Today

I’m still stuck in this dowanward cycle. Despite a strong desire to communicate with my husband I still remain closed off, never engaging more than necessary.

I still feel this pressing sadness and cry when I’m alone. I feel anger that despite a  strong warning years earlier that showed him how hurtful and costly his addiction to porn, Craigslist and chat rooms were he didn’t stay the course but instead took the actions to initiate an affair that has caused me more pain than I ever knew existed.

I’m angry at the lies during the affair and the lies after. That even though I told him he was to tell me if  the ow contacted him again. He didn’t- first choosing to listen to a family member over what I stated. Then months later, when she confronted him again- he hid that from everyone and then decided the best way to handle the matter was to iniate friendly contact with her  again. I hate his actions and his stupidity. His easy ability to be duplicitous even months after the affair was discovered, despite seeing the agony of hurt and destruction he has caused. 

This is where I am today

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Pit

It doesn’t feel right when you care for someone- when their emotions matter to you- and you know that your actions are hurting them. Even if you’re only engaging in those actions to protect yourself. It still doesn’t sit well and it shouldn’t. When you care for someone it still gnaws at you, that in protecting yourself, you’re hurting someone that you care about.  

I see the weariness in my husband’s face. I know he’s wondering how long this latest cold front against him is going to last and I want to reach out, but I can’t. I know everything outwardly about me shows indifference towards him but inside I feel waves of emotions- I love him. I want to comfort him, but I’m afraid to.  I want to cross over this massive gulf and believe that it’s safe on the other side with him but I’m terrified to do that.  I want to create and live in these new moments but it’s very rare that I can experience anything new with him without feeling the taint of his old, sordid life. 

I know this pit that I’ve curled up in to so well by now. I’ve spent so much time in it. It’s on my side of the massive gulf, and behind the large, thick wall. It’s here that I go running every time the offensive trigger is too much. When the mind movies of him and her are so clear.  It’s where I go to ensure that the distance between him and I is safe enough for me. 

After the affair- this is where I feel the most safe now. This is the one place I know I won’t get hurt. It’s sad and lonely but it’s safe. It’s my place. He can never come here. He can never taint this place. I know I can’t stay here forever and I won’t,  but in this pit I can heal once again. I can recover and build myself up. I can cycle through my grief again.

 I  know he’s sorry. I know he’s hurting. I’ll get back to him. His sadness weighs on me but for now – in my pit- the only person that matters is me.

Reconcile

It’s been 28 months since Dday. I have been struggling for the past week since the last trigger.  I feel like sometimes they just pile on. My family and my siblings and their families traveled out of state for a wedding this weekend. We did some fun things but there are still things that cause me to struggle. We went to a waterpark last Friday and there was a woman in a bikini whose body reminded me so much of the ow. Her bikini accentuated the part of her body that my husband was so attracted to on the ow that he just had to iniate a relationship with her. 

The woman at the water park was there with her family. Her husband and her were packing on the pda. Every time I would see them I would think about how my husband went away with the ow on a beach trip and would imagine them all over each other.  And I hate it. I’m so tired of all these thoughts and weary of fighting through these triggers. I feel like every time I make some progress, something comes up and I’m pulled back to all the pain, hurt, and anger. 

Then there’s my husband, who I’ve been communicating with on as a needed basis only for the past week. My son made a comment yesterday that I wasn’t really talking as much as I used to. I just told him that sometimes I don’t feel much like talking. But at the water park,  my daughter wasn’t feeling well so I sat with her at the wading pool area. My husband helped my brother and sister in law with their 3 young kids. He paid for a cabana for all of us as well as dinner. At the wedding he took my sister’s daughter for a little bit and danced with her – which means a lot to me -because my brother in law isn’t really the best dad and I like when my husband steps in and shows her and my other niece a good model of what a dad is.

In so many ways he shows me how different he is than the man who cheated on me. That he is the man I believed him to be. He’s trying to be considerate of the things that matter to me. He’s trying to be consistent in showing me that he cares even as I pull away. I want to be better and do better for him too. But I find it so hard to reconcile this man with the man who purposely hurt me for 10 months. Who didn’t think about me or my children for 10 months.  Who brought the ow to our home and bed. Who made an awful comment about my dad while he was in the hospital because his hospitalization meant we had to cancel our anniversary trip. Who lavishly spoiled the ow. I hate, loathe and despise that man.  That awful, disgusting man makes it so hard for me to love this man.  That man has filled me with pain so deep that 28 months later it still hasn’t run dry.

