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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Life after the affairs

Hello my sexy friends! I am back. I want to thank Anonymous (whoever you are!! LOL) for your message to me yesterday wanting to know how I'm doing. I can't tell you how much I appreciated that. Yes, this blog has grown cobwebs as my hubby and I are still working very hard on our marriage with the fallout of my discovery of 16 years of lies, cheating, and manipulation. I have been to hell and let me tell you, if I can survive this, there isn't anything I can't do now. I have grown stronger but the anger monster within me is like a fire-breathing dragon that is ready to pounce at any given moment. Reconciling a marriage after affairs is not for the faint of heart. I always thought women who stayed with men who cheated on them were the weakest creatures on the planet. Afraid of their own shadows. I always assumed women who stayed with men who cheated were women who had no self-respect and were more concerned with giving up their cozy lifestyle than have the guts to leave and stand on their own two feet.

How wrong I was.

In the ten months since I discovered my husband's cheating, I have come to realize that staying is much much harder than leaving. Oh, let me tell you, many times I've wanted to throw him out, or run, run, run and never look back. Why have I stayed?? Believe it or not, I still love him. I am still in love with him. Even though he's destroyed me to my core. 

I have had no experience with being cheated on. Some women (and men) have a painful history of lovers who were chronic liars, but I have been lucky. Previously to being married to my husband, I was the one who always wanted out. I cheated on my first husband. Yes, I told him the very next morning, and moved out right after. I did not keep it a secret from him for 16 years and cheat more with more men. So I have a perspective about my H (husband) and cheating that makes it harder to forgive.

When an affair (or several) are discovered by the betrayed spouse, your world collapses. I can't, and won't, even go into how devastated you are. It is simplistic to say that you will never be the same. But it is true. I will never be the woman I was. I have had to re-write the last 16 years of my life. It is not what I thought it was. My H had a one-night-stand after the birth of our first child and kept it from me for 16 years. Didn't use a condom. Insists she didn't get pregnant. A drunken mistake. He insists he was faithful for the next 14 years and planned on taking that to his grave. Well, he never dealt with it, never told me, and so it came back to haunt him. 

He had yet another one-night-stand two years ago, and never told me. Just "buried it" so he didn't have to deal with it. Never once did he think, "oh fuck, here I go again! I said I wouldn't do that ever again and I just did!!" Oh no. He just "buried" it (whatever the fuck that means) and carried on like nothing happened. Came home to me after not using condoms yet again. Another drunken mistake not dealt with.

At this point, we are 6 years into an open marriage and he brings home slut #2 to our home and bed. I befriend her. She disappears eventually and he sighs relief. I am none the wiser. Then a few months later (April 2011) the first skank from 16 years ago finds him on Facebook and what does he do???? He is so fucking stupid!! Instead of thinking, WTF??? I'VE BEEN RUNNING AWAY FROM THIS WOMAN AND THIS MISTAKE FOR THE LAST 16 YEARS OMG IM NOT TOUCHING HER WITH A TEN-FOOT POLE. But alas, no, he is happy to hear from her and in a blaze of "nostalgia" (his words) they reconnect and the rest they say is history. He risked 20 years of marriage, our children's health and well-being, my health, our finances, for the validation from someone he claims he never loved. 

He lies about how he knows her. I buy the lie because why wouldn't I? I encourage the texting because I'm busy having my fun with Mickey and other guys. He buys her a plane ticket and brings her out here to our home, our bed, my body. I take her to my work. I teach her to play tennis. I make out with her in front of my boss at a bar. She hangs out with my children. I have sex with her. While he's at work, I pour my heart out to her and spend lavishly on her because I know she's important to my hubby, just like Mickey is important to me. That is called the give-and-take of an open marriage. After three days here, he and I are fighting so much and not even having sex with each other. I ask him to make her leave. He convinces me to let her stay. She was here 10 days. What did I do then?? I tried even harder.

I was extremely jealous. I spent hours talking to my girlfriend about my jealousy. I knew he deserved to have her and be with her just like I had my Mickey. And you know what??? By the end of her stay, which by the way, I had to initiate cuz the bitch had no reason to leave and my H didn't want her to go----I had gotten over my jealousy. On Saturday, I had to get up and go to work. We'd had a threesome with her and she was still in bed with us. I actually left them alone together in our bed and told him whatever happened was ok with me and I left. I didn't think about it much while at work and I was so happy with my progress. He started texting me about a half hour after I got to work that "nothing happened. She got up and took a shower." And that is the lie he continued to tell me for 8 months after I asked at least 10 times, "Really??? Nothing happened??? I left you guys alone in bed and you didn't fuck her???" and he lied and said no. She got up right after I left and showered.

What an asshole. He DID fuck her the minute I left. And lied about it for 8 months.

You know why he lied, right??? Cuz he had fucked her 16 years ago and brought her back into my life without my knowledge. She had no right being in my house let alone my bed and my body. And it was the second time he had done that to me.

His web of lies came to a crashing halt January 30, 2011 when I found private facebook emails between the two of them declaring their love for one another. Long story short, there were two other women he was hiding at that time and it took me another 3 months to discover them. I kicked him out of our bedroom and I told him I wanted a divorce. My therapist insisted I give it six months of therapy before I did anything. 

We are ten months out, and we are in a great place. I'm sure reading this you are ready to stab him in the eyes yourself, but one thing about my H you need to know is, he is a changed man. Three therapists and couples counseling for the last ten months he has become the husband I always thought he was. He immediately stopped all contact with the other women and is eternally grateful for the gift of a second chance I have given him. He earns my love back every day. He was a very broken man with a lot of secrets that were destroying him. He thought about suicide daily in those early weeks and so did I. The pain of betrayal is so painful for both sides. It is hard to understand and believe I feel badly for him but I do. I have come a long way in understanding how broken he really was. 

He has vowed to earn back my trust every single day of his life and he is doing so. He tells me every day how sorry he is and shows me that he is sorry. He said he will regret to his dying day how he hurt me. He knows that I will never look at him the same way or feel the same way about him. The damage is done. Yes, we can stay together and be happy because we are both choosing to be together. I am not a Pollyanna and I am not "rug-sweeping". I know what he's done. I am devastated that he was capable of being such a narcissitic asshole. I have seen the transformation over these months and yeah, time will tell. I am taking it one day at a time. If he chooses to betray me again, I am not the fool. He will be. He knows one step out of line and I WILL divorce him. This is his last and only second chance. No thirds. 

The open marriage is talked and fought about daily. I don't know what will happen. I liked getting over my jealousy but he fucked it up. I don't know that I can ever be ok with him being with another woman now. He's still ok with me being with other guys, and frankly, I haven't ever lied to him so why should I give them up? He gets that. I just don't know if it's a good idea. So we keep talking.

We have twenty years plus together. We have two kids. We are in a band together. We have thousands of happy memories together, and yes, despite the pain, I still love him. For better or worse. I've been through worse. I'm holding out for better.

I am releasing the info for my other blog if you want to read it. It has been my lifeline to my sanity.

I welcome all your comments. Thank you for caring about me. I love you all.



Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,
I am anonymous, the person who inquired after you. I'm also the anonymous that wrote when you first told us of your discovery of H's infidelities and I implored you to not let anger rule your emotions. Yeah, I'm a guy so I come at this from a different perspective. You see I too went through something similar, a long term infidelity that when uncovered destroyed my marriage.

There were clearly issues in our marriage but I won't use that as an excuse for my actions. What drove me (and I suspect other men) to be unfaithful is lust, boredom, unhappiness and the excitement of a new sex partner. It may be hard for you to understand or accept this explanation but I do believe it to be the truth.

My ex's reaction was unrestrained fury. I couldn't for the life of me fully comprehend her complete anger. I didn't want to sweep this under the rug but I did think we could talk it out and work it out. A year of therapy did nothing, it just gave her a new avenue to vent and punish me. A scarlet A hung over my head and affected every part of our relationship. I finally gave up, I couldn't stand the punishment so I left. I gave her everything in the divorce as a form of contrition I guess.

I've been following you for a while and I initially thought the open nature of your marriage would somehow make his outside sex less threatening to you. I mean you had Mickey and others so why couldn't he. I was wrong, of course, as you have clearly explained your feelings to us. What I realize is that outside your varied sex life your marriage is fairly conventional (that is not an insult by the way). It explains a lot.

I understand you anger at being deceived but I would just ask you to put it behind you somehow. To err is human (and some of us err repeatedly) but to forgive of course, is divine. When you try to figure out why this happened just remember that it was probably for selfish motives, not that he was trying to hurt you. I just use myself an example - I wanted more of something else not less of her and certainly there was no deliberate attempt to hurt her.

It's been 4 years and I have happily moved on. I don't regret leaving her and that is the sad part, I've lost my feelings for her. Every day we grow more distant. That was not the desired outcome to a long marriage. I know I would have stayed had she kept her bitterness and anger in check. I think we both decided the marriage was not worth saving. I don't walk in your shoes or share your bed but reading between the lines I get the impression you don't want that to be the outcome for your life. Put the anger aside and swallow your pain.

Enough unsolicited advice. I'll never say another word on this. Best of luck and I'll keep reading. Yeah, I like the sexy parts...


NaughtyAnna said...

Hello Anonymous,
Thank you so much for writing. I have read and re-read your comment at least a half a dozen times. It was not easy to read, but all the same, I hope you know how much I appreciate you taking the time to write and share yourself and your experiences with me. As I've read and re-read it, several emotions and thoughts come to mind.

First of all, I think that your inability to fully comprehend her anger actually made her angrier. When my H says things to me such as, "you are completely justified to feel that way" and other loving statements that take accountability for my anger, it lessens my anger. It's when he gets impatient that I'm still angry that makes me angrier.

I think that no matter how much therapy we both get, he will NEVER really understand the damage he has done. Oh, he says he does, and there are moments he does seem to really get it, and that's when I feel less angry, and then when his impatience rears its immature head is when it boils up inside me all over again. I don't think that the person who cheated will ever really understand the damage they have caused.

Someone who's cheated also has to realize that it may be a deal breaker. Adultery is not a "mistake". It's a CHOICE. A mistake is, "honey, I forgot to buy milk at the store." Having sex with someone outside your marriage is a CONSCIOUS CHOICE. And I don't have a choice to control my thoughts--the invasion of my sanity at all hours of the day and night with the nightmare that has become my life. The tainted memories that cut like a knife in my heart. The 16 years of lies and I didn't get to choose whether or not I wanted to stay married to him. I didnt' know. Now I do. Now I get to choose. But the damage is done and what to do about it all now??? Now the stakes are higher. We have kids. We have a house, 23 years invested. Trying to sort it all out requires more than time and energy. I am exhausted by it all and I'd give anything to just take out the piece of my brain where it all sits.

(two comments as it was too long)

NaughtyAnna said...

And for me, finding out vs having being confessed to would've made a HUGE difference in the reconciliation process. You didn't disclose how your wife/SO found out, but you have to realize that by trying to avoid accountablility only increases the likelihood that the betrayed spouse may never be able to forgive you. I know that I will never feel the same way about my H. I will always be on high alert that he may be cheating again. I will never trust him implicitly and I will never look at the last 16 years of my life the same way. I don't know if you or any spouse who's cheated can ever comprehend the mind-fucking done on the betrayed spouse. Our whole being is suddenly compromised and changed. We are NEVER the same. I myself was diagnosed with PTSD. Do you have any idea what that really means?? That is a trauma like the soldiers in battle in Iraq have. THAT is the damage that betrayal does.

That all being said, I appreciate hearing it from the horse's mouth. I do try very hard to understand my H and his motives and it is disturbing to know that the allure of lust and sex with a stranger can obliterate 20 years of marriage just like that (snap fingers). How can a person so easily risk it all for what, a romp in the sack? And with several women several times?? How does a betrayed spouse ever understand that??? You have to remember that WE didn't cheat. And it's not like we never had the opportunity. I easily could''ve seen Mickey or a half a dozen guys behind my H's back but I didn't. Because I respect him and our marriage. HE DIDN'T RESPECT ME OR OUR MARRIAGE ENOUGH TO STOP HIMSELF. HE WANTED IT MORE THAN HE WANTED ME. That damage and realization hurts more than you can imagine.

I understand completely the "Scarlet A" that hung over your head. You chose that. My H chose that. I don't know how to get over that. It appears your wife couldn't either. It comes from our looking at you with new, hurt eyes. The person who's supposed to protect us and honor us more than any other has stabbed us in the back. And with sex. The very core of our being. I went from feeling confident about myself to incredibly insecure. I think husband's that stray have no idea how our first thought is how inadequate we must be. It doesn't matter how many times you (or my H) tell us, "I never stopped loving you/wanting you" it falls on deaf ears. For us, the whole open marriage was, in my opinion, a way to prevent either of us ever having to cheat since I thought we could discuss everything. How wrong I was. So yeah, I never thought my H was capable of such cruel behavior, and like Eyeore's cloud, I think it will hang over him the rest of his life. He knows it too. Like I tell him, he's been lying longer than he's been honest. Maybe it'll take 16 years of honesty to wipe it out. I hope not. But certainly not 10 months, or even a year. I am still processing it all.

(keep reading please! 4 comments)

NaughtyAnna said...

And when I hear that you gave up after a year, it makes me angry and sad. I don't know your situation, but expecting her to "get over it" after only a year shows your inability to really get the damage you caused. We are coming up on a year and as the months pass by and new realizations occur (during therapy and otherwise), it's like I'm back at square one all over again. It will take much much longer than a year to get past what he's done.

I'm sorry it didn't work out for you and your marriage. You do seem like a very remorseful person who maybe now gets it. I want to share with you a story my H told me he heard on NPR radio. It was about a radio station in England that decided to do the "War of the World" presentation like decades ago and not tell listeners it was only a story, a joke. When the listeners found out they'd been duped, they were so angry at being made fools of, they murdered not the disc jockey (who managed to get away) but the sound engineer. THAT is what betrayal is. That is where the anger comes from. It's thinking you are one person and finding out you are someone else. Being duped. Having this go on behind our backs. We feel stupid, manipulated, dumb, and useless. I hope this story helps you understand her anger,, and mine.
Apologies from the radio station meant nothing. The damage was done.

I will not swallow my pain. That is advice that makes me feel that you don't want to be accountable for your behavior ("get over it already. I said I'm sorry!!!") It doesn't work that way. I have to be true to myself. He caused it. I have to heal with or without his help. I do still love him and yes, I want to stay married to him because I see him showing true remorse and a willingness to change and try to make it up to me. Am I making it hard for him to do so by staying angry? Too damn bad. It is not my job to make it easy on him. He needs to own it. I have to deal with the fallout.

I tell him all the time it is up to HIM now to give me reasons to stay. You can't cheat on someone and expect them to just get over it because you said you're sorry. Putting yourself in their shoes daily and really trying to feel their pain is what helps them heal.

It's like the difference between sympathy and empathy. "I'm sorry you feel bad" vs. "My stomach hurts seeing you cry and knowing I caused it".

We have a come a long way but yes, we have a long way to go. Thank you again for your concern, for your insight. I enjoyed hearing from you and hope you continue to comment. If you like, email me privately. I'd like to talk to you further.

Take care, and thank you for caring about me.


Anonymous said...

Me again.
I think what our exchange shows is how men and women are really far apart when it comes to matters like this. I listened to my ex and I listened to you. I don't minimize your (women) feelings. I honest to god don't. Just please, please try to keep your anger in check. I don't know your H but I have to assume that he has some guy traits in common with me. And all I can say is after we try and try and try, we can give up if all we get is negative feedback. I'm not minimizing you in the least Anna; I'm just giving you the male perspective.

I don't know what the right amount of time should have been but a year was all I could take. Call me a coward, uncaring, deceitful etc, etc but the reality is I reached a point where I could not take it any more. I don’t know where you go to rebuild trust, I know we couldn’t do it. It was decimated.

I really shouldn’t be in the advice or story telling business – I suck at both. Your story struck a chord and I thought, well, I don’t know what I thought. You guys have to find your own way through this. No therapist or friend or family member will have the answers for you. And you sure won’t find it in the comments section – LOL. Hey, a little humor sometimes.

No email, but thanks. I’ll stop by from time to time. Best of luck, I mean it.

Mik said...

Life is hard and we sure complicate it even further!For me It was always " if you cheat its over" but like you said there are so many factors to that.Dishonesty is the hardest blow on any marriage but if the parties can overcome this the love that is there can still be maintained.

Ive been cheated on and it took me a few months of drinks,drugs, bungee juming and Tandem skyediving to get over it Lol but i did! Met a lovely women..who i cheated on! Dont ask i was an idiot..insecurities whatever maybe a reaction of what happened to me. She forgave me and we have been married 16 years ever since.

Just be true to yourself and make the decision that makes you happy!Be the person who makes you happy xx
Take care and i hope that spirit within you makes peace with your Anger xx love to you xx

Lola said...

Dear Anna, we just found your blog. Can't wait to catch up. Feel free to swing by our blog: mysexlifewithlola - you'll enjoy it.

Lo & HH

NaughtyAnna said...

How awesome to read your comments! I appreciate so much you all taking the time to write. I will definitely check out your blog Lola! Mik, I would love to know more about you as well. It seems you have really grown in your recovery and now have a successful relationship. That's so awesome! Anonymous, I have more to say to you. I think I may owe you an apology. Read my next blog, it will be in there. Thank you again for sharing your deepest thoughts and pain with me. Sometimes it's just too painful to hear or to absorb the truth when pointed out by others.

Love you all,

Lola said...

Any open relationship has to be based on honesty and the understanding that "relationship" comes before "open." If you're being open in your relationship it is presumably because you love your partner. You do it for your love and for your partner, but if that love of your partner isn't there and you're not willing to talk it all out with your partner, then you might as well just be playing the field, right?

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