I Think He Knows

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I suspect my husband knows.

About this blog, I mean.

He knows how much I live and breathe writing, and would expect no less of me than to write my way out of the hell that has been the past four years.

Yes, the blog is full of “vituperative nonsense”, as ‘Someone’ once described it, but what else would you expect from a blog written by a betrayed wife?

You bet it’s full of fucking vituperation!

It took most of that four years to work the anger out of my system.

My blog is full of swear words and bitterness and raw anger that only time could tend to and eventually tame.

Not erase, but tame.

That, plus my husband’s magnanimous efforts in righting his wrongs, have eased the open wounds that bled for so long.

For years — more than 3.5yrs, in fact — I could not see a way out of the despair.

The despair of reading your husband’s words of seduction to another woman.

The heartbreak of learning your husband meet up with multiple women for God knows what.

The utter devastation of learning he began cheating while his wife was pregnant with their third and final child.

It takes some real fucking effort to pick yourself up after being discarded so cruelly by the one person in the world you thought had your back.

What I’ve realised through this entire saga is that I’m a goddam survivor.

I may have been brought to my knees, drowning in depression and anger, but I made it out the other fucking side.

There is nothing I cannot handle.

I can never be hurt like that again because I have hardened and become more resilient.

Even if I discovered my husband cheating again one day, I could shrug and walk away. I’d be mad but I wouldn’t be destroyed.

I’m near fucking invincible.

Yes, it would hurt, but nothing like the first time, when it seemed my world completely blew the fuck up and I was left standing in the middle holding the remnants of a grenade.

Anyone who makes light of affairs has not lived through it, and for that they should be fucking grateful.

Life may not always be so generous.

But this is the life I’ve had to live and adjust to. I didn’t ask for any of it. It was dumped on me by a thoughtless and selfish individual. We all had this shit dumped on us.

BUT…

Life is better today. It’s different. I’m different. I’m happy! I smile a lot, and most of the negativity I once carried has gone.

My husband and I have rediscovered a very active sex life, which has been a revelation. Sex four or five times a week is the norm. Previously, we could go months without being sexually intimate. I enjoy this new closeness.

I don’t think of a certain bunny boiler much at all these days. I look back to that time and I swear I must have been fucking mad. The thought of being with that revolting human repulses me no end, although I’m sure my husband would be excited at the prospect of a threesome LOL.

Before my husband and I turned a corner, he made a comment to me that he thought I had “checked out” of our marriage, terminology I had used when writing here. I thought it was odd, that he used that phrasing, but tried not to think about it.

Then, that night when we were lying in bed and I tried to tell him about you-know-who, he told me I didn’t need to tell him anything. Why not? Maybe he already knew?

So dear husband, if you are reading this, please let me know.

Just say to me, “I know.”

And if I’m stressing and in the middle of something and carrying on and I turn around and snap at you, “Know what??”, please cradle my face in your hands, look me in the eye, and repeat, “I know.”

We now know where we stand with each other.

Let’s make a clean break and be open.

I think we at least owe each other that.

xo

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The Truth Comes Out

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I did it.

Last night after the kids had gone to sleep, I lay down in bed with my husband and talked. For hours.

I told him I knew about Audrey and that he had cheated on me while I was pregnant.

He said, “I know, you forwarded the emails to me.”

Huh? I did? Yep, sure enough I had. Guess I was more rattled than I thought when I found them. Facepalm.

I stayed calm.

“How did you feel reading them back?” I asked, ” Because I’m having a hard time reconciling that you now, and you then, are the same person.”

He closed his eyes and shook his head.

“I can’t believe it either,” he said. “I read those emails and it was like a stranger had written them.”

“You were cheating on me while I was pregnant,” I said calmly. “Throughout all the therapy we underwent, you never once mentioned this Audrey. You told her you wanted to explore with her, spend the night with her, lie to me to be with her!”

“I know, I’m sorry. I told you that over that period, I had spoken to lots of women online.”

“I know,” I said. “But come on. You weren’t just speaking with her. You met her — for an early morning coffee!”

He said I could ask him anything I wanted, so I spent the next 20 minutes asking anything and everything I could think of about the mysterious Audrey.

I learned she was the one that cut off contact, he wasn’t intimate with her, and he didn’t even like her.

“Her English wasn’t very good,” I said, for no particular reason.

“She was Asian,” he said, and I burst out laughing.

