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.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Holiday Gift....to Me

I really didn't think I'd get another post written before Christmas.  Is there any busier time of year?  I mean, it's supposed to be all festive and warm and fuzzy and ensconced in heart warming tradition.  All Norman Rockwell-esque.  But, holiday reality is a tad bit less serene, at least in my world.

Hectic Holidays are more my style.  I mean, I say Happy Holidays and I almost believe it, but most years Hectic overpowers Happy during December at my house.  I don't mean to get all Debbie Downer on you!  I still LOVE me some Christmas time!!  It's just that sitting here in front of my computer screen, pumped full of Tazo high-test Awake tea, fingers flying across the keyboard, with less than a fully-formed idea of what in the hell I'm gonna write about, the first words that transfer from my brain to my blog are usually exactly what I'm feeling in the moment and what I'm feeling this morning is....behind schedule.
Only 3 days until the jolly man that could benefit from a membership with the local Weight Watchers, in his fuzzy red suit, pays a visit to all the homes of the good girls and boys around the world in one miraculous night.  (You'd think with a schedule like that Santa would need to be in better shape.)  Santa is a tad behind in his (her) preparations this year.  OK...every year.

You probably wonder, if I'm that damned busy, why in the hell am I wasting precious minutes sitting on my tuches typing?  That would be an excellent question.  I love your questions!
My answer....this blog is my new Valium, my virtual Xanax, my current sedative of choice and Mama needs a fix!  This blog is NEVER a waste of time.

My last post, It's Always Something, has amassed numerous comments from my detractors, ample support from my faithful readers and a substantial collection of questions, which I mentioned previously that I adore.  All of the comments had merit, except for one or two anonymous ones that should be classified as "hit & run" remarks.  I do not let the chicken-shit writers of those posts dampen my enthusiasm for our conversations in the least.

So, in the spirit of the Holidays, hectic, happy and otherwise, I'm opening this blog to all of you!  I don't mean to make it sound like I'm giving you a present or anything.  I am not nearly so self-absorbed (contrary to what many of those aforementioned detractors believe) to think offering to answer any and all questions posed to be worthy of gift status.  Quite the opposite actually.

You, my dear readers, my travel companions on the Road to Happy, will be giving me a gift.  The gift of time.  You'll decide where this post leads us as we head into 2013.
Let me clarify.  The benefit of requesting all of you to contribute to this post means I didn't have to spend any time thinking about what to share with you today.  Didn't need to come up with any words of advice or pearls of hard earned wisdom. (I have very few of those, so I have to disperse them sparingly)  Or, to put it in the words of some of you that consider this blog to be no more than rehashing the past, I had no need to dredge up harsh details from two years previous and regurgitate it into prose.

We started an amazing interaction in the comments of my last post.  This time, let's bring it!  All issues can be addressed!  No subject is taboo!  I urge you to submit all thoughts and quandaries that you may have considered proposing in the past.  Anybody can ask anything and all of us should feel free to share answers, opinions and ideas even if, and possibly especially if, they challenge the majority.

Dear friends, by submitting your questions and topics for discussion, you are soooo covering my procrastinating patootie!!  Seriously, I am one harried Mama right now.  I gotta get rolling.

I hope all of you are able to find more happy than hectic or melancholy this Christmas, but if you find yourself struggling, come here.  Grab an eggnog, with some spiced rum of course, and be with us.  I feel the love & hope through the screen and I'm sending it all right back!!  Holiday Hope & Hugs!!!

39 comments:

I said...

Shawn - Thank you for your blog. While we (betrayed spouses) never thought we would be in this position, it helps to discover others share our new-found frame of reference.

I would appreciate it if you would address the age disparities in your particular situation. My husband cheated at the age of 70 with a 25 year old. I was 57 at the time. The affair partner was younger than my husband's daughter. (Or a I usually think of it, we had been married for 4 years before the affair partner was born.) Disgusting, I know.

I am confident that our long marriage impacted my decision to stay in the marriage. I feel certain that if we had been married only a few years, I would have decided not to waste my time and energy in a losing proposition. As you are well aware, the length of the marriage and the ages of the principals involved add layers of complexity and pain to this horrendous situation.

shawn thewife said...

Hi, I!
I enjoy rhyming so your screen name makes me smile!

The whole massive age discrepancy thing is a tough pill to swallow. Yuck. I can only speak to what Richard has told me. He says he was very attracted to Jaymie's youth. He wanted to feel young. Getting her to WANT him did that. Then, she became a drug feeding his deflated ego. He has told me, when he is being completely honest, that he did have very strong feelings for her. Then, he thought it was love. Now, he thinks it was more paternal and protective, but it wasn't just sex regardless of how he categorizes the emotions.
To me, the age difference just makes me feel sad for Richard. I never knew he was so afraid of aging. I learned something about the man I've been with for over 30 years! Imagine that!
From the agony of an affair can come understanding. You just gotta look for it.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Hello! Excuse my rambling-these are just things that I wanted to express to no one in particular-but to betrayed spouses as a whole.

I just want to say that it irks me when betrayed spouses claim their marriage is now stronger than it has ever been before. That's terrible to me. It should not have taken an affair to make a marriage stronger.

And what is "surviving" an affair when 15 years later it still has an immense effect on the betrayed spouse? Can one really say they survived it when still, everyday, it eats away at their body and soul?

Also, I've never been betrayed in that way, so I'll never understand how people go back to a cheater in the first place. Of course it's not easy to leave, nor is it easy to stay. But still-why stay? Is it because of the usual "I love him"? Or is it because they have a long history together and children? I just don't see how healing can occur when a person returns so soon to the very thing (or person) that caused them pain. In some aspects though, people who stay are stronger than someone like me. I would lose my mind. By lose my mind, I mean I would kill or physically harm my spouse. I know for a fact that I wouldn't be able to take a cheater back. People always say to me "you never know". Well, I do know.

Just the very thought of infidelity and reading stories like yours, makes me tremble with anger. The idea of infidelity consumes my mind. I know it's terrible of me, but I want cheaters to suffer. I want them to suffer so much more than the person they've hurt. And I want them to suffer until the day they die.

And since we're all being honest here, I want to say this: I'm very satisfied when the betrayed spouse leaves...I know that is terrible. I just feel like taking them back is telling the cheater that what they did was OK. I know that's not the case at all. I know I should be happy when the marriage survives-when people are able to work it out. But I see it as a victory when the betrayed spouse leaves the marriage and moves on with their life. I silently cheer and congratulate them.

And I've also noticed something: We women are more willing to stay with a cheating man more so than a man is willing to stay with a cheating woman. Why do you think that is? Someone said because of our insecurities. I don't know about that. Maybe?

