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, April 10, 2013

After DDay: Finding a Helpful Needle in an Information Haystack

Who did you turn to after DDay?
Was there a best friend that cheered you on while you screeched and roared and ripped your cheating spouse a big, fat new one?  Maybe you had another friend, a kind neighbor or a sister that stocked you up with extra large boxes of fluffy Kleenex and held your hand during the many lengthy crying jags that left your eyes red, achy and swollen.  I'm sure there are a few of you that had to manage the mountain of emotional upheaval all on your lonesome.  I think that's the worst place to be.
Of course, some of us were blessed with the resources to visit trained therapists and counselors.  With at least a $50 co-pay, they give you their undivided attention for 50 minutes.  But, picking out a good one is a crap-shoot at best and you can't schedule every meltdown to coincide with a counseling appointment, can you?  You're gonna need someone else when the going gets extra tough.

How about the Internet?  Did any of you reach into cyberspace for support straight away?  Was it easier to ask your multitude of questions to faceless strangers?  I would think that might be the most popular way to go.  Too bad I didn't consider it until over a year after DDay.  If I'd found the Healing Heart online support forum sooner, this blog would surely have a much different tone.  Jaymie would certainly have been a much smaller character in my story.
Oh, well...Would've, should've, could've...not productive.
There are so damn many web sites, blogs, messages boards and articles dealing with infidelity online.  Sites for the betrayed that choose to reconcile, for the betrayed that choose divorce, for the cheating sex addict, the cheater in mid-life crisis, the cheater that has no fucking idea why he cheated and for the affair partners.  (I guess even they deserve a little help.)  It is the proverbial needle in a virtual haystack.  Information over-load!  Trying to find a place that speaks to you during your darkest days, a person or place to reach out and hug you, literally or figuratively, should not be so elusive.
Together, we can provide a guide to much needed advice, compassion and understanding.

This post is about sharing where we found the most comfort after DDay, what worked, what felt right or what was a huge time suck and a massive waste of energy.  Who did you go to when you didn't trust your own judgment?  Do you wish you hadn't opened up with the most delicate, heart wrenching details of your life to anyone or on any forum?  Is there any place or person you think we should avoid?
Let's compile a list.  Don't know what I'll do with it, but who knows?  I might try to publish this shit for real one day and a quality list of where to run after DDay would make such a great chapter, right?

I'll start....

I wish I hadn't told my mom.  Even though my dad cheated on her, she couldn't help me.  I had never realized previously that she has quite the archaic view of Husband/Wife relationships.  The thought of leaving a marriage because of infidelity was never an option for her.
I wish Richard hadn't told my dad.  Richard thought because my dad was a betrayer, he could share wisdom about how to heal a marriage after DDay.  I think Mom & Dad's healing process involved a broom, the rug and some serious sweeping.
More than anything, I wish I had never involved my kids on that very first night.  That's not really the same thing...telling the kids, I mean.  I didn't go to them for support. I used them to hurt Richard, but I felt the need to throw that out there as long as we're discussing who to tell or not.

There are so many people I wish I didn't tell!  Why list them all??  Following that line to reach the desired information will turn this into a two part post...forget it.
Let's go this route...
Here's who I told that helped me....My best friend and business partner, Nikki.  I'm with her nearly everyday. When I holed up at home in my bathrobe for a week, curled in a fetal position, she would have been the first to notice my absence.  And, my dearest friend, Julie.  She's known Richard and I for 25 years.  There would be no hiding the drama from her! I called both of them before I even called Richard to confront him.  I knew they would have my back and my front no matter what.  Most people wouldn't want to be around someone that lived in Crazy Town for so long, but Nikki & Julie never bailed.
Best friends are the bomb.

I could've stopped right there if all I needed was someone to hold my hand and wipe my dripping nose while I sobbed or to make me a perfect martini while I raged and agree with every derogatory thing I said about my liar of a husband and his two-bit, white trash baby whore, but I needed more.

I had the lovely Dr. K to help me understand I shouldn't throw Richard to the curb for at least a few months.  I needed Dr. N and his bag of mind-meds to help me function as a mom and a business woman.  Both served a purpose, but, as you all know....I was stuck in Crazy Town for over a year after DDay.  I was barely getting by.  I didn't know it yet, but I needed to surround myself with other betrayed wives!  Only they could help me.

When I finally turned to my computer for solace, that when the healing started.  This blog lead me to many online forums.  Some were wickedly judgmental and way too scary even for a truly opinionated bitch like me!  Surviving Infidelity and the Healing Heart were the two that taught me more in a week than I had learned from anyone else in a year.  I read for hours!!  Surviving Infidelity was too big to navigate for someone with very limited computer skills.  I didn't last long there, but the Healing Heart became my salvation.

