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, December 24, 2013

A Christmas Wish

The holidays can be rough on a betrayed spouse.  It's takes truly Herculean character to put on a festive face when your heart feels like it may be melting.  That's just one more thing that adultery can take from us.  I say enough already!  We do not deserve to miss the joy of this season.

I have a Christmas wish for all of you struggling to find your holiday spirit.
The wish may require some effort on your part.

You may feel that Christmas was totally tainted by your cheating spouse.  Your anger level may be off the charts and your sorrow may run deeper than the darkest seas.
I wish that you would strive to take back your happiness, even if just for tomorrow.

I wish for you to inhale...breath in the good around you,
and exhale the pain for just a little while.

I wish that you would make a conscience effort to find your Road to Happy this Christmas and take your first solid steps forward.  Search for the good in everyday.
Soon, the good will begin to outweigh the bad.

Start now.  I wish you'd try.
A really smart dude name Aristotle said, "Happiness depends upon ourselves."
We gotta own it.
Holiday Hope & Hugs

Merry Christmas, my friends.


Anonymous said...

Hello there..I've been reading your blog for quite some time now and I can relate to your feelings but I'm a bit different since I am not married. I am now a 24 yo woman and I'm in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost 6 years now. The affair he had with this girl from his college happened in January 2012 but i can't seem to get over it. I'm still not over it. I don't know what to do. He didn't have sex I can assure u that but he kissed the girl , twice in a day. It's hard to go through all of the details on how I found out and cause it will be a really long post :p so we were in a long distance relationship, not really far away but it was hard to see each other cause we were both busy with studies. That girl was his senior and they were involved emotionally , and they studied together and all, I knew cause I had a friend there and she told me, so when I confronted him, he said that she was his senior and swear to god that he has nothing with her. Well I didn't believe him but I moved on from that. During his 'affair' with this girl, our relationship was doing okay. We had some fights here and there but we were okay. I really thought he was the love of my life. He proudly pronounced our relationship on Facebook so I didn't get worried about him being unfaithful. And then one day this band came to our country and he really wanted to go so he asked me to go but I hated that band so I said that he should go with his friends (at this point the kiss had happened but I didn't know yet) so then he said that the girl is willing to pay for his ticket ( the most expensive one ) and go with him (at that point I thought they were friends but my instinct said that I was wrong ) ... So we got in a huge fight until what u called it the DDay.. He told me all this while , we had a third party and then he told me everything about he liked her and they liked each other but he loved me too much so he let her go. He said that the girl doesn't mind being his second girlfriend (what a bitch).... He said he chose me. And I was so sad cause I was considered as a choice.. And at this point ... He didn't tell me about the kiss... But I was still so sad because he played behind my back.. Our feelings for each other was so strong and I loved him so much. After a few months , then I knew about the kiss.... Oh my I was so devastated... He said that he was 'seduced' and he pushed her... But who knows ... But he told me he did it one time ... I knew from a friend that he actually did twice ... So much for being 'seduced'...But he didn't let me heal.

Anonymous said...

(Continue)Like one of your post , he thought when I knew, I'll be sad , he said sorry , and we let past be past and don't have to be such a baby and bring up cause it's the past... It's 2013 (almost 2014) and I haven't gotten over it... At times he was nice ... At times he was really pissed cause I always brought the thing he did. He said many bad words to me when I brought it up. In the middle of my journey after the affair, he had done things (not physically or emotionally ) that is related with this girl but it's ok I won't get into that cause it'll be boring haha. For your information , I stalk this girl everyday ... I'm that wrecked... I know this story is not so important but I really would like your opinion on what should I do. Right now ... My feelings towards him is not that strong as before but I'm willing to try cause I can't imagine myself being with any other man.. But do u think I should try? Or should I just move on ... Cause now our distance is even further cause I'm in the uk and he's very far away from me... He is better now (he is very loyal now) (I'm sure cause I have spies haha) and all of my friends said that he is like so obsessed with me cause he loves me so much and doesn't want to repeat the same mistake but I can't get over it.... Help me :( what do u think I should do....

Merry Christmas to you and your family and I wish you all the best... :) thank you for reading my story..

Anonymous said...

