It was inevitable. I could not hide from certain people forever.
A friend, who also happens to be a co-worker of Pap’s, had a benefit for her son who has brain cancer and I was forced to see and speak to people who saw my husband’s affair unfold from front row seats.
Pap has told very few people we are divorced. These lovely ladies had no idea he moved out so long ago and that we are now divorced. They thought he was flaunting his affair for all those to see while still married to me. Pap and Skank hid it in the beginning, but now I suspect they feel they have no need. He is divorced, but I don’t know if she is yet, seriously a skank to a T.
These ladies approached me at the benefit with care and love in their hearts. They told me that they are on my side and there are others at work that feel the same way. In that moment, it made me feel better. I have been alone in this journey for so long thinking he had the support of all those I once considered friends.
Then I woke up this morning pissed. I have gone through enough with my ex-husband choosing the Skank over his family and not having any choice in the survival or demise of our marriage. But to have people expressing sympathy for me because of my ex-husband’s painful actions got my anger stirred again.
He assumed cause he was flaunting his relationship with Skank that his fellow co-workers would know he was divorced. Ha, what a joke. I was pissed. I know I should not care what others think, but I do and I did not want their sympathy. I felt like the stupid wifey who is delusional and blatantly ignoring the affair and in denial about the state of her marriage.
So much gets confusing trying to look back in 20/20 hindsight. But that would mean I have to say that we had a bad marriage (we did not, our son was not even six months old when this crap was discussed for the first time), I would have to say we were not getting along and give him excuses and a pass for having an affair on his wife who just gave birth to his son. Bullshit. I refuse to do that.
Pap chose to not communicate, he chose to keep his feelings to himself, he chose to bond with a skank from work, he chose to pursue the relationship with a married woman, he choose not to work on his own marriage and retreat into another relationship that is doomed for failure. Oh yeah, I sense he is now questioning his stupidity. Skank is 12 years younger than Pap and she is always ready to party. Pap is realizing his ass is too old for that scene. He chose that skank over me, and he choose to help destroy two families. He did not just trip into her vagina and fall in love. He made conscious decisions along the way that led us to this point in our lives.
The insidious aspects of infidelity are the lies the unfaithful partner tells the other partner. After the affair came to light and we were seeing a therapist weekly, the lies still continued. I was fully committed to doing the work and dealing with the emotions to overcome this betrayal. Yet, he sat on the couch in the therapist’s office numerous times stating it was over, he would tell her he was working on his marriage, he would not see her outside of work anymore. They were all lies. He was in love, it was short of being cosmic – yep his words.
I do not want sympathy for being the trustworthy wife I was, I do want sympathy for being totally blindsided by his affair. I do not want sympathy for the decisions he made that affected so many lives. Sympathy means I am a victim. A victim has no control over what bad thing happened to them. A victim is someone that was wronged by no doing of his or her own. A victim could not have prevented whatever painful event from happening.
Then it dawned on me. The word victim has a negative connotation and I did not want that title. I was in a situation where I was a victim and the sympathy expressed by these ladies was because they realized I was getting treated badly by no fault of my own. I did not ask for this pain. I was not blatantly ignoring signs of infidelity. I was not ignoring my husband. I was taking care of a newborn, I was dealing with a serious decrease in pregnancy hormones, and I was exhausted. We had a freaking new born. Duh!!
Certain therapy modalities will have those hurt by infidelity believe that in some way you allowed your partner to behave in a way that he or she felt that disrespecting you with infidelity was okay. These same therapies state that there were signs you ignored, actions you allowed, and behaviors that gave you clues about your partner’s future infidelity. Something in your family of origin that made you pick a mate that would treat you in such a manner.
I call fucking bullshit.
My ex-husband cheated because he is an emotionally immature asshole that did not want to deal and when forced to he chose an easy out for himself. I was the one alone, taking care of a six month old, and working. Why did I not confide and start an affair with one of my co-workers. Surprisingly, I could have. Why? Because I valued my marriage, I value trust, family, loyalty and fighting for what I believe is important to me and I loved my husband (ex).
So, now I accept those lovely ladies sympathies and stop wondering what I could have done to prevent his affair. I stop apologizing for being a bad wife; I was not a bad wife. I stop calling myself a stupid, stupid woman for not realizing he was having an affair. I stop analyzing each moment of our life before I found out about the affair looking for the signs. I stop looking at my family of origin and the coping mechanisms I used when I was 10 to find the clues as to why I married a man who would eventually cheat on me.
Victim and sympathy. Interesting words. But they’re not bad words. Pap cheated on me because of his inadequacies. His affair with Skank is a reflection of his character, not mine. His decision to leave his family for her tells of his values, not mine. So yeah, I accept your sympathy and thank you for helping me see things more clearly.