Overwhelmed by all the feels

BETRAYED HUSBAND: I have been on my own for around 8 days now and there are still 4 more to go. My emotions have run the gambit. I have been angry and excited, sad and tender, scared and happy and all variations in between. Often I am some degree of all of them simultaneously.

I am disgusted by the affair but at the same time excited to see my wife again. I am scared that during her time alone my wife has decided to leave me but also hopeful that she has found clarity and a more defined sense of self. I have a vindictive side that calls out for ‘justice’ but also a peaceful side that cries out for reconciliation. The dichotomies are practically endless and likely all relevant.

I have always been a stoic. Growing up I always saw how my family was ruled by their emotions and the chaos it wrought. I made a concerted effort to control my emotions, some might say repress. I was determined to be the master of my emotions and not the slave. All of this to say that I don’t really have a lot experience with this level of turmoil. Often times I don’t know what to do. Even now nearly a year after discovery I occasionally stare at my food.

But I have made progress, I have healed. At least some. My wife is still my best friend and I miss her. I still want to spend my life with her and make the future we have talked about. I still want to be holding her hand when the sun sets on our life.

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We split the party

BETRAYED HUSBAND: A few days ago my wife and I split up. Not the relationship type of split up but we are now traveling on our own for a bit. If you didn’t know, I’m a pretty big nerd. I’ve played a lot of DnD since 8th grade. In all that time, through hundreds of adventures there was one constant truth: don’t split the party. While this is sound advice in the table top RPG world, I think that we are both hopeful that this time apart will be beneficial.

The first few days I was sad and missed my wife all the time but I pushed through and was determined to explore Budapest, see the sites. I wandered and wandered. Saw some neat things. Ultimately I realized I was lonely. Walking around a neat old castle wasn’t that great without someone by my side to share the experience.

Yesterday I woke up depressed. I had lost the will to go out and visit the many attractions that I had yet to see. Slowly my depression became anger. I was angry at my wife for how she hurt me. Once that anger takes hold of my mind it basically takes a miracle to get out of its grasp. Hurtful thoughts come up, like cursing my wife. Vindictive desires come up, like ‘she cheated, so can I’. Eventually I was able to convince myself to just stay in the hotel room so that I couldn’t damage our marriage any further. So I sat in my hotel room loathing my wife and loathing myself. Looking back now, perhaps that was itself a little miracle. I wanted to act out, get even. Hurt her the way she hurt me. But I’m glad I didn’t. I do want our marriage to work and acting out would have made it impossible.

So far I hate traveling on my own. I have realized that if I had ended our marriage before our trip and just gone on my own it would have been miserable. No matter what happens I am glad that we went on this trip together. But I still have about a week on my own. I pray things go better.

On My Own

UNFAITHFUL WIFE: This morning I watched my husband leave on a bus to Budapest. It was weird saying goodbye to him. This will be the longest we have been apart since we got married six years ago. Neither of us are very good at talking, but we were both trying to squeeze in as much snuggling and hand holding as possible before he left. It was sad.

Since he left I have already gotten a little lost a few times. Fortunately, I don’t really mind walking in circles.

I have also managed to eat lunch. At a bar. By myself. I was nervous the entire time, but I survived. And if anyone was talking about how weird I looked, well, I couldn’t tell because they were speaking Czech.

Now I have to catch a train.

Then another train.

Then a bus.

Then I have to meditate in silence for ten days.

Part of me is really regretting this decision already. I am brand new to meditation. I don’t even really know if I like it yet. I am afraid I’ll go crazy. I’m afraid my husband will decide he’s better off without me. I’m afraid I’ll miss a train, not be able to communicate with anyone, and be forced to live out the rest of my life in a small Czech town begging at the train station for enough Korunas to buy my daily kolache. 

But I’m hopeful that none of that will happen. I hope I learn something about myself through this week of meditation. Maybe how to forgive myself or how to live with myself. I hope that when I see my husband again it will be a great reunion. I hope we have time over the next ten days to remember what we like about each other. I hope this distance makes our hearts grow fonder.

A Good Day

UNFAITHFUL WIFE: I am sitting on an uncomfortable airport bench right now. My husband’s head is in my lap. He has a cold. Our connecting flight has been delayed by two hours. We almost missed our first flight due to a taxi snafu. After a scrambling early morning on the streets of Odessa we made it.

By all counts today should have been a bad day.

But it isn’t.

Nobody lost their temper or snapped at the other. We didn’t arrive fuming in Kiev. The tension was not thick between us, as it all too often is.

We still have miles to go, but so far today is a good day.

Splitting Up

UNFAITHFUL WIFE: My husband and I are going to split up in a few weeks. Not relationally – we will still be just as married as we are now. We are physically going to different places. For ten days I will be at a silent meditation camp in the Czech Republic while he goes to Budapest and Warsaw. We will meet again in Riga.

For those of you who don’t know, my husband found out about my affair right before we left on a trip around the world. For the past ten months we have had hardly a minute apart. We stay in hotel rooms and tiny apartments and spend our days visiting new places. 

In some regards it is good. It’s much easier for him to feel safe, and it’s much harder for me to give in to the temptation to contact my affair partner.

In other ways it is difficult. We can’t escape to work and decompress. We basically have no one to talk to except each other.

And now, in a few weeks, we will be apart. 

Thirty

UNFAITHFUL WIFE: Sometimes it feels like every day is a struggle against myself. Every natural reaction I have is wrong. It’s too selfish or to anxious or too something.

This isn’t just since the affair, although it has been accentuated since then. On some level, though, it feels like this has been going on my whole life.

Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail, but every time is a struggle.

And that gets exhausting.

I turned 30 last week.

Look, I’m not going to kill myself so don’t get your panties in a wad, but I kind of wouldn’t mind if I didn’t make it to 31.

Thirty to sixty more years of life, I get tired just thinking about it.