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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

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Inside the mind of a mistress


I’ve just spent an hour sitting at the computer watching You Tube.  While seeking out some resources for a member of my local support group that I run, I came across a Dr. Phil episode whose topic was “Inside the mind of a mistress”.  As always, I was intrigued.

Thoughts and comments always welcome.

Parts one and two:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1ekYBdSNz0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuPFcODpEfU

 

The key to my heart: A tale of forgiveness


It is a New Year, a new beginning, a fresh start. How will you write this chapter of your life? You have 365 pages, and today is day 1. What have you done to move your story forward, to propel yourself toward happiness? Are you stuck? Do you feel lost? Or are you in a place of contentment? Do you feel you are settling for what you have, and if so, do you have the courage to reach out and grab that thing that eludes you? Is this your year? Is this the year it finally comes together? Are you ready for the wonderful things that are coming your way? I hope so 🙂

As 2012 drew to a close, and with the golden rays of 2013 on the horizon, I offered my husband a gift. Not only was it a gift I had never given him, it was a gift I have never given anyone. I forgave him. I’d made the choice to forgive him some time ago, but wanted to tell him in a way that was meaningful to me. At first I thought I wanted fanfare and streamers, fireworks and hoopla. But as it drew closer, I just wanted something quiet, something personal, something warm.

I sat down to write my husband a letter this week. I wanted the letter to represent the emotional journey that I have been on over these past 2 years and 9 months (and let’s not forget the extra 15 days tacked on there either, it has been a long road). I wanted to take him on the journey with me, or at least the Coles Notes version, transport him briefly through the experiences that I have had in healing, and the ways in which he has helped me to heal. I wanted to thank him for all that he has done, for being a good man and for always putting my need for support above his need for shelter, for listening, for answering, for sitting in the shit with me (and this blog documents that there has been a lot of shit). I wanted to share my appreciation for all that he has done in this journey, and to convey to him that he has been my hero. I sat down, and slowly started to write, and when I was done, I had the following letter, which I am publishing for you all to read, which was presented to him last night.

One thousand and twenty days ago, you held my heart in your hands and crushed it, slowly suffocating the life out of me. As I sat there across from you on the sofa, trying to comfort you because you were crying, you pushed me away, and told me that you needed to tell me something. You told me that I deserve to live my life with full knowledge and awareness, and that I hadn’t been doing that. You then proceeded to tell me that my deepest fears were true, and that you were in a relationship with another woman, and had been for some time. As my stomach hit the floor and the room started to spin, you told me that she was pregnant with your baby. The floor fell from beneath my feet, and I stood paralyzed on what was left of the small bit of earth that I was perched upon.

The man I thought I knew stood before me, but he was gone. His familiar gaze now gave way to empty eyes that stood emotionless in front of me. I allowed the words to penetrate, but I could not respond. I felt completely paralyzed. I just sat there and listened to you, and for the first time in my life, I wasn’t sure whether I was real or not, whether I was in a dream, or whether I had just died. The truth is, a huge part of me died that day, and that part was the part I call “us”. “We” were no more. We were just “you” and “me”, because the safety and sanctuary that was “us” had just been violated and torn apart. It lay there, broken, hardly recognizable, and the only thing I wanted was to put it back together again. The only thing I wanted was for you to tell me that you were kidding, that it was some prank, to shake me awake. I wasn’t asleep, and you weren’t kidding, and this was to become my new reality.

When I awoke the next morning, for a fraction of a moment, I was certain I had dreamt it, and felt a lightness I can’t explain. It was like nirvana, but then I remembered that you were not with me in bed, and it had not been a dream, and that moment of serenity imploded. I woke up to the broken reality that would become my new “normal”. “My husband cheated on me with another woman, and she is having his baby”. The words tasted bitter in my mouth, but they would become my new mantra, repeated daily in my head for months and months and months, and years. I heard it in songs, I saw it on TV, reminders were everywhere. It was a new reality I had not invited, but which I was now forced to contend with. The phrase “life isn’t fair” suddenly had a personal meaning. I wasn’t sure what I had done in my life to deserve it. Was it karma paying me back for some horrible misdeed? Was I simply a cosmic collateral damage in the universe? Was I a bad wife? Had I gained to much weight? Was I no longer attractive? Had I “lost it”, and by “it”, I mean everything you used to find of value in me? Why was she chosen? Why was she better than me? Why did you pick her? Why had you done this to me? Why was I now having to pay the price for your bad decisions? Was I unlovable? Was I unworthy of being loved the way I needed to be?

As I spent my days dragging along the floor behind me a drawstring bag, carrying what was left of my self-esteem, I was inundated with hurtful emails from the woman who claimed to be so caring and understanding, so warm and personable. She took what remained of my self esteem, and held it tightly in a vice grip, dipping each piece of what remained into the acid that came through her words. Her words confirming my deepest fears: “I am ugly to him, I am fat to him, he laughs at me, he chose her, he is only staying for the kids, he never loved me…” She hand-plucked each one with deft precision. It’s as if she had lived inside my head, and knew exactly which buttons to push, and she pushed them with a satisfying and demonic enjoyment, her every move designed to wedge the knife deeper into the still bleeding wound. And when it would seem that she hadn’t done enough, she went in for the kill: She told me that due to words that I had spoken, due to action I had taken, that she had made the decision to keep the baby. She took the worst possible outcome (having the baby), and made it the result of something *I* had done, as if it was decided by me. No, instead it was to be my punishment for having fought for my marriage. I either lose my husband to her, or I keep my husband, whose love I don’t even trust anymore, he gains a daughter, and I gain a 22-year child support sentence. It was the ultimate lose-lose, and I felt like she held all the cards. I was broken, and death seemed more palatable.

Although I had my suspicions that something was wrong, I trusted you, and felt you would tell me if anything was really wrong. When you assured me everything was fine, I allowed your words to quench the fears I had, and the slate was wiped clean each time. The trust I had in you far overcame any fears, and I knew I could just trust, and I did just that.

I never snooped in your emails, and I never checked on your phone calls. I didn’t monitor your texts, and I didn’t have you followed. I had no reason to doubt what you were telling me. I didn’t have to investigate anything on my own, because you summoned the courage to tell me, and for that I am thankful. Although you do say that you were pressured to tell me, and had no intention of ever telling me, and were only doing so out of duress, I can tell you that I would have fared far worse had I learned it from her, so I thank you for telling me quietly, in the privacy of our own home, far away from her evil. Thank you for not letting me find out any other way. Thank you for being a man, and telling me to my face, despite the shame that such a moment brought to you. It is a shame that I can’t even imagine, and something that I would not have had the strength to do, had the situation been reversed. Thank you for being strong enough to do the right thing.

In the weeks that followed, you attended marital counseling with me. You attended regular weekly sessions, and faced head-on the shameful situation of having your mistakes placed on the table for open commentary and evaluation. You watched me cry and break down, witnessing firsthand the carnage that you created in the one you professed to love and protect. But you kept coming, and didn’t complain. You didn’t back down, you didn’t refuse, and you didn’t stop.

You took the time to look deep inside of yourself and your situation at the time, with the guidance of our counselor with a desire to learn what had led you there. Thank you for seeing the possibility of there having been a lack of something within you, something broken, something that needed mending. Although I do own my share of any marital breakdown that resulted in your inability to feel that you could come to me with your feelings, I also understand that your decision to have an affair was yours alone, and wasn’t something you did as a result of me, or our marriage. You had plenty of healthier alternatives to deal with your situation, but made a bad choice. I don’t think it makes you a bad person, and I don’t define you by it. Thank you for trying to find what it was within you that enabled this situation, no matter how painful, and for having the strength to examine it. Thank you for being strong enough.

You listened to me gripe and complain incessantly. You watched me hurt, and you listened to me ask the same questions over and over again. You answered them honestly, whenever there was an answer, and struggled to give me comfort, even in times when there wasn’t an answer to give. You placed all of your cards face up on the table, and gave me the truth at the speed at which I needed to hear it, not at the speed at which you were willing to face it. You followed my lead and proceeded at my pace, even when it was uncomfortable. Thank you.

You allowed me to start writing a blog to express my feelings, in the hopes that publically sharing it, that I might gain support from objective others, and also possibly help others in the process. You didn’t stop me from making public our struggle, and I agreed to protect our anonymity. Writing the blog has been a great triumph for me, is something that I enjoy, and which has brought me a great deal of support. It has also helped others. Thank you for giving it your support, and for being a faithful reader, and my first subscriber.

You never made it my fault. You didn’t blame me, or equate any of my inadequacies with your choice. You didn’t deprive me of support, and never denied me the opportunity to talk about it when I needed to. The door was always open, and you always made room for me, and you didn’t shut the door on me, or tell me I was raising “the affair” too often, was asking too many questions, or was being “unreasonable”. You tolerated my teasing and rubbing your nose in it, when I felt I needed some “payback”, and you took it without anger or disdain. Thank you for not retaliating and allowing me this momentary feeling of satisfaction. I sometimes needed it.

You allowed me to tell certain friends about the affair, and gain support from them, even though them knowing was embarrassing to you, and shone a light on your shame. You put my need for support above your need for secrecy, and I thank you.

You willingly attended the “Healing from Affairs” weekend with Anne and Brian, and never once questioned the purpose or need, nor the cost. You made the arrangements, attended, were a full and willing participant, and enjoyed a weekend that brought us closer together and for which I will be forever grateful.

You allowed me to attend the “Take your life back” seminar with Anne and Brian last month in November, taking charge of the kids to allow me to experience a weekend with other betrayed spouses, and the healing that comes from that. You didn’t stop me, you didn’t suggest against it, and you made it easy for me to attend without guilt. Thank you for that support, and for that gift. It, combined with the previous seminar, the learning and the introspection has helped to bring me to the place I am today in my healing, coupled with your support and care. Thank you.

Thank you for helping me to heal, and for acting as my healer in this journey, taking on the weight of my load when I didn’t think I could do it anymore, despite also having your own load to carry. Thank your for your patience, and for never asking me to “move on”, or “get over it already”. You accepted the repercussions of your actions as a burden you were willing to bear as a result of your actions, and you allowed me to do, say, or feel whatever was necessary, as a result, without making me feel stifled, or stupid, or judged. Thank you.

Throughout this journey, you have proven to be my hero. You have tackled situations that I don’t feel that I would have had the opportunity to tackle if I had been the one who had the affair. You have graciously stepped into the shameful places you needed to go. I know that I would not have had the ability to tolerate the constant nose-rubbing, the shame, the embarrassment and the constant exposure of my errors. You did, and for that, I recognize you as the pivotal reason for my healing, and the biggest force, outside of myself, that allowed me to heal in the way that I have.

I now have greater insight into how your affair came to be, and I no longer wish to hold it over your head, or to make you feel remorseful, or guilty. I know that you are remorseful, and I know that this has been your life’s biggest tragedy. It has been mine as well. Instead, I want to help heal you also, and move forward from this tragedy together.

When we first sat with our marital therapist, at our first marital therapy appointment, he told me that the end goal of affair recovery was to seek and grant forgiveness, and that forgiveness could only ever be considered once I felt as though you had stood in my shoes. I remember feeling such torment at the idea that I was to be expected to forgive you. “Forgiveness” was not the F-word that I had in mind, and wasn’t something I was prepared to consider. Last spring, at the end of the seminar with Anne and Brian, you were asked to write a letter, asking for forgiveness. I appreciated the letter, its heartfelt contents, and your genuine request for forgiveness, but I simply couldn’t grant it. I felt badly, like I was expected to. I wanted to, but simply couldn’t. I loved that weekend, and the feeling of togetherness that it helped to reinforce, and I did not want to forgive you simply because you had asked me to, or to comply with the programming of a seminar.

In the weeks that followed, I didn’t want to forgive you simply because I was running on a “post-seminar high” or trapped within the memories of that weekend. Instead, I hoped that the moment that I offered you forgiveness would be more genuine, and coming more from inside of me, not because you were asking, and not because you were programmed to request it. It needed to be real, and it needed to be heartfelt and pure, and it needed to come from me.

I was never ready to forgive you because of what I thought “forgiveness” meant. I always thought that forgiveness was the act of ‘excusing’ someone for what they had done. I thought that it meant ‘condoning’ someone’s actions, and finding something ‘acceptable’ in those actions. I thought that it meant ‘pardoning’ them from their responsibility, and telling them that what they had done was “alright”. I could never come to a place where I believed any of that to be true, and I felt that to ask me to forgive was to deny me my right to be angry, to feel betrayed and to claim that someone had wronged me. I thought that forgiving meant that I could no longer claim to have been betrayed, or own that, and that it took the value of what I was feeling away. I owned those feelings and I didn’t want to lose them. They were the expression of my broken heart, and they weren’t ‘wrong”, they weren’t ‘pardonable’, and they certainly weren’t ‘acceptable’. In speaking with other betrayed spouses, and those who have been hurt in other ways, I learned to define my own meaning of forgiveness, and this one felt better. It was to be the definition that I would then strive towards.

Forgiveness, as I now see it, is the act of letting go of the “better than” attitude that I was able to hold over your head because you had had the affair, and I had not. It was the decision to not see myself as a “better spouse” and to let go of the comparison. Being a spouse isn’t a contest to be won, and we aren’t on opposing teams. Forgiveness is the conscious choice to no longer hold your actions over your head, and to no longer engage in behavior that accentuates your shame, or which holds your actions under a microscope with the intention of helping me to feel better at your expense. Forgiveness is the choice to let go of the victim mentality, and to no longer be defined by it. Forgiveness is making the choice to see that you were a man who made a series of bad decisions, but not to see you as a “bad man”.

1020 days ago you broke my heart when you disclosed that you’d been having an affair. 2 years and 9 months, and 14 days ago, my life changed completely, and my reality was irreparably altered. These 145 weeks, these 24,480 hours, these 1,468,000 minutes, these 88,128,000 seconds have been the most painful, but also the most transformative of my life.

I do not condone what you did. I do not accept what you did. I do not pardon what you did. We both know that if you should find yourself on this path in the future, that the outcome will look very different from this. But, I trust with every fiber in my being that we won’t find ourselves in this place again. I trust that you will talk with me about issues which render us vulnerable, and that we will work towards fortifying our relationship and making the necessary steps towards keeping our union safe from any outside threats. I trust that we will actively work at strengthening our marriage, and no longer fall to the path of least resistance, the easy-way, the “comfortable way”, and I agree to work outside of my comfort zone and work at the ways that I can be a better spouse to you, going forward.

And so this New Years, 1020 days after you broke my heart, I find it mended. It will always hold the scars, but you have helped me heal in a way I didn’t think would be possible 1020 days ago. I thank you for being my hero in this, and I would like to offer you my forgiveness.

To honour this step, I wanted to offer you something as a symbol of forgiveness, so that you could carry something with you as a reminder of our story, and where we are. I tried for weeks to determine what that would be, but then realized that it was too personal a choice, and you needed to be the one to make it. I will let you decide what you would like that to be, if anything at all. For me, I purchased a Pandora charm for my bracelet: a heart shaped lock with a small golden key. This is highly personal for me, and symbolic of where we stand because 1020 days after our tragedy began, you once again hold the key to my heart. I love you.

Welcome to my new beginning.

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How could he do this to me, and claim to love me?


Often times,  I hear betrayed spouses say “How could my spouse have done this to me?”, and “S/he must have known this would devastate me, how could s/he do this on purpose?”, or ” S/he says s/he never stopped loving me, despite having had an affair.  How do you love someone and simultaneously hurt them so deeply?  How is that loving??”

Those statements are familiar, not only because I have heard them time and time again from wounded spouses, betrayed by their partners, but also because I too have asked EACH ONE OF THOSE QUESTIONS at one time or another.

The pain of infidelity brought on by a spouse’s affair has been described as one of the worst emotional traumas that a person can experience.  If you just caught yourself debating that statement in your mind, and posing death as a more painful trauma, you’d be close, but wrong.  In death, those left behind, except in the case of suicide, know that the person who left them did not do so on purpose.  In an affair, the person who suffers the loss is caused to suffer due to the purposeful actions of another, worse still by the person who vowed to protect their hearts forever.  It is a truly indescribable loss and betrayal that you simply can’t fathom or appreciate unless it happens to you.  When someone causes you to suffer such pain on purpose, and with intent, the damage is really immense.

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Of course, upon discovery of the affair, the first thing we wrestle with is the dissonance that arises when we consider that this pain was caused intentionally through the purposeful behaviour of someone we love, and who purports to love us.  “How can someone love me, and do something so ugly to me?”.   The simple fact is, affairs are completely selfish acts, where the person embroiled in the affair is NOT thinking of you, the pain their actions will cause you, the consequences of their actions, or whether they should reconsider in light of your feelings.  They are motivated completely selfishly by the benefits that the affair brings THEM.  For the time being, the world is revolving around them, and for a brief time, you do not exist.  Hurtful to think, but completely true based on the many reports from wayward spouses who report their experience. Affairs satisfy an emotional gap left open by vulnerabilities in the wayward spouse’s world.  Passed up for a promotion, the loss of a parent, a recent move, addition of a new baby into the home, these experienced, not dealt with and perhaps even minimized in the mind of the wayward spouse, grow and are soon tenderly placated and soothed by the adoring and admiring words of another, who reflects back to him/her the reflection of themselves they wish to project.  The affair partner, then, becomes a mirror to the wayward spouse, reflecting back only those positive qualities in themselves, and none of the stressors and reality that come with real life.  It is a fantasy and it feels really good.  It feels so good in fact, the wayward spouse starts to seek it out, the thrill like a drug, the  fringe benefits well worth the effort to cover it up and hide it.  Who the affair partner is, what s/he looks like, how they perform in bed, what they say and do don’t really matter – it’s how those things made your partner FEEL that made the difference, and I can guarantee that while they were deep in the throes of self-esteem-seeking, they were not thinking about you, your pain, the possible outcome.  They were selfishly only thinking of themselves.  It is akin to a drug addict, who just needs a hit – the tunnel vision showing them only the drug, the finish line, the goal.  Everything else falls outside the line of focus, at least for now.  So, when a spouse says, “I wasn’t trying to hurt you”, s/he probably wasn’t.  What s/he WAS trying to do was unhurt themselves, and you were collateral damage.

One of the things that used to drive me INSANE in the wake of my husband’s affair was that he used to say “I never stopped loving you”.  Knowing that my husband had been intimate with another woman made me feel as unloved as a human could possibly feel.  I had no value, no worth.  I wasn’t worth loving if he chose to do that to me.  I was unworthy.  Claiming that he never stopped loving me felt like a slap in the face each time he said it.  He’d say it with a expectant tone, as if I would hear it and magically understand that he was right, and I shouldn’t hurt over it.  PARDON ME???!!  How do you claim to love someone so deeply while thrusting your penis into another woman?  How do you love me while creating false email addresses to hide your tracks and telling the other woman that you love her?  “How is that loving me?”, I’d thought.  He would explain it as “compartmentalization”….that he had an ability to put me and our family out of his mind completely when he was with the other woman.   When he’d start to feel guilty, he would justify why he deserved this, why it was OK, and even why he thought I would be ok with it (yes, he rationalized that one).  He wasn’t thinking of me while he was with her. He had his phone turned off, and he was disconnected from us.  It was weird to consider that notion, because part of me wanted him to be thinking of me, and the other part didn’t.  If he was thinking of me, then I held at least an equal share of the OW’s power, I’d think.  However, if he was thinking of me, it also meant he was doing this to me with willful knowledge of me, consciously.  It was a lose-lose, and I hated it.  It was only once I had the opportunity to sit and talk with Brian Bercht of Passionate Life Seminars, and his description of what was going through his mind, that I realized that it was possible and that my husband “may” be accurately describing his experience, and not lying about it.  That was a big step forward for me.

It is hard to imagine, but our husbands don’t think of us during every moment of every day. I like to think that he does, and often play the playful “Did you think about me today?” game when we finally connect after work over the phone or in person.  Of course, then I want to know how often, what he thought…he just can’t report that because he doesn’t remember and just doesn’t think of me as often as I would like to think that he does.  He certainly wasn’t thinking of me when he was seeking her out, and if I popped to mind, I was rationalized away pretty fast.  It is amazing what the mind can do, and what you can allow yourself to do, and focus on, at the expense of all else.

We would like to think the pain the affair would cause US would have been a deterrent to the affair.  It simply isn’t.  The pull towards filling whatever that gap is, is so strong, that it trumps all things.  It is pure selfishness, unbridled.  They seek only to satisfy themselves, without thought or consideration of other people.   It’s the same reason why knowing that sex can lead to STD’s and unwanted pregnancy doesn’t stop horny teenagers from engaging in unprotected sex – the urge to fulfill their own immediate need blinds them, and their tunnel vision shows only the reward, not the sacrifices along the path.  It is the same situation that arises when one, addicted to food and what the food represents for them, gorges themselves with it, knowing full well that it is making them sick.  They do it anyway, because for the time being, it feels good.  The guilt will come later, but it will be rationalized away…”that’s the LAST time…”, or “I just needed it this one time because…”

Nothing set me off more than when my husband would say to me “I never stopped loving you”.  It was such a slap in the face, in the aftermath of the affair.  How dare he put a tender word like “LOVE” into his affair?  How dare he equate loving me with betraying me?!!?  It made no sense and would anger me incessantly.  He just didn’t understand why I would become so enraged when he’d say that.  He really believed it to be true and was trying to make me feel better.  So why wasn’t it working?  My next post will highlight how I showed him through a simple exercise why, and why he never said those words to me again.  Loving me was no longer part of that equation, and showing me how he loved me from that day forward was going to make the difference.

Stay tuned.

A wife’s double standard


Comments left recently on the blog, in response to some blog posts that I have made, have shown me that a double standard exists between wives and a husband’s other woman.

Many comments made recently have alluded to the fact that me, as a betrayed spouse, have no reason to be angry with the other woman. I am told that my anger is displaced and misdirected. I am told that instead of being angry with the other woman, I should be directing my anger towards my husband, as if I have not already done so.

So, what I want to understand is why is it okay, in so many situations, for the other woman to be so angry at the betrayed wife? Why, for example, is the other woman in my situation so bitter and angry towards me? Most of her anger throughout this 2 1/2 year ordeal has been directed at me. She has written things in emails, designed especially for me to read. She has hidden false details of their relationship in legal documents, designed for me to find, intended to cause me harm. For example, my husband never told his affair partner that he loved her. However, in court documents, she would find ways of cloaking these comments between existing lines of text, saying things like, “and when he told me that he loved me so often,…” She knows they are false, and she also knows that my husband will see them as false. What she is banking on, however, is that I will read them and feel hurt, question myself, question my self-worth, and ultimately do more damage to me. That is her plan. She isn’t trying to persuade my husband to see a reality that never was, Because she knows that he too was present, and he will remember the details as they were also. What she’s banking on is that I, someone he wasn’t there, will not know the real truth, and will start to question my husband’s integrity further, creating more uneasiness in our marriage.

When the other woman decided to call the police, to claim harassment and stalking, she didn’t do so against my husband, she did so against me. When the other woman had to disclose the location of her daughter’s daycare, in court documents, so that my husband could pay 95% of the costs to the appropriate location, she made sure to add in bold letters, that she did not want the location of the daycare revealed to me, as she feared for her personal safety, alluding to the fact that I mentally unstable, a stalker, and threat. Further actions to cause other people, including lawyers, to believe that I, the betrayed spouse, am the crazy one. Another attack, not against my husband, but against me.

When the other woman was asked to provide proof of school attendance for herself, in order to justify the day care expenses that my husband was required to incur, She sent copies of her school schedule, purposely blackening out her student number, indicating that she didn’t feel comfortable with me having access to this information, because she felt I was psychotic, and would cause her harm or distress through use of her student number. Funny, never once expressed concern about my has been having this information, nor the address of the daycare where his child is looked after, only me.

Prior to ever wanting a restraining order against my husband, she first want a restraining order placed against me. Prior to entering the hospital to give birth to her child, she mentioned feeling uncomfortable with me, afraid for her child’s safety, and her own.

All of this causes me to ask the question “why is she so angry with me, instead of my husband?”

