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, September 16, 2012

F%#K Fantasy Football! Part 2

The first of the three lies/omissions came to light as Richard and my son sat at our dining room table working through the picks they hoped to make at the fantasy football draft the next day via a surrogate. The plan was to create a list of preferred players from 1 to 100.  Having no idea how this competition works, I decided to join in for a bit, show interest and appreciation for the effort being made to appease me.
Let's face it.  The change of plan was ONLY to appease me, to keep life pleasant in our humble home.

Richard didn't decide to stay away from Michelle and the draft party because he wanted to or even because he thought it was the right thing to do.  He just did not want to rock the boat.  At this point, I was fine with that!  I didn't think it through. (That's a phrase I've over used writing this blog!) I should have cared  A LOT that he was only doing it for me.  When he makes his decisions based only on what I want, it's gonna lead straight to more secretive behavior.  In fact, it already had.  I just didn't know it yet.

Back to Lie #1.  Discovery was made as follows:
Me: "What are you guys doing?  Working on draft stuff?"
Lukas: "Yep.  Picking our team."
Me: "I'm really glad you figured out a way to stay in the league.  I know you enjoyed it a lot last year.  How did you pick your team last year?  I mean, you were in this league before and you never went to the draft party.  How did it work then?"
Richard jumped in: "We had somebody else pick for us."
Lukas:  "Yea.  We had our other team member go to the draft."
Me: "Who was on your team last year?"
Lukas, glanced at dad and announced:  "Michelle was on our team last year."
Me, glaring at Richard: "Guess you neglected to share that little factoid with me.  Wonder why?"

In a split second I went from very grateful to Richard for compromising to appease me, to so damn angry that my head and gut hurt. Richard knew his goal of keeping a peaceful home was just torpedoed.  Damage control was needed, pronto!  As soon as the boys had completed their work selecting what they hoped would be a stellar team, Richard asked me to come outside and talk.

Me: "Another lie.  A year old lie! You are unbelievable!"
Richard: "It wasn't a lie.  I just didn't tell you.  It meant nothing."
There was lots of back and forth bullshit that boiled down to a huge impasse.  Me accusing him of not getting it. (another over used phrase)  A PURPOSEFUL omission is a lie!  He became increasingly defensive and it got ugly.  He was gonna rub my face in it.
Richard: "Go ahead.  Ask me what other things I haven't told you."
Of course I took him up on that!
Richard: "I hiked up the mountain with Marc when you were out of town working.  I was gonna tell you, but I didn't because I knew you'd make a big deal out of it."

You see where this is going, right?  I don't need to type out all the dialog.  It is just too damn predictable.  Lie #3 was in the lovely Dr. K's office.  Richard talked about things he really wanted to do and how he was becoming resentful that I was still holding him hostage. (not his words, but definitely his meaning)  He admitted to a happy hour with a new associate at his firm and Michelle.

And...Swing batter!  Strike Three!  You're OUT!  (Threw in baseball terminology because that is my sport of choice.  Football sucks.)

The days since then have been wickedly tense.  Seriously, I haven't felt this crappy in months.  The whole depressed, exhaustion feeling...oh, yea.  I got that.  Wanting to start sucking down vodka WAY before happy hour.  Yep.  It's only lunch time now and I'm thinking Kettle One and Tonic sounds awesome.  Scared shitless that Richard doesn't have it in him to do what I need to save our marriage.  Damn straight.  I'd be a fool not to face that.  He thinks I'm asking too much of him.  He says the length of punishment doesn't fit the crime, that I don't give him enough credit for how hard he has worked to save our marriage for nearly 2 years.

After  I finish this post, I'm gonna go back to blogging about months past.  I gotta get on with the story.  I need to let this setback settle.
Not to worry.  If anymore deceitful shit hits the fan.  You'll be the first to know.


Anonymous said...

