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.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Inner Angry Child

Daddy James wasn't my only pen pal. (in the age of email, should I say keyboard pal?)  I acted out frequently by sending a variety of texts and emails to Jaymie and Geek Boy Kevin suggesting how Jaymie's life might be easier if she acquiesced to my requests for the emails.  I even left a few personal voice mails for Geek Boy that pondered what he could possibly see in Jaymie now that I had been so kind to reveal what a lying, trampy whore she was.  How could he be so desperate?

I was the desperate one.  Desperate to purge the pain from my life and dump it on them.

Before and after my trip to the church, I did what I could to keep Jaymie and Geek Boy Kevin involved in my plans and activities.  If I wrote to Daddy James, I also sent a copy of my friendly correspondence to them both, usually with a little something extra added just for their enjoyment.

 I forwarded the email I received from Daddy James about my church visit (posted here:  A Year After the Affair: A Ticket to Hell) to both of them prefaced by this:

Jaymie really has a great dad.  How in the world did she end up so screwed up?? Hate taking him down because of her.  
If just once, she could think of someone other than herself, her dad could be spared the public humiliation.
All it would take is a phone call.

In retrospect, I should have figured they might compare notes with Daddy James at some point.  I was banking that Jaymie would want Daddy James as far away from the fallout of the affair as possible.  I actually gave her credit for caring about someone other than herself.  Without the guidance and protection of new bed mate, Geek Boy Kevin, I may have been right, but he fashioned himself her white knight.  I'm sure in his creative mind, he saw himself as a character in one of his comic books. (did I mention Geek Boy Kevin is a comic book fan and wanna be writer?)  Jaymie's would be protector was tall, skinny and scruffy holding tight to a verbal sword raised and ready for battle!

He sent this to me and copied Richard.  He apparently thought Richard had some small amount of control over my behavior.  Poor confused Geek Boy.


Enough is enough. I thought you were an adult who truly wished to help me at first. Now I see that you were and still are just an angry, pathetic child; so malicious that you aren't even deserving of pity. If you continue to contact me, my family, Jaymie, or her family,  I will contact my attorney and legal action will be taken. Do you understand?

In case you don't, I'll explain it further. Do not email me, my family, Jaymie, or her family. Do not call me, my family, Jaymie, or her family. Do not text me, my family, Jaymie, or her family. Continuing to do so will result my filing a restraining order against you, followed shortly by a harassment suit that will take place in a small claims court. I have every email you've sent me, every text message you've hatefully typed out, every voicemail you've tried to threaten me with. I will win. And you will not.

This is not a game, Shawn. This is real life. What you're doing is illegal beyond any semblance of doubt. Don't forget it.

Do not contact me again. This is my final warning.


Oooooohhhhh!  So scary!  NOT!  Repercussions or consequences from my behavior didn't matter one bit to me.  There were no consequences in Crazy Town!!
As much as I hated to admit it, Geek Boy had me pegged...I was an angry child.  To him and probably many others, I would also seem pathetic.  He hit the nail on the head when he called me malicious, too, but how could he say I was undeserving of pity??
I guess he isn't much of a writer.  His vocabulary skills suck as bad as his taste in women because if one is "pathetic", by definition they "arouse pity."   Dip-shit.
Again, I confess I was most certainly behaving like a ill tempered, unpredictable child.  My temper tantrums rarely abated.  Never thinking about what would happen if.....
Impulsiveness and instant gratification were my only motivation.

At this point, I wanted to face Jaymie in court.  I longed for it!  I dreamed of the opportunity of sharing with the world how Jaymie straddled my husband, a man 36 years her senior, on his office chair and on his office floor, and his office couch and in a cheap room at Barona Casino and at the Sheraton and at the Marriott...but, I digress!
How rewarding would it be to share how she chose to go down on a married man for the occasional hundred dollar bill and a few whispered, pretty words?  All that titillating verbiage on a permanent court record??  The thought of that kind of public humiliation made my heart pound with anticipation!   Did it matter that I would also be shaming my husband, risking his reputation?  Hell to the NO!  That was a bonus!

