If your spouse left suddenly
I really want others to benefit from things I found out way after I needed them when my husband left me out of the blue. Please read the brief description in my profile for my story. But it was literally a Saturday morning, I asked "what do you want to do today?" And he answered "Get out of here."
There is a book called Runaway Husbands by Vicki Stark (and a website) that is written for women but I believe the advice applies to men whose wives may have left with no warning. EDITED to say that it can apply IMO to any situation including same sex partners or transitioning where one partner is left.
She has a blueprint for managing your trauma in this situation. I also did not know about this site. I am so happy you are here.
Please believe the things you read here on SI in the Healing Library, the 180 and the other tremendous resources. I was someone who thought my situation was unique. It was not. My H swore up and down that there was not another woman. But there was the entire time. If you believe your H or W does not have someone already in their lives, please please believe that it's almost 100% that they do.
I would have benefited so much from knowing this. Consider the person may be far away. That was my situation. A city 3 hours by plane. He lied for a year to go and see her and I believed it all.
Again, I truly want you to benefit from all the wisdom that is out there. I ultimately did but I could have really set myself up for healthy choices had I been willing to lift the veil of "There is no way he would lie to my face."
I wish you peace, health and sanity.
2 comments posted: Sunday, August 22nd, 2021
Almost a year from DDay-Thoughts
As we head towards the end of July (it will be here in a minute), I have a lot to think about. The last Saturday in July 2020 was the day I found out about
my husband's affair in 2018.
Recap: Cliches and the wisdom on this forum abound as my story is so familiar: very happy in my marriage, felt fortunate, grateful, believed in separate interests, never felt jealous etc...then all the behavior started. He left out of the blue in August 2018 and was gone 5 months. All the while absolutely swearing up and down he was just depressed and needed space to think. I was truly a wreck. Side note, the book Runaway Husbands by Vikki Stark saved my life. I did not know about this forum.
He came home and I was so so happy. Please know I did everything wrong because I believed there was no other woman: I pick me danced 'til dawn, I worried about if he was happy and getting everything he needed. He was a smug, arrogant prick but a little more like "old him."
Fast forward, that was all a false R because I didn't know what I was reconciling for. There was another woman in Atlanta (a widow no less) and they had been having an EA for over a year and a PA for a solid 6 months before he left. He had invented guy's trips, business trips (he legit does travel for work). As soon as he was "free" that sure fizzled out fast. I have posted before that she has pics of him on FB. She knew who I was the whole time. We live 3plus hours from ATL by plane. My FB had all the normal family pics and couple pics.
Ok. Today. I feel better than I ever thought I would a year ago. R has been hard. Really hard. But my WH is working on owning who he is and has been. So much to unpack for him and it's painful. His reckoning with what he risked for so little, his core values, his sense that he is special and deserves more (when he knows he had a lot). He has talked with me for hours and days. In the first 3 months, I needed to talk every day for hours. Phone records, ultimately a poly (which he passed).
1 year out is just the beginning of R and I know that. One of my realizations is that for the very first time, even though we are together, I know I would never fall apart if he did something else. It's a him thing and not a me thing. I would know that was my time to be done. It doesn't make me scared and fragile. But I don't feel like an Amazon either. It makes me feel quietly strong.
I have moments of real happiness. We can go days and I don't want to talk about anything A related.
So my story is a hopeful one. I would never have believed the level of pain I have lived through.
I also now know that when a man or woman suddenly leaves a marriage there is always always always another person. I wish I had operated with that in mind from the jump. My romanticism is gone. I hope someone gets something from my story.
3 comments posted: Friday, July 9th, 2021
Found a blog that is helpful fyi
If anyone else likes to know about a new resource where a couple who are in R appear to be having some success, may I recommend the blog Utter Imperfection.
I have read some articles by the wife and BS Jodi Utter who is a wonderful writer. Her husband was in law enforcement and his affair was public and he lost his career. So her finding out about the A was as it was being played out in the media. She took ownership of her own narrative and I like a lot of what she writes from the perspective of a BS and someone who has chosen to stay and work on the marriage.
So just a recommendation from me. I am nearing my own 10 month DDay anniversary. One of the most helpful things she wrote is that she began to just look for moments of joy in the day and not fully joyful days. That was huge to me and I can say I am finding that in my own life. I feel I am inching towards more and more peace.We have landed on a routine where my H asks me regularly if I want to talk about anything A related (or other) sometimes I say no and sometimes I say yes. He also brings up new insights into what it must have been like to be me both now and then. I find that super helpful.
That's my report.
4 comments posted: Wednesday, May 12th, 2021
Not sure if this should be in the General or Recon section. But since we are in R, I am posting here.
My FWH (which I hope means former wayward husband as opposed to future WH) passed his polygraph.
Because I can't find a proper search box on SI, I will outline our polygraph experience for anyone else who wonders about it. I really wanted to find more info on here but couldn't find any (I may not have been searching properly).
In my case, I was looking to confirm or negate the timeline of the A and same for if there were any other affairs during our marriage.
As I have said to my H many times, "The only time I ever suspected you were having an affair was when you were having an affair." But largely, I really was in the dark at the time and so, I wonder what else I have been in the dark about. I am about 9 months into my DDay.
The polygrapher gave me 2 questions/areas to focus on. That may be hard for someone and it was for me. I kind of wanted to ask 10 or more questions. But I settled on:
-While living at home, did you see the AP more times than your timeline discloses?
-Had there been other affairs during our marriage?
For the record, I am not looking for input on my questions, or the technique of our polygrapher. I am pleased with the experience and the results. I hope to help someone else looking into the polygraph experience.
I did not tell my H what questions I had submitted, nor did the polygrapher confirm with me exactly how he would phrase the questions (though they were written out in the final report). I set up the appointment and so, was the client and would receive the final report.
My H went up to the offices alone and the report was emailed to me about 5 hours later.
It goes without saying this isn't "Phew! That's over." But I will say that I am happy to know that he was not deceptive in his answers.
Very early on, when my H got his phone records that I had asked for, I pored over them for weeks and then, I was done. I feel that now, the damage of the A and the massive gaslighting and deception is still there, I know that his timeline was honest to me. And that the A was the A.
I hope this helps someone.
4 comments posted: Tuesday, April 20th, 2021
This is an update and of course, if you have been through the polygraph experience, any tips or input are welcome.
It's been about 8 months since I found out that in 2018, when indeed I felt my H was having an affair, he was! That's the short version. We are working on our relationship. I have every hope that we are working to a better place.
I have my timeline (if you will) of the times he went to see her when he lived at home (we had a 5 month separation which was sudden, shocking and I asked 18 million times about another woman). I have seen all the phone records from 2017, 2018 and to date. The data/email download for texting did not work. He got a new phone in 2018 and admits he was vigilant about deleting messages each day. Emails too.
So now to the polygraph. Seeing the phone records (where calls originated from and their contact was very helpful-it corroborates his dates). But believing everything the first time is what got me here. So I want the polygraph to determine the following:
-Were there other women during our marriage?Including any non physical affairs/phone pals etc..
-Did he see the AP beyond what has been revealed to me?
Those are my burning questions. I felt so much better after hours and hours going over the phone, cross referencing dates and the detailed journal I kept at the time and beyond. I wanted to read some of the words they wrote to each other. That is not to be right now.
So polygraph thoughts. Too much info will overwhelm me. Did you find it helpful? Did you wish you had done something differently? I am not telling him my questions and I don't know how much the polygrapher massages what I have submitted to him.
4 comments posted: Thursday, March 25th, 2021
The Invisible Judges
As always, this site is very helpful and has saved my sanity more than once. I just want to share how I'm feeling right now in case it resonates with anyone. Prepare for some rambling but I am trying to carefully organize this thought.
My whole life I have felt there are invisible judges nearby. Is this the human experience? Maybe?
being raised a certain way? Perhaps. I know it can be hugely unhealthy. But again, maybe it's a common thing and had my H felt invisible judges were present, the affair would not have happened.
So now in R, I can fall into "Am I doing R right? What are the invisible judges thinking?"
Here's what is feeling right or working for me:
-Being mad when I'm mad. Not tiptoeing around a selfish individual as I did for a long period.
-Asking the same damn questions over and over. Even I get tired of it. But I need to. For reasons I will never know, some of the questions don't come up anymore. I have exhausted whatever I needed to hear.
-Feeling happy and loving towards him. Sometimes, I catch myself and think "You're doing it wrong! The invisible must be shaking their heads!" Then I let those feelings slip away. But when I feel happy and loving, it makes me feel content. The way I felt for so many years.
-Not downplaying the trauma I have been through (gaslighting, deep disrespect, fear, having my reality altered, knowing another woman was in my marriage and I did not know about her but she new about me).
-Looking at him with new eyes and not the soft ones I used to. He knew what he was doing, it was a choice. He could have stopped or simply not gone down that road 1100 times.
-Not forgetting the great things we have built. They are real. The invisible judges might be mad about that one.
-Trying to be the same me that always has been present. I can feel the bitterness rise up and I don't want to stay in that place. But I will for a bit when I need to.
-Feeling so very very sad that the marriage I thought I had was not so for a long period of time.
I feel a strong connection to people in pain. I always have but now, I really really understand the pain of being hurt through no fault of your own. I don't think everyone who is single is lonely. Not by a long shot. But I have a deep compassion for anyone who is on their own and lonely and worked hard to have a person but that person didn't deserve that honor. Or left. Or hurt them or made it untenable to stay with them.I hope it is a moment in time for them.
Stay strong my friends. We are doing OK. Invisible judges aside.
12 comments posted: Thursday, February 18th, 2021