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.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

4 Years After the Affair

Today isn't 4 Years after the affair.  The title implies that but it's not exactly accurate.  I mean, Richard and she who shall not be named started their affair weeks before I pulled my head out of my Polly Anna ass, saw the vigorously waving red flags and confronted my wayward husband.
 
Today is PRECISELY 4 YEARS SINCE DDAY.  October 12th, 2010, my world disintegrated.  My husband told me he had "deep feelings" for another woman....girl...whatever.  He might have said "strong feelings."  Again...whatever.
The point is I can't remember! Or...maybe I choose not to remember.  If I didn't decide to write down my emotional/mental state on the blog today, anti-versary #4 would have passed me by like any other Sunday, except for this subtly surprising feeling of contentment and optimism.

On my first anti-versary, I could have told you EXACTLY how DDay went down in our kitchen and on our patio and on the phone after I made him leave.  I rehashed every tear, each moment of despair and every single detail of the time he spent with her.  I wallowed in the agony, reread each email they shared and shut down like a coffin lid closing on my marriage.

By my 2nd anti-versary, I was still pretty clear about each syllable we uttered to each other that first fateful day.  I was very tender and Richard could feel it.  Out of pure necessity, his senses had become acutely in sync with my emotional state.
We had tried to anticipate how the day might unfold, tried to be prepared for Royal Bitch or Debbie Downer while hoping intensely I could just summon Shawn to show up for duty.  Richard continued to do what he had done since the original DDAY...he followed my lead and we managed to survive the dismal day unscathed and without turmoil but there was little joy in our hearts.

I can't tell you exactly what happened on our 3rd anti-versary.  I could scroll back through the blog and see if I wrote about it.  I'm guessing it didn't suck that hard because nothing stands out.  I'm gonna call that a win for my forward momentum on the Road to Happy and let it go at that.

NOW...about today...anti-versary Numero Quatro!!  A couple of hours ago I realized that I have had a Cheshire Cat kind of smirk on my face all day.  (maybe because I had a lovely round of morning sex)
While shoving a ton of denim in the washer.... (My family creates an exorbitant amount of laundry in 3 shorts days!  It's freaky.)  Grinning.
As I was picking out Gala apples at Stater Brother's grocery store.... (fall is the best time of the year for a juicy apple.) Grinning.
Typing these words right now..... (hopefully to entertain or inspire)
That's right...Totally Grinning.  

I want to shout it from the roof:  I recovered from marital mayhem!
Today is like no other, to be sure, but not because I am dwelling on the worst day of my life.  Quite the contrary!  I am patting myself on the back for never giving up.  So many times I could've.  I'm certain many people out there reading think I should've.  But 4 years after the affair I know, with true perfect clarity that only comes with a great deal of passing time, I made the right choice for me.

I wasn't going to acknowledge today, but I have shared a whole hell of a lot of bad.  It seems like some counter balance is needed.  If you're reading, I want you to feel a little more hopeful today.  Reconciliation might be the hardest thing you'll ever do, but I'm here to assure you...it ain't impossible.  If I can do it...you can, too.
Richard and I survived Crazy Town and lived to tell you the tale 4 years after the affair.
How awesome it feels to be celebrating my successes today rather than wallowing in past failures.

Anti-versary #4 can kiss my ever-so-gratified and satisfied ass!!  LOL!

One more thing...most of you that emailed me after my last post wanted me to write about what Richard did to help me on the Road to Happy.  You want to know what worked for me.
I'll try to do that real soon, but for now maybe you could just try what's working for me today...Focus on what is good in your life.  Relish it.  Embrace it.
Leave the ugliness in a mental lock box for a while.  Hide the freaking key!
Make a conscience effort to choose to be happy and eventually you might find yourself happy through no effort at all.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks or your words today, they are just what I needed to hear. I don't remember D-Day (over a year ago) but I have just found out that my husband is still in contact with my ex-friend that he had an affair with for more than 5 years. She know I know about it and she still calls him and he still calls her (I finally got access to his phone records). When will this all end.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful for Richard. He got to cheat on you with his side piece and four years later to the date have laundry room sex with you as your morning antiversary present. You must be soooo lucky. I know Richard is.

Anonymous said...

We have so much in common Shawn. I know we have mentioned that before. My Dday was October 12th as well. However, it the year 2012. So I just had my 2 year antiversary. I also have a 2nd day now. The whore from 2012 wanted to be sure I knew about further lies that my WS has been keeping from me regarding the affair of 2012. That was February 28th 2014. Now I have yet another dday. September 15th I found out about another affair he was having. The only difference to this recent affair and the 2012 was that my p.o.s WS lied and to the ow he wasn't married. She felt awful and is a nice person that was treated poorly by this awful man. He isn't remorseful, he doesn't care. But he thinks we are both great now. That our marriage is going to be great! He refuses therapy or to discuss any of this crap with me. If I do happen to bring it up -I am a crazy bitch for dragging us down and ruining our marriage. I am so happy for you Shawn! I do believe in love and being able to get past the hurts of betrayal and have a healthy strong marriage. It just doesn't look like it's in the cards for me.
Faith

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous Hater: Why, why, why must haters always comment with such nonsense? I understand that people suffering deep wounds can lash out in an effort to dump some of the pain on innocent bystanders. I get that, because I did that.
If that's what's going on with you...why not try sharing your story. Maybe you'll find some compassion here that could help you.
BUT...if you're nothing but a regular, fly by night hater...go find another blog for your bull.
I won't publish anymore drivel from you.
Not sure if your deserve Hope & Hugs or not.
`Shawn`

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous that asked "when will this all end?"
If your WH is withholding information and is still in contact with the OW....I have to say, the end seems quite distant. I'm so sorry.
Complete transparency and a firm no contact rule is the only way to begin to heal your marriage.
If WH can't give you that, please focus on healing you. Consider the 180. You can't control what he does, but you can take back control of your choices.
Set boundaries with your WH and make decisions that are all about being good to you.
We will be here to support you as you begin your healing journey.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

BS said...

Shawn:

Laundry room sex sounds like great fun.

Richard is one lucky guy to have cute, savvy, forgiving lady like you as his wife.

No wonder he has worked so hard to keep you around.

Glad to hear things are going well for you.

shawn thewife said...

Guess I didn't do a great job telling my story this time! I did not have sex in the laundry room...although, I'm not adverse to the idea! Sex first...in bed...then laundry!
So funny!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Grace said...

This is a great blog post and is just what I needed to read just now. Thank you so much you have given me hope. August 2014 was my second antiversary of D-day and I had hoped to feel more at peace than I am. What you have shared has lifted my spirits.

shawn thewife said...

(((Grace))) Thanks. It makes my day when someone lets me know my words ring true.
Recovery after the trauma that is DDay is a very long road to walk. Feels more like a long mountain to climb. Using the metaphor of walking seems to minimize the effort involved.
When I talk about the Road to Happy...I want to be clear that it isn't a paved highway. It's more like a dirt path on the side of a cliff littered with land mines.
YIKES! I had you thinking positive...then I slapped that crap on you.
Forget what I just typed!
Remember this...anything worthwhile is never easy. It's usually harder than hell and takes a long damn time. The hard work and perseverance just makes the success at the end all that much sweeter.
Keep climbing, my friend! You're getting close to the summit!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Shawn, Thanks for hanging in there. I know it couldn't have been easy. Anything that's worth having isn't it's worth the work when you know what it can be. I would stand on my head to keep what I've got because it's better than anything else I could possibly find. I didn't have another woman to content with. You have no idea how blessed I fill for not having to bare that cross. Keep us posted and we will keep you in our thoughts. Thanks again

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love this. I'm on 6 weeks and hope I'm there some day! Thanks for being the light at the end of the tunnel. And to the haters - you have absolutely no idea what you would do unless you are faced with this nightmare. None whatsoever so just shut up. Thank you Shawn!

Will said...

I like the not giving up part. It pretty much sums up what life is really about. The challenges, the bitter morsels it can deliver, how sweet would life be without them? Love your writing.

TryingHard said...

Shawn
What was the turning point for you when you logically decided that if you were going to have any kind of reconciliation that the Crazy Road was NOT the road to Happy?

Was it like an epiphany one day "oops I'm on the wrong fucking road!" or was it something a friend said, or richard did? What event made you stop going after the other person?

It's such a convoluted mindset when we, and I do think it's most particular to women, go after the OW. Real healing doesn't come until we place all the responsibility on our husbands. I don't see men going after the OM with the velocity that women go after the OW. LOLmaybe it's primal :). I know for me I was consumed with thoughts of revenge and it wasn't until with some help from my therapist and others that I let go of that need and totally focused on my husbands role and responsibility for the affair. She really was just and available bit player in his sad ego building play. She wasn't special at all. And neither was he to her as he found out all the truths about her thanks to my expert detective digging abilities😊. She was in it for the money and she found her mark in a sad man going through a mid-life crisis!! Lol buying a Porche would have been cheaper and easier!

Glad you got through the date unscathed. You are truly an inspiration to everyone who has been dealt the shitty infidelity cards of life and is playing her hand well. You deserve every happiness Shawn and I'm happy to see you going after it.

To the haters. Go on with your search for that perfect person out there. Maybe you'll find other extinct species as well.


Anonymous said...

Shawn,

Thank you for your wonderful site. Four years and on the road to happy, it is wonderful to see. I am two years out. I am struggling with implementing the lock box you suggest for bad thoughts. I successfully did the other night and it was so nice to get a good night sleep for both me and my husband. The first in a long time. I don't think I was ready for the lock-box idea for bad thoughts until very recently. Definitely, working on it.

I think in a previous post you asked what direction we might like to see you go now with this blog. If I could ask you to go in any direction, I think I would love occasionally to hear a post from Richard about what he has learned about himself through all of this, what has he changed about himself to grow, learn, and rebuild with you. What does he feel was the most productive in terms of helping you heal and helping your marriage heal and healing himself? What are his struggles and temptations and how does he deal with those differently than he did before D-day?

We talk to each other so much and it is so helpful, but I would love it if maybe Richard could talk to our husbands (and us) once in a while about all of this too.

Certainly, I will come back no matter what direction you take here, but when really thinking about something that could really give an extra hand, I think this would be a lovely addition.

TL xx

Anonymous said...

Shawn,
Thank you! Thank you!
This post was exactly what I was searching for when I turned to the internet for help two years ago. Your writing has been more helpful than I can express. I needed stories of how others survived. I was one of those naive people that was so sure that I would not be with a man that could cheat. But that if he did I wouldn't have to think, it would be over. I didn't understand or even know there was a way to put the pieces back together. But when it happened to me I didn't want to leave I didn't want our life together to end. I needed to find a way to survive and make things better than before DDay. There are still days I don't want to look at him. That I still want to lash out at him for the scars this betrayal has caused. But the scars left behind will serve me now as reminders - lesson learned. I think I read on one of your post that some times good ppl do bad things. I repeat that to myself often. And then remind myself that what is done can't be undone but we are here today together and it has been a good day. :-)
Many many hugs to you for the hope you have shared with those of us behind you on the road to happiness.
Jen

shawn thewife said...

TryingHard: I can tell you exactly when I found the strength to leave Crazy Town and let the BitchWhore go...when I found the Healing Heart. The members of that board showed me the way out of a very dark place. They understood exactly what I was going through and how to help me survive it. They told me I could not heal if the OW was still in our lives. I had to let her go.
So simple. So smart. So right on point!

I only found them after I started this blog. The writing was such a long shot, last ditch effort to stop hurting. I needed a release from the torment. One day, soon after I began the blog, I decided to Google affair recovery...found Surviving Infidelity. Tried it. Too big. To hard to navigate for a computer illiterate like myself. Then, I found the Healing Heart and it felt so safe! That's when I began to heal....but it took another year to really pick up the pace on the Road to Happy. I'm still walking my Road to Happy. I don't think it's about the destination. It's about the journey.
This is a LONG frickin' haul!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

TL: I'll ask Richard if he will write. I doubt he will. I've asked before and he never says no, but he never says yes either. i know he would talk to me about anything you wanna know and then I suspect I'll have to do the writing and sharing.
He still has massive guilt and shame about what he did. It pains him to even think about it, but he always listens if I need to discuss it and does his best to give me answers I need.

If you or your husband have a question for him, just comment here or email me. I'll run it by him. I think he'd be glad to know he might be able to help someone.
shawnthewife@aol.com
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Jen: I'm 4 years out and there are still days I hear myself say horrible things under my breath about Richard! He'll do something I deem selfish (and it probably isn't that bad!) I've caught myself whispering something like.."You selfish prick." YIKES! Where does that come from??
I'll tell you where...deep in the depths of my heart, there is still a bit of bleeding going on. I rarely notice it anymore, but I think it will always be there.
My guess is, even if he had never cheated, I'd still wanna call him a selfish prick or maybe a fucktard or an asshat once in a while anyway!
Don't all married folk get irritated with each other from time to time?? That's reality, my friend.
Good people sometimes do horribly shitty things. I think most people deserve the chance to EARN a second chance so they can redeem themselves.
It has been well worth the effort for us.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Eat My Scabs said...

I'm coming up on my 4 years too! Crazy it's been that many years. I'm proud of you! love ya sister! xo

Anonymous said...

Anyone watching True Tori? That poor woman loves pain...she eats it up on a platter, then plays victim when she knew damn well the type of man she was getting involved with. Did you also youtube search the dinner she had with Dean's ex wife/betrayed spouse? They both carried themselves maturely and classy. It was very nice to see. If Jaymie would have opened up to you like that perhaps crazy town wouldv'e never happened and all the crazy could have went towards Richard. Where it should have been focused on in the first place.

Anonymous said...

First, let me say that you are a very strong woman to be able to forgive and still show love when you have been so hurt and pained. This month marks one year, and I now have only moments of overwhelming sadness or shock. There will be a trigger, and it will hit me like a ton of bricks. Once this happens to a person, life will never be the same. The way you view your entire existence changes. Your perception of love and humans changes. I think that is the hardest part. The acceptance of how humans can be, and how evil can affect anybody…..nobody is incapable of hurting you…anyone can….even your best friend or your husband….Learning acceptance of this truth, and finding peace in this reality helped me to become a stronger and happier person. It made me realize that nothing could be right in my life, and I could be in deep pain, but I'd still be alright….I was able to still laugh and joyful moments. I realized I could still love without losing myself again. I realized I could endure heartache and still find peace. Nothing can touch that feeling of being complete within one's self.

Donna Farrer said...

I have been constantly looking for sense in all this in my life. Cheating...just very hard to recover from. Been reading How to Successfully Recover from Having Been Cheated On
which is an eBook by Gregory Smith and I haven't found a read yet that has hit so perfectly on what I feel and why I feel it. I recommend it, the site is http://www.been-cheated-on.com/
It has really been helpful for me, at least I can get out of bed on a daily basis now and that's a big step for me!

donald ware said...

Found you this morning. Its been 1 year since I found out my wife of 35 years was in a 3 year affair. Trying to work things out but feel I'm losing it. thank you for letting me know I'm not alone

Anonymous said...

Thankyou! Just found your blog and this post. Have read a couple other posts and you sound just like me! Six months post D-day and I'm doing ok most of the time. Been starting to wonder if this is the new normal and it's a normal I don't like. Your post gives me hope that there is still more to this journey with a better place to get to.

BS said...

Shawn:

Just wanted to stop by to say: "hi" and I hope you are enjoying the fall.

BS

shawn thewife said...

Thanks, BS!! I miss all of you! I just haven't felt like I have anything worthwhile to share. I read all the comments and try to answer most. I check my email often and reply to those who are reaching out for support. I also participate on there Healing Heart online forum. The members of that board saved me. I wanna pay it forward.

But, I don't know what more I can offer readers here on the blog. I could continue to share how my life is now....but that would get boring pretty quick. My life is 'normal'. Sure, it's the New Normal, but it's not blog worthy.
If someone shares a question that I think might benefit all of us, I'll start typing a new post.
I'm not gone. Just resting.
Hope and Hugs to ALL of you!!
Shawn

BS said...

shawnthewife wrote: But, I don't know what more I can offer readers here on the blog. I could continue to share how my life is now....but that would get boring pretty quick. My life is 'normal'. Sure, it's the New Normal, but it's not blog worthy.


Shawn:

I hear ya'.

Your blog was always interesting to read, though.

So, even if you blogged about your new normal, that will also be interesting.

But, I imagine the stress of producing a blog can be daunting sometimes.

Just wanted you to know that whatever you decide, I think of you often.