Category Archives: meditation

Adultery – Do Not Seek Rationalisation

bewareBeware asking your husband why he committed adultery.

If you do ask why, please, proceed with caution.

I know the temptation to do so is HUGE. What you are doing is seeking a rational response to why you now have a shit-heap set of circumstances tipped on to your shiny fucking doorstep of a marriage thanks to husband dearest’s decision to shag someone else whilst married to you and not tell you! It’s what we do when we try to understand something alien to us.  But, with respect, let me advise you… THERE ISN’T A RATIONAL ANSWER. It makes me spit. Why do we do this to ourselves? It’s the therapists’ sludge. The stupid assumption that humans always act rationally. Hello! HELLO! Wrong!!!

I have to plead guilty. I’ve asked and asked and asked why more times than I can remember and this is MY mistake. Sometimes it takes time for the proverbial penny to drop. I decided last night after yet another round of waste-of-time discussions with husband to NEVER ask why again. I’m going to get this word, wrestle it to the ground and wrap it (a hundred times) with gaffer tape. I will silence it. The what, where, when and how can stay in circulation but WHY is so over! Trust me!

I think I have made it clear in my blog that we as betrayed wives hold NO responsibility whatsoever for our adulterous husbands’ decisions to shag someone else in secret. I have never gone along with any idea that adultery was committed due to there being something WRONG in the marriage. As if, had things been different, the husband would NEVER have considered slithering himself between the legs of a desperate dirt-bag! The adultery happened because he was bored with his wife. Because he needed more emotional support than his wife was giving him! Pleeeeeeease! So called scientific research is suggesting that the first reason for people committing adultery is boredom, they are not particularly happy with their sex lives.  The second is an aching for something that’s emotionally reinforcing. Well I never.  When did they get this data exactly? Before the adultery – no! During or after the adultery – yes. So what should that tell us? It tells us that these research respondents were looking for a rational answer to their irrational choice. Something palatable, something recognisable, and in our society, seemingly something acceptable!

So let’s take this idea a bit further… If things had been different in his marriage (the wife was performing sex acts she’d learned by watching his favourite porn site: she was dutifully calming his furrowed brow and giving foot massage hourly) at the moment when the opportunity for easy, dirty sex came along, he would have found his moral compass sticking out from his top pocket and used it to deploy self-discipline and character. If the marriage had been ‘better’ adultery would not have happened because his moral compass (which can only function in certain agreeable marital conditions) would have spurted into action.  If the marriage had been different/better for him, he would NEVER have been able to lie or deceive or betray his wife – it would be out of character. You see, (clearly now I hope) it is the problems in the marriage that FORCE husbands to take advantage of the sexual opportunity offered by very nice and very accommodating sex objects.

I consider this to be such a crock of shit. Really I do. Men with a moral compass and a character of integrity would NOT fuck someone else because he was bored or feeling emotionally deprived. Let’s think of what that type of man might do… Difficult question? Well, I’d hazard a wild guess and suggest that he would reckon on it being part of the ebb and flow of a long term relationship or he would (heaven forbid) talk to his wife about his feelings of discontent.

So, what do you do if you get served up a slice of rationalisation? My advice: don’t eat it, don’t swallow it but instead pick it up and shine the truth as you know it on to it. This is what I needed to do last night.

So husband and I were having a conversation about his adultery and I, FOR THE LAST TIME asked him why he did it. His response? He was an idiot! True. He wasn’t getting enough attention from me!

WTF?

REWIND!

WHAT DID HE JUST SAY?

Well he said, these are the things that lead to adultery aren’t they? Now, you tell me, where has he got this from? He hasn’t said this quite so clearly before and remember, he’s no wordsmith. He normally stumbles and shrugs and looks to the cat for suggestions and moral support. The only books he knows about are the ones I’ve pointed him towards (and it would only be sections of books) and of course there’s Perel’s TED talk that he watched with me. What have I been saying to have this leak out of him? Where has he got it from? Has he been searching for an answer to appease me? Well, he made a wrong move if that’s what he intended. So, what I did was go back and revisit the TRUTH of our marriage at this time of his so called ‘emotional deprivation’. I’m lucky, we have a couple of significant markers.

