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.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Needy Monster

Some of you may have noticed I have been absent for much of February.  I have been traveling for 12 days out of the last 20.  I'm not complaining (yet).  Much of my life on the road was for fun and I chose to go.  The last few days were for work.  All of the days included Richard.  Some included other family members and my friend and business partner, Nikki.

We have never left our home for so many days without the kids (who really aren't kids anymore) in such a short amount of time.  The first trip was to Colorado to ski.  Amazing, beautiful and colder than a witches tit.  The next home absence was to Vegas.  Sin City.  What happens there stays there...unless I write about it on my blog.

Who would have thought I'd find a massive crater on my relatively well paved Road to Happy on the 5th night we were in Vegas?? (which, by the way, is too effing long to be there) Right there on the casino floor at the Mirage.  Boom!  Tripped right into that sucker.  More accurately, I was pushed.

What made the crater?  Richard explained the following morning that it was too much booze and a run of bad luck at the tables.  I'm not so sure.  The needy, narcissistic monster may have been induced to show his hideous colors due to copious amounts of Beefeater martinis and beer, but me thinks the monster speaks from a deeper place.  And, if the Needy Monster ever goes to that place again...Shit, I can't even finish that thought.

The crater opened about an hour after dinner.  Richard was standing with my 100 year old grandpa, watching him play slots.  Grandpa LOVES the penny machines! Not too far away, I was trying to teach my mom to play Craps.  I have only recently dared to roll the dice, so I'm probably not the best choice for an instructor, but we enjoyed ourselves as we lost our money.

Mom and I were starting to yawn so we cashed in the few chips we had left and went to fetch Grandpa.   Mom takes him to bed and I go look for Richard.  He had moved on to Blackjack.  I told him I was gonna play a little video poker then head to bed.  Vegas had finally kicked my ass and I was exhausted.   He didn't even look up from his cards.  I got barely a nod and a curt, "Fine".

Ouch.  Chilly attitude.  Radar goes into alert mode.  Something was definitely up, but having a heart to heart on the casino floor at a blackjack table is usually frowned upon by the other players, the dealer and the pit boss, so I said, "Good luck" and moved on.  Made another deposit to the Bank of Mirage playing video poker and went up to our room.

The Needy Monster came up about an hour later.  I was still awake, lying in bed, watching the Olympics and scrolling through two days worth of friendly posts on Facebook.  The hotel room door opens and again, alarms sound in my head.  I proceeded with caution.
"How'd you do?"
"I lost."
"Bummer.  Sorry.  Did you at least have fun?"
"No.  I'm surprised you care."

HUH? Whoop!  Whoop!  Whoop!  BIG warning bells, flashing lights and instant adrenaline rush!  I didn't know it quite yet, but Richard had left the building!  The Needy Monster was in control and about to crawl in bed with me.
I had to ask over and over, "What is wrong with you?" "Please tell me what happened!"  "Did I do something to piss you off?"

Be careful what you ask for!  Finally, I get this, "Maybe you were right back when you found out about me and Jaymie.  Maybe you were right when you said you can't give me what I need."

Well..Fuck ME!  After 3 years, you've decided you NEED MORE?  The Needy Monster NEEDS more!!  More attention?  More adoration?  More what??
The Needy Monster felt ignored at dinner.  The Needy Monster felt invisible after dinner.  The Needy Monster feels like he isn't a priority in my life.

I learned something about myself right then.  The last 3 years have made me tough.  I didn't buckle when the Needy Monster hurled hurtful words at me.  I didn't lash out either.  Maybe because my initial reaction was disbelief, I wasn't able to process the words.  Or, maybe I processed the entire situation quickly enough to know, trying to have a productive conversation with a drunken Needy Monster is like trying to squeeze blood from a turnip.  After the last 3 years, I'm too smart to waste energy on something so futile.

So, I just said, "Really?  Spending all this time with me for the last two weeks finally enlightened you?  I think you need a visit to the lovely Dr. K."
Then, I rolled over and went to sleep.

In the morning, we both woke early.  I believe God ensures an early rise on days when we have over indulged the previous night.  He wants us to fully appreciate the consequences of excess.
Before I could even rise to go pee, Richard was back.  The Needy Monster must have slipped away, back into his hidey hole, while I slept.
Richard said, "I'm sorry about last night.  It was the booze and my bad luck.  I just felt like a loser."  He mumbled a bunch of other crap I didn't quite catch, all in a very contrite and apologetic tone.
I said I understood.  I thought we should let it go for the moment and try to enjoy our last day with the family in Vegas.  Again...So smart, right??  There is a right time to deal with the Needy Monster and it was NOT in the Mirage as we nursed well deserved hangovers.

Now, we're back home.  I fully intend to deal with the Needy Monster.  I thought the evil beast had been vanquished, but without my knowledge, the Monster has merely been in deep hibernation since DDay.  Guess my Monster radar ain't as good as I thought it was.  It surely needs a tune up.

I gotta wait for the weekend and a little private time, then I'm gonna try and flush the bastard out because I've learned another thing...I don't think the old adage "Once a cheater always a cheater" holds true, but I do believe this...what made the cheater become a cheater is more likely than not an ingrained character trait, hard wired, not acquired.  The fire in the belly of a narcissistic Needy Monster can be contained but not extinguished.  The Monster can be locked away but never eliminated.  If that assumption holds true, Richard, the Needy Monster and I have some serious craters on my Road to Happy to fill.

77 comments:

Steph said...

Hi Shawn. I am sooo sorry to hear about this monster. It is what I dread more than anything.

shawn thewife said...

Steph: I am being very rational about this little episode with the Needy Monster. It is something that must be addressed, but it doesn't have me overly concerned that Richard will cheat again.
The problem that does have me thinking too much is that Richard was intentionally cruel. His remark was meant to hurt me because in the Needy Monster's mind, I had hurt him by being neglectful.

That dog don't hunt in my house. I'm all about constructive communication. That's how you keep a marriage strong.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

BetterEveryDay said...

They say that alcohol can be a truth serum, but it is also a major depressant. I would encourage you two to get back into counseling just to figure out where the fuck that little meltdown of his came from; whether he was speaking from his heart, or just letting off a little pissy steam. Either way, that is not the kind of shit you need to be hearing.
Love you friend…
BetterEveryDay
(formerly Stephanie C.)

Steph said...

I believe you're right about the narcissistic traits behind these needy men. This is what I am always bringing up to my H and our MC. I believe that I didn't change. I am still the loving hard working wife and mother I have always been. I admit after 26 years together we were not as intimate as often as he would like but we were still having sex, loving and caring to each other with lots of weekends away to rekindle the spark and spend quality time alone.

. So.. I ask myself if I didn't change and I am the person he didn't mind cruelly screwing over by fucking another mans wife then why does he now protest to loving me more than ever! Telling me he would NEVER do his again.

I just can't get it through my head that he had it within his needy monster mind that his need to feel that lust and " nervous excitement" he got from hooking up with a stranger in public places was worth throwing away our marriage and family for.

It must be a pretty strong "need" to be willing to do this for.
In my case, my H didn't "love" the OW. She just answered a craigslist ad for someone to "talk" to. She was giving him a blow job on the golf course at the end of our street within 2 weeks of meeting him.
I now realize she is just as much a narcissistic monster as he is. She has 6 kids and has been married 25 years as well. Isn't the attention from 6 pregnancies a bit narcissistic as well? She said she was "lonely too".
I have no doubt she has done this before based on her H's response to my detailed email of the 6 mths of screwing my H.

Sorry started ranting....

Anyway I do believe that this trait is born to these people and the need to be the centre of attention and loved by all is ingrained. So how do we protect ourselves and have some sense of peace that it won't happen again?

I hope you can get an honest answer from Richard when you discuss it with your MC.
If what he " needs" is a college kid to worship him and give him as much sex as he wants, anywhere he wants then how do you compete?

BS said...

Shawn:

People who have affairs obviously have immature coping mechanisms.

With that said, alcohol in excess, and I believe it's free at casinos, so people drink more, can make an otherwise nice or happy person quite nasty.

I once read somewhere that is why alcohol was referred to as "spirits", because it changed the personality in some so much that it was as if they were possessed by spirits.

