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, May 29, 2012

The Infidelity War Escalates

It was the day before Thanksgiving, which can be stressful enough without infidelity shaking things up, right?  There's always lots of family around.  One of the bunch is probably a bad apple, at least where I come from.  That makes for the distinct possibility that there will be some sort of confrontation, hurt feelings or various other family exchanges that are most certainly not reason for giving Thanks.   A daughter hiding her emotions brought on by a cheating husband is right up there with any major league family drama.  I was dreading the effort it would require to put on my happy face for the entire day.

We were going to spend the day with our kids, my parents and my amazing grandpa.  We do this every other year.  The other Thanksgiving days are spent in Florida with Richard's family.  He has two older sisters in Vero Beach.  They have husbands and grown children, most of them with spouses and kids of their own.  It's a fairly large group that we rarely see, but every other year we enjoy spending time with all of them.  Perhaps I should have been more thankful that we were not heading to Vero that year.  Can't imagine how difficult that would have been.

Woke up early.  I usually did.  Wasn't sleeping well these past 2 months.  (shocker!)  I just laid there with my brain spinning as usual.  The lovely Dr. K advised us not to discuss the affair in our bedroom.  What can I say?  I'm not the greatest patient ever.  The conversation that started the next battle in the infidelity war went something like this:
"I don't know how I'm gonna hold it together all day tomorrow.  Maybe it's time to tell mom & dad the truth.  I just don't know what to do."  (BTW...I don't know and I don't care were at the tippy top of my current responses to anything!)
"It's Thanksgiving.  Why ruin Thanksgiving?"
"I'm going to have to tell them soon.  I can't believe they haven't called us on anything yet.  Mom knows something is up.  I'm sure of it." it comes....Wait for it.....

"Your dad already knows."

Are you freaking kidding me??  Did I just hear what I thought I heard?  I thought my head was gonna explode like a grenade, skull shrapnel and brain matter all over the place!
It took me almost a full minute to catch my breath and gather my wits about me.  My eyes must have been as big as melons and my mouth was agape, hanging to the floor in utter shock.  I tried to ask for details, but when you can't breath, speech is difficult, so is rational thought.
"What do you mean?  How, when?"  (So articulate!)
"I told him when we hiked up Mt. Woodson two weeks ago."  TWO WEEKS AGO??
"What made you think that was OK?  I thought you'd come to your senses?  Stupid me!  How dare you talk to MY father about this??"
"I thought he could help me/us." (I don't remember if Richard said ME or US.  My guess is, he said me, but I'm hoping he said us.) "He went through this with your mom.  I thought he might have some insight."

Yea, my dad is a cheater, too.  I remember when my mom tried to tell me at Soup Plantation years ago.  She gave me the "a friend of mine is going through this" story line.  What did I say?  "If Richard ever cheated on me he'd be gone! Men like that are complete pigs!"  Or something equally as compassionate.  Ugh.

The battle intensified.  It was about to escalate out of control.  I tried to absorb the fact that Richard had lied yet again.  He said it wasn't a lie, he just didn't tell me.  He was trying to find help for us.  Seriously?? I thought Richard may have had a stroke!  He used to be so much smarter than this!

Plus, I was thinking about my dad.  How could he have known for two long weeks and not once come to me?  Didn't he care how I was doing?  What in the hell was happening?  Richard is only related to him because of me!  I'm his daughter for the love of the Lord!  Oh my God!  Did he tell MOM??  I was headed to panic mode about mom, so I didn't feel the pain in my heart about my dad not coming to me until later.

The screaming in my head was so damn loud!  My voice had to stay at a slightly lower volume because of my kids.  There was a lot of pacing and arm flailing as I ranted, raved and stormed about our bedroom.  This must have been why the lovely Dr. K suggested that we not discuss the affair in there.

Even as I processed the potential impact of this new offending lie, I was plotting my next defensive strike.  For me, there was always payback.  If he thought telling my dad was no big deal, why shouldn't we tell his sisters?
And the war raged on.


Skoonz said...

Oh my goodness. I've just discovered your blog, it is midnight here in Europe and my unfaithful husband is asleep beside me. Another 60 year old with the nightmare cliche Midlife Crisis. My DDay was in February, we did a month of counselling (pointless as the OW was waiting in the wings) then she whistled for him and he left us. Asked to come home five weeks later as our kids wanted nothing to do with him whilst he was with her (plastic surgery, rich divorcee siren, he is her third married man affair "love of her life" that I know of). Three years ago she insinuated herself into our family and I felt sorry for her and befriended her. What a naive idiot! Anyway, the condition being allowed home was that he give her up immediately, which he did. So he now feels terrible that he has hurt her so much.....?! I love him, we've been together 32 years, he's not a career philanderer but this is SO hard to deal with. How could he fall for someone so obvious, conniving and worthless?
So I send you metaphorical hugs because I'm going through it too and there is such a long road ahead

shawn, the wife said...

Skoonz: Welcome to the club that nobody wants to join! You are very fresh into the mess. I'm so sorry for your pain. As you can tell by the blog, I soooo get it. Most of the people that read this blog GET IT. That's why it's a safe place to be.
If he is still worrying about her...He doesn't get it. He should only be worrying about how he hurt you. Hope you are still in counseling.
For now, take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself. Don't blame yourself for any of it. You did nothing wrong. The cheaters have to earn their place back in our hearts.
Hope you sleep well tonight! Thanks for reading.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Bubbles said...

Wow...I'm so sorry. I'm sorry that you've had men, including your father, in your life who've acted this way. I don't understand it. How can we as women trust our men? How? When everywhere we turn there is pornography and cheaters. My heart goes out to you. And I understand the craziness in your head. 2 and a half years later and my mind is still spinning. I'm in the club too...reluctantly, but the silver lining is that I've found some new friends:)

Skoonz said...

Now you've made me cry by being so nice. Yes, we are in counselling, and I also go on my own. I so hope that he will go and talk to someone soon as he has many issues, but he is a buttoned-up Alpha male so getting him to marriage counselling was a coup! It seems so ironic that we, the cuckolded, have to do most of the work when our lives have been shattered. I noticed in one of your blogs you quoted "all things must pass". That has been my mantra recently, along with "breathe in, breathe out"!

shawn, the wife said...

Bubbles: Hope you're feeling stronger today. I've been thinking about you. I'm glad you found me. I would be honored to be named in your list of friends.
Men, so damn cliche'! Richard told me one of the reasons he cheated was he thought he deserved it. Lots of successful men had a little hot something on the side. How in the world do we stand a chance if men think it's no big deal to cheat? In fact, it's almost expected!
I'll tell you how. We don't tolerate it. We condemn it where ever and when ever we see it. If our men screw up (or around, as the case may be) we let them know they HAVE to choose. We deserve better..a hell of a lot better.
Sorry. Climbing down from the soapbox now!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn, the wife said...

(((Skoonz))) Oh, Crap! So sorry I made you cry! I'm sure you have enough of that going on without my help!
With time and a good therapist your man may realize why he cheated. He needs to learn why so it never happens again. Then, healing can begin and there's a solid chance your marriage will be better, stronger and happier than ever.
That's what I'm working toward. Not just healed...but better.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it all suck so bad? Mine left me for a co-worker who is 61-62 (he is 52). Besides being a DECADE "OLDER", she is probably 'the' most unattractive woman I've ever seen both in face and body, and is balding. No lie. I've also been informed everyone hates her at work but likes him, is mortified by the relationship, and claims she is 'conniving, manipulative, ladder climber, etc'. But she has great confidence in herself which I guess is part of the attraction. He filed divorce a year ago and he's steadfast with it.

Honestly I've not contacted her. She's been skating through this with zero care during my suffering. I know he and I would be in a different place right now if she disappeared but it doesn't seem to be happening. Boy would I like to rattle some cages!

My question Shawn is.... where are you and his relationship now? Is he still with Jayme? Has he filed divorce?

shawn, the wife said...

Anonymous: First let me say, I am so sorry your wayward husband is such an ass. In one of my posts, (The Fog) I mentioned that I truly believe men won't leave a marriage until they find someone else to wash their underwear. They are too chicken-shit. God forbid they would come to their wives if they were unhappy. Nope. They have to find a woman with no moral compass to care for them first. Makes me gag.

Next, about your question...Richard and I are together and find our road to happy. These days we have more good days than bad. He has done about all he can to help me get past the pain. I'm the one that questions if I can find a way to embrace this marriage with all my heart ever again. Somedays, I can't imagine myself without him. Other days, I want to rip his heart out and feed it to the dog.
Please come here often when you need to be with people that 'get it'. We'll always be here for you.
Also, try this support forum...
It's caled the Healing Heart. The compassion and understanding I found there saved me when I was at my lowest.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

sick of dems said...

Hi - I have just found your blog. I really like the way you write about it all. Such a roller coaster. I have been married almost 23 years. Found out my husband had an affair with his exGF from before we were married. One of the things I found out during this whole mess is that on the day before her wedding (which we were invited to) she visited my husband at his store and gave him a BJ - she was pregnant with her fiances baby. The next day we went to the wedding and she blew my H a kiss on her way UP the aisle. Nothing more to say about this skank. Fast forward 20 years and she looks him up and they 'have coffee' for two years. The whoel truth didn't come out for an entire year.

It just sucks. I am almost 4 years out and feel like I might never find a connection with him again. I struggle daily. On anti-depressants and still not feeling good. He is doing everything he can and working on himself. We go to MC and I have an IC. But it rattles your self esteem, sense of self worth - everything - to the core.

If there were a convention for people who have been betrayed there wouldn't be a convention center big enough - anywhere!

I wish we all weren't in this awful place.

shawn, the wife said...

Sick of Dems: Glad you found us, but sorry you were looking in the first place. The place we find ourselves is life changing, to be sure, thanks to choices made by our wayward husbands. BUT...We get to choose HOW it changes our life.
Your story sounds familiar. Adultery doesn't always look the same, but I'm finding it feels the same. It helps to have people around you that get it. True understanding and support is crucial on the road back to happy.
You can recover. Your marriage can be better after an affair. You can be stronger, too. Remember did nothing wrong. You could have been the best, most perfect wife ever. He didn't cheat because you were "not good enough" in any way. Wayward men cheat because of their issues...not ours.
Don't give up. Figure out what makes you happy and dive in.
Thanks for reading.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Whoa that must be very hard about your dad. I sometimes wonder about mine because he is successful and outgoing, but I don't think/hope he hasn't. I don't know if I would want to know. I have one good friend whose father left their mom for another woman. They kind of have a relationship with him, though he isn't around much, but my friend is the only one with a normal relationship. Her siblings have all been married multiple times, cheated, drugs, etc.
Do you mind if I ask how it affected your relationship with your dad? Was he remorseful? Was it just once? How is your mom? Are they happy now? Did you know the woman? Did your dad give Richard good advice? Seems like a double whammy to see your mom go through that pain then go through it yourself.

shawn, the wife said...

Anonymous: It was a very long time ago. If memory serves, almost 20 years. Never got the whole story from Mom. My dad is a doctor. I think OW was a nurse. How cliche' can you get??
Looking back now, I remember times when Mom lashed out at Dad and I couldn't figure out why. I get it now. They are still together and very happy.
To this day I don't know exactly what Dad said to Richard. I think he told him to get ready for a very long rough road. He got that part right!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Mike & San said...

Thank you for creating this blog Shawn. It helps to read someone else's train of thought and realize that I'm not "going crazy". I've read through your pages and keep saying to myself that "I've been there". This roller coaster of crap is a process you can't rush or cheat your way out of. (believe me, I've tried) Being 10 months down the road I just keep expecting myself to be FURTHER along then I am. "When will this damn ride be over??" my mind keeps screaming. Maybe I just need to give myself a break. HUGS & well wishes from another sister of the betrayed..

shawn, the wife said...

Mike San: PLEASE be gentle with yourself. Don't add any more pain to the load you're hauling now. You will be better, just not anytime soon. You will be stronger, just not as fast as you hoped. Your life can be so much more than you ever dreamed, just not over night.

The road to happy is long, bumpy and littered with land mines. So, join us. We all do so much better when we navigate the way together.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

This was refreshing reading all your comments, i feel so lonely since i found out that my boyfriend of 5 years, "not husband" cheated on me. Does that even make a different rather your married or not? Ive been asking myself that since. Its so easier to dump then dealing with all the paper crap right? I dont talk about it to anybody, except for my counselor who tries to help out but with very small progress. It felt so good when Shaun said quote; "He didn't cheat because you were "not good enough" in any way. Men cheat because of their own issues...not ours" My boyfriend started this weird behavior while his deployment to Afghanistan. From talking to old crush to holding someone hand to finally an affair. He never confess, the shame was too high, i discovered everything by my own and confronted him. I always think theres other girls im not aware of. The weird thing is that i am still happy with him, but so darn mad that this has become my life.

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous! I just saw this comment! Please forgive my late response!
I gotta say...I'm really glad your not married to this guy yet! He has a whole lot of explaining to do!
He also has a whole lot of learning to do about himself, and why he cheats. He needs IC in a big way. This is all about his short comings. his moral compass is way screwed up.
I'm glad you get that his behavior has nothing to do with you. Please be kind to yourself. Treat yourself with respect. Don't marry this guy unless he gets some counseling.
You don't have to be married to have it hurt like holy hell when your partner cheats. We get how hard it is, so even though I didn't reply to you right away...I're not alone and it will get better.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

I told my close girlfriends, I regret never sharing with my mom, she had compassion and wisdom and knowledge and she loved me.... my dad was gone... his parents are the most wonderful parents ever and they adore him and he them, I would never tell them. My sister, exactly one year prior to my Dday, found out her H was having an affair, she moved in with us for 8 months she lost weight, couldn't sleep, became bitter and angry and hard. I listened and talked and gave advice on how to heal, but she never did heal. Sooo... one year later and I realize that I had NO FRIGGIN CLUE how badly she was hurting, how huge the hole in her was, how raw and fragile and painful what she went through truly was as I was trying to help. Guess I realized no one was going to be able to help me either. Our similarities are so scary Shawn... I need to quit reading and posting on every post of yours, it's 5:03 AM... lol. Thanks for sharing your story, I am still learning coping skills all these years later. I need them to help the women on HH and BSSG. Gotta get back in there and help others, but you'll find you have to get away from it for awhile too....
Formerly, Brokenonce

Anonymous said...

Maybe ive missed something here. But how is it that you feel you were lied too?

Hes gone to your father I can only imagine how degrading for him that must hve felt as well to admit to the one man you have to ask permission off.

That he had done this.

He went with truth in his heart and seeking help.

It seems you over react about things like this when he clearly is working on it and youve framed it on this blog as his "second major lie"

Please enlighten me I hope im missing something

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: it SEEMS like I over react?? LOL! It's like you don't know me at all!
Hell, yes I over reacted! Richard could sneeze wrong and I'd go totally bat shit crazy, but telling my dad was one time when he was deserving of my complete meltdown for real.
One of my big concerns at the time was keeping my parents out of our marital mayhem. Richard knew that, yet he chose to involve my Dad anyway. Bad move.
Told dad. Didn't tell me. Betrayal and a lie of omission. Any form of deception after DDay is nothing less than an additional major blow to the already crushed soul of the betrayed.'re right. I over reacted LOTS of times, but this wasn't one of those.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn