my body, my mind, my spirit for a few hours each night, I was so grateful.  Even with the mixture of sedatives and booze that I retreated to much too frequently, my thoughts of him with her had no intermission.

Broken.  I saw my marriage as broken.  Not just damaged or fractured, but shattered and beyond repair.  Richard swore it wasn't.  He never stopped loving me, but that was inconceivable.  The love he proclaimed to her was too massive, too all encompassing.  How could he have any left for me?  If he did love me, I believed it was a love of comfort, not passion.  I am mother to his children.  He has slept next to me for 30 years.  Through tough times and the happiest of days, we have shared it all.  His love for me was almost an obligation.  He desired her.  He wanted her.  The love he felt for her consumed him.

I had zero interest in sharing my husband affections with a 24 year old needy, bird brained bimbo.

Richard was no longer the man I married, not even close.  I kept telling him, "My husband is dead."  You might say that's a bit over the top, a tad too dramatic.  I beg to differ.  My life had done the proverbial 180.   My husband, the strong, dependable, levelheaded partner I could always count on had vanished.  Richard was dead.  The man that I saw through my swollen, blood-shot eyes was a stranger.

This stranger was a very determined son-of -a-bitch, completely resolved in his story that he never stopped loving me.  Come on!  How feasible is that??  I'd have to be as half-witted as Jaymie to buy that bullshit.

OK...enough.  You get it.  I wasn't buying the crap he was selling.  My theory was ever so much more plausible, logical and credible.  He loved her utterly.  He was just scared of giving up his safe life for what he ultimately yearned for.

Scheming, planning.... time to take the control of my life back.  My management skills and my take charge personality dictated my next questionable move.  I offered my deceased husband up to the female vulture.  A love that was as pure and beyond doubt as the emails testified, would not expire in 6 short weeks.  She could have her "perfect" man back.  I barely knew this bastard.

I sent this to Richard & Jaymie.  I thought I was being oh so rational!  At the time, it felt so liberating to just let my marriage go.  He had already gambled it all, I was just throwing the dice one more time.

As I have now had the opportunity to read some of the emails you two shared, I realize how important the written word is to you both.  I am hoping by opening this line of communication, we all can find some measure of hope or closure.  

Jaymie:  You may have already moved on.  Richard thinks that is the case.  If so, please accept my apology for intruding.  But, I believe very strongly that you can't love someone that much, that fast and just shut it off.  I read the letters.  I heard some of the voice mails.  I heard your voice when you told me that what you two shared was undeniable regardless of the limitations and that you never thought you would have to defend the love you shared.  I also read the email after I found out about you telling Richard that you were breaking up with him.  It said you were doing that MOSTLY because I was willing to work through all this and fight for our marriage.  That may no longer be true.  
This email gives my husband permission to explore what he might still be able to have with you in his life.  

Richard:  I know you're not happy about me sending this email, but because you love me and you want me to heal, you will try to understand why I'm writing it.  You finally admitted to me that you did indeed love Jaymie.  No more, it was never love.  No more, I was just searching for something or I was crazy.  You found it in your heart to admit the truth and I can not tell you how much that means to me.  Even though I always knew that you really did love her, because I know you so well, it felt liberating to hear you say it. You say you want nothing more than a small amount of hope that we can salvage what is left of our marriage, that I can find a way to forgive you.  I say I need you to leave so I can begin my new life.  Here in lies the rub.......
I can't be with you if there is ANY chance that you are still in love with Jaymie.  I deserve so much better than that.  I need you to be SURE that you are done with what you had with Jaymie, then I may be able to give you hope.  If, as the discussion evolves, you find your love for one another is still alive, then I want closure to give me resolve to deal with the end of our lives together.  

By sending this email to you both, my hope is that we can discuss our possible options, our happiest futures.  

If we are all honest with each other, maybe we can find the paths that will eventually lead us all to a better, happier place.  We may find hope that Richard & I will stay married, that we will be better than before and we will grow old together.  But, we may also discover that Richard desires a new path.   One that fills him up with joy in ways I could not.  This is where you come in, Jaymie.  You can shut down this open line by ignoring it or you can help me find my way.

Please, help me.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Send Him Packin'...or Not

I was one wrong word from going worse than postal.  I was amazed that I rode the coaster from broken and despondent to infuriated and wrathful in one long dismal drop.  I get it now.  I am not comfortable in the role of broken.  I wear wrathful extremely well.  It was simply easier for me to be furious than sorrowful and hopeless.

Marched right back to the lovely Dr. K for a few more emergency 2 hour sessions.  She gave Richard a stern lecture about causing our counseling setback.  "Do you understand how continuing to lie about your affair is hurting Shawn?"  She referred to additional lies as "kicking Shawn in the gut again."  Accurate metaphor.

