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.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chomping at THE BIT. Part 2

As the months roll by since DDay, periodically I learn something new about the Roller Coaster from Hell.  One of the biggie lessons I've absorbed is that I still have a whole hell of a lot more to learn.  That means for those of you reading, please remember...I'm no teacher, no seasoned guide that can lead you through the quagmire of infidelity.
I'm merely a betrayed rookie, taking my hits and reaching out to you for back up.

You have generously shared many thoughts with me about my current gut twisting dilemma.  Many of your comments and emails have been bouncing around in my feeble brain but I'm afraid I haven't managed to form any solid solutions to the issue at hand. I've worked diligently at dissecting the problem and I think it boils down to...the BIT means Reality Bites!

2 years out from DDay seems like a long time, but it really isn't.  Especially when you have had set backs along the way, which I have, most notably...F%#K Fantasy Football.  That's when my eyes opened to the fact that Richard was still a liar.  Not on the grand scale of his covert life with Jaymie, but at this point in our lives, lying about drinking milk out of the carton is enough to make me catch my breath and swallow REALLY hard.

Some of you think this setback shouldn't be cause for deep concern.  Richard would agree with you.  Many of you are waving the big ass red flag.  I'm in your camp.  I don't wanna be.  It would be so much easier on my stomach lining to just accept the words coming from my husband's mouth, "This isn't that big a deal.  We'll be fine.  Don't worry."
When trust is at a premium, you can't spare any for hollow words.  You gotta save your minimal stash for actions.

Richard's big action yesterday was to set up an appointment with the lovely Dr. K.  He had to rearrange his schedule at work, contact her and bring me into the loop.  Substantial effort was made and noted.
He got an ear full in her office!  Suffice it to say, she told him without reservation, he fucked up again.  He still hasn't learned how to bring up problems in a constructive manner.  He waits until something pushes him over the edge or he just acts out and waits for the inevitable shit to hit the fan.

We all know why he's like this.  My man goes outta his way...WAY outta his way, to avoid conflict!  He's a divorce lawyer, remember?!  His entire day at work is heavily laden with animosity, disagreeable personalities and sincere attempts to quash all happiness out of the life of another.
Talk about some bad juju.

Don't get me wrong, Kids!  I'm not making excuses for the guy.  I'm just telling you that I've thought it through and I get it.  The lovely Dr. K has been struggling to help Richard get it for two years.  Maybe my old dog can't learn any new tricks.  That's a painful lesson for this rookie, indeed.
If Richard can't learn to come to me when something feels wrong, when he needs to vent, I'm gonna forever be walking on egg shells.  That would suck.  But, that isn't what scares me the most.
What has me losing sleep is that maybe he will never be happy.  Maybe he still hates getting old and he feels like he's missing out on something.
Today it's his "unbalanced" life.  That was how he described it yesterday.  Home, kids, work, us...all good, great even.  But he has no life other than that.  No friends, no freedom.
What if I drop some of my safety nets?  Will that make him happy?  If so, for how long?  What'll it be next?  My heart is beating faster as I type those words because the truth is...I don't think I'm ready to drop any nets just yet because it's a long way down, and the fall would kill me.

He says he's going to start writing down every time he feels like he's chomping at the BIT.  He thinks it will help if I can understand the specifics of what he wants.  OK.  Sounds like a plan.

I so want to believe him!  I have to leave town for a week for work.  That's hard enough when we are doing well.  With him chomping at the BIT, it will be torturous!
This rookie still has so much to learn, many miles to go on my Road to Happy but as of today, I still have on my hiking boots and I'm willing to walk on.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I'm not really following here. The anxiety you're feeling, or the "issue" you are having is that Richard has said..."he isn't happy"? I realize that this appears to have been brought to light, due in part, to the recent situation with the missed call at the office, etc...but I am not sure exactly, why, this is cause for so much angst? I am NOT accusing...simply scratching my head a bit, trying to figure it out, myself.

You see, in MY humble opinion, and in both my personal and professional experience, I see TWO issues that can be corrected here, to help alleviate the "problem". Or maybe just to help you feel better overall.

