I married my husband in 1998. We had been together for nearly 8 months when I walked down the aisle… and only 6 months after I left my previous relationship. He was the one. I had no doubts whatsoever…
I was his ‘first’ but he wasn’t mine. I liked that – not that I’d had my fair share of blokes… but that he didn’t have loads of exes… I am a naturally insecure person and not having to think about him with other women was a lovely feeling. I did worry that he was marrying the first girl he’d slept with, but we were so in love I thought it wouldn’t matter.
In june 2008, my Husband and I celebrated 10 years married. We wrote new vows for each other and printed them out for each… because we couldn’t afford to renew them properly. We also got new wedding rings, each with a diamond set half heart. We were soul mates, destined to be together… and always, always happier than any couple I knew.
I never dreamt this could happen. Not to me… not to us. But this is my account of D-Day – Discovery Day… the day I found out my Husband of nearly 12 years, was having an affair. March 31st 2010.
I’d been slightly suspicious for a few weeks, but only in the sense he started that I had noticed he’d started to shave everyday without fail, wear aftershave etc… sometimes came home from work late and was slightly ‘offy’ with me. At one point I joked that he was having an affair – because, as I said “you’re ticking all the checkboxes”… he had laughed and I had NO idea I had hit the nail on the head. I really had NO clue he was doing anything – I would have bet my life on it.
There were 2 major arguments that had happened. The first on March 10th, when I found a bag in the boot of the car with toothpaste, a toothbrush, handwash alcohol gel and mouthwash. I’d picked it up and asked him if there was something I should know. It was an innocent question but his face was guilty as sin which took me by surprise. I immediately jumped at him “what the fuck?” thinking, maybe, just maybe… something was going on. We had a blazing row.. he pushed me, he screamed at me… and doors were slammed. It was a much-worse-than-usual argument. I was distraught. In the end I believed him when he said he’d had bad breath at work and hadn’t had time to come home. He said he was aware people had noticed.
The second row, was March 21st. He came home after work at 2am ish and I wanted to have sex with him. He said he was too tired, so I set about ‘seducing him’ which always, always works. He started to touch me, and I assumed it was a green light, but then he flatly turned me down when I tried to move things on. He said he was too tired and wasn’t interested. I was heartbroken. That might sound silly, but he’s never turned me down that way before. I slept in the spare room and he let me – again a first. I wondered if he had fallen out of love with me and cried all night.
The next night we rowed over the whole thing and he accused me of being too demanding. We made up and had amazing sex together. In the middle of it I started to cry and asked him if there was someone else. Something felt ‘odd’… ‘wrong’… I don’t know. He kissed me and told me I was the only one. I was relieved.
In the following week, the ‘you’re having an affair’ thing, became a kind of going joke. I remember saying to him.. “seriously babe, if this list is anything to go by, you’re seeing someone else” he laughed. I was disturbed, but I still had no idea.
When my husband walked into the house at 1pm on wednesday March 31st, holding a letter, in floods of tears saying “you were right” I had the biggest shock of my life.
My reaction was not what I ever imagined it would be. The letter was thrust at me, and he broke down on the floor in front of me. I started screaming “are you leaving me?!” over and over because my first thought, regardless of what he’d actually done, was that I was going to lose him – my everything. He sobbed and wouldn’t answer, just kept saying “read the letter” but I continued to scream the question frantically searching for some reassurance.
Then he said it.. “yes”.
“WHO?!?!” Was my next question… and he said her name. It was the woman I had worried about when he joined his new band at the start of February… the one I had cried about because I was so scared that he and her would fall in love. Friends thought I was mental for even thinking it… but there it was… and when I tried to scan the long letter I had in my hands, the only words I could make out were “fallen for her” “need to be with her” “always love you”.
That was it…. I started to run and got to the bathroom but my legs literally went from under me and I sat there in a crumpled heap on the floor wailing like an injured animal and making noises I didn’t know I could make. Utter devastation. There was no anger… just agonising pain. If someone had handed me a knife there and then, I have absolutely no doubt I’d have used it on myself. I’ve never, ever known pain like that. Miscarriages, deaths… nothing in comparison.
My next thought was that I had to find out the whole thing from him and see if there was any part of him willing to walk away from her. I know… it’s not what you’d expect to feel, but my overwhelming feeling was that of being desperate to stop him walking out – especially knowing where he’d be heading. My first question was of course, “did you sleep with her?” to which he said he had – at first he said only twice, but then confessed to it being 12 times. Thinking of him with her sexually brought on another run to the bathroom where I came close to throwing up. I could no longer see anything in front of my eyes, my head was spinning and my limbs were numb. I felt like a stranger was sitting in front of me… nothing felt real.
In the minutes and hours that followed, he made it very clear that we were done. He cried and wailed even… a little like me at times, but ultimately he wasn’t budging. He said he loved me then as much as he always had… but that he couldn’t imagine a life without her. The pain went on and on and felt like I’d never be able to breathe again without making a concious effort to orchestrate each breath… and then, just when I thought I couldn’t take anymore he said “we’re going to get a flat…” and I realised he was really going.
I think it was around this time that my fertility thing popped into my head “what about our baby? what about us? we were trying for a baby!?” … in a moment I felt like this was it… the last chance of ever having children… over and finished forever… and the pain was unbearable.
“She wants a baby, with me”
I stopped crying then… oh boy did I. I threw his ass out of my house so fast his head spun. I was stunned he would say something like that. How cruel and low… WHO WAS THIS PERSON AND WHERE WAS MY HUSBAND?!?!?!
He went… Mum came… I sat rocking, sobbing, slobbering and wailing. A mess… There is no better word to describe it. I thought I would die, and wanted it… if the next breath didn’t come it would not have mattered.
I remember sitting, blinking.. and breathing.. in turn, like you do all the time withough thinking about it… yet it was all I could do to continue. As the time ticked by, other things came into my head… losing the house, losing my pets.. having to live with my mum… 33 and abandoned… no children, no nothing. No him.
I love my Husband… massively, deeply, with all my heart and soul. I adore him. Yes, we have our moments… who doesn’t? But since 1997 he has been my world. We’re the best of friends, the best of lovers and everything in life is us together… in our own little world. How did this happen to us?
I struggled to believe it was happening. Suddenly the tears stopped and something inside me said “it’ll be ok, this isn’t real” and then somehow I started to ‘cope’. I guess it was denial… nothing more. I bounced from thinking “this cannot be happening” to “this has to be a nightmare and I’ll wake up soon” to “oh fuck, he’s gone” and more crying. By evening, I was mostly completely in denial and not crying much at all. It couldn’t be right, he wasn’t capable of this… my husband would NOT cheat on me… how could he? we were so happy!
At 8pm, my phone rang and the picture of my wonderful hubby flashed up. I didn’t want to answer it, but did… and he asked if he could come round to talk. I agreed, Mum left and he arrived. He was a mess, no denying that. He said he’d been to his Nannas and told her everything and she’d called him an idiot. Then he’d gone to his friend’s house – the guy out of the band, and he was stunned to hear the whole thing, and again said he was ‘stupid’.
I asked why he’d come back… why he wasn’t with her, and he said that he hadn’t really been ready to tell me about the affair. He thought it would fizzle out and there’d have been no harm done… but it had gotten out of hand when feelings became involved. He felt he had to come clean because he couldn’t handle lying for another second… and once he knew he had to tell me, he had to make a choice. He’d assumed, although it was ‘the hardest choice he’s ever had to make’… that once he’d said it out loud and walked away from me… that he’d feel relief and go to her. He thought it would be a load off. What actually happened, was he got into the car outside our house, and only then did he realise he’d lost me. At that point, his world came crashing down. He hadn’t thought of this. He was consumed with her and wanted the lying and cheating to stop… he’d never considered he couldn’t live without me… but now he could see he couldn’t.