A few months later, I began to realize there are legions of us blogging about our heartache!  I'll spare listing the ones that were annoying, badly written or nothing but whine fests.  I've listed the blogs that touched me most here on my homepage.  I hope you will take a moment and visit each of them.  You won't regret investing the time.

I'm not saying we can shorten the Road back to Happy for everyone.  I just hope we can draw a clear map that shows how we found our way.
So, come on!  Help me out!  Who or what was your helpful needle in the information haystack?

PS....for those of you that dislike when I veer from the story of my time spent in Crazy Town, here's a little preview of what's to come....Jaymie's Facebook page introduced me to Kevin, her new boyfriend.
Suffice it to say:  I was bored with James.  Kevin was fresh meat.


Anonymous said...

Following DDay, I didn't tell anyone. I was too embarrassed. I was afraid whoever I told would think it was my fault. I mourned and raged at home toward my Husband. My young children were confused and afraid. Anything could send me into a rage of fury that I was happy to unleash on my inconsiderate, selfish husband. I called him names and once physically hit him multiple times as I screamed how much I hated him. I know there were days he hated himself, but also me for my reactions. Websites and books like, Out of the Shadows, kept me sane. Just to know I wasn't alone allowed me to pull myself out of bed and attempt to pretend to be normal. Finally, I went to counseling and began to feel somewhat normal again. We are 8 months post DDay. There are still some very hard days, but they are becoming less of the everyday norm. I have found happiness, which at one time I thought I may never feel again. There is help and happiness after DDay- unfortunately we have to fight like hell to find it.

Anonymous said...

Yay! I get to be the first to comment. And Shawn your blog is amazing, and my new current addiction. I am so glad that you are on the road to happy. Having said that may I ask what did you do to Kevin. Common I want to hear some dirt.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shawn,

I have been reading your wonderful insightful blog. I have one question. Do you believe that there is a "right" form of revenge? Did you ever have a crazy revenge fantasy about Jaymie and Richard?

With love and support

exotic revenge

PS if you EVER want some help in attaining revenge on the either of them, post it online. I am sure there will be thousands of people who read this blog who would be willing to do the following:

1. Send them nasty emails
2. Contact Jaymie posing as a doctor or a nurse. Claiming that she needs to get tested for AIDS
3. Contact James provide a fake name. Then claim that Jaymie is sleeping with your husband. Explain that it is ruining your family. Let James cry. Tell him that you have tried to speak with Jaymie about it, and that she denies it.
4. Contact Kevin poise as a nurse, let him know that Jaymie has an STI, ask him to get tested. (this is best when combined with number 2)
5. Find out where Jaymie is now going to school. Post an add on campus offering her services as a prostitute. Include a picture. Post similar adds online. (This one is best done anonymously)

Anonymous said...

Dear Shawn,

having read your past post... you know the one where he tells us that he felt that he "deserves" a mistress. I felt sick. Sick for you, and sick for any woman who is stuck with a man who is so selfish and self entitled. I can only hope that there are men out there who do not suffer from the same affliction. Also I think that your husband was terribly selfish and deserved every bit of crap that you threw at him. God-knows he hurt you more than anything. You deserve better. You deserve a husband who respects you, loves you, is honest with you, and wants to protect you. He should want to protect you from himself. That is something Richard did not do.

I do not know how you have bravely managed to remain married to such a man. Personally if I were you I would have left by now. I would have told the kids the truth so that they would understand. But I would have left.

Regardless of our personal differences, I would like to congratulate you on your determination to remain married.

Everyone Deserves RESPECT

shawn thewife said...

This could be confusing! Lots of anonymous comments! I'll do my best.

To Anonymous that is 8 months post DDay: 8 months seems like it should be enough time to move on, doesn't it? For most of us, it's not. You seem to have found your Road to Happy. The Road has potholes, some of them massive, and you will continue to need support, so I'm glad you're here.
Thanks for sharing the book that helped you. For many, books are the best resource. I hope you're still in counseling. Over 2 years out and I still need a tune up with the lovely Dr. K from time to time.
Happiness is the goal...Keep fighting the good fight!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

To Anonymous that wanted to post first...Oh, darn it..Second! 1st, 2nd or 22nd...I'm glad you joined us!
Thanks for the kind words about my blog. It still blows my mind that anyone reads it.

