I’m never sure how to start these, the blogs that are hardest to write. There is always so much to let go and you don’t know where to begin.
I know we aren’t supposed to talk about these things. Social media has given us a way to show the world how perfect our lives are as well as a way to shield you from all of our transgressions. Everyone’s relationships are blissful, families are happily functional, and all pictures are filtered to perfection.
Little did I know he’s been telling another girl these very same things behind my back. I’ve been fed a 5 course meal of lies these past four months that I no longer know where there is a thread of truth in the deceitful blanket he’s wrapped me in.
I have never felt more sorrow than in this week. My health condition, that has been so exhausting for nearly 2 years now, doesn’t even compare to the impact this has had on my heart. To be crushed by the one man that was supposed to protect me. But I know why now. His protection hasn’t been mine since late September.
I am so thankful for my intuition. When it kicks in, it never steers me wrong. I wish it had been wrong this time. I wish I still had that amazing husband I married 2 years ago. I wish that he had enough respect for me to have divorced me before he started a relationship with another girl. I wish that he had enough respect for me to tell me right away instead of stringing me along and lie about an affair.
But, at least I know the truth, and it’s been a long chase for it. I still don’t have all the answers I’d like, but it’s enough to start me on a new path to peace. I don’t know how long it’ll take me to find that peace again, but I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I have lost my best friend, my loopy happy, my soulmate… but life goes on I guess. I’m not sure when my heart will stop calling his name, but eventually it will. He’s the one that has really lost out in the end. It doesn’t feel like it to me at this very moment, but I know in my heart that this destruction of a marriage, a bond, will hang on his soul. Both of them now have to live with knowing that they not only broke the heart of a committed spouse, but that each of them has the capacity to fool around on each other and lie to each others’ faces because they so easily did it to mine. What a great foundation to build a relationship on.
I’m also incredibly sad that my husband chose that girl not only over me, but himself. His mind and heart have been fragile and she took full advantage of that. She doesn’t know him the way that I do. As unraveled as I am, I wish I could tell him that she will only hurt him in the end. All she knew was manipulation: She knew what to say, how to act, how to be there in the right moments, and it stirs a rage in me that I never knew was possible. A married man was giving her attention because she sought it out. She had another option, single and attractive right in front of her that she could have messed around with, but she dove instead into the ‘security’ of my husband. You don’t tease a married man who tells you he’s confused and say clocks ticking. You just don’t, and you certainly don’t play the victim when it falls apart.
And the pain I have doesn’t stem solely from the cheating, but stems from the way I had to find out. That is where the agony, the torment, and the trauma lies.
In late September, I began questioning my husband in regards to his relationship with this certain girl, ****. “We are just friends.” This turned into arguing for over a week, which then catapulted me into desperately asking him to come home or else this marriage just wasn’t going to last for another 7 more months of him behaving the way he was. My husband works away on a certain performing tour. Something was very off and him being away was not going to fix it. He felt it was unfair for me to ask him to come home, but I knew I was losing him. What I didn’t know was that he was already lost.
He told me on October 11th that he wasn’t going to come home. I was devastated. He came up with his reasons, ones now I’ll never know if they were real, partially real, or just part of “his plan” to have me be the one to end us because he was already under ****’s spell. We kept talking about this, him telling me he needed time alone to process it all. I went to New York Oct 13th to stay with a friend. He continued to be very distant (“I haven’t been messaging you because I need my own space”) and even spent all day with **** out and about and then when it came time to talk to me, couldn’t because he had a migraine. That’s when I told myself I couldn’t take the ignoring and the pushing away.
I bought a bus ticket to see him on Tuesday, Oct. 18th, his day off. It was an 11.5 hour ride. He seemed extremely hesitant at first (“I don’t think coming to see me is a good idea right now. I need time to process this” and “What do you hope visiting me will achieve?”), but then said of course he wanted to see me. When I arrived that day, we spent every second together. He explained to me how he needed the tour, the need in the changing environment and fluctuation, and how he needed the friendships. I needed to let him go “to follow a different path.” He said he needed to be alone and figure himself out, and that there wasn’t anything I could do to change that. We made love 3 times that day. While laying in bed, he held me close and asked, “What can I do to make this easier for you?” I sat for awhile, and answered, “Don’t sleep with ****. If she is just your friend, then don’t get involved with her.” His answer?
“It’s the furthest thing from my mind.”
And I actually fell for it. Little did I know they were messaging each other while I was in bed with him, expressing how much they missed each other and didn’t want to go another day without seeing each other.
We left each other in tears the next morning. He was even late to work.