He doesn't get it. He thinks he gets it...but he doesn't get it. He really believes this has something to do with Michelle or Marc. He does not get the depth of the betrayal that you naturally feel...and he doesn't get the depth of betrayal that now colors any behavior connected to the affair. It wasn't possible for me to forgive until I had a feeling that my WS got an inkling of how much collateral damage had been done by his choices and his behavior.
It's a long shot...but Richard seems pretty reasonable- ask him if he'll read this, "So forgiveness assumes as its target, so to speak, an agent who knowingly does wrong and is held responsible. The moral anger one feels in this case is a reaction that is answerable to reason; and this would hold too with respect to giving up one’s anger. In the best case, the offender would offer you reasons for forswearing resentment, most obviously by taking a series of steps that include admission of responsibility, contrition, a resolve to mend his or her ways and recognition of what the wrong-doing felt like from your perspective.

Forgiveness is fundamentally a moral relation between self and other.Of course, as the wronged party you don’t always get anything close to that and are often left to struggle with anger in the face of the offender’s unwillingness or inability to give you reason to forswear anger. But if the offender offered to take the steps just mentioned, you would very likely accept, as that would make it not only psychologically easier to forgive, but would much more perfectly accomplish one moral purpose of forgiveness — namely, restoration of mutual respect and reaffirmation that one is not to be treated wrongly." From a brilliant editorial, On Forgiveness by Charles Griswold in the New York Times, December 2010

For me, a lot of the aftershock stuff in the two years following D day boiled down to that last sentence. That awareness that a) you have no idea how much damage you have done and b) there is no way in hell we are gonna be able to salvage any kind of relationship unless I feel like we have a redefined trust/respect relationship were both all-consuming tapes playing constantly in my head. Don't get me wrong, I had work to do too. Forgiveness became something I had to reexamine with more effort and more thoughtfulness than anything I had ever considered in my life. I have some great tools for that part of it if you ever feel the need.

Shawn- I know you can get through this, with or without Richard. Use the counselor, use your rational sane self...get real clear on what you're really asking him for and why, communicate it and make your decisions once you've figured out what you can bear and what he can realistically give.
My thoughts are with you...and I'm rooting for peace for you both.

Anonymous said...

PS It's only fair to mention that my WS also took the huge step of changing jobs so that no regular contact with either the affair partner and others associated with the affair would be necessary. In hindsight, that's probably the major reason we're still together and building a new marriage together.

Anonymous said...

All the hard work he's done in the last two years? Um...hasn't he been betraying you more or less for the whole of your marriage? There were other infidelities before Jamie, weren't there? I think he's got some nerve. Two years is a flash in the pan in light of all the years of lies and secrecy he has to make up for. This smacks of "Get over it", which means for all the effort he has made thus far, he still does. not. get it. He'll need to dig deeper. He CAN get there, but if he's still lying and keeping secrets, and rationalizing this behavior to himself, then he's definitely not there yet.

I'll be honest. In my quest for understanding, I've read a ton of blogs and websites. Perhaps I've mixed up your story with someone else's as far as the multiple betrayals go. If so, apologies to both you and your husband. The spirit of the message remains the same, though. What he's done is so disrespectful, sneaking around and lying about it with people who know you're being kept in the dark. I hope with more time and honest effort, he's able to see that and do the things he needs to in order to protect your marriage.

Anonymous said...

Wow. If he's going to go lawyerly with the length of punishment not fitting the crime, ask him if he knows what a lie of omission is. Any good lawyer worth his salt should know what that is.

As for the length of "punishment".. does he realize that he got the equivalent of a "get out of jail" card, only it didn't come free? He has to actually put in work in order to not go back into jail (ie, lose the relationship) for as long as he wants to make the relationship work (hopefully the rest of his life). Sorry, but he is starting to sound like a bit of an ass again.

I am also curious (and I apologize if it is not appropriate to ask... in that case, please ignore the questions), but Jaymie was not his first affair, right? Have you discussed the previous affairs, or did they kind of get pushed into a rabbithole by the tornado of the Jaymie affair? Does Dr. K know of the previous affairs? What does she have to say?

Huge hugs to you, Shawn. I hope all works out for the best.

Anonymous said...

Shawn he is not going to give up his his mind giving up the girl is where it stops.

Their brains are wired very matter what he says he holds you responsible for straying.

He is quiet because as you put it he does not want to end the marriage for various professional etc etc.