About Kevin....I thought I could convince him to dump Jaymie once he knew about her highly questionable moral compass. Nope. He is a very young guy getting laid on a regular basis! Why would he give that up?
Contacting him was highly unsatisfying, but that didn't stop me from doing it again and again and again!
I'll start writing about all that real soon.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

To Anonymous that wants to discuss revenge:
This will be a quick response: DON'T!

Fantasize about it, dream about it...create any scenario you want in your head...if you must....BUT DON'T DO IT!
It feels good for a New York minute, but it serves no purpose. As long as the OW remains in your life, you won't get very far on your Road back to Happy.

That said...LOVE the phone call with the STD/AIDS test idea! LOL! Very creative. It just won't help you heal.
Thanks for the offer, though!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

To Anonymous that thinks Richard is selfish & self-entitled: I can't imagine anyone that would disagree with you! Not me, for sure except I'd say he WAS selfish not IS selfish.
Don't get me wrong, he still has his moments, but don't we all? If my cheater radar is spot on...I can say with relative certainty, Richard is beyond sorry and ashamed of his choices and how they damaged me. That's why I stayed.
Reconciliation ain't for the faint of heart, but it's working for me.
Thanks for your support.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Hi Shawn, I found your blog probably about 10 months after D-Day. I am about a year and half in right now, and I have to say that nowadays when I feel well enough to avoid over-burdening my "people" with my ups and downs, reading about your ordeal and thoughts is both refreshing and motivating. During the first months I had two or three friends who were there for support no matter what... our therapists were also instrumental in getting us to D-Day and beyond. In my case, therapy before D-Day was important. Although my husband chose to cheat on me during our first pregnancy and through the birth of our first child, I don't think he is a selfish person. He acted like an ass, but that's his burden not mine. I often hear and struggle with the phrase "once a cheater always a cheater" but as everything else in recovery from an affair, you can CHOSE to believe this is not the case. I like to think that an election to bring love and trust back into my heart is an uphill lesson to learn but a less burdensome load to carry forward.

Flaca said...

shawn i FUCKING love your blog! FUCK! its so funny, honest, raw and an awesome rant-fest of honest-ness. i wish i knew YOU when i was falling into my pit of hell! you would have shown me that kickass awesome women get cheated on & it is not a reflection on US. its a reflection on the turd affair partners & our damaged spouses. i am having a shitty day today. i promised myself not to read ANY blogs. but then i saw you had a new post & i had to read it.

cant wait to read about jaymie's new bf! lol.

i wish i would have told NO ONE. everyone is so fucking pious. most of my 'friends' are fucking haters who are the "if that had been me types..." or my stupid H lied to them so they feel they need an explanation/apology. shit, it took me a YEAR to get one from him. i guess they got tired waiting.

i just restarted going to counseling because Green, my H, is finally accepting how f'd up this mad me up. i am sorry i am dropping the f-bomb a lot today... damn it... its just one of those days.

i do'nt even have the energy to hate the fucktard whore. she is such a loser. she's a child.

you know what helped me? sad to say is when i slapped green. he had me ARRESTED and then i had to go to anger management classes for domestic violence. hah! he was lying to me, cheating and i went to JAIL. yes. anyway another story for another time... lets just say I HATE the classes so much! the facilitator is a sexist moron but despite him i am focused on my rage. how i internalized the pain and working on released in rage. thank god not on my kids... but on hating the way i felt about myself. how this whole thing became a judgement on me. a rejection of me.

after that, i looked for books. i had stopped going to counseling because all they kept telling me to do was eat since i had lost so much weight. ugh. who cares about food, i didn't. then i found the blogs.. some terrible... and then some great, like found yours, elle @ betrayedwivesclub and others.

YOU LADIES made me 1feel sane. not
alone. maybe you werent smacking your husbands but i knew that my misery was not another reflection of how terrible i was. instead it was a reflection of the trauma that i was enduring. big hugs to you... i wish i knew you in 'real' life... and that we hadn't 'met' under these circumstances.

Kari said...

Oh wow, is it ever hard to find a helpful needle in the information haystack!

I opened up to a few friends. To be honest, it was nice to have someone to vent to and share with, but their support/advice really wasn't what I needed to hear. I don't blame them for feeling the way they felt, but telling your grieving friend that they should definitely leave their husband is not something anyone should do. It leads to a lot of shame and doubt, and, unfortunately, damages the friendship to some degree when the betrayed spouse is fighting for the marriage. I don't necessarily regret telling the few friends I did, as it was nice to have someone to talk to, but I no longer talk to them about the situation. We talk and are friends, but we don't talk about my marriage. Nothing they say will make me feel better about my choice to stay. In the long run, all we want is a listening ear and non-judgement for our decision.

