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Posts Tagged ‘Emotional affair’

To say the last week has been difficult would be a great understatement.

He had been caught. He just didn’t know to what extent when I confronted him. And so he lied. Had he told the truth, would the outcome have been different? No point in wondering that now. Once I began reading out loud to him, the e-mails they had exchanged that were in my possession, my husband realized he could lie no longer and the ugly details were revealed.

He met her 18 months ago . . . It became “inappropriate” early on. I told him he needed to leave. Move out. And he needed to tell the kids why or else I would. I gave him 1 week. He refused. By mid-week he even began to deny everything he had admitted just a few days before. Why wouldn’t he? I’m sure he was thinking that we would fall back into our usual pattern by telling me,

~ “You are blowing things out of proportion”
~ “You are being over sensitive”
~ “It wasn’t what you think”

It didn’t matter. Nothing he could say at this point was going to weaken my resolve.

Despite my husband’s juvenile and desperate protests, (“I’m not going to tell the kids and you can’t make me!) we had a “family meeting” exactly 1 week after the thing that changed everything happened. My younger ones cried. My older ones were angry and demanded him to explain. He couldn’t. And then the dam burst. Every crazy, dysfunctional, hurtful, narcissistic behavior of my husband was confronted . . . By the kids. There was no blatant disrespect, but they held nothing back.

His response? He took off his wedding ring, set it on the table, packed a bag, and left the house. He was gone and I could finally breathe. We all could finally breathe. The toxic energy was gone and now our healing could begin.

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The minutes before someone is about to experience an unexpected life changing event . . . Is there any warning? A sense of foreboding? A flutter of the heart? Does the sun shine brighter or the night seem darker?

Even with 20/20 hindsight, I can not say there was a moment when I KNEW something was about to happen. That the thing which would change everything was about to assault me as I walked through the door that evening.

Maybe my mind was too preoccupied with all that still needed to be done at home after a long work week. Maybe it was the feeling of being thrown off balance when I came home to an empty house. Where was everyone? No note, no text, no voicemail.

As I stood in the middle of the empty stillness, so foreign to my usually bustling home, I immediately heard the insistent and unmistakeable beeping of an electronic device. I made my way through each room until I found it. My husband’s Blackberry. Usually locked and password protected . . . But not tonight.

My hands were trembling, and my conscience questioning as I fumbled with the phone, pressing multiple buttons trying to figure out how to open it. Not sure what I would find as I quickly scanned through the texts and e-mails, but in a matter of moments, my trembling hands turned into full body shakes.

Elaine.”

There were more messages than I could count that were either from her or to her.

Someone whose name he had never even mentioned to me, but apparently was communicating with daily.

My emotions were spinning and swirling with the power of a hurricane, but my mind was functioning in the eye of the storm as clarity of thought possessed me. Not knowing how much time I had before everyone came home, and knowing that I had to be sure before I confronted, I began forwarding the e-mails to myself.

I knew I wouldn’t have the opportunity to read the e-mails thoroughly until the following day when I was alone, but before I did, I wanted to give him one chance to explain.

***

It was a simple question. Asked that night before bed.

“Who is Elaine?”

My husband blinked several times in surprise, but recovered his composure quickly as he responded nonchalantly,

“Oh, just a friend that I met through work.”

“Is there anything I should know about her?” I asked, making direct eye contact as I spoke.

“What do you want to know about her? . . .”

I shrugged my shoulders.

“She’s someone who I met through work and we have been exchanging prayer requests.”

And with that, he rolled over, turned out the light and ended the conversation.

***

The following morning, during my first moment alone, I opened my inbox and began reading. The endearments, the familiarity, the inside jokes. It was obvious this was more than a casual friendship. And, of course, there was not a single “prayer request” to be found.

(to be continued)

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The word “carpool” has never conjured up negative connotations in my mind . . . until my husband began to carpool. The decision was casually mentioned as an afterthought one day with little significance on what it would entail. When I began to ask questions and was met with defensiveness, I had no strength to pursue the issue further.

Over the course of time, my husband would casually make comments about his “carpooling co-worker”. She was his immediate supervisor at work and since we lived in close proximity to each other, they both thought it was a good idea to share the gas expense that their 45 min commute (each way) was costing. I was immediately uncomfortable with the arrangement but said nothing due to my “self talk” saying that my discomfort was from my own issues & insecurities.

I saw his behavior change slowly. First it was just comments on how nice it was for him to drive her new Audi on their ride in to work. Then the comments on how she would confide in him during their commute. How she was recently separated from her husband and going through a difficult time. Then there were the after-work events they would attend together since they both needed to be at these work related events and they also conveniently carpooled. When he chose to have her accompany him to his Employee Recognition Dinner, instead of me, I was hurt and suspicious. When I tried to talk to my husband about this and directly confronted him about fidelity, he responded by saying he saw no reason why I should have a problem with his behavior since he was just doing the “Christian thing” in being a friend to her.

Then things got even worse. He began doing favors for her. Such as keeping her child’s car seat in his car because he was now picking up her daughter from pre-school. He began taking her mother to doctor appointments. She began calling our house daily and they would meet for miscellaneous reasons on the weekend. Oh, and did I mention the change in his personal hygiene habits? All the while, assuring me, “as God is my witness – there is nothing inappropriate about our friendship” I began to think I was crazy.

I briefly mentioned my lowest point during this time here : https://mygossamerlife.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/i-am-a-self-protector/

It has been a few years since this was at its worst. The relationship eventually ended when she left the organization at which they both worked and moved to another country. My husband has rarely spoken of her since, but the damage that was caused during that time may never be forgotten.

“I had to begin to take responsibility for working through my barriers to love(Boundaries in Marriage – Townsend & Cloud)

Has this breach in trust been another of my “barriers to love”? Is one able to love another despite the actions/attitudes/words of the other person? The Bible says how we are to discern a person’s character:

Matthew 12:34b-35 . . . for whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good words from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil words from an evil heart.

Matthew 15:10 Then Jesus called the crowds together and said, “Listen to what I say and try to understand. You are not defiled by what you eat; you are defiled by what you say and do.”

There are times that I struggle with never really knowing what happened between my husband and this woman, while at the same time my instincts tell me I do know. How does one deal with situations where you struggle between what your instincts are saying and what someone is telling you?

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

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