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.

Monday, January 26, 2015

You Can Call me Elsa

Anyone totally over the whole Frozen phenomenon?  Anybody have a princess wanna-be kiddo that must listen to the infernal melody made famous by the extraordinary Idina Menzel?  Any of you HATE hearing the aggravating, trigger making, insipid recommendation ..."Let it Go"?

I was never a fan of those three words and I could do without hearing that song ever again BUT....
You know what?  I'm thinking it might do me a world of good to Let it Go.

(WARNING...this post may cause you to feel nauseous due to plentiful Polly Anna Platitudes...all delivered with the best intentions)

 I'm embracing my inner Elsa.  I'm starting to think life might be too short to hold on to anything that doesn't bring me joy or peace of mind or love or satisfaction in some positive way.  Rhetoric like that used to make me wanna hurl as my eyes rolled back so far in my head I could see my own brain, but I'm trying to Let that negative attitude Go.

I'm fairly certain all betrayed spouses are forever changed in many ways after DDay.  For me, that reality is undeniable.  Before DDay, I was a force to be reckoned with and most people will tell you I could hold a grip on a grudge for longer than I care to admit, but I wasn't really into the revenge enterprise nor did I dwell on payback.
For the first year after DDay, I was harder, colder and more willing to put up a fight to the end than I have ever been in my entire life.  I built walls around me, named those walls Crazy Town and proceeded to make sure my new dwelling earned it's named in a memorable way.  When I lived there, I wouldn't Let Anything Go!  Not a freaking thing!  If something ruffled my feathers or chapped my bootie, I held to it as tight as a hungry python wraps up a long awaited meal.  It took me days or weeks to digest my anger over minutia that I made into mountains.
Looking back, it pains me how much time I lost being pissed off.

Guess I'll have to Let that regret Go.

What brought me to this well of divine acceptance?
The trivial dispute with aforementioned SI Crazed Web Master.  I was ready to sue the bi-yotch.  Give many hours of my life away that I'd never get back just to have the last word.  I felt I had to stand up for myself.  Convince her she was wrong about me.  I couldn't let her think she was right.
Well, that was just wrong.  You all told me as much.
The only choice is to Let it Go.

Letting Go is scary for many reasons.  Remember playing on the monkey bars as a kid? Tough to Let Go and drop down, right?   Or, when we teach our kids to ride bikes, we push them along and at some point, we gotta Let Go and hope (trust) they won't fall and break a limb!
For betrayed spouses, it's so different.  Emotional Letting Go is the most frightening of all.
When we try to Let Go of our pain, our anger or our sorrow it feels like we're allowing our self-centered, self-indulgent, cheating partners off the proverbial hook.  If we Let Go of the brain worms, the hatred of the OW or our soul protecting mistrust we are opening up our battered hearts to potential annihilation.
I was never good at Letting Go, even before DDay.  After DDay I took that undesirable, isolating personality flaw and amplified it 100 fold.  This little confrontational episode, with a great deal of help from you, may have saved me from myself.
I took a step back and like Elsa says, "It's funny how some distance, makes everything seem small and the fears that once controlled me, can't get to me at all."

I would never suggest that anyone struggling after DDay, "Let it Go."  To each her own time frame.
But for me.....I'm really gonna try to Let More Go.  I don't wanna harbor negativity anymore.  It leeches into all parts of my life.  It causes collateral damage.
If I let the actions of others influence my attitude, then I have nobody to blame but myself.
I can't see myself Letting Everything Go.  I mean, I have quite a bit of cynical DNA hardwired in, but I will remember to TRY and Let it Go whenever I can.
As far as Holding on to DDay anger...Sing it with me...
"I'm never going back...The Past is in the Past.  Let it Go!"


BS said...

Hi Shawn:

I like this post and resonate with it.

At some point, IMO, I also agree that we betrayed spouses do need to tell ourselves to "let it go", but no one else should do it. We need to do it because as you said we do it in our own time.

It helps to remind myself that although I have been forever changed by my husband's affair, a lot of the changes are good changes.

I had my husband on a pedestal. I was a Pollyanna about our marriage....too trusting, giving too much freedom, too cautious with spending on anything that appeared to be a luxury for me.

That has changed, and IMO, a lot of good has come from those changes. My husband and I actually spend far more quality time together, now. I don't deprive myself of luxuries we can afford, anymore and that's a plus at least for me.

My sincere hope that similar changes have happened for other BS's here, too, and that when it does, they recognize the benefit of all of them.

Michele said...

You are indeed one of my favorite bloggers. You are honest and can see both sides of a conflict and when you are bias you fully admit it with no apologies.

You have a link on your blog the rescusingmymarriage. I am not a big fan of hers. You don't have a link to Mikalee Byerman Me 2.0. You two remind me a lot of each other and I think you would like her blog if you don't already know about it.

You are definitely doing the right thing for yourself by letting it go.

shawn thewife said...

I am so rough around the edges. Always have been. This is just another lesson in learning the hard way is usually not the best way.
Sometimes it's more than OK to Let it Go!
Sometimes it's damn near life altering.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

MrsX said...

