Thoughts for today

I know it’s been a while since I last posted. I keep beginning to write and walking away. But today I was thinking about this journey and realizing how it all began. One of my biggest struggles over the past year (+) has been accepting that my marriage may not have been as perfect as I thought. I spent over ten years believing that my marriage was special, better than most and rock-solid. I was one of those people who rolled their eyes when someone said: “marriage is hard work.” I whole-heartedly believed that marriage was only hard-work for those who probably shouldn’t have been married in the first place. So should I add my name to that list? Maybe.

The truth is I was naïve. I grew up believing in fairytale romance. I fell head-over-heels in love with my husband from the start. Whenever we recount our first meeting we both say it was love at first sight. Not some crazy, unrealistic love but the understanding that something real and life-changing was beginning. I believed in true love, destiny, and fate. I believed that good always conquered evil. I believed that the prince defeated the evil witch in the name of love. Most of all, my beliefs were a security blanket from all the fears and insecurities I feel now.

In the beginning of my love story, I forgave and understood mistakes more easily. I believed that love was more powerful than me/us and sometimes those beliefs allowed me displace blame when something went wrong. I kept a diary during the entire dating period of our relationship. My diary was a security blanket for me. A place for me to store my thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams. I stopped writing in a diary after we were married. I look back and wonder if I stopped writing because I was too busy and exhausted or because I no longer felt the need to store my thoughts on the pages of a book. It’s also possible I was afraid to express that I had any fears or frustrations because we were perfect for each other. If I wrote down on paper that something wasn’t perfect then I would need to accept it. Then what? Even more interesting, I started writing this blog shortly after D-Day; a journal open to anyone to read. Why was I willing to expose my fears, insecurities and failures after my life’s most tragic experience? Maybe I wanted some confirmation that I wasn’t alone. My new security blanket.

failureI realize now that my husband’s affair wasn’t my choice but I indirectly share part of the blame. In the beginning of our relationship my husband often put me second. Not with his heart but with his actions. He’s older than me and he had a career. At the time, it seemed perfectly reasonable for him to be late because of work commitments. I wanted him to be successful so I often allowed myself to take a backseat. Then we married and had a family. He clearly loved me and was devoted to me but he was also dedicated to whatever job he had at the time. He sometimes missed family celebrations, holidays, birthdays and weddings. Everyone understood. His career required him to work odd schedules; weekends and holidays weren’t always a given. He was willing to sacrifice being present in our lives for his career. Family and friends became accustomed to me attending events alone. People joked that my husband was imaginary and it bothered me but I knew he loved me. We were soul mates so it didn’t matter if he missed Christmas with his family or our niece’s baptism. I rarely pushed back. In fact, early in our relationship I decided I didn’t want to miss out on events. Regardless of whether my husband could attend I went to everything I could. Being present and supportive for my family and friends is something I hold sacred. Ironically, I wonder if it’s because that is something that I’ve never received from my most significant relationships.

Through the years, our perfect relationship/marriage was built on this tacit agreement that my husband may not always be available but his love would always be genuine. When I went back to work I also invested myself into my job. The kids came first in my life but I invested too much of my energy into my job. It was easy though. My husband was working again, the kids were all in full-time school and I was being rewarded for doing an outstanding job at work. I was earning bonuses, raises and promotions. I had watched my husband invest his time and energy in his career for over fifteen years and now it was my turn. Except my husband saw my commitment to my work as a reflection of how I felt about him. In a way, he could dish it out but he couldn’t take it. I became aware during the time of my husband’s affair that our marriage was not perfect. It’s funny because if I had listened to myself I would have known immediately he was cheating. I told a girlfriend one month before his affair became sexual that my husband and I weren’t connecting on an intimate level anymore. She convinced me we needed a romantic weekend away but we weren’t able to take it until the next summer. That happened to be the weekend getaway when my husband realized how much I loved him and I was attracted to him except he was almost a year in to his adulterous affair.

Marriage is work. It can both strengthen and break us. I spent the first ten years of my marriage believing it was easy because I married my soul mate. I don’t know if I even believe in having a soul mate anymore but I do believe that we are all human. We are all capable of failure even in our most sacred relationships. Often our failures are rooted in our own hesitation, insecurities and doubt. I had a false sense of security for almost my entire adult life. Tragically, that security is what was lost in my husband’s affair. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever recover that feeling of safety or if the loss is just part of life. Maybe as we grow older we shed our childish beliefs and the harsh reality is there is no security blanket large enough to keep us forever safe. I know when my husband holds me close in bed I’ve never felt more safe but life can’t be lived in a bed. I am beginning to accept that I need to be the one providing my security blanket. Step-by-step I’m reconstructing my life and relationships with the hope that I will be stronger and better than before. I need to have faith in myself and not in the ideas of soul mates, fate and destiny.

