Comparing Moments of Betrayeds and Betrayers

What He Said Before the affair was uncovered:

Yes, I spoke with another woman. About us. About me. About being miserable and wanting more. I did NOT have an affair. I did NOT sleep with her. I did think about it, but I couldn’t do that. I was going to tell you I wanted a divorce, one morning, drinking coffee with you, after our son graduates in a few weeks.

What He Said Between the mini DDay (as affair partners call partial DDays) and real Discovery:

Yes, I will go to counseling. I want to figure out how I got to this place. I’m not committed to you, or to our marriage. I don’t think I want to go forward. But I am committed to a process of figuring things out. You are the better part of this marriage. You would be better off without me.

(MY THOUGHTS: Such a lie…I had spent more than half my existence with HUSBAND, had 27 years of shared life with him and our children. I was caring for a dying father, had a mountain of debt, little savings and a job that depended on government funding that could go away at a moment’s notice. BE VERY CLEAR: I would not be better off without him, and if he left me, it would be abandonment plain & simple. He would be walking out on me at a time when things were very precarious – a time when we could begin to enjoy some freedom together and pay attention again to ourselves, and to US. I would be devastated in every way. There was no part of my life that would be better without him – maybe HIS life would be better, and if so, he should be honest with himself).

What I DID Between mini DDAY and real Discovery:

I beat myself up for how hard I had been on HUSBAND. He had floundered a couple times, professionally, and my career continued to soar. While I did not throw it in his face in obvious ways, there were moments and decisions and directions and ways that I communicated my disappointment. I had told him I was lonely in our marriage…his walled up self would respond “I’ll do better…” As he wanted me less and less physically and I died a little more inside, I responded in anger with bitter words. Yes…I was to blame. SIGH.

Along with self-blame, I began to dig…he had given me access to his computer and to his phone, and I looked several times. I found some subtle things that began to cast doubt about whether he’d told me the whole truth about the dinner incident…that his find-a-phone had been turned off the night she came to town. That he’d “spent the night at the ranch” and not told me, but called my mom at the last minute to let her know so she didn’t worry. Since my mom was at the hospital with my dad all night, that left our son home ALONE…something we had never done through four children. NEVER. But when I questioned him, he met every question with a (sort of) consistent response. I had niggles of doubt, but no way. This man was always upfront, I could tell if he was lying, he wasn’t clever enough to make this stuff up.

And I RESEARCHED. I began the research with the impact of divorce on adult children, and was astounded to find heartfelt blogs and articles and quotes from children of later divorce who were still struggling five, seven…ten years after their parents’ divorce. My heart broke as I read words from these wounded people who spoke of “not knowing if their entire life was a façade…” I yearned to tell our kids, to gather them in my mommy arms and let them know that for me, it WAS NEVER A LIE. That I loved being their Dad’s wife, and their mom. I loved hanging out in our rental condo at the beach, watching movies on the king-size bed. I loved going to soccer games and ballet recitals. I loved college trips and going to our dear friends’ beach house and learning to play Mexican Train dominoes and having two Christmas trees some years. I loved going to our ranch and building a fire in the pit. I loved having the Party Ponies and the Snake Man and a crazy big ‘ole train for birthday parties at our first house and our second house. I loved Easter egg hunts in our yard, pictures in the park and Church and family nights with our closest friends. I loved going on boat rides on any boat with HUSBAND at the helm and our kiddos on deck. I loved watching them play on their riding toys on our big driveway and DAUGHTER singing in her loudest voice as she swung to MARS! I loved our first house and I loved our second house…loved chipping paint off and repainting and hanging cabinets and tearing down walls and building new walls and putting up trim and making it a home. Our Home.  For me-it was ALL REAL.

What HE DID Between mini DDAY and real Discovery:

What I knew – HUSBAND was gentle. He answered questions when asked. Over and over he said he’d not had an affair and that he was just approaching middle-age and thought there should be more. He told me gently that I was a great mother, and had always been supportive. He reached for me, at night, and by day was thoughtful in small ways that he had not been in years. But he was guarded, and distant in a way I could not pinpoint.

Later, I would find out that he was mourning…he was in a fog…THE fog. He was searching for his affair partner on social media, hoping she would be getting messages to him, hoping she decided to come to town as she had mentioned. They were in contact some, carefully, as he carried out their plan: NO CONTACT (which turned out to be low contact) while he got me off the trail, went to counseling where we would discover there was nothing left for us to try and MUTUALLY agree to part. And that months after we were in the divorce process, he would “run into” SW. They’d hit it off…you know…old friends and all that…and that way our kids would not blame her for our divorce…nor his family…nor our friends…

Why This Matters:

As I floundered through this process, I wanted to know what it should look like, what it should feel like. I wanted to know the “STANDARD” for how to deal with affairs, for what my actions and words should be and what his should be. I found many sources that talk about one side, or the other, but little that dealt with both – their journey – and gave insight into the heart, mind and actions of both the betrayed and the betrayer.

If it helps one betrayed spouse to hear my story, our story, then that’s why this matters. If one woman whose heart is now ripped in little pieces and strewn across years and memories can get an ounce of sanity or hope from my words, that’s why it matters.

I am NOT pretending to have any insight into illicit affairs other than that of my own marriage. But I can, with honesty and authority, share my story. Gratefully, as you may have noticed when HUSBAND commented on my last entry, I am sharing OUR STORY. He may choose, from time to time, to write on this blog. We are devoted to healing, we are on a journey of wholeness and we are not ashamed to share it – the filthy and ugly and scary and disgusting and deceiving  – and then, the baby steps and small gestures and breakthroughs and stitching and healing – if there is ANY WAY it can help even one person. That is why it matters.

10 thoughts on “Comparing Moments of Betrayeds and Betrayers

      1. Yes, I agree with sunshinelifeform, The similarities are there. The sad part is that although it is known how and what can happen…no one seems to pick up on it, until it is too late and the damage done. My explanation is that we do not believe our husbands (or our wives) will be capable of doing this. I also think that those who betray and who used to be people with high morals are often caught off guard and in hindsight cannot believe they went that way. This is confirmed by so many who feel relieved when all is out in the open and who share their shame and guilt. Those with the feelings of shame are not the same people as those who have frequent affairs. The people who betrayed and who hate themselves for it, often suffer a lot too. I know that is hard to think about when you feel betrayed by the person who is suppose to love you.
        One other thing you wrote struck me: it happened when the kids are getting older and we are suppose to have some fun after many years of hard work. I see that a lot. It makes it extra sour for those who end up in a divorce. I hope that most couples will WORK hard and get through this. The pain will never go away and triggers also remain…but life can get better…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I so completely did not think HUSBAND was capable of cheating. On numerous levels. It still takes my breath away to think how wrong I was, and how cheating never…and I mean NEVER…entered my mind as we faced difficulties in our marriage. Such a shroud of lies that covered a good part of our marriage…once lifted…it is like a light shines in that I never realized was missing before.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Beautifully written and I enjoy your positive slant.
    So, does husband answer the question regarding the depth of emotions? I too was blown away by a four page letter my h had written. After I read it I asked him where he copied it from? He said it all came out of his head and what he was feeling for one of the women at the time. I have never had anything like that from him.


  2. It is truly amazing how these men we thought we knew so well were leaving their families and homes and becoming this stranger elsewhere. The things my husband was saying, the way he was talking, the things he was doing – outside of our home, they were like NOTHING I knew of him. It was like Jekyll and Hyde. The other day I was thinking about it and I came to the conclusion that I am glad he was this fake version of himself with them…. that way they don’t know him. Like the affairs themselves, it was all a facade. They never have and never will KNOW him or be able to say their experiences were anything real.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Woundedraven,

      True, he was not himself…but a selfish immature version of himself corrupted by another fake person.
      You know the real person…this is helpful. I love your comment!

      It makes sense when reading that often those who start an affair with a married man, are not half the caliber of the wife. In brains, looks and definitely in ethics!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So like my husband, he did things that he would never have done with me (which I’m glad of), some really strange crazy things. It is like Jekyll and Hyde, that’s a good way of putting it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just found your blog. My heart aches for you as it does for so many of us taking to the blogging process to try to come to some semblance of understanding or acceptance or both. Keep posting. I’ve been told that it does a lot of good. I, myself question that sometimes. It brings back very painful memories.


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