I’ll bet you never thought you would see these two statements together did you? Before you close this blog and delete your membership let me explain.
Most betrayed spouses are well acquainted with the normal reactions after discovery day (D-Day). Shock. Anger. Pain. Disbelief. Throwing up, etc. Most of the reactions are considered normal to anyone facing a loss like this.
One of the reactions that I had surprised me and made me wonder if I was going insane. I was relieved!
Most types of affairs happen gradually over time. Not many people wake up one day and say “I’m going to have an affair today.” Slow, small, seemingly innocent steps lead up to the terrible tragedy. A friend request from an old flame on Facebook leads to clandestine texts and IM’s. This may lead to a lunch meeting “just to talk.” This may lead to a hug for “old time’s sake”. This may lead to a kiss to “see if it’s still there.” This may lead to sex because they need “closure.”
In my marriage things had not been good for many years. In fact the 2 years before D-Day were absolutely awful. I knew things were not good but my wife kept telling me everything was okay. Then I started seeing signs of an affair. More secrecy. Less interest in me or the family or sex. Late nights on the computer. Weird fascinations with rough looking celebrities. The times I mentioned these issues to my wife I was dismissed as insecure and crazy and weak. As I started snooping more she started becoming more secret and withdrawn. Passwords on her cell phone. Far away looks. Easy anger towards anything I said or did. The harder I tried to be a good husband and man the less she responded. The times I tried to be more intimate or loving the more I was dismissed or berated. I thought I really was going insane. How could a strong man be so insecure and believe his wife was cheating on him?
Then discovery day came. Pain. Anguish. Anger and, surprisingly, Relief! I wasn’t insane. Something was going on. I wasn’t being weak or insecure. I wasn’t “invading her privacy.” Relief!
In my discussions with other betrayed spouses I found that relief actually is a very common reaction to an affair. Who would have thought that?
If you are close to D-Day please know that almost no reaction is wrong. Having your heart ripped out of your chest and stomped on causes all kinds of reactions. Relief may be one of them!
For those of you wondering “is my spouse having an affair?” I say don’t ignore the signs. Don’t be afraid to step in and fight even if your spouse is calling you crazy. Take a stand for yourself and your spouse and for your marriage.