Friday, November 14, 2014

Payback from a Jealous Girl

There are certain songs that I have always listened to and liked, not really even paying attention to the lyrics and meaning. Today was one of those days where I heard a song and, for the first time, understood the lyrics. And it made me laugh. (Don't worry - guns are not my thing. But I GET it.)

Well, he ran around 

Late at night 
Holding hands 
And making light 
Of everything 
That came before 
But there she was 
Behind the door

She hit them with her ten cent pistol 
Because they ruined her name 
Well, she hit them with her ten cent pistol 
And they've never been the same

There's nothing worse 
In this world 
Than payback from a 
Jealous girl 
The laws of man 
Don't apply 
When blood gets in 
A woman's eye

Well, she hit them with her ten cent pistol 
Because they ruined her name 
Well, she hit them with her ten cent pistol 
And they've never been the same

Stars did fall 
Thunder rolled 
Bugs crawled back 
In their holes 
The couple screamed 
But far too late 
Cause a jealous heart 
Did retaliate

She hit them with her ten cent pistol 
Because they ruined her name 
Well, she hit them with her ten cent pistol 
And they've never been the same

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Leaving on a Jet Plane

So I spent this D-Day #1 anniversary in a crazy way. I jumped on a plane and flew out of state. By myself. Just nine hours of time alone, in a “bucket list” destination. Landed at 11AM, jumped into a rental car, and drove with no plans. Just me, Google Maps, and a backpack of hiking gear. And let me tell you - it was AWESOME.

If you ever need some clarity, you must do this. If you can’t jump on a plane, just drive out of town - alone. Spend the day doing things you love. I spent my day shopping through a bustling downtown district, ate a street taco on a bench while people-watching, and then went for a strenuous hike on a beautiful mountain trail. Now I’m sitting in the airport drinking a beer and writing this.

Being somewhere totally foreign to you, alone, gives you great perspective. It allows you to let your thoughts flow freely, without the influence of others. Certain moments or places make you think of so-and-so, and how you wish they were there to share it with you.

All day today, I snapped pictures. Pictures I wanted to share with my husband. Pictures of my hike that I can’t wait to show with him, because he would have loved that trail. Pictures of my stupid airport snack, because he’ll wonder what I ate for dinner. All day long, I thought of him and how much he would have loved today. I was out of town having some “me” time, yet I couldn’t separate the “me” from “us”. That, my friends, is perspective.

I also opened a letter from him that he snuck into my backpack while I stopped for water on my hike. It was an apology letter. It was almost identical to the ones he wrote me two years ago. But this time, I heard a more mature apology; one that had grown into a deep-rooted regret and adult admission of total idiocy. He took ownership of the depth of pain and damage he has caused, and acknowledged the responsibility he has in “healing” me. And I loved it. It made me want to try harder. It made me want to hold him and tell him we were going to be okay.  It made me wish he were on that trail with me, right then.

Because at the end of the day, he is who I want to share this life with.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Two years ago this morning, I woke with an unsettling feeling. My husband had come home from work early the night before without explanation. He walked through the door like a zombie, not saying much except for that he didn’t feel well as he stared into the abyss. I felt his forehead; no temperature. I tried to feed him dinner but he wasn’t hungry. This was so strange, I thought. He didn’t text me or call me that he was coming home or that he wasn’t feeling great. He would tell me if he was coming home.

So the next morning, he still wouldn’t tell me what was going on. I went on a run before getting ready for work. As I ran, I thought to myself: Did he get a phone call from a family member and someone is dying? Does he have a terminal disease and is afraid to tell me about it? My mind created a dozen different scenarios, but not one of them had anything to do with another woman. Even my imagination was incapable of painting such a picture.

I returned from my run and got ready for work as he stood in the bathroom doorway and watched me with his eyes glazed over. “You know, if you don’t tell me what’s going on, I’m going to imagine the worst,” I told him. He was motionless.

I finished getting dressed as he sat at the end of the bed. I sat on the ground, and grabbed his knees. “What’s going on, babe?” I tenderly asked. The tears started leaking from his eyes. “Don’t be nice to me….don’t be nice to me!” he exclaimed.

My stomach sank. Oh my God. No. Could he be cheating on me? What? No. There’s no way. We are the poster child couple. We tell each other everything. We talk/text dozens of times a day. There’s no way he could be hiding a girlfriend. Who IS this person in front of me?

He proceeded to tell me that he and Chicken Legs have been talking and texting a lot for a while. He’s so happy with me and where we’re at, and he’s so sorry.

“Did you kiss her?” I asked in disbelief. Kiss her! Man, I had no idea. My innocent little heart couldn’t get past the thought of a simple make out sesh!

“Just a couple times,” he lied.

The rest of the day was spent in total hysterics, with us both screaming, making love, crying, me questioning, him dodging the questions, and embracing. I believed his lies. I believed that it was an emotional affair and that they had only kissed a couple of times in the work parking lot. And that was enough to destroy me.

Until exactly a month later, when the whole truth would be revealed. I would start this process all over again on that day.

So that morning was two years ago today. Two years ago, I thought I’d be over this by now. I thought we’d be in the best place ever in the fall of 2014. Our marriage was going to be stronger, better, and happier. We were going to be renewing our wedding vows and sending this horrible event to its grave. Because I was Miss. Overachiever. I never failed at anything in life. I was special, and I was going to overcome this better and faster than anyone. I was going to write books about this and help others heal their marriage.

Turns out, I’m not as special as I thought I was.

Here I sit today, 730 days later, and I still can cry at the image of the two of them. I’m still shocked at what he accomplished behind my back. I’m still hurt that my husband brought a third party into our marriage bed. I’m still wondering if our marriage will survive. I’m Still. Not. Over. It.

