One, two, three…the proverbial referee shouts in your head, and when he arrives to “10” your career goes out for the count!
I feared my career was headed towards disaster shortly after a mutual friend informed me that pictures of my wife with some strange man on a skiing trip and the two of them sharing a romantic dinner together appeared on Instagram. Hell, that was just the first part of my infidelity story.
My much younger wife already had been emotionally distancing herself for a long while by then so I had been creating my Plan B for a while. Of course, she was my Plan A, but how much influence do you really have with your spouse? So as I stared at my phone screen gazing at the news my friend had just messaged me while seated on the toilet I initially thought I would be fine.
Little did I know my emotional trauma recovery was just under way.
I’ll explain in this post how I recently got my career back on track and looks to swing upward.Question: Ever gotten sucker punched in the gut? Ever had the “wind knocked out of you” after crashing to the ground, maybe from playing sports?
If you ever have then you know how the sensation feels when you immediately jump back up on your feet in an attempt to recover from the fall only to realize you’re not strong enough to stay standing up. You fall right back down!
That’s how it felt that day back in May 2015.
I had a plan for what I would do if she wanted to leave. I had thought about what I could do to rebound if she cheated again.
What I didn’t know was I would experience a bit of post infidelity stress disorder and it would adversely affect my career (at least at first). Looking back I didn’t know that I would need time to recovery emotionally.
My Plan for a New Career and New Life
Back to the beginning of this part of this chapter, “New Midlife Career” of “My Infidelity Story“. Life has a funny way of deciding the order of when you make decisions. Here I found myself approaching 40. Just a few short years before I made a career move that didn’t work out and found myself taking a step back instead in the same company I had worked for.
I decided to reload.
I had big plans for me and my wife. I wanted us to travel, move to a more vibrant city, obtain a house (or condo) someday and perhaps most importantly finally drag myself out of doubt.
I decided to get back into something I felt I had some talent for that could produce more income- sales. I had periodically kept in touch with the real estate agent that had sold my house with my first wife many years prior. I set up a meeting with him and we began a several-step interview process for me to work for him making new client prospecting phone calls.
Honestly, I should have made this step a long time before this, but just to give anyone reading this who considers changing their career some hope- it’s never too late!
Fast Forward…Got the Job, but Here Comes the Sucker Punch!
Well, I got the job! Yeah! And for awhile I experienced a learning curve. (If you work in real estate then you know how challenging calling “expireds and FSBOs” can be, but I was getting it.
That fateful day hit while gazing at my phone reading my friend’s news.
The first few days I thought I was going to survive just fine. Then midlife crisis depression began to set in. And I started to wonder:
Will I be alone for a while? Forever?
Does anyone care for me?
Why am I the only one who is alone?
Can I still make my career dreams come true?
But ultimately I wondered, “What’s the point of working towards a better life alone? I started this new career journey for the both of us.”
Or had I? Did I really do this for “us”?
Lost Purpose.”Is She Still in the Crowd?”
I thought back to the movie Rocky II and at the end Rocky looks out at the crowd while he stands in the ring embattled, bruised and bloodied. What was he looking for? His wife.
The only reason he stood in that ring to go toe-to-toe with the champ, Apollo Creed, was to fight for both himself and his wife; to fight for his honor (Apollo bashed him in the media for being a “nobody”) and to win the prize money. His wife, Adrian, had just suffered a rough pregnancy right in the middle of his training for the championship of the world bout. His mind was not on fighting. He lost his sense of purpose.
If you saw the movie you remember that right after the match ended he looked for her in the crowd as she came running up the aisle and jumped into the ring. They gazed into each other’s eyes and said, “I love you.”
He lost the fight. It didn’t matter. He won in her eyes.
Then there’s me.
And there I stood in the office, alone. Calling strangers, but with a chance to make good money I had never made before in the high ticket sales of real estate.
But it didn’t matter. I was alone. I felt like I had nothing to fight for.
(While writing this post I came across a fellow blogger’s interesting take on finding a sense of purpose. It will provide you a new look at figuring out what makes you happy.)
So for analogy’s sake, I would fight a good round here and there. And for a moment it looked like I would finish the fight strong, but the sucker punch from her affair blindsided me. I had trouble focusing. I didn’t even know what I was fighting for.
To achieve success in any career you need your full senses. In sales even more so. I needed my mind, soul and body to work as one and I just didn’t have it. Like a bruised and winded fighter I didn’t have enough strength to swing hard enough to do any damage. I could only land a few lucky shots.
I looked out in the crowd.
She wasn’t coming back.
She not only cheated on me, but left for good behind my back.
It was me in the ring fighting for myself.
I Land the Haymaker…Things Turn for the Better
I really didn’t have the emotional strength do deal with my sense of lost purpose and working full-time in a job where I spent most of the time by myself contacting complete strangers, most of who wanted nothing to do with me. I felt like the loneliest man on earth.
Fortunately the real estate team I worked for graciously allowed me to work part-time with a flexible schedule.
Then a funny thing occurred a few months after I learned of her abandonment. Up to that point, midway through 2015, I had made many phone calls, set many appointments for the real estate agent to attend and we made many clients who we represented as their selling agent (aka “listed their house for sale”). Problem was, not many houses sold yet.
Then it happened.
Like popcorn in a hot, greasy kettle, sales started to pop. I even referred one of my friends for which I made a big commission check. I started to experience success.
It felt like I landed a lucky shot as I dragged my emotionless body around the ring. I mean there’s only so much negativity a man can take and I needed a break.
I still didn’t feel at full strength. I still battled bouts of sadness in the following months. I still missed our times together. And I still couldn’t understand how she could just show complete lack of empathy after all I did to help her form her new life.
Soon enough the extra money I earned through real estate pulled me out of decade-long debt. What a relief? I was wiping the slate clean.
As time moved on, good things started to happen for me
My Next Chapter in Life. A New Career Outlook. A Light at the End of the Tunnel
I may have fallen down. The infidelity sucker punch I didn’t see coming left me breathless and without a life purpose temporarily, but just like Rocky remained standing at the end of the match, so did I.
In the back of my mind I kept my big goals in my sights. These goals involve providing a more stable income for myself so I can move to a place I’ve always wanted to live. I want to start fresh. This means I must perform my job well and focus on improving my skills.
I need to keep my eyes on the prize. The hope for a better tomorrow keeps me going.
Lately I’ve gotten to the office more often, made more calls and harnessed the skills and experience from last year’s calls to become more effective at my job. Plus I suppose the chip on my shoulder from her cheating on me gives me a little edge and less fear of rejection (the number one obstacle in sales).
I aim to exceed last year’s numbers and with less effort. And now with no debt and only a chance to add to my savings, the money I make this year will position me to add to my value as a skilled real estate prospector. I will move one step closer to my goals.
I feared I would bow out of the real estate field and go back full-time to my safe, lower paying previous job.
Instead I remain standing and going strong.
Career after Infidelity Summary
It appears that the emotional trauma recovery from infidelity is a journey. It may not completely go away. And for some of you who wish to fight for your marriage I do believe under the right circumstances with a spouse who feels remorse and wants to also fight for your marriage you both can break free from the affair.
But you must not sacrifice your career goals. For me I must move on to the next chapter in my life. I will hold out for my soulmate who will offer me unconditional love, someone who will not run from marital conflict. And for my non-relationship goals I will use my career to help me achieve them.
I Would Love Your Opinion
How has your spouse’s infidelity affected your career? (Share your response at the bottom of this page after the “Related Articles” section.
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