Richard hung his head and was blubbering like a child that got caught stealing money from his mom's purse, but he managed a nod or two.
"Is there anything else Shawn needs to know?"  I thought Dr. K was off the mark with that one.  NEEDS to know?  Who gets to decide what I NEED to know?  I DO, that's who!  Richard just shook his head and dripped snot on the floor.

Richard was nearly broken.  It was obvious that he had been severely cracked for months, but now he was very close to shattering.  He had always been my rock.  The go-to guy when things got knarly.  Ready to take the wheel and make the tough calls.  His current weak character became a substantial dip on the coaster.  My reaction to his remorse, fear and loss of self-esteem was pity.  I felt so sorry for him.  I wanted to fix him!
Nope, couldn't let myself go there.  I did not have the energy to keep myself from drowning and hold his head above water, too.

He was a distraction.  Worrying about him was not an option.  He didn't deserve my help.  This should be all about me healing.  It was time for him to go.  I needed space to breath, to think, to pull myself up from the belly of the beast.  I told this to Richard.  As weak as he was, he wouldn't fight me, but he had one advantage.  My parents were in town.  If he left the house, no more hiding our drama.  Tough call.

I told Dr. K I wanted him out.  I reiterated my desire for solitude numerous times, to no avail.  She didn't much care for my plan.  She said we shouldn't make any major decisions for at least 6 months.  That seems to be the standard time frame that most therapists suggest.  It takes 6 months to be able to concentrate on anything of substance.  Your mind will be consumed and otherwise occupied thinking about your wayward spouse gazing into the eyes of a tall, skinny co-ed telling her they were meant to be together forever.

Richard had admitted that he had been in love with Jaymie.  The night I found the emails on his computer  he finally fessed up to that...among other things.  The old me, the pre-DDay me, would have told you, if Richard ever cheats on me, I'll cut his balls off and pack them with all his clothes in his suitcase and out the door he'll go.  So, really, post DDay me was much more merciful.  I just wanted him out the door.  He could keep his balls right where they'd always been.  I didn't think I was asking for a lot.   I tried to edge him out gently.  I explained that just because I needed him out, it didn't mean our marriage was over.  Dr. K (wasn't quite as lovely to me now) was adamant in her stance about our separation.  He'd been out once and back again. Bouncing around was bad form in marriage counseling world.   So, she played her Ace in the Hole.  "Think about your kids."  Damn you, Dr. K!

My need for solitude would have to wait.  Of course, I'm rarely without a plan.  I thought, if he wouldn't leave for me, maybe he would for Jaymie.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Emotional Cutting

Fresh pain.  New torment.  An ache so deep it felt alive in my gut.  I'd worked hard for it.  I'd asked for it.  I'd begged for it.  Was I getting what I deserved?  The emails were validation of my pain.  I had not considered how hard it would be to read the words Richard wrote to Jaymie.
I only wanted answers to the unending questions.  If I found answers in the lustful, fanciful, adoring words, the convulsions in my heart would be worth it.

Jaymie had been right.  Son of a Bitch.  I had to face it.  Richard loved her.  Maybe he still did.  He could sugar coat it, call it something less than love, say he was out of control, tell me it was just a fantasy, he was seeking his lost youth through hers.  Put it all in a pretty box and wrap it up with bows.  No matter how he told his side, his story was a lie!  ANOTHER LIE!  Son of a bitch!  I had a dozen emails that told the truth!  All Richard had done since DDay was spin the story of his betrayal to keep the carnage to a minimum.

The level of love he wrote to her about was beyond anything I could ever have imagined he felt for me.  I think I'm gonna start crying any second now.  I'll never forget how much reading the emails ripped out my heart.  Revisiting the emails has been more difficult than I expected.  I have not read them in months except to pull one or two for the blog.  Back then, it was an all encompassing obsession.  I read them for hours.  I memorized them all.  Jaymie brought out a side of Richard I never knew, not in 30 years.  Their affirmations of love for one another would have been truly beautiful had they been shared between two people that were not hiding from reality. Unique expressions of intense passion and their devotion to one another. The words were quite poetic.

When the emails spoke of particular days and locations, I gained vivid mental pictures that played over and over in my skull like a sickening, X-rated horror flick.  The images were absolutely relentless.  I saw them together regardless of what I was doing in my present reality.  Load the dish washer while watching Richard rushing across a street to embrace Jaymie in Lemon Grove by the Big Lemon sign.  Simultaneously fill up my car with gas and see Richard with his head between Jaymie's legs at Barona Casino Hotel.  Even when I went to work, there was always, ALWAYS a section of my mind that harbored the constant reenactment of Richard Loves Jaymie.