(Continue again)sorry :/ anyways we did talk about marriage and all so we had already planned our future together even until after the affair ... So what is your advice :(

steadychevy said...

Thanks, Shawn.

I didn't read this until this morning. I wish I had read it Tuesday or yesterday morning. The whole Christmas season has been much harder than I imagined it would be.

We started with a Christmas celebration with 2 daughters, 2 son-in-laws and three granddaughters on December 19 and 20 at on daughter's place. There were so many traditions there like my wife and I making the turkey dressing together and stuffing the bird. That was fairly early on December 20 because turkeys take a long time to cook. We did not decorate or put up a tree at our place but there were decorations on my daughter's tree that were hers but on our tree during the years of the adultery. Difficult putting on the "happy, joyous" face. So many triggers.

Yesterday we went over to the same daughter's place (about a 50 minute drive)for a much quieter Christmas with her husband and two grandaughters (3 and 1 years). Only there a little over 4 hours and fewer traditions for me but still difficult.

Saturday we get together with my family - 9 brothers and sisters and all their crew. Rent a hall. Big pot luck with hosting family supplying the turkey and ham. About 2 hours away. Going to be difficult, I think. My FWS really likes these gatherings. I think she likes my family more than I do. We had a family reunion (annual) last September about 3 weeks post DDay for me. It was extremely difficult. I expect this gathering will be, too.

I went to my first BAN support group meet on December 9. BAN is beyond affairs network at The co-ordinator's (just 19 months post DDay) goal was to try and get us to think about the Christmas season and prepare for it just like you are with your blog. The co-ordinator had a very rough first Christmas (actually only Christmas up to now) post DDay.

The season has been difficult. It does feel tainted, tarnished, cheapened and a lie. As for emotions. I don't seem to have the almost uncontrollable rage, not even real anger any more. It is more that I get mad and not so often as it was. Mostly I am just so sad about what has beem lost and can never be re-found. Even if we manage to stay together it will be so very different than before. I know I am only 4 months post DDay but it is difficult for me to believe that it can be better than it ever was. It does not seem that is possible right now. That is the only thing that makes it seem worth continuing to trying to reconcile. My IC just told me during our last meeting that we are already in the minority because we are still together. He saw that as a good thing.

I check the posting boards, Healing Hearts and others, this blog just about every morning when I get up. They provide me with a sense of hope. I thank those who regularly post and support people like me who are newer to this. My FWS regularly reads them, too. She says that even with some very pointed comments about the WS (which she says are fully justified) they help her for her self. I think they have helped her have a better understanding of what she has done to me. So I thank you.


mary said...

I hope you had a nice Christmas. I unfortunately broke down hysterically. I can't seem to get over the whole affair and not having my family close makes the holidays even harder. Don't misunderstand,my husband does little things, he constantly asks if I am ok( which I'm sure you all know I am not), he helps out around the house like he always has. He made out like a bandit for Christmas, I on the other hand received nothing from him. I shouldn't be so surprised,he hasn't given me anything for my bday,anniversary or Christmas in the last 7 years or more. Granted we always say we aren't getting each other gifts,but he knows I get him gifts anyways. But we didn't say it this year and he still didn't get me a single thing.I feel like I am going crazy inside my head. The emails I read,the pictures I found just won't go away. He gave her things he used to give me. He gave her things he had no right to give her,things I worked and sacrificed in our marriage to earn and pass on to OUR children( not for her kids to have). I have decided that after New Years I am going to go see a counselor to help ME heal. If he chooses that we should go back to a marriage counselor together( although I doubt it will happen,he said we don't need counseling) that is in his court. I just don't know how to fix this. I don't want him to think he can ruin our marriage and I'm supposed to just look the other way. I know I've been a good wife and mother,but I start believing some of the lies he told her. Hopefully one day I will be strong enough to know I didn't "burn down our home", he did. And if he wants to rebuild with me,he needs to help me understand and give me closure.
Thank you Shawn,you give me hope.

Chinadoll said...

