Russian Roulette

UNFAITHFUL WIFE: Last week we visited the Kremlin. On that morning my husband woke up in a foul mood. I knew he was in a bad mood. It’s not like I can’t tell, but I am always afraid to ask. 

(It’s something I need to work on).

Eventually he admitted to me that he was having a bad day.

Did I do something, I asked.

Not recently, he said.

Was there a trigger, I asked.

No, he said. Sometimes he just finds himself in a bad place, remembering that I had an affair.

I get that. He is going to have bad days. I did that. I hurt him so much. So much that I cannot fix it.

But it still hurts when my husband is so disgusted by me that he can’t look at me. It’s still hard to wake up every morning and wonder if my husband loves me or hates me today, like a fucked up game of roulette. It’s hard to want to stay.

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Flirt

UNFAITHFUL WIFE: I recently attended a meditation course. For ten days I did nothing but eat, sleep, and meditate – light on the sleeping and eating.

As it turns out, when you have nothing to distract you for days on end, memories tend to pop up. I remembered so many little interactions that I’ve had. I realized that before I had an affair I flirted quite a bit with other men.

I used to attend meetups, and I remembered one night when I came home my husband asked me if I attended meetups to meet other men.

I answered him honestly. I was not looking for other men. I just wanted to make friends.

But looking back now I realize that I enjoyed the flirting that went on at these meetups. It made me feel pretty and funny and interesting. It made me feel desirable. Ultimately, though, I think it did contribute to my eventually giving in to adultery.

I know going forward I have to change. I should never go out without my husband again. I should be forbidden from speaking to other men. I should find another way to feel desirable.

I think it will be difficult, but we’ll figure it out.

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.

 

Anniversary Update

UNFAITHFUL WIFE: Our anniversary went pretty smoothly. We didn’t do anything specifically anniversarial.  

We were on the island of Santorini. The day before we took a trip to Oia to see the spectacular views and actually had a really nice day. The day of we relaxed on the beach for a bit and exchanged gifts.

We always try to do the traditional anniversary gifts. This year is copper and wool. I bought him a ring from a shop on Olympia. It’s technically rose gold but looks coppery. When we get back I will make him a wool cloak. 

He bought me a copper rose that I won’t actually get until after this trip. Right now it’s sitting in a box somewhere at his mom’s house.

So thank you for your thoughts and prayers. They seem to have helped.

Here It Comes

UNFAITHFUL WIFE: Our anniversary is next week. I’m scared. I know it will be hard for him. I don’t know whether to make a big deal of it or let it slip quietly by.

I think I’ll aim for somewhere in the middle.

I want to do something. To celebrate. To show my husband that I care. I want to create a new good memory.

What I don’t want to do is cause any pressure. I don’t want him to feel like he has to be happy. I don’t want to rub this marriage in his face. I know it is tainted now. I know he can’t look back at our vows with joy because I broke them. I’m trying to figure out how to rebuild them. Gently. 

I’m praying that our anniversary will be provide an opportunity to do that, but it’s going to be a challenge. Beyond emotions there are sheer logistics.

We will be in a tiny town on the island of Santorini. There is not much in the area we are staying at, and I really don’t want to do any challenging travel on that day. Travel is stressful, the opposite of what he needs. Also, we are technically flying out at midnight that night. So it will already be stressful.

I need a plan, and the clock is ticking.

If anyone reads this, we could use some prayers next week.

A Ticket Home

UNFAITHFUL WIFE: It would cost me less than $500 to fly back to the States tomorrow. I know this because my husband is having a bad day.
Something triggered him today. I don’t know what it was. I asked a few light questions, but he doesn’t seem to be in a sharing mood. So I’m giving him space while I check ticket prices in case everything goes to shit.
I’ve done this before — India, Paris, Spain, London.Every time he gets like this I start to doubt. Why are we even trying? Why torture ourselves? On days like this it seems like we’d be better off alone. 
I guess that’s the quitter in me.
The truth is, though, that I care about my husband. If he thinks our marriage can work then I am willing to try to make it the best marriage possible. And I think it can be. We’ve got a great future ahead of us, if we have one at all. 

Trying

UNFAITHFUL WIFE: Yesterday we went to Milan. I usually do the planning for our travels, and this day trip was no different. I had tried to figure out what each of us were interested in doing. I found a free walking tour and registered us. I researched and narrowed down what attractions we’d try for and how much they’d cost. This was all normal.

What was not normal was that at the end of the night, after we got home, my husband held my hands, looked me in the eyes, and said thank you. He told me that he had a wonderful time and that he thought I did a great job. It felt amazing.

This isn’t the only thing he’s done, but it’s an excellent example. My husband has been trying.

Of course we’re still not great. We have a long way to go, but I want him to know that I see his efforts. And seeing him try makes me want to try.