An affair: an “organized conspiracy of theft”

“Mistakes are akin to people tripping and falling. When the cheater plots and plans things out with the lover, it is an organized conspiracy of theft.”

-Jeffrey Murrah, LPC

I have said for some time that my husband didn’t just make a mistake when he had an affair.  He woke up every day for six years and consciously made the decision to betray me.  Jeffrey Murrah, a therapist who works online, wrote the above statement today in his blog.  I like the way he put it – an organized conspiracy of theft.  The cheating spouse steals from the marriage, whether it be time, attention, affection, or even tangibles such as jewelry and other gifts.  He or she is in it with the affair partner.  While they probably don’t see it as a conspiracy, that is exactly what it is.  Treason, betrayal.

Do I sound resentful?  Angry?  Well, it’s not all-consuming and overwhelming like it was in the past, but it’s there.  I haven’t purged it from my soul yet… yet.

Last night, Daniel joined me as I watched TV, and he pulled me to him.  (Yes, things are better at the moment.  I’ll write about that later.)  I lay against him with my head on his chest.  I reveled in the feelings that welled up in me to be there in his arms.  I love him so very much, even after everything… and yet the resentment remains.

I’ve come to know that love can exist in the middle of a myriad of other emotions and states of being.  Just a little thing like reading Murrah’s blog today can stir up feelings of resentment and anger and hurt.  And yet I love my husband.  If I want another 30 years of a happy marriage, though, I need to get rid of the resentment at some point.  I think God will have to help me.  I don’t think I can do it on my own.

I have rambled a bit today.  It’s just the emotional tornado.  Feelings and thoughts are flying and crashing all over the place in my soul.  I’ve stepped out of the center of the storm and back into the swirling winds.  The winds are not as strong now.  In the middle of it, I can smile and know that I am on my way out.

If you’d like to see Mr. Murrah’s entire post, here is the link:

http://surviveyourpartnersaffair.com/blog/2012/09/24/stealing-hearts-minds-and-other-things/

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18 thoughts on “An affair: an “organized conspiracy of theft”

  1. Dan says:

    I think you are over thinking the ending of resentment. Learn to accept it just as you would if you have a disease that you can’t get rid of. No matter how much you despise it, it will be there.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hey Dan – good to hear from you. I find this a very profound thing to say. I had not thought of it in that way before. It’s just a condition that I may never get rid of… food for thought…

      Thank you… sending love & prayers to you,
      DJ

    • nmwf1 says:

      Hi Dan, I get your point but, a disease is an act of nature, an affair is an act of a very selfish, self centered person who had so little regard of how much it would hurt the one who loves them, I don’t see it as accepting it, In my case i see it as i just got swallow my pride and F-ing SUCK IT UP!!!!

      • RatherBeMe says:

        You always have another choice. You get to choose if you are going to stay with that selfish, self centered person or move on. It is always on your terms. You have the final say.

  2. I love, love, love this post. Every single word is so true! I’m also glad things are moving forward for you. Progress, not perfection.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Beautiful – I know you understand just where I am coming from. Thank you.

      Yes! Things are just starting to get better. The walls are still there, but I think we have opened up a window. It makes me cry just to write that.

      I enjoyed your post on the Myers-Briggs, too. It can be a great way to understand each other. I’m glad you both see that. Woo hoo!

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  3. Teresa says:

    DJ, When you find a way to let go of the resentment, let me know! I’m feeling all kinds of new anger and resentment these days, 201/2 months past Dday…my youngest son, he’s 12, said something AGAIN about the OW to me, telling me “not to worry, that dad promised he wouldn’t talk to her anymore”….this after I was sitting, staring off into space, just thinking about how to help my son!
    This shows he IS worried about this, still, and I told my husband today, “He doesn’t trust you yet, you need to do more to help him learn to trust you”!
    In talking to some friends that I met on EAJ, I think we’ve all pretty much decided, there is NO complete recovery from betrayal….there is acceptance, but the memories will ALWAYS be painful, we just learn to live with the pain….

  4. Not Over It says:

    Hey Teresa – I have doubts about ever getting rid of it myself. That’s why I said God would have to help me because I cannot do it on my own. But we are still at the lower end of the range for moving beyond the affair, according to statistics, right? 2 – 4 years? Maybe it will change. Right now, there are still times I can barely stand to look at him, but then it passes.

