BETRAYED HUSBAND: It has been roughly 4 months. I still get flashes of that night I discovered my wife’s affair. That discovery day, or D-day, as it is called in recovery circles will always haunt me. Especially so since it was a holiday, Labor Day. Even now I’m scared of the emotional flooding I will have next Labor Day. I’m scared that I will act out and be cruel to my wife whom I love still. I’m scared that I will remember every tiny moment of those initial hours and relive them in full.
My wife was out with friends and I was at home. I had had suspicions for a while but usually brushed them off thinking I was just being overly jealous. Well I guess I was feeling especially suspicious this evening and I picked up her tablet to see if I could find anything to ease my fears or confirm them. Was I snooping? Maybe, but it wasn’t locked and she wasn’t logged out of Facebook. And we are married so why can’t I look at anything of hers I want.
Well I quickly found some messages that suggested a relationship beyond friendship. They weren’t crude and sexual but still the content was more than just friends. I assume that they did have sexual messages at some time but I never saw them. I do know that my wife did erase several messages that I never saw. Upon seeing the messages I became frantic. Instantly my heart was beating faster than ever. I couldn’t stop pacing around the home and my thoughts about what I should do were streaming on fast forward through my head.
Was I angry? Yes, furious, I wanted to break everything. Was I hurt? Yes, my emotional pain became real physical pain in my chest; I was on fire and couldn’t breathe properly. Was I sad? Yes, I cried in bursts of heaving sobs.
I called my wife and calmly asked her to come home as soon as possible. I’m sure it freaked her out and I have no idea what she was thinking as to why. I told her I wasn’t hurt just needed her home right away. While I was waiting dozens of questions flooded through my head. I played a lot of what-if scenarios in my head; hoping that it was all a misunderstanding and we could just have an awkward talk.
But it wasn’t a misunderstanding. I did everything I could to not lose control when she confirmed the affair. One of the most painful things about the affair was who the affair partner was. I knew the guy. We weren’t friends. I actually already hated him before any of this and I’m pretty sure that our friends didn’t like him either. I think this made it worse than if he was a friend. Sure a friend would have meant a double betrayal but at least I would know that he was on some level a decent guy. But no, not this guy. In recovery it is mentioned that the betrayed (me) shouldn’t attack the affair partner (AP) because it puts the unfaithful on the defensive. They of course mean verbally in conversation (they also say not to physically attack or even confront the AP, which is good advice). This is perhaps one of the hardest things to abide by in my case because I already hated him and saw so many negative aspects. Things happened so fast that night that I can’t remember if I spoke out loud to my wife all the negative things about the AP or if I simply thought them. But in the end I didn’t know what to do.
I usually have a plan for everything. Even most things that are unlikely to occur I have given at least a little thought about. Before this, I always told myself that divorce was the only response to an affair. But when it actually happened I didn’t know. I still loved her and even then in that moment I couldn’t imagine a life without her. I didn’t seem right to burn everything we had built to the ground. To give over to a life of hatred and self-loathing.
I believe that a real miracle happened. I believe that God put a desire in me to seek Him for guidance. I know, now it’s going to get all churchy, ugh. I will keep it to a minimum and simply say that I don’t know that I would have sought help on my own. I encourage anyone who discovers an affair to seek wisdom from others before making a decision about divorce. This will be the biggest decision in your life. If you are religious, seek your spiritual leader. If you are not religious then seek counselling, there are many non-religious counsellors that can help with this.