And another thing: I don't believe that you can love someone and still cheat on them. I don't believe in any excuse that is used for cheating. Addiction, growing up in a similar environment, etc. You know what's funny? When a spouse inflicts emotional abuse by cheating, but the betrayed person stays and works it out, we comfort him/her and say they're strong. When a spouse inflicts physical abuse, we tell them to get the hell out of there. A cheater can still love their spouse? Do we say the same for a man who beats his wife? Why not? Oh right, because physical abuse for some reason is worse. I want someone to show me the scale and measurements proving that someday. Until then, I will say that both are equally harmful.

I come from a religious background. Do you know what people advise when a woman has been cheated on? They tell her to pray for guidance before leaving. They tell her that divorce is wrong and that she should stay. What the hell? Why? Why should she have to torment herself and stay? I feel that you need to remove yourself from the thing that causes you pain. If you don't, you can't heal. You'll constantly be reminded of what has happened to you.

I just don't see how the betrayed are able to separate the spouse from the OW/OM. I can't imagine what it's like to have the cheater go to bed with you every night, and you knowing that at some point, you shared this person with someone else! It drives me crazy!

I also can't stand when sympathy is given to the cheater. Why the hell should they get sympathy? They weren't forced into the arms of another, held there at gunpoint.

-Ms. Marie

Adah said...

Hi Shawn,

Can I just ask another few age related questions then? (They're tough questions... Sorry!)


How does Richard feel about the fact that Jaymie, a girl in her early twenties, would actually have sex with a sixty year old man? Has time and distance changed his opinion of her for her willingness to do that? Or does he see nothing 'yuck' in that anyway?


Does he believe that she really was physically attracted to him just for himself? Or does he think his wealth played a big part in her attraction for him?


Shawn, I know these are really personal and hard questions, and you may not even be able to answer them on Richards behalf, so feel free to ignore them if you want. But Thank you for this blog!






Anonymous said...

My 50 something year old husband (who has ED and bipolar disorder) started an emotional affair with a now 33 year old co worker in 2009. It ended when I intruded on one of their text messages about 9 months ago. The three of us all worked at the same institution at the time, but my husband left for another job 9 months ago and works elsewhere, leaving me and his fatal attraction Clinical psychologist friend behind at my place of business. She is now dating one of my patients .... I would like to expose her and tell her off, but how could I do that with class and tact?

Anonymous said...

I read the previous comments from the last blog post and really enjoyed the exchange. I have to say that I feel many of Beth's comments are very in line with my thinking. I see her logic and can relate to many things she points out.

One thing that stuck with me, and I've always wondered - why does the spouse get to be "wayward" while the affair partner is a whore, slut, tart, homewrecker, etc.? Wayward almost sounds pleasant, and is reminiscent of a cruise to me for some reason. Isn't the spouse the true "homewrecker" for straying and throwing their vows away?

Since we're on the age thing here, too, I agree that if the tables were turned and it was your child Richard would be a dirty old pervert preying on a naive young girl. He certainly appears slimy for his actions. At the very least it's creepy and cheap of him to pursue such a young girl and use his money as a way to get her affection. Why does the spouse get so much grace?

I ask that hypothetically knowing that you did point a lot of your anger at Richard. I also know it is human nature to see those that are close to us differently. I guess I'm just really not a fan of name-calling in any situation. It is so depersonalizing and that has led to many great tragedies in history. I don't see just one villain the any story like this.

I also fail to see the purpose, point, or logic in so much anger at the other woman. My husband cheated and my anger was focused squarely in his direction. Those (come to find put later) four other women didn't owe me anything, didn't know me, didn't commit to me, didn't promise to love and cherish me. I also don't think they "tried to steal" my husband or "wreck a family." If he could be stolen away, even "just for sex," then he was never mine and the family I pictured never truly existed for anyone to "wreck."

-Steph

Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Marie-
I am not Shawn. I am just another part of the Betrayed Spouse Whole who can't resist throwing her two cents in in response to your observations.
It irks me too to have to say that my marriage is now stronger than it was! It pisses me off that that's what it took for us to get our shit together. You are absolutely right, it shouldn't have taken him having an affair, but sadly in our case, that's what it took. Looking back, I'm sorry to say, we were both so stuck in our ruts, that I'm not sure what else could have forced us to re-look our marriage the way his affair did. As irksome as it is, it is the truth, our marriage is now stronger than it ever was before.
If it still eats away "at their body and soul" after 15 years, then yes, that is just 'surviving' an affair. But in some cases, while the affair or certain aspects of it may on occasion rear their ugly head and piss you off again or make you hurt again momentarily, there is such a thing as "overcoming" an affair. Is that an ideal? No. Can you still wish the affair never happened? Absolutely. But marriage is an arrangement between human beings. That automatically guarantees its vulnerability as an institution to messiness and strife.
As to taking him back. It's good that you know yourself. And I respect your choice that infidelity for you is identified as an "absolute deal-breaker." I always thought that too. But unlike Shawn, and I'm guessing unlike you, when it did happen to me, I had to take a hard look at the conditions in our marriage that led to his affair. Please, don't misunderstand me, there is nothing that justifies or excuses his choice to have an affair. But in looking at our marriage pre-affair, particularly in the 5 or so years leading up to d-day, when asking myself the question, have either of us really been doing due diligence in doing the "work" part that it takes to create a successful marriage, I had to acknowledge, I hadn't been living up to my side of the bargain. It sucked to have to look at it that way, but, unfortunately, in my case that was true. I had to answer that question for myself before I could even decide to try and stay and commit to counseling. The answer for me ended up being yes, love is part of marriage, but my values are also strongly formed by the concept of commitment. And I hadn't been pulling my weight the way I knew I should have been.
I love your thoughts on cheaters suffering! LOL...no seriously, It really wish that you were one of my girlfriends. There were many times, no matter how much guilt and sorrow he professed, I just wanted someone like you to pull him aside and rip him a new one. And sometimes, early on, I really wish I'd had someone like you presenting your viewpoints. I think they're based on a strong sense of fair play and healthy self-preservation instincts. I understand your desire to see betrayed spouses walk away. And to me, it seems like the view that a betrayed spouse should definitely leave is premised on the assumption that people can not change or can not grow. With good counseling and a LOT of work, people can gain an understanding of the weaknesses in themselves that led to an affair. (I'm talking specifically about the partner that chooses to have the affair, but in my case, it happened for me too.) For me the victory lies in the fact that I now have the marriage I always wanted but that I wasn't capable of helping to create. Marriages take two. They are partnerships. (Continued)

Anonymous said...

