After an affair, your life doesn't belong to you anymore. For over a year, I couldn't control my own thoughts.
The turmoil in my head was viciously repetitive but savagely random. With this blog, I began to exorcise the demons holding my head hostage.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Spinning a Broken Record

I was out of people to alienate.  Involving others in my private pain got me no where fast.
I was out of ideas about how to make the pain go away.  Nothing had worked to date, that's for damn sure.
I was out of my mind.  My obsessive thinking was clearly taking over, obscuring any productive thoughts I may have had to repair my broken heart....that caused my broken brain...which lead to my broken record behavior....that sent me to live in the house in Crazy Town that Richard & Jaymie built.
Whoa....sometimes I cringe when I write this shit.  Seriously, this blog ain't always easy.

It was August, 2011.  Only one month left until the anti-versary of the day Richard finally got Jaymie naked in his office.  In my current condition, I feared, quite rightly so, the anti-versary might put me over the edge and land my dysfunctional ass in a padded room.

There was no forward motion of any kind in my perception of how to rebuild my life.  The only brainstorms I experienced at the time were the menacing kind, more feeble schemes that could get me access to Jaymie and what I viewed as my Holy Grail of recovery....the emails.  My conviction that Jaymie held the key to my redemption and relocation out of Crazy Town was steadfast.
I allowed the broken record of my broken mind to play on...I sent Jaymie this:

On Sept. 7th of last year you began an intimate relationship with my husband.  As that day approaches, I am drawn back into all the pain, anger and utter disbelief that I felt during the first months.  It's starting to boil over and I have no outlet.

I know from Sept. 7th until Oct. 12th, the day I found out, I will be obsessing about every detail of your time with him.  Not sure where that will lead, but I'm sure I'll find somewhere to vent. When that happens, I usually end up involving people that have no business getting hurt because of what you and Richard did.  Your parents, Kevin, Richard's family, my parents....why in the hell did they need to know about it all?  If I am ever going to move past this, I need to unload my aching heart onto you and Richard.  You both need to know the depth of my pain.  Maybe, just maybe, if I try to empty it on you, put it all on you and him, then I'll be capable of forgiveness.  I need that so desperately.

Please try to see that you owe me.  If you are truly as sorry for what you did to me as Kevin says you are, then you'll help me.  I'd be happy to meet in a therapist's office.  I just need to purge my emotions.  Don't care how we do it, phone, email or in person.  Yes, or no... just let me know you got this.  I need to know I reached you.  I don't want to have to go through others to communicate with you anymore.  

Sound familiar? By admitting I understood how meaningless involving others had been, at least I was beginning to narrow my scope of collateral damage.  Good for me, but a tad too late, huh?

Obsessive thinking is normal after DDay.  I didn't understand that it happens to people suffering Post Traumatic Stress.  The lovely Dr. K never mentioned that during our little chats.
Without the lovely Dr. K's help, I later learned that the broken record in my brain prevented me from dealing with the direct cause of my pain...Richard.  Maybe I can save some of you the mental health appointment co-pay.
Face the cheater that damaged you.  It's the only way to find your Road to Happy.

As I read my words to Jaymie in the email above, I was struck by the fact that I, at that time, had thought I needed to find forgiveness.  I wrote I was "desperate" for it.  That's another thing I learned without writing a check to the lovely Dr. K.  I'm fine without forgiveness.
I don't forgive Jaymie...Oh, Hell No!  And I don't forgive Richard.  I've accepted he is a good man that lived in his own personal Crazy Town for a while and then worked his ever-so apologetic butt off to save our marriage.
Good enough for me.

I wrote emails like this to Jaymie dozens of times.  Same counterproductive, ineffective, purposeless, good for nothing drivel...different day.  Geek Boy Kevin got more than his fair share and Daddy James, as well.  There is no rational explanation of why I thought I needed Jaymie back in my life.
I was the epitome of a broken record.
Talk to me Jaymie, Talk to me Jaymie, Talk to me Jaymie, Talk to me Jaymie......Fuck!

Why couldn't I throw that broken record away and begin playing the latest top 10 hit that all the cool people were listening to in Crazy Town:  Shawn Needs to Get a Grip!? 

The chorus of that under utilized ballad went something like this:
:::If you wanna start to heal
There's one thing you should know
To change the way you feel
You gotta let her go:::

Snappy lyrics but I couldn't dance to the tune, so I let the broken record, Talk to Me Jaymie, run on for another couple of months.  Richard watched me hit the repeat button over and over and over again.  He was much too afraid of losing me to try and stop me.  As a matter of fact, right before the first anti-versary of DDay, I talked him into spinning the broken record for me.

37 comments:

Michelle Thewife said...

I'm so glad you spoke of forgiveness and how you personally don't need it to move on. I felt a lot of pressure to forgive within the first year after dday, so much so that I actually told Hochelle (OW) I forgave her, with the anticipation of feeling better because I said the words. I was so wrong. I decided a while ago to take "forgiveness" off the table for my husband, Hochelle and our mutual friends that aided the affair. Instead I strive for acceptance of what has been done to me, and understanding about why they chose to do this to me. If forgives comes, fine but I'm okay if it doesn't. You're the first betrayed wife I've ever heard who feels that forgiveness is not necessary. Thank you!

shawn thewife said...

Michelle: A wonderfully wise and compassionate betrayed wife on the Healing Heart message boards taught me that forgiveness isn't for all betrayed spouses. She said acceptance can be enough.
It was such a relief to read someone else felt as I did.

For me, forgiveness is just a word. I said the words to Richard just a few short weeks after DDay!! What?? You know I didn't mean it! I made his life hell for the next year and then some!
I forgive you...Just words...the only things that matter after DDay are actions.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Juleth said...

I'm one of those wives, people actually, who just feels like forgiveness is needed and I'm a passionate person. So please don't think my comment is preachy or judgmental. I believe everyone's personal Road to Happy is just that: personal. It needs to work for them. If that doesn't include forgiveness and you will be happy then that is great! But here's where I'm coming from. Everyone does things in their lifetime they are not proud of. Things that they would like forgiven. Whether it's deserved or not. I know there are things like that in my life. So there's that piece of me, that considers the fact that we are all flawed and in need of some forgiveness. But more over, I think just accepting something happens is too passive for me. It makes me still feel like a victim. In order to really move forward, I had to forgive. This was whether we stayed together or not. Forgiveness to me, is controlling how something affects me. Even Webster defines it something like, not being angry over something anymore. Maybe this is just boiling down to semantics, who knows. Maybe we are all saying and feeling the same thing and some call it forgiveness and some call it acceptance. I accept that I couldn't have changed it, and I decide (me in control here) that I'm not mad about it anymore. Took a long time. Also, I think a lot of people confuse condoning the act or saying what they did was ok. Heck no, it was not ok, and never will be ok. It was an awful thing, the worst thing in my life ever. But my marriage is just one facet and I can't let anger over it destroy the other facets.

Anyway, that is where I'm coming from. Thank both of you for sharing your stories. Shawn, I have to say you were one of the first people to respond on HH to one of my posts and were always so positive and helpful. I just wanted to thank you for that and also this blog, which cracked me up many times when I needed it. Michelle, following your story, too. I hope you are doing ok TODAY.

prayers and love - Juleth

shawn thewife said...

Juleth: We are on the same page, Sister! Every Road to Happy is unique in it's twists and turns, ups and downs and the number of potholes encountered.
The key is finding the Road that feels right to you.

I get that forgiveness is crucial to many betrayed spouses. That's all good.
For me, it just doesn't feel right.
I guess I'm a bit of a hard ass in that regard, but I certainly don't judge those that can find forgiveness in their hearts. Actually, I admire it.

Glad to know you have found comfort on HH. I also know you are paying it forward, helping newbies. You're doing a very good thing.
It's amazing how just sharing with a stranger that you empathize and truly understand their pain can make a huge difference in affair recovery.
Betrayed spouses should walk the Road to Happy together. Traveling with friends is soooo much better than walking alone.
See you on HH.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Juleth said...

Yes, the pain is just unfathomable. I never in a million years would understand how much this hurts unless it happened to me. Even if my sister or best friend or someone close to me came to me and described it, I would think they were exaggerating. Seriously. If I would wish one thing it would be that people would understand what they were going to be doing before they went and had an affair. Not sure how to do that. Again I liken it to be up there with murder and stealing and all other horrible things. So if I can hold someone's hand on the other side I want to do it.

Have a great day!

BS said...

Juleth:

You are so right about the pain being unfathomable until a person experiences an intimate betrayal of their own.

The sheer amount of emotional energy, resources, time, money, affection, sex, etc, that is embezzled from the poor clueless spouse is so upsetting.

I was shocked at how much energy my husband was expending on the outsider.

I did not realize how much energy people put into affairs until I started reading blogs and associated messages.

I regret every day that I once new of some acquaintances having affairs behind their spouse's unsuspecting backs and yet, I failed to inform the spouse because I thought it was their personal issue and I shouldn't get involved.

I was so glad when someone finally sent me an anonymous letter alerting me to the affair.

In the future I will pass on that favor.

No more conspiracy of silence for me. Once the sordidness of affair is revealed in the light, the excitement of it is destroyed and shrivels to dust.

I am truly angry at the people who new, some of them were more than mere acquaintances, But did not tell me that my husband was having an affair.

The acquaintances I can understand why they felt that they did not want to tell me, but the good friends????

Those are the people who really disappoint me.

These people came to my house and socialized with us an never said to my husband, "hey, what the heck are you doing?"

Nor did they clue me in.

That hurts, too.

If they had said something immediately upon learning of the affairs, I would have confronted my husband and the affair would have ended a lot sooner.

monika said...

Even though Jaymie was smart by ignoring you because bringing her back into the mix wouldn't have mattered anyway being that RICHARD IS THE ONE TO BLAME....it still irks me that she didn't give you the info, the attention or the truth you were requesting of her. Even though technically she didn't owe you a thing, from woman to woman she should have. It could've eased things. When my ex bf cheated on me, I got the OW's number, called her & luckily she gave me all the juicy details that he of course left out. It's the least the OW can do to give the BS some closure, if any.

shawn thewife said...

Monika: In hindsight, I guess jaymie did me a favor by ignoring me. I certainly didn't see that then.

Nothing the OW tells a betrayed spouse can be trusted. Why in the hell I thought Jaymie would do anything but lie to me just goes to show how truly crazy I was. Crazy and dumb as a box-o-rocks. She lived a lie with Richard. She wanted my husband. Why would she help me? Duh!
Now...did she OWE me anything?? That's different. She owed me an apology. I think she gave me one early on, but even that meant nothing. Sincerity isn't a trait one associates with husband stealing whores.
Fact is...there is NOTHING an OW can do that will assist a betrayed wife in her healing. NOT A DAMN THING! The quicker she is out of the picture, the better the chance of a meaningful recovery.
I'm glad you feel as if the OW helped you in some way, but I maintain that is NOT the norm.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Shawn, thank you for your story. It has helped me in my recovery beyond words. Far more than going to our therapist. While she is great and has done so much for us as a couple I needed your story to help me personally heal and know I am not alone in my pain. And to know I will get through this. When I found this blog I was desperately clinging to vines heading over the cliff to crazy town. Each post of yours helped me claw my way back up and get my feet safely on firm ground just this side if crazy town. And now I am turning my back on it and walking back to normalcy... Or at least taking baby steps... So thank you thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am commenting on this post though because I am trying to grasp the difference btw forgiveness and acceptance. It has been a little over a year and we are working on healing and moving forward as a couple. I have been thinking that I forgive but I don't accept what happened. I forgive my husband bc I need to to move forward since I decided to stay in this relationship but there is No way that I accept what he did to me, to us, to our family. I feel like accepting it means I am saying it is ok for what you did, for the world of pain I was put through. Am I looking at this wrong?

BS said...

Anonymous:

You asked an interesting question.

I am waiting for Shawn's answer.

For me, though the acceptance was easier than the forgiveness.

But everyone is different. So whatever works for you. Maybe you can forgive but never accept. Why can't that be okay?

