I’m finally back and ready to discuss not giving the OW anymore headspace. And healing.
Here’s the funny part. I usually feel like I’m pretty well healed. It was a short affair. Even the most dire of the so-called experts say it takes anywhere from the length of the affair to twice the length of the affair to heal. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe some say 3-5 years. But really? For a 3 1/2 month long emotional affair where they supposedly never met up in person? Twice as long would be 7 months. 3x as long would be 10 1/2 months. But I digress. As I said I usually feel healed. I read other affair blogs and I see the pain so many of them are going through and I don’t have that pain.
Shawn’s blog was started a year after her D-Day and she likes to talk about her road to happiness. She advocates, after a year of insanity on her own part, focusing on your relationship and putting the other woman out of your mind. I wonder sometimes what that would feel like. I don’t check up on the whore that often anymore. Nothing new and even if there were I couldn’t see it. I do still check to see if she has commented on my in-laws’ page. I can’t seem to let the pain die. I tell myself it’s because it’s good to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Don’t let yourself be ambushed.
I wonder what it would be like to just forgive and forget. To pretend that seeing my mother-in-law tell my husband’s whore that she was sooooo pretty, knowing she was the whore that tried to break up my marriage, wasn’t painful. To pretend that his sister encouraging him to leave me for the whore was forgotten and completely understandable. Honestly, I don’t see that happening.
I wonder what it would be like to trust him 100%, to still be stupid and naive and believe he would never cheat on me. I hate the fact that I get jealous now. I don’t feel it’s a sign of a healthy relationship. I hate wondering if one of his female colleagues is going to catch his eye, or more likely, that they’ll strike up a friendly relationship and it will turn into something more. And when I tell myself all I have to do is blow his mind I get mad at myself. Isn’t that just manipulating through sex?
I tell myself to observe how he treats me now- the adoring texts, how he says he thinks about me constantly, he always wants me, the way he’s willing to give me anything I want. He’s made more effort to be involved with the kids and he’s gone away on vacation with us *three* times now since April. He compliments me. He says he wants to marry me again. And yet, look at the second paragraph. I still preface everything with supposedly, or, so he says, or, if he’s being truthful.
I would like to believe it whole heartedly. If I think back to how things were before he confessed the first time I would say that he definitely treats me better and I don’t think he’s still messing with her. But if I look at the second half, the actual longer part of their great love affair, I can’t tell. Because I thought things were getting better and the reality was he was still hot and heavy with her.
I don’t know that I will ever be able to leave it completely behind. Just today as I was reading a blog I started to feel very melancholy. The writer was questioning why her husband chose her after spending more than 2 years fucking her best friend. Why is he so sad now, thinking he may lose her. I can identify with that. He says he called her and ended it after getting off the phone with me. I had made it clear I wanted him to end it via text so he could show me. Instead I have her text which makes it sound like she ended it. I don’t have the satisfaction of seeing in black and white the words: It’s over. I choose my wife. I love her. You were a mistake. You’re not worth losing my wife and family. No, instead I remember him replying, “I know I don’t want to lose my kids,” when asked if she was worth losing his wife and kids. And his lame text where he’s basically agreeing with her instead of taking a stand.
How could he tell her he loved her and wanted to marry her and then just suddenly change his mind? How can he tell his sister our marriage is dead and Harley makes him happy and he loves her, and then say, “Oops! My bad! Turns out I love my wife after all,”? Intellectually I know it’s all about the affair fog and affairs not being real relationships. But emotionally I can still tell myself it’s because he really did love her and he’s only here for his kids.
So, this is what I wrestle with a year later, almost 2000 miles from where it happened, in a new house and him in a new office, not the one where they texted and sexted for months. I’m soon going to be driving a new car, one that no longer holds memories of me raging against him or his family. Do these things matter? No, not really. I could have happily lived in the house where it happened, had him go into work every day in the office in which it happened, and not felt a thing. The cars don’t bother me either, although I do need a new one. I suppose I just keep trudging along, healing a little bit more each day. I know I’m not ready to forgive and forget. I know I’m not ready to trust 100%. I’m not ready to completely kick the whore out of my headspace. And that’s all ok. I’m getting closer every day, and if this is as close as I get then I’m fine with that.
Added later: I forgot to add I still have all her pictures on my phone. I still have her picture listed in my contacts for all of Zack’s family. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready to part with that.
Added about a month later: Rereading this brought up the concept of pain shopping. When I first heard the term I thought it referred to shopping, perhaps recklessly, to dull the pain. No, it refers to going back to or searching out things that will hurt you. Like going to the OW’s FB page. Or your in-laws’ FB pages. To see how they’re interacting with one another. I suppose that’s true. I’m sure my relationship, at least with his mom and stepdad, would be better if I had never read them fawning all over my husband’s whore. But, me not seeing it doesn’t stop it from happening. Do I really want to be played for the fool again? I’m all- Oh, we’re one big happy family. So glad we got past that nasty affair business. And they’re saying- Oh we are, too. We love you! All the while they’re buddy buddy with the whore and I’m just an idiot who thinks I mean something to these people who obviously prefer his whore to his wife. I would prefer to know. I don’t wish to be ambushed anymore. I’ve had enough holidays and special events ruined thanks to being clueless. I don’t wish to have superficial relationships with people who remain in contact with the whore. That’s like saying I would have been better off not knowing about the affair. I’m better off not knowing about the affair and my husband’s betrayal, and I’m better off not knowing that every fucking person in my husband’s family thinks the world of his whore. Yes, because living a life where I’m constantly being lied to and humiliated sounds dreamy.