An Emotional Affair is Like Being a Teenager Again

an emotional affairDoug has said on a few occasions that his emotional affair made him feel like a teenager again.  I can attest to that because if you look at the characteristics that are common among teenagers you will find the words selfish, irresponsible, immature in their thinking and risk takers.  Those characteristics were definitely present during Doug’s emotional affair.

This past weekend I started delving further into this revelation and I began seeing some of the behaviors that led up to the affair and how similar Doug’s behavior was like that of a teenager.

Prior to Doug’s emotional affair he had the opportunity to spend a great amount a time with teenage boys.  Mainly because our son was a teenager and Doug coached his traveling baseball team.  This provided time for him to experience the world of a teenager again.

Doug and another coach would frequently be on the road together with twenty boys navigating through college towns, baseball fields, hotels, restaurants, etc., and therefore some of those wonderful traits that are present in our teenage youth began to rub off on Doug.

I can understand how this can happen as feeling like a teenager again could be liberating and a welcome diversion from the responsibilities of an adult. When you are 18 you have very few cares in the world except perhaps finding who will buy beer for you that night and which girl you are going to pick up.

You know it is ironic looking back to the time before his emotional affair and realizing that many of these selfish and immature characteristics did rub off on Doug.  It seemed as though I became more like his mother than his wife.

I remember one instance where I had to incorporate a “cuss jar” in our house because Doug was using the “F” word just as much as our son. I remember having to take on more responsibility around the house because Doug was “busy” with many other activities.  I know he said he was doing it all for the sake of our son’s baseball career, but I believe he was  doing it for himself as well.

To compliment his teenage lifestyle he found himself a “girlfriend.”  Even though she wasn’t younger than him, she gave the appearance of being carefree, exciting and fun. The situation allowed her to feel young and desirable again as well.  For a woman that is a powerful feeling.

During the affair Doug could do whatever he wanted to do, and even though he knew his (mother) wife wouldn’t approve, he didn’t care, and this just added to the excitement of the situation.

Doing something that was forbidden and dangerous was very exhilarating. After I found out, he also incorporated a typical teenage response by not allowing someone to control him and he defied everything I was reasonably asking him to do.

Unfortunately, like any teenage romance, drama always seems to follow.  Even though a woman – whether she is 16 or 60 – will appear careful and uncommitted, in the back of their mind they are planning the wedding, naming your children, choosing the house and directing your career.  So all that great exciting fun turns into just another ball and chain.  It is the time when the OP begins controlling, becomes jealous and demands much more than a “teenage boy” is willing to give.

Eventually the reality that you are too old and have attained too much responsibility to ever pull this off begins to wear on your mind and body. The stress of living in two different decades just isn’t much fun anymore and you wish for a time when you can just sit in your favorite chair and do nothing.

I was thinking about what would have happened if while in his emotional affair Doug would have decided to leave his family for the fantasy of a new and exciting life.  Would it have remained exciting for him?  I wonder how long it would have taken him to realize this teenage love (affair love) was only based on the feeling of being young again.

When he was faced with all the responsibility that existed in his old life – as well as with his new life – would it have been as appealing? Would he have seen her in the same light?  I doubt it.

 

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26 Responses to An Emotional Affair is Like Being a Teenager Again

  1. Tryingtoowife April 12, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Linda – I asked my husband this question over the nearly 1 year since the DDay many times while also trying to work at how things went so wrong between us :’How did you feel when you ‘decided’ to go ahead with the affair and while it was happening?’
    I always got these answers: ‘I don’t know. I can’t remember because I put everything away in my mind. I was confused. I want to forget that time.’ FINALLY! a couple of weeks ago I got an answer, which was not necessary ‘nice’ to hear, but it was the only one that made sense to me. I accepted it, and understood for the first time how the process started in his head. My husband has also always been involved with working with younger people than himself. He was extremely busy with his full time work and his extras projects, so I took on my shoulders all the mundane, boring aspects of sharing a life with someone, because he was VERY BUSY, with his projects and life. I acted like a mother would, although I was always very busy too. I also protected him from my anxieties, because I thought he had enough on his plate!
    He said that while the OW was chasing him, and while deep into his affair he felt like a teenager again. He was happy to have something new in his life, and someone younger, that showed him so much interest, and did so much to be with him (sexting, e-mails, calls, demanding to see him). In this case she lied to him that she was about 12 years younger than she actually is, (so she is nearly my age, and I don’t look bad for my age either!) and she led a life of a young woman, going clubbing and things like that. I think that he thought that he was the luckiest middle age man in town! He changed his hair style, and his attitude towards people, like a teenage would. He changed from a nice person to an arrogant and selfish one !!! He also said that he knew he should not be doing it, but the forbidden made it intense. Looking back he changed lots of things, but I did not notice! But yes, he acted like a teenage (a middle age one!). He overlooked responsibilities as a teenage would. Thanks for this post, it just confirms once more, reading all your posts and responses that this is the hardest learning experience of my life! But we are good! We are mending! I/we are getting there!

