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Cheated by the media


It’s amazing to me how much infidelity is present in the media. Until this happened to me, I was oblivious to the number of references that exist.

In the 6 months following my husband’s affair discovery, it was everywhere. Was this a case of “now that I’ve bought a red volvo that’s all I see on the roads”? We went to the movies together in December 2010. We decided we wanted to watch “little fockers” since the 2004 original was so funny. Little did I know that the theme
Of the movie was infidelity, moreover it was a young woman (Jessica Alba) jn healthcare trying to seduce Ben Stiller into an affair. I went in order to laugh and ended up crying.

A year later, the movie “hall pass” comes out. Men are given a weekend to date, sleep with, fornicate with anyone, permission granted from their wives. Why is that funny? Maybe to
Those who haven’t been touched by this, but for me at the time, it wasn’t.

Fast forward to the present, and you’ll hear a song on the radio by “neon hitch” called “fuck u betta”, the lyrics of which are:

I-I feel like i’m losin’ my mind-mind
She crept into your life-ife
And cut me up like a knife-knife
Hey hey, few things that i wanna say-ay
Still got my dignity-y
No one’ll love you like me-e

Hook:
She’s prettier than i’ll ever be
Got yourself a beauty queen, yeah
But there’s one thing i gotta say
She can fuck you good, bet i can fuck you betta
I can fuck you betta
She can fuck you good, bet i can fuck you betta!

My way, remember screamin’ my name-ame
Cause i can sex your brain-ain
But she don’t do it that way-ay, no.

Hook:
She’s prettier than i’ll ever be
Got yourself a beauty queen, yeah
But there’s one thing i gotta say
She can fuck you good, bet i can fuck you betta
I can fuck you betta
She can fuck you good, bet i can fuck you betta

And while she’s lookin’ toward you, i bet she’s beautiful
And then she’ll love you and touch you until you throw up
You keep on tryin’ to hide it but we both know-ow
She can fuck you good, bet i can fuck you betta

She can fuck you good, bet i can fuck you betta
I can fuck you betta,She can fuck you good, bet i can fuck you betta

I bet she’s perfect and worth it, i bet she’s beautiful
And that she’ll love you and touch you until you throw up
You keep on tryin’ to hide it but we both know-ow
She can fuck you good, bet i can fuck you betta
Bet i can fuck you betta
She can fuck you good, bet i can fuck you betta!

Obviously some sexual competition between two ladies over the same man. He belongs to one and is being sought by the other who claims to be able to
Better satisfy him.

It simply amazes me. I have to wonder if the person who wrote that song, was ever mistress? When I first heard this song, I visualized my husband’s whore singing it to him. It made me very uneasy, and now I just change the channel whenever that song comes on. I have to wonder though, whether there would be so much infidelity and music, television, and movies, if the people who broke those scripts, and those musical scores, had ever been cheated on. I’d like to think that they would show a little bit more respect for those of us who are hurting, and not put something out there that makes fun of, or torments those of us on this side of the fence.

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Stuck in the middle with you


I was recently reflecting on the first day I met the whore.  Someone asked me if I knew who she was, and when I said that I had met her, I was reminded of when, and how.

It was July 16th, 2009.  It was about 2:30 in the afternoon.  It was at Starbucks.

My husband had arranged to meet with his whore for a work meeting.  Yes, it was a work meeting, and not a shag-a-thon.  They were in the process of starting up his business, and they were brainstorming ideas for the week ahead, as they transitioned into his own office space.  They decided to meet up at Starbucks that afternoon.  Meanwhile, we’d also been invited out for Dim Sum with a friend of ours named Amy.  Her son is friends with ours, and the two have attended school together for many years.  As we sat there, enjoying lunch with this woman, she became emotionally distressed, her husband having recently left her and the children to pursue a relationship with a young college-aged student.  Needless to say, she was crushed, and when the conversation turned in that direction, her eyes welled up with tears, and she fought them back.  Feeling that perhaps this was, perhaps his cue to leave, my husband suggested that he would take the train up to meet his co-worker, and I could pick him up later, giving us girls a chance to talk alone together.  I agreed, and felt it was really sensitive of him to understand that his presence might be awkward for her.

An hour later, I left the restaurant and headed uptown to the Starbucks they were meeting at.  As I entered, I saw him sitting at a raised bar in the window, at a barstool next to a blonde.  She was chewing fluorescent green gum like it had somehow done her wrong, and she wanted it to suffer.  It sat there, wedged in her teeth when she spoke, otherwise, it was being brutally masticated, mouth open as she chewed.  Yuck.

We were introduced, and I smiled pleasantly.  I always make an effort to make my best impression when it comes to my husband’s work colleagues.  I want him to be proud of who his wife is in front of his peers, but I also want his peers to associate positively where he is concerned, so I try to make a good impression.   I smiled and said hello, and left them to hash out their details while I worked quietly on my iPhone.  From time to time, as I overheard their discussion, I would interject with an idea, or laugh at a common joke.  She was taking notes in a wire notebook.  The meeting lasted about 45 minutes, the three of us sitting at the barstools, me to his left, and her to his right.  We said our goodbyes, and he and I left hand in hand.

I smile a little when I look back at it now, and find it interesting that there he sat, literally stuck in the middle, her to his right, and me to his left.

Dancing with the Devil


There has been some discussion in the comments on other posts about how mistresses feel entitled to a woman’s husband.  A commenter in recent posts admitted to being a mistress, aware of the acts that she is committing, and feeling no responsibility towards the wife at all, nor any regret.  In fact, she justifies these acts by claiming that she is giving the husband something the wife is not, and claims to be a polygamist.  Now, in most cases, I would tell her that she is deluded if she thinks that she is giving more than the wife, or that the wife is coming up short, but in this case, the mistress is into BDSM (bondage, disciple, sadochism, masochism), calls the woman’s husband her “daddy”, and is training herself for some activities that many would find repugnant or questionable at best.  But I digress….Back to entitlement.  

What is it about the women who knowingly sleep with married men that leaves them feeling entitled to do so?

