Intense emotions surface when a betrayal is discovered. Trust shatters. Hearts shatter. The illusion of walking lockstep down the path of life explodes leaving a gaping, gnarly crater. The couple careens into the bottom, bloody, stunned and disoriented.
For the betrayed, there is traumatic aftershock. Imagine you're at the movie theater, and the digital surround sound kicks in and you feel a sudden bam! The theater shakes, and noise reverberates. Similarly, betrayal impacts your soul to the core.
My first response was to yell and scream and cuss and go all B-movie on Ann. I stomped about interrogating her for details of their relationship. I threw howcouldyou comments at her repeatedly. Hours later, I’d feel worn down and need a break. The immensity of the lies and deception seemingly grew to be measured in tons.
I became irritable and aggressive. Every slight, or perceived slight, was magnified a thousand times precipitating an angry spewing of venom. I don't know what's more fragile than egg shells, but that's what Ann walked on. Unpredictability became the indicator of my anger.
When I wasn't aggressive, I was stunned. I looked at my life and wondered who it belonged to. The denial was broken, but my soul took a while to absorb all the truth. I experienced the drastic morphing of my life and couldn’t keep up with it. It's hard to put into words. I was aware and involved but felt distant and also incredibly numb.
I could sit in our over-sized recliner for the duration of the day, staring at nothing in particular. The reverberation from the revelation still trembled in my soul. I sat still, letting the pain work on me. I didn't need a TV. Mental tapes of haunting visions kept me company.
I guess you could say I was struck dumb by the enormity of the betrayal. I wasn't belted in the chair, but I couldn't seem to move other than to rock an inch or two when my soul twitched. I spent hours a day listening to my own breath.
I sat obsessing about Ann's affair. The images and unanswered questions rolled around my brain like wet clothes in the dryer. I wanted more answers and details. My illusion was that more details would lead to more understanding. If I could understand it, make sense of it rationally, then I wouldn't ache so intensely. So, I interrogated Ann.
“What about the time here, and what happened when you went there? How come you did this? Why didn't you do that? Did you ever think what you were risking? Why didn't you tell me? Did you meet there? Did he ever come here? Did his wife know???? Tell me it all again.”
I believed that knowing more would ease the pain. And it worked . . . for a millisecond. The pain would pour back through viaducts and then, whataboutthis and whatwasthedealonthat swelled over and over and over again.
Along with the pain I felt rabid hatred for my wife. I hurt, and I hated the one who made me hurt.
Yet, that wasn't all I felt. Ann and I had been through so much already. She was the bride of my youth. I loved her. I felt crazy, as the pain was screaming to seek comfort in Ann's arms and then realizing the one who betrayed me was the one holding me. It felt good; and I hated it.
Write a few words about your love for your spouse? And write a few words about your anger at your spouse?