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24 thoughts on “Thoughts for today

  1. Thank you. I so needed to read this today. It’s been nearly 8 months for me now and it amazes me that I have survived this long and the pain is easing.
    My husband also put me second to his work for a long time, even more so during his affair, as being a co worker, the other woman was part of ‘work’. Since Dday he hasn’t stayed away for work but now it is becoming apparent that it is going to be necessary again. It’s only ever for one night but I still feel so scared at the thought of it. What you said, ‘I know when my husband holds me close in bed I’ve never felt more safe but life can’t be lived in a bed. I am beginning to accept that I need to be the one providing my security blanket.’ This is how I feel (when we’re together I can feel his love and devotion) and where I need to get to. I no longer worry that he is going to look her up or find someone new but I just don’t feel safe when he’s in the city where it happened. I want to be strong enough to be ok when he is there over night. That is my aim.
    It’s good to see you back, I’ve missed you 🙂

  2. This is wild; I could have written your post. I had the same exact perspective about my marriage and also married an older man with a big career. His career, too, required him to miss social events and holidays, and I was also teased for having an invisible husband.

    Oddly enough, my D-Day is exactly the same day as mine.

    And I feel your current insecurity now as well. We share VERY similar journeys! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thanks for sharing. The similarities are always uncanny. Before my husband’s affair I was secure in myself and my relationship. Probably to a fault. I too would never push back on my husband’s career or hobbies. I thought I was doing him a favor, and at any rate, it didn’t matter if we had very little time together because I thought we were invincible. I was that secure.

    I find that I am very insecure about myself and my relationship now. My husband has completely changed from the person who cheated on me. He is so loving and kind, but there is always that doubt in my mind that it won’t stay that way and that he isn’t going to be interested in me in the long run. Afterall, he has shown what he is capable of. I was a very confident and able person before all of this. I wonder if I will ever be the same. Do you feel insecure in your relationship too?

  4. I agree with “Palindroming around with Anna”. I was so excited to read your post. I look forward to it. You were the first post I ever read when I took the step to blog for the first time. My thoughts, fears etc. You get it and I get you. Your posts are truly about healing and its wonderful. God gave you a gift for writing. I read your posts and wish we lived close by and could meet every week to boost each other up but I’ll take this just the same. Thanks. I know now that my husband cannot be my security blanket, only God can truly be my security in life because we are human and people will disappoint us, hurt us, etc. We just have to try and think like God and realize a mistake is a mistake no what the circumstances but I’ve got a long way to go on that one, its a process and I can live with that. ;o) blessings

    • I always wish many of you lived closer and we could gather for coffee. I feel a kindred spirit with so many women on here. Most of you know a side of me that I don’t share with anyone else but my husband. Thank you.

  5. I had thought the same things and have looked back on anything that i could have done to help push this affair as well. I have realized the faults of my own and am working on correcting it. Change is a big thing and forgiveness as well. Healing will always take time. Strength should always be encouraged and the love will begin to build again slowly but surly. You blog has helped me along the way as well.
    Hoping for nothing but the best for you and your family!

  6. you have inspired me and I value your comments—-I just cannot trust and feel loved again—he lied,cheated,took advantage of my trust in him—-there are no excuses for betrayal–no matter how many times he tells me he loves me.i just cannot belive it—-did he love me when he lied to me.told me he was working but was with her—I so much wished I could find strength in your words but I cannot,i try but I cannot forget the lies—–it is not about forgiving mistakes it is about betrayal,lies and lies—how can you forgive people that lie to you—I did not cheat but I am the one paying for it—im the one in hell,not him

  7. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. I get tears in my eyes everytime I read your blogs not because they make me sad but because someone else actually feels exactly like I do. I know I’m not crazy for struggling and for feeling insecure because of my husband’s affair. You are an amazingly brave, strong woman.

  8. The day you posted this was the day I found out my husband of 30 years had an affair. We have been that perfect couple for 38 years, or so I thought. I’m starting on my own journey now. Thank you for being there.

  9. I have just passed my 1 year D-Day, 22 Feb. It has been one very hard year. The last week or two I have just been feeling like I just happened yesterday and I can’t believe it is a year. Some days the anger is so fresh and the hurt and humiliation rise all over again.
    I am sadly doing the healing on my own, as my husband and not spoken about it or given any answers. He recently lost his job ( which as stressful as that is ) was a weight lifted off, as he was still working with the Skank Bag Bimbo. The last few days have just had this feeling at the pit of my stomach that they have made contact. I have no proof of this, but after D-day I promised my self that I would ALWAYS trust my instincts!! So I have to wonder is this feeling just my in securities or do I follow that feeling in the pit of my stomach. I so don’t want to be that stressed out crazy person I was sneaking around checking everything I can find!! Is this just the one year “jitters” I don’t want to be in this space anymore but the feelings are so real! I am back to checking her “status” etc to try and reassure myself that she is still with her Fiancé of many years (also worries me that they still have not married after many years of being engaged) and it seems they are still together. This feeling is causing me to feel sick to my stomach!! It is time to get this SBB out of my head. Why do I give her this power over me??
    Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!

