Triggers

Last night we ran some errands and spent time together with the kids. As we were going home I knew we would pass a particularly hard trigger. I tried to keep my head down as we passed it but miscalculated and instead looked up right at it. I immediately  put my head back down but the damage was already done.

i tend to feel the triggers physically in my stomach. It gets knotted up and I begin feeling sick. In the first few weeks of D day, it would result with me throwing up or most likely dry heaving since I was no longer able to eat.

of course my husband wasn’t even aware of the trigger. He was busy talking to our son about something. He eventually noticed I was quiet and asked if I was okay. I told him about what we passed. He apologized for not noticing the trigger and for causing it in the first place.

after getting home and putting the kids to bed my husband and I talked some more. I told him how at one point during the evening I was holding his hand with our son beside me and our daughter beside him and I just felt content. I told him how holding  his hand reminded me of our first date, and now here we were all these years later with two kiddos on either side of us- it was crazy.

the trigger is something hard because it also reminds me of our first date and I hate that he shared it with her. I also hate that the night he was out with her enjoying himself, i was helping my parents who were both extremely sick. I was drained emotionally and physically- I could have used his support but all he cared about was himself. When I saw the charges the next day of him going out he flat out lied to me, and even though it didn’t make sense I chose to believe him because I couldn’t  imagine that he would ever willfully hurt me so deeply

ive cried over this trigger many times. It breaks my heart and I know it will affect me for a long time. I cried in bed last night.

Again, I hate that my husband could ever be such an asshole but I’m grateful he recognizes now that he was an asshole and that he is sorry. I’m grateful that he is sick over the things he did to me and most of all I’m grateful to have my husband back as the love of my life.

Tainted …

A few weeks after D day I started getting off social media. I started with facebook. It was too tempting to keep looking at her profile. I was losing my head over the fact that my husband could pick such a pathetic woman for anything.

she’s a mother but you’d have to go pretty deep into her pictures to know that. You will, however, find endless selfies of her man face. Pictures of her clubbing and sticking out her huge ass because she really has nothing else to offer – self centered, drunk , fat ass- that’s the whore in a nutshell.

She’s delusional too – she truly thinks she’s something special- the  crap she posts are indicative of that,  but when you fuck up your reality so bad of course you need to play up the fantasy you have of yourself. It was better just to get off completely than to torture myself trying to understand what the fuck my husband was thinking- obviously he wasn’t!

then came Instagram- her profile was private but she’d post her delusional headers or something that would just mess with my head and i decided it was better for my soul just to get rid of the app on my phone.

the other night, though, I couldn’t sleep and I found myself back on my Instagram. I had not been on for months and wasnt even tempted to look at her profile. I looked at the pictures my friends has posted and eventually I found myself looking at my pictures.

i was fine until I got to the pictures I put up while the affair was going on. The picture I took of my daughter laying beside me in bed- suddenly it was her laying in the bed my husband fucked the whore in. First day of school pictures, special days, special moments – all I could think was  he was having an affair through all of this. It was all tainted. Then pictures of my parents while my dad was sick. I really needed my husband during that time, but he was using the time I was away, trying to help and care for my family, to fuck  the whore. I started crying- I felt so used, I felt like a fool. I felt the pain and the anger all over again.

my husband heard the tears- I mean it’s kind of a regular thing me crying at night. He asked if it was a bad dream? thoughts – I told him. He said he was the fool. He said sorry again. He held me.

the rest of the morning the idea of those moments being tainted continued to stay with me but I got to a point where I decided- those sweet moments with my children, those eventful times in their lives, and the hard times that showcased the best of my parents and siblings- they’re not tainted for us -only for my husband. He was the one who was only partially there. He was the one who missed out because he was just a dick who cared about an easy lay. He was the one who reduced himself to being used for trips and gifts. My family, my children and I were living life- the good times and the most difficult- fully engaged, fully present, fully there for each other -and that is beautiful. It’s something to be proud of and I am proud – so now I will look at those pictures with joy for the moments captured, and the memories we shared and feel sorry only for my husband,  who missed out on some wonderful times!

affairs steal so much from us but I refuse to allow  my husband’s affair to claim more than it has a right to. It’s easy for my head to do that- but no longer. I wasn’t a fool. I was a good wife who loved and trusted her husband and  believed only the best in him- he was the fool for manipulating that love and taking advantage of that trust! That’s such a shitty thing to do to your spouse!  I lived and loved well during that time- and i have the pictures to prove it! Pictures that are genuine – not taken to assuage guilt, to show off, to make a falsehood appear as truth. I was a committed wife, mom,  daughter, sister and friend. My husband’s affair only defines and taints him- I won’t take that on myself any longer!

Vows

One day, shortly after D-day, I was screaming at my husband that I couldn’t believe he had so selfishly destroyed our marriage and me. I don’t know where his head was at that point- if he was sorry, angry, ashamed, feeling guilty but he asked me – why don’t you just leave? Why would you want to stay with me? My response was to scream back that I had made vows to him, before God, our family and friends. He looked at me in disbelief, like he couldn’t believe that I was placing such weight on the vows we had exchanged.

Seeing that expression on his face- all I could do was stare back at him with my own disbelief. When had our vows become so meaningless to him? I know that when we exchanged them, they had meant the same to him as they did to me.  I know it, but in the decade we spent as husband and wife they stopped being a covenant to him and just became simple, meaningless, words.

I have thought often about our vows since D day.  Obviously his complete disregard of his promise to be faithful and forsake all others devestates me.  Lately, however, my mind keeps turning over and over again the words I said to him, when I promised to love and cherish him for better or for worse.

When I held his hands and spoke those words to him I imagined so many different possibilities for the “worse”- financial or family strains, health issues, sickness, loss. I imagined it as being something beyond our control, something that was inflicted on us – but that we would walk through together. I thought that if one of us was too overwhelmed by whatever the worse was- the other one would be there- to pull them through.

What I never expected, or even thought possible, as I stood in that church -was that the young man who was looking at me with such love and excitement -is that HE would  bring the worse to my life and to our marriage. He would cut me to my very core. He would cast me aside as if I was nothing. He would use me in the worst ways- he would look right in my face and lie to me over and over again. He would use the hardships in my life for his own selfish gain.  He would twist reality to feed his fantasy. He would intentionally do all this, because he cared about and loved himself only.  He would give up on me and he wouldn’t care.

I hate that my husband was ever that man but he was- a foolish, thoughtless, self indulgent, vile, wasteful, lying, self serving, manipulating, heartless disgusting ,asshole, whore.  But he was- for 10 months and 19 days until I finally discovered the affair. I’m so thankful to God that  i did because his affair was dark and I’m terrified of where it would have led. All those words i use to describe him above fit her too obviously, but magnified a thousand times. I hate this  woman and I know that she would have destroyed my husband.

im grateful for today – that I’ve had my husband for 11 months and 7 days. I’ve had him longer now than she has had him. There have been missteps and disappointments but we’re back to walking through it all together. Not giving up, not quitting on each other!!

I’m grateful too that my husband is not that man he was for that dark period. I know him- at his core. I’ve shared 20 years of my life with him. I know him. I know the man I pledged myself too- he got lost in a lot of darkness but him and I, and most importantly our God, we’re going to work and fight every. single. day. to get him out and make sure neither of us ever gets lost again. Those are our vows. That is our marriage covenant.

 

 

Firsts

I got through it all- all the big major firsts after D day. At 11 months I’m still in shock. I still can’t believe this is my life.

You anticipate and look forward to firsts at certain milestones once you choose to begin a life with another person. We shared firsts as an engaged couple, then as husband and wife, as first time parents, then as a family of four, our firsts in our new home… and now we’re here- at a year of firsts  we never anticipated- the firsts post D day.

The first one was just a week after D day-my son’s birthday. His actual birthday was fine. I went back and forth on wether I would even let my husband see him, since I had him move out. In the end I let him join us for dinner out because it’s what my son wanted. I ate nothing because I couldn’t.  I cried at times but at some point I reached my hand out to my husband and we got through the dinner.

His birthday party was much more difficult to get through.  I had invited friends from school in addition to family. I was angry with his family’s response to his affair. My brother couldn’t come because he stayed behind to help my mother care for my dad. My sister didn’t know yet. Her and my sister in law got lost coming to the kids play place where I was having the party.  My phone wasn’t working, so I needed to borrow his to call them, and i hated asking him for anything- any help.

I called him before the party in a rage, so I was in a mood going in. My nephew was terrified at the party and cried the whole time inconsolably and so my family left early. I tried talking to my husband’s sister and BIL but all it got me was crying and wretching in the parking lot. I am writing about that day with tears still – it hurts so much. I can’t believe I endured that a week later. My baby wanted his dad and that’s what mattered but I think if I could go it again I would have cancelled his school friends, my husbands family and my husband from coming to the actual party. Or maybe not-  because my heart break was hidden from my kids for the most part during the party and they had a great time. I wonder if they remember me falling apart in the parking lot?

Valentines  Day-less than a month after D day.  I went to stay with friends that week out of state with the kids because things between my husband and I had gotten horribly violent. A search of his work email post D day showed he planned to take her  to a really nice restaurant. He had no plans with me. There were also lots of other elaborate plans for the two of them. It’s sickening  how fucked up he was. He had been back home for a bit at that point but after he assaulted me he was out of the house again and back at his sister’s house. I didn’t speak to him.

The friends I was staying with were mutual friends of both my husband and I, they were trying to help both of us through this and so they let my husband know I would be staying with them that week. I wanted it to be clear to my husband that just because we weren’t home that didn’t mean he was welcome back into our home. As far as I was concerned he lost everything the day he put his hands on me- I didn’t care that I had hit him several times since the day I found out. I didn’t care that I had been hitting him for several minutes when he lept  out of bed and started chocking me. So I changed the locks before I left.  Our friends let my husband know but he came by anyway. He would tell me later he felt so low when he realized that he couldn’t get inside. I asked him if it was as low as I felt when I learned, from his whore no less, that she had been at my house and in my bed!

He would spend the weekend in a crappy motel since he needed to be available for work. I got a new phone prior to my trip. The kids and I would break up the drive- my brother would have us stay with him the night before I left and my sister in law would convince me to book the nicest hotel possible.

We left the morning of Valentine’s Day.  The kids were amazing on the long drive. It was fun pulling  up my dirty, messy minivan alongside the pristine, luxury cars waiting to be valet parked at the hotel. The kids and I go to a local aquarium and enjoy a Valentines dinner out. We have nice baths and sleep in the most amazing bed. I feel strong and proud of how I’m coping for the first time since D day.

At 2 am, when I cant sleep, I would use my phone. I  realize that my new phone is synced to my husbands and I can see his Google searches- he’s looking at porn and chat rooms. I screen shot it. I immediately call him after not speaking to him for days, and ask him what he is doing? I tell him I can see his searches.  He tells me he’s not doing well and asks about the kids and I respond that he has no right to ask about us. I hang up but text him a picture of the kids from that day with a message that says do better.

i send my brother and the friends I’m staying with the screen shot. I am so hurt and disappointed that my husband is still going back to these things. The husband of the couple I’m going to stay with calls my husband and is very stern with him but gives him some good advice.  My brother realizes my husband truly has a problem – he sends him an email that he also cc to me. My brother’s email is gracious- he reminds my husband  of the man he used to be and asks what happened to that man?  My heart is full of pride over my brother, my family- I feel fortunate that my family is who they are.  The email also begins to thaw my heart as I remember the good man my husband once was.

March- it’s my daughter’s birthday month.  It’s a year ago  that he started his affair. His trickle truth had me believing that it turned physical later on in the month but I’ll find out in the summer that while I was busy planning my daughter’s first birthday in our new home he was busy kissing and feeling up the whore at work.

The circus is in town and my husband persuades my daughter we should go there to celebrate her birthday this year. He is staying at his parents now but we go together as a family with my nieces who are the only family members who can make it. It is mostly uneventful except for the fact that I lose my wallet. I lose a lot of things this year as I deal with the stress.  We go to a local mall afterwards- it’s full of triggers of things he brought her. I am closed off. I try to put on my best front for my daughter but I can’t be fake- it exhausts me.

i decide this month too that I’m going to start redeeming things. Things like special dates and places. Friday the 13th is special to me- there is one in March. We go away for a night. We have an amazing night. He makes a great effort to make me feel special. I make a great effort to do the same for him. We have lots of fun and it feels good to be together.

The next day we pick up the kids and go to see the movie Cinderella. The mall is again full of triggers- he never asks how I’m doing. When he  still doesn’t ask me on the car ride home, I lose it! I scream and yell. My pain means nothing to him. He taints so much but he gets to live unscathed by it while I’m falling apart every few minutes.

I scare the kids. He had gotten me flowers- I throw them out the window I dump the water near him. He is driving the whole time. We have our kids in the car. I am losing it. The pain is too much.

We celebrate his birthday this month too. His parents didn’t see our daughter on her birthday. So we go there so that they can celebrate the two birthdays – we order some food. I surprise him with a cake. On the ride there my daughter mentions her Girl Scouts troop is going to have a father/ daughter dance. Her and my husband both express excitement over it. I had gotten emails to register for it weeks earlier. I put it straight to trash- no fuckin way is the man who was willing to leave us going to act like he’s some great dad. I break the news to my daughter that the deadline to register for it has passed. She’s heart broken- I’m heart broken for her but I still don’t regret the decision – two months into D day I know I can’t deal with that. Getting her ready to send her out with my husband/ her father, the dog. Now he decides we matter and are worth his time and effort. No- it’s just another disappointment for all of us. My husband selfishly made a shit sandwich and we all have to eat it!

That’s the first set of firsts for the first two months post D day. It’s hard to write this all out but I need to get it out. I need to share it. I need this pain to mean something and I think I do better with an outlet for the hurt, anger, and injustice of it all!

 

 

 

Us

We met in high school. We started dating when I was 17. He was my first everything. I didn’t know then but he was already years deep into using sexual thoughts and masterbation as a way to cope, self medicate.

Our first kiss was incredibly sweet. I loved it- it was unplanned,unexpected, natural and awkward all at once and again, incredibly sweet. We soon developed a very sexual relationship. I was head over heels for him. Like most young, first love I was convinced I had found my soulmate,  and that we would get married. Certain things from my childhood made me not want to date a lot of people. I definitely knew I didn’t want to have sex with anyone other than the man  I would eventually marry.

We had very different experiences with the opposite sex growing up. I got a lot of attention from guys- it was both nice and uncomfortable. It felt good when I would walk in a room and a group of older, attractive guys would get quiet and look at me. It felt nice when a good guy friend would say- man, those guys wanted to know everything about you. It felt nice when guys, I thought  were cute, were also interested in me.

it was strange too, because I didn’t feel attractive often. My hair was always a disaster to manage. My teeth are a bit crooked and I usually hate how I look in pictures. We didn’t have much money growing up so my clothes weren’t cool.  I was self conscious and insecure. But I knew I was pretty and even though I wasn’t aware of it at the time, I had a great body-  I was pretty naive about the way guys thought and since I shared a lot of clothes with my older sibling and brother I tended to wear very baggy clothes that hid my body.

