The day I discovered my husband had been having an affair


The accounts of the day I found out about my husband’s affair are as clear as day.  Documenting them today is memorable for a few reasons.  This weekend marks the one year anniversary of the day my world fell apart.  I also think that putting it down in words will help not only me, but others who may be going through the same thing.  If you have, I am so sorry.

The day started like any other.  My husband went to work that day, and I was home with the kids.  We had mountains of laundry to tackle, and I’d spent the greater part of the day cooking food, cleaning the kitchen, tackling the ever-growing mountain of laundry, chaperoning trips to the park, solving crises, orchestrating naps, mopping up spills, wiping noses and sometimes tears.

I looked forward to him coming home from work.  I always did.  He’d been up early to get to work, and we missed him.  We’d have a family dinner, put the kids to bed, and enjoy some quiet time together.  We both have such busy lives, those quiet moments are rare, so we’d grab them where we could.  Some nights, we’d sit together in the office, working in parallel on our own work, one of us managing the iTunes playlist that would be the soundtrack of our evening.

That night, we put the last of our kids to bed, and I collapsed on our bed, prepared to completely hand myself over to sleep.  I’d been running since dawn, and this sudden moment of solitude hit me like a ton of bricks.  I was tired.

My husband walked into our room and asked me whether I was coming downstairs.  I told him I was tired and contemplating going to sleep. He told me I should come downstairs.  I resisted.  He insisted.  He said he had something important to discuss with me.

I came downstairs, casually flopped myself on the sofa, and made myself available for discussion.  Whatever was up was certainly serious – his expression was….expressionless.  He sat down next to me, looked down at his lap, and started to cry.   My husband never cries.  I’ve seen him cry only once in our relationship, and never since we’d been married.  My immediate reaction was to hold him, to comfort him, to protect him from whatever was causing him such pain.  As I moved closer and wrapped my arms around him, he turned his face away from me, and gently prevented the hug.  “No”, he said, “don’t do that”.  I was confused.  My husband has always had the “hugs don’t FIX anything” mentality, so I assumed the hug wasn’t welcome for that reason.  I pulled back the hug, and instead tried to rest my head on his shoulder.  I figured it would show him the comfort I wanted him to feel, without being as intrusive as a hug.  He moved away, and once again whispered “Don’t”.  Whatever was up was really bad.  He was shaken, and I was at a loss for how to fix it.

The following excerpts of what was said are paraphrases of what was actually said.  Once the words came out, I was in a fog, and it has been a year.  I will never forget WHAT was said, I just may not be perfectly accurate in describing HOW he said it.  I will do my best.

“You’ve been living your life with me in a way that I feel you don’t have complete control over your life.  I have been making decisions for you, and steering your life for you.  I want you to have the best life possible, and I don’t want to be the one projecting the course for how you live your life.  Right now, I think you are living your life with only part of the information needed, and I need to give you the rest so that you can make the best possible decisions for you”.

I assumed he meant that he wanted me to take more financial control over our day to day lives, have more input, be more involved.  I assumed he wanted me to be more proactive, to learn more about the finances, to get in knee-deep in the mundane tasks he had assigned himself, and become a partner in them.  I knew he was burdened by carrying that load, and maybe that is all this was. It wasn’t.

“For the greater part of this last year”, he began, “I’ve been in a relationship….with someone else”.

My mind went blank.  Where I was didn’t matter.  What time it was, didn’t matter.  What was going on in the world didn’t matter.  The fatigue I’d described feeling moments before didn’t matter.  If I was hungry, thirsty, sick…it didn’t matter.  Whether the kids were OK upstairs in their beds didn’t matter.  For a brief moment, my children didn’t exist….nothing did.  It was as if the world had fallen away, and I stood on the only remaining pedastal of earth beneath my feet while the world I knew crumbled around me, and there I stood – alone.  It was gone.  The world as I knew it, was gone.   Who was this stranger sitting next to me, and how did I marry him?