I wonder if he drank a lot when with Jaymie and that allowed him to go over the line.

Also, add to that a vacation with the in-laws.

Some people can handle this, but many can't particularly one that has immature coping mechanisms.

Also, He may have felt that you parked your 100 year old relative with him and seeing an old man might have flashed his future before is eyes.

Mature people can handle that, and immature one can't.

A lot of men have affairs because they fear getting older. Spending too much time with a 100-year-old in-law may have awakened all his fears of aging and becoming a feeble old man.

Not sayin' it's an excuse, just a reason.

Anyway, I really don't see his reaction, given the alcohol and the in-laws, all that odd.

And, he did apologize, when he was sober.

I think people need to be able to feel comfortable expressing their fears to their spouse. And even be able to feel comfortable getting pissy once and while, in front of the spouse.

In my opinon, I would rather have my husband lash out at me then do something passive aggressive. I think it's healthier.

Done with drama said...

YOU can't give him what HE needs!! Wow, just wow. So, he can have a crappy night and his first reflex is to bring up the affair and throw shade at you? Big red flag right there. When people tell you who they are, believe them.

Betsy said...

Ok so do you want the good or the bad first? Haha. Ok bad first. I'm going to try and contain myself, but here goes nothing. I CAN'T EFFIN BELIEVE THAT AFTER 3 EFFIN YEARS HE HAS THE AUDACITY TO EVEN SAY THE J WORD LET ALONE THAT BE THE MAIN THING THAT WAS BOTHERING HIM! UN EFFING BELIEVABLE! He's got Jaymie on the mind, not only while he's on vaca, but while he's drinking? Oh no no no. If my hubby ever dares says the "K" word ever again or even brings her up ever again, best believe, I will be filing.

Now do you want the good? The good is you didn't blow up and you handled things great, however...yes there is a however....however, I question your calmness. Is it just another way to manipulate Richard? What I mean by that is, here he is bringing her up, 3 years later, ON EFFING VACATION (sorry that really gets me) and if you blow up and go crazy town on him again, he might just leave for good. So were you cool as a cucumber so he wouldn't leave?

That is what I worry about the most with you Shawn. Are you staying with Richard for Richard or are you staying with Richard to control Richard? The drama just seems never ending & too exhausting for my taste. Maybe it's the drama that fuels you both. No idea, but I personally couldn't live that way. Best of luck. Thanks for sharing. I hope he never says her name again. UN EFFING ACCEPTABLE!

shawn thewife said...

Steph: What Richard needs is another trip to the lovely Dr. K. He doesn't want Jaymie. Sometimes he just needs to be the center of attention.
That's his problem and he is going to deal with it.
There's no competition between me and someone else. If anything...he is competing for MY attention.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

BS: One thing you noted is TOTALLY accurate. Richard told me when he was with Jaymie he was almost ALWAYS intoxicated. He had to be to quiet his guilty mind.

One thing that is way off base is the relationship Richard has with my family. They are HIS family, too. He is as close to them as I am.
I think Richard was being honest when he said it was too much gin and too much losing that made him turn nasty. Weird thing is....he has NEVER been cruel. Even when he cheated he "never meant to hurt me". (we've all heard that one, right?)
I told him that was what threw me for a loop. He was intentionally trying to hurt me.
He feels awful about it and knows he probably set us back 6 months or more.
Hey...no one said this reconciliation thing would be easy!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Done with Drama: I know. Total asshole move by Richard. The only saving grace...he knows he was an asshole, too.
No marriage is always hunky dory. All marriages have rough patches. This is one of ours.
We will do our best to work through it. We've come way too far to bail because of a bad night in Vegas!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Betsy: I hear ya. I get it. His remark was off the charts shitty. I'm with ya...for the most part.

I want Richard to say the "J" word if she is ever on his mind. I wanna know!! I wanna know when he is pissy. I wanna know when he feels needy. I wanna know!!! The reason he cheated before was that he was so damn conflict avoident that I had no clue he felt anything but happy. He was sinking into a pity party hole and I couldn't help him because I didn't KNOW! That will not happen again on my watch.
Now...if I want him to talk to me, openly and honestly, I need to be ready to hear that something might be looking a little scary on my Road to Happy. I gotta be prepared to listen and process it all calmly.
Why would he come to me if I freak out and jump down his throat when he tries to open up, even if he does it very badly??
I feel confident that I did the right thing. I wasn't calm to manipulate him. I was calm to encourage him to continue communicating with me. It worked. He and I had a very productive discussion last night. Sometimes shitty actions can become learning moments.
LOL! I'm really proud of me!! I sound like Dr. Phil!!
Thanks for checking in and making me think. You are all so good at that!!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

BetterEveryDay: Love your new screen name!

You hit the nail on the head...WHERE did the meltdown come from?? To really find out, I had to approach this incident with more control than I usually can muster!
Richard wants to know, too. He wants to go back to the lovely Dr. K and talk about it. He knows he has needy tendencies. He wants to understand why he can't beat that pitiful dog down.
This may just become a really "aha" moment for him.
Love you back!!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Betsy said...

Of course you want Richard to say tell you if he is thinking of Jaymie or feels the need to say her name. However, why the in the hell is he saying it 3 years post DDay is the question? Huge red flags for me as well. Is he cheating again? Possibly or possibly not. Maybe he sat next to Don Juan @ the BJ tables with a few girls and had another mini mid life crisis moment again, lol. Even if he was feeling like a drunk loser, what does that have to do with you? You were busy entertaining family! I would think most hubbys would want their space on vaca in a place like Vegas. Either way after all you have been through, this sitch doesn't sit right in my stomach. I can't wait to hear what Dr. K says. I hope you update us.

Anonymous said...

Shawn,

I have to wonder if it is subconsciously about control. One thing with my husband was that when he was out-of-control, it was by his decision and his decision alone and this made him weirdly feel like he had a sense of control. One of the things we've been working on, as I see in you and Richard, is this idea that we need to be "lovingly assertive" with all that is on our minds. This lets both of us feel like we have some say in the issue at hand and some control. Now, I'm not saying he gets a pass on anything from the past, because he most certainly does not. If something is on my mind, he knows he needs to listen and respond lovingly, patiently and with compassion. Still, it is so important that they never again allow themselves to wallow in self-pity as I truly believe that was the road toward hell. I think that taking power any way he could, as he too was conflict avoidant and this was his way of asserting control. Clearly, it is not that simple, but it is definitely a component.

TL xx

DoneWithDrama said...

So if the monster can't be contained, are you going to spend the rest of your life trying to fill in these crators? If a few more of these monster moments appear, are you finally going to throw in the towel? When is enough going to be enough? I showed a friend your blog and he asked, is this couple into sado masochism because it seems like they love the torture of not letting each other go. I said I don't know maybe they are addicted to their own drama.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shawn:

The needy monster thing is a red flag, here's why: My ex cheated on me with his ex wife which was DDay #1. I put an end to that mess. A year later he cheats again with a girl he met out on a service tech job DDay #2. Once again I put an end to that. Another year goes by & he was acting exactly how you said Richard was acting this weekend. Distant, short with his answers, a bit of a tude. One day I went to snuggle him on the couch and he didn't want to cuddle and was bothered that I even tried. I asked him why had he been acting this way? He comes home, plops himself in front of the TV and barely talks to me. He claimed that I was constantly in the computer room online and I only came out for his attention when I wanted it, not when he wanted it. But during that time, he never wanted attention so what the frick was he talking about? So here he was turning the tables on me, making it seem like he was the poor needy monster and I never pay any attention to him when it was the exact opposite. I never suspected an affair (at that time) but I knew I didn't want to live like that. So I finally left the relationship. Funny how 4 months after we ended the relationship he started a relationship with totally different woman (who was married). She worked in the same building as us. During those "needy monster" months, I could never figure out why this woman @ our work would give me dirty looks when she'd step in our office. A decade later him and I have moved on and are still friends. He swears up and down he wasn't in a relationship with her during his "needy monster" episodes, but I am a smart woman and I know better. They actually ended up having a 5 year relationship. Richard might be as "needy" as he is claiming. Might be something else going on. Might not be infidelity but whatever it is, it might have nothing to do with you not paying attention to him.

