Halloween Masks

31 Oct

I have read some other posts recently about the pressures the we are under as those who have been betrayed by marital infidelity.   How we carry one with the decisions we make in the wake of being betrayed.  How we choose to show the world what we can forgive and what we cannot.

woman in an iron maskIf we take back our spouse then we are weak and we door mats… even more vulgar people will call us stupid.  If we kick out our spouse and opt for divorce then we are strong?  Either way we are labeled as damaged and certainly bitter.   But then I read an article that said that most people who divorce over infidelity go on to regret the divorce?

I am not sure that I am not heading towards eventual divorce.  I don’t hate Green anymore but I just sometimes feel very very wronged.  I feel like sometimes that divorce is the only way to right that wrong.

Still, for now Green is acting very repentant and regrets that te whole thing but he is still very reserved in explaining the “why.”   He says that he did it to hurt me because he had misplaced anger about his life.  Ok… so that answers doing it a few times.  A fling. Perhaps with different women.  But how does that explain a long term affair?  It would go on to be a love affair even if it was toxic love affair – at some point it moved from an attack upon me to something he desired and facilitated.   One that he had hoped to take to the next level?   One in that he fantasized about his new life?  That may be an answer that I will never get.  It is extremely hurtful to me because I am a very rational person who likes to have solid answers. Can I live with the fact that I may never KNOW what drove him to it?  Or do I just need to accept that the man I loved is selfish, narcissistic and capable of the most terrible actions upon me (aside from physical violence which he has never done) so that his own selfish ego is satisfied.  How does that leave me? What then am I satisfied with, then, within my marriage?

So I put on my mask.   My mask is to stay strong for my kids.  To show them how forgiveness conquers bitterness and hurt.  I push down my snappy snarky comments that could hurt Green just so that he could feel a tiny portion of pain that he inflicted on me.  For him I put on my mask of love and affection.  For everyone else I put on my mask of dignified woman who won’t let the trash of infidelity and a home-wrecking whore take away from my own success as a homemaker, professional and a mother.  My mask is being well put together – thin, hair colored, nails done… no one is going to say that I let myself go.   Oh.Hell.No.  So what if the whore is young and hot …they still say, Flaca is hot ‘for her age.’  My mask is suffocating sometimes but its better than being broken and sad – I did that look already and it sucked.

So put on my mask, cloak myself in a coat of armor and I try to get through the pain on infidelity because I agree with Elle @ Betrayed wives that infidelity is not something you get over (like the flu) but something you get through (like a death or a loss).  One day I will, perhaps, wake up and see that I don’t need my mask anymore.  Can I see a future where the questions are gone and my expression is one of being in the moment and moving past the betrayal?  Instead will it be replaced with a really heartfelt expression of grace, acceptance, love and happiness?   I just am so tired.  I haven’t been truly happy in so long.  I can’t wait for that day to come.

20 Responses to “Halloween Masks”

  1. bombladoze October 31, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    i think mr b also did it ‘to hurt me because he had misplaced anger about his life’… it does explain a little bit of acting out… but i think with the OWs err… ‘help’… it carries on… coz you know how chicks roll, you stick your dick in it and we get attached, we fall in love… we end up wanting more… theres a running theme in many affair stories where the husband didnt necessarily want to be having the affair, but also didnt want to ‘let the OW down’ because theyd already done the thing… its stupid and ridiculous, but, because theyre getting all this so called positive attention for it… well, i kinda see why they carry it on… then it escalates, blah blah blah…

    i still think dealing with the immediate aftermath is like dealing with a teenager, remember that guy, that all your friends told you was a loser, but you didnt wanna believe them, noooo… zzz.

    • Flaca October 31, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

      Green told me that when he tried to break up with OW several times she kept crying and getting “crazy.” (Although he won’t elaborate on that – which makes me wonder just what the hell does that mean???) I do know when he told me about how she would freak out over breaking up that I would want to vomit and instead I would laugh. I would say, “Now that’s ironic.. the whore doesn’t want you to go back to your wife? Because that mean SHE gets dumped?” What a pair of idiots those two… and all cheaters make. But then little crazy whore showed up my house to get him back? Well then I knew she was evil, pyscho and crazy… besides her skanky vagina (and filthy mouth)… just what was so appealing about her???

      • bombladoze October 31, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

        blowjobs and compliments :P

      • Flaca October 31, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

        hah! i forgot! i guess because i got stuck with the STD and the insults..

        thanks for the laugh though!

      • bombladoze October 31, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

        yeah… we got allll the fun huh!

  2. tryinghard October 31, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    Oh Flaca you said it all!!! I should win a freaking academy award for all the acting I have done and masks I have worn in the last two years. One mask at work (because she worked here), one mask for friends (because I think I let them down for not kicking his sorry ass to the curb) and one mask for my family (because I love them). I find it easier to just stay away from people. I hate socializing anymore. It’s exhausting.

    It has gotten to a point for me that there is no more “making up” that he can do to help restore my faith and trust in him. I was thinking today I need to keep a calendar and mark each day that I think I want to be divorced. My excuse is not the children, they are grown, but a business that if I leave will certainly collapse. Banks are so jumpy these days. That is all they would need to hear is that the owners were divorcing and they would pull the plug fast. But I am tired.

    Two years. Happy? HA, hell no, somewhat satisfied. Being a woman of a certain age I will admit to anyone I would be scared shitless to divorce. So what’s worse, the devil you know or the devil you don’t know??? I am mad, frustrated, hurt, sad, anxious to some varying degree every fucking day. I have severe IBS and am constantly nauseous. I keep thinking I will get there, and then I read a blog about someone 10 years out and still feeling the pain. Really, WTF am I doing this for?

    I don’t pay any attention to his answers to the why’s and have quit asking and quit trying to figure it out because it’s all bullshit!! I know why, BECAUSE HE COULD!!! That is all I need to know. Four years and thousands of dollars is NOT a mistake! It’s a big fat boneheaded decision.

    The affair is never over, never in the past. You can say it is and you can brag about being happy, but it’s just a mask. If one says it long enough and loud enough it may become true, but at the end of each day we have to take our mask off, look at ourselves in the mirror and say “who the fuck are you”??? Is it worth it?

    • Flaca October 31, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

      It’s hard to know. I know financially my family would suffer too. I do think if my kids were grown it might be different for me. My kids are a big reason I am giving reconciliation a chance. Those girls are the best thing my husband and I ever did. Sending you my best wishes and thank you for comments. Your point is very well taken and I totally get it.

      • bombladoze November 1, 2013 at 2:29 am #

        i definitely think if my kids were grown i wouldnt be holding on so tight… i have thought… if it were just me and the oldest… i could do that. because, for the most part, it has really just been he and i… i just want my kids, both of them, to have a solid base to grow from, a solid base to come back to, while theyre growing and even when theyre grown… although i know deep down, that i alone could be that… i want them to have something more… well, i dont want to say normal… perhaps ideal is a better word? something that belongs to them, and them alone. where they come from. where they belong. so i want to at least give it a chance…

        i know i can put the affair in the past. the question really is… whether or not he can… i think i will probably, for a very very long time, wonder if he has put it there… coz shit, ive thought about old boyfriends and flings from time to time (that makes me feel like a ho because weve been together since i was 18 lol)… but i know that ive put past relationships firmly in the past… but theres that knowing, that he has had the ‘greener grass syndrome’… and well, am i forever going to worry that it will come back? will i ever be enough? like he has been enough for me?

        but then i ask myself, has he? has he been enough? because the undeniable truth is now… that no, he hasnt… i *made* him enough before the affair… but better the devil i know? i dont know… i dont. fucking. know… better the devil i know that has learned the lessons… but has he learned the lessons? will he learn them? pfttt. i just dont fucking know. but maybe thats the thing…, we dont ever really know… we can only know and trust us… i feel like this is a lesson ive learned wayyyy too late!

  3. Bee November 1, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Flaca, you always have such insightful posts. I think, for me, my masks crumbled. One day, I just stopped giving a fuck. It got me into trouble, as you know, but I feel much freer. It was exhausting trying to give everyone the mask they wanted and I just couldn’t keep up anymore. I’ve stayed for all the wrong reasons: obligation, finances, kids, social reasons, etc. but I never factored in my own happiness.

    When we’re happy, we don’t need those suffocating masks. Without my masks, I feel much, much happier. Not like before, but definitely happier than when I wore them.

    • Flaca November 6, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

      I agree – happiness shouldn’t require a mask for Green or myself. I think recognizing that i am wearing a mask for others…and for my self esteem is the first step for me to realize that I don’t deserve to be burdened by them. I hope all is well with you!

  4. boysmom November 3, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    Thanks for your excellent post… I am in a similar boat, 4 months post D-Day (I discovered his 3 month affair) with a repentant husband and a lot of sadness. He says he will do “whatever it takes” and has cut ties with her. Like you we have 2 small kids. I’ve asked all the detailed questions, and he has been very forthcoming about his transgressions, but the question remains: how do I accept that the person closest to me is capable of such a selfish and narcissistic act? Does staying with him mean that I have to just accept this part of his character (the weak, indulgent and selfish part)? How do I become excited about and admiring of him as a person again? How can he truly “atone”? Can he ever really make this up to me, or will I always have this vague sense of feeling wronged in my closest relationship no matter what he does or says now? What does the affair mean about who he is? I keep thinking that I wouldn’t accept this kind of mistreatment from others, yet I am in my own marriage. I completely understand your dissatisfaction and pain. Anger is not the answer, so I guess acceptance of the facts is the only choice if I choose to stay. Again, thanks for your heartfelt posts, they have helped me so much!

