Is it a mental disorder?

I wrote yesterday about whether or not my spouse is “in love” with her affair partner. In that post, I talked a bit about the fantasy world that people live in while they’re involved — and after — affairs.

We are one month and six days after what is called d-day. D-Day is the day when the affair is discovered. So, in 36 days, where is my wife? We are still together and seeing counselors. We don’t exactly know what the future holds, but we are still in the same house and largely living the same life.

Is there a mental disorder? 

I am not sure. But there are certainly some very pervasive mental fantasies that thoroughly screw with the mind. I asked my wife yesterday if we were to get separated or divorced, would she want to be with Mark (the AP)? She didn’t hesitate and answered “yes.”

Now, you have to understand, Mark is married. Mark has four children from 10 to about 17 years old. Mark used her for sex and literally was at it again, flirting with another woman at our gym just four days after they were caught. He totally ignored my wife, not even noticing her. Mark could care less.

When I asked why, she said she had feelings for him and it would be most convenient to be with him.  (Still would be adultery mind you because they wouldn’t be married)

Later, while explaining it, she said “But Mark is someone else’s husband, so I couldn’t be with him. He belongs to her.” Is that the ONLY reason? How about me, your husband of 18 years. The one who has poured out his ENTIRE life for you?  How about our three sons who look at their mother as a representation of how women love and stand by their men? How about our three year old who wouldn’t know what the eff was happening if he were to have to visit with another adult man two weeks out of every month? What about NOT BEING THE OTHER WOMAN to a family who probably needs their father?

Just because he belongs to her? 

This is why I believe there is a bit of derangement when women have affairs. Women seek so much emotional connection that if you’re a decent looking guy, you can give them that “listening ear” and they’ll give you sex. Doesn’t matter to them about anything else.

Now, keep in mind, this doesn’t really bug me much. I realize that sin has HUGE consequences and for now, I have my wife here. She lives in my home. She cares for my kids. She even tells me how much she is falling in love with me again. So, if you’re in this situation, you don’t need to take it too personally.

Sure, she may leave later. But she already left before. Sure we may get divorced later, but she’d already divorced me in her heart in February and March of this year. Since the most devastating news of my life, it really can’t get much worse.

So, I don’t let what she said bother me. I am waiting for the remorse to fall. As God reveals her sin to her more and more, she will feel sorrow. I don’t have to force that sorrow. That’s an important thing to remember. It is not my job to control her. It is not my job to manipulate her. I am ONLY supposed to love her.

Should I stay or Should I leave?

This is the battle: Should I stay with Allie or should I leave? As you know, Allie had an affair with a man named Mark starting in January 2018 and ending sometime around March 20, 2018 when I caught her. I didn’t catch her red handed. But right after being with him, I confronted her on a story she told me and she confessed.

Since that date, I have asked six to eight times for her to get a divorce. Her affair partner Mark is getting divorced because Mark’s wife Carrie filed this month. I don’t know the status of their proceeding except to say that all the normal stuff has been filed. We will see what happens once the judgment is entered.

So the question is to stay or go?

When Allie cheated on me the first time in 2012, I was very quick to forgive her, move through the pain and reestablish trust with her. After six years, I completely trusted her. We had a great year last year, going camping several times, taking some trips as a couple, moving into a new home and celebrating all that life offers. I look back at photos from 2017 and I simply don’t see the build up of pain that she describes.

However, Allie’s dad did some crazy shit over the past six years and she’s feeling a lot of rejection from him. But what the eff does that have to do with me? It doesn’t.

This affair took me by complete surprise. Other than a few clues she left here and there, for all intents and purposes, our marriage was going along quite nicely. We were about to celebrate 18 years, our kids were in a school they loved, and we’ve just moved into a home that we are very comfortable in. Everything was great. Literally.  I can name some really wonderful stuff that was happening. Yet, Allie decided to have another affair.

She’s often said that it was a sweet time when I forgave her the first time. She loved how “into her” I was. Truth be told, I love my wife. She’s the love of my life and I will probably love her the rest of my days on earth. But how do you reconcile an event like this?

Right now, Allie is remorseful. She often says how her mind is changing and how wrong she was. She have apologized many times in the last couple of weeks for what she did. She talks about how she was an idiot and that the weight of her sin is very heavy.

“When mistrust comes in, loves goes out.”

But she said that last time too. She used very similar words. She used similar actions. My problem is that she has a serious hold over me because of my love for her. I almost hate how she can get what she wants from me. I really wish I just didn’t care. I still want to protect her as much as I want to protect our kiddos.

I know if she and I get divorced, she’ll begin some crazy-destructive behaviors and I don’t want to put her or our sons through that. How do I know she’ll begin destructive behaviors? Because of the things she’s said throughout this time. She says she would want to be with Mark because she has feelings for him and it would be convenient. What? Doesn’t she realize the chances of a relationship born out of an affair has about a 0%? Of course she does.

