Serendipitous Part II

It was just so ironic and bizarre that our friend David chose to tell us his story when we are struggling to get through it ourselves.   Here was a living example of someone who chose the wrong path again and again.  He chose adultery.  Then he chose to leave his family.  Then he chose not to ever face his wife and deal with it.  Now he sees that he has ruined his life.  His old life is damaged beyond repair, and the guilt has not abated after five years.  Triggers still lurk everywhere for him.  My husband and I are triggers as he watches us struggle to keep our marriage together.  I pity him.

Daniel and I fought about it later.  He was angry with me.  He asked how I could be friends with someone who I knew had cheated on his wife.  I hurled my retort back so hard it almost seemed to hit him.  “Well, I’m still married to you, aren’t I?”  And in my heart I wondered if this was proof that I really couldn’t get past it and live with it.  I thought that maybe I would never be OK again as long as I was married to him.

But Daniel was not the only one receiving messages.  Our serendipitous events didn’t stop with our friend.  Just two days later we had another one of those encounters.  We went to a charity fundraiser, representing his company. We sat next to a woman about my age who seemed to me to be ADHD – extremely ADHD. After the dinner and formal program were done, a DJ started up with dance music. The woman had no date so she latched herself onto Daniel when I went to say hi to an old friend. Daniel will not dance with anyone but me, so they talked.

When I came back, she launched into her life story. She never came out and said that she had been the OW, but it was obvious from her story that she had been. She had an affair with a married man with two kids.  He left his family and married her.  The ex-wife and the kids do not accept her to this day, although it has been 17 years. She lamented about the difficulties of living with divorce and ex-spouses and stepchildren, even though they are now grown up and on their own. It was a lot of serious stuff, but she laughed and made a joke of everything.

She asked us how long we had been married and Daniel told her that we celebrate 30 years this year. I showed her a picture of our baby granddaughter on my iPhone. Then she said, “I hope you never have to deal with divorce. It’s not an easy way to live.” Daniel looked at me. I met his look for just a moment and looked back at her. She made some more jokes and we all laughed and our whole table left at the same time and walked to the parking structure together. When we got off the elevator on our floor, she congratulated us again for staying together for so long.

We were silent all the way home, but we both knew that the woman had made an impact on us.  The air was heavy with the overflow from our over-burdened hearts.

So was it just serendipity?  Was it the universe urging us to stay together?  I personally think it was God.  God sees that we are making the wrong choices here and we wanted us to see the end results of the things we are thinking about.

I hope my husband sees that he needs to face me and deal with it.  And I think it came through loud and clear that I need to work on my marriage and not work on plans to leave.

If you’ve been with me here for a while, you know that it has been a roller coaster ride.  At times I have been sure it would work.  At other times I have wanted to leave.  I have doubted him.  I have been touched by his acts of love and hurt by his insensitivity.  I have come close to trusting him, only to have it dashed on the rocks again by some really stupid things he did.  Is it really worth it to continue?


30 thoughts on “Serendipitous Part II

  1. survivamama says:

    Oh my…I was really moved by this post. It’s so true for me…the regular questioning: should I stay or should I go? Also, slowly increasing my trust in him and then him totally screwing up and having to start again. All day I’ve been thinking about divorce and wondering if I can live with him knowing all I do about what they did together. Will I ever be able to put that behind me…REALLY behind me?

    I think I could probably be your daughter, judging from our previous correspondance and your blog…and when I read your comments and posts I feel like I’m getting some of your wisdom! It’s very comforting. No affair story is exactly the same…but the major feelings and questions and struggles seem to be freakily similar in most of the other stories I read/hear about.

    As this is all fairly new for me (5 months since DDay now), I was starting to feel smug that things were going so great only to be knocked down again. Before I didn’t understand how people 9months, 1 year, 2 years out could still be going through the same things as me…now I understand how it doesn’t just get better and better…it’s up and down for a long time! Today i’m ready to jump off this ride…but after reading your post and doing a lot of “reflecting” 🙂 I realize (or hope) that I’m just at the bottom of yet another hill, it’s not the end.

    By the way I laughed out loud when I read about him asking you how you could be friends with someone who had cheated! That’s just so typical of how they compartmentalize their actions. I think it’s maybe a protective mechanism…Like they couldn’t live with themselves if they REALLY accepted the amount of hurt they’ve cause.

