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Still struggling

It’s been a while since I’ve written – not that things are going really well or really bad, I just forgot my login and password when I got my new computer with my new job!

The last few months have been hitting me pretty hard.  There’s been so many things we’ve been watching on TV that talk about affairs and lies and secrets and betrayals.  Fortunately, most of these times I’m curled up next to Dale and he has often squeezed my arm or held me closer, which has helped greatly.  But the memories still haunt me at times, and they still hurt.

We had our wedding anniversary recently, and the anniversary of the first ‘confession’, two years ago.  Both of these days were tough for me, but we survived.

One of our friends has just found out her husband had an affair and fortunately have been able to be there for her as sounding boards and support.  But that brought up more memories and pain.

All I know is this.  God has forgiven me and I am a new creation.  Dale has forgiven me and we have a new relationship together.  And I love Dale with everything I have.

I’m going to keep fighting for those truths and deal with the pain and memories as they come up.  That’s all I can do.

New start

So we’re moving again.  Overseas again.  It’s been a relatively stressful and intense time and we really haven’t had many discussions recently about all of this stuff.  We’re just trying to keep our heads above water and make sure we don’t forget anything with the move etc.

We are seeing this move as a new start, a new beginning.  Leaving the past behind.  Leaving the city where most of the memories are held behind.  But I am a little scared that it won’t be the new start we want and need.  There was 1 incident of ‘spending the night’ with The Guy in the city we’re going to move to. I know that’s very small in the midst of all the rest of the poor decisions I made, but it’s still a reminder and I don’t know if I’ll be able to feel new when we arrive.  I know the circumstances will be different, I know that my family and I managed to live in the city where we began the relationship and had another hook-up, but it wasn’t easy.  I am scared that memories won’t leave me alone when we move and I won’t ever feel free from it all.

But I know that God can work miracles and that this is all part of the healing process.  I also know that God has blessed me with an amazing guy in my Husband and that together (the 3 of us) we can face anything … and overcome.  I AM a new creation.  Every day.

Confronting the past

It was 12 months ago this weekend that the rest of the confessions began (see here).  I remember that weekend well – it was the beginning of me wondering whether this latest confession would be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back.  Unfortunately, even after that weekend, there were still things I hadn’t confessed that caused more and more heartache to both of us.  But today I woke up and wanted to confront those memories head on.  So, I wore a white shirt to church this morning, the one I went and bought especially with my Husband (here).  And I remember baking cookies just before I started the confession, so I made a batch of those same cookies today.  I know it probably doesn’t seem like much but to me it was necessary to confront those past memories.

To be honest, I didn’t know how the future would pan out, when I started that spiral 12 months ago.  The fact that we are together today, that we long to be together when we are apart, that I am a changed and new person compared to who I was 12 months ago, is amazing.  Amazing Grace.  From God.  That’s the only explanation I can think of, and that’s enough for me.


We are together.  I am with my Husband, and he wants to be with me.  After all that we’ve been through over the past 12 months, and the last 17-18 years, that is still a miracle to me.  I will never take our relationship for granted again.  I want to show Dale every day how special he is to me.  I know I may fail, and I know there will still be rough days.  But at the moment, I know he wants to be with me and I want to be with him.  I miss him when I have to go to work.  I miss him when he’s busy doing something else.  I love waking up next to him every morning and snuggling in bed before going to sleep every night.  God has truly blessed me with an awesome husband.

I love you … xxx

Feel like I’ve ruined everything

So you would have read Dale’s blogs about the picnic lunch we had yesterday, and the following conversation last night, and how crappy he feels.  I must say, I didn’t sleep much last night either, and I don’t feel that great now either.  It seems like I have ruined every chance for happiness for the two of us.  No matter what we try to do, to invest time in ‘us’, there is always something that comes up and slaps me in the face.

If we try to go out for a special lunch, it’s a reminder of the lunches I had with Him, or even the corporate lunches where fancy restaurants just meant I was away from the ‘reality’ of family life.

If we try to have a low-key picnic together, it’s a reminder of the times that I either ‘rolled in the grass’ with Him, or just did it in the backseat of the car.

If we go away on a plane trip together (which is hopefully going to happen soon), there is now the reminder of when we tried to do the deed in the airplane bathroom, but didn’t succeed.

And all these things just reinforce that what I did with Him, and with the other guys, is so much not what I have done with my husband.  I have been almost prudish when it comes to our physical lives, not wanting to try new things etc.  I know I’ve gotten better recently, but this just reminds Dale that I was willing to do stuff with others that I haven’t been willing to do with him.

And that brings me to how much I’ve hurt him.  And rejected him in favour of these other guys.  And even though in my head I still told myself that I loved him, and wanted to be with him, my actions obviously did not correlate well.  And I don’t know why.  I don’t know if I ever will.

I struggled big time last night as to whether I should sleep in another room.  I didn’t feel that I deserved to be in the same bed as Dale.  I definitely didn’t feel that he should hold me close while this discussion was going on, I kept trying to pull away.  I even got up to go to another room, but then realised that even through the darkest of conversations about this all last year, we still slept in the same bed, we still held each other while talking about this stuff.  So I stayed.  I don’t know if that was a victory, or whether it would have been better if I had left, but I stayed.

Throughout the day today I have felt really sad.  I haven’t wanted to be at work, I’ve wanted to be at home, investing in ‘us’ again (if there is still an ‘us’).  I feel low, like I’ve ruined everything we’ve been working towards over the past 12 months.

Eating disorder comparisons

I have learned over the past year or so that I have a very poor relationship with food, and my body image.  I can be very obsessive with regards to what and how much I put in my mouth for a while (I do calorie count some times), and then sometimes I will just have a big session of overeating.  Baking, eating too much of the dough and eating too much of the baked product.  And then feel guilty about it.  It’s the classic restrict-overeat cycle that so many people have to deal with – I know I’m not unique in this aspect.

I had a bad weekend of overeating just recently.  After I had gone way overboard one day, I went for a very long walk, in an effort to burn up a lot of the sugar and fats I had just inhaled (not just consumed).  While walking, I reflected on my poor choices with regards to food.  And realised that my poor choices for food were very comparable to my poor choices with regards to guys and how I’ve reacted to them.  I realised it’s a fault in my personality – I know what I’m doing is wrong (eating too much of the wrong things, flirting/sleeping with someone who I’m not married to), but don’t seem to have the strength to stop the behaviour.

I am not trying to make excuses, I know it comes down to having the strength, the self-control, the conviction to just turn away from the damaging activity.  But maybe realising this connection with food may help me to understand why I did all the stupid betrayals/lies/unfaithfulness throughout my life.  For now, though, I continue to pray for strength from God and to be accountable to my husband in ALL areas of my life.

Memory twinges

We recently went camping together – the first time for a very long time considering all our camping gear has been in storage for a number of years now.  It was with our church, so it wasn’t just the family, but I still had many twinges of memories of camping with Him and his family.  While nothing untoward happened on the number of camping trips we had together, it hit me that the only reason we had those trips together, was because of my unfaithfulness and betrayal.  I know I was distant over the weekend, I was desperately wanting to show my husband that it wasn’t anything to do with him, but just me dealing with these feelings (again).  I don’t think I was that successful.

Life has been stressful here – I still have no certainty over the potential new job, I still hate my current job, I still have constant reminders of this place and poor choices I made in the past.  I’m struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I struggle to smile.

But the one constant is knowing that when I am away from my husband, I miss him and want to be with him more and more.  And I know he misses me too.  Even through all that I’ve put him through in our relationship, he still loves me and wants to be with me.  While I don’t think I can truly be happy just yet, the knowledge of that does make me dance inside with joy.

Helping … but hurting

A friend of ours has recently confessed to her husband about having had an affair and we’ve been encouraging and praying for her during this journey.  Yesterday, it all kind of hit me in the face again … dealing with the memories of when I confessed (the first time … and subsequent times).  Being back in the house where we stayed during the first confession has also made it hard to deal with – lots of memories of waking up in the middle of the night to find my husband bawling his eyes out, knowing that I was the cause of his hurt.  I have to admit, I didn’t handle my emotions very well this weekend – I spent a lot of time eating more than I should have (and I mean eating lots).

I struggled with the idea that if I’m remembering all these emotions of the confessions, then what if my husband is remembering all the times that he wondered whether our relationship was worth fighting for, and then get persuaded that it wasn’t.  And then I’d be back to wondering why would he stay with me, remembering all the crap that I put him through, almost waiting for the shoe to drop and him to announce that either he was leaving or that he wanted me to leave.

But my husband continually astounds me.  His faith in God and in us is strong – I know it’s been intense and tough on him too, but through it, he has continually come and given me hugs, held my hand, wanting to snuggle with me, showing me that he wants to be with me.  I am truly blessed by him and I know that it’s only by God’s grace that we are together now, and that we have a future.  But, we are together now and we do have a future, and that gives me hope.  And I hope it gives our friend hope too.

Changed person

I recently took a day off work to spend with Dale.  The kids were at their new school and I wanted to spend some time with him, just reconnecting after our stressful and busy relocation experience.  We went for a long walk together and talked a lot about many things, mostly current day stuff and what we wanted to do in the future.  But then we got down to talking about this stuff …

I’m always worried when we don’t talk about this stuff for a while, whether Dale is struggling and just not wanting to tell me because he doesn’t want to hurt me, or whether he really doesn’t have anything to share.  Anyway, the comment was made that I have definitely changed over the past 12-15 months, since the initial confession.  And Dale said that while he didn’t enjoy this sort of stuff, the changes he’s seen in me have been amazing.  We discussed whether I would be the person I am today if it hadn’t happened the way it did – if I had confessed when we weren’t living in a different country and no option but to lean on each other, if I had confessed it all at the beginning, if I had even confessed the vacation work experience incident before we got married.  And I don’t think so.  I don’t think I would have hit the rock-bottom needed to realise how much I was just going through the motions of being a Christian, not being really aware (in my heart, not just my head) of the amazing grace that God gives us each and every day.

I know that I am a changed person.  I know that I am closer to God now than I ever have been.  I know that I am closer to Dale now than I have ever been.  I know that life will continue to remind me and Dale of the stupid things I’ve done, but I also know that we are a stronger couple now and together, with God, we can survive (and thrive?).

Kids movies

It’s Easter and we hired a few DVD’s for us to watch as a family over the long weekend … well, the kids to watch and Dale and I to fall asleep during.  Today we watched Fantastic Mr Fox.  I didn’t like it at all … it was all about a spouse living a secret life from his wife, doing the wrong thing (by stealing chickens etc).  It just brought home to me how stupid I was and how stupid my decisions were.  I did live a secret life, going around with guys behind Dale’s back, sleeping with them, flirting with them, etc.  It was certainly the wrong thing, and I don’t know how or why I did it.  I wish I did know – I wonder whether I ever will.

And watching kids movies like that, where the guy doing the wrong thing ends up being the hero?  I don’t know what to think – I am certainly no hero of anything.  I just felt terrible, but at least I was sitting next to Dale, holding his hand while watching it. At least I could take away from the experience that we are still together, and that Dale still wants to be with me.

And that gives me hope.

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