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

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Shocker on our 5th Anti-versary

I started to write this little news flash as a comment in my previous post, but thought better of it. In my opinion, this surprising occurrence warrants it's own piece of cyberspace and I'll probably get long winded as usual!

Last month (that's September...for those of you reading at various times of the year) was the 5th Anti-versary of the time my husband temporarily lost his mind and began boffing a 24 year old girl, she who shall not be named. (At least not on this blog.  Her name sure pops up in the comments and in my email from time to time)  Lots and lots of days in that month used to trigger my ass in a big way.  I know so many details of what they did together, where they did it and on what day at which time.
Too MANY details.
That calls for a little reminder to those of you fresh into the mess of betrayal:
Ask for details if you must, but please remember this....Once you know it, you can't unknow it and the details become brainworms that can eat away at your soul.  Infidelity can cause PTSD.  PTSD can cause obsessive thinking.  Brainworms are wicked ammunition.

Back to the shocker of the moment!
This year, there wasn't a single day in month of September that drew me backward.
Oh, how I would torment myself, rehashing every day of that horrid month just a few short years ago! Hell, a year ago!
Imagine my surprise when I finally realized the month had passed with no sadness, no remorse, no heartache or melancholy of any kind.
Not a single dark memory of my husband's betrayal infected my life.

WooHoo!

That was just a surprise, a very pleasant surprise to be sure, but not a shocker.  I expected I'd get to a point where I was far enough down my Road to Happy that I couldn't see Crazy Town in my rear view mirror.  What I didn't know is that when you get to a place of real healing, you may not know you made it!  The month was almost completely over without the realization that I had truly taken a leap forward in my recovery until the shocker, happened in my damn kitchen.

Richard says this as we are cleaning up dinner dishes the other night,
"Thanks for keeping me."

In my moving on down the Road to Happy mind that remark came out of left field.
"What are you talking about?" I asked, totally giving him my confused as hell tone.

"I know what month it is."  He said quietly.  "I just wanted you to know, I know. And I'm still sorry and thank you for keeping me, keeping us."

My jaw dropped.  A bird could have flown in and nested.  I had to turn back to the sink, away from my thoughtful hubby, because I needed a minute to process what I just heard.
I didn't remember it was the 5 Year Anti-versary month, but Richard did!  I mean, I knew it was 5 years, but the month didn't matter.  The specific days had not occured to me but now here it was, being brought to the forefront of my conscious mind by my loving spouse.
Shocked.  Knock me over with a feather shocked.

In my last post I wrote that I thought Richard never wanted the affair to be spoken of again.
Shows you how much I freaking know so consider that if you read the rest of this blog!
My advice my not be worth the paper it's written on!

My ex-cheater husband shocked me into the reality that I've moved past the pain.
I couldn't tell you when it happened, but here it is.
If it wasn't for him, I might have missed the entire event.
I'm sure glad he shocked me.  Realizing I actually enjoyed September is pretty damn great.


36 comments:

BattyJ said...

Well I'm here for my daily read. I have it open everyday and read it every time I need strength. I am so pleased for you and am welling up at the thought that may be, just may be, I can get there too. I know I have years ahead of me but you are a true inspiration. I wish you every happiness in the world.

Have a big hug from me and thank you.

J x

shawn thewife said...

J: Thanks for the kind words.
Nobody is more surprised than me that I survived Crazy Town.
I can truly say and really believe that I am healed.
There may always be scars but I don't have to stare at them!
If I can get to this place...anybody working to heal after an affair can.
ANYBODY! So good luck girl!! You're gonna get there!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Belinda B. said...

Oh my wonderful goodness...ya never would have thought about that horrid day unless "thoughtful hubby" didn't dare remind you hhu? But he did remind you and being thoughtful means he was thinking...oh I wonder what about....hmmm let us guess, Jaymie? Oh that's right, he was thinking of the month he was having wild sex with a youngster that a few years ago he so badly wanted to forget about after being caught. Red flags on this one Shawn. I'd be pissed he was thinking of her at all...and trust me, he does.

mountainsailing said...