  2. mil April 12, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    Tryingtoowife,
    Sexting is the biggest part of my evidence and the few I read that he forgot to delete devastated me. They wern’t really intensely sexual, stuff about the thought of her in lace undies making him feel randy etc. He swears it never got graphic and I was more hurt by the lovey dovey ones I saw.
    Did you see the sexts and emails your H and her sent and how rude were they?

    • Melvin April 12, 2011 at 11:37 am #

      DW deleted all her texts daily. Part of her hiding. Of the more than 1000 texts across 6 months, I saw a chain of only 20, near the end of their EA. This chain had her promising a hidden love forever, and being “possessed” by him. And him being possessive of a body part of hers. A part of her he owned only, per her reply. As for the other texts, she claims very little flirting/sexting was done. . I have big-time trouble believing that. She has provided no specifics and too this day, she denies participating in anything sexual in nature.

      • michael April 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

        Over 1000 text in 6 months, try close to 100 in a day. 4500 over a months period. And 35 hours on the phone in two months. The first call lasting 2 hours, and several of them lasting as much as 3 hours on days she was at work. And every one of the text erased. Every one but about ten each way from the night she came home drunk. And I did not save those because at the time I didn’t know what I was going to do. I read those with my sister. They weren’t the whole conversation, so it really didn’t make sense at the time.

    • tryingtoowife April 12, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

      Dear Mill – unlike you, I know my husband had few months of a physical affair, and yes he also claimed that it was only SEX, and that he never stopped loving me and NEVER told the OW that he loved her. Impossible to believe as you know that lack of respect and love would be able to co-exist. Yes, because he left the OW, as part of her revenge plan, she sent me as many copies of the e-mails he sent her as she could, so I had full on graphic information about what they were at least planing to do. But thorough this long time, reading information in this site, reading books, counseling and from talking to my husband, I came to understand that they fed each others imagination, but the REAL stuff, wasn’t really that great, or not as great as the words they shared. I am not saying that he did not enjoy the sex and the ‘relationship’ they had, but he claims that after a while, the guilt ‘spoils’ the pleasure and lack of love makes things less intense, and mundane. I don’t know exactly what you call rude, but they were pretty graphic with each other, but not in any different way that he could not have been with me, that is why it hurts me more. I know the devastation of reading things the person I loved so much, told/did/share with another woman, so I think that I understand why you are a bit stuck. But like you I also know that my husband loves me and according to him, always did. I will never forget the destruction that his affair caused, but we are moving on. We are working on the communication problems that we had. He helps me greatly on this process, and undoubtedly regrets the whole episode . In my humble opinion, you should start counseling, if not with your husband, do it by yourself. Your suffering is destroying you and the ability to find a life worth living. I changed my way of acting, when the pain became so great that I was stuck and I did not want to live anymore. The truth is I do and I deserve happiness, even more now, and more than before to counterbalance the sadness I HAD (will be past here). So I/we am moving towards that direction. I understand that your husband is not being completely open with you, so I think that you should have a plan. He is hurting, you are hurting, what can we do to start, moving, even if slowly towards healing? Think: Counseling? Honest talking? Give each other some space time to time? Give and receive hugs, no words needed? Forgive-me if I am going to far, as you don’t know me, but it is just a thought. Best wishes.

