Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum

So, this one time, at band camp…

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Today wasn’t a whole heap of fun. Work is still far too busy, and I am trying to do a full week’s work in just two days at present, as we are on the shoulder of the breeding season, but not slowing down much. Uni is two days per week (where I have to physically be on campus) but have just been called in another day per week for a compulsory departmental graduate student and faculty meeting.  I have had to quickly design a small research project, and spent the entire weekend researching, and writing an ethics application. Submitted to my supervisor, and she was very encouraging, and suggested a couple of smoothing tweaks to help. I got to these tonight, and am finally finding a moment to breathe a little.

During the day, my colleagues were on their lunch break. We work in equine reproduction, and the conversation is often pretty agricultural. My boss is my age, with a PhD, and is a board certified specialist in Veterinary Reproduction. The two permanent staffers are in their mid-20s. The conversation today started with the stud manager talking about her dear friend who is just dating a new guy after an appalling time. She had been going out with a man she adored for several years, they had just decided that they were going to start having sex using a different method of contraception than condoms. They went off and got STI screens and both came back clean. Not long afterwards, the woman found she got a terrible genital infection, and went to her doctor to find that she had herpes, warts, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Yup, quadruple whammy. She was in agony, and Ellen, my workmate, said she was with her when she was in so much pain, she couldn’t pee, and had to do it over/in a bathtub. She just wept and said to Ellen, “look at my vagina! It’s a pulverised, disgusting mess!” The guy swore he hadn’t cheated. Turns out, he not only had unprotected sex, but he did it on a sex tour in Thailand! Fucking arsehole! This poor girl was in agony, not just physically, you guys know the rest. Ellen was worried about her friend’s ability to re-partner (yes, she kicked him to the curb, of course) with herpes, and how she would have children if she was shedding during pregnancy, etc, etc, etc. The other girl we work with, a friend of Ellen and the girl in question, was gobsmacked, horrified and completely disgusted. Our boss, the vet, was all, “oh, that poor girl…” Meanwhile, the discussion went onto , “OMG, who the hell would do that? What a complete fucking arsehole. That poor, poor girl.” I sat there, rooted to my chair. What the hell could I say? “Oh yes, it happens to so many of us. After three kids, in your 40s, having only ever slept with one man – the love of your life, the man you trusted with every atom of your being – it happens ALL THE TIME. No biggie!” But no, instead, I sat there trying not to burst into tears, trying to swallow the bit of vom that kept sliding up my throat. My boss knows my situation with the cheating partner (whom she knows and likes, but she gets it, she was cheated on by a fiance back in the day.) But, of course, I haven’t told too many people about the HPV and chlamydia. Another part of my life I am OH SO DAMN PROUD OF.

Malicious Advice Mallard Meme | CATCH A STD OR STI? TRY TO CATCH ALL THE OTHERS THEY CANCEL EACH OTHER OUT | image tagged in memes,malicious advice mallard,AdviceAnimals | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

So, tonight, after being fairly quiet, Rog asked me how my day was. So, I told him what happened. And how I fought tears and/or running from the office screaming. Do you think he said anything? Did anything? Oh, you fools, don’t be so silly! He just sat there.  Later, he said, “what do you want me to say?” Well, dumbass, if I have to tell you…. I don’t have a script. I don’t have the right words to SAY. But he could have said something like, “oh, that must have sucked for you.” Or, “Poor girl, men can be such scumbags.” Or, anything at all.  But instead, he just got defensive and said, “it’s not the same thing.”

Really?

How is it not the same thing? You put your naked cock in a diseased whore. Lots of times. And your fingers. And your tongue. Probably your big fucking TOE! Pretty much every part of you that you could fit in her. Naked. And so did the other arsehole. Yes, you are SOOOO much better than him. Keep telling yourself that. Someone might believe you one day.

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40 thoughts on “So, this one time, at band camp…

  1. I’m so sorry that this has happened to you and to that other young woman. It’s awful and it’s unfair that while you loved only your husband that he was being such a selfish prick.

    I think about you sitting there feeling sick to your stomach listening to the story and my heart breaks for you!

    You deserve so much better than how you were treated! I’m sorry that even now your husband can be so clueless.

    You deserve a hug. You deserve to hear him say that he is sorry again. You deserve to hear him say that he was so wrong and that he wishes he never exposed you to these awful things. That he’s sorry for how horrible you felt sitting there and it’s because of him.

    I don’t know why they’re all such imbeciles when it comes to empathy but they are!

    You’re amazing for every that you’re doing with your life. You’re intelligent and incredible and nothing will ever change that.

    I’m sorry again for how sad and awful you felt I hope today is a much better day!

    • Thanks kaye. Yeah. I know. Mostly I cope just fine. But the looks of utter horror and disbelief were hard. I just sat there and thought, this could happen to any of you. Even you three intelligent, articulate, kind, loving women. My boss’s husband is somewhat of a bully and those tendencies were totally called out the other week by Ellen. It was awesome! The boss even hugged her and thanked her and apologised to her. What goes on behind closed doors, huh? There were 21 years when I would have GUARANTEED that Rog would never be so stupid or selfish. Ha!

  2. How awful. I didn’t get any diseases but having to get AIDS and Std tests after being a faithful wife was one of the lowest and loneliest moments of my life. It hurt so much, and I felt ashamed (even though there was no reason for that). I can only imagine how horrible this was for you to hear about. I know it’s no great consolation, but you are not alone ❤️– still your partners reaction was shitty.

    • I am right with you there, caroline. Sitting in my gynaecologist’s office, telling her why I needed a screen, ewwwww. I still sweat thinking about it. I was a 41 year old mother of three teens whom I had constantly rammed home safe sex messages to, and had never slept with another human being, and there I was. SOOOOOO embarrassing, humiliating, yes, LOW, so damn low. I still feel utterly filthy. And at that point, Roger was ADAMANT there was absolutely NO chance of diseases. I knew he hadn’t used protection, EVER, while he was fucking her for fifteen months, but he still INSISTED that she was “clean.” I still don’t understand that thinking. His wittle preshus was SOOO lovely and sweet smelling, with butterflies and flowers coming out of her vagina, right??? He was actually angry about it, I didn’t even tell him I went for the tests as he was in this really weird space at that time. Roger doesn’t really do angry, he is pretty calm and level headed usually. It scared me a bit, to be honest. When I eventually told him, he was utterly devastated and crushed. He apologised, but was kind of spaced out. I believe he was – maybe even is? – kind of in denial. What he doesn’t, to this day, understand is that STIs are one of the things I have been mortally afraid of, my whole life! He thinks because chlamydia has no symptoms, we got ourselves treated, that it is no big deal. Well, I have had to deal with the fact that I am “unclean” and have a lifelong thing to deal with, to manage, in the HPV he donated. I have had early stage cervical cancer changes that have required a few invasive procedures, and I am still on six monthly smears, often catching further changes and requiring further procedures/treatment. All because I trusted him. There is a massive gap between us on this topic. Thanks for your words, they mean a lot.

  3. I don’t understand why it hurts this much. I don’t understand why we still suffer the way we do. I know life is what we make it, but I find it scary and lonely. How come years later we still have these devastating reactions while men just move on. It kills me 😔

    • It hurts because we are committers! We go out there and jump into shit 112%! The whole head goes under, there is no hanging onto the edge, we are in and fully submerged. Unfortunately, not everyone is like this. And it does still hurt. But I think the pain for me is more about the loss, of what I thought I had (what Roger says was real, but, how could it have been if he got a bit sad and pissed it all away?) All I can say, is changing focus, learning new things and planning a new life have helped me. These things have not “cured” me – I knew they wouldn’t. But I can manage now, and it is less agonising than it was. Hang in there, caroline, good things come to those … who go out and find them xxx.

  4. I have a call into my doctor because normally they call to confirm good or no good on all my tests, and this panel never got followed up. I am very much the girl who is not worrying until there’s something to worry on but it’s been a long damn time and this all just horrifies me.

  5. So many painful aspects of this kind of betrayal, but I cannot imagine the constant physical reminder of an STI. And along with that, is having to feel dirty and embarrassed and humiliated because of others’ cruel and hurtful actions. I did not feel those things when I had my panel done and then discussed the why and the results with my long term female doc. I was blown away, however, by her first question to me. She asked why I believed my husband was a sex addict versus a run of the mill cheater. Why did I think he wouldn’t just do it again? She wasn’t trying to be hurtful, just practical. It knocked the wind right out of me. I just assumed, as a medical doctor, that she would understand the difference. I thought she would get the fact that I had contemplated the same question myself and because I was telling her he was a sex addict, she should just believe me, go along. She did not, understand at all, and through my sobs and tears, I had to explain it to her just a mere three weeks from figuring it out myself. It wasn’t embarrassing or humiliating (mainly because I am stubborn and refused even then to blame myself for his deplorable actions), but it was heartbreaking to explain that the man I had invested such a deep and lifelong commitment to was not at all who I thought him to be. Saying it out loud was and is devastating in a very painful way. Not that he cheated on me per se, not that he is a sex addict, but that he would shove me into the category with all the rest of the people in his life that he didn’t trust enough to share his deepest darkest secrets with. That he wouldn’t love me the same way I loved him. 😦

    I am so sorry any of us have to be part of conversations about cheating, and STIs and betrayal and not be able to tell our own stories honestly and openly because we don’t want to cause pain to others or we really don’t want to even have to explain ourselves or our partners to others. It can be very very lonely. ❤

    And yeah, Rog, unfortunately, to us, it IS the same thing! It is not how many women they fucked in one week, or whether it was a literal prostitute or just an old girlfriend. The point is that they put their own needs and wants above ours, in the moment or moments (it is NOT less devastating when a guy makes a conscious decision to have an emotional and physical affair with a woman over months time versus having idiot no strings attached sex in a foreign country for a few days) and in so doing, they put our lives at risk… not just our emotional stability, but our actual physical lives. It is the same. I guess in a sense for Blue Eyes, when he deflects or doesn't answer me in a way that allows me to feel validated after all he has done, I tend to attribute it to the part of him that allowed him to do it all in the first place… and that does not leave me with a good feeling.

    xoxo

    • Thanks, Kat. My doc didn’t know until I my bestie dropped me off one day and pleaded with him to put my on anti-depressants! He asked the usual questions, and was very caring. He asked me if I was still with him (I was at that stage) and whether I was safe, and okay. He made sure I had been tested for physical ailments (uh-ha – yep, had the tests, took the antibiotics, was dealing with the HPV.) He even asked me if I thought I would stay with him, and was he genuinely sorry. Maybe that was too much? But I think when a crazed, depressed woman is dropped off by another middle aged, middle class woman, he needed to see if I was able to make decisions that would keep me safe. To this day, Roger thinks I am being overly dramatic about the STIs. He doesn’t think that what he did in exposing me to a possible killer was quite the “big deal” I see it as. I wonder if it is the difference between women and men in heterosexual relationships, women catch diseases and infections far easier, just due to the physics of male-female sex. I don’t get his attitude, and I never have. Yes, it is partly that thing that they often do in that they want to minimise – even when they know that doesn’t work, and just pisses us off.

