A Complete 180!

My husband called.

His voice was soft and cracked. He said “hi”. I calmly said “hi” back. He told me that he had heard I was in therapy with her husband and asked me why I hadn’t told him.  I coldly said “because I was waiting for her to tell you”. He then burst into tears and said he was so very sorry. How he hadn’t been honest with me over the past four weeks. That he had said and done some horrible things and was very sorry again. How he didn’t mean to hurt me and was never leaving the girls and me. How he may have “fXcked” his chances with me but wants to try to win back my trust and love.

He explained that she had sent him an email while we were on that dreaded vacation telling him that her husband was willing to support her choice to be with my Husband and that they should “give it a try” as they clearly loved each other and would my Husband consider it. WTF?!

She told him that her husband was concerned for her happiness as she told him that she wanted to be with my Husband. WTF?! My Husband told me that this baby and email had weighed heavily on his conscience and the fact that our marriage was struggling (never mind due to his lack of efforts and continued lies), had made him confused and he couldn’t figure out what to do. That he realised that he hadn’t been fair to me and us and hadn’t given us the chance that I and we deserve and he is so sorry. WTF?!

He told me that he had gone into her office after our dreaded lunch, but not to make plans to run off with her…just to cry and vent as he was feeling horrible and had no one else to talk to about it. He admit that in hindsight this was a big mistake as when he told her he didn’t think it was going to work out with me…she jumped all over it (probably like “white on rice”) and said that she couldn’t stay with her husband knowing that he had left me and was going to be alone. So she was going to tell her husband she also needed space to see if it could work with my husband. He told me that he told her that was the wrong decision to make and if she really thought about it, that it just couldn’t work but if there was a chance for them then she needed to think about the consequences of their actions and how difficult it would be for them. That he had parted that evening knowing that it couldn’t work, but regardless he still needed space from me as we were not in a good place and would come home to me on the weekend and take it from there.

?!?!?!?!

I told him that her husband is extremely upset with him about taking his unborn child away from him. My Husband reacted in total shock and said “Oh my God, I was never going to do that! I would never do that!! I have been telling her to stay with her husband if only for the sake of the baby. She played me! She is playing all of us. I need to call her now. I’ll call you back!” and then he hung up. I am not buying all of this but this is what he had told me and swears he is telling the truth. Which is why he was so upset that she told her husband the opposite and feels that he had been played by her

He called back shortly after and told me that it was “OVER” between them. That she was “DEAD” to him. He said he told her to go and be with her husband and that he never wanted to speak to her again. He said she even asked if they could speak at the therapist’s office later that week and he had told her “NO”. He said he changed his flight to come home one day earlier and he hopes I will let him come home and that he will tell me everything. That he doesn’t want to leave me and the girls and how very sorry he is. All amidst tears and sadness.

I told him I had to think about it. I honestly didn’t know what to do at this very moment. Wasn’t even sure if I wanted him in my life anymore. So many lies and deceit. Who was this man? I don’t know this side of him at all.  Oh how the tables have turned in such a short space of time.

Seriously. WTF is going on?! Still no tears.

He kept calling me over the next few days, crying, pleading, apologising over and over. I too surprisingly did a 180 and became this cold person. I guess partially from the utter disappointment on what he had done to me and our kids once again…letting her manipulate him  and hurting me once again, but also because he had flipped…again and I just don’t know who or what to believe anymore. He is NOT the man I had fallen in love with and have loved for the past 16 years. Where did that man go? Who is this man?

I told him that the only hope that we have going forward is for “total and complete honesty” as difficult and hurtful it will be. He agreed. He promised he would tell me “everything” this weekend and how very sorry he was again for all of the pain and hurt he has caused. He once again exclaimed  that she is “dead” to him…that she is “gone”… that there is “no more” her…that he has “blocked” her on whats app and “never” wants to speak to her ever again. It’s amazing how things can change in just 24 hours. Seems to be a trend of late.

I know once again…I should be already gone and not looking back. However, I have no where to go and I am not selfish enough to take his kids a away from him nor my kids’ father away from them. I have sacrificed and compromised for this man’s dreams for the past 9 years. I also needed some clarity from this mess and needed to make a plan once I come out of this confused hurt state. I also still love him and am at the same time am very disappointed in him. Not a good place to be at all. Now I am uncertain of our future, where before I thought we had a fighting chance. I am losing my faith and will to fight.

The next day I asked my Husband to send me the email she had sent him while we were on vacation. I then called her husband. I wanted to see if he had really told her that he would support his wife if she wanted run off with my Husband and give it a “try”. Her husband was happy to hear from me and told me that he was going to call and check on me. (Why does this woman want to leave such a lovely man? Then again why did my Husband want to leave me? I suppose the grass is always greener.) He then told me that his wife had called my Husband last night and that she had broken up with him. Huh!?! I told him that my Husband said he had broken up with her. He seemed to feel sorry for me as I did for him. I then rushed to ask him about the email and if it were true about his stance on letting her run off with my Husband…but he had hastily interrupted me and told me that he and his wife had “closure” and that they had made a decision and commitment to each other the night before and were going to try again. That if they failed it was due to their not being able to make it and not because of the affair. (Uh huh…)

