The Elephant in the Room

Cheaters suck.

Discovering my husband’s yet-to-be-defined affair (emotional, physical “just sex,” old friends, ex-lovers…) that has gone on for an undetermined number of years has been the most painful event in my life. I’m sure most betrayed spouses agree.

Before October, I had read very little about infidelity, beyond the mainstream media. It wasn’t something I ever expected to need a better understanding for. Why would I?

Since October, I have scoured the internet. My iPad has become my refuge. It’s one of the very few places that I’ve found support and validation as one who’s been betrayed.  I don’t believe anyone can understand the overwhelming emotional shit-storm that infidelity and betrayal unleash, unless it’s something we’ve  have personally experienced. Only then can you truly identify with it’s madness.

I started my initial reading and searching after Dday on a message board that I never joined.. Just lurked for hours. Then I found personal blogs. I’ve since read hundreds, searching for someone that has affair story similar to mine.   I’ve read blogs of betrayed wives and husbands. I’ve read from the perspective of the cheater and the other woman. I’ve read support blogs of professionals, experienced in infidelity and affair recovery. I have compared my experience with each of your personal experiences that I now follow. So far, mine is different, but only the details and background. We’ve all been handed a scripted affair, and here we are. Sharing our scripts. Here’s more of mine…

I believe that for the majority of married, committed or “exclusive” relationships, homo or heterosexual, that monogamy is a choice. A choice made by cultural, societal and histororical and familial influences.. It’s engrained in our subconscious and so we seek exclusivity with our sexual partners. I don’t believe that we, as Mammals, Homo-Sapiens, are monogamous creatures. There are certainly exceptions, but I really don’t want to write about my theory and belief in this post. I’ll save that for another blog post “Monogamy vs Polyamory!” But stating that gets me to where I need to be in this script…

My husband and I had monogamous marriage by choice. The short story goes like this… He and I met and quickly entered into an exclusive relationship (by exclusive I mean my theory as tated above.) I was 28, had recently  experienced a major crossroad in my life and was ready to settle down and start a family. I really wanted to be married. To this point in my adult life, I had been in an immature and  premature marriage, doomed from the start.  We had both cheated on each other within weeks of getting married… Craziness. Separated in less than 2 years and divorced at 3.5 years. After we separated I moved around frequently  for Military training, the 1st Gulf War, and eventually returned to my home state.  I had an amazing dating life!  My heart was broken a couple of times but I always moved on. Rarely were any of my relationships “exclusive.” They each provided something. Some had more depth and emotional connection. Others were just mind-blowing sex. But for whatever reason, none manifested into the subconscious “exclusive” monogamous husband. Until I met M.

We met (18 years ago this past Monday…) and 8 months later our son, a 10 week preemie was born. We bought a house, suffered a miscarriage, got married and found out were expecting our daughter #1 the following year.  By our first wedding anniversary, I had a toddler and demanding 3 month old. (remember this is the short script…) By our second anniversary I was pregnant with our daughter # 2. Yep… We where living the socially, culturally and historically defined “politically correct” monogamous relationship and the American dream.

I started to question monogamy after 5-6 years of marriage and at about 7 years together, I proposed the idea of open marriage to my husband. After months of reading, research and discussion, we agreed to try an open marriage. In hindsight, I was probably more persuasive than he was in accepting of  the concept. But we tried. I really tried. I really wanted it to work, but M morphed into a giant green eyed-monster.  It got to the point that as much as I wanted the open marriage to work and believed that it could, I had to accept that it wasn’t going to work with M. His jealousy was making us both miserable and me crazy. I decided (and together we agreed) that we needed to return to a monogamous relationship, and  a “closed-marriage.”

He had a really hard time accepting the whole concept. He tried and as miserable as it made him, he was unwilling to quit trying. He’s competitive that way. He was fine with his outside partners, not so much so about mine. He was always suspicious that I was seeking to replace him.  I was unable to make him understand and believe that he was the man who I wanted to be married to and grow old with. That he was my dream come true and my happily ever after.  And he was… I wanted to grow old along with him, raise our family and share our life. I also wanted  for us to be able to enjoy the attention and companionship of other partners. I wanted this for both of us. And it would have essentially eliminate the opportunity for either of us to “cheat” or have an “affair.”

For the past 6 years our marriage has been closed, or so I believed… Now here I am, trying to find someone who has an experience like mine. See my asshole husband could have avoided and spared me this shit storm, mind-fucked, post Dday hell. He could have spared himself whatever shit he’s going thru because he did this to us, because he couldn’t manage an open-marriage and cheating on me seemed like a better option than communicating his wants and needs.

Enter the elephant…

We made a choice, a very conscious and deliberate decision to be exclusive  and monogamous to and with one another. We made that decision together. Not just vows and promises.  We were vested in what we were committing to.

And he had a full-blown-fucking-affair. I don’t think it will ever be less mind-blowing.