2014: The Year of Release from the Past

2013

The past month has flown by with the blink of an eye. It’s hard to believe that tonight I will be toasting in 2014 and letting go of 2013. I am surprised how much I am looking forward to putting 2013 behind me and moving on.

Over the past week I’ve been thinking about where I feel stuck and why I still find myself struggling with the affair at times. Looking at my life right now I am happy, content and there is a sense of appreciation that I’ve never experienced before. I appreciate and express my gratitude openly for my husband, my children and myself. Yet, there are still moments when I struggle and find my eyes filling with tears for the aspects of my life that I did not choose, the husband I never expected to betray me, the feeling that there is something lost or maybe it was missing all along. I’m not sure anymore. The struggles are rooted in pain but I know this pain is in my past. The affair is in the past. So why do I feel like the past defines the present? Why can’t I just let the past live where it belongs?

There are moments when my husband’s affair is like dark shadow that looms over my happiness. It makes me question him despite his actions today. He is doing almost everything right. Trust is just so difficult to earn back. Following the moments I am most vulnerable I fall apart. There is an element of fear that still dwells deep within me but I am beginning to see this fear is rooted in nothing.

I told my husband once that I never thought once he would cheat on me I always believed he was a better person than me. He was surprised to hear me say that. I’m not sure why but I really believed that he made me a better, stronger, more intelligent person. He was some form of inspiration for me. I never wanted to let him down because he believed in me. I believed he was the perfect man for me.

Now I doubt that last sentence. Could he possibly be the perfect man or husband for me if he cheated? I think my belief that he was my perfect match pushed me away from discovering the truth sooner than I did. I can look back at the time he was cheating and pinpoint dates that I questioned myself, our marriage and I was struggling… but I never questioned him until the affair was practically in front of my face. I couldn’t let go of my vision of him. This vision of a man who loved me with an affection only poets wrote about hundreds of years ago. The irony? I think he believed the same thing; he believed he loved me more than any man had ever loved another woman. Yet his love failed us both when it was challenged.

But we must move forward. I realize that so much of how we judge our lives and the people in it is by their past. When the pain resurfaces from the affair and I cannot help but see my husband for what he has done—betrayed our marriage, our friendship, and our family. It’s so hard in those moments of pain to be present.

To be right here in this moment.

Pain keeps me from being present in my own life and I am tired of it. I am looking at 2014 and I am hopeful that I can leave the pain from our past where it belongs. I want to shed the pain like a heavy coat and be the woman I am meant to be.

I want to live for today, not yesterday. I want to leave the demons in the past and release their control over me.

2014 will be a year of release. I am releasing myself from my past. I don’t need to go back to the beginning anymore. There is nothing in my past that can change my story today.

Happy New Year. Cheers!

Happy New Year

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23 thoughts on “2014: The Year of Release from the Past

  1. You have said it perfectly! I know I will get through this ….we will get through this…one step at a time..one moment at a time…happy new year… as my husband says we are moving FORWARD… I wish peace for everyone here and beyond…

  2. Happy New year to everyone who is starting out on a life changing journey,I’ve decided after nearly a year of finding out my Husband cheated Feb 4th,that I am leaving after so much soul searching,I’m excited for the future but frightened to start the change,but after the worst yer of my life I’m ready,ready for a new adventure how many of us
    stay because of what’s familiar,for what’s easy,my Husband and his affair partner robbed me of my spirit and inspiration I will never allow another man or woman do this to me again,as when I first found
    out I wasn’t strong enough to leave,now I do I am a different woman,I took last year till now to repair me and I it’s been so hard,at 41 I sit here writing this to all of you so you can understand my decision,my Husbands Dad died and he crumbled and I picked
    him up I loved him and nurtured him so he could function again,when he told me he couldn’t have children 8 years ago I said our love is enough,our life will have a different journey,so I sit here at 41 feel like I’ve been robbed of having a family,never knowing what it’s like to be a Mum and I have this
    ache for a chil,his love was enough but now it’s not,I’m excited for my future and I’m going looking for that love I yearn for,I’m frightened of actually
    saying the words I’m leaving but my hearts happy that I’ve made the right decision for me as I can’t live with the fact he didn’t love me enough to say no and he made a woman make me feel less than,so I’m stronger now and look forward to a new chapter I’m going to spread my wings and fly xx

    • Birdy,

      I sit in the very same dilemma as you. On March 4, 2013, Two days after our 11th anniversary I confirmed that my husband was having an affair for over 1 year. He had lost his father/his best friend the year prior to and was in a deep dark place. Never in a million years would I think he would have an affair. Although I know he was running from reality. I cannot live with the reality of what has happened. For seven month after finding out he was so defensive and said some pretty horrible things to be because he didn’t like the reality of how bad he hurt his son and myself. Now he is trying hard to be patient and listen to me without being defensive but because I know so much about his affair everything seems so tainted. Like you I will definitely love but never trust anyone this deep again. So many friends looked up to our relationship in awe and jealous of what we had. I use to say if I couldn’t make it work with him that it would never work with anyone. Never thinking I would have to test that theory. Now I look at him so different and feel so hurt inside. Although I will love him deeply for the rest of my life I struggle whether staying in this marriage the rest of my life. I hear others who have been in this same position that years later their relationship is better than before and this is where my struggle begins. There is no way to have a deeper trust and love than to what we had and since there is no way to go back and undo the past this is the best my relationship with him is going to be. Since I will never trust anyone as I trusted and love him why not stay. I love him or is it just the fear of change that keeps me here.

      • I have learned through all this to just have faith. Have faith in myself, have faith in my choices. I am doing the best I can with what I have. You said your husband is being patient and listening–that is huge. There is hope in that alone. Trust takes time to rebuild and it may never be 100% again. Choosing to stay in the marriage is personal and there will be moments you doubt you know what to do. I always feel like the decision to stay or go does not need to be made immediately or all at once. And that’s okay. Take care of yourself. Know your fears but don’t let them control your life choices. Take care.

  3. Good luck for 2014. I hope you will continue to find new happiness and find release from the pains of the past which still hold on by a thread.
    Birdy I don’t agree that it is ‘easier’ to stay. Committing to rebuilding a relationship after such a devastating blow takes courage, determination and enduring immense pain and soul searching. It means looking at your own faults and failures and accepting your role in the breakdown of the relationship. Leaving also takes immense courage; after years of being a couple taking a leap and starting out on your own again is a terrifying prospect; I know a number of people who have delayed leaving a relationship in which they where clearly not happy because of fear of the unknown. Convincing only themselves that they were staying for the right reasons. Each situation is different and you have obviously decided that your love for your husband, and his for you, is not strong enough to survive this hurdle; that you are both unable to move beyond the bitterness and pain to forgive each other. An affair is a symptom of deeper issues, which are not always resolvable. We all deserve to be happy and I wish you luck and forgiveness on your new path.
    For all of those still on they’re journey, only you know whether you have stayed for comfort and familiarity, or for love. Make your own choices and be sure they are the right ones for you; not for others, be true to yourself. Happy New year

  4. Thankyou for your kind words,my actual words were many of us find it easier to stay,i would never undermine anyone’s decision to stay as it is a personal one and in the long run probably the harder thing to do,and takes an immense amount of courage and determination to forgive and mend what was broken,I would never question another woman’s decision or comment as its not my place to,but a lot of women do find it easier to stay as when your broken you just want normality,to feel whole again without coping with the turmoil of leaving.
    As for My love for my Husband,I will always love him,I have grown up with him,give my all to him and I can honestly say I have given my all to save it,like you said we are all different and my post wasn’t to take the strength away from the woman that stay,it was just my personal story of how I felt I have loved my husband unconditionally and now it’s time to take care of me and to every woman who stays I admire you I really do and I wish you every happiness x

