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, 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.


Beautiful Heartbreak said...

Wow! Your so strong! I must say...the way you described your husband before the reality hit, how he was your rock, your everything and fixed everything...that is how I once felt of my marriage. How I had total trust in him. It hurts because I still see he has the ability to be THAT man, IF HE WOULD ONLY CHOOSE to be that man! Heavenly Father once showed me how amazing he is designed to be, and I only wonder what we must have done so wrong that this is no longer my reality? It hurts because I want that man back, and yet don't believe I could find him anywhere else. Hang in there beautiful lady!!

shawn, the wife said...

Good Morning, Beautiful HB: Thank you for your note. It got me a little fired up today. I like that.

First: Not a chance I'm gonna let you slide with, "What WE must have done so wrong" line! YOU did nothing wrong! Please repeat that like a mantra! You could have been the perfect Stepford wife, the best cook, gorgeous, attentive and mom of the wouldn't matter!
You are right on with "If only he would CHOOSE". He chose to cheat. His choice sucked. It's on him to do the work to redeem himself. It's on you to take care of yourself and that includes not blaming yourself for your wayward husband's lousy judgement.
I say all that with empathy and love in my heart. Sorry if it sounded too much like a lecture.
The loss of what my marriage WAS is still a deep ache 18 months post DDay. I have accepted my marriage will never be the same again, nor will I or my wayward husband. Acceptance is much tougher than you'd think. I mean, this is the situation, this is my new reality, might as well ACCEPT it, right? Oh, no! There was some substantial time spent beating my head against the wall first.

I try to rationalize that I can find something good out of the massive quantity of bad. Richard and I could have a better marriage, different, A LOT different, but maybe better.
I know I'm gonna be stronger. I know I'm gonna be smarter. That right there is two notches in my win column.
I don't want to be the woman I was pre-DDay. I'm adapting, evolving, surviving and thriving. I'm doing this while praying my wayward husband continues to improve himself, too. We have a lot to learn.
I'm truly sorry you are in this painful place, but I'm grateful you found us.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Jamie Lemmi said...

Shawn is right. It's not about us. It never is. We could be perfect, and it still wouldn't matter. It isn't really even about their affair partner either. It's about THEM. And what's effed up in their mind.

I mean, my wayward husband had an affair on the tail of 4 years of chronic illness for me, we have 5 beautiful children, he's the child of divorce because of infidelity. I never ever thought he'd cheat...until he did.

It is NOT your fault. They made the choice, a decisive choice that has nothing to do with US.

Eat My Scabs said...

Dito on the shawn is right. No matter what they have, everything or nothing they can't be happy. none of it is our fault. once I realized this truth, I didnt allow him to try and blame me anymore.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shawn,
My wife cheated on me with another man. It was really hard to live through that. Every daily task (especially work) became an incredible burden. Invasive thoughts were the worst...and the lack of sleep was obvious to friends and co-workers...And I could not tell them what the reason was.
However, it does get better...Better for you...maybe not for your marriage.
Counseling will help.
Stay away from alcohol and drugs and try to find time to exercise. I know it sounds stupid but it will help.
Try to concentrate on the small things. Did I say counseling will help?...Counseling will help. Seek help from a professional. Friends and people commenting on your blog are full of good intentions but an experience professional will be much better.

shawn, the wife said...

Anonymous: Blogs like mine seem to be overwhelmingly visited by women that have cheating husbands. Thank you for reminding me that there are many men in pain out there, too. I am very sorry you are a member of the Betrayed Club.
Thank you so much for your kind words and advice. My blog is not written in real time. It is the story of my road to happy after DDay in 10/10. I've been writing for 5 months but I've only told two months worth of my struggle.
The advice you offered is right on point. I hope others read your comment and take it to heart. I also recommend a wonderful message board, called the Healing Heart. The compassionate, people of that forum saved me.
Thanks for commenting. Feel free to share your story here. When we share our experiences, we may help another.
Hope & Hugs,

Anonymous said...

My wh told me right from the beginninng that I had done nothing wrong. He even claimed to have told that to the BW. It doesn't make me feel any better! When I read the things in their text messages all I felt was heartbreak! I wanted so badly for him to be saying those things to me. I had tried so hard to be everything for him and I felt about him the way she claimed to as well. He used to say those things to me. I still sent things like that to him. god it hurts so much!

shawn thewife said...

(((Anonymous))) We understand how much you hurt. It is a pain that can't be healed with words. It takes time....LOTS of time. And, it takes compassion and understanding by your WH. You don't say when your DDay was, but I can tell you I didn't begin to heal for over a year after DDay. Don't give up. It will get better.
Richard told Jaymie we had a good marriage, too. He said I was a good wife...but that there was no passion. He has changed his tune since DDay. He now knows that his affair had NOTHING to do with me. It was all about him. His lack of self-esteem. His selfishness and loss of his moral compass.
Please try to see a counselor for just you. Take care of JUST you. We all need support. You can also visit one of the online forums listed on the bottom of my blog's homepage, the Healing Heart or After the Betrayal. Lots of experience and empathy there.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Winona said...

Yes, It is easier for me to do furious than sorroful, hopeless, and vulnerable. I used to think there was something wrong with me that I wasn't more hopeless in those early months. But my anger kept me going, because when I DO do hopeless, I am useless and depression takes me over. Which has happened now. Depressin has been my state of being for the last year. I cannot afford therapy. I am struggling through this alone. Since March, we have not had sex (he's too tired during the week and but by the weekend I'm too tired and not remotely interested. I began to ask him to please start again with me our relationship healing work, he would give me promises, then excuses, then ignore it. We no longer talk about how we're feeling. And I am now feeling utterly hopeless. I have been trying to do my healing work and convince him he needs some too, but it's too exhausting. I'm on the verge of giving up even my work. It feels I care more about the relationship than he does, but I cannot be the only one in it. His refusals to do the small things I've asked for healing and relationship growth have made him unsafe and untrustworthy.

How do you convince the cheating husband that "sorry" is meangingless when there is no action to prove they mean it by actions? When they say 'I promise' but conitnue the behaviors and attitudes that lead us here, they are givning us empty promises.