The Big Reveal. Why Now? My Top 10.

Dear Blog,

As you know yesterday I went public about JD’s cheating, on the 3rd anniversary of his passing (and of my re-birth as The WB).

Since then I’ve been thinking as to my reasons for doing this. I don’t regret it. I think I needed to do this and here’s why:

  1. Since the MBA convocation ceremony I attended in June, at which I received degrees for the both of us, I feel like I have fulfilled all of my obligations to my late husband. I made sure he got the recognition he deserved for the effort he put into his studies even as he was dying. I was able to quash my feelings relating to what I know about him now and call up how I felt about him then, when we were in the program together and when we found out about the cancer. I can’t do this anymore because:
  2. After that event I noticed my feelings towards him really start to change. For example, I no longer felt upset at our approaching wedding anniversary as I had in the couple of years prior. In fact I feel no love anymore – just empty inside. Maybe this will change over time but I’m not counting on it.
  3. His parents are both gone now; his father passed away in early 2015. It must be hard enough to lose a child – I didn’t want to add to his sorrow by telling him what I found out about his son. I didn’t see what purpose it would serve. So I left the old soldier with his happy memories of his boy to comfort him.
  4. My mother passed away in December 2015 and I didn’t feel I should be shocking or burdening her with this knowledge when she was already unwell.
  5. His sister does not read my blog and is not on social media. See point #3 – not adding to the sorrow applies to her as well. Although I suspect one day we may have this conversation as she could ask a question that precipitates it. Not looking forward to this day.
  6. I told my kids and they have been so supportive and empathetic. It has been important in our healing as a family, I feel.
  7. My change of feelings about him may become evident in my future postings on this blog and on social media, if it hasn’t already. Mostly, I imagine, by what I am not saying about JD or our marriage anymore. This should explain that change to anybody who might pick up on this.
  8. Some people have been very kindly commenting to me about how tragic it is to lose someone you thought of as a soulmate. True, but my dears – you don’t know the half of it. Until now. Yes, I am still a grieving widow but the things I am grieving are not what one would expect. If I can describe my grief in one word, that word is COMPLICATED.
  9. It took until just lately for me to process things enough that I could talk about it to a wider audience. Being as introverted as I am, I like to take time to think important stuff through thoroughly if at all possible, before speaking. As there are almost no resources out there for dealing with discovery of infidelity posthumously, this has been difficult for me to sort out on my own.  My thoughts have been all over the map on this one as I try to deal.  Some days they still are. And, ultimately:
  10. Almost 3 years later, I feel I am finally ready to open up about this.

Thanks for listening and being there for me, dear Blog.

Rock on,

The WB

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Labyrinth

I was 21 when my father (at age 52) died from his fourth heart attack (4 over 10 years). I was going to college and living at home so I saw my mother evolve as a widow. After his death, he was a Saint. He never stepped wrong (which was far, far from the truth). All of their married years was viewed through a rosy prism. Some of this was because of the guilt she felt because of the situation at the time he died (they had been fighting).

As the next year passed, she started getting angry. Why had he left her before they did many of the things he kept promising (mostly travel, which trust me would never happened)? As more years passed, the Saint became the Devil.

Truth is she is much happier being a widow, being in charge of her own life and her destiny. She doesn’t have to ask him for money, or give her money to the budget he controls. She can go where she wants, when she wants. There is a reason my grandmother (born in the 1920’s and married at age 16) never remarried when her husband died, and why my mother has not re-married.

This was a marriage that didn’t have the many burdens yours have – my father was violent towards his children, and lived an angry life. My mother’s life continued – she aged, grew in wisdom and different viewpoints – while he was dead at 52 with unresolved issues with my siblings, all of them have various degrees of mixed up lives because of this.

JD is dead. His life and evolving has stopped. You have moved on and changed because of what you learned. I guess what I’m writing is that if JD was alive, his situation would also have changed – probably he would have stayed a hoarder, a liar and a cheater but you would have had the chance to confront him. Life would have moved on in a different way for you both. I don’t know if I’m explaining this well….

Anyway, I think you are fantastic! I am so glad you have moved through all these stages and emerged (not unscathed) but more whole, more sure, more you. I pity JD only because he couldn’t share his life with such a fantastic authentic person who could have shown a light through the tunnel of darkness he surrounded himself with. He lost more because he lacked so much.

Widow Badass

Thanks Becky! Being with JD taught me a lot about love, patience, forgiveness and mental illness. Valuable lessons that I am glad I learned. I really grew and matured a lot because of him. Believe it or not, he taught me a great deal about what love and marriage should be, which made finding out about his infidelity all the more shocking and hurtful. If he was alive I would still be in the dark about the cheating because I was forbidden to enter the room where I found the print-offs of the emails between him and her. I think he had forgotten they were even there because the room was stacked full of shelving units loaded with papers. Anyway, for sure the hoard would still be here and at my old place and even bigger as it got bigger every year. I am so grateful this is all behind me now.
Sorry to hear about your dad. I hope you have healed from this experience.

Labyrinth

I don’t know the full details and this may not fit, but having an affair might have been his way of shoving you away because of the fear of you seeing who he truly was, warts and all. People are weird and complex. It may not mean he didn’t love you, or what he told you at the moment, was absolute truth. But he sounds like a deeply troubled person who segmented and compartmentalized his life and no doubt he did this about his relationships too.

However, in case this makes me sound too sympathetic to JD, trust me I am not. I am glad you are OUT.

Widow Badass

I have my own ideas about why he sought out this other woman. One of his obsessions was to have children (of his own blood). I told him from the get-go that this was not going to happen with me. Not only was I physically unable (tubes tied, then later needed a hysterectomy) but I was adamant I was not going to raise another family. I told him at the very beginning if that was important to him that we should part ways, no hard feelings, and he needed to find a younger woman to have a family with. The other woman wanted a family and thought this was going to happen with him. So she wasted almost 2 precious child-bearing years on him. Flash forward to today – she never did have children and never married although she says she is content and has a good man in her life. Over the years I had to hear over and over again about his need for a child to care for him in his old age should I die first – he tried to convince me that I should pay to support his child if he found a surrogate family to have one. That it was my duty – I was selfish otherwise. He thought he could find a lesbian couple to donate sperm to. I told him having a child was no guarantee they would love you OR care for you in old age. Another illogical OCD scheme of his.
Thank goodness that never happened.

Labyrinth

Regarding my father, it is as you say complex. I am healed and fine with what happened over 23 years ago. I was lucky to have a different relationship with my dad then my siblings and I had time to tell him while he lived where my boundaries were.

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