Archives for May 2008

Marital Infidelity: Death Without Dying Part 3

This is Part 3 of a series.

A good friend, after a long speaking engagement, was greeted by his wife at the door with, “I’m leaving. I’ve found someone else.”

Yes, it was almost like that – exactly.

No explanation, other than I found someone else.

Shocked and devastated, he began to eloquently write about this experience.

As it was cathartic for him to write, I hope it is comforting for you to read, knowing that the intensity of your feelings and thoughts have a friend.

Part 3….

The hollowness. Empty. Void. Darkness. Ain’t no sunshine. The light is out. My soul bare. Eyes burned in the sockets. Wave after wave of suffocation.In an instant, who I was forever scarred.My life gone. My body lives on.

Living, dreaming, planning, building one moment. And the next, it’s gone. Oh, yeah, it sometimes was on automatic pilot. Sometimes even boring. But everything changes in an instant. Everything taken away. Except for this shell. This shell of existence goes on.

The pain is constant. Only sleep quiets the incessant ache. But sleep is cursed with waking. And at present there is no cure for consciousness. The relief of death denied by the insistent, incessant call of life.

Longing for yesterday. Give me back my tomorrows. Just take away my present pain.
Sudden as a heart attack.But no warning. There were no signs. No chance to adjust, to diagnose, to remediate, to prescribe or transition. Just gone in plain sight.

There’s an old Zen parable about a meditation master instructing his students on meditation through concentration on inhaling and exhaling. One complained of the boredom of breathing. At this, the master grabbed the student’s neck and held his head under water for nearly a minute. The master then asked the student who was gasping for air, “do you still think breathing is boring???

My boring love affair is over. When did we forget to breathe? Where did it go? Why can’t it go on? My partner. My best friend. The team. My wife. The mother of my children.The inseparable constant.Thirty-two, thirty-three years. Gone without a warning. Without a trace. No body. Nothing that makes sense.

Her tears were to wet my cold dead face at my final hour. Her hands were to comfort and cover the hands of my two others that complete me. Her timeless beauty still shining at my last.So many years from now. Or at worst, it would be my agonized cries and sobs piercing the night as my tears fall on those high cheek bones at the coldest hour. But there is no body.

“I’ve met somebody. I’m leaving you.?? That was it. Two short sentences that broke my world asunder. That tore my heart from my chest. That leave me cold, dead and bleeding. I can’t talk to my best friend, my soul mate, my confidant about this when the words came from her cold lips.

How do you make sense of the unsensible? No, boys and girls it isn’t rational. It doesn’t make sense. We were a great team. We were the perfect couple. We were lots of things.
And now we’re not. We have left. One is gone. For the first time in thirty-three years, when one is gone, we are no longer one and we’re no longer two. My world has stopped. But it must go on.

I’m so damn lost. I’m so confused. I’m spinning untethered in the cold dark void. I’ve been transported to a place that’s uncharted and I need to find my way home. But I’m no longer certain of home. Or me. Or much of anything. I’ve gone from all together to all apart. My competencies in question.

If self-awareness begins with knowing what is happening inside, I feel my very survival is at stake. But I must force myself to focus, reflect and make my inner state an object of my awareness. I know that a part of me is afraid. Afraid of loss. Afraid of losing the thing I value most ?” my family, our team of four.

These raw, bleeding emotions, gushing, exploding, oozing, seeping and demanding. It requires great effort to assess my being and look at how I can be true to who I am in perspective, and look at these emotions and not view this vast wasteland through them.
I can have these emotions, but they cannot have me.

“I’ve met somebody. I’m leaving you.?? It echoes. It haunts. It taunts. When will this nightmare end?

Infidelity Hurt

Need I say more.

Infidelity equals pain and hurt.

Hurt is everywhere, it is a part and parcel of life, exacerbated, however, when we face infidelity.

Here’s a video on hurt that moved me. Allow it to move you…

Infidelity and Common Fears

I did a survey last year on the fears that most of us face when confronted with the discovery of infidelity.

I had some great comments and heartfelt responses. I want to share just a few of those with you below. I hope you see yourself in some of these, and in doing so, feel a measure of relief, knowing you are not alone.