    Even at that wonderful moment I described where we were cuddling in front of the TV, thoughts of his affair popped into my head, followed by resentment and sadness. After a few moments, I told myself to push the thoughts away and enjoy the moment. I did and his affection helped me to float away in a sea of warmth and love, but the resentment lingered in the background, just beyond sight, but still emanating a force.

    My husband shattered my heart into a million pieces. He gutted my spirit and pierced my soul. Now my thoughts take the knife and twist it. The knife needs to be removed but I don’t know how. Maybe, like you said, it can’t be removed. We are the walking wounded. Or maybe God will heal me. I don’t know.

    And yet my love for him lives on. Sometimes I think I am an idiot for staying. Most of the time I know I made the right decision.

    It sounds like your husband is doing the right things now. I hope he will be able to help your son get through it. I will pray for it.

    Love & prayers,
    DJ

  5. Paula says:

    DJ, beautiful words, and so very true. I also wish I could stop twisting the knife that he put there, and learn how to remove it entirely, but I now know that you can’t remove it, you just have to learn not to knock it and hurt yourself further, lol. Self sabotage! That idiot for staying vs proud of myself (and us) for working through this feeling seems to be a constant, doesn’t it? Thank you for this, the theft concept, I have felt like they stole my ability to feel joy, and am still struggling with not letting the evil win, and reclaiming happiness for myself. At the beginning of this journey, that was my mantra, “their selfishness will NOT steal MY self worth, or happiness, after all happiness is a CHOICE.” I told myself daily that I was a good, loving, beautiful person, and the issues were theirs, and theirs alone, but I guess it’s one thing to say it, and another to believe it fully 🙂

    • Not Over It says:

      Paula! Good to hear from you. When I need strength, I always look to your words on EAJ, along with Teresa’s. Sometimes I read and reread your words to give me the determination to get up and live my life. I have been much blessed by both of you.

      Self sabotage – yes. I guess we all do it. It’s a natural thing when you’ve been betrayed as we have, but it would be nice if we could learn to stop twisting that knife. Some people do it more easily than others. Aaron from Aaronstruth.wordpress.com is working through it very well. He has just passed one year and he is doing well. As for me, I don’t have full-on bawling sessions very often anymore, but tears do still come on a daily basis, just for a few moments here and there.

      As a person on the outside looking in at you through your words, I can see and I can tell you that you are a good and loving person, and you are sooo worth the love of any man. I hope it’s going well with building a new relationship with your partner.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  6. Paula says:

    Thanks DJ, it’s still as hard as ever, but as I stated on EAJ, I am less unhappy with him than without him, but less unhappy is still not happy, lol! Don’t know, still just one foot in front of the other, you are the inspiration, DJ, keep it up! I never used to be a crier, but there’s been more tears in the last three years than in the prevous 41 all put together. However, it is certainly not daily anymore, but leakage still occurs from time to time.

    Love and peace to you xx

    • Not Over It says:

      Leakage – LOL! Good term. I wish there were a plumber who could fix it.

      I am the one who feels inspired by the people who have become part of my blogging community. We are farmers and CEOs, educators and attorneys, full-time moms and fitness instructors… we have all come together in our time of need and we help one another. We understand each other so well. I am so grateful.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  7. Dear DJ. I haven’t posted here since right at the beginning of your blogging because I rarely have positive comments to add, but I read it daily. It does not mean that I am not moving on in my own recovery because I am, but I have led a life where I walk around feeling bruised and wounded inside, even though I try not to show, and no one apart from my husband (and children) know the source of my complete change of character. I don’t feel in tune with the world as I used to, although in this pain I have learned a lot about my own self. I have grown in parts of my life, but I have shivered in others and I am out of balance, BUT I have felt happiness lately, in ways I have not felt for a long time! I don’t know if it will last and for how long, but I am more aware of my husbands help and efforts in ways that I did not care for such a LONG time. I am, if I am not mistaken, 4 months ahead of you (28 months from DDay), in this painful process, and I also believe that this is for life. Never forgotten, but just getting used to the situation, and watching each other as hawks to avoid falling back into the black whole.
    Your analogy is well received words, and as usual very insightful, but I (dramatically) closely akin my husbands affair to murder. Murder of an ideal, of a way of life, of believes never to be conquered again! Like the purity of a shared love, that one day we had. Theft is something that it can be given back, but not what I/We have lost in this affair situation.
    But still, like with any other death, I am getting used to live with the memories of what it used to be, and cherishing some good new achievements. I feel to broken to accept the good changes with grace, but I am a working in process and I am more sure of what I want. And for now, that is me. Bruised, but alive and happy too, trying not to over analyze because that drives anyone to the bend and we don’t live the life which is right in front of our yes, begging to be taken. I am trying really hard on this one!

    I also believe that what your husband failings to you is because of his lack of forgiveness for himself for what he has done to you. I believe that he is too disappointed with his choices, disappointed that he did not stop himself for falling so low from his own ideal of a man, in yours and your children, and for that he can not yet be vulnerable to you. In his mind being vulnerability would remove some of this self protection making him feel even worse about his broken self image. He is terribly afraid. You are a person with such integrity and is handling this situation with such decorum, that he is in awe that you could still be there for him. This is just my humble opinion. My husband sometimes cries when I am nice to him because he finds amazing that I can still be so nice after what he put me through!? Go figure it out! Thank you for your posts.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hi Tryingtoowife! I always relate well with your comments on EAJ. Yes, overanalyzing can drive a person insane. I tend to do that. I’m studying meditation right now to help me stop doing that, and to learn to control my life force. It is helping.

      Yes, you are a few months ahead of me. I am right now at a little over 23 months out from Dday.

      Murder is a good analogy. In many ways, things were not just taken from us; they were destroyed – murdered. Yes, absolutely. I understand and agree.

      I will cling to the insights you have seen concerning my husband. I see glimmers of it here and there. You may be right – I hope you are right. His anger and rages and emotional distance can set us back a long ways, but he is better right now. I hope it lasts.

      Please don’t feel that you always have to say something positive here. Just speak from your heart and share your thoughts. You are so good at seeing through things. That’s a wonderful medicine for us all. My posts are incomplete without input from friends.

      Thank you, my friend. It may never completely heal, but you will get better and better with time, I’m sure. You are experiencing happiness and seeing your husband in a different light… that’s breakthrough stuff.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  8. cathmae says:

    DJ, I am a new reader and just happened across your blog when reading another blogger.
    I am so moved by your genuine concern and care for others… not just your children, to whom I can feel your devotion, but your readers as well. I am also moved by the honesty and rawness of your words when you describe the awful painfulness of your journey as well as your movement in the direction of cautious optimism.
    Your strength is inspiring. I wish you well, dear.

    • Not Over It says:

      Thank you, Cathmae. I appreciate your writing. It inspires me to hear from people. I am going through a rough time right now and doubting myself and my marriage. I have become someone I sometimes do not recognize.

      I also wish you the best, and am glad to meet you here.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  9. nmwf1 says:

    Really!!!! Ratherbeme, that sounds like a comment that would come out of the mouth of a cheater not the betrayed…….

    • Not Over It says:

      It is not something that comes naturally in the minds of the betrayed, but I rather think that Ratherbeme’s comment sounds like something my coach would say. He regularly asks me to think about my choices, and he reminds me often that I always have a choice.

      Lack of choice means a loss of control, and loss of control is a huge part of the anger and resentments that betrayed spouses deal with. We all deal with it. I have learned that a part of the job of a therapist is to help us see that we do have some control. The choice is ours. The cheater’s actions put the ball squarely in our court. If we stay, it is because we choose to stay.

      We may feel like there is no other choice. Like you, I know I have felt that way, and sometimes still do. There is the family to consider, along with all the things that bind us to our mates… the love we cannot imagine will ever die. But it is still our choice to honor those things or not. We can always say that we cannot live with their actions. We can always say it is too much.

      It’s all a part of the healing process. We will get there. But it is our choice to heal together with our husbands or not.

      You will find your control. You will figure out your choices. You are so strong, NM.

      Ratherbeme has been here longer than we have. I do not agree with all the choices he has made, but he does have some good insights.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

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