Since you are 2 years out from DD and since you also continue to see a therapist, I would be surprised if at some point, she has not mentioned that when a betrayed spouse chooses to forgive and STAY....then at some point, the betrayed spouse, must also finally loosen her/his grip, on the reigns. While forgiving and forgetting are two very different things....in choosing to stay, yet refusing to release that tight hold, at some point, it simply becomes too much. It becomes too much for Richard. It may even cross his mind that if "this" is how it is going to be FOREVER, then why bother?

Now, obviously, R made his bed. But it appears as if he has done everything in his power subsequently, to regain your trust and to, in essence, prove himself to you. I'm not saying that his first inclination would be to run out and start an affair, but living life under so much control, at some point, is going to become possibly not worth it. In choosing to STAY in the marriage, the betrayed spouse, HAS to choose to loosen her grip...at some point. You cannot continue to doubt and punish, while he walks on eggshells. What kind of a life is that? For either of you?

(continued)

Anonymous said...


The other things is that if Richard isn't happy, for the reasons you mentioned...such as: he has "no life" and no "friends", then Richard needs to get that taken care of on his own. YOU cannot be his only source of "fun" or "happiness". He is looking to YOU to provide him with whatever it is, that HE feels is missing in his life, and blaming YOU for holding the reigns too tight (while I agree that they need to be loosened) is nothing more than R looking OUTSIDE of himself, as opposed to looking INSIDE, to figure out what HE needs to do, to be more fulfilled, as a person. R is deciding that HIS current unhappiness is due to YOU, on some level, as opposed to accepting that ultimately HE is responsible for his own happiness, as we all are.

In the past, we know that when R has felt as if he just wasn't happy or as if life was passing him by or as if he were just not fulfilled....or whatever it was....that he has chosen to go OUTSIDE of himself...and on multiple occasions...to someone else. That pattern indicates that he is looking for a quick fix, that he KNOWS bring quick results....as opposed to digging deep and trying to find a way to heal the hole of "unhappiness" that he has inside.

It is very easy to fill that hole at first, in your arms, accepting your forgiveness and feeling the sweet relief of knowing that he didn't end up losing it all. But at some point, that feeling goes away and life becomes....well, life. It becomes the same, mundane and often boring life, that so many of us struggle to be at Peace with. Even if we have EVERYTHING we think we want and need, we can still feel empty or as if something is missing. BUT...that comes from INSIDE ourselves.

Richard needs to take responsibility for THIS part of his OWN happiness. He needs to take up martial arts, or writing, or fishing or knitting.....ANYTHING that he can find a new passion for, that COMPLIMENTS his current life. And you, my dear, I believe that you need to loosen that grip. Just a little. I do not believe that R is going to cheat on you again, but the fact is, that no matter how tightly you hold onto that reign, what happened can NEVER be erased. It won't suddenly disappear if you hold on a little tighter or a little longer. So why not try letting go...just a little.

You both play a part in this current "issue". Richard needs to find healthy ways to cope with aging, and to fill the "voids" in his life, and you need to loosen up your grip...and allow him to do so. If you are going to stay together, then it is the ONLY way for the two of you to redefine your relationship and to keep it honest and to allow it and yourselves, to flourish. Otherwise, you have to ask yourself, what is the point? Even though it causes anxiety, your husband is communicating a need to you. It may not be your job to fill that need (and in THIS case, I do not believe it is) but it is your job to hear him, separate his current need from any past behaviors, and then simply support R in going about filling this void in a healthy way.

Best of Luck.
B.

Anonymous said...

And honestly, if you change your view of this from one of anxiety or doubt or worry, this can be a gift. This is nothing more than the first time R has been faced with TELLING you that something is missing in himself. IN the past, we know he never mentioned it before. Life is always too busy and the kids need things and it's just easier to push through and pretend that everything is fine. Until it isn't fine. And so really....Richard's sense of discontent, may be nothing more than realizing that he fears "aging" or worrying that "this is all there is". And those are just examples. My point is that him TELLING you that he feels "off" right now, is really a gift. It is open and honest communication from him to you. And as I said earlier, it may not be YOUR job to fill Richard's void, but you can embrace the gift of being given the opportunity to be aware this time. He is giving your the opportunity to KNOW what he is thinking. And as women, we DO tend to take it personally if we feel our mate is unhappy. But in this case, I have a feeling that maybe R has had this void for a long time, and only NOW, with the newness of your reconciliation having worn off, and a greater sense of stability in the home and relationship....only NOW, he is finally SHARING this with you. This CAN be a GIFT....for both of you.