Its almost 2 years since DDay... Life will never be the same. I go through good times and bad but i just can't let it go. Its always dwelling in the back of my mind. I will never be the same...

Anonymous said...

Mrs. X,

At 2 years out I felt the same way as you do now. I am now at 3 years and I think about it so much less now. It will get better. I still think about it a bit everyday, but the pain is so much less. Most days it is now just something that happened in the past. My husband is so remorseful and I don't think I could heal from this if that was not the case. Hugs to you.

BS said...

Mrs X:

I agree with Tangerine.

Two years is deemed by Marriage Counselors to be a tough time. It's when the shock has worn off, your brain can function fully again, and you are seriously evaluating whether to stay or go.

It depends on your husbands remorse and actions.

I hope Shawn chimes in. She always has comforting advice.

MrsX said...

He is very remorseful.. He hates to even talk about it because of his embarrassment of the whole situation. He has done everything right to comfort me.. He holds me when i cry.. Says its always been me that he wanted.. We were just at a bad point in our marriage. She promised him everthing i wasn't. He still sees her at work and says he has no idea why he was attracted to her other than she was promising what he needed so badly. But it hurts that it got that hurts that he went outside of our marriage for comfort.. I love him but the pain of that is overwhelming at times and that is when i wonder why i stayed.

Eat My Scabs said...

Elsa looks good on you!

MrsX said...

Shawn.... Help.. Sorry but 2years from d day is Feb 28th.... I can feel the build up.. I am reliving that day.. That time... What was happening around that time.. And my heart is breaking again...

shawn thewife said...

MrsX: Hang in there. This too shall pass...but not without some tears and heartache. Totally normal. Horrid, but normal.
The fact that you feel the turmoil approaching and are reaching out to try and contain it speaks volumes to me. You are fighting the good fight, doing all you can to beat down the beast of betrayal. You're a realist with optimistic goals, right? You know this will be harder than most anything you have ever done, but you are determined to get past the pain and on with your life. Is that where you are?
If I'm right, focus on TODAY. Let your WH know the next couple of weeks may find you needing some space, that you are struggling with the memories that still haunt you.
Then, do whatever you must to find some joy in each day. Do something with your kids, go to the spa or take a long walk....hell...leave town and go shopping or visit a relative. Whatever. Pick a distraction that pleases you and wrap yourself up in the joy of that.
The "demons of dates" will fade with time, but for now it will take herculean effort to avoid the brain worms. If you're anything like i think you are, next year will be much easier.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Thank you, your blog has made me laugh and cry. You have given me hope and comfirmed that I'm not crazy I just visit crazy from time to time. I'm a year and 2 months from DD and I found your blog looking for some answers to why I am still holding on to my hate for the BW. I keep working on "let it go" but it bites me in the ass at the worst times. What you have done by sharing has given hope and has comforted me when I needed it most.
I'm tired of OW creeping into my thoughts she means nothing and it's time I take my power back. Thanks for helping me find that.

Anonymous said...

I am going to have to go through your blog from the beginning, as I've found it only a few moments ago.

I hadn't heard the term "D-Day" in this context until last night while reading a book on this topic. For me, D-Day was just three weeks ago. Well, the beginning of D-Week was three weeks ago. It was a long and drawn out process of admissions, peppered all too frequently by assurances that he'd told me everything, only to find out that he had not.

It is both heartening and terrifying to read that there's hope but that the pain lingers for so long. Three years seems a long time to be at a point where it's less of a 'thing'.

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous that is a Year & 2 months out...You're welcome, but truly there is no need to thank me. This blog is a selfish endeavor. It was the catalyst to my healing. If it helps others too...BONUS, Baby!

Do your best to take back your power. That is huge! The BW took enough from you. Don't give her anymore. It was so much easier for me to be angry with Jaymie (oops! I mean "she who shall not be named") than Richard. So much more gentle on my battered brain to blame her.
You can't heal if you don't face the real person that holds the blame...ALL the blame.
Thanks for your kind words. It means a lot.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous that is only 3 weeks out....Wish I could reach through my screen and hug you! The first few months can drain the life out of a betrayed spouse. I remember that raw pain. Wouldn't wish it on anyone.
It sounds like you are dealing with Trickle Truth. Not uncommon. Cheaters only want to share what they think they have to, usually under the guise of "I didn't want to hurt you anymore!" Barf! Such a crock. Eventually, your WH (wayward husband) will learn, lies of omission are just as bad as lying to your face and every uncovered lie or half-truth means the betrayed has to start healing all over again.

Every Road back to Happy is different. Some are longer than mine was, many are shorter.
For now, don't think about how long. Just do what makes you feel safe and comforted. Take good care of YOU because it's all about what you need now. Your WH needs to understand that. Please consider MC and IC (marriage counseling and individual counseling).
AND...if you haven't yet, please check out The Healing Heart. It is an online support forum filled with understanding, nonjudgmental compassionate people that get it because they have all been where you are. There's a link is at the bottom of my blog.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Elle said...