I did not tell family for the first eight months. I did end up telling my sister-in-law and brother after I felt like I was hitting rock bottom (due to new, disastrous revelations about my husband). I was at the point where I needed to know that I had someone to go to for a night (or several nights) if I needed to. I also wanted my H to be a bit more accountable for his actions. Because my brother is one of his best friends (yes, still is), my brother can check in on him, which I appreciate. They have been nothing but supportive of our desire to repair our marriage. I have not told my parents and don't plan to for a number of reasons.

With all that said, the one person I'm glad that I did turn to was my therapists--both marriage and individual. They truly are a God send, if you can find the right one--no judgement, support, giving a plan to follow, etc. They helped me so much in my darkest days (as did my Zoloft prescription). I don't see my individual therapist much anymore, but I'm so glad I did see her regularly for quite some time. It really was helpful.

I guess for everyone, it's different. But as you said Shawn, nothing beats being surrounded by other betrayed spouses who KNOW what it's like. None of our experiences are the same, but we can all relate and appreciate each other's stories, struggles, and decisions. The Healing Heart and your blog have been that place for me to find some comfort in the fact that I am not alone. Thank you for that!

1Faith said...


I too love, love, love your blog. In times of deep despair it makes me laugh at the madness of this journey.

I opened up to my sister, to a few close friends and became good friends with a woman who had went through the same thing (our kids go to school together).

Sister always has my back. No judgement just heartbreak for me and our family.

Friends on the other hand, mixed bag. It is an awkward situation. Kind of like funerals...people don't know what to say. They THINK they know what they'd do (leave, kick him out, etc) but as we all know. You have NO IDEA what you'd do until you are faced with the heart wrenching reality of it all.

Had one couple that the husband was much more supportive of me than the wife. She actually said "I can understand why he cheated". Excuse me, really and why is that? The husband told my h to get his head out of his ass and win me back. I will always be grateful for that. I think many "friends" shy away because if it can happen to you then they realize it could happen to them. Some stayed away as to not catch the infidelity flu.

We did reach out and received IC and MC. Tremendous help. Helped clear some cobwebs and also have us focus on communicating and moving forward - baby steps at a time.

I don't know what "normal" is anymore nor do I think I want "normal" as "normal" got us to the place where the A was possible and happened. I want more than "normal" - I want real. I want truth and I want an authentic marriage. Time will tell if that occurs.

We are on the right track but I am still healing. Some days are better than others but so were they before the A.

Thanks for keeping it real. Sharing your life with us. I too have had a year long ticket on the crazy train. I now only occasionally hop on and off for a short ride so I guess that's progress.

Onward survivors....we can do it.

shawn thewife said...

PLEASE People! Could you just sign your comments with a number or initials or something?? I wish blogspot had a way of stacking responses to comments....until then...INITIALS/FAKE NAMES/WHATEVER would really help me!

To Anonymous that is a year and a half post DDay: You have a very strong resolve to CHOOSE a positive attitude to healing. I admire that...BUT...I just don't get how a wayward husband can not be labeled as selfish!! I mean, maybe it's semantics. HE isn't selfish but his BEHAVIOR was? Is that it?
Truly though, whatever gets you back on the Road to Happy, I will not judge.
I just kind of felt obligated to be sure you aren't confusing a very positive attitude with denial.
Just checking.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Hey Flaca!! Fuck an A, Chica!! We are so cut from the same cloth!! Strong women that took seismic hits directly on our hearts. No matter how strong you are, a blow like that is gonna knock the wind outta your sails for a while. Together, we're gonna get back to our true selves...better than ever.

I am very glad you're here and if our little group helps you at all then that makes continuing to write soooo worth it to me! You will never be alone.

About Jaymie's new boyfriend...she went from Richard, 35 years her senior, to a scrawny assed, geek literary major at SDSU a year younger than her!! WTF?? That girl can not stand to be alone. She needs a guy around to take care of her. Maybe she never got enough attention from Daddy James!
Anyway...that's what I fuckin' think!! LOL!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Kari: You are more the welcome, Sister! Telling people about how I began to heal just seems like the right thing to do. I bought my ticket out of Crazy Town on the Healing Heart and here on this blog. It's only right that I try to pay it forward.

I'm glad you have your brother and sis-in-law in the loop. You gotta have a least one go-to real live person when you're dealing with this much trauma.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Shawn!! A year and a half post DDAY again... For the benefit of anyone who may have been mislead by my "too positive" previous post... Today was probably a good day.