In my case, I accept the fact that the affair happened. I accept that my husband wants to stay in the marriage and deeply regrets the affair. But that doesn't mean I condone it.

I have told my husband I can never forgive him and Like Shawn, I don't need it to move on.

My husband understands my inability to forgive. He is just happy that I chose to stick around and work on a building a new marriage from the ashes of the old.

I can't reinforce the fact enough that I definitely now have a much better, more fair and equitable marriage than prior.

Both my husband and I have changed in positive ways, and my husband has changed a lot more and in ways that should make me extremely happy. He is attentive, he is emotionally present, and is always where he says he will be, when I call him, these days and he has banished people from our lives who are not friends of the marriage.

Now, if I could only get a full nights sleep without waking up at three a.m. to obsess about the affair. Even if only briefly.

Alas, I have also accepted that likely that MAY never happen. The obsessive thoughts will likely slow down greatly, but never fully disappear.



shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: So glad to hear you are leaving Crazy Town in the rear view mirror!! Nice! If my story helped you, I couldn't be more pleased!
To answer your question, I'll just say this:
Acceptance, forgiveness...Semantics. To each his own Road to Happy. Which ever one allows you to release the pain from your soul, jump on it.

For me, to truly accept an apology that may lead to forgiveness, there has to be some reasonable explanation for why the person wronged me.
Being a selfish prick is not a reasonable explanation.

I can however accept that Richard is a very good man that went WAY wrong for a time. That time was finite. It's done. I know that because of his actions now.

Make sense? Like I said...Semantics.
If it feels right for you, then it IS right.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Mela said...

Dear Shawn, this is a great blog, and unfortunately, I am in the very same pages you had gone thru. And I need enlightenment, so please forgive me for using your blog to ask this.
- - - - - - - - - -

To the Betrayeds out there,

It's almost a year since the D-Day.

And I really wanted to ask this question to all of you who had had your first Antiversary:
To those whose spouses chose to stay, how does he react now if the topic of cheating, that other girl(s) (I call them "whores"), my ability to trust, forgiveness and questions of his day's plan or his what/when/who/whereabouts comes up?

The reason I asked this is because these topics irritates him very easily, and the tone of our conversation is bound to deteriorates soon after.

For a start, when I ask questions of his day's plans and his whereabouts, mostly he answers them in big plan / general. But if I followed up or re-question those answers into details, he is very easily upset.
At various times, he'd say that I do not have any choice but to trust the answers given to me.
(Somehow, the implicit message that I get is: "Hey, I lied to you before and I got away most times (well, before you found out, anyway), so you either believe what I say now or you can go doubt it and let it rot in your mind cos there is no way you would follow me daily just to confirm what I told you.)

And invariably, when topics of his betrayal --and subsequently my ability to trust-- comes up, he'll get very upset. Most frequently, he would say these things: that it was over "ages" ago, that I should have recovered and move on by months ago (hell, I wanted that too but I wish I could without lying to myself), that I don't need to revisit history, that I need to forgive him for what he did (as in forgive me ASAP, not forgive me eventually), that my happiness isn't his goal or responsibility (this may be right, but fuck, what length did you went to ensure my unhappiness!!), that he is doing "his best" to become good person (I wouldn't say carrying out routines is the best he could do, let alone for paying up for his mistakes).

Basically, he acted like "yeah you found out my affair, but now I've recovered from it. Oh, hey, what the heck are you (that's me!) doing stuck in that unhappiness and fragile state? Well, I'm on my way to a better state now and I think you better fix that problem of yours".
Sometimes, I think that the affair had made him a more arrogant person, instead of humbling him.
Now, it is as if I'm the weak link that hinders him to become a "good person" ("a good person" is sort of a mission in his life in which he strives to do as many good/charity to as many people surrounding him), that my "unnecessary fragile" emotional state is giving him unnecessary burden.

After these sort of conversations, I usually wonder if I had made the right choice to go on with our marriage. Also, I wonder if he would betray me again in the future, because with that sort of arrogant character, I firmly believe he would have no hesitation to do so again, and worse, would later blame me for not making a more interesting marriage.
(He has stated before that I "contributed" in his straying by failing to make our marriage more interesting. And to think how many "relationship talks" conversations that he avoided every time I made the effort to better our marriage...)

I'm confused. Is this how it goes with your spouse? I get that he might have his pride hurt, but so is my heart.
Can you share the unexpected things that made you think "how the heck did it became like this?" or "was this normal?"

Anonymous said...

Hi Shawn! Applejacks here. I hope you don't mind me commenting on here. I know I can get long winded and repetitive and boring on HH. But I just wanted to say how valuable it was to find others who REALLY struggled with the aftermath of an affair. I remember thinking, as I lay catatonic on the couch, unable to move or speak or breath, and I hurt more than any other time in my life, I wondered "Am I making too big of a deal out of this?" Through you and HH I learned very quickly that not only was that normal, but that it had only just started. Knowing that and knowing it takes years to get over helped me take the time line off of myself to hurry up and heal- to hurry up and get over it.
As for forgiveness, I'm lucky in that I actually learned a lot from a previous cheating boyfriend. Geez, I thought that was bad back then, but it was NOTHING compared to how shattered I was when it was my husband. When the ex did it, even though we broke up, I told him (and her- she was a friend) that I forgave them. Then I would get on livejournal (ah, the facebook of many years ago for you whippersnappers) and post all the secrets they had ever told me- posted publicly to our mutual friends probing every insecurity they had ever expressed. I was BRUTAL! "I use my LJ for evil!" I would say. Then the cycle would repeat. I'd say I forgave them, and then the hate would build back up and I'd unleash my fury again. I literally broke into his house through the doggy door and burned things!! I burned all the blankets on his bed and left the ashes on the mattress with a note that said "Who's the psycho ex girlfriend now, b**ch!" It was kinda an inside joke because we used to listen to the crazy voice mails on psychoexgirlfriend.com and laugh and laugh. (Yup, I often summer in Crazy Town. I have a coocoo condo right on Loco Lake)The good thing that came of this was that I learned WANTING to forgive was a lot different than actually forgiving. I wanted to- I wanted to feel better. And everyone said forgiving them would set me free. That it was for me, not them. But no one told me HOW. I wanted to, but I didn't know how. At least I learned "Don't say you forgive until you actually do." With my husband's affair, I took that goal off of myself for a long while. Then, once again, I wanted to forgive him (and her.) I said it to myself over and over (if you say it enough you'll eventually believe it theory) but never out loud. Finally, after the year mark, I just felt it. I forgave him. Actually, I didn't do it- it just happened on its own. That kind of thing can't be called up, and can't be forced. You can't just make yourself feel it. The brain has no sway over matters of the heart. It just has to happen. It does for some, and never for others. That has nothing to do with the outcome of happiness. Some may get it, other's don't. There is no "right" way. I also think "forgive" is such a general term. What is to forgive for one is different for someone else. For some, forgiveness may be simply giving up hatred, and for others it may mean the slate is wiped clean.

Anonymous said...

(cont...) Applejacks again...As for Mela, in my experience, and only mine obviously, no that's not how a wayward spouse should act. The only reason I was finally able to forgive my husband was because he never made me hurry up and get over it. And he was never derogatory towards the information I felt I needed for my healing, even a year in. He was still remorsefull when it came up. I don't know if he's always forthcoming, I'll admit. There's a lot of "I don't know"s and "I don't remember"s, but he's never been irritated by the repercussions of the pain HE caused. Yes, I think he's "over" it, but he understands that I am not. I promise I'm not trying to make you feel worse, but I wanted you to know that he could be acting more sympathetic. That's not to say his way is the "wrong" way, or that it's indicative of him being affair-bound... I have no clue.

Dang it! I promise I tried to be succinct this time, but I just start typing and suddenly, 500 pages later, I run out of things to say. Ug. I wish I knew more about electronics or tropical fish instead of affairs...

Anonymous said...

I am just barely a month into DDay. I have read every post you have written - laughed, cringed, cried...and crossed some ideas off my To-Do list as I read about your journey. Of all the questions you have answered for me, and the ones you have prompted me to ask, the one that lingers now is: How do I face the man that cheated on me, as you suggest doing in this post. I just don't know how to do that - do I make him listen to my music? Do I ask to hear his? What do you mean by facing him? (You can call me Kathy).

shawn thewife said...

Applejacks: You can never be to long winded around here! This is a free for all healing area! Limitations be damned! You never know when your words will touch the heart of another reader.

Your take on the forgive/accept discussion helps make my point. If it feels right for you...then it is right. When you said you can't force it. You gotta feel it. I almost applauded! :-)

And...CooCoo Condo and Loco Lake!! LMAO!!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

BS said...

Mela:

Here is my my personalized answer.

A year out my husband was acting somewhat similar to yours.

That changed when I made it clear to my husband that I was going to start taking care of myself more than him.

For you to successfully do this, you need to be prepared to file for divorce.

To that end, see an attorney and learn your rights regarding separation or divorce.

When my husband was still in the belligerent and blame stage, I literally stopped providing all the boring services to him that kept our home life humming smoothly. I only did fun things.

I also asked him if he wanted an open marriage, and I told him I would be open to a trial separation, if he wanted one. He said no to both.

At the time he cheated, I was no longer working. I had been a trailing spouse for years to advance his career.

So, I stopped cleaning completely. I still shopped and cooked, but I no longer worried about buying items on sale. I cooked meals that were easy for me, not his favorites and we ate out a lot more often. We rarely out out prior.

The reason I did this was I had found an email in which he told the outsider a.k.a his whore, ;) that I was too practical and intellectual and I had become boring.

He also told a counselor the outsider was fun, and I was intellectual. He complained that I did not want to eat out at restaurants or engage in other forms of entertainment.

I did not spend money on those things to save money, for a business HE wanted to open He knew that. We were also having some money issues during the initial business acquisition.

When he lied and told the counselor I was not for no reason not interested in doing all those things, that is when I knew my husband did not appreciate the scope of the free labor I provided at home.

In fact, he seemed to think I sat at home eating bon bons. When in reality, I spent the day cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. These were boring chores that were he to hire someone to complete, would cost him a small fortune in our area.

So instead on weekends we went out and did fun things, thing and I was all too eager to eat out afterwards, and of course since I was wined and dined, I actually was eager to make love, too, afterwards. In fact I insisted on it.

During the day, I gave the house a quick cat licking and only shopped for necessities, and some easy to prepare meals.

The rest of the day I would spend working out at a health club.

He had also told the counselor that this other women was addicted to spa treatments and hair dressers and shopping thus she always looked perfect. And that was part of his attraction.

So, I went shopping and bought an expensive wardrobe, and nice underwear so I, too, could look perfect all the time.

Meanwhile the chores went undone.

At some point amid a rapidly accumulating mess of dust, dishes and laundry, my husband made a comment on how it was astonishing how messy the house got. He was amazed that when you did a load of dishes or laundry and straightened the house, it again had to be done in just a few days.

Also because he was now doing his own laundry, he realized how boring and mind-numbingly repetitive such chores are.

I actually could see a light bulb going off in his brain behind his eyes.

I think it was at that point that he realized how much work I did at home.

That was the point where he truly started to become less belligerent and blaming.

It was at that point that I heard his first really sincere heartfelt apology, and I actually saw legitimate regret at what he had done to our marriage.

Things started to improve thereafter.

You can only do these things, though, if you are sure you are ready and willing to file for divorce.

shawn thewife said...

Kathy: I'm glad you found us. I hope we can provide some comfort during the hell that is the first few months after DDay.
You are gonna have many questions, not just for us...but for your WH. It helps to write them down as they pop in and out of your head. It's really hard to maintain a thought for long when suffering this massive trauma.

You asked about facing your betrayer. What I mean by that is you will be overloaded with emotion....anger, despair, confusion and deep sorrow to name a few. It might feel like you need to spread some of it around. Maybe on the OW, or your neighbors, or your mom or the check out lady at Wal-Mart. While that feels good for a minute, there won't be much progress in healing from it.

The questions regarding the affair that collect in your head can only be answered with meaning by your WH. It doesn't matter what the OW thinks about what happened. It doesn't matter what your mom or your neighbor thinks either. It matters a whole hell of a lot what comes out of your WH's mouth. Only he can truly tell you what happened. Only his version of his mistakes can help you heal. You can believe him or not, but it IS his story to tell.

It helped me to do some of this communicating in MC because at first, I could not even look at Richard. I wanted to rip his face off! So, we talked in MC and at home, we talked in the dark.

There's another meaning, too. If you don't FACE your WH, you're gonna miss the really important stuff. If I had only turned to Richard instead of away from him for so long, I would have seen how guilty he felt and how hard he was trying to help me. He was so sorry. He told me he prayed everyday for me to be happy whether or not that meant staying married. I ignored all his efforts for a whole year. Yet...he stuck it out. He waited for me to be ready to face him.
That may be the true sign of a man that wants to atone. He waits for you to find a Road to Happy and then he joins you in the journey.

Did any of that help you?? Sometimes I get carried away and wander off track! Any questions you have that involve something other than what happened during the affair, we will be more than happy to try and answer. You can come here anytime, but please also visit the Healing Heart message boards. The link is on the bottom of my blog. The members of that amazing place will wrap their virtual arms around you and you will never be alone in your pain.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Mela: To your question about your WH's attitude, I had to step back and temper my response. At first, I just wanted to say PLEASE do not let your WH dictate how you heal!! Then, I decided I should reel it in, because only you get to decide how to recover from his affair.

I am not a fan of anyone that doesn't allow the betrayed to heal on their own time, at their own pace, in their own way. If your WH isn't giving you what you need to feel safe in your marriage, then moving forward for you will be so very difficult. Have you told him how he makes you feel? Can you write it down and share it with him? Can you get into MC??

If he wants you to "get over it", then he doesn't comprehend the damage he caused. I think he could use some IC. He needs to figure out why he cheated and why he isn't more remorseful.

I don't quite understand what you mean about "how in the heck did it become like this"? If you mean how did YOUR situation get to be like it is...then the answer is your WH is a cheater, an adulterer, a selfish prick. That's how all of us ended up like this.

Most of us are taking back our lives. Some with the help of the cheaters, some all on our own. You can do it, too. You can own your happiness. This is the "New Normal". We come first, not the cheaters.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Michelle Thewife said...

Mela,

I am over 2 years past Dday and my husband goes back and forth about his reaction to any questions I ask.

First of all, I believe you are entitled to ask about his whereabouts for the rest of your life. There are life long consequences to infidelity. For instance, you will always be triggered by it and upset by it. You're not going to wake up 50 years from now and say "I'm over it! I'm totally ok that my husband was once naked with another woman" likewise, in 50 years, he will still be living out consequences, such as you feeling suspicious from time to time, and him feeling guilty and ashamed. I feel it is arrogant and insensitive when my husband gets an attitude if I question something.

Second of all, the cheater needs to do everything in their power to make the betrayed feel secure. True, there is a point in which the betrayed will just have to trust but there are lot of things the cheater can do to aide in trust building. For instance, if every morning he woke up and gave you a detailed run down of what he was doing and who he'd be with, you wouldn't have to ask. If he willingly put a gps tracking device on his cell phone, you'd be a lot less suspicious. If he came home from work and immediately handed you his cell phone to go through, you'd have no reason to be suspicious. Imagine if he did those things every day for 6 months. Imagine the trust that'd build! The only problem is that if he is at all like my husband he will be too prideful to do so. He wont want to be treated "like a child"

When they say we should trust them by now and that we are not justified in asking questions or wanting proof of their faithfulness, they are minimizing the permanent effect their affair has had on us.

Michelle
affairsalcoholandantidepressants.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Shawn, I just wanted to let you know that I found my way to The Healing Heart (there, I am 'Loop'). I so badly want to tell myself that I will be a 'special case', that somehow I will heal faster and more completely than others...but I see myself reflected in so many other stories that I understand to the bone just how much this is going to take and it, well, it pisses me off! I feel like a 3 year old stomping my feet over a lost privilege - in this case, the privilege lost was to live my life without such intimate betrayal. So, as I pout in the corner, punished for something I had no control over, I wanted to thank you for having a direction for me to go in that wasn't inward.

Today is a crap day - being inducted into the National Honor Society this evening, felt such joy and accomplishment and CONFIDENCE two months ago, now it feels like that has all been sucked away. After all, how smart am I, really, if I was so damn clueless?! My husband is going to the ceremony and a very large part of me wants to tell him to stay home - that he doesn't deserve to see me honored after the way he dishonored me. Petty, selfish, immature and not helpful. I want to help myself, but most days I feel like I'm set to self-destruct and am my own worst enemy. I know I'm rambling and I apologize. I just can't believe I've found places to vent all this and, in return, get some pats on the back, cleared vision and tsk-tsk's that just might put the Road to Happy signs on the horizon, or at least on the damn map. Christ, I don't want wishy washy ideals like those offered as the one true way on some other sites I've snooped around on, I need nitty gritty truth that doesn't assume I'm a doormat for wanting to figure a way through this that involves keeping my marriage, and I thank you for letting me know where to find it.

(By the way, before I found your blog, I was looking for the next Boy Scout meeting the OW would be attending. I had no plan other than to show up and stand in the back...perhaps ask about the infidelity badge earning process...Good Lord how you saved me Shawn!)

shawn thewife said...

Hey, Loop!
You are gonna be OK! You are already WAY further along than I was a month after DDay! You are already helping yourself. Bravo, my friend.

About your amazing honor tonight...I have a little mantra that might help:
Hold my head up, Be strong.
I did NOTHING wrong!

A member of HH gave me that little gem to help me get back my confidence. Say it, believe it.

We weren't stupid. We weren't blind. We were not fools. How can you be expected to see something, even if it's right in front of you, if your brain never imagined in a million years that it could happen? It's not our fault.

Going forward, we will be vigilant. We will learn. We will be prepared. An affair can actually make your marriage better, stronger. I know that seems like a pipe dream now, but I am proof that it can happen.

So glad you didn't crash the Cub Scout meeting!!!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Wow.I am one year and nine months past Dday.tonight I read every entry and most of the comments...with admiration for the confrontations that I fantasized about but lacked the Cajones to carry out.but more important for my healing is your honest self examination and helpful words of caution regarding time wasted...the damage we can do...the ways we cling to our anger and injustices...wallow in it...only to regret what we have squandered...on a painful injury that can't be undone...but from which we can heal if we can let go.thank you for sharing your story so candidly! April

Joanna Betia said...

I don't get much out of Healing Heart. I do enjoy reading Surviving Infidelity though. Maybe because there is more posts there. I left my cheating hubby after trying to reconcile for 3 years. Why? Because after time moves on, you start to see the wimp for who he is. Ever look at Richard and say man you are one big pussy? Not only did this weasel cheat on me, but he opened up another woman's heart with no intention of loving her, (yes I just quoted Bob Marley.) Ha! What kind of asshole does that? Runs around breaking women's hearts? Married or not? WHAT KIND OF MAN CHILD DOES THAT? Oh that's right, my ex does, and that is why I am no longer with him. I never want to be with a coward who thinks that is ok to lie to women, future fake them, and open up their heart up with no intention of loving them. IT IS NOT OK. And it is not the character or lack of character I want in a husband. I am happy you and Richard are trying to make things work, but I feel it's one big competition with you Shawn. You wanted to 'win' Richard. It is about control and competition for you. I use to be that way too. I hung in there trying to reconcile because it was not going to be over til I SAID IT WAS. When you get real with why you are staying then you can focus on what you need out of your life. I mean really, I'm sure Richard has a lot of great qualities, but I want a man that I can say this about: My man is strong, loyal, honest, respectful & emotionally stable & emotionally intelligent. Can you TRULY AND HONESTLY say those things about Richard or are you kidding yourself? Cuz ya ain't fooling me girlfriend. Quit trying to win a competition that isn't there. Quit trying to control the situation. When the kids grow up and you are empty nesters, you should really consider a second chance at your life. You deserve it Shawn!

BS said...

Joana bettia said: "Not only did this weasel cheat on me, but he opened up another woman's heart with no intention of loving her,"
-------

wow Joanna, that's a major assumption. I think most women who have affairs with married men, know what they are getting into. They know it's a dead end.

I was privvy to emails and texts, between my husband and his outsider. She presented herself as a cool and trendy chick who was only interested in sex.

She was the initiator, and she was pushy, pushy, pushy, based on the emails and texts.

That changed as the relationship progressed, but only on her part.

My spouse and likely Richard didn't open up her heart, the other women opened her legs, and he dove in. Then the OW pulled the old bait and switch and decided she wanted a real relationship.

I think it's a rare man who would fail to respond to no strings sex, repeatedly shove in his face, unless he can't get it up anymore.

Yes, my husband acted like scumbag for awhile, but he has changed. And, he is now accountable and has his guard up. He now actively avoids flirty women.

I personally don't see the situation as a competition between me and the outsider, because my husband was living a fantasy and was never interested in a real relationship with his outsider.

In fact, he has mentioned that he could never ever consider a real relationship with a women like her.

I also offered my husband his freedom. He didn't want it. He fought to stay, as Richard is doing.

Some people say he threw the outsider under the bus, but I don't see it that way. She knew which bus she was getting on, she knew it was a bus to nowhere and claimed she was okay with that.

Then she later changed her mind and turned into a bunny boiler.

If you felt the need to ditch your husband, congratulations, but I think your marriage is not Shawn's or mine or anyone else's and not knowing the full picture of another person's marriage, it is foolish for someone to judge it.

To my mind, my husband is a good man who overstepped his boundaries. He has learned his lesson. Perhaps you felt that yours did not and that is why you had to dump in. Good for you. I applaud your decision, if that is what you felt was best for you.

My spouse has suffered consequences from his affair, but I see no need to punish him for the rest of his life now that he has changed.

He doesn't want a divorce, and neither do I. We have a long history together and we have been through a lot.

I would hope, had I been the one to succumb to an affair, that he would give me a second chance, if I changed.

With that said, I do see you are still in pain, and I do so understand that.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I feel the need to throw myself in front of the truck thats hurling toward Shawn. People make mistakes. Some use alcohol, some use drugs, some are mean to old people. Although none of them are me I certainly have made mistakes! I did not cheat on my H. I am forever loyal to the end but that doesn't mean I don't have plenty to work on. My H sounds very similar to Richard. Yes, Richard messed up and so did my H. However, I have no illusions that the grass is greener. My H is an amazing, wonderful, kind, hard worker who adores me. He faced his lowest, darkest time in his life where he lost all self-respect for himself and had an A. I am hurt beyond words (as we all are!). He has worked for 7 years to better himself and be a husband I am proud of. I can't imagine being the type of person that I can only look at others and see their mistakes. I would never give up what I have now with my H. Shawn has said her marriage is better. Why would she keep looking for someone else? Is there someone else out there who hasn't made mistakes? I'm pretty sure there is not. To each his own. If it didn't work out for you with your H I sincerely hope you find happiness elsewhere. Lot's of people do! For those of us who have a remorseful, repentant H who is planning to spend the rest of his life making it up to us then all I can do is be grateful for what I have right now and what the future holds. Rachel

Anonymous said...

Shawn, I love your blog and have communicated with you before. I love you and admire you, which is going to make what I say right now sound painful: My husband and I were in a really bad place yrs ago & I had an affair. I did everything I could to be like Richard, bending over backwards and really atoning for what I had done wrong at home, but at the same time, I was very angry that the OM got off with a light slap and was forgiven quickly at home, seen as a pillar of the community and even worshiped by some. I felt so much anger that I went to "crazy town" too to shame him, including letting others know that he was not as he seemed. I am left with a tremendous amount of guilt, suicidal guilt for not only how I hurt my husband (who I love and am doing everything in my power to give love to) but for the way I tried to shame the OM causing embarrassment in the process to his wife, a woman who likes to see the world through completely rose colored glasses. I want to tell you that what YOU did was "out of character", resulted from anger, but that you are not crazy. You were angry and no one can blame you. There is no excuse for my not just living with my anger and moving forward. I and not YOU should be ashamed. I know that this comment is going to incite a lot of anger because I was the one that had an affair, something I would never ever ever do again in my life and something I will always regret, but I want you to know that I love you and understand you and sending much love.

Margaret Stone said...

I also thought I needed to forgive my husband after discovering his sex addiction. I thought it would be the only way to begin feeling better and moving forward. Well, I forgave him waaay too early (within a month of Dday) and actually ended up rescinding my forgiveness about 6 months later! I still haven't told him I forgive him yet, and maybe I never truly will. I don't know, but at least I don't feel as pressured to forgive as I used to. You might be interested in checking out my blog, too. http://saddictwife.blogspot.com/
If not, feel free to delete the link. lol Anyway, I have just started reading your blog and will bookmark it. Thanks for a great post!

Anonymous said...

How many times does Jaymie , today, says the word "Shaun" and how many times does Shaun say the word "Jaymie "?

I always keep wondering why does Shaun keep the affair alive even today.

Why does she keep rehashing the details and her feelings of the past?

Yes, Jaymie and Richard hurt her then, in that moment,but isnt she creating the pain today by talking about the past,forever and ever?

I have been betrayed too, painfully and excruciatingly so.

They created the pain then for me.And i keep it alive if i keep thinking of it , even today.

They created the pain then and i am the creator of my pain today.

If we have to heal we have to stop living in the past and talking about it and discussing it in so much detail.

Nothing to do with forgiveness or acceptance, just taking back my power from the people who created my pain.

Is talking about your wounds healing?..For sometime , yes.But , for so long?..it just slows down the healing and gets you addicted to the pain the events created.

Unless, talking about it over and over again is wanting the world to know that look , my husband is back with me and how I got him back and how i eventually won.

Victory , much?

shawn thewife said...

Hello, All!!
I've been gone for a week skiing with Richard. Just the two of us. Fabulous!!
I know after DDay it can seem like you will never get past the pain, but it WILL happen. You all know my story. I was the worst of the worst betrayed spouses ever! If I can repair my marriage and create a bond that is BETTER than before, anybody can. I know reconciliation ain't for all of us, but if you think you might want to save your relationship...take heart, my friends!! It CAN happen.

NOW...I am gonna try to respond to as many comments that came in while I was away as I can in one LONG response. Here goes...

APRIL: It wasn't cajones that I sported around Crazy Town, it was massive ignorance. I did not know I was my own worst enemy. I'm so glad you get that!! You are obviously MUCH brighter than me!!
If my story helps you at all, I am truly thankful.

JOANNA: Thanks for your opinions, Girlfriend, but you are way off base. We all have different Roads to Happy. I'm glad you found your path without your cheating hubby. Why can't you be happy I found mine through reconciliation? Maybe that's the competition you feel...you want to win the Strongest betrayed spouse gold medal for leaving your cheater! So strong!! GREAT! Congrats! You win! Be happy. I am.

BS: Thanks for sharing with Joanna. To each her own healing path, right??

RACHEL: Well said. Thanks for having my back. I can only continue to repeat myself...Each of us must find our OWN Road to Happy. Only we get to decide the path we take. For those that judge our choices....they can bite me. LOL!

ANONYMOUS THAT CHEATED: Sweetie!! I love you back! I have forgiven myself for my Crazy Town behavior. I hope you forgive yourself, too. We all make mistakes. If we're decent human beings, we learn from them. We grow from them and become better!

MARGARET: Glad you found us. I hope you have also found your Road to Happy. Once I get the mountain of laundry done from my trip and spend some time with the kiddos, I'll check out your blog.

AND...Last but NOT least, ANONYMOUS that seems so concerned about me: Jaymie, Jaymie, Jaymie, Jaymie, Jaymie. Yep. I said it...or typed it anyway, a bunch of times and it didn't bother me a bit. So, not to worry, Dear.
How I chose to heal is only for me to decide. If never saying the name of your wayward husband's OW helps you heal faster...Great! I share my story with others and that gives me purpose. It helps me make something positive out of the most negative thing that ever happened to me.
It isn't about winning. It was never a contest. It is only about finding MY Road to Happy. This blog was the starting line on my Road. It is MINE and it works for me.
I hope your Road works equally as well for you.

Hope & Hugs to all of you!! Shawn

Joanna said...

Wow! Aren't we testy? You totally took what I said the wrong way Shawn. Someone posted the other day that they. find that weak husbands cheat on their bitch wives then go running back to them because they are scared of them. I'm starting to wonder if that is the case. I do find some of your responses to people a bit short, sarcastic & shallow. I see right through the "hope & hugs" BS to be quite honest. It's not about being strong it is about being honest with yourself...oh and kindness wouldn't kill ya either shawn. Genuine kindness. Just sayin'.

shawn thewife said...

Joanna: Let's start over. Shall we?
Can we at least agree that each betrayed spouse needs to find the Road back to Happy that works for them? I am truly happy for any betrayed spouse that finds HER way to survive the trauma of infidelity.

Weak husbands running back to bitch wives?? I haven't heard many of those stories, but I'm sure they are out there. It takes all kinds, but that ain't the case here. Am I a bitch? I sure as hell can be, but Richard is not weak. There is no way a weak man would hold my interest. Maybe he was weak when his self esteem went in the crapper and he wallowed with Jaymie, but he's back and stronger than ever.

I'm sorry you feel I am short, shallow and insincere. I hate to admit it, but that kinda stings. Nobody knows better than me that you just can't please everyone and I am A-OK with that. If I wasn't I sure couldn't put my life out there for the world to dissect!

The real issue here is that I wish I would not have to justify my choices to you. I accept yours, but you challenge mine.
What's up with that??
Since you don't buy the Hope & Hugs BS....you won't get any.
I'll just say...Peace out, Sister! Shawn

BS said...

Joana:

You sound as if you are still very angry at your husband.

Most women I know who felt the need to divorce their cheater are happier afterwards.

Some men deserved to be divorced. Others, have changed and they deserve a second chance.

Why are you still angry, if you no longer respect him or care about him?

My first long term boyfriend cheated on me. I dumped him because he had too many other faults and we had no history, and honestly, I didn't love him enough to try to mend our relationship.

I was happy, when it was over, and we even later remained friends.

Also you were cheated on, so do you consider yourself a "bitch wife".

That phrase seems a bit odd to me, coming from a betrayed spouse?

Can you share your story with us to give some perspective about where you are coming from?

I can understand and relate to your anger at your spouse, but not your anger at betrayed spouses.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shawn: So hurry and post another one, ok? Geepers! or is it Jeepers?

Anyway - keep posting the negative comments too - love that - really, it shows character. If you just started - that's good - show's you are growing in your tolerance for other views. That's why I always go back to this one (yours) so quickly, as opposed to another blogger who NEVER posts any of my negative (about my husband not HER Club/blog - she really is some shithead, really - can't post my hatred to my husband about my husband or anything negative about my cheating ass husband when I comment - yet only allows sappy soupy happy comments from thankful wives that are working it out..=blah, blah, blah. ) Her husband cheated with everything and she can't handle me complaining about my cheating ass man? GOD! HATE her blog (and her now). My hate list grows...ah well, welcome to cheatersville.

Anyway - I have noticed you allow all sorts of different comments. Shows maturity. Shows character. And you at least keep politics out of it, I think. Hers is all (opposite of my politics) and her running or whatevers and oh, my H did cheat, gosh and all, and with men too, I guess, gosh and all and so and so in power is just evil and my H did cheat with everything and the other women (the women they cheat with) are really all crazy but I"m sane and such a good mom and such a great writer that all is good now. YUCK.

Get on with it Shawn - I need my real world fix here!!!!!! And though you are in happy now - YOU ARE AT LEAST REAL IN IT TOO! and you allow us non happies to comment. Poor other blogger - can only handle happy lovey dovey stuff now.... No wonder she is a "writer" - me too, you also - but we see the world for all - bad, good, and in between - not happy is the world that my cheater created and no one will oppose me, even if it has nothing to do me... Sorry - ranting. I need my Shawn fix!

Love your site!


And HURRY UP!!!! Gosh, it's like waiting for Game of Thrones or Walking Dead or something...come on already!

Anonymous said...

Hi annon again: I just read Joanna's post and I do agree with her a lot, but I don't agree that she should be reading your blog. I also read Surviving Infidelity and to me, if you are divorced and have moved on then you should be divorced and have moved on and that includes surviving infidelity (which is all about making those who stay feels like p*ssies) and your blog which is a very good story on what you did after you found out that your husband was not who he was pretending to be to your face. So, Joanna, I applaud you for leaving - yes, I believe you are much stronger than me and possibly have more money(how does anyone afford a divorce if you don't have $? and a lot of it) but I really hope you will stop reading these types of blogs and infidelity blogs. You got out - congrats -- now really get out and stop lagging behind on the internet of cheatersvilles...leave that for us, those in the here and now stilling in the relationships with the cheaters. Go on and have a life and enjoy!

And again, Shawn - HURRY UP, GEEPERS/JEEPERS! Or I'll quit you too and then I'll just be with the other losers on surviving infidelity! Uggghhhh. Should be called surviving infidelity with losers in loserville - ya, I'm going to it now....

BS said...

To Anonoymous:

The anonymous poster who wrote the last few posts.... the jeepers creepers posts.

You are expending way too much energy on hate. ....Hating everybody. It's not healthy.

Even hating your ex is not healthy. You are divorced. Move on to someone new and resolve to be happy.

Also IMO, when a person projects a certain type of energy they are far more likely to attract a larger percentage of people with that type of energy to themselves.

Lastly, maybe you are not aware of how you sound, but your comments are condescending to betrayed wives who have stayed.

Your hatred seems to be extended to someone who his lovey dovey and happy now. Maybe that is why she deletes your posts. I wouldn't but it's her blog.

I am trying hard to give you the benefit of the doubt but your misdirected hatred seems somewhat suspiscious.

Why do you hold so much hatred for a happy betrayed spouse. Because you are not. Why post on her board if you hate happy betrayed wives. Why subject yourself to that.

I used to visit a blog called "Chump Lady, where she insists that everyone leave their cheating spouse, no leeway.

Well, I stopped visiting, to much hatred there.

One of the rules of a strong relational union is to not share the normal negative things that happen in all marriages with in-person friends and acquaintances.

It can be very damaging to do that. It damages the union.

So, the intelligent betrayed wives and husbands, come to forums or blogs like these to share those issues with people anonymously.

BTW: I can afford to divorce and be quite well off.

My husband can afford to divorce, too, and still go on to earn an excellent income.

Most likely Shawn and others here will get a nice settlement if they divorce and the husbands' will be fine financially, too.

But even if I couldn't afford to divorce, I would find a way to divorce my husband if I were still unhappy with who he was.

I chose to stay because despite our problems, My husband is now a better husband than he has ever been.

I am sorry your husband didn't change, as has Shawn's and many of the betrayed spouses here, but why are you angry at us about that?

If you have a reason, please share it with us, so we can understand.

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: We should call you Jeepers!!
First...I wrote a new post. You asked, I tried to produce. I'm sorry I am not as prolific as I have been, but I've been a very busy lady living in the moment. Sometimes going back to THEN isn't at the top of my priority list. I'm doing exactly what you suggested, "Have a life and enjoy"! I wish the same for you.

About the anger and the hatred...that's not where you wanna be, is it? All that negative energy can suck the life out of you. Not sure whose blog you're talking about, but maybe that is why the writer blocked you. Unless you are directly cruel to another reader, I'll let you rant all you want here, but I don't think it will serve you well.
Surviving Infidelity shouldn't feel like a place for losers. It's should be a place to heal. Maybe you should try the Healing Heart instead. The link is at the bottom of my blog. No judgement there. OR...If you wanna share your story, you will find friends here. We'd love to help you find a smoother path on your Road to Happy.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn