I found a forum shortly after I discovered that my husband of only 6 months had been unfaithful. I read some of the posts, and listened to other women’s stories that are just like mine. At the time it was just too painful, and there were too many other things going on in my life – individual therapy, marriage counseling, spouses of cheaters support groups, and just getting through every excruciating, emotional day. I stopped visiting and almost forgot about the website completely. Then last week I found it again after another woman’s heartfelt blog hit home in a big way (see my previous post Quick Reply for more info).
In the past week I have been voraciously devouring the information and posts there. I have been pouring over women’s stories, getting familiar with their lingo (BS = Betrayed Spouse, WS = Wayward Spouse, OW = Other Woman, EA = Emotional Affair, etc., etc.). One of the terms that I really connect with is D-Day. That officially stands for Discovery Day, or the day you found out that your partner, the person you love more than anything and want to spend your life with, has cheated. I like the term because the term has the same ominous, dark feeling that the day itself has. It’s also true that the date stands out in your mind and is something that you unconsciously (or consciously) use to track time and progress.
I have recently been feeling more on edge, sad, and depressed than usual. By all external measures my marriage seems to be doing pretty well now. We are talking more, and more deeply, we are laughing again, we are going to marriage counseling, and it feels more positive and marriage-affirming than on-the-brink-of-divorce like it did at first. My husband is saying the right things. I am regaining my trust in him, and experiencing fewer and fewer “triggers” every day. We just took a vacation together, and had a great time. Our finances are more together, our life seems happier, he is doing well at work in his new career and at school. So why do I feel this way?
I finally figured it out the other day – Our 1 year DDay Anniversary just came and went. The last straw, the final major discovery, the breaking point for me and our relationship was 3/31/11. This year the 31st fell on a day where I had to work. On the actual day I didn’t think about it at all. But the night before my husband and I had a really stupid argument that turned into an anger-fueled, irrational yelling match that resulted in us not speaking for almost 24 hours (other than the aforementioned screaming). I honestly don’t remember now what caused the argument, and I certainly wasn’t thinking about DDay at the time, but it was obviously buried inside of me stirring up the feelings of frustration, betrayal, anger, and hurt. It was only a few days later that I connected the dots.
Not only was DDay 3/31, but there was another anniversary of sorts playing with my emotions. You see, my husband originally proposed to me on Easter weekend in 2010. So now I have this perfect storm of swirling emotions inside – thinking about the day he proposed, our wedding, the awful things I found out that crushed my trust and confidence in him, all the little moments – happy and sad and everything in between. Having the anniversary of those emotional highs and lows so close to each other on the calendar caused me to go through the gamut of feelings and memories all at once. No wonder I have been a complete and utter mess!
Through all of that I have mostly had the internet to keep me sane. Getting on those forums and connecting with other people going through the same things is so validating. It makes me realize that I am not crazy (well, at least not too crazy), that I can get through this, and that this is all part of the process I chose when I decided to fight for my marriage. This blog has also been cathartic. I feel like I’m using the Pensieve from Harry Potter. Dumbledore says:
“I use the Pensieve. One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one’s mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one’s leisure. It becomes easier to spot patterns and links, you understand, when they are in this form.“
I feel exactly the same way about writing – it allows me to get the thoughts out of my head, down on paper, and in a tangible form that I can examine, play with, and ultimately understand better. Here’s to blogging!