Thoughts on having less stamina for other life events
I was thinking today about, as a betrayed spouse, we used up a lot of emotional energy and depleted (permanently in my opinion)our reserves of resiliency for the things life throws at us. For me this is absolutely the case. We are in R, I feel better than I did a year ago. But I feel permanently changed-not in a good way.
Another family member needs a lot of help and support right now. I can tell that I have less to give because of the trauma of everything I went through with my husband. I have talked with him about this and he acknowledges that it's real. What he did and what he put me through has given me less to have at the ready when life throws more at me. Which it will.
So,I want to give everyone who feels the same way a giant virtual hug. I am sorry this is where we are. I am digging deep--insert all cliches--but this is another reason that I know that infidelity is not benign and "French" (sorry if anyone is French-it's the belief that infidelity is part of marriage).
My other changes include: being wary of everyone, not believing a lot of what I see and hear, not trusting (my SIL who was a huge support-now I feel like I can't trust her and that she has told my story a bunch). I'm going off on tangents! I was careful who I told. But know that people you tell might think it's OK to anecdotely tell your story to people you don't know. But it's a small small world. Thanks internet! Anyone can just for kicks, look up you and your spouse. So keep that in mind. JMO.
Anyway, I am glad to be further in my journey. But I am emotionally drained today because of the past and the present.
8 comments posted: Tuesday, October 19th, 2021
I'm getting my feelings out with a parody
If you aren't feeling that humor is helpful, this is not the post for you. But if you feel you can laugh, maybe this will be for you. I know my H is to blame. Writing this made me laugh, so please, no lectures about not blaming OW. Feel free to respond with your own imaginary letter to your wayward's AP. ***
My Imaginary Letter to my Husband's ex Mistress:
Dear Lady Who Drinks A Lot:
We've never met but I do want to first extend heartfelt condolences on the loss of your husband in 2016. I know that your grief was a bit assuaged starting in 2018 when you began sleeping with my husband! Nothing says "I cherish the sanctity of marriage and the memories of the love of my life," more than sleeping with another woman's husband! Especially when you know that she has no idea he is flying out of town to meet up with you. If I had a nickel for every time I've heard of this grief strategy...amiright?
I didn't learn about your affair until 2020 and boy howdy! Was I one surprised lady! It turns out, the whole time I was worried that my husband was suffering from depression and I spent a lot of sincere and heartfelt time and money to help him-he was just lying, gaslighting and pretending to be on pesky work trips or guy's snowmobile trips. It's just hilarious to realize that maybe, just maybe, in addition to him not being a world class ass hat, you had maybe tried dating someone who was single! It's mostly on him, I get that. But I wish you could have done me a solid by not participating. That's crazy talk I know.
One of the most fun things I found out was that you invited him to be your date at a wedding! That's so cool. I'm sure the happy couple would have loved knowing that the guy at Table 8 with the bloated gal with bad hair extensions, was in fact, married to a loving wife about 3 hours by plane away! Good times. You knew he lived at home and that I was worried sick. Now now, don't get feisty, of course he knew too. But surely you, with all your charm and beauty had at least a few other options in the greater ATL area? No? That's a head scratcher. But I'm sure glad you had a date to the wedding.
The laughs just never stopped once I found out. You always knew my name. So I'm sure you had some fun looking at my social media. I was such a nut! I didn't think my husband had a girlfriend in another city, so I just had family and vacation photos up for the lookin'. I'm wacky like that.
Once I knew who you were, naturally I took a peek at yours. It was really neat to cross reference the known timeline of his visits to you and your FB. Boy you sure posted a lot about that dead husband and all sorts of deep thoughts about "character/love/honor/marriage" at the same time. Thank you so much, by the way, for having a publicly available picture of my husband with you and a bunch of your lady friends at a bar. I love seeing it. It was beyond gracious of you to not only post it, but have it in several locations. Your friends must be wonderful women. The fact that no one has encouraged you to take it down, just speaks volumes about the depth of character you surround yourself with. I guess they all knew he was married. My gal pals and I often, upon learning of our friend's new married boyfriend, say, "You do you, girl!!!" We support each other like that.
I feel like I'm getting to know you from your FB public rants about various businesses in your area "Don't do business with XYZ!" It's really classy of you to call out local business owners that you've had negative dealings with. It shows me how you operate and I like what I see. You also rant a fair amount about your dealings with the general public. Good for you! Give 'em hell, my friend! On your FB! That's the spirit!
Speaking of seeing. You're a lady who really enjoys a night out at a bar, aren't you? I've never seen a woman in her mid 50s have so many pictures of herself in a bar with random men. It looks as if, and I could be wrong here, that it's super important to you to be seen as desirable and "hot."
Mission accomplished, my friend! Those bleary eyed gentlemen that you seem to find everywhere for a quick selfie, certainly says, "That's one in demand lady" to me. None of the gentlemen are ever seen again. Each bar visit seems to have its own photo op with a new fellow. I'm just spitballing here, but did you ever consider that a few of these men might just be numb nuts who stupidly took a pic in a bar with a stranger? And you've got them up for perpetual public view on your FB? Don't worry if your actions might cause trouble for someone (and I'm betting a few of said gentlemen are married/engaged in a relationship). It's just for kicks, right? Forget I said anything.
I have to believe you had the most magical, soul mate connection in your last marriage. The natural way to grieve isn't to take that special love that you've known and carry on with decency as a way to honor your departed spouse. It seems to make more sense to, not fall in love but just fill some time with a man who you really don't care about. Now that I write it, that DOES seem the best way to demonstrate to yourself and the world that you know what an amazing love looks like. Good on ya!
You're clearly a savvy business lady. A Realtor. I capitalized the R just to show I take you seriously. The pale denim blazer with the bold ecru lace border just screams "Serious Business Only." Great wardrobe choice. I heard Goldman is doing headshots soon and most of the ladies are searching for pale denim blazers. You've started something.
I need to run. You see my marriage actually didn't make it. But we started a new one instead. One where we are working really really hard to not have one of us **cough cough him** take our energy and put it outside the marriage. We are invited to a wedding in a month and I did decide to ask the married neighbor across the street if he would be my date. I'm super stoked. It's not a strange choice at all. Is it?
21 comments posted: Monday, September 13th, 2021
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
I need to know more
I am 5 months from finding out about my WH's affair in 2018.
It is over and we are in R. But I need to know so much more than I do. I have seen the phone records. But he deleted all the texts and emails. I now have access to his phone and email. iCloud has nothing.
He has recreated his trips to see her (another city) which I can verify by the phone records and where his calls to me were originating from (not a snowmobile trip! A trip to Atlanta!). That was just one example. A trip to interview with a firm in Atlanta! Uh, no, a trip to visit her. So many lies.
But I NEED to see some texts or emails. I just do. I don't qualify for the investigative forum. He claims they really did not discuss me or our marriage. But I need to know how much "I love you" there was. If any.
Today is just hard and I hate this so much. He is remorseful and willing to discuss things to a degree I would not have thought possible in the past. But dammit, I just need more. And I am sooooo mad at myself for not doing a VAR back in 2018.
People have posted generalized "Get Dr. Fone" for recovery. But I would love any detailed advice. The reviews on Dr. Fone (and other) recovery systems is not great. I know contacting her would be a giant mistake. I am stuck in this headspace of anger and impotence at the whole thing. I want to go back in time and I know I can't.
How do I recover the deleted emails and texts? They are not on the cloud. Sorry for the rant. I'm just in a lot of pain today.
18 comments posted: Wednesday, January 6th, 2021
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate:
I am in early R with my WH who had an affair in 2018 that I knew nothing about until late July of this year.
I took tremendous pride in our marriage. Now, every movie, seemingly every TV show, not to mention the radio triggers me with cheating themes.
The reality that I am CHOOSING to stay with someone who cheated on me hits me hard every time. Once again, my reality, my self esteem are jumbled. Me? I accepted this? The regret of not knowing when it was going on, not having the chance to deal with it. Would I have had his things packed in a storage container when he came back from his (out of town) mistress visits? Would I have boarded a plane to her city on the same flight he was and surprised him at the gate or stopped by his seat? Who can say? These are a couple of my fantasies. Confronting her is not something I think I would have done. But him? I get so mad that I never got the chance to know what was going on. The 5 months he lived out of the house (under the auspices of depression/soul searching/sadness, were months I spent worried about him. And lest you wonder, of course I asked again and again if there was another woman (not to mention asking about drug addiction or gambling or whatever had turned my formerly wonderful husband into a haunted stranger). His lies were believable. I bought them all.
Back to my question: will I ever be able to watch TV or listen to the radio without being triggered? It's a rhetorical question. But dammit. I hate that this is my new normal at present. Just hate it.
When their relationship fizzled and he came home (again, I was thrilled! His sadness had lifted!), I spent over a year still on high alert for his happiness. Was he getting enough time with his hobbies and friends (many of which had been covers for his affair).
I hate being a cliche. Such a cliche that songs, movies and shows are everywhere that mirror my life.
8 comments posted: Friday, December 25th, 2020
where to start and not have such a block of text that no on e will read it?
In a 15 year 2nd marriage. I was so intentional in this marriage, counted my blessings, felt grateful, appreciated what he could do and not on what he couldn/t.
In 2018, something was way off. Just like all the cliches. I asked again and again and again, "Is naything taking your energy outside the marriage? A friendship, flirtation, real love affair, just sex, an addiction etc... His answers (I am a wife btw) always a convincing no. I snooped, I had no access to his phone or computer I got nothing. But my gut was off the charts. He left out of the blue one saturday morning. I mean no warning. I cried, begged, pleaded. And of course said "There has GOT to be someone else." Long story short. after almost divorcing we reconciled in 2019.
So my D day is the very recent (and strangely welcome) info that there WAS another woman in another city. All his excuses were cliche (in the past/hurt you/look forward).
I will say that he is accepting his role and or the first time, willing to listen to me and talk for hours. And admit he can see his narc tendencies for the first time.
But that time apart (which I was told again and again was self reflection and depression) was a good old fashioned mid life affair.
I'm tired. I feel old. But I don't want to make any huge decisions. I just don't right now. It's a fresh wound and makes me re-think everything.
I actually doubt she knew that I was in the dark and fighting for my marriage. I sure hope so. I FB stalked her-did not know she existed before! Found one group photo that he is in (nice!). I am not reaching out nor do I want him to to have her take it down.
Again, very tired and sad.
10 comments posted: Friday, July 31st, 2020