We’ve had some setbacks lately. Most times, what initially looks like the end or a major roadblock, ends up opening communication and better understanding of one another. We did have a good conversation. I was able to address my concerns without him getting defensive. He listened. He tried to understand. Which is good. There was a time he was so damn defensive. I’m glad to see that growth in him.

However, lately I’m feeling like this marriage is SO MUCH WORK. I don’t feel like it should be this hard. I know we are in the aftermath of the affair shit storm. It just seems like every time I start to get firm footing, the foundation crumbles under me. I feel like I’m losing the energy and desire to keep fighting. We’ve addressed with our therapist how this feels like a ton of work, and did before his affair. She said she sees a solid foundation that she doesn’t see very often. That even while nibbling on our shit sandwich, we still show each other compassion. We still have good times. We still make great partners and friends. I don’t disagree, but I wonder if its enough.

In my personal therapy I’ve talked about how I don’t know if there is still love in this marriage. I mean, there’s love. I love him as the father of my children. I love him as a man I’ve spent more then half my life with. I’m talking romantic love. The kind of love a husband and wife should share. I read many blogs, articles, books, etc on the topic of infidelity. The women (and men) that stay talk about how much they still love their spouse. Love is the main reason they stayed. I don’t recall a time when I said I’m staying because I love him. I’m not comparing my reasons for staying as I know my journey is unique to me, but rather just wondering if that’s why this feels like so much work.

I think about events during our relationship. There are many great, heart warming moments. He’s done some amazing things to show his love for me. Many years ago he sent me on a “treasure” hunt. He got my friend involved and gave me clues of spots that were meaningful to us (I still have the clues he gave me). The last stop was my friend’s house where he had a new outfit waiting for me. He had a limo pick me up and took me to dinner. We live on one of the Great Lakes and thus beaches. He once had a friend set up a candlelight picnic for us. I remember walking up the beach and seeing a picnic table all set up. I commented on how romantic it was. We kept walking closer and closer to the table. I didn’t realize it was for us and he had to tell me. He has planned trips and kept the destination a surprise. He did so as recently as December. He has done some incredibly romantic things for me, which our therapist has said she doesn’t see very often. On the flip side, he’s done some incredibly hurtful things to me. For a time, he was a different man. That different man was a self centered prick. That man did many shitty, disrespectful things that portray anything but love. That man was a liar. That man was a cheater. That man was a coward. That man was an asshole. That man lived his life without regard to anyone around him. That man didn’t care who he hurt. That man acted entitled. I hate that man.

Maybe I don’t know which man I have now?

Is there love here but so much resentment, anger and fallout from years of dysfunction that I’m having difficulty seeing it? Am I so afraid of him hurting me again that I won’t allow the love in?

Or is it just not here anymore? Has there been too much damage to recover?

I’m not sure. I wish I knew the answer. It would certainly make my life a little easier.