      My humiliation stemmed from my total belief that he was not likely to cheat, even in the face of what I now recognise as a few red flags. I was doing the whole, how could I be so dumb? Hey, you’re talking to a rape survivor here, I NEVER blamed myself for being raped. I don’t feel humiliated because of the diseases, per se, more that I just never thought to check out what he was doing more intently. My first reaction to finding out he never used protection was utter fury! I can’t tell you how many of those conversations we have had over the past three decades! I can’t tell you how intense I am about the safe sex message. People who have unprotected sex are dickheads, people who have unprotected sex and then come home to an unknowing partner are arseholes. Dickheads are stupid. Arseholes are deliberate.

      • Wow. It is such a big deal. I wonder where that attitude stems from, really. Maybe he does think it is a big deal but minimizing helps him feel less shameful or guilty about it. Huh. Kind of mind boggling. BE was horrified when he realized the extent of what he exposed me to (more so the stalking actually I think than the STI risk). Ridiculous to think he didn’t think of it before, but again, he believed a perfect stranger was telling him the truth about having gone through menopause (now we know she had PCOS, so maybe she never had a normal cycle) and being clean… he would totally get how Rog rationalized it with his lifelong pal. BE is definitely a member of the arsehole club. My response to finding out BE didn’t use protection was utter disbelief and thankfulness that other forms of BC didn’t work for me and therefore, condoms, which minimized the risk significantly for most of the worst of it. Bitch used that against me though… you don’t have to use condoms with ME, baby. Yippee!!!

        We had to take STD and AIDS tests for our marriage license, so we knew we were both clean back in our mid-20’s. BE used condoms with the first two short term sexual relationships. We used condoms our entire marriage. The only people truly being exposed to the more serious diseases, as it turns out, were BE and the OW, and neither truly knew the other’s sexual history. Fucking idiots, dickheads and arseholes. The both of them.

      • It’s weird, huh? I don’t talk about this with my real life contemporaries so I thought maybe I was the weirdo. Maybe I was making more of it than “normal” people. I know the effect has been multiplied by my gay, cheating father, who came out (or was pushed out by a blackmailing fuck buddy) in the 80s and my Mum still had unprotected sex with him. I was bewildered. Why? Why would you knowingly have unprotected sex when AIDS was known about and labelled as “the gay disease?” When she left, I asked a lot of questions about that. She had no satisfactory answers. I guess habit, complacency, fear, confusion? She just thought she would be okay and he wasn’t having sex with men anymore (he wasn’t) – but he HAD! So I wondered if I was “overreacting” if compared to other people. Roger made me feel I was. Hearing Ellen’s story made me realise everyone is equally horrified by that selfish, uncaring, reckless shit.

  6. I don’t understand his reaction… Is it because he’s “forgiven himself” and thinks he’s no longer that person, and therefore removed from the affair and it’s consequences? Or is it because he just doesn’t want to go back there and feel the shame again?

    I’m sure he’s a good man, and a repentant man now. But just because you’ve forgiven yourself doesn’t erase the past or absolve you of the consequences… it means you can accept what you’ve done, move past the shame, change and be a better person – and hopefully by forgiving yourself, you can stop being sorry for yourself and start supporting your partner. But it doesn’t mean you can move forward and leave everything behind, including you.

    I’m not sure where you and he is in terms of reconciliation… but isn’t reconciliation a life long process? I mean, not that he has to live in shame or beneath you forever … but I’m sure he recognizes that what he’s done will be staying with you for a long time, if not forever. If he truly loves you and wants to stay with you, then shouldn’t he get his head out of the clouds (like he’s move past all that and is a better person), but really be able to embrace your pain/hurt and his shame, and SHOW you that he’s a better person?

    I’m just not sure where his head is at from your posts? He can be a changed man, a better man now… but if he doesn’t show you the empathy and emotional support/understand when you need it (scars of infidelity), then what good is it if he’s “changed”. He just changed for himself, but he didn’t change to help you… in the end, isn’t that just another form of selfishness?

    And another consideration is maybe this isn’t how he’d hope reconciliation post affair would be.. both you AND he had hope you’d be able to move past this and get back to where you were, if not better. But … life doesn’t always happen the way we want right? I mean, YOU probably never wanted to deal with infidelity in the first place? And you also had to carry the scars afterwards scars you so desperately hoped would disappear. Well… things didn’t happen the way you wanted, and you’re here dealing with it – and still being able to show his grace, understanding, and still with him… Maybe he should stop focusing on how things didn’t turn out the way he wanted (you fully healed, and being able to move on), but start focusing on how he can accept his reality and figure out a way to walk WITH you.

  7. Hiya stupidandrandom! We are in the process of getting our youngest launched, I am getting my Masters, and we will physically separate when we can sell the farm. Hopefully next year. Because I told him about two years ago that I was done, but we still like each other, he has changed his focus, I guess. He did a lot of hard, introspective work the first five years. I guess with me disconnecting, he has kind of stopped so much of that. I don’t view him as my romantic/life partner anymore. He is less measured in his responses. It tends to be a different ball game now than when we were in reconciliation mode.

    Yes. I hoped I would have healed more completely. So did he. He did work hard. But now it’s over. I wouldn’t usually share stuff like that with him now. But he asked. We do still care about each other. I have definitely noticed a change in him. He is trying hard to disconnect to protect himself. He feels foolish for still loving me when I made it clear I have to be done. It’s a weird situation. One I never envisaged. We possibly share too much, still. But generally it works. The times it doesn’t are pretty awful though.

    • I think I see where you and him are coming from. And of course this is your situation and between you and him. I guess from the blog alone, he doesn’t come across as fully grown from his actions. Those actions were completely based on selfishness, and he knew what he was throwing away. And now that that reality has taken place, he is also giving up and trying to disconnect in order to protect himself. To me, it still seems a bit selfish and the root cause is still there. I would imagine that if he truly is remorseful, that despite the near separation, that he would instead choose to be selfless and really support you through this hard reality, even though it might hurt for him… and to love you until the end. Instead, he feels foolish for still loving you, when there really isn’t a reason for him not to. I don’t think separation/divorce is a reason to stop loving someone, but that love should be coming from within you. And I think the best way to accept the consequences of his actions, is that he keeps on loving you, up until the end. To me, that’s showing growth – from being a selfish person that cares about his own happiness and future, to someone that’s going to shoulder the pain and hurt of the separation that he created.

      I guess it just sounds so much like the beginning/justification of an affair – “you don’t love me anymore, so I will stop trying and find it somewhere else”. And in this case its the same – “since you’ve given up on the marriage, then I will too”.

      But again, this is so idealistic and I think when you love each other, that the concepts of justice and ideals don’t always apply. I think you are such a strong person in the sense that , even despite your heartbreak, you love him enough to let him go. And you don’t bring the affair up over his head anymore. I think you love stronger than you give yourself credit!

      • To be frank, stupidandrandom, he tried hard for far too long. He kept trying to “win me back” as such for at least another two years after I told him I was absolutely done. In the first two years, I kicked him out three times, for a total of eight months. He kept coming back, fighting for us. This blog records my emotional reactions to what has happened, it isn’t impartial, it is angry and a lot of the times I only blog when down, or pissed at the world, and I don’t pretend for a minute that I have necessarily represented him in a good light. This wasn’t a totally screwed up guy. He was pretty damn wonderful, kind, loving, sweet, caring and a really lovely man for the first twenty plus years we were together. About my worst complaints were that he doesn’t put dishes IN the dishwasher, rather on the bench, and ….. shit, I can’t think of another thing he did that pissed me off! He stayed calm when I had meltdowns, he supported me in the projects that I took on, even when he wasn’t super keen on some of them. He is clean, neat and tidy, and has been mostly a pretty great Dad, a mostly considerate partner and friend, a super accommodating and sweet-but-strong guy. But this one event, this one (albeit very long) shattering of my trust and safe space, has pushed me in directions I never imagined I would be pushed – and certainly not by him. If anyone who reads this blog ever gets to meet him, they would not recognise him from my descriptions of the guy that he was then, and the guy that he is trying to protect now. When we were in MC, I was constantly admonished for standing up for him. I like this man. A lot. I like who he was before he cheated, and I like who is is now. But for some reason, I can’t accept him as my partner with this massive blemish. And I don’t have to, but I wish I could.

  8. I am finding that cheaters don’t want to be reminded at all of what they did. They want to bury it way deep and they sure don’t want to take responsibility for anything they’ve put us through. My ex always says move on. Forgive. So if a story like this were to come up I think my ex wouldn’t even want to correlate that it has any relation to him at all.

    When they commit such a selfish act they aren’t thinking STI’s or anything about making wise protection choices or how this could affect their other partners or spouse or even their own health. They are just looking for what feels right in the moment.

    My ex hates the word ‘consequences’ but whether it is one act or many the consequences last a life time. I wonder how your husband would have felt if he was the one having to see and care for the girl going through the suffering.

    I am reminded that my husband cheated all the time. Whether it is stories from other people, television, movies, magazines, etc. Constant daily reminders. They must get the same but I feel like they don’t recognize themselves. There is a scripture about looking at yourself in the mirror and walking away and forgetting what you look like. Maybe that is their coping mechanism but maybe that is just their thinking. Mindlessly going through life. No self reflection. No self awareness. No need to change. No need to take on their own emotions let alone feelings that belong to anyone else.

    Thanks for the reminder that having trust issues after all of this is very real.

    • I think he recognises himself. He said that it makes him feel awful, but that in order to move forward now (alone) he feels he needs to not dwell too long on the ‘bad’ feelings. That he needs to find ways to try to build a new future. To be honest, although my number one priority has been to look after me and ensure the kids are okay, a part of my decision to disconnect from him is to do with the realisation after five years after D-day that I was never going to NOT make him feel bad about what he did to me/us. It was never going to be as good as it used to be, and that I didn’t want a lesser version of us. I wanted/needed the real deal. What I believed we had prior to his mental meltdown. True, pure, deep love. And despite everything he did and said, I didn’t feel properly loved, and I felt I was letting myself down and modelling behaviour first my kids that lacked in self esteem. I knew then that I needed to stand tall again and get on with living a different future. The hard part has been disconnecting from the man I loved so much. He has fought hard for several years to make me feel the love he says he has. But this point, the STIs, has been a bone of contention to a certain degree for me. Amongst other sticking points. As I said to him, I put up with a lot that most partners wouldn’t in the sense that I gave him a very free rein. Until he abused that. Then I wanted perfection. And even I know that is a crock of shit! He tried pretty hard. He admits there are some things he just was/is bad at, and struggles to improve. Talking, finding the right words is one.

  9. Oh Paula, my heart broke all over again reading this! I am so very sorry that you had to sit through that awful discussion, and even more sorry that Roger couldn’t muster up so much as a fucking sentence to comfort you! Why do they all think that they’re such special snowflakes?! I get it from my husband too, “I’m not like that! I’m not one of those guys!”. Oh but you are! You weren’t before, and you so desperately want not to be now, but you are. I have such trouble trying to separate what he did from who he is. Paula, you are a colossus of a woman, a true force of nature, a lighthouse in the storm for so many of us. I actually feel the bile rising in my throat when I imagine Roger trying to defend his whore as ‘clean’. Had my husband even tried that line I would have performed the STD check on him myself with a rusty rake and many sharp objects. Then poured bleach over his shredded knob. That clean enough for you honey?!! Forgive my twisted humour, it’s a defense mechanism against the ongoing stupidity of our feckless husbands!! I wish you peace and love my friend xx

    • Hi KJ. How are you getting on? It’s weird really. I know I shouldn’t share these things with him now. We’re done. Force of habit and I dare say a dash of loneliness. I never filtered anything prior to this with him. I think that is love. When you don’t have to constantly monitor yourself. This is probably one of my biggest sticking points, the STIs. He just doesn’t view it like I do. I mean he isn’t happy that my health is affected. But he doesn’t understand my EMOTIONAL reaction to the fact that my body was infected by his selfishness. A kind of physical manifestation of what happened mentally, I guess. I have tried (in the past, when we thought we could heal and stay together) to make him understand. He really doesn’t. I find that just bizarre! But he doesn’t have my past. He doesn’t understand the deep seated fear I have always had. The fear I felt about the results of the only other time I had an STI screen done, after a violent and scarring rape. I think the test results affected me more than the swabbing, stitching and all the physical wounds I suffered then. It seems so obvious to me that it is indeed a big deal. It is very painful and stressful and embarrassing. So, for all the things he mostly empathised with me about, this lack of empathy surrounding this, and this appearance of some form of almost denial, totally winds me up. I am SO with you on the genital maiming!!! I wanted to put the knob of the guy who hurt Ellen’s friend, in a blender, while still attached to his repulsive brain!

  10. We’re separated at the moment. Still married, but I’ve moved into an apartment in the city with the kids, while husband stays at our home in our little town. I’ve told the kids that work is being done on the house and Daddy needs to stay behind to supervise. I don’t advocate lying to your kids, but they’re too young, their Daddy is their hero, and besides I’m not sure exactly what this separation means. I just needed to get away. Everything back home is a trigger, it’s such a small place and everyone knows what happened. And my husband himself is the biggest trigger of all. I never imagined that the sight of my own husbands naked body could make me so sad. We didn’t experience ‘hysterical bonding’ like a lot of couples, or at least I didn’t! The thought of having sex with him knowing what he’d done just repulsed me. Having sex with him now feels like I’m rewarding him for utterly humiliating me and breaking me in ways I didn’t even know I could be broken. On the contary, shagging a nasty old slag in a pub toilet seemed to just enhance my husband’s desire for me! How lovely! As far as I’m concerned he can go hysterically bond with his hand!!
    He can see the kids whenever he pleases, but only on his own turf, I don’t want him in our apartment, this is my ‘safe space’ for now, a place to just ‘be’ and hopefully find some peace of mind about what I really want. Husband is terrified that this is the end. Maybe it is, I’m not sure. So I can’t reassure him on that one. I’ve asked him not to contact me unless it’s about the kids, but he finds it too hard. I’m his best friend. And he was mine. I wish I’d done this at the beginning, gotten away from it all, but I stayed put out of sheer shock I believe. He asks if I miss him, and that question kills me because I have missed him for so long, the ‘him’ I miss is my perfect guy who was the one person I just knew would never hurt me. Hindsight eh? The whole thing is just a nightmare. I get on well with my in-laws, my husband has four younger sisters and two lovely parents and they’ve all always been so good to me, but I’ve distanced myself from them too. Every time I see them lately they’re so quick to lament on how terribly my husband is doing without me and how heartbroken he is. What about me? Why do I feel like I’m starting to be considered the villain in this story? Because I can’t just forgive and forget? Because my husband is just the sweetest man ever and everybody loves him? Nobody thought more of him than I did, nobody! My husband isn’t exactly what anyone would call a hunk, he’s got wild curly hair that often borders on an afro, a beard, a wonky nose from when he broke it as a teenager. But I thought he was the sexiest thing on the planet. No man has ever affected me the way he did. For fuck sake I married him three weeks after we met! We have three amazing kids that he adores, our sex life was fantastic, we had our beloved home…was it all just too good to be true? I must have been a right evil bastard in my past life to deserve this shit now, that’s for sure. So I guess we’ll see how this goes. I hope this time away from him gives me some much-needed answers.
    As for Roger, even if he doesn’t view STD’s the same way you do, he knows how you view it, he knows what awful memories it brings back for you, and that alone should have prompted a more thoughtful reply from him. I wish you’d said that entire last paragraph of your post to his face. It enrages me how flippant some people are about sexual health. I have one female friend who plays Musical Cock, hopping from penis to penis with no thought of protection, all the while adamantly believing “It won’t happen to ME!!” I tell her “Keep telling yourself that, until the day comes when you’re wondering why you can’t get pregnant and a doctor tells you that the mostly-symptom-free Chlamydia has ravaged your reproductive system beyond repair. Or worse, that you’re HIV positive”. The truly sad part is that it falls on deaf ears. Of course I insisted on husband being tested after his tryst with the walking bag of disease, and he didn’t object, although he was upset that I got tested too. He said I had no reason to because he hadn’t slept with me after fucking the slag. I told him that he was assuming that I must believe that this was the only time he’d been unfaithful, given how easily he’d done it the once I wasn’t inclined to believe he hadn’t done it before! Thankfully all tests came back negative, but it hasn’t stopped me from thinking of his penis as tainted, disgusting, filthy etc. He could stand in front of me and scrub it red raw with wire wool and a bottle of Dettol and I’m still not sure I’d go near it! I’m so intrigued by BS’s who have sex with their husbands after they cheat. How do you do it?! And I mean no offense whatsoever by that, I genuinely want to know how, how do you get the images of what they did out of your head? How do you quiet the voices that hiss “He is laughing at you! He humiliated you, he fucked a tramp in front of all his friends, and here you are, giving him pleasure, letting him touch you with his filthy mouth and hands and bits! You are a joke!”. That voice haunts me 😦
    Sorry for the long reply, I don’t have many people I can talk to about this shit, so when I get the chance I develop verbal diarrhoea!
    Love xxx

