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, March 6, 2014

I've Been Thinking

Since my last post I've been thinking (dangerous precedent, I know) about all I've been through to reconcile with Richard.  Many of my readers are quite adamant that I wear blinders where Richard is concerned.  They argue that I paint the speed bumps on my Road to Happy with a thick sugar coating and on the rare occasion when I do manage to take off the blinders, I view the journey ahead with rose colored glasses once worn by Polly Anna.
They question how much will I endure to continue living with the man that they see as nothing more than a serial cheater waiting, perhaps not so patiently, for his next conquest opportunity.  Those that comment in a less than supportive fashion see me as weak and ignorant, too scared to leave and be on my own, willing to live half a life.

Do I give their accusations any credit?  Do I pause and consider their opinions?  Do their anonymous words on a very public blog hold any weight at all?
Like I said...I've been thinking.

Here's what I came up with, so listen up Haters and Judgmental Trolls out there in the Blog-o-sphere!  Since DDay, I have gained so much more than I lost.  
Hard to fathom?  Need convincing?  I'll try to spell it out for you.

I've been thinking that the only thing I lost that still hurts 3 years later is trust.  I liked the me that was so completely sure of my husband keeping himself only for me as long as we live.  That was an easy, breezy married state of mind.  I miss it.  I mourn the loss of it.
That's one for the LOSS column, but other than trust, what did I really LOSE?
I'm sure there are a few trolls that can't wait to start typing an extensive list of what they think I lost.

As I continued thinking, I moved on from the LOSS of trust and began pondering how much I've GAINED, starting with an attitude of gratitude.  Richard and I came so close to LOSING each other.  I dare to say it was like a near death experience.  Once you come that close to ending life as you have known it, you learn to appreciate what was so nearly LOST.  You appreciate it.  You are thankful for it.  You cherish it.  You care for it more deeply.
Chalk a big one up in the GAINED column.

I've been thinking about our sex life. That Hysterical Bonding stuff sure helped us out in the bedroom!  After over 30 years together, we act like teenagers!  We've GAINED a whole lot of passion since DDay.  We've GAINED increased intimacy in so many ways.  We hold hands.  We cuddle in the morning. We send texts just to say hope you're having a good day.  Simple, sappy shit that I thought I didn't really care about.  I cared.  We both cared.  We just forgot.

I've even been thinking about thinking.
Since DDay, if Richard and I think about it, we talk about it.  Richard is still a work in progress, but thanks to the lovely Dr. K, he's getting back on the right track.  We have GAINED a wide open line of communication.  Nothing is off limits.  If something bothers me, I tell Richard.  He is so much better at listening to what I need than telling me what he needs.  I am grateful he wants to please me so much.  I am hopeful he will allow me to give him what he needs as well.

Let's see...that's 3 Gains to 1 Loss.  Have I sufficiently made my point?  I'm sure other GAINS and LOSSES will be discussed in the comments.  That's a good thing.  Another GAIN, if you will.
My new found compassion for others in pain is a true blessing in my life.  I get so much more than I give writing this blog.  I received such over whelming support when I found the Healing Heart and only hope I can give back some of the same.  I was such a hard ass before DDay.  Suck it up.  Shake it off.  Don't be a freaking whiner!!  I've GAINED empathy, patience and a much more open mind.

This post seems to be getting a tad too long, but I'll add this:

I've been thinking about the LOSS of trust and then I thought about it some more.  Even though I will never trust Richard again in the same open hearted way, is that a reason to leave him??  I'm too smart (or jaded, if you prefer) to trust anyone so completely ever again.  If I had chosen to leave my marriage and move on with another, I'd still have LOST the trust.  I'm not gonna get it back just by throwing 30 years with Richard to the curb.  I LOST trust, but I've GAINED instinct, a very intuitive gut that will serve me well for the rest of my days, not just in my marriage, but with my kids, my friends, my co-workers and strangers.

Don't think I don't know what some of the Haters are thinking!!
WOW!  Goodie for Shawn!  She GAINED so much because her wayward, serial cheater husband can't keep it in his pants!
Do I think and wish with all my heart Richard and I would've GAINED all of the above without him cheating?  Do I really need to answer that??
Think about it....

62 comments:

mountainsailing said...

"the only thing I lost that still hurts 3 years later is trust. I liked the me that was so completely sure of my husband keeping himself only for me as long as we live. That was an easy, breezy married state of mind. I miss it. I mourn the loss of it."

I miss it, too. But I actually don't mourn it.

I've come to understand that it wasn't realistic. It was naive, and not because we should specifically think our spouses will cheat on us, but because we should be aware that anyone can slip into unexpected behavior for a myriad of reasons, triggered by all sorts of psychological issues. Reading about so many others' experiences with affairs has made me very sure of that.

At least in my marriage, we both had poor boundaries and a poor understanding of how to maintain our marriage. It was completely naive of me -- ignorant even -- to think that everything would be okay, when we weren't doing anything to make sure everything was okay.

And even if a marriage isn't as poorly maintained as ours was, it's still unrealistic to believe it's immune to an affair.

And that's why some people point out it's also unrealistic to think the only answer is to leave the cheating spouse and think you can find another person who SURELY won't cheat on you. If your cheating spouse isn't remorseful, or if you simply feel you can't ever trust him again, then it's perfectly reasonable to leave him. But it's not reasonable to think you can find someone who is so perfect he could never cheat. You'll never have that certainty.

What you can do (as Shawn has done) is work to build or rebuild a marriage with a better understanding of how both spouses can feel safe and loved. And then live your life knowing unexpected things can happen, but you're doing your best to prevent the worst from happening, and you can weather the worst if it does.

Anonymous said...

Well saiid!

TL xx

shawn thewife said...

Mountainsailing: I can find no fault in your perspective. It is sound logic. The only difference we seem to have is the fact that I "mourn" the loss of the Pre-affair me and really...that's only partially true. I mourn the me that Trusted completely because to live in such bliss was beyond easy. I sure as hell don't miss Hard Ass, and she came naturally to me, too! Opening my mind has opened my heart.
Even if a betrayed spouse can claim that they had the "perfect" marriage, the kind I thought I had, there is always room for improvement.
Richard will tell you that our marriage was wonderful, easy and full of joy. As great as it was...he was unhappy. Not with the marriage, with himself.
I've learned (learned also means GAINED) that I can help him with his self-esteem issues. I can be more aware of times when he needs support. He is learning (GAINING) that he can let me in on his moments of self doubt, his low times and I will not think less of him. The Hard Ass I used to be has found (GAIN) room for compassion and understanding.
The revelations that come after DDay, if the hard work is done, are invaluable. Big Ass GAINS!!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

TL: Not sure if your commenting on what I wrote or Mountainsailing, but it's nice to have the support.
When we walk the Road to Happy together, the journey doesn't seem quite so arduous. :-)
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

BS said...

Shawn

Excellent post, and Mountainsailing echos her own experience well, too.

I agree with all the positive things in your blog and in MS's posting.

Although some of my circumstances may be slightly different, the gist is the same. ...so much more has been gained than has been lost.

Trust, yes I, too, miss the easy breezy naive childlike way I once trusted my spouse, but I am also glad that I woke up to the fact that it's unrealistic to trust anyone that way.

I think the haters are simply jealous.

They are either jealous that they threw away a good spouse who may have done something bad, too quickly and without trying to improve things.

Or, they are jealous because we managed to turn lemons into lemonade when all they got were the lemon rinds. ;)

Most of the people who post nasty remarks likely manufactured their own bitter lemon rinds by being too quick to jump ship after dday.

IMO, someone who truly was happy with their decision to divorce a cheating spouse, would not be posting unsolicited nasty remarks or remarks designed to create doubt in someone who is happy.



shawn thewife said...

BS: You may be right. Some of them may be jealous. The HATERS may feel like they made a poor choice of paths on the Road to Happy, but you may also be wrong.

They may just be in so much pain that the words they type here allow them to vent just a little of it for a short time.
When they comment with nothing but personal insults, I get all Toughie Pants and strike back. When they comment to challenge my POV with words that might seem cruel, I try to let it slide. I hope most of the time before I respond I consider the fact that maybe the HATER is suffering mightily. It may be safer to be angry here than at the cheating spouse. If I can engage them in a debate with compassion, maybe I can open their minds to other ways to heal.

Am I guilty of slamming of the Trolls? You bet. Do I want to be more open minded? Absolutely.
Lofty goal?? Maybe. I'm no shrink, no therapist.
But I know Mean and I know Kind...I choose the latter even when we disagree.

All POVs will continue to be welcome here when delivered with empathy and consideration for the pain of the other commenters.
You and I are so blessed. We have found the Road to Happy that works for us. I want the same for all my Readers. I wanna walk the Road to Happy with ALL of them!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

BS said...

I think likely even the trolls are in pain to a great degree. Maybe even very serious pain. Maybe their husbands were psychopaths or sociopaths.

I get that.

What I don't get is the need to unprovoked denigrate another person's choice.



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

Shawn Wrote "You and I are so blessed. We have found the Road to Happy that works for us."


Shawn:

It's not really about being blessed, in my situation. Maybe yours is different. But in mine it was a carefully thought out decision to stick around and work hard on my marriage.