    Hugs 🙂

    • DJ says:

      Hi Survivamama – Yes, I also got the impression that I could be your mom. I am 53, though most people guess that I am in my early 40’s. I think it’s all the exercise. I exercise a LOT.

      I find that we all learn from each other. Everyone has gems to share. I am glad to count you as part of my blogging community of friends. I am also very happy if I can be comfort to you. That means a lot to me.

      I’m sorry to hear that you are at the bottom of a hill right now. I will pray for you.

      Love & prayers,

      • survivamama says:

        I exercise a lot too…it’s been my savior through all this. Glad to know that it knocks off years later in life too 🙂

        By the way…I’ll be 34 on Sunday! so I guess you would have had to start pretty darn early if you were to be my mom 🙂

        Hope you’re having a good day.

      • Not Over It says:

        Oh, we may not get to exchange messages on Sunday, so I’ll wish you a Happy Birthday now! Hope it’s just the kind of day you want it to be. My 30’s were such wonderful years for me… I hope it’ll turn for the better for you.

        Sending you lots of love & prayers & my best for your birthday –

  2. hiddinsight says:

    Yes. It is going to be worth it. Anything worth having is worth fighting for, and you are seeing proof of it repeatedly. You can do this 🙂

    • DJ says:

      Thank you, Hiddinsight. I appreciate your encouragement. Sometimes it’s just so hard to keep on going, and to remember the positive in the face of the negative.

      Hope you are well – take care.


  3. I know exactly the roller coaster that you’re on and I’ve had the same questions go through my mind, over and over again. But, like you, I choose to stay (then question). I think, some day, we will figure out if all this work has been worth it. And even if it isn’t in the end? I don’t think we will regret trying so hard.

    • DJ says:

      Hi Samantha – that is a really good perspective on it – that even if it turns out that it wasn’t worth it, we will not regret trying so hard. I will keep that in my heart.

      Hope all is well with you. I am behind in reading blogs, but will catch up with you soon. Sending you love & prayers…


  4. SHAPE says:

    I, too, had a serendipitous moment – about a year ago or so. It was on a Sunday morning before church. My husband had gone to his gym, as he usually does on weekend mornings. I had exercised on our home bike and was feeling really in doubts about our marriage. The phone rang, and I really wondered who would be calling at 7:30 in the morning. When I answered, I could hear what sounded like “preaching” in the background and no one responded to my “hello.” However, the preaching part I heard was like a voice from God, as the preacher was talking about things that would be okay in our lives if we believe and trust. But the one that came through loud and clear to me was when the preacher said: “your marriage is going to be okay” (or something similar to that. Now, he mentioned several other things, but that one really got to me. It was as though God was speaking.

    I told my husband about this when he got home, and he said it was probably his son’s cell phone that had gotten bumped and dialed the last number called (which was us), and when I answered, I heard the minister actually preaching. The timing was right, as there would be a 3 hr time difference – which would have been about 10:30 his son’s time. But I took it as a voice from Above giving me assurance!

    Do I doubt sometimes, yes–but I am hanging in there–as are you and several others on this blog. We all seem to have those unbearable down times – sometimes several times in a day. Would it be better if we were not together so I wouldn’t be reminded of things as easily? I don’t have a good answer yet, but I want to believe we can make it.
    Keeping you in my prayers as well.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi SHAPE – sounds like something God would do to get your attention. That’s a cool one. I’m glad you are open to hearing God’s messages.

      Sometimes my husband will do something that will just make my day – or night. In the middle of the night last night, I’m not sure why but I woke up. I think my husband was tossing about while dreaming. I turned onto my side facing him and studied his face. His is still the face I want to see when I wake up. He awoke from his dream and looked at me for a moment. I gave him a little smile. He pulled me to him and held me and kissed me all over my face and said, “I love you.” It was blissful.

      Now I have to admit that it crossed my mind that maybe he was dreaming about her and was still in his dream when he did that, but no, that’s being paranoid and I’m not going to dwell on that. He was still in a good mood when he got up in the morning and I am telling myself that he was awake and he knew he was kissing the one he wants to wake up with every morning. Did I really just say that? Ya, I guess so.

