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.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Coming Out of the Perfect Marriage Closet

I started Lexapro around week 7.  Lexapro, a lovely little anti depressant that may cause weight gain, headaches,  severe lethargy or nausea.  Nice.  Dr. N said I showed all the signs of severe depression.  No shit.  You didn't need an MD to diagnose that.  Weird thing was, up until then, in public, I had held it together.  I was the consummate actress.  Meryl Streep had nothing on me!

It was a little over 8 weeks post DDay when I had to return my Academy Award.  My acting skills until then had been impeccable!  Hell, with all the stress, anxiety and heartache I was dealing with, I doubt Meryl would have done any better, Lexapro or not.

I came out of the "My Marriage is Perfect" closet.  He never admitted it, but I knew, Richard abhorred letting others know about our red hot mess of a marriage.  Duh!  What upstanding husband, loving father and all around community nice guy wants people to know he's a sleeze bag cheating prick?
If you know me at all by now, the fact that spreading our dirt pained Richard was more than enough reason for me to take out a front page ad in the local paper.

When I told others, I convinced myself it was all completely innocent.  I needed support!  Poor, poor pitiful me!  I just couldn't hold it together any longer all on my lonesome!  Whatever.  Now, I kind of think I just wanted to stick it to Richard.   At the time though, it truly felt like I just poured out my guts to others for comfort.  There is probably a tad of truth to both sides. It's debatable.

Richard told me he didn't care who I told.  He didn't care.  He just wanted me to be happy again and he'd do whatever it took.  I put that declaration of love to the test quite a few times.  I think the first time was at a bar with all the wives of our local friends.  The same friends I was with when I caught Richard in that first lie.  One of them already knew, Lori.  She was the smart friend that suggested I find out what was up.  She's a teacher, did I tell you that??  Smart.  Anyway, the rest of the girls hadn't seen me since Halloween and wondered why.

One of them, Kelly, kept asking me, "Shawn, what is up with you?"
"I'm fine.  Just tired.  Busy at work."  Thought she'd buy it. I was the rock of the group!  The older wife that had all the answers!  Not so much.  She was relentless.  After 2 vodka gimlets, she asked me again and I lost it.  Ran crying from the bar.
Drama!  Hey..maybe I'll get that Oscar back!

She chased after me, of course.  Sobbing I told her about Jaymie and Richard and how my life was a steamy hot shit storm!  Another cocktail and lots of 'I'm sorrys' and 'I can't believe its' later, we walked back in and I shared the tattered reality of my life with all the girls.  Abounding sympathy ensued.

If you're keeping a casualty head count...let's do the math...banished best friends make 2, add 5 inebriated girlfriends, Smart Lori, Nikki & Julie had known since DDay, so we're up to 10 already!
Next came my brother and his wife.   They were here for a little vacation and I dragged them right into our marriage mine field.  That makes it an even dozen.  The total number of injured hovered there until the day before Thanksgiving.  That's when Richard made a huge strategic blunder.  He lied again.
Time to break out the big guns.


Bubbles said...

You should read my latest post. Yep. I'm on the drugs too my friend!! :) I'm right there with you. I'm sorry you've had to go through this humiliation. It sucks, I know that one for sure. I was married for 13 years. I can't imagine 30 years and then having this happen. My thoughts and prayers are with you...

shawn, the wife said...

(((Bubbles))) I read your new post on your blog. I'm so sorry you are in such a dark place. You're stronger than you feel right now. Time is your friend.
We're here for you.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Xena said...

Hey Shawn

I admit I struggle with this one - to tell or not to tell our circle of happy clappy christian friends. I sometimes sit there and just wonder, what would happen if I said XYZ? Would everyone suddenly be laying their stuff on the table? Would I want to do this to humilate my husband? And to be honest, a part of it is about humiliating him...hectic times!

shawn, the wife said...

Hey, Xena: I'm more aware now that for most of the first year, much of what I did revolved around my efforts to hurt Richard. The under current to most of my actions was do unto him what he did unto you. I think my path to reconciliation required me to fight back instead of forgive. I'm weird that way.
I went out of my Crazy Town.
I talked about having my own affair. Told him I was gonna do it. Even the playing field. He said he understood!

My therapist said one thing to me that I wish I had HEARD then. "You can NEVER hurt them the way they hurt you." At the time, I just took that as a challenge! It's a pure truth, though. So, why waste the energy?
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

krista said...

dying to read your next post and what the lie was. I am 5 months from d-day...but only 4 weeks from the most recent lie. It sent my healing right back to d-day even though the lie had nothing to do with the affair. I am basically at the point of walking away..I'm interested to hear how you made it through the first lie after THE lie.

LiveandLearn47 said...

Oh have I been there (without the alcohol as I was 13 years sober on my husbands d-day) ... Shoot In those early days I think a NYC cabbie found out ... And my nail tech ... I overflowed with emotions.

As far as friends ...I kept it to my close ones and the few who I had told my suspicions during the affair. Then I had this dawning realization - I felt like an alien out in the world...the kid events, the charitable events, church, AA meetings etc - I look out of my broken soul and felt immensely lone. So I ended up needed at least one person at these events who knew how lost I was...this changed everything for me. The ability to share my burden on the shoulders of my trusted friends was hugely helpful ...and in turn they told me they felt honored...honored to be my trusted friend, to be a part of the Grace that came from the brokenness and finally to be witness to the journey of healing. Out of loneliness I came ... Healing begun..

And yes ... Time is your friend... 2 years out I feel normal once again...and I'm never alone in my journey as I have a host of fellows betrayed and healing as I am doing..

Anonymous said...

I read this post at least three times. I had not told anyone about the affair for like 2 years. I suffered alone, with the help of my personal therapist. My husband wouldn't go see anyone, he said he felt too guilty to talk about it. His work keeps him away for weeks at a time so I blamed his job more than him.
The first time opened up to anyone I was at a conference and was asked to make a goal and commit to it. All I could think was, shit how can I commit to anything when I couldn't even keep my marriage together. I know sounds lame right? But you never reallynknow whatbis going to set off a trigger. One of the girls I was with at the conference has known my husband since he was in 4th grade and couldn't believe what she was hearing. She called him and ripped him a new one for putting me in this place.
It was her talk that forced me to go see a doctor about the drugs. I took Prozac, which was a life saver. I know I was depressed since I would sleep my days away. I would not even go outside with the kids, I'd cry for no reason, and well I hated me. Thank God for those little pills! They saved me, but what and who was going to save my marriage?
My husband was in denial until his best friend confronted him. He made my husband talk and fess up to allmof his bullshit. I thank him everyday for his ability to getbmy husband to talk. He now wants to do the work to keep us together. It's a long and ugly road, but like many of you there have been other lies to send us back to square one. It has been tough and I wouldn't wish this on anyone, but it has made me more observant and keep my heart guarded. Don't really know if that's good but at least I feel a little safer that way. Not so exposed.

shawn, the wife said...

Hi, Krista: This would have been the second lie after the BIG lie on DDay. The first was the emails. If you asked wasn't really a lie. He just never told me because he didn't think it would help us heal. So, technically it's an omission. Such crap.
Anyway..the first omission/bald faced lie was about the emails. He showed me a few when I asked to see them, but they were so G rated. Not that I was pleased they were sharing emails about cocktails and car seat covers, but he knew those were easier to read than the emails about their undeniable love. The next omission involves family.

You are so fresh into the pain. Your WH is ,too. The healing process has a learning curve for both of you. He has to learn to give you what YOU need to heal, not what he thinks you need. Communication is key. Hope you're in MC. Professional guidance is very helpful.
If you still love him, tell him what you need to make the marriage work. Don't hold back. Good luck.
Stick around. We'll be here for you.
Hop & Hugs, Shawn

shawn, the wife said...