Rob said...

MY WIFE INTRODUCED ME TO YOUR BLOG AND I'VE READ A GOOD CHUNK OF IT, BUT WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, LET THE MONSTERRRRRRRRRR GOOOOOOO ALREADYYYYYYYYYYYYY. GENTLY, PUT YOUR MARRIAGE OUT OF YOUR OWN MISERY AND LET GOOOOOOO FOR F*CKS SAKES! I'M RIPPING MY HAIR OUT AS I TYPE, LOL!

shawn thewife said...

Thanks for your concern, Peeps, but one night with the Needy Monster doesn't really equate to bailing on 3 years of positive reconciliation! 3 YEARS! Half of that harder than anything I've ever done!
No way I throw in the towel because of one drunken night. No way. Truth is...for almost a full year now, my life has been easy, happy, dare I say sublime?? I feel blessed to have survived my time in Crazy Town with my marriage intact.
I don't know how to reassure you that I do not live with blinders anymore. I don't think any betrayed spouse can after DDay. I saw this visit from the Monster with eyes wide open. I confronted the monster. I didn't back away into the Land of Denial. I'm on it! AND...more importantly, Richard is on it. He is aware of the damage he caused that night.
We all have A Monster inside of us. Some are Needy, some are Selfish, some are Controlling, some are Passive Aggressive...the list is endless. None of us is without demons.
I believe in this quote: The trick to love and marriage is not to find the "perfect person". We come to love by seeing an imperfect person perfectly.
I see Richard perfectly. I feel that is one thing I have gained out of all the trauma. I don't enjoy the drama...but I learn from it all. I see our life together perfectly.
Now, I expect Richard to spend the time he needs to deal with the Monster. He wants to understand why he let the Monster out. He hates that he was cruel. You're gonna have to trust me on this one.
Or, like me, learn to trust but verify! Verification will be forthcoming right here on my blog!!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

DonewithDrama: Like I said above...this one night with the Needy Monster is no reason to throw in the towel. With good reason I fully believe that the Monster can be contained. I believe it because for the major majority of the time since DDay, Richard has worked his ass off to atone for his monstrous mistakes!
Please let your friend know, I have NO interest in drama, or playing the martyr or masochism. I am into realism. My reality is I have been hurt, but I have grown from it. Richard has, too. We now understand how to work together to keep our marriage strong.
Marriage is not always easy, especially after DDay, but usually worth the effort due to the great reward of the deep appreciation felt for what could have been lost.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

TL: "Lovingly assertive". Awesome.
For us...it's constructive and productive communication. I am all about honesty and complete transparency, too...of course!

I get the control thing, but I don't think that's what it was for Richard. He thought he "deserved" a mistress. Self entitlement, much??
That part of him was so foreign to me. The Richard I know and love is generous, and thoughtful and a real softy. His ego begat the Needy Monster. I know he hates the Monster as much as I do. I also know he is more afraid of the Monster than I am.
Thanks for sharing some of your story.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

ROB!! RELAX!! IT'S GONNA BE OK! LEAVE YOUR HAIR IN YOUR SCALP! LOL!

My blog only shares snippets of my life NOW. The misery was THEN. My life NOW is better than I ever could have imagined. Did the Needy Monster freak me out with his very sudden and unexpected appearance? You bet. Did it scare me away? Hell, no. We survived Crazy Town. We can beat the fucking Monster back into submission. Piece of cake.

BUT THANKS FOR YOUR CONCERN!!!!
HOPE & HUGS, SHAWN!!!

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: You have a good point. I don't think the appearance of the Monster has anything to do with me. Richard has already said as much. He knows the Monster belongs solely to him.
He is more than ready to do the work needed to lock that fucking Monster up again. He is completely aware of what he nearly lost because of not dealing with the Monster before. He won't let it happen again.
Thanks for your thoughts,
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

marlo jenkins said...

I am in shock he brought her up as well, Vegas or not. She should not even be a spec of a thought after 3 years. I agree with the people who mentioned Shawn staying for control. All I see is excuses excuses excuses and more excuses for staying with Richard in the replies. Maybe a co-dependency meeting would suit both Shawn and Richard at this point. I would even consider on a good healthy seperation at this point just to see how it feels. Teaching your children to stay in unhealthy and unhappy situations for your own personal control and co-dependency issues is hurting them, not helping them. I've read more negative than positive on this blog. Three years worth of pain and agony. You can pretend that the road to happy exists for you and Richard, but it doesn't and at this point I am having my doubts that it ever will. You will have "won" this battle when you realize it is ok to let go, because it in fact is ok to let go.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shawn, I am 4 weeks from finding out my husband has had an affair for over a year... It was his assistant surgeon they clearly had a torrid affair and she professes
To be deeply in love with him and he with her. They used his office to have there liaisons and the kicker is I work in the office running his practice. I am heart broken and angry I cry and shout. My children ages 22 21 and 16 won't have a bar of him. He says he's sorry and will never do it again (his phrase is he had rocks in his head) I don't really believe him I think he is only worried about loosing over half of what we have.

BS said...

Shawn the wife wrote: "I get the control thing, but I don't think that's what it was for Richard. He thought he "deserved" a mistress. Self entitlement, much??

That part of him was so foreign to me. The Richard I know and love is generous, and thoughtful and a real softy. His ego begat the Needy Monster. I know he hates the Monster as much as I do. I also know he is more afraid of the Monster than I am."

I agree with those thoughts.

Yes, as you said marriage is hard work and it's about seeing the imperfections in others.

If Richard hadn't worked so hard to understand himself, I might say let him go.

But don't let him go because he was drunk and tired and felt like a gambling loser and got a little pissy with you.

Communication is a good thing.

Also, I really have to laugh at all these women who think their husbands are faithful who advise betrayed spouses to dump their husbands post haste.

I am willing to wager a lot of these women's husands have had at least one brief affair, at least once cheated in some way, but never got caught.

If I had not received anonymous letters, my husband would not have been caught.

Most successful Alpha men do feel entitled to affairs, it's in our culture.

A beta male may be less likely to have an affair at some point in the marriage, even at mid-life, but I am not attracted to beta males

After my spouse, whom I thought would never ever cheat, did cheat, a friend insisted I leave him. This same friend also crowed about how her husband would never cheat and if he did she would leave him immediately.

Like me, she trusts her husband and gives him lots of free time out with friends.

Well fast forward a year later, She gets an anonymous letter outlining her husbands numerous one nighters and brief affairs. She is incredulous, but confronts him.

Guess what, the anonymous letters were true and they contained so many accurate verifiable details that he had to finally confess.

Like my grandma used to say, "men grow old, but they never grow up"

My husband is accountable for his time these days, He knows I don't trust him 100 percent and that I am more than willing to verify any facts that perturb me if need be.

My husband regrets his affair.

So, Richard got cranky, and he acted out, and he apologized the very next morning.

I prefer my husband to be honest about his feelings rather than hiding them and passive aggressively striking out later.

IMO, Richard's honesty is a good thing.

BS said...

Anonymous wrote: "He says he's sorry and will never do it again (his phrase is he had rocks in his head) I don't really believe him I think he is only worried about loosing over half of what we have."


Anonymous:

I have a surgeon friend who divorced his wife because she had numerous affairs and continued to have them after dday.

He told me he wasn't worried about giving her half in the divorce. He said the easiest thing for him as a surgeon, was to simply earn more money.

Given that she repeatedly cheated again after dday, he was too unhappy to stay.

I really sincerely doubt that any successful accomplished man would stay in a marriage simply because he is afraid of losing half of his assets.

In fact, I don't think any man who was unhappy in his marriage and in love with another women would stay in an unhappy marriage,either....Not just for money.

Conversely, I have a female acquaintance who was caught cheating on her husband. He was angry, but gave her one more chance to reform. She did.

She is very remorseful, and has told me many times, she can't imagine what the heck she was thinking when she had the affair.

Like most men she said she was lured in by the numerous insincere compliments and the insincere adoration this man offered her.

She said it came at a time in her life when she was feeling poorly about her lack of accomplished life goals. She also admits she has always been less mature than her husband.

She deeply regrets it and is ashamed.

She insists she will never cheat again, and I am quite convinced by her present behaviors that she will not.

She feels being caught gave her a kick into adulthood and maturity like no other life lesson.

shawn thewife said...

Marlo! You could not be more off base!
First...the only thing my kids learned from the past 3 years is that a broken marriage can be saved. The first year, which is what I usually write about, was completely unproductive in my recovery because I wasn't ready. I couldn't let Jaymie go. The kids did see me as a red hot mess for much of that first year. They also saw their dad take total responsibility for the mess and work his ass off to save our family.

The past 18 months have been some of the happiest of my entire marriage, mostly affair issue free. Even daily triggers are at a minimum.
The Vegas incident just reminded me that NO ONE should take a very happy marriage for granted. You gotta be alert for red flags and warning lights that need to be acknowledged and addressed.

It has not been 3 years of pain and agony. The first year after DDay was all that and more, but since around the 18 month mark, I have been walking forward on my Road to Happy. I've come across a speed bump and a few craters from time to time, but they barely slowed my pace for more than a few days.
There's no pretending here. I'm not afraid to be alone. I WAS afraid to be vulnerable, but I found a way to conquer that fear and truly BE in my marriage again.
I may not change your point of view about me and that's OK. I do hope other readers get that affair recovery will affect your marriage forever, but that doesn't mean you won't be happy, maybe happier than before DDay.
We know what we almost lost. We wanna be together forever so we don't sweep anything under the rug. When, once in a great while, we find a pothole or crater, we face it head on...together. If you don't think that is worth fighting for, we're just gonna have to agree to disagree.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous 4 weeks out from DDAY:

I know how ridiculously hard the first few months after DDay are. The worst pain , the confusion, the anger and utter disbelief sap all your strength.
I can only tell you that it will get better, but it is gonna take a long damn time. Please don't make any life altering decisions right now. It is nearly impossible to think straight until around 6 months after DDay. That isn't a time frame set in stone, merely a guideline.
For now, it's all about taking care of you. What do you need to help you feel safe? Will your wayward husband (WH) give you total transparency? Has he ended all contact with the other woman (OW)?
If he willingly gives you all he can to show true remorse, which for me includes lots of marriage counseling (MC), then you have time to focus on your recovery.
You're not alone. You can write here, on the Healing Heart message boards, that link is at the bottom of my blog or email me from my profile page.
For now...just breathe and take care of you.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

TryingHard said...

In vino veritas???

Missy said...

Shawn, I get it.You know your husband like no one else does.I'm glad you didn't get upset & I'm gladder you're taking your own time with this.I think you & Richard are still on track. You've just had a bit of a derailment. I don't have a blog but I see it's sort of like telling a friend your darkest,most painful secret & getting advice & judgment when you only wanted an ear & support.

shawn thewife said...

Trying Hard: I do not discount "In Vino Veritas". (in wine there is truth) I put that right out there for Richard. He said maybe there was some truth to the remark and if that is the case...I needed to know. I don't want him to ever feel like he is not a HUGE priority in my life.
What he really needs to work on with the lovely Dr.K is why he had to be cruel to let me know? He has never been cruel to me and he and I both agree...that remark was damn nasty.
In Vino Veritas...sometimes. Drunks aren't always truthful, but they are usually stupid!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Missy: Thank you for the support!!
I put my life out there knowing full well I'm gonna get an ear-full! That works for me. My readers make me think. If I couldn't handle lots of alternative opinions, I sure as hell shouldn't write a very public blog!
Your vote of confidence made my day.
So appreciated!!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

All of those commenters with advice for you to give it up should give it up! I agree with Shawn and BS...one bad communication doesn't justify quitting. though it was a failed attempt at communicating his needs, I also see it as progress over the time of the affair where he neglected the opportunity to say something before he made a terrible mistake. one step forward to communicate at all...two steps forward when the communication is mutually respectful and well received. My only question, if my husband would have said this, would have been to ask him to clarify if he meant to imply that Jaymie could meet his needs. That he mentioned her name in the same sentence that he said that maybe you couldn't meet his needs would need further explanation for me. for those that say that alcohol is a truth serum....I say PLEASE! We all have an inner child...scared, needy, immature. I think that we usually filter those thoughts through the other, more dominant parts of us. I think drinking only causes us to lose the filter that prevents that inner child from expressing itself. those moments are!'t necessarily more true to oneself than when we live the other 364 days of the year with integrity and consistent with our values. you and Richard give me hope!

Dawna said...

I'm sooo sorry he mentioned Jaymie's name while you were in Las Vegas after coming so far in recovery. That has got to be painful and I don't seem to have any words for it. You certainly seem to be taking it very lightly, more lightly than I would. Any word on what Dr. K has to say about it? How many affairs have you stuck around for? If he cheats again are you going to forgive again?

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: The vote of confidence is appreciated. I'm glad we can give you some hope. Hope is what lights the Road to Happy.
I don't share all the good things that have happened to us the past year. Maybe I should. If it can give others working on reconciling then hope, then it would be worthwhile.
I need to remember to share the amazing, loving, thoughtful things Richard does for me and not just reach out to my readers when I fall into a pothole.
At the beginning of 2013, I posted about looking for the good in everyday, but I never followed up. Maybe that's a good topic for my next post. We can all try to share something good our wayward spouses have done for us NOW and let the pain of THEN take a backseat for a bit.
Wadda ya think?
Lots of Hope and Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Dawna and Other Reconciliation Doubters: If the reason some of you are truly concerned about this incident is the fact that Richard said Jaymie's name...I gotta admit...he may not have. I know I quoted him as saying the name of the one who shall not be mentioned, but I was telling the story and typing away not really considering how important getting Richard's words exactly right may be. For me, the content of what he expressed was critical, not how he said it.

I wrote that he said this: "Maybe you were right back when you found out about me and Jaymie. Maybe you were right when you said you can't give me what I need."
It may have been something more like this: Maybe you were right after you found out about the affair......" I don't think he said her name at all. He never does. Even if I bring her up, which I haven't for a long time, he never says her name. It's almost like if he does, he may have to wash his mouth out with soap. He HATES what he did, loathes how he hurt me and because he really is a decent guy, he feels very badly for how he lied to Jaymie and dumped her without looking back.
AS HE SHOULD!

So...this reply is to all of the commenters and readers that are bent out of shape because Richard MAY have said the forbidden word "JAYMIE", it's a non-issue, People!
The important piece of this puzzle is does Richard feel neglected? If so, why could he not express that to me when sober and in a kinder fashion?
That's the key.
HER name has nothing to do with it.

Now, DAWNA: To answer your questions, haven't seen Dr. K yet. I'm hoping Richard will make the appointment on his own. He's very busy at work as we have been traveling. I'm gonna give him a week and then bring it up if he doesn't make an appointment before.
I have only stuck around for one DDay and a few months of trickle truth. Richard admitted to 3 other affairs/one night stands during our 30 year marriage as the WHOLE truth came out after I found out about Jaymie.
So for me, I have only stayed through this ONE DDay.
You ask would I forgive again? I haven't forgiven this time. Nope. No forgiveness from me. It's just a word and he doesn't deserve to be forgiven. I accept what happened and I believe it will never happen again. Good enough for me.
If by forgive...you mean would I stay if he cheated again......yikes. That's a toughie. I've learned that stating any possible definitive decisions about future choices of any kind is a fool's folly.
Here's a quote I love: Human's plan. God laughs.
Day by day, Sweetie. Day by Day.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

TryingHard said...

Shawn
We BS are always wondering what our CS are thinking. Sometimes the liquor loosens their tongues. We should be careful what we ask for :)

After my H had a colonoscopy and he was still drugged he said "TryingHard, I love you so much. Can't you just please let me have my girlfriends too???? You'd like them!!!" Wanted to fucking choke the life out of him!!!

You'll get past this. Builds character.

Haters go to hate and boy they are sure here on your blog!!

Hugs to you too

BS said...

Trying hard said:

"In vino Veritas"



Hi Trying hard:

Wine lowers inhibitions, but it is not a reliable truth serum.

In fact there is no scientifically validated, as reliable, truth serum. Otherwise the CIA and courts would use it all the time.

There are drugs that lower inhibitions, but they do not always induce the subject to tell the truth. They do however induce the subject to do crazy things. Things that may be out of character or things they would never consider doing when sober.

Drunks are uninhibited and they get sloppy, stubborn and stupid. Stupid doesn't equate to truth.

Google it?

On the other hand psychologists speak of "normal marital hatred".

Apparently it is very normal to occasionally hate your spouse or anyone else you love dearly.

There is a book called "the passionate marriage" by David Schnarch.

It discusses "normal marital hatred at length.

It is a extremely normal occurrence. And to acknowledge it is considered healthy and enlightened.

Most people however are uncomfortable admitting that they occasionally feel moments of hatred toward a spouse.

They may be so uncomfortable with that thought that they will never even admit it or may never be consciously aware of it.

BS said...

Trying hard wrote:

After my H had a colonoscopy and he was still drugged he said "TryingHard, I love you so much. Can't you just please let me have my girlfriends too???? You'd like them!!!" Wanted to fucking choke the life out of him!!!


Trying hard:

Next time your hubby says something so stupid.

Ask him if he would be okay with you two having an open marriage so you can have some fun, too?

I offered that option to my own husband and he was definitely not interested in me having sidepieces, too.

I told my husband that sex with someone new sounds intriguing and exciting and I might like it.

Like me, my husband doesn't want to share his spouse.

Still, that statement from your hubby is quite a bit different than what Richard said.

If Richard doesn't feel as if he is a priority in Shawn's agenda, he should tell Shawn. But he also needs to see Dr. K to understand why he is so needy.

Sometimes other people have to come first to Shawn, in the moment. I.E. Shawn's parents and granddaddy.

DoneWithDrama said...

Excuses, excuses, backtracking and more excuses. Who said leaving was "giving up"? Personally I think staying with a needy monster who has cheated 4 times (regardless of how many DDays) is giving up...you are "giving up" on YOU. I would not be saying this if Jaymie was his only affair, but FOUR total? Come on & he's a decent man? Oh & the icing on the cake is that you have not forgiven him!!! But unforgiving, you stay? WHY? Do you have no effing self respect? What are you teaching your daughter? Let's all vote: who thinks Shawn should change her title to: A Year After The Excuses or perhaps A Year After Staying For Control. Keep living trapped in your own prison waiting for that "road to happy." And when the needy monster rears it's ugly head again or perhaps another OW comes along...don't say I told ya so.

BS said...

Done with Drama:

I vote that Shawn stay.

I don't believe she is making excuses. She is being realistic.

Why?

Because changing men is not a guarantee another man will not cheat or hasn't already cheated in past relationships.

I have four brothers, and 12 male cousins, and they all insist that ALL men cheat, or will cheat if given easy opportunity. They all say that all the men they know will do it at least once. And, if caught they will try to lie about it, unless shown proof positive.

Later, If they feel ashamed or regret the hurt they see in their betrayed spouse they will stop. A lot of the men, they say, once caught will never cheat again.

But it's difficult for any many to turn down a quick and dirty fukk or even an easily offered long term sleazy opportunity. Sadly the sleaze adds to the excitement for some. And, yes they may even tell the easy eff, that they lover her to keep her chomping at the bit for more.

As mentioned, If I had not received anonymous letters, I would never have known my husband was in an affair. I am willing to wager a lot of people, men and women are married to spouses who have cheated or are cheating but have simply not been caught.

Also, an attractive wealthy man is a bigger target for women looking for men to spend money on them.

One problem is that there are too many cheap and easy women who are willing to sneak around dating married men.

And, also there are too many naive honest trusting spouses who once gave these men too much freedom.

These women dating married men have no respect for themselves or other women. And, it is easier for those type of women to get a more attractive married male, than a single one.

When I was single, I turned down numerous offers from married men looking for a side piece.

I had too much self respect and there were just too darn many attractive wealthy single men available who were asking for dates.

Just as now, I have too much self respect to engage in a revenge affair to show my spouse how it feels to know your spouse is cheating.

So, I have to wonder what is up with women who date married men?

Can't they get dates with attractive wealthy single men?

I think not.

When I was single the few acquaintances I knew who confessed to dating married men, were typically not very attractive, or marketable women.

If they were, they would have had plenty of single men to choose from.

TryingHard said...

BS

Very good points. You are right drugs and alcohol does make people stupid and loosens their tongues. When my H made that statement he was drugged from the procedure. It was about 2 months into our recovery. It was certainly something he would NOT have said had he not be drugged induced! I did tell him he said that and I offered up just what you suggested. He said the same as your H. I didn't take it too seriously but there is NO denying the fact that he did, at one time, have a girlfriend and he obviously liked it!!

I like the idea of part of a passionate marriage it the hate factor. I've certainly felt it but you are right we want to eschew that feeling right away. I'm sure he's felt and no doubt it was very strong during his affair.

LOL just what I need, another self help book :) I'll try it though.

You've made great thinking and talking points. Appreciate the response.

MrsX said...

Hi Shawn,
Friday is my one year anniversary to D Day,, the day I wish never happened and changed my life forever. I find myself reliving each step, each day, trying to remember what we said and the fights we had. I found your blog in the months following D Day and it has helped me to realize I am not the only person in Crazy Town,,, I have neighbors and they are nice and understanding... Although our situations are very different the out come is pretty much the same. My husband things I should be over this by now but I feel completely different... although his affair was emotional and hadn't turned physical I am sure it would have if I hadn't found out. as it was he was ready to leave me for a girl he never even laid a finger on... they work together 9 hours a day,, so much more communication than I had with him. I called her out instantly and also let her fiancé's mother in on her secret. they continue to work at the same place now... although she has transferred to a different dept., she still visits his. He swears that she doesn't talk to him or look his way. I am a social media stalker and I sometimes sit in his parking lot at work just waiting for her to come out. When I get a moment of rationalization I leave because I know if I see her the out come will not be good. I don't know when the trust comes back but it's no where around me. I still cry all the time and the triggers, well they are endless. I always said if anything like this was to happen I would toss him out, but yet I haven't, I am more afraid that I will never be able to move on and let it go of the anger, pain and resentment.
Anyway, thank you for being so open and honest in this blog, it sure has made me laugh and cry.. I don't know what my state of mind will be come Friday, I have already been drowning my sorrows since this whole thing happened so I imagine I will be there again......

shawn thewife said...

DoneWithDrama: First...I would never say,"I told you so." I think you meant to type "don't say I didn't tell you so". Right? If so...I promise, I won't say that either.

Next, Who said leaving was "giving up"?? You put that in quotes. If I said that, I only meant it in regards to me. I said I wouldn't "throw in the towel" (meaning walk away from 31 years of marriage) for one lousy remark. There has been so much more wonderful than hurtful in the past year. No comparison.

I don't focus on what happened 20 years ago. I'm a "what have you done for me lately?" kind of girl.
The past year has been one of the best Richard and I have ever shared. I am so grateful that I survived my time in Crazy Town and that I CHOSE to do the work to heal my marriage.

I have a huge amount of self-respect, thanks for asking. I'm pretty sure it was a rhetorical question and you really don't give a shit about my answer, so I feel no need to elaborate on why I think I'm one very smart, confidant, tough cookie. The icing on the REALITY cake is I am surrounded by lots of people that love me.

I will not judge you for choosing to leave your wayward spouse. Why must you judge...not just judge...you ridicule me...for choosing to stay? Perhaps you aren't as happy with your choice as I am and that makes you a tad jealous or bitter?
I hope not. I truly hope you are happy with your choice. I only wish you could also be happy for mine.

AND...one more thing...no need to worry about my daughter. As a matter of fact, please don't ever comment on her again. She is fine. She is amazing. She is strong...like her mom.
I send you Hope...but I don't feel like you deserve a hug, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

(((Mrs.X)))
Your situation is so familiar to me. You're stuck in time. Stuck with your pain.
At the 1 year anti-versary of my DDay, I couldn't get out my own way. I was stuck, too. I had to shift my thinking. Writing this blog helped.
I had to learn to focus on NOW. What is your WH doing for you NOW? If he thinks you should "be over it", he's not doing enough and that could be one reason why you can't begin to heal. Infidelity, emotional or physical, change our lives FOREVER!!

A good place to begin your recovery is to Let the OW go. Don't look at her FB page, don't watch her from your car...don't give her one more ounce of you! She is not worth it. Take back your life. She can not help you heal. Please let her go.

Your healing is all about you and your WH.
I hope you're in MC. It would be great if you could get IC, as well. It really helps to have someone guide you to the starting line of your Road to Happy. Once you find a path that feels safe, CHOOSE to move forward. You gotta own it, Sister.
You are not alone. Please remember we understand...totally! Come here any time you need support. Also...please consider checking out the message boards that showed me the way to my Road to Happy, The Healing Heart. The link is at the bottom of my blog.
Friday will come, and then it will go. Do something good for you. Take time for you. It's just another day. It has no power over you.

Time is your friend. The pain lessens with each passing day...so let this day pass and feel better on Saturday.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

BS said...



For Trying hard:

If you don't want to have to read another book, and I can't say I blame you. :)

Here is a link to Dr. Schnarch's website that explains what he calls "normal marital Sadism" an offshoot of "normal marital hatred."

http://crucible4points.com/normal-marital-sadism-0

It might help and you won't have to read the book to get the main drift.

I always thought it was kinda' normal to occasionally hate or want to punish someone you love dearly for a real or imagined transgression.

It's okay as long as it's temporary and it doesn't turn into a long held grudge.

Some people don't realize that, though. So just thought I would mention it.

IMO, learning that "normal marital sadism and hatred" if occasional, is normal makes us all feel.......well..more normal about it.

Understanding this, seemed to help my husband a lot.

Anonymous said...

Shawn,

Wayward spouse's who truly want to heal the marriage and the Betrayed Spouse, start to think of our needs and only our needs - to help us heal, love and trust again. And, though, this is skewing the pendulum in the opposite direction from they way they were before (all about their own "needs"), it is necessary. At some point, equilibrium must take root and both people must be thinking about what I can give, not what I can get from this relationship.

I think the key to healing the relationship is for each partner to realize that your partner is not there for the sake of meeting your needs. Each partner should be thinking about what to give, not what to get. Understandably, the betrayed spouse gets a lot of leeway on this for the years they need to heal. But, the wayward spouse lost the luxury of having such leeway the moment they betrayed their vows.

I hope Dr. K can help Richard find the source of his self-pity, as I have found that self-pity is the core of the rationalizations used to justify the unjustifiable.

Lots of love and best wishes to you and Richard.

- IMHO

Jenna said...

I vote go. Richard is a conflict avoidant passive aggressive serial cheater and shawn you enable it like a bad drug habit. They say spouses that stay with PAPD's go back and forth from playing the victim, the rescuer, and persecutor. A lot of these posts you can see where she is playing either one. On a Dr Phil episode, a husband was complaining that his wife always brings up his affair and he wondered when she was going to let it go. Dr Phil said, "UNTIL". I love that answer. It is so true. The wife if either going to leave or she is going to forgive...or in Shawn's case she is going to stay in an unforgiving marriage with you, UNTIL! I don't think that's a way to live.

shawn thewife said...

Jenna: "Until"?? I don't get it. Do you mean UNTIL I either forgive him or leave? Are those my ONLY two options?? I am not a fan of limitations, especially when they are placed on me by someone else who calls me an enabler and thinks they know me!! So wrong.

Please FORGIVE me when I say...you don't get it. Every betrayed spouse has to find their own Road to Happy. No one else gets to decide what makes me happy! If living with only acceptance of Richard's sins, rather than forgiveness, feels right to me...why is that wrong? I didn't say the Road to Happy was My Way or the Highway.
I just say betrayed spouses should do their best to support each other without judgement, while we find the path to healing that works for each of us.
With that in mind...Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

I'd be wondering where Richard was from the gambling tables til he strolled into the hotel room. The Bunny Ranch or a nearby "champagne room" is not far from anyone's reach in Sin City. And you are saying he has cheated a total of 4 times. Once with a pay girl. Hmmmmm. His needy monster act could've been just that, an act, distracting you from something bigger going on.

mountainsailing said...

There's no voting on Shawn's choices. ;) I know, some of you were saying that lightly, but...

Each betrayed spouse evaluates her own situation, with all of its unique details, and decides what's right for HER (or him).

It's certainly okay to ask her if she's looked at certain aspects of her situation in an effort to support her, but in my opinion it's NOT okay to tell her she's wrong because YOU decided so. You don't know. You can't know. Because it's not your marriage.

I know it's tempting to think the solution in your particular situation will apply to other, superficially similar situations. It's a very human thing to think that, and to some extent we all do it when we look at the world around us. But it's just not true. Each situation is different, because the people are different.

You know what's right for you, and that's very important! You should be supported in your decisions. But you don't get to decide what's right for someone else. You should support them in their decisions.

Anonymous said...

-Lost-

Shawn I have been reading your blog for sometime. I am coming up to 4 years since the first day they met. Very difficult time but in a different way.

I have mentioned this before that my husband has not been forthcoming in discussing much of anything. I know it is to protect himself as much it is about protecting me; but whether Richard used her name or not he still took an opportunity to through a very difficult situation in your face at a very unexpected time.
This stands out in my mind with my instance. Very early on when this topic was allowed to be discussed in our house my husband had a few beverages and he said to me " you know how hard it was to give up something so good and choose something that will be a hard road ?" He was trying to enlighten me with his difficult decision to fight for his marriage!!!

Well I know that was the booze talking but behind every lie, every rageful word or any drunken conversation there is truth! Bottom line no questions asked . I understand the need to find a million reasons why this happened and yes it is his bull crap and maybe he needs to see Dr K but at the end of the day we are human and no matter who we hurt or if we are hurt back there is a point of resentment lingering.
That my dear is the question ...
One affair or 4 of them they are all wrong but it is too convenient for any person to have done all of this come back to their life as nothing happened. How do these people do all that and get up everyday look at them self in the mirror and continue as everything as if it's fine. Shawn maybe the saying "once a cheater always a cheater" doesn't apply to everyone but 5 min or 30 year marriage nothing is worth that reminder shoved down your throat especially coming from the betrayer.

Control ...fuel that keeps the affair going and fuel that keeps an insecure spouse in their place. Dr K ??? Sounds like manipulation to quickly fix an otherwise intolerable behavior .

Good luck

Anonymous said...

I don't understand this at all. Why don't you listen to your husband? Respect him? You sound like you are so so very mean to him. I'm not trying to be critical, I get that you've dealt with so much pain, but your response to him just seems so awful. I'm sorry if I am coming across wrong - I just don't understand why you would stay with someone you clearly have so little respect for.
signed,
Just Don't Understand

shawn thewife said...

Just Don't Understand: Are you talking to me??
My response? Huh? I thought I was totally chill after his little revelation in Vegas...but you think I was mean??
Maybe you are speaking of things I did to him in the first year after the affair??
I'm so confused!!
If you want a real answer, you're gonna have to be more specific, please!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Lost: I am not ignoring what he said, I'm just trying very hard not to over react about it. He meets with the lovely Dr. K tomorrow. He WANTS to get to the bottom of his drunken declaration.

Richard has been soooo on point since Vegas. Truly sorry. Trying to make me feel better again and get us back on our Road to Happy.
He has issues. There is no doubt. Who doesn't?? At least he is facing them head on now. He is trying to communicate with me, albeit poorly. I see this as progress and I am NOT merely watching through rose colored glasses. I'm way too cynical for that!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous that thinks Richard may have scored a little something extra in Vegas....REALLY??
Is that the best you got?
You haters abound around here lately!
If you're gonna stick around and comment, you gotta do better than that, Sister.
No hug for you.
Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Mountainsailing: Well said!!
To each betrayed her own path!!
Be supportive or suck it!!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...


Haha, Yes, i am talking to you :-)

I've read your Crazy Train posts (some of them anyway) and yes, I see you are beyond that, but that doesn't excuse rude behavior, like this:


"So, I just said, "Really? Spending all this time with me for the last two weeks finally enlightened you? I think you need a visit to the lovely Dr. K."
Then, I rolled over and went to sleep."

It's so super belittling. He was obviously trying to talk to you and you just dismissed his attempt to communicate with you. Just because your past behavior was way off the crazy charts doesn't excuse this kind of demeaning behavior. I think you are better than this Shawn!

Dawna said...

Also to the commenter who posted about Shawn beng calm when Rich brought up the affair, I'd be manipulating my WH any way I pleased if he cheated too, but is that healthy? The fact that Shawn kept calm cuz she wanted to keep the line of communication open was indeed clever & manipulative, but is it healthy? I mean, should you have to go out of your way to not react just to get info you need from your own husband cuz he is too big of a wuss to communicate like a 60 some year old man should? Because after 3 years, if my CHEATING HUSBAND brought this up to me on a nice vaca in Vegas, I would've been livid. Bravo for not reacting, but is it healthy communication is all I'm asking? I also agree with the poster that said I'd be worried where Richard was when he was not with Shawn in Vegas, or anywhere else really. I know people say all marriages are hard work & they have their ups & downs, but this marriage seems so exhausting to me. The trust is gone, the affair is still being brought up, Shawn admits she still hasn't forgiven Richard, lack of communication is still there, vacations don't seem to help, etc etc. At what point do you stop & ask, IS THIS A MARRIAGE OR IS THIS HELL?

Anonymous said...

one drunken comment and off we go analysing if there is something deeper and whether its a precursor to another affair.Isnt that so sad and ironical? and we say that our mariages aere better off after the betrayal.

Who wants to live like this, when every single mood change has to be figured out,where every word brings in the thought whether this was the sign one missed last time that led to the affair .And if one spots it this time , Dr K intervenes and its neatly labeled then THIS time there wont be another affair.

4 times????

But counting it as just 1 because one didnt know when they were happening,counting it as 1 because all of them were confessed to on the same daY?..That doesnt make it a pattern?

Doffing my hat to you at the sheer courage it requires to stay .

Lucky Richard.

Anonymous said...

-Lost-

I appreciate your response and you have been a trooper through all this judgement. If you weren't brave enough to share than all of us would not be able to sort out the issues that we have in our own minds and throw them back at you!

Keep writing :)

BS said...


Anonymous "lost" wrote:

"This stands out in my mind with my instance. Very early on when this topic was allowed to be discussed in our house my husband had a few beverages and he said to me " you know how hard it was to give up something so good and choose something that will be a hard road ?" He was trying to enlighten me with his difficult decision to fight for his marriage!!!

Well I know that was the booze talking but behind every lie, every rageful word or any drunken conversation there is truth!"


Dear lost:

I think you misinterpreted your husband's response. He likely can't communicate very well, not unusual for a man. Men simply do not communicate emotions and feelings well.

Yes, it says something very good about how your husband feels about you that he was willing to give up the fun fantasy bubble of his affair to go back to the very hard realities of trying to salvage a marriage rocked by infidelity.

You seem to take his statement as something negative. Communication works best when the person spoken to learns to listen better.

Before going off half cocked with their own interpretation of what the speaker is trying to communicate, ask for clarification.

I do think your husband deserves brownie points for turning back to his marriage and doing the hard work.

Marriage is hard work, and the fact that your hubby now realizes that is by any psychological interpretation a good thing.

As for he rest of the negative comments to Shawn: Me thinks this board has been infested by Chump lady supporters.

Chumplady is a disgruntled delusional women who has already twice divorced cheaters. She now makes money from selling t-shirts and cups to her faithful fellow disgruntled followers.

Yet, she seems to believe that her new husband will never cheat.

Chumplady needs to get out of la la land.

La La land is the land I was in when I stupidly believed my own husband would never cheat.

I believed that and thus set no boundaries because I wanted to be the easy going, non-jealous type of wife.

Well, I am willing to predict, with her head in sand approach, and too trusting attitude, chumplady will be divorced a third time when her new husband cheats.

If I learned any thing from my husband's affair, I learned that anyone has the capacity to cheat.

Lastly studies show that people who are more suspicious of a spouse are far less likely to be cheated on.

Some suspicion is good. No one should be trusted 100 percent.

The other key to a good marriage is communication and seeking counseling to address the underlying issues expressed in the communication.

That's what Richard is doing. It's a good thing, IMO.

If there are negative comments from those who are NOT from chumplady's board, well I apologize and I am sorry your marriage did not survive infidelity.

Shawn's did and so did mine. I assure you my husband treats me better now than he ever did. I am happy.

I am still unhappy that he cheated, sometimes. But then when I really think about it, it's the best thing that every happened to my marriage. Really. In all respects my husband is now a far better husband since his affair was discovered.

Why would that make anyone unhappy. Be happy for us, even if you can't be happy for yourself. That's the high road. Take it.

Respectfully me said...

BS, you predict that this woman's third husband will cheat? Really? That is one of the most mean-spirited comments I have ever read. I have followed Shawn's story for a long time and I am in awe of her courage. It seems that, to her, she has weighed up the risk of staying with Richard and has decided they are worth the effort. I also regularly read Chump Lady's blog because I can relate to a lot of what she says about disordered cheaters. I was unable to stay with my ex-husband as he was unwilling to change. I was tired of suffering and seeing my children suffer. Every situation is different. What I don't understand is your vitriol towards Chump Lady. If her site is not your cup of tea, then don't read it. Simple.

Anonymous said...

I must admit, I am a reader of Chump Lady and appreciate her view point, even if I don't always agree. I do especially value her post on what "real remorse" looks like. For my "road to happy," having all of the elements of what she described as "real remorse" was helpful to feel like I could try to move forward. I found her site after searching what my husband was offering me, in addition to all of the emotional components, a post-nup with infidelity clause and to take a polygraph whenever I requested.

Seeing that someone who was so against reconciliation even recognized that all my husband was doing did meet even her standards for "real remorse" was meaningful to me. Where I diverge with Chump Lady is on the idea that attempting to move forward with my husband was doomed to failure. She could be right, but she could be wrong. And, I have to know for myself.

I think there is value to be had from a variety of viewpoints, respectfully given. For me, Chump Lady's post on what real remorse looks like is something I value and was, and is, key to finding MY road to happy. And sites like Shawn's and Healing Heart are also valuable to me in different, but equally meaningful ways.

TL xx

mountainsailing said...

BS wrote:

"I believed that and thus set no boundaries because I wanted to be the easy going, non-jealous type of wife."

Yes, that's exactly how I was before the affair. Now I tell my husband, "I used to be low maintenance. Not any more, sorry. From now on I'm going to a bit more demanding." ;)

But to be fair, so should he. We BOTH took too much for granted, just assumed that things would be okay without us working on the marriage. We both learned (the hard way) that marriage takes work.

We're so much better now, we've learned lessons we will never forget.

Anonymous said...

I am confused as well as 2 why shawn jumped down that posters throat for suggesting she should be cautious as to Richard's whereabouts in Vegas. That is a very reasonsable logical okay question to ask. Speaking of Dr. Phil, I was watching one of his episodes where he was calling a wayward husband out on his behavior. This wayward husband would cause little unnecessary arguments with his wife just to have a reason to leave the house and go cheat. And yes this was after his affair was disclosed, so that commenter made a very valid point and the bunny ranch is indeed down the road, lol, so I'd just watch the little weasel, ya never know with these guys. They are one person to you and a completely different person to other people. I see it all the time. Double lives, compartmentalizing, entitlement...it's crazywhat some of these guys get away with all because their wife would rather live in denial. I have a close friend whose husband's sister told my friend that her own brother was cheating on her. My friend would rather think his sister is lying than deal with that pain again. Yes I said again, cuz he's done it before and even had an OC with the exOW. It's nuts. I wish you all the best.

BS said...

To TL and Respectfully me:

Ah, caught ya'. I knew y'all were from chump lady's board. Why do you come here? To gloat, to be mean to raise doubts?

Shame on you all for being so mean to come here and harangue shawn. I don't post on Chump lady's blog. Now that would make me truly mean, just like you two.

Yes, I predict chump lady's third husband will cheat. It's not mean it's realistic. She is being way too trusting of him, and her "picker" is obviously not working well, given two other husband's cheated on her and used her as the bread winner.

Why do make that prediction? Chump lady is a materialistic lady who pretends to help people while making money off her followers by selling t-shirts and mugs. Chumplady is in La la land like most BS's. She talks tough, but she is quite naive.

She needs to stop saying that she believes her new husband when he says he will never cheat.

That's what mine said. She is as delusional as I was if she believes hubby number three.

----------------------

To Mountain Sailing:

I agree. In most long term marriages people become neglectful to each other. Sometimes an affair is a wake up call, for both.

I agree, IMO the affair is truly the best thing that ever happened to me and my marriage. The more time passes, the more I realize that.

It truly is so much better now.

And, I, too, am no longer the low maintenance wife my husband used to crow about. And, you know what, he seems to like that.

BS said...




Respectfully me posted: "If her site is not your cup of tea, then don't read it. Simple."

------

Respectfully me:

Did you actually read my post.

I do NOT read chumplady's blog, now.

I never even posted on it.

I followed a link almost two years ago to it from another site, read it, and saw that she was a crazy lady with a one track mind, and quite delusional about her present marriage, and I never went back again.

Her criteria for staying or going is meaningless. She's not a counselor. She's simply a blog writer.

Oh and did I say the lady sells t-shirts and mugs, narcissistically emblazoned with her own silly and name, obvious self image.

The fact that she is attempting to make money of of her followers by shamelessly touting her egotistical t-shirt and mugs, really turned me off to her.

She keeps saying she wants to help people, but what she really wants to do is make money off of her followers and make a name for herself.

If that doesn't bother you fine. Keep posting there, but please follow your own advise.

If you don't like Shawn's philosophy stop reading and posting "mean" disrespectful posts here.

I mean seriously, girl, if you are going to give advice, please at least follow your own advice. :)

Anonymous said...

BS,

Have you ever read my posts here. I have never been down on Shawn in any way, always supportive of what she needs to find her Road to Happy, always recognizing that our roads may not exactly match-up, but hers is better for her and mine is better for me. Again, BS, have actually ever read any of my postings here. I'm confused as to why you are down on me for reading Chump Lady and finding some value for myself in it.

TL (really confused) xx

Respectfully me said...

BS, I am also confused. I have not nor would I ever harangue Shawn or anyone else that has been through the hell of betrayal. Not only is it not in my nature, I am not so naive to believe that every situation or adulterer is the same. If you had actually read what I wrote you would know this! Please do not throw a wave of anger over those who differ in opinion to you. You and I share a common experience. For that I have nothing but compassion for you. Please remember, I am hurting too.

BS said...

To TL and Respectfully:

I have to say, again, caught ya'. ;)

As I mentioned, the board has been infested with Chumplady supporters. I am amused to see that I was right. :)

TL: you know your posts are not totally overtly supportive. That's okay, but you need to own it.

Respectfully: let me remind you that you asked me something to the effect that if "Chumplady is not my cup of tea, why visit?

Again, I don't visit, but then back at ya', why do you visit here? Do you ever ask yourself that. If not, you need to, given your advice.

Shawn's philosophy is not your cup of tea, obviously.

I am amused by reading your posts.

So as long as Shawn allows you to post. Post. I don't care either way.

I never told you not to post, simply asking you to follow your own advice. Why wouldn't you want to follow your own advice?

Just wondering. :)

shawn thewife said...

For All My Sisters in Betrayal Survival:

I keep this blog wide open and public for a reason. ALL points of view are welcome here. I would never presume my POV to be a one size fits all.

I want all of us to utilize this forum so we are exposed to the multitude of options, situations, emotions and Roads to Happy that we may need to jump start our healing.
We have all been injured. We all know the same pain. We need to reach out with compassion even when we disagree.

The HATERS and TROLLS are a whole different story. I allow SOME of their posts to be seen by All.
Mostly because when they challenge me, I am compelled to think about their POV. Usually, it helps me feel confidant in the Road to Happy I have chosen.
So...Let 'em Rant! I believe many of the Trolls are in a great deal of pain. If dumping some of it on me lightens their load, I'm OK with it. I can hang with it.

I only ask that when all of you reach out to one another, before you hit publish, remember the person you're responding to is probably feeling the same pain you know to be life altering. Do your best to reach out with empathy instead of umbrage.

I don't want to lose any of my readers. You are my personal support group!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Shawn,

Do you view my posts as hateful, troll-like or unsupportive? I hope not, but please tell me if you do feel this way?

With loving assertiveness, ;)
TL xx

shawn thewife said...

TL: Not even close, Sister!!
We all get adamant. This is a VERY personal, sensitive, hit's close to the heart conversation.
Strong opinion is to be expected.

Most of the Trolls & Haters post as anonymous. I still let most of them be a part of the conversation hoping we might help them move away from the anger.

Your comments, my dear TL, are thought provoking and supportive.
I am grateful for your contributions.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

BS,

Here is what I own. I am 18 months past ultimate D-day. My husband and I are working so hard to move forward together, as so many of us here are doing, each in our own ways.

I find value in a variety of view points and I still look to the experiences of others as a guide post to get through this pain. I know my road is not always your road, but I also know that is ok. I also know that sometimes I find new and valuable tidbits in someone else's road and hope that others possibly may do the same. I know that part of getting through this pain is to learn to talk about our experiences in an authentic and still loving manner.

I think you need to own that you inappropriately have moved into attack mode on me for the simple fact that I find value and comfort in Chump Lady's "signs of real remorse." Why is that such a problem for you? Why can I not find comfort and value in something that you do not?

We are all in pain and we are all searching for what works best to find and stay on the road to happy. Just because one of the components of my road to happy is not something you value, doesn't make it wrong for me.

I try to give my authentic and still loving thoughts wherever I am in my life, including here. I hope Shawn knows this, feels this and understands I am here to share thoughts and experiences with others who are also seeking to find and stay on a "road to happy."

This is what I own.

TL xx

Anonymous said...

Shawn,

Your love and support is so much appreciated and your story has been such a guide and help to me in this journey. Thank you!

TL xx

BS said...



TL wrote: "I think you need to own that you inappropriately have moved into attack mode on me for the simple fact that I find value and comfort in Chump Lady's "signs of real remorse." Why is that such a problem for you? Why can I not find comfort and value in something that you do not?"




TL:

Shawn has mentioned finding your posts helpful. So, really why should my opinion matter?

In general, I find your posts neither totally supportive nor unsupportive. I find they are somewhat on the fence.

And, that is okay. Be who you are. Confusion is normal after only 18 months.

I will concede that perhaps your support of Chumplady lead me to believe, perhaps erroneously, you were aiming to be mean and hurtful, when that was not your intent.

I do find your support of Chumplady's site as somewhat dismayingly antithetical.

And, your reasons for supporting her do not fit with my own experiences, when viewing her site.

But again, if you resonate with her, so be it.

I felt her site was very unhelpful to reconciled betrays. Perhaps even dangerously harmful.

But you can like her, if you wish.

Must I?

I haven't been to her website in years, so perhaps she has changed her tune.

I do remember recently reading several rants about her at various reconciliation support sites complaining about her single- minded view that all cheaters must be dumped. And, complaints of her disrespectful remarks to reconciled betrayeds.

As I recall Chumplady did give some lip service to pointing out real remorse vs pretend remorse, but it was superficial and filled with ridicule.

She doesn't in any way pretend to support those betrayeds who wish to reconcile. I read almost all her blogs and most were insisting that it's a waste of time to give a cheater a second chance.

I believe her header is/was "dump a cheater, get a life"? No?

So, I think Chumplady is very hurtful and harmful to reconciling betrayeds. Is that okay with you?

It's okay with me, if she gives you comfort. So let's agree to disagree.

Actually, This will be the last post that I will respond to about Chumplady.

I think I am giving her too much free advertising.

I only mentioned her because some of the mean posts from the "anonymous" posters projected a load of chumplady attitude.

If you want to talk about something else. I am all ears.