I want to love my husband. He deserves it. I have not gone easy on him. I have not been gracious. He has felt my full fury. He has spent nights sleeping on the floor of  his tiny office at work. He has been humiliated in front of his family.  I know he still has so many issues to deal with and work through but my God he has been fighting hard for me. I just need to forgive him for ever forgetting about me and our children.  I just don’t know how.

Scab

It’s been a while since I last posted and I thought I’d check in. Overall I’m doing okay- January was a hard month.  I didn’t talk to my husband much and we got into a huge fight the night before my son’s birthday party and both my children were in tears. I know a lot of the anger and sadness I felt then had much to do with Dday being 2 years ago that month.

 The day of the party we were civil with each other and I had a chance to tell my siblings that my husband and I weren’t doing too well.  A few days later my sister in law and I were texting and she helped me refocus. It’s hard still, with certain triggers and times, not to be absorbed by all that happened. 

Two years and 2 months after the worst day of my life I would say that I am healing. I have more good days than bad but I still think of the affair daily and it still causes an enormous amount of pain. I think the best way I can describe where I am at this point is to say that I have a very deep wound and it has a very thin scab over it at this point. I’m still aware of how broken I am, how thin the line is towards being absolutely insane. 

I was shopping one day and saw the brand of chocolate my husband had brought for n. e.  and I wanted to take my cart and smash right into it. I still scream obscenities out loud when I’m alone and I think about what an absolute and complete asshole my husband was. 

I understand brokenness better now. I don’t automatically shake my head in confusion when I hear stories of people losing it. Now, I’m more likely to nod in understanding. I’m so close to that line and it’s still so inviting at times to teeter right off and embrace the crazy.  To give into all the nervous restlessness I feel when I’m overwhelmed with images, triggers, grief, or rage.
But there is a scab- it’s thin but I’ve worked hard to let it form and it’s helping to protect that deep wound. I’m working to make it thicker- when the sight of my husband caused me nothing but heartache in January- I would go into another room. There I sat and emailed every resource and contact I had until we found some counseling again. That has been a huge blessing and it’s led us to further healing in the form of a beautiful couple who has walked this ugly road too 15 years earlier and meeting with them gives me tremendous hope. 

My scab will just be a scar one day and I’m grateful for that.

Sanity 

So 2017 hasn’t gotten off to the best start. It hasn’t been the worst…but it definitely hasn’t been the best either. I had high hopes that it would feel like a fresh start but the sadness I had been feeling post Christmas continued to linger on and I found myself not only feeling sad but once again feeling angry as well. Part of  this has to do with Dday approaching. Everything once again feels so raw. The other part of it has to do with triggers. There’s still a big part of me that feels like I can’t just live my life without being reminded of things my husband shared with the ow.

A few days ago, a friend had written about a Broadway play he had seen. I wasn’t familiar with the play previously so I looked it up. As I was reading, I thought it sounded like a fantastic performance to watch. There was a link on the article that directed you to the main actor’s Playbill page. There I saw that he had been the star in a play that my husband had seen with the ow- he was in it the same year they watched it. So then watching his current play lost its appeal for me. I couldn’t get past the possibility that I would be enjoying the performance of an actor my husband and the ow enjoyed together. 

Later in the week, I read a blog where a wife shared a particular brand of soaps her husband had gotten her for Christmas. It was the same brand of soap the ow had asked my husband  to buy her for Christmas. The blogger wrote about how lovely the soaps were, and how her sweet husband had made a bubble bath for her with them. All I could think, as I read it, was that her husband had brought these beautiful, expensive soaps for her while my husband had brought them for the ow. It just makes me feel so sick- I picture her opening up every gift and I hate them both! 

On New Years Eve we were watching the televised special with our kids. I was looking at some store sales at the same time and this velvet dress caught my eye. I thought it was beautiful but a bit too revealing for me. I then googled velvet dresses to see if I could find some other, more modest ones. When my search pulled up, there were some images too.  I immediately saw one that reminded me of a dress I had when I first started dating my husband. He had loved seeing me in that dress.  I got excited thinking about how I could get it and surprise my husband.  I though that it would be a sweet reminder of our early love. I clicked on it and it took me to the store that sold it. It was the same store my husband once brought a dress from-for the ow.