    • Hi Moiramccarter, I have NOT passed my one year anniversary yet (D-Day was March, but he didn’t admit until August when he was fired) but things are getting better and the way that they have gotten better is because my husband is responsible in helping me heal. How he’s helping me heal is..He’s accountable and by that I mean, he always tells me where he’s going, if he’s going to be late coming home, I can look at his cell phone and email anytime I want. He’s consistent and consistency is the best medicine for you. Always trust your instincts but if your husband truly wants to work on the marriage and gain trust back must talk to you about the affair, be accountable to you and the both you should figure out where things got so out of control. First and foremost ‘IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!’ Blessings to you and your husband. P.S. I purchased a really good book entitled “NOT “Just Friends”: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity” It is an awesome book, I promise it will help you and if your husband is willing it will help him understand your needs for healing. It was written by a medical professional and its a really easy read.

    • I went through a similar phase right after my one year mark. We had such an amazing holiday away from everything and then returned and I was overcome with anxiety. I think it was PTSD type symptoms. Some of it was me realizing that in the past our return from a vacation meant he would be reaching out to her or vice versa upon our return.
      It took me about two months to get over this feeling. It was looming. I was watching Bat Shit on social media trying to figure out her life. But it was just making me crazy. I had to let her go and not give a shit about her. She is worthless and that’s how much time I should give her. About a month ago I unblocked her from my own FB because if she wants to stalk me–so be it. She can see how she didn’t ruin my life. I am better than ok. I happened to run across a photo of her a few weeks ago and I couldn’t stop laughing because she looked like an f-ing idiot. She’s aged, she looks desperate and it made me laugh. It was a great feeling to be able to not feel threatened. You’ll get here… unfortunately, how you feel right now is all part of the process.

  10. Amazing, how similar your thoughts are to mine. I see her photo, see her shopping and laugh because she looks like a old hag and wonder what on earth my husband seen in this skank. I sometimes feel sorry for her as much as that sounds stupid, but to have to get attention from a man like this is a downgrading act. I would not be proud in doing so. My pain is still here after a year, my husband and I fight continually as im so scared of him doing this again & am still in shock that he could actually go ahead and do it. Some days i ask myself would it be easier without the worry? I hope someday i can push it to the back of brain and not think about her like you have, i would do anything for this to happen. I try to be forgiving and forget but the triggers are still there, Why, why why i ask? And yes, i feel i have to watch my husbands every move and it drives me crazy. He is over me bringing it up, but doesnt understand that it’s in my head everyday how badly he betrayed me. I hate this feeling an wish i could just press delete an it would go away, not just for me but for the sake of my kids. I know if i want this, i must let go.

    • It really sucks that we have to get up every day and just have these thoughts. And it sucks that we become numb to the pain… it’s so much a part of our life. As much as I move forward and as happy as I am, I still have to live with the facts and my thoughts in my head. There are always small doubts that creep in too… no matter how good things are.

      • I know exactly you mean. no matter how happy I am, the thoughts are there trying to creep in. At least I know now it’s normal and apart of the healing process and always will be.

  11. I’m new at this and very sad to be part of this “club.” It has been just under 2 months now. The affair was not emotional. She gave him pleasure a few times (6 apparently). I feel as devastated as you write about. I feel unable to process or function. I loved him. I loved our friendship. We just suffered a house fire. We lost everything about 5 months ago. The “affair happened over a year ago but she decided now was the right time to tell me. Just after our fire and before a special trip we were taking our kids on. It was malicious but I don’t have the energy to be angry at her. I feel completely broken. He seems to feel the same. I made a promise to not make any big life decisions right now. I am in therapy. I was diagnosed with PTSD after the fire, I was home alone with the animals. I was able to save our two rescued dogs but not our cat. I couldn’t find her and the smoke was over taking me. So I am still in therapy. He is in therapy and we just started therapy together as well. Right now we are just trying to get through the pain. We are focusing on trying to rebuild our friendship. I miss him. I miss us.
    Your blog is something I read every day and I am grateful. I’m sorry this has happened to you. No one should ever feel this heartache but alas we can either learn from it or die with it. I’m hoping for my story to end up more like yours. #staystrong

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