His Story:

Heading past a month after she had told me was difficult.  I was always expecting that the ‘honeymoon’ moment of re-commitment would wear off and some feelings that I could not have foreseen hit me.  That ‘thing’ which could possibly tip the balance.  Where is that point that it all just becomes too hard?  Even for the strongest resolve.We focused on trying to work for the future.  It’s much better putting your energy in to the things you can change, rather than wasting it dwelling on the past.  It doesn’t make the pain go away though . . .  .

There were still so many questions flooding through my mind, including the one that simply would not go away – ‘WHY?’.  While trying to make some sense of why he would be worth the risk of our relationship and family, the questions about comparisons stuck in my head.  I don’t have any self-worth issues about my physical appearance, weight or manly bits – I am who I am – but the questions still plagued me.  So I asked – “did you ever make comparisons between the two of us?”.bom-compare

The question threw her a bit, so I tried to clarify. Since our families were friends and our young children inevitably got dirty while playing, occasionally we’d toss them all in the bath together to get clean.  With no intention to do so, I once noticed that his son was quite well endowed for his age and thus some conclusions could be made.  “Did you ever make comparisons about the sizes of our man-bits?”.  I told her I knew that he was bigger than me.  She said “no”.  Not exactly the answer I expected, but I guess I have to take her word for it.  She mentioned later that he was “bent”.

It’s hard not to feel that comparisons were made at some stage – if it was just fine at home, why would she need to look elsewhere?  For her, she said the affair wasn’t about sex or being unhappy with sex at home.  I’m not sure there will ever be answer for the ‘why’, except for ‘it just happened’.

Her Story:

At this stage, I was just grateful that I still had a family.  I was willing to answer whatever questions were asked and tried to do so as honestly as I could.  I wanted to change, I wanted to be transparent to my Husband, I wanted to be with my Husband, even after everything.I really wish I could understand the ‘why’ of the affair.  It’s not like I was being abused or neglected in our marriage, it’s not like I really had time to be having a relationship with someone else – my work was pretty much all-consuming – but it was amazing that I did manage to fit in seeing him and everything else in my life.

I think a lot of it goes back to my childhood and constantly feeling rejected, and not having friends. I never really thought that guys actually wanted to be with me, as I didn’t ever feel that other people would make an effort to be friends with me if I didn’t make the first step.  When reaching adulthood, I guess guys are a little different – when a girl shows a little bit of interest …

I am still trying to understand why I made the decision to start and continue the affair for as long as it happened.  I don’t know if I will ever know.

One struggle I was having was with the fact that for her to chase her career, I had to basically give up  dreams of my own.  I was fine with that – it was a decision we made together.  She had multiple degrees, I had nothing – it was the best path forward for our family. Because of her travel, I also gave up any chance of ever playing my favorite sport again (I was good too!).  I simply couldn’t commit to matches or practices with her travel schedule.  I dealt with that, moving on with a few other things I knew I’d have to concede to essentially raise our family while she was away.  I felt like a single parent for a very long time.  Back then, it was all part of doing what was best for our whole family.  Now knowing we were so easy to gamble with leaves me with bitterness towards those decisions.  I won’t ever  have the opportunity again to play sport like I did back then and while we move forward with our new relationship, I am still the Home-dad while she is the career woman.  I realise that I took advantage of my Husband in many ways, taking him for granted that he would always be there, no matter what I did or didn’t do.  I realise I was unfair to him so many times, and he had sacrificed a lot for me and my career.  At the moment, I am struggling to find the motivation to continue in my career – I just want to start again and do it right this time.

Questions and Answers signpostMany nights we lay in bed while I asked questions.  She said she would tell me everything I wanted to know – she had nothing to hide anymore.  It was hard though.  Knowing that none of my questions were ‘positive’ and would just make her feel worse.

Sometimes it was just stupid questions floating in my head – really stupid questions.  Questions that that I felt came from ‘the world’ and it’s seediness and values (and possibly too many TV shows) rather than me. Unfortunately, once they were in my head there was only one way to get rid of them – to ask.  The reason I am sharing all this is this:  I knew they were ‘way out there’ questions – like “did you [insert explicit sexual activity here]” or “did you ever have a threesome” (told you they were stupid) – but what if she said yes?  As absurd as it is, once they get in your head there is almost as much fear of knowing as not knowing.  I was hurting enough from her past deceptions, let alone un-answered ones – so I asked.  “No to both” she told me. I was relieved.

I tried to be honest at all times, but as mentioned previously, I sometimes didn’t tell the whole truth, which is just as bad as lying.  I didn’t want to volunteer any information, I wasn’t sure how many details he needed to hear.

Some questions were easy to deal with, others I was scared that he would think even less of me (if possible) if I answered totally honestly.  I realise a lifetime of deception and betrayal is difficult to change all at once, but I was scared.  Scared that one day my answers would push him over the edge and he would leave or kick me out.  So my self-preservation kicked in and I answered as simply as possible, in my mind telling the truth, but sometimes not always telling the whole truth (this is something I have only recently discovered …

I truly thought I was doing ok with honesty during this time).

While driving the kids to school one day I had a thought – what would have our responses been if the other had left?  I searched deep on this one.  Would have I chased her if she left?  I doubt it.  I could see how she was struggling with the concept of whether I/the kids would be happier or better cope with the struggle if she wasn’t around.  If she left, I think I would have let her go.

I asked her what she would have done if I had packed up and left.  She would have done the same, giving me space initially, but tried for reconciliation if possible.  I often wondered if she would leave . Not because she wanted to be without us – the last 3 were ‘faithful’ years in our relationship (so it wasn’t leaving after being caught), but because it would be best for me.

She said she’d do anything to fight for our family – regrettably unlike the choice she had made previously.  It was a heartwarming thing to hear.

 The overriding feeling during this time was a panic that someday, something would happen that would make my Husband pack up and leave, or I’d come home to find all my belongings on the street.  I hated seeing him hurting, knowing it was all my fault, but I also desperately wanted to stay with him – probably too little too late realising what an awesome person he is and was.  There were times when I wondered if he’d be happier without me, but during this time, I don’t know if I’d have had the courage to leave him.

Sometimes I still wonder whether he would have been better off in terms of happiness, peace and joy if I wasn’t around.


 

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