Plus at this age he has no inclination to start over, especially with bimbos because he knows they are not wife material.

But he is a man who holds his resentments deep and whenever he feels he is being disrespected he would go and do something which would be disrespectful of you,of course without telling you about it.

They are wired very differently and no matter how hard you may try..he will never get it and he will always be resentful of the way he is being treated irrespective of his actions.

That is how he has justified all his actions in his mind...the way he was always treated at home little realising that he was so treated cause of his own actions.

He will continue doing things that you dont want him to do..he will conceal them from you ..only under extreme provocation when he wants to hit back at you he may reveal what he has done.

The more you push him to be truthful the more he will lie..they are damaged people.

They just dont have an aversion to lies the way we do..for them lying to someone is the means they use to get back at the person.

They dont like fights confrontations..on the surface they will give in to quiet..agree with you..let you have your way but get back at you by stealthily doing things which they know you wont tolerate.

That makes them feel strong,feel as if they have more power than you.

Absolutely crazy..but true.

Anonymous said...

Shawn,Shawn, Shawn,

Where have you been these last five months? I have needed you more than any counselor or sister or friend. Why? Because they haven't been through the same freakin hell as we have. Your post said to email you directly via your profile, but I can't seem to find an address for you there.
I have so many questions.
I know exactly how you feel. I have been married for 33 years. My husband,59, a CEO of a large organization, is so beloved in this community, I can't even tell you. When people find out about his affair, they will be as shocked as if they learned St. Joseph cheated on Mary. Can you send me your email address? I don't want to bog your blog with all my specific questions about your kids, Jaymie, etc. If not, I will put it all out there for everyone. But because my husband really could lose his job over this, I can't be as vocal as you...although, Lordie, I want to scream it from the courthouse steps. Because really, he screwed everyone of us. Him acting all family-guy and philanthrophic and serving on the Catholic hospital board and then, meanwhile, back at the office, or should I say, playground, it's fun time! Ugh. I wasn't going to rant here. Sorry. Just post your email if you can. If not, I will return often as reading your story has helped me immensely. In fact, the first time I laughed in 5 months was while reading your blog.

Thank you!!

shawn thewife said...

Patricia: Glad you found this blog. Wish you had no need. I am so sorry for your pain.
I have typed those same three sentences MANY times since I began writing. Unfortunately, betrayed spouses are abundant. I know that little factoid doesn't make it any easier, but I want you to know, you are not alone.
To email me, go to my Google Plus profile page, click ABOUT. On that page, under the pics of my Circles, is a small link to my email. Ask anything. I'm all about honesty around here.
Also, on the homepage of this blog, at the bottom, there are links to two support forums. These message boards are the absolute best! The members are fonts of knowledge and experience. They are compassionate, empathetic and just plain comforting. It is so safe. Please check them out.
Sounds like your WH has a lot of issues to work through. I sure hope you both are in MC and IC. He must learn why he cheated so he will never do it again. You will need tools to deal with the rage, post traumatic stress and possible depression. MC & IC will make processing the betrayal MUCH easier. This is a very long road, but you can come out stronger on the other side. After 2 years, I'm still fighting for my marriage. The roller coaster is wicked, but you do not have to ride it alone.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

beautifulmess7 said...

The lies... Oh, the lies. They are the worst part of recovering from this whole mess. Every time a new one comes to light, it's like the entire wound is ripped open. My husband wouldn't even have been so open about the other lies that I didn't catch him red-handed in. Does he realize that he involved your son in his lie? That he put him in a position to either have to lie for his Dad or upset his Mom? What a crummy thing to do!

I can say that Mr. Mess had the hardest time giving up his toxic friendships. There was really only one in particular - someone he had been close to for decades. Unfortunately, that someone is an alcoholic, pot-smoking, prostitute patron, strip club and porn junkie who it isn't safe or healthy for my recovering sex addict husband to hang around with. He would pay lip service to my request not to have him in our lives, but he didn't get it.

It all came to a head when, the day after one of those conversations about this friend being toxic, I found text messages back and forth between them. It wasn't about anything sexual (like the "funny" pornography pictures and sex cartoons they had exchanged in the past). It was something about hockey. The friend's team was going to the finals (or whatever they call it in that game). It just felt like a slap in the face that the DAY AFTER telling me that he would keep his distance my husband INITIATED text messaging this guy! Helloooo!!! How is that distancing yourself?

