His Story:

To say that things were getting better would be a blatant lie.  After confessing to infidelity nearly 5 months ago, my wife had found increasingly new ways to keep lying to me.  It wasn’t blatant deception, more so finding details that she had omitted along the way that just kept making things worse.

This was one of those months.  Maybe the biggest one yet, if that is possible.  We were again chatting one night, sharing all the struggles that we were having as was the norm. I can’t remember how the conversation started – I was probably feeling overwhelmed by something and she felt she should go back to the start and spell it out – how many guys she had actually slept with.  Not being one to hide from knowing the truth, I let her begin.

“Ok” she said, “there were three guys at that first Vacation-work’ trip (pre-courting)(she had never shared this much information about that trip before – I had never asked), then the guy at Vac-work the next year . . “.  “Hang on” I interrupted.  “What guy in during the 2nd trip?  You never told me about that!”.  The worse possible challenge lay ahead.

 Her Story:

I don’t know why I didn’t just blurt out every tiny detail at the very beginning.  Maybe I thought that knowing every little incident would push my Husband away forever – maybe I thought that if he could forgive me in stages my life until then wouldn’t seem so bad.  I don’t think I deliberately held back information, I just didn’t know how far to go in disclosure.

I felt so ashamed of my actions, I felt so bad about hurting my Husband.

InfidelityThis second trip was a number of months after we had been dating.  We already knew we would be getting married.  During that trip we had planned and booked the venue, the date, the caterers & the minister for the wedding.  She slept with who?

“I told you about that” she said.  “Absolutely 100% did not” I replied.  “You never told me you slept with anyone”.  When she returned from the trip, she had shared with me that during a moment of loneliness on New Year’s Eve she had gotten together with someone.  Just kissing she had told me (I know, because that’s what I asked her when she told me).  We argued a bit about semantics, about what she had thought she told me, versus what I had heard.  The simple truth was this; I never knew.  It didn’t matter what she had convinced herself that she had said – I didn’t know.  She would have known that deep down, despite of whether or not she would like to admit it.  My response to her telling me initially was not that of someone who, while preparing for a wedding, learnt that their partner had been unfaithful.  I gave her understanding and forgiveness for ‘kissing’ someone while lonely and apart.  I wasn’t happy about it, but I was supporting her for our future together.

 Again, this was one of those times that I look back on my life and ask ‘why’ and ‘how’.  I was talking with my (now) husband on a daily basis, I was doing well with my work, we were committed to getting married.  But, being part of a group of students, I didn’t want to feel left out (like most of the rest of my childhood).  I know I went WAY too far and flirted with guys, but I guess I always thought I would either have the strength to stop it, or the guy would.  I remember telling my Husband that I had ‘ended up with someone’, which in my mind meant that I’d slept with someone, in his mind it was that I’d kissed someone.  I felt vindicated, I’d told him what had happened, but in reality, it was probably the worse thing I could have done to not clarify what I meant.  I was obviously really bad at communicating (and still am), especially in areas that may bounce back badly on me.
Here is the struggle.  Not only was it a 3rd person she had been sexually unfaithful with while we were together – it was before the wedding.  We weren’t ‘actually’ engaged yet, because we didn’t want a long, pointless engagement, but we were 100% committed to getting married – spiritually engaged I guess.  As I mentioned above – during that trip away we had booked the entire wedding ceremony.

The challenge:  What would have I done 17 years ago if she had been completely honest about the encounter?  I would have ended the relationship I’d expect.  We wouldn’t have got married.  We never would have had children together.  I wouldn’t be facing all the heartache and despair I am now.  How do I deal with question?

It had only been a number months since we had shared all of our skeleton and I had learnt about her previous Vac-work experience.  We faced those demons and set out on our journey together.  I believed in her.  I trusted her. I forgave her.  I had no doubts that her previous experience had changed her and she had grown a strength of resolve to move beyond her past.

I felt like a complete fool.  17 years together and it all was a lie.  Deceived again.  It numbs my brain.

During this time of disclosure, it really cut to the core of my heart – realising that my Husband probably would never have become my Husband if he knew the whole truth, the kids would never have been born and I probably would have ended up sleeping my way around the countryside, continually doing damage to myself physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I know that it was wrong (the action and the withholding of the whole truth), and I know I hurt my Husband again (then and now).  I know there is no way to make up for these mistakes.

heart 4She shared the details.  It was New Years Eve and she admitted she was looking for some company – only a bit of a smooch.  Even this made me feel meaningless to her.  They had a few kisses at a NYE party and he asked her whether she’d wanted to back to her room.    She said yes.  She told me that she was only after a smooch and not expecting anything else.  If she just wanted a kiss, they could have stayed in a relatively public place.  Taking him back to her room (yes, that feels worse than her going to his) was simply giving him the go-ahead.

So, as expected they progressed physically and once it got the point that she knew he was pursuing sex, she felt like she could’t get out of it.  I’m not sure how hard she fought for it not to happen.  Doesn’t really matter now.

Half of my life now feels like a shadow.  My memories are tainted.  My heart like a pincushion.  I am broken.


 

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