101.1: Unringing the Bell (Part 1 of 5)

This is Part One of a five-part story on my betrayal. Read Part One by clicking here. Read Part Two by clicking here. Click here to read Part Three and here to read Part Four. 

In law, unring the bell is an analogy used to suggest the difficulty of forgetting information once it is known.

There is no excuse. There is no justification. There is no defense.

It is no one else’s fault. It was not an accident. I didn’t trip to suddenly discover my dick wedged into the vagina of my ex-wife.

My betrayal also isn’t a crime story. There was never any violence, verbal or sexual abuse, hoarding, or neglect. There was betrayal and the typical supporting deceptions and cognitive dissonance.

This isn’t a season of Shameless. It isn’t Dexter or Breaking Bad. It certainly isn’t about monsters or ghosts or predators.

My infidelity, secret-keeping, and escalating cycle of lies are certainly not C’s or K’s fault. The entire story is tied to my prideful belief, “I can fix this” for people I care about and avoiding emotionally and mentally humiliating and hurtful consequences for the people I love and that love me.

I can’t fix any of it.

The behavior is My Ugly. There is no blame. I made choices for reasons I’m still sorting out and that only matters to me.

However, there are consequences. There is meaning. There is an opportunity.

There is not, however, a way back after the first act. I cannot unring the bell no matter how many lies I tell or secrets I keep.

And I had many of both.

Without clear boundaries, I made choices leading down a path resulting in me choosing to sleep with my ex-wife, K, six to eight times over two years. Those choices are mine.

In order to cover, I used the manipulative tools of lying and secret-keeping as they felt like the only way to save the Partnership I worked my entire life to find.

Or at least I convinced myself secret-keeping and lying were the only way and this was the Partnership I wanted my entire life.

In hindsight, neither may be true.

You cannot solve the problem with the same level of knowledge that created the problem. Shame forced me to utilize the same level of knowledge that created the problem. A level of knowledge consistently making a bad situation worse. A Pride that would not let me ask for help.

In the end, almost all of my lies and secrets were about keeping these two human beings apart so I could keep my relationship with C.

C’s policy on infidelity is absolute. There is no room for conversation. There is no forgiveness. It was a consequence I desperately tried to avoid. As such, I did and said some horrible things to K to try and drive her off.

I used everything but the honesty and truthfulness.

And as with all deceptions, discovery is inevitable.

7 thoughts on “101.1: Unringing the Bell (Part 1 of 5)

  1. Isn’t a crime story? But that is just the thing, adultery should be a crime. I know that no one understands that unless you are the one on the betrayed end of the mess. Being betrayed in this way is like a rape to your soul, it’s like your soul has been robbed, it’s like your soul has been beaten, raped and left for dead, when one person can hurt another person in this way it should be a crime. It actually is a crime in a few states here in the US but the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. At one time adultery was a crime here in all states with jail time as the punishment but I guess along the way cheating became so common that some people came to believe it shouldn’t be labeled as a crime.

    I wish I could find the words to explain what this does to a person to help others understand how damaging this is to the betrayed. I have been left crippled from what my H done to me. I will never be the same, I have been left mentally and emotionally crippled just the same as someone who had been in a horrible accident and left to walk with a limp or lost a limb, only you can’t see my permanent injuries on the outside. Those closest to me can see the injuries and scares he left but most of them don’t even understand it with what they see.

  2. The fact that you can dissect it in this way is a huge strength and shows you understand. So many couples I hear of on the internet don’t have this level of openness.

    1. Wanders – #Infidelity is an outcome of an unskillful coping mechanism, everything else is a story someone imagines. Sharing thoughts and letters with those the men and women that #betrayed their Loves, lives, and selves too. What you do today matters most. All anyone can do is own the experience and practice doing better.
      A Reformed Cad says:

      I’ve had almost six months living out of my van. I’ve had some in-depth conversations with K, my doctor, experienced friends, and men and women (mostly women) on the betrayed side of the triangle. I’ve paid attention. I’ve not run. I’ve leaned into my hurt and lessons. I’ve lost practically everything. The experience is wasted if I don’t own it and learn. K and C both deserve better.

      One thing at a time. I’m trying not to overcommit to anyone and find a center. My compass is still a bit broken.