I was doing pretty well this week.  Not without the little jabs into the stomach at triggers that pop up everywhere, but I kept moving.  Then today, Friday the 13th, I walked into another teacher’s classroom and got hit in the gut so hard I couldn’t breathe.  She was playing music from her iPod – playing their song.  “From This Moment On.”  My husband and his OW sent this song to each other more than once, and quoted from it often.  They talked about their song and how my husband had sung it to her when they first reunited in person.   He told her he meant every word.

I couldn’t even stay in the room.  I made some lame excuse and left.  But the words to that song pierced my heart and my stomach like the fatal blows of a jagged spear.  I sit here now in my classroom, unable to work, unable to function.  I am wallowing in despair and pain.

There is a part of me that knows this is temporary.  I will get up tomorrow and teach my exercise class and I will be ok.  I will work on myself and I will put things in proper perspective again.  But right now, I am back in that abyss of abandonment and I am sick with sadness and anxiety and hurt and… disbelief.

Yes, there is still a bit of disbelief that my precious husband would do this to me.  That he would lie straight-faced and feel the thrill of forbidden love with another woman, all the while making up lies in his mind about how awful our marriage had always been, so he could justify his reprehensible behavior.  That he was sad and distraught to be in a marriage that held no love for him – that had never really been his heart’s desire.  These are among the things I read in their emails.  The things that are burned into my memory, probably forever.

Wallowing in a pit of despair and pain… and there’s nothing to grab a hold of to get out.


8 thoughts on “Wallowing

  1. Triggers hit hard. The BIGGEST part of this for you is the shock of it.
    I’d like you to view this in a more positive light though.

    What if you were not still shocked that this happened??
    That would probably mean that any hope or desire you have for the marriage to continue is gone. So DJ, I will say to you, accept this pain as proof that your marriage is alive. That your feelings are alive. That you still care.

    There IS something to grab hold of right now. Your husband chose you. Even though he made a BIG mistake, he did choose you, and the pain you feel means that you wanted him to.

    I know it hurts. Believe me I know. I know that searing “shock” that he could do it. Accept it. Let it wash over you like a cold wave. Let it awaken you to the work needed and feed on this emotion that tells you you have the desire and capability to work, and grow and prosper.

    Peace to you

  2. Not Over It says:

    Thank you, LFBA. It helps so much to hear from you. I understand what you’re saying and I know it’s true, but right now I can’t get past the pain to grab onto it. It does soften the blow, however, to know I have a friend who will take the time to write and try to help me stand up again.

    It seems to me that it has taken him over a year to accept his own decision to stay. It did not take him even two days to decide that I was the biggest mistake of his life when he found her again. And six years later, his decision to stay was only because it was right thing to do , not because he loved me and chose me.

    Do I choose him? I don’t want to be just part of the package of the right way to live his life. I want him to want me, to cherish me. I do not want to settle for less.

    In my despair, it seems I have taken a big step backward. Did I not write about this months ago? I think I did. And here I am again.

    If only I could run away and leave all my troubles behind. Problem is, in reality, if I did run away, I would only drag all my troubles along with me.


  3. Robin says:

    I do completely understand – I really think that part of it is that buried deep inside of us is a strong part that simply REFUSES to believe it is true that the husbands we adore turned to another woman. In the front of our brains we know, and are accepting, addressing, working to deal with what it means and how to handle it and and how to heal…but inside -it’s just not true. Triggers force us to face the fact that it is true.

    I have been in a similar painful place since before Christmas because – after a year and a half of therapy and a better and closer relationship that we have had in years – during a movie that had an infidelity sub plot, my husband suddenly said “I can’t believe I loved that woman!” Not “I can’t believe I thought I loved that woman”, not “I can’t believe that I managed to convince myself that I loved that woman,” but “I can’t believe I loved that woman.”

    A whole year of therapy down the drain in 10 seconds – especially since he has been unable to understand why I have been (am) upset…even though he has always insisted that he never loved her in the present, that he loved her in 9th grade and that lingering connection confused him. Because you’ve read my blog, you know that over a year ago we both discovered actual evidence that there was no past love, and then discussed it very thoroughly with two different therapists. Conclusion, he was stressed and in crisis and he bought into a story, but the girl he thought he loved in the past never actually existed, and since his confusion about any feelings in the present were based on the past and the past didn’t exist, he (and both therapists) had arrived at the conclusion that he never loved her at all, that he convinced himself that he did so that he could justify the affair and still live with himself – and they convinced me of that as well. And then, in an impromptu and unguarded moment, it come out “I can’t believe I loved that woman” and now I’m back where I was over a year ago.

    I have many fewer triggers than you do because I actually have much less information about the actual affair, but the ones that I do have hit me just as hard, and my strategy right now is to just look at the facts that I do have, as well as the anomalies, and try to construct the worst possible scenario and see if I can live with it – to look the worst possible truth straight in the eye and deal with it. I do love my husband and want to grow old together, to be grandparents together, to travel and explore and make our new home truly ours, not just because we have been together for so long, but because of the way I feel about him this minute.

    I also feel as you do, however. I wanted to be chosen because I am loved and adored, not by default, or because anything else is too difficult, or for family reasons. So I think we need to clearly understand why they strayed, and I do, AND why they came back – honestly, not just that we should be grateful they showed up…and if they can’t articulate it clearly, then I don’t think they have sorted it out, and that is definitely a point to address in therapy.

    Stay strong – and be firm about what you need…I let things linger too long, and spent more time caring about his feelings than asking for help with my own, so I was almost too tired to try anymore by the time he really stepped up – and sometimes it is still a fight to get what I need. Email me if you need anything!


    • Robin….I know that this hits so close to home and this is deeply, deeply personal. But please, don’t read so much into it. Him saying those words in that context does not necessarily mean he was in love with her. Focus instead on the disbelief and the shock that he expressed and not the specific wording.
      Trust me…I’m a guy after all…and we can say things off the cuff that do not have a deep cryptic meaning.
      Example (different circumstance but the point is the same).
      Years ago, I was having a tiff with my daughter. The specifics are unimportant but I used the words, “My house, my rules”.
      X overheard it and took me to task later for not saying “our house”. She felt that she had put a lot of work into the house, that we were a team etc. and it hurt her deeply that I said “my house” in a moment of “discussion” with my daughter.
      I meant nothing like the way she interpreted it. In fact she had used almost the same words on other occasions. I just never read into it that she thought it was her house and not mine so I never brought it up as a sore point. (I probably should have, just to make a point but felt that it would be a petty act on my part).

      But…this came up years later. That she felt like she did not have control because she thinks I felt it was my house. It was a complete misinterpretation of the meaning, taken so far out of context that only she could make sense from it. Her interpretation was untrue. But, she put it in her head and believed it. There it sat for years until it could be used to help justify her decision.

      I know it is not the same and your situation is different. But I’d bet dollars to donuts that he did not mean it that way.

      Peace to you

  4. Not Over It says:

    Thank you both, LFBA and Robin. I very much appreciate your kind words and your support. It has been a difficult couple of days. I cried my eyes out last night in bed and went to exercise class this morning with swollen, baggy eyes.

    I have been trying, LFBA, to let it wash over me and to accept that is what my life is now. I am trying.

    I remember your post, Robin, about that day your husband said those words. I, too, would have gotten stuck on those words. So hard to hear.

    And I understand, LFBA, about shifting focus and not putting meaning where none was meant. Sometimes not easy to do. I often feel that the mental gymnastics required to get through something like this is just not right. We shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to convince ourselves that we can live with someone who can stoop to such underhanded, conniving, scheming, disgusting, wretched, hurtful actions.

    But I am trying.

    Thank you both again.

  5. DJ
    I understand. It is gutwrenching. The shock, the denial, the hurt of it all.
    Gosh…Do I understand.
    These people that we trusted completely, who made that mistake and it seems we pay for it.
    They do to. Just not in the same way. In some instances, the mere fact that we wanted to forgive them and take them back and to soothe their worries while we suffer our own…..makes them feel guilty. They get defenses up and then the barriers follow.
    It is so difficuly.
    And you are right. It SHOULDN’T BE THIS WAY!!!!! But these are the cards we have been dealt.
    The hand you both hold, is still a good hand. The cards are crinkled….but that full house beats most others.

  6. aaroncrj says:

    Hi DJ:

    So sorry to hear you’re struggling this weekend. While Robin and LFBA have both said much more eloquently than I many of the things I’d want to tell you, I’d just like to add that when I experience feelings similar to those you describe, I find some comfort and even some strength in reminding myself that I am not “locked in” to this situation. Sure, it would be difficult and sure it would be painful, but I don’t NEED her in my life. I used to think I did, but I realized that needing her was an addiction of my own, of sorts.

    My decision to reconcile is a choice that I’ve made and am continuing to make. I believe you’ve indicated the same in your circumstance as well. It is based on what I WANT, not what I need. Any frustrations or pain I continue to feel from her emotional affair(s) with this man are ones that I choose to experience because I want us to heal and they are necessary to that process. Further, they are temporary, because either we will heal and I will be able to move on, or I will move on without her. In either outcome, I have a lot of control. And you do too.

    While control doesn’t make the pain any less, I hope that it will keep you from allowing the malaise to steep for too long. Now, if I could only follow my own advice… 🙂


    • Not Over It says:

      Hey Aaron,

      Oh, I think you’re an excellent communicator. Your words today, along with those of LFBA and Robin, have made a real difference for me. I am still in that hole, but I see the way out again.

      That is a very good way to think about it. I am not stuck here. I am here by choice, and if I cannot move past it, I am free to leave. As LFBA has said, the ball in is my court.

      My husband, I must say, has handled my depression very well. He doesn’t know what happened and he hasn’t asked, but he has tried very hard to make me comfortable. He cooked, he did pressure point massage on my legs, and he just held me and told me he loved me when I cried my eyes out the other night – exactly what I have asked him to do when I am having a hard time. He has not ever done it so well as this past weekend.

      Is it real? Can I trust it? I am afraid to.

      Glad to hear from you, Aaron.


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