And that’s a shitty feeling. Especially for someone who accomplishes everything they put their mind to. For someone who can mentally push through the most challenging feats. For someone who considers themself to be strong, compassionate, and forgiving. For this person, it feels like utter failure.

What is wrong with me? I ask myself this every day. I feel stupid. I feel embarrassed. I feel like a Negative Nancy. I feel alone, because I can no longer dump my sorrows onto friends and family. Everyone else is over it, except me.

Will I be over it two more years from now? Who knows. And that is what I hate: not knowing. I feel like I’m waiting for something to happen that will fix it all for me. I will be hit with some major realization that this is all stupid and in the past, and I can just let it go and move forward with my husband. Or, maybe I’m waiting around for the next shoe to drop, so I can just walk away and move on with my life.

But two years later, that lightening bolt has yet to strike. I wake up each morning like Groundhog Day, reliving the same emotions as the day before. It still happened. I’m still here, and he’s still in my bed. I’m still confused. I still don’t understand. Yet I’m still functioning, going to work, laughing with my kids, and watching them grow.

It’s like there is a mirage of me moving forward, accomplishing my daily tasks, running my kids around, and making future vacation plans - yet the real me is standing still, with my feet stuck in the mud.

I know we’ve made progress. There are countless signs that I’ve healed in many ways. Maybe it’s just a little more time that I need.

The lightening bolt won’t ever strike. Deep down I know I don’t want to be divorced. But I also don’t want to be in a cheap marriage. The only choice left is to push past the anger and put a concerted effort into fixing my marriage. So why can’t I just do that? What is holding me back? If that is what I want, why can’t I just take the plunge? What am I afraid of?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mom, Did Dad Cheat on You?

Yep. Those words came out of my 9-year-old's mouth. My empathetic, older-than-his-years, "indigo child" son. 

We were driving to grab some dinner the other night. Their dad was working, and my son asked why we no longer go to the place where it all went down. He asked why Dad doesn't even want to go near it. 

"Did something bad happen there and that's why he quit?" he asked.

"Yes, pretty much" I replied.


"Did Dad cheat on you, Mom?"

The world stopped for a second. What did he just say?

It was almost like when he looked into my eyes and demanded to know the truth about Santa Claus. Only that was a question I had been preparing for. This one, not so. 

I had decided to keep the Santa thing going until he finally asked me, flat out. If he was to ask me for the truth, I was going to give it to him. Until then, I was going to carry on with the sweet fantasy to protect his innocence and keep the magic alive.

So applying that philosophy to this loaded question, what was I supposed to say? This nine-year-old who watches Full House reruns every night has a deeper understanding of compassion and human relations than many adults I know. How could I lie to him? He was asking for the truth. He can handle the truth; he's not your typical kid. 

I swore that after being betrayed and lied to by the person I trusted the most, I was going to make it my life quest to be 100% honest and truthful to myself and my loved ones. And now my child was asking for an answer to a question that could possibly change his opinion about his father forever. 

I could lie and break yet another vow - the vow I made to myself about being truthful. Or I could tell him the truth. I've been wanting to tell him since day one for selfish reasons. In the beginning, I wanted him to know so I could have another ally. I wanted my husband to feel the loss of his son's trust and respect, because my husband deserved that. My husband put my innocent child's future on the line for a stupid, useless fuck. He choose the whore, not my kids. He spent his mornings at her house, fucking her in her marriage bed when he should have been at home making pancakes for his adoring sons. But when they woke up each Saturday morning, they knew Dad was "on a bike ride."

So yeah, I wanted my son to know. I wanted his support. I knew he'd be on my team. I knew he'd protect his momma. 

Yet when he outright asked me....I dodged the question.

"What makes you ask that?" I replied after several moments of silence.

"I don't know...cuz you guys were fighting so much," he said.

"Would you be mad at Dad if he did?" I asked. (I just had to know!)


And then I changed the subject. I think we were pulling into the restaurant at that time so I was able to segway into something about dinner. But I couldn't stop thinking about it.

He knows. I know he knows. Which is why I do want to tell him. I don't want him to make this mistake with his future wife. The pattern MUST end with this generation. And he won't learn unless he knows and understands. 

Would it be more helpful to grow up knowing the truth and understanding that when your parents are fighting, there is a root cause? They say the danger in divorce is that kids think it's their fault. Would him knowing help him understand that it's not at all about him? That his family is dysfunctional because his dad fucked up royally? And then he could leave this house with nine years of knowledge, which he could then take with him and apply to his own life?

Or do we wait until he's 18 and risk it falling on deaf ears? Would it be impactful to say, "You know when you were nine and Mom was throwing patio furniture at Dad? Yeah, that's what that was all about." At that point, will he even care?

I know it's my job to protect his innocence. But sheltered kids grow up to be naive. I don't think I'd be doing him any favors if he already knows the truth and he is witnessing me being untruthful with him.

But trust me, if I choose to tell him, he will hear it from my husband. This is a man thing, and my husband is responsible for teaching my sons how to be men of honor. And if he wants me to think of  him as honorable again, he needs to man up. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Voices Inside the Head of a Betrayed Wife

It goes a little something like this.

Waking Up in the Morning
" it 6:30 already? Thank God for no nightmares last night." (Turn over) "There he is. He's still here. Why is he still in my bed? I wonder if he screwed her in this bed and he lied to me about it. Why wouldn't he have? He had no problem screwing her in HER husband's bed. (yawn) I can't wait for coffee. I wish I could train the cats to turn the coffee pot on in the morning. I guess I'll get up. The kids are still sleeping so maybe I'll have a few minutes of 'me' time. But he will be disappointed when he wakes up and I'm not in bed. Wait a sec, why do I care? Whatever. Coffee."