B.

shawn thewife said...

B: I see your point. I'm trying to view it as a positive thing that Richard spoke up, even if he did it really badly, it's better than the alternative.
My problem is I'm not great with uncertainty. My life was so simple before. I always felt secure.
Now, until I know what it is that Richard THINKS he needs to "balance" his life, I don't know what my life is gonna look like. If he decides he's happy with knitting...Sweet! II'll be getting a lot of new sweaters! If he decides he wants banished ex-best friend Marc back in his life, I'll be getting a divorce.
I really hope he picks knitting.
Thanks so much for your comments.
You gave me lots of food for thought.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Shawn,

I can really relate to most of what I have read since I found your blog a few months ago. I check in regularly to see if I can find any nuggets of wisdom to help guide me on the road to Happy since IC and MC are not options for me. I have to say, though that one thing right now is really confusing me...

I agree 150% that Richard was wrong and should take responsibility for his actions. I understand anger toward him because he betrayed you but that anger is tempered by an underlying love. Some people question anger directed at the OW. Not me - I totally understand it. For those who say "they don't owe you anything - they didn't make or break any committments to you - your anger shouldn't be directed at them" I say a resounding BS. Basic right and wrong here - they know the guy is married and get involved anyway they are useless scum and deserve equal blame for the hurt you experienced. (Does the OW CARE that you are mad or does she feel the need to apologize to you? Probably not. Regardless, anger toward the slimy whore is, IMHO, totally justified.) What I'm confused about is your immense anger toward Marc and your refusal to allow Richard to communicate with somebody who, it seems to me, maybe should be part of his support system?

My husband is in the entertainment industry and (shocker) the OW was a fan. He has been working with the same group for many years. The guys and their wives are all my friends. We all went to/were in each others' weddings. We vacation together, our kids have grown up together. I would feel just as comfortable calling one of the guys as I would one of the wives. They knew. They didn't tell me. They didn't stop him. Was I pissed when I found that out? HELL TO THE YES I WAS!!

Here's the thing... as the guys would say - he's a big boy. He makes his own decisions and it isn't their place to tell him what he can and can't do. It IS their place to be there for him if something falls apart. We all need our support system. To turn the situation around, if I ever screwed up and my friends knew about it they would/should try to smack sense into me but they wouldn't tell my husband. I really don't think they would let their husbands tell either. Now if they caught HIM cheating they would tell me. They are MY support system just like the guys are my husband's and, as it seems to me, Marc was Richard's.

I did not know this at first, but after much discussion I found out that at least one of the guys DID try to talk sense into my husband and get him to stop but the advice was ignored. They certainly didn't condone the situation. In addition, at this point they know how firsthand much pain and damage was caused and how awkward it was around me for a long time so, though they may not see it this way, they are more allies to me now than they were before! I really cant see them just sitting around letting anything happen again because they have seen the Psycho Wife and don't think they want her coming back around any time soon.

Have you talked to Marc now that everything is over and some time has passed?

Shawn, I'm not trying to judge. I haven't walked in your shoes. Your situation was far more involved than mine. I'm just wondering if you have completely thought through all aspects of the Marc situation.

Feeling your pain right now :(

Momma B

Anonymous said...

I am with you about even the 'little' lies. Or even things that can seem like a lie. An oversight for me is enough to make me squirm. And I live with a teen who chooses to lie straight to my face (and he knows about the affair). I have begged him and pleaded with him, telling him how it affects me and in his immaturity, he doesn't stop.

I don't know where letting go of the reigns, trusting that we have the truth, trusting that they are communicating everything, etc all come in for men. I am someone who, when told something I do bothers someone, it never happens again. I assumed others are like this. Now I know different.

I remember thinking, after two years of working on our marriage after the affair, that he still doesn't bring it up - he still waits til he sees something is bothering me, doesn't proactively mention a tough situation coming up (such as travel), and doesn't ask me how I am after possible triggers have come and gone. That was two years out. Now we are four years out and it hasn't improved much.

Growing up in a household where communication was non-existent, where it was always tense, where you began shoving your feelings down with substances in third grade - has proven to be a monster issue in grown-up life for him. Facing your demons as a 50+ year old is proving to be (I've said this before) like turning around an aircraft carrier - it takes miles and miles and lots of time.

And here's the thing - it would be easier to loosen those reigns if they did indeed proactively face the issues and protect us. If they stopped the little habits like lying about drinking out of the carton of milk. If they said, "I know this trip I'm going on is going to be horrendous for you. What can I do to make it easier - what can we talk about so you know I am keeping you in the forefront of my mind?"

But each little thing keeps those reigns in a death grip. And the fear that comes with loosening them, the fear that we will again be vulnerable to that horrible pain inflicted on us, is also part of the mix. Who wants to go back? None of us.

Susan Rubinsky said...

I agree that there are two issues. The reins issue is something you have to work out with Richard but issue #2 -- Richard's happiness is his issue. And, man, does it sound completely familiar. The happiness issue is often the root cause of the affair in the first place. If there is anything that's I've learned over the 2 years, 9 months since my Dday, it's that it's not my job to make someone else happy.

Every person is in charge of their own happiness.

In my case, the relationship didn't make it but I still work with the ex and he's still foundering around trying to figure out what makes him happy. He thought having a baby would make him happy (one of the reasons he cheated was to have an OC) but he found out that didn't do it. I never made him happy either because I never lived up to his fantasy of what I was supposed to be for him.

Until a person owns their own happiness they will continue to fuck up their lives and the lives of those around them until they figure out their own happiness issue.

Sounds like Richard needs to be in individual therapy. He needs to figure out his happiness issue.

Anonymous said...

Shawn...

You said...you're life was so simply before and that you always felt secure. I am not knocking that sentiment at all. But think about that very statement for a second. You were NOT secure. You just thought you were.

So while I can certainly understand your feelings of uncertainty being an issue here, there is an underlying theme of co-dependency that might have even been working WELL for you guys for quite some time.

As another mentioned, R is responsible for HIS own happiness, and you are too! Yes, we come together to form our own unique form of happiness that comes from being married or part of a couple.

But I also believe that R has possibly felt some void for quite some time and that he really needs to figure this out on his own, and he needs to acknowledge that this VERY void, is one that he didn't cope with well before. And then the affair happened.

I don't believe that will happen again. I just think that R, possibly, doesn't even KNOW why he feels empty. Which is a scary place to be. I've been there too. It took me three years to get out of that place and find my own happiness again. So R needs to prepare for a long road if he has been one to take shortcuts, in the past.

I think HE can do this and I think YOU can handle this. I really do.

Erica said...

Building on what one of the Anonymous people said (btw, my real name isn't Erica, I just use it here because I want to be anonymous but not have 'Anonymous' as my name... might be worth others doing so because so many Anonymous postings gets confusing). Anyway, sounds like many of us have tried to deal with the situation of the H's friends knowing about the A but not telling us. I'm in that boat too. In my case, my H told one friend, a long-time friend from high school. Like Anonymous, I know his wife well, we vacation together as families, etc., and he knew but didn't tell me. He claims he tried to be a friend to me by telling my H that I was the best woman for him, etc., etc. That wasn't action. If a girlfriend of mine confided that she was in an A I would do something - of course one can't *make* another stop an affair, but one can do a lot to help them end it. I'd call my girlfriend every day to remind her that this isn't what she wants, that it goes against her core values, that this isn't who she wants to be, that it's not fair to her spouse, etc, etc. I might annoy my girlfriend so much that she might not want to talk with me about her 'dilemma' - who knows! I'd try to do something. My H's friend didn't do that - he sat in bars with my H listening to the 'dilemma'. That's it. It's been very tense between us. After DDay I emailed this 'friend' the following:

"I'm very disappointed in you. I get that your 'primary loyalty' (to use an odd term, and not normally how I think) would be to your long-time high school friend. I guess it would be unrealistic to think you would call me to 'out' him early on, or even that it would have been possible to talk sense into a pretty fucked-up person on a self-serving, self-sabotaging bend. Gender stuff plays a role here too, of course... you're both guys and I have come to realize that men and women do see the world differently (something I willfully ignored in the past). I really don't know what I think you could have or should have done, but I do know that you're a smart guy and you could have done something. You did nothing. The "sympathetic ear" you provided to B wasn't action, it didn't help me and I'm not even sure it helped him. You weren't a friend to me in any way, and you perhaps weren't a true friend to B either. I'm disappointed because I always valued our friendship, thought you did too, and envisioned that that meant something, would have translated into something. I need to share my feelings and let you know that this will affect our friendship going forward."

The few times we've seen each other have been awkward & tense, which is surely a mystery to his wife who doesn't know about this. I didn't want to forbid my H from seeing his 'friend' but I have told him he should get better friends and that I won't pretend to like this guy.

Very tough! Affairs are far-reaching, as we all know!

Anonymous said...

Waaaaay back in the day, when I was a young 20 something, very early 20's....I met a guy. I fell in love with this guy and found out, 6 months in, that he was married. I ended it abruptly...and then proceeded to go back to him several time, before MY guilt finally pushed me to end it FOR GOOD. 20 years later, I wonder why I carried so much guilt over what I, a single, never married, young girl, had no intention of getting involved in? I suppose it is b/c I felt bad for the wife. But now, I wonder, why didn't HE? He should have carried his OWN guilt, but he didn't.

During the time we were together (off and on) but during our ON times, I was introduced to many people in his life. His sister (as a "friend" that I assume she KNEW was not just a friend) and to a few of the guys that stood up with him in his wedding. I was also introduced to other "people" in his career field, one of whom shook my hand and said, "it's nice to see you again". ( I now realize that he thought I was the wife, since we looked similar.)

I guess my point is that guys DO have a different way of handling "friends" who are involved in an affair. I felt accepted and welcomed by those who knew him, and yet they also KNEW the wife. They knew her on personal levels and SHOULD have said SOMETHING, I would have thought?

I'm not sure what to tell you about Marc. It seems as if he simply followed a male pattern in not coming to your with this information. But then again, I also believe that on many occasions, he may very well have spoken to R about just what the hell he thought he was doing? Have you ever asked R this question? Did Marc EVER question his behavior? Not that it matters now.

Even now though, as a woman in her late 30's, I am not so sure that I would "out" a good friend. Maybe the difference is whether or not you are simply friends with "each other" or friends as a "couple"? I'm not sure. But I do know that my husband works with men....some of whom could possibly be called "friends" who have or do...run around. He shakes his head and wonders why. But I think the BIG thing is that these are not couples WE do things with often and the biggie....just as men can compartmentalize affairs, I think the men who are FRIENDS with other men who CHEAT, can also compartmentalize THAT, into something that just isn't their business.

Not sure how that whole dynamic works, but if Richard is missing his friend...I am NOT saying that YOU have to welcome him back into YOUR life, but I wonder, if maybe, some of your restrictions on THAT friendship, aren't simply....misplaced blame? And I'm not judging you for having that. But men, as we all know, are just very different from us. They are able to go about their daily lives, without as much emotional involvement, as we women tend to have, with our own girlfriends.

Not sure if it matters, but your post has seemed to open up a dialogue of sorts, as to the way men and women handle infidelity, where a friend is concerned.

Jules said...

I would maybe not go for the throat, but I would 1) tell my friend, the truth always comes out, because it does, so stop, then 2) you have to stop you are just doing the wrong thing, no matter how good it feels and then 3) threaten to tell 4) tell. This is because doing the right thing, especially in something like this, is always best regardless of fall out. That's just my moral compass, and one of my faults is seeing the world in black and white and not just hoping others do the same, I expect them to do the same. I would rather lose a friend then know I was party to the worst pain one could cause to another - the full breach of loyalty and trust.

