The majority of the animal kingdom has it right: hunt, gather, sex, sleep, play, repeat. Then there’s us humans: gather, gorge, sleep, fight, sex, control, lie, steal, blame others, avoid responsibility, complain incessantly, play until someone pisses us off and then key their car. Or shoot them dead. Repeat.
Life could be so simple. And, as I’ve come to realize lately, the simpler it is the easier it is to enjoy. Or you can complicate the crap out of it and spend your days like a whirling dervish, never having a moment of clarity. Since my cheating husband returned from deep within the thighs of some soccer mom in Los Angeles I have been whirling. And reeling. But never more so than the day I flew home from seeing my family.
We sat across from each other at the kitchen island in the home we were supposed to have grown old in. I didn’t know this face, this man. And I had nothing to say to him. But he had plenty to say to me. I was blind-sided by the anger that he spewed in my direction. He sat tall, and talked down to me, lecturing me on my condescending nature. He told me to take off my rose-colored glasses and stop living in denial about the state of our relationship. He said the world doesn’t revolve around me. And that he ‘let someone in’ because of me. (So the world doesn’t revolve around me, but apparently I am at the controls and dispatched him off to have an affair. K. I get it.)
He was relieved he didn’t have to lie anymore. And he wasn’t going to ‘pull any punches’. He was finally free to speak his mind. It was clear that the part of it that was speaking was the part that hated me.
One little year-long affair and all of the sudden he’s a relationship sage, master of all things cliche, and quite adept at deflecting blame. I could muster nothing but an “Okay.” as he spent the next 45 minutes telling me everything I did wrong in our marriage.
My face did not betray my thoughts. It was calm and free of expression. Inside I was spitting nails. I left furious in the dust and was closing in on pure, raw hatred. I watched this man fire away like a scared punk in the dark with a gun in his hands for the first time. He was gunning for me, when he should have been aiming at himself. I felt battered. I felt small. But there was a part of me that knew what was happening wasn’t right. It wasn’t real.
I listened to everything he said, though. I instinctively knew that I had a part in creating this mess, and I was determined to understand my role. Our relationship may not have a prayer, but I would continue on in life and wanted to make sure that this wake-up call was answered.
“…we played by the rules. We told each other we would never leave our spouses.” Yea, but did you ever wonder if your spouses would leave you?
There was finally a lull in the Cleo-bashing.
“Did you take your wedding ring off?”
“I never took it off.”
“Well, go take it off now. And sanitize it. It was crammed in her pu**y and I don’t want it touching our children.”
I grabbed my gym bag and walked out the door.
He’s right. I can be condescending. Especially when I have the perfect target. I’ll have to work on that. But first I have to simplify my life so I can live in peace. I have no control over anything except how I chose to live life and the environment I create for my children. After 60 minutes of his tongue-lashing I was in a better place. My world was in tatters, but I had never felt stronger (physically, emotionally and mentally) and was completely ready to embrace this new me. It took my husband’s affair to have me fall in love. With myself.
Everything about this entry rang true to me. I’ve been there — each moment — and you captured it perfectly.
Thank you for reading, commenting and for your kind words. I’m so very grateful.
This. Is exactly. What my husband did to me. For months. And still does when things don’t go his way. His affair was nothing but sign of what horrible wife I was etc etc. Good for you to emerge so quickly from that dustcloud of misdirected hate and anger. It took me so long…I”m still not there.
That cloud has arms. It pulls me back in. Today is one of those days where the cloud engulfs me and I can’t see beyond its ugliness. There is nothing quick about flowing through the betrayal and hurt and anger. But I can aim to not have it upend me. To be able to remain grateful for who I am and that a brighter future is being created for me, by me, is my single goal today. That and to break a sweat for the first time in a week!
Thank you for coming to HGM and sharing your thoughts with us.
I just found your blog and went back and started from the beginning. Good for you for keeping this journal and empowering yourself. This post really brought back memories. There were no blogs when the Pretty Boy I married ago left me. So I kept a journal privately, but it just isn’t the same. I felt so alone, and no one could respond to what I wrote. This blog is just great and I hope you are getting the support you need. It’s been a very long time and I am so relieved to be well out of it, but I still remember how shattered I was the day the Pretty Boy tried to explain how this was all my fault. He had had affairs *because* I was so condescending (= smarter than him) and physically unattractive (= 2″ taller than him.) His girlfriend found a way into his heart *because* she was so unlike me. “Big independent redheads are so repulsive” he said, “like cartoon characters.” For 13 years he kept insisting I was beautiful and he loved me and only me blah blah blah. Then one day he tells me quite opposite and somehow it’s my fault that I am not a petite blonde with no opinion.
Oh yes he was relieved to stop lying, and instead blame me for his infidelity and for all the torture it caused *him.* Hello, is this not also just another LIE to cover his ass? Brava to you for limiting your response to an intelligent silence. And while you realize that you have had some role to play in this, don’t EVER let ANYone tell you that you are responsible for their ridiculous and childish behaviour. Lying is lying is lying is lying. It is not okay, it never will be.
I am SO sorry it took me so long to reply to your comment.