It was 5 weeks post DDay when I started using my new drug of choice.  I spent time with my stash daily.  A lot of time.  Richard called it "Emotional Cutting".   That rang true.  Reading the emails over and over did nothing for me but feed my addiction.  I needed to feel the pain.  I had to have validation for my torment.  The emails owned me.  I didn't know what else to do with myself.  I thought if I dissected the emails thoroughly, I'd finally understand how my husband could do this to me, how he could love someone else.  WHY did he need to love someone else?  Those questions don't really have answers, but once again, I didn't know that yet.  Emotional Cutting felt as necessary as air.  Keep cutting and the whole nightmare will reveal itself.
Wrong again!

I was barely present with my kids at home.  At work, my partner held up our business.  I was indisposed.  I wallowed in my misery and nurtured my fury.  If I let it go, even for an hour, I might start to forgive Richard and that was not gonna happen.  He was in for a world of hurt!  My stay in Sorrow Town was about take a turn into Rage City.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Getting my Fix

I was flying by the seat of my pathetically, ignorant pants.  I still beat myself up about the many strategic blunders I committed the first year after DDay.  I could forgive myself for the first dozen or so, but as I continue my story you'll see, I wasn't exactly on the fast track to acceptance and recovery.

 I was more child-like in my need for instant gratification than anything else, lots of temper tantrums and acting out.  A quick fix for an event that changes your life so suddenly doesn't exist.  Educated hind-sight has taught me I should have ignored Jaymie, but the compulsion to learn all I could about Richard's affair buried any of my dwindling common sense.

In my new world, the only thing that mattered was the steady, perpetual stream of questions eating away at my psyche.  The quandaries demanded explanations and through those, I anticipated resolution.  When I write about my train of (or lack of) thought during those first few months, I'm shaking my head the whole time.  The harsh fact is, when you experience DDay, it will require effort of gargantuan proportions to think of anything other than your wayward spouse in the arms of their home wrecker of choice.

My head throbbed with what, where, why, how and when.  I medicated with xanax, vodka and wine frequently, but that was a limited fix at best and I DO NOT recommend it.  I would have done anything to get the dirt, the details, the whole sordid scoop. Richard had already proved himself to be less than forth coming with the facts of the time he spent with Jaymie and how he really felt about her.  I could see no other way to quiet the tsunami in my head than to utilize the whore with first hand knowledge, Jaymie.
My planned phone call to Jaymie had been successful.  She sent this soon after we spoke.

Hi Shawn,
It was good to talk with you today.
I'm starting the project of sending you letters. Chronologically, to the best of my ability. 
- Jaymie

For the betrayed, there is no way to over-state how obsessive the need for answers about the affair will become.  From the second you board the coaster from hell, you become an information addict.  Sometimes, the questions linger for years because questions that get answered, beget more questions.  It's a diabolical curse, a vile circle of torment.  You become dependant on a regular fix of new details.
You may be convinced that it will be impossible for you to survive without the entire, unvarnished truth, but I'm here to tell you, the truth can haunt your head even more than unanswered questions.  If you're new to the coaster, you won't believe that.  No way I would have listened back then. I was an information junkie and I wouldn't find a decent rehab for months.
So, I opened the email and started to shoot up.


 to rich
show details Sep 8
I'm assuming that you won't be getting this tonight.. I'm hoping this will be the first thing you see when you get into the office. Sitting in your chair. The chair that I straddled you on. And laughed as we fell to the floor. And then you directed me back to the couch...

I loved that you searched the couch for my earring on your knees, with your hands running along every crevice. And when you finally found my treasure you rejoiced. And still now it's hiding safe and secretly within your clothes. I love you. You love me the way I want to be loved... because you cherish every thing.

I told you that today I was sorting through some difficult heart matters. There doesn't even have to be anything wrong.. just an absence of right. 

But between Josh and I, there has been wrong done. And it's all only now coming to the surface. During August, I've slowly let myself see the hurt he caused me. Actually, today around 5:15, I made a list. Rich, it filled the whole page. 

I've run out of trust for him.
He was so subtle and I was able to keep my own love alive by adding my positivity and happiness and hope. He had me fooled. And his lies started collapsing over these last 5 months. 