Thank you so much. I needed this. I haven't visited in a while, but I came here today because, at 3-1/2 years out, I still find myself thinking too much about the affair. Is there really an end in sight? I really hope so. I love my husband. He loves me. Since his affair, he has done everything he can to make things as good as they can be. We spend time together doing things we love. We make plans for the future. We have fun together. We laugh a lot. But I still find myself dwelling on thoughts of what he did with her, said to her. It's not healthy and I know it.

So again, thank you. You've given me renewed hope that this, too, will get better.

shawn thewife said...

Belinda: Why so bitchy? If you really thought Richard's remark wa a red flag you could have shared that without dragging She who shall not be named back into the fray.
Why can't you accept that Richard is remorseful and we are happy? Is happiness that foreign to you that you can't believe in it at all? If that is case, I'm truly sorry. Don't give up. The Road to Happy can be longer than expected.
On the other hand...if you're just a bitch...take it elsewhere. No one here is buying what you're selling.
In case you're just unhappy and not a bitch without a target...I still offer Hope & Hugs, Shawn

shawn thewife said...

Mountiansailing: It's been a while, my friend!
Keep working to retrain your brain. Remember the mantra:
I do not need to think about this now.
It will not help me to think about this now.
I will not think about this now.

And..refocus on what your husband is doing NOW. It takes practice but soon it will come naturally.
Time is most certainly your friend.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Belinda B. said...

Accept that you all are happy? BaHahahaha. Last post you weren't happy, this post you are. Peace sells, but who's buyin'? Not me. I refuse to live in your fantasy fairytale land with ya Shawn. Here's to keepin' it real, coughs.

shawn thewife said...

Belinda B.: The B must stand for Bitchy...or Bitter...or Beastly or Belligerent!
Enough alliteration.
Only replying to your last hateful comment for one reason...I don't have anything else to do right now.
Not gonna reiterate my feelings. Don't care if you buy into Hope & Healing.

Just wanna ask you one thing. Could you please let She who shall not be named know She can stop reading?
There's nothing more for Her here.
So move along, Bitter Bitch Belinda, Move along...and take She who shall not be named with you.
`Shawn`

Anonymous said...

Belinda, I hope that you are never in the need of support from another person. Betrayal can only truly be understood by those who truly comprehend loyalty. Your lack of empathy for another human being, mother, and wife is so sad. Only Shawn is in charge of owning her happiness.


Tangerine

mountainsailing said...

Thanks, Shawn. You are really a huge help. I have always had a bad habit of dwelling, since long before this, so it's a learning experience to try to stop that behavior. The mantra is very useful.

As to the hateful posts, I'd delete them. Bitter much? Not worth our time or attention. Life is hard enough without that kind of negativity and judginess.

TigerLily said...

Shawn, wonderful!

I was thinking about your wise words today, to allow ourselves to enjoy the now, that if a bad thought tries to invade my joyful moment to tell myself, "I do not need to think about this now. It will not help me to think about this now.
I will not think about this now." Whereas in the past, I may have had to say that numerous times in a day that I was determined to enjoy, today I found as I was faced with one potential trigger, I was able to say "no way, I'm not getting to let this invade my mind." It seems to be getting a bit easier as more and more time passes. And, today, I had such a beautiful day, for myself and with my husband.

Thank you Shawn!

TL xx

GotTheTshirt said...

Hi Shawn

I kniw this is an old blog, I think i fiu d it from Betrayed Wives Club which I in turn found from Chumplady.com. Both have helped so much. I am one year out from D Day last week and coming up on one year out from our brief separation. We are reconciling and my husbands transgression was an EA which is the onky readon Ive been able to try to work it out...she was 600 miles away but it was a 7 month long situation online mostly via Twitter

. My teen daughter was the one who put two and two together, hubby had been hideous to me for months and I never suspected it could be another woman. Loyalty is his biggest requirement of others ...IKR? Anyway reading your story and taking vicarious joy in your revenge against OW has helped me a lot. I am glad you are happy. I am hoping I get there too. One year out is soon though my husband thinks its been an eternity. He does all the right things but doesnt get my pain or the PTSD and nightmares I still have. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

katherine labelle said...