“He had had affairs *because* I was so condescending (= smarter than him) and physically unattractive (= 2″ taller than him.) His girlfriend found a way into his heart *because* she was so unlike me. “Big independent redheads are so repulsive” he said, “like cartoon characters.” Are you serious? He really said that? “Big independent redheads are so repulsive”? Wow.
It reminds me of something that happened to me in high school…
I’m sitting in geography, waiting on the teacher. DB, a classmate, tells me (I forget the build up to this), “You’re ugly.” I went on about my day. 6 years later I signed a modeling contract with Ford Models in NYC. If you had told me in high school that I was going to be a model I’d have searched your bag for LSD. The FIRST person I thought of was DB. Fast forward to 2008. High school reunion planning time. We all take to Facebook and reconnect. DB friends me. He wrote one thing, and one thing only: “Looking good, Cleo.”
Oh, the irony.
Infidelity is an issue that had a huge impact on my life growing up—my Dad had a girlfriend for years, my Mom found out about it, she confronted the girlfriend and Dad at the driving range (In front of me and my little sister), and the woman smacked her across the face, my Mom who was a decent, respectful loving woman.
She died when I was nine and my Dad waited a year and then married the girlfriend, who had truly hated my mom. I didn’t realize then though I do now–that I resemble my Mom greatly. I think my stepmom had me confused with my Mom in her mind for all those growing up years and that basically she still does. I barely talk to the family now because 1)I live in Los Angeles and they are back east; and 2) apparently my siblings believe her point of view–that I’m not worthy of being spoken to or kept in touch with. This is heartbreaking as there is a little sister and brother, who I was told we should regard as our “real” brother and sister, not half–out there in the world, who I helped raise, and who I liked, who unfortunately have been so influenced by their mother’s dislike for me that I am basically not in the family. At a certain point I realized that to continue communicating with them I would have to take poor treatment and I just finally said, OK bye. She told me to butt out of their lives in the mid 90′s and I figured she would call me if she ever re-thought that. She didn’t. My Dad keeps in touch via email.
Infidelity doesn’t just affect the couple. It affects everyone.
You can be in my family. It’s a soul family. You’re not obligated to bring creamed onions to Thanksgiving dinner, but you are expected to love yourself.
Do you still talk to your Mom? That might seem an odd question to some, but I talk to my Dad all the time. His energy has been all around me, like a shield, since the Pocket Call. I bet she’s right next to you, right now.
I’m go glad I found your blog–my journey began a little over a year ago when I found hotel receipts and text messages. Now I’m divorced, free and can read your story without crying.
My ex blamed me for his affair as well. He told me I made him miserable. And he told his girl-fiend and what few friends he has left that I was unstable. And yet I’m the one with the job, stable home, and custody of our child. He’s living in a rat-trap with his girl-fiend and can barely make child support. Good riddance to that mess!
There’s a lot I don’t understand about psychology, and it makes it challenging for me to see to the heart of matters like these. But the idea of projection is something I get. And, I am starting to be able to observe the inner workings of The Genius during our interactions. It’s a skill that I am going to develop consciously.
I’m glad you found HGM, too. Thank you for taking the time to comment and for your patience. I have been diligently responding to all. Sleep sometimes intervenes.
Ah yes… Mine gave me a two page list of how awful I am! Must have really worked hard to come up with all those things to make himself feel better about what he was doing. Did you know that us not liking the same music and me not liking to fly were cause for divorice? Dang! If I’d known THOSE were the rules, I’d have left him long ago for not liking asparagus!
I love asparagus. I buy one bunch for just me and another to be shared amongst who ever else is dining. So we should keep that in mind if we ever dine together. I’ve been known to battle my way to the last spear.
Very interesting how men are so the same. My ex was relieved it was all out in the open and he didn’t have to lie anymore (after the constant and ridiculous denials). He was glad I found out so that now we know something is wrong in our relationship and fix it. (Whatevs). The rage toward the wife… so interesting. Like a textbook. May we all come out winners in our souls.
I had the popular boy in 8th grade (awkward years – braces and bad perm!!) say to me, “You’re pretty…. pretty ugly.” I’m now 42 and remember it so well. I was in touch with him about 15 years ago and told him what he said and he was very sorry and didn’t even remember it. Funny that I was a professional and he turned out to be a hippie with no job.
My same situation with me and my step-monster. Lost my sister and dad to her. Screw them. You are not alone.
“May we all come out winners in our souls.” And may our souls feel our love.
I, too, have walked the world with a bad perm. But there were a few years there where I had the perfect feather! It met in the back!
Glory days, no?
Thank you for sharing your unfolding story and your beautiful spirit. I remember in 2009 when my husband began blaming me for his affair. He still blames me and behaves now as a victim since I left. It took me a full year to find my way through my own thick fog of delusion into clean clear clarity. I’ve been on my own now for a year and a half. The divorce drags on but should soon be final. Family and friends have been as you say, warriors for me. I am so grateful to be awake in this wonderful life of mine. I too wrote a blog in collaboration with one of my dearest warrior friends. I’d like to share it with you.
Thank you for taking the time to comment and for reading HGM. I will definitely check out your blog, LOVE the URL. Going for it is essential!