It really would have been so much easier to dump my cheater.

So, I think readers may need to realize that the road to happy isn't something I found, like a shiny lucky penny.

It's something I committed to, followed through on, and worked hard to achieve. I continue to work on it, too. It seems that you are doing the same.

Let's share the secret for all: The road to happy doesn't just happen.

It takes hard work and committed effort, even when the spouse is remorseful and doing all the right things.

All marriages require hard work.

I think people have forgotten that.

In any case, I may be wrong but I am sensing that you may be somewhat annoyed by my postings, particularly the posts on your prior blog "the needy Monster". Perhaps you think that I did not have empathy for the pain of others???? Not sure, but just checking for clarification.

And, If you prefer that betrayeds all just ignore mean or insulting remarks, I need to know that, too.

If my impression is accurate, please be blunt.

A person can't fix something, if they don't know it's broken.


shawn thewife said...

BS: By blessed, I only mean I am grateful. To me...blessed=grateful.
I am with you on the amount of work involved to salvage a marriage so deep in the crapper! It is a HUGE commitment! That doesn't mean reconciliation is harder than divorce. We can all agree...after DDay...there is no easy Road to Happy.

I am not annoyed with you at all! Some of my other readers may be. You shoot from the hip. I get that. I believe your intentions are good. You always reach out to others in pain and are one of the first to come to my defense when you think it is warranted.
I thank you for that.

You and I are alike in many ways. We wear Toughie Pants better than LoveLorn Lucy. We are always blunt and speak our minds.
I have learned most people don't roll that way, so I have worked very hard to take my opinions down a notch when relying to others. (NOT when I post, though!) You are welcome to share how you see fit. I have never seen you as hateful. Never.

You said: We can't fix what we do not know is broken!! AMEN, Sister!! I hope Richard has learned that as well. I will always be honest with you, my friend.
Honest and blunt! Because I know you can take it!!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

BS said...

Hi Shawn:

Yes, I, too, have been accused of wearing "toughie pants."

Some of my friends have described that phrase as meaning crusty on the outside but soft on the inside.

I see that in your writing, too. And, that is likely why I resonate with your philosophies.

TryingHard said...

Shawn
You do a great job on this blog. Keep it up girl! I think bloggers do it mostly for themselves just to get the stuff out of their heads. We as readers reap the benefits.

Too bad everyone's life isn't perfect and too bad we all don't have all the perfect answers to life's conundrums like some of your haters.

It seems to me sometimes those with less supportive comments are really asking those questions to themselves. Maybe, maybe not. And maybe that's just me not trying to be so cynical and trying to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Old habits die hard!

tina said...

Shawn,

I just found your blog yesterday and I cannot tell you how much reading it is helping me. I am almost 1 year to the day from my DDay. March 16th, 2013 is the day my life was changed forever. I wish I could go back in time and change some of the choices I made at the time. When your whole world is being ripped apart, it's hard to make rational decisions. The worst part of it for me was that my husband wouldn't break it off right away. Like your husband, mine told me that he could really "be happy" with this person and that he loved her. It was horrendous. I know now-after MC and my own research-he was in the fog at the time. But, if I really look at myself in the mirror, I can honestly say that his not being able to make up his mind and "choose" me at the time is why I am still having such a hard time letting go of the affair. I also can relate to you-I can be wonderfully loving and forgiving one moment, and the next, I could be having a flash back or trigger, and be screaming at him or crying....No one said this was the easier road...Anyway, thank you for making me feel like I am not alone.

Missy said...

My WH & I are also in reconciliation & I can truly say he loves & appreciates me now more than before the affair & vice-versa.It's a different kind of love than before because of all the taints & bruises but the love is MAGNiFICENT.It has not been easy but it HAS been worth it.Please continue this blog.Most of what you say I can co-sign 100% & it really helps.I could have the dedication but I certainly don't have the thick skin to maintain such a blog & so I applaud you.

Anonymous said...

Seriously. 4 years and this is ok for you to be here? Set your standards higher. Every human deserves more than 4 years of suffering. I am 11 months out looking for perspective. Your story made me sad.

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: Because you're new, I'm gonna give you a pass on all the errors in your comment. Because I know the kind of pain you must be experiencing, I'll correct you instead of chastising you.
1. I'm only 3 years past my DDay.
2. The last 1 1/2 years have been pretty darn great. Not sad. Very hopeful.
3. Healing from the devastation of an affair can take a lot longer than 3 years. I feel like I'm walking a very steady pace on my Road to Happy.

11 months out I was still spending most of my time in Crazy Town. Maybe you're stronger than I was. I hope so. I hope you are able to pick the Road to Happy that works for you sooner than I did.

Don't be sad for me. I'm good. I'm very confident that I choose the right Road for me. Seriously.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Missy: Magnificent?? Whoo Hoo! Love to hear that!!
Sharing positive reconciliation stories can be just what some readers out there need to hear about!!

Thanks for the support of my blog, but no need for applause. This blog is mostly a selfish endeavor. I began writing out of desperation. Now I write because it helps me process the thoughts that can become very convoluted in my over-tired brain.
The fact that it has morphed into a place where other betrayed spouses find help in their healing is such a bonus and a blessing! I am grateful for that everyday.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

(((Tina))): The first year anti-versary can be trigger laden and loaded with grief and anger. If we can help you sift through the emotional coaster, please consider us your new support system.
During a fog filled affair, men think and feel what makes it easier for them to let go of the guilt. If they are sleeping with someone they love, how can it be wrong?? Then, when confronted with reality, the possibility of losing their family, they have to wake the hell up. That means hurting the OW that they thought they loved! Oh, no!! How tragic!! (I hope you can feel my sarcasm. You haven't been reading long, so you might not know sarcasm is my go to attitude when I get pissy!!)

When Richard told me he wouldn't call Jaymie and break it off straight away, I thought I'd never heal from it. I did...mostly. I'm still a work in progress.

Please consider visiting the healing Heart Message Boards. The link is at the bottom of my blog. You will be surrounded by others that know exactly what you've been through the last year and they can help you learn what to expect for the year to follow. Reconciliation after infidelity is not for the feint of heart...as I'm sure you know.
It helps to walk your Road to Happy with others that understand the struggle.
You are most certainly not alone.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Tryinghard: You're so right about why I write. It really helps clear out the old noggin!

Do I claim to have the perfect answers?? Nope.
Except for one thing...After DDay, Healing DOES happen. The Road to Happy/Healing looks different for all of us, but if you choose happiness it will come.

I want the Hater's to know that most of all. They could really use a big dose of happy!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Dawna said...

Let me just say I enjoy your blog very much. The ups & the downs, you speak of real recovery, not just pretending to be happy when you aren't, so I hope the people that you call "haters" don't discourage you from giving us the realness.

Now I also saw a few responses of yours IMO that were off in perception. I hope you don't take offense to that. I don't think some of your commenters were "haters" or "jealous". I simply think that they are warning you of possibilities, like a mother or a sister would.

My sister's hubby cheated 3 times. Everyone played the supportive part, or at least tried to, but me being the closest sibling to her, it was a bit harder for me to not see through this guy's bullsh*t. It caused a rift between us & I predicted if she stayed with the asshat, HE WILL DO IT AGAIN. Welp, the sorry SOB didn't even go 11 more than months without cheating again. Funny how when he moved out, she didn't tell me about it until I asked. I guess she didn't want to hear "I told you so" which I would never say but still, what a waste of time and drama and God forbid her little sis speak up to try to save her the inevitable agony. Sometimes you just have to shut your mouth and let people be stupid in their fog.

Also, you seemed to jump down another commenters throat when she suggested finding out where Richard was from the black jack table til he got back to the room. I didn't see ANYTHING wrong with that suggestion. If you truly believe he wasn't doing anything, that is great, but I didn't understand why you got so defensive when it was kind of the 1st thing I thought of when I read the last blog entry as well.

I left my cheater boyfriend years ago. We weren't married nor did we have kids, but we did live together & had a business together. I've personally had my experience & seen other people experience with serial cheaters so I have my own theories on 'em. Am I jealous because I kicked him to the curb & you decided to reconcile? HELL NO. If he won the lottery & came crawling back, the answer would be NO! Him & I are still good frends although we only keep in touch mostly on FB these days. He recently got married & had a kid & I couldn't be more happy for him. I did meet his wife. I like her, she's nice...but I can't help but think, you poor girl, you have no clue what you got into. But he's not my problem anymore, thank the lucky stars!

So anyway, just don't assume some are jealous or hating, we are just suggesting possibilities & looking out for you and rightfully so. I couldn't imagine what another DDay would be like for you. My sister described her 3rd Dday as just a numb feeling of throwing in the towel & giving up. After so many Dday's, what's the point of exhausting yourself again? There comes a point when you realize you tried but the scum bucket ain't worth it. Cheers to you Shawn.

tina said...

Thank you for your kind words and understanding, Shawn. It also doesn't help that his "ex-girlfriend"-which is a term that makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little- is not letting go, either. She has set up a Pinterest account that is aimed soley at me-she fills it with pins about how she is a lover and a figher, and how she "can't let go"...blah, blah, blah. In my case, according to my husband and the whore, she did not know that he was married when they met online. He spun a whole story and a fake name. So, not only was March 16th DDay for me, but I guess it was for her, as well. I talked with her, and actually showed compassion to her, telling her that he was lying to both of us and that she seemed like a nice person. I actually apologized to her for his behavior! yet, even after she found out that he WAS married, she continued to persue him. As recently as last month, she had the balls to call OUR HOUSE phone and tell him that she NEEDED to speak with him. All the while, our 9 year old daughter was in her room playing with her friend. We just had another MC session last night-we go every Wednesday, our "date"- and my husband was emphatic about how he is in a different place now and how he wants nothing to do with her and he loves me and our family....it's just hard. I want to tell her to go fuck herself, but I have always handled my conversations with her with grace and integrity, just for her to turn around and tell my husband lies...I just want this chapter of my life to be closed.....

BS said...



Hi Tina:

Tina Wrote: "It also doesn't help that his "ex-girlfriend"-which is a term that makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little- is not letting go, either. "

Yes. The OW in my situation is also a Bunny boiler who will not let go. It is a very annoying situation.

This appears to be very common. I have talked to people on other forums who say the OW or OM is still stalking them even 20 years after the affair.

I truly hope that is not true in my situation. But her presence becomes less annoying, actually, with each stalking attempt.

It makes me see how pathetic she is.

----------


Dawna wrote to Shawn: "So anyway, just don't assume some are jealous or hating, we are just suggesting possibilities & looking out for you and rightfully so. I couldn't imagine what another DDay would be like for you."


Dawna, perhaps you are assuming that Shawn has not already investigated that possibility.

As a betrayed spouse, I will, going forward, always check up on my husband.

Sadly, I was trying to be an easy going wife and I never prior to Dday ever checked up on him. That was a mistake.

But let me ask you this, in the interest of just offering friendly advice.

Are you dating someone, now?

If so, how do you know he is not cheating on you or hasn't already?

Do you follow him 24/7?

My own husband swore he would never cheat, and I foolishly believed him without verification.

I think no spouse can be 100 percent certain ever that a spouse is not cheating or hasn't cheated.

I think there are a high percentage of people who cheat or who have heated that have simply not yet been caught.

Getting caught, however, and getting counseling does help change people, sometimes. The counseling forces them to look at their own issues and sense of loyalty, and morality.

I think that is why some people say there marriage is actually better after an affair is discovered.

If the cheater gets Individual Counseling, they finally have to confront themselves and their issues.

And, for the betrayed, realizing that almost anyone can be vulnerable to cheating is a valuable lesson.


Anonymous said...

Start blogging about the good then instead of constantly reliving the affair that happened THREE years ago... You chose this life now you should start sharing more of the happiness. What you've put out there has caused people to think you are unhappy staying with him and that's why you call them haters. Be positive!!

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: Point taken.
I do try to put hope in my blog. Maybe you don't see it, but this post should've open your eyes a bit.
I can't please everybody. Some readers say I should hurry up and finish the story. Some say I give Richard too much credit. Some say I should cut Jaymie a break. Others want me to write about today and what I want to see tomorrow on my Road to Happy.
I write what I want. If my words don't resonate with you....the world wide web is just full of other bloggers that might.
Fair warning...I'm gonna finish the story of the first year after the affair. If you don't wanna hear how I ended up in court defending a restraining order....time to move along!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

tina said...

To BS: A bunny boiler is exactly what this chick is...When she called my house last month, she started saying that my husband is still coming to her house and telling her he loves her and begging her to wait. When I pinned her down to tell me when all of this was supposedly happening, she hung up. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out when he would have had the time, because his time has all been accounted for recently....

shawn thewife said...

Dawna: I hear you. I will try to be more open minded to commenters that I may initially find objectionable...or Haters.
Here's the thing....I have received thousands of comments. I've gotten pretty good at reading between the lines. I can weed out the useless. Those never get published.
I am very aware of the comments from those in the depths of despair. I reach out to them as quickly as I can.
And I think I am pretty accurate at recognizing projected negativity. There is a place for it. I do not mind a well worded challenge to my way of thinking. BUT...this is my blog. It's about my story. I'm gonna be a bit selfish about it.

Your most recent comment was well thought out and very clear. You hoped to help me. I felt that and I appreciate that more than you know.

If everyone that disagrees with me made their points in a constructive manner, I would never lump them into the Troll/Hater group. I will always welcome other points of view that are delivered with consideration for the pain of other readers.

I think we want the same thing. You will always get "realness" from me. I would never blow Road to Happy smoke up anybody's butt! There is no easy way to recover from the aftermath of an affair. Together, with kindness, understanding and compassion, we can share all options we've tried and with perseverance, find the path that works for each of us.
Hope, Hugs & Cheers back at cha! Shawn

BS said...

tina said...

" To BS: A bunny boiler is exactly what this chick is...When she called my house last month, she started saying that my husband is still coming to her house and telling her he loves her and begging her to wait. When I pinned her down to tell me when all of this was supposedly happening, she hung up. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out when he would have had the time, because his time has all been accounted for recently...."

March 13, 2014 at 10:40 AM



Tina:

I heard similar bullhocky from my husband's bunny boiler.

Trust but verify. This, however, is most likely not true, if you can account for your husband's time.

My husband's bunny boiler, spread rumors everywhere that she and my husband were still dating, but the dates never matched up.

One time she claimed she and he went abroad for four days.

The catch was that my husband and I were both in a neighboring state visiting my parents. We were literally together 24/7 during those days.

After a short while, the people the bunny boiler was gossiping to started to describe her as sad and delusional and some even doubted that an affair had occurred. So her lies backfired.

You can ask your spouse to do a polygraph, if you still have doubts. They cost anywhere from $200 to $800. Google "polygrapher" to find one your town.

Another thing my spouse did was install cameras in his car that faced front and back and to both sides so he could film inside and out of the car. He did this on his own to allay my concerns each time he left the house.

This claim by delusional bunny boilers that they are still seeing the married man is common and either feeds their flagging ego after being dumped or their delusional state of mind.

I received anonymous letters and that is how I learned of the affair. My MC thinks it was actually the OW who sent them to me. So does my husband because the letters contained information only He and the OW could know.

The MC said it is not uncommon for the bunny boilers to do this hoping the wife will kick the husband out.

It's also common for the bunny boiler to continue to stalk a reconciled couple hoping to upset the spouse and/or to cause trouble with the intention to break up the marriage.

Dawna said...

TO BS:

Sorry to disappoint. I have been single 3 years & loving every bit of it! A few hot dates here & there, but nothing I want to give up my freedom for. I went back to school & just booked my summer vaca in May. Living life without having to play babysitter, mind reader or detective is better than words can describe. Hope all is well for you and yours.

Dawna

BS said...

Dawna said...

TO BS:

Sorry to disappoint. I have been single 3 years & loving every bit of it! A few hot dates here & there, but nothing I want to give up my freedom for. I went back to school & just booked my summer vaca in May. Living life without having to play babysitter, mind reader or detective is better than words can describe. Hope all is well for you and yours.

Dawna

March 13, 2014 at 6:08 PM


Dawna:

That is wonderful.

So, I am curious, then. Why are you here?

If I were single and loving every minute of it, I would be too busy and have no reason to post here?

As for living life playing mind reader, babysitter, etc.

get back to me, when you are 90 and let me know how that worked out for ya'.

shawn thewife said...

Ladies! Come on!! It doesn't matter which Road to Happy you choose! None is better than the other!
And...for what's it's worth...I don't need to know why every commenter reads here.
If readers choose to share their stories, awesome...otherwise I don't care.
We are here to support one another as best we can.
Have a happy weekend, my friends.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Dawna said...

TO BS,

Since you really want to know, I just had an awesome weekend ringing in the opening of my best friends new restaurant/club Friday & worked as his lounge DJ sat night. Had a blast with old friends & met some new ones. So are you saying happy single people can't come here? I am majoring in psychology & infidelity interests me being it has happened to me before. In fact, it has been a blessing in disguise because it made me realize what I want to study. And yes you are 100% right, I am free of the days of playing mind reader, babysitter, & detective. And you bet your lucky ass I will never play those roles with another man again. No married woman should HAVE to! If my next man cheats, he is gone! Bottom line. I didn't go through that experience to have not learned the valuable lesson of VALUEING MYSELF.

Now, I am wondering the same about you...if you are so "happily reconciled" why the hell do you come here & do what you normally do, bash shawn's readers, troll, misconstrue, deflect, deny and all those lovely other things that we all have noticed that you do in other posts on this blog? Sounds like your road to happy needs some street sweeping & a GPS.

Love Always,
Dawna

Anonymous said...

Dawna and BS:

Both of you are guilty of black and white thinking, with not leaving room for others to have opinions that differ from your own.

What I find of value is what I find of value for me and my family. Often that includes insights from others, sometimes hopefully it means my insights are of value to others as well. But, never is it the case that what is right for me is always right for you and vice versa.

I see Shawn's site as a place for support and getting authentic opinions without judgement or ridicule. It is your choice and right to live in a black and white world. Just realize that not everyone else ascribes to that same life outlook.

I like to live in color. That's just how I roll, and it's ok if you don't do the same. But, at least recognize, that you both are doing the same thing, just from opposite poles. You are more alike than you realize!

TL xx

BS said...

Dawna:

My question was a serious one. I was truly curious as to why you would come here.

Your answer, makes sense, if it is to study infidelity.

I lurk on OW forums to learn about their mindset, but I never post on those forums.

I don't go there to gloat or to make them doubt themselves or to argue or to provoke a different style of thinking. I visit in an attempt to figure out the mindset of a women who would sleep with a married man.

As for why I am here, if I am happily reconciled....Well, I think that's easy.

I am here to surround myself with positive like minded people who have reconciled and are happy.

In my in-person life, I also only associate with marriage-friendly people or friends of the marriage.

I no longer associate with disgruntled marrieds or single people who are too flirtatious or are anti-marriage.

To my mind this place has lots of friends of a marriage. That's why I visit.

But if you are studying infidelity your visits make sense.

I don't care that you post here, I was simply curious about your logic.


BS said...


To Dawna:

I forgot to ask about his part of your post.

Dawna wrote::

"why the hell do you come here & do what you normally do, bash shawn's readers, troll, misconstrue, deflect, deny and all those lovely other things that we all have noticed that you do in other posts on this blog? Sounds like your road to happy needs some street sweeping & a GPS."


Dawna:

Who is we. Can you define that more clearly.

I can't speak for other happily reconciled spouse, but somehow I seriously doubt that other reconciled spouses here consider me a troll, or even think that I deflect, deny, or misconstrue.

I am sure there are posters here who think that, but they are likely not the happily reconciled ones.

People do sometimes deny and other times they project, but unless I am their longtime psychologist, I could never diagnose them.

I am open to discussion and other opinions.

Are you?

Dawna said...

TL,

A lot of us here are supportive and in the last year that I have been reading here I have noticed BS jump down several women's throats over nothing really. Seems like she's bored at home and gets off on being oppositional & combative. She needs to chill the eff out. It's probably that same arumentative personality that got her cheated on in the first place. Bitter is not a cute look. There's no black & white in my thinking at all, what matters is I support shawn in her reconciliation & that is all that matters. Best of luck to all.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shawn,

Let me begin by saying that i am not one of those hit and run anonymous followers that you usually have. I have read your blog start to finish and i want to say: Thank You!! I will get to why i want to thank you, however i need to rewind back to my story to be able to get to my point.
I cheated on my DH. 2 1/2 years ago to be exact. Am I proud of what i did? NO! Am I glad I got another chance? ABSOLUTELY, EVERY DAY!
I work in a coorporate office and i had my head in the clouds for a looong time. Could not see through my fog. Thought i was so unhappy with my 3year marriage, i still can not explain WTH I was thinking at the time. Possibly that someone else can make me happier, give me something that i don't have at home (it never happens!). We worked together, night shift. It wasnt too long until i put my guard down (i know better now). I guess the only difference is that we never talked outside of work over the phone, we never exchanged our numbers at all(maybe he was scared of getting caught too, because he was married as well). We just left it at: "I'll see you tomorrow at work". But my husband is smarter than that. I didn't have to not talk to the other guy for my husband to realize that something had been going on. I was absent from my marriage. My husband always tried to please me, do everything I loved to do, make me the happiest woman alive, and I didn't care.
Now everyday of my new life is a struggle. More because I watch my husband suffer and I am powerless of being able to help him heal. The only way I can ease the pain he is feeling is by changing my life, and that is what i have been doing in the past two and a half years. You blog has allowed me to capture all of the feelings my husband felt and is still feeling. But we are getting better now... more and more each day. There is hope (IF the cheating spouse TRULY & HONESTLY decides to change and COMPLETELY devote themselves to their hurt spouse)!!! My husband was never controlling, which now i understand he probably should have been in the first place. But I choose to call him now, every single day when i get to work so he knows that i am there. I choose to call him before i leave and have him call my work phone when he pleases. It is probably the least i can do for him. I have so much more to say, i wish i can find my way of expressing my feelings... Mostly gratitude of being able to live my new life all over again - the right way. I feel like i took life for granted, and threw it away like it meant nothing. Now I am looking forward to our future together, only God knows what will happen.
You are a strong person, a fighter! You didn't have to forgive your husband for what he did - hell, he could've cheated on you all over again... there would've been no point in reconciliation. But you have a good heart, just like my husband. I can relate him to you. And by reading how you felt and how you feel now, gives me hope for tomorrow. Every day is different for yesterday, sometimes worse, sometimes ten times better. But it's honest, and meaningful. I'm sure people will have their own opinions on what i did and where i am now, but as you said, this is my life. I am entitled to my opinion, and right now, i am trully happy where I am. I married because of love, but I didn't see that until after DD. So, Thank You for being transparent in sharing your raw emotions. Hope you continue to live your new life happy and truly and hope your husband realizes what extraordinary woman you are. I hope you two can enjoy the rest of your life together, and hope that people that cannot corelate to your feeling, will simply find an easy way out of your life and look for a very opposite, negative blog. Keep doing what your doing, can't wait to read your story.


Truly,
~M

Anonymous said...

Dear Shawn,

Let me begin by saying that i am not one of those hit and run anonymous followers that you usually have. I have read your blog start to finish and i want to say: Thank You!! I will get to why i want to thank you, however i need to rewind back to my story to be able to get to my point.
I cheated on my DH. 2 1/2 years ago to be exact. Am I proud of what i did? NO! Am I glad I got another chance? ABSOLUTELY, EVERY DAY!
I work in a coorporate office and i had my head in the clouds for a looong time. Could not see through my fog. Thought i was so unhappy with my 3year marriage, i still can not explain WTH I was thinking at the time. Possibly that someone else can make me happier, give me something that i don't have at home (it never happens!). We worked together, night shift. It wasnt too long until i put my guard down (i know better now). I guess the only difference is that we never talked outside of work over the phone, we never exchanged our numbers at all(maybe he was scared of getting caught too, because he was married as well). We just left it at: "I'll see you tomorrow at work". But my husband is smarter than that. I didn't have to not talk to the other guy for my husband to realize that something had been going on. I was absent from my marriage. My husband always tried to please me, do everything I loved to do, make me the happiest woman alive, and I didn't care.
Now everyday of my new life is a struggle. More because I watch my husband suffer and I am powerless of being able to help him heal. The only way I can ease the pain he is feeling is by changing my life, and that is what i have been doing in the past two and a half years. You blog has allowed me to capture all of the feelings my husband felt and is still feeling. But we are getting better now... more and more each day. There is hope (IF the cheating spouse TRULY & HONESTLY decides to change and COMPLETELY devote themselves to their hurt spouse)!!! My husband was never controlling, which now i understand he probably should have been in the first place. But I choose to call him now, every single day when i get to work so he knows that i am there. I choose to call him before i leave and have him call my work phone when he pleases. It is probably the least i can do for him. I have so much more to say, i wish i can find my way of expressing my feelings... Mostly gratitude of being able to live my new life all over again - the right way. I feel like i took life for granted, and threw it away like it meant nothing. Now I am looking forward to our future together, only God knows what will happen.
You are a strong person, a fighter! You didn't have to forgive your husband for what he did - hell, he could've cheated on you all over again... there would've been no point in reconciliation. But you have a good heart, just like my husband. I can relate him to you. And by reading how you felt and how you feel now, gives me hope for tomorrow. Every day is different for yesterday, sometimes worse, sometimes ten times better. But it's honest, and meaningful. I'm sure people will have their own opinions on what i did and where i am now, but as you said, this is my life. I am entitled to my opinion, and right now, i am trully happy where I am. I married because of love, but I didn't see that until after DD. So, Thank You for being transparent in sharing your raw emotions. Hope you continue to live your new life happy and truly and hope your husband realizes what extraordinary woman you are. I hope you two can enjoy the rest of your life together, and hope that people that cannot corelate to your feeling, will simply find an easy way out of your life and look for a very opposite, negative blog. Keep doing what your doing, can't wait to read your story.


Truly,
~M

Anonymous said...

I have felt a little uncomfortable with BS's postings as well.

Alittle strident and bitter.

I thought those qualities belonged to people who had not reconciled happily.

Shawn never evervtakes offence to an honest disagreement but conveys her point of view very firmly and eruditely.BS launches a personal attack
Just the oter day there was mention of some Chumplady of sorts who advocated leaving cheters , who herself had divorced two cheaters and was on her 3rd marriage..happy or that is what BS wrote.

And then she said it wont be long before the 3rd one also cheats because all men cheat and who is this lady to think she has found a husband who is honest.

Scary, the place you are in BS.

Hugs

Anonymous said...

I've been reading through your blog during the last few days (I'm off work for a while because I broke my wrist).
I'm the betrayed wife, of course, 3 years 7 months ... post-DDay (I stopped counting days after the 3rd anniversary).
I'm still in my marriage, well...sort of, I'm still traying to understand what kind of relationship can I build out of all the mess.
I found out that my husband of almost 21 years (he was 49 at the time) was having intercourse with a 29-year-old he had met some 8 months before.
It took me 2 months to discover that he had had another affair with a workmate (one I know and who had also tried, with his help, to make friends with me) that had lasted for 3 years!!!
Don' t need to describe how I felt, thinking about her hugging and kissing me and my children and spending holidays together (she is married too, with a daughter the age of my youngest) while fucking my husband and their dad.
Alessandra
P.S. I' m writing from Italy, so forgive my mistakes, English is not my mothertongue!

mountainsailing said...

"It's probably that same arumentative personality that got her cheated on in the first place."

That's completely uncool.

And if you know anything about affairs, you know that's not why they happen. They're due to the WS not being equipped to deal with issues, NOT dur to anything the BS did.

BS said...

Dear M:

I read your long post to Shawn.

I hope you don't mind me commenting on it.

As a betrayed spouse, I have to say thank you. As a betrayed spouse, your post was a very helpful post to read.

It makes me feel even happier that I chose to reconcile, rather than run away.

My Husband, has said to me almost all the words you wrote.

So, hearing it from someone else. An articulate person like you who is also saying "WTF was I thinking," helps a lot. Really.

Have you said these words to your husband. If not, it can only help you and him recover more deeply.

if you have said these words to him, then I have no doubt that he will get past this.

It can take as long as 5 years and so do not lose hope.

If you keep on thinking and talking the way you do. Your marriage can be better.

You are taking responsibility instead of blaming your husband. I am sure like every other human being on this planet, he has faults. But you seem to realize he was not to blame for your affair.

I hope your husband has engaged in self examination to change himself for the better in the marriage, going forward.

Again, thank you for posting from your perspective.

Your post has helped me. I hope my words in turn help you.

Anonymous said...

Dear BS,


Your comment had me tear up, because of all the mixed emotions i keep inside, and you thanked me for expressing myself. My husband and I do talk now, especially when he has more questions that he needs answers to. I have told him how trully sorry I am and that I am the only one to be blamed for my poor decisions. I have hurt my family and brought them nothing but shame and negativity. So, my goal is to change that and turn our lives for the better. I enjoy things 100% more now than I did before.. it can be as simple as cooking or cleaning or grocery shopping. We've always been each other's company no matter where are, it's just that this time I look forward to our Friday midnight grocery shopping, or Saturday movie nights... anything, you name it! In the beginning I blamed him, I blamed us for moving overseas and taking with a baby and changing out lifestyle 100%. But, two and a half years later, alot of time to process my thoughts, I've come to realize that I have only myself to blame. No one forced me to talk to the OM, no one forced me to give myself to him or make "plans" with him... there is ABSOLUTELY NO excuse to cheating on your spouse... NONE! and if one does, it is THEIR fault only.
This is what I've come to realize. If one person is SO unhappy about their marriage, first of all, work on your marriage before you decide to destroy so many lives. Reconciliation AFTER cheating is so much harder than working on it before it happens. Another thing, if you really, truly fall out of love and feel like there is no way to cure your marriage, cheating will not help... I'm not a divorce supporter, but it sure as hell is better than hurting your spouse by cheating. IT WILL NOT GET YOU ANYWHERE!
No one is perfect. My husband isn't and most definitely I am not either. I choose to stay with him. I was given the oportunity to chose the easy way out (is there even an easy way out?!) and get a divorce... but I begged to stay and work hard every day. I cry on my way home from work when i drive for half hour because I regret my decisions every day of my life. I wish none of this would have happened, but then everything happens for a reason, and i think this happened so I can open my eyes and realize what i have in front of me. I am afraid to say that if it didn't happen then, it probably would have eventually, and I'm not sure if he would've wanted to work things through. So, as sad and broken as I am, I am also happy to know that I am still with my family.
I am aware that it takes a long time for a broken heart to heal, but I have nothing but time. I am looking forward to our future together and if anything, I learned to be A LOT MORE patient than I ever was. I am willing to wait until he comes back to his senses, and I am prepared to live with the man who lost all trust in me. What he did for me is unexplainable. Not only did he give me another chance to be with him, but he opened up my eyes to who I really was. So, I fight MYSELF every single day, remind myself constantly that being truthful is the only key to his heart. But I will fight for him because he is worth it. He has given me more than I ever be able to repay him back in a lifetime.

I am glad my comment helped. I wish I could comment more... Trust me, I have alot more to say, but I don't want to bore anyone. I don't know how my perspective might help hurt spouses, but if there is any way I could help, i definitely will try to.

Take care and I hope everything works out for you!

~M

BS said...




M Wrote:

"I wish none of this would have but then everything happens for a reason, and i think this happened so I can open my eyes and realize what i have in front of me."



M:

Maybe it happened so BOTH of you could open your eyes and see what you have in front of you.

Or, to see that marriage requires work.... Ongoing work, on the part of both spouses, in order to last a lifetime.

You both obviously saw something in each that made you both want to marry each other.

Later, perhaps you both started taking each other for granted.

I think the psychologists say 3 years is when most people start to take each other for granted and become complacent about the relationship.

After 3 years most people fail to remember that a good marriage requires ongoing attention to detail, even if they realized that going into the marriage.

I have read of psychologists who have likened marriage to a garden that needs ongoing attention and care to thrive and keep the weeds from taking over.

They say that, we can't just plant the seeds and walk away from the garden and think it will look beautiful forever.

The garden to retain its beauty and health requires a lot of attention.

Both parties to a marriage need to tend to it to keep it thriving and healthy.


M Wrote:

"I am glad my comment helped. I wish I could comment more... Trust me, I have alot more to say, but I don't want to bore anyone."



M:

You won't be boring me with your articulate postings.

This is Shawn's blog, so I can't speak for her.

But I think she has many times written that she is open to other opinions.

If your husband is working on the marriage, too, your husband may be able to trust you more again. Likely never 100 percent, but more and more as you remain consistent in your truthful actions.

At least that has been my own experience.




Anonymous said...

First off, I apologize for the length. This will take a few posts.

A few days ago, I finished reading the entirety of your story. I feel compelled to comment for many reasons. Your level of transparency and emotion was truly captivating. It resonated. It tugged on my heart in so many ways. Your hurt, your turmoil, your passion - it has all broken my heart to read. With my SO (significant other), I've experienced nothing but faithfulness. SO is my rock, and the one constant that emerged after the hurricane of a bad relationship. But I feel your story has awakened me, and given me some valuable perspective.

As I mentioned, my previous relationship many years ago was a hurricane. I was not married then, and I was very young. I'd been emotionally manipulated and cheated on more than once by this man-child. I visited my own version of crazy town. I remember creating false profiles trying to catch my ex in the lies. It worked. Every time I posed as a hipster chick who was into indie music, he fell for it, took the bait, and conveniently expressed that we had just broken up. (We hadn't.) Knowing his passwords, I even posed as him once in messenger and used that to harbor information. He was full of lies. I couldn’t stand it. When someone breaks your trust, your sense of security and stability is shattered. You go a little bit insane. That was about the worst of it, but there were plenty of other moments of crazy, sprinkled here and there. I’m pretty sure he thought I was loony tunes. But the fury and heartache that come from a cheating partner cannot be rationalized. I get that.

I also know how it is to be past crazy town & find such strength in revamping the story – this time from a distance. It’s such a powerful feeling to be able to revisit the past so casually. Some may think you are still inside of it, but I understand your need to write, especially if you haven’t fully articulated the story before. I think sometimes it’s easier to bring it all out – relive the raw emotions – when we’re at a bit of distance. There are different levels of distance, which is likely why you can recapture that rawness. I did it through writing too, for a long, long time. I know how liberating writing about it from a distance can be. While I don’t agree with everything you’ve ever done or said, I get it. And I empathize with your situation greatly. (cont)

Anonymous said...

(cont from above)
Unfortunately, I was also played the role of "other woman" once. Same guy. The circumstances were a bit different, granted. We aren’t talking about a 30 year marriage, but the feelings you’ve written about resonate. My ex was a little older than me (the kind of older that wouldn’t matter now, but mattered at the time) and preyed on my naivety. He knew what strings to pull. (I cringe at how pathetically weak I was – it was the death of feminism for sure.) When he'd moved on and entered into a relationship with a wonderful girl (I pitied her), I cut off communication. I did not want any part, even though I was hurt he got to move on, leaving me in the dust. (“Karma” kicked him to the curb later on, though.) But he was relentless. 6 months later, it came crashing down. Long story short, he came over uninvited, started a fight with my brother, which gained my sympathy, got me alone in his car, then appealed himself to my weak, lonely vulnerable self. My frail, broken and pathetic voice whispered, "no..." but my body didn't resist. I could have stopped it, but I was an emotional wreck. The bastard even had a single condom in his pocket. He had one thing in mind when he came for me. (New girlfriend was deeply religious and had wanted to wait…so had I.) Afterward he cried, told me she had broken up with him. Didn't hear from him for weeks. It was clear he used me. Next thing I know, he proposed to her. Long story short, our rendezvous came out. She contacted me. Emailed me. Made demands. I shamefully obeyed, communicated with her requests for information, for proof. I knew firsthand how hurt she was. I had been to crazy town. She became more controlling, but I understood. At some point though, I couldn't do it anymore. And I could see she was torturing herself. The last email and request she sent to me, I ignored. I cut her off in part because I was trying to go down my own road of healing. And let me tell you, I suffered in many ways. To her it probably looked as though life resumed. And unfortunately, I moved on before she did. I think that is the true injustice. (Every individual will go down a different path of healing, and sometimes the betrayer finds happiness first.) But I carried that weight, that shame. If I didn’t show transparency toward her, it was because I was shut down. I still suffer to this day from the baggage from that awful relationship. And I know it's different and hard to compare - he and I had a longer history than they did, and we’d had it first. No marriages or kids here. As a mother myself, I know the stakes are higher. I know years of marriage makes the stakes higher. But I have been in both places to an extent - I've tasted the feelings on both ends.

