“Watch Out for the Under Toad!”

Just when I think I am doing so well…a teeny tiny “straw” breaks the camel’s back and I feel like I am struggling to stay afloat.  I am trying my hardest to not let myself go backwards, get caught in the current and drown in the overwhelming undertow of my insecurities and horrible memories of the affair and setbacks that have taken place over the last 10 months. I keep reading that “we Betrayeds” MUST fight the urge to allow ourselves to think about the past, dwell on what has happened and relive the pain over and over…as it isn’t doing any of us any good whatsoever. However, for some sick macabre reason I sometimes catch myself caught up in the immense current of my negative thoughts. Maybe this is how Garp felt in his life while dealing with his “Under Toad” (from the story “The World According to Garp” by John Irving).

I believe it is a combination of many microscopic to woolly mammoth sized triggers and vulnerable moments that weaken my “firewall” and allow these dark hurtful thoughts to seep in and enable me to overthink things way too much and unnecessarily so. Yet here I am…fighting the urge to go “there”, losing the battle and end up hiding the tears that well up in my eyes and tolerating the large painful knots in my stomach. Trying not to pay attention to the never ending flashes of the affair, the hundreds (400+) of souvenir photos that they took to reminisce together each of their romantic escapes, the cute and provocative emails and messages shared right under my nose…all of the hurtful things he repeatedly did with her and all of the dignity that he allowed the both of them to strip away from me…even if she doesn’t owe me anything at all. They ALL zoom around in my thoughts like a laser show in the sky when I get weak.

Triggers. I have been trying to fight off so “freaking” many of them. TV shows, movies, random innocent comments made by friends and our kids, almost all of the popular songs on the radio, every morning when I open our blackout curtains, our cute little dog that she picked out (the dog that my kids adore…the same dog that is still in one of her flipping social media profile pictures and the one I greet every morning), several thoughts of her unfortunately lurking around in my sub conscience…I truly don’t want to give the affair or her any more power than they already have in my mind, and yet here they are…sneaking in through my oh so very weak and vulnerable areas.

Some may say I welcome these thoughts…who knows…maybe the sicko in me does? However, I do know that my husband and I are doing really well. We are communicative, doing fun things together and extremely attentive and loving with each other…I guess things seem too good to be true maybe? Or maybe I have been burned so badly that I just expect something bad to soon happen again? Or it is the pangs from all of the raw scars that still lurk around that hit me when I least expect it. I try to fight them with all my might…but sometimes I lose and get sucked right into the force from that @#$%^&**&^%$#  “Under Toad”. I need to find the escape route fast from this wasteland of hurt and TRY my hardest to never look back.

In my husband’s so-called 10 page apology….aka “love story”…it started out with a warning – saying that most often it isn’t the affair that kills a marriage, but how the Betrayed manages and deals with the aftermath is what determines the outcome. I remind myself of this daily…but the human in me often wins because I can’t help but want to “go there”…where I should just let bygones be bygones and get on with life. Sad that “we Betrayeds” have to deal with this “killer” and keep it at bay before it kills us. We all know it almost did before and very well could try to do it again. There is simply no guarantee. (I grew up! Remember?)

I don’t want to be like Garp and let this anxiety and fear suck me under, only for me to realise when it’s too late. I don’t want to let this strong current drag me down as I am only allowing it to try and derail our relationship from recovering, rebuilding and becoming even stronger. If I am not careful – it could even push us toward a deathtrap where it cannot be ever mended. I need to just STOP and let life happen as it should. This is easier said than done and believe me I AM trying to LET IT the F@#K GO!!!

YES – I AM a continued work in progress…

Maybe I should call Ms. B…”the @#$%^&* Under Toad”!!!!

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10 thoughts on ““Watch Out for the Under Toad!”

  1. Thank you for sharing your painful experience. It sounds a bit like mine. Nineteen months is a long time–my wife’s affair is now at nine, and it appears she has no interest in quitting. She has no contrition towards me or our two sons. It’s like she’s “entitled.” I’m not sure how to deal with it.

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  2. I know I’m late to this party, but my experience through this trauma was a bit different than some advocate. I found that it wasn’t in quieting the pain, or forcing it to go away that I found healing. For me it was entering it, directly. Looking at it, grieving it, feeling it…again, and again. Everytime I went back to a certain place, it had less power over me til eventually, I was able to put in in a figurative box, put tape on it and store it away. The key for me was how HUSBAND responded. It has been huge in our healing as a couple…not just healing, but building a new, transparent, vulnerable, connected marriage. Instead of asking me to stop or get over it or why did I have to ask this same question again (for sometimes the 100th time), he heard me. Held me. Answered me. Told me he was sorry, again and again. He allowed himself to go back to the ugliness for my healing. It was transformative for both of us. We even have made treks to almost all of the places (in town and out of town), even to the point of standing outside the specific hotel room or sitting at the same table in a restaurant, where I was free to ask questions, cry, get angry, ask how could you, and his steadfast care was amazing. Then we make a point of exorcising the lies and filth and deception and distortion of all things good, and replace it with truth and love and beauty. I found these places become mine again. Ours anew.
    This is not for everyone, but it has been really powerful for us. We told our therapist that we were going to do this when we first started and he strongly warned us against it. Just like many people warned me against digging and reading and seeing things…you can never “unsee” them. I respect that. However for me, I craved knowing, and read things again and again and again until I was ready to set them aside.
    Not AT ALL telling you to do what I or we did, but listen to your soul, secondchance. Your path to healing may not be mine, or hers or hers. Yours is yours alone, and if your US heals, you will find the path together.
    Happy Thanksgiving, and big HUGS from one betrayed ot another.

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  3. “They ALL zoom around in my thoughts like a laser show in the sky when I get weak….”

    YES! Triggers are so hard to manage. One thought I had when reading this was “ARE YOU SERIOUS?! GET RID OF THE FREAKING DOG!” That’s just me though…but seriously…get rid of the triggers you CAN control. I am skeptical of your husband’s sincerity as well…if he’s still communicating with her in ANY form, he has not turned away from her and back to you. If she sends him a card. Don’t read it. Throw it out. Don’t let him read it or respond with an email or any other form of communication to “reinforce” his devotion to you either. That’s exactly what she wants…and him as well…a continued connection. Be careful with your heart friend, I see a lot of red flags in your writing. I’m still with my husband, so I’m not judging you for your choice to stay. But I don’t trust him for a second. I’m in a period of watching him and keeping tally of his behavior. I’m not trying to sound morbid or create doubt or second guesses of your choices…I just want you to be careful…because if you think it hurts now…just wait until it happens again and again and again…it never gets easier…it only cuts deeper. Sorry…I’m sure I’m not helping you at all…not a great day for me either…

    You are not alone. This is hard. I hope we can both find peace.

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    1. Thank you for your words @secretkeeper. Trust me…I know! This is literally the hardest and most difficult experience ever for me. I honestly do not think he is in touch with her since the last email he sent after his birthday. Hopefully never again…but that is out of my control. He is remorseful and seems to be very much in love with me again. This trauma has awoken us and somehow has strengthened our love for each other. However, I am only human and the crap that I have gone through over these past 11 months is incredibly painful. I have never felt so much hurt in my life. It trumps everything! Yes, I too look at all of it and wonder how I am still here. All I know is that we still love each other, our family and the history we have together before this horrendous chapter…and that I am still committed to him and my family. If this is to ever happen again I hope I will have the good sense to know that there is nothing more to be done. So far I am hoping with time I will become stronger and am able to better manage the memories and triggers. As for the dog…it isn’t his fault. He just got saved…we all deserve a chance to be saved. I am grateful for the support and company and wish you all the extra strength in our continuous journey to find peace within and the ability to appreciate the priceless moments in our lives that make our hearts smile along the way. xxoo

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  4. I’m glad to hear you and your husband is doing well. There will still be much healing, and letting go is a process. One thing that stands out to me though is when your husband says “it isn’t the affair that kills a marriage, but how the Betrayed manages and deals with the aftermath is what determines the outcome”.

    I don’t think thats 100% true, but he has a strong point that should be considered.

    The affair killed the marriage by the nature of breaking the vows you made to each other – the consummation of your relationship.

    However, the marriage in terms of your relationship and life together, as well as the love for each to
    her doesn’t necessarily mean it’s broken.

    Whether you both are able to continue your life together in love will depend on BOTH of you and how you manage with the aftermath. It’s true what he says that if you are unable/unwilling to work and fight towards healing, your marriage might not make it. However, I would argue that how the betrayer manages and deals with the aftermath has as much of an impact towards the outcome as well. Whether he chooses to just brush everything aside and move froward without you; whether he chooses compassion/empathy over his own ego and desire to avoid conflict and shame; whether he does the work to ensure trust and safety is restored; whether he chooses to show remorse and appreciation everyday… these are choices he needs to make as well.

    It takes 1 to destroy a marriage, but it takes both to save it. Continue to celebrate the good days, and move forward. But be kind to yourself on your bad days. I think you are on the right path in trying to let it go – if not for him, then for yourself!

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    1. Hi @stupidrandomthoughts. So nice to hear from you. You are right. It is not only what happens after that could break us. He was pointing out that couples often get stuck in the negative and find it hard to go forward. We are both trying to rebuild a better marriage and connection. Thankfully I have good souls like yourself that provide your shoulder to lean on when I get “weak”. x

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  5. I hear you. Been there done that…and I still struggle. I hope you do better than me.
    At times I think I am good and then something “small” pops up. E.g. my husband sent me the link to Michelle Obama’s speech. He meant well. Hillary is a loyal wife….
    “”yes” I think, to a stinking bastard of a Bill who loves bimbos…and there goes my positive mood.
    Ms B….I wonder if it was the same bimbo….she can f herself as I am still hurting. There are many Bs…it is our husband who went for one of those “under toads” !
    Take care…you will do better than me because you are not letting that under toad win.

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    1. @Elisabeth @kaye72978 – Thank you both for your supportive comments and understanding of how I am feeling of late. This blog is self soothing therapy for me…but it helps so much knowing that others can relate and are not out there to make me feel any worse than I already do. It is so sad that there are so many of us. I wish we could take away our pain…as it truly is indescribable. I do hope though that karma takes care of those who truly deserve it. I know…cant’ help myself. 🙂 Thank you again. xx

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  6. You’re not a sicko. You’re a wife betrayed by her husband- through his affairs and deceit. You’re still reeling from realizing that your reality wasn’t true and that your husband had a separate life that didn’t include you or your children. Unfortunately that isn’t something you can just will yourself to get over. I’m 22 months out and I still feel like I’m in shock over it.

    What we’re all trying to do is tremendously hard. I think it’s necessary to feel those things- it’s okay to get angry, to feel sad- those are all legitimate feelings. There are so many triggers- so many things that will break your heart over and over again and it gets wearisome having to mend it again and again. I know it feels like your husband and the ow stripped you of your dignity but the truth is they are the ones who behaved without any dignity.They were the ones who were selfish, entitled, deceitful, uncaring sbd just gross. I know you feel broken, battered, spent and tired – their affair took a lot from you. Things they had no fucking right to take- your trust, sense of safety and security, your truth and reality but they did not take your dignity. That will always be yours because you didn’t slither down to the pit they went into. You stayed above. You are a faithful wife. You are a selfless mom. You are an incredible woman who doesn’t actively destroy a marriage and family. You’re strong and you’re fighting- even though it hurts so badly- you’re still fighting! That’s the truth. It is hard. I think so much harder than any of us anticipated and we’re all sick of it but you just take it a step at a time, day by day and sometimes you’ll have to stop and cry or rage but then you just keep pressing on! Hugs – you’re not pressing on alone! There’s so many of us on this sad journey but we walk it with dignity!

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