That’s nice to know.

The other day Mike and I managed to talk about affair stuff without him blowing up too much. I am not trying to stay focused on the past, but in order for me to be willing to heal from this, I have to understand what it is I need to fix. I have to understand more about why and how he was able to do what he did because there were justifications within him that made it ok. Home life must’ve been that bad for him that he went astray.

His affair was not planned out. He was online somewhere and an add for one of those dating sites (like Zoosk – I see those all the time) popped up and so he was curious. He set up an account on multiple ones trying to figure out which one would NOT charge him to be able to connect with people and that’s how he wound up on Date Hookup.

His ads said that he was married, but in a shitty relationship, so don’t dog him before you get to know him…something along those lines. He was honest about being married and never said he was looking for a relationship, just some discreet fun. I eventually saw one of them and it made me sick that he would say those things.

Sex was planned after he saw that it worked. He talked to women, some were skanks who were willing to be sexual right up front and some were more reserved, but later willing. He said that he looked for women who seemed “easy.” And he found Paula. She was sticking her tongue out in her photo so his first comment to her was something about doing things with her tongue (he doesn’t remember exactly what he said…uh huh). They talked and made an insincere connection – meaning, he bullshitted his way to attract her to him.

He told me that he was able to talk to her about personal stuff because she didn’t really matter to him; her opinion and views didn’t really matter. All he wanted was to see if she’d side with him and console him over his shitty relationship. And that she did. She assured him that I must be having an affair if I didn’t want to have sex. I don’t know what all he told her specifically about me. Maybe I will ask more about that. I am sure that he won’t want to tell me out of fear of hurting me and being honest about how he really felt.

One thing he did tell me that stung was that after he had sex with Paula, he said it felt just like having sex with me prior to the affair: that he felt like it was a chore and how it made him feel unwanted and gross. Gross with me because he felt like he was making me do something I didn’t want to do. Gross with her because he felt guilty and shameful about doing what he did.

This was something he hadn’t told me before until now. I think we are finally getting to some of his thoughts and actions during the affair; the ones he hasn’t shared with me because they are too ugly and painful – for both of us. All of those, ‘I don’t know’ and ‘I don’t remember’ answers were bull and will not be accepted from here on out.

I have been waiting for the truth of his behaviors for a long time and it seems they might finally make their appearance. Maybe healing will begin soon.

How to forgive yourself for cheating & for being a shitty spouse.

All affairs happen for different reasons and in the end we all decide differently on what route to take to recover after an affair. Some of us separate then divorce, some of us separate and get back together over time, some of us just suck it up and take it and never do anything differently accepting that it was something we deserved and some of us work to restore our marriage as it was right from the get-go.

Something that both parties must do to truly move forward in their lives and towards happiness is to forgive themselves and forgive each other. A lot of people can not grasp what it really means to forgive and I have written several posts on what this entails if you want to read those, please look for my category at the bottom titled “Forgiveness.” Here is the main post I have written about what it means with a quote from another source.

In the beginning, I never imagined forgiving my husband. I always believed that if my husband had cheated on me, that it would be an unforgivable act that I could not heal from. Notice I said could. After his affair, I learned differently. I learned that it wouldn’t kill our marriage and my love for him and that it was possible for me to heal from it. I couldn’t go on forever allowing it to hold me down and torment me irregardless of whether I stayed with him or not.

It was once I realized that forgiveness is about me choosing not to let it hold me down that I could begin to understand it. With the help of many sources, I was able to being the process. Really, it wasn’t a lengthy one. It was just prolonged when I allowed toxic thinking to deter my progress.

I have since been able to fully forgive my husband for the pain he caused me. For how he betrayed me. And I have also forgiven myself for not swallowing my pride and doing what it took to keep my marriage healthy. I have forgiven myself for being flat-out mean to my husband and sabotaging our relationship. I had to in order to be free from this devastation. In order to renew our love for one another and build a new foundation for what we were going to have in our future together.

