When Tragedy Strikes

ImageWhile cooking dinner tonight, I turned on the tv in the living room. I clicked through my DVR list and decided I would watch today’s episode of Ellen. The episode was interupted by breaking news from Boston to update viewers on the One Fund charity for the victims of the Boston Marathon last week. I kept chopping my veggies for dinner while listening to Mayor Menino and the head of the charity, Ken Something-Or-Other. I was impressed that the donations have poured in and in the span of one week One Fund has raised over $20 million. The mayor started talking about how when tragedy happens it pulls communities together and makes them even stronger.

In the aftermath of an event that shakes our confidence in the order of things it’s vital for communities to come together to reestablish a sense of trust and collective efficacy.

Of course, I immediately applied this to my life and infidelity (because doesn’t everything in our lives always lead to thoughts of the affair/infidelity?). Infidelity is the biggest tragedy my marriage has ever faced. I have to say that it has brought my husband and I closer and created a need for each other that wasn’t there before. A need to be heard, loved and safe for both of us.

What I find striking about the aftermath of my husband’s affair is that the things that I need to feel safe and secure are also what he needs. And it feels good. It feels good to know that when I want to sit and talk about our day, he also is looking forward to telling me about his day. I love seeing him put more effort into making me feel safe and loved than ever before. I love that he is honest with me–brutally honest about his insecurities and vulnerabilities. I love that I now see how important it is for me to be honest about my feelings and emotions and fears. How many times before D-Day did I surpress a thought because I was afraid of hearing the truth? Never again.

Sometimes I think that’s the miracle of it all. That we both need each other. If it was only my needs that were being fulfilled it would lead to an imbalance in the relationship. Yes, my husband is the one who cheated and caused the trauma. I am at a point in my healing where I recognize that he cheated because he was broken, he hated himself and he was not okay. He needs healing as much as I do. We are a couple and we are rebuilding. We are building a stronger marriage and life together in light of the tragedy of his affair.

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6 thoughts on “When Tragedy Strikes

  1. It’s inspiring to know that there is life after death. I hope to be there one day, more whole than I have ever been.

  2. Yes, yes. Wonderful things are possible after such a painful tragedy. As long as both partners are grateful for, and love each other… a marriage can be stronger and better. We are no longer complacent with a mediocre marriage, and that makes all the difference.
    Thank you for this beautiful post..

    • Thanks… That’s what I’ve been realizing these days. We both need to be grateful and honest and raw with each other. I realize how beautiful the core of our marriage really is… it was just hidden by all the bumps and bruises and the monotony of everyday life. You can’t get so caught up in the grunt-work that you forget to enjoy the essence of your being.

  3. And yet this lesson is one that most married couples cannot grasp, not until they have nearly lost each other to the pain and disconnect of infidelity.
    What did Joni Mitchell say? “Don’t it always seem to go…that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone”. That pretty well sums it up for me. So now I fully embrace this new appreciation and gratitude for a relationship that we were not nurturing and not VALUING. It has never felt so good to love, and to be loved by, my husband.

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