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, September 6, 2015

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Time to keep my word.  Seems like I've been remiss in following through on a post that I promised to write.  Good thing I have all of you out there to remind me about it!
You wanna know where we are now, almost exactly 5 years post DDay?
How are Richard and I getting along?
Is our marriage stronger?  Have we "moved on"?  Did I "get over it"?
Those answers are not at all simple and require I examine my life up close and down deep.
Not really my favorite pastime but today I will make the effort and do my best to share the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, of my reconciled marriage.

Which do you want to read about first?  The Good, the Bad or the Ugly?
Let's get the Ugly out of the way.  It will be the roughest for me to concede.

I need to preface this with...ALL humans, married, betrayed, single or otherwise, have some Ugly, some Bad and hopefully some Good.  ALL.

The Ugly of my marriage:
It seems so damn normal and I guess I just can't abide by that!
Everyday, just like all the years before DDay, an uncomplicated routine, a choreographed life that smoothly spins on point.  I should be grateful for the simplicity, but I harbor trepidation.
5 years have passed and from time to time I find myself uneasy, unable to accept that my marriage is Good.  It could be great if I had more confidence (which I used to enjoy in spades), that a bit boring and conventional is a Good thing.  No news should be Good news, Dammit!
That's the Ugly....Me and my hesitant, unreasonable lack of acceptance for finding bliss in the mundane.  My inner shrink says I never learned to be truly vulnerable and because of that, I could miss out on some of the best emotions life has to offer.

Now for the Bad:
The Bad is nothing more than slipping back into Bad habits.  We both should be speaking up when something isn't copacetic.  We aren't...well, at least I'm not.  Maybe he's happier than a squirrel with big nuts and has nothing to say, but if I'm not sure, it's time for me to ask.

I don't own the Bad in the way I do the Ugly.  For me, the Bad is about communication and how  it hasn't remained as frequent and open as it was when we were deeper into healing.   I think I spoke in an earlier post about expectations.  This is one place where they are not what I'd hoped.
In this regard, we both own the Bad.

Maybe it's the Ugly, worrisome inner workings of my battered brain that bring on my share of the Bad.  I still briefly flinch at any semblance of pre-DDay behavior.  Plain old, insignificant, behavior that would never have phased me in the least pre-DDay can give me pause and that's Bad.
Common place, hum-drum crap like....When he amps up his work-outs, I envision him getting in shape for a new young trollop.  Does that mean I think he should become a fat, out of shape old man??  Or...If he stays up later than I do, I ponder who he might be texting.  Should he come to bed when I get tired, instead of catching up on ESPN?  Hell to the No!
Ugh!  I annoy myself with the Bad!
As for Richard's share of the Bad, I know he wants the affair to go away, never to be spoken of again.    He doesn't say that, but I can still hear it.  I've mentioned he is Mr. Anti-Confrontation and he'll go way around a problem if it can be avoided.  I can't be sure if he is withholding needs or wants which is what drove us into Crazy Town 5 years ago!
We gotta get back to sharing.  That would be Good.

I'm glad I decided to end with the Good:
Don't want any of you to think I'm saying the Road to Happy is a Dead End.
The Good out weighs the Bad & the Ugly put together times 100!
We are grateful. We have deep, daily appreciation for even the smallest things.
Richard is tuned into me.  He pays attention.  He might not vocalize what he sees or feels, but I know he cares.  I'm ever so much more tuned into him.  Paying attention to your spouse is a very Good thing.   Even through the routine of our day, we notice and aknowledge our connection.
Not only do we love each other, we like each other.  We plan our futures together.  I love talking about what we'll do when we retire. I don't want to grow old with anyone else!

I could type a thousand things that are Good, but I'll save us all some precious time and sum it up.
My family is whole.  My kids are great.  I love my husband and I am loved in return.  It's a love so strong it survived Crazy Town.
I will always place my focus on the Good and I'm really gonna work to eliminate the Bad.  I may need a new therapist for my Ugly!
Bottom line, my friends...5 years post DDay, I'm really Good.
Thanks for asking.


Flaca said...

thanks so much for this shawn! great post. i appreciate you SO MUCH for your brutal honesty and commitment to sharing this - good, bad & ugly. one day i hope to have your kind of perspective. be well lady! hugs!

shawn thewife said...

You're welcome but I don't feel I expressed myself well in this post. Maybe I don't understand where I am right now enough to articulate it. It's weird. I can honestly say Richard and I are good, but sometimes I question so much!
I think it's me, but then...maybe I need to share with him or maybe I don't feel like he is completely present and honest with me all th damn time or maybe that's normal, you know the new normal or maybe everything is fine and I just worry too damn much because Richard the cheater-prick destroyed my self confidence or maybe I should suck it up and quit being a big-baby whiner and just appreciate all the good in my life or MAYBE I have no effing clue what in the hell I'm talking about!!
Yeah...I think that last thing is it.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Lydia said...

