dealing with infidelity
Recently, I had another learning experience in dealing with infidelity.

Last weekend I was able to see first hand how an affair can begin so easily and be so addicting and alluring. Our daughters had a lot going on–a soccer tournament, out-of-town dance competition, and their birthday party. To say the least I was a little stressed. But the “new me” was going to handle all of this calmly and nonchalantly. This weekend dealing with infidelity offered another learning experience.

Here’s the story…Saturday morning we had an early soccer game. After the game the girls wanted to stay at the field and watch another game before their second game of the day. Doug volunteered to stay, while I went home to get ready for the birthday party that would occur immediately after the second game.

When I got home I realized that the new nonchalant me had not prepared ahead of time like I usually did in the past and I was facing several hours worth of work to cram into just an hour.

The anger and resentment began to surface. I was angry at myself for not telling Doug he needed to come home to help me, and angry at Doug for not thinking about me and realizing that I can’t do it all alone.

All the past situations where I had been responsible for the bulk of the house work resurfaced in my mind. I didn’t want to go there again. I have been there, dealt with it and have tried to move on. This was one of the main reasons why we are where we are in the first place. I have learned to stop trying to do it all and to stop being a martyr. No one expects me to do everything, so I stopped putting all the burden on my shoulders.

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Instead of letting it boil, I called Doug and told him how I felt. I got it off my chest.  I actually used some of the effective communication techniques that we talk about. I have learned though that instead of attacking him, I used “I” statements. “I” am feeling overwhelmed right now. “I” wished you would have come home and helped. “I” know you wanted to appease the girls, but “I” just needed your help. I felt much better and hopefully Doug didn’t think I was returning to my old bitchy self.

After the second game, all the team and their parents came over to our house for the party. One of the mom’s (who’s husband has no interest in soccer) showed a lot of concern for Doug’s sunburn and how tired he must be after coaching all day. I thought to myself, yes I am sure he is tired, however I have been running around like a chicken with her head cut off, and had a difficult time being as sympathetic as she was. For some reason I really felt bad about that.

Right there it struck me how it must be during an affair. You don’t have all this baggage of resentment you carry around with you everyday. You don’t have the past hurt and disappointment. It is so easy to be genuinely concerned and admiring.

It is all so unfair because I truly love and care for Doug. I know he was just as tired as I was. I guess I just was upset because I needed for him to acknowledge that we both work hard, and we both deserve concern and admiration from each other. It is nice to receive compliments from other people, however it means so much more when it comes from your spouse, because we truly understand how hard it is living with each other day to day.

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It is easy to look at someone with admiration and see their accomplishments. However, when you have been together for so long, you begin to take for granted all the extra things your spouse may do. Those extra things become routine and you stop appreciating them like you should. It is difficult to acknowledge them like you are seeing them for the first time.

I also learned another important lesson this weekend. I learned how easy it is for someone else to make your spouse feel good about themselves. It just takes a compliment, a show of concern over a very short period of time to potentially sway your spouse into someone else’s arms. We all crave admiration and respect and because of our busy, stressed lives we often fail to give it to the people who need it the most–our family.

We take all they do for granted. Often failing to look at it with fresh eyes. While dealing with infidelity during these last several months, I have learned that I need to be less selfish. That is, not concentrate only on what I am doing, and acknowledging more on how much everyone else in my family is contributing to making our lives so wonderful and special.

Oh, and by the way, Doug did call me a “super mom” later that night for all that I did during the day. He even acknowledged (without me asking) that he should have come home to help instead of staying at the soccer field. Perhaps he’s catching on!

LINESPACE

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    3 replies to "Dealing With Infidelity: Another Learning Experience"

    • Last2know

      Linda, I am with you. One of the things that my husband does is when friends of mine make sexual inuendos (playing around) he would always throw one back. Now this was in my presence and in the presence of the other spouses and it was all in fun and we all laugh. But after the EA ocurred I realized that he was doing that at work with the OW and I do believe that is how the EA started and then just snowballed from there. Recently we were at a Festival in which all if these couples attended and one of the girls threw out on of those inuendos and he didn’t even respond the way he would have before and there were many women at this festival single married, you name it and yes he looked as I did with all the men, nothing obvious of course but at end of the night he told me “you were the most beautiful woman there” (true or not) it felt great and I told him how much younger he looks than
      all our men friends ( true or not). We are both learning and eveyday is better. DDay anniversary is coming on the 5th and I am nervous, not as much as I would have been 2, 3, 4 months ago. It’s 8 months but we have a lot to learn about ourselves, each other and I am looking forward to the future.

    • Guilty

      Linda, I appreciate what you’re going through, and often, the underlying anxiety about what to say and what to do is something that I have a hard time figuring out. For me, I sometimes feel that I’m in a “zero tolerance” situation. Were it my wife and I in your circumstances, I would be afraid of your irritation, feeling that I had “done something wrong”. I am constantly fearful that some mis-step unrelated to the EA will result of my wife deciding that it’s too much and deciding to end it. Consequently, it makes me hesitant to say when I’m frustrated with something. Who am I to be frustrated? I know, intuitively, that things aren’t that black and white. Yet the fear is there, born of guilt, shame and remorse. How do we have full communication when I’m afraid that any disappointment on her part will result in catastrophic consequences and any expression of disappointment or dissatisfaction on my part is unwarranted?

    • michael

      Guilty,
      I understand the feelings of not wanting to voice your concerns and frustrations. I think my wife feels the same way. But here is my feelings on that.

      You already screwed up, and she hasn’t kicked you out yet. Chances are she won’t. If your true to your feelings and voice them she will hear them. I would rather hear from my wife that she is mad that I didn’t do the dishes than to have her keep it in and resent me for it.
      And if there is something that you are afraid of telling her because she might be mad and kick you out, than your relationship is still based on lies. You owe yourself honesty. You owe her honesty. And you deserve what comes from that honesty. Own it, live it, do better next time. With or without her.

      I am at five months from finding out. And about four months from what she says was the last time she spoke with him. And it has been less than a month from the last time she lied to me, looking me in the eyes, when I knew she was lieing.
      In one conversation with him she said that she had been honest both of us. And she has been anything but. I deserve more from a wife than secrets and lies. I want more from my wife than she is willing to give me right now. And I owe her more than I am willing to give at this point. But that is a choice I have made, based off what we have done together to work on what happened, nothing.
      She says she is trying and that I don’t see what she does. Maybe that’s because we’ve done nothing as a couple to work this out. Which is what we did before this happened. And this is what put us at the point we got to when she decided to seek the comfort of another man.
      I almost don’t care anymore. Whether she leaves or not. Whether she calls me or not. Whether she still talks to him or not. Whether or not there is so much more that I don’t know.
      I know I hold so much resentment for what happened now, that the pain of it has almost all subsided. And I think today that I keep looking for a reason to say “caught you” and “now I’m done”. Maybe as an excuse to say it wasn’t me that quit working on us. It was her that never started. So I can say I tried. But can I really say that?

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