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Where there’s a will, there’s a way


It seems infidelity is everywhere you look, when you are willing to look for it.  I will admit, I was much happier in my blissful place of ignorace….or was I?  Some days I think I was, but I think I know better.  I much prefer being enlightened by the knowledge of tragedy than to be in the dark and clueless.

I was clueless for a long time about affairs.  I knew they happened, but they were rare, and they happened to other people.   Now, it seems, I know as many people who have been unfaithful as those who haven’t. And, since most don’t talk about it, I am sure there are many, who I think haven’t, who HAVE or who ARE engaging in extramarital relationships.  My father was one of them.  My father in law was one of them.  My husband.  My husband’s best friend.  My husband’s work colleague.  It’s everywhere. and it is disgusting.

What’s worse than the natural tendency nowadays to throw away our marriages, and the vows we committed to, is the fact that society seems to make it so easy to cheat.  There are agencies designed specifically to arrange hookups between married individuals (Ashley Madison, for example).   There are television shows that glorify the existence of mistresses and their conquests (Mistresses), songs that talk about competing for another woman’s partner (Girlfriend, by Avril Lavigne, You make me wanna, by Usher,  I like it, by Enrique Iglesias (video).   There are countless others, and I’ve blogged about them previously.

Throw into the mix, now, apps that allow you to hide secret images on your phone, a hidden black book, etc. all disguised as the calculator that comes standard on the iPhone.   So now, if you have any reasons to be suspicious that something is going on,  and you happen to check your partner’s phone, you may wish to look for apps that look like this:

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 10.13.19 AM

On the outside at quick glance, these look like your standard calculator, but clicking on them reveals things underneath that open an entire secret stash of goodies you were never meant to see.

How do you know if it’s the real thing?  Try deleting the app.  Hold it down and if that little white jiggling x appears, you’ve found gold.   iPhone doesn’t allow the standard apps that come with the phone to be deleted; things like stocks, ibooks, calendar, calculator, etc).  If it doesn’t jiggle, and can’t be deleted, it’s the real thing.

Here are some to look at:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/fake-calculator-secret-photo/id693143389?mt=8

http://techpp.com/2012/06/05/apps-to-lock-and-hide-files-on-iphone-selection-of-5/

http://appshopper.com/utilities/secret-calculator

Don’t want to rely on the OW or the OM to get rid of the evidence, or worried that they may one day tell your spouse?   Get rid of the evidence:  http://www.tigertext.com/features/

These apps won’t always be disguised as a calculator.  They can also be disguised as a Stocks app.

Technology makes life easier in so many ways, and is our friend in so many ways.  It is also our foe and contributes to tremendous damage, when we let it.

Now, some may slam me for even pointing these out, suggesting that by posting them, I’ve given some reader the tools to commit infidelity, and by posting these, I’ve somehow contributed to their actions.  To that I say “where there is a will, there is a way”, and if they are looking online for ways to cheat and hide their tracks, this blog has far fewer resources than a simple google search for “apps for infidelity” bring up.  If anyone is looking to cheat badly enough, they will come to those resources all on their own.   I post this to help share the knowledge of whats out there, for those who blindly trust, or for those who suspect something is amiss, but have no proof.

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When the affair partner is pregnant: FREE teleseminar tonight


By now, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that I often mention, and provide as a resource Anne Bercht and the Passionate Life seminars provided through the Beyond Affairs Network to help betrayed spouses and couples healing from the devastation of an affair. Anne wrote the book “My husband’s affair became the best thing that ever happened to me”.

On a regular basis, Anne makes herself available for a one hour complementary teleseminar where listeners can dial-in, participate if they wish, and gain new insights into a particular topic around affair recovery.

Tonight’s teleseminar deals with the double devastation of learning that a child has been conceived from the affair.

The following content comes from Anne’s newsletter and provides the details for how to listen and participate.

WHEN THE AFFAIR PARTNER IS PREGNANT

Here’s a relevant excerpt from my book, “My Husband’s
Affair Became the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.”

“Dave then proceeded to tell me that the other woman might be
pregnant with Brian’s child. That thought horrified me.


“The thought was overwhelming. I didn’t want to hurt an innocent
child, but I just didn’t see how I could possibly stand Brian
being tied to this horrible woman through a baby, who would be a
half sibling to my own babies. It would mean he would have to be
forever tied to this woman whom I considered to be a whore. It
would mean I would have to deal with her, and deal with her child
who, although innocent, would stand as a permanent reminder to the
most painful experience in my life.
It wasn’t fair.

“If she is pregnant, Brian will have to contribute financially
to the child,” Dave was now saying. I choked on the lump that
was growing in my throat, and did not answer him. “That will
significantly impact your financial situation as a family. As
Christians it’s important that we take responsibility for
things like this.”

“I felt like throwing up. I wasn’t interested in being a
Christian right now, yet I believed in God, and I dared not throw
away my faith at a time when I knew I needed God more than ever. I
thought I might have to leave Brian for sure, if there were a child
to deal with.”

End of excerpt from “My Husband’s Affair Became the Best
Thing That Ever Happened to Me.”

Dealing with a child from an affair is very difficult and painful.
Affair recovery is difficult and painful even without that extra
burden. Sadly, it’s an all too common situation in today’s world.
All are welcome to join our teleseminar tonight. Dial in info below.

SESSION #8 OF OUR 12-WEEK AFFAIR RECOVERY SERIES TONIGHT

Topic: When there is a child from an affair
Date: Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Time: 6:30 pm pacific/7:30 pm mountain/8:30 pm central/9:30 pm
eastern
To join call: 1-857-232-0300
Access Code: 688685#
Note: If joining, please be sure and read the teleseminar etiquette
guidelines below!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THESE REMAINING SESSIONS!

September 3 – What are you going to do when you’re in love with
your affair partner?

September 10 – Is it time to cut your losses?

September 24 – What if you might be facing a divorce?

October 1 – How do you get him to talk?

TO LISTEN TO PAST SESSIONS

Click on the link below:

http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=DJqoA&m=JlDB4vSjLcZWqX&b=lsb.vFnebDEkKei5mOJYuA

TELESEMINAR ETIQUETTE

While the teleseminar service will prompt you to state your name as
you join this is not necessary. We prefer you just listen until
opportunity is given for asking questions.
You may remain anonymous by not speaking if you prefer, by using
your first name only, or by using an alias first name when asking a
question – just something we can identify you by.
You’re dialing a USA telephone number and your long
distance phone charges are your own responsibility.

Please avoid the use of cell phones as these can cause an echo that
makes it difficult for others to hear. It’s best to call in
with a
landline. Even cordless phones tend to cause an echo. Background
noise that can’t be heard on a two-person call becomes
amplified on
a multi-line teleconference.

If cell phones are your only source of accessing the call then you
may give it a try, if it becomes a problem we will let you know.

During times when we open the seminar up for questions, if you
press *6 to be heard, please be considerate and eliminate all
background noise first such as
(music, dog barking, children, etc.) as this would be distracting
for everyone else on the call.

When we open up for questions/answers, you can press *6 to unmute
your line and be heard. After your question has been answered,
please press *6 again to mute your line after your contribution.

Please do not put your phone on hold, especially if it plays music
when doing so. This would end the call for everyone else (all
we’d
hear is your music).

This teleseminar will be recorded and you will be asked to indicate
you agree to this when you log onto the call.

We are looking forward to helping you!

Passionate Life Seminars, USA Office: 8842 Goldeneye Lane, Blaine, WA 98230 Phone: 360-306-3367

Jumping on the betrayed-wife-bashing bandwagon


I get it…when people are from different sides of an argument, it is hard to see and accept the other side’s views.  With infidelity, like any other highly emotional and charged topic, it becomes even harder.  I struggled a great deal and did a lot of work in order to be able to see and understand my husband’s affair through the eyes of his mistress.   And, although I have made the efforts to see her point of view and appreciate her struggles in the outcome of disclosure, I still nonetheless see her as a crazy, mentally-ill individual who isn’t deserving of any of my pity or time.  Seeing the other side doesn’t mean joining the other side, and abandoning your views.  It is simply about OPENING YOUR MIND TO THE POSSIBILITY THAT ANOTHER SIDE EXISTS.

As a betrayed wife I can completely understand the anger that a betrayed wife feels in the wake of an affair discovery.  I can understand the trash-talking that happens when you find out that another woman slept with your husband, was impregnated by your husband, kissed your husband, gave free blowjobs to your husband, stroked your husbands ego and all other parts that needed stroking, flirted with your husband, made plans with your husband, etc.  While this trash-talking can get a little intense and sometimes over the top, what I don’t understand is the trash-talking that comes from the other side.   Now this blog’s readership is comprised mainly of betrayed spouses who go online looking for someone who can relate. But, there are also readers who have themselves been mistresses and who un-apologetically admit to seeking out and taking pleasure in coaxing a man into the bedroom and out of a marriage.  They have their own forums, and their own blogs like this one where they ask for and receive support for the pain they go through when an affair is revealed (especially if the husband returns to the wife, leaving her and all the promises he made behind).  I get it, there are many people hurt in an affair, but that is for another post, so I digress…

Where was I?  Oh right…I understand the trash talk from betrayed wives to mistresses, after all, they engaged willingly with a man they knew were married (and for sake of argument I am not referring to those who perhaps had no idea the man they were sleeping with was married with kids, a dog and a picket fence).  What I don’t understand is the trash talk that comes in the other direction; the mistresses who trash on the wives, and blame us for their situation.  The mistresses, upset at how things didn’t go according to “plan” and then hate us for fighting for our marriage and our family.   That makes no sense to me, and yet sites abound with women who were the “OW” in a relationship and who lash out at the wife, putting her down, telling her she wasn’t enough to keep her man, capitalizing on her low self-esteem in the aftermath of the affair and taking the cheap shots when she is down.  Who does that?  Better yet, who does that when the situation was started by them, and they are the ones in the wrong?  It’s like cutting someone off in traffic and then flipping THEM the bird…

A further "Fuck you" to the betrayed wife

A further “Fuck you” to the betrayed wife

 

While “most” mistresses expect married women to become angered when the affair is discovered, strangely they don’t allow us this reaction when it does happen. It’s like we are expected to just shutup and take it.  And, when we call other women out on their behavior, we are called “bitches” and “overly emotional” and “hysterical” (the ow in my husband’s affair called me this many a time) and “overreactive”.  The irony is that if the tables were turned, they would behave in EXACTLY the same way.  But, in order to understand and appreciate that, these women would have to put themselves in our shoes, something that exhibits EMPATHY, and is something that I feel many of these women lack, which is exactly why they participate in these things in the first place.

Last night, while perusing my CNN app on my phone before bed, I came upon an article by Peggy Drexler, writing an opinion piece about Arianna’s blog “She’s a homewrecker”, where betrayed wives post lurid details and sometimes call out and name the women who were involved in affairs with their husbands.  This journalist essentially called this retaliation “bullying”, and claimed that women tearing down other women is horrid when the husbands are getting off scot-free.  I’m sorry?  My husband got off scot-free?  I don’t think so.

To say that this journalist doesn’t get it is an understatement.  Where on “She’s a homewrecker” does it say that betrayed wives have absolved their husband’s of their responsibility for the affair and opted to place sole blame on the mistress?  It doesn’t, yet this is what the author has implied.  Funny, because she says “it takes two”, so if she follows her own argument, she sees fault lying on both sides, but yet fails to see that betrayed wives, while choosing to out the mistress in public, is likely lashing out at her husband as well.  The difference is that the husbands return home, while the mistresses run deep into the woods, back into obscurity, pointing fingers at the wife, returning to the rocks from under whence they came.

Once an affair is disclosed, the mistresses scurry like rats abandoning a sinking ship.    Husbands come home to face the music.  Mistresses escape down a fire escape.  How are betrayed wives to express their anger and disappointment when one of the parties recedes into the darkness?  Yes it takes two, but the husband’s payback is something most don’t see, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen.  Wives out their husbands, embarrass them, pay them back for the shame and hurt in many ways.  The difference here is that they have ACCESS.  With mistresses, many betrayed wives don’t even get a name, let alone an address, workplace or cell number.

Peggy write:

Although sleeping with a married man is of questionable morality — and that’s, of course, assuming the woman is even aware the man’s attached — the job of staying faithful belongs to the man who took the vow. And yet on “She’s a Homewrecker,” the men get off largely scot-free.

OMG if I have to hear this argument again, I will spit.  The vow argument?   Yes, he took the vow, but when a woman knowingly sleeps with a man she knows is married, why is she off the hook?  Why is Drexler so keen on letting her be?   Has she herself been the OW in an affair.  One must wonder.   So the breaking of the marital vow falls on the husband, yes, but marriages are contractual agreements, if you will, between a man and a woman.  In business, when a third party violates or interferes with an existing contract, they are said to be committing Tortious Interference.   Tortious interference, also known as intentional interference with contractual relations, in the common law of torts, occurs when a person intentionally damages the plaintiff‘s contractual or other business relationships.  An example of tortious interference  is when “false claims and accusations are made against a business or an individual’s reputation in order to…[break a contract].  Funny, I seem to remember stories of the OW telling my husband how much I must not love him because I don’t dote on him like she would.  I also recall her mentioning, after having stalked me at my car, mentioning how pathetic women are who have my hair style and drive the kind of car that I do.  She found any angle to put me down in his eyes, trying to compete with me by trashing me to him.  Based on the example above, if this were a business, she would be guilty of tortious interference.

So why is it that business contracts are better protected against trolls than marriages are, when they are the foundation of our family lives?

Drexler also writes:

Despite this, the “homewrecker” still must pay, and does, in the form of having her name, details of her life and no fewer than six photos of herself splashed all over the site.

This is payback?  Really?  It doesn’t come close, in my opinion.  OK, so her name and reputation are compromised.  So are mine.  But is her family compromised?  Is her deepest and most intimate relationship violated?  Are the lives of her most vulnerable and cherished family members (paralleled with the children of a marriage) destroyed?  Are her foundations of trust shattered?   No.  I would EASILY take the shame of having someone post about me than what I’ve been through.  Seems like a cake-walk Peggy, and to compare the two is ridiculous.  It is the LEAST of what they deserve.   And don’t say that the husbands get off scot-free because, my dear, they don’t.  My husband has paid dearly, both emotionally at almost losing his family, financially at being sued on false charges for the purposes of extorting money and the child support he is willingly paying.   On the other hand, the OW has been successful in coaxing my husband into bed,  getting pregnant on purpose, and choosing to have the baby she wouldn’t otherwise have had, and having that child MORE THAN COMPLETELY PAID FOR.  She doesn’t pay for A SINGLE THING RELATED TO THAT CHILD because her child support check is enormous.  Sounds like she is basking in it…no?  I haven’t posted to “She’s a homewrecker” but I don’t admonish those who have.  In some cases, with mistresses running for the hills and leaving the husbands to absorb the damage, they leave the betrayed wives no other choice because they simply don’t take the honorable route: apologize, express remorse and beg for forgiveness for the damages you have caused to an innocent party.  It’s what we teach our children in grade school.   I guess these women missed that class.

I will be penning a response to Ms. Drexler on this article.  I hope you will too.

 

Revenge affairs


Anyone whose world has been rocked by the devastation of an affair will understand the desire for a revenge affair.

Some may admit to having had the thought “if he had an affair, then I should have an affair also and show him how it feels” or “here I have been a faithful spouse, and he got to feel that spark with someone new. I wish I could have those feelings sparked in me again by new partner”.

Whatever your circumstance, the desire for a revenge affair is common. More more often, for recovery experts are finding that among the couples they are looking to heal, more and more of them have had affairs on both sides.

I wanted to share an article by Anne Bercht, on the topic of revenge affairs. This topic came up recently in one of my support groups, and I thought it was relevant to share in case others are having these feelings. revenge affairs

http://www.beyondaffairs.com/weekly_surviving_affairs_newsletters.htm

Securing your own life mask before assisting other passengers


We have all heard that in-flight message as we are preparing to take off on an airplane.  At first it sounds quite counter-intuitive and selfish to suggest that before we help another passenger, even our own child, that we take care of ourselves first.  After all, society always praises those that help others without consideration of their own safety or circumstances, and here they are asking us to do the opposite.   The fact is, however, that you are much more effective to others when you yourself are taken care of.  You are a better help to more people, and can save more lives if you take a moment to help yourself, and strengthen yourself.  That is what my blog post today is about, in part, as it connects to a big bold move my husband made this week.

I blogged last week about my feelings around my husband’s parents having no idea what happened in our marriage, and the fact that he had fathered a child with another woman.  

The truth is, I have ALWAYS felt a great deal of guilt about them not knowing.  I too, am a parent, and I would want to know if my son was going through a hard time, if his family was in peril, and if I had a secret grandchild.  Keeping this information from them seemed so selfish, but in the early phase of my recovery (the first year at least), I couldn’t invest the emotional energy in worrying about them, their needs, their feelings, or even what was “right”.   My marriage was faltering, and I needed to put on my own oxygen mask and take care of myself before I could consider helping others, or doing the right thing by them.  I had to come first.

As my healing journey has progressed, and I no longer need the spotlight focused on my own needs, I have started to give a lot of thought to those around us.  As my husband’s shame has also subsided over time, and as he has been forced to reveal the truth to others due to the OW’s vengeful behaviours, he has come to realize that his actions won’t necessarily be criticized, and that people do support him, and us.

I sat with my in-laws this week, as we were celebrating my husband’s birthday.  I watched them play with the grandkids, marvelling at the littlest thing that they do, asking questions, trying to be involved.  I saw how the small pleasures of just watching my youngest son in the bathtub brought great joy to my mother-in-law, and made her feel a part of something.  Watching this woman enjoying her only three grandkids, I also felt exceptionally guilty that she has a grandchild she doesn’t know about.  Now, I am not advocating that she needs a relationship with the child – far from it – but I was simply guilt-ridden that we were controlling a knowledge of her life that we have no right to control.  She has every right to know that she has kin.  Keeping that from her felt like I was playing G-d, and I felt guilty.

I have three sons.  I have never had, nor will I ever have a daughter.  My husband is an only child, and had no sisters.  His father often talked about how much he had wanted to have a girl, especially when were were growing our family, and I kept birthing boys 🙂  I think that being a male, and having a male son, he longed for the feminine, the delicate, that something sweet.  The OW had once emailed me antagonizing me over email about how unfortunate it was that I wasn’t able to give my husband the daughter that she was.   It’s funny now, in retrospect, that her tone implied something broken in me that wasn’t broken in her because she bore him a daughter.  Does she not know that the male sperm actually determine the gender of a baby, not the woman?  Anyway, since this isn’t a biology lesson, I digress… Knowing how much my FIL wanted a girl, it felt even more inappropriate for me to hold back the information that he actually HAD ONE in his lineage.  Once again, we were playing G-d with the information we withheld.

After my blog post about secrecy last week, my husband became upset.  He thought my post was ill-timed, as it was the day before his birthday, and for whatever reason, the post upset him, as if the material was new to him and came out of left field.  Rather, it was information we have discussed many times, and spending time with his mother the day prior had unearthed the feelings of guilt again.  I posted because the guilt was fresh and the topic relevant to what I was feeling at the time.  It wasn’t a way to lash out at my husband the day before his birthday…in fact I don’t think I lashed out at all.

When he read my blog, he angrily said that he would tell his father this week, and his mother the next.  I knew it was his anger talking, but I said “good”, because whether he was angry or not, it was the right thing to do.

He had a belated-birthday dinner with his father two days later, and I reminded him before he left the house of his intention to tell his father.  I wasn’t sure if he actually would, and truthfully, I assumed deep down that he would return home later that night with an excuse for why tonight wasn’t the right night, and a plan to delay this talk to a “better time”.  To my surprise, when I asked him about it the next morning, it turns out he had told him.  The two of them sat at dinner, and my husband revealed to his father that he had had an affair with a crazy woman, and that it has produced a child.  I was completely surprised that he had told him, and simultaneously completely proud of him.

I think it is always hard to own a mistake.  I think it is even harder when the mistake is of this magnitude, and harder still when you are telling someone whose relationship you value, and whose approval you bask in.  My husband is an only child of two divorced parents.  He is the golden child to both, and they hold him in very high esteem.  Now, it must be reiterated that my FIL was a serial adulterer.  He had several mistresses over the years of his marriage, and while his marriage ultimately disintegrated, he will tell  you to this day that his affairs were caused by his wife.  It was her lack of respect for him.  It was her lack of spontaneity.  It was her lack of sexual attention.  It was her lack of trust in him.  It was her lack of ___________.  Regardless of what it was, it was HER FAULT.  She was likely fed this information as well, when the affairs became known to her, and it likely stunted her healing.  In fact, she has never healed, and it has helped shape her.

My husband didn’t want to tell his father.  Perhaps he was afraid of falling from grace with his dad.   Perhaps, as he told me, he was worried about his father blaming me, as he had blamed his own wife over the years.  Perhaps he was worried that his father would now want a relationship with the child and the OW, and that it would open the door to a connection between our family and the OW.  Whatever his worry, he took the step in telling his dad, and from what little I know of what transpired and was said, it was positive.  Being a cheater himself, I don’t think he could ever find fault with his son, or see him as faulty.  If anything, he may blame me, or make assumptions that I am not a good wife, or that I don’t meet his son’s needs.  Truthfully, it doesn’t at all matter what he thinks.  His father hasn’t liked me since we were married almost 13 years ago, and I haven’t seen him in almost three years.  I could not care less what interpretation he holds, or what he thinks.  It doesn’t at all change what I know to be true.

I am proud of my husband for taking that step.  At first, I thought that the unburdening by telling his family was a step in the path of MY healing. I now think that it really is a step in the path of HIS.  He attended the “Man of Honour” weekend in May, and they talked about integrity and character.  How can you be a man of character and integrity while holding information from others that is their right to know, just to save yourself?  After all, on March 19th, 2010, he confessed his affair to me with the preface that he could no longer allow me to live my life not having the accurate truth about my own life.  He felt it was wrong to hold back information of this significance from me, and that he felt guilty watching me live my life blind to the information.  How was this different from his parents then?  Was he not holding a secret from these others who also had a right to know that they have a grandchild?  Was that not considered important information that they have a right to know?   It felt the same to me.

For now, he hasn’t told his mother, and I am still hopeful that he will be able to find a way to tell her that won’t compromise her health or cause her to suffer a mental decline.  It is one step at a time, but I think they are steps in the right direction, and for that I am proud of him.

 

Support from one's father

Support from one’s father

Patching the life-raft


Making the conscious decision to cheat

Making the conscious decision to cheat

 

When you find yourself in the turbulent waters of an affair, and its disclosure, you find you will cling to anything that passes by in the hopes that it will carry you out of the mess.  That was the case for me.  Whether it was a gentle person willing to lend an ear, or a belief I held about WHY he had done what he had done, it didn’t matter.  I needed to cling to it.   In the case of the former, I would find myself almost desperate to talk to someone who understood and anytime someone would give *my* problem any time or attention, I was so grateful.  I never wanted them to stop listening.  I needed to talk, and I needed to be heard.  I think sometimes, I pushed people away who had offered to help, who perhaps just got tired of listening.

The thing most of us betrayed spouses are desperate to know is the WHY of what happened.  Knowing WHY it happened somehow gives us a sense of control that we feel we have lost.  If we know WHY, then we know HOW and we also feel more equipped to put things into place to prevent it from happening again.

When my husband laid out the timeline for me, he tried to help me understand the process.  I struggled with understanding how he could allow his affair to continue, especially after he started feeling guilty and knowing that what he was doing was wrong.  I had somehow convinced myself that he *fell into* the affair, however that may have happened, and that from that moment on, he was struggling to get out, stuck, strategically pinned by her threats and coercions.  I wanted to see my husband as a victim of hers.  It helped to see her as the only perpetrator against my marriage, and him as the victim who got swept away, and into something bad.

I then started to learn about what makes a man (or woman) vulnerable to an affair.  There are so many things.   I found myself looking at a list of real reasons for why he had done what he had done.  Stress at work, increased family stress (new baby), parental obligations and caregiver stress (father was in trouble with the law and as an only child was relied upon intensely to help a man who has never been able to help himself), etc.  Our list was long, when we reviewed how many of the vulnerabilities applied to him/us.   The list, once again, allowed me to see my husband as a victim of his circumstances.  He was, once again, a “nice guy who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, dragged into a situation unwillingly and then prevented from ending it due to ongoing coercion and threats to his livelihood and our family”.  At times, I felt bad for him, even though I hated what had happened.

Last week, the day before Mother’s Day, my husband wrote me a blog post for this blog.  I have been asking him to do so since May 2012.   I wanted readers to hear his side, his experience, instead of relying on stereotypes and false imaginations.  I hoped that his words would help others understand what happened to their spouses, and would outline the slippery slope that he found himself on, since so many men have the same pattern.   I waited patiently for a year, and then last week he wrote me something, and sent it to me the day before Mother’s Day.  I read it and cried.  I cried not because I was thankful.  I cried not because I was relieved.  I cried because the bubble I had built for myself in trying to get through the day to day of living with an adulterous husband and trying to rebuild my marriage, had popped.

In his first paragraph, he writes:

So when an attractive co-worker propositioned me to consider an extramarital relationship with her, my mind instantly raised every reason to do it.  It had brought to mind every tabloid that I had ever seen or read about infidelity and it’s seemingly benign outcome.  With that “well researched” information in mind, I proceeded to take that first step of my journey.  After all, I worked hard, my wife was busy with the kids, and I owed it to myself to have a change of pace, a treat, a break from my regular hectic, grueling, and stressful life.

My heart sank once again.  An old, familiar feeling.  The pit of ones stomach opening wide and swallowing them whole from the inside out.

His words showed me that he knew it was wrong before he started.  That he had consciously made the decision to engage in an affair, and that he sought out ways to give himself permission.  He thought of all of the times people had “gotten away with it”, or that it “hadn’t caused that big of an issue”, and hoped that would be the case for us.  After all, as he put it, he deserved it, and I was so busy with the kids.  Yes, busy with kids that we had decided to have together, for which I share 80-90% of the parenting responsibility.  I was busy.  I had a 18 month old, a toddler and a young child in my care while I worked full time.  But I guess because I was “so busy”, he felt he deserved what he calls “a treat”.  And here all this time, I have relied on the fact that he was in a fog, and unaware.  Relied on the idea that he was confused, and swayed.  Relied on the idea that he wasn’t in his right mind at the time, and unable to have seen clearly his path.  Reading this made me realize that he saw perfectly clearly his path.  He wanted a treat, a little heaven on the side…and hoped it wouldn’t cost him his marriage.

It made me sick to my stomach.  Happy Mother’s Day to me.

It goes to show, that even after one considers themselves “recovered”, they can still get caught up in old feelings, in sad realities, and be re-triggered.  I am only fresh on this healing path, and only recently consider myself “healed”.  I am sure I will have more of these, and should never have expected that the grey skies were behind me and only clear skies ahead.  I can still be spun backwards at times, and it no longer knocks me over and takes the breath out of me, but it sure does still hurt to hear/see those words, written by my husband to describe his feelings at the time.  Feelings which I guess I had re-written to suit my own abilities to cope with the truth.

I didn’t post the letter.  I simply can’t.  It doesn’t in any way reflect what I had hoped he would write about how he found himself in an affair.  It was analytical, unemotional, and jumps from discussions of meaningless sex as a teenager to the night we put our cat to sleep, neither of which had anything to do with me.  But hey, the letter does end with him saying how incredible I am.  Thanks. I’d kind of have to be in order to have stayed.

The life raft I had used to stay afloat suddenly had a hole and I felt like I was taking on water.  Needless to say, I am once again patching the holes to stay above water.

 

I was not built to break


The title of this post sums up my recent feelings perfectly.

I am a fighter and a survivor.  I am not taken down easily, and I will not fall and crumble.  I will give every ounce that I have to protect what is dear from me, and will be damned if someone insignificant is going to take away my Joy.

I had the opportunity to attend the “Take your life back” seminar this past weekend with Anne and Brian Bercht.  I’ve referenced them in other posts, but for those who don’t know, Anne is the author of “My husbands affair became the best thing that ever happened to me”.  Since her husband’s affair 12 years ago, Anne has written her book, an auto-biographical account of her journey through healing from the pain of her husband’s affair.  She also started offering seminars to couples and individuals, certifying her skills and abilities through various programs, courses and certificate programs herself and her husband take.  Together, they formed “Passionate Life Seminars”, and offer three different and distinct weekend workshops aimed at helping those whose lives have been touched by infidelity.

This past weekend wasn’t as much about the affair, as it was about me.  It was a weekend designed for those who feel stuck in their healing, and for those who are healing alone to find ways to heal themselves so that they can move on.  It was about finding and tapping into your own unique gifts and using those gifts to break through the pain of what has happened, and start to put it behind, in the past, where it belongs.

I think it is easy to carry the baggage of an event like this forward.  It can become so defining of who we think we are.  It touches us to the core, and fractures the very things that we believe to be true about our selves, our marriage, and the world around us.  Our sense of justice is forever changed. Our feelings of deservedness and worth are questioned. We move forward with the baggage of being a betrayed spouse.  We carry that new identity around, and it colours everything we see from the moment of discovery onward.  It’s as if we put on betrayed-spouse glasses, and see the world through the hue and shade that they cast upon our eyes, allowing us to see the world slightly differently.  We carry these glasses, or the baggage of the affair around our necks, with us wherever we go.

Can you imagine spending a day with a heavy bag around your neck?  Each day that you wake up, you put it on.  You carry it around.  It needs to be pushed aside when it gets in the immediate way of a task you are undertaking.  It causes you to sometimes be a little off-balance, as you fumble to avoid its bothersome presence around your neck, whilst you reach for other things.  You bend forward, and the bag smacks against your knees.  You curl up to sleep, and you have to wrestle the bag out of the way, carefully tucking it into your abdomen to give your legs room to curl up.   When you turn quickly, the strap tangles slightly, putting pressure around your neck, and reminding you of its presence.  When you greet others for an embrace, you have to move the bag to the side, so that your bag doesn’t impact them, and for a moment, you each pretend that it really isn’t there.  But, it is there, isn’t it?   Moving it out of the way just temporarily shifts it, but you are nonetheless still aware that it exists, and you still perceive it.  It doesn’t leave.  This baggage that we carry from the affair is no different.  We push it aside when we need to, and hope others don’t notice it, but in the end, we feel it every day.  It gets in the way of us truly enjoying ourselves and the joys that our lives do have in them.  Instead of seeing the beauty and the blessings that surround us, we are forever reminded of the bag that hangs around our neck.  Sure, we may look beyond it to see the beauty of a particular moment, like our child’s graduation, or the wedding of a friend, or the birth of another child, but before we were able to look past it, we had to knowingly move it aside, and in that action of moving it, we were made aware of it.  See, it never really leaves us, until we choose to take it off entirely.

I invite you all to consider taking off your bag.  I did.

This weekend invited me to participate in a series of exercises designed to rid me of the baggage that hangs around my neck.

Having done extensive work with my husband on the trauma of his affair, the outstanding troubles I had concerned the OW and her forever presence on the outskirts of our life.  She lives in the shadows on the boundaries of our lives, and while she is not with us every day, we know that she is there, like the bag around our necks.  She was the missing piece I needed to let go of.  She was the thing that remained with me, day in and day out.  I found myself obsessing about how she would attack me next (when I say “me” here, I mean “we” because in truth, she is directed at my husband and his money, but WE both feel the attack), trying to read  her mind and understand her motives.  I would try and stay one step ahead so that perhaps I could anticipate her next move, and not be shaken off of my feet the way I have been when things come out of the blue, as they last did on Halloween day.  I am a planner.  I like to anticipate things.  For me, not being caught off guard is what helps me feel grounded when she comes around.  But, the consequence of all of this ‘preparedness’ is that I found myself worried, anxious, & obsessive.  I plotted schemes in my head about how I could harm her first and not get caught.  I thought of ways I could bring suffering to her life and not be implicated.  I dreamt up ideas, I considered and reconsidered the ideas from every angle, and every time I had the opportunity….I’d chicken out.  I found myself spending so much time in thought about this, that it took away from other things.  It took up so much space in my head that there simply wasn’t room for anything else.  She was taking up precious real estate, and essentially was taking more away from me.  I already feel robbed by this woman, so why am I allowing her to take up MORE time, MORE space, MORE THOUGHT??   It had to stop, and so I registered for the weekend at http://www.beyondaffairs.com .  During the weekend, I focused my energies on two things: 1. Increasing my self worth, my self confidence, my focus on ME.  2. Moving towards a place of compassion for the OW, towards forgiveness.

Now, some of you are reeling in your seats, wondering how on earth I could consider FORGIVING a woman who is so evil, who is so hell-bent on ruining my family.  Well, forgiveness is not condoning or supporting, remember.  Forgiveness is making the choice to no longer dwell and focus angrily on the actions of another.   It is not allowing her binges to throw me.  It  is trying to compassionately see her actions as pitiful reflections of where she sits, and contrast that with mine and see once and for all that I have won.  It isn’t being a doormat, and laying down.  Instead, it is standing up, and seeing more clearly the situation without being bogged down with anger.

