It’s been 15.5 months since I found out about my husband’s affair.
Not a single day has been easy. Not even one.
This is the single most difficult and overwhelming experience I’ve ever gone thru. Without exception.
Staying is hard. Every single day.
I’m not the same person anymore. So much of who I am is still lost in the chatic aftermath of betray.
I can’t find my way out.
I question and doubt everything.
This is not the life I wanted to live.
I can’t “forget it.”
Something has to change.
But, I’m still not ready….
I want to write, but I don’t know where to start. Here I am. Not sure where this will go. My thoughts are too scattered and jumbled. Everything is running together and I feel like I’m forgetting things. I have moments where I’ve forgotten what he’s done to me, to us… And when remember it hits me like it did 5 weeks ago. I’ve stopped wearing mascara because it just ends up a mess. I cry too often, too easily. I am still overwhelmed with questions and doubt. Everyday I find myself angrier, as he gains still more self-confidence and righteousness. Time is giving him strength and weakening me. He’s falling into the daily pattern of our life as if nothing has happened, or that everything is okay now. After all, one of the many ridiculous reasons he gave for cheating is because he told me years ago he didn’t want a sexless marriage.
Our sex life had dwindled the last 2-3 years. Months would go by sometimes. He did tell me he didn’t want a sexless marriage. That’s all he said, it was in the context of us discussing our sex life. It used to be very good, great even. He is the best lover I’ve ever had. There is something amazing that happens over time with one lover. Intimacy. And we had that. That is what we lost. The intimacy. I value intimacy. He values sex. You can fuck anyone. It can even be mind-blowing. But intimacy.. That is the substance that turns me on and gets me high. Not just the physical aspect. The daily intimacies that husbands and wives share, that we shared. He used to text me sweet messages, and make daily “I love you” calls. He’d call when he was on his way home to see if he could help in some way. It evolved into a daily cut-and-paste text “on my way.” I hated that message. I stopped responding to it. He stopped sending it. I stopped initiating sex. He stopped trying because he was afraid I would say “no.” He never asked me what was going on with me, or why I lost interest in sex. He stopped listening to my evening banter. I loved to share things I’d learned or gossip or whatever.. Just the bullshit conversations that you have after a crazy day. He would be reading email or looking at his phone. I told him things that he later insists I never told him. I stopped the banter. He didn’t notice. He stopped noticing things done around the house. He stopped noticing me. I told him just a few weeks before discovering his affair, that I had put on about 20 pounds in a little over a year. He didn’t notice. I dyed my hair mid September to my natural color. It was pretty washed out from summer sun and more than a few grays… He didn’t notice. He stopped noticing so many things, so long ago… And along with it went the intimacy.
Now here’s where I’m having a hard time. See, all this time, these years we’ve lacked intimacy, the years he’s been having an affair, I’ve been happy, content. I’d accepted that we’re in a rut, that we would get out of someday. But it was a good rut. We were together. We are busy getting ourselves financially unfucked. We have 3 teens with very busy social lives, that we’ve given a privileged life and spoiled. We both work full-time plus, with often unpredictable schedules. We’re a few years older and we get tired! But we hang together and laugh, we watched the whole “Downton Abby” series. Twice. In 4 months! We’ve played cribbage and backgammon dozens of times. Watched many movies. Seen some great documentaries. Gained a lot of knowledge and wisdom. We’ve enjoyed a few beers and bottles of wine, or maybe a cocoa by fires out back on countless nights. We’ve talked about the future, things we want to do after the kids are on their own. We shared our dreams. We enjoyed being together. I’ve enjoyed being with him. I’ve been comfortable. I’ve been happy enough. I’ve been were I needed to be and that was good. Sometimes it sucked, but we always laughed afterwards. I was content, mindful even. I thought we both were. I was so complacent that I didn’t notice the subtle and not so subtle signs that he was having an affair. So fucking obvious in hindsight! I totally fell for him. Totally trusted him. Totally committed to him. Totally loving him. Unconditionally. We were growing old together. I kept giving and he kept accepting, taking even and now he’s done this to me. This, I don’t even know what it is. After affair hell.
I’ve wished I could go back and not discovered that text message 6 weeks ago. I want to feel the way I felt until I found that first message. If I never discovered it, I wouldn’t feel this. This. After affair hell. Which feels almost pathetic, to want to feel something that wasn’t even real to begin with. An illusion really. And that’s what I want now. The illusion of what I thought we had, while he was having a fucking affair. Before I found out about it.
I’ve even found myself pissed at him for being careless and letting me find the message. But he hid it for at least 2 years, so he cares about something.
So, regrouping…sexless marriage. Past tense. It’s not sexless anymore. We’ve had sex more in the last 5 weeks than I can now count. A lot of great sex. Hysterical bonding so I read. So were having all this sex, which is great, but it’s only reinforcing him. If I decide to stop fucking him for the next 6 months is he going to go find someone else to fuck again?
So everything in my house looks just the same. And my husband smiles more because he’s getting laid. But if someone can help me figure out who I am, and what I’m supposed to do, I sure could use the advice. I’m the one experiencing something so awful I can’t describe, and he doesn’t notice.
I was reading thru blog posts this morning. One in particular has redirected my thoughts, or added another stream of reflection. Probably the later, as I seem to have multiple thought processes at the same time. The analogy I envision is that I’m following multiple movies at the same time, and then someone changes the channel… All in HD!
I shared a few days ago that it was the 8th anniversary of my mother dying. She died too young, just shy of 60. She and I had a complicated history and most of it I’ve dealt with thru counselling. Since the discovery of my husband’s affair, old wounds have reopened. Or maybe they are new, in the light of his betrayal. I’ve wished that my mom was around these past weeks since my “aAH (after affair hell) started. My landslide. But the reality is, she wouldn’t have been here for me if she was alive.
She had multiple affairs and what’s a compulsive liar. To the best of my understanding and memories, my mother first cheated on my father when I was a toddler. My first memory of her infidelity, Is when I was about five. She left my dad, me and 3 yo brother and went to live with the other man. She got pregnant, ended up recommitting with my dad and put the baby up for adoption. I remember several times thru the next 5-6 years where my mother was gone for questionable time, sometimes days and then the angry bitter fights that erupted afterwards.
As I got into early teens I wished for them to get to a divorce. It was verbally abusive and hostile. There’s was also physical abuse. At least by today’s standard. Both of my parents had heavy fists. It wasn’t frequent. I used to threaten my kids that I was going to send then with the gypsies if they ever knocked on my door, but I’ve never raised a hand. Ever.
When I was 13, things cycled into an angry, violent period again. When I turned 14, she disappeared for six months. My father found out she had left with another man. Again. He proceeded to divorce her. He maintained custody of my brother and I, as she didn’t want us or the responsibility. We moved to another state and had every other week visitation. She acted like a big sister or best friend; no supervision, certainly no role-model mothering on those weekends. I became self-destructive and risky, promiscuous.
The reality is, now I find myself so fucking pissed at her, because of all the pain she caused my father. Because of my husbands betrayal I have a whole new understanding of the pain my father went through all those years. It’s allowed me a new level of forgiveness for my father as I know how truly difficult those years must have been for him. He and I are very close now and I told him about the affair. He cried with me. I haven’t told my husband that my father knows, and he hasn’t asked. I suspect he knows.
Reality is that my parents ended up divorced, as nearly half of all marriages do. I believe I read the percentage of those that end in divorce after reconciliation is nearly 80%. Fuck. We have a lot of fucking hard work ahead of us if we don’t want to become statistic.
So I sit here in my new reality, this after affair hell and run thru my thoughts and memories. Still trying to make sense of it all. Old wounds that I thought were healed have opened, but I’ve found a new peace about my father and my childhood. Which baffles me only because I truly thought some of these things were behind me. I’ve gained some clarity in reconstructing memories. Hindsight….
Realities change. It’s not static and linear. I believe it’s affected by things in our past, our present and even our future, the things still unknown. This frightens me. These very things sometimes make me feel defeated already and sometimes hopeless. I don’t think about the future very often or for long. I’m trying to refocus and direct my energy on the concrete things I have in my life today, the things I can see, feel, taste, touch and smell. The things that I need to do today and this week. Those are real. I have so much to be thankful for and have been truly blessed. I live a beautiful life and I’ve never been afraid to color outside the lines.
I lost my mother many years ago, when she chose to live her life without me. She met my husband and children only once. My daughters don’t remember her. They were 1 and 3 at the time. It was a few years later before, that I accepted our relationship for what it was. Her dying provided a relief. I no longer had to accept that she didn’t want to, or couldn’t be a part of my life. I can and do grieve for her now, but she is no longer lost. She died.
I’ve wondered since I discovered his affair 25 days ago if we needed to physically separate. I think we do. Honestly, I know we do. As the days have passed I find myself loving him less. I watch him go about his daily life as if nothing has happened to us. We are friends, best friends really. And that’s another piece that I haven’t really acknowledged. Not only did my husband destroy me, my friend did a number as well.
I feel like I’m outside myself and watching these past weeks unfold. I see myself going about my life and *coping* really well under these circumstances. But see inside myself and how utterly destroyed I am. I don’t get how they don’t see me. My kids know something is up. My 15 yo daughter is really suspicious…
I hate protecting this awful thing that has happened to me…
I hate by protecting the affair I have become a part of it..
And that’s why we need to separate. So I can sort thru all the things that I’m feeling. I need to find some sense in all this. If there is any…
I think deeper down I have serious doubts about the affair being over. I have serious concerns that it is much more established than I know. They’ve been connected since he was in high school. Then connected 3 more times before he got married to his first wife. He denies ever cheating on his first wife. Denies ever connecting with her unit Facebook in 2009 or 2010. He did admit that he has always kept communications with her secret with a few exceptions. I’ve poured over the phone bill history 15 months back and have record of every text. There is one phone call. ONE FUCKING PHONE CALL. Which, get this.. Just happens to be made the morning after I confronted him. A 13 minute phone call that he claims was his “NC” call. He made it the morning after I confronted him, and then admitted that same evening that he was having an affair. He fucking destroyed ME. That’s where MY fucking landslide began.
He gave me a timeline of his affair, a week after I requested it. I also asked for him to really think about what his feelings were/are for her. He still hasn’t given me that answer. But the time line, he started the timeline in 2009. They connected on Facebook. The earliest I found a post from 2012. He was really good at clearing history on his gadgets. I mean really good, especially in hind sight. I just chalked it up as one of his quirks.
He has a work phone and email that I don’t have access to. I’ve seen a dozen or so emails on a limited version of his work email I have access to on his iPad. He has 2 laptops and a desktop, a work phone, a personal iPhone he uses for work and a paging system. I just can’t track it all down.
The irony is that Apple recently released IOS 8. I read an article somewhere about how a bunch of people found out about their partners’ having affairs after updating their phones. Seems there was a glitch in how messages were distributed in iCloud. That’s exactly how I found out! Just so happens that Matt updated his iPad and LKL got an iPhone because she supposedly lost her phone and replaced it with an iPhone. And I very naively opened up Matt’s iPad and saw the text message “I miss you too, baby xoxoxoxo”
He has since admitted that he would have never told me about his affair. The last email she sent him was a link to an article about putting relationships on the back burner. I think that 13 minute phone call set up an already conspired plan to put things on hold and let things smooth over and connect again when thing are clear. I think he and she made a few mistakes and I happened to stumble on them, but truly they have done well to cover their affair so well. I wasn’t supposed to know. I still don’t. This is what I think my gut is trying to tell me.
So, am I being irrational? Am I loosing my fucking mind? I honestly don’t know. But I think separating will at least give me space to try to get a grip. It makes sense to me.