Welcome to Your Life

Listen. I may not be much, but I’m all I’ve got. Maybe you need a magnifying glass to find my face in my high school graduation photo. Maybe I haven’t got any family or friends. Yes, yes, I know all that. But, strange as it might seem, I’m not entirely dissatisfied with life… I feel pretty much at home with what I am. I don’t want to go anywhere. I don’t want any unicorns behind fences.

I woke to Her text as I do every morning now, expressions of love and gaiety that warm my heart. Despite that, the room was cold, the bare cinder block walls failed to hold much heat in during the long night. When the sun went down the fog would roll in from the ocean and would stay there until it burned off around mid day. The room was perpetually cool, which is probably better than the alternative given the limited ventilation. The small slatted window no longer opened since the knobs had broken, and provided almost no light. My wife had poked her head in before going off to work that morning, set the baby monitor on the shelf by the door (which was really just exposed wood framing that had been painted). I could always feel her eyes searching the room to see if I was alone. She’d tried a few times when she wasn’t working to run down and catch me off guard to see if she could catch me in the act, but I had been honest with her, I hadn’t had any girls over, to spend the night or otherwise so far, and for her sake, I didn’t plan to as long as I shared a roof with her. She’d suffered enough with my infidelity thus far, and I certainly didn’t want to add insult to injury.

I got up and switched the light on. My little makeshift bachelor pad had come together quickly enough. I’d gotten my old beat up dresser out of the garage that I’d had since I was 6 years old, which my wife had kindly repainted and I’d put on some shiny new hardware, that is, before we decided we wanted nice new matching dressers for the bedroom upstairs, now her bedroom. Shirts, pants, and suits hung in the improvised closet with my shoe rack down below. Set up a little desk and chair, and was trying to cobble together an old computer from spare parts in the garage, it wasn’t going well, bad graphics adapter causing video corruption and glitches and occasional crashes and would need to be replaced when I had a chance, but it was reasonably serviceable now that I had the OS up and running.

One of the dogs had snuck in that morning when my wife cracked the door. She was a loyal one, and I knew she missed me now that I was living downstairs, the other dog often didn’t want to brave the cold of my room, so he’d stay warm upstairs. But, she’d snuggle up by my feet on the bed, which was no more than a box springs and mattress on the floor, and as soon as I’d get up she’d find a warm spot beneath the blankets where I had been laying. My wife had made me take all the blankets and sheets downstairs that had been on the bed when I slept with Anne and Sierra. She had wanted to burn them, but acknowledged that we wouldn’t have much to put on the bed downstairs if she did.

I put on my slippers and sauntered off to the shower across the cold tile of the living room/kitchenette downstairs. A shower, shave, and comb and I was a new man, instead of the neanderthal that had looked in the mirror minutes earlier. Dressed for work, and had time for some cereal as the baby stirred on the monitor. My wife insists that I keep all of my food and dishes confined to the downstairs kitchenette, really that I keep myself downstairs as much as possible so she doesn’t have to look at me. I can understand, she says just seeing me, the man that destroyed her life, makes her want to vomit. She couldn’t bear to be near me, and I can understand that. We decided some space was needed for both of us, so we could decide how to move forward, to reconcile or to divorce. I was surprised with how quickly we’d managed to separate our lives, within less than a week’s time. We’d had to tell our renter, Kenny, and his girlfriend since she is a friend as well, part of the church youth group to boot (all of them haven’t found out about the depths of my betrayal yet). My wife refuses to let me tell anyone simply that ‘I had an affair’, it has to be ‘I had five affairs’. She said it was important they had an idea of the level of my depravity. I’ve acquiesced to this description that I now wear like a brand, like the mark of Cain. Kenny was really nice about all of it, I feel terrible for displacing him, another life altered on my account. The pastor offered his spare bedroom free of charge for Kenny, so he moved out almost right away and I moved into his old room, which quickly reaffirmed in my mind the pittance we had been charging him to stay there, but I am content with it.