    • tryinghard November 5, 2013 at 8:11 am #

      BoysMom
      You are in such the early stages of discovery and sorting out all the meanings to what has happened to not only your marriage, but your life. I want you to know, I know how you feel and my heart goes out to you.
      Yes he is repentant, they all are, and you are asking the MOST important questions. Not the detailed questions about the affair that all of us have asked, but the ones that will help you make a wise decision with regards to your future. Bear in mind you are probably still in shock. It’s an awful place to be. So take your time and remember to breathe:)
      Keep focusing on you, there are lots of books out there to read as well(they are very helpful) and most of all get to a counselor that specializes in infidelity. Quite frankly there are many out there since infidelity is so prevalent. This is not an easy path and it is not for sissies so I hope your H is ready for the challenge because he has many questions to answer and the hard part for you is you have to get him to answer your questions. The biggest mistake I made was blowing up because then they just get scared to answer any more questions. Being the lying chicken shits that they are they don’t want anyone being mad at them. There is a time to blow up though and he HAS to see that you are really pissed and hurt about what he did but that HAS to come after you’ve gotten all the info you need out of him. It’s sad to say but you have to manipulate him :/ Don’t feel bad about doing it though, after all…..
      Best of luck to you.

      • boysmom November 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

        Thanks @tryinghard… much appreciated! I have definitely had my share of outbursts too. I keep hoping for him to “get” the depth of my shock– I mostly think he does, but occasionally he gets frustrated and and impatient, and my response is to get more angry, because I think “he has no right to feel angry, he’s the one who betrayed me and ruined our stability,” etc. A vicious cycle. I stilll can’t imagine ever doing this to him, but I guess this is the injustice we betrayed spouses have to deal with. I was postpartum and nursing when this happened, she is 13 yr younger… the whole 9 yards. Thanks again ladies, this helps so much.

      • Tryinghard November 5, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

        BoysMom
        It’s shit! But you’re not alone. Many men have affairs during these times like you had. Mine chose to have his affair just when my soon to be ex daughter in law was having one wreaking havoc on our family and I was losing/closing my business. Nice, huh. Makes the hurt even worse. But is there ever a good time to have an affair?
        No he has absolutely no right to get angry. They all want us to get over it because they can’t stand verbalizing what selfish assholes they’ve been. I will say with lots of talking and counseling and time, it gets better. Eventually you do have to and you will accept what he did. Well you will accept the fact that you can’t change the past. Your job is to get him to get it otherwise he could repeat it and will. Hang in there and you will find great help and support on these blogs.

    • Flaca November 6, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

      BoysMom, I too am sorry to hear that you too have had to share in this experience. As TryingHard says, I agree, its early for you yet. Take care of yourself and do not rush yourself. I wish I had your grace! At 4 months out I was a raving lunatic!

      I don’t think it will ever be “made up to me” although Green in his way tries… I know he will never EVER get it. It’s just the difference between us… I would never have done this to him. My unfaithful spouse is flawed and made a very bad decision in light of that character flaw. How I choose to accept it and him is the battle I am facing. However, I can say at two years in the anger has abated, for the most part. I do offer that to you as some hope.

      What lingers for me is the hurt. And the concept that I will never really get the “answers” that I want. Will we Green and I get back to place that we were at before? Secure and true friends? Before our masks? His of lies and deceit? Mine of just ‘fake it to make it?’ Sometimes I don’t think we will and that makes me very sad… because I can’t face a lifetime of staying in a ‘masked’ marriage. Other days, most days, I feel like the weight of the mask is being lifted. Like perhaps one day I think that I won’t need to put it on anymore.

      Sending you best wishes. Thanks for your comments!

  5. leaveitonthepage November 6, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    I can identify with this post completely. This is what I refer to as, Faking it until you make it. In fact my current therapist and my previous therapist both agree that this is actually a helpful tactic to aid in recovery. The whole if you act happy you’ll eventually feel happy theory. Sometimes it’s works other times it feels so forced I feel like I’m going to snap.

    I’ve found that I’m happiest when I’m alone, with my pets, with my daughter, with my Mom and sister. I’m not as happy or content when I’m with my husband but I do have happy moments here and there. I’m the most unhappy when I’m around my husbands son who lives with us and it’s even worse when I’m around both my husband and his son at the same time.

    I honestly think the happiness variation is kinda like what Bee said. When I’m alone or with my “blood family” I don’t have to wear a mask, I’m just me. When I’m with my husband I fake it so much, just to get by.

    I like the article and have read before that unhappy marriages are statistically happy after 5 years. I don’t know if divorce is the answer or if I’d be happier without him. I do know at almost 40 I’m scared to start over, that whole the devil you know thing… And my husband is very repentant and continues to work on our marriage recovery. The pain is all still there, it’s less on the surface but it’s always there.

    • Flaca November 7, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

      I am trying to do this, “fake it until you make it.” But sometimes its hard. I am pretty much happiest when I am alone. I think I always had that tendency though. My mom is too sensitive to it. My ‘friends’ are too judgmental. My kids are too young for me to really ‘escape’ with… although I adore them, with them I try to keep on a mask of mommy silliness, security and love. And Green I think he just wishes it never happened.

      But I hear you on the ‘devil you know’ thing… I just keep pushing back on holding on to my “better or for worse” vows and stick to my commitment to it. I too read that 5 years is the mark to the other side. Green and I made that deal and so far, I gotta say… year 2 is lot better than year 1.

      I hope you are doing well. Thanks for your visit.

      • boysmom November 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

        Thanks Flaca for your kind words! I am really encouraged that you are saying that the anger subsides. And believe me, I definitely have my moments of rage and anger. I am so glad that you can enjoy your life more in year 2, you deserve some peace after the chaos of the first year. It is very understandable that the pain lingers, I’m not sure if it will ever completely fade for me.
        What I’m wondering is, do you guys think it is possible to feel “special” again after being betrayed? I am a loyal person and monogamy comes naturally to me, so I can’t help feeling that our relationship has been cheapened now. Flowers, gifts etc don’t work in the same way they used to, he gave her stuff like that during the affair. Thinking of you all.

  6. Paula November 8, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    boysmom, I hear you SO loud and clear! Ditto. I haven’t felt special since any of this either (despite having one who has done heaps to help, he was done with her before I found out, so I had him “back” before I ever even knew, he was already sure what he wanted, etc, so was fully committed to doing whatever it took.) We are four years and five months, and I still struggle. That is not to say that there is not a lot more calm, a lot of the anger has dissipated (but is still there from time to time) and a lot of healing has occurred, but the taint of this has mean the sparkle has gone for me, my optimistic take on life, he used to say that I sparkled, at any social event, I was always who he was drawn to, we were the silly couple who would glance across a room after more than twenty years and I would zing, there would be a special smile, a wink, a fantastic connection. My best mate told me that she had seen us do it many a time, not an obvious thing, just a look, and a reaction, from both of us, to the other. I thought after this that maybe I was imagining my reactions, his, but she told me this one day, without any prompting, incredulous that this had happened to us. Twenty-five years, and I still felt the sparkle up until he did what he did – or more accurately, after I was told what he did. I was oblivious to what he was doing with my so-called friend for fifteen months. That is scary. How can you not know??? How can you carry on with a “normal” happy life while this was going on? How could he still give me chills (in a good way) by just making eye contact across a crowded room WHILE he was shagging my friend??? How could he lie and hide it all so very completely? How can one be so easily duped by the person they admired and adored so completely? So yeah, gifts, acts of service, any kindnesses are looked at in a completely different (cynical) light. Sucks. When all of his intentions are to make amends, and then some. There is no way he can make this shit up to me. He can be a great guy again, but what he did – the utter selfishness in not at least considering my physical health, without the mental and emotional aspect – will never be undone. I realised that the night I received the text from her at a party that was supposed to be a celebration, “this can not be undone, this has REALLY happened.” Anyhoooo, I have learned to be a lot more independent (like I was before our kids were born) and to make personal plans for my future, I have disconnected from his future plans somewhat, I have to look after me. I have sacrificed myself, my career, my personal aspirations, etc, for my family, for him, and I was shit on, so I look out for myself and our kids more vigilantly now. Sucks again. But that’s life. All I can offer is that some calm does eventually happen, not true peace, but calm, and some strength and self control, the kind I felt to start with straight after discovery, but that deserted me around two years later, as I crumpled under the weight of the grief I still felt. Climbing back out of another of the pits that miraculously appear regularly in my life now – in my late 40s! Life was not all roses, but it was never like this, I had a pretty damn great life, but I realised I relied on my great relationship to validate me, not any longer, I have to find other ways, and I am.

    • jules November 9, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

      I so can relate—thank you—now he wants the sparkle back—-wants to see that crazy in love look I had for him—–I do not react the same to his touch—-my voice does not convey the love he felt from me before——my love making is not the same—-I do not act like a teen in love anymore—–his presence does not bring the same reaction as befoe—I do not stare into his eyes like I used to—im not all over him like before–I do not hold his hand like I used to—he wants to see that LOOK OF LOVE I always had when he looked at me—-he feels im no longer in lust with him—-he wants his wife back—-DUDE IF YOU HAD ALL OF THIS __WHY DID YOU BREAK MY HEART___MY SPIRIT__MY LOVE???????

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