I’ve been silent for a long time on here. It’s not 100% neglect. It’s not avoidance – at all. Life moves at a pace that it’s often hard to find time for reflection and then capturing those reflections on a page.
I’ve been in a podcast phase again and I recently heard a completely [unrelated to this blog] podcast about finding yourself in a historical event that you did not intend to be a part of or foresee as being a defining moment in their life. Yet, here they were.
Infidelity is like that. It felt like I woke up one day and was dropped into a new reality. A reality that I wasn’t prepared for and I just wanted to find a way out. I just wanted to rewind my life and get a do-over. The problem is that I didn’t know how far to rewind. And when I realized I couldn’t change the past, I wanted to press fast-forward and skip ahead to the future. I was assured by every book I read that the first two years are the most difficult and if we put in the work then we would be fine. Then two years came and went, and I was better but I didn’t feel like the books told me I would. I set my sights on five years – that’s got to be enough time for me to heal and move on, I thought. Perhaps, you can’t set a timer for healing. Perhaps, these wounds cut me too deep. Perhaps, I need to just let go of the anxiety and emotions attached to the affair. But is that even possible? Or right?
The problem with affairs is that you wake up to find your spouse/partner has been cheating on you. In my case, my husband was involved with his affair partner for over a year before I discovered it. It was only this week that I realized that our “first” marriage ended during his affair – not upon my discovery of the affair. For my husband, our marriage changed (died/ended?) upon his decision to be involved, emotionally and physically, with his affair partner. Which means my marriage died without me even being told or invited to the funeral. I was living in a marriage for just over a year that wasn’t really there anymore.
So much of that first year was the shocking reality and pain that I felt from my husband’s affair. In those moments we were going through everything together and while I was angered and hurt by him keeping secrets from me for over a year, I didn’t realize that he already mourned the death of our marriage. He already moved past that, perhaps he truly mourned it, or perhaps he accepted it and moved into a new phase, the infidelity phase. It’s strange to think that my marriage was dead and I didn’t even know it. I was living in it, frustrated by it, celebrating it, and believing in it, but it was gone. It’s kinda like Santa Claus and I was the child believing in something that wasn’t real. Maybe that’s not a good example but you get it.
Marriages might never really be what we believe they are. We may never really have what we think we do or believe we should. The question I come to ask myself time and again is can I live with this uncertainty without allowing it to become mistrust?
As I am writing this article I Googled “uncertainty synonym” because I wasn’t sure if that was the right word. It turns out antonyms of uncertainty are: happiness, trust, faith, and peace. Ouch. Maybe uncertainty isn’t the right word because I don’t want to live in a marriage without happiness, trust, faith, and peace; but uncertainty, indefinites, and vagueness seem to be an inevitable result after an affair. All the things I believed were definites are now maybes. The role I once had in our marriage as “the one and only one” has faded and perished. While some of these words seem masked in sadness, I am not sad about this change anymore. I am sad that I ever fell into the mythical notion of ever being someone’s enough. Love just doesn’t work that way.
In the beginning it was hard to accept this gray area that was introduced to my marriage and my belief system. Learning to live without a 100% promise of ever knowing what is real, true, alive/dead is not what I thought my life would be. But I’m not giving up happiness, trust, faith, and peace for a life without guarantees. I’m putting faith and trust that I can be happy and find peace in this life that I’m living.