“I am so grateful to be awake in this wonderful life of mine.” I’m so glad you wrote that sentence. I needed to read that today. You rock. I hope you will continue on with us here at HGM.
Cleo, Thank you for posting your story. I thought I would chime in here and just mention that my wife was the one who had the affair, and of course SHE blamed ME. It was my fault for being so condescending all the time, my fault for ‘interrogating her’ when I asked her questions etc. I think it’s just the cheating nature, whether the cheater is male or female!
Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Men, women, makes no difference. We all feel betrayal in the same way. Yes, we probably emote in different ways, but the pain is the same. I suppose it’s defensiveness that makes the one who cheats lash out at the one they betrayed. I’m still dealing with it to this day. And I imagine I will for a very long time. I caught him, so he’s mad at me. I live in his home so he’s mad at me. I’m with our children and he’s on the road so he’s mad at me.
I’ve always felt upended when people are mad at me. Perhaps I need to get over that. I hope you continue to stay close, J. We’ll get through this together.
shell shocked says
I love, and by that I mean detest, the way the cheaters think that problems in the marriage validate the cheating? If only they put that effort into talking to their spouse about what was bothering them.
Gotta say I love, love love your comments to him! lol
I love this!: “I love, and by that I mean detest…” I am so using that line. That’s great.
I said once, Wouldn’t it be nice if spouses had conversations before they had affairs? For the life of me, I don’t understand what’s so hard about saying, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about stepping outside this marriage. I don’t want to betray you, so I’m letting you know that obviously things aren’t working for me. Let’s talk about it and see if we can salvage this marriage. If not, I want out.’
Is that so hard? It’s not. What’s harder is the fallout from an affair. How do people not see this?
Stay close and thank you for your kind words.
Cleo…so glad I found this blog. I have been looking for something like this for ages. My husband left me for the OW when our littles were 10 mos, 2 and 4. Same thing: blames me for EVERYTHING and gave me a laundry list of “why the cheating was OK”. We are now divorced, they are still together (almost 2 years later) and my kids talk about her all the time. barf.
What I like the most about this blog is that you haven’t wasted time (like I did, trying to reconcile, trying to “understand” him, going to endless, wasted hours of therapy trying to sort through the myriad of lies).
You are so amazing to me…your ability to push through all the BS and be kind to yourself is setting such a great example for me. I want to be like you when I grow up!
Thank you so much for your kind words and for taking the time to comment. I am grateful that it became clear very quickly what needed to happen for me. Speed seems to be a key theme right now. I need to move quickly on a lot of fronts. Perhaps that’s why I had to create a way to speed up the healing process – HGM. So that I could be ready to take a big leap at the perfect time. That time is now.
“…gave me a laundry list of ‘why the cheating was OK’”. You’d need a laundry list to have a shot at believing you can craft a justifiable excuse for adultery. There is no excuse. All it takes is one single conversation: I’m not happy. We either need to get in therapy or divorce. I’m telling you this because I’m thinking about cheating on you and I don’t want to take that step.
Why is that so hard?
I am so glad you found us, too, L! Still so much to learn for you and me…stay close.
Dang girl, you have done it all!! I am so in awww of you!!! I am not that strong. I have been married to this man for almost 30 yrs. (10/24). I stayed with him and thought things would be better after his affair(s), because he said he didn’t go “all the way” (2nd time, — 1st time I know it did, I saw it happen) but the (2nd) affair went on for 1+(+++) yrs. I really don’t know how long it went on, cause he will only acknowledge what he knows I know about. He is in a field where women LOVE to idolize men, you know a uniform and life-saving stuff, but the wives know better…. Yea, he saves lives, but what about marriages?? I think it is time to get out, but I am too weak…..I will read on, though — You have given me inspiration!!! Thanks….
Thank you for taking the time to comment. Your words are kind, funny!, and clear. ” Yea, he saves lives, but what about marriages??” That’s a profound statement, m’lady. Why is it okay to cheat? We say it’s not okay, but over 50% do. So, why is it so okay to cheat? It befuddles me.
I really believe in fighting to keep a marriage together, but both people need to want it. And infidelity is a total lock of a deal breaker. If I were to ever consider getting married again, I would require a pre-nup that states that if evidence of an affair is uncovered, the cheating spouse hands over every asset and the marriage is over. No lawyers. No drawn out process. Hand it over and walk away.
Why so harsh? Because all that spouse needs to do to avoid the consequences of that pre-nup is to say,
“I’m not happy. I’m thinking of cheating on you. So we either need to end it, or you give me permission to fulfill my desires, or we see if counseling will have a positive effect, quickly.”
Stay close and turn inward to discover what is the right move for you. I’m so grateful you found HGM, and thank you for your kind words.
HOLY COW. Your story on this entry is so like reading my life. Except my husband wouldn’t admit the affair for the longest time – because it started as an emotional affair. In fact, it was a year ago this weekend, he snuck away with his “friend” and I caught him in the lie, then kicked him out. Sadly, I still (even now – UGH) love him and wanted him back. But the blame piece was incredible. The notes above made me chuckle at the stupidity of them all. Here’s one to add: my hair tickles his face. Now that’s a justification for cheating!