Doesn’t she realize that he doesn’t want her? He got his ego boost and now is paying the price. Who in their right mind would want to go into a relationship with someone who cheated on their spouse to start it? That is the same question I ask myself. Who in their right mind would want to continue a relationship with a person who cheated on them multiple times?

The question of whether I will ever trust her again is probably pretty ridiculous. Of course I won’t. Fool me once……

Then, if I don’t trust her do we even have a relationship? Isn’t every relationship worth having built on the foundation of trust? Will I ever trust anyone again? Hmmmmmm?

So, I am weighing love vs. security. Balancing my mental battles with the good times. She still calls me “babe” and “honey” and “sweetie.” But those sound so empty. She still wants to plan future stuff, but I just can’t go there right now.

Divorce brings with it a shit load of pain. I know that. I would lose 50% of my time with my kids, lose my daily talks with Allie, it would be lonely as crap as I sleep in a bed alone for the first time in 18+ years. Making dinners during my “off weeks” would be super effing lonely. Maybe I am just scared of being alone?

I do love her. I do want the best for her. But I really don’t know. Struggling like crazy today.

But we had a relationship

This morning, Allie says to me that in Idaho it is felony to commit adultery. I looked it up and it is a felony, however rarely prosecuted. My guess is that it isn’t prosecuted ever.

But Allie says she got a little freaked out because Carrie could press charges against her. But as she thought about it, Carrie probably wouldn’t because Mark could have charges pressed against him and etc. If you don’t know, Mark is Allie’s affair partner and Carrie is Mark’s soon-to-be ex-wife. Carrie filed for divorce on May 1st, 2018.

So, as we talked about it a bit, Allie said that it is so weird that you could get a charge for simply having a relationship with someone. This is EXACTLY WHY I think that there is a mental disorder with all of this. Why you might ask? Because Allie still thinks it was just a relationship. EARTH TO ALLIE!  YOU’RE MARRIED. HE’S MARRIED. THERE IS NO RELATIONSHIP UNTIL YOU’RE DIVORCED AND SINGLE. IT’S ADULTERY!

Mark just used my wife Allie anyway. It is pretty clear that he doesn’t want anything long-term with her. Heck, he’s soon-to-be single.  If he wanted to run off to paradise with her, he would find a way to reach out to her. He was hitting on another woman in Crossfit just four days after the affair was discovered.

But Allie keeps saying that she wants me. Wants to be with me.  Maybe I am the one with a mental disorder for not divorcing her post haste. Of course, if you know me, I process big decisions by thinking them through thoroughly. This one is the biggest decision of my life. So, I am having to really pray and think about it.

UPDATE: She and Mark had sex more than four times. Allie was using “trickle truth” which is when you let the truth out slowly so that it doesn’t hurt as much. And, we’re divorced now.

Allie has had multiple affairs now.  She had one in 2012 which didn’t result in sex. But this one in 2018 did result in sex.  From what Allie says, they had sex four times. That’s plenty right? So, I am having to think about the risk/reward on both sides of the equation. Divorce and there are huge risks. Stay and there are huge risks. Allie hasn’t given me much of a choice right?

 

Why did she cheat?

You know, I have read countless articles, thought, pondered, tried to empathize, asked friends, asked Allie herself. And still the answer to “why” is an unknown. Oh, there are reasons:

  • She was unhappy in our marriage
  • She wasn’t getting her needs met (blaming me)
  • She has childhood issues (blaming mom & dad)
  • She was in a “triggered space” (whatever that means)
  • She was pursued by Mark
  • She never saw it coming
  • She didn’t pursue an affair

Whatever the reason from above, or from anywhere else, the reason “why” is still not good enough. Keep in mind she is claiming 100% responsibility for the affair.  She is saying it was completely and utterly her fault while she tries to convince me to stay.

I am saying that it is not good enough because there is a much more honorable way out if you have a “reason” to go that far. You can go to your spouse and say, “I would like to get out of our marriage.”

Nine words.

It is literally that simple. So the question still remains, “why did she cheat?”  I think that answer is also a bit simple. Because she doesn’t like being alone and because she wanted to.

Sure, she wasn’t really alone alone in our marriage. But this good looking guy came along and told her she was the best thing since sliced bread.  He swept her off her feet with narcissistic love bombing. She took the bait.  Heck, I think she wanted the bait.

So what do I mean by she doesn’t want to be alone. Well, while she was in the affair, she basically had a good “plan B.”  This means that if the affair meant that it would end our marriage, then she still had Mark. I mean, it was clear that he loved her and she’d met her soul mate. (note the sarcasm)

Mark would certainly never leave her.  So, she could cheat, and it wouldn’t make her alone at all. She tested the waters with him by giving him everything, telling him that she loved him and seeing if he would respond in kind. All he really wanted was to have sex with her. He was just looking for what’s called narcissistic supply.

You see, I don’t buy into any argument that says that a person had no other choice but to cheat. A person has a million choices INCLUDING getting out of the marriage FIRST!

List of Reasons

Let’s go through the list of reasons to have an affair. I would challenge anyone to give me ONE reason that would justify cheating on a spouse.

  • My needs aren’t being met at home – My answer: Ask for a divorce. Get a divorce. Find someone to meet your needs.
  • My spouse isn’t interested in sex any more – My answer: Ask for a divorce. Get a divorce. Find someone who is interested in sex
  • My husband doesn’t listen to me – My answer: Ask for a divorce. Get a divorce. Find someone to listen to you
  • My spouse doesn’t respect me – My answer: Ask for a divorce. Get a divorce. Find someone who respects you.

You see, there isn’t a justification. Not one. If you’ve been unhappy for years, then that’s your own damn fault, not your spouse’s. What? You say!  Let’s say that you’ve been unhappy for 10 years. Then I say you’ve wasted nine. The first year, you owe it to your spouse to do everything you can to work it out WITHOUT CHEATING!  After that, ask for a divorce. Get a divorce. Voila! You aren’t unhappy for nine more years.

You can leave a comment if you have the “perfect reason” justifying infidelity. I will answer you with the same thing “My answer: Ask for a divorce. Get a divorce. Find someone to _________________”

 

Missing Family Events

Review:

  • Allie – My wife.  Had an affair with Mark
  • Mark – Was married to Carrie at the time of the affair with Allie
  • Carrie – Mark’s betrayed wife
  • Bob – Me. Betrayed by Allie.

In May of 2018, Carrie filed for divorce from Mark after she learned of the affair he had with my wife Allie.

One of the costs of having an affair is divorce. Divorce means that not only will you be split from your spouse (which some people may welcome) but it also means that you’ll probably be isolated from holidays, family events and social functions.

Here are some of their family events that Mark has missed out on because he chose to have sex with someone who he wasn’t married to. This is just since March 2018. It is costing him lots of money too.

  • His son Drake turned 18 – in May
  • His son Drake graduated high school in June
  • His daughter Kallie turned 14
  • Mark’s own birthday was in April

You might ask how I know these things. Well, I am friends with his wife on Facebook and I was friends with him too. He blocked me and Allie the day I discovered the affair.

I honestly don’t get it. Allie says to me last night to have some empathy for her. I honestly have tried. I have made lots of mental attempts to put myself in her shoes, trying to feel how she felt. Trying to figure out a way to justify cheating on my spouse. I simply can’t.

I can’t get there because it costs way too much. It costs everything and the betrayal is so deep and so pervasive that I simply cannot get to a point of justification. I can get to a place of wanting divorce. I am there now. I have wanted a divorce many times since discovering the affair a couple of months ago.  While I never wanted one before, I now can totally empathize with those who do want to get divorced. But cheating? Nope. Can’t get there. I just don’t think that there is one good reason. Any reason given should be getting a divorce instead.

Why end a marriage in disgrace? Why invest that much of your life only to leave a legacy of pain, destruction, betrayal and dishonesty? When you leave honorably, it costs you way less. Sure, it hurts. But it is a lot better than having an affair.

It took some level of maturity to get married. You’d think that 18 years after our wedding day, that person would have more maturity. That maturity could lead her to say, “I want a divorce” prior to having an affair.

If you’re honest, kind, honorable, truthful and sincere, then a marriage can be ended peacefully and with grace. You just have to have the balls to do it that way. If you end your marriage with honor and peace that WILL come back to you. I believe in Karma. In the Bible version, Karma is reaping and sowing. You reap what you sow. If you sow destruction, lies and affairs, you WILL reap those same things in the future.

We see it all the time. When a couple who gets together during an affair gets married, they have a nearly 100% fail rate. 100%!!!!!!!

Thus, if you start your “relationship” by having an extramarital affair, then it is likely your relationship will end the same.

 

I knew it – Yet another affair

I said that Allie and I were staying together in one of my posts. Less than one week ago, I was still working towards that potential with her. We had a great forgiveness and counseling session last Friday and I began to feel like she was really being sincere. I felt a humble compassion and love for her as we left the session. I felt hope.

We even went last Sunday to look at houses together. Starting to dream again. It was a relief because since finding out about her affair with Mark nearly six months ago, I have not been able to daydream or plan any sort of future with her. My mind just simply wouldn’t go there. So, Sunday we both had a great day as we started dreaming again. It felt nice. Almost serene.

The next morning, on Labor Day Monday, I opened her phone and saw a text she sent to her boss Derek. It was on August 20th while I was visiting a friend in New Jersey. The text was off color for something that you would send to the guy you work for.  Not flirty, just outside of professional context.

Rewind to last year.  I noticed some texts to Derek last September-ish which were flirty and attention-seeking from Kelli to him. I questioned her about them and she got defensive, but a few hours later apologized saying that I was right and that she had been seeking attention from him.  She claimed it was because of her being new at her job. She promised that there was nothing there and that it was wrong. (Stupid me believed her)

Over the course of this past year, I have probably revisited the question of anything between her and Derek two or three times. She always adamantly maintained that there wasn’t.

So on this past Labor Day (2018), I saw that text to him and asked her again, “Did something happen with Derek.”  She said “no.”

I headed out to my workout class and she called twice in the five minute drive, so I picked up. She told me over the phone that she and Derek did in fact kiss. I skipped my workout and came home. When I got home, the story grew more and now they’ve not only kissed but had met several times in his clinic. She maintains now that they were physical but didn’t have sex.  Only the two of them know the real truth.

She said that she was infatuated with him because he was nice.

Finding out about yet another affair is the knockout punch for me. Any small spark of hope was extinguished with this new discovery. She says that the two affairs meant the same thing, but to me they don’t. They are simply more and more times where she chose betrayal over loyalty. Lying over honesty.

The affair with Derek was about four months long (according to her) while the affair with Mark was two months. So, literally since we moved into this house, she has been in an affair, hiding an affair, been in another affair, and now recovering from the affairs. Over a year now of not “normal” in this home.

Subtle and subversive blame

I was chatting with one of my FB friends. We will call her Ainsley. She is going through a similar thing with her husband. Her hubby cheated a while back and treated her like shit. Now, she wants out and her husband is being super nice and saying he’s changed.

She messaged me this morning and what she hit on was so profound that I had to write about it.

Direct Blame

Any of you who’ve been through having an unfaithful spouse knows the direct blame game that they play. They make a lot of “you” statements and I wrote about blame here and here.  In a nutshell, the person who was faithful will often come out blaming themselves for the marital difficulties and even the affairs. Often, the faithful spouse will think, “I could have met their needs better. I could have been a better husband or wife. I could have done better.” That is all complete bullshit. And I wrote about not blaming yourself here.

“You” Statements are a form of direct blame.

  • You weren’t meeting my needs
  • You were distant
  • You never paid me attention

There are hundreds more. But they all mean the same thing. “You’re responsible for my actions.”  And that shit don’t play.  It’s too bad that we will take on that responsibility on ourselves. I did with Allie’s first affair.

Here’s where Ainsley’s messages to me today were so profound. I had a light bulb go off in my head reading through what she was saying.

Indirect – Subtle Blame

Ainsley said this to me today.

This is the bargaining tool my husband keeps using too. He has “changed”….they chose to do things that cannot be taken back knowing exactly what the consequences are of that action. So as much as my husband is trying to guilt me by saying he has changed and she [Allie]  is trying to do the same. It is not our fault.

For the past several months, Allie has been very remorseful and repentant. She keeps telling me how much she has changed and how her eyes are open to what she did.

Here’s the subtle blame though and the profound part of Ainsley’s message. Basically because the cheater has “changed” they throw a lot of guilt your way because you haven’t accepted that change. You can’t see the “work” they’ve put in to be a better person. Here are some direct quotes from Allie to me via text. See if you can spot the subtle blame in each of these messages:

  • Meanwhile I’m loving you and praying for you
  • I am faithful and honest
  • I’m sorry for the things you’ve said to me (personal favorite)
  • Don’t you understand how sad I am over you and me?
  • I would do anything to take it back
  • I’m asking for you to be a safe place
  • I’m trying to be a strong person
  • I gave you my body as much as you wanted
  • I want to strive for wholeness with you
  • I was trying so hard to love you
  • How can you be so cruel. You bring up those things in relationships I have renounced and asked forgiveness for?
  • I have done everything I can to show you how sad I am over this
  • I have poured myself into this marriage
  • Everything I say gets used against me
  • I chose to trust you with heart broken feelings I have
  • All I have done is work on fixing me

Keep in mind, I think that Allie believes the things she is saying. But the underlying tone to each of these is quite intentional. They are blaming me for not accepting her back. Heck, she’s apologized. So, what more does she need to do?

She’s loved me and been strong and prayed for me. She’s poured herself out to me and renounced the multiple external relationships with other men. How in the world is it that I can’t accept that and just get over it?

That’s the blame. That the subversive, ugly part of this. Let me break it down to very simple terms:

She cheats and blames me. Then she says she’s sorry and blames me for not being willing to move on like it never happened.

Thank you Ainsley. Your messages over the past couple days are completely eye opening.