Yesterday I started catching up on some of the blogs I follow, and I ran into a post that made me really think about my reactions when I found out Chef was having an affair. I’m not going to link to the woman’s site, mainly because I don’t want to accidentally send a wave of pissed off blogging wives to jump her and verbally pound her face in. That would have been my first reaction not all that long ago.
The site is written by The Other Woman who a married man is seeing, and the man’s wife obviously knows about the affair. She wrote a post that included an email from the wife and her own responses back. It wasn’t a pleasant exchange.
I know it must seem odd that I would follow people who were publicly embracing infidelity since I’m so only just recently scarred from just such an experience, but it really isn’t so weird for me at all. PTSD’s gift to me was an obsession to understand a problem from every angle so it can never hurt me. So much for the power of PTSD symptoms….. Knowledge has its limitations.
The betrayed wife was so hurt and angry, and it showed in every word that she was writing. Pain, despair, and rage dripped from her accusations. She was protecting the betrayed spouse, making excuses for his behavior, and laying the full blame almost entirely on the mistress. I realized just how different things seem when you aren’t in the storm yourself. From just the little I had seen between these three people, it was easy to form the opinion that the wife was being unfair, the mistress defensive, and God knows what the husband really was doing throughout this twisted experience. Almost exactly the same scenario I was involved in not that long ago. I was doing exactly what the wife was doing — making excuses for a grown man and blaming the girlfriend, or anything else I could blame that wasn’t Chef. It made me hurt for both of them.
There are some subjects that I don’t really get involved in when I’m cruising the internet. I don’t care to argue the existence of God with atheists, or the rapture with Christians, and I avoid mistress vs wronged wife drama like it was contagious. But somehow I felt drawn in to explain that psycho rage that a woman feels and her obvious inability to see who was really to blame for all the pain she was in, at least from my own understanding of it.
I hated everything I went through, starting the second that I had proof my husband was cheating. I hated realizing I hadn’t been able to hold on to my own husband. I hated that I looked like a fool to so many people, (in my own mind, at least). I hated the insecurity of an unknown future. I hated that my emotions would fly haphazardly from one direction to the other, and I had no control over them whatsoever. I hated that this woman had written me scripture filled thank you cards and had been my own daughter’s friend. I hated satan, meth, and motorcycle patches that had been more important than me.
I hated a lot, but Chef wasn’t really on the list much. The truth is that love doesn’t die quickly or easily. All the people and things that we don’t love are simply going to get wrecked by us first, and will probably stay our focus for a while, until what we feel for the cheating partner dies to manageable point. I haven’t loved anyone in my life before like I did Chef, and I am still surprised at the amount of slimy betrayals, cutting words, and abuse it took for the love that I had for him would even begin to fade away. Even this very minute, there is a remnant of love that I still feel for him, despite everything. I’ve accepted that it will never go away. I’m okay with that. Who wants a love that gives up so easily?
I am no person’s judge, and I don’t presume to know what anyone else should or shouldn’t do with their own lives. I just know that this experience is tough enough without the added stigma of being forever classified as a raving lunatic in everyone’s eyes that are watching you. In my case, I consider it a form of temporary insanity, and not my usual nature and disposition at all. Hopefully, mercy can be extended to wives like me who lost something big, and like this woman who just had her life derailed. As for The Other Women, I would only point out that in all of our lives, we make decisions that impact others. If the risk is worth it, by all means, do as you please. But we also all come to point where we have to pay the piper for the dance we just had, and the anguish and anger of a person you hurt is part of it. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time, right?
Just my thoughts….