I think, from what’s been said since… that that was the moment my Husband’s head exploded emotionally. He knew he loved me, was sure he loved her… and could not face another second of life without both of us. He was tormented, torn and had no clue what to do.
We talked that night… the day he told me… for about 2 hours. The whole time I was hoping he would say he’d made a mistake and could he come home, but he didn’t and as time went by it was becoming painfully clear he wasn’t going to. I still felt no anger. No matter how much he wanted to stay, he said he couldn’t be with me because he loved her. He said he had to try to make a go of things with her, or he would always wonder. I understood… that was the shit of it. I did… because I remember how I felt about my emotional affair… 6 years ago.
My comfort in all of this was going back to how I felt about him. I met him in November 2003, and from there to March 2004 we had an ‘affair’ on the internet. I fell for him, my Husband didn’t matter… my every waking thought was him. Hubby and I were unhappy when I met him and I firmly believe that it would not have developed into something other than friendship had our marriage been good at that time… but regardless, on Feb 20th I left my husband. It was the hardest choice I’d ever had to make, but I could not live without him. Once I’d gone, it took me 5 full days to realise I could not live without my Hubby. Don’t get me wrong… for those days I sobbed and snivvelled and was in a pretty bad way, but I was so torn and confused I didn’t know which way to turn. At the time I felt massive frustration that my other man was in Canada and for all intents and purposes, we weren’t even together… we’d ‘finished’ a few days earlier after (another) row. I didn’t leave my Hubby for my other man… I left because of my feelings and the hell going through my head.
On March 1st 2004, I came back to Hubby. The decision was made 5 days earlier, but he went away so we got back together when he returned. I never regretted my decision, but I still loved the other man. I agreed that I would stop spending all night on the internet with him, and start going to bed at a normal time with Hubby. I said, although I still had feelings for him, that I would put them away in my mind and that Hubby would be my only priority. And it worked… 100%. Hubby and I were better than ever… he handled it by not thinking about it – there’d been no physical side to ‘picture’ and haunt him… and I did all I could to convince him I loved him and it was him I wanted, because it was.
When I look back, I don’t know who I was when I was with the other man. It’s like I temporarily lost all sense of reality…. and although all I could think of was him, I still loved my Husband just the same… I just lost sight of it.
Throughout this HELL, I knew exactly what my Husband was going through. It didn’t – and doesn’t stop the pain at all… but I could see why he was so tormented. It is very hard to let go of someone you have such strong feelings for… however much you might want to.
The trouble was, as I learnt wednesday night… my husband did not want to let go of her. He wanted her. He left to go see her and I realised that he’d really only come round to talk because at the end of the day I am his best friend and he needed a shoulder to cry on. How fucking inappropriate. How dare he!? But that was it.
About an hour later, he was back. He’d been to pick her up to talk. I should explain at this point, that when he started sleeping with her, her husband knew. Her husband was actually outside the bedroom getting ‘off’ on hearing his wife with another man. Hearing this not only made me feel physically sick… but I saw my lovely, pure husband in a whole new light. I am still struggling to get that one out of my head.
‘Steve’, her husband of 16 years, was fine that his wife was fucking my husband, but was not fine on wednesday when she told him she loved my husband and was leaving him. He hit her – twice. My husband left here and picked up a woman whose husband had beaten her up. That did not help his frame of mind… He came back here upset… and actually expected me to feel sorry for her. I didn’t. He stayed the night, inititally in the spare room…. but eventually in my bed. We had sex.
I know how that sounds. completely stupid. In my head, I did it for 3 reasons… the first because I was desperate to be in the arms of my husband again, regardless of what he’d done, second because I hoped that in being with me it would be harder for him to leave.. and third, because I needed to say goodbye, just in case this was goodbye.
I’ve since done research on the whole sex-after-an-affair thing and found it is a recognised phenomenon called ‘Hysterical Bonding‘.
After the sex I felt used and dirty and I cried and felt pathetic… but nevertheless relieved he was there, with me. I fell asleep in his arms and he told me he loved me.