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, May 29, 2013

Sorry Before Breakfast

My regular morning routine today came with an additional eye opener, other than my Tazo Awake Tea.  Before breakfast, my brain got scrambled by an "I'm sorry".

Richard always leaves before me.  He keeps court schedules.  I keep retail hours.  I like my schedule better because I don't have to head out the door until 9:00.  His regular departure time is 7:00.  That was when he very unexpectedly gave voice to the words.

I walked from our bedroom, in my over sized white t-shirt that is my absolute favorite softie thing to sleep in, to the kitchen for a hug and a kiss and our regular daily good byes.  Usually we part ways right there when he heads into the garage.  Today, however, he had his arms full of files.  Lawyers LOVE lots of documents!!  He was trying unsuccessfully to balance his travel mug of tea on top of the file boxes.  Valiant effort was made, but it was clear two trips to the car would be required.  I grabbed the tottering tea and opened the door for him.  "I'll walk you out."

It was chilly out there, I was only wearing my baggie t-shirt and slippers, but that's not what woke me all the way up.  He put the boxes in his car and came back for his mug, which has pictures of us and the kiddos all over it.  I handed it over and he reached around me for a hug.  Then it happened.

"I'm sorry." He whispered in my ear.
I didn't process that.  I just muttered, "Huh?  For what?"
Where did that came from?  My gut even clenched for a second!  Shit!  What did he do now??

"I just wanted to say it.  I haven't said it for a while, so I wanted to say it.  I'm sorry for it all."
He said all that while walking to his car and climbing in the driver's seat for his 45 minute commute to work.
I, very eloquently replied, "Oh...OK.  Bye."

Then, I made a fresh, hot cup of tea, came back to my bedroom and decided to share this little moment out of my life post DDay with you.  
What just happened??  What was he thinking??  Why this morning?  

I ask you, my Sisters in Betrayal Survival....while we struggle to recover from infidelity, could it be our cheating husbands are struggling equally? Do they suffer with triggers?  Do we need to be alert for subtle hints that they need more reassurance from us?  Even when our lives seem to be sailing on calm waters, are there serious rip currents running just beneath the surface??  The emotional water of recovery runs deep for all of us.

Or...was it just a moment that I should appreciate as contrite confirmation of my husband's remorse and his sincere regret at past damage done?  Maybe I shouldn't over-think it.  Does it really matter that this apology, these spontaneous words of atonement came out of left field?
Perhaps I'll ponder it today, wait for thoughts from you and then talk to Richard about it tonight or over the weekend.

I might just let it go.  Not sure yet.  I gotta change my focus and get to work.
Regardless, this little eye opener managed to open my heart a little more.  Guess I'll focus on that for now.  Just another tiny step on my Road to Happy.
Have a wonderfully eye opening day, my friends!!  Hugs!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Shawn,

How I pray for those unsolicited apologies! I think that both of your ponderings about it might be true. I suspect they do suffer with their own triggers and with the need for occassional reassurances just like we do, though when I ask if he needs them my husband likes to pretend that he is nothing but confident in our strength as a couple and will not ever admit to feeling anything less than optimistic that we will work through it. On one hand I also share that confidence about us...thus it was so shocking that the affair happened in the first place. On the other though, I initially took offense to this certainty, as if he didn't deserve to feel so comfortable about our recovery. The angry side of me has had to resit the urge to throw him for a loop with some out-of-lef-field comment about me not being certain I can get past it (though most days I know I can). Anyway, the latter definitely applies....maybe he just paused to appreciate you and all that you two have together, and thought it appropriate tht he express his remorse for what he had done to hurt you...you in your cute over-sized t-shirt and your caring way!. Not that you weren't always that person, just that he wasn't the person able to see you that way for an unnfortunate blip of time in the whole history of your relationship. When my husband has these moments I make huge leaps forward in my healing. The satisfaction and the love felt for him afterward are so intense. I can tell it does the same thing for him. I will say though that anytime I "follow-up" and either thank him for the apology or simply bring our attention to it directly, it loses some of its power. My thought, though I can't always avoid talking about it, is that you should try to let that moment stand for itself. Most men have a hard time being that vulnerable, and that tender moment may not stand up to the follow-up conversation about it. At the very least, its not likely that more conversation about that moment could offer our hearts any more lightness than the spontaneous appology did for you today already! Now, where's mine!....