  5. As my year 2013 is over I can not be happier. I am 4 months out from D-Day today. I love how you state things. I feel like I am so much further than I should be in this process but then the past looms again. 2014 is going to be a year of gratitude for all the great friends and strangers who have helped me through this journey. I felt so alone in this as it began but when I have a quick minute I am continuing to work through every post of this blog. We are all in this together and I am thankful for all the extra friends who are living the same hell. As far as my update we have continued to struggle with Pernicious “bunny boiler” but without this fight I am not sure we would be as strong as we are today. I feel like I have a minor in law at this point. After all of this I am pretty sure my husband will not stray again. See…another reason to be thankful. My husband continues to pray, go to counseling, write, read and grow in our marriage. Again I am thankful…I did read the book “husbands affair best thing that ..” There were definitely parts that were helpful if you have not read it. We watched Fire Proof too. Good movie but serious tear jerker. To my surprise my husband did that book at the beginning of this hell. I had no idea but some of the healing I know has come from his refocus and commitment to me. Well I have to run. Keep sharing and have a great year!

  6. I stumbled across your blog today on a day I really needed it. 2013 was the worst year of my life after discovering my husbands affair. We are work in process and I still love him dearly. He has been the perfect husband and I know loves me and is remorseful. I find I have good days and others I really struggle to put the past behind me. Reading your blog was like reading my own story.

  7. From “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp (pg 177I gnaw my lip. The body howls when joy is extinguished. The face shrivels in pain), the voice pitches angry cry. “No man can live without joy” is what Thomas Aquinas wrote…….
    Only self can kill joy.
    I’m the one doing this to me.
    Joy is a flame that glimmers only in the palm of the open and humble hand. In an open and humble palm, released and surrendered to receive, light dances, flickers happy. The moment the hand is clenched tight, fingers all pointing toward self and rights and demands, joy is snuffed out. Anger is the lid that suffocates joy until she lies limp and lifeless. And for me, it ‘s a cosmic-numbing notion that far eclipses this domestic moment. It speaks to the whole of my life and the vision brands me: The demanding of my own will is the singular force that smothers out joy-nothing else.
    Pride, mine- that beast pulls on the mask of anger-this is what snaps this hand shut, crushes joy. When I would read Henry Ward Beecher’s words later, I’d take it for my own story, so familiar his thoughts “Pride slays thanksgiving…..A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves. Dare I ask what I think I deserve? A life of material comfort? A life free of all trials, hardship, all suffering? A life with no discomfort, no inconveniences?….

    Humbly let go. Let God blow His wind, His trials oxygen for joy’s fire. Leave hand open and be. Be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love and whisper surprised thanks. This is the fuel for joy’s flame. fullness of joy is discovered only in the emptying of will. I can empty because I am full of His love. I can trust.
    I can let go.
    I hadn’t known joy meant dying.
    But dying to self demands that I might gratefully and humbly receive the better, the only things that a good God gives.

    And somewhere I can’t find now she writes,
    “What we behold will determine how we behold.”

      • I am glad you enjoyed that. I dont know if you willl post it because of all the God references. If you need to edit any of it you may.
        I first wrote you in reply to your Thanksgiving post. I’ve been holding onto that phrase of pushing past pain while trying to be present. I’ve been in that place a long time. My husband wrote you, name- never sorry enough. It was very painful to read what he wrote but I tried to remain grateful he reached out.
        I did have an emotional affair of my own. After many years of asking and reaching out to my husband I eventually grew hard hearted. Not easy to say, but I see it now.. An old friendship came back to me and mean more and make me feel more than it should have. No I love yous but like my best friend in my pocket. Lots of texting, nothing sexual.
        My husband’s was, and I was so upset he didn’t make that distinction in his note to you.. although he says it was only cyber/phone ….our sex life was pretty much the only way we did still connect. His AP is also someone from his past, that wasn’t revealed as a friend, as my friend was. Our wedding invitations almost didn’t go out bc of his hiding her. I let it go fairly easily, didn’t ask much or push to know about her. It turns out we ended up getting married on her bday, his password numbers have always been their bdays, so there was “no need to change them” he says. And here 6 days away from a year of finding out and just last week I find out this has always served as her passwords too. Trivial in a way I know, but given he just read a post from recovering wayward entitled “20 biggest mistakes cheaters make after the affair” and it blew him away because he has behaved these ways all year, I’ve really been struggling with the feeling that he really loves this person and just isn’t reflecting enough to know.
        I hope that made sense and wasn’t to run-on ish.
        I have longed to see remorse, be treated sensitvely. Your post where you describe how when you bring it up you can see it hurt your husband…I wish for a moment like that. Answering questions..ugh…has been torture.
        So you can’t imagine how touched I was when I read your response to him and it brought tears to my eyes and some sadness that even a stranger can understand.
        I thank you for all your sharing again.
        Thanks for listening here. Would love to hear your feedback as you are very insightful and intuitive.

