Trickling…and why digging matters


April 29: and the overwhelming urge to check HUSBAND’s computer again and finding the poem and letter and HUSBAND ironically deciding “our marriage can work” and then learning that I knew he was a liar and a cheat –

One day. That happened in one day. Actually, in just a few hours.

After I finally began to get out of my bedroom and step toes into the world, it looked so different. The sky was a different color, people’s voices were not the same. Every conversation I had with every person it was like there was one of those bubbles over my head that said WAIT A MINUTE! DON’T YOU KNOW? DON’T YOU KNOW THAT MY HUSBAND IS A FUCKING CHEATER AND I AM A BETRAYED SPOUSE? I DON’T CARE-I CAN’T CARE-ABOUT YOUR LAWN GETTING A DISEASE OR YOUR FRIEND’S PREDICAMENT OR ANYTHING. I’VE BEEN BETRAYED. I felt like it showed on my body or my face, like my walk was different and the proverbial red letter was boldly imprinted on my chest. STUPID. DUPED. BETRAYED.

But that isn’t how it went. The world did not stop. No one knew, no one cared, nothing changed, really.

Life just went on.

I had begun to breathe again, but had absolutely no idea of how to go on. The basis of everything in my world was shattered, no foundation, no undergirding upon which to stand. So for me, it made sense to begin to dig deep, to search for the foundation, to try to figure out what, if anything, was real.

INSERT SIDEBAR: Counselor one whom we had been meeting with prior to initial disclosure was fabulous. Although I did not want to tell him 24 hours after discovery because I was too emotional, too raw to even venture to speak the words to an outsider, we did share in the next session. His response was to say “OK. This changes everything.” He looked me in the eye and asked me if I wanted to stay married and I said I. DON’T. KNOW. He affirmed that response, and told me it was a healthy response.

Yay me. Something healthy in the midst of all things destroyed.

He then went on to say the first step regardless of what the long term outcome was for the marriage was for me to feel safe. He looked at HUSBAND and said from this point forward, it was all up to me. I got to make all the rules, and if HUSBAND did not like it, he could make his own decisions. Our counselor told me to make lists that included what I was sad about, what I was mad about and what I needed to begin to feel safe. He then worked with us to clarify the feelings, and to sort through feeling safe. He helped us understand I was not prying, or being mean, or seeking to punish (although that is a tough line not to cross sometimes) but I NEEDED TO FEEL SAFE. 

Our counselor helped both of us realize that my entire understanding of life, of reality, for at least our marriage had been shattered, and that is the definition of trauma. He helped us realize that recovery for me, personally, would be difficult and for our couplehood, was absolutely NOT a given. He helped us understand that trauma recovery often involves three different kinds of symptoms:

  • Reliving the trauma in some way such as becoming upset when confronted with a traumatic reminder or thinking about the trauma when you are trying to do something else – TRIGGERS
  • Either staying away from places or people that remind you of the trauma, isolating from other people, or feeling numb
  • Feeling on guard, irritable, or startling easily

What I later came to understand is that HUSBAND was deeply in the fog on April 12 when SID BREEZE sent the anonymous email and HUSBAND vehemently denied any affair, but admitted being unhappy and wanting a divorce. Those next 17 days, prior to real Discovery, HUSBAND was still planning to exit our marriage, connect with SW and ride off into the sunset (literally, read the letter). I was oblivious that he was still seeking connection with her during that time, desperate almost to not lose this fantasy lover that would take him down the path of happiness and love (actually death and destruction) for the remainder of his life. BUT THE FOG LIFTED…and by the time real disclosure happened, HUSBAND was shaking the remnants of shit off his body and was all in to help me recover and save our marriage. How did he demonstrate that?

I asked endless, seriously ENDLESS, questions. He patiently and consistently answered. I asked the same question again and again…but are you SURE that you didn’t have sex with her in the car when you saw her in August? Are you SURE you didn’t take off your wedding ring when you were with her? Are you SURE you wore a condom every time you had sex? Are you SURE you didn’t give her a Christmas present? Are you SURE she didn’t wear pretty lingerie? And though he answered patiently, I continued digging and searching and one by one, little things began to be S-L-I-G-H-T-L-Y different than he had said. I found a receipt for a watch he’d purchased…clearly delivered to her name and address…on December 23…so you DID GET HER A CHRISTMAS PRESENT? YOU ARE A FUCKING LIAR!!! YOU ARE A LIAR!!! WHY DON’T YOU JUST TELL ME THE TRUTH???

And I wailed in grief and pain as the knife of betrayal and deception went in again and again and again as I uncovered these little lies. Each one was a setback to healing, to finding a place of sanity.

On May 13, he drove me to work. HUSBAND was so possessive at that time, hardly letting me out of his sight. On the way there, he talked about the speed with which he was realizing how precious our life and love was, and how empty and false everything with SW was. An illusion, a fantasy, and one in which he’d played a willing role but how he was quickly wondering how and why he had ever gone there. And again, I asked a question…are you sure you didn’t have sex when you met her in August at the restaurant? Even oral sex? No! NO! Hmmmm…so hard to believe…but okay.

That night, we sat on our bed, and I read him another article I’d uncovered. An article written by a psychologist who’d treated 1000’s of wayward men, and he created a “compilation” of a cheater and the progression of an affair. Along the way, HUSBAND several times acknowledged how on-target the descriptions were – oh, yes – that was me – wow.

At the end, he took my hand and said, “I’ve got something to tell you.”

My heart beat, I wanted to hear, I didn’t want to hear, I could not take more, but had to know all.


“Remember when I did not come home after my ten year reunion when we’d been married about two years?” I stared at him blankly, desperately trying to remember. Reunion. Ten years. Right, we had a 8 month-old baby, and HUSBAND had gone fishing that day, telling me he’d be home by noon. Instead, he’d returned far later leaving only a short time to shower and change and head out-and he was drunk. I was angry. I chose not to go with him. I remember he’d come home very late. Very late. Like 4-5 am late, telling me he was so drunk, he’d slept in his car in the parking garage rather than risk a DUI.

I stared longer. And then I said, I asked, I pleaded…”Were you with HER?”

His answer/non answer gave me the truth. How, where, when? He told me a group of them went up to her hotel room after the reunion and one by one they left, drinking, and then before he knew it there he was with her and they were and really all he remembers is waking up in her bed. And he threw his clothes on and came home.

What else. WHAT ELSE is there?

Well…I did have sex with her when she came in August. I spent the night at a hotel with her in Palatka. I told you I was going hunting…AND I TOLD YOU HOW WEIRD THAT WAS…ASKED YOU WHY WHEN IT WAS SO HOT…you looked at me like I was crazy and told me of course you were hunting it was opening weekend for private preserves and you always hunted that weekend…

More. HUSBAND said there was more. He went to Cherokee, NC with her in July. My head was spinning, my mind was SCREAMING how??? How would I not have known? Cherokee??? What???? And HUSBAND said, “when I took SON-3 on the college recruiting trip…I dropped him off…and went and met with SW.”

As I write these words, I go back to the place of sheer and utter horror that those moments brought. The tender wound that had such a tiny amount of healing was RIPPED OPEN AND EXPOSED AND ALL THE GUTS WERE GUSHING OUT. And now, now I realized he USED OUR SON to carry on his filth. I wailed, curled back up in a ball, and wondered how I could close my eyes and never open them again.

25 years of betrayal. TWENTY. FIVE. YEARS. This man had been deceiving me for 25 years, and the same woman he fucked when we had been married two years, he had fucked when we’d been married 27 years. The high school whore had been interwoven in our lives for the whole of our marriage.





42 thoughts on “Trickling…and why digging matters

  1. I find the stories intertwined and connected via blogging, absolutely astounding. Maybe we could all get together and plot a mass extinction….but who would we extinguish…..the POS man-whores….or the tramps who run around like bitches in heat?

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I am totally speechless. How can he carry on with double life for 25 years? No feelings of guilt of cheating his WHOLE family? Are your sons aware? I don’t like the feeling of your son being taken advantage for his “escapades”