The level of my anger soared above my ability to maintain rational thought.  Even though I could go through a whole day with a smile on my face and words of cheer on my lips, the pit of my gut was filled to the brim with boiling animosity.  To this day, I continue to be astounded by the fact that I maintained such an enormous amount of hate and vindictive rage for so long.  It exhausts me to think about it!
I know many of you get it.  You've felt it...the level of vehemence and bitterness that settles into what may have well been an otherwise acceptable soul before DDay.  You probably felt it, but you were better than me, stronger than me and you didn't act on it.  If you are fresh into the mess of betrayal, please recognize the anger, acknowledge it, but THINK before you act upon it.
I was the epitome of a spoiled, resentful, infuriated child. Yep...Good call, Geek Boy, but it was gonna take someone other than him to send this rotten brat to a time-out.


Anonymous said...

Hi Shawn. I've just completed reading your blog from start to finish.

Firstly let me lead by saying I know you dislike anonymous posts, but I also like my privacy :) I am a betrayed spouse -- and I do follow your blog because you are two years further along than I am. So I'm not one of your 'hit & runs'. I'll read your response and maybe even respond back also -- anonymously of course ;)

Hun, I'm a bit worried about you! I am worried because I see nothing but regrets in your posts. Aren't there some things you are proud of these past three years? Surely there must be!

I'ld really like to see a "Things I did right" post. I'm sure if you think for a bit you can come up with some. I'll give you a head start: 1) You didn't bail on your marriage though you certainly could have and nobody would have blamed you. That took strength and monumental commitment. And it speaks to the love you have for your husband. 2) You started this blog - that was a wise choice because it is helping you heal. 3) You have acknowledged, even though it bothers you, that you have done some things you are not proud of these last three years. That takes immense honesty, the kind most folks would admire.

So have at it! What were some of your other successes?

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: I don't dislike anonymous comments. I dislike when there are a shit ton of them and all my responses get so confusing!!

Thanks for worrying about me. This blog can be a bit dark, but there's a reason for that. I dump my darkness here so I don't have to carry it around. That said...let's see what i can do to brighten it up a bit for you!

Here's what I did right....even though it took me a long damn time!
I surrounded myself with people that had traveled the Road back to Happy before me. I listened to them and I learned from them. That one thing saved my life.
The year before that, I didn't do much right at all expect the things you mentioned. I am so glad I stayed with Richard. I am very grateful this blog has helped me heal and I will continue to admit that for a year...I was a total personal wrecking ball.

Glad you checked in. Share your story anonymously or otherwise. Let us walk with you on your Road to Happy.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Sean said...

Ah what the hell, I'll put my name out there. I'm the anonymous you responded to earlier today.

I could probably write at length all the stuff going through my mind, but I'll give you the condensed version.

Our marriage suffered an affair. From suspicion straight though to now there has been a bit of a battle between two though processes for me, "stay together" or "leave." Early on it felt like I was dying. The "leave" thoughts were winning and I was the only one fighting for our marriage and it felt like if I stopped trying, our marriage was done. Occasionally I would even feel like giving up on our marriage, when the "stay together" thoughts would fire up like a dying person gasping for breath. It was instinctive, I just couldn't quit on our marriage. It was horrible to toggle back and forth between those feelings.

I still have it now though the "stay together" thoughts have dominated, the "leave" ones still rear their ugly heads sometimes and they are very powerful arguments.

Anyway, as you were obsessed with Jaymie, I am obsessed with finding out when / how this ends. I spend a lot of time reading about forgiveness and affairs trying to extract some knowledge. That's just how I am. When I was a kid I had thought to myself "why argue with my parents when I get older, it seems fruitless. I'll just skip that." I'm sort of doing the same thing now. That's how I came across your blog - I was specifically trying to look into the future by studying someone else's experience.

So that's my story.

Anyway, thank you for your blog. The tip about keeping a mental note of the best part of my day, and remembering the four things I am thankful for each night, those have been the most helpful nuggets of wisdom from your blog for me. Keep posting and I'll keep reading ;)

Oh and don't forget about Richard's successes. From what you have written it sounds like he is doing his very best for you. He obviously loves you very much.

BS said...

Hi Shawn:

I am not worried about you because I realize this blog is cathartic for you and likely for your readers, vicariously.

I do however agree with anonymous that there are likely a lot of things you did right in the aftermath of the devastating pain of a betrayal.

Some of the things you did to Jaime, I wish I had done to the OW.


Because, IMO, one of the reasons that cheating is on the rise is that there seems to be no consequence to it.

Also based on what I have been enlightened to, young women are actually targeting older men for affairs because, according to them, those men have more disposable income and have jobs that allow them to take more time off to be with them and to spend money on them.

This knowledge comes from lurking on message boards at sites that advocate cheating. They advocate cheating with older men because of the benefits associated with it.