We are in the final stages of divorce and he hates ME more every day. His whore is around and my only salvation is she’s good to my two children. Other than that, she’s nothing but white trash with a trust fund (which has to be a reason he’s attracted – because she’s butt-ass ugly inside and out).
Oh, by the way, he kept sleeping with me through our entire separation until this summer, when I stopped it. And then when his whore found out, he DENIED IT. Now she can worry about his web of lies.
I’m so incredibly encouraged by your strength – I SO wish I got to your place as fast as you did (that takes nothing away from your hurt & pain). I’m getting there though and am done trying to get him back. I’m petrified but looking forward to the next phase in life. I appreciate what you’re doing here! All the best.
Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate having you here!
“We are in the final stages of divorce and he hates ME more every day.” When I try to figure this out logically – How can someone who has betrayed a person lay blame for that betrayal at their feet, hate them, be angry at them? – and I’m feeling that it’s one of those pushes we create in our vignette. In your situation, you’ve been trying to or wanting to get him back, but the game plan you created before you ever got here (my belief) had you parting ways. You’ve been fighting it, so he’s driving you away by hating you. He’s freeing you. Unconsciously. At your direction.
Call me loopy, but it’s the only explanation for that nonsense that we all deal with that I can craft so far. We create it. Not as punishment, but as a catalyst.
I’m so grateful that you are coming to a summit. There are still many climbs ahead, but here you get to pause and take in the view. You’re pretty high up, so you may feel a little unsteady. But the landscape ahead is glorious and you are going to have a great time exploring it all. Stay close…
Hi Cleo and peers,
I found out on 8/14 this year that my Unfaithful had been cheating. I am 42, he turned 50 this January. At first, he only admitted to what evidence supported which pointed to a four-day affair at a place we shared while I was on a planned business trip. He also had a plan for the time I was gone for work – SHE had a cancelled roundtrip plane ticket and didn’t know what to do with it and so he invited her to fly up to our state and stay over.
She was someone he met from work, merely 23 years old when they first met and she was engaged to be married. They were the couple that my Unfaithful went out with for drinks and sold furniture to when we moved. So, my Unfaithful knew both if them but still it was impossible for him to respect their union and ours. As incredible it was as it was ridiculous fir me just to believe that a young woman would fly in from out of state to stay with a man for days on end just out of the blue so I went for the phone records, long story short, the affair started October of last year when we lived in the town where they had met. “It was just sex” he claimed, it was her that proposition as she wanted to find out if older men were better in bed. So just the sex it was. With a then 23-year old. He has three children from previous marriages at 26, 21 and a 17-year old daughter.
The age difference didn’t mean a lot to him he claimed but it means a lot to me.
So, just the sex it was.
But it was the videotaped and unprotected kind and he passed me an STD I am still getting treated for.
I had no reason to believe that I had a female health issue and he was always so supportive and helpful and volunteered to pick up feminine douche from the grocery store so it was not until the discovery that I felt the urgency to see my doctor. He would later admit to a one night stand as well with yet another woman from his current work place. Again, he claimed, “it was just sex”. Good thing she forced him to put on a condom.
In both of these cases, the female propositioned and offered and I saw the text messages – which triggered the actual sexual encounters but I also know how a man or woman can carry him or herself in ways that welcome and attract these propositions.
The relevant point between my story and this blog entry is the fact that my Unfaithful is also blaming me. We decided to work things out because I was devastated and had loved him for so long. He is in therapy getting help but I am afraid his ego is still in charge and he still keeps blaming me for leaving him lonely and the other women for initiating.
Therapy for him turns out to serve as therapy for me as well, everyday, I see him more pathetic and how he has lost everything important to a quality person, integrity, honesty, self respect, true love, yet he still holds on tightly to his ego. The original plan and commitment was for him to seek help for being a narcissistic, and a compulsively-lying serial cheater and to deconstruct this person and reconstruct his being and our relationship. Evidently so to date, he has proven to be just as self centered and self serving as he has ever exposed himself to be and without disrespect to other therapists, my Unfaithful picked the one therapist he “feels safe with” and every session has just been a mutual manipulating mind games between them and the mire he goes, the more he talks as if he was doing what he felt entitled to do under the given circumstance.
I have known him and lived him for a long time and never saw this side of him but I think once someone snaps, there just might be no coming back.
Thanks Cleo, thank you for you and shedding a guiding light, I know what I want to and need to do for myself.
I can now say I have achieved an eye roll unlike any other after reading this: ““It was just sex” he claimed, it was her that propositioned as she wanted to find out if older men were better in bed.”
Your comment is a reminder that there is no excuse for infidelity. None. Nada. Zilch. Not One. She propositioned, I created a void in him that he needed to fill, you left me lonely…Oh, please. The list goes on and on, and each one has as much validity as a crime scene report generated by the perp himself. Hogwash.
G, I sense that the early posts of HGM will be an excellent guide for you. In this stage of dealing with the discovery of adultery, expect denials, deflection and defensiveness. Just know it going in. Trust your intuition. Talk with heart minute by minute asking, Does this feel right? Does this feel good? Is this how I want to feel?