Is it that the husband has lied to her too, and made her believe that she has more worth than she does?  Does he say this to keep her interested?  Did he tell her that she is filling a void for him? (the void is emotional usually, but the mistress will twist this in any way she wants to think that the wife is frigid, or uncaring or unsupportive).

Is it that these women feel so little towards themselves, that they have so little self respect, that they don’t feel that they could ever secure a relationship with a man by natural means, so they go about stealing from others?  Is it like other kinds of theft?  Do those who steal material property also feel entitled?  I guess they must.

But, all of that aside, I think it takes a special kind of vile human being to commit an act against another person (a mistress violating the marriage of an innocent married wife), and to then further harm her when the affair is discovered, taking any chance possible to inflict every last ounce of harm.  It takes a particularly evil and inhumane person to kick another woman while she is down, down due to acts that she herself has helped to inflict, and yet she isn’t done until she sees the woman reduced to a pile of crap, in tears, unable to function.  Only then, when she has seen her victim completely destroyed mentally, can she feel satisfied that she has had an impact.  Did she feel impotent before, and this gives her power?  Or, am I over thinking it, and it is just another bullying situation, where someone feels so hurt, and so much shame, that they take out their self-hatred on another person who they have made the scapegoat?

I thought I would share with you, for the first time, the contents of the email I was sent in the 24 hour period following the disclosure of my husband’s infidelity.

Once she discovered that he’d told me, she wondered why he wasn’t kicked out.  It made her furious.  She sent me this email:

Dear Betrayed,

Just wanted to let you know that if you want to talk to me about the love affair [your husband] and I have been having, details about the fantastic sex, how he tells me that he loves me and how repulsive he finds you, I would be more than happy to do that for you.  BTW [your husband] and I’s due date is October 28th.  I hope you will take photographs of our little beauty.  Besides, she’s practically family to you.

Mistress

I followed up her email with a reply.  I wanted nothing to do with her, and I didn’t want to talk to her.  I simply wanted her OUT.

Dear Mistress,

Thanks for the email.  I don’t feel there is a need to talk to you about any of this.  [My husband] and I had a heart to heart on Thursday, and he’s told me everything.  I know all of the details, and there’s really nothing much you can add.  What I think you fail to understand is what this really was.

 About the pictures:  I’ve made it a policy not to photograph family.  It’s always so tense, and then people expect discounts.  I can refer you to a number of colleagues if you are seriously interested in having your little one photographed.  I really do recommend it, as that newborn period is so short, and they grow so fast. 

I hear you want to come over.  Please know that you are welcome in our home at anytime.  We would be happy to host you.

Betrayed

Within the hour, this came through – another shot at trying to appear condescending and in control

Dear Betrayed,

I can assure you, you do not know all of the details.  Really?  You have been lied to for a year, but now it is different.  Ummm okay.  I imagined you were smarter than that.  But I guess you can’t handle what the truth really is.  That’s understandable.  I do know what this was.  Your husband can’t keep his hands off me, he looks to me for support, comfort and caring.  It is you that does not.  Truly.  That’s why I feel sorry for you with what’s happened.  Everytime he’s with you in any capacity, he’s thinking about me.  It’s you who needs to realize what has happened here. 

I totally get the pictures, discounts, etc.  Besides, if you and [your husband] are still married, your income will be going to support our baby anyway, through child support payments.  So not to worry, I won’t ask for any additional financial breaks.  Your generosity of paying to support [your husband’s] child will be more than enough. 

I’m glad this has not fazed your self absorbed self.  Most women would actually feel something when they found out their husband was cheating.  But I guess you either don’t actually love him, or you are too materialistic.  So sad.  I imagine you’ll be running off to get plastic surgery now.  Anything to further a shallow self-obsessed life.

I feel sorry for you.

Mistress.

and then a follow up without a response from me beforehand:

Dear Betrayed,

I feel so sorry for you.  Your husband loves another woman and you send him a wish list from Tiffany’s.  Wow that is so sad.  But I guess that’s why he had to find someone who wasn’t so materialistic, self absorbed and superficial, oh ya and not frigid either.  I hear you two get down and dirty every two months. Awww I’m sorry. [Your husband] and I have spent 12 hours straight going at it.  He truly is magnificent. He told me no one in his entire life turns him on the way I do.  I guess that’s why no matter what, he couldn’t stay away from me. He says he can’t even be around me without wanting to make love to me.  Suppose that’s why he was willing to risk so much.  I’m so worth it. 

Do you know that the entire time you were having surgery, [your husband] was talking to me for support? He told me before your vacation that I was perfect.  Awww he’s too sweet.  

I hope you don’t use your children to hold onto a man who no longer loves you, or finds you attractive.  That’s sad.  [Your husband] said he wants to be with me for me.  Not because he feels guilty and doesn’t want to leave because of the children. It’s not you he loves.  It’s the kids. He wants children from you, and an intimate, super hot relationship with me.

The Mistress

My final email back before she went on the IGNORE list (and my lawyer advised me to have no contact)

Dear Mistress,

Oh sweetie, seriously you don’t have a clue, and that is what is truly sad.  

I won’t be responding to your destructive emails – I don’t need to communicate with you. It’s a waste of my time and energy.  I have everything I need right here.
I wish you all the best with your baby.  Goodnight.

Betrayed. 

Seriously, what are these women thinking?  Who would ever, in any normal scenario, email a complete stranger and beat them up emotionally and verbally like that?  The same kind of bitch who walks into a relationship with your husband and feels as though she is deserving of YOUR happiness, that’s who.  Who in their right mind commits an act that is widely reputed to be WRONG, and then in the wake of being discovered, lashes out at those who are hurt by their actions?  Weren’t we taught to mend our mistakes as children?  Weren’t we schooled in the art of eating humble pie when we caused harm to another, no matter how hard it is to admit your fault?  Aren’t we all supposed to know how to do that by the time we are old enough to have adult relationships?  Apparently not everyone got the memo.