There used to be shame and embarrassment associated with cheating, but now it's celebrated.

There used to be horror associated with taking money for sexual favors.

Alas, there are consequences to cheating and to dating married men and IMO, and through you Jaime experienced some of them at a young age and that may have been a good thing for her.

Maybe you did her a favor.

Or, maybe the universe has a wallop of karma slated for her in the future to teach her a valuable lesson.

It was wrong for her to date a married man and It was wrong for her to whore herself out to pay her bills, It was wrong for her to try to destroy your family by begging Richard to choose her.

She needs to know that.

Kari said...

The above comment from BS resonated with me. In a way, I also applaud you for outing Jaymie and even carrying out some of the things you did. I never had the courage to do so with my H's OW. To this day (1 1/2 years out from the initial D-Day), I hate knowing that she had NO consequences in this. Their employer never found out, I never harassed her, I never reached out to her parents (even though I obtained all of their contact information)...I never did anything, other than write her two letters letting her know the magnitude of what she had done. She never responded to the first one. In fact, she responded to my heartfelt letter by rekindling the A with my H. Classy. The only time she responded to me was when I found out the A had continued and texted her for the first time threatening to tell her parents (she was 25). That got her to talk (or text rather) a one sentence apology, "Look, I'm sorry for what I did. I wish I could take it back, but I can't. I'm staying away from him and I promise to continue to." Yeah, like her words mean anything. In the meantime, she gets to live her life like nothing happened, and I'm here with my H trying to rebuild our life and family together. My life will never be the same. Granted, we are doing really really well. But, it still eats at me that SHE had no consequences in this. I too hope that karma will come back to bite her one day.

fenix said...

I love you blog because I live vicariously through your actions during this crazy time and you do all the things I would like to do. I cannot wait to read what happened next seriously you should have made this into a book!

Kelly said...

Hey Shawn,

Well.....I have to admit it did bring smiles to my face when I read your emails about her. I too did "a naughty" but it wasn't planned. I happened - for real - to be parked by her car one morning (it was a shocker to see it). So....while no one was looking I keyed a 2 inch line above the dealer symbol in the back of the car. You can barely see it. But for me, that was my moment of GET BACK AT THE BITCH! Well now only you readers know my little secret. hahaha snicker snicker. I actually, one year later, get a giggle over it. I do believe there are many things/thoughts that we do right everyday! Staying together is damn hard work. Although, I wonder who it is harder for? Myself or my WH? I guess I vote hands down on myself. The "butterflys" are still there, but so is the untrusting part. I hope that eventually goes away, because it is a downer. And I want to focus on the fact that WE ARE TOGETHER and not let my mind travel with the possibility of it not working out anymore. I think that crutch, for me, isn't healthy.

Hang in there all-


Sean said...

I understand there are probably some folks out there who have no interest in forgiving their spouses. But for those who do and are struggling, here is some advice I heard -- on the radio of all places!

(You'll have to excuse me, I'm paraphrasing a bit - i don't have a transcript)

"Forgiveness will not be an 'aha' moment. At first it will be a struggle. Every minute you will need to forgive again as if it were the first time. Eventually you will only need to renew your forgiveness each hour. That will stretch into once a day, then once a week, then once a year, and eventually you will have succeeded."

"Forgiveness means to 1) Accept what a person has done to you 2) Promise to not 'get back' at that person 3) Acknowledge that by doing these things you are working to grow as a person, and that this may not be easy at first."

I think sometimes when I think about ending the marriage I'm really just thinking about a way to 'get back' at my wife. God knows I wanted to flat out whoop the ass of the other guy early on but I've moved past that now. Like many others here I almost regret not lashing out more when I first found out about what was going on. That anger is like an itch you can't scratch. I hope that by working on the above I can kill off any remaining anger I have about the whole thing.

So if anyone else is experiencing what I'm going through, I hope the above helps.

steadychevy said...

As I said before, Shawnthewife's blog and all of the comments have been a God send for me. D-Day was September 1, 2013 for me. You know what has been happening to me. You understand the excruciating pain. 2nd therapist session is today. It is not marriage but personal for me. Hope it helps.