      Hope your day is going well… love & prayers,

  5. I think you probably know my answer about is it worth it.
    I can not speak for you…but I think that if you do not give it the utlimate effort, you will always question. Those answers will never come.
    So DJ….what does a buddhist do before enlightmenment??
    and what does she do after enlightenment?
    Your answer is there.

    • Not Over It says:

      I know, LFBA – you have been trying to get me to see that since the beginning. You are so kind to be patient with me and to keep reminding me of what apparently seems obvious to some. I have not given the ultimate effort yet, so I must press on. Hopefully the upcoming time apart will clarify things for both him and me.

      Either he will miss me like crazy and realize what he needs to do, or he will remember his OW and how he misses her and do something stupid. It scares the daylights out of me, but I am prepared. I will make it, come what may.

      I read your last post. I’ll comment soon, but I just want to say here that I am so sorry, LFBA. I wish for you someone who will appreciate the intelligence and wisdom, the depth and the compassion that is my wise sage LFBA.


      • Thank you DJ. I don’t know about the intelligence and compassion thing and I am surely flawed. I just hope someone (maybe G) will simply be able to look past the “larger” public presence I sometimes have and simply accept me as I am.

      • Not Over It says:

        Oh, we are all messy and flawed creatures, but your good qualities are outstanding. And someone – maybe G – will definitely see all of it and love you anyway. I have no doubt.

  6. recover3 says:

    I’m still struggling with the stay or go thing – and I’m pregnant! The ups and downs are hard to deal with and its amazing how seemingly small things are the ones that bring the newly built up trust crashing down.
    I’m scared that I’m never going to trust my husband again. I’m scared that I’m doing all this work and its going to end anyway. I’m just plain scared.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Recover3 – As Samantha and LFBA have said above, we will never regret giving it our ultimate effort. However it turns it, we can hold our heads up high and say we did all that we could do. So it’s good that you are giving it your best shot.

      In your case, my friend, you need to be careful. I worry for you. I’ll write you later.

      You’re in my prayers –

  7. Amy says:

    I think your husband might have needed that verbal slap. I’m still new but it seems like he has been trying to blow some of it off. But here you were being accepting and of someone who had done something terrible and your husband couldn’t understand why. His reaction was pretty surprising to me in a way but then not in another. It was almost like he was jealous. I think the situations you described were not just serendipitous, but also turning points. You have said previously your husband doesn’t seem to care; he cared enough to be jealous and express it. Each day is something…

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Amy – I think you’re right. I didn’t think of that, but yes, as I look back, he WAS jealous. Good. He’s lucky I don’t give him something to really be jealous about. Bwahahaha…

      It actually lifts my spirits to think about that… LOL!

      Hope all is well with you… love & prayers to you,

      • Amy says:

        I think in a way, and this is just me playing armchair analyst, that he is being hypercritical of this other guy because he might be angry at his own behavior. So he rather than discuss his own actions, he reacts negatively to someone who has pretty much done the same thing. And when you pointed it out in the heat of the moment, it slapped him into reality. And he needed that because he wasn’t equating what he did to what that man did. But he sure thought what that other man did was terrible. And he needed to see and think about his actions. I think it really put it all in a whole new light to have it right there in front of him instead of being so abstract. (Man, I should have been a therapist!) And he was jealous that you could be so openly kind to that person. But you could be because what that person does wasn’t personal to you and you saw the true remorse. You’re not feeling real remorse from your husband. Sounds like he is talking the talk, but not walking the walk completely. Love and prayers, hon. And I will take prayers. I have been kinda sad lately. Amy

      • Not Over It says:

        I think you’ve nailed it – yes, you could have been a therapist!

        I will say extra prayers for you. My coach calls the sadness our backpack on the journey out of the ruins. It’s just something we have to carry for a while. The good news is that sadness is part of the journey OUT. You’re on your way.

        Take care –

      • SHAPE says:

        the sadness is our backpack statement reminds me again of something I read: “Healing hurts…but hurting heals.”

        It is good that we can all share our feelings and thoughts. It helps.

      • Not Over It says:

        Oh, that’s another good one. Yes, I would never be able to get through this without my blogging friends. Thank you for being an integral part of it here. I appreciate you so very much.