  8. It is a resolution I have also made. Your words strike my very core as of today.

    I discovered my husbands affair in May. He is a great man who made a 2 month error in his life.

    Sometimes I wonder if we are all stereotypes in this big world, taking the same ride?;) God bless all who are struggling! It’s is but a strong few who survive going through hell, but we will all be stronger for it. I have made it clear of the hump through my own hard soul searching and lots of submitting to God. Happy New year! Toast to the survivors! May someday we wear our scars proudly!!

  9. What you have said is exactly what I heve been feeling since 9 Nov 2012. There are good moments, and there are low times whereby I will lose all my composure and just sit there to cry, feeling helpless and hopeless. Yet, I still need to maintain my happy front for the sake of my children.

    2013 has been a difficult journey, and I am not sure what 2014 will bring. I can only hope for strength to overcome each hurdle that comes along.

  10. I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments in this post. It feels like a relief to finally have 2013 over and done with. I’m looking forward to the continued growth that I know 2014 will bring. The affair crosses my mind less and less, and when it does the sting has lessened. I know it will always be a part of our history, but we’re working hard to not let it define us. I feel that writing about it has helped me process it as a past tense occurrence. I’m reliving it once in word form and then leave it there. I can take with me all that it has taught me, but leave those bitter, painful emotions in the past. I’m looking forward to the future with a positive, hopeful attitude and it sounds like you are, too. I wish you all the best in 2014!

    • Thank you–you too. It’s almost a relief to close the door on 2013. Sometimes I think it’s funny to put so much emphasis on a new year–afterall, our days aren’t dependent on a date in history. But there’s a metaphorical change that happens and I am happy to put the past behind us.

  11. I wish you luck! My husband had sexting affairs and then physical. I am divorcing him. It takes a strong woman to stay and a strong woman to leave. We were married 12 years and have four children. Your blog is nice to read. Pain is felt either way. 2014 will bring new awakenings. Best wishes.

  12. Thank you for your blog. I have just discovered my husband’s affair in the last 3 months. It is nice to see others who are farther along on this bumpy journey.

  13. “There are moments when my husband’s affair is like dark shadow that looms over my happiness. It makes me question him despite his actions today. He is doing almost everything right. Trust is just so difficult to earn back. Following the moments I am most vulnerable I fall apart. There is an element of fear that still dwells deep within me but I am beginning to see this fear is rooted in nothing.

    I told my husband once that I never thought once he would cheat on me I always believed he was a better person than me. He was surprised to hear me say that. I’m not sure why but I really believed that he made me a better, stronger, more intelligent person. He was some form of inspiration for me. I never wanted to let him down because he believed in me. I believed he was the perfect man for me.”
    Wow! When I read this it is like you are inside my head. I too always told people that my husband is a better person than me and yet here we are. He cheated, I didn’t. When I told him that I always thought he was better than me he said that’s ridiculous. You are stronger than me, I am weak. I wish you well this year in your recovery. I can’t wait until I feel like that. For now though I am still struggling … better but struggling.Thank you for having this blog. I think it is a life saver for many women. LB

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