Before I could manage to hear the details of the WHENS, the WHYS, the HOWS or the WHERES, and needed to know the WHO.

“Who is it?” I asked.  In the back of my mind it was there.  I was pretty sure I knew, but something inside of me hoped it wasn’t her. If it was her, it meant that he’d not only betrayed me, but had also deceived me, lied to my face, covered up, and stroked my self esteem with lies, all in the name of continuing his deceit.  It was her.  My stomach hit the floor, and the feeling of emptiness that washed over me in that moment is something I cannot describe.  It is like suddenly being without bones….no support, no musculature, no foundation. To stand up would have meant to collapse.  There was nothing left of me.  And then he told me she was 2 months pregnant with his child.

The next half hour were spent describing how this came to be, and why I hadn’t been told sooner.  Despite what advice I would soon receive from therapists and friends, I wanted every single detail.  When did they have sex, where did they have sex, how did they have sex.  Was it good for him, did he like it, was she better than me, does he miss her.  These were all questions plaguing me because in that moment I was now in direct competition with this woman who’d stolen my husband’s intimacy away from me, offered him things that perhaps I hadn’t, and I needed to know it all.   In that time immediately after he revealed his betrayal, I needed to gain as much information as possible.  “Any painful information can’t hurt me any more than I already hurt”, I thought.  I felt like I’d been kicked to the ground and said “you’d better give it all to me while I am down here,  because I am NOT going to get up on my feet only to learn about it later and get knocked off my feet again”.   I will get up, and I will get up ONCE, and from that moment on, I will stand.  That was how it felt, and that was what I wanted.

Experts in the area of infidelity are probably split on whether finding out all of the gruesome details from the betraying spouse is a good idea.  Both options have their own negative outcome – it is just a matter of what you will best be able to handle.

To not know the details gives you free reign to fill in the blanks with your own assumptions – assumptions which may very well be inflated and false.  You may find yourself painting a picture that never happened, scenarios that never came to be, and situations that didn’t unfold in the way your imagination is playing them.   On the other hand, to learn the details provides you with the opportunity to replay those details in your mind, like a movie that won’t turn off.  You won’t be able to soothe yourself by saying “maybe I am making more of this than actually happened” because it will have happened, and you will have received the play by play.  I am not saying one is better than the other, but just know that you need to be prepared for the fallout of whichever option you choose.

Of course, you hope that if you ask for the details, that your spouse will be forthcoming and offer them freely and honestly, and not continue to leave you in the dark.

He answered every question, and carefully composed his responses.  He wasn’t doing so in order to craft a believable response.  He was trying very hard to phrase his answers in ways that would minimize my pain.  I know this now, but I am not so sure I knew it then.

After listening to him tell me how he’d become vulnerable to her advances, and how she was just in the right place at the right time, and how even though he takes full responsibility for his choices that she had been manipulating him into the relationship using disclosure to me as her weapon, I could no longer listen.  I started to enter a fog and could no longer process information.  I soon realized that I had been unconsciously fiddling with my wedding ring, twisting it and turning it on my finger as I sometimes do when I am nervous.  I became aware of the ring, and suddenly was disgusted by it.  As he continued to talk to me, I walked quietly across the room to where my husband was sitting, opened his palm and placed the ring in his hand.  “I don’t want this anymore”, I said, as I walked out of the room, and headed upstairs.  I needed to be alone.  I needed to scream.  I needed to wake up from this horrible nightmare.

I walked into our master bathroom, grabbed a towel, balled it up, collapsed to my knees and screamed as loudly as I could into the towel.  I needed to muffle my screams so as to not wake the children.  It was a silent scream.

I fell asleep alone that night.  He asked me if I wanted him to leave.  I didn’t.   He is my best friend, the one I turn to in times of crisis, and now he was the cause of the crisis.  I was confused.  I needed to sleep, and I did – alone.

When I woke up the next morning, I knew something was different, but didn’t quite know what.  I thought it was perhaps the fact that the sun was pouring through the window when typically I have the blinds shut.  When by force of habit I looked over to his side of the bed, he wasn’t there, and I thought maybe he’d woken up earlier than me.  Then it hit me.  It hadn’t been a dream, it was very real, and today was going to be the hardest day of my life.

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Comments

  1. I am so sorry to read about what you are going through. Stay strong okay?

  2. …I am so sorry. :-(

  3. “My stomach hit the floor, and the feeling of emptiness that washed over me in that moment is something I cannot describe.  It is like suddenly being without bones….no support, no musculature, no foundation. To stand up would have meant to collapse.  There was nothing left of me.”

    You describe it perfectly. I was sitting… For a while…. Until he told me he slept with her. I wasn’t expecting that, even though he told me he loved her and was leaving. I never thought him capable of the sex part. Then I stood and attempted to run, but as you say… To stand would have meant to collapse… And it did.

    I wish the media would portray the consequences of affairs more accurately. I wish that just for once, someone would do some research into what really happens when the truth is revealed. Would it make a difference? I think so… And so does my husband. He never dreamt he would witness the reaction he did. He never even thought I’d be hurt… And for that I have the media to thank… Tv shows etc that show the wife/husband yelling and throwing them out of the house before sitting and crying for a while. So that’s what my husband expected. That’s not what happened for me, nor for anyone else I have read about.

    Sorry, rant over.

    I wish I had found you in the early days… When I was all consumed by this, instead of trying to move on. I avoid these blogs now, for the most part… Because I think to read means to dwell, and we cant change the past. I feel like I want to read every one of your posts, but I worry it will bring me back to a place I don’t want to be – I hope you know what I mean. I only blog now when I am feeling low… And the same goes for reading.

    I just want you to know that although you won’t see a tonne of comments from me, I do manage to read now and then, and you’re one of only 2 blogs that I do still read. I care about you and I am here if ever you want to chat etc etc … You know what I mean.

    Stay strong, the worst is over xxxxx

  4. I just found out (thru my own snooping) a week ago, that my husband was cheating on me, and she is pregnant also. I cant not bare to tell anyone, I feel totally alone. I have agreed to stay and try to work this out but I am so lost. I feel like this pain will never go away, I’ll never been the same person again, we will never be the same couple again. Your blog describes exactly how I feel. Thank you for making me feel like all these emotions are not insane.

    • Jeanna I am so sorry :( I do know how you feel. Your head is probably swimming, and you explode into tears at the slightest memory…it is such a betrayal, and what you are experiencing is extremely traumatic. I do hope you will continue reading. Please also consider visiting http://www.beyondaffairs.com where you can listen to tele seminars. I find just listening to other people talk about what they are experiencing helps, kind of the way this blog helped you feel normal…we all feel on the border when this happens, but there are many of us, and we can support one another through this.

  5. Just found your blog. I’ve just started reading. So far, this is good stuff. I hope to find out you’ve successfully come out the other side of the black abyss that is infidelity. I’m almost out. I can see a dim light and I’m reaching for it. My blog has helped me heal.
    I’d like to add you to my blog roll. I only have three listed. I’m pretty picky.
    Thought I’d check with you before I posted your link.
    Here’s a link to my crazy ass story. Check it out and then let me know if I can add you to the homepage. http://ayearaftertheaffair.blogspot.com/
    You can email me from my Google Profile.
    Hope & Hugs, Shawn

  6. healing through knitting says:

    I have no words right now….I found your blog after listening to the teleconference last night….I can relate too well to your story. I found out 6 months ago (The official 6 month anniversary will be Feb 14th)….and today, today, I woke up with a sense of confidence and peace that we are all going to be OK – my, my daughter sitting on the couch in her princess nightgown, and my husband. We are going to make it….and become stronger and better.

    • Jen, thank you for joining in the teleconference last night, and for taking the time to come and visit my blog. Although it has been sometime since these events transpired, they are nonetheless very relevant. Relevant to those who are currently going through it, but also relevant to my history and the person that I’ve become as a result.

      I’m glad that the morning finds you feeling inspired. I find that speaking in a group, whether in a teleconference, in person during a support group, or attending a seminar on this topic, always leaves me feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

      If you have the ability to attend any of the seminars offered by Anne and Brian, I strongly recommend them, obviously. They have grown to be two very special friends of mine, and their work helps people enormously. Now that I am in a coaching role with them, I’m able to see further into the work that they do, and see just how many people are helped by their compassion.

      I wish you well.

  7. I have known in my heart of hearts that my husband is having an affair. And I have bided my time in finding some evidence. Tonight he left his phone on charge in the bedroom and I took my chance. I love my husband dearly but the idea that he was having an affair does not conjure up feelings of anger hate or sadness. Strangely though when I found out I merely feel shaken up. No other emotions. I haven’t slept a wink all night and feel like a kid caught with her hand in the cookie jar. I don’t want to tell him I know. Not because I want to save the marriage which I think is long dead but because now is not a good time financially to end the marriage. This may sound callous and cold but I’ll be damned if I let him cheat and take thousands away from me (money in the bank from the sale of my house). I don’t look at this as revenge and as I said before I don’t feel mad about the situation merely shaken. I know that my reaction is not a normal one and I guess I am posting here to guage if this is a good course of action in your eyes. And how you think i should proceed from here.

  8. Allyson says:

    It’s the two year anniversary of discovering my husbands four year affair. I have been in such a funk, I decided to google it and I found your blog. I can totally relate. The pain is less…but always just under the surface.
    I hoped it wasn’t who I thought it was. He lied about it for awhile but finally admitted it was her.
    I really thought I would be past this. Disappointed that I’m not. Just feeling sad.

    • Four years is a lot to deal with. It’s a long time. It’s a lot of deceit you have to wrap your head around. It’s a huge violation. Under the surface is a good way of looking at it. It sits there, like a disease, waiting to re-ignite. I’m sorry that you are going through it. No one deserves it.

  9. Still to raw for me, it has been 6 months since I found out about everything and has been hell. Reading your story made me cry from my own and your pain. I can’t get past the hate, the the fact that he actually left me and the kids for her, and that she was what I stopped or never was to him, the love of his life. It all started on our 10 year anniversary when he made up an argument that left me very upset and that none of us spoke for a week. Comes the weekend still angry with me I asked why he still wanted to continue this argument that never made sense? Then he looks at me with this face after nodding to my question, “do you want to end it?”( me hoping that he would say no of course) but he didn’t say that. I asked “is there anyone else?” He replies no but his eyes said yes. I wanted to believe him and asked if its a divorce and said he wanted a separation to get his head sorted and I felt that I didn’t love him and he didn’t love me… We tried to put up face for the children and spend the rest of the weekend as a family. But the Monday comes along and I find myself thinking and trying to understand everything. Then I remembered his email account details that never once had gone to check before but managed to remember it and the second try I put his password right, and in I go to find nothing on his inbox. As I was close to sign off and relieved I clicked on send box and there it was this love letter email sent to her just a day before. And as I start to read I just want to stop but I couldn’t and finally felt the world coming down and crashing me in to pieces, my legs, my arms, my head… And then I could only think about my children how they were going to cope?! I found the other emails all the way up to 2 months at least. It was someone from work 15 years younger than him, pretty and free, (yes I had to check her out on his facebook friends). My story and pain its far from over but I’m taking day by day:-)
    Sorry for writing so much on your blog, just wanted to share my pain and say that I know exactly what you were going through and only a person that goes through it knows how it feels. Thank you and I hope you are happier now:-)

    • My marriage, three years later is now completely healed. I still have worries from time to time, and I still check his emails. It’s one of the new “normals” we now have as a result. He and I went through therapy, he was very remorseful and supportive, and we have come through the other side. Do consider coming to a weekend with Passionate Life Seminars (there is one this weekend for example), because they will help you, regardless of where you are in your healing and whether you are staying together or not.

  10. daphne3631 says:

    I just wanted to know how did your husband feel or what emotions he went through when he told you all the gory details about the affair like when or where? How did he felt when he came to know she was pregnant and reacted to it?
    Please respond only if it does not hurt you.

    • Daphne, thank you very much for your sensitivity. Actually, I am completely healed and nothing relating to my husband’s affair causes me any hurt, anger, or sadness anymore.

      My husband had made the decision to tell me in advance, and so by the time I sat down to have a conversation with him, he knew what he was about to say, and had already been crying prior. I had asked him what was wrong, and try to comfort him because I didn’t know why he was so upset. He was devastated, and I have never seen him that way before or since.

      He made the decision to tell me about the affair. I didn’t find out on my own, through text messages, emails, or third parties. He decided it was best for me to know that he felt uncomfortable with me living a lie.

      As I think most men do, in this situation, my husband felt a great deal of shame and embarrassment. But when you aren’t caught, and make the decision to come forward, you do so feeling fully prepared to put all of your cards up on the table. Knowing full well that he was going to have to answer every question I had, he did so no matter how shameful they made him feel.

      • Will I ever get over how I feel, I’m not the person I was I’ve come with-drawn even though I’m now taking antidepressants for deprssion. It is coming up to 7 months since my husband told me of his 13 month affair, told me on that night that he loved her, she made him smile and made him laugh, but he tells me now he only said it to hurt me but I can’t let it go. We are working hard to save our marriage but I need all the information and he will not give it to me, so I now feel that it’s none of my business. I can’t move forward because everything is playing in my head, what does she look like, what clothes does she wear, where did they meet up at.(it’s driving me mad). I found a recipt in his wallet for a necklace he bought just before last christmas but he said he was picking it up for a work colleague, when he played golf did he really go, when he had to work away on that weekend what did he really do?
        When you described how your body felt the night he told you I was the same, I felt my body didn’t belong to me anymore perhaps like my husband didn’t belong to me anymore. How do I move forward!!!.

      • Sandra I am sorry. Do you have support?

  11. My name is Janet from usa,i want to say thanks to dr abiza for how he restored my marraige back within three days.My husband left me and two kids for eight months to stay with another woman, as if that was not enough he stoped paying our bills. One faithful day as i was browsing through my laptop i came accross a testimony by Mr Robert of how he gain his wife back after two years of seperation with the help of a great spell caster called Dr abiza through this address (drabizaspelltemple20@hotmail.com).so i decided to give it a try and i contacted him through the email address Mr Robert pasted along with his testimony. After some minutes of chat with the spell caster he told me what to do which i really did. To cut my own testimony short, my husband came home after three days as said by the spell caster, begging me on his knees to forgive him for the ill treatment he gave to me and the kids.Now am happy with my family again.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] make the statement any less true.  I honestly felt, upon waking on the first morning after the discovery of my husband’s affair, that it was the first day of the rest of a new life.  Life as I had previously known it was over. [...]

  2. [...] before the affair was admitted, she was interested in me.  Perhaps it is part of the mistress agenda to get to know as much about [...]

  3. [...] the wake of the affair discovery, we retained a lawyer to help us draft a cease and desist order against the mistress who continued [...]

  4. [...] help but think that it isn’t coincidence that her decline started the month following the disclosure of the affair.  A mistresses desire to inflict as much pain on me and my husband as she could, translated into [...]

  5. [...] If I hadn’t just pinched myself, I would swear I was dreaming.  This week has been the most illuminating and surreal week I’ve experienced aside from the date of the discovery of my husband’s affair.  [...]

  6. [...] have done an enormous amount of work, he and I.  From the moment that the affair was revealed, my husband and I got to work, mobilized our best resources, and although drowning, fought to come up [...]

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