Done?

Would this work? Names changed to protect the guilty.

The recent discovery that the OW has still not let go, that as recently as a week ago  she created a You Tube channel and installed a video of my husband in it, just put me back on the affair hamster wheel. I thought that my life was moving in a more linear direction, but here I am…dealing with it again. Friends worry that I obsess about the OW, but honestly, whenever I feel like I have packed up my feelings about her intrusion into my life and put them away, she intrudes again. We get a little peace, and then there she is again, and her moves are becoming more and more blatant. Maybe we should just take out an ad about the affair here, in the town where they went to high school, and across the metroplex. Would that take care of it once and for all?

I really think that it wouldn’t bother me as much if I didn’t feel like there were still things that I don’t know, that J still has not told me the complete truth about the affair. His time line regarding the affair is still fuzzy and confused, and I am still getting “I don’t know” and “I don’t remember” as answers about what happened and when. His reactions to her repeated intrusions into our life don’t make sense to me. For example, he wanted his archaeology video removed from You Tube, but NOT because she had claimed it as her own and that freaked him out, but because he felt like it was poor quality and did not represent him professionally in an appropriate way. He has no explanation or suggestion for why she would STILL be holding on so tightly that she would go public by confessing to a gossipy mutual friend and connecting herself with him in a forum as public as You Tube – 19 months after the end of the affair. After more than a year and a half of refusing to trust my instincts or listen to my gut over and over and over again until both are just screaming at me, I really cannot avoid facing my conviction that something still lingers unsaid. I think perhaps escalation on her part forces me to listen to my instincts when I have tried to stay in a happy place. Unfortunately, the happy place just doesn’t stay happy very long – something always intrudes and that something is not usually related to me….

I feel like my life is no longer in my control. My peace is in the hands of J’s emotional stability – and there is none. My needs and wants are not a priority, even when he is struggling as hard as he can to consider me. Unfortunately, his needs and his wants and his emotions are always in the forefront. He says that he feels like he just ends up dashing from one problem to another, focusing and trying to get a handle on it and then something else comes up that is more important. My reaction to the video discovery has been such an incident. He says that the affair is no longer an issue – that instead we need to work on what caused the disconnect between us – that led him to treat me with so much disrespect. I agree that it is important to address that topic, but whenever the OW shoves into our life again, I think we have to look at that and the feelings it brings up.

His frustration with his job and his inability to cope with it or to see a way to change his circumstances IS the most important aspect of his life and therefore of ours. He cannot focus on or discuss any other emotional issue without his job bleeding over into it and coloring his feelings and his ability to cope. Nothing I feel or try to express gets through when he is feeling particularly unhappy with work.  I understand how frustrated he feels – I can feel it emanating from him in waves, but I don’t know what to do. I think a part of the reason that I don’t want to listen to J complain about his job – or even more, I don’t want him to be unhappy with his job is because I don’t want to move again. I’m barely hanging on as it is, and I don’t want to move somewhere else and have to start over again without a job or a support network…I’m just too tired. I don’t trust him to make decisions based on what’s best for me or even to consider my needs. I am washed out, emotionally drained, tired of having my hopes dashed, my self confidence shredded.

Bottom line – I don’t want to live with someone I don’t feel safe with – who I can’t trust to think about me and what is best for me when he makes decisions. At the best of times – when the love flows between us and we are sharing enjoyment, entertainment, intellectual pursuits – just sharing – he expresses so much delight at who I am. He then is totally confused and somewhat miffed that I feel devastated, rather than admired and appreciated. The problem is that I am not different in any positive way than I was before the affair – the interests, characteristics, the core me that he now finds so new and interesting is the same me….so how did he forget who I am? Do I want to live with someone who has lived with me for thirty years and had no idea who I am, or had forgotten? I don’t know if I want to live with someone who constantly makes me feel less – less important, less special, less attractive…just less. I don’t want to live with someone who doesn’t tell me the truth – and is willing to let me feel like I am slowly going insane because I know something isn’t right when he insists that it is.

What would my life look like without J? It would be lonelier I know, and my sex life might be dead in the water, but it seems like it would be much more peaceful. No disappointments, no disrespect, no emotional assaults about things that I don’t care about or think are important – especially not when I am falling apart inside and out and don’t know what to do and cannot find any peace or get any help. No more second guessing myself and how I feel. No more wondering if every positive thing in my life is based on a lie. This last fight has really made me ask “Am I done?”

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5 comments on “Done?

  1. Morgan says:

    I am so blown away by this post. I hurt for you. I’m so sorry you’re still having to deal with this in your marriage. (((Hugs)))

    • Devon says:

      Thank you – the situation feels much better AT THIS MOMENT, but I do not have confidence that it will last. How have you dealt with this in your marriage? For me, another perspective is always useful, but it is so difficult finding that outside perspective. I have read and read and read – books, academic articles, online articles, and blog after blog after blog, but the perspective seems to mostly be from the betrayed spouse’s point of view – either the pain of trying to repair the damaged marriage or the pain of trying to recover from the loss of a marriage. A little bit of material deals with the pain, loss, and recovery process of the other person, but I really have found nothing from the perspective of a cheating spouse who is working to repair a marriage damaged by infidelity. I know my husband has suffered from tremendous guilt and pain of his own, but he has had so much trouble sharing it or even facing it….

      • Morgan says:

        When my affair ended, it ALL ended. I started my blog and never bothered MM’s wife (other than sending her the package). My affair partner made it all quite obvious that he had his fun and was done–but after his harassment to my husband, I sent that package to put us all on even playing ground. He had to deal with himself and his wife and I never interjected myself in their lives after I sent that.
        If you’d like to email me privately and ask ANY questions you’d like, I’d be more than willing to try my best to help you.
        The pain an affair causes the ones you love isn’t easy to deal with…let alone the way it makes the one who cheated feel inside. It’s a LOT to deal with and can overwhelm a person. I’m glad you’re going back to counseling. Counseling was a huge help in my marriage.

  2. As the betrayed spouse I feel so much of what you say…and I also see some of what my wife expressed in this. Just want you to know, that everything you are feeling is normal. Painful but normal.
    I think one of the reasons that the betraying spouse has so much trouble understanding is that they can not live up to the guilt from the hurt that they caused. To acknowledge that is too painful. So, they minimize it in their mind to the extent that they can not understand.
    I hope you both can find a way through this, with professional help.
    Peace to You
    LFBA

    • Devon says:

      Thank you – I don’t know if I am looking for Buddha, but I am looking for peace. We have our second counseling appointment – initiated by him this time – tomorrow. I too hope that if we both committed to the process, counseling will help us forge a path through this jungle.

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