His Story: Her Story:
The hard questions:  There were so many things I was confused about – especially trying to understand what I wanted to know compared to what I needed to know.  I am a believer in transparency and truth with any relationship, so I figured out pretty quickly that the only way to stop something pestering your brain was to know the truth.Knowing the truth didn’t make most things easier to deal with, but at the very least it helped the process.  So the questions had to asked – Where? When? How often?”.

He had been picking her up from work and they would drive around the back of the local lookout – where exactly I never asked.  Hooking up in the back of a car – how romantic!  For me that meant it must have been primarily for sex, ’cause that’s not much of a way to be meeting for a relationship.  Not that it was good news though.

I asked her how often they met and she told me that it was every couple of weeks.  She said she hated what she was doing, knowing it was wrong, but was caught up in it all.  Thinking that she was possibly just responding to his calls and not strong enough to say ‘no’ in a little way better.

I knew there was going to be a lot of questions asked, and rightly so.  The biggest one, that I still don’t know the answer to, is ‘why’.  Why would I risk my family, my marriage, on some other guy?I tried a number of times to get out of the relationship, but every time it appeared to be easier to stay with him (in hindsight, no way!).  Our families had become close friends and our family lives were very intertwined, I guess I just didn’t want to have to explain why we no longer saw them any more.

I told him that the reason the affair ended, was when I realised I wasn’t happy in our marriage any more, and it was because of me.  I wanted to be with him (sounds stupid after all I’d done to sabotage the relationship) and realised I had to get out of the destructive behaviour and focus on him to even have a chance of being happy again.  Instead of me wanting him to change, I had to look long and hard at myself and realise I needed to change, and big time.

man cryingWe went for a walk after dinner one night – to get out so we could talk.  I remember bursting into tears and sobbing uncontrollably on her shoulder.  It was so hard not having anyone to talk to without revealing our ‘dirty laundry’ so to speak.  I was having nightmares, flashes, questions flooding my mind all the time – it was almost to much to handle at times.  After I stopped crying, I told her of all terrible questions I was scared to ask, but knew I had to.  So I took a deep breath and asked “did he make you scream?”.  My round-about way of asking whether she sexually fulfilled by him.  I’d felt for a while that our relations had never reached their full potential (especially for her), but was trying to be patient due the pre-marital challenges we had faced.  The very thought that she would be more openly intimate and satisfied with another was a devastating thought, especially after years of trying to put her emotions & needs first.She took a while, but responded “I’ve come closer to an ‘o’ with you, than I ever did with him”.  I guess that was a little consolation.  We’d been married over 10 years before she was a bit more adventurous in the bedroom, so I had to ask “did you ever do anything ‘funky'”?.  Yes, that was my exact question.  I didn’t feel like being specific, but I just wanted to know if was just straight ol’ intercourse.  She answered “no” to getting ‘funky’. Sex was obviously a big part of our relationship – it was an ‘affair’ after all.  But I still had the mentality that it didn’t matter about me and my feelings, it was only important for him to ‘finish’.  So, I still didn’t really pursue any of my own enjoyment and a lot of the times my thinking was more along the lines of ‘hasn’t he finished yet’?  Yes it was exciting and adrenaline rushing, but there were many times that I longed to just be with my Husband again.
romanceA confusing thing I needed to face was whether or not I wanted to be ‘romantic’ with her again or whether intimacy of any kind would just feel wrong or hypocritical.  By this week she had finished her period so I needed to decide either way.  As desperately sad as I was, I still wanted to be close to her.  The fact that the affair had finished 3 years earlier probably helped, while at the same time the confusion was rampant!I had needed her comfort, her closeness the week before.  Even though at the same time I couldn’t stand being near her.  It was a real big mess in my brain.  I guess because I knew I wasn’t going to kick her out by now, I started to need some reassurance that she wanted to be with ‘me’.  I think both of us were in need of each other (in spite of the circumstance) and sought comfort through intimacy, so it wasn’t too difficult to proceed.

It was one the hardest things to try and comprehend – how I could hate her and love her, want to not lose her but never see her again, feel ashamed at touching her but wanting to be with her.  These feelings haven’t been quick to fade.

 I am always amazed that my Husband does still want to be with me, in every sense of the word.  I often thought that every little disclosure would be like one more step away from being together.  And why would he want to be with someone who has been intimate with someone else?  How can his brain process that?  How can his body process that?  Often I feel scared to make the first move, wondering if I do whether he will just have memories of me with another guy flooding through his brain.  And then there’s my own view of self-worthiness – I know I don’t deserve any sort of intimacy.  It’s a roller-coaster ride for both of us, and I don’t see it ending soon.

 

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