Lack of Perfection

For the last few weeks I’ve dug a hole and buried myself in it. It feels good. I’ve distanced myself from my husband and kids as much as possible and I’ve thought nothing about the affair.  My husband asked me a few days ago if I was okay and if I wanted to talk. My answer was a flat out “No.” He said he was there if I needed him and he’s left me alone since. After 4 years, I’m just tired of thinking about, talking about and healing our marriage. I’m not giving up, just taking a break.

Pre-affair I thought our life was perfect. We were the couple that other couples wanted to be, and no one would have ever thought something like this would happen.

While in my hole this week I’ve been pretending my life is perfect again. I’ve been pretending I am married to the perfect man, and we live in the perfect house with our 2 perfect kids. In my pretend life my husband loves me the way couples love each other in the movies (because movies are reality in my pretend life).   In this life, everything is bliss. We have no stress, no arguments, no anger, only love and happiness.  Our marriage is completely affair proof.

And then when I open my eyes, reality smacks me hard in the face.

Since I woke up this morning I’ve been trying to figure out why I’ve chosen this hole of all holes to be in right now. The only thing I can come up with is that this is just another pile of crap I’ve stepped in on the road to forgiveness.  And although pre-affair I believed we were the ‘perfect’ couple, I’m just not quite ready to come out of my hole yet because that would mean letting go of the perfect life I thought I had.


  1. I know this feeling. I spent a lot of time in this hole after the first discovery. It was easier to cope with the rest of my life if my home life was a fantasy. At times even now I think I just push it all out of my mind since its to hard to deal with not even seeing him since I found out this last time. Other times when the reality slaps me in the face, it can be an all day anxiety mess. I think the fantasy world is what keeps us sane at times. It can’t be all bad. I know when he comes home, my fantasy is gone. Better enjoy it while I can. Enjoy yours as much as needed. The constant thinking about it all is so exhausting.

    • Wendy says:

      I dont know how you do it, with your husband being away so much. Kudos to you. Its a tough road, but have faith. It can get better if you both want it to.

  2. shannon says:

    I can relate to the grieving for a dream lost. It hurts to no end that no matter what happens, this nasty period of our life will always be there, a permanent smudge on what was once a perfect picture.

    • Wendy says:

      I agree. We can heal from the affair, but the smudge on the picture will never go away. I think thats the toughest thing for me to deal with.

  3. KarmaWorksOnHEROwnTime says:

    I too live like that from time to time. Then, something happens. Like the skank emailing him about how perfect their child is, then poof….I’m back to square one. I absolutely HATE that my life has turned into a “Jerry Springer” episode. I hate and resent that if I chose to, I’ll have to deal with baby-mama-drama for the rest of my life.

    • Wendy says:

      Karma, Yes, many times I HATE everything about my life now. If I hadnt been 8 weeks pregnant with my first child when I found out about the affair, I probalby would have left the marriage and wouldnt be blogging about all this crap. I didnt want to have a life with so many regrets but thats what it feels like I have most days…
      Where I’m at now, dealing with the baby-mama-drama doesnt affect me as much, I’m just still struggling to accept the way my life looks now vs how I wanted it to look. Its hard, and there are still times I just want to leave.

  4. Rae says:

    Hi Wendy,

    I so agree with you and the need to take time off from all of the “affair” crap left behind for us to clean up. I’ve done it quite a few times myself. Most times, my method is a little more drastic than yours. After making sure my children are set, I actually leave for a few days, hit the spa, treat myself to a meal at a restaurant,and sometimes, buy myself a new pair of kickass shoes. These are times I must absolutely be away from my husband (my dark days) and digging my hole is just not enough. But mostly, because my children are of the age that they can easily read me, sulking around them, is almost never a good option.

    But sometimes, retreating into just myself has to suffice.

    I don’t do it for forgiveness (of my husband anyway) but instead, I do it so I can “feel” what I’m really feeling. I take the time to feel “angry”. Angry at my husband for being so weak and angry at myself for living in the lie. And I allow myself to “feel sad”. Sad at the loss, the pain and the agrravation my husband’s infidelity brought to our lives. As survivors of betrayal, I think we all need to do that.

    The good news: After I feel all of that anguish, sorrow and pain, I recharge myself. I concentrate on all things me. I remind myself of how freakin strong I am, how far I’ve come since then and how amazingly awesome it feels to love myself again.

    Down times are good for us Wendy. Our down time allows us to emerge tougher and more determined than ever. Its smart for us to retreat. Its a defense and coping mechanism that we should all use when we need it.

    Feeling you,
    Your Friend,

    • Wendy says:

      Oh how I wish we were neighbours Rae, then we could be ‘angry’ together when we need to be :)

      And Im liking your approach to ‘taking time off’…especially the part about buying a new pair of shoes…something I’ll keep in mind next time.

      You are right tho, down times are good for us. What doesnt kill us is only supposed to make us stronger isnt it? I just keep reminding myself that Im alot stronger than my husband was and definatley more than the OW would or ever will be.

      Next time I dig myself into a hole I’ll dig myself right into the spa. :)

  5. Scabs says:

    geez, seems like a lot of us know how this feels. I find myself doing the same thing. for me, it’s like a trip in a time machine. Taking days and believing things are fine and even good…then reality of what has happened in our marriages is sometimes too painful. Sometimes, with no trigger or thought I’ll just blurt out, “how could you do this?”

    it doesn’t make sense. it never will. i will never “get” it. to actually get naked with another person…i can’t imagine…

    a break is good. we’re in hard places and doing hard things.

