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, January 20, 2013

Chomping at THE BIT. Part 1

For those of you new to my blog...News Flash...I have a strong tendency to deviate from the story line.  When something happens NOW that deserves blog space, I interrupt the flow of the trauma with more current drama.  This is one of those times.

I don't know that I've written any posts on Sunday before.  Sunday is family day.  Usually some quiet time with Richard, lounging in our warm and cozy bed, sipping tea and chatting.  Sometimes the chatting turns into lovely morning sex.  That'll jump start your day much better than the most decadent latte from Starbucks.  Today our little talk turned very serious and I'm freaked out.

The basis of our heavy conversation this morning began the day before yesterday.  My best friend and business partner, Nikki, suddenly lost her dad.  She got the call at work.  He had a heart attack and they just couldn't save him.  She was devastated.  I felt helpless and my heart ached for her.  We had made plans to meet Richard and a client of his to celebrate a great victory in court for happy hour.  
There would be nothing happy happening for many hours after receiving such tragic news.  I called Richard to let him know.  I needed to hear his calm, reassuring voice.  He didn't answer his mobile phone.  I left a voicemail.  
I waited 15 minutes and tried again.  Nothing.  I called the back line to his office.  Nada.  So, I called the front desk.  Since the Manic Meltdown 2 years ago, I hate talking to the receptionist.  I always feel like she's judging me.  "Oh...checking up on your cheating husband, huh?"  But, the other two numbers I had were not bringing the desired results, so my options were minimized.

"Hey, Christina.  Do you know where my husband is?"  
Now why in the hell did I have to ask that??  I could have just said, "Could I please speak to Richard?"  Ugh.  Stupid shit like that plagues my weary mind!  
She said she didn't know his whereabouts but would check.  A couple of minutes of boring hold music and, "Hi, Honey!  What's up?  Can't wait for cocktails!"

Here's where the problem started.  "Where were you?  Why weren't you answering your cell?"
"I don't know.  I was here.  It didn't ring."
"I called the back line.  That didn't ring either?"
"I stepped out to talk to Linda. (his paralegal) I guess I missed it.  What the hell?"

I told him he needed to call his client and let her know happy hour was off and I told him why.  Appropriate sympathy ensued and we agreed to meet at home.
I knew I had snapped at him for no reason, but I hoped he would get that I was not thinking clearly because my mind was otherwise occupied with deep concern for Nikki.
We didn't speak much that night and I went to bed before 8:00pm.

The next morning, yesterday, Saturday, Richard woke and was clearly aggravated.  I called him on his piss poor attitude and he told it comes..."I hate always feeling like I'm doing something wrong even when I know I'm not."
And that's my problem because....???

We tried to discuss the phone call the day before.  I tried to reason with him that I was upset and I transferred some of my anxiety on him.  I was sorry.  But, I knew it was more than that.  Somewhere in my gut, I have known for some time that this was coming.

He's chomping at the bit.  You know...THE BIT.  The BIT I put in place to keep me safe.  The BIT attached to the reins that I hold, apparently tighter than he would like.  I am the cause of his persistent feelings of guilt.  The boundaries I feel compelled to keep in place are causing him to feel like his life is "lacking".  He isn't happy.
Where have I heard that one before?  Oh, yeah, I counseling with the lovely Dr. K, right after DDay!  Just fucking great!
His life is so "lacking".  He was headed off for a round of golf.  I called him a selfish prick as he walked out of our bedroom. 
He was gone all day.  Dinner with my parents and the kids was tense.  We came home watched a movie and I went to bed first again.  When he was fucking Jaymie I always went to bed first.  He stayed up and had phone sex.
Oh, Lord.  I don't like where this is going.  Nope.  Not one little BIT.


Eat My Scabs said...

holding my's these kinds of moments that make us sick to our stomachs.

Anonymous said...

My stomach is in knots, just thinking of what you must be feeling.

But hang in there, It was just ONE not so great day! It's nothing!


Anonymous said...

Shawn life with a cheater will always be like this.We will never feel safe.Alittlest thing will set us off.Its natural.Its human.

What is also natural and human is a human being always being doubted and questioned about his whereabouts.

Its a no win situation.

He may let it pass for sometime but then he is going to be pissed.

So then the onus shifts to us to ensure that doesnt happen.WTF?

But such are the dynamice of a relationship where cheating has occurred and will always remain so.

Flaca said...

Thoughts are with you. I too know this feeling... since when is it our job to make them feel SAFE? when our safety was demolished? Sending you good wishes... hopefully he can cool off and reflect on how you feel?

Anonymous said...

I am two years" after the affair" and I am sorry to report that life remains the same..... Men sadly do not like being reminded that they have been " naughty little boys" !
I'm afraid that if his phone rings for too long I wonder why .... Is he trying to extricate himself from a conversation/ embrace or even some thing far worse whilst scrambling for his phone because he's with her ? Whilst I know this thought process is indeed unhelpful .... Can't seem to stop it ! What to do ??? He consistently professes his love for me when he does actually speak to me but that he always feels like he's done something wrong. (errr hello ? He has !)
Sorry .... Is this too much ? I'm new to this blog ... Well blogging in general :-/

Erica said...