I'm sorry. I really didn't mean to say this much. And I care that you probably have something important you should be working on right now (if it is the morning.) I want you to have the whole picture. I want you to know where I'm coming from. Because you make me so happy. When I answer the phone and I hear your voice I can feel vibrations coming out of you and our hearts filling and expanding and overflowing with love. My hope is alive. Despite everything, I believe in love. Only after coming into your light did I see how malnourished my heart was. Of course there were times of happiness. I've always felt very connected to him. He knew how to read me and could use it to his advantage. But I want to trust you. You are easy to trust. When you told  me I was your first priority, I knew it was true. I know you can read me easily too, but it's because our souls match. If I reached these realizations alone without you, I'd probably be scared and crushed. But instead, I feel like a bird that was let out of a cage. I know you want to help me. And that you love me for who I am.

I intended to sit down and write you a nice, wonderful letter. But more than that, I wanted to share what was really on my heart. I can't deny you, even if this is more than you requested. And I didn't want to spend our time tomorrow talking about burdens. 

It is now after midnight and I am tired. I'm excited to see you tomorrow. Every day has been feeling like the day before christmas because I know I'll be talking to you in the morning.  Thank you for your last email... it warmed me and exposed the surface of my heart. I wish there was nothing separating us. But I'm content to be so close to you. 


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Vulnerable in the Spring

Happy Easter.  Please pardon me as I take a story time-out.

This day and spring itself got me thinking about fresh starts and new beginnings.  I want so badly to fully commit to a fresh start with the man that nearly destroyed the person I was pre-DDay.

I used to think (do you say that a lot...used to? I do!) vulnerable was a word only applied to weak women.  My thinking was those wimpy jelly-fish ladies needed to put on their big girl panties and toughen up!

Spring forward:  I now know vulnerable.  I've put some serious hours in thinking about leaving myself open to the intense shock and awe of another DDay.  I need to morph into a woman that fits as comfortably as possible into the same shoes as the jelly fish ladies.  (Not to worry, I NEVER took off my big girl panties.)
If I put it all on the line again, I will be allowing my sensitive heart to play the sitting duck.

The other side of the coin is, same shit, different day.  Let me clarify:  The only thing different from yesterday or a month ago is now I'm going to face the fact that I'm vulnerable.  Throw in the towel.  Learn to deal with it!  That's my life!  I wanna be happy in it so I gotta own it!

It's been less than 18 months since DDay.  Some might say that is not nearly enough time to trust your wayward spouse again.  I get that.  But, I'm pretty sure I'll never trust him completely, or anyone else for that matter, for the rest of my life.  I'm proposing a fresh start with a couple of caveats, not to impede my progress, but to give me the confidence to continue.

1.  Keep your radar in motion.
We all know what that means.  No need to dwell on the past affair (a tall order, I know!), but be damn mindful of future red flags.  Trust your gut.  As soldiers in the war of adultery, we have earned those acute instincts.
2.  Communicate constantly.
I will not miss a chance to let Richard know exactly what I need, what I want and what I expect.  We can't expect our wayward spouse to read our minds, even though we wish beyond dreams that we could read theirs.

These two little rules to live by seem simple, but will require I remain vigilant.  I want to be in this marriage...really BE IN IT!  Do I want my old life back?  Nope.  Our life is better in so many ways.  We talk about our feelings.  We are attentive to each others needs. And, of course, there's the sex....hysterical bonding sure can open up the flood gates to passion.

I'm gonna do it.  I'm gonna have my fresh as springtime flowers new beginning!  To toast the propitious occasion, I'm gonna go bite the ears off a chocolate bunny, really hard, pretend it's Jaymie!!
I know...not really the attitude I need for my Spring Forward plan, so I'll start tomorrow.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Manipulating Jaymie

This was round one of manipulating Jaymie.  As the following year rolled on, I turned this endeavour into an Olympic Sport.  For newbies to infidelity mayhem, please don't try this at home.

I was compelled to know all I could about the emails.  More than that, I was obligated.  Obligated from the deepest part of my soul. Time to analyze all I had learned from my wayward husband the previous night.  I sure wasn't gonna get info from the stripper in Vegas.  I did know how to find our mutual "friend" on Facebook, but that was old news.  The woman from work, she was long gone.  Didn't even give a rat's ass about her.  Jaymie was fresh meat.  She could feed my deep rooted compulsion for information.  It was imperative that I know what hole in my husband necessitated his need to cheat.

What to do?  What to do?  I figured Jaymie was probably not too bright.  I mean, she fell in love with a married man she could have called Grandpa in another life.  I was confident in my ability to manipulate her into getting what I ached for....the emails.  Googled her.  It's amazing what info you can get on the web for $1.95.

Found her home phone and address.  The home phone was a calculated safe bet because I didn't think calling her cell would work out for me.  Why would she answer a call from me?  She'd answer straight away if she thought her parents might pick up instead.  Oh, yea....great call, literally and figuratively.