My husband was chubby growing up. He got teased often by the guys he grew up with. He never felt included in the group and his parent’s paranoia discouraged friendships- no going over friend’s houses, they listened in on phone conversations.  He had some guys that he grew up with in church but they made fun of him as guys tend to do with each other, but since my husband was already feeling insecure the teasing didn’t help. He felt lonely and unattractive.

One of those guys from his church gave him a porn video when he was 13 and that became my husband’s way of  making himself “feel good”. It was the the start of his addiction to pornography and masterbation. It was how he delt with disappointment and stress. It was also where he turned to when he felt he needed to be rewarded for doing well.

By the time I met him in our senior year of high school he had already started working out a year earlier. The weight was all gone, braces were off and  I thought he was tall and gorgeous and never knew any other version of him.  But because of years of insecurity he had no idea how much of a hunk he actually was-which made him even more appealing to me.

He was unlike  any other guy I had met. He was kind, smart, thoughtful- just a really good guy and I was seriously into him. Luckily he was really into me too. He was my first real boyfriend and I was his first girlfriend. We would date for two years and then we’d go through lots of breaking up- mostly on his part, and getting back together. He was just a mess- trying to figure himself out and what he wanted, but the problem was that he had no idea who he was or what it was that he wanted.  He was influenced by whatever he was drawn to at the time.

He started caring more about putting an image of himself out than actually being genuine. He still wanted friendships but didn’t have any. If a female showed him any attention- he was all into it, even if he didn’t want anything with them.

Looking back, I can see now what a mess he was and how it affected our relationship but I still had my heart stuck on him and again, I had this idealized view of young love and the fact that we had shared so much physically made it hard to let go.

I was also dealing with so much stress at home. My father’s health was severely affected. He could no longer work and my family was dealing with a lot of financial stressors.  My sister was having trouble in her marriage and my dad’s physical demise was affecting him emotionally and mentally. While my friends were all seeming to live carefree, post college lives, my own life was heaped with responsibilities and worries. The constant break ups were just another disappointment.

We’d eventually work things out between us but I was left with a lot of insecurities, resentment,  and heartache that I never really worked through. He had his own set of issues – needless to say we walked into our marriage with more baggage than we were even aware of. I had no idea the weight of my junk and I certainly had no idea how much stuff he was carrying- and neither did he -or just how much bigger it would get and how much it would cost our family.

Me

I never imagined I would get to a point that writing anything about myself would be so difficult, but I have lost so much of who I am that I suppose it is understandable. There is no point in writing about the old version of me- that person no longer exists. This is me now- more jaded, harder, less trusting, less sure of myself, stronger, wiser, kinder in some ways- crueler in other ways.

I’m devastated. I often feel unhinged and I have this constant feeling of feeling frayed. I have this picture in my head, from my childhood, of these ropes we would use to tie luggage with when we would travel back to my birth country- by the end of each leg of those long trips the ropes would be completely coming apart at the ends where they had been tied together. That’s how I feel – like I’m coming apart. I try to keep it together but there’s so much stress and pulling that I’ve come undone in so many ways.

i still like myself, but God I never knew I could be this angry. It consumed me in the beginning – I can’t even begin to tell you how violent I was towards my husband in those first few weeks, and then when he couldn’t  take it anymore he became violent backtowards me. I still have marks on my body from him.

Perhaps worse than my physical actions were the verbal assaults I directed at him. He could call me a bitch all day if he wanted but it’s like water off my back, because I know it’s not true. At least prior to discovering his affair it wasn’t true. Now, towards him, I’m awful. But it’s only him that sees that side of me and anyone who might ever hurt my kids in any way.

My husband- he says he can’t take the things I say, the names I call him. The way I curse at him. He already feels shitty and my words just make  him feel worse- like its pointless for him to try -that’s how defeated he feels.

I don’t like this angry me but I know there’s deep hurt under that anger and I want him to feel as hurt as I do. That’s a pretty bitchy thing to admit but that’s what my husband brings out off me now.