Easter weekend was like a breath of fresh air for me. I kept my mind stable and enjoyed the warmth of Spring that was teasing the Northeast. I randomly ran into an old friend last weekend. I hadn’t seen her in at least two years but our history goes back about sixteen years. In fact, we met about the same time I met my husband. So she has known us before we were married and pre-children. We now live in different parts of the state and keep up with each other on Facebook. She’s one of those friends you don’t need to see or talk to all the time, you just pick up wherever you are now in life.
Needlesstosay, she does not know about my husband’s affair. I imagine if she did know she would be matter-of-fact about it and just ask what I was doing about it. I didn’t tell her about the affair because it didn’t seem relevant and we were surrounded by eavesdropping ears. As she was about to walk away she said:
How are you and ____ [insert my husband’s name]? You two are the happiest married couple I know and if you tell me it’s a facade it’ll destroy me!
Until that moment in our conversation I had forgotten about my husband’s affair but then there it was like a cartoon cloud that just appears and rains on only you. Luckily, enough time has passed since D-Day that I was able to offer a sarcastic comment and laugh with my friend. So the question is out there now.
Is our relationship a facade?
I mean, I love my husband and I am fighting for this marriage because I believe in our love and the amazing potential of our relationship. But the truth of the matter is that we are still living in a world of hurt and pain. Yes, the pain is in the background now, but it is still everpresent. It doesn’t control me as much or make me fall apart on a regular consistant basis. So will our relationship always be a facade or will it ever be real again?
At least one or two nights every week my husband and I lay in bed with me asking questions, probing for answers and looking for something to ease my pain. Sometimes I find it and sometimes I don’t. My husband struggles with me saying that we will never have our pre-affair relationship back. His choice to have a yearlong affair will never slip from my memory completely and he will always wish he could go back in time and make better decisions to protect our marriage. He is struggling to grasp that we can never go back–our relationship is now defined (as much as I said it wouldn’t) as pre-affair, affair and post-affair. I do believe that if we stay the course and continue to rebuild that we will have a better marriage than what we started with more than twelve years ago.
My husband wants us to have our old marriage back. Why? He believes the affair was 100% his doing and was not because of our marriage or me. So he continues to hope that I will love him like I did before he cheated. I don’t really know that I love him any differently but we need to reestablish trust and respect. Every time we have this discussion I ask him why he has such a hard time understanding that we can’t go back? I can’t ever love him without knowing that he cheated. I will never have a husband that was faithful. I will never have a husband who didn’t lie and deceive me for over a year. I will never trust any relationship he has and I will always question that he is hiding information from me about the people he spends time with and places he goes.
This is the result of his affair.
A marriage forever changed. Will I ever not feel pain? Will I ever trust him and my decision to stay and rebuild? Will I ever not feel like I deserved more? I really don’t know but I love him enough to fight for our marriage.