You may have noticed that Linda and I have been basically absent from the blog since Thursday.  We  barely had enough time to approve the comments and virtually no time to reply to  any them.  We apologize for that but we had a whirlwind of an extended weekend that has left both of us exhausted. It started on Thursday when we drove 600 miles to our niece’s college graduation.  When we arrived we rested for about an hour, then went to dinner and out on the town until about 1 AM.  We woke up the next morning for the graduation ceremony, toured a portion of our niece’s college, went to a luncheon and then jumped into our vehicle for the 600 mile return trip. We arrived home about 1:30 AM on Saturday, slept for 3 hours and then drove 120 miles for our daughters’ dance competition.  After seven hours of watching dance routines, we headed to my sister’s home for drinks and some vaporizer pens, appetizers before heading out to a nice restaurant to celebrate my mother’s eightieth birthday.  When that was over, we drove the 120 miles back home and eventually crawled into bed around midnight. We awoke Sunday morning, quickly ate some breakfast and then headed to our daughters’ soccer game (which they lost), rushed home and took showers, and then jumped into the car to drive the 120 miles again for their last dance routine.  After several hours there, we quickly drove home, where we arrived about 10:30 and immediately jumped into bed – completely spent. The four days entailed about 1700 miles and 26 hours of driving, $400 spent for gas, 10 meals eaten out, 12 hours watching dance and several hours of hanging out and conversing with friends and family.  And even though we both are so tired that talking even seems difficult at this point, we enjoyed every minute of it.  Well, almost every minute. Yes, the graduation celebration was for the same niece who is struggling with her father’s affair and her parent’s separation.   She is an incredibly strong-willed person for only being in her twenties, and you could tell that she was trying to be the glue that holds the family together.  But she’s not super glue. As we were at the post-graduation luncheon, where 15 of us enjoyed a very nice meal, her father sat at one end of the long table while her mother sat at the other end.  She, along with her brother and sister, were stationed in the middle, which seemed rather symbolic of what has transpired over the nine or so months that their parents have been separated. It was apparent that all three kids are trying to keep the peace, which has been working for the most part, as there was no arguing or ill-words spoken during our time there.  It is more than evident however, that they are losing the war, as their parent’s marriage will most certainly be coming to an end in the near future. One can only guess how they will be affected by all of this or what the future will hold for each of them in their own relationships.  For that matter, I also wonder what the future might hold for both my brother and sister in law. As part of her gift to my niece, my mother in law put together a photo album that had several pictures that depicted earlier, much happier times for my niece’s family.  I wonder what was going through the minds of each of them as they viewed those pictures.  Perhaps some happiness and reminiscence, but I imagine more like sadness, regret, anger, guilt and pain. All I can say is that I thank the Lord that I came to my senses soon enough so that my emotional affair did not wind up tearing our family apart.  

See also  After the Affair: Giving Linda What She Deserves

    28 replies to "Our Exhausting Weekend"

    • B

      Doug-

      While we all appreciate your honesty and candid comments about your EA, each of us that follows this blog is somehow hoping that our significant others follows the same path that you did. All we really want is a chance to put our families back together. I am realizing more and more each day that it isn’t about fair or unfair, it isn’t about blaming, it is about doing what you can to pick up the pieces and show the one you love that this is where they belong. It can be a gut-wrenching process, a heart-breaking process, but in the end it could all be worth it. Divorce is not a happy option and even if the cheater decides to go through with a divorce, most will tell you in the end that they regret every minute of it, they just didn’t see any way out. A cheater thinks that in divorce they escape responsibility, but in the end I’ll be most are longing for their spouse. Cheaters see no problem with what they are doing when their spouses are depressed, sad, and angry all the time. But eventually the time comes where the spouse becomes happy, strong, and finds a way to live again. That is the real moment when a cheater realizes they made a horrible mistake. I wish your niece well and I hope for her sake that it all ends soon, one way or the other. Both you and Linda have helped me get my feet back under me and realize that I am a good husband, a good father, and a good person. Maybe my wife will see it, maybe she won’t. Either way, I’m going to be okay and life will go on.

      • Doug

        B., Very well put. Divorce is certainly not a happy option, and I think my brother in law will indeed come to that realization eventually. Though he may feel that his marriage had run his course, even before his affair, I can’t help but feel he will have second thoughts down the road. You have a great perspective and I wish you all the best.

    • Roller coaster rider

      Wow…that was one weekend for sure! And so much to process emotionally, I can’t even imagine. I know that feeling of gratitude, too, Doug, that things did not end up the way they could have.

      • Doug

        Thanks RCR. It was a lot to process and it was also a bit uncomfortable at times.

        • Roller coaster rider

          Was it uncomfortable because of the elephant in the room? Or for some other reason?

          • Doug

            RCR, I guess you could call it the elephant. There seemed to be tension between my brother in law and his kids, as well as with my sister in law’s side of the family. Nobody said anything, but you could tell it was there. Linda and my job was to keep the conversation flowing smoothly about other stuff!

            • roller coaster rider

              Well, with your brother-in-law ‘moving on’ with another woman, no wonder his kids aren’t too happy nor his soon-to-be ex’s family (if I got the connections right). It just is so hard for everyone. Is there any hope for the marriage, and does your sister-in-law know about this site?

            • Doug

              RCR, it is a difficult situation all around. I am pretty sure she doesn’t know about this site, she is not one to search for help. To be honest there has been many issues concerning my brother’s marriage for quite a while. She has an addiction problem and because of my brother’s job they have lived in two different states for quite a long time. It doesn’t look good but I just wished that is would have ended differently for the children’s sake. They said they would have accepted their parents splitting up but because of the circumstances they feel hurt and betrayed. Which is understandable, it has created a terrible mess, and we all feel stuck in the middle.Linda

    • PTY

      Prayers for all involved.

      • Doug

        Thanks PTY.

    • Saddenned

      Doug,

      My H came to his senses too. It has now been 10 weeks since D-Day but we have made a lot of progress. Hopefully you read my post about temptation. It happens to all of us. I find it really helpful to hear from the person with the “shoe on the other foot” because it helps me understand their line of thinking. My H gives me what I need to reassure me, but I just want him to open up a bit more about his feelings. I am not quite sure how to get someone to open up when he really wasn’t very emotional to start with. This has been a journey to say the least. I love my H and he loves me and I hope this situation will strengthen our relationship rather than break it down.

      • Doug

        Saddenned, I’m glad to hear you are making progress. I did read your temptation post – thanks for sharing it. I was never very emotional, nor did I express feelings very well. I have become better at doing so primarily because Linda asks me questions that require me to do so. I still am not very good at offering up my feelings unsolicited, though I’m getting better, but since Linda knows me so well, she manages to get them out of me.

        • Roller coaster rider

          Doug, would you elaborate on this a bit…? That is, how does Linda get you to open up about your feelings? My H doesn’t seem to know what feelings even are; I think he has denied, self-medicated or refused to acknowledge feelings for so long he has no clue how to begin expressing them.

          • Doug

            RCR, It’s kind of hard to explain other than to say that she will question me directly, and then it just turns into a conversation. I know that doesn’t help much but she knows me so well, that she can tell when I am keeping my feelings within, so she asks until I let them out!

            • Roller coaster rider

              Well, I think I really know my H too, and what I am working on is asking and then saying nothing until he verbalizes his thoughts/feelings. He has gotten too used to my filling in the gaps or silence. I think it’s time for him to start figuring things out…

          • blueskyabove

            RCR,

            I don’t know if this will help but maybe if you asked your H if he is Mad, Sad, Scared, or Glad he might be able to identify and then learn to express his feelings. My H started using this and it helped him.

            • roller coaster rider

              Thanks, blueskysabove. I think you’re right that I need to restrict it to 4 feelings. In the past, he always just seemed mad, but would never talk about why.

          • Doug

            RCR, I thought I would elaborate, Doug is still pretty closed when expressing his feelings, but I have learned to look at his actions rather than his words. Last night on the way home from our long, long journey he reached over and took my hand and held it the rest of the way home. He really didn’t have to say what he was feeling but I sorta knew that it had something to do with the events of the last few days and how fortunate he felt that he wasn’t in my brother’s shoes. I do wish he would just verbally say what he is feeling but for him he is more comfortable showing it. I have stopped filling in the blanks like you said in your previous comments. I feel I am very good at articulating my feelings, and I used to try to help Doug by trying to pry it out of him. Now I just tell him how I feel and let it go. I can usually tell by his expression that he was thinking or feeling the same thing, we have made progress but I really want to be a place where he feels secure enough to tell me everything. Linda

            • roller coaster rider

              Linda, this helps a lot and I know exactly what you mean. Every single thing my H has said and done since D-day is a way of showing me he wants our marriage to survive despite the many choices he made for five months that could have destroyed it. Some people have a much harder time ‘owning their feelings’ let alone verbalizing them, and I’m okay with that except that I really think it was exactly this difficulty that led to the PA/EA in the first place. That’s why I believe my H really must learn how to let me in, and while I want to encourage that process I know I can’t make it happen. The hardest times for him are when I am going through painful emotions, because that’s when the guilt, remorse, shame and sadness threaten to overtake him and when I take care of myself and do what you said, simply tell him how I feel and leave it at that, he does much better.

            • Doug

              RCR, you know what has also helped is reading about some on the character flaws and issues that we all bring into our marriage. I looked at how we handled conflict in the past and how some of our dynamics hindered our ability to communicate effectively. Just by acknowledging those traits has helped me communicate with Doug and better understand why he acts the way he does. I also tell him what I need from him when I am upset, and try to let him know that it isn’t always about him. Sometimes I am just upset and need his comfort. Linda

        • Saddenned

          I sat down and wrote a letter to my H on Sunday to tell him exactly how I feel, I do believe it helped me express my emotions. I explained that I don’t need him to sweep me off of my feet, but rather be kind and comforting. I told him that if he feels the same way to just wrap his arms around me, kiss me, and tell me he loves me.

    • ppl

      have a question about midlife crisis and EA. know ea can be part of the MLC but what defines mlc -question age only? symptoms the same. if ea part of mlc does that change how ea handled or success in treatment?

      • Jackie

        MLC can happen to some in the 30’s or older. It is usually when one starts to question who they are… have they achieved what they wanted in life?.. worry about getting older…the fear of getting older, aging and dying. In the book, Understanding Men’s Passages by Gail Sheehy, she writes why do men have affairs? The answer was, “They are afraid of dying.” Perhaps that is why many men in mid life crisis have an affair. It makes them feel alive and young again…the drug feeling of being lost “in love”.

        It makes sense that it often happens when the children reach adolescent, or leave home, because the kids act as if they no longer need their parents. Parents often feel the rejection of their kids who once adored them and thought they knew everything. Now in adolescent the child becomes disagreeable and difficult. The parent doesn’t feel needed any longer. Not quite realizing that this is just the necessary stage the child needs to go thru.

        My H was clearly going thru MLC before the EA. He was questioning what he was going to do in retirement. Worried about his lessening mental and physical abilities. Uncomfortable with looking and feeling old. Recovering from injuries slower…etc. Feeling he had reached a peak in his career. Oldest child about to leave for college. Overworked and not as happy in his job. Fears of getting old. Basically becoming more unhappy, withdrawn and depressed. He knew he was having problems, but wasn’t able to talk to me about them. He tried to seek help, but couldn’t or wouldn’t do it…then the EA happened.

      • Jackie

        I don’t think a Midlife crisis changes the way you deal with the EA. The MLC becomes one of the causes to have an EA though. All those extra fears of MLC must also be dealt with, in addition to those reasons for having the affair. I think the EA offers the escape from the MLC issues as it does from all the other issues that a CS faces. Unfortunately, the affair is a very destructive escape for all those involved.

    • melissa

      RCR
      I’m experiencing the same as you – no words but small (but meaningful) gestures. Like you, I want my H to let me in but I don’t know how as talking about the EA creates a huge amount of tension and madness on his part and I fear it would be going backwards.

      The OW told me that my H and I ‘werent’ communicating anyway’, which she can only have heard from him and this still hurts so much because I’ve always tried to be open and communicate with him as much as possible, he just wasn’t interested, he was looking out of the marriage anyway. I can only think this was part of the fog, that he needed to justify his attraction to his AP by blaming me.

    • Kathy

      Many of us seem to have the same issue: our spouses have a difficult time “expressing their feelings”. What I wonder is this: did they have a difficult time “expressing their feelings” to the OP? I would think not, because otherwise how could the EA have gotten off the ground. Why is it, then, they can “express their feelings” to the OP, but have such a difficult time doing so with the person they’re married to?

    • PTY

      @ Kathy — I think it is because there is no risk in revealing yourself to the OP, at least initially. And I expect much of the feelings would be about how the spouse has misunderstood them, etc. The OP won’t, and can’t dispute the story. The spouse can. The OP will sympathize with them about how terrible the spouse is. The spouse might point out that it is just much the cheater’s fault as it is the spouse. I think that is why affairs don’t lead to long term relationships. Once they can’t blame everything on the original spouse, the need someone else to blame it on.

    • Kathy

      Thanks PTY. That makes a lot of sense!

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