Thursday, October 06, 2005

Chapter 5 - Q&A - Learning the details

This is my blog about how our marriage survived my wife's affair. Please start with "First Post" below.

On Monday morning, 2 days after D-day, we had a counseling session. I started out angry with the counselor. My wife and I had both visited with him individually over the past year and we had seen him together. Largely, at least it seemed to me, the sessions were about what I could do to help my wife be satisfied. Now, I learned that the counselor had known my wife was having an affair.

My anger was misplaced. I am now quite certain that he was very blunt with her during their individual sessions, and he was ethically prohibited from telling me. He had encouraged her to tell me, but that was all he could do. Still, I felt like I had been played a fool, spinning my wheels and jumping through hoops for a year, when if I had known the truth we could have been addressing a different issue.

I got those feelings off my chest and we were then steered to the matter at hand. The counselor began by assuring us that we could get past this, with a lot of help and very hard work. Then I got to vent. He said -- to both of us -- that it was important that my wife understand the pain she had caused and that the affair would dominate our thoughts and therapy in the short run, and I had to understand that in due time we would need to return to issues in our marriage where we shared fault and that helped create an environment where an affair was more likely to take place. He also said that I needed the truth, the whole truth.

We made a deal. Wife agreed to answer my questions about the affair truthfully, however painful. I agreed that I would have limited time -- so many days -- to raise such questions, and after that time I would not ask her any more sordid details.

Two things were mose shocking. One was that there had been other relationships. None of those had been sexual, but she admitted that she had gotten closer to a couple of other guys than was proper. She wasn't ready yet to categorize them as emotional affairs, but they were.

Second, in the only detail about sexual practices I wanted to know, it had included oral. That bothered me on a completely different level. It just seemed more intimate, violative.

I learned the whens and wheres, their routines. When it started, how long it had gone on, that sort of thing.

I would not have been able to go on without getting these answers, but getting into the dirty details made me just disgusted with my wife. For a while I saw her as dirty and could hardly bear to look at her. I started wondering if this was huge mistake and if I could ever have any respect for her again. Those feelings faded over time, but it still affects me. I do not see my wife as spoiled any more -- on the contrary, she is pure. She has repented and has been forgiven by God and by me. But, our sex life today has a lid on it. Just an example, I would not want her to talk dirty in bed because it would remind me too much of who she used to be.

For the next few weeks, I bounced back and forth between fury and self-loathing. I was so angry at her, at the other guy, at God, at the world, at myself -- it consumed me. Then I would feel not angry, but almost understanding. That thought process went like this -- She cheated, so I must be a loser. And if I'm such a loser, no wonder she cheated. I just don't have what it takes.

I've never been a big guy. Since college I've bounced between 140 and 150 pounds. Over the next 8 weeks I dropped to 125 pounds and a 29 inch waist. My frailty only increased my conviction that I was not sexy, not attractive, not loved, and not a man.


At 4:39 PM , Blogger introvert182 said...

Very very interesting blog. Keep up the posts - I'm going to come back and keep reading...

At 12:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you ever ask where they thought the relationship was going? I think that would be more important than did they love each other. Was the other guy willing to take on the relationship heavy lifting that was sure to come his way?

Also, was the other guy married? If he was married then he knew exactly what he was doing should have had an insight to what was going to happen. If he was single and never married then he could have been ignorant and had no idea of the work a long term commitment requires.

For me the sex thing would have been handled by a yes or no.

At some level both parties knew they were going to get caught. I suspect you knew something was going on but it took some alone time to figure out where to look and actually look there.

At 12:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When you found out that the counselor knew about the affair and still concentrated on your issues for the previous year did you think about finding another counselor? I know that I would have been pissed.

At 12:17 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow...this sounds like my life..a wife who had an affair with a separated yet married's been going on for almost 2 years. It was never admitted yet knew something was not right. On Feb 8, 07 got a call from the wife of the culprit who disclosed the whole thing to me in a desparte phone call. Moving forward to November 9, 07 and I'm a sad, confused,desperate man whose more or less given up on most things enjoyed in life. I've turned to alcholol and sleeping pills. Not sure what to do....any more as life is passing me by. What's so I'm a very attractive, muscular successful guy who has lots to offer. Yet can not get myself on track. Will finally be seeing counseling because the alternative is a short life. Right now would love to find someone that I can trust...the damage is and looks to be life long. This is something I hope most people do not have to deal with.........

At 5:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless and strengthen you sir, this is really healing. A Prove of how we were before God forgave us


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