In summary of this weekend and its’ realizations:

She is a child of God, and despite how dispicable and mean-spirited she is, and how horrid her actions are, she is a fallible human being who will walk her journey on this earth, and face the consequences of those actions.  It is not for me to judge her, or to condemn her, for that is not up to me.  I need to trust in a higher power that someone, at some time, higher than me, will have her in front of them and she will one day reap what she has sown.  It is not for me to punish her, or to cause her distress, for that will be taken care of by the universe.  All I can do is hope that she will turn her life around, that she will make good choices, and that she will save herself from damnation that will follow if she surely doesn’t.  I don’t need to be the one pointing the finger.  I am not so powerful as to be worthy of judging her.  I can not like what she does, but it doesn’t have to OWN me.  I can look at her compassionately, try my best to understand that she does what she does out of selfishness, and understand that each of us wishes the best for ourselves, and that I too have at some time or another put myself before others, wanting to personally prosper, knowing that others would not as a result.  The situations are, of course, very different, but I try and see her actions as a mother doing what she can for herself and her child, and a human being, being very fallible.  I can see her actions as horrid, but not feel that I need to be the one to exact the revenge, and simply trust that it will be taken care of for me, by someone or something more capable than me.  I can wish the best for her even though she intends the worst for me.  Why?  Because I don’t need her to do anything positive for me to know that I have something worthwhile in my life.  Regardless of what she says and does, it doesn’t change my feelings of being blessed with what I DO have, and she can’t take THAT away from me.  It is an internal feeling of peace and wisdom that is untouchable, and something she cannot have.  I feel sorry for her.  I feel pity.  And, while I may feel anger from time to time, I will try my best to remember that she simply needs compassion, and that she isn’t taking from me….she is just trying to do well for herself, and they can be mutually exclusive.

I am feeling very good these days.  I know I will have days when this perspective is hard to keep, and that these thoughts WILL be tested.  I will slip, I will sometimes fall, but I will remind myself of this place, and do what I can to get there.  I’ve taken off the bag.  I don’t want it back.

This weekend, I wrote down what I am holding onto….and on a little index card, I wrote the words ” I need to release her”, meaning that she takes up too much space.  I flipped the card over, and wrote the words “I RELEASE HER”.  Moments later, I stood and watched as that card curled at the edges, burned, and disappeared into ash blowing in the wind.  The wind had carried my grudge away.  It diminished and then floated away, no traces left.  It was very freeing.  I foresee myself having to repeat that from time to time, but I know it will always be worth it.

So, with that, I start a new chapter.  I no longer wish to vent about her on this blog.  I no longer wish to sully this place of healing with words of anger and resentment.  I want it to be a place of healing and comfort, and as much as reading about the trashy behaviours of another woman feels good to readers, it also just adds to the bag that hangs around YOUR necks, reminding you and triggering your own situations that keep you stuck in a place of pain.  I want to move forward, and I hope you will join me on this continued journey.

And with that, I leave you with my new battle cry.  It is a song I heard this past weekend, and when I heard it, I knew it fit me perfectly.  The words convey EXACTLY how I feel.

“…I was not built to break”

This weekend, Anne Bercht gave me a gift. She too is one who finds meaning in lyrics, as I do. Knowing all that I have faced, and survived, she gave me a song that she relates to my situation and wanted to convey. She wanted to remind me that despite all that I have faced, that I need to focus on what is GOOD now, not on what ONCE was bad. I am alive and well, and I can carry around the bad, and count up all the pain, or I can focus on the beauty of life that surrounds me, and that is what these lyrics mean, and why she chose that for me. Thank you Anne 🙂

Snacking in the closet: a new setback


2 1/2 years into my healing, and I have come upon a new setback. Sometimes I feel as though I am my own worst enemy. I

n the early days of the affair discovery, one of the questions that I had for my husband was “what kinds of things did you say to her?”, “Did you ever say anything to her that expressed arousal, interest?”, “Did you ever compliment her, did you tell her she was good in bed, did you compliment her on her appearance?” These are things I had wanted to know, because they indicate to me a closeness, and an intimacy that wouldn’t exist if the relationship was “just for sex”. I guess I reasoned that if my husband was having sex with his mistress, “just for sex”, that their communications would be pretty benign, simply requests for hookups, no emotion, no attachment, no compliments, no emotional sustaining of the other person. I guess that finding out if there was any sort of emotional connection was important to me, as indicated a deeper affair, and I want to know how deep this had run.

Asking my husband those questions in the early days was fruitless, because he claimed he could not remember. I know that men and women are different, that women seek details, and that men rarely recall them. This is truly frustrating for the betrayed spouse who desperately wants to know details, and accuracies, you simply can’t get her answers. In an attempt to hide the relationship, my husband never maintained any of his old emails. Sure, there were a few here and there, mostly benign, mostly relating to work questions, nothing that was sultry, sexy, or a red flag. I’ve seen those, I’d read those, but that wasn’t what I was looking for. My husband, however, was unable to produce the emails that were sent that indicated something more. He had been very good at hiding those, even going so far as to create a fake email, and an alias. She, on the other hand, kept everything. Possibly because she wanted to use it as retaliation later, or simply because, as a woman, she kept things for sentimental reasons. Regardless of the reason, she had everything in her possession that I needed.

Last year, around this time, we were getting ready to meet the other woman in court. She had accused my husband of wrongful dismissal, and he had countered her claim with proof that she had been inappropriate in her work, had been warned, and had violated policies of their workplace which made her termination not only necessary, But justified. In attempts to make herself look valuable As an employee, and as a person in my husband’s life, she chose to print all of the emails where he had expressed affection for her, admiration for her work, genuine concern for her well-being, etc. In parallel, she also printed all of those emails which made my husband looks like the bad guy. The sex starved, horny, wayward husband, seeking out cheap thrills, and a good time with and “innocent” woman. She picked her emails carefully, not attaching many emails that were from her, directed to my husband, but rather mostly emails that were composed by him, directed towards her. Now, I am a smart person, and I realize that this is a biased and skewed representation of the emails that were exchanged. I am sure there are many emails where she expressed horniness, desire, flirtation, but she would not have attached those as they would have compromised the picture she was trying to paint of herself. I know that, I get that, I understand. However, when I came across this binder of emails one year ago, desperate for more information because my Husband was unable to provide it for me, I looked. I skimmed the pages, I flipped through them quickly, afraid of getting caught. It’s funny, my husband breaks his marriage vows, cheats another woman, sleeps with her in hotel rooms, goes behind my back, creates fake emails, creates fake meetings disguised as a work event, and I felt like the one sneaking around. Afraid of being caught, I spent no more than one minute flipping through the emails, looking for buzzwords, my eyes picking up random sentences here and there. I read some things I wasn’t prepared to see. I read some things that hurt me deeply. I didn’t, however, read them all.

Over the last year, I’ve had many instances where I have wondered what else was said. My husband, of course, unable to tell me, and possibly tired of the questions, let me to wonder if I should reopen the binder. Each time I wanted to, I reminded myself that it wasn’t a good idea, and decided not to go searching. Until yesterday.

In the process of filling out an application for my eldest child, I went looking for his birth certificate in order to provide proof of his age. My husband keeps all these important documents and filing cabinet in our home, which is not locked, which we share. Unintentionally, I came across the binder. At that moment, I became like those food addicts that come across a stash of no – no foods, And scroll themselves away in a closet to stuff their faces with something they know is doing them harm, but basically can’t help themselves. I became that person. I set my husband’s desk for close to an hour, and read every single page of the binders in detail. Every text message, every email. Every. Single. One. Some of them were familiar, having read them a year ago. I knew already what my eyes would see, but I couldn’t help myself. I figure that the pain that I’ve been through is so intense, that adding a few more details here and there won’t really matter. What I didn’t expect, with the resurrection of the pain, the humiliation, and the feelings of inadequacy that reading those emails brought to me. It’s one thing to know that your husband has been with another woman. It’s entirely another thing to read the transcript.

I became privy to some of my husband’s deepest darkest thoughts, that he had relayed only to this other woman. Some of the sentences which are burned, and etched into my mind include:

“I can’t wait to be inside you”

“I feel satisfied with you in so many ways, socially, and sexually. You do all the right things, knowing exactly what to do with me to make me feel good. I feel so relaxed when I’m with you”

“I told my wife that she has nothing to worry about. She had read some of our emails, and is on high alert for the possibility of infidelity. I did my best to reassure her that she has nothing to worry about.”

“I’m thinking about you as I work. I’m having a hard time walking around, if you know what I mean”

“I wish I could wake up beside you in the morning, and have a little dose of you first thing in the morning. That would be a little hard to explain”

“I would love to watch you sleep. You are so rarely still, it would be a rare treat”

“I like my women blonde, blue-eyed, and hot. Know anyone like that?”

“I am open to trying new things also. I’m willing to try anything that interests you. Just name it”

“You and I will go on another vacation, and have a lot more fun”

“I just feel so relaxed when I’m with you. You bring me a piece that I can’t put into words. I just feel so good when we’re together”

“I feel like this relationship is becoming more serious. It’s like we have both navigated away from the shore, and into treacherous waters. Personally, I welcome that, and look forward to where this may lead us. I don’t know where this relationship is going, and I understand the consequences, and I want to go there with you”.

There is a sharp knife blade wedged deep in my heart. Those words came from my husband. Those were forgive into another woman. At some point during my husband’s affair, he contemplated leaving me. At one point during my husband’s affair, he was willing to risk throwing away his life with me and his children, for this woman who made him feel so “comfortable”

My husband is a subscriber to this blog, and is going to read this post. My fears that he will become very upset with me for having read these emails. Not because I was snooping, or because I didn’t have the right to read them. But because I did something that caused me great emotional turmoil, that he will have seen is unnecessary. Why do something that causes yourself pain? Why do something that causes you harm? Well, when you’ve already experienced the depths of pain that I’ve experienced, and you live in the world that he has created for you out of this pain and harm, it really isn’t much of a stretch.

On a positive note, I no longer have the curiosity looming over my head. I can lay that to rest. It’s now simply a matter of working through the resurrected feelings come as a result of reading this content. I think what I need, is to go to the binder with my husband, and select the passages that break my heart into 1 million pieces. I need him to see what he has said, and the impact it has on me. He has avoided reading these emails, not wanting to go back to that place, possibly not wanting to face what you had said and done. I’m sure the last thing he wants to do Is resurrect those emails with me present. However, as part of our complete honesty, and his complete empathy for where I stand, I feel it is necessary for him to read those passages aloud, and see the great despair that they bring.

So, even after all this time, even after so many months of happiness, and calamity, setbacks can and do happen. It doesn’t mean we’re headed down a slippery slope. It doesn’t mean we’re going backwards. It’s just another bump in the road on the way to a hopefully brighter future. Now, if only I could stop the nausea and desire to vomit.

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An affair in the making


Man and woman starting an affair

Casual business lunch, or something more?

 

This past week was my birthday. Well, ok, not the ENTIRE week, but one day out of it 🙂

My husband and I went for lunch at a swanky sushi bar downtown where the tables are packed in together like sardines (I am not sure why the swankier the spot, the more crammed the patrons need to be, but that is not for discussion here). The people to our right and left were so close to us, that we might as well be seated at the same table. In fact, had I extended either arm straight out to the side, chances are I would have been inappropriate.

As we sat together, we became aware of a couple to my right (his left) who were dining together. Both were of average height with slim builds. He was dark haired with brown eyes and she was blonde with green eyes. She was facing me, so I had a better glimpse of her. She was thin, athletic, lean and tall. She wore 3-inch heels and a grey dress which hugged her curves tightly. Both had on wedding rings, and both were speaking very animatedly about their work, which I gathered must have been in the same industry or even the same office, as they seemed to familiar with each others’ scenarios and key players. Now, I didn’t mean to listen, but really….we were sitting so close, we may as well have been at the same table, and it was impossible not to catch snippets of their conversation as they lunched.

And then he said it. You know, that one little thing that someone has to say that steers your perception in a totally different direction, and suddenly makes you aware that what you thought was the picture, wasn’t the picture at all? Yes, that thing. He said, ‘My wife doesn’t know how to _______”, and for the life of me, I can’t remember what that something was, but I remember it not being something terribly complex, and the way he said it had an insulting tone to it, as if to say “can you believe it? My wife can’t even ______”. He’d set the stage, he’d put down his wife in front of another woman, and then waited for her to make her move in the game. Would she also admit to not being able to do that thing? Would she normalize that for the husband, making him realize that his wife isn’t the odd one out, and that others also share this inability? Of course not. She immediately leaned in, and started talking about her proficiency in that area, expressing subtle surprise while trying to appear non-judgemental about the fact that his wife now has a one-down.

This, dear readers, was an affair in the making, and we were there to witness it. Two people of the opposite sex, taking time out of their busy downtown jobs in the financial sector to casually have lunch together. Was this a business meeting? Didn’t sound like it. It was far too playful, and a little too personal to be a business lunch. They sat across from one another, playfully talking about their likes, their friends, the activities they like to do in their spare time…it was kind of like speed-dating….except the two of them are married – not to each other.

Several times during the lunch, the man referred to his wife. He would start sentences with “My wife will sometimes….”, and “I told my wife the other day”… Now, to the untrained eye/ear (or to the person who has not been touched by an affair), this might seem like an affair-proofing maneuver to mention the wife often in conversation, but those of us who have been there will know better. He worked his wife into the conversation several times, mentioning her here and there and peppering her name into the topic of the moment. What he was doing, ladies and gentlemen, was testing the waters with the mistress-to-be. He mentions the wife, talks about her, references their activities together like dangling a bait over the mistress head, waiting to see if despite his obvious relationship status which he’s placed out there in the open, whether she will still find the bait attractive and take a nibble. She bit. Despite hearing that he is married, and hearing about the wife, this other woman continued to use body language to signal her interest. She was playing with her hair, touching her neck, talking playfully, and leaning into the table. She would counter everything he would say with some quip of her own, and the two of them agreed with very word the other said. It was like a dance that read like:

Him: I have a wife you know

Her: That sounds great, but are you happy?

Him: I’ve been married for 6 years and we have a two year old son.

Her: I am sure he is adorable, and I can’t wait to meet your son

Him: My wife and I don’t agree about _____

Her: I totally agree with you, you are so right! My feelings on this other matter are ______

Him: I can TOTALLY see why you feel that way, I feel that way too! Look how much we have in common!”

Her: I know, I am a real catch you know, and you’d be so much happier with me

Him: I wish my wife felt that way

Her: Well, we can’t all be perfect like me, you know (squeals of laughter while touching her neck…)

So now she knows he is married, and it doesn’t seem to faze her. He’s put it out there, and she has signalled to him that it doesn’t matter. Mentioning his wife so often in conversation is just a way of saying “hey, let’s be real here. I am married. You know I am married. I am interested in you. We are both going forward here with full knowledge that I am married, and I have no plans to NOT be married or leave my wife, but I am very interested in you, so what do you say?”. When she counters with body language and compliments, she is telling him “look, I know you are married, you’ve mentioned it several times, and yet I am still flirting with you, and signalling to you that you are attractive to me, so obviously your marital status need not play a role in OUR relationship…I’m ok with it”.

We sat there, quietly sharing our thoughts on this conversation. From time to time, I would raise my eyebrows in surprise, and my husband would shake his head. At one point, my husband whispered under his breath “It’s not worth it”. I was so tempted to lean over to the two of them, excuse myself for prying, and then tell them both that it isn’t worth it. The pain that they are going to cause their spouses, their families and HIS child would be enormous. I saw myself tapping him on the shoulder and revealing that my husband had had an affair, and then letting him know to please reconsider. I saw myself doing it, but couldn’t bring myself to actually do it. I can’t save the world, but I did really want to save these two marriages a I bore witness to them on a track to unraveling. “How can I sit here, aware of something that they both are blind to right now since they haven’t seen the ending to this movie, and say/do nothing?”. Let’s face it though, it isn’t my place to approach a random stranger at a restaurant and tell them how to live their life. I just wanted to save someone some pain, but I realize that what is going to happen, is going to happen, and I can only hope that they make the right choices. I also know that while we were sitting there at that restaurant, hundreds of other ‘business lunches’ were going on across the city which weren’t business lunches at all. You can’t save the world.

Never having had an affair, I have to admit that it was interesting to bear witness to the beginning stages of an illicit relationship, to watch the flirtation, and to see the game being played. It is only with these experienced eyes that I am able to decode the true intention behind the behaviours that we witnessed at the table that day. Three years ago, I would have assumed they were on a business date, and thought of how wonderful it is that they get along so well, and seem to have a great working relationship. I am no longer naive. Now, I just know that he wants to get a little on the side, and hopes that his wife won’t ever find out, and that she will be up for it. I hope his wife is strong enough to handle the pain that is coming her way. She’ll need all the strength she can muster. I also hope the woman doesn’t end up getting attached and falling in love with him, thereby turning into a psycho when the man tells her he has no intention of leaving his family…cause that can happen you know.

 

 

Living in silence


In the wake of the affair discovery, we retained a lawyer to help us draft a cease and desist order against the mistress who continued to contact our family, set on causing as much collateral damage as possible.  One of the things our lawyer advised us of was to not engage in the same behaviour in retaliation.  We needed to be the better people, walk on higher ground.  In the event that we were ever to pursue anything criminal, we needed to be able to show that we hadn’t responded to, or initiated any vindictive behaviour towards her.  We were to moderate our behaviour thinking of the bigger picture – that this may one day end up in court, and we needed to remain innocent.

When someone walks into your life, your marriage, your family, and attempts to steal from you all that you consider sacred, your first reaction is that of anger and retaliation.  I wanted to choke her with my bare hands.  I wanted to see her suffer.  I wanted to send her emails to defend my family, my marriage, my self.  She’d painted me as a shallow, self-obsessed and pitiful person whose husband was no longer interested.  I needed her to know that she was wrong. I needed her to know that he didn’t love her, that he loved me.  I needed her to see that her beliefs were crazy, and that he was never going to want her – he never had wanted her.  I wanted her to see the picture for what it really was – a sad set of circumstances that led to a man succumbing to her advances in a moment of weakness and then becoming trapped in her manipulative games and blackmail.   I needed her to know that he hadn’t been there willingly, that she’d trapped him, and I hoped that she’d realize how sad and pitiful it was that the only way that she felt she could get a man was through game-playing and, and the only way that she could keep a man was through manipulation.  I needed her to see how sorry and sad she looked to us, and how much my husband regretted ever having met her.  I needed her to know that he didn’t find her pretty, that he thought her fake breasts were unappealing, that he hadn’t SELECTED her, and that it was only sex…nothing more, nothing deeper, nothing forever.  I needed her to know all of these things, and I had no way to do so.  Legally bound from making any contact with her, I had to sit silently and stew about it, desperately wishing there was a way she could be told how he feels, how we feel….but my hands were tied.  I was silenced.

In the coming weeks when we were receiving ultrasound images, nasty emails, requests for money, and paying exorbitant legal fees to protect ourselves, I felt like I’d been placed in the middle of a boxing ring with her, blindfolded with my hands bound.  She could hit me, pummel me, abuse me – and I wasn’t allowed to fight back.  I was silenced.

I know that we were being protected legally, and that in the long run it would pay off.  I also know that it forced my husband and I to take the focus off of HER and put it back onto US.  For that I am grateful.  But. in the immediate aftermath, when I was reeling with emotion, it was one of the hardest things to do.  It was stifling, and all I wanted to do was to choke her with my bare hands. It was torture.

The rational side of me knew that dwelling on her, and thinking about her was going to do me more harm than good. I wish I could say she doesn’t come to mind…she does several times a day as emotional triggers take hold. I spend more time thinking of her than I do thinking about myself, and it is unhealthy. I just don’t know how to stop.  I am sure it pleases her to know that she has a stronghold on my mind, but at least she no longer does on my husband, and that is one step in the right direction.

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