Here is another point from which this hits me. I confess, I had feelings for a married man before. He was in a position of mentorship to me. I was an intern of sorts - he too got me a job. I was not 24 – in fact, I met him when I was 16, and he reeled me in the year I turned 18. Even at that tender age, I can tell you, I sure as hell knew better. I had a strong moral compass. But unfortunately, logic does not fall in the realm of irrational. The feelings overcame me like a wave. He was not 60, but he was old enough to show a receding hairline. What was attractive about him? He was confident, warm, wise (so I thought), and a protector. We all know infatuation covers up a multitude of flaws. Much like the trip to crazy town, or the fog – that’s what I’d describe it as. I was in a fog. I began to rationalize my feelings. I’d met his wife a few times. Sweet, nice, deserving, attractive. It didn’t matter. I couldn’t turn off the feelings. Her presence, if anything, was largely absent for me. She never entered into our work space, and therefore she didn’t exist in our world – unrealistic as that was. For him, however, he went home to her and woke up with her every morning. He lived in two separate worlds; I just had one.

Anonymous said...

(cont from above)
Before you get too angry with me, I was not one to “go after” a married man, and I never did so. But I also worked with him. I had to face him every day, and I couldn’t help melting in his presence. I’m lucky he didn’t give me the opportunity to challenge my moral compass. I’d have lost.

In retrospect, I think he was conflicted about me. He’d extend certain gestures or make comments that showed he was pondering, then he’d turn cold. I think he was weighing the thought in his mind. I refused to act on my foolish feelings, strong as they were – I KNEW they were wrong. But if he had been persistent? Not conflicted? If he had backed me into a corner, manipulated me, said the words I needed to hear (because I was broken and vulnerable)? I’d have melted into his hands like putty. I see that in Jaymie. I WAS Jaymie. I’ve moved on from being in that place, but my thoughts were plagued with guilt. It wasn’t until some distance from that situation when I realized just how much of a close call it had been, and how I was steps away from possibly shattering a marriage. I didn’t, but the foundation had been laid; he just hadn’t set the traps. I learned some years later that he had done this to another young intern of his, and this time he managed to cross the line. He resigned from his job.

Anonymous said...

(cont)
Now here is where I fear you may disregard everything I say (which is ok), and why I feel a strange connection to all of this, and in part why I felt compelled to respond. I know (or rather know of) Jaymie. Someone close to me used to be close to her. (For the record, I’m not quite as young as she is, but yes, I am shy of 30.) Once upon a time, this person would confide in me their feelings regarding their friendship/relationship/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. And since then, she has been on my radar to some extent. Most of what I know of course is second hand, but I have also had the chance to observe her. Not by choice, and not by being a stalker or anything of the sort, just by pure happenstance. In the past decade we’ve crossed paths quite a bit, which is strange. Ever since I first briefly met her, she’s come up time to time in my life, in the kind of way where you think to yourself, “wow, this world is small.” This is one of those instances.

That being said, my perspective is a bit different because for me, Jaymie is a real person. She’s not as much this one dimensional, flat character, as she is for others reading. From my vantage point, I can relate to her. I was in her shoes. But I also understand why you, and other readers, cannot. (It is why the OW of my ex could never forgive me. That was my consequence. She doesn’t owe me that.) There is no doubt that what she did was wrong, and rest assured, she has most likely suffered in silence on her own. That being said, I also know the fog. Where you know the significant other exists, you know her place, you know it’s wrong, but then he spins you into his web and you feel powerless against it. It is easier to give in. It is easier to pretend. Until something brings you out of that fog. Sometimes being found out is what awakens you and brings you to reality. To really face the consequences of what you have done, the ones you had put out of your mind. In that respect, in terms of comments I’ve read about Richard being a serial cheater, I don’t necessarily agree. I do think his past track record is concerning, but I know both of you have one. That in itself proves people can move past their mistakes. They can grow as a new couple. It may never be the same, but the new you may be better than before. I think you’re on the right track. (And I know my opinion is of little concern here, this blog is for you.)

With that, I guess I conclude. I didn’t comment to defend anyone, or to vouch for one side or the other. I guess it is just perspective from someone who feels this unnamed connection. Maybe my words were wasted, or maybe they can offer something – I don’t know. You’re free to disregard them completely.

Thank you for being so transparent. Reading through your experience has awakened me from my winter hibernation mode, encouraged me to reexamine my own relationship and the distance I’ve created within, to stop taking it for granted, to reevaluate the comfort level we’ve slipped into, and to confront this all head on. I may mean nothing to you, but your words have meant something to me. Thank you.

- the observer

Anonymous said...

Today is my wedding anniversary--26 years-- and three years ago yesterday, my husband BEGAN his emotional affair. He said he simply couldn't contain himself. He was out of control. He did this during the same month that my mother died, and while I was sitting shiva, he was secretly on Facebook and the phone with "her," and my daughter also became bat mitzvah during the very short-lived affair. Although he was thoroughly infatuated with the other woman, he left her when I called him out on it. Or very shortly thereafter. We have rebuilt our marriage, and nowadays, he still feels remorse when he thinks about how horribly he behaved.

Like you, our sex life is the best it has ever been, and we are closer and more in love than ever. So it has been worth it. My husband has changed so much for the better. He has opened his heart and has tried to hard to make it up to me. But I still feel pain. I thought by now it would be gone. It is way less than it used to be, and much less frequent, but I can't change my wedding anniversary and the reminder that it brings. I wish I didn't feel sad on our anniversary every year, sad on the anniversary of my mother's death, and unable to look at my daughter's bat mitzvah photos. Neither one of us can. It is too painful.

I know I made the right decision, but when does the pain end?

shawn thewife said...

M: Thank you for sharing your story. It is very brave to open your heart and share your pain. I never discount the amount of pain Richard has suffered since DDay, but I do admit...I have little sympathy for him. Perhaps I need to work on my hard ass attitude!
I'm glad you've found a path on your Road to Happy. I totally understand that reconciliation is hard for the wayward spouse, too.

Your perspective, shared with compassion for the struggle and anguish of many readers here, is welcome and not boring in the least.

Richard shares your level of commitment to my healing. He has also learned (still learning!) that he has to communicate his needs. He must talk to me when he feels something is missing or wrong or just plain old effed up between us. That open, honest communication is, as you said, the key. Not just to my heart, but to a solid marriage.

Please continue to share. Your side of the affair triangle is under represented and your insight valuable.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Observer: You wrote, "Wow. This world is small".
I would completely agree. How did you end up here? Of all the blogs, in all the world...you find the one that is about a person you know?? What are the chances??
I have had others write to me that Googled Jaymie and found this blog, but that was before I removed all of our last names.

You have so many different perspectives to share. Your words were not wasted at all! I am very glad you decided to comment. Your opinion and point of view is valid and everyone here is welcome to share their thoughts as long as the words are written with concern for the palpable pain of other readers.
If my blog resonated with you, I hope the words moved you in a positive way. I don't think you posed any direct questions to me, so I'll just say...thanks for taking the time to share with us.
I appreciate all my readers. Each of you bring something special to the table of affair recovery. Each new addition is valuable to someone.

Please fill me in on how you found my blog.
My curiosity is piqued!
You can email me privately if you prefer.
shawnthewife@aol.com
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous married 26 years:
When does the pain end?? Ain't that the question of the millennium?? I think the only answer that even remotely rings true to me is....the pain of betrayal is unique to each of us, so there is no answer. I can tell you for me...I hope the pain is so remote eventually I barely notice it, but I'm not holding my breath or counting the days anymore. I doubt it will ever evaporate completely.

To move past the pain as much as possible...If you wanna know what I'd do...I'd put those pics of your daughter's Bat Mitzvah on the wall so I could admire them and feel the pride in my child that such a huge event deserves! I would refuse to let the affair take away that joy. I get indignant about it!! Betrayal takes so much from us. Sometimes we just gotta find a way to fight and take it all back!!

There is no amount of time that is the RIGHT amount of time to heal from the trauma of DDay. There is no NORMAL time frame. We just do the best we can.
If we can help you as you walk your Road to Happy, you know where to find us.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Alessandra: From Italy?? Your English is favoloso!

You don't mention if your wayward husband is doing the hard work needed to help you rebuild what he broke. Recovery is such a difficult journey for all of us, but if our cheating spouses don't show true remorse and give us the support as we grieve, moving forward with reconciliation is nearly an impossible mission.

If we can help you in any way as you find your Road to Happy, please come back and let us offer you support. You do not have to find your way alone.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Kate M. said...