Unknown said...

I would love to hear a spontaneous "I'm sorry" out of my dirt bag husband. I was just thinking today about how unfair this all is. These cheaters make these horrible, horrible messes, and we are left cleaning everything up. I want the other woman to wear an "A" tattooed to her ugly face. She still works with my husband. Her secret is safe. And her life goes on. Mine is a wreck. I just want her g o n e but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. The whole thing just sucks. My husband tells me the affair is over, he loves me, and we need to get on with our lives. So easy for him to say, isn't it! It looks like Richard does think about you. He does feel remorse. I am happy for you.s

Susan WG said...

Shawn,

I get those tidbits every now and then. I catch him looking at me and he tells me I'm beautiful. Sometimes when we're falling alseep at night he'll suddenly say I'm sorry I did this to us. I'll go for nights without sleeping or have one of my "bad" days and I can see it reflected in his face.

I think we have to decide what it means. We can believe they are totally selfish pricks staying with us because because it's easier and it's all still lies to keep us complacent untill they can find their next baby whore or we can believe healing is as difficult a journey for them as it is for us. I guess the answer is different according to what day of the week it is and how we are feeling about ourselves at that particular moment.

I finally told someone yesterday that I had let my WH move back home a few weeks ago, she told me she was happy for us. I said it's still like dancing through a mine field. Everytime he checks his phone it makes my gut hurt and I think it always will but for now I'm willing to let him earn my trust back and work on our happiness together.

After we live through a betrayal like this I don't think we ever completely let our guard down. I caught him in his hooker relapse when I saw a package of breath mints in his car! Who would have ever thought some sugar free breath mints in the ash tray would lead to a confession of an hour appointment with an "escort"? Almost a year later it makes me laugh, looks like I've become a good detective.

As always, thank you Shawn for a fabulous blog!

Anonymous said...

Sounds sweet. Yeah i think you're overthinking it. I think he felt a wave of love/appreciation for you at that moment, and in turn felt bad for hurting soemone he loves so much. I dont think there's aything to hidden or profound in it (well other than just the profounded-ness of being sweet to you!)

personally Id "let it go" but only b/c I'd feel like if i "discussed" it or made it into a "thing", he'd be less apt to be spontaneous with expressing his emotions in the future. Us women...always analyzing things!

Very sweet post.

MJ

trishinreallife said...

I think you should be able to talk about it with him without it seeming like you are 'overthinking' things. After all, isn't one of the reasons that affairs happen in the first place is a breakdown in communication? We shouldn't feel like talking about it will somehow take away from it. I think the only way he would be less likely to spontaneously apologize in the future would be if you were to grill him over it...but that's completely different from talking about it. I think we need to be able to talk to our spouses about everything. EVERYTHING. No matter how huge or trivial. ESPECIALLY after infidelity.

Anyhow, whatever the reason he chose to apologize that moment, an unsolicited apology is nice to hear. I don't think a betrayed spouse should ever stop saying he's sorry. It doesn't have to be said every day or all the time...but it should still be said. Because we have to live with the pain of their betrayal. I will still want to know, 10 years from now, that my husband is sorry for having an affair.

Erica said...

I think you could just tell him it was really nice to hear his "I'm sorry" and you're curious what prompted that moment. Agree with several of the other posters about not over-thinking and also with the poster who spoke of keeping communication open. I tend to over-analyze and can diminish magical moments as a result. Keep the magic but ask a question to understand where the bunny in the hat came from!

Anonymous said...

I think you were just incredibly sexy and cure in your soft shirt that he realized how truly lucky he is. They get triggers too.
Tangerine

shawn thewife said...

It sounds like many of you have experienced drive by, random apologies...or you wish your wayward spouse would verbalize some regret once in a while. I thought I'd had my fill of Sorry. I've landed on my Road to Happy at a place where there is no forgiveness available to Richard but acceptance keeps me moving forward. So, I thought I really didn't need any more declarations of regret.

