The Path

I’ve been doing well on the path I’m on lately. I can very nearly picture us surviving this bullshit – for how long, one never knows, do we? Hypnosis is helping with the trauma, joint therapy is helping us bond, talking things out with The Player and my ability to move past some things are helping us as a couple and helping me to not stay emersed in pain. Like I said, real progress. Or what I believe to be real progress because, as we all know, we can only control ourselves. To the best of my knowledge on what I see and is communicated to me, The Player is learning a lot by gaining insight into his issues that are helping explain why the fuck he did what he did. He shares all of that insight (his offering instead of 12-steps) with me. 

Tonight I had a minor setback I’m sure I’ll move on from, but sometimes I seriously wonder how in the hell he did it. Like what did he have to tell himself to do it?  To follow through with fucking them, taking them on dates, you know? To then call me after he fucked someone and act like all was well? What did he have to tell himself to take one of the whores to our retreat? Was it entitlement? Was it codependency (he’s learned he would do anything to keep them interested in him to feed that  empty bottomless pit of self doubt)? What did he tell himself to do those things then come home and be a loving husband and father?

He said he’s still looking for answers to those questions I have. He said he won’t stop looking because things are better between us. He said he’s more of a whole person than he’s been in his entire life. I believe him. Like I said, I can (very nearly, almost for sure) picture us moving forward in a new life together. 

Every once in a while the old life – the one he had without me – makes me doubt I have it in me to build a new life with him. Then I remember that I’m strong and feirce. I remember that I’ve survived the worst betrayal known to marriage, by someone I was supposed to trust the most.  I remember that I’m not defined by what he’s done, I’m defined by what I do. I’ve let us try to put our family back together after giving him years – yes, years – to get his shit together. 

That is nothing short of amazing by someone in my position. 

So while these doubts creep in, in the form of visions of him with other women or questions I still have to what he told himself to be able to do it, I am focused. Only to heal and take care of myself. I am cautious but optimistic and I’m better prepared and can never be blindsided as I once was. I’m realistic in life but not living in fear. 

There’s a lot he’s done to me and there’s a lot those whores did to me, but giving them my choice – no wait, my right to live well and happy? They are not getting that, no way. I am forever closed to that possibility. 

If you think about it, it’s really the people who betray who will (if they aren’t sociopaths) end up having to live with the fact that they’ll always be the one who cheated. Always the one who betrayed. Always the one who created immeasurable pain to people who freely (and blindly, as with me, big sigh) gave themselves, their trust and vulnerability and placed it in their hands to protect. 

Can you imagine living knowing you did that to someone you love? I can’t. 

Of the two? I’ll take my path over The Player’s any day of the week. I’ll be able to some day let go (fully) of all the images I’ve worked hard to dismiss, and let go of the pain he caused, but The Player won’t ever be able to live without knowing he was the kind of person who crushed and killed the pure love in someone who trusted him most. 

6 thoughts on “The Path

  1. Do you think they’ll ever be able to satisfactorly answer that question? I doubt it. That’s the very question that plagues me throughout the day and keeps me awake at night. How. How could you do this to us? How could you not have the foresight to know what you were doing to your family? How you would hurt us? How could you book those flights and hotels knowing she’d be there, or screw those women at trade shows that you barely knew? How could you stand in church each Sunday and proclaim to be an upstanding Christian man while living this duplicitous life? How?!

    Our CSAT always explains it away as an addict’s uncanny ability to “compartmentalize.” My cheating husband could lock his flirting, cheating ways away in a box, get his highs from it and then return to his family as though it never happened. He’s probably right. I will never know because I don’t possess that ability, apparently. Some days I buy that answer, other days, I think it’s just psychobabble bullshit. I think I’d rather believe that he did know exactly what he was doing and what was at risk and he just didn’t care. That’s a whole lot less scary than thinking he could so carefully place me, his wife and partner of 20 years, and his children in an airtight compartment and forget about our existence while he went on vacation with his whore or flirted with and fucked whatever women caught his attention and were willing. That is a damn scary thought.

    To your point at the end, I agree entirely. There is nothing pleasant about this painful path I’m on, but it’s damn sure better than being in his shoes. I can still hold my head up high in front of my children knowing I have lived my life openly, honestly and authentically with them, I can stand before friends and family without the shame of being a liar, a hypocrite and a cheater, but most importantly, I can stand before God knowing that I wasn’t defiling his name and living out my life and faith as a hypocrite the way my husband was. I shudder at the thought of being in his shoes, and frankly at the thought of being in the shoes one of his whores. They have to live with what they’ve done too and the knowledge- courtesy of my phones calls to each of them – of how they’ve wrecked a family.

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    • I guess what I’m looking for isn’t necessarily an answer to “How could you?” – I guess we know how and I believe it was compartmentalization. I’m looking for what he told himself right before he called and a whore was sitting next to him. He didn’t compartmentalize me/us enough not to cover his tracks, you know what I mean? He was conscious when he called me and they were sitting next to him, or right after he got back from a date with one whore to “our” restaurant. He told me he would call me from outside a bar or event where it was quiet and walk right back in and party with them, knowing he’d end up fucking them. What did he tell himself on those days and nights? Did he think, “Fuck the wife, I deserve this!” or did he think, “This is really nice, the wife never know.” or did he think, “Everyone does it, it’s not that bad, it’s not like they are my girlfriends!” or “That bitch (me) will never find out, so what’s the harm?” Literally what was he telling himself during the times he had to face the double life. For The Player he could push it away because his cheating was on the road 95% of the time for business. It didn’t intersect his “real” life day to day. But there were times it did – and he purposely had to navigate around me – and those are the times I’m asking about.

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  2. I’m sure it was all of the above. They’d tell themselves any/everything to justify what they were doing. My cheater also called me from hotel rooms with her, called me just before or after he’d invite another woman to his hotel room. Twice he texted me very late at night saying he hadn’t called me that night because his phone battery had died and he was just able to plug in his phone, when really it was because he was with another woman.

    I’ve asked those same questions a thousand times and his answers are never satisfactory to me. Mostly he says he wasn’t thinking about me or the kids. He’d call as he felt was obligatory, but the moment he’d hang up with me (he says he’d usually go outside or into the hotel lobby to call us) we would go back into our compartment and he’d resume his other life. And the moment he’d head home from a trip, or hang up the phone with her, he’d put that back in its compartment and go back to work, or come home and be the “family man.”

    It’s fucked up. There is no answer they can ever give that won’t be just mind-blowingly fucked up. None. I asked our CSAT if his uncanny ability to compartmentalize is a men vs women thing because I don’t understand it. He said no, that it’s an addict thing and since I’m not an addict, I’ll never understand it. Thank God I don’t and won’t. I don’t want to have the ability to so thoroughly separate myself from reality and do things that could so profoundly hurt the people I love without giving a damn that I’m doing it or without having the consciousness to know what I’m doing. I don’t ever want to be that blind, selfish, detached or cruel. So rather than wish to understand, I thank God that I don’t.

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  3. The same question for me. When we were having dinner, me, my husband, our two kids, and her, her husband and their two kids. ..what was going thru their minds? This is the part that eats away at me, what kind of a person (monster) does this? And there were two of them, him and her, that had no problems with us hanging out as a group of friends, hiding their secret the entire time. What did they say to each other, first, to get to the point of fucking each other, but later, what did they tell each other about us spouses? Did they bitch about us? Did they put us down? Did they say that we were bad people? Did they joke about playing us for the fools we were? Did he ever say to her how so much better in bed she was than I? In her last email (I assume it is the last email), she tells him she will miss talking to him….yeah, like I don’t know that she really meant that she will miss fucking him. Things I will never get honest answers to. What kind of person do you have to be to do this to your spouse. How could he look into the eyes of her husband when we were all four together or when the two of them were alone and not feel shame? Or was it, hey I’m fucking your wife behind your back, nana nana nana.


  4. I really don’t like speaking for MindlessCraft, “he said this, he felt that. . .,” I can just sum it up based on what he has said and written in the blog. . .it was a complete lack of appreciation for what he had and self-pity over perceived lack of, well lack of anything and everything. Nothing was ever enough, nothing was ever good enough. He talks a lot about being so consumed by self-pity over perceived injustices in his life that he used that to justify and rationalize the unjustifiable and the irrational. He told himself he “deserved” the stroking of his ego and whatever else. . . It was all rather sick. Part of his path forward has been to appreciate what he has, stop comparing himself to others, and understand that the only validation that will actually be meaningful will not come from someone else, but from himself. Again, I don’t want to speak for his process, so much for that, eh?


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