I still have a few details that haunt me. I think its the source of most of my angst. It fuels my anxiety. My doubt. It creeps back in when I’m starting to feel more secure. When I start moving forward and leaving the past behind. I think in some ways its natural instinct. My brain reminding me of what else could be out there. What else could go wrong.
Details. There are several “circumstantial evidence” type details that I’ve uncovered along this journey. On their own, nothing major. All added up, they add to my fears. It seems like too much to just ignore. I realize that facts and details are simply that. Facts and details. They only gain power when I attach my emotions to them. When I attach my perception to them. And my perception isn’t necessarily reality.
I feel like I’m on a teeter totter. On the one side, these details bug the living shit out of me. I feel like they are proof of something bigger. More lies. I attach my logic to the details and think there is no other possibility. Then I get to the other side and feel like perhaps the details aren’t what they seem. That I’m trying to make sense of a situation that just doesn’t. I’m trying to solve a puzzle and the pieces don’t fit. It doesn’t mean he’s been dishonest about these details. I’m thinking and reacting from a defensive position. Trying to be proactive and find any other lies still lingering out there.
Its exhausting and not getting me where I want to be. Two women have recently posted their thoughts and realizations that have resonated with me. Their words remind me that every thought, emotion, action I have is a choice. Yes, my husband’s actions have scarred me. But they don’t define me. They don’t even define him. I know good people are capable of horrible things. I know people are capable of great change. I know, because I’ve lived that life. I’ve done horrible things – I’ve had an abortion. Hell, I considered a second one with this pregnancy. I’m also capable of change and have changed my life drastically over the last year.
You don’t have to hurt forever. If you have a partner willing to do the work with you, and a desire to see your marriage continue and even thrive, you can pursue that future. Fuck the bad stuff that happened. Fuck the details. If you can get over the fact that you may never receive a satisfying answer to the questions of why the affair happened (because there is no justification for that kind of betrayal), then you can come back from it.
I will never say I’m grateful for the affair. Never. But I am grateful that we took this mess of a situation, and came out the other side not only intact, but whole. The trying times in life, they either break you or they allow you an opportunity to reinvent yourself. To invest in a future you may have been too scared to pursue before.
The one thing I felt was consistently holding me back was my desire to have full and explicit truth, even though I may have already had it. So I made a conscious decision, I decided to actively watch the things my husband did do instead of searching for the things I suspected he might do, but I couldn’t prove. I have relinquished my need for total knowledge of his affair, I may have it already, I may never get it, but quite honestly if I keep searching I’ll never be satisfied.
Affairs are tragic. They tear down the very fabric of your being. What you thought you knew was real. It seems like a dark, bottomless pit that you can never get out of. But, with the right attitude and some hard work – you can see the light again. You can live a happy and fulfilled life again (or for the first time). The good thing about being shattered and broken is that you get to chose how you rebuild yourself. And your marriage. You can build the type of relationship you always wanted and deserved. Its take alot of work. And two willing partners. And time. And patience. But it can be done. Most of what we read is negative. The “failures” after infidelity. But there are positive stories out there. Whether its reconciliation or being on your own. There is life after an affair. And it doesn’t have to suck. It doesn’t have to be full of sorrow and despair. It can be happy. Fulfilling. Better than before. It comes down to what you really want out of life and your marriage. And whether or not you are going to fight for it. It comes down to choice. Mindset. Continuing to grow as an individual. Then as a partner. But it all starts with the choice. You can be happy or you can be miserable, the amount of effort is the same.