Final in the 3 part Series "Anatomy of a..." (#1 -Anatomy of an Affair, #2 -Anatomy of a Cheating Divorcee)
Anatomy of a Husband Cheated
Being faced with an unfaithful spouse is almost a fate worse than death. It is a defeat of your marriage and core beliefs. As the famous Football coach Vince Lombardi claimed, "Defeat is worse than Death. You have to live with Defeat". There are sites like Livestrong that claim seven stages of grief when faced with death, a lot more when faced with a cheating spouse.
Disbelief-She would never betray me, our family. My wife, the mother of our children, a soccer mom who drives a mini-van. Till death do us part and forsaking all others. Still, the whispered comments from my friends, pointed questions about her activities, the anonymous emails. They all can be explained away ... can't they? It just could not be true.
Shock-Those are HER in the email picture attachments! I am emotionally stunned, as if hit by a pole ax. If the dates are correct this goes back weeks, months! It feels like my heart has stopped beating, and I am unable to breath. Why would she do such a thing to me ... to us ... to our family!
Denial-Ok it is not that serious, obviously a mistake, an error of some sort. Maybe it is her sister, photoshop, a joke, some type of prank. I can only recall our good times. Were they ever real? Or is this an unconscious attempt by my mind to protect me from the pain of loss?
Anger-We are told Anger is a common response when faced with significant decisions in which a person has little or no perceived input and will have a potentially negative effect. These circumstances often generate feelings of helplessness, which can fuel an individual's anger. But I was not prepared for the white hot anger that blotted out even my vision. A primal urge to kill, crush, destroy! Even thoughts of jail are forgotten, only the conscious decision of what will become of my children if I'm incarcerated keeps me from doing great bodily harm. Staying away from her at this point is a form of self-protection for all of us.
Bargaining-I would make a deal with the devil to go back in time and stop her affair before it started. But there is not a way to unfuck the guy my wife was with. Maybe therapy? Is there some kind of penance I can do to make this go away? Something she can do to make it all better? Sadly I know deep down even if my wife wore sackcloth's and ashes as atonement I could never forget, or trust her ever again.
Guilt-Now that I made the decision why do I feel so shitty? Is it my fault I am breaking up the family, if I had been a better spouse would it have prevented her from fucking some other guy? Why cannot I even consider taking a second chance? I am so trying not to believe I am the bad guy in all this. But the look on my children's faces as I try to explain the "new" normal rips my conscience with remorse.
Helplessness-Yes, I know fathers get the short end of the stick in any dissolution of a marriage, more so when children are involved. But the powerlessness you feel as strangers in the machine, also known as "Family Court", disassemble your life, livelihood and future is just indescribable. Everything is out of your control, as money, time, dwellings and relations are decided without your input. I feel impotent, both figuratively and literally, as the "Law" devours most of my savings in fees and costs I do not understand, or am able to fight. Most of the merger leavings and what was once my home, are rewarded to the now Ex-wife as a prize for her cheating, also known in tis state as "No Fault" divorce. The innocent parties, the children and I, learn the meaning of "Justice is Blind, but the Law is an Ass."