Rebuilding Marriage

The Split-Self Affair

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Dear Husband,

I read this article on Boxing Day, you were upstairs asleep and I was just having a look through some things for another post and I stumbled across this article. It took my breath away how perfectly it described your affair. Some choice quotes from it being…read the article and come back. I’ll wait.

Cheating-Husband

Surely the craziest and most destructive form of infidelity is the temporary insanity of falling in love. You do this, not when you meet somebody wonderful (wonderful people don’t screw around with married people) but when you are going through a crisis in your own life, can’t continue living your life, and aren’t quite ready for suicide yet.

An affair with someone grossly inappropriate...is so crazily stimulating that it’s like a drug that can lift you out of your depression and enable you to feel things again. Of course, between moments of ecstasy, you are more depressed, increasingly alone and alienated in your life, and increasingly hooked on the affair partner.

The 3rd party is sweet and conversational, offering compliments and genuine interest in all the cheating spouse has to say and do….A mutually beneficial friendship evolves, and this couple shares their feelings on personal likes and dislikes…The cheating spouse feels alive and connected to the 3rd person, as she truly “gets him”.

The feeling of “feeling alive” is highly addictive.

The affair is serious, long-term and passionate. The spouse who is having the affair focuses on deciding between the marriage and the affair partner and avoids looking at the inner split.

Do you know how hard it is to read those things? That you thought you were in love with someone else. That even then you decided it was ok to carry on being that persons friend. You weren’t her friend. I can’t think of how I would describe it though because talking about you as her partner, her boyfriend, or anything which puts you in the same category as her makes me nauseated.

50/50 Survival After The Affair

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You’ve said so many times you were addicted. Addicted to her easy praise, easy ego boosts, the adulation. This article it rates our chances of reconnecting and reconciling as 50/50. That’s it. That’s not a lot. It puts that down to the fact that that addiction is strong. That the unfaithful spouse has problems leaving it behind often going backwards between his affair partner and the wife. Sound familiar? It does to me. Your affair stopped the day of Discovery 1 and you couldn’t go 24 hours before you needed a hit I hope you still consider me your best friend. You spelled out to her you had no intention of stopping your affair no matter the pain or damage you caused. She told me that same day. After she answered you that she would never talk to you again. She lied to me too.

When you read that do you know you sound so needy? Desperate for validation? I hadn’t even left our marital home. I couldn’t eat or sleep. I couldn’t get out of bed but you needed to know if SHE was still your bestie. And then you just went right back to where you were before, although it was fine this time because there was no sexting. You weren’t spelling out how and where and when you wanted to screw each other anymore. Couldn’t really do that effectively on uni email and work messaging services I suppose. I guess that was why she was pressuring you to find another way to talk, to get back to that. Then it stopped again 3 weeks later when you devastated me all over again. When you broke me all over again. And again, the minute you left our marital home to go to your mothers because I literally had no where to go to get away from your toxic ass you started it up again. Reassuring her that she did nothing wrong, that it was ok, I wasn’t “gunning” for her. Like I’m the animal. I’m the asshole.

How To Survive The Affair

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So 50/50. I looked at the sister advice column to the original one, surviving the split self affair and  again it spells out why these affairs are so disgusting. Why what you and her did is repulsive.

Little can be done to counter this type of affair. Various attempts to shock the unfaithful spouse out of the insanity of throwing away a life that has taken years to build are met with speeches of the marriage being wrong or for the wrong reasons, and this new relationship having all the right characteristics. The new relationship is, in reality, mere fantasy, based in large part on the excitement of its inappropriateness.

Not many couples recover from this type of affair unless the affair is ended or nearly so by the time of discovery, or unless it is discovered and confronted in the very beginning stages.

Once a spouse commits to leaving the marriage for this new relationship, the affair is seen as the new and right relationship, and the marriage has been turned into the biggest mistake of the cheater’s life. Every reason that can be given as to why the marriage should be saved has already been resolved in the mind of the person walking away.

The surviving the affair article was sobering. It talks about when the decision has been made to leave the marriage. How the marriage gets re-framed in the unfaithfuls eyes. The day you told me you wanted to not be with me anymore you rattled off so many reasons why she was better for you. You told me again and again and again for hours and hours why our marriage was done, why she was better for you whilst telling me you wanted to be alone because you were too pathetic and afraid to tell me you were leaving me for her. Because really. Underneath the lies you told yourself. You knew it was ridiculous.

Remembering makes me die inside, knowing that you’d decided that I was worthless to you. After five years of supporting you, being your personal cheerleader, caring for you,  laughing with you, building a home and family with you, making sacrifices to be with you, showing you how to cope and be happy, encouraging you, you had a stronger connection with someone you’d barely known for five months, who didn’t know you at all because you just lied to her constantly. She was better for you. I was the mistake.

You wanted to be alone? You only ended one relationship. So either I was just the easier of the two of us to bin off, the most disposable to you, or you had no intention to end the relationship with her. You made it pretty clear in the hours that followed, that the latter was the case. She knew you better. She was better. You were better with her. I just dragged you down. You couldn’t meet my ridiculous standards. She cared for you more. She “moved in the same circles”. She “got you”. She understood your work. She.She.She.She.She.She. You didn’t really talk about you much, just her. Sends a strong message.

I was the mistake. Not your affair. Me.

God that’s agonising to realise. How you’d framed me as the mistake you’d made and she was your saviour.

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That 50/50 chance is so shocking though. It woke me up when I read it. There is so much work that needs to happen. You’ve given us a good chance, you ended the affair before you went through with leaving me for her, but all the reading I’ve done doesn’t mean you’ll ever go back to her. That its actually exceptionally common for the affair partner  to reappear in the unfaithfuls life and continue the affair at a later date after a pause, when the going is tough in recovery, or when some other crisis happens in your life. That drug seems appealing again. Only she’s never left your life. She spends 8 hours a day, 5 days a week just a short walk across the office from you. She’s always there. You tell me you hate her now. Hate is the flip of love though isn’t it?

Raising the Odds.

Your commitment to being a safe person in our relationship, for me, for our son, and for yourself is important to you and that I think raises the odds.
Your work to make yourself this way is raising the odds.
Your work to allow us to reconnect, to care for one another, to address the hidden bodies in our relationship raises the odds.
Your patience and kindness is raising the odds.
Your commitment to helping me heal is raising the odds.
Your new found sense of responsibility and ownership of your shit is raising the odds.
Your dealing with your mental health properly is raising the odds.
Your commitment to healing our son is raising the odds.
Your commitment to standing up for us and yourself is raising the odds.

We have survived every worst day so far.

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