I am still not over telling my husband he IS a prick every time I can, so I will admit here to you ladies that I do not believe he is a BAD person... but he is still paying his dues.

What I meant is that whenever I get the feeling that I am wasting my time or being stupid trying to forgive the "unforgiveable", I try to focus on how good it feels FOR ME to let go of bits of anger and pain. Forget the husband or the skank, or the haters who make you feel bad about your life choices... In Flaca's words: FUCK THEM!!

I guess the biggest leason I have learned so far is to focus on making MYSELF happy and doing things that feel good for me.

As for the "cheaters"... They will learn or maybe not... If they again choose to go off with some empty and pathetic whore... that is beyond OUR control! They will remain the same losers they have been in the past, and we will be stronger, wiser, and in the long-run probably happier too!

shawn thewife said...

1Faith: I'm with you! Too many times friends don't get it because it is too damn scary to get it! Too close to home! I think we should emphasize this point....If anybody is out there reading...think twice before telling anyone...think hard. Most people do not need to know. They can't help you.

They might even say something totally asinine like, "I can understand why he cheated." WTH?? I think my head may have exploded if a friend had said that to me! Since you have obviously retained your head and if the stupid woman that uttered those words still has hers...You, my new friend, are a pillar of restraint!!

The first year after DDay, all I wanted was normal, but you...I want nothing to do with normal anymore!! I want all new! Fresh and clean! I can work with is much closer to happy than normal.
Thanks for reading and commenting. It means a lot.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Hello Shawn,

I was the girl who asked about Kevin. I have a follow up question. I was just wondering:
How did you know that Kevin was sleeping with the Jaymie?

Just Curious

shawn thewife said...

Just Curious: If my memory was a profile pic Jaymie posted, her with Kevin. I saw the pic, looked through her friends list and found a match! Kevin's pic had him with her, too. It was obvious that they were a turn...meant they were having sex. Jaymie wasn't known for keeping her legs together.

It wasn't rocket science or telepathy! Truly, it was just a stupid waste of time.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

I cant believe you are yet follpwing jaymie nd her new boyfriend.

Scoot yourself over to, i think you need a dose of some reality check.

hugs and light.

P.S...just wondering if richard to is so stuck on jaymie or has he moved on to a younger version

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous ChumpLady Fan...Whoa! You haven't done the entire reading assignment! Points off!

I haven't had anything to do with Jaymie since I began this blog. I do not write in real time. My blog begins from DDay in 2010 and I am up to April or May of 2011.

Richard has had nothing to do with her since a week after DDay. All info I write about is at least 2 years old. I began to heal when I started this blog and found The Healing Heart.
Today, our marriage is good, not always great, but damn good. Richard is not the guy I married. He might be better. I never knew I needed better, but I'm grateful for it now.

And..I gotta tell you...I don't put a whole lotta stock in Chump Lady's blog. Her reality is one dimensional. I don't have any problem with the cynicism or even the negativity. Infidelity is damn dark! But, it's too one sided for my taste. One size does not fit all when dealing with adultery. There needs to be room for compassion for MOST opinions when discussing such a multi-layered, sensitive subject. Compassion for betrayed spouses that chose to reconcile definitely does not live at
However...if you want to share in our truly open forum...
Hope, Hugs and light back at cha'! Shawn

BS said...

Hi all:

I am four years out in what my IC and MC several years back termed a good enough reconciliation.

We are doing well, still as you all know the scar will always remain, and I think that is why we all need to tell our story and share our experiences, even when things seem good.

It's not whipping a dead horse, it's just trying to make sense of a senseless act of betrayal.

As for telling others, I was advised by one excellent counselor to refrain from telling family and close mutual friends.

You all covered the reasons already, the main one being that people say the stupidest things without first thinking them through sometimes, and are too proud to apologize later.

I told no one other than counselors. In retrospect, I think that was a good thing, because it enabled me to make my own choice free of hurtful advice.

as for Faith with the one friend who said she could understand why her husband cheated. Oh my. That is such and inane thing to say to a betrayed spouse and even a more inane thing to say to a friend.

BS said...

To the anonymous chumplady fan.

IMO, chumplady does a disservice to betrayed spouses.

Instead of all sticking together and honoring the choice we each make, she has chosen to belittle and degrade and bully people who choose to reconcile.

She fails to recognize that each situation is unique.

There is no one size fits all response to infidelity.

Some spouses should be left and support can be given to those who choose that path, but other spouses may deserve to be given a second chances, and betrayed spouses wishing to do so, should be respected, not maligned.

