winnerBetrayed AND Proud!

Is it possible?  Would it help me if I felt this way?  Might I stand, with my head held high, proud that I decided to work on my marriage, to save it from divorce even though my husband betrayed me?  Is it possible to be proud of a marriage that has weathered adultery and which bears deep scars and wounds which won’t go away and which only adultery can inflict?  Can I accept, with pride, that my marriage is no longer built on a promise of fidelity?  Might the world at large recognise that betrayed spouses who don’t kick the betrayer out are entitled to be respected for their actions?  Maybe…

Yesterday I listened to a TED talk by an American guy named Andrew Solomon. “How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are”.  He modestly describes himself as a student of adversity and has, over many years, looked to how people who are faced with adversity gain strength from their difficult and seemingly impossible challenges.  In his talk he integrates his research with his own survival of a painful childhood and although not directly concerned with coping with adultery, his talk  offered me a fresh insight in coping with my husband’s adultery by seeing it as adversity.

The leitmotif of the talk was “forge meaning and build identity” forge

For Solomon, meaning is not found.  We have to forge meaning.  When adversity hits, it has not been sent to us a ‘gift’ but instead we have the option to choose to use the adversity as a gift to create meaning.  He talked about “avoidance and endurance” as tactics to survive painful experiences and suggests that these feelings are the entry to forging meaning.  Once, you have forged meaning you can then make that part of your identity. There is a need to take the worst part of the trauma and fold it into a narrative of triumph over things that hurt.  We can then become a “better self”.

A useful distinction that he made was substituting ‘but’ for ‘and’.  So, not,  I am married BUT my husband committed adultery;  instead,  I am married AND my husband committed adultery. He also talks about developing a stronger identity by entering a community.  He discusses Gay Pride and what that has been able to achieve for stigmatised gay identities.  It was this concept that made me think of betrayed and proud.  If there is one thing I have noted from the betrayed spouse blogs is a sense of personal pride amidst the shame of adultery.  He notes that if we are ashamed we can’t tell our stories but it is stories that are the cornerstone of identity.

How society views us as the betrayed spouse is also significant.  We are unfairly stigmatised for being the spouse who forgives/accepts adultery. Solomon suggested a balance between constraint on the one hand and breaking limits on the other in order to have a valid life.  As a betrayed spouse I have demonstrated constraint by not seeking revenge and by acting as well as I can with dignity so that I don’t drop to the level of my husband’s behaviour.  However, I strongly feel that more needs to be done to validate what we betrayed spouses do when we decide to stay rather than divorce.  He sums this up quite well when he says that “crumbs are not the same as a place at the table – which means that you can forge meaning and build identity but still be mad as hell”.  I often feel this and rant about it in this blog.  I  get angry at the way our society romanticises  the acts of adultery for the betrayer and their extra marital activities whilst indifferent to the effects on the betrayed spouse and family.

osarHandling adversity in this way does not make the wrong right but it can make it precious.  We don’t actively seek these painful experiences that hew our identities but we can seek to build our identity in the wake of them. Solomon says that what we all abhor is pointless torment.  We can only endure pain if it is purposeful.  Therefore, no matter how dispirited I get sometimes, my pain is not pointless if  I am continually forging meaning and building my identity in the wake of it all – to be a stronger me, the heroine of my own life story, triumphing over the hurt of adultery. As Isak Dinesen, the author of ‘Born Free’  famously said “All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them”

 “Adversity is like a strong wind. I don’t mean just that it holds us back from places we might otherwise go. It also tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be.”

Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha.

Image Credits: Winner by renjith; Hand Forge by Bill Longshaw; Gold Star Award by pixtawanvia;

Affairs: So What?

BLOOD BOILINGIt’s just relentless! 

Picked up the Sunday Times 12th October 2014 and in the Style supplement there is an article written by India Knight who wants to share excerpts from her new book ‘In Her Prime: Older, Wiser, Happier’.  A journalist, columnist, novelist and regular writer for the Sunday Times she has a fairly high-profile.  I think I once purchased one of her books on the art of shopping. She has published a book on how to lose weight by reducing carbs, other light non-fiction and a number of novels.  Her non-fiction books appear to be semi-autobiographical; what India would do, what India thinks best, what India has tried that has worked.  The excerpts from her book seem innocuous enough, in the main.  “Everyone I know who is over 50 and looks fantastic does yoga.  Just do it.  You can thank me later”.      She provides her 15 rules for beauty, (tips on eyeliner, Botox and blusher etc.) but then throws in, for good measure I suppose, her philosophy on sex and relations. “If you fancy someone, and they fancy you, then you should be pleased and excited to be naked in a bed”  Not exactly profound and I would normally smile at such things but I found it impossible because she goes on to imply that adultery really isn’t a problem in marriages and long-term relationships.  It makes my blood boil!

