A million insecurities that had been long been buried deep inside me rose to the surface on D-Day. I would never classify myself as insecure or lacking confidence but I have doubts that linger under the surface just like anyone. In the moment I discovered my husband’s affair all those doubts and insecurities became true.
I felt insignificant. I grew up a middle child. I was never neglected. I was loved and supported but I learned from a young age to fend for myself, work hard and be self-reliant. I developed a strong sense of identity inspired by my desire to differentiate myself from my older and younger siblings. Like most middle children there is a lingering belief that I was unimportant. I pushed that idea deep down inside. It only came to the surface when a friend snubbed me or a boyfriend broke up with me. In those moments it was clear that I was insignificant. I remember falling in love with my husband and believing he would never make me feel insignificant, unimportant or second.
As my husband’s affair was beginning I was disconnecting with some of my closest “mom” friends in town. I became a working mom therefore I was no longer invited to birthday lunches and Bunko nights. My friendship was obviously insignificant to these mothers. About five months into my husband’s affair my best friend neglected to tell me about a life-changing event in her life before she posted it on Facebook. I found out in the same moment as the rest of the world, or maybe even later than half her Facebook “friends.” By the time I discovered my husband’s affair I was already feeling insignificant to most the people in my life. The affair was just the icing on the cake.
I felt fat and ugly. I suffer from the same disorder most women do. No matter what my body looks like it will never be good enough. I look in the mirror and see flaws. I stared at all my imperfections and blamed them for my husband’s infidelity. After the affair, every trip the bathroom became a staring contest with myself in the mirror. What did she have [physically] that I didn’t? Why was he willing to push-off sex with me and schedule sex with her?
I wasn’t sexy enough. I wasn’t beautiful enough. I wasn’t good enough.
I wasn’t good enough. No matter how far I travel down this road to healing that’s the one thing I cannot wrap my head around: our marriage wasn’t enough for my husband to hesitate before starting a relationship behind my back. I know now that’s not true, but for a long time I felt like I wasn’t good enough for him. Or really anyone. If the love we share didn’t prevent him from cheating then is it really possible to have an affair-proof marriage? I hate to sound jaded but the more comments I read on my blog from women just like myself, the less I believe that fidelity is possible in a marriage.
I remember asking my husband why he told Bat Shit he wanted more sex in our marriage but not me. He told me: “Sometimes it’s easier to be honest with a stranger than your wife.” I recall being angry and dismissive of this comment. I want to disagree completely but I realize now he’s right. My husband’s affair was about something lacking within my husband that he was trying to fill and not something lacking in me. His own insecurities pushed him from asking me for help. At some point in our relationship something happened to make him believe that I wouldn’t understand what he needed. Is it possible for two people to fulfill every need for the other person throughout a lifetime? I have no idea but I have hope.