Here they are:

fear is that this may be the end of my marriage and i don’t want that to happen. my fear is formed as a result of his past affair. I don’t know how to transform or propel into the life i really want to have.

fear that ending this relationship will only propel me into a different set of problems that may be greater than my present situation. Fear that I haven’t done everything possible to change myself and therefore the relationship. Fear of the unknown.

My fear is based on the unknown, if I trust her and move on am I simply steeing myself up for further heart ache down the road. If I confront her with all I know, will she change or simply go deeper underground??? I think we can use our fear to keep on our toes and not let things get as out of hand as they did. I know I am much smarter than I was, but it saddens me that I will probably never trust anyone so blindly ever again.

Fear that there is something missing or lacking in us, that we need to improve upon which will also help to make the relationship stronger than before.

that we will be hurt or lose the relationship. It motivates us to look at what we are doing or not doing to meet our partners needs as well as our own.

I get scared when I think that there’s something missing in my relationship which drives my husband to have relationships and I don’t even know what that is I also get scared when I think that my husband may have a deep rooted psychological problem which makes him want to sabotage the good life that we have together.

Fear of loss, unsettling of family, discontinued development and growth of understanding and intimacy. A deeper sense of connection.

My fear is that my partner does not want to commit to me and becuase of that it has caused us both to resent each other and both of us have been unfaithful.

What does the future hold, fear is an instinct, our gut feeling, this should be our guidance, fears form out of past experiences, should they guide us to change and if so how do you change without making it difficult for the spouse to accept.

My fear is that I won’t be successful by myself, the fear of struggling. I also don’t want to be alone.

I believe the fear of the unknown , the fear of change are what are behind our fears. They are pointing to a trust that was broken, a trust in our own selves that we no longer have the control that we thought we had. I think you msut seek help and understanding. The best thing for me was to hear others stories and to read as much as I could and to see that most everyone felt just like me, and that the answers to my questions and what I needed to do was the same across the board. You must get to a point of acceptance. You must be willing to make changes within yourself and not seek to change your spouse without looking at yourself first.

behind fear is possibility of further rejection, of not getting any response, of causing further gap or rift in the relationship. Points to realizing ones vulnerability,weakness which can propel you to change and take charge, or drive you to despair

My fear is of failure. My wife fell in-love with another man and I have failed to maintain our relationship and her needs so she went elsewhere. We are working on us, it is naturally difficult but I am trying to remain positive.

Rejection and/or failure, these are the two emotions that cause fear. They point to a lack of self confidence. They are formed from past personal experience and from watching others and their success or failure. I don’t think they propel us, I think they hold us back form living our lives to the fullest and experiencing real joy in all of life and relationships. The real question is, how do you get past the fear? How do you get past the fear which is based on a past hurt or failure? How do you find self confidence when you have been other wise rejected by an affair? You tell me.

Feelings of inadequacy..That I will not be able to satisfy her in the same manner as he did..Why did she not respond to me in the same manner as to him? Not being able to get past the “visual image” of them together not knowing that when I touch her however I touch her, does she visualize him or me or when I touch her does it bring back the feelings that he was able to draw from her and the ultimate response to those feelings. Going forward….accept me for me….make our intimacy more real that he could ever have. The question is do I confront or just passivly move on?

I do not want to be alone. I want a man in my life to cherish me.

Fear is a form of adversity, we experience the most growth during adversity. We become less complacent and more in tune with details of our relationships during turmoil. Ultimately more mature insight comes from these time periods. That being said, these times can be incapacitating, especially in terms of an affair for both the offended and the offender. Stability is rocked and the fear of moving out of the comfort zone can be paralyzing and wondering if it can even be done is also at question. Do we have it in us to make adjustments or significant changes? The adverse times make us better students and researchers of how we most desire it to be and make us more aware of the fact that we control where we end up, albeit uncertain of the exact outcome details, we determine how we respond to the circumstances and adjust to other peoples choices and behaviors. We end up more satisfied, if we accept responsibility for just the choices we make and not rely on others to make the decisions for us.