Comments on the feeling of the other person are interesting. First, and in flashes still, I wanted to find a way to overwhelm them with mental anguish as bad as I was and am feeling. I am now placing most of the blame on my wife. He was a wolf on the prowl, he sensed opportunity and played it well. This is a workplace adultery that he started to exploit as soon as reporting lines were changed in the organization and he started reporting to her - lots of reason for contact. The relationship developed and went on for 4 years. I tried to catch them but was unable to do so so I had no hard evidence but a ton of circumstantial evidence. I digress as usual. It was up to my wife and best friend of 25 years to have the barriers to resist any temptation. She did not. She ended up getting sexually involved with a man who had cheated on his own wife and was caught by cell phone records. They divorsed. He targeted a married woman, my wife, and she explained that because he was divorsed she wouldn't be affecting his marriage. What about ours? What about the damage to me and us and potentially our grown daughters in their marital relationships?

Any way, it is up to each person to keep the marriage bed pure. When people work in large organizations they will be exposed to lots of attractive, "nice" people that they spend more hours with than their spouse. It is my wife's responsibilty to read any subtlties and stop it. She did not and as time passed it was she who took care of staying undetecteds.

Don't get me wrong. He is a scum bag. He committed adultery against his wife and targeted a married woman as his next companion and is probably doing it again. But my wife could have stopped it in its tracks and didn't. Most of the blame is hers.

When do the waves of dispair that hit you at unforeseen times and you don't momentarity know why slow down and better yet stop.

I wish there was a way for prevention rather than recovery. My wife would not have found them. I worked professionally in a financial institution. Lots of young, attractive women. I talked to my wife years before about the barriers I had when I thought there was more going on than just being friendly. It is not easy to turn away from admiration and compliments. I did for years. Why didn't she.

I am sorry for going on so long. This is Shawn's blog not mine. Early stages of grieving. Please forgive.

steadychevy said...

I should have added to my long previous post something about what the topic was about.

I feel that my wifes adultery partner is getting off scot free. I wish I could do something about that. He is free to continue on his philandering way without consequenses. In a way my wife will suffer much less than I on a "who suffered the most pain" scale as we work our way through this mess. It sure doesn't seem fair and just. I wonder if there is something that I can do through the company that would taint both of them. That doesn't sound like a husband who is trying to reconsile does it. I invested too much and her too little. Will that change if we stay together?

shawn thewife said...

Welcome, Sean: Thanks for sharing a it real or otherwise!

You seem to be in a good place for reconciliation. You sound committed to saving your marriage and that is a huge hurdle after DDay. You worked through the back and forth of leave/stay and made a choice. You have a heal your marriage.

I don't remember if you shared your DDay. It took me over a year to make that choice. Richard told me he never knew how much longer he would be living in our home so he tried to appreciate each day that first year.

I hope I don't disappoint you with this bit of info: Looking into, while hoping to predict, the future is as fruitless as you said it was to lie to your parents. Here's a little saying I like:
Humans plan...God Laughs.

However...reaching out to others that have walked the Road back to Happy before is the best thing I ever did to begin the healing process!! Not because they could predict how my marriage would turn out, not for a glimpse into a crystal ball, but for answers and support to the thousands of questions that clouded my thinking. For support when I thought my heart would never mend. For hope, just knowing others that had suffered as I had came out of the misery into a stronger, happier marriage.

Before that hope, before that light...I could not fathom how my life would look.
All of our journeys are unique, but we can still offer comfort through shared experiences and compassion with empathy.
You talk of forgiveness in a very hopeful way. I think that you will be a wonderful addition to this little group. Your comments feel so positive. Many of us lack positive thinking after DDay. For me...that is obviously a HUGE understatement!! LOL!

I love that you look for the good in each day. There is always something good...even if it's just knowing tomorrow will be better.
And...thank you for the kind words about Richard. I know how much he loves me because he SHOWS me everyday.
This is a long road. We're talking about forever, right?? Day by day, my friend. One step at a time. Walk with friends and the Road to Happy will be so much smoother.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

(((Steadychevy))) I feel that familiar pain pouring through my screen. I am sending you a HUGE virtual hug!! The first few months after DDay are brutal.
You sound much more in control than I was. (of course, that isn't a very high bar!)

I want to share with you what helped me the most...
You Did Nothing Wrong! Most of us wonder WHY our spouses cheated? What did we do...or not do that would cause them to seek out another? The answer is not a damn thing! Here's doesn't matter if we were the best spouses ever or the absolute worst, the cheaters should have come to us if they needed something or someone else. They didn't because there is something wrong with them. Richard had HUGE issues with getting old. Jaymie made him feel young again. I hope your WW (wayward wife) considers going to IC, (individual counseling) too. She needs to examine WHY she cheated so it never happens again.