(More for Marie)
Not sure about cheating men vs cheating women and who's more liable to leave. Interesting perspective. I was really surprised at the number of betrayed male spouses who are super active on a lot of the recovery forums. But I think you're right, it does seem like cheating is more of a death knell for most guys...could be economics...sadly, women still usually end up on the losing side in that equation. and as unromantic as it is to acknowledge that, I'm guessing it's something, that a lot of women, particularly those trying to raise children have to consider when making their decisions in the wake of finding out about an affair. Which doesn't really bug me...largely because to me marriage is equally valid as a social contract in addition to a manifestation of a "love" match. Is that only possible because I am not religious? Not sure...
I think you're spot on in saying that you can't love someone and still cheat on them. And I think there a LOT of people out there who use that line, "Yes, I was sleeping with them, but that doesn't mean I didn't love you." The only answer I've managed to come up with that provides me with any level of comfort or satisfaction on that one is that old Dr. Phil chestnut, "Once you learn better you DO better." Seriously, it seems like a lot of people don't really tie what they believe about "love" to anything greater than the common romantic fantasies perpetuated by modern culture and the Hallmark Corporation. Fortunately people are capable of growth and change. Sometimes, they haven't really learned how to love...there is hope in those cases. And findally, again, you are so spot on with your observations about the effects of infidelity on the psyche. Infidelity is a form of mental abuse. People, especially cheaters, need to be educated on the damage they inflict. That's part of the role of a good counselor.
I don't come from a religious background and I always have always had some pretty strong ideas about gender equality and the disassociation between sex and love (ie sometimes the physical act of sex can have nothing to do with love). But the sharing with someone else did drive me bat-shit crazy. There's a theory that I think Shirley Glass put out about "the walls and windows" in an affair. This is where glass theorizes that a huge part of the damage in affair stems from the betrayer opening windows into his or her inner life to the affair partner, while simultaneously erecting walls into that life with his or her partner in marriage. For us, a huge amount of the recovery process focused on each of us opening windows to each other and tearing down the walls we'd erected with dishonesty or neglect.
Thanks for posing the questions you did Marie, I know it's Shawn's blog, but it was really helpful for me to work through them. I can't wait for Shawn to weigh in....
Merry Christmas...or Happy Holidays
MCG

Stephanie C. said...

To Marie: I am a betrayed spouse. I have been married and in love with my husband for 37 years and we have two wonderful grown children. You ask how a person could stay married to someone that would have an affair and hurt them so deeply. You say that you know for certain that you would not/could not.

I remember thinking that same thing; that if I ever learned that my husband was unfaithful I would be gone in a hot minute. I was, admittedly, smug and certain that I would never be in that situation... my husband was so adoring and attentive and affectionate. That only happened to people with bad marriages who bickered, and fought, not to loving couples like us. I was blindsided when I came across the flirtatious texts to his long time co-worker that showed me that my marriage wasn't invincible. That my husband was flattered and charmed by her unbridled attention, the kind of attention that (now let's all be honest here) is not still flowing profusely in a long-lived marriage. The ego boosting compliments, the blow jobs in the car; you get the picture. No bills to argue about, no children to interrupt, no sniping about who took the garbage out last.... So why didn't I kick him to the curb?
Because he was remorseful beyond words. Because he wanted out of the affair and was thrilled to be done with her and the lies and the cheating. Because he always felt that the affair was not in alignment with his values, but couldn't see a way out without her making good on her threats to tell me if he didn't continue contact.

Which brings me to Steph's question...why blame the other woman? Why call her a slut and a whore and a homewrecker?? In my case, the OW was the serial cheater. She is married to a man that she cheated with, also a former co-worker that she set her sights on while she and he were both married to others and both had small children at home. She became pregnant during that affair and they each left their respective spouses to be together and have that baby. And guess what? Soon enough, he became old and boring for her. When she started working at my husband's company she had only been married to THAT affair partner for a few years, but my husband looked much better to her. I remember her telling me that she was losing weight and having a tummy tuck to feel "better about herself". That just happened to coincide with she and my husband having to travel together for a new business account. My husband recalls the first time they were together 3,000 miles from home. That she knocked on his hotel room door one night after a business dinner to "talk". That he stupidly let himself be seduced by her advances. And that opened up a Pandora's box that contained proclamations of love for him, threats of telling me and their employer, and all sorts of crazymaking and dramatic bullshit. Ultimately I, and now he, realize that she was working him... looking for attention, financial gain, and ultimately hoping that he would leave me and marry her, just like her last affair partner did.

Do I hold my husband responsible for getting himself into this situation? Absolutely. Have I suffered with the knowledge that my marriage was not, is not, and will never be perfect? I know that now. I know that when I look at another couple and I think that they have it all figured out. That they have the "perfect marriage" based on what they show the world. Maybe. Maybe not. And maybe I'm a fool for taking my husband back and for working on our marriage like I've never worked on it before. I have a husband who is remorseful beyond words and shows me how much he loves me every minute of every day. He knows what he almost lost, he does not take me or us or our family life for granted any more. So was this the easiest path for me to take? Maybe not, but at least I'm on the path with the man that I love and the man that loves me. And whether anyone else "gets" that or not, is none of my business.

Stephanie C. said...

Sorry to leave on that abrupt note, I ran out of room!!

Thank you Shawn, for this blog, and for the opportunity to share. Sending love and healing to all that visit here....

Anonymous said...