Her dad answered and before I could ask for her she picked up and said, "I got it, Dad."  Perfect.  Time for a chat with a purpose.  The plan was to get her to trust me.  Not too tough.  She trusted Richard and he obviously had a forked tongue.  He's a lawyer, for goodness sake.
The call went something like this:

"Hi, Jaymie.  It's Shawn.  I want you to know, I don't blame you.  Last night Richard admitted to me that he did love love you.  You were right.  He only told me the truth because I found the emails you exchanged on his computer.  Before I could read them thoroughly, he deleted them.  I was hoping you still had them."

She was hesitant at first, but after I spread a little more bullshit around, she warmed up.  Told her we could really take Richard by the balls.  He screwed us both. (again, literally and figuratively) It was time to join forces and compare notes.  She actually laughed.

I don't think it took more than 10 minutes for Jaymie to be lapping up every distorted word I spewed.  It was as easy as first grade math for a physicist.
Best're gonna love this.  Timing truly is everything.  As Jaymie was close to becoming my BFF, Richard called on my cell.  I worked him right into the master plan.  Told Jaymie to hold on and listen up.

"Hi, Honey.  Guess who I'm talking to on the other line??  JAYMIE!  Say hi Jaymie!  Put both phones on speaker.  This was getting so damn good!  Jaymie was still laughing and I'm pretty sure Richard needed a change of undies.  "Jaymie is going to help me get the emails you deleted.  We think it's time to face the truth about what you did to both of us.  Get it all out in the open."

He didn't say much.  Confrontation is not his thing, so he probably made a joke.  Who cares what he said??  I was getting what I wanted!  The emails would be sent to me within the day.

I'd like to thank the Academy for this award.
Come on!!  I totally deserved an Oscar for this!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

High Fury, Low IQ

Long night.  My head hurt a lot, but not nearly as much as my heart.  My head was also spinning.  Words from the emails I found on Richard's computer were flying around in there.  Little bits I had gleened during my brief viewing and some entire paragraphs from the offending emails zoomed into my conscience thought and then right out again, only to be replaced by another sentence professing Richard's love for a skinny ass 24 year old girl that was going to be sucking up a lot of my energy in the next year.

Needed caffeine badly, not that my nerves weren't already firing on all cylinders with out synthetic assistance.  As soon as the kids left for school, I carried my tea toward the computer.  If you thought I'd never want to read those marriage crushing, life altering emails again, you'd be way wrong.  I wanted to analyze every word, every syllable, every letter!  The only way I'd be able to comprehend how my husband could jeopardize and disrespect our family in this inconceivable way was to learn all I could about the affair.  I mean's like driving by a train wreck.  You know you're gonna look!

Richard had other ideas.  He had become quite the tech savvy guy during the night.
I realized the emails were gone.  Uh, oh.  The mood swings from hell are about to be unleashed!  From beyond depressed to furious and wrathful before he could even begin to explain why he had deleted them all.  More lame excuses!!!
"I couldn't stand to hurt you anymore."
"I thought you were done with them."
"There was nothing worth saving.  It all meant nothing!"

How stupid did he think I was?  OK....he had managed to hide the bimbo from me for months, spend hours with her, talk and text constantly with her and spend more than one entire night with her...Lord, help me.  Why wouldn't he think I was ignorant?

Ask anyone that knows me.  They'll tell you, I'm very bright.  I'll take a challenge over a cake-walk any day.  I AM A SMART WOMAN, Dammit!  Just maybe not right at that minute or for another year.
In the matter of marital desecration, my IQ was lowered substantially.  Didn't matter what kind of person I was before DDay, after DDay....Toss it all out!  Maybe I shouldn't judge others by myself.  Maybe you'll be much more clear headed and functional when you discover your spouse has chosen another, but I doubt offense.   I've absorbed a mountain of first hand knowledge since then.  So many injured spouses that, sadly, have joined the roster of the betrayed, also come to realize, the roller coaster from hell is alien territory, a remote, barbaric island of perpetual confusion.  You might have been a Nobel prize winning genius before, but after DDay you're gonna need reeducating.  You'll need guidance. You might WANT to conquer this beast alone, but I wouldn't advise it.

The emails were more than precious to me that day.  I craved them!  I thought I would go insane if I was not able to pick them apart and savor the secrets they contained.  I was like a junkie without hope of a fix.  Simply put, I freakin' lost it.
A blessing, we live on 9 acres.  There was no one close to hear me rail like a banshee at the man who robbed me of the crack I coveted from his in-box.  So much screaming!  Can't believe I didn't give myself an aneurysm.