I was wrong. It felt good. It was reassuring, encouraging and enlightening. Taking a risk at ruining a good thing...I couldn't (or maybe that's wouldn't) let it go. I had to ask Richard why he let the words fly so spontaneously. He said, "I just felt it. I needed to say it. Sometimes I need to say it."

That doesn't tell me why he felt he needed to say it right then, but I've decided to let at least that much go. This is valuable info. I didn't want to taint it with obsessive questions. He is still healing, just like me. The Road to Happy is not a destination! It's an ongoing journey. We walk it together.

All of your comments were helpful and I thank you profusely! You helped quiet my mind and made me truly accept the apology for what it was, something desirable, words that confirm my husband understands the magnitude of his actions.

Wanna hear another kicker?? Last night, Richard told me he really needs to start being more involved with the local BAR association. He says it would really help his firm with networking. He hasn't gone to any of the meetings because he knows, since DDay, I like him to come straight home after work. I hesitated, then told him, "There's a solution for that. I could add a GPS tracker to your phone and your car."
Are you ready....he says, "That's a great idea! Let's do it! If you had hurt me the way I hurt you, I'd want that!"
What????? Guess I gotta get my technology on up in here! LOL!
Thanks again, Friends! You always share just the right words!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

TryingHard said...

No I think they are sorry and not just sorry about getting caught. I believe my husband suffers from great shame, regret, embarrassment, guilt etc. Twenty months out from DDay 2 I believe the affair fog has lifted and drifted out to sea. I do not believe he has any more left over feelings for her and has shown me in many ways how much he loves and needs me. Maybe it's like when one has a life threatening trauma of disease or accident or even traumatic weather events, once you see what you took for granted and almost lost, you start to appreciate it all the more. I feel as though my husband has never loved or appreciated me as much as he does today. I'm sure you looked so lovely and innocent standing there in your t shirt and bedhead going out of your way for him and he realized that this all comes naturally for you and he almost lost it all because of HIS stupidity and weakness. Yes Shawn I think you should mention it and let him know how much you appreciate it and like when you are recognized like that. J-whore was just a small part of his past, you were a BIG part of his past, are a BIG part of his present and his future. I think he's learned his lesson. Now we have to learn ours an always know this shit can happen. The waters may be still but there's always sharks lurking below.

BS said...

Shawn:

I think you should both appreciate the moment Richard offered, but still keep one eye open.

As Tryinghard said, stay alert to the fact that there are always sharks lurking below the calm surface of the sea.

Sometimes the calmer the water the more sharks feel free to enter and lurk below.

My husband does similar things, and I, too, like you, feel a little BS meter go off in my head.

Is it PTSD and the associated hypervigilance? Maybe?

But even several marriage counselors warned me to forever stay alert because my husband has shown me a side of him that exists.

He may be sorry, yet he still engaged in the infidelity and that shows a deceptive side.

My husband shortly after DDay claimed to need to go to similar business meetings. He told me I could check on him, knowing I wouldn't at that point.

I later learned his OW knew when he went to these meetings and several times showed up attempting to rekindle.

These meetings are perfect opportunities for that and a tracker only let's you know where he is, not who he is with or talking to.

After learning she was showing up at the meetings, one male counselor suggested we set aside a detective fund, so that I could send the detective to spontaneously check up on him at the tracked location.

Some have told me when a spouse needs to hire a detective to check on the spouse, the marriage is over.

But as the counselor suggested, the detective is to give me peace of mind and to calm my hypervigilance.

Without it, I would never be able to trust my husband to any degree.

Anonymous said...

I discovered this blog last month and was shocked by how much my experience mirrors yours in so many ways. You have helped me understand that we all share so much. I have to admit though, that as much as I identify with you, Im really beginning to LIKE Richard. I am impressed at the level he has taken responsibility for what he did to you. I hope that eventually my H will do the same.

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: So sorry you can relate to any of my crazy story, but I know what you mean about the importance of knowing others really get what you're going through. Safety in numbers, right?
I'm glad you like Richard. There is no reason not to. He is an amazing man. If he wasn't, no way in hell I could've stayed married to him after the damage he caused. I've learned good people sometimes do really bad things, but they can be redeemed.
Thanks for commenting. I hope your feet are firmly planted on your Road to Happy.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn