His Story:

We had an opportunity for a night off without our kids, so left the city, heading to one of our favorite spots where we knew could have a meal and walk along a beach.

Before we left we had decided that we needed a clean start and decided we’d take the opportunity to re-new our wedding vows.  We filled the car up with gas, took off our rings and headed off to a coastal town an hour’s drive south – pretending we were on a first date.  It was a surreal experience sharing our lives again, the ‘marriage breakup’, our hurts, our dreams. It was good though, being able to speak of the other in the third person and share why we first fell in love, the journey through our relationship and inevitably, why it ended.

We had a nice meal and then changed our clothes.  Yes, we had packed some ‘wedding clothes’ to wear – trying to capture some symbolism I guess!  We walked and talked for a bit more, my wife sharing more about the affair.  She mentioned she had tried to call it off because she was scared of losing her husband, kids and her faith in God.  It was sad to think she came to that point, but we still meant less to her than continuing the relationship.  To think she’d even mention a relationship with God in context of the infidelity was a bit perplexing, but as she has mentioned many times – she felt she was living in a ‘bubble’.

I was planning to ask her to marry me again, but she beat me to it.  She said she couldn’t stand not being married to me any longer.  It was a bitter/sweet sentiment to hear, but I still wanted to be with her – so I said “yes!”.  We walked hand-in-hand along the esplanade, taking the time to browse through the market stalls that were set up there.  It was nice feeling like we were young again.  We found some leather wrist bands that we bought for each other, symbolising our new beginning & renewed commitment.  

I was still scared – fearing what I didn’t know.  How would I feel in a week?  A month? 6 months? A year?  This wasn’t a trivial experience to be dealing with and the promises we were about to make were hard, considering 16 years earlier we had done exactly the same thing.  Didn’t work out so well and the knife wounds were still very raw.

marriageI plucked a white flower from a roadside garden bed and we went for a walk along the beach.  She had a glow about her that I hadn’t seen in many years.  We stopped under the moonlight and shared our new ‘wedding vows’.  I dared not think of them as promises, but more statement of positive intention.  It sounds a bit shallow, but at that moment I held little faith in the value of a ‘promise’.  It was both a joyful moment and sad time.  Knowing what we could have had over the last 16 years was lost, but fighting to believe for a new future.

We put our rings back on, heading out to face the world as a re-invented couple.

Her Story:

This was an amazing day for me – a chance to start all over again and share my life story again.  It was a little surreal at times, having to switch between the ‘first date scenario’ and then real life when talking about the kids etc.  But it did give me some further insights into how he was feeling, which was very much appreciated.

I wanted to take the opportunity to disclose everything, as much as I was aware of in myself.  I mentioned in passing that the affair wasn’t the first time that I had been unfaithful – I had previously shared with my Husband that during a work trip I had kissed other guys during a late night with alcohol involved.  There had been others (see further in our story), but I guess I chickened out telling him everything because I didn’t necessarily want to tell him anything he didn’t already know and spoil the opportunity of getting ‘married’ again.  This pattern continued from the initial confession through to even 6-7 months down the track – self-preservation at its finest.  I justified it in my mind that I had mentioned there were others and that should be enough.  Yes, we had a good night and yes, we re-committed to each other, but my constant deception and lies, not telling the whole truth, would always come back to bite me (and it has).

It was a truly beautiful occasion, on the beach, under the moonlight, wanting to show my Husband that I was serious about a new start.  I felt more in love with him than I had for ages and desperately wanted to do nothing more to stuff it up.  I knew the process of dealing with my past wasn’t over and it wouldn’t be plain sailing, I just wanted to bask in the joy that we had that night for as long as possible.


 

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