The Man He Is

“Realize that the way the offender reacts/acts is huge in whether or not anything can be saved.”  Sarah

The night I learned of my husband’s affair was such a bizarre, surreal, wacky trip. He’d been outed by his lover’s husband, who had been trying to connect with me for months, but was always intercepted by my husband. Her husband finally employed a new tactic by way of sending me a Christmas card containing their love letters.

Shocked and stunned by what I was hearing, I repeated everything my husband said. I remember finally, hearing myself put a sentence together.

“So you are telling me that you went to a hotel room with another woman and took your clothes off and “made love” to her?”


I sat in silence with my face in my hands. Time stood still. I couldn’t look at him. I moved to the living room and he asked if he could sit next to me. He said some things I don’t recall, but I snapped out of my trance when I heard,

“I confessed because I decided you deserved the dignity of knowing the truth.”

The dignity of…truth?

Confess? You didn’t confess. YOU WERE CAUGHT!” The words came out with such violence, I felt my face vibrate.

Not only could I not wrap my mind around all that he’d been telling me…but I couldn’t yet think about what this meant, now. He asked me to forgive him. He said that he loved me, but it didn’t feel like it meant anything.

“Apparently,” I heard myself say, “You didn’t love me enough to keep it from happening.”

As my anger blossomed, day by day; anger with him, anger with her, anger that his betrayal dumped a mess in my lap that I didn’t need or deserve or that I shouldn’t even have to deal with, I was operating under the delusion that all I had to do was make a decision that life could be the way I wanted it to be, specifically? As though the affair had not happened.

What I learned:

#1. Things are not going to be okay, overnight, in a week or even a month.

#2. The real work is getting through the *amned day for an indeterminate amount of time.

#3. You are not going to die.

I felt like I wanted to die and I often felt like I could die, at any moment, the pain was that intense. Sometimes, I was angry that I didn’t just die and just get it all over with.

#4. The healing goes as well as your husband wants it to.

There were false starts. For a brief moment, my husband put on the spin that I was at fault. He is lucky I didn’t tear his face off.

“Oh, don’t even, don’t even! Let’s get something straight right now. You are entirely responsible for what you did. Be a man or don’t talk to me.

Many women write me to ask me about the complexities at this juncture, communication with/from the husband. Husbands may go into a panic and say stupid things to try to make it look like it wasn’t really their fault.

Reality check: chances are pretty good that your husband didn’t trip and fall into bed with this woman only to find that his erect penis was magically inside of her. No.

It doesn’t take a genius to do the math. The fact that they are imagining for a moment that we are stupid or lame enough to believe this fractured fairy tale? They are out of their minds with panic. It’s a defensive maneuver.

Forgive (eventually) any such insults and give him a chance to come to his senses. The fact that he is panicked means he is fearful. Your husband is fearful about what is going to become of him = he cares.

The way your husband decides to respond to your pain and suffering is a major factor in the future of your marriage. Just how much does he care about his wife and children and his blessed life?  He will show you. You are about begin a journey of discovery of  the man your husband really is, good or bad.

Responses to The Man He Is

  1. StrongerMe says:
    September 22, 2012 at 2:53 AM (Edit)

    If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, “it’s not our mistakes that define us, it’s what we do to fix them.” I enjoy reading about your journey because it gives me hope. Yes, your husband screwed up and we all want to smack him for it. BUT he was willing to stand up and take responsibility. He was willing to endure your pain. He “took his licks.”. My ex didn’t. Within a very brief period of time he was angry. He felt I should be over it and any pain I felt was merely meant as punishment. Our marriage didn’t survive it. But others do. Some men stick around…in good times and in bad.

  2. jamie says:
    September 28, 2012 at 8:31 PM (Edit)

    I love the brutal truth in your words. And I love your story. Though on opposite sides of the adultery fence, our stories make us the people we are and we can choose to let them destroy us or we can use them. We can use the pain. And we can help others and offer hope when there seems to be no hope left.

    • Lyn says:
      September 28, 2012 at 9:40 PM (Edit)

      That’s our mission, I believe. Make everything work for good.

  3. Theresa says:
    October 18, 2012 at 2:43 PM (Edit)

    I am into this ride since December 2011. I am almost sure that my husband is not going to tell me the truth that I so bitterly wants. Is there a way to get healing without the truth? I need my life back. I am tired of being ok for some time and then back into the dungeons and out again. so tired.. Can my own strenghts not pull me through this? Or God? God can solve all problems. Is this the one that He cannot intervene? that I must go through on my own, depending on my husband with healing?

    • Lyn says:
      October 22, 2012 at 6:40 AM (Edit)


      I am so very sorry that you are enduring this terrible heartache.

      I have recently had the thought that there may be something I do not know, something my husband didn’t tell me, things that I did not ask.

      Nearly at the three-year mark, we have moved so far on that to know these things now, should they exist, wouldn’t benefit me in any way. My initial need to know has been satisfied, but not satisfied in the pure sense of the word…I learned things I did not want to know, things I should not ever have had to know, things which troubled me for what seemed to be an eternity. A year later, I still suffered bitter sorrow as the anniversary of the discovery of the affair approached.

      I do believe it is possible to heal without all of the elements of the situation being just as we wish them to be. There have been times when I have told God that I wanted to forgive, but if it depended on me, I didn’t see it happening. I was willing to forgive and hoped that was enough of a commitment to God for him to work out the rest. God has always honored that prayer.



  4. Theresa says:
    October 23, 2012 at 5:29 PM (Edit)

    Lyn. I just want to know basic stuff, although I am not sure why I want to know this. Will it benefit me in any way. But why is it that I have an urge to know. I want to know when have they met, what have they been talking about? What recreational activities did they do together while I was at home? How long were they together? By the way, why do I want to know all of this? I have become somebody that I am not? Somebody insecure, somebody who is just a pain in the &&&!.

    • Lyn says:
      October 23, 2012 at 8:16 PM (Edit)


      You have every right to know how and when your husband met the other woman, etc., and this is completely normal. The bottom line to all of these questions is, “Why would you want someone else over me?” Isn’t that really the shake-up?

      You are not a pain in the &&&. If you have not read my first blog, After His Affair, you might consider doing so…it is about my going through these emotions. Also, I highly suggest that you click on the link to “Dear Peggy,” up there on the right. Ten months is way too long to go on without your husband being accountable to you in order to save yur marriage.



This entry was posted in Anger, Grief and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Man He Is

  1. Elle says:

    What a wonderful and wise post. You’ve summed up the excruciating experience so perfectly that I could feel myself being transported back to that horrible day and the weeks and months that followed until that blessed day when I felt the blackness crack open just a bit and let the light in. Thank-you.

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