Thursday, February 5, 2015

What does an affair feel like?

What does an affair feel like?
I know most of us on the betrayed side of the affair think it must have been passionate. It must have been exciting. The sex must have been mind-blowing. It must have been so incredible that it was worth betraying us.
Unless we've had an affair ourselves, we'll never really know what it feels like.
We might, however, notice in hindsight that our husband was pretty jumpy. Or that he seemed stressed. Maybe he seemed agitated, impatient with us.
Here's how Wendy Plump in her book Vow: A Memoir of Marriage (and Other Affairs) describes an affair:
"An affair is not fun. It is like a bad habit. It is like addiction. You do it all on the sly, and you steal from your own cupboards to cover the cost.... You act on reckless impulse and hope to unscramble the consequences later on."
When her husband "forgives" her ("forgive" being a euphemism for sweeps it under the rug), without really expecting anything more of her than she stop, this happens:
"I looked back and saw that nothing all that terrible had come of it. Our marriage was intact. Bill seemed to have forgiven me...And so I concluded that nothing all that terrible was going to come of my having another."
Plump's book is painful to read and not just because she seems to lack her own moral compass. To say that Plump is immature seems obvious. She also has a lack of empathy for her husband's pain that's staggering. She twists words and metaphors to somehow pull us into complicity with her adultery, making me want to shower after each early chapter.
But then she discovers that her husband has not only been having an affair, he's been living an entirely separate life with another woman and child. Shockingly, she's shocked at his duplicity. She's brought to her knees. Nothing about her own betrayals of him has in any way prepared her for the agony of being betrayed herself.
Whether to be the betrayed or the betrayer? Here's what she says:
"I spent a lot of time examining the differences between having an affair and having one foisted on me. If one was better than the other. In the end, this was not true for me. The conduct of an affair was only marginally less miserable.... I do not know that deceit and happiness can co-exist."
Whether any of this sounds familiar to you, it certainly did to me. So many husbands, it seems, feel almost relief at being found out. Finally, the charade is over. But that's the thing with affairs. They're entered recklessly. People are seduced by the fantasy of escape. Fascinated by the image of themselves in another's adoring eyes. Like Narcissus who can't tear himself away from his reflection, drowning in his own vanity.
All of which is to say that affairs are highly misrepresented in our culture. Instead of steamy and alluring, affairs are messy. Exhausting.
There are many cautionary tales to take from Plump's published one:
•Nobody wins when somebody's lying.
•"Forgiving" an affair without doing the hard work of figuring why it happened in the first place is dangerous and simply postpones further pain.
•It's possible to spend years in therapy and learn pretty much nothing.
•Affairs aren't nearly as fun as they seem on TV.

43 comments:

  1. So intrigued by this. I want to read more.
    I am so sick of media portrayals of affairs. Or people like Dan Savage, talking about them as not that big of a deal. Or that affairs just mean that people aren't meant to be monogamous.
    So many people in my real life think of them that way. Little of the talk around affairs really addresses how affairs just reveal the depth of someone's internal struggles with themselves. They aren't really about hot sex, or what the other person has, or what the betrayed partner doesn't have.

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    1. I completely get how you feel about media portrayal and I hardly noticed before it happened to me how often it is part of the storyline in tv and movies, and how often writers make the typical, and honestly by this point trite choice of glorifying them. It's not just that it triggers those who have been through it but speaks to our sense of injustice about the cheaters and mistresses of the world and how this seems to be the unrealistically sexy message everyone is getting. They ignore all the bad stuff or show only a very myopic view of what all that damage is like. They make it look not only easier, but more practical to start over with a new "soul mate" than to stay and make it up to their loved ones. It all feels so unsanitary, and obviously inaccurate. It's emotionally isolating when something so obvious to those of us on this forum is hardly considered or paid any real thought to, what seems like, everyone else. And the sad thing is, to those whose experiences have afforded them the ability to accept those storylines as merely entertaining or exciting, don't know how good they have it. Honestly it's something I deal with every time I turn on the tv, ESPECIALLY when they take a faux-feminist approach of yeah, the other woman slept with your husband then sat next to you at dinner parties like a loyal friend, but we're still gonna imply that she did nothing wrong. To me it's an idea symbiotic with the age-old thinking that women aren't in control of their decisions once they get swept off her feet by a man.
      Dan savage is a tough one for me. I'm a huge fan of his books but probably a lot like you, I don't agree with what he has to say about this. But I also like to think that he's not necessarily talking about us. And that for the women on here who were lied to again and again, whose best friends turned out to the be the other women, or who dealt with an otherwise crazy bitch and temporarily insane and Ill-adjusted husband, that none of these experiences would be his idea of a happy marriage or constructive use of bodily fluids either. But I get your point and I hate it too when people defend cheating itself. I read stuff like that and I think what, so I don't deserve a meaningful relationship with someone who will be faithful? Letting him screw around is my only option to hold sanity and have a future with anyone? Not buying it, but insulted nonetheless. That's what encountering that viewpoint accomplishes for me, no matter how determined some of these people are to "enlighten" others.

