Every now and again I try to assess where I am. Am I making progress? Am I healing? Am I remaining positive? I am proud to say, yes I am! That doesn’t mean that every minute, or even every day I’m positive and living in the moment (who can say that?). I definitely have chunks of time, even a day here or there where I’m focusing on the negative. Feeling anxious about the future. I know that’s normal. I allow myself to feel those emotions and work through them. Its part of the process. Its honest. Raw.
Early on I felt complete and utter devastation every day, all day long. I couldn’t think or focus on anything. I would sit at work and stalk her online. Before, I couldn’t stop crying. Now, just 3 months later, I can go an entire day without talking about his affair. I hardly cry anymore. I don’t have the quantity of questions that I did before. I do still have some, but I’ve learned to sit on them for a day or two before asking. Usually I realize that the answer isn’t important. I’ve shifted my focus from her to me. I’ve stopped comparing myself to her. My heart doesn’t race like it used to. I don’t have the constant pit in my stomach anymore. I do still get anxiety at times, but I’m able to walk myself through it. I can evaluate a situation and realize when I am making a bigger deal out of something than it truly is. Today I had an hour and a half meeting where I didn’t think about anything but what pertained to the meeting. These are all small yet measurable metrics showing me that I’m making progress.
I am proud of myself. Proud of the changes I’ve made in my life. Proud that I’m strong enough to fight my way through marital ambivalence, anger, resentment and an affair. Proud that I am mature enough to face my own demons and take responsibility for my actions. Proud that an event that could have given me ammunition to be consumed with anger and ruin my husband’s and his affair partner’s lives – I chose the high road. I chose compassion and empathy. I am keeping a positive attitude. I am looking for opportunities for growth. Looking for what good can come of this shitty situation.
My fears are normal and manageable. I don’t fear everything anymore. I don’t fear that he wants to be with her. I don’t fear that she has something I don’t. I don’t fear that she is better than me. I don’t fear that I will never be happy again. I don’t fear that my life is over. Even if he wanted to be with her and she had something I don’t – it doesn’t mean I’m not a valuable person and that I won’t be happy again. My life is far from over. In some ways, I feel like its just beginning. My fears won’t stop horrible things from happening anyway. If he wants to contact her, he’s going to do it. And if he chooses to have another affair, he will. I can take action and be an active partner in this marriage. I can work towards creating a new and more fulfilling marriage. I do believe that he won’t stray again. Not because he’s perfect or proven that he won’t. I believe it because at his core, he’s not a cheater. He is a man that wants to feel loved. Validated. Acknowledged. Accepted. Desired. I believe that when he feels those he will not be vulnerable to an affair. If I’m wrong and chooses to cheat again, then he’s an ass and I deserve better.
I do still fear that I don’t know the whole story. I do feel that he is being honest with me about the present. I just fear that there is more to his affair than he’s told. I also fear that I won’t be able to move past the feeling that they shared something that I will never be a part of. A woman was part of my husband’s life for a year and a half. They shared countless conversations. They met in SFO. They hung out for a weekend and had sex. He had a relationship with her. There is a part of his life that completely excluded me. A part that I wasn’t and will never be a part of. But she was. She was invited in. That is the hardest part for me to accept and move on from. It haunts me. It cuts me to my core.
I know that my fears are completely normal. And that as I continue to heal, my fears will fade. As I learn to trust again.
I’m proud of my progress. I’m just over 3 months post D-Day. I’ve learned and accepted what went wrong with our marriage leading up to his affair. I’ve taken responsibility for my role in that destruction. We both share responsibility for how our marriage was. We both made choices, acted out, stopped showing compassion and love. Neither of us communicated in a healthy way. We stopped being supportive. We stopped being caring partners. We stopped giving a shit. I know where and how our marriage met its demise. I know the progression of his affair. I know what is necessary to create a new relationship. I’ve made changes to myself and how I interact with my husband. I’m putting in the work and learning the tools to continue to grow as a person. The final piece is healing and moving on from the damage. Which will take continued effort, desire and most of all – time.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”
– Albert Einstein