    • Wendy says:

      Its nice isnt it. To pretend you have a different life. Im hoping if I pretend hard enough it will come true.

      It doesnt make sense. I just wonder why it had to happen to me.

  6. S says:

    Hi Wendy,
    I just want to say, hang in there; this too shall pass. (although I am sure you know this already :)) We humans are a lot more resilient than we tend to give ourselves credit for.

    Reading your blog, I cannot stop being impressed by your fortitude and the levelheaded approach you are taking towards dealing with what, to many people, is a completely unimaginable scenario. You alone know your limits, and you alone know on what terms you are willing to deal with things. Take the time you need to recuperate, rejuvenate, and regather your forces. You are strong. You are brave. Your life today may not be what you expected it to be, but you WILL weave these unanticipated anomalies into an ultimately beautiful tapestry. Trust your instincts, embrace your emotions, and have faith in yourself.

    • Wendy says:

      Thanks S. I guess there will always be ‘bad’ days every now and then. Its just so hard to let go of the ‘dream life’. But the reality is, even if I left my husband, the dream life is still gone. So I cant win either way. Guess I just have to make the best of what I have.

      • S says:

        Yes, you are absolutely correct. The “dream life” is gone. It’s never going to come back. Making choices and dealing with things in the wake of that realization is absolutely depressing. My experiences are different to yours, but for what it may be worth, what I have seen with myself is that the resentment is the hardest thing to get over. I really wonder if it is even possible to ever completely let go of that feeling.

        My view is pretty much that our lives are based on our choices, and we have to understand that we may not always make the best choices. But, that is our burden to bear. We shape our destinies, if you will. We choose our path and then deal with whatever comes our way on that journey as best we can. The problem with affairs, or maybe relationships in general, is that suddenly, it is not a journey we are taking by ourselves. We now have another person who shares our journey with us in a way that is much more intimate than the relationship we have with our parents, siblings, and other family members and friends. With those other relationships, there is a degree of independence between our lives and the lives of our loved ones that is simply not there with a significant other. A marriage/ committed relationship really is so much more of a joint undertaking than any other relationship in our lives. So, if the person we are so entwined with unexpectedly derails the path we have chosen together, it is devastating. Sure, it is our choice to either stay in the relationship or leave, but either way, the agreed-upon path we thought we were on together is no longer an option….. and this is something that was NOT our choice! We have to embark on a new journey because of someone else’s actions. That is the hardest pill to swallow.

        The question then becomes, would you be happier on a new path with the person who made the single-handed decision to change the course of your joint path, or on one that does not include that person except as a peripheral (esp since you have kids)? Or is there some other option that is more ideal? Nobody can answer that but you, and the answer itself is tricky, in my opinion. It really seems to change from day to day for me!

        I personally don’t think any derailment ultimately affects the likelihood of a “happily ever after”, but it definitely changes how you’re going to reach that ending. It was not your choice to cause the change, but you have sole rights to decide how to deal with the change. All I can say is, don’t let society or what other people think you should do affect how you choose to deal with things. You know what you need to make your new journey the best it can be, whether that is a geographical change in place, more controlled interaction with the OC, or something else that may not occur to anyone else who is not in your shoes. You decide. Not your friends, or family, or even your hubby. You decide what you need to make this new journey work. It is then up to your spouse and others to step up and walk with you towards that happily ever after.

        I think you know all these things already, so I do apologize for going on and on. Perhaps I wrote this more for myself than anyone else… but I hope it is helpful to others too!

        • Wendy says:

          No need to apologize. Its good to hear it from another person. Its like your reading my mind. Things have definatley changed, especially in how I get to ‘happily ever after’, and your right it is my choice to stay or leave. And like you that changes on a daily basis for me.
          Thanks for your thoughts. I welcome them anytime. :)

        • Rae says:

          @S , I really like the way you explain a dual journey that has been derailed. That is exactly how it feels for me.


          • S says:

            Thank you guys. I am so sorry there are so many of us in this boat, but at the same time I am so inspired and encouraged by the strength that every single one of us shows (yes, even me sometimes!) We are amazing in our own individual rights, and we WILL find our happy endings.

  7. lifewithoutinstructions says:

    I am most angry that my delusion of perfect was ruined by something as stupid as infidelity. I had been married 18 years when my husband had his affair. I “knew” the truth about marriage by that time. It is a very difficult uphill road, even at its best. But I always could find solace in the comforting fact that he would never cheat on me. In my mind that one solid fact eased all the other issues that come up in any marriage.

    Obviously, I was destroyed by my husbands infidelity, because I no longer had a safe haven with the marriage. My entire construct fell apart. I spend many days still in the bitterness hole. I hate to admit that after three years I still on occasion choose to live in that hole. For me marriage is now tainted, and I would never enter into another marriage.

  8. Jm says:

    That deep hole is awful… My husband still contacts the ow… Says the affair is over…. Texting and phone calls tells me the affair continues.. He won’t let go and neither will she… I am so, so emotionally exhausted. Says he feels sorry for her, says he cares…. What do I do? Help!!

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