I love this (though, damn you for putting that song back into my head!). We'd all do ourselves a huge favor by figuring out what to let go off (so many things) and what to hold firm to (our boundaries. Our self-respect).
Great post.

Anonymous said...

My heart is broken found out about my husbands affair on boxing day ..someone 20yrs younger which now makes me paranoid about age, he is trying evertway to make it better then 2 weeks found an e mail he forgot to delete nothing sexual or loving just a general chat, he couldnt understand why I was so angry
1 he said he'd tell me if she ever got in touch
2 he lied and tried to hide it
3 had I not seem it would he still be doing it
4he says he cant cope with my moods ?
5 he has now blocked her e mail
He thinks he can bury it and I should do the same
I dont know what I want anymore I love him but not how I did and that hurts me x

Cece Mason said...

Where are ya Shawn? There is a rumor going around that Richard threatened to leave if you didn't stop you blog. Come out of hiding and tell us how WONDERFUL your marriage is.

shawn thewife said...

Oh, CECE!! LOL! Not sure if you're busting my chops or if that is truly a rumor.'s the real deal:
Life is good, maybe not wonderful...but really good. Life is busy. My business is booming and I'm opening a second store.
Richard's affair doesn't come into play in my life very much anymore. Once in a while...I get a brief flash on a sentence from an email or wonder if I am letting my guard down a touch too far, but those are my issues and they are becoming few and far between.

I want to continue to focus on NOW. What Richard does NOW. He is attentive. He is kind. He is loving. He can still be a bit selfish, but can't we all? Believe me...I still listen to my gut where he is concerned. I think I will always have my eyes wide open, but I would do the same with any partner. For me, those are my scars. I used to trust completely. Now, I trust but verify.

We don't discuss the affair anymore. Not because he doesn't want to, just because I don't really need to. Life is short. I don't wanna live in the past.
I guess that's why I don't post anymore.

What else is there to share anyway? I gave you all my story. Use it as you will. I'm not gonna take it down. If my story can help at least one other betrayed spouse, it can stay online forever.

I can always be reached by email:
I try to check here for comments at least a couple of times a week. I will always answer questions.
If I find I have the need to write or I think I might have something constructive to share...I'll be back!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Oh Shawn,

I now understand. I am so sorry to not fully get it before.

Pointing out that a moderator was accusing you of something you did not do, apparently is not acceptable.

I was really finding SI to be a great resource, until it wasn't. I now found it not a safe place for me to go. Feeling like I lost a good friend today.

Glad to know you are here!

Trying to "Let it go." Easier to give the advice, than to take it. :)

TigerLily xx

Flaca said...

Great post! What'll I do without you?

Shawn you have been the bright light at the end of my tunnel!

I too saw so much of myself in 'Frozen.' (How could I not! I have two daughters who sign all the songs all the time! And I just redid their room to reflect their Frozen obsession! Frozen, Frozen, Frozen!)

But I as much as I saw to myself... 'Let It Go' is about me. About the cheating. I need to not worry about being the good girl... now they know... let them see... part of me could NOT let it go. I am nowhere on the road back to happy like you are. I'll keep on the path though... I'll keep trying to make it there. I will. I get up everyday and try again. Sometimes I do well. Sometimes I retreat into my hurt, angry, bitter shell... Most days are better than they were last year & the year before that.

Thank you Shawn the Wife! You've lit the path and I'll follow you!

Anonymous said...

Jaymie is getting married! Yayyy.

shawn thewife said...

Flaca: You will not be without me, becasue I could never live without all of you, all members of the saftey harness that held me up over a crevasse of misery that was waiting to swallow me whole. I thank each nd every one of you!! (Inculding the trolls that still lurk defending She who shall not be Named. They played a roll in my healing, too.)

You have much to look forward to, a future bright and full of promise. BUT...if that is still too hard to contemplate, just look at today, what can you be happy about TODAY? Little steps forward on the Road to Happy will lead you to larger steps, then a brisk jog! You might even find your self running down the Road to Happy.
The truth is, everyday can be tough, but it can also be wonderful and full of reasons to be thankful. Retraining the brain from THEN to NOW takes Herculean effort, which I guarentee...we all have. We survived the horrors of betrayal. We are indestructible!
Take good care my friend. Comment here or email me anytime. I'm around.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

TigerLily said...


Though we are rehashing our story, I do feel like we are more in today than ever before. And, I give you the credit for helping me find a strategy to allow myself moments of joy in my present. It seems the ability to allow myself those moments has increased over time. My therapist is big into rewiring our near pathways, CBT, and thinks this is a wonderful tool!

Your journey was such a help in my own. I hope to see you on the board here, perhaps an update from time-to-time! :)

Thanks for all your support. TL xx

TigerLily said...

Stupid spell check. . .neural pathway, not near pathway! :)

WoundedWoman said...

Actually, after I learned about hubby's cheating I thought about getting a tattoo, Frozen themed, "That perfect girl is gone." I still think about it.