The answer to that, I think, would be quite simple. She didn’t get what she wanted. She wanted my husband. She lost. In her mind, the only thing standing between her and my husband having a lifetime together, with me. In her mind, it’s as if I walked into their union, and tore them apart, when in reality, that’s exactly what she attempted to do to me. Nice double standard.

I try very hard to see everyone’s perspective in this mess. Inasmuch as I do not want to enter the mind of the other woman, sometimes I feel it is necessary in order to gain perspective. As I mentioned in my last post a couple of days ago, I recently went through some of the communications between my husband and his affair partner, having the opportunity to see the way they spoke, the things they said, the way they felt. In reading this material, I discovered that my husband’s affair was not merely sexual, but it was an emotional affair as well. He mentioned to her several times how she was his vacation, his calamity, his source of peace during a chaotic time in his life. Funny, that should have been me. Apparently it wasn’t. He worried when she was upset, he claims, in his emails, to have gotten tears in his eyes, when she expressed sadness or worry, he was excited and elated for her when she had successes. He came to bat for her at work, when her job was in trouble. He expressed deep gratitude when she supported him, and it reads like he wasn’t getting that support anywhere else. When he complemented her sexually, it sounded like all that they had done was novel, him never having experienced it like that before. He made it sound like he was deprived emotionally and sexually. Is it any wonder she later called me “emotionally unavailable and frigid”?This is not simply someone who is having sex with another person, this is someone who cares about the other person. Perhaps a few weeks into their sexual relationship, when the novelty was gone, my husband no longer wished to be in the relationship, and started to feel the stranglehold. However, as his emails and text messages indicate, there was a time when he was very interested, was seeking her out, was complementing her, and was making her feel loved, approved, attractive, valued, and comforted. It is really no wonder she felt they had a future together. I don’t think she concocted this in her own mind, out of psychotic stupidity, but rather, she felt this way because it reflected what she was told. It’s right there on paper.

So, once the relationship was revealed, and my husband decided to stay with me, she saw me as the reason they were no longer together. She didn’t see my husband as having had a change of heart, nor as a liar, or a cheater, or a man who would’ve said anything to have his cake and eat it too. Instead, she saw a man who had professed to care about her deeply, and his actions show the same, until I was in the loop. To be fair, my husband’s email communications did change, prior to my finding out about the affair. He told her he wasn’t interested anymore, he told her he wanted out, he told her that if she chose to have his child, she needed to make her decisions knowing that he would not be involved. It isn’t as though my husband’s intentions, actions, and words were suddenly changed, but that is how she will see it.

So, the double standard that I see here is, “why is it not okay for me to be angry with the other woman, and asked to direct my anger towards my husband, but the same isn’t being asked of the other woman?” Shouldn’t her anger be directed at my husband? Shouldn’t she be angry for having been misled? Shouldn’t she be hurt and furious that the man who professed to care about her, love her, comfort her, value her, has suddenly run back to his wife and children, when it appeared as though he was, at times, prepared to leave them? Wouldn’t anyone in that situation feel confused, betrayed, letdown, angry? So then, once her world came crashing down around her, why not direct her anger at the appropriate source? Why not direct her vitriol towards the person who has truly caused this for her? After all, I didn’t promise her my husband, I didn’t promise to share, I didn’t go back on my word. As I am so often told by these other women, “I owed you nothing”, but in my case, that includes my husband. I didn’t owe her anything. I didn’t come in the middle of her relationship. I didn’t enter on to sacred territory and try to tear them apart. I didn’t do anything. I was completely in the dark. Exactly how I responsible for her unhappiness?

If we ask the betrayed wives to redirect their anger towards their husbands, why don’t we ask the same of these other women who are spending so much time, energy, and resources, trying to tear down the innocent women whose lives they’ve already destroyed?

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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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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.

 

 

Support through listening


For those who are experiencing the aftermath of an affair, listening to others who share your journey is really healing.

Below is a link to a tele-seminar with Anne Brecht, the author of “My husband’s affair became the best thing that ever happened to me”. It covers the healing process, and touches on some of the points in my last post.

I hope you find it helpful 😉

Teleseminar

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