First marker. I attended a residential training course in London for a week in May 2011. Whilst I attended this, he made the decision to visit his cousin in South Africa. We’d had an open invitation for years but I had already visited SA and as I’ve got older I’ve been disinclined to travel economy class for international flights. So this was a fantastic opportunity for husband to visit the country and be with his very nice male cousin and wife. However, whilst there he became very homesick for me. He didn’t like being all those miles apart. He hated the separation. He was very, very emotional. The last few days that he was there he spent pining to come home. I arrived back home the day before he did. When he arrived home it was a tremendously passionate and emotional reunion. He could not get enough of me and the next few weeks we were like a newly in love couple. We talked about this and he remembers it well. I asked if everything that he displayed to me was an act. A lie. Of course, it wasn’t. I knew that.

Second marker. We went on holiday late July 2011. We had a lovely time and happened to meet a wonderful couple. Quite a bit older than us, but they shared our dinner table and we got on so well that we spent quite a few hours together each day. At the end of the holiday we found out that he was dying of cancer. It really upset us and made us feel considerably closer to each other. We have many lovely photos of this holiday. Happy memories. Sharing a holiday with a happily married couple facing the prospect of eternal separation resulted in filling us with gratitude for what we had between us and our hopefully healthy future together.

Then August 13th 2011 he is visiting his mother on a solo visit and decides to go drinking with a male friend. They end up meeting up with his male friend’s fiancée and her single friend Pig Shit. The rest is history. Moral compass nowhere in sight. He could not say NO to her, to decline her offer and his friends normalised what he was doing. In fact they encouraged and facilitated it. So, when exactly did this emotional deprivation that he talks about occur? Clearly between the end of July and the middle of August! A matter of fucking weeks.  WEEKS!!!!!!  Once the adultery started, our marriage took a very strange turn and he was no longer emotionally available to me. Ironic don’t you think? When I approached him about it, it would turn into an argument. We had never argued before (and we don’t argue now – except over the adultery) but during his infidelity it was a regular occurrence. On one occasion he told me I was ‘unbearable’.

You see, what I think happened was that once he had Pig Shit the ever ready ever available sex object he started to compare this with what he had with me. Then, when I ask him, years later, why he was unfaithful he gets in a chronological mess. How he felt about me during the adultery leaks into how he thinks he might have felt before the adultery. And as I keep pushing for something that makes sense (idiot that that makes me) he manufactures this neat little rationale of me being distant!

You can’t compare though can you? Meeting someone in a motel room – going out for a drink and a meal and then just shagging till the morning every few weeks or so CANNOT be compared to a life lived together on a day to day ebb and flow basis. Add to this the fact that she wanted him for herself and was therefore competing with an unknowing me. She would have been manipulating her behaviour to manipulate my husband. He, like a sucker was pulled in and then trapped. Couldn’t even leave her when he wanted to for fear of her telling me.

So you see, there is no rational reason for his adultery – unless you want to fabricate one. It’s a character disorder. A lack of a moral compass. A lack of self-discipline. There is no rationale for betraying someone who loves you. I feel as if I was put into a boxing ring, blindfolded and arms tied behind my back. Then in stepped husband, Pig Shit and all those complicit in the adultery and they all made a choice to hurt and humiliate me. If someone had removed my blindfold, would they have all ran off? If my arms were untied would they have had a real fight with me? Would they have been able to face me, look me in the eye, knowing that I know what they have all been doing?

Give me rational answers to any of these questions and I’ll give you manufactured excuses after the event. At the time, they did not think about the consequences of their behaviour and that allowed them license to do as they pleased. Not one has come forward and offered me an apology. All have scuttled away like cockroaches in a dirty dark cupboard. Except husband. He completely cut off all his friends that were part of the group that knew what was going on. He has wanted to accept responsibility, pick up the pieces of me, bathe my wounds and stand by my side. He has promised me that I have never been safer than I am now.

What he did was repulsive to me, and now it has become repulsive to him. He has faced the consequences after the event and here we are, three years down the line. Together.

Why is a waste of time. The guilty will only seek to create something palatable but adultery cannot be made to be palatable and all that happens when you ‘blame’ something ‘missing’ in the marriage is you shift part of the burden of responsibility on to the already beaten-to-a-pulp betrayed spouse.

Image Credit: Beware Sign Displays Warning Alert Or Danger by Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net

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Choosing which wolf to feed!

wolfIn each human heart there are two wolves battling one another; one is fearful and angry, and the other is understanding and kind.

Which one will win?

Whichever one we choose to feed.

I recently discovered a blog feature written by Tara Brach (an American psychologist and proponent of Buddhist meditation) on the Huffpost dated 1st August 2013.  I found it useful as she has pulled together the practice of mediation with the ancient Cherokee legend about a tale of two wolves.

One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.  He said “my son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, Native americanarrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.  The other is good.  It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The grandson though about  it for a minute and then asked  his grandfather which wolf wins. The old Cherokee simply replied,  “the one that you feed.”

Since the discovery of my husband’s adultery I can relate to this battle as I have felt as if these two wolves have been running around inside my head.  Initially, I can’t recall the good wolf at all!  It was just the bad wolf.  I raged with anger and resentment and my pride was battered.  I felt totally at the mercy of my emotions and actually felt entitled to have them.  Of course, I WAS entitled to have them.  Betrayal is the most difficult experience that I have encountered (and I have had my share of life’s challenges) so of course it was going to stir up my deepest fears and anxieties.  However, although I felt entitled to feel them I was aware that they were killing something inside of me.  What my husband and Pig Shit may have started, I was actively finishing.

With this nagging thought I began to think about whether I could choose to think differently.  If I could choose to think in a way that would benefit my healing rather than fuel the fires of the affair.  This Cherokee story kind of supports the view that we can.  Each wolf is fed daily by the choices we make about how we think about ourselves and our circumstances.  It’s not difficult to go along with the idea that what you think about and dwell upon will influence your behaviour.  Feed the Good Wolf and it will show up in our character, habits and behavior positively; feed the Evil Wolf and our whole world will turn negative and like poison, this will slowly eat away at our soul.  As Brach so eloquently states:

It’s easy to feed the fearful, angry wolf. Especially if we’ve experienced great wounding, the anger pathway can become deeply ingrained in our system. When our old sense of injury or fear is triggered, the intolerable heat and pressure of anger instantly surge through us. Our attention gets riveted on the feelings and thoughts of violation and all we want is revenge.

For me, the only road I could see was one of meditation.  I can’t remember how many years I have been practicing mindful awareness and meditation but although I am lacking in discipline to do it regularly, I have,  through experience seatslearned how beneficial it is at calming a stormy mind.  When I had nobody to turn to and the shame of what my husband got up to threatened to  isolate me completely from my own life – I turned inwards.  I think that along with researching as much as I could about infidelity, adultery, monogamy and marriage, the meditation that I have practiced has been key to being able to heal myself. But the results are not sudden and it sometimes feels that I have taken one step forward and two steps backwards.

It will be two years on Sunday since D-day.  I still have a long way to go.  Forgiveness still eludes me but that is how it is and perhaps essential to recognise.  As Brach suggests “to forgive someone prematurely, we usually succeed only in papering over our anger and underlying hurt”. What I am becoming increasingly aware of is the responsibility that I have to myself and the need to make choices that reflect the care I have for myself.  Reading Tara Brach’s blog has helped me to understand that I am not on my own in this respect:

Many people in my classes and workshops have said that when they stop feeding the angry wolf and instead open to their own vulnerability, it feels like a homecoming. As one person put it, “Instead of focusing on the person who hurt me, I started down a path of freeing myself.” We can either “get back” at someone and let the wound fester, or attend to self-healing. Feeding the angry wolf may come more easily, but learning to stay present with our inner life connects us with our goodness

For me, I have no idea what meditation actually does.   I sit still and try to focus on my breathing.  If I haven’t done it in a while I can only muster ten minutes at best.  When disciplined and doing it on a regular basis I can comfortably sit for stonesup to 45 minutes.  Sometimes it is excruciatingly difficult, close to impossible! Crazy, when you think about how easy it is.  But, I persevere.  No gold stars for effort but over the past six months I have definitely sensed green roots growing.  I am healing.

Image Credits: The Wolf by Evgeni Dinev; Native American Indian Headgear Side by vectorolie; Seat In Quiet Room For Meditation by nuchylee; Stones Stacked by suphakit73; all courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com