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.

 

 

Advertisements

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!

 

Tangled

That’s what my life with my husband and our children is. We are entangled together and we should be. We are a family.

All this hurt I feel now is because my husband chose to entangle someone else into our family. Well no- he thought she could be a separate thing that never touched us. But he was so wrong.  He was the only one that knew about this new thread. To the kids and I she was invisible but she was wrapping herself around us, choking us.

And then I heard him on the phone. I heard him say “because you’re my girlfriend” and the thread became visible and I went hot with rage. I went crazy. I pulled that thread out. I didn’t gently untangle it. I pulled hard and fast and I yanked at it- not even thinking about how it would affect the threads that were my children. I screamed, I raged, I cried as I yanked. My husband had allowed this disgusting thread to intertwine itself heavily into our lives, into our home, our bed. And so intertwined was he to her that now when I saw him all I felt was the same disgust. I yanked at him too. He no longer belonged intertwined with us!

Even after they were both yanked out. I wasn’t satisfied. I was fearful and still crazy. Any fucking fiber of her thread left behind, left me undone. Any reminder of it warranted my undoing.

20 months later. I’m still fearful. I still come undone at the reminders. But I weep more. I no longer rage in front of anyone, just alone sometimes. I scream. I let the anger rise inside. I feel it in my body rising hot and fast and then  I let it go.

I look at the the threads of our family and see the damage done from her thread chocking us and from the pulling and the yanking I did to remove her and flung her away.

In trying to unravel my husband from us, I found that I can’t and that I no longer want to.  We’re not simple threads. We’re thicker, heavier, more substantial. We’re sturdy and we belong with each other. We’re interlaced and intertwined and tangled together in a million places. We’re bound by moments, memories, joys, tears, love, hopes, history  and dreams. And when I look at us – I see the parts that have become snagged, shredded, and torn but then I see us wrap the stronger parts of us over those weakened areas and I know they’ll be stronger. We will be stronger and maybe we already are.

FIL

Life has been a bit crazy around here the last couple of weeks. We’re dealing with some medical issues with my Father in Law and it’s been difficult. It’s also been dredging up a lot of past hurt from when my own dad was sick and hospitalized. Some of the most hurtful things my husband did were during that time. Knowing those things now and knowing he talked about my dad being sick with her is still very painful, but overall I’m managing it well. I have to keep reminding myself that this is now and he’s not that guy anymore.

I hate that my FIL is sick but I find myself being grateful that it happened now and not two years ago when the affair was going on because my husband would haven’t been as helpful to them as he is now and he probably would have been even more destructive to himself because it’s all been very stressful.

I’m also grateful that this didn’t happen last year, when things were so volatile between my husband and I. One day as I watched my FIL in bed I thought about all the screaming and anger he has seen from me. All the hurt I caused them while trying to deal with all my hurt and I felt so ashamed. He’s been sick for a long time and I wish he had been more direct in talking to my husband about everything once they learned about the affair but he and my MIL tended to focus on me and getting me to forgive. I
couldn’t deal with it but I wish I handled my anger better. Looking at my FIL, laying in bed, so helpless and at the mercy of doctors and nurses I was so heartbroken over the pain that he experienced in his old age because of my anger.

It sucks but I’m grateful we stuck it out. I’m thankful to see my husband being a good son. I’m grateful we are at my FIL’s bedside as a family. I’m grateful for all the times and ways my husband has helped care for my family since the affair came to light. The person he was when my dad was in the hospital was a complete and pure asshole. Two years later when his dad is sick – he’s once again the guy I knew and fell in love with. These are deep wounds but I’m grateful to see that they’re healing. I’m grateful to God for the ways he healing us and helping us be empathetic towards each other.

Emotions

One of the most difficult things I’m learning about recovering from my husband’s affair and dealing with his addiction is how necessary it is to separate my emotions from it. Emotions are not fact and if I don’t get a handle on them quickly they will spin me in a million, painful directions. There is still so much hurt and anger bubbling inside of me from the affair, that when my husband does anything at all that brings it to mind, I loose it. I convince myself that my pain is meaningless to him.  I convince myself that he doesn’t care about our family. I convince myself that he enjoyed the affair and misses it. None of those things are good and I will lash out at my husband from a place of deep pain when I feel those things. When that happens, both of us feel like it’s Dday all over again. The hurt and pain are unbearable for me and the guilt and shame unbearable for him.

This is how I found myself feeling this past Sunday. Tears were constantly falling, or my eyes were hurting as I tried hard not to let them fall because I was with my children. When I talked to my husband it soon became screaming and cursing and barely contained rage. It’s like my own mind had   turned on me, and was now dredging up every possible painful memory from the affair. The very sight of my husband would sicken me and I found  myself thinking all sorts of awful things about him. The word hate would spin through my mind over and over again.

