The Unexpected Requires a Leap of Faith

I used to believe I knew exactly what I needed to make me happy. I thought I knew what to do to create my happy ending. There was a point where I believed I was living the fairytale life. The fairytale didn’t come easy though; I worked hard to get there and believed that my efforts could never be undone. I was completely unprepared for the unexpected.

Recently, my husband and I have been sucked into watching a TV series on Netflix. We don’t watch many TV shows anymore [since D-Day] but this one drew us both in and we look forward to watching it together. Last week we were watching the season finale (about mid-series) and the episode ended with an unexpected cliffhanger. They killed off one of the main characters and we didn’t see it coming. As we began to watch the first episodes of the next season I felt unsure if I even wanted to keep watching this show anymore. For some reason the murder of this character destroyed my confidence and trust in the show. It’s just a TV show but my trust was shaken.

buddha quoteI know that sounds silly but it’s a parallel emotion to how I felt on my D-Day. I thought I knew the direction my life was headed. I believed I had made decisions to safeguard what I valued in my life. I am a pretty laid-back person too. I don’t tend to overreact to the unexpected. When my husband lost his job I didn’t freak out but instead I believed things would work themselves out the way they were meant to be. I usually take things as they come but, this, my husband having an affair, was different. His affair wasn’t just unexpected; it was something he had consciously done that threatened our marriage. In that moment of discovery I didn’t know if I could go on. At least with my TV show I can make the decision to stop watching it. But this, this was my life. I couldn’t press the stop button.

It’s not like this was the first time in my life something unexpected happened. But the beauty of self-reflection is that when I look back on my life I can see how events that could have destroyed me actually shaped me, making me stronger. These things made my life better, richer and fuller. The biggest unexpected event in my life before D-Day was finding out I was pregnant with our first child. We weren’t married and I was a senior in college. I had always done the right thing in life: straight A’s, studying at one of the best University’s in the country… essentially I was a good girl that neglected to use a condom. In that moment when I stared at the pregnancy test with my [now] husband I felt devastated, scared and shattered. I honestly didn’t know if I could go on because a pregnancy meant that everything was going to change. No matter my choice, to have the baby or end the pregnancy, it meant everything was going to be different from that point in my life. There were things I had to give up but in the end, I gained so much more. That was part of the foundation of our marriage. It was the unexpected beginning to something I believed was amazing. I still do.

The unexpected is what has shaped my life the most. Those twists and turns that I didn’t anticipate have enriched my life more than anything I ever planned. The benefit isn’t usually immediately visible when our confidence is shattered. Sometimes life requires a leap of faith. In spite of the fear of what happened we keep going. We continue to believe that life is good in spite of our situation. We continue to believe that marriage is beautiful in spite of the affair.

Sometimes life is hard and it breaks us. Sometimes we have to let life change us and take us down a road we never expected. Sometimes we have to lean into the pain; face the unexpected with courage. We are like a lotus flower that grows in the mud. We are learning to let our petals open one by one again. Our lives haven’t gone as planned but we are still beautiful.

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23 thoughts on “The Unexpected Requires a Leap of Faith

  1. It is ironic…the most devastating event of your life, can actually bring you closer with your husband. I never believed my therapist and best girlfriends when they said this to me, but 13 months after our D-Day, we are much closer than we had been in the years leading up to my husband’s affair. He is more affectionate and loving. I can see his happiness in his smile and the way he looks at me again or the way he holds me after we make love. And while, I understand my love for him and leap of faith may be part of what is moving us forward, I cannot help myself from going back to the pain at times. Remembering the things that happened after my discovery of the affair, his reluctance to let his affair person go, his feelings for her, his betrayal of my trust and the loss of a marriage I thought I had sometimes make me doubt my ability to truly move past this. The enormity of the betrayal and devastation lingers. One day at a time is what I tell myself. We are certainly much stronger and happier as a married couple than we were a year ago. I know this a work in progress and each new day begins with an opportunity. I have to believe all of this has happened for a reason and I pray one day I will understand the reasoning behind this madness.

  2. your posts are inspiring and I feel as though our struggles are identical. Like you, we have been married for over 10 years and have 3 children. The last few months (my day was Oct 21, 2013) have been almost unbearable. It’s so hard to forgive the things that you can’t comprehend or understand. Thank you for sharing your story and insight. We are working every second to try and repair our marriage, reading others stories gives me hope.

  3. What a great post! Yes the affair was horrible. We didn’t ask for this to be a part of our marriage but we persevere in spite of it. Good for you for seeing hard road ahead but seeing value in the whole journey. Big hugs!

  4. Although I have been following your blog for a few months now, this is my fist time commenting. I cannot even begin to tell you how much your story inspires me. It is so nice to read about someone going through almost the same exact thing that I am.
    I am almost five months in from D-day. Hands down, the worse day of my life. We have been married for ten years and have four kids. I feel that my husbands betrayal hit me twice as hard, because the girl that he chose to wreck our marriage and leave his family for was also my friend.
    He has since come to his senses and came home begging for forgiveness. We are currently in a ton of marriage counseling and I am trying with everything that I have to forgive him. His words and his actions show me that he is very remorseful, but it is still an uphill battle that I do not wish on anyone. He was my rock…..my very best friend. So, here I sit, sorry to admit that I am now a part of this club. I still cannot believe it as I type it. Even though we had problems, I always knew that I could trust him. I would even hear of other couples speaking of cheating spouses and I would breathe a sigh of relief that I would never have that issue with my husband. Boy was I off. Way off.
    Thank you for sharing your story and helping us wives out there who feel so broken. You are truly making a difference.