    • KJ, thank you so much for trusting me. or this space, or whatever, to share this. I understand every last word of what you wrote here. Everyone does what they have to do to carry on living, as well as they can. I don’t blame you at all for the story you have told your kids. I didn’t mention anything to mine for nine months – and they were a lot older than yours. I even attempted suicide in that time, imagine what they would have thought had I succeeded, “hmmm, what? Mum. But Mum was fine. WTF?” Roger is also not conventionally handsome, he is tall and thin, and has great bone structure, a bit of a wonky nose (rugby) and is bald, went bald young, mid 20s. I am possibly being a little unkind, he was kinda cute at 24, when I met him, quite chiselled. I have never really been all about the looks. I don’t develop crushes on celebs, all too fake and appearance based for me, I liked who he was, he was the yang to my yin. We balanced each other out, it was like we had somehow found each other – far too young, and yes, I moved in five weeks after meeting him, I get that!

      As to your question of hysterical bonding, we are all different. Don’t beat yourself up – I thought I would be like you if this ever happened to me! But I was stunned that I wasn’t! I think a variety of factors. One, he had ended it almost two months before I found out, and we had been already having an almost hysterical bonding time, as I resigned from my job and was on the farm with him, on the quadbike, most of the day – we were laughing and having so much damn fun before D-day. Two, he offered to pack a bag (at 1.30am) and leave straight away, very, very sad, very, very bewildered at what the hell he had just lived through, and what he had unleashed on me. Three, I took it as a sign that “we were better than everyone else” – hahahahahaha (cue maniacal laughter……..) that I still wanted to shag him! Four, that bitch-pretending-to-be-a-friend was NOT going to get what she wanted, him to leave me, or rather, me to chuck his cheating, lying arse out the door. I was going to stick this in her face (oh Gawd!) Five, shock. Just utter and complete shock. Not him. Not us. It might not even be true (I knew it was, but….) It couldn’t be true, even if HE said it was, right? All that said, I did cry most times we had sex (I can’t even refer to it as lovemaking anymore) and I was angry at me for “rewarding” him with such high quality and quantity of great sex. I kept beating myself up over what the fuck I was doing? How could I let him touch me, how could I caress, kiss, etc that awfulness that he had touched, licked, sucked, penetrated, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. I was fighting an internal battle constantly about my sexual needs and wants, and his filth.

      But, over the next five years, I felt the way you do. I can’t bear him to touch me now. We are good to hug, fully clothed, and we still kiss each other goodbye, etc – a peck. But I haven’t kissed him passionately in about three years!!!! We were HUGE on kissing and touching. I feel bereft that this has finished. For twenty-five years, I just wanted to curl into him (he is a foot taller than me) and feel loved. Safe. Bliss. Now I shrink away from even a forearm touch.

      Yes, I think when we were trying to stay together, he tried to understand my thoughts and emotions about sexual diseases, but for some reason, he just doesn’t. It is so odd. He is actually usually a man very ‘in touch’ with his feminine side, if that is how you want to put it. He is emotionally aware, and I have told him this about me for decades. It kind of stumps me. I don’t know if it is because I never told him I was raped until several years together, and I never told him I was a virgin (I don’t count the rape!) when we met – I mean, how could I??? That had been taken from me, and I didn’t want to have to explain to this lovely guy my insecurities around my body and how it had been tainted and soiled. I told him I had slept with one previous boyfriend, a couple of times. He never knew the truth until after the affair. I don’t know why really, I think it was to do with the fact that I wasn’t a 16 year old girl when I met him, I had dropped out of university twice, worked, travelled, felt like an adult, the sex, or lack of seemed irrelevant?

      As to your cock-hopping friend, hey, I have loads of them – not so much now, at my age, but back in the day! Several abortions, the odd trip to the sexual health clinics, etc. One of them was really bad, and never caught a damn thing over nearly twenty years of that behaviour. My guy fucks one other, middle aged, middle class, professional woman (profiling here) I fuck one guy ever (other than the rape, when I got a clean bill of sexual health afterwards) and here I am, dealing with the shit sandwich served up. Life was never meant to be fair, right? You and me both must have been super evil bitches in those previous lives – I hope we knew each other and at least had some fun!!!

      Don’t worry, he got the gist of the last paragraph. I haven’t seen him since, he slunk away to the lake to do some more rust repair on the steelwork on the house. #sorrynotsorry.

      However, back to you. I am proud of you. You are taking steps to try to find what the best way forward is now. The answers will not pop out at you, you need time, and yes, distance to think. I am glad you are getting that. And yes, I am also the evil bitch who “won’t forgive” the nice man who made a terrible mistake. What utters cows we both are, huh?

      Much love, KJ. I love hearing from you.

      • And if you ever want a friend to have a more private correspondence with, flick me an email – I’m here, I care, and I think I am a good listener? (I know I am a talker, and they don’t always go together!)

    • ‘I’m intrigued by BS’s who have sex with their husbands after they cheat. How do you do it?!’

      I’m with you KJ! I can’t, even three years in. My sexuality has been decimated.

      • Isn’t it just the most devastating loss, jangled? A large chunk of your identity carved off a left to rot. For what? Some brief moments of someone else’s entitlement. Gutting.

      • Yes. I feel bereft and deprived of the sexual woman i used to be.

      • Interesting. And so terribly sad, jangled and KJ. I haven’t come across anyone else who has lost this part of themselves during the post- apocalyptic period of trying to heal yourself after affairs. I thought I was one of maybe only a few freaks! I don’t ever wanna be touched by another human being. And I was a very sexual person. We need a succinct ‘label’ to tag posts about this. I have searched for answers for many years now. And I believe it is a huge factor in my inability to feel joy, or any kind of peace. Thanks for replying, jangled.

  11. My God, Paula!
    Warning!  Tough Love Ahead!

    If I knew how to communicate with you privately, I would.  It isn’t my intention to get embroiled in an anonymous Internet dispute with those who frequent your site and pretend to be your staunchest supporters while secretly glorifying your travails as they live through you, but I cannot keep quiet any longer.  Tell your followers to save their breath for I WILL NOT respond to them!  I don’t care what they have to say.  You, Paula, are my only concern.

    FYI, yes, I am the same blueskyabove from another infidelity blog we both use to frequent.  I naively led myself to believe you were intelligent, no make that savvy, enough to get beyond the bullsh!t of sucking non-stop at the victimization teat, but I’ve read  enough of your blog to come to the realization that unfortunately it ‘appears’ that I was wrong about you.  At this point, you’re going to have to go a long way in convincing me otherwise.

    Apparently the payoffs you have been getting from your followers is just way too much for you to see beyond the damage you are doing to yourself!  I don’t even want to acknowledge that you seem to be okay with the crap you continue to expect Roger to endure…for how long?…forever?…or as long as he is willing to let you dump on him?  Refresh my memory…how long did the affair last compared to how long he’s had to subjugate himself to you AND your followers?  These are not your friends, Paula.  They aren’t friends of your relationship and they sure aren’t Roger’s friends.  A friend is not going to stand by and watch you systematically destroy yourself for their benefit!  That’s what an affair partner does.  You-know-this.  Deep inside, you KNOW this.  Rise above your victim story and do right by Roger.  Do right by your children.  You aren’t the sole keeper of the betrayed spouse story.  Truth be told, you aren’t even a betrayed spouse.  Set an honorable example.   Give your children something to work with should they ever find themselves in your position!

    I gave you advance warning that I was not going to let you continue to skate through life while you laid the blame on someone else. I care too much about you, Paula, to let you do that to yourself. I sincerely hope you recognize that.

    • Hi bluesky. I have little to say in response to this other than thank you for taking the time to respond and this. I make no secret of the fact that this is the place I purge. It has lessened over the years. But I still occasionally feel the need to vent my anger at thoughtlessness here. I am so very glad your journey has been more positive than mine. I worked and worked and then I wished a lot as well. I know. I know I don’t want to punish him forever. Which is why I have been honest and actually, surprisingly kind in real life. We are separating and I rarely talk about this stuff with him now. He understands and did come back to me a few days later and we talked a little more. This page is the vomit. I have made that very clear. And I know that it is not possible to carry on with someone when you feel as I do. I have let him go. The man I loved.

      • Not quite sure about not being betrayed. I loved this man for 25 years, bore our children and adored him. He had a sexual and emotional affair with a person we invited into our homes and lives, which lasted around fifteen months. I guess I have a different definition of being betrayed. I make no apology for that. I am getting on with my life. I have been honest, kind and fair with our kids. We are doing okay. Occasionally I need to let some steam off. It is done here. In what is supposed to be a relatively safe and somewhat anonymous space.

  12. Wow. To have it all figured out like Blueskyabove eh? Must be nice to have all the answers. There’s tough love and then there’s just being a condescending cunt. I’m sure you can guess which one I think BSA is. Methinks BSA could also stand for Bull Shit Artist! But I’ll say no more, because I would NEVER be so presumptuous as to tell a BS that their way of healing is wrong. Kudos Paula for such a calm and considerate reply, proving once again that you are a giant of a woman. I would need a ladder just to reach your ankles.
    Lovingly, your FRIEND and comrade
    KJ xxx.

    • Hi KJ. Thank you. I wanted to just be base and answer with an FU. Or just unapprove her comment. However I thought about it and decided that Bluesky is entitled to her view. I can’t recall where I “met” her before. The only other place I have been online regarding affairs was emotionalaffair.org. I am thrilled some people recover well. But in the time I have been dealing and talking with betrayeds, there seems to always be some residual pain. And many fall over years later because they can’t quite ‘let it go’ enough to feel better. It is great that some recover ‘fully.’ Super great. But while I understand judgement by those who have never experienced this level of hurt, it sure seems weird to be attacked by someone who supposedly has. When you add in all the individual factors, rape, deep love, STIs, friendship and supposed fellowship with the OW and her DNA all over my homes, etc, it does seem harsh to judge. As I try to explain, this is my purging place. The place I dump the days and feelings when I can’t hold it in any longer. Better here than to ‘blame’ and berate him. We are kind to each other. We really are.

      I would love to email you! Will try to send something short ASAP then I will delete the contact details from here for your privacy xxx.

  13. I am having a really hard time with blueskys comment! I’m having an extremely hard time healing myself. I actually think I have gotten worse over time, time is not helping me. I think my issue is because the affair was with my friend and she was ALWAYS at my house! And the more time that passes the more I remember! They were doing that shit right under my nose and I can’t believe I was so blind! It seems like every week I remember something I heard/saw one of them do-and I’m like damn now I know why. And now I realize how many lies they both told me and all the deceit. And all the damn acting they were doing as if they were staring in a fucking lifetime movie!!!!! She would come to my house and laugh and cut up and hang out with me without a care in the world and her knowing she was destroying my family! I don’t even know how to begin to explain it! Once she even told me she was praying for us after I told her something was going on with my now ex! Just what the fuck was she praying for the stupid whore!!!! And fuck him I will make him suffer for the rest of his life if I want to because I damn sure will be suffering the rest of mine!!

    I hope you have a great week Hun!!!

  14. I’m sorry I was trying to make a point with my comment and realize that I didn’t? I was trying to say I understand your pain and how hard this is to deal with and heal from and I don’t like what she said to you I’m sorry but it upset me it’s like she came in and threw gas on your burning home! I mean shit you tried to salvage your marriage but you can’t get over this hurt and now you have things to get in order befor it can be final and I get that too!

    • Hi somuchhurt. Yep. I also sucked in some air when I read bluesky’s comment. I really do feel betrayal by a friend is a double dose of hell. In your homes, and all of the memories of the “fun times” you APPEARED to be having with the woman who was destroying your mental health, marriage and often sexual health . The fury at the injustice and their duplicity is unending. I am coming up seven years, and despite much self-awareness, I still have moments of intense self flagellation about how the hell I didn’t see what was going on! The humiliation and heartbreak are still pretty intense. All I do know is that it does get worse. Then it eases again a little, then worse again. The first MC we saw drew us a picture. Walking along, falling into pits, climbing out, then bizarrely falling into another, even deeper one. I thought to myself, “WTF? Isn’t time supposed to heal? Won’t it get easier?” It does. But it takes more than just time. It takes exhausting mindfulness, self-care and deliberate actions such as a change in life’s trajectory that you CAN have some control over (for me it was getting my degree) to help.

      As to the fucking fake bitches-who-pretended-to-be-friends – there isn’t enough karma in the world…..but I honestly think of that maggot less and less. And her demise or success is less of an issue for me. As far as I am concerned, she doesn’t fucking exist. She’s a highly disordered oxygen thief who shouldn’t be allowed to have her son live with her and her putrid “value system.” But, again, I cannot waste my precious time or energy on that shit!

      Sending you lots of healing vibes. It just takes as long as it takes, somuchhurt. Try hard to be kind to yourself in the meanwhile. You are allowed to be hurt. What they did is indescribably painful and damaging. Society really has no idea how much agony this causes.

  15. I am beginning to believe that I cannot heal from this because she was my friend?? I know it would seem an affair is an affair and what’s the difference? But if the OW hadn’t know me and didn’t know I was a good person and didn’t know our children and she didn’t see what she was helping to destroy! I have realized my ex friend did this to destroy us she did this on purpose – no I don’t put all the blame on her but she told me herself that she persued him for quite a while even after he told her no! Who does that?!!! I think part of it too is I’m really regretting not beating her ass because I was trying to be the better person. Now I wish I would have ripped her apart. If I run into her I probably will this time, stupid cunt!

    I read her name in the paper the other day she got arrested for DUI and wreck less endangerment so I hope she goes to jail! The nasty whore is living with her husbands brother and she pretends to be married to him and she has kids with both of them so they are brothers and cousins – this is what my ex threw our life away for! I’m afraid I will never get over it.

    • You will. But it won’t look like what you hoped it would, somuchhurt. It takes a lifetime. But you do slowly heal. You never ‘get over it’ but things do slowly (dammit!) heal to a degree where you can function without the constant fiery anger. I promise xxx.

  16. Well I do admire you for everything you have done to try and heal all these years! And I’m grateful for your blog and that you share your story and all your feelings!

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