I knew The Genius for a long time and have never seen the person I see now. Years of lying has a way of changing one’s spirit beyond recognition. To betray, as our spouses have, suggests that something was terribly awry before the lies came forth. Yes, infidelity is common, but long term affairs and continuous lying can only be pulled off by someone who has issues. Your journey continues on. Hopefully he will realize that duping himself into believing his own spin will insure he never grows up.
Stay close, G. You are a woman ready to blossom big time!
On Tuesday May 15, 2012 (my dad’s birthday, unfortunately), my husband and I attended a work dinner party where he had been selected to give a speech. Things seemed fine except for a small argument we got in before the event when I suggested he remove his suit jacket because it was too tight (he had packed on about 25 lbs of muscle over the course of 5 months; the result of him suddenly deciding back in December 2011 that it was time for us to “get back in shape”…in hindsight, this was a classic ‘red flag’ that I totally missed). On the ride home, he barely spoke. He wouldn’t look at me. I thought he was still upset about the suit. I was so wrong.
Later that night, I picked up his computer to google something about a stupid reality show I was watching. “Is so-and-so really pregnant?” or something ridiculous and trivial like that. What I found turned my world upside down, lit me on fire, and turned me to ice all at once. The keyword dropdown box automatically came down as I typed the “g” for google.com. I saw links to what-to-do-when-you’re-married-and-in-love-with-another-woman and signs-you’re-headed-for-divorce.
My heart dropped. You know the feeling. I checked the history, and discovered he had visited those sites that very night. He had visited them while he sat across the room from me as I watched the aforementioned stupid reality show. By this time, he was already upstairs in bed. He was “tired” and “didn’t want to wait for my show to end.” I didn’t think anything of it at the time. Once I made those vomit-inducing discoveries on his computer, I decided to go up to our bedroom and confront him. I asked if he was having an affair and if he was planning on leaving me. He denied it. Denied denied denied. He shut off. Wouldn’t speak. Wouldn’t respond to my questions. Gave excuse after excuse: “I’m so exhausted.” “Let’s talk about this tomorrow.” etc etc. Then out of nowhere he said “Are you happy?” My answer was, “I was, until about 15 minutes ago.” He rolled over and I cried myself to sleep.
We both worked the next day (Wednesday), we went to the gym to our trainer together that evening, he was very quiet and still wouldn’t look at me. This was the most concerning part for me. His inability to look me in the eyes, even when I wasn’t questioning him. It was not him. He was not his normal self. When we got home, we cooked dinner and ate in separate rooms. He played video games all night and wouldn’t talk to me. We went to bed. Thursday after work, he said he was staying somewhere else until Monday to “think about things” (what did he have to think about???). I said no, I would go to my parents, I didn’t want to stay in the house alone as sad as I was. He wasn’t happy (he wanted to run away), but he relented. He ignored my calls and texts all weekend. I confronted him in our home Monday after work. He said he just didn’t know what he wanted. I asked him point blank, “Is there another woman?” His answer was odd. “If there was, we would be over.” What? It was like a bomb went off and there was ringing in my ears. Then he said, “I’ve been seeing a counselor. I have an appointment at 6.” More bombs. More ear ringing.
He left without saying goodbye, and there was more silence throughout the week, as I literally died on the inside a little more each day, wondering what went wrong and how this could happen. We hadn’t even been married a year.
Friday after work, I called him on my way home. I was still staying with my parents, but for some reason that night I drove toward our house rather than theirs after work. He answered, and I was surprised. He asked what I was up to. (seriously?) I said, “just driving home.” He got very quiet and I said, “What’s going on?” and he said “I filed for divorce yesterday.”
To this day, I don’t remember how I got my car from where I was to our driveway. I called my mom and she thought I was being murdered. It was the worst day of my life. There are so many details that occurred after that day, but the one thing I could never understand was why he started what I call a “hate parade” against me. We had texting wars (so mature) throughout the first 2 weeks of June. In that time, he said the most hateful, heart-wrenching, soul crushing things that I had never heard come out of the mouth of my biggest enemy. Essentially he blamed about 99% of the cause of our divorce on me and all the things I was doing and saying OR the things I was NOT doing and NOT saying. It was a barrage of hate and cruelty. I kept my composure as well as I could, keeping name-calling to a minimum and asking him to please give me a better explanation of what I could have done/could still do to save our marriage. In one day, he called me hateful, cruel, immature, abusive, mean, and materialistic. The irony was lost on him that he was treating me like a dog and saying that I was the mean one. Still, I didn’t understand where it was coming from. A part of me still doesn’t. Sure I wasn’t always a bed of roses and I can be the world’s biggest B on occasion (usually when I’m hungry), but he had his moments as well. Overall, I loved him so thoroughly and completely I would have died for him, and he knew that.
As the time has passed (8 months), I have learned that he was having a relationship with a co-worker behind my back for an uncertain amount of time prior to filing for divorce. I want to shake that poor girl and tell her to get out while she still can…Talking to my close friends and relatives and reading blogs (this blog entry in particular) has helped me see that the things he said and did after that fateful day in May are a pattern among cheaters. They deny, they blame, and they spew hate at their significant other/spouse to make themselves feel justified in their actions.
Thank you for writing this. I will continue to follow you.
I wish you and I could be Infidelity Super Heros. We could have cool outfits, a super power or two, and the ability to be at the right place at the right time to whisper in the ear of the one who was betrayed:
Now she’s going to tell you it’s all your fault.
Now he’s going to say that you need to take responsibility for causing him to lie.
Oh, wait! I see that look in his eye! He’s about to tell you that you’re the reason why he cheated. Just nod and try to keep a straight face.
It would be a dream come true for me to wear that cape and shepherd those in shock to a safe place so they can heal. Remember, L, there is NO justification for infidelity! None. Hungry, bitchy, bitchy hungry, depressed, with a terminal illness, got fat, not happy…NONE are justifications for infidelity. Not. One. None. None, none, none, none.
Can you tell this s…tuff fires me up? This is one of the most painful times I recall. I can’t even reread this post yet. I’m assuming it has to do with when it was ALL MY FAULT. Oh, the spin cycle that he put me through just to make himself feel better. It’s disgusting. I swear, I want to start a business where I am the stand-in for that first conversation after an affair has been discovered. Nobody would be able to spin that crap on me these days.
Infidelity sucks. It’s time we stop it. And the first step is for those who cheat to admit no one made them do it.
Thank you for allowing me to vent. Your words really struck a cord with me. I am proud of you. You see the pattern. It’s real. And to try to understand why is only if you absolutely need to. I suggest spending time falling in love with yourself. You can always ponmder the why when kicking back on chaise lounge with a cold glass in your hand and your feet getting a good rubdown. Please stay close…
Almost a year ago I found out about my husbands affair. I was and still am devastated. I chose to stay as he showed true remorse and helped me in trying to work through it all. In the last couple of months things have shifted back to the way they were during his 1 1/2 affair and before that. We have 4 kids 9 7 5 and 4. Last night for the first time since I found out about the affair I yelled at him. It was about not helping me discipline the kids and basically not helping me with anything. I guess it was just the end of my rope time. I had been to scared prior as for the fear in the back of you head telling you that if you misbehave he will leave again. This time he blamed me for the affair and everything else. He spewed such hatred towards me that I didn’t even recognize who he was. Here I was basically just asking him for help loudly which I have asked nicely before and get nothing and it turned into what a you know what I was and how his affair had everything to do with me and my behaviour and that during his affair he treated me bad because I was such a you know what. He told me I didn’t deserved to be talked to when I showed my hurt emotions still about the affair and more. Reading your post made me wish that I had the confidence to say the things you did. I feel them and think them, but I never say them. Here I am a mother of 4 who takes care of everything and treats him like a god literally, like he can do no wrong, in reality he treats me like a slave and now apparently really dislikes me. Why didn’t he just leave me when he had the chance? I applaud your self confidence and I am going to need it in this next journey. I don’t remember getting through the last year after finding out about the affair and honestly I don’t know how I did it. It was the worst time in my life and just when I thought I had made some ground he hits me with this, which knocked me all the way back to square one. I don’t know how to get up from this one. How could I love someone so much that I honestly had no idea hated me so bad? I guess that just goes to show how pathetic I really am..
You are not pathetic. You are experiencing this for a very specific reason. It’s a life lesson, R. Not a judgment of who you are as a person. You are NOT responsible for any choice he made. NOT AT ALL. I swear, I want to somehow drop into every situation where a person is blaming the someone else for their affair and have at it. It’s a ridiculous argument.
He was just a puppet, huh? You were pulling all the strings and raising four children? You ought to run a public company. You can move mountains.
It’s time to start remembering, R. Get centered. Get present. Don’t seek self confidence. Seek self love. The rest will follow.
I’m not a PhD in Psych, and I barely understand projection, but I bet the kittens here would say that he doesn’t hate you, he hates himself. It’s hard for me to have empathy for someone who cheats, but it must be really challenging to be the one who cheats. If they can feel at all, the guilt and shame must be present.
This is no longer about him, R. It’s about you. You have the gift of life. There are no awards at the end for letting someone derail us on our journey. Yes, you’re at square one. Of a different journey. One where the squares are all yours for the taking. Set the very best example for your children about how to handle adversity with optimism and fearless determination. Look for the magic everywhere. Fall in love with yourself. These are all possible. You simply have to make the choice.
I’m grateful you found HGM. Stay close and read on…
I just found this post.
I’m just beginning to live this reality.
I’m grateful you found HGM. The support I have received from those who read my words carried me through excruciating painful times. You will find much wisdom and guidance here, and lots and lots of love. Stay close and ask for what you need. Thank you for taking the time to comment.
Wow,is it in the handbook of all philandering cheats to blame it on their wives???-my hubby blamed it on me too, I didn’t give him enuf attention, I didn’t give him enuf sex & best of all didn’t make him feel loved??? & do u knw I actually started blaming myself for him screwing up. Gosh! I love your statement “I fell inlove with myself” -I Need to fall inlove with myself too:)
How to keep yourself sane during the blame stage of adultery: The one who cheated chose to cheat. NOTHING you did caused him or her to make that choice. It is their’s to own alone. You are not responsible in any way for their moral failures.
