That was the question my eleven year old asked me in the car the other day. The entire family was in the car together. I paused. I saw my husband take a deep breath in and shudder. I responded:
What’s the best thing that happened to me? Let me think about that. What about you?
The conversation somehow kept moving. Kept going without anyone asking me again. But I sat there and thought what is the best thing? I know the worst thing in my entire life happened this year. Nothing will ever be worse that finding out the love of my life, my soulmate and husband was having an affair with another woman. Nothing will ever devastate me or him more than this affair.
So what if there is good that comes from it? In the past three months my husband and I have had the deepest, most intimate conversations. I thought we already were close. But there are always vulnerabilities, insecurties in every person. I’ve learned we are both human. I’ve learned that being in love with your spouse doesn’t mean you are living your love for them. And living that love is the most important part of marriage. I’ve learned that his actions weren’t about me and there is probably not much I could have done to stop his downfall. I think we didn’t know that our marriage was at risk for an affair. We loved each other. We loved our children. We loved spending time together. We went on vacations. We went on dates. We spent time with friends. But he was beginning to doubt himself. He was beginning to doubt his career goals. He didn’t believe he was sexy anymore. Most recently he finally admitted that he was worried about me going back to work. He remembers working together when we first met and how many men we worked with were attracted to me and would flirt with me. I’ve always been a flirt with men and he worried not about me–about a younger man being attracted to me and trying to steal my heart. It probably didn’t help that I work for a male-dominated company that has many young guys and we have fun at my office. But never did I ever think this would make him insecure. He knows all the men I work with and I never thought he would be jealous. But he was and he was afraid to admit it. So many things…. we are all human. We all make mistakes. It’s how we heal and what we learn from these moments that define our lives.
So is it a sad thought that the best thing that happened to me in 2012 was in the aftermath of my D-Day? I feel as though I have been reborn. Redefined in a way. I thought I was strong, smart and intelligent. Now I have been forced to engage these beliefs into action. To help me. To heal my marriage. To heal the wounds of my husband. For him to embrace me. For him to recognize his mistakes and repent. And in the aftermath, we’ve come together stronger. We love each other more now than ever. Truly. When we make love it’s more intense than it has ever been. We both are amazed at this. We always had an amazing sex life… and it got even better? We can’t keep our hands off each other. I don’t think it’s hysterical bonding either… because we’ve continued for about three months now (we started again a 10 days after D-Day). It’s not just the desire though…. (which would have been enough before D-Dday), it’s the intensity and way we make each other feel. At first, I thought it would be wrong to say the best thing was a result of his affair. But the more I think about it–it is. I doubt we could have reached this level of clarity and growth at random. I wish we could have. But I am thankful that I will enter 2013 with a rekindled romance with my husband. A marriage that is stronger, and I know it. A love for him that is deeper than I knew I could love him. When I raise a glass tonight and we kiss lips…. I will remember how lucky I am. Cheers!
So what is the best thing that happened to you in 2012?