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.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Crossing The Line

There was no way I could calm myself as I hauled ass out of the garage, leaving Richard's office in the rear view mirror.  My breath came in short gasps and my hands gripped the steering wheel so tightly my joints ached.  A few blocks away, I managed a moment of clarity and realized my state of mind was not conducive to being behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.  I pulled over and in a show of truly childish rebellion, I lit a cigarette in Richard's car.  That was a BIG no-no.  Not nearly as big a no-no as infidelity, but I knew he'd hate it, so I did it...twice.  I wanted to put the cigarette out on the passenger seat where Jaymie's boney ass had perched.  I refrained.

As I sat there, I replayed my behavior from less than 30 minutes ago.  Holy Nut-Job, Batman!  What in the hell was I thinking?  Such a repetitive sentence in this story...What was I thinking?
I chastised myself over and over the many times I crossed the line.
You know the line?  The line between, if you're telling the story, the person on the receiving end will say, "You poor thing!  I understand!" OR "You are certa-freakin-fiable!"

For a over a year after DDay, I straddled that line, wobbled back and forth over the line while hopping on one foot and juggling chainsaws.  Sometimes I landed on the side of reasonable behavior, but most times I fell right off into Crazy Town territory, ranting, raving and cussing on the way.

A few posts ago, Leaving Now for Crazy Town!, I told you that the rest of my story was more about me, all the wrong paths I took during the next year.  Writing about all the lunacy is helping me in a very important process....self-forgiveness.  Each time I crossed the line, there was some level of self-loathing.  Not always right away!  Lord knows, I can hang onto a fit of anger like a starving dog clamps down on a stew bone, but eventually, I'd get around to listening to my conscience.

After an episode of line jumping, my mind discussion usually began with the automatic initial response of "What the hell was I thinking?"  Then it went something like this:
Good Shawn thought, "I'm losing my mind.  How can I fix this?  I have to fix this!"
Bad Shawn thought:  "They ain't seen nothin' yet!"
My LINE was very grey, no black or white, no clarity.   It wasn't at all straight.  It jutted in and out, up and down like the perverbial coaster I had been riding.  The line was quite malleable.  I think it's direction fluctuated according to my measure of anger on any given day.  On the wrong side of the line, my behavior was completely unacceptable, unproductive and a bunch of other UNs I can't really think of right now.
After the office meltdown, I experienced both sides of the line.  I began to feel terrible for dragging Richard's associate, Lori, into Crazy Town, but his partner, Michelle, was still on my hit list.
I sent the following emails from work later that day.

To Lori:
Today was not about you.  It was only about Richard, Michelle and I.  I don't think you knew about Richard & Jaymie until it was too late.  At least, I don't think you had the same knowledge that Michelle had.  Michelle knew from early on.  She knew before anything really happened.   She did NOTHING!  She owes me an apology.  More than that, she needs to leave the law firm and let Richard and I have a chance at working through this.  I can't have him working with people that will simply cover his ass when he is fucking up so badly.  All she needed to do was tell him to get his act together and choose.  Be with Jaymie, if that is his choice, but stop cheating on me.  She did nothing.
PLUS...she never even apologized to me for letting it go so far.  I thought she was my friend, too.  Obviously, I was sadly mistaken.

This was never about you.  I'm sorry I let my pain and anger cause you worry.

To Michelle:
What the hell, Michelle??  You can't even face me??  Seriously??  You can't even talk to me??
Are you so ashamed of your choices regarding my cheating husband that you can't even find it in your heart to apologize to me??
All I wanted today was to tell you that I want you and Richard to part ways.  Maybe you already knew that.  If he and I have an ice cubes chance in hell of working through this, I need him to be surrounded by people that won't cover his ass when he is screwing up royally.  They need to be real friends and tell him when he's fucking up, personally or professionally.  You obviously don't fit that bill.  It's time you moved on.

Plus...if you were any kind of woman, you would want to tell me that you were so very sorry for not stepping up and trying much harder to keep Richard from making such a huge mistake.  You're not the person I thought you were.

If Mike tried something like this...wouldn't you have wanted someone to tell you??
I bet you would.
It's not to late to admit you fucked up.

How's that for riding both sides of the line!?
There were so many more incidents like this.  I'd act out, cross the line, feel bad and try to make it right.  OR...I'd act out, not get the response I wanted and then take it even further over the line with little to no regard for the damage I was doing to myself as well as anyone that found themselves anywhere near me as I tested the limits of the line.
The next person that stood too close when I jumped over the line to Crazy Town was my mom.  I'd worked so hard to keep all this from her, but on the dark side of the line I was like a wounded animal, capable of hurting pretty much anyone.


No Contact Lady said...

I've been thinking about line a lot lately too. Part of why I decided to go no contact was because I was on the other side of the line to crazyville.

Just found your blog today.

shawn thewife said...

No Contact Lady: You are obviously a much smarter woman than I with stellar levels of self-conttrol!
You made the right call while in contact!
Nothing good can come from contact with the OW. She is of no consequence.
Welcome to our little corner of compassion. I love all my readers, but I wish I had none.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

I just found this blog. I have been doing really good. But then certain memories come back, and it brings me right to Crazytown with the OW -She(24 and recently married) - worked with my husband
(43) - and I used to stop by his work, and casually invited her over to stop by for a drink/dinner, hang out, she was crazy, but in a funny way. So unbeknownst to me, she befriended me, at the same time that they started their attraction to each other -which eventually led to a sexual relationship - for at least 3 years, while she was hanging out with in my house with my husband and my children! Oh yes, HE let her, HE allowed her to enter my house. HE allowed her to befriend me. BUT, she knew exactly what she was doing, this was not a case of she didn't know that he was married. She saw us interact, very lovingly by the way. She saw us as a close family. YET that didn't mean a thing to her.

Lots of times, I can't forgive myself - for being blind. How could I not see it?

But if there was ever a second where I doubted their friendly relationship, I would think, what would a newly married 20 something blond girl, want with a 40 something short man?

It didn't make sense, still doesn't. So Yes, I went to Crazytown, many times with her. Because she was supposely my good friend? Called her all kinds of homewrecker names - because in this case I truly believe that she was a coniving girl, she purposely destroyed my marriage - Oh YES my dumb husband LET HER! I told her, that the minute looked at my husband differently, that was the minute she Should NEVER enter my house - to disrespect me and my children.

I found out after he started acting strange, and couldn't sleep and found him crying in bed - then he finally admitted that he "Was in Love"! I was dumbfounded, in shock, scared, it was horrible, horrible time. It's been a year since he finally moved out - after he told me that he "was in love" I immediately asked him to move out - and a few months later filed for divorce, but it still took him a few months for him to move out. So now that it's been a Year since he moved out, I am a much stronger person. The one thing I always told him, I do not want to be with anyone that doesn't love me. I love him, always will - but I deserve to be loved back.

Shortly after he moved out - she moved out of her marriage too - hoping she would move in with him! Uh big surprise - He did not want that, wanted her to have her own place! Yeah sure -she moved in with her daddy. Guess that was a turn off for him. Yeah it didn't last at all, within a couple of months he's all over me. But I keep standing by my belief, that I will not be with a man that does not love me - and the amount of disrespect that he showed me by letting her come into our home - that is just unforgettable, if not Unforgivable!! She has never shown one ounce of remorse. Calls me crazy! Wouldn't you be a little crazy? This is something that I never thought possible - never! My husband was a good man, a hard worker, we had a great relationship, good sex life - Married over 20 years - and he throws all that away for a 20 something - that was a drunk, like I mean - vomiting, needs to be put in the shower to shake it off drunk! So yes, I go to crazytown alot when it comes to her - because it is just unconceivable to me that someone can be so coniving! What I need is advice on how to get rid of thoughts about the OW.

shawn thewife said...

Hello, Anonymous: I admire your courage, your convictions. You know you deserve better.
Finding your Road to Happy will require that you let go of the OW. As you know by reading my misadventures, there is abso-fuckin-lutely no good that can come out of dragging her sorry ass back into your life.
Every minute you spend thinking of her is another minute of your life she steals. Every thought of her takes up space where happy memories should reside.
Don't give her any more of you.
How to get rid of the thoughts? It takes shear will and lots of practice. When you find her creeping into your head, pause, get a grip and tell yourself, "I will not think of her now. I do not need to think of her now. It will not help me to think of her now."
That's basically what I did and sometimes still do.
It takes time, but you sound like the kind of woman that will find a way to take her life back.
If you need support, we'll be here.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

I have made many trips to c-town myself. We are still trying to make a marriage. But the doubt an pain sore some days. His first story always hurts most.she made him feel good. Everyone we knew covered for them, even his family thought she was what he wanted. Ten years with me ment nothing. I destroyed our house physically. She lives 3 houses down, in the summer she stands outside in a black bikini an watches us. He still cusses me if I bring her up. To me protecting her. Bacically to me it all comes down to yea the husband wants us his family but the raw heat they feel with her is worth what they do to us.

shawn thewife said...

(((Anonymous))) You will struggle as long as your husband "cusses" you for needing to discuss the affair. He should not be able to dictate how you get past his betrayal. Talking or ranting about his bad choices are almost an essential part of healing!
Are you able to attend counseling? Marriage and/or individual counseling would be very helpful.
If not, please use the links on the bottom of my blog's hompage under "support found here". The Healing Heart & After the Betrayal are a safe place as you process the pain and contemplate your future.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Kimberly Thompson said...

Dear Shawn,
I discovered your blog last night and have since been unable to stop reading. I, too, am a betrayed wife. About a year and a half ago, my husband admitted (by text, of all means) that he had been having an affair with a woman at work, who by the way was much older than him. Although I have forgiven him, and we decided to work it out, but there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not tormented by the reality of what he did. The part that hurt me the most was that he had told her he loved her. We got married young, at 19, and I could not fathom how he could possibly say that to another woman. He continued to work at the same company with this woman for a year after dday, despite my ultimatums and pleading. He no longer works there as of June of last year, and things have gone really well. I have thought numerous times about blogging about my experience, but never went through with it because I was afraid of our business being in the public domain. I am an aspiring writer, so I have always felt that writing was an effective means of healing for me. After reading your blog (I'm about half way through it now), I feel inspired to maybe give it another go, although the exact dates of what all occurred are foggy for me. Many of the ways in which you described the emotions you were feeling throughout your ordeal spoke to me, as they described my emotions as well, yet I had not been able to find the words to describe them. Thank you for sharing your story. You are a strong, resilient, amazing woman...much stronger than I. I look forward to reading the rest of your blog. I wish you nothing but the best, and I hope that your story ends on a happy note.
Your sister in betrayal,

Anonymous said...

thank You Shawn. You are right, every moment thinking of OW is a waste of time! Thank you for reminding me.

shawn thewife said...

Hello, Kimberly: Thank you for your kind words. I don't feel strong very often and amazing isn't a word I'd use to describe myself either, but resilient...yep, I am that. I think any woman that survives an affair is resilient.
I'd say I'm lucky. I'm lucky because, even though it took over a year, I found the right support system, the wonderfully compassionate people of the Healing Heart message boards. With their help, and the purity of purging my pain on this blog, I found my Road to Happy.
Writing this blog was a huge part of the healing process for me. It is ongoing. I gotta get it out, onto virtual paper, and then let it go. Write it down, get it out, let go. If you decide to share your story, please let us know. It helps to have friends on the road to happy.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Michelle (Sorry I have the same name as his partner!) said...

Oh my gosh! It is soooooo infuriating thinking of the 'friends' who knew about my husbands affair doing nothing. And what's worse, they still to this day maintain that they had no obligation to tell or attempt to put a stop to it! I feel your pain Shawn! I'm curious to know your opinion on the obligations of surrounding parties. Obviously, Michelle should've said or did something. How do you feel about other people? Where is that line? Should perfect strangers tell? Casual acquaintances?