His Story:

I’m not sure if I ever believed it would happen, but we have made it through a month without another ‘whammo’ moment.  For the first time since her confession, there has been no revelation of another activity/action that she had done or was doing that subsequently added to the grief.

It’s a weird feeling.  Yes, it has been nice not waking up crying or being faced with the prospect (again) of whether this time was the ‘final straw’ and I end the relationship.  It’s also hard facing that side of me that wants to hold onto anger.  I don’t know why we sometimes find it difficult to let go of the very thing that we so desperately want to run away from.


TVEven without any new ‘baggage’ to comprehend, it still hasn’t been an easy month.  If anything, Month 9 will have been one of the hardest months she has had to face – but I’ll let her tell that story.

I still have moments occasionally while watching TV that gives me shivers.  On one show we were watching there were 2 guys competing for the affections of one girl.  I nearly turned to her and asked “what’s it like having 2 guys interested in you?”.  It wasn’t meant to be a subtle dig at her – I actually was innocently just thinking about the attention and the ability to chose.  Glad I didn’t – what a stupid question!   It would have burnt myself, let alone made her feel awful.  There was also a scene where a female character (who had finally got together with her long time ‘flame’) was visited by a past ‘slightly more than friend’ acquaintance.  They gazed in to each others’ eyes and then she leaned in for a kiss.  Man, watching that was hard.  She finally got the man of her dreams (everything she never knew she always wanted) but all too easily was willing to ‘give it away’.  Not just the betrayal hit me – it was also the ‘leaning in‘ for a kiss.  A bit too vivid reminder. 

Yes, I know it is just a TV show, but it was still a little too close to home for me.


Those little reminders can be devastating at times.  One morning, my wife had forgotten to take her birth control pill and made a ‘harmless’ comment about missing it and having another child.  It hit me hard, once again in bubbled up memories (see here).  Another time I was just driving past a hotel in town that I remembered her mentioning she had ‘been with him’ in.  I’d only recently learnt that it was the actual Hotel where they first slept together.  I almost broke in tears while driving.  I later realised I’d muddled up the Hotels – but it just goes to show how memories become confused nightmares.

Only recently, I was sharing a story with some friends of a time when I tagged along with one of her work trips.  Mid-sentence, it hit me that she was attending a conference (he wasn’t there though) and I pondered the timing of if they were engaged in the affair during that time.  Anytime I hear the word ‘conference’ I get shivers, let alone having to smile and continue my story while the butterflies in my stomach were going psychotic.


It was a month of working together to invest, invest, invest.  We made the most of every opportunity to build a foundation of new memories, while fighting the battles that reared up from time to time.  She had a week long conference (locally) to attend, which was hard.  The reminders aside, it meant every night she was away at some corporate dinner or schmoozing event.  One day, she surprised me at home mid-afternoon.  She was putting us first (we really needed it!) and told me she wasn’t going to attend the corporate function that evening.  She was going to stay home with me.  Such is the change in her.

Previously, her trips away have made me feel like all I’d be getting were left-overs.  Left over time, left over emotions, left of energy.  Now,  I can see she hates being away (and regrets her previous travel) just as much as myself & the kids.


 I don’t understand how I can have very graphic visual images of things – it’s not like I was there!  Yet, at times, I feel like I am living a horror story.  The worst thing about getting flashes of images is that they stick in your head & are hard to get rid of.  Earlier this month (while she was away) I was having a shower and this image of her & him in the shower together flashes across my mind.  It was like getting stabbed in the eyes.  It took about a week and some time talking about it for the image to flash by every morning.


3279153408_b311b2f423_b-505x336Possibly the saddest moment for me was when (for no logical reason) I recalled a song I wrote for her before we married.  It was full of single-focused love and hope, even some lyrics about standing by God and each other when times get tough.  The emotions are hard to explain.  What do you feel about something that was a vessel for the pouring out of your soul, that now has been unraveled like a broken cassette.

I don’t how to feel about it.  I just feel sad. Sad that what began with such dreams for the future ended up so broken 🙁 


 For now, in this new day – I’m feeling good.  Life is still throwing bricks at us, but I feel we are using them keep building a new destiny.  I don’t look too far ahead – not that I’m scared – I just don’t want to miss out any of the ‘now’ that we have been blessed with.

Her Story:

Yes, this month was tough for me.  I had a conference (there’s that horrible word which conjures up terrible memories), at the same hotel as where the affair started, and I had to spend time with the woman who I know was sleeping with the guy prior to our affair starting.

I thought I was strong enough to deal with these things by myself.  I had been to the hotel previously for other conferences and courses and it didn’t affect me.  But that was before I told my Husband anything about this … so maybe it wasn’t as raw in my mind.

I had seen and chatted with the other woman a number of times as well, but again, not since the disclosure with my Husband.  What also made it difficult talking with her, was that I had recently found out that they (the guy and the other woman) were now working in the same company, in the same building.  My mind boggled – how would you cope with that?  Knowing you had an affair with a married man, while you were married, and having to deal with him on a daily basis after the affair ended and both of you had moved on?  Obviously I couldn’t ask her anything about it, and I didn’t want to know any details, but it kept a sinister undertone throughout all my conversations with her.

I know that sharing these details with my Husband made him sad.  And that made me sad too.  I don’t know whether he was more sad that I hadn’t told him before, or that it just brought up the fact that I had deceived him for so long previously.  It was tough, having to put on a happy face talking with her, knowing that we had done similar things (she was married when she was with the guy as well).  I wasn’t sure whether I should try to avoid her, or just sit there and talk superficially with her.  Either way, it wasn’t a tough decision to boycott some of the conference to come home and spend more time with my Husband and my family, hopefully reinforcing my current priorities.

 

I had to travel a reasonable amount this month, too, and I know that is always hard on my Husband.  One, because he misses me (which I am still amazed at, after all I’ve put him through), and two, because it brings up memories of past work trips.  Knowing now what he does, I can understand he wonders about every work trip I ever went on – was there something that went on at that trip that she hasn’t told me about?  When I get a chance to call home, it’s great to talk with him but I know he’s thinking about all those other times where I was talking with him one minute and then going off with someone else the next (not literally).  I don’t know what to do about these memories … I can only hope it gets easier to deal with them in the future.

 

I know my Husband still hurts, is still sad and still has anger about all of this.  I grieve the loss of time that I could have spent, nurturing my relationship with my Husband, instead of going off and wanting to gratify myself with no regard for anyone else.  I keep trying to focus on our relationship now, being grateful that we even have a relationship now, but it’s hard when every action I make, every word I say, brings up some past activity or time, even subconsciously.  For example, when I came home early from the conference, that was a great moment, but then there would be ‘why didn’t I do this in previous times?’  I know I can’t change the past and I need to invest in our current relationship so we can have a good future together, I can only hope and pray that time will heal these wounds and sadness.

 


 

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