  3. Melvin April 12, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    Wow Linda, this one hits home. Funny how these recent posts have been so relevant. Just last week, DW wrote to me many words about her feelings for the OP (ex-fiance) before/during/after the EA. During, she did have those same feeling of being back in college with him, feeling carefree and alive that you liken to a teenager. Definitely she felt like she was exploring new territory that was forbidden and dangerous, like in college. She felt alive. Unfortunately, like you point out, teenage romance does have its drawbacks OP was drawing her into his Web and she was going down a very slippery slope. Thank goodness they live 6 hours apart. I shudder to think what would have gone down had they been 1 hour away.

  4. emotionally confused April 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    Hi…I’ve never posted to a blog before and am unsure about sharing my personal story/information. So, I must be desperate! I’m looking for some insight regarding my situation. Long story short, my marriage the first 7-8 yrs. was great (in my eyes). I had a very affectionate, attentive, and loving husband. About 5 years ago, we moved to another state for his job. To my surprise, we moved a few houses down from one of my best friends from high school. It was great at first, then I started noticing that it was a hard adjustment for me. He was traveling alot and Iwas home with 2 babies. I guess this was noticeable to my husband although he never communicated this to me in a way where I could really hear what he was saying. Over the course of the first year to year and a half my “friend” (who was going through huge struggles in her marriage) and my husband became very close. Long story short, they had an emotional affair that briefly turned physical. We then moved back to the state we came from (I did not know anything, although something about him was telling me that something was “off”). I discovered the affair 2 months after moving into our new house, by her husband whom I’ve also known since high school. I found out they had both been lying and sneaking around. They both told me they were “in love” with each other and tried to avoid it but just couldn’t. Yeah, whatever… Anyway, fast forward to now, I’m pretty sure he’s stopped all contact with her. Like you’ve posted in earler articles, that was very hard for him to do and I caught his two more times being in communication with her. We are now going to counseling and he is going to individual counseling. It’s been VERY hard for me because I’m hearing things that he felt with her and he didn’t with me. Example, he feels that he had an emotional intimacy with her that he feels that we lacked in our relationship (been married for almost 11 yrs.) and that he’s never felt before with anyone. I poined out to him that anyone can acheive that with someone they don’t have emotional walls up with and a real life with. I said I can go get that tomorrow. Bottom line is that I feel like we will never get to that level and don’t know what’s going to happen from week to week. He also says that going to counseling is purely for him to be able to come to terms with what he did and why (what was he missing within himself) and he wants to open and honest with me and answer any questions I may have, but cannot do anymore than that right now regarding our relationship. Should I be MORE patient than I already have? I have so much anger and sadness and pain, I just feel like walking out. I question his commitment to the relationship (although a year ago I would’ve given anything for us to be in counseling)…. Please give me some insight, I’m so confused!! Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story…

    K

    • Helen April 13, 2011 at 11:11 am #

      K – my DDay was nearly a year ago now and I know how hard this is for you as I have been through the same process, but if I could give you any advice it would be to try and be patient. Even a few months after the discovery of the EA when we were in councelling and I thought trying hard to make things better, my husband would say things like ‘I don’t know if I will ever get over this’ and ‘my heart is broken’. I felt I was doing everything to make things better and he was doing nothing, but now looking back I don’t think at that time he was capable of doing anything more. So I put on a brave face, tried to appear happy (even though I mainly felt like crawling into a hole and never coming out) and started giving without getting much back. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times when I have cried all night and when I have asked questions when I knew I wouldn’t like the answers and when I have thought ‘I can’t do this anymore’. It is now nearly 7 months since he last had contact with her to tell her it was over and I still find it hard to trust him, but he leaves his phone on the table and his email open which are small things but mean a lot to me. He has slowly started coming back to me, there are still barriers to overcome but only this morning we had a discussion and he told me that he hardly thinks of her now and if he does it’s not in a pining way, I know he loves me and regrets the hurt he has caused. We have a long way to go but the difference in 7 months is huge and I hope will continue to get better. I guess what I’m really trying to say is that time is the greatest healer, I still have bad days but not nearly as many now. Good luck.

  5. michael April 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    This was very insightful. It gave me something to think about. It gave me something to write about.

  6. mil April 12, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    Please can someone give their opinion/experience on this. My H used to meet his OW in the park at lunch sometimes. Since it all ended?? he has told me he never goes to the park any more. Well today was a lovely sunny day and as I’ve done a few times I texted him ‘are you in the park’ and as usual he replied ‘no’ as he knows it upsets me to think of him there.
    Well, I checked his phone when he went to bed and found a missed call from his practice at 12.03 and he made an outgoing call to the pratice at 12.04. Obviously he was out of the surgery at that time.
    I asked him again tonight did he go to the park at lunch time. He again said no. I said I know for a fact you were not at the practice just after 12 and he then came clean and admitted he went to the park. He said he wanted to avoid the hassle of me questioning him.
    He was obviously curious to know how I knew and I said I’ve employed a private detective and I actually think he believes me!!
    Where do you think I should go from here??

    • Doug April 12, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

      Mil, do you believe the affair is still going on? Is that why you can’t put it to rest? I am confused of what you are accusing your husband of doing, just going to the park or meeting the OW? Linda

  7. FinallyOutofIt April 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    I chuckled when I read this post because that was something the OW said to me at one point early on – that she felt like a teenager again. I didn’t really fell that – ironically, I sorta felt the opposite. I felt more like a grown-up because I could do grown-up things. Like have a nice dinner and drinks, etc. – stuff that is harder with kids. In a way I guess it incorporated the lack of responsibilities of a teenager, I just didn’t look at it like that.

    You know what’s really funny about reading your posts Linda & Doug and reading the comments is that just how alike so many affairs are. I sometimes laugh when I read something (like I did here) because during the affair, everything seemed so special. Looking back and seeing how many affairs share so many of the same traits and experiences, you begin to realize just how clique or typical it all was. It was nothing special – the OP is nothing special. It just seems that way at the time.

    • Doug April 13, 2011 at 6:47 am #

      Finallyoutofit, Amen!!! I realized as most betrayed spouses know that an affair is not special, it follows the same patterns and cliques. However getting the cheater to come to that conclusion is a lot more difficult. Looking at it logically an affair is an easy and immature relationship compared to a deeper, committed marriage and I believe the OP could have been anyone, it was all about the timing and availability. Linda

  8. Robin April 12, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    My husband’s OW was a girlfriend from high school – so he really did feel that rush of adrenaline and lust and fantasy that “teen love” can bring. I, however, have spent 20 years teaching high school and college freshmen, including extracurricular activities traveling out of town and out of state. Not once in all that time was I envious of kids of this age. I didn’t enjoy drama during my own teen years and I certainly don’t want it in my life now! I had not thought about it before reading this post, but maybe that is why I recognized some of the behaviors… It only took one year of teaching high school to realize how much drama results from teen romance. Someone’s long term romance always blew up right before an important event. Once a week someone broke into tears and ran out of class. Once every few months someone showed up with a black eye – or if I was unlucky wailed away on another boy IN CLASS because he had talked to the girl the 1st boy liked. The advent of cell phones, MySpace, Zanga, Facebook etc made it all worse – for all of the reasons that we have discussed here on this site. Looking at the pattern of phone calls and texts (yes, I created a log of them too!)that my husband and the OW exchanged, I recognized the calls that you make to someone 1st thing in the morning to start the day and when you first get off work when you first start dating and can’t wait to hear the other person’s voice. I also recognized the pattern of fights as their relationship began to deteriorate because I was once a teenager AND I spent years busting kids in class for having text fights with their significant other.

    I want love and passion and romance – I want to come first with the most important person in my life, but I do not want DRAMA – and never have.

    Linda, you are so right. My CS really woke up and ended the affair when the OW started talking about “WHEN” he married her and moved to her community, and they would adopt children…and she started to suggest changes in his appearance (he has a beard and the people in her church might not have approved of it) and then the drama began – and not the exciting, I love you more that life itself kind. Instead, the “you’re making me so tense I want to vomit kind”. Sex messaging him on Facebook in the morning when we were watching the news and having coffee – when she knew that I had his FB password and looked at his account all of the time. Drunk calling him at home in the middle of dinner and trying to have phone sex. Calling and leaving despondent messages on his work phone. Sending angry texts and emails. Calling and yelling at him for ruining her life…breaking her heart…making her life not worth living…and then hanging up repeatedly. And then the next day calling to offer him advice on saving his marriage and reconnecting with me. This affair lasted a MONTH and involved 2 visits and texting, FB, emails and phone calls and half of their interactions appear to have been negative … but so very teenage.

