I was reading a comment that another blogger, hiddinsight, wrote to a woman struggling with the aftermath of her husband’s affair. Here is what hiddinsight wrote:
It [the affair beginning] is always soooo subtle. If it happened as fast as a slap in the face, no one would do it. We get sucked in because of the seeming insignificance of one thing. But each compromise leads to the next and you don’t even realize you’re doing it. Well, at one point you do…but you become a master at rationalizing it and making excuses. The longer you’re stuck, the harder it is to return to normal because it’s such a habit.
I sat with my computer in my lap and reread those words about three or four times. Letting it sink in. Letting myself absorb her words. Then I copied them and pasted them into an email to my husband. He responded to me saying he agrees. He said he was mired in the lie(s) in so many different ways. He said we could talk about it later but we’ve been busy with the kids tonight. We have a big family project going on this week and I know he values the time he spends with his kids.I am not going to drag him away from the children to discuss this revelation.
I hesitate to call it a revelation… but it was for me. I guess when you are the betrayed spouse you do get slapped in the face when you find out about the affair. You think of how many steps were taken before the betrayal began. In my mind, it began the moment he decided not to tell me about their friendship. In his head, he didn’t tell me because he never thought it was wrong and he wasn’t attracted to her or seeking the affair. He didn’t tell me because I told him I didn’t like her. I didn’t like her because I could tell she was lying about her career experience and I could also tell that my husband trusted her lies. He rarely doubts or underestimates people in his industry. In fact, he gives them respect they often don’t deserve. One of my pet peeves is his tendancy to inflate someone’s talents above his own. He acknowledges his own qualifications, but I have seen him (more than once) believe that a colleague has significant talent that is not warranted or justified. I could see he was doing this with her and I would not stand for it. So he didn’t tell me about their budding friendship. Once she discovered I was in the dark about their friendship it opened doors. She began flirting. He liked the attention but I don’t think he ever thought her flirtatious behavior and his acceptance for it would lead to an affair. But one secret led to the next until you are so deep you don’t even know why you are there.
I don’t know if this really helps. But it was a thought that caught my eye.