She begins by saying that she doesn’t intend to mount a defence of adultery but she “does wonder how much it matters to our hypothetical long-married couple”.  Well India, you don’t have to wonder – take a look at the betrayed spouses blogosphere sister – you’ll see how much it fucking matters!

Distilling her wisdom further she makes fleeting and glib reference to the pain inflicted by infidelity although there is no explicit mention of any particular pain that may be reserved for only  the betrayed spouse. Maybe she doesn’t know about this?   She goes on:

“As we have seen, the adulterer is partly to be pitied: they want proof that they’re still hot, which is sad, however you cut it, and maybe a teeny bit deserving of sympathy.  I’m not convinced that behaving as though you are in a soap opera – screaming yourself hoarse and showing your other half the door – is necessarily the sensible solution here.  Yes, lots of affairs are terminal – too many, if you ask me, because we’ve been conditioned to think that they’re the end of everything, rather than difficult but manageable like a broken limb or small head wound.  The odd blip – one or two (max) over a period of decades – is, if not quite excusable, then at least humanly understandable. What I’m actually doing is beating around the bush and trying to think of a more palatable way of saying, ‘Affairs: so what?’  Like many women, I might be inclined – through the benefits of being older, wiser and less judgemental – to think: “Stupid arse.  I am really, really pissed off and upset, but I think we can probably work it through”

Pleeeeeeeeeease!!!!!!!  When are people going to understand that it is not just the sex!!!!!!  It is Dangerthe betrayal, the lies, the secrets, the detachment, the breach of trust the crazy making time of being told that you are nuts and that nothing is going on and that there is no one else.  Finding out that the person that you loved and trusted the most was prepared to be dishonest and deceptive.

Maybe India Knight has not experienced this.  I wonder if she would be quite so glib if her partner began to deceive her.  Bit more than pissed off perhaps? Beware of  Karma, India Knight, it has a funny way of teaching you what you need to know at the right time in your life.  And here’s one person who will not be buying your book.


Image Credit:  Thermometer by Stuart Miles; Danger Sign by taoty

Pulling the Pain of Betrayal Out of the Hat

handIt’s behind you!

I want to rant about three things today.  They are all media depictions about adultery and as in most media coverage of this kind, what they all have in common is that the destruction caused by the infidelity and the pain felt by the betrayed spouse is magically removed or placed behind the screens.

The first rant is concerning the diabolical Ashley Madison advertising video. WTF?  What type of world do people want to live in?  Am I on my own?  Is adultery really this OK for so many men?  Is this what a man wants for his mothers, sisters, wives and daughters?  Or is it just for him and everybody else’s female relatives?  The song that the men sing has the refrain “looking for someone other than my wife…  Ashley Madison’s right”.  From what I can establish it is on American and Australian TV.  Is this true?  What values does this uphold?  Life is short, have an affair and then I can make loads and loads of money on the back of all the misery that nobody knows about.  Why get married if you don’t want to be monogamous?  Nobody holds a gun to anyone’s head to get married do they?  So if you are unfulfilled in your marriage, leave it.  Don’t become a liar and a cheat and destroy another human being’s right to know the truth about their marriage partner.  This all sickens me.

