Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I'm no robot...

Anytime I ever imagined what I would do if my husband was unfaithful, I said I would leave him.

That hasn't been ruled out.

But you're right...I am a fighter and I like to make informed decisions.

After the initial carnage ensued, I was left wondering, "How the heck can I ever touch this man again?" I didn't even want to look at him. A friend of mine who is a therapist told me that in half the couples she treats for infidelity, half of them have sex immediately so that it doesn't become a stumbling block that they can't get over. For the remainding half, it becomes another issues that grows bigger and is harder to deal with over time.

The first night we were together after the news, I let him lay with me in bed. So that I could get used to him in my space. And because I needed comfort. I needed to mourn my old marriage. And what got me through that night, was the knowledge that he was probably laying there with one eye open, terrified that I would kill him in his sleep. And that thought made ME smile through my tears.

The second night, I let him kiss me. After 14 years together, it still took hours to get close enough for that. And from there it steamrolled rather quickly. I had to stop a few times to banish thoughts from my head, but it was a chance to release many feelings. It's easier to deal with your emotions in a physical way that is non-destructive. I can still hate him and sleep with him. I have rage. I have hurt and vulnerability and the need to feel protected. I have the need to be possessive and "mark my territory," so to speak. I need closeness to remind me of what I have. And, I have physical needs too. I mean, a release is a release.

I felt guilty the first few times...why was I doing that? Why was I inappropriately in the mood? Should I withhold sex to punish him? But I realized all the reasons why I was doing it, and I think identifying those feelings and not trying to be in denial about the "whys" is the important part. Withholding sex helps no one in this situation. Plus there are plenty of ways I am punishing him. I am not wearing my wedding rings. That's driving him bonkers.

Why am I telling you all this? Because some of you are going through something similar, or worse, some of you have yet to go through this. I thought I was safe too. I thought I would never get divorced or my husband would NEVER be unfaithful. I am sorry for anyone who feels pain like this...and I can't do anything to protect you from your life, like no one could protect me. But what I can do is share my insight while it's fresh, so that you don't feel alone.

I will keep blogging as I have something to discuss...but my blog won't be continuously about this topic. As with the "Army Wife" title, this doesn't define me, won't be my life's work, etc... I can't bear to write a "woe is me" blog. I can't even read them because they are depressing and boring, and who the hell wants to read that for entertainment??? So bear with me for a little, and I will make it interesting.

Thanks for your love, support and objectivity. I was kind of shocked by the fact no one just said to leave his ass. I like being shocked in a good way.


  1. Keri, I am SO sorry for what you are going through and feeling right now. I can understand exactly how you feel, as I've been there myself. And it is SO incredibly hard. And sometimes I think being a part of the military world makes it worse, at least for me, because there are SO many times that he is away from home and away from me, and I can't help but wonder what he's doing, and who he's with... if my world is going to fall apart again. Because I really don't think my marriage could survive that kind of damage a second time. If you ever need to talk, or vent, or rage against the world, I'll always have an ear for you. You can always email me Sending lots of love your way! Missy

  2. While I am not dealing with the same thing, I am dealing with heartache nonetheless. Thank you for being so open and making me feel like I am not alone.

  3. I hope he realizes what a total and inexcusable idiot he is for doing that to you. And how incredibly lucky he is that you are sticking by him instead of sticking a fork in his eye.

    Cyber hug times ten.

  4. I'm so glad you wrote this. So many of us in marriages think of how we would react if this happened. I'm not going to say anything because no one really knows until they actually go through it literally.

    Keep writing, so that you let it out. Keeping things in doesn't work for me as it does for some.

    Thank you for thinking about others. This will help...

  5. Like Apryl I'm not dealing with the same thing either but I'm dealing with a different kind of fear and heartache myself.

  6. Even though I am in a 2nd marriage I have never delt with that kind of trouble but I think you are handling it very well. Just stay focused and knowing who you are at all times and keep your guard up. You are a survivor and will come out of this better not bitter. We are pulling for you girl.
    Odie :)

  7. Y'know why no one said for you to leave his ass? YOU. Because you presented your situation and your feelings with such perspective and grace and wisdom (and of course humor, because it's still you writing this, so ... duh, that's kind of so obvious it's barely worth mentioning) -- which was the truly shocking, unexpected, non-stereotypical piece of this puzzle that to respond in a cookie-cutter, stereotypical and expected way would be an insult and would mean we weren't really paying attention to your post in the first place. It would've been, quite simply, beneath YOU. And beneath US as your readers, who must be pretty darn smart and awesome (if I may speak on all of our behalves!) to know enough to follow your blog so regularly. We're a pretty special bunch. But we are following your very special lead.

    And again, as in your first post about this, you make some great points. However, the part about the not wanting to read the "woe is me" blog posts? Then how/why the hell do you read mine??? God knows I am all about the "woe" shit!

    Also, for the record, I am of the belief that ANYONE is capable of cheating. ANYONE. That doesn't mean everyone will eventually do it. I just believe everyone has some kind of inner trigger, that if pulled, will lead them to some kind of infidelity. I also believe infidelity comes in many forms and with many definitions (just look at all the "innocent" online flirtations that are causing all sorts of marital problems lately) for people to argue over. I cheated on my first husband, but I also did it after a long period of feeling that he'd already abandoned me in many ways. I'm not proud of it, but it gave me insight. Because I never thought I could be capable of something like that, and yet...

    Am I ashamed? Not really. But I feel less ashamed when I get to follow up the statement "I cheated on my first husband" with a lengthy explanation/description of what was going on in our marriage at the time. Context is everything, I guess.

    Anyway, like I said in my earlier FB message to you, you sound like you are doing amazingly well in a very challenging situation. Truly inspirational.

  8. You have more courage than I. I have been there and worse. It is possible. It won't be easy. There's the tendency to think that things will go back to "normal". That doesn't exist anymore but you can make a new normal. I'm happy I stayed. Our relationship has a depth that most relationships can't even touch. Good for you for sticking it out. Doesn't mean you can't decide leaving is the right choice later. Like you said - "informed decision". Best wishes.

  9. Write as much "woe is me" as you want. It's alot cheaper than therapy. And we are friendly shoulders. You have to get it all out, and writing it all out it such a healthy outlet. We are confidants, and friends. Sending you a hug.

  10. I have been in your situation and didn't handle it as well as you are. I curled up and cried for months. after 6 years, I am still playing the victim and its not an easy thing to stop doing.

    You are amazing!

  11. Keri! Ugh, I totally took my break from the blogging world too soon :/ I feel so bad I haven't 'been there' to at least support you through your posts and day to day navigation of this new territory. I love your honesty... LOVE IT. I have no doubt you are helping many others who choose to remain nameless that ARE either going through this now, or have gone through it. Kudos to you, you never cease to impress me!