He then encouraged me to focus on my marriage and give my husband another chance….if not for me ..for our kids because they deserve that. He reminded me that we (my husband and I) had made a choice to have kids and it is our responsibility “to try” if only for them. I agreed. At this point I decided not to dig any further and let this man keep his renewed hope for his marriage. I told him that, for what it’s worth, my husband had wanted to call and let him know that he was never encouraging his wife to ever leave him. I told him that our spouses were not bad people and that they had just made some @#$%^&-up mistakes and decisions without thinking of the consequences. (Not being totally honest here!) He agreed and said that he too didn’t think my Husband was a horrible person and that they had both got caught up in a whirlwind romance and it had unfortunately affected their rationale thinking. (Aren’t we nice!?) I told him he could call me any time and that I thought he was going to be an amazing father. (I meant that!) I wished him all of the best. He wished me well and then I hung up. Again, she is one lucky lady to have this man fighting for her despite all that she has done to him. Just as lucky as my Husband is to have me “fighting the fight” for us….so far.

I called my Husband and told him that her husband said she told him that she had broken up with my Husband. He was perturbed, but said that maybe this is what she needed to say to him in order for him to take her back. It could be the same with me and my Husband for me to take him back…again. Who knows? He (my Husband) knows I am not going to believe anything that he says right now, but that this was the truth. You got that right!

I got the email. She had selfishly sent him a series of emails, starting on the first day of our trip, telling him that she and her husband had discussed her feelings that she still had for my Husband and him for her…and that despite my Husband telling her to completely cut ties from each others’ lives…that her husband was in support of them giving it a try to be together. That it would be best to try now and see if it can work rather than a few years from now and hurting us all over again. Never mind about encouraging him to leave his family and innocent kids. Something none of these three extremely selfish persons have ever taken into consideration to date – the wife and kids on the other side of this very selfish triangle. (I do question why she felt this was even a possibility in the first place. Clearly whatever was discussed between them the day of our trip lead her to believe that they were meant to be together.) My Husband didn’t reply to this absurd proposal but it had clearly affected him. This does explain why he was acting so weird on our trip and how she was able to once again infect our sacred time together. She is part of our vacation…again. Sad how my Husband doesn’t consider this email  as another sign of her self-absorbed attitude and that she would make an awful step-mother. Yeah I know. Wake-the-F-up!

I guess the fact that her email does show where my Husband was encouraging her to stay with her husband in several places in the messages, albeit for the unborn baby and NOT for the love of his kids and me. The fact that my husband told me the truth about the details of the affair from the beginning, whereas she had lied to her husband about many things. All of this does in my “biased” and “in denial” opinion of my husband reflect more positively on the perspective that my husband could in fact be telling the truth. Maybe not all of the truth…but maybe some or most of the truth?!? Maybe.

To be completely honest – the husband that I fell in love with and still do love – would never take another man’s baby away from him. However, this affair “fog” does supposedly mess your mind up and who knows what he was capable of.

Again, WTF?!?!

Maybe I should call this post “WTF?!?!”

Just Like a Movie

I didn’t sleep the night of him leaving me and us. I didn’t know what to do. I was absolutely hopeless.

I still hadn’t cried. Still in shock. I went to work the next morning and my work colleague insisted I go and see her therapist as I needed help to snap me out of my numbness. She helped me get an emergency appointment as there was a last minute cancellation. While I was in the waiting room…in walks my husband’s AP’s husband. (!!??!) I wanted to disappear, but there was no where to hide. I instinctively looked down and hid my face in both of my hands. What the @#$%^ should I do?!? I slowly looked up and softly said “hi”. Time stood still. He then sat next to me and said “I guess you are here for the same reason as me?”. I told him that my husband wants to leave me and needs time apart to figure things out. He said his wife had told him the same thing. He immediately thought they were going on another one of their romantic escapes together. He told me that she told him that my husband had gone into her office right after our lunch the day before and told her that it wasn’t going to work out with me and that he was willing to give it a try with her and that she was confused because she loves my husband and still loves him. He showed me her whats app message from the day before – telling him this right after my husband had driven off in the taxi leaving me standing on the side of the road. WTF?!! I didn’t expect to hear that at all. Someone please pull the twisting knife out!!

He apologised for hurting me with this information and kindly asked me if I wanted to join him with his therapist?!? (That was really nice of him.) He introduced me to his therapist, who is also her therapist, as well, and is fully aware of my husband and our story. Then my therapist comes out to get me and the husband asks her if we can all spend some time together. They all agree. Again WTF?!? Is this for real? I was so hurt from what her husband had just told me, but at the same time amazed at what was going on at that very moment. So surreal. So all four of us went into the room to talk. ?!?!!!

He begins to tell “our” story…at least his version of the story. He tells me that my husband has been talking to his wife for the past four weeks and that they still love each other. That he (her husband) was planning on coming to my home tonight to ask my husband how he could take another man’s wife from him that is carrying his unborn child. What kind of man could do that to another man?! I agreed. However, I thought to myself – what about his !@#$ wife who is taking my husband away from his family and innocent wife and children?!! The therapist asked him what would he do if he couldn’t change their minds. He angrily said he couldn’t be a part of his child’s life if my husband was there. He continued to tell me that my husband told his wife at the work party last weekend that he didn’t think he loved his wife anymore!!!??? He showed me the whats app messages. Again he apologised.

The husband knew all about our life as she told him everything that my husband had shared with her. About our new home, his new job offer and how we had just come back from our trip, etc. Again he showed me all of the whats app messages. Deep sigh.

The therapists both encouraged us to each share our versions of the affair and learned more of the lies that we were each told by our spouses. I was reluctant at first as I never wanted to hurt her husband or lower myself to her level. However the therapist encouraged the truths to be revealed so we could fill in the missing pieces that we so desperately needed to help each other heal and recover. The therapist explained that affairs are riddled with lies as their foundation is built on lies, deceit and hurt alone. So off we went to reveal our sides of the story. Who knows what was true at this point?

Her husband thought the affair was only for the past year and not almost two years.He didn’t realise there were more romantic escapes. He didn’t know there were pictures. He didn’t know how it all started. He told me how he had to sell their sofa as it only reminded him of our spouses having sex on it. (I didn’t have the heart to ask him why he didn’t sell his bed too.) He told me how they have moved to a new neighbourhood for the very same reason why I wanted us to move. (Funny as my husband had coincidentally wanted to move to that very same neighbourhood that they now live in.) He mentioned how he found the stamp of The Maldives trip in her passport and when they had gone on a trip right after that trip with my Husband. How he had asked her about it and she had told him she had gone on a solo trip while he went on a business trip. He for some stupid reason believed it at the time. I love how she can do something like that without any question. Clearly we are all gullible. I only assumed she had to admit to it after because that was probably weighing heavily in his mind. Hence the lie of the affair only being a year long. The lies continued to reveal themselves. Let’s just say we were both crushed beyond belief. However, who was telling the truth?

Our therapists both pointed out that our spouses clearly are in love and want to be together and that there is nothing we can do about it. That hurt to hear, but it is what it is. They advised us to let our spouses know of our intentions, whether it was to stay or leave them, and then step back and allow our spouses to figure out what they wanted with each other and wait and see how it would all pan out. She had strongly urged us to not get ahead of ourselves and to just allow ourselves to process this pain and hang in there until things settled down…That we were NOT to make any final decisions or hasty plans. She pointed out that the affair relationship was blighted from the start and it didn’t have any foundation to grow from. The only sad part is would I really want to be waiting on the other side of that discovery? A back-up plan which clearly the husband was to her. I now see that I am too for my husband.

The husband and I had exchanged phone numbers. I was glad for this as he could possibly help me know more truths if needed. We hugged and wished each other only the best.

I left there bewildered, but for some weird reason feeling a lot stronger. I have no idea why I felt this way. Maybe because it just simply could not get any worst. Which was comforting in an absurd way. Or maybe it was because I felt like the better person in this entire scenario…as I wasn’t only seeing it from my perspective. I wasn’t being the selfish one …which clearly was the agenda for the other three persons in this horrible drama.

One thing I knew for sure….I would wait for my husband to call me as we all know how he would find out about this bizarre fateful moment sooner or later.

So I waited.

Worse than Rock Bottom

We had a great week finally. He was better after being sick for two weeks. He finally gave me the words I wanted to hear. He told me that he  wasn’t giving up on us. That we were special and worth fighting for to get us back to AMAZING. I felt good. I was smiling for once…unfortunately that feeling was short lived.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse…

He came home last weekend claiming he had to go to this work function and spouses were not invited, but I could come if I wanted to. Huh? He continued to convince me that I wouldn’t like it at all as I wouldn’t know anyone there and wouldn’t enjoy myself. Clearly he didn’t want me to come. Of course I was hurt because I only wanted to spend time together especially after our shitty vacation trip and then with him being sick up until recently. Moreover where we were in our relationship and knowing that she could be there,  didn’t sit well with me at all. This only made me feel that he didn’t care, wasn’t fighting to fix us and prove his love to me if he had already decided he was going to this event with that attitude??

Well we fought for hours and it just went from bad to worse. He got so exasperated with my anger that he became cold and distant and said “I think I should just let you go as I can’t seem to do or say anything right and then you get like this.”  I tried to get him to engage with me, look at me, hold me..but he was cold and indifferent. I pointed out how he couldn’t even look in my eyes and touch me…and he scolded me and demanded me to “stop labeling him”.  He said he loved me but he had to go and then he left me after midnight. Keep in mind we have no time together and it was our weekend.

Of course I cried. He didn’t come home until after 5am. He didn’t come to me or touch me. I went and got him to come to bed with me. He was distant more so than ever before. I just softly cried to myself until the sun rose.

I packed my bags. I had to get a way. I didn’t want to alarm our children, but needed to run away…if only for a night. He stopped me. He flippantly told me that I needed to stop fighting and just be. That leaving would do us no good and not help us recover. That I needed to try to find the love we once had without bringing her up and making it so hard for us. (But leaving me and going to a party where she would be at is OK and helpful to our recovery?)

I asked him if she was there and he said he saw her at a distance, but didn’t talk to her and that she was only there for 10 minutes or less.  He reassured me that him going out had nothing to do with her being there. I tried to explain to him again why I could react this way of him choosing to go and hurt me as a result. He accused me once again of fighting and labeling him. I stayed. I know. I AM SUCH A FOOL!

The rest of the weekend was quiet, but you could feel the distance and coldness between us. We had pity sex for me, but we didn’t make love at all which I took personal…for obvious reasons. On the way to work, I asked him if he was still attracted to me and he said he wasn’t sure after how I had reacted this past weekend and that this was the first time he hasn’t felt loving feelings towards me. I am hurt once again. He told me to give him some space so he could figure things out and that he wanted to see his therapist and asked if I could make an appointment for him. How is it that he gets to tell me this despite ALL of what he has done to me and us?

I felt uncomfortable of how we parted so asked him to meet me for lunch so we could try and sort out things before he flew out and left me for another week. He came and when I pointed out all that has happened over the weekend and why I felt so uncertain…he began to cry and tell me how amazing I am…that he didn’t think it was going to work out between us as he cannot love me the way I want to be loved, that I deserve more and better and he needed to let me go so I can have the chance to find love again….someone who could love me that way I wanted to be loved. He said that the way I had treated him this weekend made him realise that I will never get past what he has done and it cannot work for us. He said that his kids would probably hate him when they found out about what he had done…which only made me think that is why he has stayed with me this long. He told me that we needed to separate and that he would be home on the weekend to discuss the next steps. He looked me in the eyes with his eyes filled with tears and said “I am so sorry. Just know that no matter what happens I will always love you. I am sorry.” and then got into a taxi and left me standing there bewildered in what had just happened. Just like that!

I cannot explain how I felt at this very moment…as I thought December 10, 2015 (D Day 1), February 12, 2016 (D Day 2) and April 4 on our trip when I learned he still loved her and she was pregnant (D Day 3)  were the worst. However, this was now the worst as at least I had hope before. Now I just have this empty lost feeling of confusion with no direction to go in. I was completely blindsided. I felt totally numb. Still standing where he had left me and drove off in the taxi.

He called me hours later while we were both still at work. I unfortunately became absolutely and embarrassingly pathetic and told him that he hadn’t even given our marriage a chance and that I deserved that chance and so did our kids.  I told him that he hadn’t even tried. I pleaded and begged just to try. I know. I hated that I got like that…but this is how one naturally reacts to a situation like this. He remained cold and said that he needed more time.

I sent him the message where he had recently (only a few days earlier) told me how amazing we were and that we worth fighting for…but he had only replied with a cold “I am so sorry”.

I was beyond devastated. I was in shock. No tears. Nothing.

Utter shock!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our 12th Anniversary

Well little did I know when I booked our romantic weekend away to celebrate our 12th anniversary that it would be at the same hotel chain as where they had spent their romantic escape in The Maldives. Really!!? Can’t a woman get a !@#$%^& break?!

We tried to make the best of it but we could feel the tension in the air of the extra efforts we had to make to keep the atmosphere between us positive as much as possible. However, sadly my need for digging still existed so we hit rock bottom a couple of times. I gave him a new unique bracelet that I had searched high and low for… something special to replace her Tiffany one…to represent our fresh start…to represent our love. I found it online from Italy. The designer accidentally sent it to the wrong address. I got it resent to me and then engraved with a special message between us and representing our love for each other. He loved it. He wore it despite that it was a little big. I got it shortened one week later. Then he accidentally forgot to remove it before playing a football game and it fell off and lost it for good. Drama Queen me took this as a sign.

He had given me a beautiful eternity diamond ring for our anniversary. It screamed guilt. I stupidly and hastily gave it back to him and told him that I didn’t want it. Not true. But I was being dramatic. I eventually asked for it back so I could show it to the girls when they asked to see it. Pathetic…again.

I feel  like I am walking on eggshells all of the time. Thinking about the darkness of it all and hoping not to push him further away…and yet in the same breath…wishing I could just tell him to F#CK off and never look back. I wish I could talk to someone who is going through or has gone through this and could give me some kind of guiding light to let me know I am not alone.

The blogger on this site called “thiswillnotdefineus” was my one true inspiration. Her words are real and refreshing. I miss reading them for the first time and wish she would post more often. I guess she is in a better place so this is inspiring within itself.  I want to see success stories to give me hope that I will get past all of this darkness, be able to live with the memories and that my marriage stands a chance of survival.

I am writing this blog for my sanity. Tired of being just doom and gloom to my friends. Hopefully it can help some innocent reader that accidentally bucks it up when searching for a beacon of light while trying to fight for her marriage like me. Who knows?

March 30, 2016 Possibly our Last Family Vacation Together

Well we have made it this far. Despite ongoing fighting, lots of crying and yelling and hurting myself out of sheer frustration…we are still here fighting for our marriage. After drowning myself in more books and articles for whatever motivation and support I could get my hands on…I am still hanging on. He had expressed to his boss that he needs to change his job and had given him verbal notice. Which is a huge move on his part. He said his family means more to him than his job. I wished he had felt this way years ago as we both believe that his job is one of the contributors that had weakened our relationship and he apologised for not seeing this before.

He still sees her in the office which makes it hard for us. Hard for me because I know it makes him “weak” and stirs up some of those so called “strong feelings”. Hard for him because he doesn’t want to be mean to her as he still cares about her well-being. So far he claims they only say hello in the office halls. What do I know? So many lies have been thrown my way. What’s a few more just for fun?

So we go on this long anticipated planned family vacation that we have all been looking forward to. This very well could be our last one together as who knows what the future holds for us and if we will in fact be able to make it and survive this horrible ordeal.

On the way to the airport I insensitively said that “Daddy was preoccupied” in front of our kids…while passing a building of a place we hung out at while my husband was supposedly working late and most likely was with her. I had promised earlier that I would NOT bring the affair up in front of the kids ever. Clearly I failed. My husband glared at me and didn’t speak to me for the entire eight hour flight and first night.

On top of that he was very sick with fever, coughing, body aches and pains. So as a result he was unloving and distant. I of course took it personal as how come she doesn’t get the sick man on her romantic escapes and the one little trip we finally get, albeit with our kids, he is dying. So messed up.

He did make an effort and tried to keep up with the sight seeing, but he was weak and tired and still had work to do. I unreasonably snapped at him as she got so many healthy, fun without any work and romantic chances with him. He seemed so down and distracted. It occurred to me that maybe he was missing her. So after the third day I asked him if he still loved her…he broke into tears…curled up into a little ball and rocked back and forth while bawling saying “I don’t know…I don’t know…I wish I didn’t…I wish she was out of my head”… HUH?!!

BAM!!! It felt just like the day I discovered the pictures of them…and the moment I found out above The Maldives…but worse.

I stood there in total shock?!?!?! Oh my god! He is still in love with her?! What the @#$%^ am I still here fighting for?! I thought there was hope for us. How can I still be fighting all this time if he still loves her? When I told him I couldn’t be here if he still loved her…he flippantly questioned “why does it matter?”…”What difference does it make?” WTF?! It makes all the difference in the world to me. My finding out and staying by his side should have been enough to wake him the F#$% up and re- prioritise his life accordingly. I simply cannot go on if he still loves her.

He breaks down again and cries…and says “I lied to you again. I spoke with her in the office before our flight…to see how she was as the last time we spoke I was rude to her and felt bad…and she broke into tears and told me she is pregnant and had been wanting to tell me but I wouldn’t talk to her. I was going to tell you after our vacation so it didn’t ruin our time together because I knew it would upset you that I broke your trust once again and had spoken to her in the first place.”

HUGE SLOW MOTION BOMB WENT OFF IN MY HEAD! I took a deep breath and asked him…”is it yours!?” He became perturbed and snapped at me saying “of course not!” (Couldn’t it be possible?) I also asked him if this news made him sad…and he replied “maybe a little bit”. (Again WTF?!) I stormed off feeling hurt and further lost and confused.

We continued our plans for that day and he tried to be loving to me. But I was just a total emotional wreck. Tears running down my cheeks constantly while I try to hide them from our kids and others. He reached out and touched my hand, but I was rigid and frozen.  He pulled me aside and told me he loved me and begged me to love him back. I coldly replied – “I am leaving you”. He cried and I walked off.

She is like a cancer to us. We cannot get rid of her no matter how much we try. She has infected our very being. Once again she is with us on our vacation…ruining f@#$%^ing everything.

We endured another long wasted vacation day on her and their love…for us to argue some more and he then finally claims he isn’t in love with her, but the human in him cares about her well being. He asked me “is that so bad of me to feel this way?”

We stupidly made love. This !@#$%^ hysterical bonding is killing me. Why can’t I resist him? I only assume that making love keeps us connected somehow. I am not even sure if he wants to make love to me anymore…or is he only trying to keep me from leaving. Isn’t sex the last thing to go in a relationship? Or in marriages the first? I am all over the place in my head. I know.

So we continue trying to fight for us. However, for whatever was discussed between them at their last conversation – it has obviously changed him. I wonder if he wishes it was his baby. I wonder if she wishes that he had stayed with her. I wonder if he did consider leaving me or IS considering leaving me. I only hope he has chosen to stay with me because he still loves me for me and not because he doesn’t want to mash up his little sweet family.

One can only hope.

Second Chances

D Day – December 10, 2015 – 7:30am

There she was. My worst nightmare had come alive. I was looking for pictures to make a calendar for a Christmas gift for my husband’s mom and ended up in the wrong folder called “TO FILE”…and there she was. Pictures of my husband’s attractive work colleague. Pictures of her in her kitchen with her dog. I was initially confused. What was she doing in my hard drive pictures folder? This clearly must be a mistake.

Then the next picture was the back of my husband’s head and the back of her head…side by side romantically…in an infinity edge pool of a private resort villa…looking at the sunset. My heart froze, a huge pain filled my stomach and my chest got extremely tight. My heart was pounding where it felt as if it was trying to burst out of my chest. I could feel myself trembling. I think I stopped breathing.

The next picture was of them lovingly looking into each others’ eyes…the next of them intimately kissing…tons of pictures of her posing, lots of her perfectly beautiful ass, close-ups of her ass, far away shots of her ass, many of them in their luxurious bed with crumpled sheets, before, during and after sex…her body dotted with lotion before sex…her body glistening after sex…him looking at peace clearly after just having an orgasm…her naked beautiful body opening the black out lining curtains…opening a bottle of Champagne…and so on. He looked so happy. It hurt so much to see him in this state of happiness, with someone else…and NOT me.

My hands were shaking. I couldn’t think clearly. Was this really happening? My husband of almost 12 years, my love and “life partner” for 16 years…was having an affair with his co-worker. I NEVER thought he could be the man to do something like this to me. I honestly and sincerely thought he loved me way too much to ever be able to hurt me like this. A reality I wasn’t prepared to discover and accept. I quickly grabbed the hard drive and drove to work. I don’t know how I made it safely to work as I was compulsively trembling the entire way and was in complete shock and disbelief. I was like “Barney on crack.”