My second rant is about Paul Coelho’s novel entitled ‘Adultery’.  I was more than a tad adulterydisappointed with this work.  My understanding was that Coelho was prompted to write about this topic following information he received via social media.  He discovered, from questions that he asked that depression was not the big issue for people but that adultery and betrayal was.  He expands upon his view, disappointingly in an interview on C4 .  “I thought the big issue was depression today, which is not, it is betrayal. The main focus here is that fear of losing control of the things we take for granted, and among the things we take for granted is marriage.”  Well… his book is so shallow.  He chose a woman to be the adulterer and says that he did this as a counter to the more common depiction of the husband as the betrayer.  However, it really makes no difference. The bottom line is we are fed the story of someone in a marriage who has it all but feels a sense of dissatisfaction.  Shame.  Instead of working it out with her loving husband and children she opts to give a blow job to someone she went to school with.  He is married.  They shag a few times.  Nothing unusual.  But, they all end up happy ever after because that’s what can happen in marriages.  We can all  OVERCOME adultery!  Her husband doesn’t seem particularly disturbed.  He is a perfect stoic guy just patiently waiting for her to return to the fold.  THERE IS NOTHING TO LEARN FROM READING THIS BOOK.  Coelho offers no narrative to suggest the depths of despair the betrayed spouse feels.  He just doesn’t get it.  In his interview he says that both he and his wife had affairs but they overcame it.  What did they do?  Share a bottle of wine, shed some tears and then kiss and make up?  Is it just me?  Here I am two years past D-day and I am yet to consider the adultery OVERCOME.  Why is the pain of being betrayed hidden?

My final rant is one which concerns Clive James an Australian author, critic, broadcaster. He married Prue Shaw an author in 1968 and has two daughters. In 2012,  the Australian Channel Nine programme A Current Affair ran an item that disclosed that he had had an eight year affair megaphonewith 48-year-old Sydney Harbour flotsam Leanne Edelsten.  It became public knowledge because the trollop spilled the beans. Spiteful or what? Not content with having an illicit affair with him, she decided to ‘tell all’ to the national media.  “Mrs Edelsten claimed that James had now been thrown out of his Cambridge home by his wife, academic Prue Shaw, after admitting the affair and was living in a dingy basement flat. The divorcee said she and James had their own bedroom rituals, including drinking a cup of tea and eating a Cherry Ripe chocolate bar before making love. She told A Current Affair: ‘The guy’s a legend … he’d leave men half his age for dead.’

My heart goes out to Clive James’ wife.  From my understanding, as with most betrayed spouses she has carried herself with dignity continuing her academic literary career.  It is a shame that the attention seeking Edelsten could not have gone to the same school.  Twice divorced (as was Pig-Shit)  she appears to have jumped at the chance to publicise her affair and the outcome is appalling. Even Media Watch considered Channel Nine’s documentary a “shameless airing of an un-current affair”.  Although the sympathy is only dished out to the terminally ill Clive rather than his wife.

After everything had become public news, Edelsten was asked if she felt sorry for Clive’s wife Miss Shaw.  Her reply?  “No. I know he’s been busted. There will be comments, but that’s if there’s a home to wreck.”

Well, Clive James has dug himself a dirty rotten hole. He deeply regrets what he did as I suspect his wife and daughters do.  In an interview for the Weekend Australian in March 2013, his daughter said that her parents were now “back on speaking terms”. Asked if learning of the affair made her angry, Ms James replied: “I wasn’t thrilled.” “(But) for me, I guess, his illness was a very immediate concern that slightly eclipsed everything else.”

Adultery Wastelands.  But, once again the personal pain and trauma of marital infidelity and the wastelong term effects it has on the betrayed is relegated to behind the curtains.


 Image Credits: Magician Hand by vectorolie; Loud Hailer Shopping Bag by Stuart Miles;

Mountain Of Garbage by Witthaya Phonsawat; all via 


Not giving up but perhaps not trying so hard?

madeira harbourWe returned from our week in Madeira a week ago yesterday.  It was a lovely holiday, a welcome break.  The island was as beautiful as ever, the weather was sunny and the North Atlantic inviting in all it’s reflected sparkle.  We dined out, drank lots of good wine, went out spotting dolphins and whales and toured a part of the island we had not been before.  It was on this tour that something very strange and unexpected happened to me.

We were on a small tour bus and had arrived at the eastern most tip of the island.  Here it is silent and desolate but enchanting.  Over the years visitors have built stone erections.  Just placing one stone upon another in smaller sizes.  These quirky little shapes litter the whole landscape. Upon arrival we were all left to wander wherever we chose and my husband was quite excited about the place and ran off to look closer at the stones.  The terrain is unsmooth so you have to watch your footing.  I didn’t want to follow him so ended up standing still and watching him.  It was at this moment, on my own in the middle of nowhere with nothing but the wind blowing in my face that I became overwhelmed with a sadness that I cannot find the words to describe.   It was like everything sad that had ever happened to me, every struggle that I had had to face, including his adultery just overflowed in my brain.  Not as thoughts but as a wave of emotion.  I can’t recall ever feeling so disconnected and connected at the same time.  Nothing felt right but everything felt right at the same time and from the depth of this came the question – have I done the right thing?  Should I have sought a divorce instead of going through this?  And the truth is, two years post D-day and I still don’t know!

When my husband leaped over to me, in an instant he knew something was awry.  He asked what was wrong and all I could do was weep.  I wanted to bawl my eyes out but I couldn’t because we had to return to the tour bus.  I walked away from him with a lump in my throat (which has returned to me whilst I write this) and did my best to dry my eyes and pull myself together.

He became overly attentive.  Overly affectionate.  I could sense his fear.  Deep down I just wanted to hold him and be close but the fucking adultery just pokes its rotten head up and stunts my feelings of love for him.  It still hurts so bad.

That night was a bad Pig-Shit night as you can well imagine.  By this time I was just back where I was at the beginning.  Why?  Why would he do such a thing to me?  To us?  Why did he behave so immaturely?  Why were his friends so keen to encourage and facilitate his adultery?  Why would he want to touch the dirt bag when he had a full relationship with me? How could he have lied and cheated?  What sort of a man is he?  All the same questions and all inadequately answered.  I pull him through all this yet again.  Now, he feels a shit once more and is terrified I’m going to leave him.

I have read more books than I’d care to admit to about adultery.  I’ve considered so many perspectives and tried so fucking hard to make sense out of this nightmare.  But the pain just doesn’t stop, and nobody but fellow betrayed spouses will ever have any idea about how I feel.  The damage that his adultery has done is immeasurable to me, him and us.  And all those caught in the crossfire.

mazeSo what now?  I think I’m feeling a bit depressed.  I’ve decided that I cannot be the clever insightful spouse who turns the devastation into a useful learning experience.  I will never forgive Pig-Shit for her involvement or the friends that facilitated and encouraged the infidelity.  Adultery is wrong.  It is not about needs not being met.  It’s about an individual only thinking about themselves in the short-term.  My husband shagged someone else because he thought it was a brilliant idea at the time. If he didn’t he wouldn’t have done it.  He was prepared to be a liar and a cheat in order to do it.  He boasted to his friends and socialised with them with Pig-Shit on his arm, openly flaunting his infidelity.  He chose not to tell others, those who may have disapproved.  He dug himself into a wretched and dirty hole that he then couldn’t get himself out of.  All for the sake of a dirty bit of pussy.

Will the disgust and the pain ever leave?  Can I carry on?  He has done everything that a betraying spouse has to do to ensure a possible marriage recovery and I still love him dearly.  I feel like I need a rest from it all.  I’d like to just pretend that it didn’t happen, just for a while.  Stick my head in the sand  until I feel a bit stronger.

I can’t read about the accounts where the affair makes the marriage stronger.  I can’t read about the accounts where the betraying husband is a shit and doesn’t do what is required.  I can’t read about women who divorce their husbands because they will not accept the adultery.  They all seem to be going in directions that I can’t fathom at the moment.  I have no idea where I am going.  Just one day at a time and today we are together and everything is really OK.

Image credit: David Castillo Dominici via



Married men are easier to ensnare!

BlogTomorrow, my husband and I fly off to Madeira for a week. 

We have been there before.  Twice in fact.  The first time was in June 2011 and we had a great time.  The photos of that holiday serve as a reminder of our happy marriage.  We chilled out, met new people,  went on boat trips, admired the scenery, bought back a few knick-knacks for gifts and for our house and, as always, had lots of sex!  This is why it is so difficult to understand his actions eight weeks later.  Because eight weeks after we returned he went, without me,  to a bar with his friend and waiting for them was his friend’s fiancé and her friend – the desperate Pig-Shit.  And the rest is just history.  Rotten, sordid, skanky history.  A fabulous opportunity for my poor husband (???????) to have all his needs meet (every few weeks in some hotel) by a woman who is unable to compete in the singles dating scene.  You see married men are so much easier than single men to ensnare.

I was recently talking to a girlfriend who is on the dating scene and she is gorgeous.  However, she says that women are practically throwing themselves at men!  Then, the men are behaving very cavalier because they are getting sex easily (many shagging on the very FIRST date) and there’s a queue of single women just waiting to compete!  She says it is terribly easy to feel rejected heart3but she is holding out until she meets a man who does want commitment further than a first few dates.  However, she also says that the older men (50+) are the most reluctant to commit, and in the main are looking for younger women.  So, this made me think about Pig-Shit.  She is not an attractive woman! Plus she’s quite dim! (Perhaps her greatest attraction?) She would shag the man immediately and then what?  He would go off to pastures new and she would be desperately alone again.  A married man is thinking of youvery different.  They don’t have the time for the dating game, but with a little ingenuity can easily dance around the loyal and trusting wife at home who they’ve been having sex with for years.  All the whore has to do is offer convenient and easily available sex on the married man’s terms and hey presto, she has herself her ‘man‘!  A regular dose of insincere protestations of love and there she is wallowing in her ‘new and wonderful’ relationship.  She doesn’t have to worry about where he might be because she knows where he is – at home with his wife, and she will scratch out a relationship from the scraps of that marriage because it offers her more than what any single man would be prepared to offer her.

I learned something new about Pig-Shit the other day.  I knew that she had been shagging a married man for three years prior to shagging my husband.  He lived in the same skanky town as her and she provided him with a key so that he could conveniently have his booty whenever he wanted.  (She haskeys two children!!!).  I recently discovered that she told my husband that the relationship with him ended because… he went back to his wife!  WTF??????  Pig-Shit is in lala land.  He never went back to his wife.  How could he, he never left her.  So Pig-Shit, the simpleton, thinks that whilst she is shagging a married man she is the one in a ‘proper’ relationship.  The wife is simply an inconvenience.  How can this be ‘love’ of any kind? It makes me sick to my stomach.

blog 3So anyway, since D-day and my decision to allow my husband to stay and work at rebuilding the love and the trust of our marriage we have had several lovely holidays.  But Madeira has been a key destination for putting Pig-Shit behind us.  We visited it a second time last year in 2013 and off we go again on Wednesday.  The truth is, we get on so well.  We enjoy each other’s company and are closely in synch with each other.  It’s almost like we can read each other’s minds.  We eat, drink, swim, visit places together and then whilst he sunbathes to the sound of the music in his headphones, I’m close by, in the shade with my wonderful books.  Apart from the year with Pig-Shit it has always been like this.

It is such a shame.  My husband is an absolute fucking idiot.

Image Credits: 3d Person Behind The Road Destroyed And Love Symbol by renjith krishnan; Thinking About You On Phone Means Love Miss Get Well by Stuart Miles; Keys On A White Background by Serge Bertasius Photography; both courtesy of

The Fantasyland of Adultery

“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore”

red shoesIn a previous blog I wrote about the wastelands of adultery.  I still have preference for this metaphor but recently found myself intrigued by a blog which suggested a “fantasyland” of affairs.

This so-called ‘fantasyland’ is aligned to the strange new land that Dorothy finds herself in whilst searching for the Wizard of Oz.  Although offering a different perspective it is not incompatible with the notion of a wasteland.  It just depends on your context.  It is more from theab betrayer’s perspective than the betrayed but it is an insightful piece that articulates the weaknesses of the betrayer and the pain that is inflicted by their actions.  I was interested to note one of the post comments which said “Thank you for putting into words the actions and feelings of the unfaithful. It brings to light a new understanding of how wrong we were and how truly selfish we have been!”  Although the article was written by Rick Reynolds the Founder and President of  Affair Recovery,  I am indebted to the blog ‘Renewing a Right Spirit’ for alerting me to this particular piece which I quote almost in its entirety.

In one succinct phrase, L. Frank Baum perfectly describes the feeling of suddenly finding yourself physically and emotionally lost. “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore,” Dorothy quipped to her dog Toto. When it comes to infidelity, regardless of the type, this statement couldn’t be more true. In Dorothy’s mind mediocrity defined her life. There was no color, no excitement to be found in the prosaic little town in Kansas. The drudgery of life on the farm left her feeling hopelessly chained to a life of misery and unfulfilled expectations. Didn’t she deserve to be happy?

Dorothy spent all her time longing for a better, more exciting life, and eventually found herself swept away by an ominous tornado that sent her helplessly spinning into a strange new land of fantasy. Unlike her old life, this new life was painted with vibrant colors and was full of song. She also found she was no longer alone; now a strange troop of friends entered her life: a scarecrow that lacked brains, a tin man missing his heart, and a lion with no courage to help in her search for the Wizard of Oz. Interestingly, flying monkeys, wicked witches, [No Pig-shit] and deception left Dorothy pining away for the very thing from which she had longed to escape. She just wanted to be home again where she felt safe and cared for.

