“When you’re dreaming with a broken heart
The waking up is the hardest part
You roll out of bed
And down on your knees
And for a moment you can barely breathe” – John Mayer, Dreaming With a Broken Heart
That moment you wake up, before full consciousness descends and then the awful ache of reality lands on you like a blow. Tears sprang to my eyes as despair washed over me, jolting me awake. I wanted to lay there and wish it all away, I wanted for none of it to be true.
I was alone in the guest room when I woke up. I couldn’t stand to look at him or even breathe the same air, let alone try to sleep next to him. I don’t know what he did, if he went to bed or if he stayed up talking to his side piece about my unexpected discovery of their affair. Do I sound contemptuous? I know that bitch was probably all excited and thinking FINALLY. She probably stayed up all night planning her next move. But honestly, at this point my thoughts were not so much on her as on the impending death of our family life. The bomb about to be dropped into our son’s world, if his dad and I couldn’t work this out. That tore at me more than anything. I was at such a loss.
There are so few times in life that I’m at a loss for what to do, in any situation. I’m decisive and action-oriented, if there’s a problem to solve I’m going to solve it. I can’t rest until I have a plan and I put it in motion. It was excruciating for me to feel this helplessness on top of the unrelenting heartache. What am I going to DO? I just couldn’t even think because it wasn’t all up to me, and I was too distraught to focus. I emailed my boss that I was sick and wouldn’t be coming to the office today. I just could not face people, especially my team who would notice immediately that something was very wrong with me.
I didn’t know how to be in the same space with him now. I was one big ball of pain, and I couldn’t stop crying. I am (mostly) a person who rarely cries, and I felt so out of control to be unable to stop. I’m hard as nails sometimes, sarcastic, my tongue can be razor-sharp and in my more reflective moments, I’ve often wondered what the hell I’m so angry about. I’d shown my husband that side of myself over the course of our married life more times than I care to think about.
He was, in my perception, so unmoved by my tears. My extreme emotional distress seemingly had no effect on him. Panic rose inside of me, because in all of the years we’ve been together I don’t think I’ve ever experienced indifference from my husband before. The fear it struck into me to think that he didn’t care how much he’d hurt me, maybe felt relief that everything was out in the open and now he could leave, maybe he loved someone else and it was just too late for us, the hurt that he’d been involved with someone else…I cried all day. Every time I looked at him I felt this explosive mixture of rage, deep sadness, betrayal, loss. It was completely overwhelming, and he didn’t seem to care at all except to stay out of my way.
Our son was in a homeschool program, so he was gone most of the day. It was worse to be in the house alone with my husband. I know I must have raged at him about the entire situation that day, but by the end of the day I’d had enough. It hurt to look at him, it hurt me for him to be around, and I told him that he had to leave and stay somewhere else that night. I couldn’t make myself stop crying while he was there, and so I wanted him gone so I could have some peace and think about what to do.
I shocked him when I told him I didn’t want him here right now. He asked me where he was supposed to go, and I told him I didn’t give a damn where he went, that he could go spend the night with his fucking girlfriend for all I cared. And that he better be back in the morning to take our boy to school because his life is going to go on just the way it is right now. I was so angry at that stupid question. ”Where am I supposed to go?”. He didn’t worry about that when he was out pretending he was single, and now I really didn’t care about where he’d end up for the night. As if it made any difference at that point. Maybe he thought I’d be consumed with trying to keep him from her now that I knew, but that is not me. I was fully prepared to throw him to her and let him figure it out on his own, but I also didn’t know if we’d survive that because who knows what can happen if you just let go?
I just knew he couldn’t stay here that night. So he left, and I still spent a good part of the night crying. At least I didn’t have the added pain of his indifference in the face of my tears. I was bereft and he was merely uncomfortable…it was too much. I needed to drown myself in sleep