One beautiful sunny morning in spring 1945, the air raid siren rang out across the Japanese city of Hiroshima. But there was only one plane, perhaps a stray, so the all clear was raised.
One plane. One bomb. That was all it took to wreak so much devastation.
Such was my marriage. Thus the handle. One evening my husband bought dinner and a bottle of wine, promising a nice evening curled up on the couch. After dinner he began to tell me there was someone else. He was confused. And then it all got very messy.
I immediately started putting it all together. He had been travelling to another city for work on and off for the past year. I began to see that the care he suddenly took in his appearance and health had nothing to do with me. That he structured his career around the affair. That he had been siphoning off his love for me to another relationship.
He began to minimise immediately, saying it was a silly crush, a flight of fancy, that they were "just friends" and that he needed it to stop and he needed my help to stop it.
He tried to hold me in bed while I sobbed. My gut told me this stuff about it being a crush that needed intervention was not true. I asked him over and over, "Why did you tell me? Why?" and quickly surmised he told me because he was too gutless to end the marriage himself. He hoped I would break it for him.
I did not sleep all night. I sat in the lounge crying for hours, worrying that I had to go to work in the morning. Sensing that he wanted me to go, I began to pack an overnight bag. I almost made it out while he was still sleeping, when he stopped me at the door. I said I was packing my bag in case I didn't want to come home that night. He told me this wasn't what I wanted. I agreed and said but it's what he wanted. He didn't exactly say this was untrue.
I had nowhere to go. I was stunned. I waited all morning to see if he would tell me he wanted me. He didn't. I live in a very expensive city and it is peak season so I had to shell out a lot of money to stay in a sad little motel.
I contacted him to tell him not to worry about me, and to check he was okay. Then he began to plead with me to come home.
I went home the next day. He told me the affair was all in his head, that the other person didn't even know about it so how could it be real? I immediately felt relieved. And stupid for over reacting. Then suspicious.
Over the next few weeks he would do anything to reconcile, as would I. He has long taken me for granted and been lazy in the relationship. He became more attentive and claimed this is how he now wants to live our lives together. That it feels good. He told me he hated this OW and sent NC and reluctantly cancelled work obligations that involved her. I felt a lot of it was my fault and took on a lot of responsibility for mending the relationship. I tried to be so fair and reasonable. I read all the books, tried so hard to be sympathetic and comforting to him.
But the suspicions gnawed at me. Constantly.
One day when he was out of the house, I went through his emails, I snooped as I had not been shown the NC email and wanted to see it. I found that he had told his AP that he was going to "salvage his relationship". This was a red flag. I began to realise I had been fooled.
He explained that he had told her that there were serious problems in our marriage. She had asked him if he had spoken to me about it. He had not. She encouraged him to talk to me about it. This hurt me, but he swore that they were not that close as friends and besides this had only discussed professional matters.
A day or so later I asked to look at his emails to her. He went all quiet and started crying a little before showing them to me. I read them. They were love letters. It was devastating.
This was the second thing he kept from me, I began to ask what else there was. I became relentless, what else? I knew there was something. I began to snoop relentlessly. I found an email to his parents where he was telling them about his wonderful new friend.
He admitted that he fantasized about moving in with her. And though, there was no sex, this was entirely emotional, he put himself in situations alone with her hoping sex would happen. He presented it that he was being faithful because there was no sex. Meanwhile a full blown emotional affair was raging.
It hurt. I told him the thing that hurt the most was that he wanted to leave me. He told me that was never his intention. He just wanted an affair, he was on the brink of turning the affair sexual but it all got too real and that was why he ended it by asking for intervention.
But still I felt he was holding back. There were email deletions, he went away on business and took his computer with him (after he had given me all passwords as an act of trust) I was getting obsessive and snooping on work time, which is unlike me. The more I asked the more evasive he got, the more evasive he got, the more obsessive I became.
Finally one month after the initial D-Day he disclosed that the purpose of the original D-Day had been to break with me to be with her. That she had made it clear she wanted him to move in and that she had given him an ultimatum, and he didn't want to disappoint her. He had come to see me as a horrible person he resented. He inflated my faults and assumed mean-spirited motivations behind every one of my actions. He thought I was boring, small minded and a miserable person. He thought he could tell me about her and I would end it. Then he could move in with her.
This really hurts to know he thought this about me. When these revelations came out he threw several self hating tantrums that really scared me. At one stage I called the suicide line for him because I was not in a state to deal with him myself but wanted to make sure he was okay. I resented that this final disclosure was about him and how hurt he was at the prospect of me leaving. He's been so desperate since D-Day, that it scares me.
His version of events matched my initial instincts exactly. He had started that conversation in order to end the marriage. But he says as soon as he started saying it he regretted it and began trying to put the genie back in the bottle. He began minimising and gas lighting. He deleted the most incriminating emails and texts, he told me anything I wanted to hear in order to prevent me from leaving. He told me that as soon as he began to tell me, and saw my reaction the fantasy immediately began to crumble away. He talked about roller coasters and fogs. He says he immediately began to see I wasn't as bad a person as he thought and that perhaps the AP wasn't such a nice person after all. When I left the morning after D-Day he said he felt paralysed in a bad script of some stupid soap opera. He'd set the wheels in motion now and he had to go through with it. His AP tried to contact him, to see how the break up had gone. But he says he then got my email checking to see if he was okay. He says this gave him hope that his marriage wasn't wrecked forever, and it made him feel that I was the one who really cared about his welfare. After a couple of missed calls the AP didn't get around to getting in contact again until the next day. He says this is when he decided he hated her and what she did to our marriage, and began to cast her as a villain.
He has been ardently "in love with me" ever since.
His passion scares me. My instincts picked up every turn of his emotions, swinging away from her to me. It scares me how quickly he changed his opinion of me, I am now some paragon of the perfect wife that he wants to spend the rest of his life with.
It shifted so quickly that I fear he may swing back the other way again. The passion seems feverish and unreal. He wants to reconcile, but I don't know what to believe.
Being told "I found someone else, I desperately want you" in the same breath has been a complete mind****. Is this normal? Is he limerance with me now? Will this wear off and he will take me for granted again? What do I do if he does?
I feel I should be asking the WS all this because I just don't know what I feel. I know what I want in a relationship but I don't know if he can offer these. I feel like I'm being told what I want to hear. He seems truly remorseful, but what if it doesn't last?
I know we need to work on reconciliation. I have agreed not to make any decisions either way until 3 months after D-Day. Most of the time I want to work on it. But other times I feel, what if I'm with the wrong person? What if cheating is innate?