While Running
"Man, I'm slow. What should I make for dinner tonight? We can't go out; we went out last night. I think we have tofu. Stir fry should be OK. Do I have any wine, though? Maybe tonight I should try and not drink. Yeah, I'll try to have a night without booze. Good thinking. Geez, why am I so slow today? I feel heavy. I wonder if the whore is still running, like she started doing while fucking my husband. I'd kick her ass in a fitness contest. Man, that would be awesome. Her stupid skinny legs...I wish she could have seen me in that dress I wore to work yesterday. I looked smokin'. I wonder what she looks like now? What should I wear to work today? I have that new pencil skirt I haven't worn yet. What top would I wear? I'm thirsty. Should have brought water after all. Oh well, I will survive 45 minutes without water. I survived a year of eating practically nothing, after all. A year...wait, what month am I in now? I'm not even counting anymore! That's good, I guess. Ugh. I hate my husband. I hate him. I'm thirsty. Maybe I can hit up the drinking fountain at the trail head."

"Let's see, music or NPR? I should listen to the news; I'm so out of touch. I used to love the news. I'm so different now. Why did he do this to me? I miss the old me. Let's try music. Oh yes, Justin Timberlake. 'What goes around goes around goes around comes all the way back around....." Heck yeah! I hope she's dealing with major karma. Little bitch. Oh JT, you're so hot. I wonder if you will cheat? Stupid question. Of course you will. All men are inclined to, and you have supermodels clawing at your door. Oh man, the song is almost done. I should call my mom. Oh wait, I need to call Tracy, too. Oh, hello stupid Kia SUV! I hate you! Will I ever see a Kia and NOT think of the whore? I hate those cars. I can't believe she pulled out her kids' Wet Wipes out of the glove compartment to clean up his little mess. They both disgust me. He doesn't deserve me! He's such an ass hole. I hate him! Oh hey, the Sam Smith song! Turn it up! I'll call Mom on the way home."

Taking a Walk on My Lunch Hour
"Well that meeting was a waste of time! This project is taking forever. It's hot out. I love this heat, though. I'm so glad I live here. Haha - the whore moved away in her shame and I got to stay here. She is sweating her butt off in the deep south. I hope she hates it. I hope she misses this town every day and feels like crap about being the one that moved her family out of her hometown because she was a little homewrecker. Did I bring a lunch today? Just some carrots and hummus, but that's enough. Gazpacho sounds good, but I had it on Monday. Oh, look at that building! So pretty. I need to give my boss my vacation request when I get back. Where should we go on vacation? Back to San Diego? The kids love it there. He (husband) wanted to go camping, so maybe we should try something new like that. I don't even feel like being with him right now, though. I can't believe he had an affair. WTF. WTF! Oh my God, my husband fucked another woman for a YEAR and got CAUGHT. He didn't even have the decency to come completely clean when he was caught, so he had to get caught AGAIN. Why am I still married to him? I always said I'd leave him if he did this. Am I weak because I stayed? Or am I strong because I stayed? I can't believe my husband had an affair. Crap, it's hot. I wonder if I look stupid walking in these sneakers with my cute dress on. What were those vacation days again?"

You get the idea. This is how it goes, all day long. Thoughts of the affair pop in and out of my head all day, no matter what I'm doing. I can be with him having a great time, and my mind will still play out these little monologues. It's the new norm. It's embedded into my everyday life. There is NO erasing it. 

I hate it. Sometimes I feel like this is all a bad dream because it just couldn't be real. I especially feel this way when I've been completely fine for a while and something reminds me that he had an affair. I feel like I don't even know who I am at those times. It all feels fake. I know it's suppose to eventually go-away-but-not-really-go-away, but to me that feels like we are living a fake life. Not that everyone has to know the drama of my marriage, but I feel like he has gotten away with the worst crime EVER. I feel like a fool.

And then I withdraw. It's too tiring to think about, so I just move on to something else. Eventually the thoughts will creep back in, but they will organically go away for a while, too. 

And then I wake up tomorrow and it starts all over again.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

Tomorrow is Father's Day. I took the kids to Hallmark a few days ago to find some cards for their dad. While they were giggling over all the bathroom humor that is ubiquitous in Father's Day cards, I perused through the "husband" section to find him one from me:

"To the Man I Love...."  Hmm. Not ready for that one.

"I'm So Glad You Are My Husband..." I scratch my head at that headline.

"I Love Our Life Together..."  Now that's overreaching!

Come on Hallmark, this is Father's Day. It's not a day for romance. Why can't you make cards that say, "Thanks for being a good dad to my kids?" That's all I ask for!

So then I move over to the generic "for anyone" cards:

"Take Time Out for Yourself Today"
"You Deserve the Best"
"For a Great Dad on Father's Day"

Ugh. So painfully generic.

I walked out without one. I thought it would be better to not say anything than say the wrong thing.

Father's Day is a bit of a trigger for me, anyway. Two years ago (towards the latter part of the affair), I surprised him with a trip to a local olive farm that makes olive oil and has a great little cafe with locally grown products. It was a fun little family morning. Well, I thought so, anyway. I am a planner and I'm always making sure we are making memories as a family.

Anyway, another part of his Father's Day gift that year was a "boys trip" the following day/night with the kids. (This was when he was a stay-at-home dad, so I stayed home because I had to be in the office both days.) So he took the kids up north the next day. That night, I called to say goodnight to the boys. After I said goodnight, my husband took the phone and said that he forgot his phone charger and his phone was dying, so he needed to go so he could turn it off and have a little juice for the next day. I believed him.

Well, months later, as I was going through phone bills trying to match up his phone calls and text messages with every event that occurred in our life the prior year, I saw that he had talked to her that night - the night away with the boys - for over an hour immediately AFTER hanging up with me. Immediately after he told me his phone was dying. Immediately after lying to me. Ok, it wasn't immediately - maybe 10 minutes or so - because after all, he had to get the kids to bed before calling her. 

