Love, Life and Marriage After the Affair

The words in my head, the emotions I am feeling and the moments of my day-to-day life don’t always make it onto paper. Finding time and the right words has been a struggle lately. Finding the right words to express my experience is even harder.

I feel as though I am in a good place in my marriage right now. That does not mean I am always happy or that I don’t still feel the betrayal but it does mean that I am not consumed by it anymore. While thoughts of my husband’s affair may enter my mind or be passing thought, I no longer spend much of my day focused on his affair or Bat Shit. I’ve reached a milestone where I can even hear her name (not in reference to her) and be okay. My decision to keep her name off my blog was not to remain anonymous but to remove the emotion from her name and keep the blog neutral because I know some readers share her name. I realized I no longer felt a burning singe of pain when I sat at a table this summer drinking wine with a woman with her name. It didn’t bother me. It did mildly bother my husband and I watched him out of the corner of my eye, worried about me-which I didn’t mind at all. He should be aware of possible triggers and be my support. I’m not saying I want to be friends with any female that share’s Bat Shit’s name but I can be in the same room without getting angry or falling part.

I want to spend more days appreciating the good things in my life. I want to stop the mental focus on the negative and holes I still feel within me. Sometimes I struggle to find a balance between letting go of and repairing what is broken. There’s a strange guilt I feel in moving past the affair. I question whether I am healing or if I’ve just become numb to my own experience. I know it’s less of the latter but I do feel there is a hardening and separation from the emotional pain over time. Perhaps it’s part of the healing process. My brain protecting me from my own negative experiences and emotions or fears.

soulmate-eat, pray, loveThe last few months I’ve been thinking about love, soulmates and marriage. Every relationship scars or changes us for all the other relationships in our life. A boyfriend that tells a girl she looks beautiful in pink will likely wear the color pink throughout her life and feel pretty. A boyfriend that resists acts of romance and love could make a girl feel like flowers are overrated and random acts of kindness are unnecessary. Years ago when money was tight in our household I told my husband that buying me flowers was not important and not to waste money on them. Over the years I’ve seen women receive flowers from their husbands/boyfriends and realized that it’s not about the money. Sending flowers is part keeping the romance alive. But it doesn’t even need to be flowers—just tokens of affection. I watch my son beginning to navigate through his first real relationships with girls. I watched his heart break this year and I’ve seen his expectations change as he entered his next relationship. The second girlfriend filled the void the first girlfriend left behind. Is that fair? Or is that just how love works? We drift through life just trying to fill the gaps left from relationships from our past. I think we also learn from each relationship what we need and want in our lives but I don’t know if we ever heal completely from heartbreak. This makes me wonder if my acceptance of where I am at right now is me healing or accepting there are parts of me that may remain broken. I  wonder if we actually have multiple soulmates over a lifetime. People we connect with and need at different points in our life. A soulmate is supposed to make you feel whole and complete-something I lost in the affair. So what does that mean? Do I redefine my belief in a soulmate or accept that maybe my belief was based on the fiction that Disney movies are created from? I’m not sure how to reconcile all this yet. My love for my husband is true, deep and passionate but that doesn’t fill the hole inside me. 

Despite saying all this I feel content with where I am at right now. I realize love does not need to be perfect and having love does not mean your life will be perfect. I read this definition of love on Urban Dictionary and feel I cannot say it any better than “kb ss candy” (obviously a legitimate source for knowledge):

Truly loving someone means that you care deeply about another person. You care if they screw up their lives as you want them to learn to love themselves. Love doesn’t mean life is going to be perfect, it shouldn’t be taken lightly, and the word shouldn’t be misused, if it is used in a romantic way. There will be arguments and misunderstandings, but love will mean that you will try and get over any hurdles and issues together. True love isn’t selfish and can bring people together in a way nothing else can, it is a soul connection, a commitment of the heart. Life can tear people apart but love may bring them back together again. Love should never be taken for granted, although often it is. Love is more balanced than the highs and lows that passion and frustration bring. Love will conquer all, but only if work and effort from both sides is implemented in order to not destroy love. Love can be slowly destroyed piece by piece by violence, abuse, neglect, dishonor, and disrespect. So always make sure you honor true love. Understand that it is not perfect, then you won’t feel let down by love. Each time you fall, love should be there to pick you up again, but sometimes it takes effort to remember not to misuse love by taking it for granted. Love doesn’t happen as often as people think, but if you have lost love, you will find it again one day, – never lose hope.

 

Nothing ever goes away quote

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26 thoughts on “Love, Life and Marriage After the Affair

  1. I may not be half way of what you are in now. But I have a high hopes that someday will definitely be there. And if that someday arrives, I am certain that my head is up. Since I maintain the dignity and integrity of myself, which is far more important. I thank you for this blog because it encourages me to fight for my marriage and to rediscover the lost love that was once gone. I am really grateful.

