His Story:

The confession: Ok – where do I start?  We were walking home after a meal at an Indian restaurant and my wife turned to me and said “I have something I need to tell you – and you’re not going to like it”.  We’ve all had conversations starting this way, followed by some sarcastic humor – but I never could have imagined how this one would play out. ”About 5 years ago” she started, “I had an affair”. Immediately, I let go of her hand and took a step back.  I knew this was no joke.  She repeated the news and I just stood there dumbfounded. This was the kind of thing that happens to other people, not me.

lonelyI took my wedding ring off and felt like throwing it down the road, but instead put it in my pocket.  ”Who was it?” I asked, not really wanting to know.  What if it was someone more attractive than me?  What if he wasn’t? Was it because she wanted to be with someone with career and status, even though I’d taken a backseat to support her career.  None of it made any sense. I wanted to scream, I wanted to hit something.  Every thought I’d ever had regarding divorce, marriage, relationships, affair, sex, growing old – it was all just a mess.

Her Story

The confession: I knew I wanted to confess to my Husband, I knew I had to, but the timing was never right.  But then again, the timing is really never right for these discussions.  I was also scared of his reaction – what would happen once I told him?  Would he just kick me out and never want to be around me again?  Where would I go?  How would I cope?

Amazingly he didn’t run away from me then, and we even walked home together that night.

The walk home: We stood on a street corner while she talked and I listened.  The affair had started about about 5 years before, with a work colleague of hers. He was/is married with 3 children – our families were quite close.  Still not wanting to know, I asked “how long?”.  “2 years”, she told me.  I was oblivious to it all. Being beyond upset, too angry, too confused to cry – I asked “why?’.  I guess hoping to find some vague understanding why she would choose this. She didn’t know.  No defined reason – it just sort of happened and then got out of control. Needless to say not much peace was gained from that.

The expected pleas for forgiveness came thick and fast as I struggled to comprehend what was happening.  It was hard not to feel that she was only sorry now that there were imminent consequences. She shared that she had grown a friendship with him, as they both needed to travel frequently for work could relate the frustrations with each other.  Relate the frustrations?  You’ve got to be kidding – did she ever consider chaos and frustrations I had suffered through because of her career focus? For so many years  I had felt like a single parent while she was off travelling all around the world, working to further her career, success and status. Where did I fit in to all of that? Better yet – where did the kids fit in to all that?

We walked a bit further and sat down in a Bus shelter. Again, she asked me if I could ever forgive her.  So many elements of my Christian faith flooded through me as I struggled to comprehend what I should or shouldn’t be feeling.  Forgiveness?  I told her honesty – “I can’t tell you that at the moment”.We prayed together, then walked home holding hands.  As much as I was shattered, I knew that was all that she had to lean on.

 The walk home: I knew it would hit him hard but I didn’t know whether he wanted to be by himself or ask me questions. The big one, that I still can’t answer even now, is ‘why?’  Why would I risk our marriage, our family, my life, just to be with this other guy?  I wish I knew, all I know is that I regret my actions deeply and I wish they had never happened.

I wondered what would become of us, whether we would still be us the next day, the next week, the next month even.  But I told myself that I would submit to whatever my Husband decided … unless it seemed obvious to me that it would just be easier for him if wasn’t around him and the kids any more.  I didn’t want to push him, and I knew I had screwed up royally, but the fact that he took my hand and held it on the way home spoke volumes about his character and his faith … and gave me a little hope for the future.


 

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