Today, thankfully, my mind remembered that it’s actually sane and got off the insanity lane that it had been speeding down uncontrollably on. My mind slowed down and took some deep breaths and pushed away the feelings with facts. The fact is that my husband did an awful, heartbreaking thing when he chose to start an affair but he regrets it deeply and has worked hard to undo it. The fact is that he has ingrained awful coping habits of pornography and masturbation to deal with a host of uncomfortable feelings, and  it will take time and so much hard work to learn to undo those habits- but he is working hard to that. He is working hard to be honest and transparent, when lying was so easy before. He regrets the affair. He hates the devastation he has caused.  He isn’t proud of it and derives no joy from it. He works hard to make me feel safe to show my kids and I that he loves us and to show my parents and siblings and their families as well because he knows that is important to me. What he wants more than anything is to feel accepted, loved and known- and he’s still very scared that he wont be, but he’s hoping to get there.  Those are the facts and the emotions that come with the facts are good, honest, and true.

So today I’m working hard to live here and to be anchored in the truth instead of getting swept up by the false feelings. Those feelings were nessecary  and justified on Dday and for a long time after, but they don’t belong here now. This is a difficult journey -but him and I are going to walk throug this together in faith and love and truth.

focus

Last Wednesday, did not turn out to be another great day as I had anticipated. I published my last post. I met my husband and children. We continued celebrating the last week of school. We ran some errands, including purchasing our daughter a kindle- We had promised to get her one when the school year was done. Then we came home, and shortly after that things began falling apart.

Prior to that, two things stand out in my mind. The first – is my son sitting with me on the couch. We were saying how much we enjoyed the movie, and I made a comment that we were going have a great summer together. My son then made a remark that I couldn’t yell anymore. I first took it, as him referring to me yelling at him and his sister when they misbehaved, but he clarified and said no. He said “remember when you used to cry a lot and yell at Daddy, you can’t do that anymore.” And silly me, still basking in the joy of the great week we were having and how hard my husband was working, told my son I would not be yelling at his dad.

The second thing that sticks out- is my husband telling our daughter, that while we knew she wanted the Kindle to download books, that because it could also access the internet, him and I would be placing parental controls on it before handing it over to her. So as soon as we got home that’s what we did.

Then, with my daughter sitting beside me looking at books she wanted to purchase, I started to fold laundry and turned on the tv. I saw that my husband had been watching a show while he was home, and that it was still in progress. Thinking that it was an episode of Law and Order, I was about to change the channel when I noticed the images playing on the small box on the righthand corner. I then read the synopsis of the show he had been watching and I was shocked. He had been watching an on demand channel that was showing porn.

I was so angry. I asked my daughter to join my son in the playroom and then I asked my husband what the hell he was doing! He had no explanation. He first tried to lie about it,  and say that he had just put it on to see if our tv had parental controls but I knew it was bs. The show was paid for and in progress! The lying only upset me further.

Within an hour of making my promise to my son, I broke it. I cried and yelled. I was so heartbroken and so angry. Everything he had been saying that week, and since Dday, suddenly became empty and meaningless. Every bit of respect I had gained for him was now gone. His car was in the shop, otherwise I would have made him leave (he was having 2 dents I had put on it post Dday fixed). I told my husband that our children did not need protection from their Kindle, as much as they needed protection from him. He was the one bringing all the filth into our home! Eventually I went to bed and had an awful night.

I barely slept. I cried a lot. My husband came into the bedroom in the morning. He asked me how I was. I told him I was exhausted and that I was so angry and hurt by him. I told him that I would never be the kind of wife that would look the other way or pretend I hadn’t seen something for fear of rocking the boat and keeping things status quo. I know that I deserve better, our children deserve better and despite everything I still believed he deserved better.

I always tell my husband that I never look at him and see all the shit he did and see it as the whole of who he is. There is far too much good in him that he has shown me and others for me to ever make it that simple. But I hate that this is even a part of him. He hates it too- I do believe that, but I am also beyond tired of hurting from his crap.

I said somethings then that hurt him and he was about to leave and right before he walked out of the room, I asked him what he wanted? He told me he wanted to kill himself because he’s so messed up. He told me he lay in bed last night thinking about what would be the least messiest way for him to end his life. I know my husband enough to say I don’t think he’ll ever kill himself, but I also know him enough to believe he really thought about it.

I told him to come back and lay down with me. I told him that killing himself isn’t the answer, that it would just add another overwhelming layer of pain and loss for the kids and I.

He told me again that he was sorry. He told me that I had no idea how messed up he was. He had shared in counseling previously how he used porn and masturbation not just for comfort and stress relief but also as a reward. He said that vacation was part of that reward, that he would do it often whenever we were on vacation or he was at a conference. That he had ingrained these terrible habits into his life and wanted to break them but didn’t know how.