  2. I love this blog!! You are so in time woth this post, as I am three days away from getting married!!! Confession: Out of fear and frustration, I became the runaway bride!! This is our second date. Your insight into the soulmate concept confirms my eexperience; my Guy is exactly who and what I need right now. As we evolve as humans do, we will have to make the conscious decision to nurture and maintain our love. God being the center of our relationship is soooo big for us. I dont mean just going to church, I am referring to a constant communication with God to give us strength to endure the difficult times to come. I had to shut people out with their opinions and choose to hear the peace God has given me to stop running and let let live in this beautiful union. Again, your bloh has proven that it will not be perfect, but its beautiful, fulfilling and promising if I keep my mind focused on the good! Perfect love casts out all fear; I choose to stop being afraid!!! *Hugz*

  3. I found your comments about soul mates particularly interesting (but loved and was encouraged by the whole blog). I found myself wondering the same thing about love as I know two things: my husband says he loves me and I believe him, but people who love you don’t hurt you and betray you like he did. So, what does that mean about love? Is it just that love isn’t as meaningful as I thought? Or, is just more meaningful to me than it is to him?

    • I often wondered the same thing. Did my love somehow mean more because he cheated and I remained faithful? I don’t think so. I think that sometimes our actions our less a reflection of how we feel about the people in our lives and more a reaction to how we feel about ourselves.

  4. Almost where you are, the only difference is my Bat @@$! works just down the hall from office. So its taking a little more time. But I believe I am healing. I use to think my husband was my soulmate but my only true soulmate who loves me without fail, my perfect love is God. God is the only one who can complete me so that everything else that falls into place from healing or life in general is just icing on my cake. If I place my complete trust in anything else or let another person or thing complete me I set myself up for disappointment and thats with anyone in my life, family etc. Thanks so much for your share. When I read I realized I am I almost there and I am still allowed to have my moments. Blessings to you.

  5. I have move past the affair and I’m happy.. She didn’t win.. I am happy my husband proved to me and he still does how committed he is to me. He made a horrible mistake and he regrets it. I see it and saw it in his eyes when I found out. I wanted revenge but then I realized that me going after the old douche wouldn’t give me what I wanted. I concentrated on my marriage on me he did the same. And we are happy I believe that’s the best revenge

  6. Again, I receive an email of your new post at the perfect time! Usually I cringe a little bit when I open new emails from various infidelity resources, wondering if it will help to read it or leave me feeling worse. However, for the past 3 days I have been thinking about the idea of soul mates and it has left me in a state of confusion (as if I should expect anything different from this process of healing from infidelity). I have been questioning whether or not my husband and I ever were or are soul mates, if he really believed she was his soulmate and if so are we settling?! I definitely have not felt whole or complete since my husband’s affair and doubt that I will ever truly feel that way with him again although I love him deeply. I guess it had me thinking maybe I deserve to have that with someone instead of this pain that never ends, but that is selfish. Selfishness and doubt are the reasons we are where we are. I feel like I’m in a good place in my marriage and based on that definition, I know I love my husband and for right now, that’s enough. Thanks.

  7. Strange that I read this today…we are about 7 weeks out from discovery and I haven’t cried in 2 days. An accomplishment for me. I called my husband this morning on his way to work to remind him that life is starting to get a little bit routine again and he will not be feeling all the crazy excitement of “the affair” and he will seem empty I think. I told him to stay strong and not try anything stupid. Like I am his AA sponsor.. how weird is that? Maybe it is that I am feeling empty and that all the I love you’s and I don’t want to lose you have calmed down and my reality of living in a routine broken marriage is setting in. Have I settled? have I settled for somebody that does not respect me and our marriage that they couldn’t help themselves for 3 years from cheating, lying and disrespecting me?
    I can’t hear the word soul mate without thinking of “evil one”. (batshit)
    they were writing that to each other on their secret Facebook page that I found. I will never use those words again.
    Evil one is starting to fade a little in my mind…but I *&%&*(** her!!

      • The words soul mate is a trigger for me, 8 weeks out from discovery. The evil one and my husband of 32 years were calling each other soul mates on the secret Facebook page that I happen to find. My life is starting to get a little more routine which is scary for me because I am afraid that the days of him ignoring me and treating me like I am invisible will come back. He says that he is so sorry and really committed to me and our marriage but I find it hard to believe him and to believe in realness. I hope I can learn to be forgiving and trusting in really anything. I love the Lord and He has helped me tremendously. I agree, He is always there and never fails me. My rock and my salvation.
        What ever makes a person cheat and lie to the one person that has unconditionally loved them and supported them is a mystery to me. I believe that there is so much evil lurking around trying to destroy families and happiness. The evil one (batshit) is really the devil in disguise. Who wants to break up a marriage and a family? Has to be the work of the devil.
        Time is my friend right now and so is my priest and my therapist.

  8. I am somewhat near where you are…just of the thought of sitting down and take a deep breath is still out of reach…just because i trutly would have given a chance to marriage..but…there is this baby situation with Miss Ass Wipe…i something sit defeated because i see no way of getting rid of her…so…she insist on saying the baby is my husband’s even though she wont agree to a paternity test now…her conditions are that he needs to be divorced to do the paternity test…did i mention that we are military??…and if this gets out its hell!!?? Yeah so when will i have peace…i do yearn to be separated and just put my kids and dog and just drive with loud music but its unrealistic…then i have my husband begging me to stay, denying the baby is his…hmm…

    • You need to do what is right for you. A child is a life-long connection. If you want to stay with your husband then he needs to be on the same page with you regarding the baby. If you feel like you need space then maybe you should try a brief time apart to see if that is what you need.

  9. So personally I have never believed in soul mates. For those that too, great. I just never have believed I have a soul mate. I believe in geography and the choice to love. Hubby feels we would have randomly met on a plane and started a relationship, blah blah blah. I call bull. Had we not went to college together, had we went to any one of the other numerous campuses we were offered scholarships we would in no way be together. I do believe God orchestrates people being brought into our lives – but the choice is up to us and I think geography has a lot to do w/ the choices we make.

    Your post is beautiful. I too wonder if I’m healing legitimately or just changing my emotional reaction. Most of the time I think healing. But I gotta tell you, I am cynical. I really am. I am harder than I used to be. We have had a few friends get married this summer and boy, the thoughts that go through my mind… I’m glad nobody can read it. Because I’m just too cynical about marriage and “happily ever after” and all that stuff. I’m thinking, “It’s so much easier by yourself!! Trust me!” Don’t worry – I keep that all inside… 🙂

    • Thank you for sharing these thoughts. It’s as if I wrote them myself. Thanks for helping not to feel as if I am the only one who feels this way. I have a wedding to attend later this week and man does it have me feeling a little raw….

  10. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. You pose very interesting questions and I guess it boils down to what we consider healing to be. I still have scars on my knees from an accident I had when a young child, but you couldn’t say that they haven’t healed. They don’t cause me any pain but the scars are a reminder of what happened. Some might consider them ugly but it is my life etched on to my body and this is unique to me.

    I like the Japanese art of Kintsugi as a metaphor for healing a marriage. Making something broken even more beautiful than before by putting it back together with gold paste. I wrote a blog on it a while back.

    For me, it is now two years since D-day (August 3rd) and I am in less pain now than I was. The anger, rage and resentment doesn’t flare up like it used to and we have done lots of work together to lay down fresh memories whilst at the same time discuss what happened. There is little more for me to know about what, why and where and to be honest I think I have exhausted my desire to know any more of the details. I’m almost bored by it all. It is a disgraceful, degrading, squalid and sordid mess that induces nothing but guilt and shame. It belongs in the garbage bin. However I have not been able to get rid of it all. Instead I think it gets put out at various intervals. Sometimes I don’t think it gets collected and sometimes I think it works its way back into my head!!!!!

    There are times when our marriage feels so good. We are closer and much more intimate than before the affair and for that I am comforted and reassured that I made the right decision to stay and work on our marriage.

    However, I am increasingly recognising that I am ‘stuck’ when it comes to Pig Shit and her friend (who was supposed to be my friend) and the way in which they set out to hurt me which goes beyond the affair. This still makes me feel very angry. I still harbour thoughts of revenge which I would like to disown and find myself wishing for Karma to address the unfairness of it all. I know how ridiculous this all is. They have probably not thought of me for two years yet I carry them as unwanted guests in my head.

    I’m not sure what a soul mate is. I think it’s a nice idea but it’s a bit dangerous in that it could imply that we don’t have any control over it. The person is either our soul mate or they are not. I’d rather think that we can work to create a close and fulfilling relationship with another person. More importantly, and from my experience of handling my husband’s betrayal, I have started to think much more about my own soul. I sometimes think that the affair was a wake up call to me rather than to our relationship. . .

    • I agree completely with you about soul mates. The growth and awakening of my own soul is my life’s pursuit. A soul mate may just be someone to share the journey with–no predestined connections that cannot be broken.

      I haven’t read through your blog yet–but I am going to read your story now so that I understand your story. My husband’s affair no longer bothers me and sometimes I wonder why I don’t care anymore? I spent so much time wishing horrible things upon Bat Shit but at some point I was able to let it go. I no longer care about her life/future/karma striking her back/nothing. She means nothing. I wonder if this nothingness is permanent? I hope but I feel like you never can tell with all this crap.

      • So good to know that the difficult thoughts can eventually dissolve. Even if not permanently, the peace gained from the time that they are absent is good for the soul. It’s as if eventually our brains (if we let them) separate the reality of the shit rather than the emotions that the shit stirred up for us.

  11. I am a little over a year into discovering my husbands affair. Once upon a time I thought we were soul mates. Once upon a time I believed in marriage. Now I am not so sure. I am with my husband and we are trying to work things out. I will not wear my engagement ring or wedding band because once upon a time they were a symbol of love, honesty, fidelity and promises. All of which were broken. Now my rings are nothing but trinkets that sit in my drawer. To me they are reminders of broken promises. It just sucks that his affair has helped him become a better father and husband but I am the “damaged goods” now. I am still struggling with triggers. I am more insecure than I have ever been about the way I look. I am trying so hard to find myself and I guess redefine my marriage. It just really sucks that he had to hit an all-time low and risk our marriage and three young children to become a better person. I am struggling with that. I don’t understand why he couldn’t see the awesomeness he had in front of his face for almost twelve years. Soul mates don’t drag you thru hell. I am afraid for my three young daughters when they become adults. I pray they never have to face the demons of adultery that I have had to face…..

    • I relate to everything you wrote. The insecurities and feeling as though I am left damaged while my husband has evolved into an amazing man/father/husband. My husband finally understand himself and is willing to discuss his emotions, fears and insecurities openly with me. It’s something that he kept hidden and something I never would have asked about. Are you (mostly) happy with your marriage now? I was able to put my rings back on when I let go of the fact that the rings meant perfection. When I married my husband I promised to love, support and be his partner through the good and the bad. I never thought an affair would be a part of our love story but it is. Our rings mean that we are married–even when things are shitty and seemingly fucked up. We are still in this together. I never wanted to continue without him. I’ve wondered and thought about whether we are doing the right thing but I figure as long as I want to continue going through life with him–then here I stay.

      • Most days I am as happy as I can be considering the circumstances. My husband really has stepped up his game and is truly trying where as before the affair he might have tried for a week and then given up if he didn’t get the results he wanted. For so many years he was selfish on so many different levels. I guess I am trying to get over the resentment of that too. As for the rings…..I don’t know if I will ever wear them again……In my mind they didn’t really mean perfection. They did mean love, honor, respect, fidelity, and oneness.. All of which I feel were thrown away because he chose to give up on not just me but our three beautiful awesome daughters. That I will never understand. I do believe that everything happens for a reason. I am still trying to figure out why I had to and am still going thru hell for my husband to be better. Just really fuckin sucks some days!!! I am looking forward to the days to come where I am more at peace with all of this bullshit mess……

  12. I feel so sad when I read some of the posts but they also make me feel I’m not on my own. We cannot always blame the batshits as our men have minds of there own. Would just like to say “Yesterday is history tomorrow is a mystery and today well it’s today!” Let’s make the best of things x love to you all x

  13. Your blog has become a lifeline for me. I am at nearly a month since DDay. This has been a good weekend for us. Some time together; some time apart. All of it has felt fairly healthy. This is probably not the right place to ask but I don’t have anywhere else to ask…. My 50th birthday is coming up in November. My husband said earlier today that he wants to start planning my party. I love my birthday but don’t feel like celebrating right now – and I told him that. So much could happen between now and then. Everything is still so raw. The last thing I want is to think about a happy occasion. It’s all I can do to keep up appearances during a normal day. I don’t know what to do — let him plan or be more firm about “not right now”..

    • Maybe he could plan something for just the two of you. I get where you are coming from–events with family and friends are very difficult to manage after discovering an affair. In many ways being at events like that forces you to think about the affair and I bet your husband is trying to do something sweet and special. Maybe a trip away for the two of you would be a better celebration for your birthday?

      • It’s getting easier to do things around friends and family but I still feel like I have to wear a mask. And the idea of something big is completely overwhelming. I like the idea of a get-away. Or maybe a small dinner with “safe” people. Thank you so much for the advice… And for the resource you are to me and so many others.

  14. Your blog has helped me just knowing I am not alone. I found out October 19, 2013 about my husband affair of 4 months with a person he worked with. It took him till Jan 2015 to find another job. Life is much better now since I know she is not at his new job. We celebrated 42 years of marriage this March. I told him it felt like our first one. I know he is truly sorry and our marriage is better in someways but I still feel empty inside. Also, he has been reading some of your blogs and that helps him understanding how I feel. We have read two self help book together and tried counseling, but had a bad experience and chose not to go back. Not many people know about his affair, I chose not to tell anyone in the family. He is a good person that chose wrong. I just can’t get over the lies and wonder if I ever will.

    • Congratulations on celebrating 42 years of marriage together! That is amazing. I know it doesn’t make any of what you are going through easier – but I hope you can continue to move forward, forgive, and he can grow, learn and be the best husband he can be. I hope with his new job and the strides you are taking to move on that you can find happiness and a peacefulness inside.

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