As I finished my cereal and rinsed my dishes, the baby began cooing and bouncing in his crib upstairs. I opened the door to the stairs and walked up. The upstairs is certainly far nicer than the downstairs. My wife and I had worked tirelessly to make it so, it is representative of the life we built together. The colors we chose to paint the walls, the furniture pieces and the layout. Above the fireplace hung a painting I’d purchased from one of her favorite artists and given it to her as a gift for Christmas. There were pictures of the baby and family and friends on the walls in the hallway, except for a few blank spaces where my wife had removed any frame that contained a photo of me. The door to the bathroom was ajar, the shower was spotless, my wife had scrubbed it top to bottom with bleach when she found out that I’d been in it together with Sierra. We’d spent the first two days and nights since my confession pouring over every detail of my affairs. She wanted to know everything: when, where, everything about every girl, her age, job, height, weight, race, cup size, every kiss, every sex act we performed together, even demanding I tell her how it felt and how they compared to her, and every nonsexual thing we did, everything I talked about and shared with them, the minute details of every relationship nothing omitted. I was flabbergasted by some of the details she asked about, but I had promised her transparency, so I shared, as difficult as it was. Each detail would bring fresh outrage from my wife, it seemed to me this had to be unhealthy, like she was seeking to be immersed in the pain it would bring her. Unsurprisingly, she was appalled that I’d had girls over, and in our bed, and at crazy hours and spent the night with Sierra twice. But, for some reason, that I’d been with a girl in our shower was even more grievous than all that. Somehow, she managed to perceive that it was more than sex for me with Sierra, and soon she was mining the details of our daily escapades. She referred to Sierra as my ‘college skank’ and to Her as my ‘mistress’, and to the others as just ‘sluts’, she eventually forbade me to use their names when answering her questions, I had to just refer to them as girl number so-and-so. All these descriptions had lead my wife to believe that I was a demented sex addict and needed serious help. It became more awkward for her to share these details with our friends and family, much as I tried to dissuade her. Soon just about everyone was in agreement that I had a serious problem as a sex fiend. My wife was hurting, she was disgusted, she had been utterly violated by my behavior, and she naturally felt I’d put all of these women above her, and in some ways she may have been right, and I felt terrible for that. Above all, she seemed to be hurt the most by my rejection of her. That she, as a caring mother and hard-working life partner, wasn’t enough for me: I had chosen these women, I had chosen sexual and romantic fulfillment above what she offered me. I had thought I could have both, but I was wrong. It was heartbreaking to watch her walk about, her face blank or twisted in misery. She didn’t deserve any of this. But, what could be done? Reconciling or divorcing were both fraught with pitfalls, there was no easy solution.

I opened the door to the nursery, and the baby stood in his crib clapping happily when he saw me. Then, of course, in the middle of it all, is our son who we both love dearly.
“Good morning, buddy,” I said cheerfully as I picked him up.

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35 thoughts on “Welcome to Your Life

  1. Are you going to share your blog with her?

    When my ex found out that I was raped, he wanted to know all the details too though I’m not sure what kind of closure such details would provide in such instances…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope, definitely not sharing the blog with her. I’ve made that clear to her and she seems fine with that now. I told her I’d answer any question she asked honestly. For one thing, sharing the blog might spell the end of it and secondly I don’t think it will help her pouring over the inner most details of my affairs from my words. I mean, I guess I’m already sharing some of that, but I pull my punches, I’m not going over what I felt when I stared into Sierra’s deep brown eyes or other such intensely personal details, just the facts as honestly as I can give them. Besides the fact that it would then be too easy for her to turn around and share it with so many people I know which could in turn have dramatic negative repercussions.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t share the blog. In fact I think you’ve shared too much. But you were doing her a favor by being transparent. You should both watch Esther Perrels Ted talk on affairs. There are lessons in there for both of you and I think one your wife would be good to hear is on not asking for some of those details which are only going to hurt. They don’t help her heal or anything. I’m obviously not doing it justice but you should watch it.