If this has happened to you, whether over email or the phone, please remember (as hard as it is), that none of it is true.  The mistress is a broken, hurting, pitiful, sorry little girl who got herself messed into grown up business and is scared.  She watched her entire dream crumble, and you will be made the scapegoat. It will be easier to blame you for the collapse of her fantasy than for her to realize that she wasn’t the one he wanted.  In my case, it was easier to hurt me, than to feel the hurt herself.  Someone who is that broken simply can’t take the hurt and continue to survive.  They deflect it to others.

These emails tore me apart when I first read them.  They targeted the very fears I had in the wake of the discovery and made me truly question myself.  I wondered if he cheated because I’d gained failed to lose the last 15 pounds after my last pregnancy, despite ongoing efforts, bootcamp and a personal trainer.  I worried I was fat and unattractive, and here she confirmed it.  I wondered if he was really going to stop all contact with her, and whether he still thought of her, and here her email told me that he was always thinking of her, even when seemingly concentrated on me and our family.  I worried that he had been involved in an emotional affair (much harder to recover from than a purely physical one), and her words that he’d sought out her comfort while I was unconscious in surgery confirmed it for me.  At least at the time, it did.  But then I read her comments about me being materialistic and shallow and I knew that she was off course because those things could not be further from the truth.  I read her part about me being consolable with Tiffany’s jewelry, and knew she was grasping at straws.  I can count on my fingers how many jewelry pieces I own.  Not many.  I do find jewelry pretty, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that I haven’t been able to learn how to accessorize, and frankly, most of the time I can’t be bothered.  I’ve worn the same earrings in my ears for a decade, the same rings on the same fingers.  Shallow and materialistic?  Hardly.  When I realized her comments were not ALL accurate (at least the ones I could verify), I started to question their validity.  I asked my husband (tentative of course, because I’d just been lied to, so who’s to say he would be truthful….but he had nothing to lose by telling me the truth and we both knew it).

I re-read her emails now with an entirely different point of view.  What a loser.  What a complete and totally ridiculous excuse for a human being.  And to think that this woman works as a NURSE. She works in a caring profession that provides comfort and care to those who are suffering.  That is laughable, don’t you think?

I try to remind myself that people who do this, who bully others, they are just broken people who are suffering in their own worlds.  She was jealous, and that fuelled her rage for me.  My husband doesn’t find me unattractive, and he never said so.  Her later comments over the telephone to me that he used to call me “heifer”, were completely untrue. He never told her he loved her, and never told her he wanted to be with her.  In fact, he has shown me the emails, many of which tell a different story – a story of a man, honestly telling her that he didn’t want a relationship, and later, that he didn’t want a child.  Emails which clearly tell her that he cares about his family, and doesn’t intend to leave them.  One email, in fact, stating that even if I were to leave him, upon finding out, that he still would not be with her.  Deluded as she is, she read right over those words, and created her own “truth”.  They all do.

All of her lies in those emails, designed to deepen the furrow in the fault line the affair created in my marriage.  Knowing who to believe, and who to have faith in is hard, when you’ve discovered you are married to someone capable of such lies.  But, for my own sanity, I needed to trust that he’d never say those things, and I do believe that. It was one of the few things I could believe in those early days.

Mistresses who willfully cheat with a married man are sad and pathetic, in my eyes.  Especially those who are single and unwed.  At least married women who cheat with married men have an idea of the investment in a marriage.  Perhaps that makes it worse, I don’t know.  All that I do know is that the woman who slept with my husband had a blatant disregard for me, for my home, and for my marriage.   Naive and unaware of what it takes to create a family, and foster a marriage, she just weaselled her way in.  I have to wonder if she will feel as justified in her actions when she has been in a marriage for 10 years.  I’d like to think she will have a change in perspective.  Then again, does the devil ever really change her tune?

Finding others


I posted about it a few weeks back, but I wanted to reiterate the importance of finding supportive others as you are going through this.  Well intentioned friends and family are one thing, but nothing can replace or compare with the support of others who have been through a trauma like this.

It is akin to me trying to relate to, understand, and provide support to someone who has lived through a house fire.  I’ve never experienced that.  I can imagine the pain and the turmoil, but the trauma of having seen what they saw, felt how they felt???  I wouldn’t have a clue, or come close.  The support does pale in comparison.

You don’t get judgment, or someone who plays ‘devil’s advocate’, or who offers empty advice.  You get someone who nods knowingly, smiles compassionately, and listens patiently, not in a rush for you to finish.  It is invaluable.

I had the wonderful opportunity this weekend to meet for the first time with an in-person support group.  I’ve never attended a support group for anything, so I wasn’t sure what format it would take.  All I knew was what I’d seen on TV: “Hi my name is Susan, and I am an alcoholic….”.  Needless to say, we didn’t all stand up and tell our stories, prefaced by our first names.  We sat around a warm table at a local bakery and listened to one another talk about familiar circumstances, understood feelings and fears.  We talked about seemingly innocuous things which act as triggers for us, bringing us back to D day and the affair.  For some of us it was music, for others it was locations, and for others something altogether different.  We all had different stories, but all shared a similar outcome.  We’d been cheated on.  We’d been lied to, betrayed, and taken for granted, so that our spouses could reclaim the wild fun of their youth with someone “new”.   We all had different reasons for coming to that table, but together we all shared the same reality and could completely relate to the pain each of us were feeling.

Some of us, sitting around that table, had known for years.  Others were as fresh as three months ago.  Some were in the process of initiating divorce proceedings, while others were reclaiming their marriages, and trying to make it work.  We shared tidbits of our lives with one another, and opened each other up to new ideas, new reading materials, etc.  What I gained was a new circle of people with whom I can relate.  It was invaluable.  I was finally able to put actual faces to my situation.  Instead of reading case stories in a book, I sat next to REAL people, with REAL jobs, and REAL lives, telling their stories.  It was lovely to share the morning with them.  I find myself looking forward to the next one, even though it is a month away.  In fact, I started my own chapter of this network closer to my home, and I am hopeful that it will be of help to others as well.  Holding it on the off-weekends, I will be able to attend both, and to find the support I enjoy.

I really wish I’d found a support group like this one when I was first in the thick of this mess.  I longed so much for understanding, and had to seek it out from friends, and through therapy.  That is not to say that either of those are inadequate, but I think where my friends are concerned, they would have preferred me unload elsewhere, even though none of them would admit it.  You know how you can just tell when someone is tired of talking with you?  How you can tell when someone wants to get off the phone?  Well so too can you tell when someone has exhausted their interest in your story.  Try as they might to hide it, and to feign interest, I am sure they would have preferred to talk about ANYTHING else after a while.  I am sure it just became old for them.

I am really excited to attend the seminar next weekend, and so thankful to my dear friend and my father for tag-teaming in providing me the much needed childcare so that I could be away these 2 days.

If you are interested in finding a support group near you, go to http://www.beyondaffairs.com to find a BAN (Beyond Affairs Network) Support Group in your area.

Burden of responsibility and getting off Scott-free


When we are children, we are taught to share.  We are taught to “play  nice”.  When one child does something inappropriate to another, they are reprimanded.  If two children pair up to do something to a third child, both instigating children are found equally culpable, even when one points the finger at the other and said “she told me to!”, or “it was his idea!”.  What caused the circumstance is rarely an issue.  We care about making it RIGHT, and holding accountable those who contributed to the problem.  We don’t care whose idea it was, who pressured who into action….both are guilty, right?

Why is it then, that when we look at issues of infidelity, we, as women, are asked to not be upset with the whores who tried to steal our husbands and overturn our families.  Time and time again, we read about, and are told “she owed you nothing”, or “he was the one with the contract with you, not her”, or “he broke his vows, she didn’t owe you anything”, and we are asked to excuse the mistress because she isn’t the one who broke the vow.  Really?  Is it just me that strikes a bad chord with?   Am I simply too close to my own situation and filled with hatred and resentment that I am unable to see clearly what these other wise sages see?

I was recently on you tube looking up the videos I shared last week on the blog from Dr. Phil.  A quick search brought up this little number from Judge Judy.

Feel free to watch it in its entirety, but what I wanted to point out from it was that in her angry vent, the wife expresses dismay towards the “other woman”, to which Judge Judy replies that she owes her nothing.  That she isn’t the one who broke their marriage contract, and that she best take a closer look at her husband, instead of placing the blame on the mistress.   I can see both viewpoints, but I disagree entirely on this position of letting the mistress whore off scott-free.   If this were  a sandbox scuffle, mama bear would have come in and punished both, no?

I hold an immense amount of hatred towards my husband’s mistress.  Immense.  Gigantic.  Immeasurable.  If I could see her suffer, I would want a front row seat, with popcorn and perhaps a little candy to sweeten the deal.  I admit it entirely, and don’t keep it a secret.  I hate her with every cell in my body.   Do I hold her responsible?  Yes.  Is she solely responsible?  No.  My husband had free will and choice when he decided to violate our marriage.  He had the choice to walk away, to say no, to resist the feelings their interaction created.  He had CHOICE.  He made BAD CHOICES.  They BOTH did.   Why don’t I hate my husband to the same degree?  Why don’t I fantasize about him suffering emotionally and physically?  Why don’t I wish horrid circumstances to befall him, and instead try to protect him from sadness and hurt after all he’s done?

One word: Remorse.

My husband shows me through his words and actions that he regrets his choice.  He broke all contact with her, and committed to the marriage.  He’s attended therapy with me weekly for more than a year.  He’s listened, showed empathy, tried to make things right and correct the wrongs, tried to protect me from the evil that came from his actions.  He is remorseful?

Is she remorseful?  Not one iota.  Does she regret her choice?  She probably only regrets HOW she went about certain things, because in the end she lost him.  She probably regrets not digging deeper, or finding more malicious ways of keeping her hooks dug in deep.  She may regret having asked him to make a choice.  But does she regret ‘going for it?’.  No.  That is a guarantee.  Does she regret me finding out?  No, because she wants to see me suffer, and wanted me to know all along.  Does she show regret when she calls the police with false claims against me in order to keep me reminded of the ‘power’ she feels she has over me?   Does she show regret when she creates false legal claims designed to bankrupt my family, knowing that her child support payments can never be impacted, and are safeguarded no matter what happens to us financially?  No.  She has NEVER apologized.  She has never admitted fault. She has never acknowledged the pain she has caused.  She never will.  I see her sitting alone in her apartment with her child, no one to help her, no one to take over while she takes a nap, no one to share her child’s milestones with – totally alone.  But I do see a smug smile on her face when she thinks about the pain she inflicted and continues to inflict because she is evil like that.  She gets a perverse pleasure out of causing discomfort to others.  She used to do it to my husband in their relationship…make threats, cause drama, take things to the edge of normal and then rope him back, seemingly turned on by the rock and hard place she’d wedged him in.  Smug like a puppeteer holding the strings, watching others dance at her command.  That kind of person, smug and glee-filled at the thought of her destruction would never apologize.  In her mind, it will always be someone else’s fault.  It was my husband’s fault for coming on to her, it was my fault for not being complementary enough to my husband and showing him the support he needed during a rough time, it was his fault for creating a close working environment for them, it was my fault for not being the wife he needed….whatever spin she puts on it, she will always be the victim, and we the guilty party.

Why then, if these women actively prey on married men, and seek them out, are we not entitled to find them culpable, to hate them?  Why, if it takes two to cause an affair, are both parties not equally guilty, not equally responsible to the wife?  If I physically trespass on someone’s physical property, and cause irreparable damage, you can bet I will be held responsible.  She trespassed on my marriage, and yet, she “owes me nothing”???

Why do these women get their cake and eat it too?  They can walk into a marriage, engage the husband in an affair, enjoy the relationship and then walk away with no responsibility?  What is this, a car lease?   What about common decency?  What about humanity?  What about simple code of ethical conduct?   I can’t imagine EVER feeling entitled enough to do what she did, and to then CONTINUE to wreak havoc on the one I’d transgressed against.  I wouldn’t have the guts.

