D-Day 1 was probably one of the worst days of my life. Everything I thought I knew was crashing down around me. WH was not perfect I knew that. He was a flirt. Knew that too. But I really thought that he adored me, that he only had eyes for me. I really believed that he would never lie to me.
There he was sitting in the driver’s seat telling me he was in love with another woman. That this woman who I had never heard about in our entire existence was his one great love. The one that got away in high school. She was the one he pined for ever since. That the love he felt for me was nothing compared to what he felt for her. That he was even wondering if he ever loved me.
I was eight months pregnant and I had really no idea what was going to happen. I cried, I screamed, I was in shock. But I got out of the car and went into work. I was able to sneak in under the radar. I left to go get lunch and called my best friend who was traveling that day and cried to her voice mail. I picked up my lunch and forced myself to eat a few bites. My friend from the office came back from lunch and I told him. Then I told my boss.
My boss was a former priest and very good at managing crisis situations like this. He calmed me down and asked me what I wanted. Did I still want to be married? Told me to go home, tell WH that and see what happened.
I called WH to let him know I was coming home and he asked if his AP should leave. The bitch was still in my house.
When I got home, WH had pulled up marriage counselors on the computer. He had done some research on depression. I was a little hopeful that he would decide to stay in the marriage and work on us.
However, the problem was he was addicted to his AP. He couldn’t function without his daily fix either through text, phone calls or fucking. And the next day he told me he was going to leave me because he deserved to be happy and his AP made him happier than he ever had been.
So we lived like that through the birth of our baby. One day he wanted our marriage the next day he wanted his AP. I have absolutely no idea what I was thinking at the time. I don’t know if I thought I could be patient and he would find his way back. Or if I thought being a martyr would help the situation. But he ping ponged and on several occasions told me how bad he had it because he was in love with two women. He even offered up a plan where we would all live together. WH and his little harem. I know how I felt about that plan, I have no idea what the OW thought. (Or if she even knew about his suggestion).
I mean I could see everything so clearly. The stuff that came out of his mouth were things verbatim from articles or books on infidelity. There wasn’t anything original about what he was saying. He spent a lot of time blaming me for the Affair, blaming my mistreatment on his need to look elsewhere. Even told me that his AP and her skanky friend thought I degraded him. That my treatment of him was so poor and over such a long period of time that he never realized how bad it was until they pointed it out to him.
At one point WH came home late one night after I had the baby. He told me he had met up with his AP and she tried to have sex with him, but being the bastion of self denial and pillar of strength, he just accepted a blow job. I mean really who says that to their wife. And what does it say about the wife who accepts the shit sandwich as it were.
I just kept taking it and saying thank you may I have another. Until I got mad.
After D-Day 2, I went over to our empty condo with our three kids. I had not been there in over a week. WH was working and was spending his evenings elsewhere. I had no idea where but I knew he was with her. Since our condo was just a block from our apartment, he had been going there to do laundry since we had moved just prior to our son’s birth. I needed to clean our daughter’s sheets since she had spilled something on them and all of the laundry soap was at the condo rather than in the laundry room of the apartment building. It was a lovely day, I thought we would go to the condo and start the wash. I could take the kids to the park and come back to put in the dryer. I opened the door and realized in a second where my WH had been sleeping.
In the middle of our living room was an air mattress bed. On the floor was OW suitcase as well as WH backpack with clothes. (I had not seen him take it out of the apartment). All over my kitchen counter was her hair stuff, her laptop was on the fireplace mantle, set up for them to watch movies. WH had purchased a shower curtain for the bathroom. There was take out boxes on the counter. Groceries and left over food in the fridge. I almost threw up. Then the sweetest little voice piped up and said “Mommy why is there a bed in our living room.” I was completely blown away. That WH had been shacking up there for several days and never told me where he was.
The night before he had promised to come home and walk the dog and he never showed up, so I did it. And then I found out he was a block away and couldn’t pull his ass out bed to walk our dog. I was home with a newborn and two children. I had no idea where he was or when he was going to grace us with his presence again. It was the absolute height of selfishness and complete disregard for me coupled with his inability to disappoint the OW.
I decided to remove my children from this house of ill repute as quickly as possible. I opened up my washing machine and there were his clothes and her clothes in there ready to be washed. I was pissed. I took it all out of the washing machine and threw it all over the apartment. I really hoped she would come “home” and find all of her crap all over the place. I texted him and let him have it. Then I called his mother. She was livid and immediately offered to drive me wherever I wanted to go. Was ready to make the 4 hour trek to my parents place so I could get away from the asshole. (as she put it).
From that moment on, I didn’t care if I stayed married to him. I told him later that night to go be with his OW. I just didn’t care. His mother stayed the night with me to help out with the kiddos. My father offered to drive up on Saturday to come get us. He knew something was wrong. Just didn’t know what. This all happened on Thursday. By Friday morning WH asked if he could come home after work and spend the night with the kids. I left soon after he got there. i came home and finished packing and then went to bed. I really don’t remember talking to him that much.
The next morning (after running out for an hour to see OW) he told me he realized that he didn’t want OW. Apparently OW was furious that she was left alone in the condo. While he slept in the apartment with me and the kids. They fought and he suddenly realized that she was no better or more special than I was. That the same things I did that annoyed him and bothered him were the same things that she was doing. Suddenly it didn’t look so rosy any more. And I was leaving with the kids and all he had was her.
He still didn’t come out of it for awhile longer. He knew he didn’t want a divorce. He knew he didn’t want to lose me or the kids. But he didn’t know how to live without his fix. So he lied all of the time again. He took his Affair underground for six weeks. Telling me all along that the OW just didn’t get it. Telling her that he just needed more time to figure out a way to make it work (or something to that effect). Finally he just let go of her.
But that week in early August was a turning point for me. I stopped reacting to everything he did by trying to change or trying to make things easier for him. I started doing things for myself. Making that decision to leave for a week gave me an enormous sense of relief. I knew for a week, I wouldn’t have to watch him furtively try to text her. Or know that if he was gone for an hour that he was sneaking out to talk to her in private. Or wonder when he was going to come home or if he was going to come home. I knew that I wouldn’t have to watch it all. I couldn’t control it, but I didn’t I have watch it.
That week in August, I just let go of the rope. I had been trying to hang on to an illusion that whole summer. My marriage was not what I thought it was. It wasn’t her fault that it was crap. WH had been distancing himself on and off for years. Running away to his bar friends when real life got to be too much. Starting an online EA. Having several inappropriate online relationships with other women. And then finally allowing himself to fall in love with another woman.
I had to let go of what I thought our marriage had been. I didn’t worry about the outcome. I had no idea that week if our marriage would survive. But I freed myself from having to make the decision. I told myself I would give until the end of the year. If WH was not making serious progress on returning to the marriage, I would just let that go too. I just stopped worrying about what would happen. I started to detach from our marriage. I went for walks by myself. I stopped texting and calling WH. I didn’t ask when he was going to be home. I stopped asking what he was doing. (I was still checking our phone records – so knew he was still in contact with her). I started doing research on filing for CS, what I could expect to get from him. I started looking for a divorce attorney. I read books. I wrote letters, started writing a play.
By the end of the year, I wasn’t afraid anymore. WH had been NC with his AP for almost 2 months. I started to relax more and more. Since I wasn’t in fight or flight mode, I was able to start seeing what our marriage had really been and not trying gloss over the problems. It was an incredibly freeing moment for me. I remember sitting at my computer writing and I realized that I was not afraid of divorce. I knew I would be fine no matter what the outcome. And then the sun emerged and my true self emerged. I was back.