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

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Debbie Downer Checking In

I almost didn't post this.  As you may have come to understand if you are a regular reader, I don't like myself much when I whine.  I expect more from myself.  I like to wear the Toughie Pants.  Then, I figured screw it.  This blog started out as a virtual diary, a place to pour out my emotional bile and help me understand how to feel better, to DO better.  I put everything else out there, might as well show the world my whimpering side.  I'm working hard to convince Debbie Downer that depression isn't a sign of weakness.   It just means maybe I've tried to be strong for too long.

Before DDay, I never really understood the condition of depression.  I had not experienced it.  It was so foreign to me.  I considered it to be a state of mind that only infected weak people that couldn't get out of their own way.

Self-righteous and pompous much??  My judgmental mind thinks God doesn't like us to be self-righteous and oh so sure of our inner strength, so He sent me a ticket on the Karma bus to knock me right off that lame high horse.  That ticket was called DDay.
Don't scoff!  I know infidelity is never the fault of the betrayed.  I didn't deserve to get kicked in the heart.  I KNOW!  God wasn't really punishing me for feeling superior to those that don't wear Toughie Pants.  But, when other parts of my life aren't shining like rainbows and running like clock work, I just don't bounce back or fight back like I did before DDay, so sometimes I feel a little more sorry for myself than I should....or than I would have Pre-DDay.

Let me try to explain my melancholy attitude.  I've told you that I have tried very hard to learn to be a more sympathetic person since the end of my time in Crazy Town.  The old Toughie Pants me strives daily to be compassionate for others in pain instead of rolling my eyes and thinking something intolerant like, "Quit whining! Suck it up and move on!"
Well...maybe I wasn't that indifferent and hateful, but I was no bleeding heart to be sure.  If I can find understanding and even tender feelings for others suffering, why can't I give myself a break when I'm in pain??  When my heart aches, I get angry with myself.  What's up with that??

There is no doubt that I have been wallowing in a pseudo-state of depression for over a month.  I wasn't gonna write about it because I felt my woefulness unworthy of screen time.  I keep waiting for Toughie Pants to show up and rescue me.  She has been absent too long.  My spirit is as flat as Kate Moss' chest and I am sick of it!

Before you start thinking Richard did something heinous, let me clarify.  He is innocent.  I am heavy hearted because of something else regarding other members of my family.  This situation is just too personal to share.  I give you all most of my life here on these pages, but I am loathe to drag other dear loved ones into my online pity party.  Suffice it to say, my heart feels like a truck full of lead is resting upon it and I am helpless to do anything to change the course of the situation.
So as not to worry you, no one is terminal or even slightly ill.  It is all about distance, time apart and choices being made by someone I love more than life itself that has given life to Debbie Downer.

Debbie became part of my persona after DDay.  I never knew anything about her before then.  She had never revealed herself to me previously.  When I began to walk my Road to Happy, I thought I beat her back.  I was way wrong about that.  She lies in wait, just under the surface, for any situation that rocks my world.
She sucks the life outta me.
I question my lack of resiliency right now.  Did the affair aftermath rob me of my backbone? My steadiness? Should I be resigned to the fact that I am most certainly not the same person I was before?  OR...would I have reacted the same way right now dealing with this issue even if there had never been a DDay?

Besides questioning myself an exorbitant amount, I also worry that Richard will get tired of me being less than I used to be and move on.  Doesn't sound like I'm feeling my marriage is all that and a big bag of chips, does it?  But, in the deepest part of my soul, I believe it is stronger than any of our 31 years together.  Seriously.  How can I feel so sure of us yet question his commitment?
He has watched me sink for a month.  He has tried to be supportive but he is sad as well.  As I struggle with this fresh drama I worry about disappointing Richard.  WHY??  Because, contrary to what I am telling you I truly believe about our relationship, I worry he will get very tired and become exasperated with Debbie Downer and seek out a new Jaymie!
Irrational?  You bet! Since when does that matter to a depressed person?  I never claimed or even thought I was perfect before, far from it, but since DDay, every now and again, when Debbie Downer rules the roost, I feel the need to be closer to perfect to protect myself from being hurt again.
That's a whole new neighborhood in Crazy Town.
That's a whole lot of pressure.

I'm not sure writing this is helping.

Here's the big question...why can't I just deal with the issue at hand without intermingling emotional baggage from the affair?  It's been 3 1/2 years!!  Will I battle with Debbie Downer and lingering effects of Richard's infidelity forever?  Will I ever stop questioning myself when I am in a tight spot?
Is this normal or am I not nearly as far along my Road to Happy as I profess?
Geez.  Son of a bitch.  I can't focus.  Somebody smack me.


TryingHard said...

OMG Shawn, I am in the exact same spot. I too am broken hearted not by anything my H did but like you by two people I love more than my own life. The drama was so vile and mean for no reason. I don't know what to do and I don't see my shrink for two more weeks. I know what she's going to say and none of it will be good. Thank God most of it is written in texts so she will now the exact discourse. It's been awful. But my H has been very kind and living. I'm wearing a great mask when he's around.

I believe the act of being betrayed by someone you never thought would do it is so invasive and pervasive it affects every relationship we have. We are so on guard that no one is going to take advantage of us again and YET when it's from those you hold nearest and dearest it's just such a deep wound or salt in an old wound.

I know you talk about the road to happy but that road will be forever fraught with landmines that are just out of our control. We have no control over others or their words and actions. Yes the infidelity comes into play AGAIN and all it's subsequent bad thoughts and self doubt.

I've learned to keep my personal contacts with others to a minimum, I just can't handle them but these people are unavoidable nor do I want them to be. I'm so hurt I can't sleep but am exhausted. I've bounced back from so many disappointments in life but this one has been personally insurmountable.

I sometimes think these people are mad or disgusted that I gave my husband another chance. It's really just disrespectful and I am not in a place where I can handle disrespect from anyone very well.

Hugs to you and try to focus on yourself and not the discord. At least that's what I'm trying to do:/

Is it bedtime yet????

Kate M. said...

I'm really sorry you're going through a difficult time with loved ones Shawn (you too, TryingHard)... it just seems that after all we've been through in the aftermath of infidelity, God/the Universe would see fit to give us all a break for the rest of our freaking lives. Fuck the unfairness of it all. I know depression well; though I had danced with it before, I had never experienced its true depths until my Mom got Alzheimer's. Being an only child, it has often been an isolating experience... and that's what I was dealing with when I found out about the affair. I had suicidal thoughts for at least a year. I finally had to be put on medication- a big deal for someone as pharmaceutical-shy as myself. That little blue pill is probably saving my life.

It's so true for me, that every relationship I have is somehow affected by the infidelity. On one hand I'm doing well... on the other I know I'll never be the same person I was before Dday. And I realize as I'm typing this that so much of that is occurring in my subconscious... much of the time I'm unaware that I see and feel almost everything through the lens of infidelity. It can be very subtle or glaringly obvious. But it's there.

I understand what you're saying too, about worrying that being in a 'down' state could somehow push our husbands into a place of wanting someone new. I know that my depression and emotional withdrawal had affected him for quite a long time before he met the OW. Part of me understands. But the other part of me gets mad as hell at the thought of him, or anyone, becoming so fucking selfish and self-focused when their spouse is struggling with a painful time in their lives. It's so unfair that, rational or not, any of us should have to worry about such a thing ever again. Yet that's one of the many scars we bear.

((((Hugs)))) to you.

Anonymous said...

Let me first say, I currently work as a marriage and family therapist, have a masters in psychology, while working towards my PhD. I will sign myself as anonymous because what I am about to say is not encouraged @ our practice because as therapists, yes we are there to give advice, but we are also there to help patients come to that conclusion on their own. I can't tell you how many times you want to scream RUN and RUN FAST, but we can't.

And we see how these all too common relationships play out before our very eyes. You just have to guide patients with their own assumptions and thoughts when most of the time, they already know the answer to their own questions. So I am going to speak to you as if you were my sister and you asked me to not hold back on advice and tell you what you need to do.

1.) Don't say Richard is innocent. You're still lying to yourself. You know damn well before the infidelity, you would've been able to handle other family problems without Miss Debbie rearing her ugly head.

2.) (Tough love, here it comes) You must completely kill the old you to get a new you. Which means, you will have to kill your marriage in order to get a new one. Think of anxiety and depression as your own personal alarm system. It is your mind and your body telling you SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT. That something is regardless of 31 years of giving your life and kids to this man, you know damn well you deserved and deserve better. And you summed that up pretty darn well when you said you are worried he will find another jaymie. *ALARM SOUNDING OFF* Hear it? I do. Loud and clear.

You say you are weak, however I believe you are weak not because you are staying, you are weak because you are too afraid to leave. Seperate from the marriage. Go find yourself. If you and Richard find each other later and rebirth the marriage, you will have a new you, a new marriage and a new lease on life.

Otherwise you can spend the rest of your life depressed, exhausted, unable to handle family challenges, tapping your foot wondering when your husband will slip up again while that alarm keeps sounding.

Listen to you alarm Shawn
Hope and Hugs as always

Anonymous said...

Shawn what you are feeling is very normal for a person who stays with a WS.

Those pricks instill in us a deeo sense of insecurity .We believe we always have to be picture perfect for them and that they never suffer any distress on account of our issues. Or else they will medicate themselves between some floozies legs.

Shawn just a thought, Richard sure must be distressed and uncomfortable when you bring up the affair or when you were in crazy town or when you trigger.At those times you never had this sense of insecurty , maybe because you thought he deserved it?

But now when his sadness is on account of some trauma you are going through its worrying you?
It shouldnt Shawn because thats what a marriage is all about , being there for your partner.

Shawn please do not feel guilty or distressed or worried for causing R some sadness, which IS NOT stemming from his affair.Divert that energy into taking care of yourself.

Richard is old enough to take care of himself, for once.

And please Shawn do not worry about R finding another J.If after all that he has put you through , if he can do it once again then he doesnt deserve you.

I hate what these pricks with wandering dicks do to the wives who chose marriage above everything else.

Kate M. said...

To those of you going by "Anonymous"-- you can make up a "pretend" name to use here. I think pretty much everyone does. So many Anons makes it a bit confusing sometimes.

To Anonymous who is a counselor: I proposed a separation to our marriage counselor, who is wonderful and very experienced. His response was "No, unless what you really want is a divorce. If you want to save the marriage, I do not recommend it."

Based on your experience, are most of these marriages ultimately doomed to fail? Or to at least be marred by betrayal again? I understand there are things you cannot say to clients/patients in a professional setting, and appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts here.

Anonymous said...

Shawn, Have you ever considered that maybe blogging has become less theraputic and more harmful to yourself because it keeps you focused on the A? I tried to write after my DDay, and I just couldn't do it. I'd feel even more horrible having to think about the events over and over, and I'd find myself thinking about it when I wasn't writing because I was thinking about what I wanted to write and on and on. It wouldn't allow me to have those precious times when my mind wanted to be happy. I love your blog. You express so many of my thoughts that sometimes I think you're in my head! But it wouldn't be worth it to me if I thought it was, in part, continuing your own turmoil. I know this is off topic, and I've never written a comment before, but today this thought hit me, and I felt compelled to write it. It's the first time I've ever felt compelled to write anything anywhere. I've found for my own sanity, I have to give my mind happiness. I worry about missing my own life if I live too much in the past of what my H did and how much he hurt me. I still plummet into the "affair abiss". I am stuck between needing him to feel how much he hurt me and wanting to fix the hurt inside myself. I want him to suffer for what he did, but that means I have to suffer as well. And my spirit is tired of suffering. I want the good days...and great days, and I want to feel like myself again. So I'm constantly asking myself, is it healthier for me to live in the pain he caused me? Or do I focus on the happiness that my spirit desparately wants to return to? I've accepted for now, it's going to be both, and that's ok. Everytime I read your blog, I say a prayer for you, for me, and for all of us to end the suffering that was thrust upon us.

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous therapist: wow--that was seriously inappropriate advice. Who are you to tell her what to do--she isn't your sister! Her depression is obviously caused in no small measure by her vulnerability and her acute awareness of her vulnerability and not Richard per se. For anyone who has ever experienced a trauma, that's part and parcel of the recovery process.

I do, however, agree with the the second Anonymous writer--I wonder if continuing this blog is fixing you in this moment of trauma for longer then you need to be. It must be a constant reminder of your pain and that just can't be a good thing three plus years on.

Anonymous said...

I think the "marriage counselor" that posted is full of crap. All betrayed spouses have fears of it happening again. Some fears are valid, some aren't. But for a marriage counselor to want to tell people to "run" because of those fears? To imply that the fears of a repeat betrayal and lack of feeling safe in a marriage is somehow an internal alarm screaming "Your fears are correct! Your going to get hurt again! Get out now!" is so manipulative and downright unethical that it screams ulterior motives on your part.
By giving your "credentials" as a marriage expert and then pushing for divorce, you make the whole profession look bad. If a betrayed spouse chooses to stay and try and rebuild (as Shawn has said over and over), all advice should be in support of that decision. To try and make anyone question their decision to stay is downright shameful. If you are the "expert" you claim to be, and sincerely feel this way toward your clients, you need to refocus your efforts to divorce counseling.

Ann N. said...

Kate M, I agree with you about the Anon's, but hadn't given it much thought since I wrote for the first time today. My comments above are asking if writing makes you focus more on the A and DDay, and also telling the "marriage counselor" his/her advice is manipulative. Shawn, you are welcome to change my Anon's if you are able to do that on your end. I'll use this name from now on to help prevent confusion. :)

BetterEveryDay said...

I agree with the other posters here who are calling out the "marriage counselor" on that very flippant advice. I dare say, commenting in such a way on a blog like this is a red flag to me that this is no marriage counselor, but one of Shawn's many antagonists. If a husband and wife have chosen to stay together and work on the marriage, and if the WS is truly remorseful and has opened him/herself up to be transparent to the BS, why in the world would any mental health professional suggest divorce as the only answer? I'm betting they are not a MC and just someone with an axe to grind, yanking Shawn's chain. Just my 2 cents…

As far as your struggles with your family situation... Shawn, I am sure that your Toughie Pants persona has plum tired herself out with all that you have been through in your marriage. I would encourage you to give yourself permission to not always have to be so tough, maybe even schedule an appt. w/ your counselor to talk through some of this burdensome family shit. I feel like in my own life, dealing with the fallout from my husband's affair has made me more sensitive and empathetic to others and their struggles (that is everyone except skanky co-workers who try and improve their status by trading up to someone else's husband). And sometimes that heightened sensitivity can leave me anxious and depressed with the notion that I need to help, fix or somehow rescue the family and friends in my life that are struggling. I don't know if this pertains to you at all…just a thought.

Hang in there girlfriend... you have plenty of love and support coming at you from your loyal friends who follow your story via your blog. And if you have any inkling that taking a break from writing about things that dredge up painful feelings for you would be helpful to your depression, I encourage you to do it. You would be greatly missed, but first and foremost you need to take care of yourself.

Hope and hugs and lots of love to you...

Kate M. said...

I experienced 'alarm' symptoms while the affair was going on... increased depression, anxiety and severe panic attacks, as well as feeling uncertain and vulnerable in some ways. Some part of me knew there was something very wrong, well before my conscious mind began to grasp the possibility. BUT, what many others have said here is true; these things are normal after a trauma, and can come and go for years. It is not uncommon for betrayed spouses to develop PTSD, or at least deal for a long time with post-trauma symptoms. I was diagnosed with it by both my therapist and our marriage counselor (who has a PhD in Psychology, btw) and while I've come far in a fairly short period of time, the triggers are there. It feels at times like the most random, seemingly unrelated things can cause the ground beneath me to vanish.

As far as "killing the marriage" in order to get a new one... I feel that my marriage was already killed in a sense... I even told friends that my old marriage was dead and buried. I removed my original wedding ring just after I discovered the affair and will never wear it again. We got new ones shortly before the 1st Dday anniversary. So for me, it's not really been about saving the marriage, but building a new one.

My curiosity was piqued when Anon seemed to be removing her professional mask here. There have been moments during therapy that I've thought there was something my counselors wanted to say, something in their eyes and demeanor that made me wonder what they were holding back because of the rules they must follow.

TryingHard said...

Anon Marrige Counselor

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you say who you say you are. Call it a little bit of residual trust I used to have in my fellow human beings before I learned not to trust anyone.ever.again.

I think you have wise words and gee whiz don't you think each and every one of the BS here or on any other infidelity blog, or sitting in MC chairs and IC chairs haven't thought the same damn things you are professing to be such professional advice???? Don't you think every one of us haven't thought or even been tempted to RUN FOR THE HILLS??? Hell I consider it every fucking day. Seriously, this is the best advice you can offer up? Because I hope you have more schooling in your profession if this is so.

Here's the deal. If it were just our egos talking we would all say Bye Bye liar, I'm outa here! In marriages particularly long term marriages such as Shawn's and mine for that matter a marriage is made up of more than just love and emotions, commitment or lack of commitment. It is a financial contract as well. There is so much more invested in these marriages that encompasses so much more to not leaving the marriage than just our fear of the unknown. Actually the fear of the unknown is sometimes way more attractive than the known! In my case there are contractural agreements that if divested through a divorce would severely affect the well being of many innocent bystanders for whom I care very deeply. These folks did nothing to hurt me and are dependent on me. So we put aside our own egos, squelch the fears and anxieties because we know if we run as you suggest us to do many people we love and respect and for whom the marriage is supporting could end up jobless, homeless and worse. It would be the total destruction of entities that generations of people worked so hard to establish.

I think your advice was well intentioned but does not take in the whole picture. You cannot see the forest for the trees. You are looking at marriages from a romantic point of view and that is so flawed.

I see the OW role in the infidelity as someone trying to do a hostile takeover of a business and that's giving a bad name to the sharks out in the business world a bad name. Sorry Carl Ichan if you're reading this. Yes my H is totally responsible for the mess and hurt and poison he brought in by allowing this person to have even the remotest possibility of taking over my life and my business. The bitch as figured out I was not one to be messed with and paid the price. I've set the wheels in motion that should he ever attempt such an ignorant financially and personally destructive decision again against our marital contract he will be the one on the outside looking in.

Amy said...

Shawn, I am very experienced in the depression dept. I have dealt with PMDD for years.

Before hubby's affair I knew that my depression stemmedi from a physical condition going on in my body. It was being treated with an antidepressant and it helped to an extent. Then, hubby dropped the bomb on me of his affair. For the first time in my life, I experienced full on depression due to my circumstances. This in turn, threw my body out whack.

In the last four months I have been visiting my doctor on a monthly visit as we try figure out the best medication/dosage to get my PMDD back under control, and this has also helped with the depression I experienced due to the emotional trauma from husband's affair.

Please, do not rule out that your depression could be caused by some sort of physical issue going on with your body. See a doctor about it.

I agree with the other posts, in regards to the anonymous "marriage counselor". Terrible, terrible advice!

Also, another post mentioned that maybe you writing your blog could actually be a hinderance to your moving forward in life. I think that is a possibility. Perhaps, it was helpful for a time, but no longer is??

I thought of this bible verse with regards to your sadness. "Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

SARAH said...


BetterEveryDay said...

SARAH…REALLY??? I call major bullshit on this post as well, and I would't be surprised if you are the same anon author of the therapist post.

"I MOVED TO MY OWN APARTMENT, A NICE ONE TOO HEHE"… What kind of drivel is this (HEHE)?!? "SO WHY IS EVERYONE JUMPING DOWN THAT COUNSELOR'S THROAT?" Ummm, because no educated and licensed therapist would comment on a blog AND give generic advice to a woman trying to rebuild her marriage with her very contrite husband. Unethical and unheard of...

I wish there was a simple way to weed the freaky friends and defenders of Jayme from the authentic women who post here and are living this nightmare for real. The good news is that these losers are laughingly transparent, and if they are looking to undermine Shawn's road to happy with Richard, they're gonna have to get by a whole bunch of savvy women who know better than to buy their fabricated bullshit.

And the all caps because you're mobile?? Not clever in the slightest.

TryingHard said...


Ok how many freaking times do we have to say the same thing over and over. BULLY FOR YOU!!! SERIOUSLY, I am so happy when life works out better especially for the betrayed spouse. Yeah I could care less if your lying cheating spouse or his skank are ok but I'm happy you are

So just because it works out that leaving for you it's the answer for all of us? Gosh if I thought leaving, getting a new job and an apartment would make everything better I'd do it in a heart beat BUT I HAVE TOO MANY OBLIGATIONS to just act for my own needs. You know what because of our shared obligations my H eyes were opened to how close he came to losing me forever and doing what you did. He needs me, he wants me, not the OW. If he did no obligation would have stopped him BUT this is a bitter pill to swallow. We are trying to be good members of society not just filling our own emotional needs. We put those aside for a greater good.

Sounds like your having a great time but I find it hard to believe EVERYTHING is rosy in your life. I hope so though.

elladisenchanted said...

Geez people! Shawn, my soul sister, is hurting! Comfort her! Forget yourselves for one damn minute and realize our sister is hurting. How much have we all craved comfort??
Shawn, this valley sucks. Try to remember that other valleys have come and gone. Grab ahold of your thoughts and only think about truth. Today, breathe. Tomorrow, maybe you'll be able to shower, if not, just try breathing again. Live in this moment right now. You can't solve anything in the next moment -Especially when this trauma is brought back up in you. Give yourself a break. Breathe sister.that is all you have to do right now.

elladisenchanted said...

Trying Hard- I am sorry you are hurting so much right now too.....this trauma is too freaking much to have anything else added on top of it.
Trolls go away. Take your vile wicked skanky asses somewhere else besides here.

BS said...

Hi All:

For my part, I also feel that marriage was killed after Dday, and going forward we have always been working on a new one.

My MC basically told us to see things that way from the first day of counseling?

My new marriage is a better one to my mind. I am content. I have had my eyes opened.

Also, I am glad that I am no longer the too trusting Pollyanna I was.

As Kate M mentioned, I too felt something was up, but I was too damned trusting to suspect an affair.

I am so glad I am more distrustful of my spouse and people in general, now.

My dad always used to tell me to trust but verify. I thought he was too cynical.

Now I realize he simply understood human nature better than I did.

I, too, am very suspicious of the therapist posting.

But, to give her the benefit of doubt, she may well be a marriage therapist, because in my experience there are many very inexperienced MC's claiming to be experts on infidelity.

I have heard it said, many times with respect to saving a marriage after infidelity that a counselor inexperienced with dealing with infidelity is worse than no MC.

BS said...

Sarah Said:


I am sorry your marriage didn't work out. Maybe you had just cause to refuse to reconcile.

It sounds, though, as if your husband wanted a second chance.

Have you ever made a mistake that you totally regret. Wouldn't you feel sad, if you had learned your lesson all to well, but the person you harmed will never forgive you?

Wouldn't that feel like a terrible nightmare?

But, again, I don't have all the facts of your marriage so I really can't say what is right or wrong for you to do.

Anyway, for my part, the distrust would follow me into all my future relationships.

My husband has learned a valuable lesson from is affair experience.

I actually feel safer with him, now, than I would with someone new.

But again, I don't know your husband or anything first-hand about how he treated you in those three years after Dday, so I can't offer you firm advice about whether or not you made the right choice to divorce.

BS said...


IMO, when bad things happen in life, it is depressing. It just is. No doubt about that.

IMO, at those times it's important to remember that bad things happen to good people.

Also, without the bad we might not be able to appreciate the good as much as we should.

Hang in there, my friend. You are golden.

There is nothing wrong with being depressed about some things going on in your life.

With or without an affair to deal with, life throws us curve balls sometimes, and those curves can take us down for a bit.

TryingHard said...

Elie you are right!!

Shawn I agree with you that we just don't bounce back like we used to. I know about the toughie pants and sometimes I just can't find those mothers!

I think what you are going through is perfectly normal. Also I know the older I get the less tolerant. I think we roll with the punches when we are younger and raising our families because we just don't have time for it. As we age I think we tend to focus and dwell on our problems.

I hope you're doing better and I hope you are remembering that you did nothing to cause Richard to have an affair. PERIOD! This bit of depression is just part of the process and it. will. pass.

I think writing this blog is a good way to get things out without constantly addressing with your husband. Maybe you could take your blog private, by invitation only that way you can block the trolls. They and their different monikers and opinions are getting quite tedious. I actually think they are probably the same person.Just a suggestion.

I don't get why they read your blog if not for the benefit of someone else. I read OW blogs but I never comment. I do it for the sport of it. It makes me laugh how sophomoric they all are. Like love sick teens. But they certainly don't want or need to hear my opinions or admonishments and I don't think my fingers could type that long or fast enough to say what they need to hear about real life. They wouldn't listen anyway--Pearls before swine :)

Hugs to you and know I'm on your side.

BetterEveryDay said...

Ditto, TryingHard, ditto.

Peggy said...

My ipad caps lock gets stuck on caps sometimes so don't apologize. Why does everyone assume commenters are Jaymie's friends? I don't believe that at all. I found this log on Chump Lady's blog. Why are some of attacking Shawn's readers and making accusations and assumptions. We are here to empower each other ladies, are we not? I too don't understand how many of you get so defensive when all the self proclaimed therapist is just trying to do is give shawn a healthy option to ponder. I feel the same way Shawn feels and the same way most of you are describing, stuck. I am trying to get my ducks in a row so I am no longer dependent on anyone and am trying my best to 180. I was stuck on "winning" my husband too, but you come to realize, he's not the prize. I'm the prize. I deserve better and so do all of you. I'd stay and work it out but I don't want to waste away feeling like this. Our husbands killed our spirits and murdered our souls. They are the prize alright, the boobie prize.

BetterEveryDay said...

Peggy…You are doing the exact thing that you are asking others not to do, making accusations and assumptions. You are assuming that Shawn is "stuck on winning her husband". That just because your husband "killed your spIrit and murdered your soul" that all of us who are staying with our husbands are accepting some kind of "boobie prize". If you truly feel that your husband killed your spirit and you deserve better, then good for you for leaving. I wish you peace and a happy life without him in it.

I can't speak for Shawn here (though I am dying for her to weigh in) but every situation is different, every husband and wife are different, and there isn't necessarily a one size fits all answer to infidelity. Richard is extremely sorry and he is making amends to Shawn and working really hard to earn her love and trust back. For a therapist to, without ever meeting them as a couple, suggest that Shawn should leave Richard is IMO irresponsible. What I AM concerned about is Shawn's recent struggle with depression, and the last time I checked you didn't necessarily have to be a betrayed spouse to deal with that gremlin.

So right on, let's all be here to support and empower each other. Shawn, you have my love and support whether you stay with Richard or leave him…you are a smart, gutsy, independent woman and you are helping countless people by telling your story, me included. But I gotta tell you, I admire you all the more for hanging in there and doing what you know is best for you, even when the naysayers feel the need to tell you why you're wrong.

Life can be hard, but it's always a little easier when we help each other navigate the rocky parts of the path. Shawn…I hope you're feeling better and remember, you have countless friends that love and support you that you've never even met.
Hope and hugs my friend...

TryingHard said...

Well said Better.

Shawn, Hope you've been receiving all my good vibes to you! Hoping everything is going good.

As for me everything is MUCH better. I had to "show my teeth" but it worked and amazing how that works!

I wish you a very Happy Mothers Day.

BS said...


You have to do what feels right to you.

But why not deliberate judiciously?

Marriage is not about winning a prize it's more about COMPROMISE.

If what your husband did is a deal breaker for you. So be it.

To each his own.

We all do understand your angst.

Whether or not he is trying hard to make things work, if you feel happier leaving, then that is the right thing for YOU to do.

For others, however, the right choice for THEM was to stay.

Whatever their reasons are for staying, they are the right ones for them.

Anonymous said...

I think BetterEveryDay should change her name to BitterEveryDay. I see kind people giving logical advice to the reconcilers as well as the potential divorcees. It seems that Miss Better has some deep rooted issues with staying. Sometimes staying makes you feel like a real foolish chump, especially when people say "oh just move on." However, I don't see people saying "just move on", I see people sharing their personal stories, struggles and advice that has worked or did not work. Why so defensive? I left my first husband and it was the best thing that I did not just for myself, not just for my kids but for my entire life. So are you going to jump down my throat too just because I don't have my cheerleading outfit on that has RECONCILERS RULE emroidered on it. I love hearing stories of happy endings, whether reconciled or divorced. Please continue to leave your stories peole. Don't allow the bitter and betrayed to scare you off.

TryingHard said...

The only people I see judging anyone are those who are divorced. I think Better gave good sound, logical advice.

I personally know many people who are divorced that are very unhappy and regret the divorce.

I for one am not the least bit unhappy about reconciling with my husband. If anything our marriage is better than ever.

Don't get all the hate from the divorced folks on here. Visor ray just don't agree with you.