    Please see counsellor and I really don’t know how you can cope with 25 years’ betrayal out of 27 years’ marriage? It is as good as having 2 wives.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your response. That is part of the devastation of affairs…that life just goes on and there is no horror from those around…and your being speechless was healing for me. I will go into the story more over these next weeks and write about our 4 children-the decision to tell them, the process, etc. We did, and continue to, see counselors which have been KEY to our journey.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Then please treasure your wife and it is your time to create new memories for the next 25 years with her and your children. Let them know they are always the 1st priority in your life.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. ” guilt, shame, despair”…….doesn’t come close to the scars your loving, honest, faithful wife will live with every day for the rest of her life. You have no clue how blessed you are to have her. NO CLUE.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. You are right. I will live the rest of my life with two things, knowing I betrayed the person who loves me most in this world and also knowing that she can never be completely healed of the trauma I inflicted on her. However, I have chosen to walk alongside my awesome, faithful and amazing wife because while I am the source of her pain, I can also be a source of healing. As long as she will have me, I will be by her side, adoring and cherishing her.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Your wife’s choice to make and I wish her well…..How sad that it’s only in hindsight a husband see’s the jewel he left behind while checking out worthless rocks. So much hurt could be avoided.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. When they are finally truthful and honest about their life of deceit it is a real turning point. So glad for your healing he was able to get there.
    Mine only told me the entire truth once the psychologist told him how debilitating trickle truth is. H was scared of what my reaction would be so it was still all about him at this stage. The last bit of truth to come out was the affair he had with my best friend in 1987. It shattered me. It took a lot out of me but it is better that it came out. At the time they think these things could remain hidden but only when they are free of lies then their healing can start and it gives them some peace to finally be free of lies.
    It is such a hard road to be on.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Every so often I get angry about this. There he is happy and healing and starting to feel so much better about himself and here I am sitting in a pile of sadness, sorrow and hurt. What did I do to deserve this? Oh yes….I was a good loyal partner with trust.
        How is it fair?
        One thing I see is that all betrayed spouses are lovely people, male or female. They are emotional caretakers but at the end of the day is that a good thing?

        Liked by 4 people

    1. You are so right and so wise. It must have been DREADFUL to find out you were double-betrayed by your husband and your best friend. I am so so sorry. The road is hard, bumpy, curvy, many road-blocks. It SUCKS.


  4. I would love if you covered the ‘why I decided to stay’… I’m absolutely flummoxed. I am 13 years in. I don’t have kids and I think that is a large deciding factor for many- I am in the know but my husband has no clue that I know. I am slowly preparing to end it on my terms, and I am prepping for him to be just as full of promises as your husband is. He’s a great guy in so many ways. But I don’t think I can get over how little
    I obviously matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is such a journey, and there is surely not one right path. I will be as open and honest as I can about the whys, and can tell you it is not for altruistic reasons. I’m sorry you are in this place, too.


    2. This puts you in a very interesting position. I know I would not be able to pull it off because I just had to know. You ask savings a question on why did she decide to stay and I thought I would just butt in here because this is an interesting question.
      A few of us BS were talking the other day and we had all decided to stay and work on it but all of us said the other day that we wish we had left. In that first instance of finding out just packed our bags and gone somewhere to think and vent but truthfully doing that would have been hard as well as we needed to have answers and needed to talk.
      My children are adults so they were not a factor. When I first found out what my husband had been doing for many years with many women I said to him he was free to go and I didn’t really want his excuses so basically if you want to be with others then piss off. I had always said to him, as we all do, that if he cheated it would be the end of the marriage.
      What I did not expect was his behaviour. It floored me. It shocked me to the core because it was not what I was expecting.
      He begged. He cried. He promised. He was full of remorse. He went down on his knees. Gone was the arrogant smart arse which is what I was fully expecting. It is like he did a complete turnaround. His life of lies was discovered and before me stood a man I hardly recognised. Since that day February 2014 he has worked hard to be the better man.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. This is it. Good money after bad… Staying with him would be… Always putting myself second because I would never feel secure. Having kids with someone who apparently thinks I am worth very little? Doing all this horrendous recovery work instead of just learning to be alone again and trust someone new. That would be hard, but I wouldn’t feel like I had already been burnt by them. Damn. I feel like the worst part will be justifying my decision to just end it to everyone who thinks it’s their business. Because my family, our friends, his family… They will expect a say. And I just don’t fucking care. I feel like I will piss off a lot of pretend support people by telling them it’s none of their business and to F off. But who knows. When the time comes, what if I fold like a cheap piece of paper on what I think I’m gonna do… and reconcile and make the same hard choices you guys did.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. Writing has been SANITY for me. For a long time, I wrote privately…hundreds and hundreds of pages and thousands and thousands of words. Day and night. I am only now able to reach out, and the community of broken souls that are here is at once heartbreaking and comforting. You understand, don’t you?


      1. Oh how I understand and beg not to. It is nice to know that I am not alone with all my thoughts but so sad that so many of have to deal with such pain. I get sucked back in again and again only to crawl out and see the sun for a few hours. I know my hours will turn into days but it is a daunting task to keep climbing out.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Reading this just takes me back to the night I found the love letter my husband wrote for another woman. I still have urged to check his phone, emails, misc. sometimes it feels like you will never heal. Thank you for being so open.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The good ol’ trickle truth 🙂 Nothing quite like it in any other part of our lives. It can do so much stinking damage and honestly? I think the cheaters are sometimes trying to protect the betrayed from more pain. What they don’t realize is one swift deep cut hurts less than the hundreds of cuts that come from the razor of trickling….One thing I did learn which helped with both trickling and my recovery, was only ask what you have to know. Before you ask ? Also think to yourself am I asking to heal or to hurt. ” Did you have sex with her?” Is asked because you need to know to heal (the kind of affair) “Did you do it more than once that night?” (Just asking to hurt because it doesn’t matter, they had sex that day)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s funny…I will get into this over the next couple weeks, but for me I had to know. I had to know everything I could possibly question. My presumptions were often worse than the truth…!!! I know this hurts many women, and dealing with the KNOWING is tough and I would not recommend my personal journey/process for others, but it has definitely been part of my healing. Ultimately, it also helped HUSBAND because as I had to know, he had to tell, and he had to consider with new eyes what he had done. How he had done. How COULD he have done…oh it is all so complex. SIGH.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. So many reconciled on this page. And the comments about the begging and pleading and such I have heard it before. In what I now realize was DD1 and I have spackled and ignored all the red flags until now because I was so sure we were good, so obviously there couldn’t be anything going on… And instead I am just a mug. I’m a ridiculous sheep and he is a wolf. I won’t ever believe him again I don’t care if i have passwords to everything. I don’t feel respected so I can’t do it. I want to be altruistic and forgiving… Except I don’t. I want to find someone who knows I don’t deserve this so they don’t do it. I would rather have a new car than one that’s rebuilt and is probably missing half the required parts.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I can totally relate to so much of what you have written. 25 years of deception pretending to love me. The wailing cries that come from the depths of our souls when we have been so hurt. So many of us have been broken by adultery. I praise God that He heals the brokenhearted because that has been so many of us. You are an incredible woman. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh angel…this pain is like nothing I ever thought a human could experience. But you, too, are incredible! You have walked the path, and are finding a way out. I’m so sorry that you were betrayed and deceived, but I’m thankful that you have compassion and care for other women so destroyed…thank you for sharing…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your words are so true… “this pain is like nothing I ever thought a human could experience.” It is most definitely indescribable. Thank you so much for your support. God has been so good to bring answers as I prayed for them. And though my marriage failed, I know that God had better plans for me that to remain in the situation that I was in. Some marriages survive and some do not… we all need to seek God’s guidance and His will for our lives. I feel that He has a calling on you and your husband to reach out and help other couples. God has revealed to both of you how the truth will set you free. The healing in your marriage could only come when Satan no longer had a hold on it. May God pour out His blessings upon both of you.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. One of the things I grieve deeply is churches and church people who somehow think that staying married at all costs is reflective of God, or what He would call us to. I don’t believe that, and see His grace covers all. I’m not better for having stayed married – I wouldn’t have – I couldn’t have – if Husband had not been willing to go to deep and dark places to heal. To seek understanding and truth about how/why, and to consistently allow and receive the effects of his actions. Blessings to you, too.


        2. I totally agree with you. I was raised in church to believe in staying married at all costs and I grieved because I felt that I had failed, especially God. That is not what God wants. He knows every heart and what lies within each. He knows who will change and who will not. I have seen Him save marries and then experienced Him almost pulling me out of mine. Adultery gives us a biblical reason for divorce, but God wants us to seek Him and allow Him to lead us and heal us… and that my sister, is what you and your husband have done. Divorce is not always the answer. Healing and restoration if possible is what God desires…but only He knows if it is possible.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Goodness, 25 years. But not continuous, right? They had a long hiatus? Not that this matters much.
    And I’m now beginning to understand… you and your husband got through this? Remarkable. But, you know, what you said about love. That’s the big thing, isn’t it? And that’s why I know there’s absolutely no hope of reconciliation for me. My ex saying he no longer loved me – you can’t fix that. As long as love endures, anything is fixable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. After their first affair, SW moved to Atlanta. HUSBAND had a couple more affairs, with different women. And ended up running into the first AP at his class reunion…and I was with him…which re-ignited that first affair. According to him, no contact in the 25 years in the middle until the year leading up to the reunion – via FB.
      Ahhhh…yes…love. Initially HUSBAND said he did not love me like that – wasn’t in love with me – anymore. It shifted along the way, and he says he realized he did love me. And yes…with love present and enduring…anything is possible.

      Liked by 1 person

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