Ms. Marie,
Just a quick note for you:
Everything you question about staying and everything you say you think you would do/could do if you were cheated on are ALL the things I said before I found myself in this position.
Consider that every woman thinks these thoughts already and if you're trying to work on your marriage, thinking that you are weak and stupid for staying is not going to help.
For me, it was a hard pill to swallow--I wasn't who I always thought I was. I am not an idiot or a sentimental moron. I am a smart cookie with a honors degree.
I had to learn that forgiveness does not mean what happened was okay and that I wasn't weak for staying. I wasn't stupid for staying.
I would never say that our marriage is stronger because of his affair--It is stronger because we made it stronger with sweat, blood, tears, and a shit ton of counseling. It is strong because we chose to make it strong.
Did it take completely falling apart to realize that we were failing? Sadly, yes.
Everything you said, I can tell you I said once too. I judged these "stupid women" who stayed. I thought they were nuts--until I was one. The emotional turmoil I went through because I was going against what I thought I believed was absolute hell.
With all due respect, think before you judge these betrayed women. And don't fool yourself into thinking these are thoughts they haven't had themselves. Many are just like me and struggled through those exact thoughts themselves.
As for not being able to love someone that you're cheating on, talk to someone who has cheated on someone they loved--nobody can explain it better. For my dear, it was an internal struggle because he didn't understand how he could do it if he still loved me. He didn't get it himself--but he figured it out. Ended it then I was told. I can't begin to explain it--but if you get the chance, ask a remorseful cheater about their struggle. I actually saw the pain my pain caused him. Do I pity him? No. He did that to me and himself.
All the thoughts that you have about how stupid you are for staying kill your sense of self--and when you already feel dead inside, you can't afford that.
Forgiving yourself is almost as hard as forgiving your spouse--but you have to do it to heal.
I don't think you're too judgmental, Marie, but tread carefully when you touch on a subject you know little about. Remember the hurt these people feel--they don't need to be reminded of how crazy they think they are.
I was you once and being me now felt like a punch in my gut for the first few months.
As for why women take men back more than men take women back, I wouldn't say they do. The OW in my case was married and her HUsband took her back. She is a serial cheater but that is his decision.
Ms. Marie, on a side note totally unrelated to internal thoughts, you mention that you would assault your spouse. I bet is Shawn took a poll of her readers, you'd find that more than a handful of these woman at least laid out one good slap.
Not that I am proud, but my DH sported a black eye among other injuries inflicted by my plate, frying pan, chair throwing melt-down on D Day. I am lucky enough to have a DH who would never dream of returning those "favours".
I hope these numerous posts have offered you some insight into the mind of betrayed spouses. Maybe you'll have a deeper understanding of the detriment that this causes and how these aren't crazed delusional women who think that affairs are acceptable. They aren't. End of story.
-J

Anonymous said...

J: You must be the one who referred to these women as stupid for staying. I, however, never had that thought in my mind. I don't see people as stupid for staying-I think they chose a different path that I myself would not choose and I simply want to know why. And when did I "judge" anyway? I love how people throw that word around but obviously don't know the meaning. What is your definition of judging?

And clearly I know that these thoughts go through their minds. Otherwise, why would I ask these women these questions if I suspected they didn't have the answers?

By the way, my aunt said she would never stay with a man that cheated...and she didn't. She shot him.

-Ms. Marie

Anonymous said...

Hey Steph- (the one from earlier in the thread.)

In my case, there probably WASN'T any purpose, point, or logic in so much anger at the other woman. But it was there. My husband's big transgression was a 10 month long-distance affair with a woman he worked with on and off in Alaska (we lived in Washington State at the time.)While rationally I knew that woman didn't owe me anything, didn't know me, didn't commit to me, didn't promise to love and cherish me- she was well aware he was married to someone else when they started their thing, and she was also well aware that I had no idea it was going on. After he finished it and I subsequently found out about it, I was made very aware of the very virtuous, very spiritual, very "good", very "professional" public image of herself that she liked to portray. All the while she was conducting an illicit affair with a married co-worker that violated the conflict of interest restrictions of both of their respective employers. It wasn't that she "tried to steal" my husband or "wreck a family." It was that she and he were both acting like such huge fricking hypocrites. That got even harder to swallow once I found out, it's kind of her M.O. Meaning, her workplace and her married co-workers have become the place she uses to ensure her sexual needs get met. She's a widow, she's had some tough breaks...I try not to villify her...but damn...the thought of what she did still pisses me off.

Probably doesn't mean much, but that's one perspective on the irrational anger that can get directed to the affair partner by the betrayed spouse.

MCG

Anonymous said...

Dear Stephanie C-
Your final paragraph really resonated with me. That was just flat out elegant.

Thanks!
MCG

Anonymous said...

Ms. Marie,
Perhaps Stupid was a poor choice of words--I accept that. That was how I, myself, referred to women in my position before I was in my position. Fair enough.
Your whole post is a judgement of a position from an outsiders point of view.
What got me a little on the irritated side was
"People always say to me "you never know". Well, I do know."
Clearly, I am here. I am biased and a little more sensitive to the topic than you would be. All your questioning and opinions blew my mind.
For someone who has never been betrayed, you just seemed to have quite a bit to say.
As I said, I don't find you to be TOO judgmental. You're making the same assumptions and conclusions that I once made without any specific knowledge as well. Perhaps I should have said before you assume as opposed to judge.
Please accept my apologies--it seems you were offended by my statement.
I admit that I was defensive upon writing my response.
When I read yours, the questions seemed to be posed in rhetoric--not for a genuine quest for knowledge. Hence, my slightly angered and jumbled response.
To me, it read as an attack on women who stayed. Sadly, can't gather tone from the internet.
-J

shawn thewife said...

Merry Christmas Eve Ya'll!!

This little discussion is going rather well! Lots of info, friendly (mostly) exchange of opinions and topics brought to light that we haven't ever really visited yet...at least here anyway! Open minds and honest discussion...a blessing.

I'm gonna address all I can, in no particular order to no particluar commenter.

Here we go: There is no doubt my marriage is stronger now because I'm a pretty smart cookie and I tend to learn from mistakes...my mistakes and those made by others as well. Richard's mistakes were numerous, but the main one that I have benefitted from is the lack of communication. He had needs. He didn't share them with me. You better believe, if I need anything he is the first to know these days. That makes our marriage stronger. That's only one example. Another reason we are stronger now is pretty damn simple...You don't know what you've got until you almost lose it. Then, unless you are blind and fairly dumb, you open your heart and learn to appreciate what you nearly lost.
Does it suck that it took an affair to make these things happen? Hell to the YEAH, but I ain't gonna look that gift horse in the mouth. I am very grateful for my marriage today...VERY.

Next:
I could've kicked Richard to the curb afterDDay. We would have moved on and been fine, eventually. Always thought I would kick him out if he cheated...right after I cut off his penis. But, what I felt after DDay was so huge, so life changing, my heart was so broken, I knew it was because I loved him so much. If I didn't, it wouldn't have hurt so damn bad. Why would I want to leave him if I love him that much? Logical...no. Emotional...absolutely. It was the right choice.

And...you wanna talk suffering for the cheater...I punished him thoroughly! Life with me for well over a year was brutal! But who's to say it was over the top? I mean, I let him keep his penis!! Give me a little credit!! ;-)

Now...a biggie for me...anger at the Bitch-Whore. Again...not a lotta logic involved here. I have always been the woman everyone will tell you NOT to mess with. I am a fan of confrontation and I really like to win. Not my best character trait. Rationally, I know the blame falls squarely on my husband. Not to worry...I totally get that....BUT....you knew there was a BUT, right?
I have loved him for over half of my life. I can throw that away or I can work my ass off to process the betrayal and find a way to rescue my marriage from ruin. I chose to do the work.
Now...Jaymie..AKA: Bitch-Whore, skank, low-life, white trash, baby bimbo, dip-shit, etc., I barely knew the loser. Met her a few times. Didn't think much about her one way or the other.
So, I can stay pissed at her forever and it's no skin off my ass at all! It kind of feels good to belittle her. Like letting off steam on a boiling pot. Come on, you know it's easy pickins!!
Does it make me a smaller person for attacking her personally, for continuing to take pot-shots at her on my blog when she isn't here to defend herself? I suppose so. Do I care? Not even the tiniest bit!!
I know I preach let the Bitch-Whore go. In my warped, world, I've found a way to do that while still hating her scrawny guts. So sue me.

