November became anniversary 7 since I discovered my husband was cheating on me.
It’s hard to believe it was so many years ago.
Sometimes it just feels like yesterday.
There were so many trickle truth discoveries along the way that it’s like the trauma started all over again along the way.
Multiple dating profiles. Multiple women. Multiple affairs.
So, where am I today?
In a marriage where I despise my asshole husband.
There is no love.
I cannot find a way to forgive him.
If I had the means, I would leave his cheating ass.
But I have three children – two with special needs – and that weighs heavily on my decision to stay and endure this hideous situation.
I turn 50 this month and I hate thinking about the 31 years I wasted with this man.
Sometimes I wish I could cheat as easily as he did. I would not feel an ounce of regret.
But I can’t. I don’t have it in me.
I need a mental connection. Intelligence arouses me more than anything.
Besides, men hold no interest for me.
I’m over it.
Broke. My. Heart.
Reading this? I poured a Gin, and raised a toast to you.
I totally understand where you are coming from with this pain – Absolutely – And it is why I was so, so grateful to find a therapist / Doctor who sat back, let me get it all off my chest, and start to live again.
And you know what was the single greatest help? Your blog. Knowing that I was not alone and had a place to learn from. I honestly owe you a debt I can never repay.
And I mean it. When that world exploded around me? In my darkest hours? Your words, as you tip toed through hell? Let me find a way out.
So here is to you – a glass raised, and my absolute deepest and most sincere wishes that one day? when all the dust settles and this has all passed you by? You enjoy your time in the sun.
You deserve it and then some.
Kindest, warmest regards, Ian
I’m so sorry that you are living this way. I’m about 13 years post knowledge of my husband’s affair. I totally understand how you are feeling. The affair is like a wrecking ball that slowly breaks you in more ways than you could ever imagine. I feel like it’s true for most affairs that it’s never just the affair. So many, many other issues that rear their ugly heads along the way. Just when you think the hits are done, they aren’t. I am still with my husband as well. I’ve had PTSD and also difficulty mourning the lost years. Sometimes I expect to look in the mirror and see 35 year old me, only to have 51 year old me staring me in the face. It’s so unsettling. We aren’t really fighting here. It’s just the time it took for him to have any real understanding of the magnitude of what he did and what it did to me. He has been trying and he is in therapy but I’m just not sure how to ever get myself healed. I had issues to beging with which came from my upbringing and molestation as a young girl. I feel like I hold him responsible for the healing I never had because of what he did and how much deviation I suffered. How much room it took up in my heart and brain. We do so deserve better. I really hope you can find the peace and happiness you deserve. I have a great therapist. If you don’t I would suggest you do. Make sure you find the right one. Make sure you connect.
Molly Magee said:
This is inspiring me to leave and end this post affair cluster fuck which we are on our way to doing.. we are both consulting lawyers and I told him to go ahead already and file.. We are coming up on 5 years D-Day in July 2021. I was 53 going on 54 and now I’m 58 going on 59. If I felt this way in another 7 years in the middle of my 60s, I would be furious at myself. Thank you for your honesty. I don’t see him as an asshole or horrible person anymore… just not the man I loved and trusted with all my heart. I too come from a history of childhood sexual abuse which was rearing its head around the time I started menopause and he started the affair; he used my fear of sex and lack of interest in it as his excuse to cheat. I’ve recently had a break through and stopped blaming myself and any of the ways I behaved (that he conveniently used) as justification for his cheating. I told him I’m pretty sure he would have cheated on ANY wife not just me… even a wife who fucked him every night. Or more. Because he is an addict and expecting him to put down his addictive pull/need for female affirmation and attention for me (his spouse), is like asking an addict to put down the pills or needle for us or an alcoholic the booze. They won’t. They have to do it for their own serenity. His mother abused him as baby and young boy and I’ve paid the price. All his anger at her came at me through his affair. So be it. I don’t want to walk around resentful and/looking over my shoulder the rest of my life. It was the most horrible climb back to sanity and serenity for the first two years… I NEVER want to go through that again. I’d rather be alone and safe and serene than have him or another partner do that to me. I am very codependent and do not want to go into another relationship til I clean more of that up. Al anon and CODA meetings help tons. Stay safe and be good to you. You are only 51 and deserve better with or without him. Make your own joy with friends and family and your own adventures. Peace.
Oh how sad this made me! I echo the other comments in hoping you can find a good therapist… so much work and healing to be done for sure, but let me tell you this: you SO DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS. Your children deserve better. But more importantly, YOU simply deserve better. I hear that you have special needs children, but I ask you: does he help 50% of the time with them? I bet he doesn’t. So find a better living situation- imagine it- make little daily steps towards it- honour your own need for healing, respect, love and connection- YOU DESERVE IT! Find yourself a good woman honey, if that’s what your heart really desires… this one life of ours is precious, fleeting, and meant to be full of love, not pain. I nearly died a month ago in a rollover car accident, and let me tell you: I am not going to take any more bullshit, because life is too damn short.