About the AP (affair partner). Here's another gem of wisdom I was taught by others that walked the Road to Happy before me: We can NEVER hurt them (our spouse or the AP) the way they hurt us. NEVER. So why waste the freakin' energy? Why give them more of us? When I lashed out at Richard or Jaymie, it felt good for a minute, maybe even a whole day, but it never lasted. The guilt crept in, the pain escalated. It's a vicious cycle and it will only hurt you in the long run. You will only know if your relationship with your WW will change by her actions now. Watch what she does TODAY. Try not to focus on THEN. Tall order, I know.
You don't have to apologize for writing here. Writing it all down was so cathartic for me, therapeutic. I don't think this blog belongs only to me. I want it to be OURS. I want it to belong to every betrayed spouse that needs support on their long walk on the Road to Happy.
This is a safe place to work toward affair recovery.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

PinkStellar said...

I learned a lot from reading your blog. I stopped my theraphy and just read ur blogs, Elle's and Flaca. I get a handful of information i need to motivate myself. I did get crazy, i contacted the OW more than once. The last time was to tell her to stop with my partner and she told me only my partner who will decide if they are stopping or not. She said she understands why i'm angry. Wow, like she really does. Now my partner and i are living again under the same roof and the OW doesn't have any idea that I am taking my property back. She's so far poor her. Now who's being fooled?
I am trying to gather my thoughts and maybe will start writing my story, through blogs. U inspire me. I hope it can help me heal. Whether my relationship ends or continues. I know in time I can heal. Thank you. :)

steadychevy said...

Well, here it is in the wee hours again and not sleeping. Had my IC (is that right for individual counselling) yesterday. Don't know how it is going. Seem to be working on anger, false thoughts and depression. Seems he wants us to move along quickly and I am not ready. I told him that I am probably going to be in this spot for a while. He said "yeah, yeah but you need to move yourself along". He seems to talk more and give direction more than I thought would happen. I thought he would listen more, use probing questions to get me talking and then maybe summarize and provide feedback. Am I wrong?

Yesterday wasn't a bad day but I basically didn't sleep last night and got up at 3:30. Plagued with tormenting visions. Played out "I wish I would haves" in my head, including some destructive "get evens".

Thank you for your response to my blog. I can't explain how much it helps. I was dismayed at the number of grammatical and spelling errors in the last blog. I don't do that. I am a professional, was the President of my professional association and tend to be critical of those kinds of things especially if they came from another professional or in a resume or covering letter.

I think I will go sign in to the other sites you recommend and pour out my story in more detail. Will it slow down the demons? I hope so.

shawn thewife said...

Steadychevy: Trouble sleeping is so normal! You are suffering from PTS (post traumatic stress) which is also normal for many BSs (betrayed spouses) after DDay. (discovery day) The repetitive, obsessive thoughts, I call them brain worms, are also normal....annoying and painful as hell, but normal. Anger...Oh, abundance of that is normal. And who in the hell wouldn't be depressed when they learn the person you trusted the most in the world just shattered your life? That's depressing!

Tormenting visions, brain worms, are your enemy. It took me months to find a way to battle the bastards. I used behavior modification. I thought it was such an asinine idea, but after a bit of practice, I'll be damned if it didn't work!
Try this>>>when the brain worms come repeat this mantra: I do not need to think about that now. It will NOT help me to think about that now. I WILL NOT think about that now. Say it over and over.

The mantra helps, but so does time. Affair recovery just takes a really long time. That said, I don't know where in the hell your IC gets off telling you "you need to move yourself along". Not all ICs are good at what they do. You might consider finding another. You are not wrong about this guy. Therapists are NOT one size fits all.

The mind games...wish I would've...I'm gonna make them pay...also normal. Not healthy, but to be expected. When you get those thoughts, try to remember two things. 1) You did nothing wrong.
2) You can NEVER hurt them the way they hurt you.

Visit the Healing Heart online! It will help. Maybe not right away. You need time. But, it can't hurt to surround yourself with others that know your pain.
The thing that will help the demons leave is your WW showing true remorse. If she does all you ask to help you heal, you can focus on her actions NOW instead of the demons from THEN.
One more thing...there are no grammar police here! Type away without fear of judgment, my friend!!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

PinkStellar: I'm so glad my blog has helped you. I'm sure Elle and Flaca would say the same...BUT...don't replace IC with us. IC can be a real life line if you find the right therapist.
If you're back with your partner, I hope he is showing true remorse for his choices. He needs to recognize how badly he hurt you and work VERY hard to help you heal. This should never be a contest between you and the OW.
About the OW....please continue to stay away from her. To heal, you must focus on your WP. (wayward partner)
Betrayal is life altering. You're right. You will heal in time. You must own your happiness. Take care of you. Writing it all down was a huge help for me. I recommend it!
If we can help, you know where to find us.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

KELLY!! You are so sneaky and naughty!! LOL! Sometimes our dark sides win a point or two!

