I wanted to post again after a long absence. This is an anniversary of sorts for me. My H cheated with a subordinate, older, married co-worker. As things unfolded I learned that this wasn’t just an affair. It had gone on for a decade or more. We are still together and I think of this as being something of a miracle.
Like so many BS I was shocked that my H would cheat. From my perspective we had a good - no, great life. So why did he cheat? Because he wanted to. It is that simple. The OW is a loser who was/is unhappy with her own life and thought my life looked pretty good so she went after my H. He was flattered, was interested in having sex with someone else; plus she had inflitrated his life by not just working with him, but by joining all his clubs and participating in his interests. He spent more time with her in a day than he spent with me in a week. She had stacked the cards against me. I was so trusting and thought my H was the last person on earth who would cheat. They both used this against me.
Before I knew what a louse my H is, I used to watch those Lifetime TV movies where a woman would discover her H was stepping out on her and she would go totally ballistic. I would re-write those scripts in my mind and create a character who was devastated but handled her situation in a way where she used her brain. I’d have her bottle up those emotions and think of what she could do that would benefit her. Funny, those scenarios helped me when I found myself in a situation just like those movie characters.
I developed a Plan. I knew I had to out-girlfriend the girlfriend. I had to interact with my H like I was his girlfriend. I needed to find out who his slut was. I needed to protect myself financially. But the biggest thing was I had to work on our relationship. He was working to destroy it, slowly, and systematically. Maybe this was unconscious because he was feeling guilty, I just don’t know. But I had taken the bait more than I should have.
I changed. I reacted to him differently. I knew if we were going to save our marriage, there had to be a strong enough marriage to save. He had so eroded us. Marriage counselors and therapists will tell you that one person cannot save a marriage alone. True. But one person can implement changes - significant ones that matter.
The next thing I did was a big one - I see that as I look back. I went to him one night and told him I was unhappy in our marriage. We either needed to make changes or part ways. I chuckle as I think of this because while I knew he was cheating, he didn’t know I knew. I wonder what conflicts were going on in his head.
He swore he loved me. He was committed to me. He did not want to divorce. He was going to make love to me every single day. (He did and it was fun!) But the affair still raged on.
I so stupidly thought he would just end it with her. I had no idea though that this had been going on for years. I was falling apart emotionally - crying in my sleep, losing weight, paranoia, etc. I started to seek out a therapist. I never did find a good one, but did see a guy who was better than nothing. And I kept working on us. I was terrified to confront him. I knew who the OW was at this point. I kind of lost respect for him when I learned who it was. I did confront him. That was right around Mother’s Day. So here we are - The Anniversary.
Again dumb me - I thought he’d end their A. I am here to tell you that cheating is like a drug. They don’t just give it up. They just get sneakier. It’s called Going Underground. And that’s what they did.
I kept catching him over and over again. I developed skills to equal those of James Bond. I went after him in ways that should have sent chills down his spine, but they just seemed to roll right off him.
I had to keep upping my game. I knew they had to stop seeing one another or my marriage was doomed. That bonding hormone, oxytocin, is powerful. I told her husband. I outed her to her family, to her club, etc.
Things got very emotional between my H and me. He turned all of this into a game of wits. He was trying hard to stay ahead of me. But I kept catching him. Things came to a dangerous head and he got physically violent. The second time I managed to call 911. That was the low he needed to hit. At that point he knew he had to figure out what he wanted. I will say that what he wanted was me as The Wife and the OW as his fuckbuddy. But we all know that was not going to be. I also got him to see his own therapist.
I’d like to say that all was well, but it wasn’t. I kept checking on him and discovered he was trying to get together with her again and rekindle their whatever. I told him he had a choice to make. He needed to give me his answer in ten minutes. Was it me, or not?
I write this and think it reads so calmly. But this was years of total turmoil in my life. My stomach was in knots most of the time. If I walked the dog I considered my day a productive one. Worry and stress were my constant companions. All I did was focus on this mess. I kept my job but stopped working. I stopped seeing most of my friends and dropped out of all the things I really enjoyed doing. I was afraid to leave my house. I was a basket case, but all the while pretended I was happy. I do not know how I did this.
I knew the OW was reacting to everything I was doing so I had to let her know I was a force to be reckoned with. I had done nothing wrong. This was not my secret to keep. And I didn’t keep it. Every day I would thank God for all my blessings and ask that she be punished ten fold for the pain she caused me. And then I got sick. Serious sick. Cancer.
So here I sit. Just yesterday I received the news I need no further treatment. I am cancer-free.
I am not surprised in a way. All those emotions I had bottled up were toxic and they made me sick. I believe that the way I handled this did save my marriage. I think had I gone ballistic, my H would have left. He had her to go to. He would have set about to ruin me financially at her urging. I might have still gotten sick.
I did not tell my H I had cancer. He knew I needed surgery. My doctor helped me concoct a plausible story of why.
I was scrolling through my photos looking for one of my dogs and came across screenshots of text messages between my H and the OW. They had been deleted messages, but super sleuth here, had figured out how to access them. They cut through me like a knife.
I could nurse that pain. But I can’t afford to. I need to take care of me. It’s all about me now.
I found that throughout all of this I did experience miracles. I am no tech genius, believe me.
I found out information in such bizarre ways. So many things fell into my lap that helped me catch him. I used to do a meditation that says I believe in miracles. We think of miracles as being these momentous things - yes, but sometimes they are just small coincidences. I think that my current situation is a miracle. I had almost no symptoms. I do not want my faith to be shattered, but seriously, why me? I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t lie, cheat, or try to steal someone’s life. I feel confused.
I am in grateful mode. I am grateful to be well. I am grateful to still be married. I am grateful I have my life. But I still want that bitch punished.
I know this is lengthy. But I think that there are a lot of messages here. I know we are all on our own journey. There are many different paths to take. But human nature is rather predictable. You can try to wish things into being or you can act. Make your choices wisely. Do not be afraid of delivering up consequences. Do not be afraid of being strong. The stronger I stood against my H, the better the result for me.
Good luck to all you betrayed spouses. Trust your instincts and stand strong. Create the life you want.
MY QUESTION AT THE END IN CASE YOU WANT SHORT VERSION: My question is: If your spouse cheated for some months while being out of town an extended time, then he begged your forgiveness and you talked about the changes you both wanted to make as far as affection, passion rekindled, etc., would your husband reach out and hold you tight and kiss you when you first saw him when he got back to town?...
I'm glad some got confessions from their spouses ect: admitting to their wrong doing, is it easier to move Fwd when you know up front ? or is it the same < like me > going through the unkown ? let me share this E-mail i got from her co-worker , let me know what kind of vibe you get from his words .. there are 2 i actually spoke with him now mind you this goes back too 2013 2nd reply: ...