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Peeling Back The Layers

I have been told by some people to just get over this heartache. Just move on. Put it behind me. Learn from these mistakes. Be strong. Don’t doubt my choices. I’m trying. I am really trying. Lately, most days I win at these efforts. But I see that there are far more issues than just the infidelity. Marriages can survive infidelity. Marriages can be rebuilt and come back stronger than ever, but only if there is full disclosure and genuine remorse on the part of the unfaithful lying spouse. Empathy is a must.  I have not experienced that, and so my marriage will not be rebuilt. My story is not unique. There are so many people out there, sadly, who have similar issues. I’ve discovered this through reading countless articles and skimming pages of support groups. But, close to me, in my own personal life, I have no one I know personally who has experienced this situation. You see, there are so many layers in what has led to my failed marriage. So many layers of crazy that I’ve been forced to deal with. So many layers to my pain. 

Several months ago, when I was at a place where I thought my marriage could survive, I was optimistic. I was hopeful. I apologized for my failures in the marriage, the ones that I felt caused my husband to stray. I had lost my personal identity and was struggling to find it. A voice in my head kept telling me that my uncertainty was not so bad that my husband needed to stray. Not all of me believed I had neglected him so badly that he felt alone and pushed aside. But I tried to see it from his point of view, and I talked my self into believing it was my fault. I now see that a good spouse would have stayed close and offered support. Would have encouraged me to find my identity and showered me with love and affection. Instead, each time I reached out to him, he shut me down and criticized me for my fears. Criticized my efforts to start a small business doing something I enjoyed so much. He moped and complained at the amount of time I spent in my studio, working hard to make my business a success. I still cooked and cleaned and ran the kids where they needed to be. I still tried spending time with my husband. It was he who was not interested in spending time with me. 

When I began suspecting he might be having an affair, he chastised me for my doubts and fears. He called my behavior ugly. He said if I made romantic gestures towards him, he would turn me down because he didn’t like being accused of having an affair and he was a good man, a good person, and that he had never cheated on me and never would. He said he was sick of me accusing him. I was ugly and overly sensitive and plain crazy to think he would ever be unfaithful. He was a good man. 

I muffled the voice inside me that told me I was right. That told me he was being pulled away from the marriage by someone else. I stifled that voice. I pushed forward. I recommitted to my marriage. He was still not interested. He said he did not know if he wanted to stay married to me. He did not know if he could ever see me the same way again. He had seen an ugly untrusting side to me that hurt him deeply with my accusations. I tried harder. I begged him to give me another chance. And then, a very short time later, I received the phone call from the husband of the woman he had been sleeping with for several months, or longer. I’ll never get that full truth. It doesn’t matter at this point anyways. 

After that call, every conversation I had had with my husband came flooding to the front of my mind. Every denial. Every time he called me crazy for accusing him of such terrible things. And then more layers were added. More things for me to deal with.  The husband of the mistress/lover/other woman….whatever you want to call her….he began contacting me on a regular basis. At first, it was ok. Therapeutic in a way. We shared a grief, a bond if you will. But that began changing. This man was divorcing his wife. And he began blaming my husband,  100%, for the affair. He claimed my husband seduced his wife. That his wife was a good person with morals and values and that she was not herself because my Casanova bastard husband charmed her pants off, literally. I tried telling this man that his wife and my husband were equally at fault. He would not hear a thing I had to say. Then he looked me up on facebook. He sent me messages telling me how beautiful I was and that he couldn’t believe my husband would cheat on me. It made me feel uncomfortable. What set me over the edge and caused me to block this man from all contact was when he propositioned me. I was going to be traveling to where he lived for a family wedding and he said that he and I had to meet. I actually gave it some thought, until he told me he wanted to get a hotel room. He proceeded to tell me that he would make love to me like a woman and please me in ways I never knew possible, or fuck me like a whore, if that’s what I wanted. I have not had contact with him since he made those disgusting propositions to me. I told my husband and he had no reaction. This man still tried to reach out to me, but I never responded. He tried telling me to divorce my husband and punish him by ruining him financially, because that’s the only way bastards like my husband will learn their lesson. He told me not to let his wife know he was contacting me because she would use it against him and try to ruin him. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing or reading. These people were crazier that I imagined. 

More layers. The mistress was sending me harassing messages. She was telling me she was still in contact with my husband. That she loved him and would be with him. She called my children brats. She even went so far as to tell me she was pregnant with my husband’s child. And every time I tried to tell my husband or show him the messages, he became agitated. He kept saying she would never do these things, because she was a good person. At one point he convinced me that maybe this woman was crazy and I was right, and that he was so sorry I was being harassed. He said he had no contact with her, unless it was work related. They worked for the same company, she lives in another state, but frequent travel within the company is how they began their affair. I actually began to believe my husband until he needed to travel to where she lived and was acting strange before he left. Then I found out about the phone call. The woman called him the day he flew in and proceeded to have a sexually explicit and inappropriate phone call with him. When I discovered this news, I called my husband to ask about it. He denied it. ALL of it. He was angry. He called me crazy. He threatened me. I hung up. He called later that evening and apologized. Said how terrible of a person he was. That he didn’t deserve someone like me. That I was good and kind and loving and he was awful. I started to believe, again, there was hope in rebuilding the marriage. But then he came home and nothing changed. His words never matched his behaviors. 

There are financial issues I’ve touched upon in other blog posts. This confirmed affair is not the only reason I’m getting divorced. 

More layers. I’m not even divorced yet. Not even legally separated. On my personal facebook page, I had written a heartfelt “confession.” I stated where things were in the marriage. That it would be ending. That my heart was breaking and it was not what I wanted. And from that, I have received more than half a dozen messages from men. Men who think it’s ok to flirt or say inappropriate things to me. One is married. I’m disgusted. Personal boundaries have been crossed. And I’m a bitch for stating that this is not ok with me. I’ve had to unfriend and block these people. But the worst part? The worst is feeling like maybe I am not normal. Maybe I am the one who has serious issues. I mean, if my husband and all these other men think it’s ok to behave in these ways, maybe I am the one who needs a reality check. I’ve been called Mary Poppins. Well, Mary wants to shove her umbrella up their asses. I once told a female friend about one of the males who inappropriately messaged me. Her response? She was jealous. I was speechless. Jealous of me and my life? I do not think she ever truly listened to a thing I said. If she did, she would not be jealous, for even a second. We are not friends anymore. 

Why am I writing all this down? It helps me see why I’m making the correct choice. And because I’ve been emotionally abused for so long, I still feel the need to defend and explain my actions and words. The people who tell me to just get over it, they likely will never read this anonymous blog, but I feel like I’m talking to them anyways. What I’ve written about so far, in over 20 posts, this all explains my feelings, my actions and my choices. I am not crazy. I am struggling. Rebuilding my life, at my age, with children, it is the most terrifying thing I have ever done. Realizing what I thought was real and true, was really just a facade? And has been this way for over 21 years? Well. I don’t know of many people who would not struggle with choices and self-identity. 

I do not expect many people would even know what to say to someone like me. And that’s ok. Just saying that,  “I don’t know what to say, but I’m here for you,” that’s enough. But saying “just get over it, move on, enough already,” that’s another form of emotional abuse in my eyes, as is ignoring me and my children altogether. I am learning to balance my need to discuss this with moving forward and putting it all behind me. But I know I’m the type of person who can’t let this go until I’ve processed it all. And as you can now see, there are so many layers to this, so the processing is going to take a lot longer. So I must also now learn who I can depend on. Who will support me and my children, without passing harsh judgements or growing tired of listening to me. More layers. 

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