I had not thought about that stupid dress in so long but now I was sitting there remembering everything. How I had seen a confirmation for the store on my husband’s email. I had asked him about it. He told me he had brought a dress for me. I was so touched my him buying me a dress – something he had never done before. I remember asking all these questions about how he found it and what made him want to buy it for me?  He answered all my questions with lies.

When the dress never came. I asked him why it hadn’t arrived. He made up more lies. Meanwhile, based on other things I found that were meant for the ow- but I thought were for me, I imagined that my husband was going to surprise me with an elaborate date to go along with the dress. He actually even pulled up the dress and showed it to me when I questioned him once again about why the dress hadn’t arrived. I felt like the biggest fool when I realized that all those other things I had discovered, along with the dress, were all meant for someone else.

So after seeing the dress and being reminded of all the deceit and heartache I couldn’t stand being near him. I told my kids that I was too tired to stay up to watch the ball drop and went upstairs to bed.

I remember thinking when 2016 began how my husband would be mine for the whole year. There would no longer be anything hidden. There would be no lies. There wouldn’t be a Dday in 2016. I imaged that when the year ended I would feel so happy over that. Instead, as I sat alone in my room on the last day of December,  what I felt was sadness. Sadness that there had ever been someone else. Sadness that my husband not having another woman was something I now felt I had to look forward too and rejoice over because it was no longer just a given.

 It’s so messed up and it’s so sad. I went back down half an hour before midnight. We watched the ball drop. I kissed my kids and my husband. Then we went up to bed- except my husband. He slept downstairs- he said he felt like I needed some space from him, and so that’s how we woke up into a new year.

Im still feeling the sadness- affairs taint so much. I am having to constantly do battle in my head. Constantly having to will myself to stay focused on the good happening now.  Constantly having to remember how good a man he was prior to the affair and how good a man he is now, but it’s difficult to do when there’s so many reminders of what a huge, disgusting sleezeball he was!

But, just like I expect my husband to fight, I need to fight as well. So that’s what I’m trying to do. The best thing for me has been my Bible and two books of prayers by Scotty Smith. Smith has certain prayers that deal with marriage, addiction, betrayal, unforgiveneess, and damaged relationships that are so tender and  spot on that I’m often moved to tears.  When he writes about addiction- he writes about  the brokenness, helplessness, and desire to numb  pain in such a way that the disgust I feel for my husband turns into compassion.

We’ve been reading through the book of Proverbs in the Bible with our children at night. We take turns reading, yesterday was my husband’s turn and he read Proverbs 5. It was hard to hear my husband read it. I could hear the sadness in his voice. Every sentence spoke to his actions and calls out his absolute stupidity in pursuing a whore.  The affair changed him so much – into someone he didn’t recognize and it has brought such destruction to our family.

It tries to change me too. I’m still taken aback by how much anger and hatred I feel. I was in the car recently screaming curses as I thought about the affair and I knew I needed to stop. It’s such a slippery slope and it’s far too easy to get hard and bitter. I cried and prayed to God to help me through this. I want people to pay. I want the people who messed up to hurt and not me- but, just like with my husband’s affair, the pleasure I would get from it I know would be swift, but the damage would be far reaching and would last beyond anything I could ever anticipate.

So I’m fighting  and trying to get away from the anger and hatred I feel. It’s justifiable- yes, but it wont do any good. I know that. Over and over I bring my broken self  to God and over and over again He brings me back to sanity. He is the only one that can because I know I can’t. I know if left on my own this anger will consume me- it is so hot and fast.  But with sane eyes I can see the man I love and know. I can see his brokenness and love him still. I can see my own brokenness as well but not let it define me.  I can see hope for us together and a bright future.

Im praying for a new year full of sanity for all of us. I know the sadness and the pain but there is wisdom and strength that has come out of that, and that’s something positive we can each carry into a new year.

 

 

1 Month✅

In two weeks it will be 23 months from Dday- 23 months!!! For a very long time after Dday I felt like I was losing my sanity.  There was  even a point where I became terrified that I was actually losing control over myself.

I was at home, waiting for the repairman one day. He didn’t come when he was supposed to and I had to wait longer.  During all that time all I could think about was the affair and I started looking at the ow’s fb. She had posted something vague and cryptic that immediately made me think that  the affair had started up again. I called my husband immediately, completely wrecked. He reassured me that it was definitely over and he had no desire to ever be unfaithful again.

Later he called to check up on me. I told him that I felt like she was doing this to purposely screw with me.  I questioned  how he could have ever been with someone so awful and how he could do this? He tried to explain- I kept asking what was so appealing?? About her and the affair. He said that the secrecy of it was exciting.

I lost it- I began screaming that denying his life with the kids and I  was appealing. I screamed and I yelled and then I hung up. When the repairman finally came I was sobbing uncontrollably. He thought someone had died. I told him everything was fine. When he was done and had to leave he told me he felt bad leaving me in such a awful state. Again I reassured him. When he was gone I felt like this man, who was basically a stranger, cared more about me than my husband did. After all, my husband was the one who had willingly brought all this pain upon me!

I found myself  getting worked up again. I wanted them both to hurt. I wanted them to pay but it seemed I was the only one suffering from their affair.  My husband came home early from work.  I  was so upset and I began doubting him. Maybe he was back with her and once again lying to me- I mean a secret, double life had been titilating to him, right?

I was sitting on the floor yelling at my husband, when my body started suddenly twitching and I couldn’t control it.  Also, at the same time, my voice had this strange quality to it.  I felt like someone else’s voice was coming out of my body.  A part of me thought I had become possessed. 

I would learn later that it was all psychosomatic. My body was trying to deal with the stress, and at that point, also the fear I felt as a result of the affair. It was awful and terrifying. It was also further evidence of how deeply damaging the affair was. How my husband could have ever convinced himself that his affair wouldn’t hurt me or cause destruction to our family I will never understand? Those are the only things an affair does.

So, in the midst of so many weeks of insanity, sadness, and rage-  a part of me would always perk up when I seemed to go without feeling any of these emotions for a prolonged time. It just felt so good to feel good and have it last for a week or so. 

  It felt good to talk to my husband every day.  It felt good when I could manage the hard emotions without retreating into a shell and hiding behind this wall I had created. A wall that felt like it was the only thing that could protect me from all the hurt.  It was good not to cut my husband down with my words and also not feel absolute loathing for him.  It was good to see my children happy- no insecurities present on their faces.

But I never could make it more than 2.5 weeks. There would be triggers. There would be thoughts of -this time last year he was doing this -and with those thoughts came images. It seemed my period was also often a time for me to emotionally lose it.

 I’m definitely not the most confident woman in the world but neither have I been the most insecure. But now, I was battling insecurities constantly and I was angry at my husband for that. His affair was robbing me of so much. So with all that, I never got very far with the good feelings.  As much as I wanted it and hoped for it –  it never seemed to last. I just wanted a month- one sweet month of sweet sanity and this past Thursday it finally came!

A month ago, on the 15, after another hard week of cold feelings towards my husband,  I sent him a text asking if we could be friends again.  He replied with , Yes please- and that’s what we’ve been for the last month.  I have had some hard moments in the past month and one particularly difficult night, but we would talk about it and together get through it. That sadness, while real, never built itself into the wall I normally hide behind, and that’s been really good.

Im so happy for this incredible month. I have hoped for it, and looked forward to it as it grew closer- and it has finally became realized and I’m so very grateful!

 

Belonging 

When I found out about the affair I wanted to get far away from everything that reminded me about it- my husband, our home, his job and the town that we lived in. I was a complete and absolute mess,especially when it came to dealing with triggers.  The anger was always there- bubbling inside of me and the triggers caused my anger to spill over. It would consume me entirely. I wanted to destroy my husband and everything about his affair with that anger! But the flip side of that is that I also loved my husband and I wanted our marriage to still work.

A few weeks after Dday, I had asked my husband to come back home. We were at his parents house and I missed him. My feelings were all over the place- but on that day I was feeling hopeful and he wanted to be back with us so we all agreed that we would go home together.