My husband might like perving at long-legged blondes or brunettes in short skirts, but has never, ever shown any interest in women from the East.

“You didn’t know that before you went to meet her??”

“Nope.”

I knew that to be true, as in the email chain, she refused to send a picture or even describe what she looked like.

His expression when he laid eyes on her that morning at Starbucks must have been priceless.

She sent him no messages after that date.

So as we lay there talking, I looked at the man I feel in love with 26 years ago and saw the lines etched deeply into his face.

After a long purge from both of us, I felt at peace.

Except for one little thing.

I had to tell him about Lorna.

In her last email to me, she threatened to expose me to my husband if I didn’t permanently remove this blog from the internet.

There was no fucking way I was taking this blog down. And I sure as hell wasn’t giving her the opportunity to out me.

“I have to tell you something, too,” I said. My voice was trembling.

He looked at me.

“Don’t say what you’re about to say.”

“How do you know what I’m about to say?”

“I can just sense it. You don’t have to tell me anything.”

“Yes, I do,” I said.

I took a very deep breath and began.

“Last year, I developed a crush on someone I worked with,” I said.

“I told them, but they weren’t interested and no relationship came of it.

“But what it did tell me was that I wasn’t dead inside.

“I’m telling you because they threatened to tell you and I couldn’t have you finding out like that.”

He watched my face as I spoke.

“Where does that leave us now?” I asked. “Are were committed to staying together?”

“I know I am,” he said. “I feel sick when I think about what I’ve put you through the past four years. I don’t deserve you.”

Well, that much may be true.

Here’s the thing: I know my own inner strength now.

Him cheating again, or even these additional revelations, won’t break me. Not again.

I’ve come a long way these four years. The marriage still has its ups and downs (more ups) but the overall projectile is upwards.

I love him.

And even though I thought it was all over last year, I stayed because I had not definitively decided what I was going to do.

“I’ve never loved above else,” I told him softly.

“Me either,” he said.

I snuggled into him.

Later, we made love, and I crashed out at peace with myself, with him, and our future.

New Information

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Four years ago, my marriage as I knew it, ended.

Discovering an X-rated message exchange between my husband and some whore left me seriously messed up for years.

Even through the therapy and the many post-affair talking sessions, I couldn’t shake the feeling that my husband wasn’t telling me everything.

Despite my husband swearing everything had been purged, I did not believe him.

And last night, I was vindicated.

My husband gave me complete access to his phone after D-Day, and although I’ve looked a handful of times to satisfy my curiosity, I couldn’t see anything to raise alarm bells.

Last night, my husband came to bed early and crashed as he was clearly exhausted.

I took the opportunity to remove the glasses from his face, his phone from his hand and starting flicking through a few things: email, Instagram, Facebook, Messenger.

Nothing.

But that nagging feeling persisted. So I kept digging.

And then I found it. A Yahoo email account. But not under his name. He had called himself Simon Temples.

I opened the inbox.

Facebook ‘people you might know messages’ filled the screen.

I thumbscrolled through the messages.

More Facebook messages.

No, no. Thumbscroll, thumbscroll.

There’s more, I know it.

Thumbscroll, thumbscroll.

Ah, jackpot.

Messages from an Audrey.

Dated March 2013.

When I was almost 8 months pregnant.

Bastard.

A second affair he never told me about.

He swore he began cheating on me after our third child was born because he felt neglected.

Now I had proof he had begun cheating on me before then.

I read all the messages. All 71 of them.

Then, because I didn’t panic and become enraged, I took my time forwarding all of the messages to myself.

Messages where he met up with her for coffee.

Messages where he told her what he’d do with his tongue.

Messages where he told her he would “definitely try to work out a way” to spend the whole night at her place “but not very often.”

Messages where he was looking for a booty call and would lie to me about what time he had to be home and then drop around to her place.

I know this was 4+ years ago, and we’re in a good place right now, but this fucking hurts.

What do I do with this new information??

It’s Now Four Years Later And I’m OK

When I first discovered my husband’s affair 4 years ago, the devastation and shock left me hopelessly lost.

I was completely blindsided, completely unprepared for the pain in my heart, the unstoppable tears. Nothing made fucking sense.

Had I been deceived by this man for the past 20 years? Did I ever know him? It was like discovering being married to a stranger. Was he a serial killer, too? Maybe. Obviously I was too fucking thick to know who he REALLY was. He had managed to fool me for half my life.

What an affair does to your head is off the charts. You start questioning your sanity. Your judgement. Decisions, no matter how smaller, suddenly take longer to make. The mindfuck can last for a very long time.

Last month, I crossed the four year mark of discovering my husband’s affair.

I almost missed it.

Why?

To be honest, I don’t think about it much anymore.

Four years on, I am over the worst of it.

Back around the middle of the year, I was convinced my marriage was over. We lived separate lives, just under the same roof.

But I hung around. I had three young children to think about.

We’ve done the work. We’ve gone through couple’s therapy. We’ve had many a talk. He owned his mistakes. He apologised constantly for fucking up. I have passwords to anything I want to look at on his phone or computer, not that I’ve felt the need to look in ages.

While much better, life isn’t perfect. We still fight. I still get upset on nights when he doesn’t come to bed with me. I hate it when he’s doing something for too long on his phone.

For months now, I haven’t written anything. Everything I was going through seemed so transient. From one day to the next, my feelings changed. Things changed. I felt unstable.

But as 2017 comes to a close, I can look back with a little perspective.

Here’s my advice to you: if you’re not 100% sure about walking out, then don’t walk out. Sit on the fence for as long as you want. No-one is rushing you to make a decision. You may feel you need to make a decision, but the truth is, you don’t. It’s a self-imposed deadline. This is a life decision. Take your time. Months, years, whatever.

It’s your life.

A decision this big needs massive fucking consideration.

Nobody can tell you how long it will take to get over the devastation of an affair. I used to hear the figure “2 years” bandied about constantly.

But for me, two years came and went and it still fucking hurt. A LOT.

Three years was no better either.

But here I am at 4 years, and things look different from where I’m standing.

I am content.

And that’s good enough for now.

The Legacy Of An Affair

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Every time July comes around, it fills me with trepidation.

Prior to this fucking affair bullshit, July was my wedding anniversary month.

When July rolled around, it signalled a time to celebrate being together. Have a romantic escape somewhere. Tell each other how much we meant to each other. A night of passion was guaranteed.

And then D-Day hits and you realise you’ve been living in a fucking matrix your whole life. An alternate reality.

Your confidence is shot and you feel like the world’s ugliest, most worthless woman. It takes years to get any confidence back.

Your eyes are open for the first time. It’s a stark and frightful reality.

You begin to notice interactions in a new way — the way men interact with women. How women interact with men. The flirtatious exchanges, the hidden meanings, the knowing smiles.

What was probably already there becomes magnified with your post-affair lens.

And you realise how naive you’ve been all your life.

You wonder if that fat woman’s husband is cheating on her. You wonder if that married man is chatting up that younger, sexier woman he’s talking to.

Because nothing is innocent any more.

Everything is tainted and dirty and underhanded.

Because THAT is the lasting effect of betrayal. THAT is its legacy.

Even now, almost 4 years later, the pain never leaves.

It subsides, sure. You no longer pull over while you’re driving so you can burst into tears. You no longer do the shopping with tears streaming endlessly down your face as you walk the aisles in slow motion. You no longer go to bed crying every night because the person you thought would die for you, killed you instead.

It’s totally fucked up.

You live recalling the lies they told you to spend time with the whore. The “late nights” at the office. The “weekend gigs”. The “Sunday morning runs”. The text messages “from a mate”.

The excuses roll off the tongue so naturally and effortlessly. You have no reason to question any of it.

Until the bomb detonates in your face.

So what is there to celebrate now?

Absolutely nothing. Love don’t live here, anymore.

We stopped celebrating anniversaries post D-Day. I want no mention of it, no recognition of the date, abso-fucking-lutely nothing.

I’ve been doing some spring cleaning around my home recently and came across anniversary cards I’d been given by my cheating husband over the years.

I love you so much. You’re the best wife. I’m so happy we’re together. Blah, blah, blah.

I took great pleasure in ripping up every single one. There was nothing left to preserve. Nothing to savour.

It’s a part of my life that is over now.

To the half a million of you that have read this blog over the past almost 4 years, I’m sorry I cannot give you more hope.

You see, I was one of the ones that thought we’d come out the other side of this hell in tact.

We did couples therapy. We had individual therapy. We talked and talked and fucking talked.

But in the end, it all came to nothing.

