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.

Advertisements

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.

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. 

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.

Reconciling Myself

UNFAITHFUL WIFE: We are each a collection of memories, anecdotes, characteristics, behaviors, reactions, personality traits. These are the things we use to define ourselves. This is who I am. This is what I believe. This is how I react. This is the definition of me.

Since having an affair some new words have bubbled to the top of my definition. Some were placed there by me. Some were added by my husband, some by my affair partner. A few were contributed by therapists and some came courtesy of other people I’ve encountered, here and elsewhere.

I am selfish. That one should be repeated as it is the strongest. It is the most universally held belief about me. It plays on repeat in my head. I am selfish. Selfish. Selfish. I am not worthy. I am undesirable. I am a bitch. I am a whore. I am an adulteress. I am an asshole. I am inconsiderate. I am vain. I am false. I am weak. I am a coward. I cannot bear monotony. I am a quitter. I am a failure. I lack the ability to judge people. I am dominant. I always get what I want. I do this all for show.

Some of these things fit easily into my preexisting sense of self, but those that don’t pose a problem. It creates a dissonance in my mind that is hard to reconcile. I don’t know who I am or what I want or where I’m headed. Who am I? And by even pondering this am I only reinforcing my selfishness?

My Husband’s Dreams

UNFAITHFUL WIFE: My husband had a bad dream. He’s had bad dreams for as long as we’ve been married. They’re always about me. Sometimes I’m cheating on him. Sometimes I’m leaving him. In his most recent dream I wanted a divorce.

I used to be able to comfort him, but since the affair it’s much more difficult. How do you sound sincere telling your spouse you would never when you already have?

I also find it harder to convince myself. Right now I can’t imagine wanting a divorce, but there was a time when I couldn’t imagine having an affair. No future seems certain anymore. I am not prophetic, but my husband’s dream’s may be. I hope not.

In his most recent dream, my husband told me, he didn’t fight the divorce. In past dreams he has. Maybe that means something. Maybe it doesn’t.

What’s my opinion?

Fuck dreams. I’m glad I don’t remember mine.

Live for Tomorrow

UNFAITHFUL WIFE: If there is one thing I’ve learned on this trip it’s that I like having a schedule. Not a minute-by-minute breakdown of the day to come. Not even an hourly breakdown. That would only set me up for failure. I just like to have an idea of what I’ll be doing on any given day. Ridicule my lack of spontaneity, call me a stick in the mud, but I function better within the confines of a schedule.

Beyond that, I appreciate a little timeline with my scheduling. Tell me we’re spending two weeks in Paris and I will book transportation, find a charming place to stay, and whip up a schedule in no time at all. But tell me we have two to four months to explore Europe and suddenly I’m paralyzed by choice. I can’t bring myself to pin down an itinerary for fear of missing out on something better. Fortunately, my husband suffers no such hesitations otherwise we might still be stranded somewhere in the middle east.

This realization, fermented by an abundance of time on my hands, has led me to daydream about having a timeline of my life. Basically, I wish I knew when I was going to die. Not because I want to die. Not even because I wish to postpone dying. I’d just like to make a rough schedule. I’d like to know if it’s worthwhile for me to seriously pursue a successful career or if I won’t be around long enough to reap the rewards. Conversely, will focusing on today’s goals leave me high and dry in old age? It would be convenient to know what sort of scope I’m working with.

But, of course, that’s not how life works. You just do what you can and hope for the best. Sometimes you fuck things up royally. You cheat on your spouse. You neglect your family. Some days you just need a break. You sit on the couch in your pajamas eating Swiss Cake Rolls. At least, that’s how life has worked out for me. Most days I’m just trying to make sure I’m headed generally in the right direction, and I remind myself of the  knowledge I do have too work with.

I know, for example, roughly how much daylight there will be on any given day. I know that beyond the age of 65, should I make it that far, my arteries will most likely begin to thicken and harden. I know that ten years from now the probability of my dying will be three times greater than it was ten years ago. And I know that my husband will still love me.

I know people will say that I shouldn’t think about the future. Live for today, they say, but I don’t think that’s best. I spent over a year living for today while I cheated on my husband. I reveled in today without considering tomorrow. No,  I think I must live for tomorrow. I can appreciate today, smell a rose, watch the sunset, reflect on how marvelous it is that my heart has made another uninterrupted 100,000 beats and continues steadily, but I need to make sure that I am headed towards tomorrow.

Let’s Talk About Sex

UNFAITHFUL WIFE: We’ve spent the past week in Amsterdam, a city that is known for, among other things, sex. Prostitution has been legal in Amsterdam since 2000, and the red light district, where prostitutes showcase their wares, is now a major tourist attraction. We spent two nights wandering the neighborhood, along with hordes of tour groups, stag parties, and even a Red Hat Society club.

Sex has long been a struggle in our relationship. Neither of us have ever been to keen on broaching the the topic, but since the affair we have been trying. Hard. One of the things we did, on the suggestion of my individual counselor, was to take this quiz. Each partner goes through a list of sexual fantasies and marks each item as something they are interested in, not at all interested in, or would be willing to try if their partner is interested. After each person completes the quiz, you receive a list of all of the fantasies you have in common.

For me, this didn’t do much, but my husband found the results to be very surprising. I guess he thought I was a lot more prudish than I actually am. It made him feel more comfortable bringing up sexual fantasies, and, while our sex life isn’t exactly on fire right now, we are more willing to engage in conversations about sex. Amsterdam seemed like a natural locale for those conversations to arise.

We didn’t hire a prostitute or watch a live sex show. I’m not ruling those activities out forever, but I don’t think we are secure enough right now for that. Instead, we popped into a few sex shops in the neighborhood. We admired costumes and toys. We talked about what we’d like to buy when we get back home. We’re living out of carry-on suitcases this year so we have to be choosy about things we buy. Sex toys don’t exactly make the cut. My two pairs of panties and one bra barely make the cut. Even though we didn’t purchase anything or watch any shows, we did talk about sex. And that’s a start.