Soon it will be a year

I have not written for some time. My father died in April and I am reeling. Reeling from the months of watching him suffer and try to avoid the inevitable end. He was full of life and not wanting or ready to go in any way. I cared for him in every way, I’m reeling from watching family dynamics already troublesome implode in the wake of this most painful life event. I am missing the man who was my rock in so many ways. My dad was there for me night and day when I separated from H three years ago. Losing him reminds me of the times we were the closest and it saddens me that they were around my marital troubles. I would not have made it without him there, driving me to my tennis lessons, not letting me sit alone and wallow too much…just all of it, he was my saviour.

My father sensed, since last August (d-day) that things with my marriage were not as they should be. It is the one lie I told him over and over…that nothing was wrong. Why did I lie? I lied to protect my father from the worry, hurt and anger of what has happened in my marriage as he declined from his illness and faced that he would leave us alone unprotected. I lied to protect H so that he would not be vilified and treated with hostility or disdain. Still in the aftermath of my father’s death I stand on this decision to keep it from him although it hurts that I had to do it. All these lies to protect those who hurt me….and in my childish way I wanna scream “WHAT ABOUT ME?”

H has been as supportive as he knows how. He has been by my side mostly, he helped with my dad as much as he could. He was there during the funeral. He helped carry my fathers casket to its final resting place, but he still has no words for me. Even though H has already walked this path after losing his parents, he has no words to comfort me. What he has is a hug, an ear…perhaps I should be grateful for those.

The state of my marriage is still in some ways the same and in some ways better knowing who I am dealing with, knowing how to watch for the clues I so stupidly missed in the past. Intimacy is still not there and neither of us know how to knock this wall down. The honesty and deep discussions that happened in the months after d-day are over and we have both gone back to our quiet corners, living our feelings and thoughts in secrecy. Counselling was put on the back burner when we realized it was becoming more about my horror at the thought of my dad dying, than about how we move forward. Should we go back? H has stopped seeing his therapist as well, how will we change things? It’s still in the dark corners of my mind, his cheating, but it gets pushed back daily by grief and stress since losing my dad. We are in some ways even more distant now but at least we have kindness towards each other. Is kindness enough to keep us going until we can put ourselves first?

I feel somewhat a failure so far, in between grief and stress and daily life, the thoughts of the others still flash into my mind. In the moments I feel like reaching for some affection, I conjure up all the lies, the covert operations during our marriage, and the hideous faces of those he cheated with. Why does the mind do this? It has these dark compartments, not to be viewed all at once but making room for each to manifest. When one sadness fades, another pops into place.

Revenge has been on my mind. I have felt cheated that the reveal of his affairs was several years after they had ended in the case of the first two and specifically pathetic Holly. I feel cheated out of facing her, and letting her know the damage she helped cause. I feel cheated not seeing her suffer. I feel cheated out of telling her what an utter bag of trash she is. Is this normal? When will it ever stop? Confronting her now would only invite her back into my world, and perhaps give her some satisfaction that my H is suffering from his actions. I would love to know if any of my fellow betrayed are facing the same demons. It is coming up on 1 year since D-day on August 12th and I am wondering how much fallout there will be as we approach the date. I am no longer afraid of H leaving, he can if he likes and I know I will pick up the pieces. Some days when the thoughts are there, I wonder if it would be easier not having him around. I know in the long run, life with him would and can be better.  I am no longer afraid to say or do something to make him cheat…I know that the decision to do that will be his alone….and his fault. So how do I cope now? Gone are the crying, the constant questions, and the sheer horror at what he has done, but the ghosts of the past still remain, I would love some ideas on how to banish those.


4 thoughts on “Soon it will be a year

  1. Dear I.I. Considering all you went through in a short time span, you are doing quite well and much better than most other betrayed.
    You already accepted the reality of the betrayal. You know what to look for but you are not afraid to leave as you know you can and will do well.
    Being angry at the women and in particular that Holly and wanting revenge is also perfectly normal. When injustice is done, we all want to have some sort of retribution. Some do, but it can backfire and you do not serve to face the consequences of that. Good people as yourself feel guilty when they try to inflict punishment.
    My mother was dying from cancer and my H had an affair when I went through that. D-day and all I had gone through caused me to be temporarily insane.

    Yes, our minds do that. You ask why? There is this urgency and need to try to understand and to make sense of what has happened as maybe when it makes sense we think, it will all fall into place and we can go on. Certain things however, will never make sense.

    It takes time but not just that. I have the feeling that your H has not done all of the work. Those deep discussions you had in the past, are still needed. It is never too late. Trying to work on emotional and later on physical intimacy can be healing. You might want to see a therapist who is specialized in working with couples who want to heal after adultery. A therapist who knows how hard it is to break through those walls and who is not afraid to hear and to talk about anything. Never forget that adultery is perceived as trauma and contains deep grief. You have been grieving more than the betrayal of your H.

    Many who post on WP understand and admire you. I am one of those…

    Elisabeth

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  2. Dear Elizabeth,

    Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. I know that our group is a special and supportive one, although one that no one ever wants to be part of. I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. and having to deal with an affair at the same time. Seems you and I are the same in that, what a shit storm of emotion to have to go through. I did not quite understand the devastating feelings around losing a parent. I have supported a few friends through it and I always knew it was sad, but the depths of the pain are worse than I could have imagined truthfully and I know that I will miss my dad everyday for as long as I live.

    Regarding the cheating, to be honest, I would much rather be part of our betrayed club than the cheaters club. I have several friends who have been cheated on, and those relationships are now over, however all have said (sadly all amazing, strong, capable, beautiful women) that they would much rather have been betrayed than have lowered their moral standards and stooped to cheating. I have often thought about how I would feel to have a revenge cheat. I know that it would hurt H. In the aftermath of d-day, one of my many questions was “how would you like it if I cheated on you…maybe I should, to show you how it feels!” His response was always the same “I would not like it, but I guess I could not say anything to you since I have done it.” Truthfully, my self respect is not for sale, not for money, revenge or self gratification, and this makes me feel strong. Self respect is what also keeps me from any kind of revenge that makes it past fantasy.

    The thing I think that I grapple with, is why do I have to deal with the aftermath of so many others bad decisions???
    Years later and I doubt any of the involved parties give it a second thought. But I do, I have no choice in the matter, my H does as well…mostly probably when it is bothering me. The Hollies of this world, and there are far too many, sell their souls and self respect at far too low a price. They allow themselves to be used by sick, sad and bad men, thinking that they are actually winning a war, and gaining something. Statistics show that they rarely ever win….being dumped is gold standard for many of these women and honestly they deserve it. I know that sounds bitter but I know in my heart, I could never go after a married man even if he was served up to me on a silver platter. My heart could not inflict this kind of misery on anyone.

    So here we are, left with the difficult task to either leave a marriage and lick our wounds or stay in a marriage and deal with the fallout and horrific memories. I don’t want to come across as desperate or pathetic. I am actually quite strong and self-reliant. i need no man to complete my life, help me achieve or support me and for that I am so grateful. I guess I am finding that I am just pissed off at this place in time. Something to work on..all this has changed me as a person. I am no longer so trusting, my heart has been chained and locked to a degree….price to be paid I guess and trying to find what I have gained in all of this.

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  3. II…you have, indeed, been through hurt and trauma after pain. I’m so sorry. And admire you deeply.
    One thought I have – you said, “So here we are, left with the difficult task to either leave a marriage and lick our wounds or stay in a marriage and deal with the fallout and horrific memories.” My post today is about a memory. It is horrific. It is horrific whether i remain married to one of the parties that caused the pain, or if I don’t.

    My DDAY was April 29, 2014. My father and mother had moved in with us the previous September as dad was end-stage Parkinsons. On August 14, 2014, he died in my home. I feel your sadness and emptiness, and sometimes confusion as to covering up the truth of your trauma – I also made that choice. And I also question it.

    I hope your husband will dig back in to do the work, as Elisabeth mentioned. As HUSBAND really healed, he became sickened and ever-increasing in his understanding of the depth of the wounds he’d inflicted. I have been able to press into my pain and allow myself to bleed and scab and bleed again, and now he plays a role in the bandaging. That, in itself, has been a new dance we share that is building intimacy and healing. Standing in our own corners and covering up our pain and guilt and anger and hurt would not build trust, or intimacy…I encourage you to find a place/group/therapist/person to help you through the process. The intimacy we now share is precious and ferocious and different, and it is good. Always tinged with the reality of the cost to get here, but really, really good.

    Thinking of you with care and admiration…Big hugs. xo

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  4. Thanks for your words SS, could you please elaborate on how your husband participates in “bandaging your wounds”? My H as you may have read is an abuse survivor, this in and of itself is no excuse for his sickening behaviour in the past but it does cause issue with healing. He has no words, initiates no talks. In our marriage, he has said he feels if he does nice things, that should show how he feels and what he is thinking. I don’t know how to build on this. I feel like there is this space between us not to be crossed…and I know it is mostly on my end. I am in effect stuck. We are pleasant with each other, laugh a bit, and do things together but in my own head…I am keeping at a distance, I look at him through the eyes of a betrayed person. I keep a distinct distance with regards to emotions and my physical self. At times I am actually sickened by what I remember and what he has done….and I wonder if I love him…sometimes I feel like I hate him…this is all done in silence.

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