  8. I refused to face my husband and myself after my first emotional affair 3 years ago- and the result is I got involved in a second emotional affair a year ago. I know now that if we ever intend to recover, we must face the truth together- however painful for both of us. I’ve done so much soul-searching the past few weeks and now understand, without doubt, that nothing worthwhile ever comes easily, and I am ready to do the work to make my marriage whole again. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Onlymomentarily – I am so glad to hear that! I know it’s a long, hard journey but from what I hear, it can be so worth it. We can journey along together in our blogging community. I thank you also for sharing here. I look forward to getting to know you.


  9. nmwf1 says:

    Dj, This is serendipity all right, Irony, Irony, Irony, I was thinking about him asking you how you could be friends with someone who cheated on there wife, He may have meant that you can’t stand what he did, but you can turn around and be friends with someone else who does the same thing, but we both know its not like that, you can’t just shut the guy off, for one thing you didn’t know what he was going to tell you and it couldn’t have been better timing for Danial to see what the reality of infidelity can bring. I’m sure it was uncomfortable as hell for Danial for the obvious reasons, but also because he wasn’t all that sure how much of your situation you would divulge. He was probably sweating bullets and loosening his collar, I know my husband would have been. But like me, you want to keep what pride and dignity you have left. Not to mention your husband sounds like he came out of both situations smelling like a rose thanks to you. Cause all they can see is how successful your 30 year marriage must be. If things go south, Danial will be the one to loose in the end, I just hope he wakes up before its to late, hind site is always 20 20 and its a shame to give up 30+ years of history with someone to start all over. You know I can certainly relate. Dj, everyone here is having ups and downs in the healing process, mostly because there husbands are downright or somewhat uncooperative, my husband is uncooperative to, in that he can’t or won’t give me answers that I want from him, but he tries to make up for it by constantly telling me how much he loves me. I hate to admit it but I get extremely annoyed at times because its almost as if he does it to avoid any issues. I know he loves me. I know that we will continue to work on our marriage, but what I don’t know; is how to let go of the resentment, I try and try to look to the positive side, but I fall back constantly. Maybe out of foolish pride, out of sheer jealousy, I don’t know, but its got such a strong hold on my heart and soul. I cannot block out triggers, I am haunted at every turn, and if I get a trigger when he is with me I turn from Dr, Jeckel to Mr, Hyde. I don’t know how to stop it. I don’t want to push him away, even though he says he will never give up on me. But I don’t want to keep hurting him and punishing him for it either. I want to forgive and move forward, but my heart just won’t let go of the pain. I talked to my Dr, (mental health) he sees me every 3 months (for my ADD) and he asked me what was wrong, he had noticed i had lost a lot of weight and looked tired and overwhelmed, I spilled my guts and told him everything, he was very concerned about my obsessive behavior and he said I clearly have PTSD. and felt that i was at the verge of a nervous breakdown, I agreed with him. My husbands infidelity has taken its toll on me. He prescribed medication for anxiety, and to help with obsessive behavior, I think its helping a little, but I don’t want to be on medications to overcome my life problems., ITS ABSURD! , I take medication to keep me focused, now i need medication to keep me from focusing. What the hell is up with that? I will be seeing my Dr, once a month for the next couple of months to help me get a grip. I feel so ashamed that it has come to this. D-day is next week, I am dreading it. I told my Dr. that i post on line with others, who are basically in the same boat as I am and know exactly how I feel. I told him it really has helped keep me somewhat sane, I told him that , i am to ashamed to tell any family member or close friend. I don’t want them to judge my husband or me, I told my Dr, this was my only outlet to vent, he thought it was a good idea. I wouldn’t have told my Dr either but he asked and i broke down in tears and he could see the extreme mental anguish I was in. I told him that I had seen a counselor a couple of sessions but that i did not want to go back just yet, because it stresses me out to much. He said that mental health is what he is here for and he is here to listen. Anyway, I just wanted to vent a little tonight. Thanks (all of you )i don’t know what I would do without you, just knowing you are there listening is a God send.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi NM – I appreciate the thoughtfulness of your comment. We are both holding things together on the outside and struggling on the inside.

      When you go through PTSD or similar traumatic reactions, it takes a long time to recover. When I was at one year out, I was still much like you. I am still much like you sometimes in the rawness of the pain. Just give it time, NM, and do things that will relieve you and help you process your feelings.

      I have mentioned exercise before. Well, I also practice meditation and meditative prayer. At this moment, I have just finished doing a short meditation and I am listening to a Sound Healing CD. It is peaceful and calming. I rarely listened to this kind of stuff before Dday, but now I am drawn to it. It soothes my hurting soul.

      If you are ever interested in trying meditation, I can help you get started.

      You will be fine, NM. A caring person such as yourself takes the bumps of life hard, but you will not let it keep you down forever.

      Love & prayers,

  10. Looking through everyone’s comments, there is expressed the fear of never being able to trust again. The person (who is not the people usually writing here, although it would be interesting if a perpetrator commented) has to go through quite a process to change. 1st, I think many married people who fall into affairs think that somehow they are going to just have this temporary dalliance and afterwords their marriage will be just as it was, if they even think about it that much. But, unless a person is in a failing marriage already, usually the denial allows them to think this will be a small thing which will pass unnoticed. So, 1st there has to be recognition, which is quite painful. Once that is really taken in, really experienced in all of it’s ramifications, the possibility of re-committing is there. When an unfaithful partner goes through his/her process and actually comes to be truly committed to their partner, the partner will feel it. So, we can’t control the process of the perpetrator but I just mean to say that I have seen that it is possible for people to go through this, come out the other end and be true, committed, faithful, coupled, untempted, decisive. Of course, for this to work, the betrayed partner has to be willing to see the renewed vow and to be willing to be vulnerable again. It is difficult but strong couples can emerge out of a big hit like this.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Paula – it is great to hear a therapist’s perspective here. You know, fully half of my subscribers are or were cheating spouses. They don’t comment as much as the betrayed spouses, but they do sometimes. The ones who do are usually the ones who are making admirable changes in their lives, and I am glad to hear from them.

      I really need to read your last few sentences over and over. It can really be ok, if we both work at it.

      Being vulnerable is really hard for me now. The hurt and the trauma almost killed me. I cannot go through that again. My coach reassures me that I won’t. He says that my eyes are open now. Sadly, it was a loss of innocence and I will never be that same trusting person again. But then again, I will never hurt like that again, I guess.

      Thank you for commenting. I always learn from you.

      Hope all is well with you. With love & prayers,

  11. Morgan says:

    There are many, many fears when it comes to vulnerability. Affairs shatter who you are and screw up who you think you’re supposed to be in the aftermath. My husband and I are still on that roller coaster. Time has come and gone and there’s nothing left but a broken story we can’t change and can’t erase. We’re honest with each other, but there is still a quiet sadness and a profound sense of loss. My husband said “We have a good marriage not a great one….I want a great one.” I have more fears inside of me since I lived so very selfishly while I was in the affair. I don’t like who I was—even if the person I was was filled with passion and excitement and exercised like crazy and looked great. I think of how I was and there are times when I long to have those things in my life again—yet, I resent it all. It’s crazy. When you’ve been broken into a million little pieces, putting yourself back together is done with great difficulty. I think I’m on piece 899,543 after 2 years–so, I still have a long, long way to go!!!
    We both struggle. We see God’s hand at work though—and I’m much more acutely aware of the devil’s schemes. Reading this post is like looking at words my husband would write—I read this and see things he and I have actually said out loud to each other through this healing process.
    In just a couple months we’ll be celebrating our 25th—and hearing people congratulate us and sit in awe of our “amazing” relationship isn’t easy—we give each other looks and feel heavy hearted at times about our mistakes after people walk away thinking we’re this awesome couple. If I had to do it all over again—-I would’ve never had an affair. They’re NOT worth it AT ALL. To quote Amy Grant…”Somewhere down the road there’ll be answers to the questions…somewhere down the road though we cannot see it now…somewhere down the road you will find mighty arms reaching for you…and they will hold the answers at the end of the road…”

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Morgan – Thank you for your open and honest comment on how things are going for you. Our stories are so similar and it helps me to know how others like myself are dealing with it.

      I fought against God and my faith for a long time after my Dday, but now I see how comforting it is to return to His care. I’m glad you share that same faith.

      I will continue to pray for you as I go through my journey and search my soul and seek God for my next steps.

      Love & prayers,

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