Fast forward to November 10th. During those 3 weeks, the longest we went without speaking to one another was 5 days. Longest 5 days of my life. I didn’t want a life without him, I just wanted him to respect our marriage. So, November 10th, we Skyped. It started out well, and then I brought up our relationship and how I still wanted to try and make it work and concede in him having to come home. But, I did bring **** up and how I still felt about their relationship. He immediately got defensive, said he barely spent any time with her anymore. We got off Skype since his roommate was present and he didn’t want to continue to discuss her in front of him. Later, we spoke on the phone. He said the past 3 weeks he was learning to be alone and be a single being. “Have you done something?” I asked. “Are you accusing me of doing something with ****?” “No, I’m just asking since you said what you said.” I thought he would have been happy to hear that I wanted to change my mind and work at us from afar. Perhaps, looking back, I was just being weak. But he was my husband and I wanted to give him what he needed. There were stipulations of his that I wasn’t sure about, but I was sure about him. I married him. He was the man I wanted to live my life with and I was going to do what I needed to make it work. But I could see where he could be having a hard time (from what I knew as the truth). It was unfair of me to change my mind to him. He said he didn’t know if he could trust me. I started feeling guilty, like I was causing him so much pain and anguish over the situation. He told me he needed to be alone and figure himself out, and I should have respected that I thought to myself. I felt that I was being the selfish one in trying to continue to fight for our marriage. It wasn’t over for me. “I love you as a person, but not as my wife anymore.” That stung, but I got the message. We said the separation was final because, what more could I do? The love wasn’t there anymore for him.
Fast forward again to Dec. 10th. He and I had still been in contact but was very minimal conversation. Our 4 year anniversary had passed on November 25th as well as the day we got engaged (Nov. 30th). Those days hung on my chest. We Skyped once during this time, but our cameras both didn’t work so we only got to hear each other’s voice for about an hour. I missed him so very much. He even told me once that what he’s done to me will haunt him for the rest of his life. I now truly believe that since I had no where near the real story. But, Dec. 10th was the day one of the best people in my life was getting married, my aunt. I was with family and friends. He text me early that morning and we text all day through. I was worried about him. He said he felt alone, that nothing made sense anymore without me, that he’s always loved me, that I was the most amazing person, and that he didn’t want me to think he was having fun out on tour because he truly wasn’t. Mentally, I thought he was crumbling and it hurt so much thinking he was in pain. I’d been in a tremendous amount of distress but it didn’t matter to me. The way he was talking, our marriage sounded still on the table.
That night, I purchased a plane ticket to see him in Boston, the city he would be in for 2 weeks over the holiday break. I had no idea if I would ever actually get to use the ticket but I felt like our connection was still there and we needed each other. Our lives were meant to be lived together as man and wife and we would get past our separation period. That was a Saturday.
Wednesday rolls around. He and I have been chatting and we decided to Skype. We had Skyped Tuesday as well, I believe. But Wednesday night was the big night. Will I be coming to Boston? Happy tears came when we both agreed I should come see him and we work our stuff out so we could be together. I was on Cloud 9… until I saw something dangling from his wrist. “What is that?” “This?… it’s a bracelet.” “Where did you get it?” “…. **** made it for me.” My stomach turned. Gut feeling kicked in. “It’s just a friendship bracelet, everyone was making them on the bus.” I just stared at him for a few seconds. “You’re going to take that off, right?” I asked sternly. “Yes, of course.” “And you’re going to put your wedding ring back on?” “Yes” with a smile on his face.
I should have known right then. He exchanged a wedding ring for a bracelet, a territorial sign. Love makes you blind.
He apologized in the morning, which then turned Thursday into a lovely day. He and I were texting all day, making plans, setting up ways we could better be in contact, gift packages, the whole works. He was even going to miss out on the opening night of Star Wars for me!! So excited! He asked if we could Skype. Of course!!
We Skype for about 30 minutes. I’m just gabbing away. But then… he turns forlorn. “I need to tell you something.” My heart sank and that gut feeling kicked right back in. He started smoking I thought. He knows I despise it but I know he used to do it before we dated. Sadly, that was not it. “Back in Texas (Nov. 10th), after we talked, I slept with ****.”
Honestly, I feel like I blacked out a bit. I lost it. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I couldn’t believe this was actually real. He told me it wasn’t just sleeping together, but an actual relationship. I told him I knew it! He tried to justify it and say it was way after we “separated” and that he was being honest when I went to see him back in October that it was the furthest thing from his mind to be with her. He said I was right, he was lost, and was confused but now knows that nothing would have made sense without me. The question: will you still come to Boston?