Hi Shawn (and all of you). I'm a regular reader and occassional poster on this site. It has been a tremenedous life-line for me during my darkest moments. This holiday was full of triggers, though I am a day away from TWO years post D-day. I have recently been frustrated that my healing isn't happening faster (so has my husband but he remains calm and steadfast), or that something could seemingly set me back so much when I thought I was doing so much better. I know all of you can relate. I recently read a post on Elle's site, about the lies WE tell ourselves post-affair. I suffer with this ALOT still. Of course the seven Elle outlines are there for us all, the others, specific to our particular situations. Brain worms, pain-shopping, etc. all descriptions I've heard for the narratives (sometimes unproductive ones) that play over and over in my mind. I recently told my husband that I need something more from him to help me overcome the painful memories of his distancing from me, the angry, mean-spirited and simply increduluous words spoken during the fog created by excessive guilt. He can TELL me all day long now that he did not mean it, was confused, broken, low-down, etc. but I don't find my mind or my recollection of things said all that reliable these days, and those conversations don't seem to overpower the narratives that sometimes take over in my own head. I told him that I need something tangible, concrete to remind myself that he is now the person I have always known him to be, not the stranger he was for that brief period of time in our lives. The things that have been the most helpful to my healing are words written. Poetry has always been a part of our lives together (I guess that's why I found his poetry to her so hurtful). Yet, rather than it be a trigger, I want to reclaim it as my own; something special between us. Something concrete I can refer to when I'm having a moment. A mantra I can look at and recite. I got the most wonderful gift for Christmas and I wanted to share it with you all in the hopes that it creates a sense of hope for those of us still struggling to find our way back from betrayal. My husband has started a blog after recognizing how important this one has been to my healing. The introduction is below:


I intend to make amends by documenting decades of love. With this blog, I will tell stories from our past, twenty years ago, ten years ago, and yesterday. With this blog, I will envision our future, twenty years from now, ten years from now, and tomorrow. I will choose old poems to post from the hundreds I have written you. I will write new poems that express my love, my respect, and my desire for you. For Christmas long ago, I gave you a notebook and a promise to write a poem every week of the year. This Christmas, I give you this blog with the same intent for years to come. You recently explained that you need something more from me, something I am not providing. I hope this blog can be a source of strength for you. It is not intended to be a substitute for the other blogs you follow, perhaps an addition. You are my person and I love you with all I’ve got.

BS said...

Hi Shawn:

Thank You for the Holiday wishes and reminder.

Yes, after all this time the anger does still resurface during the holidays. It can be difficult to repress and sometimes I get angry at myself for being angry. Sigh!

Thank you for sharing. It makes me feel normal.

Yes, we are responsible for our own happiness. Thanks for that reminder, too.

Kate M. said...

Thank you Shawn. I didn't read this until now, but I did manage to do what you advised- albeit at the last minute. DDay anti-versary was last week, and was hard on us both. It's still a sensitive time; our holiday is a bit stretched out this year due to family schedules and our wedding anniversary is coming up soon, so your advice and support is still needed and appreciated.

Do I need a Gmail account to email you? Haven't figured out how to send one from your profile page. Hope your Christmas was a lovely one.

mountainsailing said...

My problem over the holidays has been worrying that my husband might be waiting to tell me something until after the holidays are over. You know, to save my feelings.

There's absolutely no reason to think this. No hints that he's having an affair again. No indication that he's unhappy with our marriage or with me. No gut feelings. No secretive behavior. Nothing. It's just an idea that came to mind and stuck in my head ever since.

It has been 21 months since D-Day. Our recovery has been very, very good, with no trickle truth, complete transparency, both of us working hard, complete remorse on his part. And yet I still have stupid worries like this! It just goes to show you how destructive affairs are and how difficult it is to completely recover and "move on."

I did tell him about this worry the day after Christmas, and his reassurance was instant and completely convincing. So I feel better now. But still -- what a horrible thing to deal with!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm not alone!
It's been about four weeks since my D Day and I'm lost.
I've felt every emotion you've all described here. I can't believe we are all dealing with the same thing.
Thank you all for your honesty. I feel a sense of relief already just knowing that you have felt what I'm feeling and that I'm not actually going insane.
I will keep checking in and reading your posts. I have a wonderful friend who is supporting both of us but this blog just feels like a caring hand.
Again, thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Shawn, I have read your entire blog and you are absolutely amazing. I have a question but not to ridicule but really to understand, why do you stay?

Anonymous said...

Shawn, I have read your entire blog and you are absolutely amazing. I have a question but not to ridicule but really to understand, why do you stay?

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: Welcome. I write about the past, not my present. Sometimes I veer front the story of Richard's affair and my Crazy Town behavior to talk about now, but mostly, the blog is about…here's what I did after DDay and I do not recommend it!
I do want to share hope with others that have been so cruelly betrayed. I want them to know there is life after Dday. You will survive and even thrive. For me, it is with my FWH. For some, it's starting again on their own. The Roads to Happy are plentiful. Just find the one that feels right to you and walk on.
Walking with others that know our pain makes the journey a little easier.
But…to answer your question…I stay because my marriage is better now than before. Different, but better. Richard is such a good man. He did some horrendous things, but that was THEN. I prefer to focus on NOW> NOW he does all he can to remind me of how grateful he is that we found a Road to Happy that we can travel together.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Sass: you are most definitely not alone! Our stories are different but our pain is the same. The pain of the betrayed is unique in its magnitude.
Healing does happen, but this is a long road, a marathon. I didn't begin to heal until I found the support of others that had suffered through the agony of infidelity . Finding your own Road to Happy is so much easier when you don't try to navigate the way alone.
You said this blog feels like "a caring hand". It's not the's all the amazingly strong readers that make it feel that way. We can help each other heal. We care.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

I found out my husband was cheating on Christmas Eve (2013), which was also a few days before going on a family vacation. I think I'm still in shock.

BS said...

Too the anonymous writer who said she is still in shock.

You are, and it's normal.

It seems that a lot of people finally figure out that their trusted spouse is cheating around the holidays. It's the way the cheating spouse acts, distant, distracted, not as into the family activities.

I am sorry you are here, but glad you found a place of support and encouragement.

As the Blog author Shawn mentions in her above post: Your marriage can be better than it was before infidelity.

The shock and trauma and drama of the situation brings a lot of simmering things out into the open.

One is the fact that most often people who cheat are the takers in the marriage rather than the givers.

They are not unhappy with the loyal spouse. They may however be unhappy with themselves.

Still mostly they just want to do something selfish, something most of us have been tempted to do, while married and when meeting an attractive stranger, but instead choose to honor our marriage vows.

My marriage is much better, except for the trust issues. The trust is slowly returning more and more but I will never ever trust in the guileless 100 percent way I prior trusted my husband.

As the psychiatrists say: You can't fix normal, and after an affair it's normal for the betrayed spouse to never again be able to trust a spouse 100 percent.

And, it's likely good to realize that we never should have so innocently trusted from the getgo.

My husband through IC and MC finally sees that he was taking more than he was giving in the marriage.

He also sees that he was given lots of freedom and trust and he abused it.

I also see that I was focusing too much on him, finally.

Our marriage was really out of kilter with me giving up many things to make his life easier and more comfortable.

Post affair my husband has changed tremendously and now gives as much as he receives from the marriage.

Sometimes, too, he even gives more in an attempt to make up for his past actions.

It is no longer a lopsided situation.

He is now more loving, attentive, emotionally available and willing to communicate than he has ever been.

We spend more time together than ever. He is wherever he says he is, whenever I inquire. He never works late at the office. He brings work home, instead. And, volunteered to be totally transparent. Even more so than I need or requested.

We are sadly still being stalked by the OW, and when she pulls one of her shenanigans I can see that he genuinely looks physically ill and he will often comment and how he must have been temporarily insane to ever have any type of interest in her at all for any reason, under any circumstance.

Anyway, give it time. Things can get better.

Anonymous said...

BS, how long did it take you to get this point? I am 16 months past Dday and I am still struggling with whether to stay or go. I just told my WH that I wanted a divorce this weekend...Not sure I really do. But I know I don't feel the same about him. I don't know that I can ever love him unconditionally, again. He, like your H, gives more now to the relationship than I do. It has really flip-flopped. I just don't know that I can ever move on. He had stopped the A months before I found out, but I still check the OW FB page to see if she is still with her H.
I know my H would not be with HER even if we divorced... she is not his type at all. She was just a WH*** that stroked his ego and chased many married men at his workplace. It is funny that that is one of the reasons he says he did it...because there had been others and he thought she would just move on after a quickie with him! UGH. Makes me sick to even type this!
Sorry, just wondering if the obsessing will ever end (yes we have been to MC and are both still in MC).
I have stayed to this point for the kids, but I am not sure that is the best reason to stay. He used to be my best friend. I still can't go an entire day without calling him (I have tried, just to see if I can do it).