Hi Shawn - It's the reminder. The reminder of what he did, that it's still on your mind, that it still affects your life and in turn his life. Deep down he probably wants to just move on with the lesson learned. No one wants to be reminded of their mistakes over & over again. He's probably not mad at you, he's mad at the situation that he knows he put himself in. Of course I don't know Richard but he sounds very remorseful and wants a life with you. Good luck. This sounds really hard but you're strong and you've been building a strong, new relationship that will survive this bump!

Anonymous said...

Shawn. Please don't let us hang to long. Those of us looking for hope are scared of what might be coming. I'm hoping part 2 is you guys talked again! Keep us posted and hope you guys are still in a good place.

shawn thewife said...

A little update...Richard has been very kind the past few days. He says I shouldn't worry because this wont end our marriage. This is nothing compared to DDay.
Well...I'm still quite concerned. I wanna believe that he'll never lie to me again, but there ain't no damned way I'm gonna ignore my gut this time around. Fool me know the rest.
I think what it boils down to is, he needs some space again and I'm not ready to give him that. I think if I just let him socialize with banished ex-best friend Marc, he'd be OK....for a while.
I just don't know where this is going.
Trying to get in to see the lovely Dr. K for an MC appointment later today.
I'll keep you posted!
Thanks for all the support!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Trust your gut.

shawn thewife said...

Orilee: I want to welcome you to our little support group. You mentioned you're new to the world of blogging.
Just so you know, you can't say anything wrong here. You can tell us all about your issues with your cheating spouse. Rant about the bad stuff. Brag about the good stuff. Ask questions. Whatever! We are a very receptive audience.
The doubt you still feel is pretty darn normal. I'm right there with ya. I wanna be more trusting, but it still feels too fresh. I'm just too damn scared to let myself be ultra-vulnerable again. I'm not ready to drop my guard. The thought of another blindside scares the ever loving crap outta me!
So, comment away! Let it fly! You can also email me privately from my Google+ homepage.
You might visit one of the online support forums listed on the bottom of my blog homepage, too.
Stick around. It really helps to surround yourself with others that "get it".
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Eat My Scabs said...

i agree, trust your gut. I've got my parachute pack ready so that at any moment i can pull the rip cord and be done.
we're here for you.

Anonymous said...

Shawn , be careful .One episode where you triggered , and rightfully and justfiably so, and you are already loosening up your boundaries.You are willing to let Mark back in richards life.

Thhis is exactly where these cheaters get us.Down the line they start giving us attention and love and we are then so scared of losing it that we are again willing to compromise.

Dont let him make you feel guilty if he has to bear the consequences of your actions that result from his cheating.

From his position, this is untenable, but thats how a life is for a cheater.

Forever at the mercy of emotions that his cheating evokes and provokes.

Thas how life is post D DAY.

shawn thewife said...

Hey, Scabs: What do you mean packed and ready? Do you really live day to day not feeling safe? Because that's how I feel now. I haven't before. I felt like we were getting better, stronger everyday.
Now, not so much.
I don't know how to live like this. Uncertainty is so damn scary for me. I have always been a control freak. I was learning how to let that go, but this is too much.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

NCG said...

Shawn, I am so very thankful that I've found your blog. I've been binging on it like a Netflix marathon for the last couple of days. I actually found it by typing in "a year after the affair" because February 11 was my one year DDay anniversary. Your insight into your situation has been cathartic for me although there are, of course, stark differences. Your Richard is much more soft-spoken and nonconfrontational and my husband, LOL so there's that. And there is no way he would be open to counseling. However there are so many similarities as well which is why your story has brought me to tears more than once.
It's hard sometimes when you're looking for support and have no one to talk to. I haven't told anyone in my family, I haven't told any of my friends, no one. Doing this by one's self is definitely a challenge. I also have the added situation that I too have been unfaithful in the past, although I was the first to wade into that abyss.
I finally decided to comment after this post because my husband and I just had an incident that caused me to feel very insecure and maybe so the line of crazy townafter all these months. My husband seems to think that since it's been just over a year I should have moved on.
Anyway, I feel like this post has been a little Stream of consciousness in flow, so I just want to leave you with the fact that your blog reassures me that I'm not the exception to any rule and that what I feel is perfectly normal. I can't thank you enough for that.


shawn thewife said...


I'm glad you found us. Walking the Road to Happy is brutal alone. It's wicked with friends...but alone...I can't imagine.
Please join us on The Healing Heart.

If that link doesn't work, use the one on the bottom of my blog.
You will find a safe, anonymous, supportive message board. No judgement from any of the compassionate members.
ASk questions, share your story, read , read , read. You do not have to post, but at least you'll know you are not alone.
You can also email me anytime.

A year after the affair is a time to take stock. Try to figure out what is working in your recovery and what isn't.
It is NOT a time to "move on". Or...."get over it" Your WH (wayward husband) doesn't get the depth of the damage he caused.

It took me over 4 years to feel like I was moving on. And even now, six years out, I still have pangs of regret and a distant stinging in my heart. I liken betrayal to a deep wound. The pain is unbearable at first. It will certainly lessen as time passes and healing begins. But there will always be a scar and perhaps a lingering, periodic ache to remind you of what happened THEN and how strong you were to recover from such trauma.
Hope to see you on the Healing Heart.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn