Letting Go of Control

My journey after D-day has made me examine my life through a different lens. At times, that new image is difficult to accept. I used to find myself asking: how did infidelity find its way inside my marriage? And now that it’s part of my story – will it ever recede to the background or disappear altogether? Or is it just going to lurk in our midst forever?

control-healing-after-my-husbands-affairI would be a liar if I said that I never had any doubts or worries about infidelity before D-day. My guess is that just about every married woman considers the idea that their spouse may or could cheat on them. My way of dealing with this fear before D-day was to make it into a joke. I would find a sock on the floor that I didn’t recognize and say, “Tell your girlfriend not to leave her socks here. I’m not doing her laundry too.” [Before anyone says: “Wtf? A sock you don’t recognize?!” You should know that we have family stay at our home often enough not for it to be alarming.] Or if I was traveling, I would tell him that his girlfriend wasn’t allowed to sleepover. Maybe I was being passive-aggressive but it was my way of managing my insecurities. Until September of 2012 when these jokes became no longer funny.

Two and a half years later I still have anxiety that I don’t know everything (which I recognize is impossible). Some days I don’t care. I look at my life, my children, and the husband and I am happy and can’t imagine a better life. Then there are moments when I wonder if there were other affairs, other women, and how many lies I believed before I got the truth. I start to wonder if my marriage was ever what I thought it was or if it was always an illusion. I also start to wonder if I even care – which I’m not certain is the right reaction either.

control-healing-after-my-husbands-affairI know that I need to accept and relinquish my control and attachment to what I believed was the “right” path for my marriage and accept it was not. . The perfect marriage and the notion of the perfect wife and husband are gone.  When I say perfect, I don’t necessarily mean flawless or believe in some idealistic, unachievable concept. My former definition of a perfect marriage would be an unadulterated relationship with mutual respect. It’s unrealistic to believe or expect that I can control my future. Life makes no promises or guarantees.

Control is rooted in fear and I am tired of being afraid of what could be or has been. I want to move towards a more peaceful, focused attention and learn to accept my life’s flaws. I was watching the new Avengers movie with my children and the character the Vision says:

Humans are odd. They think order and chaos are somehow opposites and try to control what won’t be. But there is grace in their failings.

I know advice from a Marvel movie? But I tried to commit that quote to memory because it struck a chord within me. I need to accept that I cannot control what will or won’t be. I need to accept my failures and leave the past in the past. I need to trust that life will play out the way it is meant to be. Disappointment, failure, and pain are opportunities for growth.

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23 thoughts on “Letting Go of Control

  1. I could have literally have written this, except it was October 2012. I even used to make the same jokes ‘if you do cheat, for gods sake don’t make it a daft 20 year old, you’ll at least want conversation.’ Makes me sick thinking of it now.

  2. I appreciate your transparency and realistic view in your situation. You have been more of a help than you could possibly ever imagine. A lot of what you share is what my pastor has shared with me. Thank you for your blog.

  3. I love reading your blog and it always resonates with me but I have to ask you, doesn’t writing this blog keep the affair in the forefront of your life? I would think it would make it difficult to move through and past it if it is constantly given power? I ask you this because I have stopped reading books and other blogs on infidelity and am now reading books on improving my health, mental health and myself as a woman. The psychologist my husband and I see is a big promoter of putting your energy and thoughts into what you want brought into your life. So that is what we are doing now. I do appreciate what you share with everyone but have always wondered after three years if it doesn’t make it hard to move past it.

    • I struggle with this all the time. And you may notice that I am not on here much. Sometimes I feel guilty for not responding to people’s comments but I cannot spend my time on here because it will keep me from moving forward.
      There have been times that I have wondered when this blog will end. Is writing here keeping me from moving forward?
      I don’t think so. I use this blog the same way I used my diary growing up. These are my thoughts. I don’t read other blogs any more unless someone asks me to read a post. Every day I have thoughts in my head and some of them make it onto my blog. I don’t spend time worrying about what to write – I trust that there are times I will be drawn to write.

  4. Its like you’ve peeked into my soul to write this. I feel the exact same way, about every single word. My husband and I used to joke too. He’d call to say he’s on his way home, I better get my boyfriend out of the house. Or I’d comment about him having a girlfriend. And, damn, its not funny anymore. I also have issues with trying to control everything around me. And its out of fear. I too have learned that I have no control over ANYTHING. Except how I act and think. That’s it. Sucks. Its hard to let go and just be. I do think once I get there I’ll be a much happier and peaceful person. Thanks for sharing!

    • I think it’s hard to let go of the idea of control now too because we want so much to get through the pain of the affair. It’s like I just want to be able to say if I do XYZ then everything will be okay.
      I guess I realize that life isn’t fair. I did the right thing, I played by the rules, and my husband cheated. He thanked me for my selflessness and being a good wife by betraying me. Doing the right thing doesn’t mean that others will also do the right thing. That’s been a tough pill for me to swallow.

      • I 100percent agree with this… I feel I did everything right as far as being a wife and what hurts so much is why I am playing by the rules busting my ass at our business the business he wanted …. to make it easier for him….he is getting the attention he was missing from me working so much from another woman?! That is so wrong and to add insult to injury his AP would come to our business as a patron and they would talk in front of me… I never had a clue! It is so disrespectful and so hard for me to forgive …. Doing the right thing when it means losing yourself is where I messed up… Cause through this all I learned that putting yourself first is a must.

  5. If I didn’t know someone else had written this I would swear it was about me but I’m no where near the stage of moving forward. Good luck, I hope you find peace.

  6. Great writing. I love the quote about the suffering comes from attachment. I am letting go of so much in my life right now and want to live my life going forward unattached. I, too, would make jokes about infidelity. If he was sitting on the phone in his car finishing a phone conversation before he came in the house I was ask if he was talking to his girlfriend. I also believe now it doesn’t matter if their were affairs before but I will never know for sure unless someone else comes forward to tell me because I can’t believe anything he says or said in the past.

  7. 2 1/2 years on, I have given up being the stalwart one, searching and understanding. I have forgiven and soon hope to forget by reconstructing myself.
    I felt compassion ( for his incredible stupidity) the same day I found out about his long term “what’s the big deal? It was only sex, didn’t even like her!” affair.
    I have been devastated, torn apart and angry for two and a half years. Now I feel we simply have different values. I may never be able to find the sweet common ground we once had. Or my unconditional admiration of him.
    In relinquishing control, I have found a certain peace and lightness . Sad and melancholy, very, but better than angry and bitter.

  8. I am happy for you when you say you can’t imagine a better life than today. I wish I felt the same. Or I wish I even wanted to feel the same. But it’s been almost 3 years since I found out about my husband’s “emotional” affair that lasted 9 years and can’t bring myself to feel anything but sadness and hopelessness. I still can’t imagine that in a 9-year affair there was no sex, and that’s what he has said from day one and not backed down. So, I believe in my heart the lying goes on. How does one heal if you don’t believe your cheating spouse is telling the truth? Even if they are truly sorry for the affair, and he says he is, it doesn’t make up for what he did. Nothing ever will. I still want to punish him. I still imagine them having sex (even though he’s adamant they didn’t.) I sometimes think I am obsessed with the whole thing. The Other Woman is such a disgusting person, I am insulted that he picked her! The town tramp of all people! I have not heard her side of the affair “story” and am thinking I should contact her and get her version of what went on. Maybe this way I can sort out the truth from the lies. I know that I’m trying to control the situation and I also believe that I probably will never know the truth, but I feel I can’t give up. That by not giving up, it means not moving forward, not being able to forgive and get on with my life. I wonder, what is wrong with me?

    • I think it’s hard to believe even the most honest moments sometimes. Over two years ago I went to a support group and shared my story. All the people there were divorced from their spouses and still dealing with the pain years later…. their spouses didn’t want to stay in their marriages – totally different experiences. But I recall clear as day them all telling me that my husband was probably still cheating on me and that I shouldn’t trust him. I remember being so fresh in my healing and upset that this was their response. I confronted my husband with what they told me and told him how it made me feel. I guess the thing is that after you’ve been betrayed it changes what you believe in another person. It changes you. Nothing is wrong with you…. I feel the same way. I don’t want to feel like I am keeping myself stationary and not moving forward but sometimes it feels like I end up back where I started.

    • Sad in Michigan, There is nothing wrong with you. Each of us handle it to the limit of our abilities. There are many different ways to solve this and you will find yours. Time does heal many wounds. Give time a chance. Give time, time.

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