Did I cover most of the issues from the above comments? Hope so. If not, it's gonna have to wait until after Santa gets here and I drink my weight in Mimosas.
Merry Christmas to you all!! May your Holiday be Merry and Bright!! Remember to count your blessings!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

ADAH!! So sorry! I didn't forget you. Your questions about age are gonna take me some time. I wanna ask Richard. He should answer them.
I just don't wanna ask him right now. I don't wanna talk about the affair or Jaymie or anything that might make him sad and sometimes, when we talk about the feelings he had for Jaymie, he beats himself with a big guilty stick for a few days.
That wouldn't make for the joyful holiday I have planned. But, your questions are really important, they speak to his huge ego. I wanna know the answers, too!
I'll get to them...Promise.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

betrayalsurvivor1981 said...

Shawn, I LOVE your blog! It's a no-holds-barred testimony of a SUPER-STRONG woman who has decided to stay with your husband and work with him on rebuilding your marriage after he committed the worst betrayal possible against you.

A little backstory: I am an African American grandma. In 1981 my physically and mentally abusive cheating husband deserted his family. After fathering an OC with one affair partner, he left me for yet another affair partner whom he later married. He left me pregnant with our third child (a girl), as well as our 2-years-old and 1-year-old sons. Having low self-esteem at that time in my life (and therefore not realizing that I was actually better off for him leaving), I was absolutely devastated and ashamed. (My parents were happily and solidly married for nearly forty years until my father died, and divorce made me feel like the “black sheep” of the family [no pun intended]).

Despite all the negative things that had occurred in my marriage, I loved the ground my husband walked on, and I literally wanted to die after he abandoned us. I knew, however, that I had two baby sons and an unborn daughter to live for, and that fact was the ONLY thing at that time that kept me breathing. I worked full time as an administrative assistant and raised my kids. They are now 31, 33 and 34; all have attended college; my sons are married w/ children of their own; my daughter is an unmarried and childless businesswoman (“you go, girl!”); and all of them are successful. It wasn’t easy by a long shot, but with God’s grace those childrearing years were the very best times of my life! (BTW, my children’s father -– my ex-husband -– who left me for wife #2, is now with wife #4.)

KEEP ON KEEPING ON, Shawn! It takes a helluva lot more strength and resolve to remain with a spouse who cheated than it is to just walk away, provided that the wayward spouse is like Richard (an unfaithful husband who wants to stay with his betrayed wife and doesn't want to desert her for the whore he was screwing). Also, provided that the wayward spouse is worth working with to rebuild a marriage (like Richard), and not a lost cause that the betrayed spouse would be better off without!

I can hardly wait for you to resume your story where you left off: after your meltdown in Richard's office in January 2011. Been there/done that, and I can't wait to continue reading where you've been and what you've done in 2011 after "Office Meltdown Day"!

Anonymous said...

@ betrayalsurvivor1981: I'm sorry for all that you've gone through...I have a question though:

Why do you think it takes a lot more strength to stay than to leave? Are you saying that those who leave a cheating spouse are weaker than those who stay?

-Ms. Marie

betrayalsurvivor1981 said...

@ Ms. Marie:
ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! I am a personal witness that if a betrayed spouse must build a new life on his/her own (either because s/he was abandoned by the cheating spouse, or s/he chose to leave the cheating spouse), it takes MOUNTAINS and MOUNTAINS of strength and resolve -- ESPECIALLY if the betrayed spouse is trying to rebuild his/her shattered life while raising children at the same time (and helping them to rebuild their shattered lives also)!

That having been said, the reason why I believe a betrayed spouse who stays is making a choice that is more courageous (in many, but certainly NOT in all cases) than one who leaves is because betrayed spouses -- especially betrayed wives -- are VERY often castigated by society and are labeled as weak, stupid, afraid to be without a man, insecure, etc. Betrayed husbands who choose to stay are often sneered at by other men and accused of being a weakling and not a "real" man. In TOO MANY cases, betrayed spouses who choose to remain and rebuild a marriage with a cheating spouse are looked down upon by family members, friends (many of whom choose to become ex-friends), and even by fellow churchgoers! Conversely, betrayed spouses who leave often are applauded by family, friends and society at large, and are considered strong, toughminded, and more desirable.

It takes a helluva lot of determination and steel-will to push against the tremendously-strong tide of public opinion by choosing to remain and rebuild a marriage with a REMORSEFUL and REPENTANT unfaithful spouse!

Either way, Ms. Marie, I support whatever decision someone else makes concerning his/her life -- whether to stay in the marriage or to leave it -- because what someone else does with his/her life is none of my business. Even adult children will tell their parents that the choices the adult children make are the business of the adult children, NOT the parents, even when the adult children acknowledge that their parents mean well. Betrayed spouses who choose to leave will NEVER be disrespected by me, because they know what is best for their lives. And, betrayed spouses who choose to stay also know what is best for their lives.

I wish you Happy Holidays and Happy New Year, Ms. Marie! :-)

Anonymous said...

From ME: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

Let's talk about selfishness. I struggle day to day with the utterly self decision of another human being. My H and I had a talk last night. I'm less than 3 months out from dday, so still very raw. I asked him, "at any point did you even consider what you were risking?" His response: "No." And I told him, "That is what just crushes me. I didn't even factor into your decision anywhere. Your wife, supposedly the most important person in your life, was non-existent for about 3 months." He had no answer. I told him, he's at the forefront of every decision I make, even utterly stupid shit like, will he like this nail color? What did I do, not do, not pick up on that I deserved that?

What a freaking fool I've been. I guess there is a balance between fool and selfish and I need to slide a little bit, huh?

I have my opinion on the OW. I don't give a rat's nipple about her. HOWEVER. In my case? I can honestly say, this didn't JUST HAPPEN with them. She sought him out. She calculated the whole thing. I have proof and it's too long to type on Christmas Eve. And the one thing I struggle with in being able to "forgive" the bitch...I'm a grown ass woman. If my H chose to leave me to be with her, whatever - TAKE HIM! But, my kids - HOW THE F COULD YOU!!!??? I was watching them bounce around the mall with me the other day, Christmas shopping. They are so incredibly happy, well adjusted, confident, well mannered kids. People on airplanes compliment me on how NICE my kids are. She wanted my H so badly she was willing to sacrifice the emotional well being of my kids. Ms. Marie, your aunt shot her H. Thankfully for OW, I live two states away and do not own a weapon.

What I struggle with day to day is SELFISHNESS. Because I soooo am not. I am a nurse for God's sake, Others before me. So the act of my H and the OW, on me and my kids, that is my living hell. I cannot wrap my head around that. Then I think about the CT school shooting, and I check myself. How do those parents live with what that selfish man did?

It all just sucks. But, with the help of God and some very awesome friends, I heal just a hair every day.

Peace and joy to all this season - try to find some, I am!

xx ME

Steph said...

As a child of divorce I can tell you that it isn't so devastating to children as so many betrayed spouses make it out to be. In fact, I wish my parents had divorced earlier. There was no cheating involved, but living with unhappy parents is far worse than having them divorced. I remember at 12 telling my Mom that she needed to divorce my Dad because we didn't need him.

When they finally did divorce it was better for everyone. I got to watch my Mom grow stronger and more independent. My relationship with my Dad actually improved living separately, and it helped him let go of some of the very controlling tendencies he had. Now they ate both remarried and happier and more fulfilled than I ever saw them when they were married.

So, long story short, sometimes divorce is better for the kids. People who stay solely "for the kids" are sorely misguided. If the relationship isn't loving, caring, selfless, kind, supportive, mutually satisfying and whole then it's better that the kids DON'T get that kind of example of what marriage should be.

Anonymous said...

I too somewhere feel that if we women did not condone cheating or if we let the men face the consequences of infidelity(which does not mean only the raving and ranting and questioning or outing them) then there wouldnt be as many cheating men.

Of course it would take years and years for the change to come about but it would if they knew that they would lose their home and hearth and kids if they cheated.

I dont think they mind losing us since by cheating they have already shown they dnt really care about us.Its only because we come a sa package deal..if they want their home, their hearth, their kids , their social and professional standing all neatly wrapped and package dthey have to have us.

Thats the only reason a man stays.

He just doesnt want to move his ass adjusting and adapting to a new life.

In a way men who leave and set up a new home with the new woman are at least upfront about thier actions and not like some ass which comes home with his tail between his legs, or in such cases, his dick firmly back in his pants.just because he got caught.

And for the record, i was cheated on and betrayed .


Anonymous said...

I would like to bring up a question that another follower posted recently. How do you rebuild the trust?
We have been married over 20 years and I never had a reason to doubt him. He was the last person I would ever expect to cheat, despite being in a position where women throw themselves at him. The affair destroyed this foundation. Now I question even the little things. I know it takes time and as sad as it sounds I don't think I will ever get back to the blind trust that we had developed ( I will NEVER allow myself to trust so deeply that I will be blindsided like that again). That said I can't live my life questioning every move he makes.

Any thougts or suggestions?
~ Momma B

Anonymous said...

Momma B. This is the hardest part. I am in the same boat. 12 years, he is charismatic and everyone loves him. But he was also always loyal and trustworthy. Then he broke it. 3 month affair. I found sooo much stuff that just broke my heart in 1000 pieces. And the trust is gone. Forever. He puts his phone on silent or face down - I wonder what he's trying to hide. Stupid little things like that which in the past, I didn't bat an eye. I feel like something that was so pure and precious is now tainted. And I don't know if I will ever get past it. It's still too fresh. I found out about the emotional part almost three months ago and the sleeping together exactly one month ago from today. Some days I feel good and then he puts his phone face down and I'm mentally dividing the furniture and figuring out visitation. I hate it. I'm working really hard, and he believes he is too, but I'm not sure if it's enough. I want the epiphany from him. The holy shit, what did I almost do. Not sure that is what he feels. I think he hates that I found out. I totally hear the above anonymous...he stayed but only because he's too weak for the alternative. We shall see. I have no answer for you except that you will know in your heart if you can trust him or no. I know it takes time and I'm trying to give him that. We are better than we were but I don't know if it will ever be good enough again. We are best friends, great parents, have great sex, he makes me laugh and smile and I love him to pieces. But I don't trust him. It's like all those other things add up to 100 points and the not trusting is -101. So what am I left with.

Also. I do not care about the other woman. But! Yesterday I found an email she sent to my H just a few weeks ago. She misses him. Bitch! HE IS MARRIED! What part of that don't you understand! Move on! That took me several steps back to making her somewhat relevant, and I hate it.

This whole situation just sucks and I'm torn between, let's fix this and make it even better to, this is not fixable, let's just part ways now so I can heal.

ME

shawn thewife said...

Momma B:

I feel the loss of trust to be a huge hole in my life. Though it hasn't prevented me from wanting to repair my marriage, make it better. Usually, I don't have too many issues. Richard is an open book and home ALL the time! But... Just this morning, more than two years after DDay, I was checking Richard's phone for..Hell, I don't know...whatever! It's so irrational! I found a text from a number I didn't know. It said: Are you here?
Yeah...I called it. Got a voice mail for a woman. Felt the knot in my gut. Richard was still in bed, so I resisted the urge to wake him and begin the interrogation. I paced instead, as I drank my morning tea. Then, I switched on the iPad and did a reverse phone number search. Pondering grabbing the credit card and paying the "introductory fee" that you can never seem to get off your damn Visa!
Then...I got a grip. Went to the bedroom, rattled some papers around on my desk so Richard would wake up. Saw his eyes open slightly and I pounced on the opportunity.
"Who is Mar***? Why is she messaging you?"
Without missing a beat, he said, "She's a client. She was nervous about court and wondering if I was there yet." I was quiet.
He added, "Don't worry about checking. I'm sorry you need to check, but I want you to check. I get it and I'm OK with it and I'm really sorry."
Insert heavy sigh here...

My point, we are forever changed, but that's OK. We don't have to let the loss of trust be the anchor that drags us down. We learn to roll with the tide of emotions. It does get easier, but I am too smart to ever trust Richard or anyone blindly again. I know I'm strong enough to adapt as long as Richard never questions me on why I still question him!
You can do it, you can find a happy compromise to the loss of trust as a team.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

ME: I feel your pain through the screen! I am so sorry you have such a heavy heart!
I want to give you hope and suggest a few things that may help you. You both need counseling, marriage and individual. It is more than helpful to have someone assist you during the early months after DDay. You have just suffered the worst kind of betrayal by the person you trusted the most. It leaves open wounds that need care to begin to heal.
Of course you don't trust him yet! Why would you!? Trickle truth is common. You still may not know everything. You may never know everything.
Your WH needs to know how vulnerable you are now. He needs to know exactly what you're feeling and what you need to feel safe. Tell his cheating ass to turn that phone right side up, open his computer and give you the pass words and don't he should not be defensive when you call to check his itinerary 10 times a day! He should offer himself up on a freaking silver platter!
A good therapist will help him understand that and work with him to find out WHY he cheated. That is crucial so it never happens again.
You can't expect to be able to process this yet. Your emotions will be erratic at best for months. Take care of you right now. Don't look too far forward. The first few months are a day to day thing.
Communication is so key! Please try to find a counselor AND use one of the links at the bottom of my homepage for support. It will get easier! I promise!
You can always come here. You are not alone.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Connie said...

Shawn, I love reading your blog & the comments. Its very brave that you have put yourself out there for everyone to learn something from. I am also a member of LoveShack & SurvivingInfidelity & have been for years. I just wanted to address a few of your commenters. I've seen several of them say, "she pursued him." If I had a nickel for as many times as I have heard those three words. Now remember I have been on both ends of the stick, I've been the OW & the Betrayed GF. When I was an OW, he pursued me so hard that I was kind of shocked at how much he called me. It seemed like everytime I turned around, my phone was ringing. He bought me roses, sent me candy, told me he loved me first, linked me to apartments he wanted to live with me in, played me songs, IMed Me as soon as I would sign online & the list goes on & on. After DDay, I called him one last time (1 month later) for closure. When we were talking he uttered those very words, "you pursued me." I stopped the convo dead in it's tracks & asked, "what did you just say?" I said, "so is that what you are trying to convince yourself of?" Who knows maybe if he said it enough, he would believe it & in turn she would too. If betrayed spouses read more forums, blogs, & stories, they will see more of this famous line, "SHE PURSUED ME", and they will be educated on it. They will stop excusing their husband's excuses. Know the facts. She didn't tie him to the bed & hop on him while he laid there rock hard & helpless. Oh that poor man was taken adv antage of, right? WRONG! Wake up ladies!

shawn thewife said...

Connie: I hear you. Lots of cheaters tell all kinds of lies to "soften" the blow to the broken betrayed spouse. But, here's my take...many of them are telling the truth. There are lots of aggressive OWs out there and for those cheating pricks that have unending forked tongues and spin tall tales regarding details of the affair...I say, we have no right to criticize how the betrayed spouse perceives the stories. If it makes it easier to hear the OW was a complete whore bag dead set on forbidden fruit, fine by me.
The mental anguish of betrayal is so severe that we do what we must just to survive. Denial is a pretty safe place to hang out until you regain your self confidence, your personal inner strength.
I think most betrayed spouses know the truth in their hearts. The most important thing is that they are able to heal in any way that works for them. We have no right to tell them to "wake up".
In my case, I know damn well Richard pursued Jaymie. He worked her hard for months! Most of the draw for him was the chase, the conquest, the trophy, the adulation he gained.
Ugh! I just threw up a little in my mouth!
Men in mid-life crisis are such weak animals. They are so egotistic , narcissistic and have next to no self-control. That's how I see most cheaters. Totally lacking in self control and overtly selfish.

NOW...Miss Connie...would you please address something for me??? Once you have been betrayed and you know the pain caused by that, how in the hell could you become involved in an affair?? Holy Crap, Girl! Am I totally on base with the completely selfish thing or what?
Don't be offended. I really love that you're here and can share another important perspective.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Jelliott said...

Two weeks ago I learned that my husband has had 6 affairs over our 14 years of marriage. These affairs have always been short-lived and 2 of them have been with friends of mine. For the last 2 years we've been in therapy. He lied to his personal therapist and our couples therapist. We tried to fix our marriage, but there was always something between us: his lies. Two weeks ago, he went to a new therapist and he decided to stop living the lies. He and his therapists are now focused on healing the trauma he experienced as a child. He is an adult child of an alcoholic and the victim of adultification/ covert incest (his mother put him on a pedestal to replace her alcoholic husband). He is getting therapy to deal with all this trauma, and chose this time to confess to me all of his affairs. He has asked to step out of our marriage for 6 months while he works on himself. After he confessed everything to me, I was devastated, but at the same time willing to support him and possibly fix our marriage. He hadn't had an affair for a year and a 1/2. However, one week later he confessed to having sex with a friend last weekend. He believes that he was not cheating because we were separated. He feels that he is not a sex addict (even though he ticks all the boxes); he just doesn't believe in monogamy. After completing his 6 mos. of intensive therapy, he suggested that we might be able to have an open-marriage. I am stunned. One side of me wants to support him and hope he realizes that he loves me and wishes to be monogamous, and the other side of me is screaming divorce. I am tortured! We also have 2 young boys (6 & 8).

Btw thank you for blogging. Your honesty is powerful. I too have been in Crazy-town numerous times over the past 2 weeks.

shawn thewife said...

Jelliott: Your WH suggested you MIGHT be able to have an open marriage?? Oh, No. I do not want to get all judgmental here, so I'm just gonna ask...
When you agreed to marry this man, is that what you thought you were signing up for??

I preach that the Road to Happy looks different for each of us. No one can tell you which Road to choose. You know what boundaries you can live with. You know how much you can continue to give before you get something in return.

You can decide to set your own rules. You can choose to live for yourself and your kids. You can choose not to wait for him to "choose" monogamy. OR...you can choose to set a time frame for making choices.

Or...you can choose to do nothing.

Wow...I am not being very helpful here, am I? Sorry about that.
I'll add this...cheaters that do not show real remorse only care about what THEY need. It's very narcissistic. If they can find a way to have it all...that what's they'll do. Your WH sounds like he is pushing to have it all without any regard for you or your family as a whole.
Please let him know what YOU want.

I hope you have a personal therapist. You gotta take very good care of you right now.
You can always find us here. You do not have to suffer alone. We know your pain and we understand your struggle.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Shawn the wife, thank you so much for sharing a big part of your life (we all can appreciate honesty no matter how much it hurts) with like-minded ladies. Thank you as well to all of the other ladies who have left sincere and passionate comments. I have laughed and can relate to so many of you. Actually, I have been laughing a lot lately (for the past four years) and I must say it works wonders for my self-esteem and sanity.
Hello, my name is Eleanor (not my real name because I refuse to give my hubby or the woman he cheated with any fame or any more unnecessary attention) and I have been betrayed. I assure you, I am a very real person that shares indescribable pain and can attest to the fact that our lives will never be the same. Even that feels good to say out loud. My wonderful husband left me (and inadvertently our then 2 year old) and a few months later began an affair with a woman from our church. Hey, sinners have souls too! In his beautiful mind, the affair was not really an affair because we were "separated" and he was sure he wasn't coming back to the mean woman who kept her father's name and decided that one child was enough. The list just goes on and on. Gotta love adultery...it's the gift that just keeps on giving.
So, my husband came clean right after my and his lover's birthday which is in the same month (I'm so lucky) and guess who told first? Yes, the other woman told so he was forced to tell me. I had no clue. Call me dumb, but I never thought he would ever do something like this...ever! But, I did have a brief thought in church one Sunday which I didn't give any weight to, in hindsight it all makes sense, but guess what I still refuse to ever accept any blame for several bad choices that he made. And that is that! After the shock wore off, I decided to stay and felt that divorce was too easy. Also, I was compelled to still have some control over our child's life and I do afterall, love the man. I must say that the source of the most hurt not only came from my husband, but all of the support he received for his lack of character from friends and family members alike.

