A few nights ago, after the kids have been tucked into bed and kissed goodnight, I made us a pot of tea. I intended our night to be relaxing but I ended up opening the can of worms instead.
Earlier that day I found out the OW’s ex-husband left a letter at my husband’s business while we were away for the holidays. He found the letter upon his return to the office and it simply said that he wanted to talk with my husband and a phone number to contact him. Nothing else. My husband decided to throw away the letter and ignore it but wanted to disclose this information to me. My husband was told by the OW that her ex has a temper and that is why she left him. Hearing that he was trying to contact my husband worries me–what will he do? Does he know and why does he care what his ex-wife does?
All these thoughts led into me asking how he did not recognize what a trainwreck the OW was from the start? If there is one thing I can tell you about my husband’s character, it’s that he HATES people that surround themselves with drama. And she has proven to invite and encourage drama in her life. Of course, NOW he sees this about her…. but why the heck did it take this long? Anyone reading this who has been betrayed knows that my next line of thought led to questions that I really didn’t even need to ask.
Did you kiss her every time you saw her? Like how we kiss when you come home or leave for work?[him: not always, maybe half the time.]
Did you get a hard-on from just kissing her like you do with me? Or did she have to coax that out of you? [him: why are you asking this? No, I was never desiring to have sex her. I did it because she wanted it and for some reason I thought she needed it.]
It was only a few questions but he began to get quiet… sink into himself… his eyes dropped. When I leaned over to hug and hold him, I told him that I am not asking these questions to hurt him. I am asking them because when I lay in bed at night this is what keeps me awake. These are the thoughts that haunt me. Why did you write these words in an email? How were all the words meaningless? Am I missing a detail?
What if, what if, what if….. ?
These thoughts become like a downward spiral for me. When I ask them and get an answer they don’t haunt my mind anymore. But these questions and thoughts for him are like knife to his heart. He told me that all he thinks about when we discuss the infidelity is the pain he’s caused me and how much causing that pain kills him. He regresses inside and believes he is a failure… that he no longer deserves me. As the sadness was looming in the room and I was holding him closely, he began to speak after a long silence.
You will never look at me and not see me as a cheater. You will never trust me again. Our marriage will never have that beautiful essense that I cherished, or that I wanted to cherish. I ruined that part of our marriage. I ruined that part of you. I hate that I did this to us, to you. I hate myself. I am a failure. You deserve everything and I knew it. I never thought about what this would do to you or our marriage. I hate what I did. I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to make this up to you and I fear I will never be able to do it. I’ll never be the man I want to be because I fucked up. I hate myself and what I did.
In this breakdown of emotions, I realized he hasn’t allowed himself to mourn the end of the marriage we had. I remember in the wake of D-Day telling him what we were before the affair is irrelevant. The marriage and wonderful relationship we believed we had is over. We will never be that couple again. He rejected this thought and told me his love for me never changed and why did we need to let go of our past? Yes, it kills me too. But I’ve been living the past few months knowing that is what I needed to go. Let go of the marriage we thought we had and start building the one we want. It is sad. It is like a death. A death of something so sacred and special that it shakes you to the core.
I reminded him that hating himself doesn’t help us. He needs to hate what he did. Failure is not defined by a single action. Failure is determined by the end result. Where will you allow your mistakes to take you? Will you improve yourself or let your failures choose your life path?
The mourning of the end of our first marriage sucks. There’s no other word I can write. It just plain sucks. I hate the way my world was shaken apart but it happened. And to quote another blogger… I have to deal with this no matter what path I choose. And so does my husband. He had an affair and that changed everything.