Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm In A Good Mood

I'm in a good mood this morning, so I don't want to ruin that with a lot of negativity. So I'm not going to.

I was excited when she came home from her trip last night and felt even better when she seemed to have missed me. Nothing buoys my hope more than that. (Normally, this is where I'd get into the insecurities that rack me on a daily basis, about how I wonder if I'm just fooling myself, but since I'm in a good mood, I'm avoiding that crap today and choosing to take it at face value. My little reward for a good night's sleep and a morning full of scrambled eggs and optimism.) She was affectionate when she walked in the door and she initiated the affection. Haven't felt that in awhile. I've forced myself to take a step back this week and not act like a needy little puppy dog. Not to play hard to get - I'm not into playing head games with any of this and I've been very direct in how I feel about her, despite all of this - it's not a junior high dance - but to give her some space and to give myself some space. So it was more than nice to see her come to me when she got home.

We have a party to go to tonight and then we're spending the night at a hotel. While I'm really looking forward to it - the party should be a helluva lot of fun and the hotel is a place we've wanted to stay for a really long time and haven't had the opportunity - I'm also pretty anxious. It's weird to be out in social circles with friends. I feel like every person in the room knows what's going on and is looking right at me. It can be suffocating and more than a couple of times in the last few weeks, I've had to excuse myself and find a bathroom or step outside for a moment, just to get my head together.

I'm hoping that tonight lends itself to some sense of normalcy. I know it won't solve the problems we're dealing with, but just one seemingly normal, fun night would go a long way toward carving out some sanity for myself.

Booze and sex might help, too.

Friday, February 27, 2009

I Was Sort Of A Jackass

So I told you there’d me more about me – here it is.

For the last couple of years, my career has come to a standstill. A screeching motherfucking halt. And it has wreaked havoc with my psyche and my emotions. It has been frustrating, humiliating, agonizing, embarrassing and depressing. I have waffled on a daily basis between all of those things and then I’d mix in a little anger. I became a hermit of sorts, slouched in my office, pissed off at the world, feeling cheated and screwed over. I knew what was happening, but I couldn’t figure out a way to stop it.

My wife tried to help. She tried to be supportive. She tried to be understanding. She tried to be encouraging. She tried to be all the things that a wife should be to a husband who is struggling. The problem was that I was so wrapped up in my own failings that I just shut her out. I was going through the motions and barely participating, throwing my own daily pity party and inviting no one but myself.

I didn’t notice her.

I didn’t tell her I loved her.

I didn’t respect myself.

I didn’t take care of myself. (Put on about 40 pounds, eating my way through my own self-imposed misery.)

My sex drive plummeted.

I lashed out for no reason.

I kept her at a distance.

I didn’t listen to her.

In general, I just became a ghost of who I used to be. A really fucked up, angry, flailing ghost.

Not a good place to find oneself.

We weren’t married so much as just living together and it clearly took a toll on her. I knew it at the time, but felt powerless to stop it. I sure as shit know it now and have spent the last two months getting my act together. Feels good, too, getting to know myself again. Also feels good to not be a fat ass. (As of today, I’ve lost 27 pounds since January 11th. Not all was exercise induced – the first 15 were a result of subsisting on Diet Pepsis and the occasional piece of cheese the first two weeks after I found out.) Feels good to be living again because whatever I’d been doing the last few years, you could not describe it as living.

Does any of this excuse the fact that she slept with someone else?

Uh…fuck no.

But I do know that I played a significant role in the deterioration of our marriage up to that point. I can see how she thought I didn’t love her anymore. She told me that’s what she honestly believed and as I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking over the last couple of years, examining myself through her eyes, I have no doubt that she assumed I was no longer in love with her.

And that is something that I can’t ever get back and maybe hurts more any other single thing right now.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Today Is Going To Suck

Yeah, this is my second post today. I never promised you a single post a day, did I? I make the rules around here...

Today is going to suck. My wife is on a two day business trip for her Big Important Job. I should point out that her traveling had nothing to do with the affair and The Assface does not travel with her. The Assface is a co-worker, but not really a peer, so it's not like they were on business trips together. (Plenty more on The Assface in the days to come. My dream is to end this blog with one final post of two words - his name. I'm gonna need a much larger readership - like someone other than me - to really make that worth it, though. But it's coming Assface. It's coming.)

But anyway. She's gone for two days and maybe the worst thing about all of this is the isolation. Like I mentioned previously, you don't tell all of your friends what's going on, so essentially you are alone in dealing with it. I work from home, so the isolation feels even more acute on a daily basis and when she's gone overnight, it blows because that's when the imagination starts to really run wild. All the insecurities and questions present themselves like strobe lights, flashing over and over in my head.

To my knowledge, the affair is over. We've had some pretty frank discussions, she's provided me with some facts and we're in counseling. Yes, she has to see him on a regular basis at work, but it's not like it was beforehand. (Remind me of this post if I find out down the road that I've been bamboozled. Hey - remember that Friends episode where Joey was going to host a game show called Bamboozled? "Let's play Bamboozled!!!" That was a good one.) So the insecurities aren't entirely tied to me worrying about her communicating with him while she's gone - though, in part, if I'm being honest, they probably are. It's more that she's just not here and there's so much distance between us right now and her being gone magnifies the distance.

I still love her. This isn't fun, but I still love her. I think she loves me.

This will be a tough day/night.

I hope Friends is on tonight. That would be cool and might make it a fraction easier.

It Was The Dog's Fault

So here's how I found out:

It was a Sunday night and she'd gone out to do an errand. The Child was chasing the dog around the house and they both crashed into the kitchen table. My wife has a Big Important Job and as such, is constantly bringing home lots of files and paperwork and other things that get piled up on the table. When Child and dog crashed into the table, a pile of paper went flying.

After shooing them out of the kitchen, I got down on my hands and knees to try and make heads or tails of the paper, make sure nothing got lost and to attempt to put them back in some order. The first piece of paper that my eyes settled on was a piece of green notebook paper, torn from a tablet. There were two columns - pros and cons. About someone who was not me.

I'm not going to recount the gory details - mainly because I'd probably vomit all over the keyboard if I typed a couple of the things I read - but suffice to say, it was clear that she was having an affair.

My body went entirely cold and I started shaking. Very, very cliched. The Child came over to offer help in picking up and I muttered something about it being okay, I had it taken care of. I tried to read more, but I couldn't focus. Some day, I will probably regret not focusing and reading more. I actually remember very little of what I read because I just sort of zoned out.

I finished picking up the papers and stacked them back on the table and began walking in slow circles around the house, trying to stop the shaking. Couldn't do it.

Like I said yesterday, I wasn't furious or angry at that moment. I was just crushed and all I could think about was how we were going to fix the marriage. Which was really confusing because I'd always just assumed that if I found myself in that kind of situation, that I would go berserk. But it was exactly the opposite and that weirded me out, too.

She came home and I stayed away from her. She knew something was up, but I kept her at arm's length. We eventually put The Child to bed and I jumped in the shower, as much to warm up as it was to get my thoughts together. When I got out, I got dressed and she was sitting in a chair in our bedroom and I looked at her for a long time and she asked what was wrong.

I said "When you were gone, your shit on the table got knocked on the ground and when I was picking it up, I read something I wished I hadn't."

Her face flushed, but she tried to act like she didn't understand. "What do you mean?"

"Pages from a notebook. I read them. You're having an affair."

Her face flushed again and she looked away, then nodded. My stomach convulsed at the actual confirmation from her.

"That's where I was," she said, still not looking at me. "When I went out earlier. I called him to end it."

Oh, well, good - that's awesome. SOOO glad it's over!

The rest of the night turned into a blur - lots of crying, some yelling, some vomiting on my part - the entire thing literally made me sick to my stomach. Didn't sleep for a second. She apologized a bunch of times. I apologized a bunch of times. (More on me later.) We hugged. We pushed each other away. We kissed. We pushed each other away. I went upstairs to get away from her. She eventually came up in the middle of the night. We came back down to our room in the early morning hours and had sex. Why? I'm still not sure. I wanted to be close to her and I think she felt guilty. It was easily our most awkward sexual experience ever. I cried when we were done. I think she did, too, but I honestly don't recall now. The entire night sucked.

It. Was. Bad.

The really awful part is I knew. In the back of my mind, I knew. (Can't get enough of the awful cliches!) There were some explanations over the previous weeks that just hadn't made sense and she was just a bit off. And there were several times where I almost blurted out "Are you having an affair?" but the idea of actually asking it seemed so ludicrous that I couldn't bring myself to say it. I talked myself out if, thinking she'd never do anything like that to hurt me, that I was letting my imagination get the best of me, that she was just working long ass hours like she always has. She was always the one person that I trusted implicitly, with no reservations, the one person I KNEW would never do anything intentionally to hurt me.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

She Cheated On Me

I found out seven weeks ago that my wife of over ten years, who I've been with for nearly two decades, cheated on me.


I'm not exactly sure why I'm putting this out there, but it's not something that you share with casual friends over coffee.

"So how was your weekend?"

"Well, to be honest, it sucked. I found out my wife has been having an affair for the last month. So it coulda been better. How was your weekend?"

Awkward, right?

But there's so much in my head and I need to get it out and maybe someone out there can help me get my head on straight. And I just need an outlet to get a lot of this stuff out of my head. And nothing screams anonymous outlet like the Internet.

Plus, I figured the Internet needed another completely self-absorbed blog.

Let me be clear about a couple of things:

1. I love this woman. The moment I found out, I wasn't furious, I didn't bust out every window in the house, I didn't go psycho, I didn't set fire to her clothing. I thought to myself "Oh my God. I love her. How did we get here? How do we fix this?"

2. I have not been a perfect husband. I have never been unfaithful, but I haven't been the most attentive husband, either, for reasons I'll delve into in later posts. The affair is a by-product of both of us losing our way.

3. If you're gonna just tell me "Women suck! Stop blaming yourself! Women suck! Cut the bitch loose!" - you might as well spend your time elsewhere. I don't excuse what she did and I don't totally understand it, but pretending I wasn't part of the problem would be ignorant and incorrect.

4. We are trying to work it out. It's what I want. I think it's what she wants.

5. If you know us in real life, this whole situation would stun you. On the outside, we could not be a seemingly more normal, happy family. (Yes, we have a child. More on that later.) You could probably argue that many of our friends think we are the perfect family. Successful careers, beautiful home in a beautiful neighborhood, large circle of friends, all of that cliched crap.

6. It's seriously fucking hard.

I really know how to suck the life out of the room, don't I?

In the coming days, I'm going to recount how I found out about the affair, what our relationship was like before and what it's been like since and probably ramble incoherently at times about things that seem totally unrelated to the situation.

Because that's how I roll. (I am so white.)

Thanks for listening.