That situation FINALLY led to some honesty from my husband about his feelings. He honestly understood intellectualy that this was not someone he could hang out with. Drinking excessively and drugs are ALWAYS a part of this guy's day, and there have been too many times to count where Mr. Mess has promised me one thing, then done the exact opposite as soon as he was around this friend. He just couldn't say no to him. He doesn't want to be around someone who is constantly drunk and high, wanting to go to strip clubs. He doesn't want to be pressured. But he felt deeply sad to be losing a friend of so many years. In his heart he wanted to hold onto just a little piece of that friendship, even though it was dead. My husband grew up. His friend did not. It's that simple.

While we were talking, my husband actually cried. Not about the fact that he can't see his friend anymore, but about how sad the entire situation was. He was sad about both of their spiral out of control. He was sad that his friend is continuing down a very dangerous road. He was sad for the future memories they wouldn't be able to make. He was sad about the good times in the past that are now impossible to have again. All of that is painful. I told him it was okay to feel that, to grieve over the loss of his friend.

But the bottom line is that we have to move forward. He made poor decisions. His friend made poor decisions. The sum total of all of those bad decisions is that he is no longer part of our life. It's not fun or "fair," but it's life. There are consequences, some unintended, some unforseen, but they are consequences that they have to bear nonetheless.

If your husband doesn't "get it," I'm not sure what there is to be done. You can set your boundaries. He can accept them or not. And I guess you need to figure out the consequences and whether you both can live with them. In your position, I'm not sure what I would do. Maybe a few more therapy sessions without anymore revelations will be a safe place to talk about all of your emotions. The quandry here is whether or not he is willing to be open and honest with you and accept everything that comes with that - because HE wants to.

shawn thewife said...

I hear all of you! I have set up boundaries, on paper, spelling out what I need...not what I want...what I need. We are back in MC. I know this is a pivotal moment. I think he knows, too. We'll see. We had just started to get back to a comfortable place. I felt so positive about our progress, then BAM! Back to square one. I'm not gonna lose it like I did when I found out about Jaymie. This isn't close to that level of pain, but I do understand some of the issues are identical. It's about Richard's feelings of entitlement and his trouble with being truly authentic about his needs.
I told who you want, see who you want. I've been as clear as I can about what I need. He can choose to try to meet those needs or focus on his own.
It's his call. Maybe I'll be able to adjust, maybe not. I can't control him, nor do I want to. The one thing I know for sure is...NO MORE LIES!!
I'm so damn tired of living in doubt, but I'm not ready to give up on him yet.
Thanks for your support. It means more than I can say.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Susan Rubinsky said...

everybody, love that you are all here congregating around Shawn's blog. Consider this the campfire we are all sitting around...

Anonymous said...

He gets it alright, he gets that your a control freak and you have not really chosen to reconsile for your mariage to work as equals. Yes he fucked up and he betrayed you and he deserves to suffer. But reading your blog as a betrayed spouse myself has given me the insight the difference to see that while boundaries need to be in place if you chose to forgive and reconcile it doesnt automatically give you the right to persecution and control your spouse. you chose to stay deal with it. He omits the truth cos he has seen first hand that if you dont get your own way you have a valium vodka induced bat shit crazy episode. He will do it agin cos you have driven him to it once and will do again.

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: You just commented on 'A Visit to Casa Jaymie' right? You're all fired up!

Since I already replied to your judgmental rants on the previous post, I'll just add this....

I am happy to hear my blog has given you insight that may help you in your recovery. Every betrayed spouse has to find their own path on the Road to Happy.
And, please, feel free to vent here anytime. It is oh, so normal for a betrayed spouse to be exceedingly angry and to lash out passively. I lashed out at Jaymie, still do from time to time. Use me as your virtual punching bag if it lightens your anger load. Fine by me.
But, are you sure it isn't your unfaithful husband that deserves your animosity and verbal bile?
Just a thought. Thanks again for commenting.