Stranger on a Plane

plane

As a proud non-cheater, I often wonder how affairs begin.  And moreover, how they spiral into the life ruining, soul crushing epics they eventually become.  Is it a stolen glance across a crowded room?  A far to eager 3rd party who offers themselves as bait to a previously faithful spouse?  An intentionally sought after dalliance orchestrated by a soul-less husband and an equally immoral partner?

In the months following my husbands’ affair(s) I frequently obsessed over the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of it all.  How could he do this?  Why would he do this?  As you probably already guessed, the answers to those questions were never found.  Until, that is, I found myself in a situation that could have easily been the first moments of an affair.

About a year ago, a year post D-Day, I traveled to the east coast for work.  There was nothing particularly eventful about the trip so let’s fast forward to the flight home.

I was traveling with a colleague who was seated several rows ahead of me.  I settled into my window seat prepared for a lonely flight on a plane with *gasp* no in flight entertainment.  I was prepared to endure the agony of not being able to catch up on a couple of films I had missed by arming myself with a slew of magazines and salty snacks.

Clearly I was not a lady who was presenting her best self as I was sitting in leggings, my hair plopped in a messy bun, surrounded by Vogue, US weekly and potato chips.

I hardly noticed when the occupant of the middle seat arrived.  I was far too busy checking emails, texting my husband…and eating chips.

Shortly after take off, I tried plugging my phone into the charger under the seat hoping to get enough battery to listen to some music for the remainder of the flight however, the phone was not charging.  I wasn’t sure if it was the outlet or my phone.  I noticed that my unnoticeable neighbor had the same phone so I asked him if he could test the charger in his outlet and on his phone.

He was friendly enough and complied with my request.  Long story short, I was doomed to endure the flight in silence.  A few jokes were exchanged about the lack of entertainment and from there I don’t really know how it happened….

Don’t worry, I didn’t go join the mile high club in that moment.  The stranger in the middle seat and I somehow began chatting.  It was one of those effortless, feels like we’ve known each other in a past life sort of exchanges.

I learned that we were the same age, down to sharing the same birth day AND year.  We both attended private Catholic same-sex high schools, quoted the same movies, shared the same political views and even brought the same male/female magazine equivalents onto the plane.  If I had met this guy before my husband, I would have deemed him my soulmate right then and there.  I was actually beginning to wonder if I had a long-lost twin who had been hidden from me my entire life.  I didn’t even notice that he was actually quite attractive until we were several hours into our new found ‘friendship.’

He told me about his family, his job and his life as a single parent.  We had basically covered all the conversations to be had in the first six months of dating during this flight.  Was the universe trying to tell me something?  Was this a sign that I had made a mistake in staying in my marriage and some higher power was showing me that perhaps there is someone else I am supposed to be with?

I didn’t do anything drastic to withhold my marital status.  I was wearing my rings, even if I was subconsciously covering my left hand with magazines.  I didn’t mention my marital status, but then again he didn’t ask.  At some point in the conversation I got the serious vibe that this guy might possibly want to get to know me in a setting outside of an airplane.

There was an instant when I realized I was at a crossroads.  I could easily slip of my rings off, continue to withhold that I am married and see if this ‘sign’ from the universe was worth exploring further.  I began to think about my husbands’ affair(s) in that moment.  Did he have a moment such as this?  A moment when one decision, when one path chosen, could impact the rest of our lives?  I knew that if he did, then clearly he made the wrong choice.  I also knew that I am not that person.  I am the type of person who makes the right choice.  The honest choice.

I soon found myself mentioning my husband and using “we” in discussion with this stranger.  I could see the shock and confusion upon first mention of this mysterious husband I had failed to disclose for the previous 2-3 hours.  I felt his disappointment but, being the nice guy that he was, he continued to chat with me for the remainder of the flight…. albeit visibly let down that this chemistry we both felt would never leave that flight.