L & L47: I agree about sharing the pain, but I don't think I needed to tell quite so many people. Just a few good, dependable friends would have been sufficient. My problem was I didn't think much through. I had no filter...I felt it...I said it...I acted on it. Very impulsive. Not the best way to heal.
Really wish I had learned to count to 100 sooner.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn, the wife said...

Anonymous: Your supportive friends found you!! I love that! Thank God for the people in our lives that will always lend a hand to help or a shoulder to cry on.

I think we find lots of support here, with our online freinds, but having that special person that really knows us and loves us unconditionally...that's crucial.
I hope your marriage continues to improve now that your WH is ready to do the work!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Jules said...

I just found your blog. This post pretty much sums up my life. I should get an Oscar for the acting I have done the past two years. Holding your life together in public when it is totally falling apart in private is tough stuff.

I have two people that have been my support. They know everything and they support me however I choose to deal with this crap that is my life.

When I am told I am depressed, I want to say no Sh**, do you want a cookie for that diagnosis? My greatest support has been the fantastic ladies (and a couple of guys) I have found through my blog. Hugs to you!

shawn, the wife said...

Hi, Jules: Thanks for joining us as we muddle through the maze of infidelity. Here we don't have to act. Everyone gets it.
Close friends are imperative, no doubt, but I have found the most compassion and understanding here, on others blogs and support forums. Gotta love the web.
I'm gonna check out your blog so I can get to know you a bit.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

You have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award --->

shawn, the wife said...

Beingabeautifulmess: Thanks sooooo much for including me in your list of Versatile Bloggers! I read what you wrote about my blog and I am overwhelmed. I never imagined anyone would read my blog, let alone enjoy it!
I try to keep up with a few blogs, yours included, but when I say a FEW, I mean it! No way I could pass the award on to 15 bloggers!
However...I can and do recommend your blog and I am happy to post a link to it here.
Thanks again. So glad we found each other...strength and comfort in numbers!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Susan Rubinsky said...

One of my greatest reliefs was telling people the truth. There is nothing worse than living a lie. I started telling people the day after Dday. I told: My Mom, my brother, several of my closest friends.

Having people you can lean on will mean the world to you, even if you just found out. Maybe these people won't completely understand (only those who have been betrayed truly understand this) but if you choose selectively, you will have people you can lean on. People who are not your husband.

shawn, the wife said...

Susan: I hear ya. I needed to talk about how much I hurt, rant about what a huge dick-head Richard was and beg for someone to help me find a way to make it all better.
Some sympathy is good, but airing all that dirty laundry comes with a heavy price tag that doesn't come due until much later. At first, I was considering renting a billboard and let the world know what Jaymie and Richard had done to my world. Now, I wish I had been more discrete. There's a part of me that will always wonder what has been said about us. Do our friends question the stability of my marriage? Are there whispers of "Poor Shawn. How could she stay with him after what he did?" Probably.
I rationalize...who gives a shit what anybody thinks...but if i had kept my mouth shut to begin with, I wouldn't even wonder about it all.
Not a big deal in my life, but something to consider if your fresh into the infidelity mess.
Hope & Hugs,

Anonymous said...

I told all our friends .. Well the close group we had and I don't regret it. I couldn't stand the fact that people were going to make statements "why is she being such a bitch to him?" And thinking he's so innocent . I figured if I had to go through hell he has to go through with me.

Now it's been almost a year since dday and it's Been a shot to his ego/ manhood.

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: Is his ego deflated because his friend treat him differently now? None of our friends or family ever treated Richard differently. My mom might have chewed his ass out ONCE. Richard may have been a tad embarrassed at first and I'm thinking our friends probably had a few choice words for him behind his back, but my world wide broadcast of his infidelity hasn't really effected him much at all.
If I could have a do-over, I'd keep my mouth shut! Only my closest circle of girlfriends would know. Because telling others cast a pathetic light on me! Poor Shawn. How could Richard do that to her? Why do you think he cheated? He sure blind sided her!

Yeah...I do not care for the pity party.
Thanks for sharing. Always helps to hear new perspectives.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn