Anatomy of Infidelity, Part 5

Just looking back through the life of my infidel…looking at gaps and patterns and moments and experiences and ways-of-living that could give us both clues into how. Into why. This isn’t a treatise for explaining cheating; rather a process of working through for both of us…so we never end up there again.

needlehaystack

Our wedding…was magnificent. Sort of.

At the time, it was everything I’d dreamed of. I wore a stunning dress and long-white gloves (it was a thing, honestly). My attendants looked gorgeous in their deep teal, ankle-length, satin dresses (that they could wear again – lol) and all the flowers were white, only white. The groomsmen looked distinguished in their black tuxedos, and the flowers…the setting…the band…the food…it was overwhelming. I remember looking at my dad and telling him I felt like a princess. Thank you.

I’m not sure why, but at the altar with my groom, I talked. I kept saying things like, “we are really doing this, getting married. Can you believe it?”

bridegroomkneeling

I think the reality is I couldn’t believe it. I think maybe, deep down in my gut, there was a little turmoil that I just could not allow to come to the surface.

That blind eye thing…even though I couldn’t see it, my gut may have had some insight that just disconnected before it hit my cognitive faculties. It’s hard to go back here, it’s hard to admit. But if I am ever to heal, ever to ensure that I’d never be in the same position again, I have to go here. Putting it on paper and owning my silence…I’m trying to be kind to this girl. I hope you will be too.

blind-eye

The first thing that I can now see that was really discordant but I just breezed right past at the time? HUSBAND and I had gone out of town together with friends for a couple days. When we got back to town, we went by his house where I had left my car. We walked inside and his roommate told us that he’d had an unexpected visitor the night before, actually, in the early morning hours. Seems HUSBAND’s former girlfriend that had once been his fiancé had been dropped off at the house expecting to slip into HUSBAND’s bed and resume their up/down relationship. Odd that she felt the freedom to show up. Show up and expect…but I justified it in my mind that they’d had such a pattern in the past…

Several weeks later, after HUSBAND had reportedly called former girl to tell her to never come by again…that it was permanently over, and he was moving on, he picked me up. We were headed to a ball game, and we always took his dog with us. When she wasn’t it the car, I asked where she was. To my great surprise, he told me former girl had her.

????Former girl, who doesn’t drive. Who he’d told there would be contact or ongoing anything????

He was surprised that I was uncomfortable with this. You see, they’d both loved the dog. The dog had been part of both their lives for the four years of off-again on-again relationship and he couldn’t really be expected to keep the dog from her, could he?

labrador-30-634

After the ball game, he took me home and I didn’t say anything about the dog incident. I did, however, disappear for several days. This was pre cell phones, and I made sure my assistant answered my phone at work. I went to a friend’s to spend the night directly after work. On the third day I came home to my apartment, and he appeared within minutes. I explained that I was not interested in sharing him with another person. If he wanted an ongoing we-are-going-to-share-dog-time-or-any-other-time with her, then I was out. He pledged his heart and apologized and I thought she was gone for good.

And she was, until he told me a few days later that she thought she was pregnant. Ended up she wasn’t. And I just kept plugging along.

Another day we were relaxing in his home, talking about our upcoming wedding. HUSBAND then decided to let me know that he hadn’t paid his taxes for the last three years. BOOM. When I asked why, he boyishly explained he’d just not quite gotten ‘round to it. And what does any smart, confident, independent young woman do when she finds out such a thing? Surely, she insists that he get it straightened out immediately…that he cleans it up and files and deals with whatever penalties and interest and admonishments that may be due. Right?

That is unless she turns a blind eye…justifying that he isn’t as skilled in finances as she is…that he didn’t mean to do anything wrong. And then SHE promptly digs through the past years, gets all the information together on his behalf, gets it all cleaned up. I did ask him to pay the accountant, which he did, and to pay the required financial penalties…at least that is something. I worked hard to clean up the mess. He said thanks.

Then there was our wedding night. I’m not sure what I expected…I was certainly influenced by romantic movies and thoughts of long-drawn out intimate moments and awe of consummating the commitment we’d just publicly made and being a wife. His wife. I guess I thought there would be a beautiful suite, and flowers, and candles, and champagne, and tender touches and…

But what there was instead was a regular hotel room (my folks said why waste the money on a special suite?) and taking his own clothes off and getting into the bed (okay, so I guess I take mine off too) and a self-satisfying romp (for him) and then roll over and proceed to a snoring sleep. Yes…there had been a crazy full day of festivities and food and spirits, but I was stunned. And sad. And got out of my brand-new marriage bed and went to the bathroom and started the bathtub and got in it, alone, and cried.

weddingnighttub

Yes. A blind eye. I had it, but it is open now.

 

 

 

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37 thoughts on “Anatomy of Infidelity, Part 5

    1. I’m so sorry you had a bathtub-crying moment (or two, or three, or ten). And you’re right…we did trust the wrong person. But I want to understand why, WHY I trusted the wrong person. It has been such an important part of my living in freedom… HUGS to you, precious Laurel.

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  1. I find your story somewhat of a mirror image of my own. I was the “fix it” wife. I took charge of everything and I’m not exaggerating because I mean everything. I made excuses for my husbands ungrateful self centered behavior for practically my whole life. I lived a life of invisibility and sadness that I don’t think I could really comprehend the depths of it at the time. I remember I felt lonely a lot but at the same time I felt safe in the routine of it all. I had low expectations and that is exactly what I got.
    I wrote to my husband after d day that he did the one thing he could do to me that I really feared. He knew that and did it anyway. He chose to do it. It was NOT a mistake it was a deliberate, calculated, cruel choice.
    He is not the same person he was 18 months ago. There is a profound change in everything he is now. I am different now too. Some for the better and some for the worse. I am trying to figure out how to be in a marriage where I have such disrespect for his actions. I don’t love him as much as I used too. I see him in a much clearer light than before. And I see our entire marriage clearer not just the affair part.It’s an odd feeling and I cannot explain it in words. I guess I see the reality of it all and it disgusts me. It saddens me. At times it cripples me. I am trying to consider this an opportunity to have a marriage that is better and stronger. Problem is there are days when I just don’t give a damn.
    As always thank you for your post and your insight. I applaud you for putting it all out there.

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    1. Oh Taking Back…you describe my life and marriage too. The overwhelming loneliness, yet safety in the routine. That is why I’m compelled to examine it, to unpack how and why I lived and allowed and accepted and reacted as I did. If anyone else benefits…wow, that will be amazing. You are 18 months out? Are you guys engaging in any work together, specifically?

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      1. We have seen 3 different therapists. None were the right fit but each served a purpose for the time. Like I said he has done a 180. Honestly unrecognizable. My brother said to me ” you now have the husband you have always wanted but you have to figure out if that is enough.” That’s true. I just don’t know how to get past the act it took to get him here.
        To add to it all he worked with his AP. She is the shining example of a snake in the grass. Much younger, divorcing and hooked up with an older guy with $ who needed his waining ego stroked. My husband was able to just find another job so that part is over and I think I was really at my breaking point emotionally with that. I’m really exhausted now physically and I think or hope this is my body starting to repair itself from all of this stress. I am hoping that this new job will help me be able to accept him and trust him.
        My pride and self worth have just been stomped on. It is just such a shitty feeling but like everyone here it is step by step.

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        1. Taking Back My Life I am glad that your husband went to therapy with you. I tried to take my husband but he just felt “pounced upon”. Granted, the therapist we went to wasn’t the best fit for either of us. But she helped give me affirmation that there is more going on with my husband than he was letting on. I am now seeing another counselor who does partner therapy with her husband focussing on relationships dealing with sex addiction. My hope is that my husband will come around, but I am not holding my breath. I am 13 months past D-day and have never felt such depression, grief, anger, and dispair. My husband is trying in his own way, but as you were told, “is it enough?”. My gut says no. He will most likely have another affair (he has had two long-lasting affairs in our 24 year marriage). He is afraid to dig deep to figure out the root problem and get the much needed help from professionals. So, here I am slumping through the days, still loving the man who betrayed me in oh so many ways, but not with the abandon and Trust that I had before. He is a changed man, very loving and thougthful and supportive. But….
          I don’t have the strength yet to do what I know needs to be done. We have three lovely children and I don’t want to tear apart their life. Wow! Did I just say that? I’m not the one doing the damage!
          Like you, it is one day and one step at a time.

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        2. Dear Margaret. You have such a capacity for compassion and love. I hope that he will agree to join you in the healing journey. From everything I have been through, we have been through…from the hundreds of couples we have walked alongside now as they work toward reconciliation…I cannot imagine doing it alone. Please keep writing and reading and sharing and growing. The next right step, that’s all you have to take. HUGS.

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    2. I am having such similar feelings about my H, disgust is a big one. Your words are mine exactly although I am only three months out. I loved him blindly with all my heart, and now it is as if eyes are opened, against my will and I have to see the entire picture. He is trying, he is open, his secrets have been laid bare before me and I may finally get a husband that tries to emote, communicate, aware of his selfishness. Some days I am so damn mad I can spit fire, some days I could cry a river, and some days I want to beat him senseless….it all feels too damn much and am so angry he has saddled me with all these thoughts and feelings…none of it is fair!

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      1. Indeed, II. There is nothing, no aspect of this world of betrayal that is fair. It was completely beyond our knowledge, our control, our thoughts. That is a wound so deep and difficult to heal. But it can happen…you are so very early in the process. Be kind to yourself…be fair to yourself! This has destroyed your sense of reality, and now you are struggling to stand on solid ground. I encourage you to allow yourself to feel each of the things you describe…the sadness…the anger…the rage… And talk to safe people. And write. The answers will come, the healing will begin to build. I will never be the same…and could not imagine saying this 2 years ago…but I am better. Bloody, scarred, but better. I hope this for you, dear II. HUGS.

