I have not written for sometime, and I have been feeling a need to update my story for those of you who have been finding my pages. I recall only too well, the hours and days after D-day that I constantly, compulsively combed the web looking for others, looking for hope, advice….anything.
I have been reading the latest Esther Perel book The State Of Affairs, a great read if you are in the thick of it..harder to read if you are moving past….I find reading a lot about infidelity conjures up anger and feelings best left behind (will let you know what I glean from the read in my next post).
It has now been almost a year and a half since the sickening reality of infidelity seeped into my world, however the truth is that unknowing I had been forced to suffer the injustice of it since 2012…when my H chose to start cheating.
What can I impart to you all? I had been blogging for myself mostly, just trying to get all the angst and pain out of my soul but I am painfully aware that our ranks grow in numbers daily and if the story of my journey can give relief to those who are in shadow of a recent D-day, then I want to help. Ask any questions I am an open book.
At this stage I am so much better than I was. I can tell you that the heart sickness does lessen, the anger does subside (if ever so slowly), and I have become stronger. This does not mean I do not remember, or still hurt. My trust is still broken and perhaps it always will be (in him anyway) but I am trying to figure how to regain this. So far none of my readings have come up with anything concrete other than a lot of stuff about forgiveness is a gift you give..blah blah blah..it all sounds so etherial and hokey..I think the fact that I am still trying, that we are still together….maybe that in itself is some form of forgiveness. Do I still want to beat the dirty affair partners with a stick….um YES!!!
I am in many ways a different soul and I have had to make peace with that. For the longest time, I was so resentful about how his decisions caused who I was to be forever changed. I think differently about the world now. It would be so easy for me to have become jaded and bitter. Now I move forward with my eyes wide open. Open to the possibility that someone I know, love and trust can hurt me in ways I could never have imagined. I wish perhaps I had known that before…maybe this journey would not have knocked me on my ass as much as it did (and boy did it). It does not mean I won’t love, it means I don’t hand out love so easily now..its a treasured commodity and needs to be earned.
I have my moments, or days (much fewer) of anger still. It wells up in the middle of the night, on vacation, while we are cuddling on the sofa watching a movie, and for the time it is with me, I emotionally and physically distance myself from him. There are still triggers, but they do not haunt me at every turn. There are times I go over the lies, and manipulation and I look at H and wonder why I am still with him. But I am stronger. I guess what I am awkwardly trying to impart is have hope. Wether you are with your cheating partner or not, have hope. It WILL get better if you have the determination not to let it take you down forever.
The state of my marriage……still in for lack of a better word “flux”. We are no longer in therapy….maybe we should be. The intimacy has not returned and I am often freaked out about where he has been (HPV is my latest obsession, completely dumb since we married at 40)…I don’t know. I guess it’s just a slow process back.
I have to accept that my H will never be the guy who talks about feelings, fix the drywall yes…..feelings…no, not unless prompted and prodded. I married him that way and I guess it is unfair of me to expect this of him now. If I need to be reassured that he is on the “path” then I directly ask him.
There are times when I work through the bad thoughts and feelings…rather than barfing them out like I used to, I have more control over that now. H has asked me to let him know when I am feeling bad….I chose which ones I report. I have let go of trying to constantly ward off infidelity by spying, searching his phone, searching his computer. I did this a while back and the only thing it did was hurt me. I went through photos on his computer…was there anything bad..no…but there were countless selfies he took back in his cheating days (some really bad ones I might add). In that moment…I was back in the bad shadow of D-day, I was hurt and angry and I did it to myself. I confronted him about the photos and let him know how they made me feel. He took my crying and anger and then we moved past it. I still fully feel, if I am suffering that much he needs to know it, he needs to see first hand what his cheating has done. It felt stupid and weak but I did it.
There are good days and bad. I still “track” his location on my cell from time to time but I have come to realize this is not something that should make me feel secure, if he wants to cheat, in any form, he will do it and I can do nothing to stop him. There is something freeing about that notion. That I am not and can not be responsible for his moral decisions. I can only chose how I will react to them. I do know that if he cheats again and I find out (we always find out at some point) I will leave. Simple as that, my marriage will be over. I am now acquainted with the feelings that will arise and I know how to cope with them, better still, I know that I can get through them….
So there you have it, I hope this missive helps someone somewhere…..my story does not have an ending..Im not sure there ever is a definitive ending for us betrayed…only fluid movement, change, growth and soul searching……and of course helping each other.