As for advice, no ones is perfect not even the professionals.

TryingHard said...

“We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.”- Winston Churchill

Amy said...

Anonymous, I don't think you understand what BetterEveryDay was trying to say.

I am a bit offended at what Peggy said as well. She seems to imply that women who choose to stay and work on their marriage after infedelity are doing so simply because they are so desperate to "win" their husbands affections back.

While that may be true in some marriages that is certainly not the truth for me, nor for many others.

This is how I view it depending on the situation and the couple; Sometimes it takes great strength to leave a relationship, and sometimes it takes great strength to stay in the relationship.

Years ago, I knew a woman whose husband cheated on her constantly. Why? In this case,he was extremely immature and really did not take marriage seriously at all. I absolutely think she did the right thing to divorce him.

This is not how my marriage is. I have my reasons for choosing to give my husband a second chance. It is insulting when complete strangers, that do not know me or my husband that I am somehow weak for staying in the marriage.

I don't begrudge a woman for leaving (or not leaving) a marriage due to her husband's infedelity (and I highly doubt BetterEveryDay does either). I recognize that she is the best judge (not me!) of what is truly right for her and her life.

Anonymous said...

I also know people who have divorced and are extremely happy. Not just one person, not just two people...a shitload of happily divorced people. Why do some reconcilers get so defensive when people speak of the D word? IT IS OKAY TO DIVORCE! Quit making people feel they HAVE to stay...THEY DON'T! They are not failures if they do decide to divorce. Keep leaving your comments, you guys. Divorcing or reconciling. Come one come all. Don't let the bitter betty's keep you from posting. After all, they are happy happy happy right?

mountainsailing said...

I have had the same experience. I attribute it to exhaustion -- mental exhaustion, which over time has physical manifestations. Over all the time since finding out about the affairs in our lives, you and I and the others here have had to do a hell of a lot of thinking and dealing with feelings. And that has worn us down, so when one more BIG thing comes up, sometimes it's just too much. The result: depression.

I don't know the answer, exactly. Except to acknowledge it for what it is, understand it's not weakness but understandable exhaustion, and treat it as such. Take care of yourself, see your therapist, give yourself a break, and tell those close to you that you need their support.

TryingHard said...


That is such an interesting take and I've never thought of it that way. It's like if you had a broken leg, and it heals,but you step off the curb the wrong way and it's injured again. We have an emotional weak spot so when an emotional challenge comes our way, and they always will, we aren't emotionally strong enough yet to deal with it. Interesting.

Brilliant comment. Thanks for posting that. It helps to put it into perspective and know that we are dealing with emotional hurts where there is a lot of scar tissue.

Very compassionate point of view.

BS said...


Mountain sailings post offers good advice with her suggestion of exhaustion.

No one said life would be easy.

Perhaps that is by design in the grand plan. Who knows.

What's that saying? Something like "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger?"

To Anonymous.

I also understand the point Bettereverday was making.

I do think Peggy's post gave the vibe that women who stayed were getting the "booby prize" and that the reconciling spouses were somehow trying to win back their spouses.

I think Peggy is intelligent enough to realize that such a comment might not be welcomed here.

There are more diplomatic ways to tell the world how happy she is since her divorce, without putting others' choices down.

In a lot of reconciliation cases the exact opposite of what Peggy said is true.

In many cases, including Shawn's and others here, It is the cheating spouse who realizes now that their faithful spouse is a prize and they are the ones trying hard to win their faithful spouse back.

So even if in the new marriage after Dday both spouse are working hard to win each other back. What is wrong with that?

The two are now no longer taking each other for granted and that makes the marriage better.

My husband's life has changed drastically since dday.

He has lost many freedoms, yet he does not complain and works hard every day now, to try to make our marriage work.

My spouse can afford to divorce. He is not staying because he can't afford to leave.

I can also afford to leave.

My husband is staying because he realizes that he was wrong and he really doesn't want to be with a women like the OW.

And better yet, he no longer wants to be like the OW in his marriage. He wants to be trustworthy and loyal.

He now realizes the value of being that way.

BetterEveryDay said...

To all of you anonymous posters (and of course dear Peggy) who are pro-divorce and want others who are pro-divorce to weigh in on how great it is…

Many people who weigh in on Shawn's blog have chosen to divorce their cheating spouse, and I have never seen their choice attacked in any way. Please remember that Shawn has chosen to stay with her remorseful husband and keep her family intact, so that is what this blog is going to be about. That is what is working for her, and it also happens to be working for me. My husband and I did not want to divorce because we both felt that our 30+ year marriage and family was worth saving. He did not love or want to continue seeing the OW, as a matter of fact he is beyond delirious to be done with her dramatic and demanding antics. He was getting some on the side…that was WRONG and he knows it was wrong and he is finished with that kind of behavior. He is loving and demonstrative with me, he is painfully sorry, and he is totally transparent in that I have access to any and all of his devices. We have created a better marriage, believe it or not, because we don't take each other for granted ANY MORE.

I don't really understand the "bitter" comments…I can't see how I am expressing bitterness in any way. If I were married to an un-loving, serial cheater I would be divorced as well, and perhaps I would be bitter about that. Mostly, I am grateful for a second chance to make my marriage better... no bitterness here.

Perhaps the divorced commenter feels judged by those of us that have chosen to stay, but nothing could be further from the truth. I say, do what is right for you based on your personal circumstances. I admit, I am buoyed by the stories of others like me that are making our way back to happy with our reformed husbands, mainly because it feels really great to know that we are not alone on our journey.

So thank you again Shawn for your honesty, courage and support. Hope you are doing better…we're here for you.

shawn thewife said...

Wow!! You have been a busy bunch!
Had no idea that when I shared my little break down I'd start a debate on the "best" Road to Happy.