In a strange way, that experience gave me the opportunity to empathize with those that have affairs.  Even if just for a moment, I felt the temptation and excitement that affairs must ignite.   But what I also learned from this encounter is that there is ALWAYS a choice.  No one is forced into an affair.  No matter the scenario there is always a line to be crossed, a decision to be made, a fork in the road….. there is an instant where one chooses to respect and honor their spouse and their vows over the fleeting spark with a stranger on a plane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Sabbatical

wallup.net

Gone (temporarily) but not forgotten.  Admittedly, I intentionally abandoned both posting to my own blog and obsessively reading the blogs of others.  This is not to say that I didn’t have anything to say or learn, I simply needed a break from the dreaded ‘A’ word.  Basically I needed a vacay from this nightmare that had invaded my life.

Did it work?  Maybe.  However, I found that maybe my story still needs to be told, even if in retrospect.  No, I don’t think I am some unique being who is the first/last/only to experience this pain and the world is waiting on bated breath for my precious jewels of wisdom,  but seeing that this blog continues to get views and comments nearly 2 years later that are comparable to those of my first day writing has led me to believe that every day (sadly) there is a new batch of ladies (and gentlemen) who have had their lives uprooted thanks to the selfishness of both their spouse and some inhumane being with no regards for another’s family.  The victims of the abuse (yes abuse) that is an affair need the comfort and solidarity of knowing that they are not alone and there is life after the nightmare.

So with that said, I’m back bitch*s!

When Life Hands You Lemons…..

lemon-09

It’s been a while since I have felt the need or desire to post.  It’s not that I’ve had nothing to say and it’s not that I’ve had no feelings towards or about my husband’s infidelity.  It’s just that I’ve had nothing NEW to say and I’ve had nothing NEW to feel.

For me, there is a fine line between therapeutic and masochistic.  Reliving the discovery of the affair and wallowing in the pain does little to help me heal.  I cannot speak for others or assume that someone else’s healing process will align perfectly with my own but I can say that regaining a sense of normalcy, without losing sight of (or forgetting) what happened, has left me in a state today, nearly a year later, which is a far cry from where I was when the wound was still wide open.

Sure there have been milestones over the past four months since I last checked in: weekends, holidays, dates, fights, monthly anniversaries of D-Day, etc.  There have been good days and bad days.  Days when I am filled with hope and optimism and days when I want to curl up in a ball and cry.  Days when I vividly remember every moment that followed after D-Day and days when the affair doesn’t even make an appearance in my thoughts.  But there had been no moments which inspired me to have something new to share about the journey from infidelity towards whatever the future may hold.  No moments when I felt something NEW.  The same feelings towards the affair are still there, though more often than not, to a lesser degree.

Maybe it’s the impending first annual anniversary of D-Day next week or maybe it’s the recent media circus surrounding cheating, Lemonade, the Bey-hive, Rachel Roy/Rachel Ray and ‘Becky with the good hair’ that has me reflecting on my own story of infidelity a lot more these days.

Admittedly, I am not a card-carrying member of the Bey-hive and I don’t really have any feelings towards Beyonce, good or bad, however, when the news broke of her new album and its alleged inspiration, I sat up and took notice.  As a survivor of infidelity, I have discovered that I have a new-found interest in the subject of infidelity so naturally I was intrigued when I learned that even this beautiful, talented, seemingly confident celebrity was not immune to the disgusting act of betrayal.  In some strange way it was comforting to know that EVEN BEYONCE gets cheated on.

Aside from feeling some sort of comradery with this woman whom I don’t (nor will ever) know personally, I also find myself filled with admiration for her tactics.  She did something I, and many others like me, only wish we could (or had the resources/platform) to do.

I have intentionally kept my husband’s dirty deeds a secret.  A secret from our friends, family and, with the exception of this anonymous blog, the world.  Why?  Well, first and foremost, because it’s embarrassing.  Sure I would love for my husband and his whore to be forced to wear their scarlet letters on the world stage.  I know it doesn’t have any bearing on what happened, but I feel that I would have a sense of peace and justice if they were to be publically brandished as liars and cheaters.  Humiliated the way I have been.

I know it sounds cruel, but one thing that hasn’t changed in the past year is my desire for the section 8 slut to pay.  My husband is not innocent at all, but at the same time, there have been consequences he has endured.  He has had to watch me cry, watch me scream, watch me hurt.  He has spent the past year arduously rebuilding the relationship he (and SHE) broke.  Meanwhile, she just disappeared into an abyss to carry on with whoring ways.

Beyonce was able to do what I can only dream of.  She had the courage to air her dirty laundry for all to see, regardless of her own shame and embarrassment, while letting the world know her husband is no better than the millions of other cheating husbands out there.  She admitted that she is no different from the rest of us when it comes to infidelity.  We all feel the same roller coaster of emotions.  We all want to take a bat to someone’s car (or face).  We all contemplate leaving.  We all hate the other woman.  We all drive ourselves practically insane trying to over-analyze the details of the situation.  We are all Beyonce …..  My checking account balance just happens to have a lot less zeros than hers.

My intimate knowledge of infidelity makes me uniquely qualified to fully understand the level of courage it takes for someone to publicly admit that their husband betrayed them AND that they plan to fight for their family.  It’s humiliating, terrifying, embarrassing and opens the door to judgement and criticism by those who subscribe to the “cheating = divorce, no questions asked” philosophy.

While I am happy to see that Beyonce is highlighting the fact that infidelity is unique to each family and doesn’t necessarily result in the death of a marriage, I especially love that ‘Becky with the good hair’, whoever she may be, doesn’t have the luxury of walking away from the mess she helped create unscathed.  She may not have been mentioned by name, but there is often some level of truth in rumors, so whomever she is, I guarantee her name is being mentioned publicly.  This woman who chose to engage with a married man, chose to come between a husband and wife, chose to come between a father and daughter…. this woman knows who she is.  And now the world knows WHAT she is.  A whore.  No different from the whores that did the same to my family.  And no different than the whores who did the same to yours.

Actually, I take that back.  My husbands’ whore IS different from Jay-Z’s whore.  She ain’t no ‘Becky’ (which Urban Dictionary tells me is a basic white girl who gives good blow-jobs, often to a variety of men), and she certainly doesn’t have good hair.

So as the much-anticipated first year anniversary of the worst day of my life looms a mere week away and as I have been inspired by an unlikely, yet timely, source to take stock of my own journey, I have come to one conclusion …… Nothing has been perfect and there have been many bumps along the way but when life gave me lemons, I made lemonade…..and margaritas.

CHEERS!

For those that need a re-cap of the Bey/Jay infidelity saga, this pretty much sums it up.

 

2015 was the WORST….

Empty road to upcoming 2016 at sunset

 

Or was it?  

It may have been the absolute worst year of my life but…. ’tis the season to put things into perspective.

While my husband and his whores have caused me to question my faith in humanity many times throughout the year, I’d still like to believe that they are the exception, not the rule.

Sometimes humans CAN be decent ….. Click Here for the proof!

xoxo

 

 

Out With The Old….

stockings_were_hung

I am a firm believer in the old adage “actions speak louder than words”…. even more so upon learning that I am a victim of infidelity.  All one needs to do is visit a few blogs written by betrayed spouses to learn that we are all in agreement that we don’t believe jack shit that our unfaithful spouses SAY following the discovery of an affair.  But rather, we demand ACTION.

Over the course of the past seven months, it’s that very demonstration of change in my husband that has made this battle worth fighting.  Without witnessing remorseful actions that indicate a change in his behavior (and his overall existence), all hope would inevitably be lost.

Sometimes the change is subtle and goes unnoticed….. or maybe betrayed wives are just too consumed with the myriad of affair emotions to see/accept it when it presents itself.  It’s only when we reflect and compare the past (i.e. pre/during affair) vs. the present are we able to recognize this demonstrable change in our spouses.

When that happens, it serves as the fuel to keep us moving forward on our journey.  And as another blogger commented to me today, it’s about the journey, not the destination.

Last night I experienced one of these moments.  A moment when you see, recognize and accept the change in your spouse.  A moment that serves as a beacon of hope that the marriage is not doomed to die a slow miserable death.

I guess you could say it was a Christmas miracle.

I was sitting on the couch aimless watching tv and staring into the fireplace below, thinking about nothing in particular when my gaze wandered up to our stockings.

I had been adding random gifts into my husbands stocking over the past week, as I have always done each year leading up to Christmas.  However, this year something was different.

In years prior, my husband’s stocking became increasingly full as his thoughtful “Santa”/wife filled it with goodies … meanwhile my sad little stocking remained empty.  When the time came to open presents, I’d usually get handed a gift card or some after thought of a gift that was purchased earlier that day as my husband gleefully opened gift after gift with joy.

Needless to say, even though I loved the Christmas season, my husband never exactly went out of his way to make me feel special.  Shit, he didn’t even go out of his way to acknowledge my existence.  In retrospect, I suppose it makes sense given the fact that he was “preoccupied.”

This year however, my stocking is not the sad pathetic empty vessel it has always been.   Here we are, over a week BEFORE Christmas and *GASP* … my stocking is FULL.

Now, I am not some materialistic bitch who is salivating over my stocking like a rabid dog hoping to find it filled with diamonds come Christmas morning (but, hey, if it is you won’t see me complaining).  My elation over the fact that my stocking is full has nothing to do with the actual contents of said stocking, but rather, it’s the mere fact that change has occurred.  Actual change that I can see and measure against the past.

After months of feeling like a worthless after thought, it feels nice (and dare I say, “NORMAL”) to physically witness a change in my husband and our marriage during a season which is destined to be extra painful this year.

A stocking full of surprises may seem trivial and silly to most, but to me it means the world …. more than my husband can even imagine…..

Just as long as that stocking isn’t full of whores!

xoxo

 

The Finish Line….

finish-line1

As a self-professed amateur expert in all things “infidelity,” I have noticed a common theme in regards to the topic of recovery.  Recovery is often described in finite terms with the much referenced “road to recovery” leading to some mystical state of being that is filled with pure happiness and forgiveness.  But is the idea of being truly recovered simply an unattainable myth?  A unicorn we are all chasing that doesn’t even really exist?

Can we ever really recover from infidelity?   Are we ever done healing?

The answer is, I don’t know.  I am trekking down this road like all of you, hoping to get a glimpse of the finish line.  It’s existence and the promise of what lies ahead is my motivation to continue on the course.

The reality is, I don’t even know what this illusive state of “recovery” looks like.  Will I wake up one day and just instinctively know that today is the day I am officially recovered?   Or will it creep in silently and long pass me by before I even realize it has happened?  Or is it just a mirage, water in the distance that I can never drink?

The promise of an existence beyond the infidelity is so enticing it has become almost larger than life itself in my mind.  I envision it as this monumental occasion, perhaps even a “Congratulations, you are recovered!” party will be thrown in my honor?  Angels will herald from the sky and the world will sparkle.

Now, I have enough good sense to know that this all will not happen but one has to wonder …… What does recovery look like?

I suppose that if recovery does exist, it looks different to each of us.  For some, it may present itself in the form of divorce and a fresh start.  For others, it may fresh start in our existing marriage.  And for some, recovery may never present itself at all.

So I turn to this community to ask…

Do you think recovery exists?  And if so, what is your definition of “recovered.”

 

This Little Light of Mine….

Candle, flame.

 

Ever since the truth of my husband’s double life was revealed, something inside me has inevitably changed.  Call it what you will but the fire, the spark, the light within me has grown much dimmer as if the vile act of infidelity extinguished that je ne sais qua that made me …. ME.

As I painfully endure my first holiday season as a betrayed spouse, I find myself mourning the loss of my former life, my former self.  I see that my flame no longer burns as brightly and I no longer have the ability to enjoy this time of year like I once did.  The pure joy and innocence of it all was taken from me and I struggle to envision a future, with or without my husband, where it exists again.

I have gone through the motions of spreading the holiday cheer throughout my home …. trimming the tree, decorating the mantle, putting up the lights on the house …. but the actions are hollow.

Meanwhile my husband is carrying on as if this is just another holiday season spent together.  Complimenting the decor in our home, discussing our Christmas plans, emailing me items he just “has to have” from “Santa” (aka me).

I have a Christmas wishlist of my own but unfortunately it’s nothing Santa can fit in bag.

So what is it that I want for Christmas this year?  

That’s easy.  I want my light back.  I want to be me again.  Simple enough right?

I suppose that in reality my Christmas wish will not come true and I cannot expect to find the end to this pain neatly wrapped with a giant red bow under the tree this year.

All I can do is continue to throw kindling on the fire in the hopes of continuing to let this little light of mine shine.

xoxo