I told him that he had plenty of resources now and he wasn’t utilizing a single one when he needed it! There’s so much insecurity and stupidity in some of my husband’s reasonings that it completely frustrates me. I told him the purpose of his groups and the friendships he has made through them wasn’t to impress them by how well he is doing but to be honest, vulnerable and admit he needs help.

I told him that I didn’t expect him not to struggle against these issues that have been such a strong force in his life for years, but I did expect him not to give in to them. I expect him to open his mouth and say – honey, I’m having a great week with you and the kids but I’m also having a hard time because in the past this is what I did when I was on vacation.

I never knew vacations were hard for him because he never said anything to me. He also told me that he didn’t want to say anything because he saw that I was doing well and didn’t way to make me worry or become upset. I told him that in a marriage there’s no such thing as struggling separately-that whatever affected him also affected me. If I was holding things in- it would affect my thoughts, moods, and behavior and that would play out in our family somehow. I told him I want him to share and be honest and that if it upset or worried me- that it’s okay. It’s okay to feel hard emotions.

So, since last Wednesday, I’ve been feeling the hard stuff. Thursday through Monday I’ve been mostly okay during the day but I’ve cried every night since. Since Tuesday I’ve closed off a bit from him during the day and yesterday morning I let some more anger out.

Regardless of how screwed up his line of thinking was and that I can see how much he hates what happened it doesn’t change that it happened! It doesn’t excuse that he was willing to lie to me when I first saw the tv. I know his addiction is a serious issue for him to work through and im not expecting it to be easy or quick. I do have expectations though! And I have made these expectations clear and he dismissed them when he chose to look at porn last Wednesday. I’m not okay with that.

I will always love and support my husband and as long as he’s willing to fight I will be fighting too. But you don’t hurt me deeply and get to be stupid about it. You don’t get to say you want to change and you need this, this, this, and this in order to change and then have those things in place and screw them up!

Groups aren’t there to validate you only when you’re strong and doing well but also to validate you when you’re feeling utterly helpless and defeated! We have so much work to do – it’s daunting at times, but our marriage and our family are worth it.

This has been a hard, painful, disappointing, frustrating ten days. But it’s also been informative, gracious, open, and allowed more growth in understanding my husband. Life is ultimately about what you focus on – this was a setback. It’s not our whole story, that’s what I’m choosing to focus on.

School Year

My children finish up another school year this week. It will be their 3rd school year since we moved here and the first untainted by my husband’s infidelity.

It means a lot to know that from our children’s very first day of school- when they were filled with nervous excitement about meeting their new teachers and classmates to their very last day- as they say bye to teachers and friends they adore, that my husband was fully and completely present and engaged.

We handled it all together this year like true parents and partners- homework, projects, experiments, school fairs and festivals. We delt with homework meltdowns and frustrations. Celebrated report cards and parent teacher conferences and enjoyed end of the year picnics with our babies.

All year we have marveled over these two children of ours.  They have gone through so much with us, but still excelled in every way. They are kind, gracious, curious, thoughtful, well mannered, self motivated, fun, responsible and intelligent.  I tell them over and over again that they each got the best qualities my husband and I possess.

My husband took this whole week off and I took most of it, and we have just been soaking in our family. Last Friday evening  we cleaned the grill together and my husband sprayed our kids down with the hose. They loved getting soaked and we loved hearing their laughter. Saturday we spent the morning together doing a family run and then I had a girl’s day with my daughter while my son and husband enjoyed a boy’s day together.

We had a wonderful Father’s Day with church, brunch, visiting family and then watching the last game of the NBA finals together – cheering for opposing teams. Monday was each of our children’s end of the year school picnics . We spent time together at each of them and had a blast seeing them with their friends and making plans for play dates over the summer.

Yesterday we packed a homemade picnic and  drove  to a beautiful state park and ate dinner on our picnic blanket. Then we went for a 2 mile hike around the lake. We came to this beautiful landing and watched the sunset. We took gorgeous pictures on wooden bridges and structures and of course beside the dock, lake, mountain landings and the woods. It was lovely.

Today my husband will pick them up after school and  then we will meet up to watch “Finding  Dory” and get ice cream. The rest of the week is full of trips to water parks and birthday parties.

Over and over this week, my husband has said how fullfilled he is, how content. How stupid he was to think that anything could give him greater satisfaction and joy than our family and our faith. How foolish he was to have jeopardized our family.  None of the experiences we shared this week were extravagant but they were so rich and beautiful.  What made the moments we shared together as a family so wonderful, is that we were present and fully aware of my what a gift we have received to have this love and grace between us.

Im looking forward to enjoying more simple joys with my family and friends this summer. And since all that’s left is half days,  I’m deliriously glad not to have to get up early to pack another  pair of lunch  boxes until the fall! 😃 It really is the little things that bring the greatest joys!❤️