Wow, it has been almost a year since my last post. Getting caught up in the day to day life, has taken focus off betrayal and onto living. Don’t get me wrong, there are still moments, hours that I defer back to DD. There are still the reminders and triggers, and measuring time in the before and after, but the dates are fuzzier now. I don’t try hard to place them. Aside from still needing to know where he is, I do not bring up the infidelity anymore. I feel instinctually that it would just set us back so I bear any misgivings, triggers etc. mostly on my own. I have read posts from other BW, some years past the betrayal, and I can shake my head in agreement at all they are saying, I can see myself in many of their words, but now I don’t feel as wounded as I was. I know I am years past the unveiling of the whole mess, but I cannot nor do I count the exact number of years anymore. I am aware of many opportunities and time wasted as a result of his cheating, but I can flip it out of my head much faster and with much less emotion. I am still angry with him for putting me through this, but I can see the good in him as well.
I have written about it before, but today, Hilary Clinton was asked what is the gutsiest thing she has done in her life, her reply, “I stayed in my marriage”. I have always considered her strong for staying but for some reason, hearing her state it, is huge to me. Does Bill see it as well? Does he value it or take it for granted? For those of us who battle with ourselves about the shame of staying vs going, seeing a woman of distinction, intellect and position acknowledge how hard that decision and follow through has been is some sort of confirmation. I have been through so much since 2012. He has put me through much of the worst parts. I often dithered between seeing myself as being very strong, or very weak in the months and years following DD. I am now proud that I decided to stick with it, no matter what the outcome in the future. I did not think it could be one of the gutsiest choices I have made but now I have come to realize it took incredible strength, compassion and determination. I have come out the other end changed, but stronger.
I have been following Esther Perel, but some of the topics hit too close to home. Maybe too soon to read further if at all about infidelity. I choose not to force the uncomfortable as part of my healing. Strangely in the months following DD I needed to read all the info I could about infidelity and marriage, it gave me something to cling to, now I need to avoid it.
H has been better with me as we move away from the dates. Are we the fairy tale….hell no but we never were (even though I held that illusion). He has been more thoughtful, more generous, more helpful in surprising ways. I often momentarily worry, when he is being very nice, if I am missing something, is he trying to throw me off the scent of something more nefarious? I realize that has to be my issue. Does he see the strength of us? Some days I think he does. I hope he does. We are still not out of the woods but we laugh together which is so important. Communication is better, but I still wish we had more of it and that it was more deeply important. It has been an extremely SLOW process. For those of you that are giving yourself a timeline to heal..throw that notion out the window. You will heal when you heal, don’t beat yourself up if you are seemingly taking longer than others. Intimacy is still stunted, but I am more open to figuring that out now than I was even six months ago.
Do I wish infidelity had never landed in my world, resounding yes. I was strong before this happened. I didn’t know the depths of the strength and in some ways I wish I was not forced into testing it..but I am happy it was under me to catch me when I fell and I know it will be there in the future. Some women do not get the choice to stay or go, some of us do. Neither of those scenarios is easy. For those of you given the choice, my only advise is that the decision is made minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week and then year by year. I do not believe that it is one decision, one time. There will be a moment when you realize that you are for the most part healed (forever changed) but healed, if you are determined to be. I do read posts of women who still seem stuck in the anger and resentment. For those women I hope they find peace. I think in many ways that is a choice not a natural evolution and you have to want it badly, for yourself alone or with your partner.
Just do know, there is an end to the stifling hurt you may be feeling if you are new here…