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, March 2, 2013

Trees Blocking the Road to Happy

Funny (funny strange, not funny LOL) how our brains work sometimes.  Have you ever heard the expression "Can't see the forest for the trees."? That's where I was.  Buried smack in the middle of trees so dense, there was next to no light peering though at all.  I understood there was a forest to behold and to analyze but in the darkness of my depressed state of mind, all I could see were the trees, the twisted, decaying trees.

Let me elaborate...Metaphorically speaking, (which my regular readers know I enjoy!) my marriage was the forest.  The forest had been severely damaged.  It had become infested, but I couldn't see it because of the trees.  My trees had a name.  They were called Jaymie.  In the previously mentioned funny way, my brain was protecting me by focusing my vision, my undivided attention and my pain on Jaymie, AKA the trees, because I was no where close to finding a way to actually face how Richard, the hallowed keeper of my marriage, AKA the forest, had betrayed me.
(Too metaphorical??  Maybe.  Sorry.)

You might have assumed the trees had another name, the emails.  Nope.  Not really. The emails were a means to my ultimate goal.  As I have been telling my story I've come to believe, if not yet completely understand, the emails were another trick of my brain.  I had convinced myself, with the help of my rapid firing, creative grey matter, the emails were essential to me ever being capable of moving forward, absolutely crucial, vital to my slim hope of marital recovery.  
The email trees were a massive blockade on my Road to Happy.
My mission was to break through the blockade and have my multitude of questions about Richard's affair answered.  I convinced myself that my mission was pure and good because my goal was to heal my marriage.

I consider myself a fairly intelligent woman...albeit a tad slow on the uptake at times.  My slow brain has played catch up and now I get that the trees, blocking my view of a better, healthier forest weren't really the emails....Like I said before...Call the trees, the mental blinders I wore and my obsession...Jaymie.

I've gone back through all the emails I sent to Jaymie the next few months.  I didn't just ask her for the emails she exchanged with Richard.  I wanted her to face me.  It was all about having an opportunity to ask all my questions and after I got a some answers, verbally incinerate her.  Rip her a big, fat new one!  Gather intel and expel pent up fury.

You might argue, rightfully so, that I didn't keep much fury pent up!  Let me assure you, as much as I had erupted with hateful behavior to date, there was still a massive amount of angry lava under the surface.  If it had ever burst forth, my marriage, the forest, would have been destroyed.

I sent her this on March 4th, 2011:

I'm sure you want to be done with this red-hot mess you helped create, but I'm not there yet.
You can continue to ignore me but I'm tenacious.  I still have questions, mostly about what Richard did to suck you in.  I want to know how it started.
Was it the money?  The perks?  His lies?  He is a lawyer.  They always have a way of twisting the truth.  And, God knows, they sure figure out what they need to say to get what they want.  It's how we pay the mortgage.
His shrink told me that Richard went through the worst mid-life crisis he has ever seen.  So, that means you were his Porche, his lost youth, his regrets.  He told you what he knew you needed to hear.  Your self esteem was blown to bits by Josh.  He built you up.  THEN...he shot you down much harder than Josh ever could.  At the very least, you must be so embarrassed that you could not see through Richard's lies.  I'm embarrassed that I missed all the clues.  Actually, I didn't miss them, I never looked for them at all.
So...continue to ignore me if you must.  I can almost understand why you just want to forget about any of it.   
Maybe I'll give up....but I doubt it.  Come on!  What can it hurt?  A couple of emails?  It'll be better than having to meet me in person.


Most of the emails I sent her were just like this one.  Am I sure she ever read them?  Nope, but I would guess she did.  I mean, if I had been fucking another women's husband and she found out...I'd change my damn name and I'd watch my back 24/7.  Hell...I'd probably move to another state!
Too bad Jaymie didn't leave, but I think she kept her eyes on me even as she ignored me.
So, yeah...I think she read them.

My life continued to deteriorate.  Spent lots of time on Jaymie's Facebook page.  She blocked me shortly after I sent her the email above and changed her screen name to the hip-hop-esque "Jay Mie".  Hilarious.  Like that would keep me out.
It was such a pathetic existence.  It was getting harder to put on a happy face when required so I spent lots of time alone in cyberspace with Jaymie.

Why on God's good earth did I punish myself so when I had done nothing wrong??
It was the damn TREES!!
I was so emotionally depleted I couldn't deal with the forest so I fixated on the trees!

Yikes.  This post wore me out.
Seriously, I am so not an outdoorsy kind of girl.
What the hell was I thinking prattling on about trees!!??


Cindy E said...


Have read your whole blog and give you so much credit. My husband had a 1.5 month affair in 2010. And it nearly killed me, though I didn't go off the tracks as far as you did.

I found a TON of empowering help at The forums were unbelieveably helpful for my sanity, and for helping me build what I do believe is an affair proof marriage (AFAIK).

I, too, said that if my husband ever cheated, I'd be gone. When it happened, only then did I truly know how much I loved him. I loved him so much that I couldn't imagine my life without him, even though he had committed the most painfully emotional crime against me. Oh ... those were bad, dark, sad days.

{Taking a moment for a deep, cleansing breath.}

While I know I love my husband, I honestly don't know if I will ever be able to put his affair behind me. I think about it every day, several times a day. It doesn't kick me in the teeth like it once did, but it's still there. A low hummmmmmmm that pings my consciousness. I'm hopeful, though, that using behavior modification techniques (such as your therapist gave you to use) that I will train my mind not to "go there" any more. I'm told this could take up to five years.

I also don't believe I will ever trust my husband 100% again. And, actually, Marriage Builders says we shouldn't. Some people are hard-wired to cheat, and the only way to build an affair-proof marriage is to make sure you have secure boundaries in place so that cheating simply can't occur.

I have read with humor and pain all of your posts. I hope you and your husband become fully healed and build a marriage that is impervious to cheating and the devastation that it brings.


shawn thewife said...

Hi, Connie: Glad you're here. So many readers need support from those of you that are further down the Road to Happy.

You still have the low hum?? Me, too!! Just under the surface of daily functioning....I get that! I've heard that 5 years is the time frame for truly beating back the brainworms. We'll see. I'm not holding my deep cleansing breaths!!

I agree with the never trusting your husband again...not totally. Trust but verify is the way go for me. I don't believe there are any affair-proof marriages, no matter how many boundaries you have in place, unless maybe you keep your husband in a cage and only let him out on a leash!

I have never been to the forum. I'll check it out. Without the Healing Heart forum, I am fairly certain at best, i'd be divorced, at worst, I'd be locked up in a dark room somewhere....drooling and mumbling about Jaymie! Geez...that's quite a visual!

I hope my blog made you smile and maybe laugh a little. We gotta use humor to get past the pain.

Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing the info on Marriage Builders.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

What a great blog.

My husband of 25 years cheated and it is so painful.

It was 1.5 years ago, and he trickle truthed. That part really hurt.

I hated being gaslighted and finding out even as little as two months ago that my suspicions about certain things were correct, yet he lied when I asked if these things were true.

Knowing he continued to lie is really painful.

He claims he was trying not to create more mind movies for me, but he fails to understand that all the lying and deception is the cruelest part of the affair.

So many times, he looked me in the eye and lied about where he was, who he was with and what he was spending our money on.

We were having money problems, too, given some real estate was under water.

He complained about money constantly, yet I was the saver and he was the spender.

The fact that he spent money on his girlfriend, while complaining about money, which only served to cause me to save more really hurts.

I was shopping with coupons while he was out with a whore spending the money I saved on her.

He also for some crazy reason took her to all the expensive restaurants I declined to go to because we were hurting financially.

He now says he doesn't know why he did that.

I can't believe a word he says anymore.

He claims he doesn't want a divorce, never did and will do anything and everything to make it up to me.

On dday, he told me I was boring and intellectual and she was fun. He said he wasn't interested in having sex with me, now or maybe ever.

But he didn't want a divorce, and agreed to stop seeing the other woman, after I found out through an anonymous letter.

Now, since dday, he tells me I am the greatest wife in the world. He always told me that prior to the affair, yet he had one.

What changed? I am still the same person.

Now he wants sex. What changed.

BTW: I was a good wife, nurturing, cautious with our spending, kept our house clean, pulled my weight financially. Kept myself in shape and dressed well.

The other thing that scares me is this woman he had the affair with was young enough to be his daughter. She was also not very attractive, just young.

How can I compete with that. I will never be young again.

Also, a guy half my age, turns me off physically, not on. It would be like having sex with my son.

My husband always claimed the same, that there was no fool like an old fool and the only reason a young girl would be interested in a 60 year old man is for money.

Yet, he cheated with a young gold digger. She wanted trips, expensive jewelry and expensive dinners out. He jumped to please her.

It is so humiliating, disorienting and disheartening.

I don't know, if I will ever be the same.

I was so trusting. Now I trust no one.

Just call me, blindsided.

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

None of us are ever the same in the aftermath of infidelity, but we can actually be better, stronger, wiser and more in tune with our instincts. You will be able to trust again...but never blindly.

Some people think when WSs continue to lie under the premise of not hurting us anymore, they may actually believe they're doing the right thing. I don't buy into that crappolla. They might have convinced themselves that they are being kind, but they're just covering they already exposed asses!
I finally set strict boundaries with Richard regarding honesty. Wrote up a contract that listed offenses with possible consequences. We both signed it. That made it perfectly clear that I would not tolerate deceit of any kind. Not even something he thinks is irrelevant. Everything counts in the pursuit of truth in this house.
It sounds like your WH needs some serious IC. He has some self esteem issues just like Richard did. He needed to feel like a big shot with someone much younger. It's so damn cliche'. Pathetic really. Once in a great while I'll actually find a bit of sympathy for Richard and his mental mid-life crisis.
Not often, mind you!

Fact: You did nothing wrong. The affair had nothing to do with you. It's all about your WH, his moral compass and poor choices.
I get why you are disheartened and disoriented. Your WH shattered what you held sacred, your trust and love for your husband. That, at the very least, will break your heart. And...Disorienting doesn't begin to cover it! It takes years to process the idea that something you never even considered possible is now part of your reality. way, Sister. You don't need to feel humiliated. Your WH should feel ashamed, but you can hold your head up.
I'll say it again...YOU did nothing wrong!
You're not alone. When you need support, come here or visit one of the online forums listed at the bottom of my blog. The Healing Heart saved me and my marriage.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Linda: I can't imagine how hard it would be to take back a WH after he leaves to be with the OW. I can't fathom it. You must be one very tough cookie.

Please feel free to share your story here or in an email. I'd love to hear about where you are on your Road to Happy and how you got there.

It always helps to have support from others that get it.
You never have to travel the road alone.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

TryingHard said...

OK lets see if this works now. Well I guess I am a "tough cookie" but most days not so much.

Yes left me and moved in with her for a week. Told me he loved her and that no we couldn't work things out. UNTIL he found out not only was she seeing him she was also with her stepson. I lovingly refer to him as the stepson/lover. Like you I saw some red flags but thought I was just being a drama queen. Unlike you my H didn't even have the good sense to pick a young nubile woman. No when I say she's a whore even her brother calls her that. She's 10 years younger but looks ten years older. Has a gambling and drinking problem. Bankrupt and forclosed on. Arrested for Disorderly Conduct and Disturbing the Peace. Sounds like a real winner right? OY VEY!!!

We have been through therapy since June 2011 where he was lying his ass off. It wasn't until Aug 2011 that he finally told me the whole truth, AFAIK (I like that). Anyway with the length of time of the affair (4 years), money spents (10's of thousands), leaving me for her (only to regret it when he saw her in daylight), hiring her into our business (I wasn't working there at the time. I am now to PROTECT MY EFFFING INTEREST)AND this is NOT the first time he's done it. I forgave and forgot WAY to fast the first time. Had young kids at home etc. So even though I saw the red flags I seriously didn't believe he was capable of doing it AGAIN! Needless to say it is quite a shit show. Forgive, no
way. Trust, Hell No.

Now in case you didn't think there would be good news. There is. I see many changes for the positive. I see very deep regret, shame, guilt, angst, confusion you name he's got it. Mostly I think he feels pretty damn stupid for falling for her line. Whatever, I am still dealing with whether or not I really want to stay. Today I just found out that our employee since last July knows about the affair and the former employee and I am just disgusted with it all. Really tired of dealing with it. I do love him and I don't want to give up 35 + years of marriage etal but I am so tired of it.

Oh yeah, I love me some Nordstrom too. Love how you handled that trigger. Actually the triggers aren't even bothering me as much anymore because I think I am entering the phase of FU I don't care anymore.

Whew, hope I didn't bore you. BTW did you ever get the emails????

shawn thewife said...

Linda/TryingHard: Got rid of your first comment. I hope that helps!

Now, about your situation. What do you mean by...
"I am so tired of it."?
Tired of what? Your marriage? The lies? Remembering how badly your WH hurt you? What?
If you are really in the FU mode, I think you should strive for MUCH better. I never want to be in a place where I don't care. There's not a lotta happiness there. If you just mean you don't care about the triggers...then...Bravo! I wish I could get to that place!
You didn't come close to boring me! Never worry about that.
And...NO...I never got any email after the first bunch Jaymie sent and I KNOW there were a shit-ton more. But, who cares?? There wasn't a damn thing in those emails that would have helped me heal. I just would have added to the brain worms!
Please stick around and let us know how you're moving along on the Road to Happy.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

TryingHard said...

I'm tired of dealing with this all the counseling, talks, discussions, fights, triggers, fear you name it. Not life but Jezebel at this age aren't we supposed to be settling down to enjoy the "golden" years? I don't want to give up on my relationship but damn this has been physically and emotionally draining for two years now. Sure I think all the time "would I be happier without him". Truly I can't say yes or no. I'm not even sure I know what happy means. I am shooting for satisfied and maybe it's time that I just face that I am in a very flawed marriage with a very flawed person. He is trying so hard. Last night he said he never meant to hurt me. Well I know that. No one decides to do something and say to themselves boy this is really going to hurt her and yet they do it anyway. Over and over. For a while they are remorseful but when is that other shoe going to drop I keep thinking. He's done and said all the right things to show me he's trying to change but there is always that doubt and fear. He never told her it was over. Just no contact. I can't believe she hasn't tried to contact him but AFAIK she hasn't. I guess she figured she milk that old goat for as much as she could get and figured out it was over. Who knows. Far be it from me to get into the head of trailer park trash. I can't dumb myself down enough. I'm really mad that he hasn't even tried to get back the money that he "loaned her" to rebuild her house. He says we could sue her but that doesn't mean she will pay. She is incorrigible He says all that money, my money, is worth it to him to have her gone. I want to sue her for alienation of affection, I live in Illinois, and fraud. He says he doesn't think he could go through all the shit that a trial like that would entail. Ulk. I'm tired :)

Anonymous said...


Thank you for your kind response and for reminding me that I am not to blame.

I am sure your blog is helping many.


Unknown said...

I just found your blog this morning. My husband of - get this - 38 (!) years was having an affair with his paralegal. She's OLDER than he is (he's 60) and she is married, no kids. We have two grown kids, one grandchild and one on the way. What gets me is that my husband put so much on the line by deciding to fuck her and not me. He appears to never have anticipated the consequences. I did see a lawyer first to find out my rights. It took MONTHS to learn who the bitch was. I know her, too, so it was like she fucked me as well. So after I found out what my legal rights are, I started seeing a therapist who helped enormously. I've been seeing him for a year now and would like to be free, but do not think I am ready. I could cry right now. The pain is just below the surface. My husband and I did see a marriage counselor together. She was helpful and then she was not. So no more of her. After my husband started seeing his own therapist, we had an argument, and he beat me. So no more of her. Somehow we have put things on track. BUT he works with his former lover STILL! He actually wanted to remain friends with her! Thank God the marriage counselor was in the picture then, cause she told him NO WAY buster! I will never forgive him. Why would I? This business that forgiveness is beneficial is a whole lot of crap. Let the SOB earn it, if he can. Let him crawl on his knees daily and apologize. Let him send me flowers daily with love notes. I could go on and on . . . But I say it's a whole new game now. He changed the rules without asking me. My turn. Stay forever watchful. Talk about what you need. If he's not willing to help you heal, then I don't know... What it is you are working this hard for? I used to wake up and find I had been CRYING IN MY SLEEP! Talk about pain. Just now I am beginning to come up against "anniversaries" of different events relating to his affair. Ouch! I am trying to decide how to handle the day I confronted him, this was many months after I figured out he was having an affair. Yes, I held it in that long. I think I shall celebrate. It marked an enormous step for me. Can you believe, I was scared to confront him?! Talk about a destroyed sense of self, eh? I find that I do not feel the same desire to hurt and/or punish him as I did earlier. I despise the other woman, of course, and hope there is a special place in HELL for women like her. IMPORTANT: I was the one who told her husband, in person, while my husband was home waiting for me. Talk about pleasure!!! I recommend it. Naturally, the bitch told my husband it was me who did that. What did I do? Deny, deny, deny. New game, who says I have to tell the truth? Luckily, the other husband did protect me and did not say how he knew. Let that fucker worry about who else knows her "secret"! It is better not to think about the other woman. It is better to use that energy to focus on what you want for yourself and for your marriage and work to get that. I did go through an insane amount of sex with my cheating louse. I am glad to know that that is called "hysterical bonding". That sounds about right! That sex was pretty amazing. Since I confronted the louse, the sex hasn't been as good! Ha! So what does that mean? Each day is a challenge, but I am slowly getting stronger. I guess I will always wonder if I had gone to the managing partner of their law firm and ratted them out, what would the outcome have been. It haunts me that they see one another daily. Haunts me . . ...

shawn thewife said...

Welcome Dana. Welcome to the world of the betrayed. No one wants to be here, but at least HERE we are not alone.
A few questions....
You don't mention how long since your DDay..the day you discovered your WH (the louse) was cheating. I am surprised you didn't call him out right away. I don't hear about that version of infidelity very often. I only ask the time frame because most of us don't even begin to heal until at least a year after DDay, then it's a viciously slow process with lots of back peddling.
Also, why didn't you want your WH to know it was you that told the bitch whore's husband she was cheating? Were you afraid he'd leave you? If so, at least you know you still want to be married. That's more than many betrayed spouses.
The fact that they see each other daily is horrendous, but I'll tell you this...if you set up some strong boundaries with consequences, you'll know you've done all you can. You can't control your WH. You can only control how you react to what he does.
I hope he is bringing you flowers with love notes everyday. I hope he smothers you with love everyday. It's what you deserve.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Lovely lovely Shawn,
I've been telling myself that I need the picture 'fleshed out' in order for me to heal and move on. The picture as it stands is tearing me apart, driving me crazy, slowly killing me ...
You are the first person to make me realise that maybe I should drop the details - these mind movies are just way too much. But I don't think k I'm ready to say that aloud to anyone other than you yet!
Apparently, for my broken WH it was all about the sex. I *think* I'm understanding the 'perfect storm' that led him to have a 7 month PA - doesn't help though. I'm obsessed that it was more than that - that there were emotions involved. However, if I had to actually read anything like you endured, i don't think I'd be on this planet right now.
I'm so tired and scared all the time. I haven't even reached the anniversary of the first meeting or the first time sex took place - I'm so scared of that day. What will I do?
It's been 6 months since the initial dday but only just over a month since I heard the real truth (AFAIK!!)
From Pea x