If your spouse loses their job and runs out of money, choosing to rob a bank to make ends meet, does that make their choice your fault? No. When the adulterer blames the spouse throw it right back at them. And then that’s where the ‘screw you’ attitude ends. From then on it’s best to be as graceful as humanly possible. Grace will preserve your sanity as well. This nonsense of blaming the spouse who’s been betrayed is the thorn in my side. It’s the only thing about this whole mess that makes me want to rant.
You are NOT to blame. Whew. That felt good. Now let’s get back to loving ourselves. So grateful you are here, Z.
Cheryl D says
Why do the men we marry try to destroy us in order to make themselves feel better? Have been married for eighteen years. In April, I discovered my husband had texted his former girlfriend and other women for over four years (some months there were over 1200 texts) and facebooked (comments like I am in the car and wish you were with me, constantly asks her to meet him at various places). When I found out, he said he acted like it was not a problem because he never had sex with her. WTF? Trying to find a job that pays a living wage so I can get away from him.
Thank you for taking the time to comment and for being here.
You pose a question that has as many answers as there are infidelities in the world. Speaking specifically about men who cheat, whether emotionally or physically: I don’t believe they set out to destroy us, but they do often cheat to make themselves feel better, or more important, or desirable, or in charge, among a slew of other reasons.
They only destroy us if we allow it to happen.
“He never had sex with her…” This line gets trotted out often. I’d wager it’s true about ten percent of the time.
I believe, D, that you can manifest the job you desire so that you can take care of yourself. Do it for you. And if you feel you need to leave in order to care for yourself, fall in love with yourself, then you will create a way. Stay close and know you have support here.
Help. Im imploding. Ten years ago i uncovered my husbands affair. He blamed me. I was devastated. We had three young children that i had to care for. After a week of him living elsewhere i asked him to come back and go to therapy with me. He went to 2 sessions. I continued therapy, took wellbutrin and we worked out our issues. It took alot of years to get back to a sense of real loving again. It was not easy. Some days/weeks really sucked. I had all passwords to accounts which i checked less frequently as the years went on. 4 days ago i was checking his fb. Mind you, i had recently been finding his numerous friend requests to younger bartender types, and women from his past during that ugly time when his affair was uncovered. 4 days ago my mind was blown once again. I saw pictures on his fb in a locked album of the same whore he cheated with 10 years ago!!
Now that has been brought out in the open, the kids heard our argument, i told them who the whore in the pictures were. Hes now on a full scale bame fest with me saying me and the kids threw him away after all the years of great things we had done together. He is an awesome father. He is an amazing provider. He was an awesome husband, minus the inital affair and this disaster. Im walking around in circles wondering why a successful man would risk everything, again, after all that work and time invested. With the same filthy skank. He swears nothing sexul happened this time, but im still asking why. Why.why. I think he needs some therapy. But he will never go, because successful go-getters are always in control dont you know! I feel so different this time, and have reacted soooo different this time. Calm. Collected. Alot of silence. I feel in charge of how story ends. But, i am, still in love with a person who kicked the legs out from under me, and is mad at me because ima back stabber who told our kids. Please help me. I cant trust anyone.
Thank you for your patience as I work back through the queue of comments. I trust you received my private email reply and hope that my words offered some comfort and some guidance.
For those who can relate to N’s situation…there is no manual for how to respond in the early days of discovering betrayal. Well, there is guidance to be had, but my feeling is that it’s so individual, so personal. In the midst of discovering adultery it’s extraordinarily hard to pull back and make all the right moves. The last person to judge your moves, N, is your husband. His words and actions are motivated by self-preservation.
The Genius also said something similar – You have no empathy for what it feels like to have been discarded by you.
No one threw your husband away, they simply responded to his dishonesty and betrayal. I don’t need to be empathic towards The Genius. He was clear with his adulterous actions and double life about how he viewed me. Disposable. I was of no value to him. It’s not for me to be empathic about the results of his actions. We make our choices with the full knowledge of the consequences. He knew the consequences. I have no responsibility for his actions.
Stay close, N. I’m always here. Follow your heart – not your Ego. Can you truly love someone whom you can’t respect?
In March I approached my husband because I was feeling disconnected. I thought we needed to plan a date night or weekend getaway. He replied he felt no connection, he deserved to be happy, our children would want him to be happy and that I should get a lawyer.
My kids were 7 months and 3 years old. We had just started a new business.
I had just quit my job to be a full time mom.
While I had been taking care of EVERYTHING for months (newborn, toddler, work, home etc.) my husband had come to the realization that he wasn’t happy and hadn’t been happy for years.
I was shocked, confused and destroyed. Just like that -10 years gone. 2 babies (they’ll be fine, he said, everyone will be fine…) a home, a business, our marriage!! He wanted to do nothing to try and salvage it.
In the following days he realized I was not going along with how this was ‘supposed’ to go. Clearly he had it all worked out because when I didn’t succumb to every one of his wishes (which included selling the house immediately) he turned into the hateful monster that I keep reading about.
It took me a moment to realize he was, obviously, cheating on me. He denied it, of course, and I haven’t asked him about it since the beginning of this whole mess. Do I still love him? Yes. Do I hate what he’s done to our family? Yes. Do I know this is not my fault? Yes, though some days that’s a lot easier to remember than others…
He has since moved out of the house but continues to treat me as though I had slept with his best friend. The contempt and hatred is less baffling to me since finding all of the wonderful resources out there, like this one:)
I read a terrific quote today “Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.”
Thank you also, for making my life a little easier.
Thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m grateful you found HGM and the other resources out there that are helping you like maps for a new trail.
This quote is about surrendering: “Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.” Not giving up, or becoming a martyr, but about surrendering in a beautiful way to life. I feel that this journey I am on is the one I am meant to be on. The one I created. As Pee-Wee Herman once said, I meant to do that.
Ever take notice of a photograph of a garden party, the people smiling, laughing, intently listening to one another? They look happy, right? They go home and they say, Nice party. And go to sleep.
It’s not necessarily a photograph that leaves you stirred up inside, feeling a bevy of emotions. And those parties, while fun to attend, and filled with opportunities for magic and encounters, don’t evoke awe.
The depth of emotions that we humans are capable of experiencing evoke awe. His level of anger, your degree of heartbreak, the hate and fear and profound sadness that can come with betrayal and divorce – when we surrender to these emotions, allow them to be felt and then set them free, we experience the full monty of being human.
Stay close, S, and fully present in the moment. This can be the most awe-inspiring time of your life. If you ever need me I’m here.
Well I have just recently dfound out that my husband of 5 years has been cheating on me the entire time!!!! Random women, personals, you name it!!! No relationships just sex. One foot says leave and the other says stay. I have 2 small kids but thank God I have a job and an education. I am at a loss here and don’t know what to do. I am unsure if I can get over this.
Oh, you have a challenging situation there. You don’t have to decide now if you will one day get over it. You only need to determine your boundaries and needs and on a daily basis insure that they are respected and met. Some space between the two of you is important right now. He has some serious personal excavation to do and that is a solo job.
N, this may be a strange choice of words, but luxuriate in time with only you and your children. Be present in the moment with them. In those moments he will not be. Only you and the children will be.
Stay in the moment and let time pass. And keep reading. The words of the kittens and mine on loving yourself will help to guide you.
I see a lot of pain here. But I also see a lot of love and support.
I don’t really want to write a novel here with my story. It’s pretty gruesome. But I would like to say, that when you find your partner/spouse has cheated, you suddenly find yourself at a crossroads of life. And the two paths read something like, ScrewThis Ave. and HopeforTheBest Blvd.
Every woman will decide which path is right for her to take and NEITHER is weak or pathetic. It takes a strong woman to pick herself up and start over. And it takes an equally strong woman to try and fight for her marriage. Sadly, I’ve found myself on both paths. A word of caution for those taking the path less traveled… I first filed for divorce from my husband and took our young children with me. I couldn’t bear the look on my 4 year olds face when he said he missed Daddy and he wanted to go home. My husband had always been an exceptional father. So I went back. But a sacrifice had to be made…and I would be the one to pay it. Not my husband, who created the nightmare himself, but me. Fast fwd 3 years…my husband and my children are happy now, we do what normal families do. Take kids to and from school, work, grill on the wknds, watch them play in the sprinkler, etc. I reached the end of my path. But I gave something up along the way. I had to build a wall between my husband and I to protect myself. My heart used to stop every time his phone lit up, or he said he was going down to so and so’s to watch the game. I had to stop caring or I would have gone bat sh– insane. It was a couple of nights ago, we got in a rare petty argument. He usually likes to get personal with the insults. And I realized, they didn’t bother me. Shouldn’t I be hurt? Or angry? Something?! …Nothing. And suddenly I did feel something…and ran to the bathroom crying. But not because of something he had said. But rather the thought that its possible ill never feel in love again. I love my husband. I would have to, to stay. But the infidelity has left a scar that is hard and tough with little feeling left. And that’s a possibility and a sacrifice worth considering if you find yourself at that crossroads…
And just to lighten the mood, I also have a gem of an excuse to add to the list…I never put the DVDs/Xbox games back in their cases when I’m done with them. Application to Cheat: Accepted. Lol!!
My apologies for the delay in replying to your comment. I’ve had to sit with it for a while. What I wanted to do was to pick up the phone and call you, or ask you to come hike with me. I wanted you to see my eyes when I said this:
You are 100% accurate about why you cried, but it’s not the love for another that you pine for, it’s the love for yourself. The love you most need to feel is that for you. You deserve your love.
“I love my husband. I would have to, to stay.” It seems you stayed because of the love you have for your child. Which is a decision not to be judged. There are no good or bad choices, just choices. We make them and then play them out. All choices lead to outcomes which aren’t to be predicted, but experienced. And then…tada!…those outcomes lead to more choices.
Do you want to be sitting on your porch in your rocker with your great grandchildren running around you wondering if you should have put yourself first, since it is your life? Often, making the best choices for ourselves serves the needs of those around us perfectly.
All this is said with love. I’m grateful you are here. Stay close. And know that love is there for you to feel. Right here, right now.