His Story:

These month’s weren’t meant to be written about.  My idea was that I’d just chronicle the first six months and then our blogs would update the journey to recovery.  Yet, here I am writing about ‘Month 7’ as if we only reconciled 3 weeks ago.  It’s hard.

It’s hard not to feel like ‘a fool who couldn’t see the writing on the wall’ or that there is only so many times you should forgive.  I struggle with that a lot.  But, the choice to fight didn’t come with terms and conditions.  You choose to fight, because you know that it is the right thing to do.  No matter how bumpy the road gets, it’s the destination that you focus on.

Still, these re-occurring battles keep challenging that resolve.

Her Story:

 Throughout the betrayal I realise now that I didn’t contemplate how my Husband would feel when he found out.  That he would feel gullible and stupid for not seeing what was going on.  I understood he would be hurt, but I don’t think I ever thought that he would see himself as a fool.  I thought that when he found out, it would all be about how stupid I was for doing these things, all about me again.  I regret not thinking about him more often … for so many reasons.

HandshakeTrying to piece some of the timeline together, I was remembering when I first met him.  It was at a wedding of a work colleague of both of theirs – the affair had already started.  I recalled that night.  My wife was a bit of a bitch actually – in hindsight it makes sense.  She ignored me half the night.  He was showing off (he was in his early 40’s at that time).  There was a DJ (a really bad DJ) playing some music and I offered to take her for a dance, as it was clear that she wanted to.  She declined, later accepting the offer to dance when ‘he’ asked her to.

It also meant that the first time we visited their house and met his family – they were already together.  Every moment shared, every meal, every day out together or camping trip – was while she was in a relationship with him.  It feels like our family was just carry-on baggage.

I asked her what she would have done if he had left his wife and asked her to be with him.  She said she never had thoughts of leaving me, but I wonder what she would have done if he had put on pressure for her to reciprocate his actions.  It’s a bit of a moot point, I guess, but it’s hard not to feel like she would have sold me out.  Doesn’t make me feel so good.

 I don’t know why I went through the motions of getting the families together and becoming friends with them.  At the time it seemed like a good excuse for us to spend more time together, even though we weren’t ‘together’.  It was great during the affair – being able to spend time together ‘above-board’.  The problem was that the more our families spent time together, the more intertwined our lives became and the harder I felt it would be to get out of the relationship.  Even to this day, my son sometimes will mention that he misses one of the kids, which reminds me of just how much my actions impact others (which I didn’t think of at the time).

Time Machine

We talked about what we’d do if we had a time machine – how far we’d go back to change the past.  I know she struggles greatly with understanding why she made her choices. I suggested that without knowing how our future is going to pan out, going back and changing things may actually make things worse.  I’d like to think that things can’t get any worse that they are now, but I have learnt that there is always a way.  We also don’t know if these events can help us work for some good in others.  I don’t subscribe to the belief that God makes bad things happen to us, just to help others.  God may use these situations for good, but we alone are accountable for our actions.

She gave me note with a handful of quotes about hope on it.  It was nice to feel that she was still fighting for me as well.  My favourite was:   ‘H.O.P.E. – Hold on, pain ends‘.

 If I had a time machine, would I go back and how far would I go?  A number of times I have contemplated this, and discussed with my Husband.  As much as I totally regret the majority of my decisions and actions over the past 20+ years, they have made me who I am today.  I know I’m not great at the moment, but I know that I’m who I am for a reason and God’s got a purpose for me. 

Again, an odd question made things worse (outside of the affair).  I asked her whether with any of the guys she had just been ‘physical’ (eg: intimate, but not sex) there had been multiple times.  Up to that point, she had not disclosed any of these encounters as more than just ‘once offs’.

Here we go again.  ‘Yes’ was her answer.  One guy she had hooked up with 3 times.  Why wasn’t she just honest in the beginning?  Again!  Once was in the hometown of her parents.  At one time they had a kiss & a cuddle and sat on a park bench holding hands.  I asked “how is that not saying you wished you were ‘with’ him, rather than me?”.  How is that not the actions of people in some form of relationship?  What did that make me – the ever faithful butler that keeps the house tidy when she was away?.

How many ‘relationships’ was she having outside of our marriage?  I felt very alone at that point.

 I have no logical reason why I did things – I guess I got caught up in the whole mess and enjoyed the attention I was getting.  Why didn’t I seek the attention I craved from my Husband, instead of elsewhere?  Why did I care what others thought of me, rather than investing in my marriage?  I don’t know …

TearWe went to a Wedding of some friends of ours.  It was very hard seeing them; seeing that glow; seeing the hope; seeing a blank future ahead of them; seeing their commitment.  I had to wipe a few tears that night.  It was a painful reminder of the opportunity that we had.  The hope we had.  The future we had.  

I don’t even know what you’d call what we have now.  We are still married, even though that fells like a meaningless sentiment.  We still are parents, but with a dark secret.  I guess I feel like a couple;  a partnership in the fight maybe.  It’s really confusing, but at the very least I know that I’m not ready to give up on her, or us.

If all that gives us is ‘tomorrow’, then I’l take it.

I struggle with seeing people beginning their lives together – while I’m happy for them and wish them all the best, I feel tainted, knowing what I did to our marriage when we started out the same way.

I know I have been forgiven, by God and by my Husband, but I still struggle with feeling pure and forgiven.  Since this time, I haven’t worn a white shirt – I don’t feel I deserve to wear a symbol of purity.  I don’t know when I will feel worthy, if ever.


 

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