I hope to one day get to the point you are at now. For me it has been 2 years since we are back together (2.5 years since Dday) and as much as I would like to try to convince myself that I am ok, I am not, I still obsess, I still monitor his every move, I still have terrible nightmares and still can't trust my own gut. My husband beleives that I should be way way over it. He can't stand hearing about it, he says that it hurts him terribly and that every time I doubt him it also brings him back to a dark place. I would love to say I feel bad a little part of me does but most of me fells like his pain can never ever come close to what he put my daughter in I threw. I was pregnant and he abandoned us to be with her. He changed into a man that I could not recognize. Every time he has a shift in mood every time his schedule changes even a little I think here we go again, bring on the pain. If I bring it up nothing good comes out of it, even my family says that it was my decision to stay so I should be ok with it and move on. He says that if I stay stuck in the past we will never be able to build a future, I know that is true, but what to do. I am not healed, far from it actually and at this point feel as if I will lose him all over again if I can't come to grips with what happened.

I am not afraid of being alone I am afraid of that gut wrenching feeling I got when I found all of it out, I to asked for way to many details, even sat with her as she loved explaining how great MY husband was in bed and how MY husband could not get enough of her, all this from a man that is usually not sexual at all...I am afraid to be the last to know once again and having everyone around me say: 'well what did you expect' he did it before... But the biggest fear for me was having another woman potentially meeting my babies, me having to share MY children with HER! That I cannot bare and every time I have doubts and get anxious all I can see is that image...

Please tell me it gets better, no one is willing to listen anymore...

shawn thewife said...

((((Katherine))))
I know the pain you are in. I can feel it. I understand the fear. It can be dibilitating.
There is no easy fix, my friend. You have to choose to walk the Road to Happy. You can aways find a reason to doubt your wayward hubby but can you find a way to trust him? Tough one.
Try to focus on what your husband is doing for you NOW. If you keep living in your rearview mirror, healing is nearly impossible. Today is what matters.
Next, remember that we can't control the actions of others. He might cheat again but he might really want to be a better man. You're marriage might be better than ever! No crystal ball here. If you took him back because you love him, you must see the man he was before all this. If you took him back out of fear, you may need to rethink that decision.
Please consider counseling. It can do wonders!
Also, check out the Healing Heart message boards. The link is at the bottom of my blog homepage. It is a small group that truly gets it. Compassion and wisdom abound!
There are people willing to listen. You're not alone.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

katherine labelle said...

Thank you Shawn for taking the time to write back it is really appreciate. I always saw him, the man I fell in love with, even when everyone around him (including his mother) turned their backs on him I was still there. We were best freinds at the beginning or our journey and I think that is the reason we are still standing today. I had a good talk with him today and will be consulting, I would love to be able to do this on my own but if I did I would be lying to myself. THanks again and will be checking out that group for sure!

Anonymous said...

Since you have been healing and hence have moved on and only post a few times now, I go to surviving infidelity and I like the wayward side postings and when I try and send encouraging words to them I am blocked but others are allowed to. I have also been reprimanded for the silliest things yet others can swear and yell and continue to post and post. I remember you had some dealings with them. Do you still post on SI or have you given up. I'm beginning to really hate that site because I've done nothing to get Deep Scared - whoever she is - she is God on that site yet stays behind her safety net - . How do I stop going there? If you stopped, how did you stop?

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: That site is run by small minded neo-nazis.
OK.....That might be harsh but even if it wasn't patrolled in such an opinionated, arbitrary fashion, it's still too big and impersonal for me. The Healing Heart message baords may only have a handful of memebers compared to Surviving Infidelity, but those members care! The moderators are there to assist, not to police.
Please go to the Healing Heart and read. The link is at the bottom of my blog.
You will find comfort, compassion, knowledge and authentic caring far beyond anything at SI.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

TigerLily said...

I totally agree with Shawn - small minded neo-nazi administrators!

I like to refer to it as DeeplyScared and her flying monkeys. They are fast and furious.

Shawn, like me and Mindless, were you also permanently blocked? I suppose if not for that fiasco we would not have started R4L, which has actually been so much more healing for us as individuals and a couple than anything we got from SI. Though admittedly, there were a few posters there, with whom we felt we were developing somewhat of a supportive and encouraging dynamic, that we do miss.

