I guess I had a bit of a flair for the dramatic that night, sipping wine while the huge California sun dipped beyond the horizon. I managed to keep a straight face and gaze deeply into Richard's eyes, knowing full well I was gonna rock his world right after sunset and the potential Green Flash. (I have yet to witness a Green Flash, but good friends that I trust don't want to make me play the foolish tourist, assure me it exists.)
"I want a divorce." Cool & calm as a judge issuing a death sentence. How can I convey to you the look on Richard's face? I doubt he could have looked any more shocked if I had whipped out a set of thumb screws and proceeded to attach them to his finger tips squishing them like grapes. There was a moment that felt like time had been frozen. He almost looked through me, not at me. Then, he began to nod.
"Wow. You sure had me fooled. I thought this night was supposed to help you heal."
I convinced Richard to take me on the Tour de Trauma by telling him that I needed to face these potential triggers in order to put them behind me.
What a frickin' crock. No way I was ready to "Let it go" or "Get over it". I could tell you that my intentions had been honorable when I spun my story for Richard. With minimal effort, I might even fool myself into believing that I dreamed of reclaiming my life that night by fast forwarding through the time and places he was with Jaymie.
But if I wanna be able to look myself in the mirror later, I gotta say....the whole night was about torturing him, stretching him on the revenge ringer rack. The tour was also about getting answers to the questions...what did he do with Jaymie? Where did he take her? What did they talk about? Getting the answers, while subjecting Richard to mental torture was not a singular event. Much of our lives evolved around the infidelity inquisition.
Funny word..inquisition. It's good to be inquisitive, but an inquisition has nothing but negative connotations. When I asked to see the places Richard spent time with Jaymie, I did so under the guise of being inquisitive. I must now admit, once I strapped Richard in for a question and answer session, I became a member of the Catholic church hierarchy and he, a heretic. When my morbid curiosity was in high gear, I would dare say, Richard would have preferred to be tied to the rack and stretched until his shoulders were separated from his arms. Unfortunately for Richard, he had already admitted his guilt. There were no good answers that would grant him freedom from the agony of an inquisition.
Like me, I'll bet you hoped and wished that getting one more answer to the million questions would surely place you on the fast track to recovery and reconciliation. A few of you might be cut from the same vindictive cloth that covers my soul, but most of the betrayed spouses I have come to know, sincerely believe answers beget healing.
Some disclosures will help you heal, but others may haunt you forever.
I know I repeat myself, but this is one crucial little factoid....we can not be expected to understand or even begin to comprehend what will lessen our pain after DDay. But...when you ask questions...remember the tarnished golden rule: Once you know it, you can't UN-know it.
Most of us will act out in some way as the distressing information becomes more available to us. I was vengeful and uber-angry. Others may remain despondent and deeply wounded for months.
Hear ye...hear ye! I declare any reaction to DDay to be A-OK. Absolutely, positively hunky-dory under the circumstances. I was as crazy and confused as James Carville at a pro-life rally, but I have made peace with my extraordinarily bad behavior, much I have yet to admit to you. I just don't think any jury would convict me. If there was ever a reason for an insanity plea to hold up, infidelity is surely it.
I knew my true intentions that night. My plan was all about hurting him like he hurt me.
Repetitious factoid number two: We can never hurt them the way they hurt us! Lashing out, drawing blood feels good for a minute, maybe even an hour if you land a really vicious punch, but it will never compare to the blood letting caused on DDay. Any wrong you do to him will always remain so much less than he deserves....so why waste the effort?
Nearly two years later, I've been taught a lot by generous souls that have come successfully out the other side of the black hole of adultery. I'm trying to share some of these mighty epiphanies through this blog as I continue to absorb them myself. Two big ones are above....here's another: If your wayward spouse gives you as much as you need, regardless of your meteoric rise on the crazy meter, if he steps back and let's you run the freak show that has become your life...he might just deserve a another chance. He might be worth forgiving. Let him up off the rack.