Is it possible the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was writing about those trapped in affairs or addictions? How often do indiscretions begin with feelings of mediocrity, or a desire to feel alive and understood; seeking freedom from the constraints of a life we no longer want, pursuing the happiness we believe we deserve? And like Dorothy, the dissatisfaction prompting the search for better life sparks a tornado, devastating everything in its path. Catapulted into a strange new fantasyland, the individual is left to wrestle with what to do. Only now they have to operate with the handicaps of Dorothy’s team: they have no brain, no heart, and no courage.

How do you decide what to do when somebody has lost his or her brain? If you’ve ever observed someone in an affair, it certainly seems they’ve lost their mind. I have seen successful men and women in extremely influential positions transformed into inept and incompetent individuals who seem incapable of making a rational decision. They become willing to jeopardize career, family, and future for this momentary pleasure. If the behavior of being “in love” were not socially acceptable, they would be certifiably insane. Everyone else can see they have no brain, and that reasoning and common sense are gone, but often they are too polite to say anything.

The loss of heart is also apparent. There is an illusion that if one is in love, they are finally in touch with their heart, but with infidelity, they’ve actually just lost what little heart they had. The selfish pursuits of personal gratification and self-glorification have nothing to do with heart; rather they are based on self-centeredness. Like the tin man, the person involved in an affair lacks the ability to truly love. People with heart are actually able to feel what impact their actions have on those who are connected to them. They care about the pain they are inflicting upon those they love. Love compels them to act in the best interest of another person. The total lack of love for those injured by their betrayal is one of the most astounding aspects of an affair. The path out of this dark morass definitely requires that they acquire a heart, not only to grieve for those they’ve wounded, but also to learn how to truly love.

Finally, courage isn’t a term used to describe those indulging in affairs. In fact, the act of betrayal highlights the lack of courage. Instead of exercising the courage necessary to admit what they’ve done and take responsibility for their choices, they hide behind a veil of secrecy, playing the victim and blaming others for their choices. Rather than having the courage to confront the deficits in their marriage while honoring their commitment even in hard times, they avoid difficulties of change, are afraid to face the consequences of their actions and fear releasing control because things might not turn out the way they want them. Ironically, it is this lack of courage that keeps them hopelessly trapped in the life they believe they need to escape. The only way to end the chaos is to let go. Unfortunately, because they lack the courage to let go and see what might happen, they remain immobilized, unable to face life’s realities.

Why can’t they just embrace honesty and take responsibility for what they’ve done? The answer is simple – to do so creates immediate change, as well as a loss of control. It requires courage to actually take personal responsibility for their life and actions. Frequently, those lacking the courage to take responsibility will hide behind the rationalization that they don’t want to hurt their mate, claiming they are acting in their mate’s best interest by keeping quiet. In reality, they are controlling their mate by robbing them of the information necessary to make informed decisions and to address the issues in the marriage. It takes courage to be authentic in a marriage, but like the lion of Oz, courage is a trait that is sadly missing in those betraying their spouse.

Interestingly, this trip to the fantasyland of an affair often culminates in a longing for home. Like Dorothy, betrayers often realize that “there’s no place like home.” But how do they return? It would be nice if they could simply click their ruby-red heels together, but unfortunately infidelity creates a bigger mess than a physical tornado and requires a much more elaborate journey. The journey back is difficult and can seem to go in circles, but the destination is more exciting, and ultimately more rewarding than the fantasyland. It takes time and effort, but it is absolutely our best hope for growth and happiness. Come back to reality. Rediscover your brain, heart and courage, and you’ll find there truly is no place like home.


If you believe there’s no way back I can tell you from experience that you are believing a lie. I’ve been doing this for over 30 years and I know thousands of couples who’ve done just that. It does however require the courage to take the first step.

Image Credits: Doug Kline Debbie Reynolds Auction – Judy Garland “Dorothy Gale” Arabian-pattern test “Ruby Slippers” from “The Wizard of Oz” & Shoes by Africa; Wizard Like Hat by Victor Habbick; both courtesy of


triggerI think I was expecting too much from my two year span from D-day which was  August 3rd, 2012. 

Don’t know why, but I had convinced myself that two years was going to be my duration of infidelity hell.  I reckoned that I’d be well and truly healed after this time.  Well, I have to say that I am sorely disappointed with the two year mark and sorry to have to admit this to any newly betrayed spouses just arriving at this wretched mess.  It has not gone quite to plan.  I believe that this is due to the continuation of triggers which occur at the oddest of times and in the strangest of instances.

I can’t even start to explain how I have worked to eliminate Pig Shit triggers from my life.  Some of you may say I’m mad, and I think you would be entitled to say so.  Momentarily!  When I knew where the first shag occurred – a 4 star hotel in the shit town that she lived in, I insisted that we spent the night there.  Walked the same walk around the garden.  It was hell, but good to see my husband squirm and doubly delightful to squash any remaining memories of that first night that belonged to just her.  I also insisted that he took me to Rotterdam and, again stayed in the same hotel and walked the same walks.  Luckily enough I was in the hysterical bonding stage at this time so our sex was hot, hot, hot!  Now, my husband had been to Rotterdam with me as well.

In the end, what has proved much more difficult to address has been the way that the year of the adultery (the year that my life was going on in the normal way whilst trusting that I had a faithful husband) continues to be replayed in my head following a trigger of some sort.  You would think that it was the dirty sex he was having with Pig Shit that would be the continuous hurt but it isn’t!  Strangely enough it is the thoughts of his continuous betrayal during that year (even though he only shagged it 12 times)  that keeps cropping up and derailing me.

Please be assured that it is nothing like as bad as it was.  Things are really good between us.  We have created and continue to create so many new and lovely experiences together.  We have had several holidays and in fact are preparing to go to Madeira in a few days for a week.  We have gone to lots of concerts, had lots of meals out and have thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company.  We have talked and talked and talked and he has continued to show absolute remorse for his wretched behaviour towards me during the time of his adultery.

I have also had my internal dialogue with what triggers need to be eliminated.  For example I purchased a set of beautiful blue china dishes for a Greek night I hosted (during Pig-Shit Year).  When I recently went to use them I just went crazy.  Back into the “what the hell were you doing? So whilst we were entertaining that evening, you were thinking about your next shag!  Maybe texting it?”  I was so naïve!  How could I have been so trusting?  All of this going on behind my back.  All the anger came flooding back.  BUT, instead of throwing them away I have decided to keep them.  They are beautiful and I will take a deep breath every time I use them until all traces of Pig Shit have disappeared.   Instead of reminding me of my husband’s adultery they will remind me of how creative I am and how I love and treasure beautiful things in my home.

A lot of my husband’s clothes got thrown away.  He discarded any items that directly or indirectly reminded him of Pig Shit – shoes as well.  His wardrobe still looks a bit bare to be honest but it is being replaced slowly but surely.

What is more difficult to deal with are the triggers that are hidden.  A couple of weeks ago we were sitting and sharing a bottle of wine and then something (I can’t recall what) triggered my anger.  It was awful.  All my meditations, all my promises to pause between emotion and response just vanished in this resurrection of hatred for what has happened and the waste of it all.  Over two years and I still found myself  saying “I’m not sure if I can do this, we may have to call it a day”.  Then the resulting devastation of my husband.  Do you think I could make him feel more despicable than he already does?  Trust me, I couldn’t.  Equally I cannot in all fairness ask him to do any more than he is already doing to repair our marriage and make amends for his mistake.

Yesterday, I overhead him in a telephone conversation.  The content did nothing to bother me but I became aware of a tightening in my chest; a sinking in my tummy and a dry throat. Then came the triple loop of the stomach as if I’d driven three times over a sharp hill.  I wanted to explode.  Why??????  Well, this time I sat with my feelings (I was in a different room) and took several deep breaths to try and connect with what my body was telling me.  It didn’t take too long to identify that it was his tone of voice in the call that was the trigger.  I remembered the calls that he would make with his Dutch colleague in Rotterdam.  It was a trip to visit him tht provided a shag opportunity with Pig Shit.  She flew to Amsterdam to meet my husband and they took the train to Rotterdam.   I had overheard my husband’s conversations with this Dutch colleague and recall that at the time I was suspicious and started enquiring as to whether he actually needed to travel to meet him in person to do the work he wanted to do.  My intuition was spot on as it now turns out.

So yesterday was a lucky turn of events because I was able to pause between a camouflaged  trigger and my response to it.

I am exhausted by it all.  When will  it ever end!