Our kids were with us and my in laws had given my son a birthday card with some money in it. His birthday was just a week after Dday. They hadn’t really seen him since and with all the craziness of post Dday they hadn’t been able to get a present or card for him yet. They told him to go to the store and pick out a toy he liked. My son really wanted to get a toy that night and my husband asked if that would be okay. I said yes without thinking about anything more than that my son wanted to get a toy and also about how hard the past few weeks had been for both my kids.

The thing that I hadn’t considered though, and really should have,  was that driving to the toy store meant having to drive down Commercial Drive. Commercial Drive is this long stretch of stores, hotels, and restaurants in our town. There were restaurants and hotels that he had frequented with the ow. We passed by a few on our way to the toy store and with each one  I could feel myself becoming more and more angry . Then we passed by one more place. The  images, details and all this other junk associated with his time with her there hit me hard and I lost it. Right there in the car, I went crazy,-  screaming, yelling and cursing at my husband. My children were terrified. I would learn later that my son thought I was upset with him for wanting a toy. I remember coming home and sitting in my pantry because I wanted to be some place in my home that  I knew she hadn’t been in. I hated my life. I hated this person I had now become, a person who was so filled with rage, that I couldn’t even control.

I remember talking to my children about moving. My daughter became upset. Despite all the craziness of our home life she loved her school. That was her safe place. She had made a really sweet friend in her class and those were things she didn’t want to lose. And that’s all I needed to hear – I wasn’t gonna to take her or my son’s safety of school or the joy of my daughter’s special friendship away from her. I wasn’t going to add more havoc into my children’s lives by adding a move into it.

It was hard.  It still is at times. But I stuck it out, and a few weeks ago I was washing dishes by the sink admiring the view of the mountains I had from that little spot in my kitchen and thinking about how much I love it. 

I also thought about the night before-  my daughter had an event at school. I had gone early and was saving seats for the family of one of my daughter’s friends, who would get there late because of work.  My neighbor and her family took up the other end of the row and we chatted and laughed a bit. A couple of rows  behind me was the mom of my daughter’s sweet friend and we talked about our girls and family. One of my other neighbors had to work that night and so I had offered to take her daughter and then videotaped her class so I could send it to my neighbor.  A few weeks prior I had gotten together with several of the women in my neighborhood for a night of food and drinks.

Despite all the pain and all the hard emotions I have felt, somehow I have carved out a happy life in this home and community.  Was it hard? Oh my God,  YES!!!  I remember all the days sitting downstairs just weeping. I remember how unsafe I felt. How relentless the images were. I remember crying in every room in this house. Crying in my car while I was driving. I mean I couldn’t even get to our marriage counselor’s office without passing a hotel and restaurant my husband had been to with the ow. I remember screaming at my husband in that office – telling him how ashamed I was that he was my husband. I remember our counselor giving us the number for the local suicide hotline. I remember cutting my arms, beating my husband. Ripping his clothes. Ripping family pictures, breaking his things. We’d lose it so often in the car. I’m so grateful we never got hurt or hurt anyone else. It has been hard and ugly.

After all that and so, so much more – I’m here, my babies are here and my husband is here.  We are making a life together. I really thank God for that- for me this is a miracle and I believe in God for miracles.

I had a hard trigger last night after a really good day. I shut down and went to bed crying. I had some bad dreams. A small cold I had became worse during the night. I barely slept. My husband slept with our son. This morning he came up to see how I was doing. He has taken care of me all day. I haven’t gotten up from my bed. I hear my kids laughing with him.

One day, this year, after a really long stretch spent either icing out my husband or ripping him apart I was driving to my parent’s home listening to a playlist of Christian songs I had made. The words really got to me.  It made me think about my husband. It had been a few hard weeks because all the things my husband did- violating our home, his willingness to take the ow to restaurants and other places, creating so many triggers . These thoughts were circling endlessly in my head during those weeks.  It made me feel nothing but hate and disgust for him. But as I sat driving and listening to the songs the strongest thought in my head was yes- those things suck, they matter and he shouldn’t have done any of it but they don’t mean more to me than he does. Our home, the other triggers- they don’t outweigh him. I love him more than any of those things. He is more and he matters more.

This wasn’t an easy place to come to but really I got here because of him and the work he is doing. Today I’m able to rest, while being sick, listening to my children’s laughter because he is working hard to be a good husband and father. He is where we belong. He is once again becoming our safe place.