I like what you said..."Focus on the fact that we are together". I am a huge advocate for training the brain to look at the good in TODAY instead of dwelling on the shit pile of THEN. Attitude is everything. Might as well pick a good one. Recovery is so hard! It takes so long! But, nothing worthwhile is ever easy, right?
You hang in there, too, Sister!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Susan WG said...

Steadychevy...I know how difficult it can be to look for, make an appointment then have to tell your story all over again to another therapist. Please, try to find the strength to do it. I went through 3 therapists (only 1 appointment each) before I found one I could trust and knew he could help me fix me.

It's a long haul but so worth it.

I've been working with mine for a little over 2 years and I know I never would have survived without his guidance, direction and insight. One of the best things he tells me is that therapy is like being a rat in a maze. At the beginning, you are in the very center chasing your tail. Little by little you begin trying different paths, working your way out. You might bump into deadends or backtrack down a path you've already been before. Eventually, you'll work your way out to freedom.

I can't tell you how many times he's held up a picture of a maze to remind me of how far I've come.

Keep commenting, so many people here know how you feel and care about you.

Sean said...

Thanks. My DDay was really more like a D-month, roughly July of last year. I had strong suspicions that something was wrong. Then I would hate myself for even thinking that my wife could cheat. And I would flip flop back and forth like that for about a month.

A lot of snooping led to a lot more suspicion on my part, which just made me feel all the more awful because I felt like I was letting my wife down by not trusting her. She would outwardly show anger / disappointment in me when I would question her.

I finally caught them red handed, she was leaving his house late at night and planted two or three huge kisses on him. She also hopped around a little bit like she was some happy teenager. (She had told me she was running to the grocery store to pick up some stuff.) I'm glad I saw that because it was irrefutable proof. But I also wish I hadn't because I don't know how I am ever going to forget how happy she looked with him. A part of me died there.

Like you, I went through a "she's happier with him" phase where I figured that I was just in the way of them and I even tried to convince her that he was right for her for a while.

I hate that memory.

Anyway, what I really was going to write about here is how I think it is human nature for us not to see our successes. I've known a lot of people who are wonderful people who have done a lot of wonderful things but think they are trash.

Shawn - here are some other sample successes you and Richard had (these I gather from your blog so forgive me if I'm wrong.)

[also - for other readers on this blog, these apply to you too if you've also managed them]
1) You both kept your jobs. 2) You continued to parent your children to your best ability. 3) You maintained your friendships - those that were not toxic. 4) You both continued to go to counseling. 5) You're both still together. 6) You're both still alive.

I think we could all work on giving ourselves some credit for the semblance of life that we have maintained. These are things that people even in the best of circumstances often fail to achieve. If you've done any of the above after learning you've been cheated on, give yourself a round of applause -- a standing ovation. You deserve it.

For cheaters showing real remorse, give yourselves a pat on the back also. It takes great character to admit that you have failed in a big way, and then work so hard after. I see this sometimes in my wife, and I'll tell you, that is the best antidote to the crap from the past.

steadychevy said...

Sean, your story sounds so much like mine. I knew somethings was terribly wrong from the night of the first kiss. I thought it was more than that. I confronted but denied anything going on. Problem was I only had suspicions - no facts. Over the next 4 years I confronted many times but denial, denial, denial with anger and tears interspersed. I never did catch them though in spite of many attempts. Never had hard proof just mountains of circumstantial evidence and over whelming intuition.

Anyway.You commented about truly remorseful cheaters. I believe my wife is truly remorseful. She has willingly done things that were painful for her to help me. She isn't always free with details to questions I ask but I think she is trying. She would quit her job if I demanded it. So from going from continuous denials and lie after lie after lie including swearing before God (we are both born again Christians) from December 17, 2002 through when the adultery ended in 2006 (according to her but she can't remember exactly)and up to September 1, 2013 I must say she has been really working with me. Even though I was positive this had happened I was not prepared for the effect of her confession, finally. I think the observation of what happened to a successful, competent, resourceful man opened her eyes. Even though we were mostly only existing in our marriage I think she had the idea that what I didn't know for sure wouldn't hurt me.