Healing Heart, by the way, is a beautifully supportive and friendly place for the BS. And, of course, for a BS, Shawn's site has been such a blessing on the journey forward.

TL xx

Anonymous said...

I recently found out about my husbands infidelity. It has been going on for many years. There are so many emotions I am feeling right now. My self-esteem is at an all-time low.
I'm too embarrassed to turn to friends or family, so I chose to ask all of you for help and support.

BS said...

I have not been to your blog for awhile, I am happy to see you posting again.

I am glad to hear you posting Richard's apologetic comforting words, too, Shawn.

My husband often says those exact words, out of the blue. He in fact mentioned them again today as we were gulping coffees on our way out the door for work.

Also, one day he was watching television and I walked past the family room and heard him muttering to himself, I peeked in, and he was shaking his head and slapping his forehead.

I asked him what was up and he told me, he was just thinking about how incredibly stupid he was to have an affair and to risk destroying our marriage and to cause so much distrust and angst in our marriage. He again apologized and thanked me for sticking with him and not just walking away. He said the thought of the affair makes him feel embarrassed and ashamed. The only upside he said was that it forced him to realize his priorities and to appreciate his wife.

I have no doubt my husband occasionally thinks of the married OW and perhaps an episode of exciting sex they may have once had during the affair.

But so what?

I have ex boyfriends, whom I am eternally grateful that I left behind, yet I too randomly sometimes think about our initially exciting new-relationship sex. So what? It's normal and human. Still, I would not get back together with those ex boyfriends, and I was extremely happy when I broke off those relationships.

Now mostly when I think of those ex boyfriends I feel only relief that I am no longer with them in a real relationship.

chris said...

I hope I am not getting too personal...but has your husband been checked for stds? Seems like that Jayme gets around. Hpv is so common anymore.Wishing you a clean bill of health!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shawn. I stumbled across your blog and loved it. I have felt all the emotions you have described. I really want to go to the ow's job and tell her a thing or two. It has only been a month and I struggle daily with trust with my husband. I also cannot stop asking questions and I think it is starting to wear on him. He can't even go outside without me wondering what he is up to. How did you get past the constant suspicion and questioning? I am sick to my stomach on a daily basis and I can't imagine living my life like this forever. Thanks.

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: One month out is just the tip of a very large iceberg. I hate to tell you but it might get harder before it gets any easier and your emotions will shift like the tide.
Don't worry about living like this forever. Forever is a very long time. I think I reached the point of being healed nearly 5 years out. That's what this post was about. BUT....my life and marrigae are forever changed.
For one thing: I'd be an idiot if I trusted anyone ever again with blinders on.
Chnage doesn't always mean bad. It can mean much better.

If you really feel like this is "wearing" on your cheater husband, then he really doesn't get how hard recociliation will be. Maybe you should consider marriage counseling. Someone needs to educate your wayward spouse on how hard he will have to work to salvage what HE nearly destroyed.

Please go to the Healing Heart Message Boards. The link is at the bottom of my blog. There you will find compassion, understanding and wisdom from others that haved waled the road to happy before you. Don't try to heal alone. Let other's show their support.
I'm glad you found us. I'm very sorry you had to.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

natalie said...

Congrats on your five years Shawn. It took me around the three year mark to feel better physically and emotionally. This stuff really knocks the wind out of you. I was curious if you had any thoughts on why it takes some five years, and others more or less. Any thoughts on why you think you took 5 years to heal instead of two or three? Thanks. Hugs.

shawn thewife said...

Natalie: You asked if I have thoughts on why it takes some betrayed wives longer to heal than others?
Sure. I have thoughts, but very few rules of thumb.
Each of us has a unique Road to Happy. Some of us have cheating husbands that come out of the Fog right away. Others that indulge in Trickle Truth because "they don't want to hurt us anymore". That was Richard for months.
Some blame shift.
So my main thought is this....the amouont of time it takes to heal is directly related to the behavior of the cheater after DDay.
That said....I was my own worst enemy. I was so angry for so long. I couldn't deal with the heartache, so I stayed pissed. That was easier for me, but certainly not good for me.
I kept She who shall not be named in the mix for a year. That right there means no healing was possible during that time.
I was very slow learner.
Great question. Might be something to explore in a post. Thanks for asking.
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

What do you do if the OW was a neighbor and "so-called" friend, and therefore they are in the mix because you can't avoid seeing them. Please don't say move, I am not sure what makes me angrier, running into her regularly or being chased out of the house I love and uprooting my kids. H has not had any contact with her since day after D-Day. Says she disgusts him and they seem to mutually avoid each other. A few mutual friends also know. 16 months out from D-Day.

How can I get to a place where I am not 1) crushed by it when I see her and 2) tempted to tear her hair out and punch her teeth down her throat.

Anonymous said...

i have read every bit of your blog desperatley looking for help, a glimmer that I can get over betrayal DDay was 14th Sept, my other half is dong all he can to be supportive and helpful and loving, he is wracked with guilt and is depressed and morose at times, some days are okay, some days are just God awful, there has been no GOOD day yet. I wake some morning s and wonder if I will ever feel happy again. Xmas looms and I dread it. OW consumes my thoughts ever day, I want revenge. I have informed her husband and family of her deeds. it ws not her first time NOR will it be her last, I want what we had BDD and I know it can never be. The hurt caused by his thoughtlesness can never be fully healed

Batty J said...

To both anonymous above, please go to the healing heart forum. There's a link on this blog. It's a great support site.

J x

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this post because it showed me that there can be peace of heart again one day. (I am the one dealing with the crazy husband of the OW) and I appreciated your comments the other day that I should give myself credit for being strong. Thank you for saying that, it meant a lot and I had never given myself any credit for staying out of crazy town.

I'm glad Ive held myself together - and not a single friend, family member or colleague suspects the horror I have been living at home for 11 months. But I stayed strong, almost because I had no choice as I have literally been on high alert for a psycho showing up at my house (which has happened but I managed to walk him away just before my children got home). DId I mention they live only a few blocks from us. In some ways I think dealing with the OW husband's crazy town has made me suppress all my betrayed spouse feelings and I didn't get to grieve properly. In fact I'm a bit resentful to him. Why is it all about him (OW husband) how come no one cares how I feel? The OW husband was so crazy and scary I even offered the OW and her son to come to our house for their safety after I found about about the affair becuse he was acting so frightening.

Oh my gosh it just feels good to write about this as I have not been able to tell a single person and have felt so alone for nearly a year. The last time we heard from the OW's crazy husband was at Christmas where he sent me a "Merry Christmas" text. We don't block him because I want the evidence of his harassment should we decide to get a restraining order. But I cannot for the life of me understand why he keeps in touch with us in such an unhealthy way.

Its funny I felt better for a few months but as the one year anniversary of D day approaches I find myself going to a dark place. This blog has been super helpful in validating my feelings are normal and I am not insane.

shawn thewife said...

Anonymous: Your Road to Happy has been littered with IEDs yet you've charted the safest course you can!
I say stay the course, my friend! You got this!
You are carrying the burden alone and the OH is a freak show. Keep using the Healing Heart!
HH is a safe, comforting place to share your pain.
And if reading about my missteps helps you avoid potholes, that's awesome! Keep reading!
And writing!! I hear you about writing! That sparked the beginning of my recovery. It helped me so much
to dump the story onto my keyboard, sometimes pounding the crap out of the poor innocent instrument!
As I wrote, my brain was redirected and it clarified my thinking. Keep writing!

About the dark feelings.....they are inevitable, I'm afraid. This is a process. A process is something that is fluid, in motion.
Feelings will come, we deal with them as they arrive. You have been making such great choices so far.
I have no doubt you are strong enough to keep going.
Let your WH know how hard the anti-versary may be. Deal with it together.
AND...of course, we are here for you!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