    I always felt like my job as a parent and as a teacher was to be an example – to show that you can have fun, loving, HEALTHY relationships that do not involve pain and drama. Why do some spouses feel the need to add negative drama to their lives? If my husband had invested one third of the energy he used in covering up the 1st meeting with the OW in planning a special weekend away with me, he could have actually had the passionate exciting fantasy weekend that he wanted – instead of the drama filled disaster that he got – and without the huge emotional price tag attached!

    • PTY April 13, 2011 at 8:56 am #

      I have thought that too, Robin. If the CS spent even part of the mental energy, etc, on the marriage that they did on the affair, how wonderful things could be.

  9. Yuki April 12, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    Truly, the differences between our experiences amount to minor details. The main frames of the affairs we write about are so much the same, and nothing special. My husband thought his affair was special and unique until I showed him otherwise.

    And yes, he very much acted like a teenager and so did she. Some of their early emails said as much, that they felt young again. What about the fact that they went through major drama while together as real teenagers, and she dumped him after cheating on him twice? They justifed that as teenage inexperience and stupidity, and believed they had actually always been meant for each other. But they acted pretty much the same way as adults, reliving high school fantasies.

    It crashed and burned again, too. This time, however, the consequences are major. My relationship with my husband is forever changed, as most of us acknowledge. It is now gray. It is grayed over by sadness. No matter what the wonderful occasion is- even the birth of our first grandchild – it is all grayed over by the ever-present, unrelenting sadness that is in the background of all we do.

    This week makes 6 months since our D-day. Maybe it’s too soon to say, but I don’t think it will ever completely go away. This is the fallout of his affair. We are now the Walking Wounded.

    • changedforever April 13, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

      Yuki…like you, just past my 6 mths from DDay…that ‘day’ was so hard for me…I suffered an emotional breakdown right before & right afterward. We are together still, but still feel like my H likes ‘pretending everything is okay’….so we can move on.’ Unfortunately, the triggers come more frequently now…are you experiencing this? I still don’t know what to believe is true … or not. After all the lies and deception….how can I ever be sure that ANYONE is telling the truth. I was completely fooled for almost 10 weeks…and never saw it coming. What a fool I will always see my self as being. However, I may be the 2nd most STUPID & GULLIBLE person I know…to be so completely fooled….but the reigning champ of STUPID & GULLIBLE in my opinion is the OW….what a dope (to think my H would leave his faithful & established wife, his 3 wonderful children, etc etc) for what? A sneaky, failure of a person that cost him his good character & integrity….? There. That made me feel a little better…

      • Yuki April 14, 2011 at 3:30 am #

        Changed,

        Yes, venting is good. Glad we have a place to do it here. I also suffered a breakdown on D-day. It took weeks for me to be able to function at all. I lost 30 pounds and I looked like I had aged 10 years.

        I’m better now. I’m taking the advice here to take care of myself, and I am exercising and eating well and people tell me I look great. Sleep is still an issue, though. I wake up several times a night and I don’t know why. I sometimes have bad dreams, but not every time I wake up. So I spend more hours in bed than before to get enough sleep.

        My husband’s affair lasted six years. SIX YEARS! Can you imagine how stupid I feel? I was so blind. The signs were there, but I always thought they were because of something else. I thought he was a man of such integrity that he would never do something so low as to have an affair. How foolish…

        Triggers are everywhere for me. They got worse and worse as I found out more and more about the affair. It’s been some time now since I found out any new information so things have been about the same, not worse, not better. I cannot watch movies or TV. I don’t read novels. I can’t listen to much music, except for Christian music and some non-romance type songs. News segments that mention her city or their hometown are triggers. Seeing someone they both know is awful. Using his laptop, where I found all the emails, tears me up inside. The list goes on and on. My therapist said that the triggers will slowly lose their grip on me. I sure hope so.

        • melissa April 15, 2011 at 6:30 am #

          Yuki
          My H’s EA lasted for a long time too and would still be going on had I not suddenly twigged. Like you, I feel so stupid but please look at it this way: the person who is stupid is your H, not you. You were simply not looking for the right signs or maybe, your instinct took a while for your perception to come to the surface and there probably was a reason for that too.

          Keep taking care of yourself and live your life, surround yourself with very good friends. There will be many awful days, there will be some good days, remember the bad ones but also relish the good ones.

  10. mil April 13, 2011 at 4:23 am #

    Linda, stupid as it sounds, just going to the park. But because he sometimes met her there at lunch times he now doesn’t confess to actually going to the park as he knows I associate the place with her and it would trigger me off. He promised to tell me the truth about everything since D day and lying about this thing, even though totally innocent in itself, just shows he has broken his promises yet again.

  11. michael April 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Mil,
    Yes, to me, even as little as it was, it still shows his character.
    I could understand going to the park to relax, maybe even think about what he did, maybe even him thinking about her. He has to deal with it much in the same way as you. He has to accept it and he has to let it die. And maybe for the sake of not hurting your feelings he didn’t tell you. That’s for him to figure out. Its for him to close that door and repair the damage done. Unless he asks for your help, there’s nothing you can do about it.
    To lie to you when asked, that’s a current issue not the affair. That’s what he did right now.
    I’ve been trying to separate the issues I have currently with those of the affair. When I’m lied to I sometimes immediately associate it with the affair and it drives that “did it ever end, because I never saw it end” feeling.
    I’m trying my best to stop putting current issues with the affair. I can tell her “you just lied to me and that’s unacceptable” but to say “you lied to me so I know your still having an affair” is unfair to her. If I come up with proof or she admits that it had continued then I can deal with it. But I can’t move on believing it is still going on when nothing I see proves that.
    I’m not saying that I believe it ended because she says so. I’m saying, at what point do I keep causing myself grief for no good reason. Yes I have bad days. Yes on some of those I think that she has spoken to him after what I have proof of.
    I still have to come to grips with what happened. Without her support its hard. After a year of her not being open about it, I still look at emails, phone records, facebook posts, and all the stuff I’ve written.

    The statement “I didn’t tell you because you would be upset” is unacceptable.
    Instead of saying “this is how you acted while you were having an affair” try saying “You lied to me this day. That is unacceptable. If you continue to lie to me you will be finding a new place to live”. Its not about the affair he got away with that and you let him stay. Its about what he does today.
    You can’t change what happened, you can’t change the way he thinks, you cant make him change. Only he can. And without a reason to, he won’t. If he can lie and just take the heat for a day or two. He will. If he knows that if he lies and you find out he will be out on his ass maybe he will think twice before answering.
    I know this is all easier said than done, but its been a long road and this is where I’m at.

    • Yuki April 14, 2011 at 3:35 am #

      You go, Michael. Excellent reply.
      Mil – He’s got to realize that continuing to lie to you is going to make it worse. My husband does the same thing.

    • theresa June 9, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

      This rates right up there with “Joseph’s Lettter”

      Part of my struggle was due to the fact I couldn’t find the words. I am profoundly greatful for your gift, (and also the countless others who have this gift), and your willingness to share these words with us.

  12. Kathy April 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    Thank you for that excellent post, Michael. This is where I find myself too. I have done the “you lied to me so maybe you’re still in the affair”, but if he says no, then how do I know he’s not lying? It’s a vicious circle. You are right that the EA is behind (I hope), and that the current issue is what must be dealt with, ie..lying. I cannot STAND to be lied to, and I’m sick of being lied to. I am ready to tell him that if he continues to lie he will be finding a new place to live. It is utterly, completely unacceptable to live this way!

  13. fiora April 18, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    We had a similar issue to the “going to the park” thing just yesterday. It was Sunday, and our daughter had asked me for a “mommy/daughter day” together the previous week. I think she’s been feeling kind of left out of our lives a bit–though we give her LOTS of attention, love, etc–but I’ve been pretty wrapped up emotionally and drained emotionally with all that my partner and I have been going through. So, yesterday morning, when I woke up–we had had a good day and night Saturday–I felt anxiety. I realized I’ve been feeling anxiety EVERY time I can’t actually SEE him since D-Day! If he’s out of sight, he might be texting (he’s figured out a way to do it through gmail that doesn’t show in our cell phone bill), or online chatting (which of course is easy to delete), or using a different email address altogether (which he did quite readily before, though he swears he is not now). I just have anxiety, pretty much all the time, pretty much because he has shown me that he can say he “loves” me while completely hiding what he’s doing when I’m not around.
    Anyway, back to yesterday morning…I felt safe to be vulnerable, given that we were in a good space, so I told him, “I’m feeling anxious today.” and gently explained why. He was understanding, promised he wouldn’t do anything at all to trigger that so I could feel good about going out with our daughter for a little while. I left with her and we did a couple of fun things. I checked in with him a couple of times, because I wanted him to know a)where we were and b) when we might be home since he wanted to do a couple of things later.

    So, came home. All was well. I was finishing our taxes when he said he needed to run to Home Depot to pick up some additional stuff for a project he was working on, but he’d be RIGHT back, and maybe we could go see a movie later. That was around 5:30. At 6:30, I noticed he was still gone..and actually had a question about something I wanted him to check out at HD while he was there. I tried to call him. He didn’t answer his cell (a BIG trigger, since he very frequently used “I didn’t have my ringer on” or “I left it in the car” as an excuse when he was with her and wanted to fudge on how much time he was gone). I called again. I had our daughter call from her phone–sometimes he answers when he thinks it’s her instead. No answer.

    Gut twisting–it’s now 7, a full hour and a half later and there’s no answer. This was supposed to be a quick mission. This is feeling like “old times”. So, finally, I made an excuse to the kids (I did have to go get a new headlight for my car), and went to Home Depot. Drove the route he was likely to take, so I didn’t miss him if he was heading home. Just as I suspected…his car wasn’t in the parking lot–it was well after 7:30 by then. Tried calling again, and texting–he’s got a different ring tone for texts and sometimes notices them instead. No response. Called home. Not there yet either. No word from him.

    At that point, I just wanted to cry…but instead, decided that, knots twisting in my stomach, I’d just go back to the auto parts store down the road for the headlight I needed and try to figure out how to just get on with things. He called just as I was heading into the store.
    I asked him where he’d been. He said he was at HD. I told him I had just been there–about 6 cars in the parking lot and none of them his. Then he said he’d gone to a store across the street for a few minutes afterwards–that store closes at 6 on Sundays and I told him so. He then sighed and said, well, he’d actually gone to that store FIRST, and THEN went to HD. Back to the next question…”so where are you now?” He said he was at a local health food grocery, where he stopped to get a natural soda. A place where he has been known to hang out with her in the past.
    Who was he with and why wasn’t he home, since HE said he was going to go quickly so we could do something later. At first, he started to get angry. I was in such a calm place with it–resigned, I guess–that I just told him to stop it. Then he said, “Well you got a day out with ____, so I needed some time too..what’s wrong with that?” Response? Not about having it all “even steven”…and he KNEW how I was feeling about that earlier. Then he used the “I thought you would be mad, you’re so controlling” card. He didn’t want to tell me he’d stopped somewhere else because he thought I wouldn’t like it…so. he. lied???

    I told him that lying was the best possible way to make me feel 1) hurt, 2) anxious, 3) upset with him, 4) and less trusting of him. If he couldn’t tell the truth about something little, how can I believe him about something big?

    To me, love is about integrity. If you have that little integrity, you don’t have love.

  14. Irish Kate July 20, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    In many ways I too am married to a teenage man…. we met each other 13 years ago, he had just come out of a relationship which finished because she had an affair on him…. in many ways I should never have gotten involved as he wasn’t in a emotional place to have a committed relationship.

    I’ve had to cope over the last 13 years with secrets, nothing major but little things he didn’t want to share, he never wanted to share who he had lunch with at work for example, or when he would take a business trip he would never give flight details, hotel names etc…. normal things that a spouse would give to their wives before going on a journey…. in fact I remember once he told me that ‘I sounded like his mother’ when in fact all I wanted to do was share in his day like a normal couple….

    One of the most hurtful things he did was to go and have all his chest tattooed without telling me or consulting with me first, which is such a shame as he had a lovely chest.

    Also the issue of children, he has always said that he wanted children ‘one day’ but I feel that the ‘one day’ has come and gone a long time ago…. we are not spring chickens here, we are both on the slippy slope to 40 ….

    Finally almost 2 years ago I discovered his affair with some woman he was coaching, which isn’t very professional on his behalf. It is the most sickening thing I have ever had to deal with and something finally broke inside me…. I don’t want to be his mother, I wanted to have a equal partner and to share in a loving, honest committed relationship with children and a stable enviroment but instead I had 13 years of ‘bad behaviour’….

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