BS said...

Hi Ann:

This is a two part post due to limitations in post size.

This is part one:


I really don't have any comforting answer to your question.

Let me just give you the facts.

It's been more than five years, since discovery of my husband's affair.

The 15 month to two year mark was actually tougher than the months after the initial Discovery day.

I seemed to focus on divorce more at that point. I am not sure why. It did pass, however.

My husband was outed by someone. He didn't stop on his own. There was a lot of trickle truth in a misguided attempt to not make things worse or to not upset me more. That went on for six months and it compounded the damage and pain.

As we all now know trickle truth is very harmful and is also an attempt to protect the cheater in many ways although the claim to not want to harm the faithful spouse more, also may be true.

In your case, you can take comfort in the fact that your husband had already ended things.

My husbands affair was a full out emotional-sexual affair. Even though he insists he only considered an affair with her because she was not the type of women he would ever want to marry.

Nevertheless, I found emails in which they were ridiculing me for silly things like being a homebody and too practical with money, or too intelligent. Things that some people might find admirable.

That hurt because I was only practical with money for us, not me. I like to spend money on frivolous things, just as much as anyone. I was only a homebody, because we had pets and children and responsibilities, not because I liked staying home rather than going out with friends.

He now claims that he was only trying to mirror her own complaints about her husband as a way to absolve himself of guilt and to justify the affair to both himself and to her. He claims he likes those traits in me, but needed something to use to mirror back her complaints about her husband.

Despite our marriage being better than it ever was, for me. I still leave the divorce option open. My husband knows that.

I threatened divorce most often at the two year mark. I don't any longer, but I still keep it open as an option. I simply don't throw it in my husband's face any longer.

A few years after the affair, I got a post nuptial drawn up by an attorney. A good post nuptial, one that would hold up in court against event he toughest divorce attorney opponent.

I found an older women attorney who had also been hurt by her husband's affair.

So, at this point, it's not financial issues that is keeping me married to my former cheating spouse.

As you can see I still don't trust my husband, 100 percent, and I never will again. Still there is something that holds us together.

I, also, as you, don't love him the same way that I did. Something I can't really describe has been lost in the way I feel toward him. It's something beyond lack of trust. Still, I can't describe it exactly.

Can you? If so, it might help all of us who are reading and posting here.

Continued in in post number 2:

BS said...


I am having trouble posting my response to your question due to length.

I will break it up into several posts, when I return from a meeting.

BS said...


Part two, continuation from prior post one:



From my own perspective, I don't think that feeling..., that loss of something indescribable...., ever goes away.

I am not sure we can really ever trust anyone not to have any affair. Even someone new.

But that is not why I stay. I do love him, and we have a lot of history together, but I don't love him perhaps as selflessly as I once did. Maybe that's a good thing.

I put me first more times, now, than I used to.

I miss the old me, but also realize she was a bit too naive for this world.

I also still sometimes have difficulty sleeping at night thinking of the lies told to me and about me to continue his affair, and the injustice of it all still sometimes overwhelms me.

These days however it passes much more quickly.

Because my marriage has improved so much, I prefer to stay in it.

Had it not improved I would have left long ago.

As mentioned, in many respects, I have a much better husband, as do you. But yes, something is missing. I think that's normal.

I do think I would take my wounds from this situation, into another relationship. Affairs leave permanent scars on the loyal spouse.

So changing partners won't bring the old me back. I am also quite certain that in another relationship, the trust would not ever be given 100 percent.

When I really think about it... what it is that I missed the most in our relationship post affair, I realize it was/is the lack of trust that I missed the most.

Still, that missing ingredient, the ingredient that makes me love my husband in a different way is still something I can't really put my finger on.

I now think that trusting anyone so much is setting ourselves up to be hurt. So, I actually think having to face the fact that trusting 100 percent is naive, is a good thing.

The times at the 15 month to two year mark when I wanted the divorce most strongly was, in retrospect, the times I was missing the easy way I always trusted my husband to be where he said he would be, and doing what he said he was doing.

Also, the times, when I had opportunities throughout the marriage to have an affair with a man who was capable of giving me things my husband couldn't at the time give me. Things, like attention and money, particularly at times when we had financial difficulties in our marriage, or when he was away with the boys for two weeks and would have loved to have someone around to entertain and pamper me,....yet I flatly turned it down, when opportunity arose.

The inability to trust, and missing that trusting persona, at times just drove me crazy, but then I remember that my ability to bestow 100 percent trust is what made it easier for my husband to seize the opportunity to use the free time given to him to explore an affair.

My marriage is good and better than it was for me, but I still always leave the door open to divorce, if I choose.

My reason would only, and always would have been, his affair. He knows that.

I never prior threatened to, or thought about divorcing him. It was simply not an option to my mind. I planned on growing old with my husband, with his many warts and all.

BS said...


Post 3 continuation from post 2



I wouldn't have ever considered divorcing my spouse had he become impotent, or lost his job. Now, as mentioned, I leave the door open to divorce because of the betrayal and that will be my only reason if I ever go that route.

I, now, realize that even though my marriage is good, I could still be okay with a divorce, if that is what I ultimately need to heal.

I however have chosen to stay.

We were also best friends, prior to the affair, and we are still best friends, albeit with ruptured trust. We have both been through so much together. I do not want to throw that all away.

I think perhaps that is what keeps me married to my husband because that friendship is valuable to me. And, friends sometimes do disappoint each other.

I hope I am making sense rather than just babbling.

In the end, the point I am trying to make is that all your feelings are normal.

Shawn the blogger wrote a post about the the "new normal", maybe it will help to read it.

I really don't want to divorce my husband due to my ego or due to a desire to hurt him back. I did at the two year mark, want to divorce him mainly to hurt him back because the idea of a revenge affair is so repulsive to me.

In the end, what I did to help me decide was to sit down and drew up a pro/con list regarding staying with my former cheating spouse, or divorcing him.

On that list, the reasons for staying far outnumbered the reasons for divorcing.

Still, I don't think any loyal spouse ever fully recovers from a spouse's affair. They simply adjust to what Shawn on her blog has referred to as the "new normal".

Lastly, my brother and many of my male friends and relatives insist that ALL men think about cheating and many will if easy opportunity arises, even those who love their wives and family.

If the right opportunity arises, it's the rare man who will turn down what appears to be, at least on the surface, an offer of no strings sex from an attractive women. Particularly if they have never felt the ramifications of such an affair on their marriage, at least according to these male relative and friends.

Being a woman, the faithful type, I don't know whether or not that is true.

I do believe that most people having an affair, who want to keep their marriages in tact, convince themselves that they will never be caught or outed.

When they are, it's quite a shock for the cheating spouse.

In the end the disloyal spouse, once caught, or even if he confesses, is in shock about all the damage they have caused, too.

I think that's another reason, I stay.

I did and still do many times see the pain on my husband's face when he has to confront one of my questions regarding his affair and he sees that I am still in pain regarding it, even after all this time.

Suzy Thompson said...

I just started my own blog about my discovery of my husband's affair. I'd love for you to check it out, leave a comment, etc. it's I'm still in the beginning stages of figuring things out.

shawn thewife said...

Suzy: I just read your blog. Writing has helped me immensely. As I type out the words, I can process the thoughts. Sometimes, especially early on after DDay, our brains can feel so scrambled that a rare clear thought is a blessing.
As I read your posts, I wanted to scream….You have NO blame in your WH's choice to cheat! NONE! Your WH is blame shifting. Until he accepts responsibility for his choices and works to understand why he chose to cheat, you're gonna be stuck.

I like that you said you are taking care of you and trying to improve your daily function. Good. Remember, this is a roller coaster. You're gonna have days that feel nearly normal and days where you fall back. Don't let that scare you. It's the nature of the beast. Embrace the good days and they will increase in number. Time is your friend.

About your EX friend…the OW. Stay away from her. No contact is the only way to go. She can not help you.
Please check in with us when you can. We care.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn