I hate my last post. I won’t delete it because I think this is all part of the process.
The truth is being at the two-year mark means the honeymoon is over. Strange to think of the first two years as anything special or celebratory but there was a renewal in my marriage during those first two years. Immediately on my D-day I had to make the decision: fight or flight. I chose to stay and that means that mixed in all the pain, sadness and anger, that were clearly present, there was also hope. There was a revitalization of our love. We had to remember what was at the core of our relationship and take solace in a belief that we were still special and our love was worth the fight. The first two years may have been a nightmare (that I would never want to relive-ever) but there was also a tremendous amount of love, honesty and support.
Two years later we fall back into our old habits again. We don’t always tell each other our needs because we fall into the trap of not wanting to hurt the other person’s feelings. I don’t bring up my doubts or fears any longer because I feel like I need to push forward. So when I fall apart, I keep it to myself. Don’t get me wrong, most days are good and I don’t harbor any resentment or sadness. But how is this different from our relationship before his affair? We were happy then. We spent time together. The only difference is our sex life was “normal” then and now it’s more than healthy. Keeping intimacy at the forefront of our marriage is one of the best results from this mess. I realize how much I need to feel desired, wanted and feel that closeness to my husband.
The biggest struggle with entering into this new phase of our relationship is realizing the riptide of sadness and depression can still pull me in. I know how easy it could be to drown in the pain. There’s a hole in my life. For two years, I’ve searched for the missing pieces or a way to fill the cracks. I wanted to believe that I could fix my brokenness. In the first year it was a search for information. If I could understand and figure out exactly what happened then I would feel whole again. During the second year, I accepted that what was missing may be gone forever and I tried to fill those empty spaces with other people, other activities, ignite a new passion. I’m just starting out into year three and I have spent that past month looking back at my life. I’ve analyzed my marriage and how our relationship began. I’ve pinpointed warning signs and recognized that I chose my husband in spite of those red flags. I chose him. I wanted our relationship and I fought for him. Our relationship did not come easily. There were obstacles but I was young, in love and I believed we were invincible. I loved him.
I love him. I define love differently now.
I’ve spent my entire adult life with my husband. He’s been with me as I grew from a teenager into a young woman into a mother. He’s nurtured me and I still believe he is the love of my life. I do not think I will or could ever love anyone more than him. Yet, I am beginning to believe the strength of our love is a result of time, children and family. We choose our spouse. We choose to continue to love even when we feel empty. And I am beginning to wonder if that’s what makes a marriage last, a trust that no matter what shit is thrown in your face you will come home, eat dinner together, clink wine glasses, and kiss lips before falling asleep at the end of each day.