What did they talk about for over an hour in the same hotel that we have visited countless times as a family? Did they have phone sex in our sacred home-away-from-home? Surely they did. What else does one do on the phone at that hour of the day - for that long - after having a secret affair with them for a year? 

And here I was at home working full-time, happily. It didn't bother me that I was here and they were on a mini-vacation without me. I was proud that my husband was a stay-at-home father. I was happy they were having "boy time" together in the mountains. I was madly in love with the father of my children, and thought my kids and I were the luckiest of all the land. It would have NEVER crossed my mind that he would spend that time with the kids texting and calling a whore.

So that's what I think of at Father's Day. I think of how I've been so happy to make it a special day for my husband over the years, but the reality is that he risked LOSING HIS KIDS for a little escapism with a stupid little whore. He had an entire year to end it and to re-claim his family. But instead, he kept throwing the dice with every drive to her house, every call, every text. Though a psychologist will tell me that he really wasn't consciously choosing her over us, his actions were very clear in that he was choosing HIMSELF over us. 

Father's Day is a tough one for me. That's why this year there was no card (from me), and no plans made. I think he realizes now that he could have lost us all, and he's just happy to have us all here under the same roof on Father's Day.

Maybe someday I will feel differently about Father's Day, but for now it's just another holiday that has lost its purity. It's another reminder of how changed our lives are now. But the fact does remain that he's a good father. And my kids are lucky. And the thought of another man coming near their bedside makes me sick to my stomach. I guess that's something to celebrate, after all.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Awesome Consequences of Cheating on Your Spouse #286

I used to be a pretty tough chic. I've run marathons. Given birth naturally. "No gain without pain" was something I lived by.

Now? Not so much. Ever since I was betrayed by my husband and experienced the worst emotional pain known to the human race, I have become a royal wimp. You would think it would be the opposite. I thought I was going to be a badass after this experience and that pain wouldn't even effect me. Rather, I react like a helpless victim when I get physically hurt now.

It happened yesterday while I was running on the trails while my husband was biking alongside me. I was running along, and sure enough my mind started veering off to the affair. Nothing graphic or horrible, but more of a realization of the scars our marriage now carries. My running became sloppy because I lost focus, and I tripped on a rock.

I fell face first, shredding up my hands, elbows, knees and hips. I hit my ribs pretty hard, too. I gasped for a breath and just started bawling like a child. I was angry. I wanted to blame someone. I felt like a victim and that someone else had done this to me. I sat there all dusty and bloody in silence after I calmed down for a bit. I just sat there. What has happened to my life? What has happened to ME? I just tripped and it was no one else's fault but my own, yet I want to get mad at someone else for it. I sat there in a dust pile having my own little pity party. 

This anger thing is common now when I get hurt, whether it's when I slam my fingers in the door or hit my head on a kitchen cabinet. The instant it happens, a bolt of anger shoots through me and I am angry at "whoever" did this to me. In most cases, it's my own carelessness that causes these silly incidences but I still want to blame my husband. Or the whore. Or someone.

Anything bad that happens to me is all their fault. (Or so it seems to me in those moments.)

Why do I do this? Do I associate all pain with the pain he inflicted on me? Am I just overly sensitive now? I flinch all the time, as if I'm anticipating someone or something hurting me - whether it's when someone gets too physically close or a ball is being thrown near my face. I throw up this wall of defensiveness.

And I flippin' cry all the time when crap happens to me. It's so loser-ish. I was never a loser before.

Great. Add it to the list of awesome consequences of cheating on your spouse.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sheets & Giggles

Our youngest son is typically the first to rise in the morning. He comes in, gets close to my face, and whispers to me that he's hungry. Then he stands there and repeats himself until I get up with him. It's been the morning routine for as long as I can remember.

Lately, rather than asking for breakfast and dragging me out of bed, he crawls into bed and wants to get between us. He loves being a "mom and dad sandwich." Then our older son wakes and crawls in, too. We start the morning with cuddles and giggles between the four of us. It's the happiest moment of the day for me. I feel complete, all cuddled up as a family. It's like those commercials with the happy shiny family in the sunny bedroom with the crisp, white sheets blowing in the breeze....yeah, that's us. 

My oldest son always comments on how comfy our bed is, which is hilarious because we have a crappy futon mattress that isn't really comfy at all. What I think he finds comfy is the comFORT being sandwiched between his mom, dad, and brother. It's the safest place in the entire world. And it's a great way to start their day. If all of us are in bed together giggling, all is right with the world.

When I find myself questioning my decision to stay, this family ritual brings me back to the present and reminds me of the bigger picture. These are the best days of my life. I REFUSE to let the past distract me from the present. No more! My kids are little, and if I blink they will be in college. I choose to enjoy today. 

And as I get ready to close the laptop tonight, I will look forward to my family sandwich tomorrow morning.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hopeful Song for Today: Shine by David Gray

I can see it in your eyes
What I know in my heart is true
That our love it has faded
Like the summer run through
So we'll walk down the shoreline
One last time together
Feel the wind blow our wanderin' hearts
Like a feather
But who knows what's waiting
In the wings of time
Dry your eyes
We gotta go where we can shine

Don't be hiding in sorrow
Or clinging to the past
With your beauty so precious
And the season so fast
No matter how cold the horizon appear
Or how far the first night
When I held you near
You gotta rise from these ashes
Like a bird of flame
Step out of the shadow
We've gotta go where we can shine

For all that we struggle
For all we pretend
It don't come down to nothing
Except love in the end
And ours is a road
That is strewn with goodbyes
But as it unfolds
As it all unwinds
Remember your soul is the one thing
You can't compromise
Take my hand
We're gonna go where we can shine
We're gonna go where we can shine
We're gonna go where we can shine