Not sure where to start...let me see...OK, I'll start with the anonymous therapist. Tough love is one thing and I'm all for it, but come on!!!! There's tough love and then there's just plain old mean. Why in the hell do you assume I'm afraid to leave? I have tried to make myself clear on this point. The part of reconciliation that scares the shit outta me is being vulnerable, risking my heart. That would be a problem if I stayed or I left. I gotta leaner to trust somebody. I love Richard enough to let that somebody be him.

Why can't we just support each others decisions?? Sheesh.
That idea seems so damn simple to me, but I get that after DDay, some of us NEED a place to lash out. We need a punching bag to release inner demons. Maybe that's what some of the comments are about...a pain release.
That's why I let nearly every comment be published. If tossing a bomb on my blog once in a while makes someone that is hurting feel a little better about THEIR choice, fine by me. I can learn to hang with the suffering trolls. At some point, I think we all need to defend our choices to convince ourselves that we choose wisely. It's just human nature. Everybody likes to have their choices validated from time to time.

I told you all I almost didn't publish this post. But, I got smart for a minute and I reconsidered. Readers thank me for writing, but it is such a selfish endeavor. You always give me a thousand times more than I give you. Thanks for all the support. I read every word and I find a massive amount of comfort reaching through the screen. I'm very grateful.

All your kind thoughts are truly appreciated, but I have to send a special thank you to Mountainsailing: Mental exhaustion. You hit the depressed nail on the head! Feelings and over-thinking have never been how I roll. Now, I have found myself in situations that REQUIRE me to think about WHY I feel like I do. I am so tired of thinking!! I just wanna lay on a beach, with a frosty umbrella drink and listen to the waves break on the shore for a while.
Thank you for saying it isn't weakness. I'm still learning to be more self-aware. It helps that I have all of you to help me understand my own strained brain!!

And here's an update: I'm still dragging my ass around. Not sobbing everyday. That's an improvement. I managed to catch a nasty ass spring cold. It pisses me off how your body lets you down when you're mentally weak! Sucker fish! by day. This is my issue. It's not about Richard unless I take it there. He is patiently letting me work through it all. I can't change it. I gotta learn to live with it.
This is a job for Toughie Pants.
Where in the fuck is she??
Not to worry....I'll find her.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

TryingHard said...

WTF Shawn? You left the inmates in charge of the asylum:)

Thank God you've finally posted. I was thinking we'd have to send out a posse.

Go get your butt on a beach with Richard:). You deserve it.

soni sagra said...

I don't think you will heal if you stay either, especially if richard is going to pull that "maybe you can't give me what I need" bullcrap (while on vacation) in the near future again. Sometimes goodbye is a second chance.

BS said...


The blog, as it pertains to Richard, is about past events, and Shawn's emotions at the time.

This last blog was about another situation in her life, not pertaining to Richard.

Regarding the affair, it seems to me that Shawn has already healed.

Even the fact that she can write about this and leave the board open to all posters whether they post positive or negative comments, is a sign that she has healed.

To my mind, Shawn is mature enough to realize that people say stupid and hurtful things, in the moment, to people they love.

Resilience said...

Hi Shawn.

I must admit that I've been lurking on your blog for almost a year. It truly sucks that I was placed in this position. But, your story and others comments have given me a new outlook on my life. My is the key word in that statement.

Shawn, you are strong and anyone who makes it through this while being true to themselves is strong regardless of the decision that is made.

Although its been less than a year for me, I already know that I see issues in a completely different light. I don't think that's bad or good, just different. I am much more emotional than I have ever been. (Although I wouldn't go so far as to call myself Toughy Pants,
Reserved Bird was more apt).

Please know that whatever you are going through, you are strong and can handle this.

Thank you for your posts and please take care of yourself.

HealthAndLove said...

Hey Shawn,

I posted the youtube video of Tiger Woods ex wife Elin giving her beautiful inspiring graduation ceremony speech & wasn't sure if you received it. I figured you don't allow links in the comments but for people uncertain if they should stay with a serial cheater, I suggest watching it. It was inspiring showing there is life after death.

Just thinking of you Shawn and wanted to share with you that strength will come when you need it. I was with my ex since a teenager, through a decade and 3 children. I had no idea how I would survive as a single mother of 3. I just knew I couldn't go on depressed. I have never regretted leaving even for a day. I stood on my own for 3 years without even a date before meeting current WH.

You find strength you never knew you had and you build the life you know you deserve. Whatever you decide, I am sending love and support your way!

BW: sparrow 34 WH: 45 SA(regretswh

Reconcilliation Rock Star said...

Hi Shawn
I can’t believe that you responded to my posts (blog: I was thinking Mar 14) while you were feeling so low. Your comments were so positive. Never forget that your posts and comments are inspirational to so many of us all over the world who are going through this nightmare journey too.
At the moment I am living in the 1 year anti-versary period of my H’s affair. It lasted 7 weeks. He saw her on 26 April, 3rd 10th 31st May and 7th june – not that I’m fixated with the dates !!! She was his Friday F*** buddy – while I was at work. I am delighted that I interrupted their plans for the 17th and 24th May. In some obscure way I have managed to minimise this from 7 weeks down to 3. His first 3 visits were in a 2 week period and the last 2 visits need a week. I find myself playing mind games to try to minimise every aspect of their time.
Emotionally leading up to this was more difficult than actually going through the days. I questioned whether I should focus on the day or the date before eventually realising it made no difference and actually I felt the same as I did any other day. I decided that even thinking about her was giving her some control over my life and I wasn’t willing to let her do that. She has taken enough from me already and she aint fucking getting any more !
Ive asked my H if he thinks Ive changed since our D Day (July 17 2013). He says he thinks I’m the same but more vulnerable. He notices I don’t react the same to certain situations and I cry over things that I never would have before. If he kids me on about a cooking disaster or some other house type chore I take it to heart immediately and get upset whereas before I would have laughed it off. So although he thinks Im still the same I clearly have changed and its down to him.
Our marriage I am glad to say is in a great place. I am loving my life with him. He has done so much to give me the reassurance that he will never hurt me again like this. But he knows that the recovery isn’t over. I was having a down day on Saturday and through the tears I told him that I had wished back in August that I could go to sleep for a very long time and wondered if anyone would actually miss me if I never woke up. He was visibly shaken. He really had no idea of the depth of pain this has caused me. But I told him because I want him to understand how far I and we have come in that time and he is the one who has helped me reach this point.
The betrayal of a spouse leaves an indelible mark on our minds our hearts and our soul. It has to change us as a person in some way. It changes the way we deal with the other crappy situations life throws at us - bereavements, illnesses etc but it makes us stronger and gives us the self-belief that if we can deal with this shit we can deal with anything.
Shawn I send you my love and a huge hug and Im thinking of you.
Reconcilliation Rock Star (Shawn named me that  ) xxx

shawn thewife said...

HealthAndLove: You were right. I can't post links. The web is too scary and I am too dense to decipher what is safe and what might be very naughty!
Thanks for commenting again without the link.

You mention, "Life after Death". I don't think I have ever referred to divorce or any affair recovery as a death. At least I hope I haven't! This isn't a criticism of your opinion, just another point of view.
I guess you could say part of me died, but I wouldn't even go that far. I like to think part of me went into a coma and was on life support, but I have a strong heart and I'm a fighter. I think we are all stronger than we think we are.
With support, all betrayed spouses can find a way to survive and thrive after DDay. Each of us has our own path and time table. I can't use death as a metaphor. It's to final. Too hopeless.
When you're at your lowest, hope might be the only light in the darkness.

Again...thanks for commenting...twice! Please stick around. Many betrayed spouses that read need the guidance of others that have chosen divorce as their Road to Happy. Sounds to me like you know the way.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Resilience: You are on the right track! After has to be all about Me, Myself and I for a bit....or for as long as it takes to steady your resolve.
Please don't be a lurker! Jump in with both betrayed feet! The Road to Happy is such an easier journey when you travel with friends. The more the merrier!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Soni Sagra: I agree with you. SOMETIMES goodbye is a second chance. That doesn't pertain to my situation, but I'm sure there are many other readers here that have chosen that Road to Happy.
So thanks for the concern. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that your thoughtful comment is meant to be sincere and helpful. I think I have a decent handle on my marriage. I need a better grip on myself. I'm not used to doubting myself. My confidence is still bruised and lacking.
Not to worry. I'm working on it.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

lele said...

Reconciliation sucks that's all I know. Feel better soon.

shawn thewife said...

lele: It does suck. It sucks so freakin' hard! You gotta ask yourself...Will all this effort worth it?
Only you can answer that.
for me, the answer was yes. Not right after DDay. I think I decided I was a for sure 'yes' about a year after DDay when I started this blog. Before that, I thought I was a 'yes' but even though I wanted to stay with Richard, I didn't think I could survive doing the work needed to reconcile.
Turns out I'm stronger than I thought I was after DDay. I'm human and I falter, but I'm still stronger than I thought.
I bet you are, too.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Rec Rockstar said...

I had my own Debbie downer moment last night but she wasn’t alone. She brought Raging Rita with her. I had a great day yesterday. No thoughts of HER interrupting my day until we decided to go to the blood donor centre. I had to fill in the forms asking all the usual medical stuff. Everything was OK until the section ‘In the last 12 months have you had sex with …..?’. For the first time in my 30 years with my husband I had to wonder if no was the right answer to the HIV/STI questions. SHE had insisted they used condoms so it got me wondering if she knew something that she didn’t tell him. It totally floored me. I got so angry that I was forced to even think about HER again. I went into “I’m fine” mode when he asked if I was OK. But I clearly wasn’t. What really pissed me off though was that he got angry with me!! I tried to explain to him that having to ask if the slut he had sex with several times had HIV or an STI or was a drug user ….. is actually quite a painful fucking thing to have to go through and the least he could have done was try to be a bit more understanding. Eventually he acknowledged how devastating it was for me and apologised. We got through it in our own way and I soon told her to fuck off out of my head.
We are well on our way to full recovery and the good times are great. Situations like last night are rare but show that he just wishes I would get over it. I don’t think about the affair much. Thinking about it makes me sad and I would rather spend the time being happy and focussing on the fact that my marriage now is better than ever. But the triggers on TV, movies, radio are still there and they can catch you off guard. Having a husband who comforts you when you need it makes such a difference.
Big hugs xxxx

longtime wife said...

I am about the same time out of d day as you. I think we have had our foundation pulled from under us. It changes us forever. It changes how we deal with everything. I love my husband, and say on one hand "I trust him", on the other hand, I question why is he getting all his email on his phone now?
I think we will forever suffer some effects that will not ever go away.

shawn thewife said...

longtime wife: I still check Richard's phone from time to time. I hope you have access to your WH's phone, too. If you have concerns, you need to share those worries with him. Reconciliation is a team sport.
Remember...he can't be there for you if he doesn't know you need him. Communication is key.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Shawn, I started reading this and I can't stop! I'm re-living what my H did to me. I hope one of these days I'll be able to forgive my H. We also were seeing a Counselor and on the days that I went alone, I told him that he was cheating on me and the Counselor kept telling me, "I honestly don't think he is, he loves you"! Well, women's intuition, I WAS RIGHT, and when I told the Counselor, he apologized? You wouldn't believe how i finally got him to admit it. We had just gotten a new puppy and named her Mollie, the BW's name was Holly! He came home after "working late" and while playing with the dog he called her Holly:), Ironic isn't, both of them, DOGS. I called him on it, got in his face and DARED him to lie to me. After me crying, screaming at him, throwing things, this idiot went to bed and was so calm that it just PISSED me off. I took a picture of him and posted it on Facebook with the caption, "This is what a cheater looks like with no remorse"! All of our mutual friends and family saw it. The next day I felt guilty for posting it ( I don't know why), and took it down. Thank you for sharing your story, I hope eventually I'll be as strong.