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    2. Thanks for fleshing out everything I was thinking but didn't have the time to write. Wish I could have said it that way.
      -MBS (anon above)

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  2. I see an affair as almost living a double life...the lies, the cheating, the hiding.

    My husband looking back on it was incredibly stressed trying to keep the secret. Especially once he knew I was on to him...I just couldn't prove, and he quite frankly wanted to keep it that way.

    I guess that's one of the things I still struggle with...you didn't want me to find out, you wanted to be with someone else, but he worked so hard to hide it??

    Maybe one day, he will be able to explain it...

    R.

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    1. R.,
      That's the value of therapy -- the chance for the betraying spouse to examine just what he was telling himself that made the choice to cheat a viable one. Once they figure that out (they were seeking validation, they were struggling to handle a parent's death, they avoid conflict, etc. etc.), they're far more likely to recognize those unhealthy behaviours in the future and far less likely to self-soothe with something as destructive as an affair.

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  3. Elle,

    Loved the cautionary tales part and so very true. My therapist said that most people caught in affairs end up asking themselves, " how in the world did I get involved in this?!" So that impulsive reckless seeking behavior lands you in a pile of doo and you couldn't figure out that decisions have consequences. Children can't often figure out consequences but adults should be able to. In the case of my husband, the counselor said it that part of chasing that was high risk, the part of flying where there is always danger insert affair, and yes the basking in the glow of affirmation from the affair partner. Over and over, I asked what about the children? Does anyone think of them or are they simply casualties of the whole selfish mess? I read that marriages with affairs are much like parents who have lost a child. You go on but you never forget that child and you never forget the affairs. Maybe that isn't a fair comparison cause losing a child must be the most horrific pain of all...

    Thanks for another great post.

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  4. "An affair is not fun. It is like a bad habit. It is like addiction. You do it all on the sly, and you steal from your own cupboards to cover the cost.... You act on reckless impulse and hope to unscramble the consequences later on.....I do not know that deceit and happiness can co-exist."
    I love this post. I clearly remember when I confronted my H and he said, "I feel normal for the first time in years." And I remember when he said he didn't feel like he needed his phone anymore (he'd been keeping it on him 24/7 to talk and text with her...24/7/365). I've often thought theirs was an addictive affair and I can't say I ever saw my H happy during those years- in fact, I thought he was terribly depressed- even our kids noticed something was wrong, but he always said he was fine.
    He lived two lives- how can anyone keep their sanity doing that? He couldn't stop- he's told me that. I'm sure he thought it would die down and I'd never find out so I wouldn't get hurt, but I seriously think he wanted to be caught- the stuff he left around that I could have easily found had I gotten curious about what was in his drawers or car...or on the phone. And while I think he did enjoy some aspects of that relationship- I also think he was a very unhappy person. He not only betrayed me/us, but he betrayed himself- how does one live with that?
    This is a great reminder that part of our jobs as betrayed spouses (who are recovering their marriages) is to try to be compassionately understanding even when we don't want to be..to try to understand why it happened... to gain perspective and try to forgive our transformed spouse.
    C

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    1. C,
      I've written before about how it took me finally realizing that, given the same life as my husband's, I might have made the same choices. When we admit that we're capable of turning left instead of right, it helps open us to compassion for those who've done exactly that. We realize that we've all done things we regret. Some of just learn our lessons earlier than others.

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  5. I wish some of the husbands would post their thoughts here to answer the question above because this fascinates me, too. But, I doubt any of them are willing to at this point, in this place.  I know that this is dangerous ground.