Chump lady would do better to empower all betrayed spouses to make their own decisions, instead of advising everyone to follow her lead.

I do feel empathy for chumplady, though.

Obviously she has been deeply wounded by the two spouses that betrayed her.

So wounded that even though now claiming to be happily married, she is still so angry at those ex spouses that she needs to release fresh bile about it daily.

I really do so understand her anger.

In her case divorce was the best thing.

But she needs to learn to respect other choices, IMO.

Also much of the advice she gives is harmful because there are women posting there who can not afford to divorce right away.

Those women should be advised to go slowly and get their financial house in order, particularly if they will be the main caregiver for their children.

They can still be encouraged to divorce if it's the best course, but they would be best advised to go slowly and rationally rather than acting impulsively and irrationally.

I can see though that her one-trick-pony attitude helps her sell t shirts, and maybe that is her main goal.

Anonymous said...

For all of you going through this terrible, terrible ordeal I am so sorry! I never would have thought an affair would cause so much pain, maybe I was just being na├»ve. I say this as I am the one that has caused my loved ones so much pain. I am the betrayer I am the cheater. I hate saying those words they sound so evil! I read your stories and my heart hurts for all of you guys. My story is so much like all of your stories with a few things different. First I am a woman how was married to a decent man for 20 years. In those 20 years we had 4 beautiful children whom mean the world to me. More than a year ago I came in touch with a really old friend of the family we started talking daily this went on for 2 months before my husband found the text messages. Since that day I have been living through hell. I know I caused the hell so I should not complain, but I read these blogs to try to gain an understanding of this whole thing it is so darn hard! He filed for divorce and it has been a year since and the divorce is now final, but we are still together we still live together if you and very much enjoy each other’s company. But the way he treats me is absolutely terrible, I often think to myself way I stay the marriage is over. He has always (since we were dating) been very, very emotionally abusive and very controlling, well this has just driven overboard. The worst part is he does this in front of my children. On Wednesday my eldest child told me I did not deserve to be treated that way and he cannot understand why I stay. He has told all our friends and family of the EA I had but of course does not say it was an EA, no matter how many times I tell him it was not physical he says I am lying (how can I blame him for not believing me).He has called me so many horrible things in front of my kids, he has threaten my job if I leave him, but he treats me like garbage and tells me I am garbage. The divorce is final and he received everything in the divorce, child support is taken directly out of my ck., he is on my checking acct and can use my acct. whenever he wants (and he does) but he has his own acct. that of course I am not on but I cannot see what he does with his money. When I get paid all my money is used first and I am left having to ask him if I need more money (I think it makes him feel better). He treats me like trash, he is emotionally and verbally abusive, I have absolutely no say when it comes to the children (he makes all decisions) I cannot even sign a school folder for the younger children, I am “not allowed” to use the internet (except at work like now), I am “not allowed” to have a cell, and one or more of my kids must be with me at all times. All these things and if I ever say I am unhappy because of the way he treats me he says I brought it upon myself. If I threaten to leave he says I don’t love him or the kids. We started off seeing a counselor but after a while he started to say “he does not know what we are going through, he is just someone from the outside looking in and judging us. I cry to my mother and tell that I feel like a weak pathetic person and she assures me a weak pathetic person would not be able to put up with what you put up with. I am so sorry to ramble on put sometimes I just feel like I need to talk to someone, I really have no one to talk to. This has been a really tough week, and just needed to vent.

shawn thewife said...

To Anonymous, divorced...still living with former spouse:
Holy crap. I truly don't know where to begin with you. I feel like you must know what needs to happen here, but maybe you are carrying such guilt you aren't able to make the move.
You have a options...continuing to live like this is NOT one of them.
If you must continue living under the same roof with this man, you should be in family counseling. If he won't go, then you should.
AND...I would talk to a family law specialist to find out what in the hell happened with your divorce agreement! It needs to be modified. You have rights. Learn what they are!
You may have to move out. A family law specialist can help you prepare for that. If your ex isn't willing to participate in healing, then you need to heal yourself and shield your children.
You are being abused. PLEASE do not let this stand! Teach your children how a wife/mother/woman deserves to be know you don't want them to think your life is what they can expect from a marriage.
You made a horrible mistake, but you do not have to pay for it forever. Time to take your life back.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

NewLifeNewWife said...

Sorry I'm late to reading this post. I went & looked up Chump Lady. She's not so bad. I like what she had to say. She's a realist. I see these other blogs & forums where these betrayed spouses have had 2, 3, 4 or more DDays & have chosen to stay & I just shake my head, like WTF are you doing? Are you mental? My sister's husband cheated on her several times & after the 2nd time of forgiveness it was hard for any of us to support her. How do you respect someone who doesn't respect themselves? And who am I to judge right? Well it has happened to me, that is why I judge. I’m a "3 strikes your out" kind of person. My ex cheated on me twice that I knew of & when I suspected a 3rd time, I didn’t even stick around to find out for sure, I bolted & it was the best decision of my life. Also, I don’t know why so many women focus on sabotaging the OW when you can use the OW as a great tool. A tool to find out information as well as unlocking the mysteries of what a piece of crap your husband is or can potentially be. I thanked the OW’s in my sitch. They saved me thousands of dollars in what I would’ve spent in private investigator & decoy fees. I eventually was fortunate enough to see the bastard for who he is & got out. Ten years later he is now remarried with a new child. (Not even to any of the OW’s) A totally new clueless female…that poor girl. I am friends with him on Facebook but you could never even pay me money to go back to that. My DDay is definitely a celebration day. A “thank your husband’s mistress” day! After all, I do them a brand new life I never dreamed of.

shawn thewife said...

NewLifeNewWife: No apologies needed. All comments are welcome anytime!
Am I mental?? I sure as hell was! Might still be to some degree, but aren't we all? However, not buying into Chump Lady philosophy makes me open minded and compassionate...not mental.
I only have one problem with Chump Lady...for the most part, if you don't dump the cheater, you are considered a big, fat loser over there.
I think the key word we should discuss in your comment is "judge". Why do you feel like you need to "judge"? Why must what is right for you be right for all?

I don't judge other betrayed spouses. Their pain is heavy enough without me adding judgmental rocks to their baskets. I think sharing my experience and the choices I made might help other people look at the many possible paths they may follow for their journey on the Road back to Happy. Every Road is unique in it's terrible twists and turns. No one can imagine another's reasons for how they find a way to heal.
That's the biggest difference from me and Chump Lady. She thinks her Road Back to Happy is the only Road. I think the map to recovery is massive and full of options, none better than the other.
I am very happy you found the Road that worked for you.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

beentheretoo said...

I also found the Chump Lady site to be one dimensional, like one long "cluster vent" of intense anger and feelings of total victimization. Venting and ranting have a place, but when they intensify and become a focal point over time lead to diminishing returns and help people remain stuck in victim mode. One dimensional advice, no matter how sparkly and innovative it may appear does not provide variety on the solutions menu.

shawn thewife said...

Beentheretoo: "Cluster Vent" Well said!
There are soooo many blogs about infidelity out there. I steer clear of the monumentally judgmental ones.
The top two that come to mind are Chump Lady and Recovering Wayward. They are both just rabid!
On their sites, if you don't see it like they spew must be a total asshole and they will let you know just how BIG of an asshole they think you are.
Seriously harsh. Who needs that kind of crappolla when dealing with the pain of betrayal? Not this girl!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Chump Lady? Narc with a cult following. Heavy on "sparkly" and light on substance. Eventually will hit saturation point of bitter codependents and level off. They'll all be there years from now, "cluster venting."

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: My stance is every betrayed spouse needs to find the Road to Happy that works for them. If that means cluster venting with Chump Lady and her be it. However, I find it almost impossible to believe that such one sided rhetoric can be comforting or healing in anyway....But that's just me.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Sherry said...

I went to my sister and mother at first, but didn't get into too much detail with them once it was time to really talk about things. I had a couple of really good friends who were there for me, but I didn't want to burden them with it all either. I was going to a counselor which was good to have, but like you said, Shawn, they aren't always there when you need them ASAP. So, I found an online infidelity support group. That is where I spent a lot of my time talking with those who were in the same boat as me. I even met a woman on there who had been betrayed and she is now a really good friend of mine.

Anonymous said...

Wowzers, some of you have a lot of negative feeling for the Chump Lady blog. I don't believe it judges or is harsh towards those attempting to reconcile and forgive. I've seen many people commenting who are doing just that, and the message about reconciliation is to ensure the cheater is showing genuine remorse- that being with sustainable actions and behaviours, not just words.

The Chump Lady blog message is an important one. Even if it's just to create balance. Much of what is out there is heavily focused on the cheater. Understanding them. Forgiving them. Compassion for them. Why they cheated. What their needs are, and what needs weren't being met. And so on. The reality is the faithful spouse's needs, feelings, damage done to them, their rights etc is not focused on enough. There's too much that tries to apportion blame and responsibility, even in part, to the faithful spouse. This is highly damaging and counter-productive, especially in cases of reconciliation. Cheaters made a choice and should take responsibility as such. In the unhappiest of marriages to the worst of spouses, there are other actions you can take other than to cheat.

Each to their own in regard to narrative positioning preferences. But I applaud anything that encourages the faithful spouse to regain / build self-esteem and to focus on themselves and their needs after being cheated on, and not the cheaters.

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous Chump Fan: I can't speak for all the readers here, but here's my deal ---
I'm all about balance. I'm all about what Road to Happy works for you. I'm all about sharing with other betrayed spouses what worked for me and my recovery. I'm all about sharing what I think DOESN'T work, too, becasue I spent an entire year flailing blindly in search of a healing path.
And one of the most important things I share is infidelity is ALL ABOUT the cheater!! We could be the best wives on the planet or wicked heathens from hell....Doesn't matter! Cheating is never the answer! There's counseling. There's open communication. There's separation or divorce. Cheating is a weiner way out!
You will never find me preaching understanding for the cheaters. No way. No sympathy from this Chump.
Do I think working to understand why my husband cheated was helpful? You bet. Mostly for his sake so he would find other ways to deal with the issues that caused the cheating. Does the reason he cheated give him a pass?? Oh, Hell No!
It's just a safety net. Preventative medicine, if you will.
Here we share empathy for the suffering betrayed, reconciling or otherwise.
We're here to heal hearts.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Trina F. said...

Hi Shawn,
First of all thank you! Your blog saved me - I am 8 months past DDay, and they have been intense. I have had rage, craziness, despair, and quite frankly devastation. I have been with my spouse for 15 years and we have 2 young children, I never believed I would be one to try to reconcile, but my children love their family and I know that leaving will change them forever. My spouse feels remorse and is quite depressed, we are seeing a MC and he has a personal therapist. This blog helped me let go of my intense anger, and I feel better. I have not confided in any family or friends. It has been hard not telling anyone, but everyone would offer their opinion and at the moment I do not even know my personal opinion as it flips back and forth regularly.

Some days I just want out because I feel like only a sack of shit could treat another human being this way, and other days I get a glimpse of the love that we share and I feel heartbroken. I want a guarantee that if I stay it will be worth it, but I guess only time will tell. I guess the hardest part is that only the cheaters can mend the broken part of themselves, we can only hope they will figure their shit out. My MC says that it takes years to build up our characters and our psyche, so I guess it takes time to really analyze it, take it down, and then rebuild it for the better.

Thank you for listening, this is the first time I have told anyone, and as I loved your honesty on this blog I felt I could finally open up here. Your words touched me deeply and you made me feel understood.

Keep trekking on your road to happy.

shawn thewife said...

Welcome, a place no one wants to be!
I am glad you found us. No one should have to struggle alone after DDay. You gotta have an outlet for the pain or it can swallow you. Sharing the hurt can lighten the least for a little while.

Guarantees are not available in any marriage. I sure as hell thought I could bet the ranch on Richard NEVER cheating. We all know how that worked for me. But, I'm OK with that. It took me a long damn time to be OK with that, but here I am.
Marriage after an affair can be better than you ever imagined but it takes 3 kinds of healing and all of the healing is hard work.
You have to heal. Your WH has to heal. You both have to be responsible for your healing.
THEN...the marriage can begin to heal.

The Road to Happy can be brutal, but it can also be beautiful.
If you wanna walk with people that really know the Road, please visit the Healing Heart message boards.
The link is at the bottom of my blog.
It's a very safe place to share your pain and lighten the load.
Take good care.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Laura Horton said...

I went through this before the age of the internet, had just moved to the area and knew no one. I confided in Smirnoff vodka. About a quart a day. And a 12 pack pack of Molsons for chasers.
I ignored him and everything having to do with him, her, it. But it eats at you then. I thought everything was behind us once we were 5 yrs on. But I guess subconsciously I said things about H that turned him into the ‘bad guy’. The parent who didn’t make it to their game I pointed out. The one who said No to the pool party because he was tired from a business trip.
Given a choice of ‘Go with mom or dad?’ Both chose mom. At the time I felt fairly smug.
But having to sit thru family week at my son’s rehab center while he reads his letter to his father saying he wishes he’d been more involved in his life - I couldn’t help wondering if I had been keeping him at a distance because of my hurt and anger from all those years ago. And if my coping style (Vodka emotional cleanser) led to my child’s problems.
Amazing what how many innocent lives can be permanently ruined by one selfish act of cheating.