Best of luck and best wishes from Australia, G 🙂
Molly Magee said:
Perfectly said bone and silver. I try to remember this to give me the momentum I need to end my marriage. “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” Why am I making myself suffer by staying? I am not anymore.
Sending love. When you can get out, it gets better. I know you can’t get.
Kathy Clarke said:
Speaking from the heart of a fellow remainer, I’m five years in and your words were all that kept me going in the beginning and that’s the absolute truth, the fact that someone else felt pain and rawness without screaming you’ve just got to leave him including the woman my husband had the affair with not that she had a vested interest at all! Five years in and she’s done a good job of moving on engaged to a new man beaming out of all her Facebook posts not that I’m a stalker I enjoying torturing myself with her happiness, my son turns 18 in a couple of months so I’ve been putting together a photo album for him, the only positive thing that came from the affair is that two stone dropped off me almost overnight (since put back on then some) but I came across a photo of me taken not long after the grisly discovery and I just look dead, there was just nothing there, I look back and wonder why I didn’t leave him but that photo just tells me why, I concentrated on making sure I could function and look after the kids I had no strength left for anything else like you the kids were what and still do matter not me, they are getting older now so it might change but I doubt it, I was never blessed with confidence and that affair took what little I had left, he still wonders why I hang onto it after all it’s been 5 years get over it, easy words coming from him. So I start this new year still with a prescription drug problem and a weight problem hoping this might be my year because if it’s not what’s the bloody point! Sorry I’ve lurched and rambled but it’s been so long since I spoke to anyone about it.
Ohhhhh!! I cannot believe how much our lives….. feelings…. thoughts echo each other. He broke me. Now I just live day by day knowing I will never feel the love I once did. I know that I need trust and loyalty from my partner to feel whole yet I stay with a man I know can’t give it to me. He took it away and I have been trying for seven years to give it back, yet I do not feel he really has tried to gain it back. He tells me he loves me everyday, but I do not believe it and I RARELY say it back. I often feel like now that I did this to myself. I chose to stay and can’t forgive or let my wall down. I feel like our marriage isn’t a marriage we are just present. Truly sad.
It will be 7 years for me January 20, 2021 and still hurts and pisses me off. I am NOT the person I once was and I do not believe I am better or stronger b/c of it.
Thank you shatteredwife for sharing. I think of you often and pray you find peace someday.
Hello, old friend! So good to hear from you. I fear I will be a shadow of my former self until the day I die. How sad is that?! I understand what you mean about just being present and not really part of a marriage anymore. What a way to live. SWxo
So true and perfect description a shadow of my former self. Sad. I remember when I use to enjoy being around people. I was so social and loved to make people laugh. After he did this I was humiliated and now I do little for myself. I honestly feel I have “lost” many friends not b/c they left me b/c that is how I coped, I shut myself off from the rest of the world and now I don’t know how to jump back in. I can only hope that one day we will all figure this out…. feel love, trust and happiness again.
(((Hugs))) xo scarred4ever
Molly Magee said:
Dear Shattered Wife and Scarred4ever and Cathy Clarke… your posts are so honest and so fucking heartbreaking and so just so what this is like and so me and so not me anymore. I’ve been looking for you SW and here’s what I told him recently as our 5th year of DDay approaches… you destroyed me for you but you did not and I will not allow you to destroy me for me. And I won’t. The first two years I was also walking dead if walking dead is a furious, raging, mourning zombie wailing and keening at the top of her lungs and quietly into her pillow and into his face and behind his back. He wrecked me for HIM and no one else. He knows. The trust kaput and the way it fucked with my already damaged psyche around sex… especially with him.. blown apart like a Mississippi tornado goes through a trailer park. Nothing left but insulation and torn up nothingness. I’ve had to crawl myself back and with tons of therapy and sex therapy and al anon and coda meetings… I’m getting there. I’m not the same me I was before this and part of me is grateful because I was so freaking co-dependent with him and I KNOW if I had bounced sooner I would have brought this to another relationship… be it with a woman or man. I owe it to myself and my kids (now 18 and 30) to live my fullest, most authentic life and this is no longer my authentic life…. with him. You are lying to yourself if you think your kids don’t know (they are 7 years older) that you hate your life with him. I can tell you that I’m grateful every day that my mom left my alcoholic father when I was five and my brothers 7 and 9. Because had she stayed… she would have become a shadow of the amazing woman she became and lived true til her death in 2018. I miss both my parents now and loved them both so dearly but my father’s disease and behaviors would have destroyed her if she stayed. Did I miss him and lose out on father time … yes! That is a big abandonment trigger in my life and made my STBX’s affair even worse for me. But I’m still grateful my mom ended that marriage and her rebound one as well. Staying is a lie to yourself and your spouse and your kids and everyone and we here ALL know how much lying sucks. Don’t gaslight and lie to yourselves and accept that this one precious life we are given has to be miserable because of their miserable mess up. It doesn’t. Even if you stay.. make your best life each day … one day at a time. Living well is the best revenge. And like I said above, this quote says it perfectly: “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” Let’s stop suffering for their fuck up’s. We deserved so much better from them; in present… we deserve so much better from ourselves. My personal motto for 2021 is “No more victim hood.” You can be victimized but staying a victim is a choice and optional. Hugs all around. And PS: I have a child with a disability and MH issues newly minted at 18 and struggling to get thru Covid19 senior year; and a 30 year old daughter in cancer treatment for 2x in five years so yes… his affair came out through all this. If I can go… anyone can!!! (And my mom had
five kids when she ended her second marriage; three step kids; two children with disabilities; one late teen child coming out as gay; and three in college with some still home and in elementary school! Yes!!! If she can do it … anyone can!)
I feel your pain and torment. You are putting your kids needs first in the way you can at the moment. Sending love and strength and extra love for the young ‘uns.
Thank you so much. SWxo
Also, Happy Birthday you legend. Mwah x
A lot has really changed from 2018. It seemed like yall were moving in the right direction. Was there something else that happened that stopped the moving closer?
I kept finding evidence of more affairs. That killed any hope I had left. SWxo
More?? I will never understand that. If they just fessed up to everything from the start, that would make such a difference. Thank you for updating us. I think of you often. I was hopeful…what a dickhead.
Love to you, afterhekilledme. The kids and I are getting on with life. SWxo
Molly Magee said:
Oh fuck me.. more affair?! Go woman … take those kids and go! Get your serenity and safety and lovely life back. You can do this. Sending love and care. We all know if there’s been one that there were probably more. Or attempts at more. Fuck. Hugs and peace and serenity soon for you and you know I’ve missed your check in’s. Please don’t wait another two years. We actually care about you and your kids.
Yes well I too found if there’s one affair there’s more🙄 I don’t want to downplay the pain. At first I really felt like I was dying of literal heartbreak. I’m glad I know now though, if nothing else than just so I can finally be free of kissing his stupid ass. And you know I’m a remainer (great term) for now because it’s convenient for me and better $ and I like my house and dogs! I also need the health insurance. Honestly they can have him and his stupid peni Blech 🤮. Better them than me. I’m doing me now and even though I’m staying here for now I am open to traveling and I’m going back to school and hey, if the unicorn of a great guy comes along (IF HE’s single) I won’t let loyalty to this dodo hold me back. But I honestly don’t even care if no one comes along because I just don’t want to compromise anymore 🤷♀️
I’m so sorry.
Don’t underestimate life without him. Yes, it might be hard, but no harder than unending emotional abuse.
Have you seen a lawyer? Consider he could leave any time himself. Protect yourself.
Hi Anne, yes I’ve seen a lawyer. And a therapist. Good times. SWxo
Racquel Blanch said:
Everything you say resonates with me. I just turned 50 and it’s been 10 years. But my husband of nearly 30 years has been caught lying to my face a number of times. Of course he only admitted what he was busted for. No admissions. The flash backs of truth (or the lies) still visit me at night. Recently they came back with with a ferocity I’ve never known. I was at emotional breakdown point. Got myself some help with a wonderful counselor. I was just starting to feel better. But since these flashbacks came back I realised it was because he was talking to me about a woman at his work. I was getting a vibe, a energy and trusting my intuition, I tuned in to what was really happening. I really do not enjoy playing the detective, I want to enjoy life, I want peace. I had a charge on my bank account that I had been charged twice for by accident. I was checking it out and noticed two charges on my account from a pub on the 23rd of December. So I ask him “did you go to the Commercial Hotel?” To which he replied “I’m sure I told you. Yeah I went with Dave.” Now what he has forgotten was Dave rang him on the 22nd and told him he was not coming in on the last day of work before Christmas break and I was there when he received this call. So who did he go to the pub with? I’m now in a predicament as to do I ask him who he went with (I would expect him to lie, again). Or do I turn up to his work and end this facade? I want peace. I’m so over this bs.
What have you found out, Rachel? Well done on trusting your gut. The lies come so easily to cheaters. Peace is all we want but we kept getting slapped with more bullshit lies. I hate playing detective, too, but sometimes you have to. I hope to hear from you again. SWxo
You deserve BETTER! The marriage vow did not mean you have to endure being so disrespected and dishounoured! FFS. He’s certainly not honouring his vows is he? Surely being alone is better than being treated like a doormat?? Leave him. There are plenty more fish in the sea…
C Soyo said:
It saddens me to read your latest post. I hoped for better times, but I do understand. My hope is that going forward there are moments of joy that brighten your day even if for a little while. You and your children are all that matter. Enjoy your time with them. And know there is a community of people sending positive thoughts your way. You are not alone. Take care.
Thanks heaps, C Soyo. Am loving all these positive vibes! Love and hugs to you. SWxo
when I read ‘I kept finding evidence of more affairs. That killed any hope I had left’, it made me curl up a little inside and swear a whole heap.
Then the words from my own therapist smacked me in the brain and I just had to share them with you.
“Do one thing they cannot take. Learn a new skill. Go on holiday, by yourself. Do things in the here and now that draw a line in the sand between you, and across that line? This land is yours. Own it. Nurture it. Plant your happiness within it. If their side stays barren? So be it.”
I totally understand why you would stay, but I am torn inside that you keep finding more deceit after the soul shattering discovery that fateful night. That just hurts my heart.
So I share my therapists words.
Claim back your time, your life, and your future by drawing that line in the sand.
Thank you, Ian, I have been doing exactly that and hope to have a side business off the ground soon. Meanwhile, he spends his nights watching Netflix until 1am. No thanks! He has no interest in bettering his life. I do! SWxo
And I am absolutely certain that with your drive and ‘Can do’ mind set, you will soar! Super excited for you!
* I know first hand (as you know) how low infidelity can make you feel, and to see you with a game plan? Makes me feel real warm inside. brilliant news and well done you!
Thank you, Ian, for your therapist’s words.
May 9 will be 7 years for me. I am a “remainer”. Why? Because it was and is easier. However, I barely consider myself married. We coexist in the same house.
I think part of me is thinking, “Why should I leave? He fucked everything up. Let him leave. Show the world what a jerk he is.”
I did draw a line in the sand for myself. I got counseling and heard a message very similar to the one above: do things just for you because you want them. You are worthy of love and kindness, even if only from yourself.
I went back to school which led me to a job I really liked. That job led me to a job I love. I am no longer so afraid of the possibility of the marriage ending because I feel stronger about myself and what I can do.
SW, hang in there! You have built a community that cares about you and each other. Thank you!!
Thank you so much for your kind words, zmannscz. Like you and your husband, we coexist. It’s not much of a life, though, is it? I have been busy working on myself and my ventures. 😀 Much love to you. SWxo
Mika T said:
I have thought about you often, SW, and wondered how you are doing. I’m so sorry to read this update. I may be in the minority, but I think you are doing a noble thing holding your family together for the sake of your children. There is nothing glamorous about split households, double bills / financial strain, solo parenting, etc. Never underestimate the value of an extra pair of hands and a second job. As an adult, I learned that my mum hung in there for me, and I am so, so grateful to her for that. But it is equally clear to me that she paid that devil’s bargain with her life. The stress, the anger, the resentment, the keeping up a good face, the intense undervaluing she must have felt — it all took its toll. So my only piece of totally unsolicited advice having watched the impact of what you describe unfold over decades is to please take care of yourself. Your husband has a deep and serious illness that has nothing to do with you and that you cannot cure — only he can if he so chooses. But you can absolutely take care of yourself and start living your best life, even if it’s in the same household. There is much to be grateful for, so I hope you will focus on that, ignore him, and live it up. I don’t disagree with my mum’s decision to stay, but I wish she had at least done that. I wish she had at least taken care of herself enough so that his illness didn’t end up eating her alive. I hope I find the motivation to do it, too. Thank you for all you have done for this community, and for all that you have done for me. You’re a hero. One day, your children will thank you.
Exactly – to leave would amount to having to do a lot of shit myself and I’m just not up for that. Thank you for understanding. Leaving is an option but not a very good one for me right now. I will always do what’s best for me and my children. SWxo
Molly Magee said:
I hear you and Mika here and I’ve stayed for five years to get my son, with disability, through HS and my daughter, in cancer treatment for 2x, settled. Now, even with all the finance and other hassles, I’m ready to go. I want to figure out having a sex life at some point and I don’t want one with him due to the dead trust. I was early 50s when the affair came out and now pushing 60. It flies ladies, it flies. We get older fast and our choices in partners are far more limited as we do compared to men. Fuck em! Our children’s lives flew by and yours will too. And my mom did end the marriage and I’m so grateful she did .. I wouldn’t have had the same mom if she didn’t; her two husbands would have destroyed her spirit. She still had some anger and resentment (not sure all of that ever goes) but she also had her authentic self and a joy that they would have sucked right out of her. Sometimes the hassle and work of being a single parent out weighs the horror of living with someone you hate and have no hope with. And that you still feel you must spy on and check up on. Fuck that too. That is truly living in dead water. I feel both your pain, my own and everyone here. But we do have choices. I didn’t think that in the beginning because I was so messed up from his affair… but that’s just it… that’s his life, his disease… addiction… not mine. I have my own work and plenty of it… to do on myself. I am done owning his journey. Or thinking I’m responsible for his choices. Serenity to us all no matter how we seek it.
So pleased to hear from you. I was starting to get worried with everything going on in the world, you had fallen ill. As others have stated you are a life line…a buoy of sorts. Kathy Clarke put it perfectly, we are Remainers. I have not forgiven, those holier than thou’s who profess true healing comes with forgiveness??? I feel like I would be betraying whatever shred of self I have left by forgiving them, the real me wants to light them on fire. I already feel as though I am betraying my true self, the strong, independent self I always thought I was, just by staying and participating in this charade. But I too do it for my children. The first night of discovery I was true to myself and kicked him out, 3 of my 4 were too little to not believe my “Daddy has to go to work” line, but my oldest, he knew, and he was devastated. I “Remain” for them, but for me too if I’m being completely honest. Because I am very type A, I do my best to have every scenario processed and thought out. The truth is, leaving him does not rid my life of him. We will forever be connected by these 4 beautiful souls we created. And he would not be an absentee father, I know that is his one truth. I selfishly refuse to share them, they are mine dammit. I want to see them every morning and kiss them every night. And I also know he would never stay single…I absolutely would NEVER share them with another “her”. And so I “Remain”. But again as others have stated, I am not myself. That girl I was before died, I know because I killed her, I had to, she had to be suffocated so this knew shell I claim to be could survive. And God I hate this time of year. I can slowly feel myself slip slower and deeper in to the abyss that is my discovery anniversary. He ruined my favorite time of year, Spring, renewal, birth, Easter, my birthday month. I discovered the day after my birthday. But now this time of year has become months of darkness and self loathing even what will be 5 years later. And no one but you all get that 5 years is really 5 seconds because my brain has been on pause, like I’m sitting on a couch watching my life like some sick grainy horror film waiting for the real me to stand up and scream “BULLSHIT”! 5 years and they all just want you to “be over it” and “be the old you again”…I can’t, she’s dead, I killed her. I’m not as sad as some here about the years wasted in the past because I was blissfully unaware of my impending doom and I was disgustingly content in my life. I was deeply in love with him, he was my person, my soulmate. But I am only 39 and only 5 years in, so what I mourn are the years yet to come. My grandmother lived to be 98 do I truly have another 50 years of THIS?!? It fills me with absolute dread to think of the misery I will “Remain” for. I used to dream of our empty nest and all the things we would do and see together. Now I literally cry thinking of being alone in that house with him. Pretending to be a happy Grammy and Pap some day??? But I will, I know I will, I will “Remain”. And her? She’s the head of the PTO and I have to drive past her house every night on my way to work. Her husband left her but promised not to tell their friends why to save the kids the humiliation. So everyone pitties poor her, single mom, still living in her beautiful home not having to work, meanwhile, I’m a nurse in the middle of a fucking pandemic. I hate her and I hate that I allow her to fill me with so much hate so long after, but I hate her. Sorry for the rant, this is the only place I feel safe doing it. LOL, ignore me, that was cathartic, thank you all.
This will always be a safe space for you to offload! Thank you for sharing your story. I know that feeling of staying and participating in the miserable charade – that’s exactly what it is. And I have no plan on forgiving him for what he did to me, over and over, after swearing it was just one indiscretion. Fuck that. Love and hugs. SWxo
Yes I am a leaver. BUT *And this is a huge, major but here*
I was a victim of a sustained, multifaceted case of spousal abuse.
Money. education. A home. A career. My health.
I had no choice – and yes, I attempted suicide, but it failed. So I went to my doctors and poured out my heart.
I had no choice what so ever.
And that is why I don’t want to be seen as someone who comes here with the ‘Everyone should leave’ banner above my head, because there isn’t one.
All there is in my heart is love and respect for every single person who fights through this shit in any way they can.
I just leave my comments and thoughts because maybe, someone reading this is being abused, and thinks there is no escape. There is – there is and I hope who ever they are? they find their way out.
Much love to you all.
I hope my Remainer comment didn’t lead to your post. I just loved and connected with that label for myself. Some people (not you or anyone else on this thread) think that if you’ve stayed you are either stupid or everything is fine and you are over what happened. I just felt like the term Remainer gave me some kind of identity other than the smiling supportive wife. You have always been supportive of everyone on this thread no matter their choice to stay or leave I appreciate you and your input and admire your bravery in leaving.
SW, although I’m a lot older than you and my situation is different from yours, much of what you say rings true for me too. As much as your story pains me (as all the awful stories I read here do) and I wish with all my heart that you didn’t have to go through the utter sadness of what you have gone through, I have to tell you that the sad camaraderie we all share is what got me through my own ordeal. And it continues to get me through on days when I realize that my fellow sufferers are the only ones who truly understand that the heartbreak of being betrayed by the very person we thought we could count on the most in the world is not something that can simply be gotten over, no matter what anyone says. It’s a pain so deep and debilitating that only we can know what it’s like. We put a smile on our face and we tell everyone we’re okay, but the heaviness and sadness never quite leaves us, does it? And we wonder if the other woman (or man, for you guys) is just going on her merry way not caring that she and your husband (or wife) destroyed your life.
I wonder if I should have left six years ago when I found out. I wouldn’t have to look at my husband every day and wonder if I know the whole story, if he misses her, if the affair really went on longer than two years, if the affair would still be going on today if I didn’t catch him. I wonder how he could have given me cards for my birthday and Christmas and our anniversary all the while he was lying to me and wanting another woman. I wonder how many people were suspecting that they were having an affair and pitying me, the stupid wife. I wonder how many of the details I will never know, and how many of them would propel me right to my lawyer’s office if I knew them.
I am not one to just let things go easily and so I met with the bitch. I had heard her many of nasty remarks about me in her telephone conversations with my husband. She tried to deny some things and when she did I told her that I had heard her conversations and if she lied to me again I would make sure that her husband and her grown children would hear about all of her disgusting conversations too. She was pathetic. She told me the affair “just happened.” I had all I could do not to slap her. I said that one could say that a one-night stand “just happened” but a two-year affair was a disgusting, planned act of a pathetic piece of garbage in her 60s with a husband, children, and grandchildren.
As for my husband, he has been trying to make it up to me. He has apologized and I believe after a period of time realized that she was just a common-looking nothing who was jacked up by the attention her boss (yes, he was her boss!) was giving her. Some days are good together but many days it is just so hard to feel anything but sadness.
I don’t leave because my husband for many reasons. We were married 32 years at the time of D-day and we have many couple friends I feel we would lose, along with half of all the assets that I worked for for forty years of my career. But the worst would be the effect on my grown son. He has said that he would be okay but I know if would be difficult for him. He admits to me every so often that the shock of what his father did (he found out when he walked in on a horrible argument my husband and I were having one night a few years ago) still bothers him greatly. I just wonder, every night while my husband lied to me and went out with that skank, did he ever, even for one minute think of how all of the people in his life could be horribly affected by it all. And if he didn’t care then, how can I believe that he really cares now. Once someone reduces you to feeling like you are nothing and rips your soul to shreds, how is it possible to ever be whole again?
So it has been 8 years, shocks me when I put that to paper… we have a 6 six year old, 17 and 20 year old. We really just co-exist… work, kids, clean, groceries…. all the normal everyday things. We went out for dinner tonight with an old friend, his wife was one of my best friends but she passed away a few years back from cancer. He and his new partner got engaged on Valentine’s Day… it really hits you in face to see two people in love, I am so happy for them but it makes me sad … I don’t have this and with my cheating husband I never will. I am 47 this year, I still have a life to live but my finances are so tied with him! My dad put about $300,000 into our house ( off the books), my mum left us around $200,000 which was put into the house. He make out to everyone that we have this awesome house due to his hard work, we have it thanks to my parents and savings!! Nothing to do with him. I have had the stable job, I have the super.. he runs his own business, no super, no savings… if I walk away I lose out financially big time, what to do? My 17 year old is in year 12… I feel like I need to wait till she has finished year 12 and then make a break for it but what about my 6 year old boy? My heart is torn, I don’t hate him, he is a decent dad but not the trust worthy person I want to be with. Stay for the kids and suffer it out or lose everything.. he will take every $ he can, I know this as his brother did the same thing to his wife. I have started up a small savings account as a back up as I feel I will need it in the future( he doesn’t know this… I don’t have much in the account). My sister knows of his cheating ways but no one else, he would never admit to his infidelity to friends or family as this is his second marriage… first one ended in divorce for the same reason.. if only I had seen the signs rather than thinking I could save this person and make him better… my one advice for my 25 year old self would be to run and never look back!! My sister has distanced herself from me and the kids, I know it is because her partner hates my husband (his father constantly cheated on his mother even when she was diagnosed with MS. He hasn’t spoken to his father in over 10 years, maybe even 15) I have so many regrets but the one thing I don’t regret is my two beautiful daughters and gorgeous son, they are the only good things out of this marriage. I find myself soooo confused with my circumstances, I have constant nightmares due to the cheating, I find myself drinking a few glasses of wine each night as it just numbs the pain and stops the nightmares… I know this is not good and need to stop the self destructive behaviour but it is soo hard as every time I see his face I am either angry or upset!!! What to do… I know the first thing is to stop the drinking but from there… leave or stay for the kids? I have no one to talk to about this… it is such a huge decision!!
This is what I wrote this morning. Thought I’d share Incase anyone else feels this.
When you have clarity it is amazing. But also hard. You see people misunderstand, lose so much bc they can’t see reality. Maybe I work too hard, or maybe insight is just imbedded in who I am. With my own marriage I can look back and see things so clearly. Mistakes made. The mistakes are not what took down my marriage. My husband’s inability to do the work is. I don’t blame him. He doesn’t have the capacity to look that deeply at things. Sadly, I needed him to. His affair, his dishonesty were not what killed us. Not being able to see the destruction or understand the connections. Not being able to realize that these hurts caused a domino effect in our lives. Our social life suffered, finances, children. So many things drive my spouses decisions. All of them based in fear. I just hope that pleasing others outside the marriage because of his own insecurities was worth the detriment to his marriage and children. But that’s just my anger showing. My hurt on display. I am working on my own recovery in therapy. I hope one day I can come to better terms with my own mistakes. I hope all the work I did through my pain will somehow be enough for my kids to have the best life possible. I hope I can forgive myself for not being able to put my pain aside and put my strength towards healing sooner so that I could have provided them more of the best of me. All I have is today. Today will be a good day.
Molly Magee said:
I’m confused … none of my comments were accepted and they used to be?? Did I do or say something wrong???
Sorry, no, you didn’t go anything wrong Molly Magee! I’ve been unwell and simply hadn’t checked WordPress. Thank you for all of your comments. SWxo
Molly Magee said:
I hope you are feeling better SW and taking care of yourself. I have made self-care my priority. The work of getting my son, 18, through his last year of HS during covid and with his disability has been daunting but I take it one day at time. And you know, I think I told you, my married 30 year old daughter had a recurrence of her cancer during covid. Yup! Fortunately, blessedly, she has beautiful, committed wife helping her through her journey and family by her side and amazing friends. Thankfully clean scans last round. But this cancer NEVER goes into remission. I’ve learned thru these storms, that I can’t pour from an empty cup so I fill my own. Time w/myself, friends, meetings in CODA and Al Anon and time in nature help. But I had a break through after a shitty Valentine’s Day … shitty in the sense that I know our life as married couple is going to end and probably should (it’s time.. last child hopefully done with HS in June-God willing: we are dead in the water on some major issues that were brought to surface by his affair; divorce proceedings starting) but not completely without hope either. I have made my vow, my Lenten fast, my goal to no longer act like a victim. No more pity parties. But not with harshness at myself… with compassion. For myself. No more victim about anything he does. Because I truly believe he would have done this to any spouse… it wasn’t about me… it’s his issues just like mine our mine. The more I see it that way… the more I can see his good and great qualities again as man, father and even spouse before all this. He is a unique soul just like I am. We all are. But I don’t think staying his wife is the right choice. I have a lot of stuff to unpack around sex, sexual identity and former abuse in my youth that bubbled out of stored, locked vault during menopause. I am pretty sure I can’t work on those issues in a heteronormative marriage anymore. Or at least this one. So in a sense, his affair freed me to walk away, and work on getting to those issues and getting to know me again. Me out of the context of heteronormative marriage. Or just this particular one. And he wants to have sex in a marriage and I don’t want to in this one due to the loss of trust (yes, from his affair) but also due to my own issues and journey and CHOICES. This honesty with myself allows me to actually like him again and not be mired in the stuck place of hurt, resentment and cycle of pain. The more I’m tender and compassionate with me.. the less I want to punish him or make him understand how much he hurt me. But I’m not sure I can’t be co-dependent with him or anyone else so some alone time is probably needed and that doesn’t scare me. Maybe it should at almost 60 but it doesn’t. My kids needs still weigh on me at age 18 and 30 but I’ve also taught my kids to be true to themselves … and they are. Neither apologizes for who they are. And i find my own daughter’s happy (not perfect) and COMPATIBLE marriage inspiring. They are not co-dependent but they are truly compatible. I’m still leaning the difference. So it’s my chance too. Life is so very short. I can’t believe I’m almost 60. It seems like yesterday my mom was turning that age. Now she and my dad are gone and stepfather and all the aunts and uncles. I’ve already lost one brother of four, and I know one by one someday, the rest of us will be gone. I want to lead an authentic life whatever time I have left. I want to LIVE MY LIFE. I deserve to and to do it as happily as I can manage. If Covid hasn’t taught us that life is fragile and fleeting I don’t know what else will. I already knew that… but a lot of people just got the memo. Stay well SW, be well and serene and sweet to YOU! The rest will take care of itself. xo molly magee
Rob M said:
G’day SW (if I may call that for short). Just a quick comment to thank you for “liking” my (rather) wordy recent comment in Mr. PM’s blog. I haven’t read all of your blog’s archives as yet but I shall start on that reading trip shortly. Have a great day and take care.
Wow, nobody has ever thanked me before for liking their comment! Thanks for your msg and for dropping by. Of course you can call me SW! Take care. SWxo
Rob M said:
You’re very welcome, SW. Most of the many blogs that I routinely browse have been quiet for some time (perhaps due to Covid, perhaps not) so I was surprised to see Mr. PM’s latest blog entry and your “liking” of my subsequent comment to him there. That said, I then decided to check your blog out as well. Thanks for getting back to me with your reply. Here’s hoping that life is going well for you these days. Keep healthy.
Thanks, Rob. SWxo
Molly Magee said:
SW… I just lost it and left a comment to on that blog. Ugh. No words needed here. I gave you a shout out too!!
Molly magee said:
What is Mr PM’s blog?
Rob M said:
(Mr. Patient Man’s blog)
You’re welcome, Molly 🙂
Molly Magee said:
thanks for posting this… Rob M!!
Molly Magee said:
Any thoughts on her book or this article, SW and readers? I don’t want to be a sufferer, explorer or builder with or because of him. I’m done suffering. Bad things happen, suffering is optional. I had to be a builder and explorer of myself post his affair which precluded building or exploring with him. I had to put myself and my own love for myself (which I’m finally learning how to do at 58, after 31 years together, 25 years married); I had to do this… choose me over our marriage and him first to save my own sanity. And here’s what it all boils down to… he’s a taker and I’m a giver and I’m sick of giving for free and with no honor, love and obeying with obeying meaning, to me, ignoring your own selfish urges to remain loyal to your spouse no matter how fucking hard it might FEEL.. you still do it. Obey isn’t oppression and control .. it’s healthy boundaries and respect and honoring what you’ve built w/another human. It’s self control and being a giver … not a taker. Tell me SW what you think of E. Perl (I’m not impressed though her story is fascinating) and this wrap up of your book of you care to. I know one thing… NO more Suffering for his stupidity. And meanness. That is optional and I say: a hard PASS.. xo Happy, safe and wonderful spring. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sexualitytoday/201711/how-love-someone-again-after-infidelity
I just checked in on your blog after many months. I used to read it alot when I was trying to reconcile with my ex cheating husband…lo the many years ago. As I’m sure you’ve figured out, it’s just nothing but misery staying with someone who betrayed you. You say you lack the resources to leave. I said the same thing. You lament the 31 years. I did the same thing. It’s the theory of sunk costs. Nevertheless, I ended it and somehow struggled through to where I’m at now. A few years post divorce. With MORE education, a BETTER job, a NICE paycheck, and content children. One with special needs. Also, I’m engaged to be married again to a wonderful man who was himself a victim of betrayal and who loves me and my kids as his own. I could not have imagined this outcome, yet here I am. Middle aged, smiling and laughing everyday, with minimal contact with my ex and looking forward to a wonderful future. I’m free. It. Is. Possible. It just takes hard work and a belief that it will get better. Best of luck and I hope you get out of that marriage before you waste one more precious year. You deserve to be cherished and loved.
2021 is soon to close. I pop in to see how you are from time to time, and I hope that inside all the world wide madness you and yours are keeping well.
I decorated my home today for the holidays. Lights and all. As I did so, I found some d.lettersand wedding photos from my ex. Stashed away.
I looked through them, and then with total utter indifference, burned them all.
All that pain. All that misery. All that suffering. And all it is worth now, 7 years on, is total utter indifference.
Absolute indifference. Weird how it all melts away into a harmless dust once the years whizz by.
I send you and yours all my best wishes for the holidays ahead. I hope they are joyful and filled with treasured memories being made.
Thank you, Ian. I took a break from WordPress over the holidays so am only now catching up on things.
My life is the same bland, unhappy life I have become accustomed to, and for now, I am resigned to this.
I am so glad for the deserved happiness you have found.
I wish you much love and success for whatever 2022 holds for you! SWxo
I’m so sorry that you are still hurting so heavily. Prayers for your recovery. Regardless of him-you deserve peace.
Thank you, Stillsweptaway. Sadly, the pain never seems to pass but it does diminish somewhat over the years. Thank you for your note. SWxo
How are you? I was just thumbing through old emails and ran across this thread. I actually saved it in an email to myself.
Hey R, I’m doing OK. Stuck in my shitty marriage but otherwise fine. How are you? SWxo
Rob M said:
Well, well, well – it seems SW that your blog is still alive!
Remember me?- I gave you the (short) name “SW”.
Glad to see that you’re still hanging in there, “shitty marriage” not withstanding. Take care lady and please stay healthy and blog present, if you should ever care to chit-chat with us, your (still around) blog readers. 🙂
Ha, I don’t know if the blog is still alive but I know I am! 😂
Rob M said:
Well, so long as our blog lady is still “cooking with gas” then that’s all that counts! 😜
Hi, I came across your blog a while ago. You haven’t posted in a while so I was a little concern. I hope you’re doing okay.
Hello, yes, thank you for asking, I am OK and way overdue for an update! How are you? SWxo