    That really sucks that she’s making it such a public affair. Especially when she obviously wants to lash out at you. I can tell by your personality that you will grin and bear all of it. Good for you. I certainly wouldn’t be able to. It’s true your wife didn’t deserve that. But the more she pushes a wedge between you the harder it will be to reconcile if she eventually decides that is the thing to do.

    I hope you keep updating this blog. From beginning to end this is quite a tale of betrayal and now it is starting to show consequences. So many disappear right before the consequences arrive. Good luck to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks. You’re right, I think I did share too much. I shouldn’t have committed to this level of transparency. But, definitely, I need to keep blogging and finish the story of this chapter of my life, I’m wondering how it will end, but blogging has helped me make sense of it along the way.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. As a betrayed spouse I don’t think you shared too much. We need to know everything if we ask for it. It helps us process the pain. I wanted to know everything. It gave me the upper hand to know what I was dealing with. Not an upper hand to destroy him, but to destroy the fantasy he was having with her. Don’t get me wrong, after 3 years I still envision them together and it makes me physically ill, but I can say that I’m glad he was transparent. Once I felt in my heart of hearts that he told me everything I was able to process it and start healing.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I appreciate your insight into this. In the end, I figured that I was in no position to hold back details at this point, she deserved as much truth as she wanted. She was denied that right before, and now she should be able to make her decisions regarding our relationship with both eyes open and the best information available to her. It pains me that it hurts her so badly, but it was my decision making that did it in the first place, so I’m not in a position to question her decisions on how she should recover from what I’ve done.

          As a cheater, I never anticipated this happening. Sure, I knew the risks, but I always thought I’d beat the odds and there would be no consequences. If only I’d known, or just made the honest decision from the beginning instead of taking the coward’s path. I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through, I’m witnessing my wife go through it now and it is heartbreaking. Since it looks like we are headed for divorce, do you have any advice for me on how I might help her heal and recover from damage I’ve caused?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. My husband despised cheaters and then became one himself. I’m sure he thought he would beat the odds as well and I’d never find out. I’m sure he felt that if he just told me he had been unhappy and wanted a divorce that I would just fold and say ok without having to tell me. I know him very well and knew there was more then he was telling me. Trickle truth was the worst so I’m glad that you are coming completely clean to your wife. Trust me when I say that withholding things from her will make her angrier and lash out. Which she will probably do anyways.
            Honestly I’m not in the same position as your wife; it sounds like she’s already made up her mind. My husband and I decided to do the hard work and stay together. Which I think is harder. The only advice I can give you is to not belittle her pain. Don’t think there is a timeframe in when she can stop asking questions because she will ask until she is satisfied with the answer. She may even ask the same questions at a different time, I suggest you still answer and answer honestly. You two are in the early stages after dday so just hang on for the Rollercoaster. If she will let you, hug her and tell her you are sorry as much as you can.
            Most counselors will tell you both to not make any decisions right now, that emotions are running high. Showing empathy and continuing to apologize honestly will help. But it will take years for her to heal.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I don’t know a single person that would public announce that they approve of cheating, I don’t know anyone that would not condemn cheating when they hear of it, it has a universal cultural stigma. Of course, according to most statistics, slightly over 50% of men and women have cheated at least once during some relationship they’ve had, not that it excuses it, but it does put it in perspective that there are a lot of people that do not practice what they preach. I was the same way, I remember condemning what my wife’s previous boyfriends had all done to her, but then I turned around and did much the same thing, but a million times worse.

              You do make me feel I made the right choice in coming clean. I wouldn’t want to drag her through that. She won’t let me come near her or touch her, though I tell her that I’m sorry probably 30 or 40 times a day. Unfortunately, despite what we’ve been advised in patience, my wife isn’t willing to wait. I was hoping we could give it more time, more thought, but since I made it clear what my issues have been in our relationship and that I’m not 100% certain reconciliation would be the best move for us, she isn’t willing to consider reconciliation at all now. I either am 100% committed to her or we go our separate ways right here and now. I’ve tried to communicate that I need to start from square one and we have to rediscover our relationship, but unfortunately, she doesn’t see that as an option. Heartbreaking as it is, I do hope it is for the best if we continue down this path as seems inevitable at this point.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Don’t share the blog. It will only hurt her more and won’t gain anything.
    My hubby accidentally stumbled on mine. This blog I’m keeping quiet . I don’t write anything incriminating now just in case he accidentally stumbles on it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think you’ve shared too much. I also think you shouldn’t reconcile. Inevitably it will come up, No matter how hurt she is, because it’s all awful and she’ll pretend to herself that she can forgive you, but there will be resentment and bitterness that won’t go away and it would be desperately unhealthy. Of course that’s all just opinion, so take it with the large pinch of salt suggested!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have to agree with Quinn on this one. I got back together with my ex after he broke things off when he found out I was raped, and neither of us could shake the feeling of betrayal that we felt against each other. Unfortunately, it took us 4 year to figure that one out, and then it ended in disaster, which obviously, you don’t need as you have a kid to think about.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree with both you and Quinn. In hindsight, I shared way to much with her. I think the pendulum kind of swung. I went from keeping it all secret to when I finally confessed, and I agreed to tell her anything she wanted to know and we just sat there with tears pouring over the details of whatever she asked for days. I was pretty broken through it all, but I’m getting my head back. I don’t think us getting back together at this point would do anyone any good. I’m still mourning our relationship though. I do have a lot of love for my wife despite our issues, and I will miss her dearly and many of the good times we shared together, its hard to imagine that that is all behind me and we won’t even be able to be friends (according to her).

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I wonder if there is any satisfactory ending to these situations… Changing to an open marriage? Would you accept your wife having another man?
    I’d say your child would be able to tell if you had a loveless marriage when they got past the age of 5 or so.. is it better to be in a loveless household, or a happy solo parent… I suppose the happy part is the big unknown. ..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I proposed an open marriage to her. We were conservative Christians (she still is), the idea is completely abhorrent to her and totally not an option. I would totally accept her being with another man, in fact if she told me she’d had sex with half the varsity football team behind my back I would hardly bat an eye. I’ll admit, I’m an extremely jealous lover, but she and I aren’t lovers at this point, so there is no jealousy at all that I feel towards her. At this point, I only want her to be happy. In regards to what is best for our son, that is the tough question that I keep pouring over, unfortunately my wife won’t discuss it constructively with me at this point, and I’m not sure she ever will, the hurt is too great.

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      1. Maybe a litmus test is, how would you feel if she was involved in a traumatic accident. Would you care? And likewise her for you (although maybe now is not the time to ask!) .
        If you only would care to a similar level as you would for any regular stranger out of common compassion , perhaps that says something.
        If you feel a huge protective emotional response to the simulation, perhaps that says something also about your underlying relationship…
        All people are different, however if you never found another person to share your life with, would you be lonely or would you care?
        Note.. I’m not a therapist, and all comments should be taken with a large grain of salt.
        Take care my friend

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My care and concern for her hasn’t altered over the course of our relationship. If she was in an accident, I’d want to be by her side and care for her. When she was in the hospital once when we were first married, I was there by her side for the entirety of visiting hours, and I’d do it all over again and do it afresh if she was in an accident today. Would she do the same right now? I don’t know. I’ve tried talking with her a bit about how this whole thing has affected me, I can’t blame her for the response, she tells me ‘tough, you brought this on yourself’ and sometimes seems to enjoy twisting the knife when she has the opportunity. In any case. just because I’m protective of her doesn’t mean I want to be trapped in a marriage relationship with her.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Yeah I’m not sure about that. A crisis situation is quite different than day to day life. I would be there 110% for my wife is she were in an accident. She’s the mother of my children for Christ’s sake! Until someone else was there for her I would be there. But once life settled back to normal then we would have to adjust our lives to work there too. And that may be with other people.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I wonder if match making dating clubs that use psychometric testing (sounds like a job interview) have any greater success rate for life long marriage success, compared to traditional means of random dating to find a partner…

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Have they been around long enough to have longitudinal studies? I’m not sure when those started. My frame of reference is eharmony. I also wonder how they would’ve scored me and my wife or Meredith.

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      2. Both therapists I’ve seen have brought up the idea of open marriage. Like you my wife is solidly Christian and wouldn’t think of it. However it would solve a lot of issues for us. Also like you I wouldn’t mind knowing she finally found a lover who appreciated what she has to offer. I love my wife, but sex is one area we do not fit well together. I completely understand how that idea wouldn’t work for your wife.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, I really wish it could work. It would provide the financial stability and friendship my wife needs, while allowing me to seek romantic and sexual satisfaction outside of our marriage. But, she can’t do it with her beliefs and I have to respect that.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I think you’ve moved out of your marriage emotionally. Actually, you may never have been in your marriage emotionally. I have no idea if you have a sexual addiction but you definitely have a compulsion and it overrides everything. You need to deal with that first. You need to have a therapist who can get you to where you are totally honest with yourself. Then if this is the lifestyle you want live it but do so honestly. You do not need to causeyour wife more pain. She is already so deep into it that the kindest thing you can do is let go of her. You can still be a good father.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are completely correct, I moved out of my marriage emotionally last year. Believe me when I say I was all in on my marriage for a long time, it was a conscious decision to exit it in that way, as wrong as that may have been. The funny part is, it didn’t really worsen things because I think my wife had left emotionally a long time before that. The seeking affairs wasn’t compulsory either, I never felt I needed to do any of it. As my wife rightly says, it was all calculated on my part. I just thought, perhaps foolishly, that I could get away with it all, keep the life I had and enjoy the experiences that I desired. I knew the risks and accepted them, turns out I blew it, and now everyone is suffering the consequences, and I have to live with that poor decision now and all the destruction and pain it has caused. I think you are right, the best thing I can do is let her go, as painful as that is, and try to be the best father I can be.

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  7. Yeah, I wouldn’t show the blog. It will just deepen the wound even more. You may have shared too much but I respect you being so honest with your wife. I think if you were reconcile, it would just lead to a lot of resentment and never fully trusting again. She will always wonder if you’re talking to Her or a Sierra or Anne. I doubt she will be able to get past this. Might be best for you, her and your son to just move on. So everyone can be happy and your son can grow up with both of his parents happy apart instead of miserable together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely not. I’ve got my head back now, no more of this reckless sharing that just hurts her. I’m realizing reconciliation would be terrible for us and just lead to more problems down the road. All the same, it is so hard to let go of what we had, as flawed as it all was.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Honestly your wife doesn’t know what she’s doing. You guys should see a professional. Not someone in your church, but a couples therapist. And the objective does not have to be reconciliation. If it’s separation and divorce you seek, the therapist can help you get there sensibly.

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  9. From where I sit I believe your honesty (finally) is refreshing.

    My husband left his first marriage in a similar manner – his wife discovered his extensive infidelity and scorched the earth. He wasn’t in love with anyone- not his wife, nor none of his extras. He was a suck -it-up guy that didn’t communicate his needs and didn’t cope well in his sexless marriage.

    She eventually wanted him back. He, in the meantime, discovered he should never reconcile.

    He lost his job, too, due to all of the above. Talk about a hopeless looking future…

    But he took time in therapy, worked his butt off to keep current on the child support, and eventually entered the world of dating to find healthy interaction.

    We met almost immediately – and we took our time.

    The honesty is painful but is worth it!

    My usual 2 cents: don’t rush into a new commitment. You need time to sort out everything at home and within yourself, you really do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I hope this is all worth it and it all works out in the end. I think you have good advice, I plan to take things slow and not try to get caught up in a totally committed relationship. I don’t want to miss out on Her though given the incredible chemistry we seem to have, but given our places in life, it may be a while before we can be together, and even then we have the understanding that we don’t want to end up trapped in another bad relationship.

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