Reflections of Betrayal

A memory popped up on Facebook yesterday. It is a picture of me with one of my dearest friends, four years ago yesterday, enjoying a fabulous event given by a vendor for my company. We have huge smiles and look silly – a photo booth picture.

Photo booth

I was transported to that event, that moment. It was odd that HUSBAND wasn’t with me. We have always made a habit of supporting each other at corporate events, and for some reason, he didn’t really want to go to this particular one. I remember him saying he WOULD go, but… Despite the reality that it was at a very swanky place, with really awesome food, great company and open bar. I honestly didn’t care much one way or the other, and I didn’t think much about it at the time.

We weren’t arguing or at odds over anything. We weren’t seething or saying snarky things or sending mean texts. We were just living our daily lives of disconnection, plodding along, getting up in the morning and doing what needed to be done to take care of our home and our jobs and our kids and ourselves. We were living as we had much of our married life – no big ripples, just the constant pressure of dissatisfaction and hoping there was more but having too much on our plate to really think about it.

dinner disconnection

Yet there was a sub-story going on that that girl in the picture didn’t know anything about. I thought we were in this reality together, but there was another plot running concurrently that had a thick curtain covering it from my sight. Only 8 days prior, HUSBAND had taken the opportunity of delivering our son for a college sports tryout to meet up with his new affair partner. With SW. He had offered to take him, several states away, at the last minute claiming he would combine it with a couple work visits and get in a couple nights of camping – clear his soul – fish on a creek – cook his own meals by campfire –

Craigs Cabin Number 10

My heart had broken for him – this man who had sacrificed so much of his desire to hunt and to fish and to camp so he could be a good and present dad. All our kids were heavily engaged at high levels in a sport and he was almost always at every event with me, handling the coolers and providing encouragement and calming me down…leaving very little time for him to do the things he loves. I was excited he had figured out a way to nurture our family/son, get some work done AND find time to do the things he loves. We spoke on the phone after his arrival at the little cabin by the creek…I could hear the excitement in his voice…and I was happy for him.

Oh he was excited. He was excited to hear the sound of his new mistress’s voice telling him all the things he wanted to hear about himself as a person, as a man, as a lover. He was excited to have dinner with her and then head back to the cabin and culminate their phone relationship into a physical relationship.

That girl in the picture, with her friend, had no idea. No idea at all.

No Idea

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31 thoughts on “Reflections of Betrayal

  1. My heart breaks for you when I read about these pop up reminders which stir painful recollections and reflections, but I’m also so proud to call you friend. Your courage to confront the pain and help others in the process is inspiring. I love you dearly, Susan.

    Sent from my iPhone

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    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh CJD…the feeling is so mutual. For me, writing is releasing. I feel these things, but as I write them and share them…I’m free of them. Yes, they come back, but with less and less fury and vengeance. Thank you for reading. For caring. xoxo

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  2. My heart breaks for you and all of us.
    Even good memories. Smiling memories. They are changed. There is saddnes where there was none before. Or perhaps a realization of, aha and I thought he was happy with me but it was her making him feel that way. Or of course the blame of, how couldn’t I have known?
    Even in current day when there is happiness there is always a remenant of hurt. Always an inking of can this be real? It’s like death. Hard to wrap your head around.
    Always a question of is this worth the cost? So I suppose that’s the question. Is it? Kinda scary thinking I could be asking myself that and that time is flying by.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh yes, TBMI. I hear you, and share so much of what you are feeling. Worth the cost? Reality is it has been paid, whatever path we take. For me, I’m finding the new way that I live, that we live, is incredibly beautiful. And for that…I am grateful. I’m thinking of you on your journey. Big hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh how I detest that wave of “So that’s what was really happening” feeling when I come across a photo! This happens to me so often and I don’t know when or how it will diminish. I am sorry, sweet Susan. Prayers and hugs.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Oh this just about made me gasp. I have these memories too, 4 yrs ago.

    Here’s my painful punch in the tit, so to speak. After months of confusion on my end, we spent a week at the beach house, almost exactly 4 yrs ago, reconnecting. He got up early to drive back to out then home, 10 hrs away, kissed me and thanked me for such a great week. Best in a long time, I love you so much. He drive away, I told my girlfriends all day and that evening how I thought whatever had disconnected us had passed and I was happy.

    He drove 5 hrs and she met him at a motel where they spent the night together. The whole night, the first time after months of furtive fucks. I never heard from him or called – why would I? We were back on track.

    Finding out what actually happened that night still breaks me. I don’t know how that pain will ever go away. All she had to do was call him after he’d been with his family for a week, say the right thing, and he accommodated her. She left her home stand and four kids on a summer Friday night to drive a few hours and give my husband a blow job. He gave her cash for the room and woke up and left.

    How do I compete with that level of sexy? I would never leave my kids for a side piece, so I’ll never be as titillating as she managed to be.

    I’m so sorry. I’m crying now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh dear Daisy. I’m so sorry my post triggered you. I’m so sorry you have these hurts and memories and questions. I’m so sorry our husbands were such shits and they found women who were just as shitty.

      We will never know why. We will never get it. We are not those people, even though they were.

      You are four years out too…strange and overwhelming and crazy that this pain cuts this deep. I am healing, we are healing, and I hope you are healing too…please respond back?

      You are brave and honest and beautiful, and I appreciate you posting. Big hugs, xo

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Daisy- your words “still breaks me.” Yes, yes, yes. I will be happy and then something cause me to reflect. Perhaps just the emotion of being happy and I remember. I will recall a time when I thought I was happy but the person I loved was purposely doing the one thing that would break me. I remember in the beginning thinking how can I still be breathing. I actually said that to someone. But we are breathing and I hope a hell of a lot smarter then we were.
      You say how do you compare to that level of sexy. I think we fantasize that it was a lot more sexier than it was. Was it sexy or more filth? The whole act of it is immoral, selfish, and pathetic. I’m thinking a good man would look back and think of it as shameful and disgusting not sexy. Being authentic, strong, loving, kind, honest and faithful….that’s sexy. Take in the beach air and breath deep. We are still breathing.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. It’s the shit, isn’t it? He came back to a marriage with a faithful wife, I came back to someone I barely know. 30 yrs together, for a woman he knew for a few months who was older, married, ugly, less educated. But she praised him, flattered him, worked for him and swallowed.

    I’m not being crass, these are the facts. You didn’t trigger me, he kind of broke me. I’m back at the beach and it’s probably triggery too.

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  6. I hate the Facebook memories pop ups. Every time I see one, I immediately place it on a timeline that leads to D day. I see the same happy, unsuspecting version of myself that no longer exists since I learned the truth. Sometimes I stay angry for a couple of days after seeing and remembering. I wish I could turn that feature off. Looking back isn’t always a good thing, especially for us betrayed spouses. I try to stay in the present and look at my husband as a different man from the one I was married to in all those old photos. Today he is different, and that makes me happy. But I will probably grieve for those lost years for the rest of my life.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Boomer- you can adjust FB so you don’t see those memory popups. I did. It was a relief. Before it was like every time I opened FB I was waiting for a snake to spring!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Betrayal is so ugly and difficult to understand. Thanks for dropping by and commenting on my post – there are so many of us in this same boat. It’s been twenty years for me, but obviously (through my writing) the residual still lingers.

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  8. What really struck me with this post was how perfectly your choice of wording could have been mine….”we were both just living our daily lives of disconnection.” And also my belief that we were sharing the same reality, just going about our lives separately yet together in this. How naive of me, and foolish. I have often wondered if he thought I was stupid, if he laughed at me for being so unsuspecting. But then I think he likely wasn’t thinking of me at all. In all the healing we have both done, I have not asked him this question. I am not sure which answer would be least hurtful. But then again, it really doesn’t matter anymore.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I too felt like my H must have been laughing at me…and I did ask the question. He said that no, he was not laughing at me, he just thought he was being very clever and smart. He does now understand he hurt me, damaged our marriage (probably forever) and most of all became a sick, dishonest person…the damage to his self respect and sense of self was huge…

      Thing is…he got to stay married, most of his friends do not know..the piggish women got away with it, I am still so angry about the injustice of it…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw. I am sorry for your very real pain. You were brave to ask the question and likely have asked others too that I have never had the courage to ask. True communication is so important. I have found incredible healing in my own recovery and marriage but sometimes wonder if we actually talked enough about things we should have. I have left things in the past, but maybe we don’t even know what all that is…..or what we have unwittingly brought forward with us that still needs to be addressed. When people say communicate, communicate, communicate, I think I have missed a couple of those steps. I guess I will find out. Regardless, life is good, improving daily, and that is possible for you too. It really is. ❤️

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  9. “I will recall a time when I thought I was happy but the person I loved was purposely doing the one thing that would break me”
    This thought still invades my brain with regularity and makes me doubt my healing. Every time!

    I too hate FB memories. Didn’t know you could turn it off. Will try to do that as it gets to me each and every time. I also grieve for the lost years I thought WE were happy but I now know that HE was seeking to escape his unhappiness by meeting with someone else,

    Thanks for the post SS. Always so relevant! X

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  10. In so may ways this is me. I am taken back to times when I had no clue what was going on in the background of my life. These moments in time…transport me to such a negative place and I find it hard to bound back. I am able to talk myself back more quickly now but I feel each time I do this…there is a stamp of anger made on my heart, and my H becomes more of a stranger to me. A few days ago we went for dinner with his family, near a park that three years ago was the scene of a very upsetting talk between us. We had been separated a week…and he refused to see me unless it was on “neutral ground” so we met at the park and he proceeded to tell me everything that was shit about me and our marriage..all the while, he had already cheated with two women, and was still involved with one…had I known I would have cut free and spared myself the indignity of grasping to save our marriage.

    I need to understand how to let these memories go, how to stop them from doing damage time and again. My H is outside fixing my boat…and I am in here, heart in mouth….he is totally unaware and I feel telling him would just transport both of us to this negative spot…what am I doing wrong?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh II…you are not doing anything wrong. But it does sound like you are a bit stuck. In counseling, my therapist helped me understand some crazy stuff about the brain, and how it actually can support negativity. The way he described it, it is almost like a loop and a trigger would release a memory…that memory would elicit an emotion in me…that emotion released chemicals (like you said, that little stamp of anger) that at once helped me get through the moment, but also reinforced my going back to that response. Now, I engage in mind exercises to help me get out of that negativity loop. HUSBAND and I do something we call rapid-fire-gratefulness: we set the timer (or look at our watch) for 2 minutes, hold hands, look at each other and begin to fire, back and forth, things we are grateful for. It might be that we got rain, or that our AC is working (since it is 95 degrees). It can be that he made me a cup of coffee, or that one of our kids got a job. It isn’t big stuff…and it isn’t necessarily about each other. It is AMAZING how just that simple exercise helps my mind break out of the loop and frees me to see and experience the positive. Do you think your husband would do that with you? Big hugs, sweet girl.

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  11. Thanks for sharing the loop and trigger with me, yes I am sure that is what is happening. I know there is a kind of mind body impulse when I feel something negative like this, an anxiety response with beating heart and flushed face….I used to grab a cig, but I have quit. Now I’m just doing a few solid deep breaths to get past it.

    I did after reading your responses the other day, initiate another conversation with H letting him know the level of my anger was still high, that I thought we were just brushing his cheating under the rug and that I was feeling the unfairness of all of it. The talk was decent but again, he rarely has words. He did agree to go back to counselling. I want him to say sorry most days..and say why he is sorry, is that wrong? He is doing acts of service, and trying to be thoughtful and helpful….

    If I am being completely honest with myself, I have not yet decided to forgive him. I don’t know if that is in my head or in my heart or both….how did you decide to forgive, how did you forgive and start moving forward?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi II…I am SO SORRY!! I have not had notifications of comments/posts (will check my settings) and am just now seeing this. Please forgive the late response, and HUSBAND and I are preparing for a couple meetings with hurting couples right now. I will get back an answer to you asap. Thinking of you today…hugs.

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