Unexpected Response.

So by mid-June, HUSBAND had disclosed all…multiple affairs beginning 2 years into our marriage. One night stand with a hooker. An on-again, off-again and more-on-than-off-over-the-last-five-years-of-our-marriage relationship with porn and self-satisfaction. A sex addict.

Life. Life was going on, and there was no way I could stop it. I tried at first. I stayed home from work, holed in my room, vacillating between denial and tears and rage. I searched every possible record I could find, frantically gathered every evidence of the life I thought I’d lived for 27 years, laying pictures and letters and notes out and begging HUSBAND to tell me what was real and what wasn’t. And how could he do this? And how could I be so stupid? And how could these sluts, all of whom I KNEW, fuck married men? I read blogs and forums and asked question after question after question. And asked them again. And HUSBAND answered, never getting impatient, never getting angry.

I cringed at the thought and the site and the touch of the man who’d betrayed me, my children, everything I was. Yet, yet…he held some of the answers I so urgently sought…and I craved his answers, his insight, his truth. Cringe, crave. Cringe, crave.

The cause of my pain, yet the source of my healing. Wickedly cruel twist of reality.


But I had to begin to step back into life as much as I had no idea how to. We signed up for orientation at our son’s upcoming college campus and booked a hotel. Son was staying on campus for the two-day process, and we dropped him off then headed to check-in. We parked. We walked through the doors. HUSBAND walked over to the clerk – and I froze. I could not move. I literally sat down on something, my suitcase at my feet, and thoughts and visions and memories flooded into my brain at such a pace there was no processing. I saw pictures of hundreds of times we’d come to hotels alone and with various or all of our children and flashes of laughter and pools and breakfasts in the dining rooms and room service and then I heard HUSBAND saying, “come on honey…are you ready…are you okay?”

I mumbled something and got up and followed him, still in some sort of haze and then we were at the room and he put the key in and opened the door and went through. I could not go in the room. I stood there, with some kind of look of terror on my face. “i…I…I just can’t go in there,” stumbled out of my mouth.

HUSBAND came back outside the door, and asked what was wrong, and what could he do, how could he help.

I didn’t know, I wasn’t sure, but I just couldn’t go through the door.

After a few moments, I put one foot in front, and the next and then I walked in. The door shut behind me, and I stood, frozen again, looking around at the predictable mid-price lodging: two beds. A dresser sporting a coffee maker. TV. Desk, chair, mirror. One single reading chair. A bathroom.

I went to the single chair, sat down and stared in front of me. And quietly began to speak and to ask the things that were now running through my mind, tears falling the whole time. Women, these whores throughout our marriage, they came to hotels with you. They walked through doors of hotels. Did they stand by you at check in? Did they have the audacity to pretend like they belonged there? Was there a moment, a hint, of shame for either of you?

woman in a hotel

Where did they put their suitcase? Did they unpack things and put them on the sink in the bathroom? What about their clothes…put them in the dresser? Hang anything up? Did they walk around naked? In bra and panties? Did they wear lovely negligees? They acted like they belonged here with you. They took my place. They had no right, they had no authority, but they did it. How could they? How could you? How could you pull down the covers and let them get in the sheets? Was there ever, even just a brief moment of shame, of some inner voice crying out NO! STOP! Did you have to quiet a voice?

HUSBAND sat at my feet by the chair. He listened, he answered, he cried. Some of the answers stung…especially the ones that told me I wasn’t even considered in those moments. By either of them. There was no shame then. By either of them.

But then he told me there was shame now. Overwhelming and horrific shame that confronts him constantly. That sitting at the feet of his broken wife was a picture of the damage he’d caused and he was so sorry and he was willing to do whatever it took to help me find peace and healing.

Everything and anything, even telling me things he didn’t think I would want to know or hear.

I sat in that chair for a long time. He sat at my feet for a long time. Eventually, I said I would get in bed, the same bed in the hotel room with the man who I thought had kept sacred vows and with whom I had kept sacred vows. I got into that bed, and laid there. And after a bit, I moved closer to HUSBAND, who wrapped his arms around me. The irony of receiving comfort from the one who had shattered me was huge for both of us. I laid in HUSBAND’S arms, and we both wept, and somehow, one more piece of brokenness with a jagged edge was put into my box – my new box – of memories. The box labeled The Other Real Life Box. One day, I hope it is filled and after I go through it a time or two or ten, I will be able to put it up on a shelf where it can gather dust.

One day.


45 thoughts on “Unexpected Response.

  1. My goodness, being triggered is horrible! Of course, you never know if/when it’s going to happen. I can imagine how scared you were while going through it, feeling that you were going to be frozen there forever, screaming inside. The positive thing is, your husband was there for you. Even if you’re alone in that swell of emotions, it is better to have someone kind of talk you down. Sending you lots of healing thoughts. I hope you will never have to go through that again.


    1. Yes…that was a horrific trigger. Completely unexpected, and overwhelming. It was probably 3 hours of sitting in the chair. I am thankful HUSBAND was there – really really there. As you know, it gets better, and those triggers quit controlling…Thank you so much for your positive thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes. Laurel…I hope that so much for you too. That’s why you must keep writing your amazing stories of your life, and those that are in your heart. Thank you for your support…you are amazing. HUGS.


      1. I think I’ve almost run out of stories about my life….unless I write about how my daughters never responded to my email…and how my son seems to have gone off the deep end…..again. I think I’d like to get that pill that causes amnesia. LOL.
        I appreciate your support and kind words so much! Hugs back. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You know, even though your husband did all the things he did, atleast he came clean. He came clean because he cared. And that to me speaks volumes. For him to acknowledge the damage he’s done, the lives he’s changed makes a huuuuuuuuuge difference. The fact that he kneels next to you and cries for all the shameful things he’s done as hard as it is shows to me atleast that he still has love for you. And again that’s huge. I’m not saying that you should forget all the hurt, I’m not even justifying the affairs.
    If he was indifferent, if he didn’t care, if he just shrugged and didn’t answer any of your questions, then I’d say fuck it. But you’re both trying. BOTH. Not just one. But the both of you. It will work. Really it will. If you both want it to

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Kinda like giving birth to a cement block….naturally. PAIN, PAIN, PAIN. Thank God you’re a woman and strong enough to handle it. You’re still there and that makes him a very blessed man. Good vibes your way.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My heart goes out to you.
    Recently I was looking into booking us a hotel room in the city for valentine’s day. I began to panic because I couldn’t remember the hotel name that he put the OW up in when she came here in April of 2014. I had to make sure I didn’t pick the same hotel. I had kept a copy of the credit card receipt with the hotel and found it. Then just the visions of them together there in those beautiful rooms in that high rise hotel overlooking OUR city made me want to crawl in a hole and never come out. I was never taken to an expensive hotel like that, I was always taken to the within our budget hotels that were nice but nothing fancy. Why did the whore get the fancy, expensive hotel? Why??
    So of wanting to do something different for valentine’s day this year triggered me in such a horrific way I just don’t want to do anything now. Triggers suck. Hugs to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I admire you….after all that….and you still are positive, you can look at the future, and visualize to fill a new box…the other real life box.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Those damn triggers. They are everywhere, relentless and appear without warning. How you handle them is what is important. One day, one hour, one moment….one trigger, at a time. You can do it…you ARE doing it. *hugs*

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I remember having a moment like that the second time I caught my husband cheating. A full blown panic attack followed by question after question, and wanting to receive comfort from the very person who had hurt me so deeply.

    Unlike your husband mine minimized, avoided answering my questions, and tried to manipulate me into thinking I had unresolved trust issues.

    You are so very brave for having the will to try and work through this. Your husband seems to be showing genuine remorse for the hurt and damage hes causes.

    A marriage of over 2 decades isn’t something to be thrown away lightly, but it takes both people to fix what one of them broke. In my case the marriage was 2 years, and the other person isn’t even capable of admitting his actions.

    Your husband is a far better man than mine.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Without a doubt, it takes two. And H did show remarkable remorse once he came out of the fog – the fog of many many years. There MUST be admittance, not just of the “bad acts,” but of the complete and utter brokenness. So many aren’t willing, or able, to go there, and my heart hurts for those. xo


  8. I so hear you. The triggers, the learning to understand the reality of your life (past and present), and looking to the very person who hurt you to be your source of comfort. It is a hard road. So many things that can eat away at the soul. Have you seen the NY times article by Anne Fels regarding Memories? It’s called “Great Betrayals.”

    It really put some things into context for me. Why having a remorseful spouse was not just important in terms of his health and becoming a sane, safe, loving human. But, also in terms of why a remorseful spouse is so important in terms of having the person who caused such pain willing to put aside fear, ego and shame to help us understand the truth of the past. Why it was and is so important to understand the truth of the past.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. TL…I had NOT read the Anne Fels article…but just did. My GOD. She wrote exactly what I have experienced, and what I feel, and what I did, and what I needed. It is uncanny, even using some of the same words and descriptions. And the insight into the idea of okay, betrayed…time to get over it…which is so WRONG, and not effective to or for our healing. Thank you for sharing that article, and understanding my deep need to have him help me navigate the now-muddy-story of my life…hoping to one day see clearly. HUGS.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I send the link to the Anne Fels article to people that continue to ask me if “I’m STILL having a rough time” Hell yes I’m having a rough time! My whole life has been hijacked…not just now but my past and my future. GREAT article!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It happened to me 10 days ago at the hotel check in. I got a tightness in my chest and that adrenaline fight or flight feeling, fast breathing. So so awful. What’s hardest for me is that it was exciting and giddy and titllating to check into a hotel for his affair. There’s none of that when we are together because we’ve been together so long. I’ll never feel the new relationship butterflies and anticipation at the check in feeling. I’ll never feel completely pain free at a hotel again. That’s really sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. OMG, this is so awful, I can’t image what you must have gone through or are going through. i just got out of a relationship with a sex addict but there has been no healing, no talking, nothing,he is just gone, no i’m sorrys NOTHING. I have a really had time with the thinking that the one who broke me could ever, ever, help me heal… I know this man has done this before, the healing part I mean, with many of his exes but he continues on with the sex addict behavior so it all still seems very false to me. Forgive my rantings… my heart goes out to you, I wish you peace in what ever way you can find it… Michelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michelle. I’m so sorry that we share much of the same story…it really sucks. I’m sorry that your partner stayed in his craziness, and never had eyes to see his own crap and the pain it brings. I wish you peace, and healing. Please know you have a voice here ANY TIME, and I really want to hear your insight. HUGS.


  11. I does suck…. I never knew there was such a thing as a sex addiction… the man I had always found nice middle aged woman to victimize, I may not have felt as bad if he just hired someone to have sex with but he had to have emotional relationships with each woman which just makes me feel worse. He recently sent me a really nasty email because I had told a number of people about him and what he was about and had talked to his last girl friend who had broken up with him because of this sex addiction. He, of course, was furious with me for “outing” him, ass hole, I wouldn’t have had anything to say about him if he hadn’t done anything. so now his story is that he is in treatment and is going to beat this addiction, which is what he has said every time he gets caught but it never changes. He is 66 years old and has done this his whole life. He even admits that he cheated on his wife for 20 years, has cheated on every woman he has every been with so I don’t believe he is serious about recovering at all. The whole situation just makes me sick, sick with him and with myself for being so blind, as his last girlfriend told me, I dodged a bullet with him, at least I never lived with him and was only with him for a year, it could be worse. I just can’t believe anyone could lie like that and not even think twice about it.

    I am glad to have met you… much love and hugs to you.. Michelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Michelle…so glad you were only temporarily trapped in his web. You do what YOU NEED to heal, precious girl, and don’t listen or receive in any way his anger. That, right there, is a GLARING CLUE that he is not authentically in recovery…still blaming, etc. I’m so glad you are here, and can move forward. HUGS.


  12. I have started to follow your blog and I am gradually working my way through your posts. I can’t stop crying. Your first posts took me right back to that dark time. Reading this post is heart breaking and I am sending my love and prayers to you. Your bravery is astonishing xx

    Liked by 2 people

  13. This breaks my heart for you. I left my marriage over cheating. Nothing to this extent but heartbreaking. I’m so sorry. The only ones left to pick up the pieces of what they chose to do are us. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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