Iggy said...

I think the way you feel about Mark now, he can't be anything other than a cause of strain and tension between you if Richard were to take up with him again. He has proven himself to be a friend to Richard first and foremost and not an equal friend of the marriage. I don't think you'd ever trust him with Richard again, so I think Richard has to ask himself what is more important. His R with you or his friendship with Mark.


I think you'd have an easier time releasing the reins a little if Richard were taking up new hobbies or doing things with friends you feel safer with or with new friends.


It does seem that Richard needs to really work on his communication with you too. But I'd try to take this as a positive now that this has come to light, because now you can try to work on this together.

shawn thewife said...

Momma B: I can't argue with your logic. Richard shared his desire for Jaymie with Marc and Michelle, his partner at the firm, so they knew all about what was happening before the the physical affair began. It took months for Richard to finally get her naked.
They had all that time to work harder to stop him. Richard told me they both said that he was screwing up really bad. They told him it was gonna end up in disaster, but he ignored them.
Here's where I stand on the lame efforts of his support group....they should have and could have done so much more! At the very least they could have said I don't wanna hear about your sleazy behavior anymore. Keep it to yourself! Nope.
They are HIS friends, not mine. I can't imagine ever speaking to them again without great effort and immense disdain.
That said...I don't hate the fact that Richard grieves the loss of those friendships. I don't hate it at all.
Selfish? Hateful? Totally negative? Maybe, but stupid behavior has consequences. Time for Richard to find new friends.
Thanks for sharing your story. I don't think this blog is a replacement for MC or IC, but it is certainly better than walking the Road to Happy alone.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: You hit on a very important point! The lovely Dr. K tried to get Richard to focus on that in our session.
You said if they just thought about what they could do to make it easier for us, we could loosen the reigns
Exactly! The waywards need to be very aware of how hard this is for us! I wanna see excessive compassion for our pain!
When I had my weak moment with Richard on the phone demanding to know where he was, Dr. K said he should have acknowledged my questions with..."I understand it's hard for you when you can't reach me. I"m sorry." Then, told me where he was instead of getting all defensive.
However, the phone call did get him to finally admit he was unhappy with his social life. He needs to learn compassion and he needs to greatly improve on communication of his needs.
We are truly a work in progress, hence the tight reigns.
Thanks for checking in.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Susan: I know Richard has to own his own happiness. I totally get that. The problem for me is that if he doesn't, the shit could hit the fan again.
Scary stuff.
He was in IC for over a year. The lovely Dr. K thinks he needs a refresher course in communication.
Glad to hear you found the right path on the Road to Happy.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

To all of you that shared thoughts about banished friend, Marc:
I'm gonna try to be as honest about my feelings toward Marc and Richard's partner at the firm, Michelle, as I can be.
I let them both have it after Richard told me they knew what was happening. He defended them. He said they told him he was making a huge mistake.
Whoop-tee Freakin' Do!
They could have easily done more! It makes me sick to think about how passive they were.
All it would have taken was this line to Richard and I sent them both an email saying so....
"Do what you want. Choose Jaymie if she makes you happy, but stop lying! Decide what you want or I'm going to Shawn. This is not fair to her and I care about how this will hurt her."
One fucking sentence! Nope. They just let go on and on about his 24 year old play thing. Disgusting.

I never want to be around either of them again. Richard has to work with Michelle, but he does not have to socialize with her. He still talks to Marc from time to time but that's it.
I admit I don't hate the fact that keeping Marc out of Richard's life hurts him, but that isn't why I want Marc gone, and Michelle as far off the map as possible. They proved they are no friends of mine. I can't forgive Richard. How could I ever forgive them? No way. They're history for me. Richard will have to decide if it's worth it to keep them in his life because if he does, it could get ugly around here.
I feel like that's a really shallow, selfish attitude, but if I'm being honest...that's exactly how I feel.
Try not to judge me too harshly!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Jackie89 said...

I totally agree with you Shawn,they are no friend of yours. Why should you socialize or be ok with Richard be social with them? That's crazy.

I had a friend that either knew something or knew all of it. But the fact that when I told her about this mutual friend that betrayed me and she said that she would continue to be friends with her on a "limited basis" - I said, then don't ever talk to me again, and you are certainly not a friend of mine if you are not supporting me 100% of the time.

We don't need those people around us! No way!

Anonymous said...

You know what? No judgement here. Having a shallow and selfish attitude and ADMITTING it....that's the difference. You are entitled to feel how you feel and this is YOUR blog, so I appreciate the honesty. I journal privately and sometimes I write some really HONEST things. Afterall, what good does it do to write or blog or journal or go to therapy, if you can't be honest about your feelings.

One thing that caught my attention is when you said that you "can't forgive Richard, so why should you forgive Marc or Michelle?" I understand that statement, but I was caught of guard by your use of the word "can't". Are you saying that you simply haven't done so yet...or are unable to do so yet? Or are you saying that you WON'T or never will?

I recently learned that there is a big difference between CAN'T and WON'T. Can't implies that it is out of our control and that something is standing in the way. For example: We truly CAN'T lift a truck with our bare hands. But....WON'T, on the other hand, means.....we are NOT WILLING. There is nothing standing in the way....we are just NOT WILLING to do something.

I found the difference between these two words to be something that I have reflected on a lot lately, when I communicate with other people. We use then interchangeably, but they really mean two very different things.

And that brings me to this....Do you WANT to forgive Richard? Can you...or WILL you? Because while forgiving is very different from forgetting, I personally believe that if you cannot find a way to do this, you might never truly move on and find happiness together. Again, I am NOT judging. And I do not expect you to ever forget. But as they saying goes...."Holding onto anger (and being unwilling to forgive) is like drinking poison....and expecting the other person to die".

As always...I wish you peace on your journey.

B.

shawn thewife said...

Jackie!! I'd have dumped her ass, too!
Loyalty is such a rare thing, ain't it?
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

B: I truly wish I could answer your question. I can actually see writing an enitre post about the difference between CAN'T and WON'T, but it wouldn't provide any answers, only more questions.
I think I CAN'T forgive Richard because I CAN'T imagine what that would even look like. How do you forgive the unforgivable? That doesn't mean l'll hold it over his head, but the affair will be a part of our marriage forever...or at least for the foreseeable future.
So, I WON'T say NEVER, but I will say...I ain't gonna hold my breath. I just CAN'T see it.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Ann said...

My h and I have had the discussion about forgiveness and have decided not to talk about it. There is too much pressure to "forgive" and I agree, you can't forgive the unforgivable. Forgiveness isn't about the cheater, anyway.
My h understands that "forgiveness" is off the table because of the stigma attached to the word "forgive." Basically I told him I have to come to terms eventually with what he did. Rather than forgiveness, he will eventually get "acceptance," and that is pretty big. Because my accepting the fact that he had no regard for me or our marriage and chose to stay anyway is huge. And my accepting him knowing he has this huge character flaw, risking my mental and emotional well-being, is huge. But I wouldn't call that "forgiveness" in the traditional sense of the word.

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: WOW! You sound so much like I did! Like I do! Kind of Toughie Pants, right?

That's exactly how I roll. I have accepted what he did, but I don't forgive him. Maybe I will, but for now, I can't imagine it. Don't know what difference it would make anyway. It's all semantics.

Risking our emotional and mental well-being....that is HUGE for me. I do not wear vulnerability well at all, so accepting Richard's flaws and STILL staying married to the man is probably as close to forgiveness as this girl is gonna get.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Laura Horton said...

Old blog, just found it though. One thing to keep in mind are the previous times he cheated on you that you never found out about. His affair with Jaymie was not a one-off due to a midlife crisis. He has a history of cheating.
He can give you whatever excuse he wants for the most recent but there is deeper reason underlying all his infidelities.
Often it’s because they crave the excitement of sex with new partners, or the risk involved in affairs, or the need to feel desired and important.
And remember the caveat: Once a cheater always a cheater