To be continued...

Eleanor Ribgy

Anonymous said...

...continued from previous post

Do you know his mother (obviously not my favorite person)gave him a birthday party nearly months after his admission? Oh and did I mention that the other woman approached me and my child about a year later and the conversation was not filled with heartfelt apologies. Her approach was as if I had wronged her and cause irrepairable damage to her family. Actually, I did cause her damage because if I had been the wife that dreams are made of, she wouldn't have had the displeasure of getting to "know" my husband. Here's the kicker, the same pastor that asked only my husband to leave the church (due to the affair), is the same pastor who married the other woman to her new husband less than a year after she confronted me. I ask you, who is true victim here, not I said the cat?
Anywho, now I have been relegated to become no longer the victim but the person responsible for why he cheated. This takes skill and finesse and I take this stand only with the supporters of wrong as it is the only way to maintain my sanity. This is how I cope and I am feeling pretty good about this.

Here's what I did, since everyone who knows about the affair don't seem to place the blame where it belongs. I wrote a very nasty letter to the other woman and kept a copy of the letter she sent to me. In her defense she did write me an undated letter asking for forgiveness of what she had done. The pastor later told me that he made her write the letter. Once I found out she was getting married, I found out who the groom to be was and met him personally with a copy of the letter in hand. They still married of course, but the feeling was a breath of fresh air. I didn't expect the groom to bail out on the wedding even though that would have been nice, but I did catch him and her by surprise and I wanted him to hear from the "cruel" and "lacking" wife what his virgin betrothed had been up to before he came on the scene. Also, I told that pastor that he could give both me and her counseling because we are not in the same category and the pastor has respected my wishes.

My last hurrah will be to send copies of both letters to the other woman's children when they become old enough, not to be disrespectful or encourage a lack of respect for either parent but had she been sincerely sorry which your actions would have shown, I would have gladly continued to aim all the blame toward my hubby. The woman knew me, our child and that he was married and no matter how she fixes it in her brain, there is no way that her character or the code of conduct among women would remain in tact...adultery will remain the gift that keeps on giving because of women like her.

By the way, once our child is mature enough, our child will be made aware of the indiscretions of all parties involved. Please understand that this is in no way meant to be an avenue for disrespect, merely to set the record straight and to fortify consequences that have thus far been taken lightly.

Eleanor Rigby

Anonymous said...

...Continued from previous post

As for my dear hubby, there is no trust...I simply trust him to do what he's going to do. I don't ask questions about where he's going or where he's been because as far as I am concerned, he cannot hurt me any more than he already has and if one is not scared of God, then why on earth would you be scared of little ol' me? These thoughts have been quite liberating for me.

And as for my dignity, it is still in tact. I enjoy reading books, shopping, drinking tea and playing with our child. Whenever I feel the anxiety of all of the hurt rearing its ughly head, I take a deep breath and head to the mall. As for hubby, I changed my life insurance policy and based his percentage on the number of months of his affair. I do not allow him to open my car door for me (I used to like him to do that for me). Certain conversations regarding integrity, I simply do not engage in. I've decided if he ever wants to renew our vowels, the only people that will be invited are the people who are aware of the affair (which would exclude 99% of my family and friends). I refrain from giving any types of cards. Our anniversary is always shared with our child, never alone. Since his mom loves to give him parties, I make no plans for his birthday (I do give gifts but nothing of sentimental value) and allow mom to do whatever her heart desires. The list in my overloaded brain is still growing, but that's all for now.

Some of you may say, this is more torture for me than it is for him, but hey, a girl has to do something to make her feel a little better about all of this. Oh, by the way, I still didn't change my name and I got a tubal ligation.

Your thoughts?

Eleanor Rigby

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
shawn thewife said...

Eleanor: First, I gotta apologize to you! I accidentally deleted your last comment! I keep thinking I'm gonna get better at this blogging thing, but I may have peaked with the minimal skills I have to date! Again...so sorry!

Your words lead me to believe you are still in the anger stage of recovery. That's a place I am very familiar with.
I can't tell you how I wish someone had asked me this back then: What is your WH doing for you NOW? I'm not saying you're ready, but at some point, you should try to focus on how he treats you NOW. That's the only way to move forward on your Road to Happy. Of course your pain makes you want to lash out, but in the end, you injure yourself the most.

Happy. That's the goal. Maybe it will be with your WH, maybe not. Only you know what brings you joy. Maybe you can try to focus on that.
If we can help you find your joy again, you know where to find us.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

@ Shawn the wife

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post and no worries on deleting my last post. You have no idea how many tries it took me to post all of that. :-)

So, I actually had a few triggers recently and of course this fueled the fire. Yep, I'm still pretty pissed and I own it! However, my WH has made a lot progress in the past four years. He's been honest (I think and hope until proven otherwise) and whispers sweet nothings as such. I'm sorry, there is always this voice in my head reminding me or questioning me about his sincerity. I don't know, I believe time will lessen the pain, but I will never completely forget. I can't forget... don't want to forget...move on yes, but there is something to be said about the affair (this is not the best word as it sounds like a celebration) that has caused such a change of heart. You know?

Eleanor

shawn thewife said...

Eleanor: I agree with much of your comment.
The word "affair"...too tame! Even infidelity or adultery don't have the proper punch to truly reflect the damage caused by betrayal.
And...forget?? None of us will ever forget and that's a good thing! We have learned valuable life lessons. One being trust but verify. Eyes wide open!
Do I miss the old Shawn that trusted without question...sometimes. But the new Shawn is smarter and braver. Now I know if, God forbid, I ever have to face pain of this magnitude again, I can and will survive.
So will you.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

@Shawn the Wife,
Thank you so much for the encouraging words. I am happy that your site brings together women who share a common bond, painful for a while, but definitely a growing pain.

Hope & Hug right back at ya!

Eleanor