    My husband's experience seems to be one of anxiety, stress, fear, and regret.  He chose a stranger, so it wasn't about falling in (or out of) love, he didn't find the other woman to be particular attractive, and he wasn't wanting to make a drastic change in our life.  He wasn't  physically attracted to her and he tells me he had to have RX  assistance to even complete the deed two out of the four times he was with her. I'm surprised by this because he has never had a problem in that area.  So, I'm assuming the initial excitement got him there but he apparently didn't find what he thought he would find.  He can't put into words how he justified going to the meeting place each time  and he can't explain how he put me out of his mind in order to do it. There's that fog/tunnel vision I keep hearing so much about.  He says that once he made the decision to do it, he was just driven to do it.   And then, the entire time, he was ashamed and miserable and trying to find a way to undo it without the OW flipping out. 

    Strangest damn story I have ever heard.  

    Regarding the mind blowing sex we all keep wondering about:  he tells me that his experience was not good. He says it was cheap, unemotional, the worst sexual experience of his life. I completely realize he may be trying to spare my feelings, but I suppose he could be telling the truth.  I am sure it depends on the man, and each experience is different.  I wonder if the  guilt kicked his ass and ruined the whole thing.  It certainly doesn't sound like a great experience to me.  And, given the choice to be in his shoes vs. my shoes, (with all of the pain I am feeling) I would choose my shoes.  As I've stated before, I think he hurt himself in a much different way than he hurt me, and its so hard to watch him struggle with what he has done. 

    I'm not mad at him anymore.  Now when I cry, I cry for both of us and I suppose that means I am healing.....

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    1. RT,
      That's exactly the point I came to -- where I cried as much for him as for my self. He was in a lot of pain and simply had no emotional resources to manage it. Guilt and shame carved his identity in many ways, so he sought out ways to essentially self-medicate, which -- surprise, surprise – led to more guilt and shame.
      And yes, I choose my shoes too.

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  6. this is exactly what my husband said... that it was an addiction of some sort. not a thrilling, excitment fulled addiction, but more of an addiction to keeping it underwraps from me, his wife. he said he was relieved i found out, that even if it all came crashing down on him that he couldnt do it anymore. he said it wasnt exciting, the sex was marginal, and he had no idea of a way out without hurting me. dumbass... there was NO way out without hurting me and his family. d day was 5 months ago. things have been better... good almost. i feel like i am able to move forward, and enjoy our new found love and respect for one another. the affair no longer rules my life, i no longer wake and immediatly think about the most horrific day of my life. but, i do think about it.
    this brings me to valentines day. why, this holiday is the hardest for me is beyond me. i have never been a valentine girl, never thought that feb 14 should be any different than any other day of the year... until this year. the first feb 14th since d day. i have been blindsided by the thoughts and feelings surrounding it! i think back over the 3 years my husband had an affair... its like a knife ripping apart my insides KNOWING that he spent valentines day with ME and with HER. how did he do it?! how did he manage to show me his love and HER? its destroying all the work i have done over the past 5 months. i clearly remember what we did the past 3 valentines days, and although it was nice, its ruined by the thoughts that he also did something special with another woman. a payhetic waste of a woman. i know what they did, and what my husband and i did pales in comparison.
    i know i should move past this and not let it ruin the work we have put into this rebuild of our marriage. but how? how do you shut your mind off? i wish there was a pill.

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    1. A pill? I wanted a lobotomy!!
      You do what you can to shut your mind off by distracting yourself -- exercise, meeting friends, a good book (that is NOT about cheating). But you also acknowledge that there will be triggers...and Valentine's Day is a trigger for you. It's not going to put you right back at Square One, but it will shine a light on the pain you still feel. It will remind you to practice extreme self-care. It will remind you to ask for exactly what you'd like this Valentine's Day to look like: Ignore it? Something simple? Or a blow-out extravaganza? It's up to you. But in the meantime, don't beat yourself up for having a trigger. You'll come through this and be a little bit further down the road.

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    2. That's funny Elle, I, too, wanted a lobotomy! Now, I find myself in a marriage that is recovering and becoming stronger than ever and we probably wouldn't be here without all of that knowledge, those details I wanted so desperately to delete from my mind....... Who knew?

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    3. Elle and Random,

      If you find someone doing lobotomy PLEASE post a link! I want to go. Perhaps some Open Heart Surgery to repair this complete rip right down the center of mine. Perhaps the hospital would offer a BOGO (Buy one get one)??

      Do not mean to be flippant or hurtful to anyone -- but needed some laughter in my life. It has been a rough 8 months...

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    4. Not hurtful at all! Perhaps a two-part lobotomy/tummy tuck. Forget why my heart is broken and erase any evidence of having children in one fell swoop. Bliss!

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  7. What a wonderful post. All these beautiful ladies words and stories are mine. I have nothing more to add. They've said it all.

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  8. Seeing this second hand, through my husband and his reactions, I can completely see that this was a stressful time and not some carefree flowers and roses and walks on the beach affair. And the stress did not come by being caught..(that was the relief) , The year previous his drinking accelerated at an alarming pace, possibly from guilt possibly from the stress of keeping everything hidden, I withdraw from him due to that, so it was all tangled up in his drinking, me pushing, his guilt over drinking and then needing attention from someone anyone. HE made the choice to step out and I stand by my constant refrain. "If he would have just talked to me" I DO believe I would have given him that attention he craved. But I could not give it to a smelly drunk. I could not, and I would not. The ONLY time he asked me for help was one time after he paid someone for sex, I found out later, he was a drunken mess in the doorway of my office, crying. I told him I could NOT help him anymore (I had tried before for years). Had he asked me when he was sober? I would have JUMPED at the chance.
    As for the sex..I did not want details, but once I asked him to please tell me something horrible,about her..the worst thing he could think of, (did she have bad breath, pass gas, was she stupid? ANYTHING)...and to cut to the chase, he of course was in it for the sex, but he told me that, in the end, she wasn't that "good" at something. That's all I really needed to know, I didn't need details, I needed to know that this horrible year went went thru culminated in crappy sex. All that stress and desperation and chaos in our house, and all for a crappy blow job or two. I know he knows it was not worth it. In fact, he even quit drinking which has helped with 90 percent of our issues.

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  9. Well I felt like I lost my mind last night. My husband just informed me that the affair he told me about wasn't his first time. He at first justified by saying he didn't let it get to the actual act of sex jyst making out. I told him in a fit of rage that that was no different. He then tried to tell me it was because I wouldn't have sex with him. I told him I had my doubts about his loyalty so of course I didn't want to be intimate. I beat him up and he just took it. Told him he was just like his father who had cheated on his mom. I had packed my stuff up and told him I was done with him. I had been drinking alot too after I found out. Well he did cry and keep apologising for ruining years of our marriage. I am having a hard time now if I even want to stay or not. 5 years ago I wouldn't have even debated and would've left. But I'm 42 now and I may be alone for the rest of my life if I opt to leave. He has shown alot of improvements over the past several months from our original d day in July. But now I feel like I'm back at square one that he informed of the past. It angers me that he didn't tell me that years ago and hadn't just let me go then. He said it was because he wanted to be with me, which isn't fair to me. Men are selfish bastards. And what is up with these women that are okay being intimate with someone that has no intentions of leaving their wife. I guess I need to once again determine if it is worth reconciling with him or not but right now I'm trying to stop from thinking of having sex with some random person.

    Jess

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    1. Jess,
      It's crucial right now that you take care of yourself. Drinking too much and sex with random strangers is self-destructive. It's impossible to make smart decisions about your future when you're acting out of impulse and not your values.
      I would also get a therapist. Forty-two means you still have LOT of years left so you need to figure out how you want to live them. Staying with someone you can't trust because you fear being alone is making decisions based on fear. Again, don't act on impulse, act on your values.

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    2. Jess,

      Of course you could have random sex and just hook up as the young people do, but how would that help you? When the rock & roll, drugs, or random sex is all done what's left? The pain will still be there. Those are just band aids trying to cover it up and besides you risk bringing another human being into the mess. Revenge sex if you read about it really doesn't help. I did think about it to be honest but then thought why would I want to sink to their low life depths. As Elle and others have suggested, therapy can help but it takes time and effort. I understand your anger, that he made decisions for you, and used up your time when you may have chosen to leave earlier. It's not fair he did this but he did and now the cards are in your hand.

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  10. Awe Jess, I'm so sorry, men are selfish Bastards, a agree 100%. I often tell myself that if I find out there was more than one episode of cheating I will leave, no matter how ago. After dday I told my husband, "this is your chance to come clean about everything. Once this window closes any new information is a new lie, a new betrayal." Hopefully, I'll never find out if I have to follow through on that one. None of us really know what we'll do until we are faced with the details and even then its not an easy choice.

    I wish you the best. Don't make decisions based on your age, though. I have realized recently that I could start over and still be happy eventually, and I am almost 50. Do whatever restores you to being whole again (or as close to it as you can get).

    I set a deadline (6 months past dday) for myself to reevaluate the whole situation because the farther out I get the more clearly I think. That's next month for me.
    Though everything is going great, I still want to take stock of our marriage and set new goals, etc.

    Stay strong, do what's best for you!

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  11. Jess! Don't, don't, don't act on an impulse to have random sex.... You will only be hurting yourself, and, you deserve better than that!

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  12. So glad I found your post.. I discovered my husband's betrayal a year ago . He has broken up with her but it still hurts.. He was relieved to be caught but I still wonder if I had not seen d chat on his phone would he have broken it off. Did a stupid thing of following the ow on twitter

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  13. Jess

    This is the third time I have tried to submit this post. Hopefully I get it right this time.

    Immediately after d day #1 I thought about cheating, not random sex but either with a coworker or with one of my husband's friends. My husband even asked me whether I was going to have a revenge affair. But I realized that would do nothing for my self esteem. I said to him don't you think I could walk into a bar right now and get some guy to sleep with me. That's not going to help my self esteem. It would only make me feel cheap and used, that I was stooping to their level. Instead I started taking piano lessons, I started doing things I wanted to do, telling my husband (sometimes) where I wanted to go out to eat, etc. That has been a great boon to my self esteem. Not always being the martyr whose desires come last. And as a result, my husband has also started putting me first (sometimes).

    Don't do it. There are some women (obviously, otherwise we wouldnt need this site/club) whose self esteem is predicated on sleeping with men. Ours isn't. I like to think that I have morals. On several occasions when I have asked my husband why he didn't leave, why am I better than them, he has answered "because you didn't do what they did". Yes he had feelings for them but he was in it for the sex. They were easy and available. They were in it to get him to leave and marry them (although they were all already married with kids). Dont join the cheating spouse club.

    Sam

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  14. I need help to stop following the OW on twitter. The affair is over but am so obsessed with her twitter page. Got details of their affair on twitter.

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    1. Every time you read one of her posts you let her back into your life, you open a door that your husband hopefully has closed. From experience in this area, I know that it also takes a toll on you physically and mentally every time you do it. Our OW posts on CL, pathetic little messages stating that she knows H loves her... she is pregnant and lied about miscarriage, her husband mistreats her, etc. She uses certain words to make sure we know its her. My husband has never read her crap but in the beginning I did. I couldn't help myself. kind of like when you're driving by a wreck and you can't help but look? Anyway, I realized that every time I look, every time I read it, I'm letting this wretched pathetic, disgusting woman back into our lives. Just stop. I know it's difficult, but just stop. Its not doing you any good. You are better than that. You do not need to know anything about her life, other than the fact that she's out of yours. Move forward and stop looking back, don't let his screw up become your obsession.

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    2. Anonymous,
      Random Thoughts is absolutely right. Cut this woman out of your life (and social media) like a cancerous tumour. She's poison. Steer clear.

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  15. anon...
    i know exactly how you feel. i blocked the OW on fb because of MY own obsession. i stalked out her page numerous times... then my obsession turned into posting pictures of myself, with my husband and children in hopes of hurting her (thinking she was probably stalking my page as well).
    its deadly. it was putting a stop to any kind of healing that i had worked on. so i blocked her. the best thing i could have done... block her on EVERYTHING. DO NOT let her ruin your healing any more than she already has. pathetic wastes of skin.
    xo

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  16. Thanks ladies!! It is 4am and I needed someone to 'talk' to. Just read a few posts and now I'm going to sleep. I will post my history later today.

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    1. Hope you got some sleep. We're here -- 24/7. Welcome.

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    2. Thanks Elle, I did finally get some sleep.

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  17. This is Terry Telephone

    Where do I start? At the beginning?? I am 65 years old and we have been together 44 years.D-Day was June 15, 2014. In May 2014 (before D-Day) there was a “Please tell us about your recent stay” email from hotel chain. I got the records of his stays at that hotel and through a ‘friend of a relative’ I got video of the registration desk. The next morning was D-Day. It has been 8 months and I’ve been dealing with “trickle-truth”. He agreed to go to counseling - then did not go.

    His affair has been going on for 5 years. This last year he added to his harem - a prostitute. She owns her own home, is married. She goes to a town 20 miles away and sells herself in a hotel. The girl he started with is younger than both our grown kids. He claims he saw this girl approximately twice a month over the five year time with occasional 1-2 months of no contact. The prostitute he saw each month for a year and that is written in stone because I have the cancelled checks. YES, he wrote her checks with our location printed right on the front of the check. There is also more. An old high school girlfriend (now divorced & retired) is a possible THIRD member of his harem. He claims he only talked to her on the phone about her travel agent business -Yeah right… According to his cell phone records she must need LOTS of talking about this business of hers. There is more! The second year of the affair with the ‘girl’ he met a young lady from England in a local convenience store -- struck up a conversation with her -- got her phone number -- gave her his phone number -- she called him the next day and -- wait for this folks -- TOOK HER TO CHURCH!! After church he took her out to dinner at a restaurant that he and I used to go to 2-3 times a month!! Then they took photos on his cell phone sitting in the restaurant all snuggly. According to him she was visiting a friend in our town and wanted to go to an American church with lots of singing… OK folks stop laughing and stop screaming at your computer screens. I did not believe him for one minute. Church my arse! Right about now you are wondering where was I when all this was going on?? Walking around with my head in the clouds, patting myself on the back because I was proud we had been together for 40 years (at the time).

    I took an online “Boot Camp” which did help but I’ve got PTSD so bad I’m starting therapy within the next 2 weeks. Just waiting on my insurance folks to get their act together.
    He and I are still in the same house. I sleep in our old bedroom and he sleeps on the sofa downstairs -- no sex AT ALL!! In July we had a real blowout and he took off in his truck -- promptly wrecked it. In November we had another blowout and I locked him out of the house. He tried to enter using a ladder to second floor and promptly fell off ladder and broke his right foot in 3 places and his back had several hairline fractures. He was in hospital for 5 days and had major surgery to put his foot back together with steel plates and screws -- and had to wear a back brace for 6 weeks. I’m retired healthcare provider so I did my “duty” and am still taking care of him. I think about it like -- I’d take care of a dog even if it bit me. No, he does not sleep back in our bed he sleeps downstairs in a recliner chair. I’m not that nice.

    The thing that ticks me off more than anything is the lies, lies, lies! I do not give a hoot about the ‘girl’ or the prostitute or the woman from England. I do not blame them for anything! HE IS THE ONE who went to them. The old girlfriend I do blame -- because she knows all about us and our life together.

    I’ve got to get away from him and am putting together a little nest egg to do just that. I’ve stopped paying my share of the household expenses since DD so that money should be enough in about a year.

    Thanks for listening. I know this has been long and it is only 1/3 of what I started out with before editing out the wicked stuff.

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    1. Terry, I'm so sorry! What an ASS! Run, run far and fast. You serve so much better! Hugs and strength to you my anonymous friend.

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    2. Terry Telephone again...

      Even though I do not blame the hotel "girl" -- I'd like to see her. He claims he does not know where she is and can not contact her because her phone number has changed. I had him call ALL of the unknown numbers in his cell phone on DDay --BUT-- I made a big mistake. I let him ask for ***** instead of him just saying Hello or Hi There when a woman answered the phone. I simply do not believe him. Somehow over FIVE years he was able to contact her whenever he wanted sex but now -- she is a ghost?? NO! NO!

      I do not know where I am going... Roller Coaster RIDE for sure!! Can you say CYCLONE Coaster??

      He told me tonight that he loves me and wants me to stay but then when I told him we would be starting Counseling on Tuesday -- he said "wait a minute now - I do not know what I'm doing Tuesday" !! HE IS RETIRED!! He can reschedule almost everything!! I blew up -- I said "well Mr. You had no problem stopping what you were doing to go f**k those people". Actually, I did not say it -- I yelled so loud my chest hurt..... Had to do it folks, just had to...

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  18. Terry,

    You've been dealt a bad hand but it sounds like you have a plan in place. Being a retired healthcare worker, you should be able to pick up some side money if you need to??? Not what you planned on I'm sure. And it was kind of a blessing in disguise wasn't it that your husband's accident sent him to the recliners? Think you seem very in charge at the moment and I applaud you for that. Not everyone can do the conscious uncoupling so well. Wishing you peaceful thoughts.

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    1. Thanks Pilots wife. I'm a work in progress.

      Terry Telephone

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  19. Hello all,

    Terry Telephone here...

    I do not know why I did it but I just started screaming -- really really just screaming. I knew I was screaming and not yelling any words. I did this until I started crying. He was sitting next to me watching television and jumped up to try hugging me and I angrily pushed him away saying - don't touch me... He started again with the "I am sorry, I am so so sorry" and the I love you crap and the I do not want you to leave crap. Somehow I immediately stopped -- looked at him and said -- NEVER, EVER say that to me again. I do not know where the screams and all came from and I did not feel any better afterward.

    Several hours later I told him that I know everything that happened with ALL of his 'excursions'. I was so calm and spoke so softly that he had a look of fear on his face. I told him that I found all of the condoms hidden in all his suit pockets, coat pockets and stuffed down the middle of his shirts from the laundry. I told him that I knew those condoms were not for 'US' to use because those were kept in our bedroom. (After an 'affair' he had many, many years ago I required him to use condoms). I told him I found the sex toys he purchased for and used on the 'hotel' girl. I told him I knew about ALL of the women he had over the years. He said nothing. ZIP, NADA, BUTKUS!! You see folks I have been living in a dream world. Looking the other way. Pretending that nothing was wrong as long as I was "kept in the manner to which I had become accustomed". This latest affair woke me up with an explosion. Somehow the little angel girl that lives on my right shoulder yelled into my ear "wake up fool". And the pain of that angel's yell was so intense that I literally woke up. My Mum used to say 'don't wake the sleeping dragon'. She was talking about us kids being rambunctious and getting into 'mischief' as she called it. If we woke up her dragon we would get punished by loss of play time or some other equally dreadful thing - well to us it was enough to tone down our madness. My angel woke me up. I'm so glad she did.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Me again Terry Telephone,

    Part 2

    I'm afraid. I said I was not in another post but I am. I've thought about it and I am terrified. You see, I do not know what any of these women look like except for the old girlfriend (she has Face-book) I've seen her photos on the internet so I know exactly what she looks like now after 30++ years or more. I am afraid to go into a restaurant with 'him' because I do not know if one of his sex partners will come in and hurt me in some way. One of these sex partners is a known prostitute and I believe others are also. 'He' claims he knows NOTHING about these people and nothing about their lives so they could be criminals. I know the old girlfriend has been arrested for assault the charge was dismissed but that means nothing.(local court database is online). I told him if we go anywhere together I must sit with my back to the wall facing the door. We still talk -- correction -- I talk -- but in the house it gets to volatile. (I've a tendency to 'talk loud'.) I'm angry and I do not apologize for it one little bit.

    Tonight I told him some things. Again I spoke softly and he looked afraid. I told him how I felt when my mother died 15 years ago. I told him she had always been my safe place, my go to 'healer' when I needed healing, my best friend. I explained to him that when she died he took over those roles completely. I told him that just as I trusted my Mum with my life while I was growing up and gave this trust without even knowing it was given - I gave him that trust completely after she died and I never even knew it was given. I told him that he had been my friend, my solace, my safe place and my refuge in any storm. I then told him that he had betrayed that trust totally and completely. I explained to him that I was laying my soul bare because no further harm could be done to me. He was told the person he knew had been murdered violently. I am not her anymore he was informed.

    This next may be a bit 'adult' for some but here goes. I told him that he went out and had sex with numerous people and then came home and put that diseased penis into my body. (Yes he had condoms on 100% of the time with me - with them who knows). He came home, I told him, with street women's DNA under his fingernails and put those hands on me and contaminated my body with their filth. Further, I told him, he came home and slept in our bed with the perfume and perspiration from those street women on his body. Finally I said -- That Sir was the death knell of our decades old relationship.

    Yes, we were both tested and found negative for STD and HIV - twice. But just the thought of street prostitutes DNA being in contact with my body through him is sickening.

    Night all...........

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    Replies
    1. My heart aches for you, Terry. You are so strong & courageous (even when you feel so vulnerable - especially because you feel so vulnerable). And bless you for insisting on the condoms!!!

      -Merry

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    2. Terry,
      I'm so sorry for all that you've gone through. Your rage at your betrayal is completely understandable. And I'm glad you're making it clear that you will NOT put up with it any longer.
      In the meantime, take care of yourself. Nurture yourself so that you can become your own "safe place" and heal yourself.

      Delete
  21. This isn't easy. I mean, let's not kid ourselves, when is it ever?

    My husband, my team-mate, my best friend, first cheated in July 2013, Literally less than 24 Hours before I was to give birth to our daughter. I was devastated but completely numb. I had a job to do and couldn't focus on anything else except bring our daughter safely. Afterwards I didn't really feel. I blamed myself. I knew the lack of sex had been a struggle for me. I was raised in a very religious home and sex was an issue having been taught before marriage was wrong. Couldn't quite grasp the flipping light switch off to on once married. Still felt dirty and wrong. Tying to my self worth and feeling inadequate that I wasn't the porn star I dreamed of being once I got married. I was shy an insecure and afraid of this world and it reflected in our love life. While pregnant it was off the table. I was even more scared and uncomfortable. During pregnancy We thought our dd might have downs. We panicked. He turned to pot, I pulled away having no comforts to my fears and no way of self-medicating as he did. Building walls after walls of bitterness and creating barriers from abandonment, etc.No sex still. Maybe 10 times in 9 months generously. I take responsibility for my issues and problems. Afterwards, healthy baby and healing along physically so it's becoming an option but I'm still dealing emotionally. My mom stayed with me 3 months after dd was born because she knew I wasn't okay. Didn't disclose details at all. Couple depression with a job loss and I was in full blown PTSD/ Post-partum depression. During that time we tried to harbor intimacy just in conversation and other ways outside of physical intimacy until I was ready. so I thought. some months later found a text from the girl he had been with the night before- not sex. Flood of emotions. Retreat emotionally- blame myself again. Talk about it- he's super apologetic. We begin the healing processes again.

    Insert background: husband was not raised religious. Slept with many women. open admits to womanizing before we met. Porn addict, etc. He struggled even while married which made our lack of sex problem bigger, then it progressed to him talking online to women. Then the one night stand.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Part 2!


    Fast forward to present- things have been getting better after making ourselves talk it out, shifting blame/accepting responsibilities that are ours. He takes full responsibility and won't let me carry what's not mine to carry. All was going okay but I still hadn't healed so we went to therapy with friends who are licensed counselors.
    We talked and this last Saturday he told me about one other instance I didn't know about. He mentioned there were 4 instances (only one actual sex was the first instance-the others were messing around, etc.) and prior to that talk I only knew of two. He swore he told me about the third- I never knew. blah blah. Any who, this last one has been different. The prior times were him going there and some paying someone. The last one was someone he met on an online site and she came to my house while I was out of town. He said he had pushed it so far down into a place he had actually "forgotten" about it. It terrifies me. I fell so different on this one. The pain is so fresh and I'm not blaming myself anymore so I feel everything and it hurts so much worse. Not to mention she came to my house, in my bed, with my husband. My hope and dreams are in that place with him. I feel so violated and I don't even know where to begin this time. Still going to therapy but haven't met since this reveal to discuss this instance- will continue to go and push through it. Husband has genuine remorse. I want to make this work. The thing I'm afraid of is how I'm handling it. I'm shutting off from him and inadvertently looking for emotional fulfillment in other people-primarily my guy friends.I don't want that to escalate into physical fulfillment and I'm terrified it could. I don't think I'm afraid anymore to do it. I think I'm so broken this time that my teammate quit on me that I just feel numb, fearless and genuinely passive on emotions. I'm terrified of my perceived capacity to do something like he did to me. It's not what I want but It's weird. I crave physical intimacy-just not from my husband right now and I'm terrified. Please tell me this is normal.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, everything you're feeling is "normal" -- though crazy becomes the new "normal" post-betrayal.
      First off, stay away from your guy friends if you can't trust yourself. There's nothing about that situation that can end in anything but an ever bigger mess.
      Secondly, allow yourself to feel the pain. Intimacy can take a long time to rebuild after such a trust betrayal so don't force yourself to do anything you're not ready for. Your job isn't to keep him out of some other person's pants. It's to respect yourself and allow yourself to experience the depth of the pain. The only way out of this is through it.
      Yo'uve had SO much to deal with -- pregnancy, birth, fear of disability in child, postpartum depression. Give yourself a break and nurture yourself as best you can (not easy for a new mom, I know).
      In the meantime, I think your husband needs to get some therapy for himself. He's got some stuff that needs dealing with. Porn for some is pretty harmless. For others, it's not. It inflates expectations of sex to unrealistic and unhealthy. Given your own admitted issues around sex, you two are the perfect storm.
      Once you think you're ready, perhaps counsellors (I can't imagine going to "friends who are counsellors") can help you both to a place of healthy physical and emotional intimacy. But first you've got a lot of anger and hurt to work through and he's got to wade through his own stuff.

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