Wow, I've been out of the loop for a while and man, do I need to find time to catch up here! But I do want to say this: Shawn, you've laid yourself bare over & again for everyone here and I appreciate the heck out of you for it. I am so grateful that you are willing to to revisit some very painful times in your life in order to help the rest of us and go through your process. Not over, not around, but through. If your process isn't working for a few folks here or there, then they should read other blogs until they find something that works for them.
And BS: I value you greatly as a commenter and have from the time I found this blog. I like straight shooters, so thank you for being one.
I know a woman who cheated a couple of years ago, and her way of dealing with it is "we shall never speak of this again." That's how she deals with anything negative in her life and her husband is the same. So naturally she is on target to commit adultery again, if she isn't already. Her current behavior pattern is pointing in that direction. There are others I know who feel that talking about it shouldn't be done, that you should just "move on." The only way I can move on is by talking about it sometimes, though I need to less as time goes on... and by listening to others share the wisdom they've gained. It's not always pretty. But it's REAL, and I need REAL in my life now more than ever. I don't want things prettied up for me.
So thank you Shawn, BS, and others here for being real. You all have helped me more than you can know.

Anonymous said...

I think (hope) that you saved me from the crazy train. At least the stalker stuff, something I really want to do and would if I had more information on the 27 yr old skank with 3 kids (diff dads, very classy) that my husband of 26 yrs and 4 kids (same dad) had a 2 or 3 yr affair with. I've always had this fear that I would end up on the evening news being led somewhere in handcuffs-and it was this that kept running through my mind as I read your blog-forgive me! My marriage was in shambles from my husbands booze and drugs, and while I had an inkling that he had a piece on the side, I didn't have the heartbroken shock that you had. My husband confessed first to our 60+ yr old babysitter, then to our 21 yr daughter and THEN to me about 10 days ago. I cannot tell you how much your blog helped. It was my first blog and I can't wait to find more. My husband is 52 and skank is 27 so I can relate to the age thing. Wasn't there an email that mentioned "forever"? Like this 24 yr old is not going to have some sort of epiphany that this old guy is going to need a retirement village when she is hitting her prime? That subject must not come up in the heat of passion. I am formulating a "letter to the skank" in my head. As I don't have a name (probably a good thing) I was thinking of sending it to her place of employment, a hotel that my husband stayed at for work(railroad engineer), convenient,yeah? Talk me down! I've never commented on a blog before so forgive the atrocious grammar and run on sentences! And I am posting this anonymous because I cant remember my google account! I am such a rookie>

BS said...


Anonymous wrote:

"I was thinking of sending it to her (the OW's) place of employment, a hotel that my husband stayed at for work(railroad engineer), convenient,yeah? Talk me down!"


To Anonymous:

I am sure Shawn will have some helpful advice.

I would also like to suggest that you write the letter and then burn it.

Writing the letter will be cathartic and setting it on fire may help release you from the thought of contacting her.


Kate M wrote:

"And BS: I value you greatly as a commenter and have from the time I found this blog. I like straight shooters, so thank you for being one."


To Kate M:

Thank you, and I value your posts and Shawn's and the posts of other "straight-shooter type betrayed spouses greatly, too.

They all help me to realize so much.

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous Rookie: Glad you found us and that my time in Crazy Town helped you see the light before you went rouge.
Sorry you needed to find us at all, but the mere fact that you are asking for us to talk you down means you are not gonna make the same mistakes I did. The OW is a complete waste of your time and energy. Give yourself big props for understanding that so quickly.
For now...focus on you, what you need. Please consider therapy. A good counselor can be your best friend right now.
Recovery after DDay is long journey that starts and ends with you. It's about what you need. What you want. No one can tell you what is right for you. We can only share what worked for us.
We will be here when you need friends to walk with you on your Road back to Happy.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Ive never posted before but now I feel is the right time. Tomorrow is the 1 year anniversary of the the day my husband took the decision to cross the line and begin an affair. He 'visited' her 5 times in 7 weeks before ending it and as he put it 'coming to his senses'. I found out in July when we were on vacation celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. He asked me to find an app on his new phone. What neither of us knew was that the search would retrieve the deleted text messages. I was on a beach looking at a phone with a list of explicit messages between my husband and someone who sure as hell wasn't me!. When I showed I knew instantly that he was guilty as sin. I have never felt pain like it in my life and wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy - except for her ! In my hotel room my life fell apart in front of me. But in the same room I knew that the man sobbing in front of me was the man I have loved for almost 30 years and I couldnt bear to be without. I always thought that I would have screamed and shouted, and would have at least slapped him but I did none of those Later I texted her. I told her I knew about the affair and she should accept it was over. I asked her not to make any contact with my husband and to respect the fact that we were going to save our marriage. She texted back. "i'm sorry you've been hurt. It was never my intention. Of course I will stay out of it. Again I apologise". Her apology meant nothing to me but I have to at least give her credit for sticking to her word. There has been no attempt to contact my husband. We spent the remaining 3 days of the holiday trying to come to terms with the revelation. We agreed to tell no one. The last thing I wanted was for our children to find out. They are in their 20's and have an amazing relationship with their dad. If we were going to work this out then what would be gained by inflicting such pain on them and the same would be said for our extended family. My husband is at heart a good man. He made a lousy choice. Should he be punished forever for that?
What neither of us could have known is the depth of pain that this has inflicted. Within a few weeks of coming home I had reached such a low point that I contacted a marriage councelor. I struggled to get out of bed even though lying in bed just gave me more time to focus on all the shitty scenarios your head makes up. We had a really good councellor. She was the outlet I needed as until that point I had no one to talk to about it. She could see from both of us that our relationship was worth saving and that gave me confidence. She also told me that I was through the worst and it would become easier in time. She also put my husband in his place when he said he thought I should have stopped crying about it by now - 6 weeks after D Day !!!
The last 9 months have been the hardest of my life. But I want to offer some hope to those who may be where I was last July. Those initial weeks and months are torture. I said it felt like the grief of losing someone close and in a way I did. I lost the husband I thought i could read like a book and learned that I had a husband who was capable of lying and cheating. I did tell him that I believed it would have been easier to get over if he had died. The grief catches you out in the most unexpected places. Just recently i burst into tears in the supermarket for no apparent reason. But the crying will lessen. The thoughts of her wont consume your every waking minute. The time between your lows will get longer. Dont get me wrong I still wake up every morning and the thoughts are there but I have learned to distract myself with other thoughts and it helps.
My relationship with my husband now is fantastic. The affair happened at a time when I was focussing too much time on my job...

Anonymous said...

2nd post: The affair happened at a time when I was focussing too much time on my job. Bringing too much work home with me at the end of a long day. Even when were in the same room I would still check emails or facebook and not talking to him. My husband said he felt very lonely and he knows now he should have talked to me about it but thought that would cause me even more stress. If only he had really thought that through !
I thought that it was OK for me to work as I did because my marriage was fine. my husband knew I loved him and that I appreciated everything he did for me. I believed I didnt have a marriage that could be at risk from an affair. Please dont read this as I am taking the blame for the affair. ABSOLUTELY NOT. He made that choice. But I do accept that I made too many assumptions that my husband was OK and i really wasnt looking after him emotionally - and physically.
So where am I now? My marriage is now in reality what I thought it was before. I believed our marriage was as near as damn perfect but with hindsight I took my eye of the ball and let complacency take over. It needed work and I just didnt see it.
Our life now is spent together both emotionally and physically. I have made major changes to my working life. I wake up for a 20 minute cuddle in the morning before we even get out of bed. We eat breakfast together. We send texts during the day and we talk every day at lunch - just 5 minutes. We do exercise classes together a couple of times a week and we make a point of going to a hotel at least once a month just to get... well no interuptions ! Our 'love' life is amazing because we now take more time to focus on each other.
I still have my tearful moments but my husband just holds me and helps me get through it. He has ticked every box in our recovery. I know I wouldnt be where I am now without him. You could argue that it was he who put us in this situation and yes you'd be right. There will always be triggers. You dont realise how many tv shows and films deal with affairs until youve been through it. Music too. But I just squeeze his hand and let it pass. Reassurance is a big thing in recovery. My husband has told me over and over he will never make the same mistake again and I trust him. Without that our marriage wouldnt be able to move forward in the way that it has. I dont believe the 'once a cheater .. ' statement. My husband knows that there will be no more chances. But we know what we have to lose.
There were times I thought I would never get through this but I hope that someone reading this gets some hope from my story. Much love x

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous!! You are a Reconciliation Rock Star!
I can't thank you enough for sharing your story of Hope and success. Many readers will be uplifted by your happy ending...or maybe I should say beginning!
Much love, thanks, Hope & Hugs,
Shawn

Anonymous said...