We have separated but continue to live under the same roof. He sleeps downstairs, I sleep upstairs. We continue to co-parent our three children, and pool the majority of our money to pay the mortgage, and the cost of sending all three kids to a ludicrously expensive private school.

I don’t know what happens next.

I was recently attracted to someone and even though nothing came of my limerence, it was the first time in almost four years I ‘felt’ something other than depression, anxiety, blackness, emptiness, death.

To feel alive after being dead inside for so long was a surprise to me.

But that’s neither here nor there.

It was what it was.

Life goes on.

This year would have been our 20th wedding anniversary.

Such a fucking shame.

My Mentor

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The past month has been difficult but I have accepted my reality and am moving on.

My husband and I continue to live separately but under the same roof. He’s still downstairs and I’m still upstairs. We no longer have sex or any kind of intimacy, but we continue to discuss the children and our finances. It’s underwhelming but stable.

Work is going really well. I began my job just over six months ago and I’m having a blast. I’m loving the autonomy I have over my division, the training of my staff, and the fab people I get to work with every day.

I’ve been thinking for a while that I need some kind of mentor or life coach to kickstart me and give my life some much-needed direction. I had a life coach for a while some time back but she wasn’t great and I gave up after a couple of months.

I’ve been thinking about mentoring and who I might be able to ask for help. I work with some pretty bright people and it occurred to me it wouldn’t be a bad idea to approach one of them for mentoring.

It had to be someone I respected, someone with deep emotional intelligence and advanced business acumen. Someone I could learn from and advise me on some actual fucking direction for my life.

I picked an older man — a manager — and asked if he’d be interested in mentoring me. He sent me an email shortly after to tell me he was really touched to be asked and that he’d be thrilled to mentor me. I was ecstatic!

We had our first introductory mentoring session a couple of days later. Our 45-minute scheduled meeting ran closer to 90 minutes as we went over what I wanted to get out of mentoring, how long I envisaged the process to be, my level of emotional intelligence, how often we’d meet (fortnightly), and of course, the level of confidentiality of our discussions.

The first bomb he dropped on me was that he didn’t expect to be at our workplace long term. That sucked, but was fully understandable. Our workplace is full of multiple levels of bureaucracy unlike anywhere I’ve ever worked. It’s stifling and cumbersome.  I’m hoping, though, that our mentoring can continue, regardless of when he leaves. But in the meantime, he’s there and I need to extract as much of his wisdom as I can. I felt positive after our first meeting.

I travelled interstate for work this week to the north of Australia. Beautiful weather, an interesting event, and an absolutely gorgeous stay at a luxury boutique hotel. 

It was refreshing to be away from home, away from drama and kids, alone in my thoughts. I filled the giant bathtub with warm water and sat in it for an hour. In silence. Relaxing. Thinking. Enjoying. Contemplating my life over the past month. Thinking about the things I’d fucked up and telling myself that things happen for a reason.

I slept well that night, deep in dreams. Morning came too soon, but I was so thankful for a night of undisturbed sleep that I woke with a smile, kicked off the blankets, and headed to the shower.

It was a new day.

Enjoying The Serenity

My husband is away for 10 days.

I’ve also taken some days off work — to enjoy the serenity. (Castle joke.)

I’m feeling great! Results of Atkins are kicking in after almost two weeks of no chocolate, sugar, flour, potatoes, rice.

The first place I lose weight is also the last I put it on — my waist. And thank FUCK for that. I’ve had a washboard flat tummy my entire life, so have felt like a complete blob with waist fat hanging around.

The last places I lose fat are my legs (which I hate) and my boobs (which are seriously curvy). I normally wear a 12DD, but also have bras in an E, F and G cup for bigger days! Talk about the cup spilleth over. I like having an ample curvy bust but not one that looks like two blobs stuck on my chest.

I’ve hated my legs my entire life. Do you know I’ve never worn shorts as an adult? EVER. I hate the way my legs look. Yuk. I live in long dresses and pants. Or shorter dresses with stockings. Which is fine. I feel incredibly sexy (and a little bit naughty) wearing suspenders and stockings. Especially with long leather boots. Or high heels.

I love that the weight is dropping off and that I feel good about it. Losing weight on the ‘Betrayed Spouses’ diet made me angry and resentful of my body. But now, it’s all my doing. I’m in control.

I’m taking time while he’s away to sort through bits and pieces. So much financial paperwork to go through. Not fun, but necessary.

How are you?

SWxo

Separate Lives

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My husband and I separated a little while ago.

We live under the same roof and we talk to manage the children, but that is the extent of our interaction.

He has moved out of the main bedroom and sleeps downstairs, sharing a room with one of our children.

I am upstairs, sharing a room with our 3-year old.

My other child gets to have a solo room.

We don’t attend family gatherings, as I can’t bear turning up and acting like a fucking fraud for several hours.

He goes to his work, I go to mine.

We come home, feed the children, do homework, then head to our respective bedrooms.

It seems to work for us, and the kids haven’t found anything odd about the arrangements.

Life goes on!

An amicable split is all you can hope for.

A Friend In Need

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I hadn’t seen my good friend Tina in several months.

Tina and I have known each other for twenty-odd years. We both entered our industry at the same time in our early 20s and have remained good friends throughout the years.

I gave Tina a call and asked her if she’d like to meet me in the city for lunch.

I needed to talk to her about ‘things’.

Tina had divorced her first husband after a relatively short period of marriage. She was now married to a great guy with two young children about the same age as mine. Our families often did things together.

The next day, I met Tina at a café near my work and had a pretty delicious meal.

But it wasn’t the right time or place to discuss the ins and outs of divorce.

I only had an hour for lunch and it flew by.

I told her I had something I wanted to ask her about and I’d text her.

Later that afternoon, I sent her a message saying that I was separating from my husband and that I needed her help and advice, as she had previously gone through the same thing.

“I can’t help you,” she said.

Huh?

“Last year I cheated on my husband and I’m doing whatever I can to hold this marriage together. I’m not in the frame of mind to help you with separating from your husband.”

It was like she had slapped me in the face.

And she was a cheater!

Well, ain’t that karma for you? Just after I began this blog, a mistress left a frivolous comment and I blasted her.

“Don’t be so sure of yourself,” she wrote. “One day, you’re going to find one of your friends is a cheater, or it may even be you.”

I laughed in her face.

And now, here I was. One of my good friends had cheated on her husband with her boss, a doctor, and she was now the one making all the moves to hold her family together.

She was the equivalent of my husband.

My heart sank.

A friend I had confided in couldn’t help me.

She categorically wouldn’t help me.

Be she would be there for me to talk to and support whatever decision I made.

Grand.

I Saw The Fear And Felt The Power

After having three children, then discovering my husband’s affair, I decided to return to work. I hated that I had no income and couldn’t walk away from him had I decided that was my best option. I NEEDED to have my own money.

It took much longer than I expected to land a job, and when I did, all I could score was a part-time job with crumby conditions and shitty pay. My boss refused to pay me superannuation, refused to give me a work computer, refused to supply me with a working version of Word, and refused to pay me the advertised rate, bringing down my pay considerably.

I fucking hated the position I was in. They had me by the balls. I needed a job, and after dozens of job applications, I was sick of looking and I needed money. I took the job.

I did that job for a year-and-a-half. Last week I resigned from that job. Please don’t go, they begged. You are amazing, this company needs you, you are part of the family. As I smiled at them, I kept thinking, “You fucking losers screwed me from the beginning. Thank you for the job, but I’m getting the fuck outta here.”

And that’s not even the best news.

Given all of our debts, my only option was to look for a full-time job. I began looking in April. I sent applications. I went to interviews. I spoke to agencies. It is a degrading, soul-destroying process.

But last week, I finally got a job. A solid, full-time job with a legitimate employer.

And that’s STILL not the best news.

Sit down for this.

The job pays $120,000.

Take that figure in. I’M still taking it in! I simply could not believe it.

That may or may not be a big figure to you, but to me, it’s HUGE. After being out of the workforce for the better part of a decade, then working a shitty but highly regarded job, I scored a job paying $120,000! Holy FUCK.

I’d love to tell you THAT was the best news. But it’s not.

The best part was when I told my husband.

You see, my husband earns $115,000. Nothing to sneeze at, I know, but now I. EARN. MORE.

I EARN MORE.

When I told my husband, I saw the fear in his eyes and I felt the power.

I can now afford to walk out should I choose.

If he fucks up again, I can afford to leave him.

And be better off financially without him!

Crazy, right?

I saw that he recognised that fact. I saw it in his eyes. Even while he was congratulating me on my new job, I saw that fear there. I felt it.

If I decide to walk away, I now can.

I have freedom.

I have choices.

I have control over my life again.