(And look, and look)
Through the windows of midnight
Moonfoam and silver
"Shine" as written by Dwayne Carter, Christopher Noel Dorsey, Byron O. Thomas, Bryan Williams, Terius Gray, Tab Virgil
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Married / Single / Other

Yesterday I was filling out a new patient form for my son's dentist appointment, and I got to the section that asks for information about the parent or guardian:

Phone Number.
Marital Status: Married / Single / Other

I have to admit, I paused.
Am I married? That's a loaded question. I could not circle it like I so effortlessly would have in the past. Single? No, I'm still sleeping in the same bed with the father of my children each night. Other? What does that even mean? And is that me? Is that what you call people who have been betrayed and yet are trying to move on as a married couple without feeling bound to them anymore?
I have heard a lot of people in my shoes say that they don't consider themselves to be married anymore; that they are merely in a long-term relationship with the parent of their children. I have definitely shared this sentiment on this journey. It makes sense; the term "marriage" implies a sacred covenant. You know, one man/one woman = one flesh. Well, that's out the window! If that's the "religious" meaning of marriage, then we are simply not married anymore. The promise was broken. (Though the biblical meaning of marriage is vague and contradictory anyway, given the fact that polygamy was embraced by Abraham, David, and other biblical heroes.)
And this is why I choose to not wear my wedding ring. Because my personal definition of marriage (you know, me and the rest of the Western world) is a contract of monogamy and faithfulness . The wedding ring symbolized this contract. The contract was broken, so now the ring represents a broken contract. Seems kinda silly to carry around that reminder 24/7.
I guess we are married by law, which really just makes it a civil union. We have a piece of paper that says we are lawfully bound. Any man and woman - and same-sex couples in many states - can walk in to the Justice of the Peace and become "married" for a fee. It holds no sentimental meaning to possess a marriage license.
Some couples in this unfortunate position renew vows to become re-married. I guess that makes the most sense from the spiritual and sentimental perspective. I'm just not ready to be made another promise. Vows are just words, and the words mean nothing when you don't adhere to them.
So how am I supposed to classify my marital status? I guess it depends on who you are talking to and how they define the word. For now, I guess I'll settle for "other."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


It's been a while since I've posted. I think that's a sign of progress. When things are okay, I don't feel the need to post. I primarily write to blow off steam. But here I am at the laptop tonight.

Feeling stuck. Again. Not crazy angry. Not devastated. Just....nothing. Dead inside. I frankly don't really care about my marriage at the moment. I know for a fact that I would be fine without my husband. Even if I started to miss him and wonder if I had made a mistake, all I would have to do is picture him screwing that little whore on top of her kids' car seats and I'd be fine. Because really, why do I need someone who was willing to risk losing me? Someone who put it all on the line - ready to throw it all away - just for a thrill with some whore he didn't even really care about?

Sure, now it's all different. Getting caught puts it all in perspective, and he NOW realizes how he was actually hurting me while fucking someone who could have been his daughter. Why is that? Why do men pull this shit off thinking they aren't doing any harm, and then they're busted and suddenly they'd do anything to take it all back so long as they don't lose you? Well that's swell. It's like a fricking child who finally gets caught doing something naughty, and they beg and beg for forgiveness and promise not to do it again.  It's just shame. Why is there no shame until the act is brought to light? Why was he not ashamed to bring her into my home and curse my sanctuary? Why was he not ashamed when he was paying the CVS clerk for the condoms he just picked out before his next escapade with her? Why was he not ashamed when he received a phone call from me while he was already on a call with her? Did that not REMIND him that he had a fucking WIFE???!?!!

So Sunday (three days ago) I was having a rough day. I was frustrated with the kids, confused about my career, and feeling just plain depressed. Instead of being tender and offering some help, he withdrew. Usually when he withdraws, he comes back around in a few hours, or at the very least, the next day. Not this time. It is now Wednesday and he's still as cold as ice. Granted, I am as well. But you'd think he'd still be in damage control mode and be at least acting like he cared. I'll tell you, if he doesn't care, then a sure as hell don't! I'm not going to beg for it! If he's not willing to fight for me after what he's done to me, then what reason do I have to fight for it??

He needs to prove to me that I need him in times like this, and at the moment he sure as hell isn't offering any counsel. He is only providing distance, which forces me to deal with the bullshit on my own. I can become pretty good at that.

What kind of marriage is this? What has happened to my perfect, happy life? The life in which I felt so secure? Everything is soooo effed up.  He has completely destroyed me, and us. Will it ever be normal again? I fear we will always be a "special needs" marriage, always walking with a limp.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Family Portrait

My youngest son loves to draw. Each day, he draws a family portrait. It's usually four little people with all of our names written above or below. He has been doing this for a long time, but it seems like he really started after the affair was revealed. Coincidence? I think not. I think it's heaven's little reminders of why I'm still here.

In his little mind, this family unit is the most important thing in the world. It is his world. It's the first thing that comes to mind when he sits down to draw. What would his drawing look like if we divorced? Would all four of us still be on the page? Would three be on one side and Dad on the other? Would our faces have frowns?

I think of how my life was turned upside down on D-Day. If I chose to walk away from my marriage, I'd be doing the same exact thing to my children's lives. What a selfish decision that would be on my part.

They say you shouldn't stay in a marriage just "for the kids." I don't think people stay married just for the kids' sake, but instead choose to stay BECAUSE of the kids. There is a difference. Because when you share kids with someone, you share just about everything else in life. And whether you stay or go, some things will remain shared.

Without kids, you can choose to never see your spouse again. You can say goodbye and move on with your life without him/her. With kids, however, your ex-spouse remains very much a part of your life. When the kids are little, you are likely to still deal with them on a daily basis! Illnesses, sports games, school projects, car pools, holidays, proms, weddings, grandchildren - you share these things with your ex-spouse forever. You are required to remain a partner with this person on some level.

Then you have the dating thing. Bringing home possible stepparent candidates to meet your children. Ugh. I cannot bear the thought of another woman packing my kids' lunches or taking them on vacation. I'm sure the image of another man tucking my kids in their beds is enough to make my husband nauseous. I have enough jealousy to deal with from the affair; I don't need to provoke more my handing over my new-and-improved husband to the meat market.

Because we have kids together, we have seen each other at our worst. It all began when my husband held my hand while I screamed like a wild beast giving birth. We dealt with colic. Co-sleeping. Stomach flu. Years of breastfeeding. Accidents. We sacrificed sex for sleep when we had nothing left.

Enduring parenthood together creates a bond like no other. Because we have kids together, I feel an unbreakable connection to him. I can't imagine another man walking into my life now and trying to fill his shoes.

So no, I'm not here because I'm a martyr sacrificing my happiness so to not disrupt my children's happy home. I'm here because healing my marriage with the father of my children sounds like a much happier life than the alternative. It's a choice to hope for beauty and joy and love, rather than bitterness, brokenness and sadness.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Days Like This

The depression days come with less frequency now, but when they come, they are just as dark as they were a year ago. You betrayed warriors know what I'm talking about. One day you feel so strong, hopeful, and at peace. Then a trigger - or even just a cloudy day - can send you spiraling down to that dark place where you simply can't get out of bed.

This weekend is like that for me. I'm sleeping 10 hours a night. I can barely muster up the energy to cook a meal. I feel small, weak, and stuck. Her ghost seems alive in my home, to the point where I feel like I am suffocating from the images of her naked, under my roof, in the arms of my husband.

The mental work of healing from an affair is exhausting. These dark days seem to come when I have nothing left. I can't fight it anymore. I can't muster up the energy for "thought replacement" and all the mental exercises that are part of my daily routine.

I need to let go. I need to free myself from the pain. I need to make myself vulnerable again. I want to live fully, every day. I do not want to be a imprisoned in the past.

But some days, I just don't have the strength.

"Breathe Me"
Help, I have done it again
I have been here many times before
Hurt myself again today
And the worst part is there's no one else to blame

Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me

Ouch I have lost myself again
Lost myself and I am nowhere to be found,
Yeah I think that I might break
I've lost myself again and I feel unsafe

Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me

Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mrs. Banks Was Right

Just when I was cozying up to acceptance with the fact that great men - even civil rights activists that shape a nation - cheat on their wives, I learn yesterday that yet another man that I know personally and highly respect had an affair on his wife when he was forty. It was a typical "mid-life crisis" affair; he was depressed and unhappy with himself, so he finds himself in the arms of another woman. Huh?

Seriously, is there a pattern here? Presidents, pastors, social activists....they all do it. No matter how honorable the man you marry is, it's very likely that one day he'll cheat on you. For reasons that have nothing to do with YOU or your marriage.

What does this say about men in general? I understand that no marriage is immune to infidelity, but it seems that even the smartest and spiritual and thoughtful and bighearted men CHEAT. ON. THEIR. WIVES. Not lazy, dumb, or unattractive wives - no, no. We're talking about beautiful, successful, supportive, AWESOME wives.

So what hope is there for women getting married? In my opinion, if you're marrying a man under the age of 45, there isn't much. Apparently every man thinks they can fix their mid-life crisis by screwing another woman.

I can't tell you how little faith I have in the male race right now.

I must admit, when I learned this little tidbit yesterday about this man that I know, at first a part of me felt comforted. I was like, "Wow, well HE'S an amazing husband and a humble, good man - and even HE was tempted?? Just proof that my husband is also a good person and simply fell prey to the deception."

But then after a few hours, I was more like "WTF??? What is WRONG with these men?!? Is there no hope for beautiful, intelligent women who want to marry a man who will keep their promises?"

So why are men so unable to remain faithful? Do they have that much of a one-track mind that they think 20 minutes of sex with someone new is going to solve their life's problems? Or are they truly incapable of being monogamous? Or is their level of self-esteem that contingent upon female admiration?

There are probably answers to these questions. I'm sure I already know them in the back of my mind because I've read a dozen books about how affairs happen. Yet at this moment, I don't give a flying you-know-what about what some psychiatrist will tell me, because at some point it sounds like an excuse.

So I guess that's just another reason to stay. What good does it do me to divorce my now practically perfect husband for yet another man who'll likely cheat on me again? At least the man I have now already got it out of his system and will probably not repeat the mistake after living the consequences. At least now he knows from experience that sex with a new woman didn't solve his problems and, in fact, made his life much WORSE. At least now he has a very strong motivation to keep his promises in the future, and is careful to prove to me that he will make his second chance worth it for all of us.

For now, I will remember Mrs. Banks' words in Mary Poppins (which finally, as an adult, makes sense) when she was fighting for women's right to vote:

Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they're rather stupid.

*Note: I am not ignorant to the fact that women have affairs, too. Obviously, unfaithful men are sleeping with women and some of those women are married! (My husband's home-wrecking lover was one of them - with two kids in diapers.) In fact, recent studies are showing that women are almost equally as guilty, statistically speaking. I may be picking on men here, but hey, this is a blog - not a science journal. Not to mention the fact that I know very few women who have cheated, yet I know several men who have. So where are all these unfaithful women? Just sayin'.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Heroes Fall Short, Too

Fellow betrayed blogger Flaca posted a beautiful reminder today (MLK Day) about how even the most celebrated and respected figures are simply human and are not immune to falling short in our relationships.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an alleged infidel. Yes, even someone as enlightened as Dr. King was not immune to deception and lust. However his legacy is defined by his inspiring courage that shaped a nation forever.

