I have decided to start this blog about me having an affair. I have been reading many different blogs from all different perspectives but what I think is missing from most of them is “Why?” “Why risk losing all you have for cheap dirty sex? Why risk losing the love of your life, the person your promised to cherish and love until death?” Well, I cannot speak for every one but I will give you my story and hopefully it may help someone out there. I know writing it all down will help me to figure it all out because right now my head is so messed up I have a hard time driving to the store without getting lost. Writing help me organize my thoughts and then I can find a direction.
Today I am preparing to go to see my therapist. I never thought I would need one. I have always been in control of myself. My thoughts, actions, emotions all under my control. That was who I was until about a year ago. That person is gone. Dead and I killed him. That is sad because I really liked him I liked Old Me. I am pretty unsure what to think of the New Me yet. I have been seeing my therapist for since November and last week was the first time we made any progress. Why? I am a very private person and do not open up to anyone. I actually went into our first meeting with a list of questions. I basically held an interview for my first session. I knew I needed someone that I could actually talk to, tell them everything and they would not judge. I have never had someone like that in my life so I wanted to know this person.
You are probably thinking “You were married to the love of your life and you could not tell her everything, obviously you could not have really loved her because with love comes trust.” I agree, it is not that I couldn’t have told her everything about me, I just didn’t need her to hurt like I had and feel bad for me. I came from a very rough childhood and was very grateful to escape. So I really needed someone I could tell everything to. Luckily he passed the test.
Anyways, I am preparing to go see my therapist and he gave me homework on guilt. I have an enormous amount of it piled on me. And every time I look at my wife it just adds more to it. He says I need to let it go but that is not something I do. I don’t ever let things go. So I started the homework and am failing. I cannot figure it out. It does not make sense. I am a smart person and I cannot figure out a few questions about myself. Probably because I really don’t know who I am any more. The Old Me, I killed, and the New Me is so different I don’t know what to make of him. I hope I can figure it out.
Now most blogs/help articles are directed at the person who was cheated on and rightly so. But being on the other end of it I can tell you it is not easy here either. I know you are saying “Well you did the crime, you do the time.” Trust me when I tell you I am paying for it every minute of every day. So I want to share the other side of it. Not to excuse the “crime” (there is no excuse), but to show that we are not all stupid lying bastards (even though we were part of the time). Instead I want to show you that sometimes you just get lost in the desert and it is hard to find a way out. And when a mirage appears you think it is worth going and seeing, but in the end there is really nothing there but more desert and usually it makes everything much worse. You are just more tired and thirsty than if you stayed where you were. I am not on here looking for forgiveness or trying to justify my actions. I am also not looking for anyone’s pity or their judgement. I am here to tell my story. Every story is different and each affair has its own back story but there are always some similarities so if you get something from this great. If it helps you even better. If you like it or find it entertaining then welcome aboard. If you hate it and me, I don’t really care. I have enough hate in my life to worry about yours. I just want to show that we are all not heartless bastards who don’t care or think about other people’s feelings. So with all that being said, Welcome to my inside of my head. It will be a dark and scary place so buckle up I guarantee it will be bumpy.
First let me tell you a little about myself. I am almost 40 and have been married 20 years. It will be 21 this year. If you were to meet me you would probably find me as an easy-going likable guy. I am not going to really put myself out there but if I am put in social situations I can be entertaining and very likable. I call it my social double. I don’t use him very much because he feels fake. My social double is much different from Normal Me or at least the Old Normal Me. Old Normal Me is very shy, reserved and will not try new things. Just give it to me the same every time and I will be happy. The two don’t really get along.
My wife is a loving lady that everyone adores. While she does not have a lot of close friends she does have quite a few people she can hang out with if she desired. She was the only person I ever dated. We dated for two years in high school then got married right after. I have always thought she was way out of my league. It was definitely a step up from where I thought I would land. I came from a very poor and difficult background but that is a story for another day. She is beautiful, inside and out and I am still surprised she chose me and is still here. I have always thought this. Why then would I risk losing her by cheating? My rational side screamed that at me all the time, but I had pushed that voice away by that point, far away where it was only a whisper.
I wish I had a great answer to the question of “Why?” but really I don’t have a great answer. I think it was a combination of things that created “the perfect storm”. It was not a short path to get where I ended up and I can see all the wrong paths I chose along the way. That is what happens when you let me drive the crazy bus. It kind of sounds like a pity party, “Oh, you were lonely and felt bad about yourself, boo hoo!”. Instead my rational side says “You thought you were lonely then and felt bad about yourself, well look at you now. And I told you so!”
I will try and start my story and see where it goes. It is ongoing and some pieces I am still just realizing, but here goes nothing:
About 5 years into our marriage we had our first child. At the same time we moved thousands of miles from all our friends and family. It was a difficult time for both of us, but because I was not close to my family it hit her harder. It probably went like this
My wife: “Hey mom, we are moving a couple of thousand miles away to take a chance on our future.”
Her mom: “Great for you. I really hope it works out and know we will always be here for you.”
My wife: “Oh and by the way I am pregnant with your first grandchild.”
Her mom: “Oh that’s nice dea….What? What?” and then she probably passed out.
I doubt it went exactly like that but it was probably pretty close. Fast forward and now we have 3 kids and still live thousands of miles away from her family. We figured out about 5 years ago about her anxiety and depression and she started on some medication, unfortunately she is not the best at remembering to take it all the time. This always brings out my frustrated side – “It is a silly pill that you take every morning. How hard is it to remember that???” but I squash the voice down and try and find a way to help.
My wife has struggled with depression since the year after our second child was born. Did we know it was depression at the time? Nope. It sure would have helped to know but instead we just assumed a lot of other things. We had been married about 7 years at this point and we lived thousands of miles away from both our families. She slowly slid deeper and deeper into a depressive state as the years went by. I really mean slowly because we did recognize that it was as bad as it was until it was too late. I tried everything I could think of to make her happy. I bought her a business that she wanted to run and she did love that and it helped. It gave her a chance to get out of the house. I helped more around the house. I gave her nights away with her friends. The funny thing is if you don’t treat depression it just gets worse and that is exactly what happened.
A few years ago her depression got to its worst point. I still did not really understand that it was depression or how depression worked. I just thought “Why can’t you just be happy? Look at everything we have, 3 wonderful kids, a roof over our heads and each other.” She would come home and take naps that would last 3 or 4 hours, get up put the kids to bed and then go back to bed. The kids got used to being quiet when they got home from school because they knew she would be sleeping most of the time. Our relationship was struggling because of this as well. Our sex life was non-existent and as she put it, she thought we were leading two separate lives. I was basically working 2 full-time jobs but my hours were flexible so I was around to help out when the kids were home from school. But when they would go to bed, she would as well and I would go and relax in front of the TV or do more work. So sometimes it felt like we never saw each other. We tried to do different things to make time for ourselves but something always seemed to get in the way.
This was frustrating for both of us but seeing her like she was was painful. So I did what I did best I let my fix-it side take over and try and make it all better. I took over doing the house work, bills, dinners, anything I could do so she would not be as stressed and want to be part of our family again. The fix-it side was always the one who fixed everything. If my kids had a bad day, I would help them get through it with laughs and smiles. Need help with homework, lets sit down and get at it. If my daughter and wife got into a fight (which they did often, both are too stubborn) I would get them to calm down and see each others point of view and then everyone would go to bed happy.
It seemed the only person who I could not make happy or fix was my wife. She always seemed so miserable. She would have good days and bad days, but mostly bad days. I tried and tried to make her happy but eventually I decided that I was not what would make her happy. I was the lone factor that didn’t change over the years so it must be me that is making her unhappy. It was my self-destructive side that came up with the idea – “She sleeps to avoid you. Whenever you try and have sex she turns you down because she is not attracted to you. She was always out of your league and now she realizes it. You are screwed buddy.”
These thoughts would come up over and over. I would try and talk to her about it but it usually ended up having the focus about sex and not just my wanting to know that she did indeed want me around. Then she would feel guilty and then try to have sex with me and then I did not want it because it was only because she felt guilty, not because she wanted me. It was a frustrating cycle. I don’t know if you can imagine but having the only person you have known and loved to constantly reject you and avoid you will destroy you. She was everything I had ever known. Growing up my home life was miserable so she was the first person that I ever loved and the first person I ever felt really loved me.
The funny thing is if anyone saw us we looked like the perfect couple. We would comment on how affectionate we were to each other and how cute it was that we still loved each other so much after all these years. I loved these comments but I also knew how we really were, this version of us never came into the house.
So you may be thinking that this is what led me to cheat. Well, you would be wrong. I am not quite that stupid. I have made stupid decisions but it took a lot more than that to make me do what I did. It took a lot more to blind me and make me stupid.
Right now, this very minute I feel so sad remembering all the things that I used to have, that I gave up, that I ruined, that I destroyed. I push my feelings away because I am good at that. I can hide my feelings and push them away and put everyone else before me. I did that for her, for my kids, hell I did it for friends and neighbors. I was always the guy you could call for help and I would come.
Today I am not that person. I actually like New Me less now than I liked Old Me. And a lot of the attention New Me is getting is not the kind of attention I was looking for but I deserve it all because in the end I did not do what I had promised I would do and that was honor and cherish her through all the good times and bad. We have had our share of both but I really led us into a shit storm this time.
So to answer the question: Why? – loneliness?, poor self-esteem?, ultimately I think it was because I was not strong enough to do what was right. I took the easy road, the path I thought would be the most simple for everyone and instead it was a path of darkness and despair.
So right now you probably either have any feelings of anger, disgust, and hatred towards me, I know I do or feeling of pity and recognition. Both I understand and don’t want. I will continue my journey shortly. But I am out of time.
So… as a famous doctor once wrote “Sometimes the questions are complicated but the answers are simple.” – Dr Seuss