Good? I don't know. Sounds like u are trying to convince yourself it is good. Fake it til you make it. 5 years out and still after all of this time questioning it? I am 3 years out and if this is what your 5 years out looks like, it seems I am wasting my time. Thanks so much for making me realizing what I can not live with. I will be seeing my attorney soon

shawn thewife said...

Lydia: I totally get how you would think I'm questioning my marriage from my less than well written post. It's just ....I'm not. I know I made the right choice. My issues are with myself...mostly. My confidence was shaken to the core and I'm not sure it will ever be the same. Is that Richard's fault? Sure. Can I blame him for the lack of confidence in myself 5 years post DDay? Not unless I have zero sense of personal responsibility.
I am beginning to understand that I was changed forever after DDay. What I don't have figured out yet is what I'm able to change back and what changes can I accept?
When seeking an attorney, please be sure they are a family law specialist. All the best to you and your choices.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

TigerLily said...

Shawn, this week is our 3rd Anniversary and it has been tough in ways. This has forever changed me, us, our family and (thank goodness actually) him.

I think marriages that have not dealt with this issue have good, bad ugly and everything in between too. And, all marriages deal with communication issues. If anything, this whole shit storm has made us aware of the importance of radical, but loving, honesty in all things, including our communications. That doesn't mean that old habits die an easy death. They don't.

My husband deserved all the reactions he got and gets from me. And, he knows it. That doesn't mean that he doesn't fear pissing me off or something setting me off. And, I fear that this fear may sometimes gets in the way of free and open communications between us. So, this is one area we focus on in therapy together. We've been doing work with the Eric Berne model of understanding how we communicate with each other. And, it has helped.

Regardless of cheating or not, marriage is work and that work is ongoing forever. Lydia, if you want to divorce your husband because of his cheating, then do so, we can all certainly understand that being your deal breaker. If you are divorcing because communication is too much work, well that is something you will have to deal with in future relationships too. Communication is a fundamental issue in many marriages. There is no shame in meeting with a counselor for a few sessions to help work out some communication kinks that do, can or might appear through the years.

Shawn, it couldn't hurt to talk this through in counseling. It doesn't mean something bad. in fact, I think it is a sign of a healthy relationship when you can both face challenges together as they occur, as they do and will in any marriage. I think it is a sign of a healthy relationship when you are not afraid to ask for a little guidance and help along your road to happy, whether a communication issue or anything else. TL xx

TigerLily said...

By the way, I wonder if spell check changed antiversary to anniversary. Just to be clear, it is our 3rd antiversary on Sunday!

BattyJ said...

I am so glad I fell across this site. I suspected my husband of 20 years was having an affair last Oct (2014). Turns out it started last week of September - with a friend! I was in denial until I found more evidence than just constant texting - he worked away and the woman was his landlady! I found out for sure in May. He was still there for a further 3 weeks living as a family until he came home in June. He stayed in contact - behind my back - for 3 weeks after he came home. I think guilt must have set in as he admitted he had kept in touch. He also confessed the full affair to me. Up until that point he had denied it all vehemently, adamant it was just a lodging set up and they were good friends. I'd always said I would throw him out if he had an affair. I am sure that is why he denied it. I was not prepared for the harrassment that was due to follow from the OW. E-mailing all their text messages, their e-mails, pictures, stuff through the post, hacking our e-mails, fake facebook accounts to stalk us (we blocked her). We ended up changing everything: e-mails, phone numbers, facebook accounts the lot. Although DDay was early May I count my DDay as 20th June when he confessed all and stopped all contact. To that end I am only 3 months into recovery. I can so relate to crazy town. I have bad days and good days but reading your blog and knowing you can get through has been an inspiration to me. I know Ihave an uphill struggle ahead of my but I know the view from the top will be amazing.
Thank you for sharing so much. J

shawn thewife said...

Hey, J; Sorry for your struggle. Also sorry you have a long walk on the Road to Happy ahead of you.
Sounds like you've made an awesome running start!
Working together to keep the OW out of your life is certainly the best path possible.

It's hard to heal alone. Please consider checking out the Healing Heart message boards.
The link is at the bottom of my home page.
It is a very small, intimate group of other betrayed spouses that are compassionate and supportive.
Sometimes you just need a friend that gets it.
You can email me, too. You are not alone.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

BattyJ said...

Thanks Shawn,

I found the Healing Heart from your blogs and have posted. Reading others experience really does help.

I have been reading your blog since the day I found it. (Yes I googled everything I could to try and make sense of it all.) I am currently at "Manipulating Jaymie". OMG I can so relate to this. In fact I can so relate to it all and it helps me to stay a little bit less crazy knowing my reactions and what I feel is 'normal'.

I love your writing style. It has made me cry and it has made me laugh.

Glad you're 'good' and I hope you continue to be.