We are all human. We all fall short. I fall short every day as a wife, and just because I've remained faithful does not make me a better spouse than my husband.

I hope you, too, are inspired by Flaca's post, which she permitted me to share with you:

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr Day.  As a community organizer its always been a special day to me.  MLK, Jr  a hero to people of color and to those of us who work in the area social justice and progressive politics.

But MLK, Jr. was also allegedly an unfaithful husband.*  A flawed man who cheated on his wife.  Reports exist that Dr. King was tempted and like many before and after him gave in to the sin of lust no matter how hurtful that selfish act was to his wife, Coretta.  With my own experience with marital infidelity I think I have gained some insight and empathy to identify with how Mrs. King stoically endured it.  I, too, can look past the actions of my cheating spouse and see the whole person – and yes, still love the man who cheated on me.  Infidelity is a horrible act. Infidelity is selfish and cruel.  But forgiveness, with a repentant spouse/partner, is possible.

That is what I have tried to do with Green – I saw him in pain (I was in pain too but he was weak and I was not) and since I could almost make sense of his terrible actions empathy for him was always with me. Honestly, giving Green the space to be forgiven has in my opinion made him a better man.  He has no excuse to be a terrible person anymore – he’s been given the gift to do better.  And he’s a better father now – much more patient and he’s a better spouse – less vain and more supportive of ME.  It’s not an ideal marriage, of course, but we are surviving and continue to do.
In researching this post I came about this writing,
My husband, Green, is certainly no community hero. He’s not a leader like Doctor King.  We are not on the steps of history like the King family.  But I do recognize that Green is just a man.  He is weak and he is open to temptation. Green is vain and he is selfish.  He was self destructive and he can be very cruel.  All of things are the part of being human.  And in my capacity to love him through his self destruction and the way his infidelity was a true assault upon me and my family I am still capable of forgiveness.  I can see the man who was hurting (and tempering that pain with lust and bad decisions) and who in my opinion needed my help.
Does that make me a hero? I don’t presume to think so… I think it too is my humanity. In my capacity to forgive I seek to reconnect and find the love that brought us together again.   Am I fully there yet? No. But I try everyday and everyday it gets easier… the willingness to try, to overcome and to love is very HUMAN. And if we, the betrayed, can try then that does make us very close to being a hero like MLK, Jr.

This holiday is for all those who are hurt, oppressed and who chose to overcome.  Its a day to celebrate today for you, too my betrayed friends, that we can overcome all adversity as long as you remain try to yourself and live in the loving spirit that we demonstrate to our unfaithful (and perhaps undeserving) spouse/partner.  And if  cheating the partner is unrepentant or the relationship not salvageable… then even more do I encourage you to forgive and move on.  I would say the best way to get revenge is to live well, to release the the pain inflicted upon you by others and try not to let it  keep you from having other healthy and loving relationships.   For me while it’s not easy it’s a worthy challenge, and one that is a healthy AND selfish choice for me to make, because as Dr. King said,

 “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

*Note: I corrected the post to refer to Dr. King’s infidelity as alleged – there is no proof, as of yet, that indicates that he nor his wife ever publicly confirmed it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

More Perfect Lyrics from the Civil Wars

I wanna leave you
I wanna lose us
I wanna give up
But I won't

I wanna miss this
I want a heartache
I wanna run away
But I won't

'Cause do I love you
Oh, I do
And I'm going to 'til I'm gone
But if you think that I can stay in this
same old, same old
Well, I don't
I don't

I'm gonna break things
I'm gonna cross the line
And make you wake up
'cause you won't

I'm gonna name names,
I'm gonna call us out
I'm gonna say it
if you won't

'Cause do I love you
Oh, I do
And I'm going to 'til I'm gone
But if you think that I can stay in this
same old, same old
Well, I don't

Oh I don't wanna fight
But I'll fight with you
if I have to, If I have to

'Cause do I love you
Oh, I do
And I'm going to 'til I'm gone

But if you think that I can stay in this
same old, same old
Same old, same old
Well, I don't
I don't

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Checking in at the WTF Hotel

Another betrayed warrior allowed me to share her humorous analogy of what "year two" is like after discovering your husband's affair, as many find it to be even more difficult than the first year. It made me laugh out loud, which is refreshing when you consider the subject. Anyways, here it is:
Hello, and Welcome to Year Two. W are glad you are here. Let's take a tour, shall we?
Behind you, we have the Year One Hall of Hell. While you will never have to travel back there again, it will follow you for awhile and you will cast furtive glances towards it as it was a very dangerous place for you. Be mindful it is there, but don't turn back and travel down it again.
Ahead, you have The What the Fuck, Are you Serious, this Really Happened Hotel. The amenitites of this fine establishment include the Unnumbing Spa. Here, the general sense of disbelief you've held for the past year becomes an acceptance that what happened, happened, and can't be undone.

The WTF Hotel also features the Anger Gym and Who Am I Lounge which you will bounce between on occasion. Though the Drown Your Sorrows Bar is open 24/7 for emergencies, we advise you try and wait until noon (at least!) to stop in for your first round.

Outside the WTF Hotel lies The Plain of Lethal Flatness. Here, you won't give a shit about anything. You will generally be thinking "really? this is my life? serious? are you shitting me? I don't know what I want, who I want, and I certainly don't understand why I don't want any of it, but I don't."
Beyond the Plain lies something called Progress and Healing and Real Acceptance. Be patient. It appears you must spend your time in the Hotel and the Plain before you can journey further.

Eventually transportation will be provided. Don't ignore too many options for transport as you do not want to be stuck in either place for too long.
Thank you, and good luck on your journey.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Better Them Than Me

In the beginning of this journey, I remember feeling like I was the worst off in this whole scenario. My husband and "her" got to have an exciting, secret sexual affair for an entire YEAR in addition to all the love and nourishment they were getting from their home and family life. They got to feel like high schoolers again, hiding their forbidden relationship from their "parents" (AKA spouses) and feel the burn of a youthful flame. Yet who pays for their little romantic fantasyland? Me! Her husband! Our poor kids! So he gets to have this exciting new relationship for a year, and still have his wife and family - and possibly a BETTER marriage. What do I get? Pain. Humiliation. Anger. Confusion. Grief. Broken vows. And absolutely NO fun.

But am I the least fortunate? I look at it differently now. I see my husband, and how crappy his situation really is. He has to carry the shame and guilt for what he has done for the rest of his life. He will have memories of lying to me straight in the eye about sleeping with her. He will watch his kids swinging on the tire swing in the backyard, and be reminded that I could have kicked his ass out, divorced him, and fought for custody. He will have to face awkwardness and judgment from certain friends and family members who know.

He has to be extra careful now with everything he says and does. He can't get mad at me for petty things, because he knows he "doesn't have the right to" after the destruction he brought to our life. He has to go above and beyond all the time to remind me that he's trying really hard to make it up to me. He gets the blame when a "normal" marriage disagreement occurs, because it always comes back to the affair. He has to put up with my anger and rage when it rears it ugly head, because he knows he deserves it.

It must be exhausting.

And what about her? She has to look at herself in the mirror everyday only to see a pathetic home wrecker looking back at her. Her crappy choices moved them to a new state with no friends or family surrounding her. (Surely when the stress of the move comes up in their marriage, you know she gets blamed for it.) She, as a mother, has to live with what she has done to my life and the perfect world I have tried to build for my children. She had to face her husband's family, who - unlike my forgiving family - would not even look or speak to her after what she did. She had to hear her husband call her names like "whore".


And I thought I was worse off? Hey, at least I can look in the mirror every morning and be proud of who I see. My dignity is still in tact. I have friends and family who love and support me and think I'm a hero for surviving this. I can look my kids in the eyes and know that I've never made selfish choices that have jeopardized their lives as they know it. I can say I've always been a good and faithful wife.

More than ever, I can go out with friends without feeling guilty about leaving home, because I now know that it's important for me to nurture those relationships so they are available when I need them most. I can be more myself now, because this experience makes you care less about what others think. I can be more straightforward, because I'm not going to allow anyone to walk all over me.  I can do more for myself, because I need and deserve it in order to heal.

So better them than me. I'd much rather live with pain carried with dignity and pride than the burden of shame and guilt. No joyride - no matter how exciting - could be worth that price.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Good Laugh

I don't know if this really happened or if someone is clever with starting rumors, but this is awesome.

I have always loved Michele Obama, but now I love her even more after finding this on Pinterest. I wonder if she uses her First Lady powers to keep a special federal agent on his tracks? I wouldn't doubt it.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Collateral Damage

When a spouse is betrayed, the loss is astounding. There is loss in every corner of your life. The list is endless. It includes:

Your self-esteem.

Your life as you knew it.

Your spouse as you knew it.

Your faith - in your God, humanity, EVERYTHING.

Your patience.

Your innocence. (Trust me, as goodie-goodie as I was for 34 years, I became a righteous monster and did horrific things that could have put me in jail.)

But in addition to these "big" and obvious things, you lose so much more.

Like the warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you look at pictures of your kids when they were babies. Now you look at them and it just makes you sad.

And the lightheartedness you felt when you were in a public setting with your family. Now you look around in paranoia and wonder if people can see the stain of adultery that hovers over your head. Or you question whether that father over there playing with his kid is really as great as he seems, or is he sleeping with his secretary?

You'll also find that all the things you once loved doing may become a source of pain. For example, I love trail running. I've been a runner - and marathoner - for 16 years. Since the discovery of my husband's affair, I find that I can't keep my mind from going to the "dark side" on every run. Every time I lace my shoes and head out the door, I'm taking the risk of coming home angry. So I've lost one of my most favorite things in the world, thanks to my husband's stupid choices.

That favorite movie you used to curl up on the couch with your husband and watch over and over? You'll find now it triggers anger or discomfort. If it's a romance movie, you'll hate it because it's about an exciting and new relationship. Or it's about an affair, and you never even picked up on it until now. That one's out! You won't ever be able to watch it with your husband again. You'll have to throw it away.

Or that band you and your husband love? Now listening to them will just remind you of the "old days" and it will make you cry. Or it will make your mind race and think crazy things like, "Did she like this band, too? Did you listen to them while you screwed?"

Tonight I was reminded of all of this collateral damage while my son was practicing his guitar. He is playing a song in an upcoming show that is on an album that we were really into while the affair was just starting to heat up. In fact, at the time, the album was in our car CD player for weeks. I haven't been able to listen to it since D-Day, because it reminds me of a time when I was over the moon for my husband and he was completely absent emotionally.

Anyways, tonight my son asked if I could play the album so he could practice. Rather than playing just the one song, I let the entire CD finish. Wow, I can't believe how it affected me emotionally. It brought me right back to that time; I was reminded of the happiness and obliviousness I was feeling then, but with the bitter aftertaste of disgust and disappointment.

It made me wonder: When he hears these songs now, does it remind him of that exciting time in his life? Does it remind him of HER? Did he let that CD play on the car stereo on his drive over to her house? Does song X bring back that exhilaration he felt on his way over there? Hence, the CD is ruined.

What about all the popular songs from that time? The songs on the radio? Music conjures up memories like nothing else. Surely there are some songs that remind him of her, since they were going at it for a year.

Just add it all to the list of collateral damage. I'm still taking inventory and adding new things each day. There are a few things I feel that I have reclaimed (like my house, for example), but some things are just forever gone.

And with continued loss, you have continued grieving.

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