Since I have been reading my book The Surrendered Wife, I have learned a lot about what behaviors I need to change and character defects I need to address within myself in order to be  an amazing person who is tolerable to live with and be married to. I have applied those changes and am always working to improve my behaviors. I apologize and correct myself everyday. Even though many times a day I do this, I don’t allow myself to feel discouraged. I don’t allow myself to feel like a piece of shit because I still behave the way I used to prior to the affair. I am human. I will not do a 180 overnight. These are things I’ve actually done most of my adult life. That’s 16+- years of learned & practiced behaviors that I have to change.

It will take time.

Towards the end of my book, I read a paragraph that was very profound and I thought of others who I know struggle with forgiving themselves for cheating on their spouses. My husband is one of them and he says he feels that he will always carry around this guilt for what he did. I asked why, “To punish yourself?” Then I proceeded to relate it to making other poor choices. This is what I said, not verbatim:

Your affair is like making the choice to eat lots of mayonnaise and ranch dressing and lots of other foods that are very bad for you, especially in large amounts. You know you could eventually wind up with diabetes (or even high cholesterol, etc), but you continue to over-indulge in those pleasures. You think that because you are active and drink lots of water, that you have some sort of balance. One day you go to the doctor and find out you now have diabetes. You can no longer take back the poor choices you made. You have to live with this the rest of your life. You can either choose to make it worse or make it better. You can continue to eat bad foods or you can decide to do what’s best for you so that you can live without worry or fear of more problems arising from your illness. You learn to maintain it to the best of your ability.

You can’t undo the affair. You can’t undo the damage and hurt it has caused others. What’s done is done. Now, what are you going to do about it? Wallow in your guilt for the rest of your life or acknowledge that you made a shitty choice and start from this day forward to make amends by loving yourself and your spouse and doing what it takes to improve your relationship and eventually maintain that happiness?

Here is the profound paragraph….something Sister Wendy Beckett said in an interview with Bill Moyer:

“I don’t think being truly human has any place for guilt…Contrition, yes, but guilt no. Contrition means you tell God you are sorry and you are not going to do it again and you start of afresh. All the damage you’ve done to yourself [is] put right. Guilt means you go on and on belaboring and having emotions and beating your breast and being ego-fixated. Guilt is a trap. People love guilt because if they feel they suffer enough guilt, they’ll make up for what they’ve done, whereas, in fact,  they’re just sitting in a puddle and splashing. Contrition, you move forward. It’s over. You are willing to forego the pleasure of guilt.”

Are you going to go eat worms?

Food for thought. ;)

I am difficult to please.

This is really the problem here. I have always had certain expectations set for me from my father and I expect the same from others. I don’t expect perfection, just better than good enough. And things to be done the way that I do them because I know that I do a good job.

Relinquishing control over others is very difficult and hard to see, especially when whatever they are doing affects me and my life.

This makes me difficult to please unless you know exactly what I want, then there is the anxiety of making sure to please me. I know that I am a mess, I just don’t know where to begin to change it. This is my way of still trying to control the direction things take and the outcome they will have by not deciding when and how to change things. So I feel stuck.

I will begrudgingly make the effort not to control things when I notice I am beginning to do so. I say begrudgingly because I know it will make me feel like I have come unraveled.

And I just purchased this book to help me along the way:

Survey says…

After discovering my husband’s affair, I began to live in that world. I became a living statistic. So of course, if I am going to be a member, I am going to read up and know my business. I wanted to be in the know.

The percentage of married couples who have cheated in their relationships was alarming! I knew that 51% of marriages end in divorce, but I had no idea that so. many. people are cheating on their spouses. I have read differing statistics – everyone has their own way of retrieving that data – but overall it is estimated that around 80% of married couples – both men and women – are cheating or have cheated on their spouse.

80%!!!

Men are more likely to cheat than women (according to the numbers), but women are not far behind. Cheating is defined differently by everyone. Some consider flirting as cheating and some don’t. The numbers for actual physical and emotional cheating are lower, around 50-60%. Still, cheating is cheating. I didn’t marry my husband for him to have a fling with another woman. Our marriage is not an open one.

What’s sad is that even though I was betrayed, reading these articles made me feel somewhat comforted in knowing that I am not the only one…that there are actually a lot of us going through this.

But after learning about the statistics, all I can do now when I am out is look at couples and think, “I bet he/she is cheating, or I bet he has cheated on her. She’s probably doing his friend. I bet that guy with them is her lover on the side.” It’s awful how I sit and judge others. But it makes you wonder. If those numbers are that high, then a big chunk of the people I encounter on a trip out to the store or to a restaurant or wherever are part of these statistics.

I am.

What I hope for is for those numbers to decrease. I hope that I can help encourage couples to learn how to tend to their relationship to help it blossom and thrive. I hope that others can learn from what I have done, and what I did not do. I hope that they can learn how Mike’s choice was horrible and how it has affected us; how difficult and painful it has been to recover from. Yes, we can and will recover from this, but it is certainly not the route anyone should ever take to get there. Having temporary relief (an affair) is never a solution, just a band-aid to cover the real problem.

So this is why I have my blog. This is why I share my story and my journey that follows.

I’m back!!

…and so is she, but we’ll get to that later.

I feel better. I still have my ups and downs about moving…I am just nervous and worried about moving so far away and making it work, but we’ve been able to make everything else work, so I am confident that we will be ok. There will be adjustments to make, but I am embracing this new life for us.

Last week was horrible. As you know, it was my anniversary and that just made me depressed. Then Mike had a job in a location close to and similar to where he had sex with Paula and that triggered me. I have been busy packing. I still have jobs I am doing amidst all of this. Then I saw an ultrasound of my ex’s baby….the baby that will forever remind me of the one I lost as they were due 4 days apart. And I believe that my 18 y/o step-daughter is pregnant because she is marrying the guy she has been with for 2 months at the end of this month. So that will make me a grandmother at 34.

The biggest problem I was facing was wondering if Mike will EVER be emotionally available for me; if he will ever sit down and tell me his thoughts and feelings. I have faith that he will, I just have to give him time. He has never been able to do this appropriately. He didn’t even cry when his father passed away. The only time he willingly shared something with me that made him cry after the affair was when he shared this poem he found with me. This is a poem he found when we were separated:

Without You - by Hermann Hesse
My Pillow gazes upon me at night
Empty as a gravestone;
I never thought it would be so bitter
To be alone,
Not to lie down asleep in your hair.I lie alone in a silent house,
The hanging lamp darkened,
And gently stretch out my hands
To gather in yours,
And softly press my warm mouth
Toward you, and kiss myself, exhausted and weak-
Then suddenly I’m awake
And all around me the cold night grows still.
The star in the window shines clearly-
Where is your blond hair,
Where your sweet mouth?Now I drink pain in every delight
And poison in every wine;
I never knew it would be so bitter
To be alone,
Alone, without you.

He tried to read it to me and couldn’t. He became choked up just thinking about it.
I hope that he begins to try and break through his comfort zone and allow himself to feel his feelings. And I hope that he shares them with me more.

…………………..

Now, who’s back? Paula.

As you know, I check up on her Facebook. I checked the other day and discovered that she left her husband and moved back home. (She had moved about 6 hours away) She is now 30 minutes from where I sit and that thought just makes me sick. I don’t want to be anywhere close to her.

The bad thing is is that it increases the chances of running into her. I know we are moving in 8 days, so I am very thankful for that, but I have two sessions this weekend in her area. I just hope that she doesn’t decide on either day that it is a nice day to go to the park.

Requesting that he divulge details of his affair.

I must admit that I am guilty of this. I am.

In the first few days after D-day, I called and spoke to my husband whenever I had a burning question. It helped to ease my mind from the torment. I thought of all of the worst possible scenarios…details of their affair. Some questions were me requesting his account names and passwords, of course.

My husband denied having sex with his AP in the beginning. Because I could read him like an open book, I continued to press him for the truth by asking details about the affair and catching him whenever there were gaps in his story or when something didn’t make sense. And sometimes I just wanted to know to ease my own curiosity.

One of my best friends warned me about this and said that one of her friends had told her that her one warning to others who were going through the same thing was to NOT ASK FOR DETAILS.

I thought about this, maybe for a day, before deciding that I DID want to know details. I needed to know to put my mind at ease. I needed to know if there were safety risks or if there was a risk of a pregnancy. And I needed to know if he loved her.

I will admit that I asked questions about details that weren’t necessary and have only hurt me. IMO, I think that it is very beneficial to your recovery to ask details…to want to know things that could make or break your decision to repair or move on. To know if he can walk away from her and put every ounce of his life back into your hands. To know if you are willing to forgive.

We were separated for two days before I decided that I wanted to work on things with Mike and in order to work on those things, we needed to be together. We needed to be together to show that our marriage can be mended…to show that we love each other…to show that we can get along and get past the hurt.

It is NOT easy. But pelting your wayward spouse with questions about the dirty details of your affair is pointless. There is nothing of value in the answers. Who cares if he held her leg over his shoulder and drove it deep? Who cares if she could take all of him in her mouth? Who cares if he enjoyed the sex? What does it matter if he got her from behind and she let him shoot it all over her back and in her hair? Really?? How are THOSE things beneficial to your recovery??

If you just want to gauge his response to determine whether or not he really does feel bad about what he did, then you may be setting yourself up to receive the total opposite of the response you hope for. You may find a defensive and irritable spouse who doesn’t understand where you are coming from or what your intentions are. And this will drive him away. This will only lead to an argument and make you more resentful.

Most Betrayed Spouses feel as though they are completely justified in knowing this information.. You are…your spouse should keep nothing from you if you ask for the info. But what are your intentions behind this and what do you hope to accomplish and how will these answers benefit your recovery?

And when any Wayward defends his or her belief that the result of these questions is a setback therefore they should be avoided, then he/she is deemed as someone who is avoiding taking responsibility for their actions and is trying to sweep it all under then rug so that they can skip over the painful details; so that they don’t have to feel bad about what they did. This isn’t true. I once believed it was like a lot of others.

He KNOWS those details! He remembers what he did with her. Yes he fucked her and it was probably fabulous and she probably fulfilled some kind of sexual desire of his that you never have before.

But there is no need to bring that up if you want to heal. Either he will remember the memories and relish or he will cringe. Either way, if he is willing to be with you and he is willing to live an honest and TRANSPARENT life, then make the best of it. Do the work that will lead you back to a healthy, happy and fulfilling relationship. Stop living in the past to try and punish him. Chances are, he already feels guilty for his bad choice. Focus on what went wrong in your relationship that made it vulnerable to an affair and focus on what you are going to do now to improve your relationship. When you revisit all of those details, the guilt will really set in and he will feel bad. You both will. Face it and overcome it.

I wrote a post the other day about asking my husband some questions I had read on another blog. What happened was I asked him something that brought up details I remembered about his affair and his AP. It made me feel bad and I let those feelings come out sideways. We wound up having a bad argument and I slept on the couch.

This is not how I want my recovery to go…I don’t want to be reminded of the dirty details. I don’t want to feel bad about the fact that my husband stepped out on me. I don’t want to argue with my husband.

This is an example of how asking certain questions can cause a setback. Luckily I was able to bounce right back and revisit why those feelings were brought about. I’ve gained enough strength that I will not allow an act of sex and betrayal to get the best of me. To know that I have something so much stronger.

Just like my husband’s affair was a choice, it is a choice for me to steer my relationship the direction I want it to go. It is a choice for me to ask questions and make requests that will result in positive outcomes.

So if you want to drill your husband, then ask these questions:

  • What are some personal issues you plan to address that need improvement for yourself and for our relationship?
  • How will you earn my trust?
  • How can I earn your trust?
  • What are some needs that I need to fulfill? How do I need to do things differently?
  • What sacrifices are you willing to make to prove that you will live a transparent life?
  • How will you show that you have cut off all contact with your AP and will remain away from her?
  • What kind of family activities do you want to participate in to stay more involved? To show that we are your top priority?

And discuss any other changes you may need to make in order to be able to focus on your recovery. Maybe you need to move to another state and away from all triggers/reminders. Maybe you need to find a new position in a different workplace. Maybe you need to decide how to protect your family in case the AP decides to get crazy and come after you.

There are a lot of other things that are vital to making progress in your recovery than knowing what size panties the AP wore.

(And I apologize for the choppy thought processes as I began writing this while cooking, then I came back  to it after eating and with a budding migraine.)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…

My last post on here was about hitting a depressed state then coming to realize what I was doing and why I was doing it. Then I made a promise and I did not keep it.

The past few weeks have really been a roller coaster ride. I’ll get down then I’ll smack myself around and pick myself up. Things are going good…I’m in a good mood, then I feel like I need to take that away from my husband to punish him. How dare he get to enjoy being with me. He should be miserable and see how bad he has hurt me. Then I will sink into my depression again. Not because I want to punish him, but I feel like he doesn’t deserve to be in a happy relationship with me since he destroyed everything we had.

I REALLY came to the realization two nights ago that I can not live like this. I have to pick myself up, dust myself off and take the first step.. I am going to write to you what I wrote in my journal. It is the clearest thinking I have had in a long time.

I am so tired of hurting and being hurt. I am so ready to make a decision so I can move forward in my life.

I know what I need to do and who cares if I don’t have all of the answers right now. They’ll eventually come to me.

I have been betrayed in the worst way possible, but I WILL heal from it…whether I do it alone or with Mike. I’m not committing to staying with him forever; I’m committed to trying to make this work.

In order to begin to repair, I have to be ready. I think I have kept myself in this depression by continuing to focus on the details of the past. I know I do this to ensure that I am not being manipulated or taken advantage of. I am afraid that there nay be some lingering detail that could make or break me and my decision. And I could also be waiting for something that may never surface. I know that Mike cheated on me. He chatted and sexted with many, many women. I know this. He told them things to get their attention. He was living in a fantasy.

I am angry that he ruined reality for me. I am angry that he didn’t make a better choice and still doesn’t. I am angry that he found me and our relationship to be so easily disposable. These are all things that we can heal from. Who knows how long it will take? A long time, that is for certain.

I have to stop focusing on the details of the past and the hurt that he has caused me so that I can begin to repair and heal. Healing for me is the most important thing. I could continue to stay in this depression or I could pick myself up, dust myself off and take the first step.

I am going to grin and bear it. I know it will be uncomfortable, but it has to be done. I will have to ve vulnerable to make it. I have to stop covering all angles to try and make sure that I am protected. I have to put more trust in myself that if I become suspicious that I’ll know what to do. That I won’t be oblivious to suspicious behaviors from Mike. Trust that I will be aware of my surroundings.

The hardest part is feeling like I am surrendering and being defeated. That I am allowing Mike’s behavior to be something that I am willing to work through. Why should I give him the chance to have me back? I don’t really have the answer to that, but somewhere in my heart there is some sort of faith in love.

One thing I know I really need to do is evaluate whether my expectations are too high or not. I think I already know the answer to that. I learned how to set the bar from my father.

I have a lot of work to do for myself. There are some things I need to start doing, there are some things I need to change the way I do and there are some things I need to stop doing.

One thing I need to do is give Mike the chance to redeem himself and acknowledge his efforts instead of always telling him he could do better. And I need to stop trying to protect myself so much.

Being depressed is getting me nowhere. I know how sad all of this has made me…now it’s time to do something about it.

Whether Mike and I stay together in the end or not, I need to do something for me. I can’t allow this affair to cripple me any longer.

I have felt better since writing this and processing it with Mike. I want to enjoy life. I want to do the work I need to in order to repair my relationship with Mike. I want to do work to improve myself as a person, as mother and as a wife. I have been able to do better for Aidan these past two weeks and it shows. He is changing the way he responds to me and vice versa. He has been more pleasurable to be around. He is less whiny and demanding. His rude behaviors are slipping away. He even has decided that my new “name” is mommy and the way he says it is so cute. He says it in a squeaky little voice.

Anytime I start to feel myself slipping, I will read this journal entry. As I said, I can not allow this to cripple me any further.

I did a lot of reading on Friday. I joined a forum and it has helped. One woman said that the shock after discovery (D-Day) can last a while – 6 months or longer – and it differs for everyone. And from what I’ve read from others’ experiences is that the repair work will take at least 2-3 years or more. I do not like that, but I am accepting it.

I have been working on my list of things I need to do, change or stop doing. It has been eye-opening and helped my mind to stay clear so that I can focus on what needs to be done.