His Story:

One of the hardest things for me to deal with was the fact the affair had finished a few years earlier and we were and incredibly different parts of the grieving process.  For her, it was a weight off of her shoulders finally facing me with her confession.  For me, it was simply the most devastating news a committed partner could ever hear.  I found this quote which sums it up nicely:truthThat’s how I felt – worthless.  I wasn’t worth it  to her, our marriage, our kids, our future – nothing was worth enough to her not risk everything.  Did she not consider I could possibly walk out?  Kick her out?  The kids would be coming with me, no question.  Was this never a consideration or even a faint consequence worth considering?  Apparently not.

How could someone I trusted so intimately lie to me for so long?  Even after the affair finished I wasn’t even then deserving of being told – that’s how it felt.  I knew there would be reasons for the delay – fear, confusion, her own grieving process, but that doesn’t void the feeling of know you have been living in deception.  My whole life, especially the last 16 years felt like one big lie.

By now, I knew I wasn’t going to kick her out of the house, or pack up and leave with the kids.  The question of whether I should stay or go has been a constant up until this very day.  I woke up crying most nights that week, barely being able to hold it together.  The stupid thing was that I needed her to comfort me, but also struggled to want to be near her.  One good thing was that she had her period that week, which took the question of sex out of the equation.  The very person I needed the most in my darkest hour, was the same one causing the suffering – talk about a conflict.  Because it had finished years earlier, there seemed like two different people when I looked at her.

The next few weeks were full of questions, many about love & relationships, but also unavoidably about sex.

 Her Story:

 I struggled with the decision of whether to tell my Husband or not.  If he didn’t know, or suspect, and I confessed, wouldn’t this be hurting him anyway?  Wouldn’t it be better to just keep it a secret?  But then, there were promptings from God – a book I read where the main character confessed a flirtation to his wife and the demons holding onto him lost their grip, many times of reading ‘what is hidden will be brought to the light’ in the Bible, and I knew that I had to confess even though the affair had ended 3 years earlier.

I was scared – scared I would be kicked out, scared I would lose everything, but realising that it was only what I deserved.  I didn’t know what to expect, but all I could do was say the words and then wait for the questions and comments (and anger and whatever else) to follow.

SEX!  I figured I’d have to face this topic eventually.  How does it feel have you life-partner take comfort in the arms of another?  Yes, I’m aware that’s a rather placid way of putting it, but believe me – I’ve suffered through many horrific images and dream of the actual deed being done.  Nightmares about myself standing by, helplessly watching.  The heartbreaking thought that she may be smiling during, or commenting on the pleasure of it afterwards.  Then the realisation that for all that time, it wasn’t you.

If you have read the ‘Family history’ page, you would have learnt of the ‘baggage’ that was brought into our marriage.  I believed that it had been faced and conquered, but I found out at various times within our 16 years that there were still lingering issues.  It was a struggle at times, but it was something I felt over time we would work through together.

So, we had a level of dysfunction with our ‘relations’ for along time.  Now that I knew she had ‘partaken elsewhere’ it was extremely difficult to handle.  How was it that she could be so reserved with her husband, but so freely give it away to someone else?  Why have I had to struggle for so long with her intimacy issues, just to learn they were so easily overcome in the arms of another?

I had issues with sex – because of my past, and what I had done before we got married, I often felt that I was damaged goods.  I also had this strange concept in my mind that nothing mattered, as long as the guy reached the ‘heights of ecstasy’.  And this continued into our marriage – I didn’t really do anything to pursue my own enjoyment, and consequently didn’t really see sex as anything ‘fun’, just something that we should do.  I need to say that my Husband didn’t do anything wrong – it was purely my way of thinking about it.

I can’t say with any honesty that my thoughts on sex were any different with ‘the guy’ – so looking back, I wonder what was keeping me from walking away from the affair (or not starting it in the first place)?


 

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