It’s been a while. Quite a long while actually. I haven’t been able to do the things I normally do as I concentrate on ridding myself of the negative thoughts and images that have floated through my mind since I found out about B’s affair. There has been a lot of canceling going on.
“He is a jerk”
“Cancel, cancel, cancel” (don’t say cancel out loud or the guys in the white coats might come for you) Just say “cancel” in your head and then look around and take in what you see:
“Oh the clouds look big a fluffy today”
“Look at that beautiful orange tomcat”
Anything that take your mind off the negativity and onto something different.
Anyway, last week I had an extreme reaction to something B said in the marriage counselors office which cause me to stand up and say that I needed to leave. NOW. We were discussing a possible move when B said, “I can move and get used to the job while you stay back at home with the kids!”
End of discussion on the part of B even though we have had this gone over this scenario before and I had said that this solution was unacceptable to me.
My heart started pounding.
My blood pressure and anxiety soared.
I felt like that walls were closing in on me and tried to flee the therapists office.
I flashed back to the time when B would not take me to China with him and I “knew” something was up when suddenly he was taking a side trip to Singapore (which I later found out was to rendezvous with our Vietnamese tour guide) I didn’t understand what was going on at that time but I knew that I felt intense confusion and pain about why B was so adamant that I could not go with him and why a discussion was not “forthcoming.”
I broke out in a sweat.
I began to itch.
The therapist looked at me as I kind of said something like:
“WHAT THE F***!!!! OH,HELL NO! YOU MADE THIS MESS AND YOU ARE NOT LEAVING ME TO CLEAN IT UP WHILE YOU GET TO TAKE IT EASY!”
I explained to both B and the therapist that this scenario was unacceptable to me. That I didn’t want to clean up B’s mess and have to deal with angry kids who would be afraid we were divorcing and couldn’t understand why we were not together as a family. I would not be alone with a child whose rage would be intense if he felt abandoned and I didn’t understand why someone who swears he wants to be with me would even consider that an option and if that was the way it was going to be then we might as well not be together.
I heard something about B thinking of the logistics in a “practical” manner while I was looking at them from the heart. And then I left.
The next week I was at my therapists office and I mentioned to her that I thought I might have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and began to relate what happened to me at the marriage counselors office.
“Of course, you have post traumatic stress disorder after what you have been through with B for the past three years. But in your case it is referred to as Post-Infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD) and there is a set of recognized symptoms that are brought on by the trauma of infidelity, ” she said.
WHO KNEW? A big sigh of relief escaped my lips…so I wasn’t going crazy after all.
According to her, often the offended partner has extreme reactions to circumstances because they are now operating from a hyper-vigilant state where nothing feels safe or real. And while it may not be as traumatizing as prolonged war or physical abuse, the experiences of the cheated on spouse often echoes the symptoms of PTSD. Symptoms of PISD include:
- Exposure to a perceived life-threatening event (end of marriage, constant lies, betrayal of trust, etc)
- Emotional numbing
- Inability to stop seeking more information about the affair or what your spouse is currently up to
- Increased anxiety
- Intense feelings of fear or helplessness
- Feelings of irritability and rage
- A re-experiencing of the event or events
- Avoiding things that remind us of the affair
- Repeated intrusive thoughts
- Anger or blaming of ones self (“If only”)
Obviously, I am no expert on the subject but since I have discovered that I have symptoms of PISD, I am learning what I can about it and how to heal from it. The one thing I do know is this it will take time.
For those of you interested in the subject you can find a good article that discusses PISD it here:
I have also started reading a book on the subject on the advice of my therapist. The title is Transcending Post-Infidelity Stress Disorder by Dennis Ortman, PhD which is available on Amazon. It has been extremely helpful so far.
So I continue on this journey. It is a trip I didn’t ask for and one I didn’t plan. Sometimes it angers me that I have been forced down this rabbit hole by the person I trusted most in the world. A husband who selfishly who pushed me into this land of self-discovery. Yes, many of the things I have learned or done have been helpful but I still wish I had been the one to decide if and when I wanted to confront the issues that I have been working on. But for now I try not to dwell on the “what if’s” and instead I attempt to embrace this new post-affair life of mine. Some days I succeed and some days I don’t but if nothing else I am teaching my children that if life throws you curve balls you keep swinging that bat until you connect even if that connection is only with one’s self.
At night I hear
Your ragged breath
And wonder if…
It was soft and peaceful
I wonder if…
You touched her
In that soft and gentle way
That you used to stroke me
When we made love
I wonder if…
Her lips tasted sweeter
Her moans were
She reached for you
With a desperate ferocity
That I once had for you
I wonder if…
Her “LOVE” for you
On ALL the money
That you sent to her
Or if it was true
That she loved
That middle-aged man
That I once thought
I would grow old with
But now am not so sure
I wonder if…
You should go
With Our Children
Introduce them to their
And see just what she is made of
See if she still dresses
As if on a red carpet
When the only thing admiring
Are teens with worn out
And autism controlling
Every aspect of her life
I wonder if…
She would still greet you
A woman with no cares
Pleasing you sexually
As you lay back
Watching as she went down on you
Expecting nothing but your
Total devotion to her family
And your money in return
Or would she turn into me
Right before your eyes?
Old and overweight
Using a “STRONG” voice
And having expectations
Of things besides
A big dick
And gifts and your time for everyone
I wonder if…
Your dream of the perfect
Submissive youthful woman
Would suddenly be
Popped like a giant balloon
Air bursting out
Like flab over her bikini
She would stay
Calm, peaceful and serene
Peppy and pleasing
On this merry-go-round
That we call our lives
In the past two-weeks I have learned that our tour guide, my husband, and his sister all betrayed me; some in the most awful of ways. Could there be anything worse? Yes, there could be, as I have been so gently reminded from above.
As I have pondered things these past weeks I have catastrophized, neuroticised, fantasized, and hypothesized. I have cried a fifth of tears and singlehandedly kept the Kleenex company in business.
Finally, I could do nothing else but pray. So I did. In between sobs, hiccups, and the sorrowful sniffing of snot back into my sinus cavities; I asked for some help. Now, I am not much of a religious person but I have had my share of miracles when I have asked. This time all it appeared was that I received was a big bunch of nothing.
No, “I’M THINKING ON IT” or “YOU’VE RUN OUT OF MIRACLES FOR THIS LIFE.” The only thing I obtained was this fleeting phrase:
“Fuck,” I thought. “Where is the compassion, dude?”
“Come on, I know you’ve got better than that! Heck, you have parted seas and rained hot coals down on the wicked. The least you could do is a repeat performance.”
But IT COULD BE WORSE was all that was sent down from on high to me.
And then it occurred to me those worst-case scenarios might just be what was needed to lead me to find a slight bit of gratitude and happiness in my off-the-rails-life. So I pondered a bit and these came to me:
- He could have knocked her up.
- He could have knocked her sister up.
- She could have lived down the street and I would have to see her smirking face everyday for the rest of my life.
- He could have sent her double the amount of money he did. I mean what he sent could have been a four-yeardegree at a prestigious college instead of the equivalent of several semesters worth of education that he sent.
- His sister could be my sister.
- I could have gone to Singapore only to have walked in on them. Now that would have been awkward.
- His sister could have been his lover instead of his ally in deceiving me
- I could have sent her Victoria’s Secret which she would have worn for my husband instead of the money I sent to her and her family.
- She could have splashed the internet full of naked pictures of her and my husband together in Singapore instead of them just making out at the butterfly farm.
- I could have picked up some disease from my cheating husband.
- My husband could have become a polygamist.
- He could have fucked our tour guide in Chile and that would have been bad because his name was Hector.
There. Indeed, it could have been worse. Way worse.
So for now, I am counting my blessings as I head into the third week of The Day My Life Went Straight To Hell a/k/a No More Tour Guides For Me.
I tried to write a piece on betrayal but I was afraid I was going to short circuit my computer due to all the tears. So I decided to do the next best thing…share some of my new found quotes on the subject. And a few prize worthy ones on different subjects.
P.S. To all you who follow this blog, today I went to the doc and had my blood drawn for an AIDS test….see sometimes I do listen!
You remind me that when you first asked for the “maybe divorce” I asked for a year to try and make our marriage better. Now, 2 1/2 years later, me doing the hard work of psychotherapy, and you working your dick into a constant state of arousal as you thought about her; you want 6 months to show you that you do love me and want to be with me…FOREVER. So let me ask you:
How long will you wait for me to decide our fate?
Will you still wait for me even if it takes as many days
As the number of times you thought of her?
Will you still wait for me
The number of days that you fucked her
Slow and steady
Creating a woman whose perfection
Existed only in your mind?
Will you wait as many months
As the number of times you were fucking me
The mother of your children
While you were thinking of her?
Will you wait
As often as you contemplated divorcing me
While you imagined her
So easily replacing me
And taking up my space in your life?
How many days are you willing to wait?
Is it the number of slutty pictures you exchanged
Over your company phone
Bringing down the house of cards
On which your bodies were forever imprinted
Or the number of times you were messenging her
While I waited in the bedroom for you alone?
Will you wait
As long as you made me
CHANGE who I was in order
To be more like her?
Will you still be there
If it takes me the number of
Lost kisses and missed opportunities?
That you denied us
Because you felt guilty for betraying her?
Will you wait for me if it takes
Me 2 1/2 years to decide that
That I might no longer love you?
Or the number of days that I acted the fool
Believing I was your one and only
When she was across the ocean
Believing so too?
How many days will you wait?
The number of days you have
Shortened my life due to the
worry and pain you have inflicted
Upon my sad and trusting soul?
Or will you wait
The number of days
That equal the number of dollars
That you sent to her
Or the number of dresses she bought
With which to turn you on
When you took them off in your head
Maybe you will wait for the
Same amount of time that you
Have put me through hell
All 921 Days
All 132 Weeks
All 30 Months
All 22,104 Hours
All 1,326,240 Minutes
All 79,574,400 Seconds
Or Will You Be A Coward
And Will You Wait Until Tomorrow?
So Thursday B walked in the door ashen and with tears in his eyes. After 14 years of being the president of his company he was sacked. I said and did all the right things, loved on him and told him everything would be okay. I was the perfect wife.
After several hours of being at home he decided to download all the family pictures from his phone onto my computer since he was afraid his company would turn off his phone. Since then my computer has been running slow because he added over 2,000 pictures to it so today I decided to delete some after moving them to The Cloud. As I was going through them…SURPRISE!!!! …..I found a naked picture of a woman. Long story short, it was our tour guide from Viet Nam. The woman I had been sending money to occasionally to help her family….guess she decided to go after a bigger fish…B!
B confessed that he has been communicating with her for 1 1/2 years. That he has thought of going to see her….wonder if that is why he was so adamant that I could not go to China with him? I asked him if he has communicated with her since he gave me the commitment ring…he has…yep, that is commitment for you! I told him I wondered if that was one of the reasons he got fired because IT saw numerous naked pictures on his electronic devices.
Frankly, I feel good. Glad to know that my suspicions were not unfounded. Glad to know that these past two years have really been about him and not me. Glad to find out that he is a sex addict according to him. Yes, I am glad to know all of it. Glad to know he gave me the commitment ring on Christmas and talked to her after. Glad to know that when he sent the text from Boy Scout Camp that he wasn’t sure he had the passion or love to sustain our relationship, that he had just received naked pictures from her. I am glad to know all of this because now I know that I need to believe and trust in myself and I know without a doubt that he had one foot out of the door and was not giving me his all. And now I know what I need to do.
P.S. And to all of you who have told me so…I am sorry I didn’t believe you or kinda didn’t believe you. I was a fool.
I am struggling not to go there. Not to go to the dark part inside myself that sees things in the shadows that may or may not be there. That part of me that is distrustful when it is not warranted because my issues with distrust developed when I was a little girl so many years ago and are exacerbated by the unexplained things that sit in my Place of Mysteries.The Place of Mysteries…303 Days To Fix This The place that calls out to me from under the door “Look at me now. Look at me, even though your information is incomplete. Go ahead jump to the worst conclusions.”
I am desperately trying to hold myself back from this sort of thought process but I am finding it difficult.
So here’s the thing. When B was at camp I had the chandelier hung. I also had a broken electrical outlet replaced with a new outlet that also has two USB charging stations incorporated in the design. This new outlet is the same place where B has charged his phone for the past ten years.
A few days after he returned home from camp, as I was going to bed, I noticed his phone was not at the station charging so I decided to go find it and plug it in for him. I was trying to speak his love language by doing something kind, but I couldn’t find his phone anywhere. Strange… but I didn’t think too much more about it.
Anyway, the next day I noticed the same thing. And the next and everyday since. Again the phone is no where to be found and is not in the place he has charged his phone for the past ten years. B usually gets up about an hour earlier than me but today I got up early and his phone was charging at the charging station. Last week I kind said, “I noticed you aren’t using the charger.” He said something to the effect he liked using the plug in and I didn’t really think anything about it…but now I am.
I guess I am concerned because most people don’t suddenly change what they do unless there is a reason for it. I am confused why there is this sudden change of habit and a phone that is out of sight when it has never been this way before. I want to know the reason. Maybe it is something simple or maybe not. Yet, with the new found attempt to re-kindle our relationship I am afraid that if I bring it up it will cause problems and the “you don’t trust me” statements will be hurled at me like a cannon ball.
I will say here that I do not know B’s password to his phone and I have not looked at his phone for over a year. We used to have each other’s pass codes but I have not had his for a year and frankly I am assigning meaning to that lack of information and perhaps I should not. Like it is some sort of tell-tale sign of the health of this relationship especially since it was not that was before.
Frankly, I am not even sure that this wondering of mine has to do with not trusting or if it is more of a sense of curiosity. A wondering if this has implications that I am not even aware of which makes me unnerved. That these new behaviors B is exhibiting are saying something about our relationship in some sort of foreign language that I don’t understand.
I don’t like this…this feeling of secrecy and tip-toeing around afraid to ask legitimate questions. And as time passes I often wonder if this is the way I want to live. I am an open book. My computer is always open and my phone is available to anyone who wishes to see it. I think that this is what I am wanting in my relationships. Transparency.
I don’t know if transparency is the norm. All my friends have access to their spouses phones, computers, etc. Is this important or not?
But still, I wonder, does this indicate there is a problem in other people’s marriages or mine? I guess time will tell….and there goes my positive post pact. SIGH.
You changed your password to your phone
You didn’t tell me
Our daughter did
And with that omission
It sent me the clear signal that our marriage is over
As far as you are concerned
This marriage is dead to you
The line is cut and there is no dial tone
After all these years
No hidden passwords between us
You tell me it is because I went to see the letter you wrote
To your family
Not knowing that you would mind
But you changed your password before you knew I had seen it
You blame the fact that I have a blog. that I keep private from you
But you have a journal and I don’t feel the need to look
What this really is…you are shutting down and shutting me out
And you have some reason to want to keep secrets
That you never had the need to keep before
I dislike you for your secrecy
Your secrecy now more important to you than our marriage
I dislike you for your timing
It doesn’t bode well for the future
But the worst part of it is
I still love you so much it hurts