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      1. That makes me smile. I’m glad you’re you too😊 I’m doing good. I definitely have my ups and downs but I feel like I’m managing them a bit better. A little at a time, right? That’s all we can do💙

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  2. I’m sure you were so hopeful and wanted it to be what it should have been. So sorry. It’s hard to look back and see the things that we missed, or decided to miss.

    These are the crazy clues I got regarding my wedding. The man that was suppose to make our cake abruptly died less than a week before our wedding because of gang green (never even heard of this happening before), our videographer got hit by a car and broke a lot of bones, a few days before (he was in the hospital), two groomsmen had fender benders on the way to the wedding and the least significant thing, but it still stood out, our florist put babies breath in the men’s boutonnières. I really, really, really dislike it and ask over and over again to please leave out of all flowers. I think God was screaming at me and I didn’t want to hear him 😕. Crazy to think about it now.

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  3. I’ve cried on more shower floors than I care to remember. My heart breaks for the young girl I was and what I chose not to see. The most jarring was my soon to be mother in law kissing my soon to be husband a little to long on the lips, in the Center of the room at our wedding shower. It grossed me out and it was inappropriate, but to say something would have been turned against me – anger: the problem lemomdrop is that you see disgusting things where there are none. Or, pain: Oh my god how could you not see the beauty in a woman marking her son as territory? With batting eyelashes. My role was to put up and shut up with anything pertaining to his family. I was called snobby, judgemental, uppity – for 30 years.

    Maybe it’s not surprising that the m/cow was a mini me of my mil. And a fawner, kiss ass, boundary-less, phony, inauthentic, empathy-less whore. Also like my mil. Wh was told that by cheating on me, he was inadvertently making his mother #1 gal. He knocked me off my pedestal and she loved it. I have sons, I just can’t imagine fucking with them like this.

    But would that young girl we all were have been able to say anything? I think the problems my mil caused to my wh hadn’t come to the surface yet. Why would covert incest have been a reason for me to stop the wedding? I was damned if I did, and damned if I didn’t. I can be blamed either way (and in fits, I have been): you knew what was going on and chose to ignore it, or you ended a relationship because of creepy mother love? You have a sick mind, missy. *this is emotional incest btw, not physical.

    Manipulative people find a way to dump their shame and shit on others. I was their receptacle.

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    1. Oh I hear your words, and feel your heart, lemondrop. Covert incest is rampant, and a root cause of many infidels, I believe. I’m so sorry…your sweet girl was shamed into silence and her insight was turned into accusation and self-doubt. I’m sorry. For me too. And never again…HUGS across the space.

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  4. Nothing more exciting than pulling up to a DQ drive thru window on a hot day and ordering a chocolate dipped cone. It looks so good and the first taste brings pure happiness. Moving on down the road you find that you can’t lick fast enough to keep up with the melting dripping mess. Trying to drive with the left hand, control the falling apart cone with the right hand AND watch where you’re going……. How can something that wonderful turn into such a cluster fuck?

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    1. Oh Anna…this is amazing. Absolutely amazing. It is exactly what it is like… It looks good, it tastes good, it runs down your fingers and your arms and drips on your lap and the seat and…
      Thank you for this. HUGS.

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  5. I can also relate, there were flags, not huge glaring ones but they were there and I wish I had paid more attention. H had cheated on two girls in his past..and I stupidly told myself they were flings of youth on his part. H treated these two girlfriends with lack of respect in the end, things ended horribly, he was cold and unkind. Neither of them want anything to do with him in any way…that is the extent of the hurt he caused.

    He had never lived with anyone, never had a relationship more than a year. Never lived on his own (roommates). He was unable to really deeply emote.He entered into our marriage with a huge secret, about his childhood and his sexuality and it only came to light when all the chips were down this past August. I think it is the main reason I have stayed. I admire your ability to dig, I admire you ability to repair, I pray I am able to follow in your footsteps…not feeling hopeful…

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    1. Oh II, you already are. You have shown willingness to hear. You mention above that he “was unable to really deeply emote.” That is a huge clue of a person that is deeply wounded, deeply hiding pain. In my H case, as he was able to unfold the wounds, his ability to feel and connect has grown exponentially. You are a brave and beautiful person, and I hope you keep taking steps forward to heal. Big hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks again for your kind words, have been feeling so helpless this week, cried as I wrote my last post..I feel I am not as strong as you. I keep picturing life without him…would it be easier…I am not giving up, but I don’t feel I am making any progress in my thoughts.

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        1. It’s okay to picture life without him. I absolutely did. I focused on what I needed, and expected him to be willing to do whatever that was, whether I chose to stay or not. The decision to stay evolved…and much of it was because of his profound changes. I know I say it often, but sweet II, be kind to yourself…this is a bloody process. xoxo

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        2. Is it unfair of me to allow him to go through all these hurdles without actually knowing if I can stay? I feel guilty, about how I feel, how I think. Often I feel like he is wasting his time on me….because I have not been able to move much forward…it feels like movement is measured in grains of sand..so small..if any

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