I frantically searched through this “TO FILE” folder and found several other images from other romantic escapes they had over the past 18 months. I also found another folder called “INFINITY BOOM”. The few images in this folder were killer for me. Images of them looking lovingly into each others’ eyes and intimately French kissing, kissing each others’ cheeks and necks while one lovingly looks into the camera. Taking turns for each others’ selfies. He used to look like this with me. (I later learned that this folder name symbolised the never ending amazing feeling that is like a fist pump exploding “boom” that they get when with each other. The way their love made them feel about each other. Infinite.)

I screengrabbed some of the intense images and printed them. I calmly called my husband and asked him to come and meet me at my office on his way to work from the gym. I had no idea what I was planning to do or say, but knew I couldn’t hold this discovery in as we had a fully packed social weekend of our kid’s birthday celebrations that were starting the next day and then his parents were coming to stay with us for a month. I knew I had to deal with it head on immediately as this wasn’t something I couldn’t hold in for several days. In hindsight, I wish I had thought this moment through more carefully, although I am not sure of what I could, would or should have done differently.

He met me in the parking lot. I ran towards his car with my heart bursting out of my chest. I was so nervous as this may well be the very last time my husband and I would be together. I wasn’t ready to accept that. I didn’t have a game plan. I got in his car with the papers rolled up in my hand. Now what? He seemed a little concerned, but had no idea what I was going to talk to him about. He asked me what the papers were and I told him they were work related. I turned towards him in the car and sincerely told him that I loved him. He sweetly said he loved me. I asked him to kiss me (as I wasn’t sure if this would be our last). We softly kissed each other. He then became worried and asked what was wrong. I took a deep breath and said “I know about everything”.

At first he played dumb and asked innocently about what. I told him I saw all of the pictures and then unrolled the papers. He glanced at the tits and ass kissing sexual images that were jumping off the page at him and immediately grabbed the papers out of my hands, crumpled them up and hastily pleaded for me to understand that they “broke up a year ago, but it was so hard to stop”… OK… I believe this was supposed to make me feel better. He desperately complained how I had left him all alone when I went away with the kids for summer vacation. (The poor soul! I have been left alone for almost 9 years and he foolishly flings this excuse at me? Pathetic!)

Then he  begged me not to include her and her husband and to leave them out of it. Who said anything about them? Why wasn’t he focused on “us” and the potential end to our beautiful world together? The hurt, pain and irreversible damage that he and they have both caused.

He hastily reacted with more pathetic half truths / half lies, but at that time I thought they were all true. He broke down and cried. He made tight fists and kept hitting his forehead while I remained cold and quiet. Not because I didn’t feel anything…I think I was just still in absolute shock from it all. He begged me to not leave him. He said they had stopped seeing each other in mid September and he was trying to work and focus on us. That he had felt really good about how we were getting “better” and asked if I had noticed the improvement in our relationship. I guess he did! I was clearly clueless.

I wasn’t sure what to do at this point, but knew I still loved him very much even though I was utterly devastated and in complete disbelief. We both had to go back to work and pretend everything was OK, but I knew from that very moment that our worlds would never be the same ever again.

I had asked him for one favour before we parted which I do believe he had kept…and that was to not tell her I knew until I figured out what I was going to do. Again I had no plan. He agreed. I trusted that he would do this for me.

I went back to my desk in a daze and spent most of the day looking through all of the pictures on his hard drive. He kept calling me throughout the day hoping that I wasn’t leaving him. Meanwhile I found had more romantic pictures of all of their trips made together. One of them was during the week when I was made to believe he was in another country working. Two of them were when I was on vacation with our kids and he was meeting up with us in two weeks. More images shared with each other. Naked and sexy images of her that she so lovingly had sent him. Lots of images from all of her trips while she was with her husband. Pictures of our holiday trips that he had sent to her. Some sexy and cute messages riddled with little cute hearts drawn on her hand and teenager like notes with bubble hearts and cute words, and tons of her dog…which by the way we used to dog sit for her.  In fact, there were pathetically more pictures of her and her dog  and lots of pictures of himself in the bathroom mirrors, gym, elevators…anywhere with a mirror (who was this guy?)…than there were of his kids and me. ALL of these hundreds of sexy and loving images of my husband with another woman…and her dog…all seared into my memory bank for ever and ever. So very sad. Where is the man that I fell in love with?

This was a full on love affair for the past 18 months and I apparently have been the biggest fool as I had no idea our marriage was in this bad of a state for him to allow this to happen to us and to disrespect and hurt me this way. I honestly never thought he would ever allow himself to hurt me like this. He knew that this would devastate me. Yet I wasn’t ready to walk away. I honestly had no idea what to do next.

That weekend was the most intensely emotional time of my life. It felt like the end of my world. I had never felt pain like this before. It was filled with lots of tears from both of us, him apologising over and over, begging me not to leave, telling me that I was his “ride or die plan”, “the love of his life”, that he had made a “big mistake”, that it was only a small “blip” in our lives, that he didn’t know what he was doing as he was “stuck in a bubble”, that we would get past it, that we were “meant to be together”, that I must give us and him a chance to prove his love to me and convince me to “not give up on us”. Saying if the tables were turned he wouldn’t leave me. Really? He said that if I left him he would spend the rest of his life “fighting” to get me back. Lots of repeated tears and anger drowned with my questions…lots of questions. Never mind that she is 18 years younger than me, pretty with the bluest eyes, most perfect body and flawless ass. Some of which I don’t have and was feeling extremely inadequate after seeing these pictures.

I have never felt such low self-esteem from seeing all of the pictures of her and their love affair. I have never hurt this much in my entire life. Now what? What was I to do? Do I give up and never look back? Should I run, stay, fight for my marriage, my kids, our family, our love?…I had no idea.

Having an affair was always a deal breaker for me. This was a strong principal of mine from day one. I always told myself that I would leave if this was to ever happen to me and if I was ever disrespected by any man. However being married with kids changes your life principals. But I should do something shouldn’t? Do I temporarily move out? But where do I go? My home town is “millions” of miles away. Who can I stay with? What do I tell the kids? I didn’t want to alarm them until I knew what to do. If I leave will it drive him back to her? Did I want to risk that? Are they still together despite his claiming that they are over? What do I do? I was completely lost and felt totally hopeless.

He had asked me what “my terms” were for me to give him a second chance. My terms? What were my terms? I of course frantically read several books and online articles on affairs and the biggest advice was NOT to make any hasty decisions for at least six months to a year as I will not able to think clearly at this point of my trauma. The next piece of advice was to insist that he immediately cut off all ties with her, get access to all of his media accounts for him to show his willingness of transparency, do not move out as separation may not be a helpful step in rebuilding and to request for an apology in writing to explain why he think it happened and why he deserves another chance.

I told him I wanted her totally out of his life despite the fact that they worked together. I asked for all of his passwords to all media accounts to help build back trust. I told him to reach out to me on a regular basis and remind me that he cares as he works away from me and the kids during the week. I asked him to publicly show me how he loves me so I know he is proud of me in his life and means it. More so for her to see as well. (Lame I know.) I also asked for the official apology in writing convincing me why I need to give him and us another chance. I know…demanding aren’t I?

I decided to stay put for now. As mentioned earlier, we had social obligations to tend that weekend to for our kids’ sake and then his parents were arriving to stay with us for a month until after Christmas. I held on for me first and foremost and also for our kids. At least that is what I told myself and truly believed.

I went to see a therapist on the third day from D Day 1 who abrasively told me that I needed to “grow up”…that this was a “gift” for me to make my marriage stronger. My husband and I also went to see her a week later and she then told me that I needed to accept that he “could love more than one person at the same time and be physically and intellectually stimulated by another woman”…that “one person could NOT fully meet the needs of another person’s needs”. Lovely! Let’s just say she is no longer my therapist. Too harsh for day three for me!

Life went on.

We continued amidst drowning in my never ending questions and tears from overwhelming heartbreak and pain. I was obsessed with dates and times. I became a detective. I printed all of my whats app messages and emails between us and then synchronised them with all of the pictures’ dates and times. The conversations between us during these affair trips were just as loving and sweet as per the usual. But they just showed me how good he was at lying to me. So disappointed to learn this about him.

Now EVERYDAY when I open our blackout lining curtains I think about the photo of her perfect naked body opening their private luxury resort villa blackout curtains…with her head tilted back so happy and sexy – when they had slept in late from their all night sex that made him late in talking to us on the other side of the world. So of course he had told me “that morning” he had slept late because of the “black out lining curtains”. Which now are a trigger for me every morning when I open mine. 😦

My husband gave me lots of answers for me to absorb making me feel like he was telling mostly the truth. However he would then slowly admit to more lies and reveal more truths. This was a painful, evolutionary, emotionally exhausting and frustrating process for both of us. This process is called “Trickle Truth” – one of many new terms I have learned since discovery.

He told me that he hadn’t been looking for anything. That it had just happened. Clearly his ego and “appendage” needed food that I was no longer feeding him sufficiently and passionately. Ironically I thought I was his biggest fan…but obviously my unconditional love and being his number one cheerleader just simply wasn’t enough. Let’s not forget about my physical and emotional needs too despite the fact I have been holding our kingdom together while working full-time and taking care of our kids and home while he commutes weekly for the past 7 years – literally ALL by myself.

Through a lot of constant, intense drilling and persistence he had finally admitted to sleeping with her on a work event trip in Italy the previous year…of all freaking romantic places. Then he slept with her several times after supposedly at her home when they returned. How they had gone away on three romantic trips to places nearby where we live. How he had fallen in love quickly and spent a lot of time at her home in her husband’s bed. How he had unprotected sex. How she had given him the bracelet that he had been wearing for the past year and a half. He took it off and gave it to me only for me to see that it was from Tiffany’s…and other clothing gifts that he wore around me. He said he had only given her headphones. He swore. I believed him. I wanted to.

A f#cking Tiffany bracelet! !?!!

As more truths were revealed I learned she had chosen our dog that we had adopted from a rescue centre, that she had given him other gifts, that he had read her favourite book on her Kindle…when he had told me it was from his work. (That one hurts big time!) The list continues.

Approximately two months had passed with continued fighting, doubts, major low self-esteem, chest pains, loss of appetite, lack of sleep, uncontrollable crying, a lot of head nodding back and forth in total dismay and shock and more never ending questions. I was beyond depressed and wanted to just simply disappear as the pain of existing was just unbearable.

He had a couple of emotional breakdowns on me where I had to help pull him through them. Not sure how he gets to have these and I have to continue to be strong for the both of us. In one of them he sat hopelessly on the kitchen floor and sincerely asked me “what if I can’t love you the way you want to be loved?” I couldn’t understand this as all I asked is that he stayed with me for the right reasons, because he loves me and not just because of our kids. And even this he makes me doubt.

February 12, 2016:

Time was painfully passing. I was not sleeping. Not eating. Snapping at my kids uncontrollably. I had lost a lot of weight from not having the will to eat. I looked like a skinny zombie with permanent dark and puffy circles under my eyes from daily crying and no sleep. My frown marks were also becoming permanent as I was in a constant state of sadness and despair. Still overwhelmed with all of the above, drowning in depression and trauma…playing the images and his words over and over in my head on a permanent loop. I got used to this state of being.

There were also tiny moments of hopefulness. Never doubting my love for him and still wanting to fight for us. I continued to read as much information as possible. Several books on affairs, articles of do’s and don’ts.  Doing hypnotherapy, breathing and mindfulness workshops to try and help shed this negativity from my sub-conscience as much as possible. Trying my best to stay strong and not go over the edge. Finding this WordPress world of Betrayed Spouses and was inspired by their own stories of survival with or without their spouses.

Then on February 12, 2016 – he finally gave me the long awaited, requested well-written 10 page official apology letter. It only took two months to write it! At first he wanted me to not bother reading it as we seemed to be having a good moment towards healing. However, I wanted to read it. I had waited too long for it. So he read it to me. He first educated me about the “trickle truth” concept…how it takes a while to admit the truths as it is human to want to minimise the hurt from revealing the truths all in one go. That it seemed better to ease the truth out so it was less painful for me to receive and accept and avoid any permanent damage. As if this wasn’t enough to do that. He also strategically advised in this first section that the hardest part in recovery is how you deal with the matter going forward and how it could either make or break the recovery stage of a marriage. I assumed this was a warning of what this letter was going to reveal.

He told me how they had gotten to know each other late at work, how she needed help and advice (like a baby bird) on how to get settled in this new town, etc. How he had offered her rides home being the nice guy that he is (as she conveniently lived near us), how they had shared a lot about each others’ lives through pictures and stories. He strategically made it a point to remind me throughout the 10 pages that he had NEVER stopped loving me at any time during the affair and how he had repeatedly told her that and he was never leaving me “NOR THE KIDS”. How she knew this and she had “supposedly” felt the same way about her husband. How he had never shared any negative stories of me and our marriage to her. How he had never thought our marriage was in danger…but the attraction for her had revealed “the cracks” in our relationship.

Meanwhile all this time I was ironically  waiting for “my turn” while I had held our family together while he worked abroad and commuted weekly for almost seven years.

Then the “real” truth came out like a freight train running into a big ass brick wall. How she had invited him into her house and he had accepted, how she offered him a glass of wine and how she had changed into something more comfortable (of course she did!!). How he saw her in a new light, how it had changed his feelings towards her and he was officially both mentally and physically attracted to her from that moment. How they had spent that evening talking and drinking wine and that they had kissed goodbye at her door and from that moment he knew he wanted more and couldn’t stop thinking about her. Never mind that I was waiting with our kids for him to come home from work on ALL of those nights…week after week…feeling sorry for him that he was working so hard and had to come home late all of the time. Falling fast asleep on my lap as he got home. Fool that I am! (This explains why he was really “tired” all of those times.)

He continued to say how he couldn’t stop thinking of her physically from that moment and was looking forward to the upcoming work trip to Europe where they then made love TWICE and “the sex was good…disarming and innocent”. I so needed to hear and read this right?! (Note: This work trip was the weekend after we went on a romantic trip (the first time ever without the kids) to celebrate our 10th Anniversary and where we had spent over two hours buying him a new wardrobe for this upcoming work trip!)  He reminded me that I had begged for the truth…but I definitely didn’t want his love story…certainly not the painful parts that would just provide me with more challenges to overcome. But the letter just continued to get worse.

He finally admit to the most hurtful part of his affair as if it could get any worse. After only three months into this affair, having already decided that they were “in love” with each other and had verbally expressed this to each other…that she had suggested to go somewhere romantic to repeat what they had experienced on the work trip, without any life management obligations or reminders. To just be free with each other. (Poor things. F@cking Self-Absorbed Beaatch!) So they had planned and plotted for the weekend that I would be away with our kids before he had to meet up with us on our vacation.  He therefore had taken her on a trip to The Maldives!!!!! …Somewhere I have been begging him to take me over the past seven years.

I honestly never thought I could feel more pain than I already did…but yet here I was reeling in excruciating pain. I keeled over from the knife stabbing my heart and stomach. Killer Pain from the hurt feelings that he could do this to me, pain from the major disappointment to learn that he was this type of man, that our immense love wasn’t enough to stop him from crossing all of these unthinkable lines, that the consequences of hurting and losing me and mashing up our beautiful family wasn’t enough to stop him in his tracks for the 18 months.

I imagined them meeting each other at the airport, sitting beside each other on the plane, being publicly loving and affectionate and checking in the hotel like a newly weds with butterflies and all…and no kids in sight. The list goes on. I later learned that his company paid for this trip assuming it was with his wife. How nice for them!

The letter ended in “had you not found the images we may have ended back up together as we were missing each other very much and still have strong feelings for each other”…

Let’s just say I cried myself to sleep that night, woke up crying and haven’t stopped ever since.

Here I am.