I think we are moving slowly forward. Lots of backsliding in the future probably but maybe should celebrate the little successes, too. Difficult.

BS said...

Sean posted: [also - for other readers on this blog, these apply to you too if you've also managed them]

1) You both kept your jobs. 2) You continued to parent your children to your best ability. 3) You maintained your friendships - those that were not toxic. 4) You both continued to go to counseling. 5) You're both still together. 6) You're both still alive.

"I think we could all work on giving ourselves some credit for the semblance of life that we have maintained. These are things that people even in the best of circumstances often fail to achieve. If you've done any of the above after learning you've been cheated on, give yourself a round of applause -- a standing ovation. You deserve it."

Thank you, Sean, those words help more than you know. They have helped me and likely others here.

I am sorry you had a visual of them kissing and her hopping around like a love struck teenager.

I didn't see anything like that, but a read tons of email and texts.

My Husband and his OW also sounded like two love struck teenagers.

In his case, in the emails the OW would clearly and manipulatively prompt my husband to complain about me and he would oblige like a puppet on a string or a dog jumping through a hoop.

He later claimed he was only complaining to say what she wanted to hear.

He apologized for being such a fool and still does.

It still hurts like the dickens though when I think of him complaining about me to her.

It hurts even though I can see that she did prompt it and he appeared to be simply feeding her what she wanted to hear.

The complaints were so shallow and silly, too.

He himself mentioned how shallow his complaints about me sounded when he read them later after dday.

silly women said...


Like you I have read the text/email facebook messages of him bashing hurts almost as bad as the cheating!

Anonymous said...

Gah! Yet again I've experienced a "crossing of the line". A husband who has been unfaithful and now is not being physically unfaithful, but is still continuing text/online "relationships". I confronted him after my counseling appointment last week. of course I crossed a line by reading his text messages, but at this point I keep asking myself why I wont' leave him? He's been physically unfaithful several times and the non-physical, text/internet relationships even more so. We are both in IC but have yet to have a MC session.....since the discovery of the infidelity anyway. I'm so confused...why can't I leave? Why do I fight him when he tries to leave? So confused, scared and frustrated tonight.....So grateful to you Shawn fro your willingness to share your path with us.

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: you can not truly begin to heal unless your WH stays inside the boundaries you need to feel safe. Does he understand that when he interacts with OWs online that he is betraying you? Does he know that if he wants to save your marriage he needs to help you recover so you can get to a place where you no longer feel compelled to check his email?
I think to save your marriage, you need MC, my friend. you need open and brutally honest communication about what each of you need/want for a healthy relationship.
After you have that conversation, maybe you'll have a clearer picture of your choices. Maybe your WH will express the emotions and intentions that show you the way to find your Road to Happy. Indecision about staying/leaving usually hang on the fact that we continue to hope our WHs will change.
We can't control what they do, but we can certainly ask them if they can do what we need and then expect them to respect those boundaries.
Don't struggle alone. Please visit the Healing Heart message boards and share your story. The link is at the bottom of my blog. So many members on that forum can share their experiences with you. They totally get your pain.
I'll be here, too. Anytime!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

TryingHard said...

Hi Shawn.
Well what kind of a shit head pastor is pastor Jeff???? Seriously a woman in obvious emotional pain come to his church, albeit under a different guise, and he attacks her too. Wow daddy James must be giving him a buttload of money! I'll bet he kicks homeless people too when he sees them on the street. Geez what a fucking asshole,IMHO. Do you think maybe a more Christian reaction would have been to kindly call you and be just a little empathic? I still say what you did was good. Maybe it didn't help you in any way but maybe all those you touched learned a hard life's lesson. I'm sure that little bitch jaymee will neverrrrr have an affair with another married man again. Maybe you've really helped all those involved in your crazy town episodes and don't even know it. There's just some people you DONT fuck with!

shawn thewife said...

TryingHard: I think you must have written this after reading the next post. I'm sure Pastor Jeff is a decent dude. I'll never know. He wanted NOTHING to do with me. I don't blame him. Who knows what Daddy James told him about me? He sure didn't give him money. They don't have much of that. I must admit...I didn't hate the fact that I never would have said a thing about Jaymie to Pastor Jeff. My bark was way worse than my bite.
Daddy James spilled the stinky can of beans! I was merely playing a game of chicken. Pastor Jeff would never have known Jaymie was dumber than a box of rocks and as loose as a two bit hooker if Daddy James hadn't blinked first.
What I did might have helped Jaymie change her ways. My Crazy Town behavior might have opened a few eyes to the level of trauma caused by infidelity, but my actions sure as hell did not help me. You can't heal, you can't move forward when your focus is on all the wrong things. I was my own worst enemy. If my story teaches anyone anything, it's don't do what I did. Learn from my mistakes.
Thanks for having my back though! You always try to see my side.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

TryingHard said...

