I talked to someone who knows him the other day. Serendipity. She texted with some information and I ended up calling her and telling her the whole story. Long story short: She’s glad I got out.
I do still struggle with the idea that all of this is my fault and I sometimes feel like I need someone who is impartial to be able to tell me if I’m right or wrong. So, I have a therapist I see a few times a month and she’s helping me to work through those feelings of guilt.
This is how I blame myself. I think: Gee, if only I *had* focused on the future. If only I had left well enough alone. If only I had embraced his family after the huge betrayal and accepted the fact that they would never cut ties with her. If only I had stopped snooping on her, stopped focusing on her. If only I hadn’t lost my shit upon seeing my MIL tell the whore how pretty she was, knowing full well that they had had an inappropriate relationship. That is what sparked the creation of the Facebook page which I used as a blog. That, of course, leads to if only I hadn’t created that Facebook page. If only I hadn’t used the name I used. If I had kept it bland and generic instead of getting snarky I probably never would have been found. As long as he believed that I was happy and had forgiven him things were good. Hell, I *had* forgiven him; I moved across the damn country for him! I think it’s more appropriate to say that as long as he believed that I was 100% happy all the time and that I had completely forgotten any and everything having to do with his emotional affair then things were good. Things were good as recently as Thanksgiving last year. Hell, I really didn’t know there were problems until after Christmas. If only I had let go of all the hurt and pain and concentrated only on the happy parts of life. If only I had made more of an effort to acclimate to the new town. If only… if only… if only…
I sometimes think that I drove him crazy, or at least to suicidal thoughts. That if I had forgotten all about the whore and focused only on us and what was going well in our lives then none of this would have happened.
I wonder what would have happened if I had spoken up. If I had approached the elephant in the room. Would things have been different? When should I have done this? When he was hospitalized? When he was home? When he was crying? When he was having a rare good day? When?
Was it something I did? Should I have given more? Should I have sat upstairs with him in the bedroom? Should I have insisted he come downstairs and sit with me? Should I have checked on him more? Should I have been more adamant about him joining in on family activities? Did I not love him enough? Was I not sympathetic enough? Did I not do enough when he was supposedly going through all of his anxiety issues and PTSD? Was I not patient enough? Was it my fault because I fell asleep on the couch even though I knew how important it suddenly was to him that I sleep in the same bed after years of being unwanted there because of my snoring? Was I not available to him sexually enough? Could I have saved our relationship somehow through plentiful sex?
I sometimes feel like I deserve this. Or asked for this in some way.
And I know that’s all kinds of fucked up. Cheaters cheat because they feel entitled to cheat. They cheat because they have poor character. They cheat because they are cowards. I had said soon after the first affair ended that I worried about what would happen the next time he was feeling neglected. Turns out I was right to be worried. He did exactly what I feared. Intellectually I know that no amount of sex would have kept him faithful. No amount of checking up on him or sitting with him while neglecting my kids would have kept him faithful. Sleeping in the same bed every damn night no matter what wouldn’t have kept him faithful.
He cheated because she was a fresh start- someone who doesn’t see his faults, someone who promises to be everything to him that I’m not, someone who will “appreciate” everything he does for her. He cheated because he was convinced that I hated him and I was going to leave him. He was a coward with such poor character that he decided he would strike first and leave me for the mistake he made two years prior. Why do the difficult work of rebuilding with your wife when there’s a whore willing and waiting? Why risk having your wife leave you because she can’t pretend you never betrayed her? Take the downgrade; you’ll never have to worry about her throwing your affair in your face. He cheated because he couldn’t face the facts and instead wanted to pretend that he had never done anything wrong with the whore- ever; he wanted to pretend the first affair never happened and that that period of time never existed. No, scratch that. He cheated because he wanted ME to pretend he had never done anything wrong. He wanted ME to forget how he betrayed me. And when he realized it wasn’t as easy as saying, “Oops! My bad!” he took the low road. He pouted and he stomped his wittle feet and he went crying boo hoo hoo to anyone who would listen because HOW DARE I NOT FORGET HE CHEATED? HOW DARE I NOT CONCENTRATE ON HOW INCREDIBLY LUCKY I WAS THAT HE CHOSE ME INSTEAD OF THE WHORE? DIDN’T I REALIZE I SHOULD BE THANKFUL EVERY DAY THAT I STILL HAD AN INTACT MARRIAGE? Hmmmph- he’ll just have to go find someone who does!
The truth of the matter is I doubt myself despite everything I have just written because if there is some *reason* he did this, if there is something I did or didn’t do to make him do this, then I could have fixed it, or at the very least I won’t have to worry about doing that same thing with someone else. Sadly, nothing would ever be enough. I know that.
I know he could have talked to me instead of talking to everyone who encouraged him to leave me. That might have been difficult though and fair, delicate CF doesn’t do difficult.
Hell, he could have left instead of spiraling downward and then starting up yet another affair with the whore. My 13 year old knows enough to know that’s the proper way to do things. Leave. Then start up a new relationship. It’s not the other way around.
No, instead CF decided he was entitled to cheat on me. He was entitled to get his new life up and running while I was still thinking we were married and committed. Instead of telling me he was hurt or disappointed by what he saw, instead of asking me about any of it, he just found and fucked a whore. And then turned around and gave her a whole bunch of money. I think that may be the worst part because I knew at that point there was nothing left to salvage.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I pretend to be brave. I know people say, “Oh, good for you for divorcing his lying, cheating ass! Don’t put up with his crap.” And I will tell people who ask or comment that yes, I marched my ass down to the lawyer’s office less than 48 hours after finding out, and filed for divorce not long after that. The reality is I didn’t have a choice. I had to file in order to protect myself and my kids; I was afraid that he was going to quit his job, take or blow all of our money, and leave the state to be with her. I could see the writing on the wall. The first time around they never met up, or if they did they had 2 chances since we lived so far apart. He wasn’t funneling money to her. He didn’t have a separate bank account. This time around, though, he was meeting up with her- every weekend. They were having sex. He was giving her money and told her he would pay for her divorce. He was meeting her kids and making them all sorts of promises of grandiose gifts and treasures. He was cashing in stock and putting it into his new separate account. Even if I wanted to stay and try to work things out I know he never would have agreed. So I filed. I wasn’t brave; I was practical.
He then turned around and accused me of stealing every dime he makes and told others that I only stayed for the money (Satan talks as though he has a healthy trust fund somewhere). He once told me that he felt like nothing more than a wallet and a handyman. Well, he’s tossing money around like it’s candy. He’s reducing himself to a wallet. Maybe he realizes that’s the only thing he has to offer.