Glad I found this site via Betrayed Wives' Club. I am a little over 2 years out. I also tried SI site and boy...did I feel a lot of hate! People attacking my husband instead of offering support to me-which is what I needed and repeatedly asked for but kept getting toxic comments. My situation is a little different...visit to massage parlor and a "friendship" with an escort. Because you "know" that means it wasn't emotional...no emotions other than mine. We went through 6 months with a marriage counselor who felt my husband's stressful job caused him to turn away from our marriage and I should be more understanding. Six months and never a discussion about my pain or betrayal, it was all about me having to understand my husband. I am now seeing my own fabulous counselor that I am so thankful for. Hubby is remorseful and I don't believe he'll do that ever again. But it's tough to live through-being hurt by the one person in the world who is supposed to never hurt you. And it's all a secret...family and friends don't know, our children don't know. Hubby didn't handle the situation well, either, wasn't as supportive as he should have been, wasn't honest when caught (of course), didn't do things I told him I needed, didn't go with me to my doctors to get tested (which every year now my doctor tests me since I have a lying cheating husband)...I think his behavior afterward is more unforgivable than his cheating. Still a work in progress...and he is trying harder to help me. Thank you for this site...I look forward to reading more.

Liz said...

Shawn, with am part of the five year plus crowd. I really hope you continue to write an update here and there for the after five year crowd. Hope 2016 is going good. Thanks.

shawn thewife said...

Hey, Liz! If anything happens that I think might be worth my time to type and/or your time to read, a new post will appear.
For now, I'll share this....it is the rare moment when my brain falls back to ponder the affair.
I do make an effort to check in with Richard about how he is feeling about life from time to time. He does the same with me.
It's our little way of reassuring each other that we are striding down the Road to Happy and enjoying the trip....together.
Hope you are on a solid Road to Happy journey, too!
Thanks for the good wishes!
Hope & Hugs, Shawn

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you, Yesterday was 3 years since d day. i am reliving it all over again.The weather,the smells ,whats on the tv...last night in bed , what i thought was his phone went off.1 in the morning (it wasn't) he was fumbling around trying to turn what he thought was his phone off, i immediately thought "it's her,she knows the date too and is texting to beg him to come back.i went into full hyper vigilance mode,near full panic attack. he of course realised it was a dead battery in his alerter..i did not. i realise i am probably experiencing ptsd..have been for 3 years. Our relationship is stronger now than ever but i am so afraid i will sabotage it. we spoke at lenght this morning and he asked "What can i do?" sometimes it's those things that can make us feel safe again. We both agreed that whilst not to keep bringing the past up,it's important to acknowlage how far we have come. For a long time i regretted not approaching the AP..so glad i didn't after reding this blog.although i havn't quite reached not wishing her some form of late onset acne or hair loss...I guess there is some bitterness still there.

survivor4624 said...

Shawn, I am glad to find your blog via betrayed wives club. It brings me hope. My D Day was September 14, 2015. My husband is remorseful and following through with therapy, support group, covenant eyes on his devices, etc., but I do struggle almost daily with trigger thoughts and pictures in my head. I asked way too many detail questions and feel so sick when these things haunt me. My husband spent 20 of our 24 years together using porn, sexing/chatting, and having physical affairs and I was so nieve-I had no idea he was so deep into all this mess. I did confront 5 women in the first few months via email, and the most recent affair got a hand delivered letter (I had my counselor check it over ). I'm tired of theses thoughts but love your mantra and trying to focus on now. Thank you so much for posting-it's encouraging.

TigerLily said...

Survivor,

I have a similar story. Many many things hidden from me for 18.5 years, so many things. I needed the details and sometimes they do haunt, but I know that not knowing would haunt me more. My husband is doing so much too, but there is another person I need to forgive and that person is me. Some days, I think I am there, rationally I know where I need to be, but my heart doesn't always follow my head. Still, I know I need to forgive myself for trusting so blindly, for not seeing it sooner, for allowing myself to be treated as a low priority for so many years (I thought I was competing against his work and exercise, ha!). I also need to have faith in myself. I am working toward that, building upon it by finishing my Masters, by going back to work after being a Stay-at-home Mom for so many years, there is more I need to do, but it is a start. No matter how you choose to go forward, it is not easy road.

Shawn's mantra was a guide to me that has allowed me to enjoy some moments in my life through this shit storm, "I don't need to think about this now" kind of mantra when in the midst of an activity I know I want to enjoy. As time goes on, I need the mantra less, but I still need it sometimes. In fact, sometimes more than others. Wishing you some moments of peace on this journey. TL xx