Yes, I get all that how it didn't help you BUT, you did it and now you are where you are now regardless. Yep all this Crazy Town stuff is just stuff you were doing when you weren't really you. You are in a good place now but I really believe for those of us who are not laid back and are fighters in this world, holding back in NOT a good thing. While I didn't do quite as much as you I went to Crazy Town too. I'm not proud of it but I am not sorry for anything I did. Am I still doing crazy now, hell no. Don't want to but I like it that people know I am no one to mess with. I WILL get my pound of flesh even if it's just sitting back and watch you fuck yourself up or I erase you completely out of my life and move on. I still say Pastor Jeff is a hypocrite, but there are many who call themselves Christians that are. Personally I could deal with someone from Crazy Town better than a passive/aggressive "christian" like him. I'm glad Daddy had to embarrass himself to his pastor and tell him the sordid story of his tacky daughter's life. Paybacks are hell and maybe this was a payback for something shitty he's done! Who cares, don't feel bad though.

Anonymous said...

My Dday was July 9, 2012. 19 years of marriage. WH reconnected with an ex girlfriend from high school on Facebook. She moved down here from out of state with her three daughters, to be with him. The most painful part-- his family supported the affair-- even taking her to the beach on their family trip while me and my children sat at home wondering why "Daddy" was never home anymore. I am still devastated for my children. They were 14 and 12 at the time. Their dad was seen in publc with this "I'm a Christian" slut, so the kids know. I decided to sue for divorce. We are now divorced and I just hope and pray my children continue to thrive and come out of this whole ordeal as unscathed as possible. Cheaters are selfish. Cecilia

shawn thewife said...

(((Cecilia))) You ex was beyond selfish! He was cruel. I'm so sorry for you and your kids. Have you been with them to any family counseling? It can be so helpful.

I have heard the part about the cheater's family supporting his actions before. It's the same as Jaymie's family rallying around her. I don't condone it, but I get it. I realize it must be very painful for you.

You will find your Road to Happy. When started on your path when you chose to divorce. That was very brave. You can take back your life and make it better than before for you and your kids.
If you hit bumps in your Road, come here. We got your back.
Hope & hugs, Shawn

Bredae said...


My son went to some counseling but my daughter have been through many sessions of therapy. I believe my daughter has been hurt the most. With the slut (who posts Christian verses all over her facebook page while sleeping with a married man in the same apartment as her three daughters) having 3 girls, my daughter who once felt like daddy's little princess, now feels utterly rejected. My son won't discuss it; but is very embarrassed by his dad's actions of taking slut's family out to eat at nice restaurants while we are eating at home on a tight budget. I am trying to move on from the disgusting heap of garbage dealt to me and my children by my WH and OW slut. Since dad left, he doesn't hear his teenage daughter sobbing in her bedroom at night because of her feelings of rejection from him, or how hard it is to be around all her friends whose daddy's still live at home with them. My son is acting at times because his dad use to play ball with him. But he is now being way too busy with slut's children to help his own kids. I have met someone who is great and I'm crazy about him, but I gave triggers, such as a recent trip to the ER where you are faced with decisions of do I call Dad to sit with kids, but then it would be awkward because my whole family hates him. Not. To mention all future family events involving the children -- I certainly don't care to see any of his family at these events. Anyway, been doing well until I had emergency surgery. Then the triggers. Cecilia

shawn thewife said...

Cecilia: Triggers suck hard. You can beat them back. It takes a lot of practice and time, but it does get easier.
There is a lesson for your children here. It was a lesson I had to learn, too.
We can not control the behavior of others. We can only control how we react to that behavior.
AND>>>most important!! They did nothing wrong! Their father made his choices because of HIS flaws, not anything they did or did not do.
You and your family may continue to hate your ex, but with time I hope you can let the hate go. Healing is so much easier when you focus on the good in your life NOW instead of the awful in your life THEN.
You're not alone. Please consider visiting the Healing Heart Online Support forum. LOTS of very compassionate people there to help you find your Road to Happy. The link is on the bottom of my blog.
Take good care.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn