I have been in your shoes. I get it. I know how it feels…
I walked out of my relationship after catching her having sex with another man. It was my decision but despite my correct 100% certain belief that our relationship as husband and wife wasn’t maintainable (for the record – we were engaged but only about 5 weeks from the set date) then it didn’t change that I loved her with every breath in my body and the betrayal was brutal.
Heck… I even sat one evening with my gun beside me and even had the barrel in my mouth for a few seconds. I get it. It hurts like nothing ever before or since hurts.
But I’m still here… Close to 40 years later. Didn’t eat a bullet and don’t doubt my decision was correct.
I want to share some thoughts and things I did in the hope they help you.
For one realize and accept the reality of what’s happening. Like it or not your wife CAN make and take these decisions. She CAN decide that Mr. Wonderpants is the real deal, and you are yesterday’s news. Like it or not and irrespective of the moral issues she CAN, and she HAS.
In some ways it’s like if you are driving along Main Street, crossing a junction on a green light and then someone crashes into your car. You can be all huffed about that driver ignoring a red light, that person might be drunk or might get his license revoked or go to jail or whatever. But in all honesty THAT person isn’t relevant. What is relevant is no matter who eventually pays for the damage your vehicle is a total write-off and you have a ton of injuries you need to recover from. THAT is the reality. The other driver won’t do your physiotherapy, the other driver won’t go get your vehicle towed away or go buy you a new one. YOU do all the work, and YOU do your own recovery. You could spend all evening wishing the crash never happened, but still have your foot in a cast.
This is the same. She did what she did, and maybe one day karma will have her grow a beard or whatever. Or OM turns out to be gay or they join a cult or whatever. But none of that will have any real impact on YOU and YOUR recovery. YOU need to do your own recovery and although some others can aid you the work is all you.
Then realize that what you are experiencing is a combination of biology and thoughts…
Your metabolism, how your body reacts and all that are contributing to your feelings of tiredness, hopelessness, despair, melancholy…
But so are your thoughts.
I’m not so naïve as to suggest simply deciding to be happy will make things fine.
But… by acting in a more content way, by forcing your body to do stuff and by consciously think about what and how you think… you can slowly change course.
These are actions I took after d-day:
I consciously decided that work was where I worked. At the time I was in law-enforcement, and I couldn’t afford to take my issues on the road. Before entering the station, I would sit in my car and consciously tell myself that for the next 8 hours SHE and my misery were not welcome to my thoughts. Of course, simply deciding wasn’t enough, but what happened was that when I was feeling blue, I would be aware of it and decide to think along another path or take some action that forced me to think of other things. With time I managed to do long shifts with no thoughts about how unfair this all was, how she deceived me, how I missed her…
Doesn’t mean I was happy. But at least I wasn’t building up more sorrow.
I did the same for sleep. When I went to bed, I used meditation to empty my mind and fall asleep. If I was aware that I was thinking of my misery I consciously decided to focus on meditation, and if that didn’t work, I would get out of bed and complete a chore off a list I had. These chores were absolute beauties like clean the bathroom, wax the car, polish my shoes… Mind-numbing tasks that got me tired and got my focus aligned.
I didn’t get sleep-aids. In retrospect I should have gotten sleeping pills and even some happy pills. Afraid of addiction? Take mild dosages for a very limited time.
I made certain I was physically tired. I ran, lifter weights, took walks, rode a bike…
I ate healthy. More importantly I ate to a schedule. Appetite goes out the window, but you need the energy to deal with all this. It’s quite easy to line up healthy options so you are regularly replenishing energy. By healthy I don’t mean alfa alfa and tofu for all meals, but I made sure I was eating fish, chicken and unprocessed meats along with veggies.
I did my best to recognize what situations got me the worst. Like if you realize that when you come home and fall into the couch and turn on TV is when you start feeling all sad… then avoid that situation! Come home, clean the house, open the windows and get fresh air, take a walk, cook a meal… basically break the pattern of misery.
The hardest thing for me was to force myself to be out amongst people…
Don’t visit a friend and saddle him with your issues but do visit a friend. Grab a coffee and talk about stuff – your marriage included BUT NOT EXCLUSIVELY!
Join clubs. I recommended jogging – any jogging groups in your area? Rather than go to the gym and lift alone then join a group activity. Ever wanted to learn golf/fishing/shooting/knitting… join a course or group. Be amongst people.
Do things that are fun. Even if they aren’t for you. I would go to every comedy movie and try to laugh.
Speaking about laughter… is there anyone offering laughter-yoga in your area? Join. You will feel like an ass but remember what I said about forcing your body to do stuff to change how it acts? It’s been proven that even a forced laugh can start off the joy-hormones laughter offers.
The main gist of what I’m sharing though is that nothing will change unless YOU make it change. YOU need to take actions and take steps.
Are you in the divorce process?
I know that’s not what you want. Not any more than you wanted that truck to ram you in my above comparison. But if your wife has decided she wants out and she wants the OM… well… all that’s left is the legal process…
Keep in mind all the legal implications of marriage. Like if your wife uses a credit-card that was issued when things were fine with you two there is a high risk of financial accountability. Yes, I know you could sue, or a court can get you off or whatever, but 3-5 years from now you don’t want a collection agency phoning you for her sins. This is just a simple example, there are numerous other legal implications that are not valid right now, like access to medical decisions and such. Divorce isn’t really the emotional dissolution of a marriage but more of a practical rearrangement and distancing from a past contract (marriage). You don’t divorce because of anger or spite, but more because what you two have really has no resemblance anymore to marriage.
It might ease your decision to offer something like:
Wife – This is not what I want or how I envisioned our lives, but it is what it is. I realize that and accept that. I would be willing to work on our marriage, but there really is nothing that tells me that is realistic. Therefore, it’s to both our benefit to formaly end our marriage and finish the process of divorce. There are laws and regulations that outline how this is done and we can hopefully follow that procedure and finish this as fairly and amicably as possible. I am starting the process and here are my suggestions on our next steps…