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A-ha moments


You know how you can be going about your usual day, and suddenly an experience will lead you to remember and earlier one? Well sometimes, the experiences of my day lead me to remember events that happened in the timeline when the affair was going on, when I didn’t yet know it was going on. I then replay those moments with a fresh set of eyes, or with a clearer pair of lenses, if you will. I replay the events with a more complete understanding, and realize how much of the picture I was missing at the time, and didn’t even realize I had blinders on.

Yesterday, as I was preparing to call a courier for my business, I was reminded of a time that my husband had asked me to call a courier to take a parcel from our home to the workplace where he had met the mistress, when they both worked for a third party (before she came to work for him personally). He had some time-sensitive documents that needed to make their way to this office, on a day when he wasn’t scheduled to work. I told him I would call a courier for him. But, as the day went on, I realized that I was going to be driving in that general area, and while it was a little out of the way, I was happy to deliver it in person, both to save the courier fee, and because I wanted to do a nice thing for him, and drop it off in person. With my new set of lenses, I replayed moments of that day, and remember calling him to tell him that I was on my way to deliver it personally. I remember him becoming really awkward, and telling me that a courier would have been better. He even asked me to turn around, and go home, telling me that the parcel wasn’t THAT important, and he would take it himself the next day. I was confused. Why did he seem so upset at my kind offer to hand deliver his parcel to his workplace? Didn’t he appreciate the personal touch? Didn’t he recognize that I was going out of my way for him? I remember him being a little snappy, and thought that he must be having a hard time at work. When his attempts to derail me from the plan of walking into his office were obviously futile, he gave me additional directions on how I could get in and out of there quickly. He obviously didn’t want me to be seen. Perhaps SHE was working that day, and he didn’t want me to come unknowingly face to face with the woman he was developing feelings for. At this point, they would have already slept together, but it was in the very early phase. He directed me to NOT go to the main desk, but to go to a side-office and deliver it to whomever was in that room. He didn’t give me a name, and even said that it didn’t matter who received it, that I should just drop and go. I did. I didn’t say hello to anyone. I didn’t stop by the main desk, and truthfully I had no reason to. Typically, when I find myself in my husband’s work place, I make an extra effort to be well-mannered and polite, friendly and pleasant. I reason that in that moment, I am representing him, and I want his colleagues to have the very best impression of him, through me, something that he could be proud of. I wasn’t dressed particularly ‘well’ that day, as I was heading up to an amusement park to meet friends, but I would have been ‘presentable’.

It’s funny, looking back, having now a full understanding of why he was so on edge. He was hiding me. Or was he hiding her? It’s hard to know who he was trying to protect from whom. I just know that he was obviously very nervous and anxious about the whole thing.

I spoke with him this morning about this experience, and jogged his memory of the event. He didn’t recall his reactions, but he can reason that he would have felt that way, given what was happening at the time. His response: “I am so sorry….” Not much more he can say, right? It was stupid and irresponsible.

I would like to think that he was protecting me from her, preventing the mistress from getting a glimpse of what I look like, feeding her curiosity about her competition, and possibly subjecting me to what he may have already felt was a deceptive person. Maybe not, but I would like to think it was me he was protecting, and for my own sanity, I will choose to look at it that way 🙂

The interesting thing that came of our conversation today about this was that it also triggered a memory for him. When I told him that perhaps the reason he didn’t want me to go to his office was because he didn’t want the mistress to know what his wife looks like, he told me that she already knew, but then he struggled to piece together how she would have known. Something inside of him reminded him that she did know….but how? There was no image of me on the desk, there wasn’t a family picture, there was only a picture of our three children, which I’d taken within the year. How did she know what I look like? He remembered a brief comment she’d made, seemingly off the cuff, about how ‘all these boring vanilla wives these days seem to drive Land Rovers and all have that same haircut; blonde hair, short in the back, longer in the front’. She was making fun of me, calling me plain, casting me into a pool of other un-original moms who all have the same car and haircut, and doing so in a way that wouldn’t seem obvious to my husband. He remembers thinking at the time, “oh my goodness, she just described MY wife!”, which of course would have then led to the obvious temporal connection “She said those women are unoriginal, vanilla, and boring and she just described my wife, so my wife is unoriginal, vanilla and boring”. It was a manipulative way to lead my husband to a negative conclusion about me, without her having had to make any negative statements about me. Typical woman…always working three levels under consciousness. The question was, how did she know what car I drove, or what I looked like? He thought it was merely coincidence that she had described me, but it was a well-thought-out ploy to cause us to crumble from the inside, having planted a bomb. She’d either driven past our home, followed me as I picked up my children from school (she knows where they attend school), or waited for me outside of my workplace. Regardless, I had been stalked and followed. She knew what I looked like because she’d made the effort to locate me and size me up. Creepy much? I knew she stalked me online…that she had found out where we lived after we moved, and had driven by. I just didn’t realize I had been stalked long before I thought I had been…in the early stage of the relationship, I was being sized up.

Anyway, I mention this only because I find it interesting how even now, flashbacks will draw me back to an event during the affair, and I re-view the event with new understanding, and a clearer perception of what was happening in my own life that I was only half-present for because my husband had shut me out. I am thankful for these moments, as they show me the stark contrast between where we were, and where we are, and I don’t feel so ‘in-the-dark’ anymore.

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Comments

  1. I’m not surprised about the OW stalking you early on. Not at all.

    I’m also not surprised that your H can’t remember the incident with the courier. I think the H’s actively bury many of the memories of what they did so that they do not have to face those memories because actively facing those memories are a reminder to themselves of their bad behavior. Having to look at yourself in a mirror of reality is painful. I think it takes the H many many years to fully examine all that is buried but he must do it if he ever is going to forgive himself.

    Have you read the book “Not ‘Just Friends'” or “How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful.”?

    • I actually reference Shirley glass’ book several times throughout this blog. It was one of the first books that I managed to read on the topic, and I actually felt helped me. To be honest, it was the first book I ever made it all the way through. In other books, by the second or third chapter, it no longer applied to me, and felt irrelevant. I
      absolutely loved her book.

      I think for my husband, because they were probably so many instances of heightened anxiety due to the threats of her wanting to tell me, that any one incident doesn’t really stand out in his mind. I do agree with you though, that the human condition would have him burying details in order to preserve his sense of integrity.

  2. When I think of what I would feel if my husband cheated on me, I keep thinking that this is what the most difficult part would be. After the fact, thinking of every small thing which would have taken place while the affair was going on but before I knew, and casting them in new light. “That time we had that nice dinner at my favorite place, you were already sleeping with her” or “That time you bought me those flowers, was it because you thought of me, or because you’d just been with her and felt guilty?”

    I pray I never have to find out what that feels like.

  3. ” I find it interesting how even now, flashbacks will draw me back to an event during the affair, and I re-view the event with new understanding, and a clearer perception of what was happening in my own life that I was only half-present for because my husband had shut me out. I am thankful for these moments, as they show me the stark contrast between where we were, and where we are, and I don’t feel so ‘in-the-dark’ anymore.”

    I am so looking forward to this part of the journey. It’s too fresh to be there now but gives me so much hope that I will be able to look back and see the difference some day too. Blessings!

  4. My ex-husband is a lying, cheating pig and I hope that Karma isn’t done with him yet. Thank God I am.

  5. After reading this post I was a little confused in the beginning. You mentioned how it was the woman that he was developing feelings for? But I thought that he never did have feelings for her. This story is so similar to mine minus the baby portion of it.
    I also want to say thank you, thank you, thank you for your opinions and your courage to tell your story. I feel so awful for you. No woman should have to endure this and I am hoping there is a special place in hell for people like this.

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