Michelle Lynn Anderson Downieville, California California

April 19, started off like any other day and in one split second my life would go from wonderfully perfect to completely destroyed, that’s really all it took was one split second to destroy 30 years. I had come home from taking care of my granddaughter on Friday night and had caught a glimpse of a strange email account that my husband was using to converse with a co-worker so I asked him about it. At the time he was running for public office so he had lots of interactions and correspondences with people, he told me that she was helping him gain voters from the community she had grow-up in. The department he works for is very small and everyone knows everyone, he’s worked there for many years. Something just felt a little off so after he left for work Monday morning I went searching for the strange email account he had been using it really wasn’t that difficult to locate and open it. It took more time fighting with my conscience then it did to find it. I had never had reason to

April 19, started off like any other day and in one split second my life would go from wonderfully perfect to completely destroyed, that’s really all it took was one split second to destroy 30 years. I had come home from taking care of my granddaughter on Friday night and had caught a glimpse of a strange email account that my husband was using to converse with a co-worker so I asked him about it. At the time he was running for public office so he had lots of interactions and correspondences with people, he told me that she was helping him gain voters from the community she had grow-up in. The department he works for is very small and everyone knows everyone, he’s worked there for many years. Something just felt a little off so after he left for work Monday morning I went searching for the strange email account he had been using it really wasn’t that difficult to locate and open it. It took more time fighting with my conscience then it did to find it. I had never had reason to not trust or believe in him, even after all the years and all the late nights and interactions with women (his job required being on call 24/7 and for all types of cases). I had complete faith and trust in him and I had never had a reason to doubt either one. There was no way to prepare myself for what I was going to find in those 178 emails between the two of them. It had been going on for longer than I could have even imagined. I read things the two of them had done with one another to one another the places and days they’d been with one another. Shit they’d even screwed around while on duty in the supply closet of his office and on lunch at her house. || This crap had been going on for months. I sat there trying to believe and make some kind of sense out of what I was reading. It’s so hard to explain how it feels for your whole world to be turned upside down. Being betrayed by the one person in life that’s suppose to stand by you, protect you and always be there for you no matter what. Those are the vows you swear to one another. She knew he was married and pursued him anyway she had been married to one of his co-workers but it had ended badly I can’t believe I felt bad for her if I’d only known she was going to turn to my husband for a shoulder to cry on and end up with him in her bed. How, how does this happen, I know it happens all the time but how does a previously married woman justify to herself and others that it’s ok to destroy another woman’s marriage?  It wasn’t just my marriage it was my life, it was my family. You see she didn’t only rip me apart she ripped my children and their lives apart. We were a close knit family or so we thought we were (a strong unit together we stood). My husband’s job requires honor, integrity, morals and principles, we always felt he had them all and was very proud of the man he was. We raised our kids to always use your head and do what you know is right (there’s only right and wrong no in between) and never do anything that would embarrass him in the public’s eye. Looks like we should have been the ones demanding his honor instead. || If my husband was unhappy with our marriage he should have come to me before he decided to let this paramour into our bed. If you find yourself in bed with another partner it’s safe to say you are no longer in love with your spouse. Love will always win out no matter who’s chasing you and what they’re offering. The amount of hurt and destruction this causes the people you once loved is unbearable, and once it’s done there is no going back. 30 years, a lifetime gone with just one bad decision. She chased she conquered and he lost everything but so did we. My family and I have learned how to get along with part of our structure missing. I have a 32 year old son with a significant other a 30 year old daughter with a husband and 2 beautiful daughters, without them I would have never made it past the first day. When you’re husband has an affair, this is the worst betrayal you will ever feel and how are you supposed to bounce back from it? You take it one minute, one hour and one day at a time. I lost my partner, my best friend and the love of my life, my home where I raised my children (who could live there knowing he had screwed her in our bed where we had shared so many magical moments) and the future we had planned and worked so hard for. Life is not supposed to be like this. I lost my self respect, my dignity and the way I lived my life. I was a nice person and felt if you did the right thing and treated people right everything else would just fall into place. It really doesn’t matter how good of a person you are or that you have faith in people that they know right from wrong, wrong always seems to win. You know she had enough gall to think if my husband was unhappy enough to go to her then I got just what I deserved? Nobody deserves this I don’t care who you are or what you’ve done nobody deserves this. He must love her more than he ever loved me, he sacrificed everything for her (he never made one sacrifice for us but we never asked him to. This is the worst type of paramour one that’s been married and swore all the same vows that I did and yet they meant absolutely nothing just like the ones he swore to me. She has a teenage son it makes me wonder what kind of values she’s taught him and if he was to do the same thing would she think it was wrong or would she pat him on the back and say way to go you just help destroy another human being. So much for LOVE. Do they even have any idea either one of them just what that one word means. We lost the true meaning of marriage and we wonder why the world is broken. The true meaning of marriage is love. By love I mean not what we feel but what we do. Love as a feeling is very flimsy. It’s an up and down roller coaster. Love is an action! In order for it to become the ultimate force and for us to rediscover the true meaning of marriage, love has to be unconditional. When you love someone you do, not feel. When you do it, it is unconditional. You are not looking for acceptance or validation. You are giving of yourself to another not because of them but because of your values. This is the true meaning of marriage. A death to one’s self so that another may live and benefit from your sacrifice. This is not an easy road to walk. It is the most rewarding road however. || An old saying goes like this, “I want peace, If you take your ego (I) and your desires (want) out of the equation i.e. the self, you will have only peace left. The true meaning of marriage is expressing love unconditionally to another. It is an unstoppable force that can endure anything. How do you find it? Within yourself, you have to draw strength from you. Neither seeking validation nor acceptance. Just seeking the opportunity to show love.” || This is the best description I can give you on what it’s like to learn that the one person you loved and trusted more than anyone else in your life has betrayed you. || The world suddenly seems extraordinarily unsafe. You wonder, if you could be so wrong about your husband, what other things are you wrong about. Can your friends be trusted, how about your parents, can anyone be trusted including yourself? You can’t sleep without images flooding your brain of your husband and the Other Woman. You imagine their sex is like the steamiest, most sexy movie ever. You imagine she’s more beautiful, more exciting, more interesting – no matter that reality (and often your husband) reveal otherwise. You feel invisible, useless, of no value. You might need to take anti-depressants. You might consider suicide. Betrayal takes you to the lowest point of your life. You feel a rage you never knew you were capable of. You could kill him and her, with your bare hands. If only you had the energy to get out of bed. || You can’t eat. You feel constantly sick to your stomach. Indeed, many betrayed wives are physically sick when they find out. You can’t think about anything BUT your spouse’s affair. Your children fade into the background. Your work suffers. You take no pleasure in anything and wonder if you’ll ever feel joy again. You have no idea whether to stay or go. You have no idea whether what he’s telling you about the affair is the whole truth, partial truth, or simply more lies based on what he thinks he can get away with. You wonder what happened to the man who promised to cherish you above all others, ’til death do you part’. Was he lying then, too? Has your entire married life been a waste? Has this happened before and you just never found out about it. You trust nothing and want back the years you feel cheated out of. It’s been over 4 years and I still feel this way. My grown children felt betrayed even and that their lives have been nothing but a lie. || My wish to all the women who have an affair with a married man is that just once you feel as much pain in your life as you have caused. And try to explain to your family just what a low life paramour you really are. Honestly, just what the f&$k were you thinking? You knew he was married. You knew he had children. You knew he slept beside me every night. And you knew that I knew nothing. Is that what made it so delicious? So tempting? That I appeared by his side at various events, utterly clueless to what was going on behind my back? Did you feel triumphant? That you’d beat me at something? Okay, so I looked stupid, at least to you. Is the satisfaction of that worth sacrificing your own dignity? Because, really, how can you have any dignity when you’re pulling on your panties as he races out the door to be home with me? And frankly, though I might have looked stupid, and perhaps pitiful, to you…and some less-than-compassionate others, I’ll take stupid over sleazy and low and cruel any day of the week. No matter how awful it felt when I found out, I’d still take that over being you. No matter that my eyes were practically swollen shut from crying, I can still look myself square in the mirror without shame. Did you think it was simply a matter of time? That you would be appealing enough for him to walk away from the life he’d built? (well you were right he loved you more than he loved us) Did you think all those fantasies you’d convinced yourself of – that I nagged, that I was lousy in bed, that I was boring and bitchy – were actually true? Did you really believe that any relationship based on deception would deliver you from your unhappiness? My guess is, yes, you did. My guess is that very few Other Women honestly admit their role as an accomplice in the intentional hurting and deception of another human being. Often another human being you don’t really know much about other than what he’s told you. Instead, you sell yourselves clichés. Something along the lines of “we’re soul mates”, “we couldn’t help ourselves”, “the chemistry was too powerful” or “you can’t stop love.” All of which, I suspect you recognize on some level, is total bullshit. All of which allows you to divorce your abhorrent actions from your intent. “We didn’t mean to hurt anyone,” you wail. “Oh Yes You Did”. Because you knew, You knew that I was being hurt, even if I didn’t yet know it. You knew I was being lied to. And betrayed, and you participated in that. “Knowingly, Willingly, Perhaps even happily.” What’s more, my children and grandchildren were being hurt. And though I don’t expect you to take total responsibility for that (after all, HE was their father and grandfather), you nonetheless contributed to the potential dissolution of this entire family. And for what? You took a lifetime from me and almost my life. I would have tried anything to make the pain go away. I hope one day that you feel the betrayal the hurt and the pain you have caused. And then let’s see if you still feel the same. || The two of you work in a profession of dignity, integrity and honor and wear a badge and uniform to represent this, HOW? You fooled around while being dressed in this uniform, HOW? My children and grandchildren will never be part of his life again, HOW can you live with yourself? One day we’ll be able to put this behind us and move on (at least I hope we can) but you’ll always be the one that destroyed an entire family. || || >

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