    • Thank you for sharing with me too. I never believed I would find myself here… part of this group either. At some point along the way it began to feel like a part of me. Something good that came out of this. I would rather share any other commonality in the world with all of you but here we are. Hopefully, we can all put our broken pieces back together again.

  5. By the way, we just finished the whole Dexter series on Netflix. I cried like a baby when it was over. Fantastic show. I am assuming that the episode that your post spoke of is the one that had to do with his wife, Rita?

  6. My therapist recommended the book ‘Surviving the Affair’ by Willard Harley and Jennifer Harley Chalmers. It is a great book that every woman surviving this should read.

  7. Hi, I’ve been reading your blog all weekend. My husband also had an affair. My D-day is October 6, really the week of because it took him almost a week to admit to all of it. He says it started as a friendship in June and a month later got physical…. I knew pretty much the whole time that something wasn’t right, it took me almost 6 weeks to even look up his cell records and even then I was confused and hurt. I couldn’t figure out why he was getting so many restricted calls and talking for hours a day. It crossed my mind that he might be seeing someone but I just as soon dismissed it …. It just didnt make sense to me. My husband loved me and our 3 children, everyone knew my husband loved me. We had gone through a really tough time with him having a life threatening illness the last few years and multiple surgeries. So he had been sick and in pain and distant because of all that. He turned 40 years old weeks after his last surgery and completely changed. It blows my mind to this day. I think over the years of his being sick he got hooked on pain pills and has said his body felt so strong after finally getting off the pills and not being in pain any longer….. I agree with a lot of what I’ve read that you say are the reasons behind his choices, self esteem, etc. I just can’t seem to stop obsessing over the phone records and trying to pinpoint exactly what happened and when. He tells me he loved me before, during and after the affair. He tells me he doesn’t know who he was at the time, and I can say he didn’t act like himself at all. We would talk about it sometimes in the evenings when he came home and I remember saying I dont know who you are, you are not my husband.
    I am 10 years younger then my husband, we’ve always had a great and very active sex life. I dropped everything when he was sick and stayed with him every minute every time he was hospitalized. I’m a homemaker and my husband loves it, he always bragged about what I was doing with the house, yard and the kids.
    He said he told her when she asked that we had a great sex life, he told her that he loved me. He said when she realized he was ending it she went nuts, screaming that she would hurt me. He said that she wanted my life and that her husband is physically abusive. I halfway think that was a story she made up towards the end to gain my husbands sympathy but I called her husband the day after I found out her name and he went crazy, started screaming at me that I was crazy, his wife was not having an affair and he said he knows my husband and his wife is allowed to have friends. He said I was crazy and to not contact him or his wife. Just because of the volume of his screaming when I was speaking completely calm, and his name calling I’m not do sure that he isn’t violent.
    The OW is a complete opposite from me, long blonde hair, skirts and heels every day, tons of make up, as non family oriented as you could get….. And she’s crazy as hell. We found out after it was over that despite being married herself and being a mother she’s had multiple affairs with married men in our small community, she told my husband that she loved him and couldn’t believe she was having an affair. She gave him a second cell phone to use to talk to her when I started paying extra attention to his records.
    I was so alone and sad and confused during the affair. The day he told me her name I was getting ready to pack up and leave because I was so tired of his lies. Immediately after I felt so close to him, he was slowly telling me all of it and we spent so much time just holding each other and crying, after a couple weeks we started having crazy sex around the clock and then slowly I started getting mad. The anger faded but still flares up with only a moments notice. I feel so shut down and sad most of the time and I’m not sure what to do to shake myself out of it. I just keep wondering “how could you”??!!! I started smoking again after having quit 7 years ago. I just want to be alone….. I’m not myself at all and I hate it!!!!!!!

  8. Also similarly my husband says of the maybe 10 times they had a sexual encounter he only got an erection 2-3 times which does not happen at home….. He said sometimes he also would pretend he was with me…. He said the sex was not good and he wasn’t attracted to her. I’m just thinking, it feels like such a cop out. But your husband said almost identical things so I guess it could be. I just can’t wrap my brain around it!!!!! And I feel so much hatred and anger for her!!!!!! At the same time, she was not the person I was married to, he was. Our 10 year wedding anniversary is coming up and it makes me feel sick. He asked me if I’d marry him again and I want to want to so bad. I’m jaded, I’m in mourning and I’m sad!!!!!! I don’t even have it in me to be the mother I was right now. My own reactions are pissing me off!!! I was always positive and bright and strong. I feel like he F-ed me up and then that irritates me even more that I’d allow him/her/whatever to have that amount of power over me.

    • I just finished reading your last two comments. Just reading what you wrote reminds me of everything I went through. I was just like you and I needed to know all the details. I needed to know when, how, where, what was said, etc. I felt months searching for answers that I may never get. There may just never be an answer that will make it all better and it won’t go away. I tried wishing it was all a dream for months–that didn’t work. 🙂
      You just found out in Oct of 2013, right? You are still so much in the beginning but I am sure it’s getting better every day. I was always so confident and strong too but this devastated me. I guess I didn’t realize how much I relied on his love to give me that security/confidence.
      As for renewing your vows that is personal. I recall reading and hearing from couples that were against renewing their vows. I think I wrote a post about it somewhere on here. My husband and I have not renewed our vows. Mostly because I just don’t think it will help or change anything. It won’t fix anything and if we do someday renew our vows I don’t want it to be the result of his affair. Some people feel differently and they buy new rings and everything. Personally, I love my ring and my husband’s band too. So I don’t want to replace them. But that’s just me.
      Take care of yourself. You sound a lot like me so I feel like I know where you are coming from.

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