In the 2 or 3 months immediately after D-day, I was two people. One was at peace that however this turned out, I was doing the right thing. The other was full of doubt. One was determined to get her to love me and find me attractive, the other could not care less what she thought of me or anything else. One didn't want to see her again, the other -- the one I've thought about today -- obsessed over her every word and deed. I wanted to know where she was at all times. Who was she talking to? Who did she see? Did she talk about me? Is she going to bail?
It's Friday today, and that was the day they usually saw each other. For a long time after the affair, Friday's sucked -- it was all I could think about. If I tried to call her on a Friday and could not reach her, I panicked.
I spent a lot of time checking phone bills, caller ID, and just generally checking up on her. I didn't trust her. It took a very long time before I did, and even today my trust is not what it was before. Now, I believe my wife hates what she did and would rather die than have another affair. But I don't have blind trust any more. There's a chink in her armor. It means she has to be even more careful than the average person to keep proper boundaries and guard herself against dangerous situations.
Plus, until recently, she was never truly faithful to me. I had not realized it, but there was almost always someone else she was turning to for kicks (it was sexual with only one guy). What blame do I have for that? Sure I dropped the ball here and there, just as she did, but if she felt like something was missing from the marriage, she would try to get it somewhere else. It was a recurrent, almost continuous pattern. Unless someone convinces me otherwise, I'm going to assume she has a serious weakness with commitment, or faithfulness, or whatever it is. That does not mean she is not committed to me or that she will cheat again. It just means, in my opinion, that she is more vulnerable than some to the temptation that we all face. It has nothing to do with her intentions, which are good and right.
Part of the problem was a flirtatiousness that was attractive in the beginning, but which wore on me during our marriage. She was always a guy's girl who enjoyed hanging out with my friends, and there was always a lot of playful banter. As the years went on, I got more and more uncomfortable with it. I told her so, but she got pissed off, said it was just who she was and she wasn't changing for anybody. I saw the flirting as annoying, but I now see it was dangerous.
Flirting says you are available. Do it enough, even joking, there's a chance you will start to believe it. Plus, it was completely disrespectful of my feelings. Nonetheless, she was always good for a double-entendre, a dirty joke, or inappropriate comment when she was around guys.
Her dress also changed. She dressed more and more provacatively leading up to and during the affair. She looked good, she really did, and is a very sexy woman. Once she bitched at me for not saying more about it, and I told her it was difficult to say it when I thought she was crossing the lines of what was appropriate in the work place and when I knew it wasn't for me. She left the house looking like a million bucks, but when I got home from work it was sweat pants if I was lucky.
I remember telling her, "When you dress to go out, your clothes say 'fuck me.' Whenever I'm around, your clothes say 'fuck you.'" That's the way I felt.
Now I had my faults, and they were plenty, both before and after the affair. But I'm not writing about that now, because this is about the affair and the aftermath. Whatever my failings were, she is responsible for the decision she made to go ouside the marriage. It's just a different issue.