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.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rethinking Rookie Mistakes

Having a come to Jesus talk with Jaymie's dad had not been nearly as much fun as I had imagined, at least during the entire 2.3 minutes I spent actually thinking ahead and imagining it at all.   I really screwed myself.  How would I ever get Jaymie to send me the rest of the emails?  No way she'll talk to me again.  I still had so many questions!  So many, that if I had written them all down, it would have read like War & Peace.  (mostly the War part)  Why would she help me now?  I stuck it to her but good!  Told dear old Dad!  I felt confident that he'd be telling Mom about their baby girl/whore bag's secret sex life any minute, too!  I showed all my cards, threw 'em all out on the table, went all in and I did not have an ace up my sleeve.  Another Rookie mistake that might help some of you.  If you have any leverage....don't use it too soon!

Told Richard about the conversation with James, Jaymie's dad.  (James, Jaymie...cute, right?  Or did you throw up a little in your mouth?)  Can you guess Richard's reaction?  Yep...that's right, Friends!  Mortified, Horrified and Petrified! Abso-fucking-lutely a guilt ridden, pathetic, regretful nub of a man.
He wanted to crawl in a hole and hide out until this wicked storm from hell, of his own creation, blew over.  If he had gone underground, he would have been in his hidey-hole for an extended period.  My vengeful behavior didn't subside for months.

With his last ounce of dignity, Richard managed to email James and apologize.  He also thanked him for treating me with so much compassion.  There's a cavernous gap between how Richard reacts to stressful situations and how I deal with such issues.  He is calm (generally) and soft spoken, practically oozing decorum.  I just let it rip.  Call it as I see it.  If the situation demands it, raise my voice and let the profanity fly.  Appearances be damned.  I'm not out to impress anybody.  I just wanna get my way.

James responded to Richard with the patience and forgiveness of a Saint!  He was so sorry to hear about what had transpired.  He would be talking with Jaymie that night.  He was very disappointed in Richard as he had enjoyed meeting him and had hoped they could work together in a few upcoming investment opportunities.  Oh, Holy Night!  Are you kidding me?  This was Christian forgiveness on a whole new level...almost Divine intervention, if you will.

Epic fail.  I had drawn no blood from my enemies, yet I continued to hemorrhage profusely.  Richard was embarrassed, sure.  Big Whoop.  Jaymie would probably get a stern lecture, but I wouldn't get to witness it.  No retribution.  Extremely unsatisfying in my quest for payback.  Worse yet, my information seeking just became mission next-to impossible.  Time to regroup.

The fact that Richard didn't choose to give up on us after I outted him to Jaymie's dad was not lost on me.  His reaction earned him some substantial points to be redeemed at a later date.  I knew how much he hated dragging anyone else through our personal pig-pen mud bath, which is precisely why I so thoroughly enjoyed tossing the stinky sod around.  He should have been furious, but he didn't even ask me why.  He only asked how I was, had it been hard on me and he was so very sorry for all the pain he had caused to everyone.  Then, he suggested a night away, just the two of us.  Sometime alone to reconnect.

We had been going on date nights.  Cocktails, lovely dinners and a bit of PDA. Why not step it up a notch?  A couples massage, cocktails, the lovely dinner, some PDA, gazing deeply into each others eyes, whispered words of amour, lots of uninterrupted hysterical bonding, plus breakfast in bed!

Sure.  I could get on board with that plan.  Might as well.  I didn't have anymore ammo to toss toward Jaymie...not right then, anyway.


AJ said...

I myself cheated. That's right I'll admit it and invite the ire of spurned women everywhere. I have also been cheated on. I am in a unique position to understand both sides of this coin. My stories are different and the direct result of choices I made and I don't place blame on my wife or on the OW.

After DD, my wife and I have worked hard for a really long time, and now things are, in some ways, better than they were before and in others not. My life isn't my own. I don't have any privacy, my own email, my own phone, none of it. I gave it up to her as a penance and as a gesture of good will. As the remorseful cheater should.

I see that some commentators on this blog suggest that some blame rests with the women, and I see that some women label themselves as victims. I have a more unique perspective here. The cheating happened because the cheater made a choice. Plain and simple. Every choice has consequences and if the cheater isn't prepared to deal with those, then he/she shouldn't cheat. I wasn't ready for the consequences myself, but I'll tell you that after DD, I had to GET ready and the journey has taught me a lot about myself, about my own values and about redemption; but only redemption of the self. As trite as it sounds, and as much as I'm sure some spurned lovers out there will verbally castrate me for it, I forgive myself and see that I am worth redemption. And that the only way to be redeemed is to live every day according to the values I have or have learned about myself.

As to the victims, I believe the cheater has an obligation to make amends if possible, and if not to get out of the way so that healing can happen. I also believe that the victim will be a victim for as long as they let that happen. Each time my wife goes through my email, or my phone, or checks my internet history I cry. Not because I've done anything wrong, but because I can see that she is still allowing herself to be a victim of the situation. My situation with her is my own and will be handled by the two of us (we're awesome like that) but to everyone else, I implore you, find a way to not be angry anymore. Find a way to not be the victim anymore, it is possible and while you aren't responsible for his/her choice to cheat, you are responsible for your own well being, and your own healing.

It can happen. It will take a long time. Just do your best, be your best in all the ways you can and never forget to spread love whenever or wherever possible.

Peace to all of us, the cheaters and the victims.

Good Blog!

shawn, the wife said...

Welcome, AJ! Peace right back at cha!
Not to worry. No spurning from me, quite the opposite actually. Any wayward that takes responsibility for their behavior and strives for retribution will be keeping his gonads on my watch! No castrating allowed on this blog.
Your comment could have been written by Richard, but I think he still has a way to go to forgiving himself completely. I'll have to ask him.
You don't mention how long since DDay for you. If it hasn't been long, I'm wondering if that's why your wife still needs to keep close tabs on you.
You also don't mention if you have conquered the question of "Why"? There are probably lots of reasons/answers/excuses. Richard has a diatribe. In MC he learned that he must understand the WHY to be sure he will never cheat again.
And..about the much rage that it felt like serpents in my gut for over a year. I began to let it go when I started this blog. 21 months out and the perpetual pain has become a periodic dull ache.
You're right about time. It's a long haul up the road to happy.
Thanks so much for commenting. Hope you stick around and share your perspective more often.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

@ AJ: I think you misunderstand where your wife is coming. She isn't hanging on to victim status here, she's trying to empower herself. You mentioned you'd been cheated on yourself. Because of that, I wonder if you don't have the expectation that her healing should look like yours. Maybe you didn't feel the need to check e-mails and phone logs, etc., so you believe she shouldn't need that either. The truth of the matter is what she needs is not up to you. Betrayed spouses need to know their wayward spouses are trustworthy and this is how your wife is verifying that you are being honest with her. I get that you want her to just believe you, but she trusted you once, and you made her look like a fool. This transparency is tied directly to her healing and eventually moving on. The upside is that as long as you continue to prove to her that you are trustworthy and remorseful, she WILL move on. But it has to be on her time table, not yours.

@ Shawn--I thought outing the affair to the OW's friends, family, etc. was a necessary step to deconstructing it. Painful, but necessary. I don't see that you did anything wrong. Just my opinion.