My healing journey would look totally different had I received one word of apology from her.  Had she expressed remorse or regret, had she expressed that she felt she’d made a mistake, or felt badly – I would be in a much better place than I am.   Instead she mocked me, called me names, ridiculed me physically, and then expressed excitement and joy in the fact that my hard work and strife would be going to pay HER child support.  She expressed joy at the idea of me slaving away to pay her monthly while she sits back and collects.  She actually said the words, followed by a “Yay me!”.   She then dragged us through the legal system with the help of a free lawyer, cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars, and continues now to squabble over $20 prescriptions for her child, for which we pay $19, and she pays $1 because her income is so disparate to ours.

Instead of facing two people keen on putting this behind us, and vowing to make better choices, I have only one who has ever once shown me that those 10 months were a mistake, were regretted, and were wrong.  The only one who has stepped up, been courageous enough to take the fall – my husband.  Remorse goes a long way to fixing a problem like this.  She will never ever ever show remorse.  Psychopathic narcissists like this simply can’t ever find fault with themselves.  So don’t anyone tell me that I don’t have the right to hate her, or to find her culpable.  Don’t tell me that she owes me nothing.  Don’t tell me that my husband was more responsible than she was.  It takes TWO, and in my reality, only one is paying their penance.

A ray of sunshine coming my way


I have to say, I am really looking forward to our retreat weekend in a few weeks. Really excited. I feel really hopeful. I haven’t felt that way in a long time.

Not only is the weather improving, I find my spirits lifted recently. I’ve decided I am taking 4 months off of work to focus on me. In the wake of the affair, I was unable to have planned for the chaos, and had weeks of clients and projects booked. I couldn’t cancel them, and had to plug away at work, pretending nothing was wrong. I’ve never, in these 2 years taken any time to focus on me. I’ve gained 15 pounds, and look older than I’ve ever looked. I feel haggard and worn down.

I want to lose the weight. I want to take some classes. I want to do things for me that I enjoy. I think I deserve it.

Frankly it is all a bunch of sunshine coming my way and I am really excited!

If you knew, would you tell?


I had the chance to go walking with a neighbour last week.  We occasionally do a good 6-7 km power walk together, and have a chance to catch up on life a little.  She knows nothing about my husband’s affair, as we moved in after it had happened, while we were in the early stages of healing.  For all she knows, we are happily married with no issues, and life is bliss.  I have no intention of ever revealing to her the actual details, because I don’t *need* her support, and because to be honest, I like the way she regards my husband, and I know that would change.  Being that we are neighbours, I don’t need us to live with tension or awkward feelings.  We quite like our neighbours, our families get along, and we often get together for dinners and special occasions.  As it stands, she doesn’t need to know.

As we walked the other day, however, we did talk about infidelity.  I had raised the issue, because I wanted her input.  We talk about a lot of issues, and girl talk, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary or obvious.  I asked her what she would do if she ever found out.  Not a moment of hesitation before she blurted out “He’s be out on his ass immediately.  He could pack up his stuff and leave”.  Just asking her to consider what she might do brought about an angry response.  The mere consideration of it got her fired up.  We talked about the staying vs. the leaving.  We talked about how the kids would fare if they knew, and whether to tell them.  We disagreed on most if not all topics discussed.  I didn’t tell her my position, I just listened to hers and noted that we were not on the same page.  A good reason to not let her in on my little secret I suppose, as she would not support my choice.

As we walked, I presented her with the hypothetical situation:  “If I knew without a shadow of a doubt that your husband was having an affair, would you want me to tell you?”

Her answer, clear as day: “Absolutely not”.  Not only was she certain of it, the mere exercise of contemplating her wishes and visualizing that reality made her angry and fiery.  She told me, in no uncertain terms, that “it is not your place to tell me.  I don’t need YOU to tell me, it would just put us in a bad place, and our relationship would suffer.  The world is small enough without me needing to hear it from YOU.  I could learn about it on my own, or hear it from someone else”.  I clarified why she felt that it would harm our relationship, and she told me, “It is a shoot the messenger kind of thing.  You would be hurting me with these details”.  I explained that I personally would want to know, and that as a friend, I would want to protect her, and take the wool off of her eyes that she was being duped, in the same way that I would tell a friend if someone else was cheating them out of money, talking behind their back, or disrespecting them.  As a friend, I would want my friend to be in control of her life, and not be under a blindfold, unaware.  She did not see things the same way.  Amyway, I told her that I personally would want to know, and that if she told me, I would thank her, not blame her for my pain, but thank her for illuminating something so important for me to take care of.  I also told her that I hoped that she would also be a support for me after dropping that bomb.

It brings about an interesting question.  Would you tell if you knew?  Would you keep it a secret?  Could you face your friend knowing that there was infidelity in her/his marriage?

I was on a plane recently, and one of the movies available to watch was “The Descendants” with George Clooney.  While I won’t get into my personal thoughts about the movie, I will say that I found it distressing that in the scene where his daughter tells him that his wife was unfaithful, and he goes running down the road to a friend’s house, in shock, asking them who this man was that his wife was sleeping with/seeing.  To my surprise, the husband and the wife, admitted knowledge, but refused to provide him with answers.  They’d both known for a while, it seemed, but when asked, neither of them were prepared to help him.  They were being loyal to the wife.  I think what shocked me was that they chose loyalty to a cheater/liar than to an innocent man, and I wondered if my friends would have done the same.

To be an accessory to an affair, and not say anything….could you remain friends knowing they knew but never told you?  Would you not feel like they’d thrown you under the bus?

I think every woman should have this discussion with her girlfriends.  In the same way that we do our best to honour the wishes of the recently parted, and we try to do what they would have wanted, we too need to know what our friends would want, if faced with this.   Make it a point of discussion, ask them, see what they would prefer, and then if/when it happens to them, you will know that you are doing the right thing by them.  Perhaps they will want you to stay quiet.  At least knowing that this is their preference will alleviate some of your guilt.  I think the discussion is an important one, don’t you?

Pregnancy = Marriage?


I was talking with my husband the other night, while he was doing the dishes (yes, he does do the dishes, and yes maybe that was one of the reasons I stayed…just kidding).

We got to talking about mistresses and their distorted beliefs. We talked about how his mistress was so deluded, and felt as though they would be together, even after he’d told her repeatedly that they wouldn’t. Despite him telling her many times that he loved me, found me beautiful, etc., she still continued to tell him that he would be leaving me, and coached him in how to do exactly that. Towards the desperate end, when they both knew that telling me was inevitable (if he didn’t, she would), she actually took him down to the boardwalk and told him what to say, how to say it, and role played it with him. It damn near broke his heart hearing the words “I don’t love you, and I never loved you” come out of his own mouth, knowing that he didn’t feel that way. Despite hearing him say repeatedly that if I left him over the affair, that he STILL would not seek a relationship with her, she maintained that they would be together. It was like they were talking past each other.

During our conversation over dishes, my husband told me that she was, in fact, the result of an unplanned pregnancy….sort of. Her sister, who is two years older than her, was conceived by accident. Feeling pressured, the two young adults married, and two years later had the mistress. Could it be that she grew up feeling as though marriage can be the end result of an unplanned pregnancy, and that if she only gets pregnant….she can coerce a relationship out of it? After all, it worked for her mom, right?

It really does make one sit back and wonder what feeds these distortions, and I have to wonder to what extent her childhood reality allowed her to think that she ever had a chance in hell with my husband. If she really did believe these wildly distorted things, she must have had quite the wake-up call when the day after the disclosure, she found out that he was still at home, and we were taking the kids out to the toy store…together….as a family. Her world must have come crashing in, and what I would have given to be a fly on her wall.

My husband was very clear with her from the beginning about his intentions. For the first while, according to him, she played along and seemed to be on the same page, insisting that there was an escape clause for both of them. It was only once she started to develop feelings, and things had progressed that she no longer wished to play by the rules she’d set. The game had changed, but not all parties had been notified. Things then took a twisted and evil turn, with manipulations and coercions. It’s sad, but maybe she thought that all good relationships are borne of lies, cheating, sneaking, coercion and manipulation. If that’s the case, I doubt she will ever find anyone to have a healthy relationship with. In fact, given my suspicions that she is a borderline personality disordered person, she likely can’t have normal, healthy relationships anyway. I feel for her poor daughter.

**After some of the comments to this posting, I thought I would add this video clip**

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Surrounding yourself with those who care about you


So much of what I’ve been focusing on so far has been linear.  I started with day one, the day I learned of the affair, and since then, I’ve progressed in a linear way, with you all hearing about the ups and downs, the one step forward, three steps back progression to this story.

I’ve been doing a lot of reflection the last little while, and with this upcoming seminar, I am really looking forward to taking my happiness to a new place, to take my marriage to a new place, and to rediscover who I am.

For the last 2 years, I have been immersed in my husband’s affair.  I’ve lived it, breathed it, slept it, dreamt it, ate it (in the form of any chocolate laden, champagne topped, delicacy I could find, even though I *knew* it was bad for me), talked it, cried it, wrote it, researched it…and I am getting tired.  Mind you, for the last 2 years, there has been an ongoing legal battle which has just come to a close in the beginning of 2012, so the past few months have been quiet.  It has given me a glimpse into what I think might be the new “normal”.

Those close to me know that the affair has been a big part of me for the last 2 years.  It’s dominated my thoughts, it has dominated my conversations at times, and whenever a friend has opened the door with “so anything new on the psycho mistress front?” they had to know they were in for a 30 minute monologue, cause there was ALWAYS something going on that was new, unbelievably painful or remarkable that I had to share.   Bless my friends who have stood by and listened to me, asked questions, been actively interested, offered help, or even just a shoulder.  It really does help to surround yourself with friends whose ultimate goal is to see you through this.

If you are in the early stages of affair discovery, you need to find support.  You ideally need to find a support group so that you don’t inundate your friends with constant affair chatter.  I’ve just learned recently that the amount of spotlight time taken discussing the affair or the issues that surround it can be perceived as hogging the limelight, so being able to offset that by having another outlet is probably a good idea.  Unfortunately, when I went looking, there was no support group for this in my area ANYWHERE, and I actually talked with my therapist about her and I starting one!

In the absence of a support network nearby, tell a few select friends about your experience, and let them help you.  Although as the betrayed spouse, you probably want to tell EVERYONE you know, be cautious who you tell.  I actually have great regrets over having told certain individuals in my life about the situation.  Looking back, I should have not confided something so personal, but hindsight is 20/20.   Your ideal support person will be someone who has been through an affair.  Since that is not always possible to find, your next best option is to at least find someone who is married, understands the investment you have made in your life into this relationship, and what it means to possibly face losing it.  If there are children involved, someone who also has children will also provide them this needed insight into seeing things from your perspective as you try and save your family and your shield your children from this reality.   You want someone who exhibits a lot of empathy and who will listen to you unconditionally and not limit your expression.

Shirley Glass, in her book “Not Just Friends” talks about a ‘friend of the marriage’.  In the aftermath of an affair, many people will question why you’ve chosen to approach it as you have.  Why did you stay?  Why didn’t you leave?  Why did you leave?  Why didn’t you kick him out instead of you leaving the home?  Why didn’t you tell the kids?  Some friends will provide advice based on what they THINK they would do, but we’ve already established that what people THINK they will do, and what they ACTUALLY do are two different things.  I’ll have more to say about that later.  So when your friend, with her expectations of what you should do starts telling you that your decision to stay is ridiculous, and that she would have kicked him on his ass, do you really think she can be supportive?  Will she really ever take the time to try and see your perspective with such a heavy bias?  A good friend of mine was the first person that I told about the affair.  I’d texted her from work to tell her that my life had just fallen apart and she called me within seconds.  I didn’t have much time to talk, since I was expecting clients, but in the brief time we had, I filled her in.   Over the next few days, we debriefed together, with her coming over as often as possible and checking in on me.  Within a few days, she shared a personal tidbit about her life as well.  Her husband and her had not had sex in 7 years.  SEVEN YEARS.  They no longer shared a bedroom, and he slept in the guest room.  They weren’t seeking divorce or separation – this has just become their ‘normal’.  When it was a question of what I was going to do, she encouraged me to leave.  She said she would help me leave, and find me a place if needed.  She was very keen on me not remaining in the marriage.  Fast forward a year, and this same friend tells me that she has reason to believe that her husband is having sex with escort services.  Credit card bills and internet search histories revealed as much.  Asking her if she wants to leave, her response is “No”.  Well wait a moment, my husband ADMITTED an affair, your husband is having sex with MANY people behind your back, so aren’t our situations similar?  We have both been betrayed.  Our husbands have slept with other women.  She wanted me to leave.  She wasn’t prepared to leave.  How can a friend support you fully in your decisions when they don’t accept your choice?  She will be the first to admit that my husband’s affair fractured her relationship with him.  It not only fractured her relationship with him, it also fractured her relationship with me.  No longer were we getting together 3-4 days a week to run.  No longer were we finding excuses to meet up for pre-dinner drinks at 5pm to unwind and gab.  Suddenly, there was a paucity in her availability.   She later told me that she had to “work very hard” to come to a place where she could be with my husband socially, and to this day, I still feel the tension like a thick fog.

When a friend is not a ‘friend of the marriage’, championing for your cause, you have to set them free.  In order for your marriage to heal, you need to essentially be surrounded by a network of friends all sporting a “Pro-your marriage’ T-shirt, offering their support for you BOTH without judgment.  Without this, you will always be exposed to second-guessing from those who don’t approve.

You also need to surround yourself with people who will be there for you unconditionally, and who won’t keep score.  It is expected that for the next while, you are going to be needing some over the top, extraordinary TLC from your friends and family.  I hesitate to say it, because I don’t like this term applied to me, but you are going to have to be “needy” for a while.  You WILL take up more of the conversation space with your friends because when you don’t offer up information about the affair when you get together, count on them asking about it anyway. I have a friend who once we exhaust all of the obvious front-line niceties, her comment is ALWAYS “so, anything new on the you-know-what front?”.  I don’t even have to want to talk about it, and suddenly we are talking about it.  Sadly, this has meant that I have had to make a concerted effort to  gauge the degree to which I feel my issues are dominating the conversation, and to which the balance is tipped towards me.  If you have friends who are equally extroverted, they will interject with their own stories too.  If you  have friends who are introverts, you will have to make a special effort to turn the light towards them too (but being introverted, 99% of the time, they will shine it back to you anyway 😉 )  It is unrealistic to expect a person who is going through a trauma like this to not change, or for your relationship with them to change.  Everyone involved needs to recognize and acknowledge that this person is hurting, and has been through a lot.  She WILL need more TLC than usual, she WILL need more talk time, she WILL sometimes NEED more than she can GIVE, and you can’t keep score.  Like any friendship issue, there will be days when one person needs more than the other, when one talks more than the other, and when one demands more of the other.  But in the aftermath of trauma, I think we can all logically assume that the person suffering the hurt will probably be in a deficit to you for a while because she just won’t have a lot to give back, having been emotionally and physically depleted.  I recently had someone tell me that over the last while it has been “all about me”, and that the balance of time and attention had tipped in my favour.  Initially disturbed by the fact that I possibly hadn’t kept myself in check well enough to balance my spotlight-time, I apologized for having been so demanding of late.  I also lost my mother a few months ago, and while I haven’t talked specifically about that issue as much, the emotional strain and drain from it has left me needier than usual and with less ‘reserve’ to cope as well.  I possibly relied on others too much, it seems.  A few weeks later, after some quiet introspection, I decided to give myself the self-love that I have been denying myself where that issue was concerned, and forgive myself.  Heck, I’d lost the intimacy in my marriage, discovered I had a betraying spouse in what I had thought was a perfect union, questioned everything about my family and marriage, watched it falter before my eyes, learned that there was a mistress who wanted me dead and who then spent the next 2 years plotting ways to harm me further and to twist the already plunged blade into my back even further, inflicting more harm.  To top it off, I discovered through therapy that my mother was a narcissist, and that I was the daughter of a narcissistic personality disordered parent.  (For those who want to see the impact of that, I encourage you to visit  http://daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com/characteristics-of-narcissistic-mothers.html) and see how my past and my reality growing up made recovering from this affair so difficult due to the wounds that had already been inflicted early on.  So, on top of ALL of that, my mother passed away this fall, leaving me to care for my ailing father, the marital home, their finances, on top of raising my children, supporting my home, and oh yeah…..trying to recover from this affair.  To say that I have been through a lot has been an understatement, so I forgave myself for having felt the need to apologize for it, when it was brought to my attention that I hog the friend-spotlight.   The comment that had originally made me feel awkward and needing to apologize later left me feeling bitter.  As someone who is trying to practice more self-care, I had to forgive myself for having been “needy”, and see it as normal.  I had to forgive myself for not having policed my time, or stop-watched myself, and instead see what happened as a very natural and expected occurrence.  I’ve been through a lot, and it is normal to have needed more than usual, to have talked more than I’ve listened, and to have racked up some debts.  My disappointment in myself suddenly turned into disappointment towards this individual who has obviously been keeping score.  I’m a big believer in friendships being fluid.  Sometimes they are great, sometimes they are not.  Sometimes people are great listeners, sometimes they are not.  Sometimes people need more than they can give, and sometimes people give more than they ever ask back in return.  We don’t keep score, we just offer the best of who we are at any given moment, and THAT is being a friend.  Offering the BEST of who you are all the time, and not keeping score, not holding a mental score-card of who is owing to whom.

http://mainetaining.blogspot.ca/2009/09/friendship-vs-keeping-score.html

It made me think that in my time of healing and nurturance for my family, perhaps this exposure is not healthy, if I am going to feel like I am NOT GOOD ENOUGH, after all, it just echoes for me what I’ve been told by my narcissist mother my entire life….it is the mantra of a daughter of a narcissist “I am not good enough”, and here I was told that as a result of my neediness lately, I was not a good friend either, having hogged the time.  Here in the midst of my acceptance speech for “most hard done by”, they started playing the anthem and flashing the red light on the teleprompter.

When you have people around you who can help you, listen to you, heal you – you can get through this.  Your primary helper needs to be your husband, but you don’t want to sound like a broken record to him either, so having others, good friends, a therapist, a support group, family etc. is so beneficial.  In fact, second to a remorseful and willing husband, proper supports outside of your marriage from FRIENDS OF THE MARRIAGE is crucial.  Beyond Affairs http://www.beyondaffairs.com has a BAN (beyond affairs network) with listings of support groups for may cities.  Check and see if yours is there – mine has one now, so my friends will all be relieved that I can offload elsewhere for a while 😉

 

 

 

 

 

“My husband’s affair became the best thing that ever happened to me”


Within days of my husband’s affair being disclosed to me…or perhaps within mere hours, I immediately went into lock down crisis mode.  I am a resourceful person, and I needed  help.  I needed answers.  I needed anything to make me feel as though I was moving things forward.  I went online and turned to google.  I searched for things like “infidelity and co-workers” and “how to get over an affair”, and anything you can imagine to search, I searched it.

I remember looking through the pages that my search turned up, and seeing the words “My husband’s affair became the best thing that ever happened to me”.  I shook my head in disbelief.  What the hell is she thinking?  How dare she take something so painful and traumatic and say that it was the best thing….how dismissive of me, my feelings, this reality?  I peeked at the link once or twice, never taking the time to dig in because it wasn’t what I needed (at the time).  I passed it by many times, but my point is that it kept popping back up.  I’d google, and there would be Anne Brecht’s book, and her website, claiming to have been saved by her husband’s affair.  It sickened me sometimes, but most of the time I would ignore it.  Two years later, I am in a different place, and I “get it” now.  I see where she is coming from.  I couldn’t see where she was because of where *I* was.  My perspective was too fresh, too wounded, to raw.  I wasn’t in a place where I could see there being ANY benefit to an affair.  It was devastating, how could there be positive anything?

Last week, I was contacted through this blog by a woman (Wendy) who has been through an affair.  Not only was her husband unfaithful, but hers also fathered a child with his mistress.  I will tell you, that is a rare thing to find.  In as much as I have received a lot of support and understanding from women and men who have been struck by this, few of them had the additional layer of a child born of the infidelity.   She contacted me, and we’ve been talking through email the last few days.  I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have had this connection made.  Someone to talk to who understands it.  She gets it.  Totally and completely.

I asked her about her therapy and what she found helped.  As it turns out, she attended a marital seminar developed by Anne Brecht, you know, the woman who thought her husband’s affair was the best thing that ever happened to her? – yeah her.  I immediately went to the website, and started to read about their seminars, and their help for couples.  They have survived infidelity and come out the other side.  They now help others to do the same.  Recently, Anne and her husband appeared on Dr. Phil:

So I spent some time on their site today and listened to some of the teleconferences that they have.  They are free to call in for, and they have a schedule of discussion topics and you can sign up for notices of upcoming calls.  If you, or someone you know needs support, please pass along the information. I will share it at the bottom of this post.  I listened today to a woman who, along with her husband, serve as mentors in Anne and her husband’s marital retreat weekend seminars.  For the first time since my husband’s affair, I HEARD the voice of someone who has experienced this.  It was no longer just black words on a white page.  This woman exists, she feels, she has experienced it.  For the first time, I felt as though I am really not alone and that there ARE real people out there who are going through this.  There are people out there who understand.  It sounds cliche, but I really for the first time felt connected.  Now. I’ve not attended a support group, and so perhaps this is why I am coming to this feeling so late, but it was so nice.  I cried at my desk, and then took a long walk.  I felt better though than I have in a long time because it felt hopeful.

So I emailed Wendy to ask her more about the seminars she attended.  She told me that it was unlikely one would be in my city, but I could travel to a nearby one.  In searching today, I looked on the site, and low and behold there IS one coming soon where I live and I was beyond thrilled.  I emailed her right away to tell her about it, and she replied “SIGN UP!” and I did.  I emailed my husband, told him about it, he went to the site, and was 100% game.  Now, it means leaving the kids for a weekend with ongoing childcare.  My husband and I are hard pressed for childcare having no one reliable with whom to leave our children.  Thankfully one of my friends stepped up and has offered to live at my house that weekend with her son, and look after my brood.  I could not be more relived and indebted to her for her sacrifice and help.

I am really looking forward to this weekend. It will mark the first time my husband and I have spent a weekend away from our children, but I think it will be for the very best reason – the saving of our marriage.  I think we’ve come very far so far, but I think we have more ground to cover.  I think this will also help my husband to find the support of other Wayward spouses who can share their stories, understand his struggles and offer him the support he has been lacking.  Let’s face it, I can share the story and get support, he can’t always count on that.  He was the one who strayed, he is the “bad guy”, and not everyone takes too kindly to what he did.   My own mother never forgave him  before she passed a few months ago.  He will always live with that.  So, from his perspective too, I think this weekend will be very healing, and I am looking forward to it.

For those interested in the information, the website is http://www.beyondaffairs.com and for the free tele seminars, go to: http://www.beyondaffairs.com/teleseminars.htm

Needless to say, I can now understand what Anne meant, that I was unable to see because I hadn’t EARNED the perspective.  I say earned because I’ve put in a lot of miles, a lot of tears and a lot of work to get here.  I’ve earned the ability to see for myself what she meant.  Through facing their issues head-on, they both had to grow and turn to one another in order to make their marriage stronger.  Having faced this, they communicate better, are more connected and closer than they have ever been.  While Anne acknowledges that his affair was the most DEVASTATING thing that has ever happened to her, she also wants her reader to know that with the work put in, it has also taken them to this wonderful place that they wouldn’t be in had they not faced the issue at all.  In essence, his affair forced them to make changes.  As she says, “you can either be bitter, or be better”.  I think I will opt for option 2.  I am trying.

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