Reconciliation Rock Star lol. I hope that some of your readers do get some hope from my post. I know how much your blog has helped me. I loved your straight talking. So many of your thoughts have been my thoughts too.
I don't want to give readers the impression that my journey has been easy. Far from it. My original post was very much condensed as to tell everything would have ended up as a novel!
What I would say is that getting answers from my husband was so important. I got the basic information initially. The how often and where these 'visits' took place. But my mind became obsessed with the detail. My husband didn’t offer any information - I had to ask. He would come back with "why do you keep bringing this up? It’s over". It took a long time for him to realise that not having the accurate information allowed my head to make up its own version which invariably was worse than the reality. It’s torture. I had to remind him that he at least knew all the detail and I didn’t. For several weeks after D Day he refused to answer my questions. Eventually though he agreed to talk about how it all happened. I wanted to know exactly how it started. I wanted to know just what she said to him that made him think it was OK for this to happen. I wanted to know why he was willing to take the risk of potentially losing all that we had worked for - our marriage, the relationship with his children who I know would have rejected him for this, relationships with family and friends. He admitted that his unwillingness to talk about it was because he felt completely ashamed about what he’d done.
For me the painful knowledge that I was replaced by someone else was unbearable. I still got texts from him during his affair telling me he loved me. Guilt? Probably. Genuine? He assures me it was. I was relieved though that he hadn’t gone out actively looking for someone else. It was an opportunity that he knows he should have ignored but he didn’t. She got his cell phone number. She sent him many texts making it clear what was on offer and he gave in. She wasn’t in the least concerned he was married.
It nearly destroyed me knowing that my husband could cast me aside so easily in favour of some slut he talked to in a bar for 10 minutes. We have talked about websites that cater for fuck buddies and he says he doesn’t know how people can do that. I have pointed out that he was one of them – just without the aid of a website. He was having sex with her within minutes of going into her house. There may have been a week between the introduction and the first event but he was basically screwing someone he didn’t know. I said I imagined them laughing at me because I had no clue it was going on. He said she never mentioned me and he admitted he never thought about me. Eventually though he did start to think more about me and about what he was doing and ended it. I am still irritated by the fact that he didn’t ever tell her he wouldn’t be back. He just stopped answering her texts. I have told him that was keeping his options open but he disagrees. He says he has no idea what she wanted from it all. I wonder if she wanted a long term relationship with him? She’s a 43 year old single mom. Was she planning to take him from me permanently? He thinks she was just in it for the sex. He says he never had any intention of leaving me but he never had any intention of me finding out about it either. He might not have been given the choice about leaving once I did find out.
I don’t know her surname so I can’t look for her on facebook or dating sights but that’s probably a good thing. I would like to know what she looks like. It’s the same thing every betrayed wife goes through – is she prettier, thinner….. I often think I would like to meet her to ask her why she thought it was OK to destroy my life as it was. I did text her the day I found out - "for your own self-respect stick to single guys in future - its causes far less trauma". She never answered that one!

Anonymous said...

I am still haunted by the thoughts of them sexting each other. It still makes me sick to think of what they did together. We had a row recently when, after we had made love I asked if he had done a particular thing with her. He said no. He got really angry because it’s not the first time I’ve asked the question. I tried to explain that by having sex with her, he gave away the most precious, intimate even sacred part of our marriage which was no longer just ours. You may find it hard to believe that I had sex with my husband on D Day within hours of finding out. I had this overwhelming urge to show him how much I wanted him. Bizarre. It was mind blowing. But I was left wondering was he thinking about her the entire time. But I have asked him for ‘exclusives’- the things he didn’t do with her. Let’s face it there’s a fairly standard set of moves when it comes to sex and I have to accept that he did them. But if there are things that we do that he didn’t do with her then it gives me back some of that intimacy. Being able to say “ well she didn’t get this” helps me when the bitch invades my mind during sex. Thankfully that’s not every time.
My husband says he never thinks about the affair. He said he can barely remember what she looks like. He is only forced to think about it when I bring it up. He is lucky he can block it out so completely. I didn’t know how he would feel about me posting. We were in a hotel at the weekend lying on the bed just holding each other when I decided to tell him. I felt like it was a secret and I didn’t want that between us. I read it to him and he started to cry before I reached the end. He said it brought back how much pain I had gone through and he was responsible for it. But he also said he needed to hear it from my point of view. Writing that post and this one has been such a positive experience for me. I thought that the anniversary of them getting together would be traumatic. The reality was very different. I spent the day laughing and joking with my husband and yes the sex was great. Don’t get me wrong I did think about it but I also thought of all the GAINS you referred to and there are many. And like you I would have loved to have reached this point without the affair but I can’t change it now. It’s a fact I have to live with. But it’s how I (we) move forward that’s important.
When I found out back in July I was worried that in my situation it would be expected that I would divorce him. I was worried friends and family would think I was a complete idiot for forgiving him. All the more reason not to tell anyone. That way I had to rely on me for making decisions and not be influenced by others who may have their own agenda. I say go with your gut instinct. I sure as hell wasn’t willing to throw away 29 years of my life over some skanky Friday fuck buddy. I have learned that asking questions can cause more pain so think carefully about why you are asking it. Think about the possible answers and what you plan to do with the information. Ask yourself “ does this really matter?” and more importantly “ can I handle it if I hear something I don’t want to?” You have to be emotionally ready to deal with his responses or it could cause you more pain.
I feel I’ve hijacked your page with my post. It makes such a difference knowing that someone has read my story and understands my pain. But I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life with the man I fell in love with 30 years ago. We may be emotionally battered and bruised by this but they are wounds that over time will heal so completely that they will become a distant memory.
Thank you Shawn for your posts and supportive, healing comments. You are an inspiration to me and so many others. Much love again
Rock star  xxxxxxx

shawn thewife said...

Rock Star: I sure named you perfectly!! You never have to apologize for commenting here. Every word, each emotion and experience shared on these virtual pages will touch another.
Writing helps us as it helps others. It's a beautiful thing!

I am so glad you're here. Please stick around. I know you can be an inspiration to many other betrayed spouses.
Thank you for telling your story.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Reconcilliation Rockstar said...

Hi Shawn
I am more than happy to keep reading and posting on your blog. If I can be of help to anyone then great. It will be another GAIN which has come about as a result of something traumatic.
I am posting from the UK so you have touched hearts globally :-) What an amazing gift you have given me and so many others. I don’t have very strong religious beliefs but I do believe that everything in life happens for a reason - even the crap! Maybe my husband’s affair was the jolt, the wake-up call we needed to ensure we do stay together ‘til death us do part. Wish there had been an alternative though!
I know there are no guarantees that he won’t do it again. I have to believe and trust in him when he says it won’t. I can’t control him but I can make sure that he knows every day he is my priority and that our marriage is THE most important thing in our lives.
When he came home last night from work it was the end of a really crappy day. He was telling me what had happened and we talked about it. I started to cry because this time last year he was feeling really bad about his job - the same time the affair started. I told him I was worried that he was feeling the same as he did then and it made me feel really insecure. He held me and said that last year he was coming home knowing that I would be distracted by other things and not there to listen him. Our life now is so very different. As he put it we are in a very different place. He knows that if he wants to rant about his job he can and I will listen and comfort him. He says he looks forward to coming home so we can be together.
Today is Friday and I just got the text which tells me he is looking forward to spending the weekend with me. I get one every week. Sometimes he will detail exactly what he would like us to do ( if our kids would just leave the house for long enough !!! ). He's sexting me on a Friday now instead of her. I can’t wait to get out of work to get home too. It’s strange being in a 30 year relationship with someone and yet now I get feelings like I did when I first met him at 18 and he says he feels the same - and it’s great.
My husband still goes out with his friends some Friday nights to the same bar he met her. As I’ve said his friends have no clue what happened. It used to be torture knowing she could be there but she never has been. It has worried me that if he did meet her it may re-ignite the feelings he had before but he says he is not even interested in saying hello to her. He says if she approaches him he will tell her that he wishes it had never happened, the devastation that it caused to us and the guilt he feels about the excruciating pain he caused me. He'll tell her he realised that he had someone at home already who he couldn’t bear to part with - unlike her. Whether or not he ever gets the opportunity to say these things we'll have to wait and see but I have every faith in him that he will stick to his word. Every time he goes to the bar he will text to say "all quiet here xx love u xx" meaning she's not there and it settles my mind. It might be different if he texts "not so quiet tonight" but we'll see.
It may have been easier to have walked away from my marriage but in my wedding vows I said ‘for better or worse’. This has been the worst it could possibly be but I have learned so much about myself. I am a much stronger person than I thought I was. I could not have been happy wondering for the rest of my days ‘what if Id tried to save it’. My husband says he would have fought for me and wouldn’t have given up trying to win me back. I could never criticize anyone for walking away after infidelity – it’s not my call to make. All I can say is that staying in the marriage and working together has given us not just a stronger relationship but a real understanding of just what we mean to each other and what we stand to lose.

Reconcilliation Rockstar said...

cont'd I would also encourage anyone reading this that is hesitant about posting a blog to go ahead and do it. I have had as much benefit from writing these posts as I did seeing a marriage counsellor because I’ve been allowed to write what I feel and not have the conversation directed by someone else. I am not knocking marriage counselling, far from it, but writing down your thoughts is such a cathartic experience and shouldn’t be underrated. If posting feels too public, keep a journal. I feel it’s been positive for my husband to read my posts even though he has found it difficult to hear my true feelings – it makes him feel so guilty all over again.
If you are reading this it’s almost certain that you have been affected by infidelity. I completely understand the pain you are no doubt in. If its early days please believe me that it will get better. If you choose to stay in your relationship have faith in it. Have faith in your spouse but most importantly have faith in yourself. You will come through this. I only hope and pray that you will be as happy as I am.. I know I still have a bit to go in my own recovery – I’ll keep you posted.
Much love
xx