That was a Thursday night. Boston was Monday morning. I felt trapped. Utterly trapped. I had so many questions now. All I could think was Well if I had known back in November when this happened, I wouldn’t have even entertained the idea of speaking to him all day at my aunt’s wedding, let alone buy a ticket to Boston. He even tried to pass some of the guilt onto me. I needed to take 50/50 blame in why this happened. How my actions and behavior pushed him into her arms. He took responsibility for the actions of sleeping with her, but I needed to understand that it never would have happened if we didn’t separate. Those played heavily on my mind. Was I to take blame? Was this really my fault? We were separated, yes, and November was a very small portion of time for their relationship to ‘just happen’, but then I had a thought. If I never go to Boston, I’ll never get the closure now that I need. Either he is telling me the truth and wants this to work, or he’s hiding something.
Before I flew to Boston, I asked him to delete her from his social media and he assured me he had gotten rid of the bracelet she had made him and all other gifts.
For times sake, let’s fast forward to the day of truth. From Monday to Thursday, my husband and I shared a bed, shared cuddles, shared some hand holding, but I stayed guarded. I couldn’t kiss him or make love to him. I wasn’t ready. His actions during the week did not reassure me or quiet my qualms.
On Friday, I had the not so lovely chance of seeing **** 4 times in passing. Just hearing her voice in the same vicinity made me cringe. Could I really do this? I asked myself. Could I really let me husband stay here for another 4 months with her?
At 4:30pm, my husband had to leave for work and I would meet him at 6pm. Before he left the room, I thought he would close his computer. To my shock, he gave me a kiss on the cheek goodbye and left the room, his computer wide open. This was the universe telling me to use this time wisely. I hopped off the bed, heart racing, and opened to his Facebook. I had no interest in looking at other things but his messages with **** and see if I could find out what had really been going on.
And that is where our adventure as man and wife perished… right in that hotel room.
The revolting messages I had to read in order to learn the truth will never leave me. Ever. They are burned into my mind. The complete betrayal. The dishonesty and disloyalty to his wife. This was the man I NEVER thought could do this to me, especially to this extent. Even now, I still find it to be frightening how well I thought I knew him and the rug got completely swept out from under me.
I have all of their conversation recorded. I can’t even imagine what their texts on the phone look like. All I have are the Facebook messages.
Originally, in my pain, I shared them all on this blog (over 140 photos), even took the time to put them in order, but that doesn’t get me anywhere in the end. It’s just overwhelming heart break and pornography. I posted two days, heavily edited w/ none of the sexual dialogue, to give a glimpse of the pain I had thrown straight to my face.
Skip Sept 24th, 26th, and Oct. 4th
Oct. 11th -Three of the photos are between him and me.
All of this… all of this toxic, torturous, destroying pain could have been avoided if I had just been told the truth from the beginning. And right now, they are together. They were together that very night after I found the truth.
I risked my health to see him in Boston. Why? Was I worth that little? Could our love be that corrupted? Did it have to end this way?
Why did it have to end this way…
I know this post doesn’t seem to have much to do with my usual TSW updates (which I know I am late for my 23 months post), but it does in a way. So many of us going through this condition have partners who leave us. And it’s heart wrenching. Mine may not have left me because of how my condition made me look, but it doesn’t negate how abandoned and betrayed I feel. I was lied to so that he could play the victim. No marriage is perfect and all I wanted was to try and work out our trials and speed bumps. Red Skin Syndrome handed us such a rocky foundation for the first year of our marriage. This condition was supposed to be the hardest thing we ever had to go through. Instead, I can genuinely say, I would rather go through another year of this hell again than having to have read all these messages between my husband and a girl who didn’t care that she was pursuing to destroy a marriage. They sit heavily on my mind and heart.
I feel unfathomably lost right now. I lost my health, I lost my career, I am unable to do the activities that relieve my stress (dance classes, heavy workouts, anything sweating in general), and now I don’t even have my husband because he chose another girl over me while we were still married. While we are still married. I had everything 2 years ago. Now I have this deep-seated emptiness pounding in my chest. My thoughts are always drawn off course, desperate to focus on the tasks in front of me, but then I look at the clock and see I’ve spent most of my time staring into space, going over every detail in my head. And then I look in the mirror and see all the progress I still have yet to make in my health condition. Just a constant uphill battle.
To every woman reading this, TRUST your instincts. If your gut is telling you something is wrong, do not stop pursuing it. My husband, time and time again, made me feel like I was ridiculous and untrusting because I was uncomfortable with his relationship with this girl. He defended it and we spiraled into chaos.
The distance did not help either. Being apart for so long left a gap that his mistress slid into so cruelly. Long distance is hard enough; no 3rd party should see it as an invite. To every woman and man who sees themself trying to get involved with someone who is spoken for, stop and really think about how your actions will inevitably cause someone else an extreme amount of pain. Respect yourself and have respect for your gender. As women, we should be looking out for each other. Going after another woman’s husband should be forbidden in your mind. “But I love him, we have a connection.” No. Connections are built because you purposefully lay those bricks. You can’t make a connection unless you willingly pursue that attention. You can not lay in bed with another woman’s husband and call it innocent. You can not have explicit sexual dialogue with another woman’s husband and tell yourself that it’s ok. Do yourself a favor. Ask yourself: “Do I want to be with a man who promised his life and love to another woman but is telling me he wants me instead and is giving me affection before their relationship is even officially over?” If you’re ok with that, then you deserve every home wrecking name in the book. Sometimes those relationships work out, and sometimes they crash and burn. I have seen both in my life. All I know is that I have a 4 year old sister, and God help me, I will instill in her that if a married man or married woman ever started giving her too much attention, she turn the other way. She is way too precious for that. She deserves the love of a person who isn’t low enough to cheat on their spouse so they can pursue her. And I will also tell her that the other woman in the scenario has a heart and a mind that will NEVER fully heal if she were to meddle as the third party. NEVER encourage your daughter, your sister, or your friend to step into this line of fire. If something is meant for you, it certainly is not going to be someone else’s spouse.
Please, if you want to leave your marriage, leave it before you do irreparable damage to your spouse. Teetering back and forth between your spouse and an adulterer will never end well. If you’ve fallen out of love with your spouse and are starting to feel something for someone else, don’t explore it deeply to the point where your mistress is telling you time is ticking. That will only make your spouse feel like they were an option to you instead of your main priority. Marriage is such an incredibly holy vow you take to be with someone through the good and bad. When the bad comes, you fight for the good. If you don’t want to fight anymore, then be honest and come out with it. Don’t become comfortable in another person’s arms and then cover that up when explaining to your spouse that you don’t want to be with them for x,y,z. Don’t be a coward. Let your spouse have that closure in knowing that you truly are finished. I kept soul searching, hoping to save my marriage all those months we were separated because I thought there was something to save. If I had known all along that my husband was in bed with another girl, especially when he told me it was the furthest thing from his mind, I could be in such a better place by now. The truth hurts but the lie you cover it with will be exponentially more painful when it comes to light, and it always does.
Hearts are fragile things. And though I am unbelievably hurt by all of this, I know that sometimes people do really shitty things, but it doesn’t always make them bad people. All you can hope is that they learn from it and grow from it so they don’t continue to hurt more people in the future.
And to those who have been or are in my shoes, you are not at fault. No matter how much your spouse may try to fault you on this, do not let that settle in your mind. You did not deserve any of this. Your marriage can have troubles, but that is never an excuse for your spouse to seek the affections of another person while still committed to you. You made a vow to each other and THEY broke it, not you. Keep your chin up. As hard as it may feel, there is another love out there for you. It could be a person, a place, a career, but it IS out there. Your trust is completely broken, but know you will trust again. It may take a lot of time because of what your spouse has done to you, but don’t let them take that part of you away forever. Don’t give them that power. You deserve so much happiness and someone will treat your relationship with more respect than your spouse did. Give someone else that chance to light up your life again.
But for now, stay single. Let this pain mold you and teach you. Take care of yourself. Cry, pray, breathe in the fresh air around you, lose yourself for awhile so you can be found again. This is your time. YOURS, not theirs. They have taken more time from you than they deserved.
And if they are a decent person, know they will carry this with them for the rest of their days. They may not show it or speak of it, but every so often they will think of you and the heart they broke. You are not the only one who is left scarred.
I am no longer a Wren. This site may be, but I am not. My heart feels like it has disintegrated into a million pieces and darkness has enveloped me. The suffering of these past two years has been an endless cycle of drowning and treading water. But I know this is not where I will be forever. I will heal, physically, mentally, and emotionally. And all my heart’s fragmented pieces will be like stars in my darkness, leading me to the shoreline. I will pluck each of them of out the sky and build my heart back up. By the time I reach land, I will be invincible.
I am no longer a Wren. I am a Phoenix. And so are you all. Fly from the ashes. Become the fire.
And if any women need help and want to read about another woman’s journey through this type of pain, I found this blog and thought it was great that this woman used writing to express everything and all the healing she was doing for her family to stay together: Healing After My Husband’s Affair
Love, B. R. Phoenix