My wife and I had a discussion approximately a month ago where she said that she hadn't felt loved in a long time and that she had stopped praying to God almost 2 years ago. These were both particularly alarming to me and I spent the next 2 weeks doing a complete reassessment of my life. I read His Needs, Her Needs and that book really helped clarify my thoughts on how just how badly I had neglected her and how alone she had felt in our relationship. She said she didn't feel cherished, that she was the solely responsible person in the marriage, and that I hadn't been there to emotionally support her.
Those were some tough words to hear and I really took it to heart and began making some serious changes in my life. Over the next 2 weeks she seemed to grow more distant and I couldn't figure out what was going on.
The Friday before Easter I finally sat down and told her that I understood why she was angry and frustrated with our marriage and listed off the litany of actions and in-actions I had committed that contributed to this situation. She teared up and I felt relieved to at least get that off my chest.
We left for her parents house the next day and spent the weekend with them. Saturday she continued to be very distant and I spent all day locked in memories of happier times. That night I didn't sleep a wink and so Easter dawned. We went to church with her family. That afternoon was the pivotal moment.
I don't want to describe how this came about, but she ended up confessing to having had an affair over the past year with a former co-worker. She said that they had broken it off and that she had had no contact since that point. When she said this she began crying and saying how terrible she felt on Friday when I had confessed what I had done because what she had done was so much worse.
I had suspected something like this had happened and I don't know why, but when she started crying I just held her in my arms. I know it sounds weird, but I could see she was in so much pain and was exhibited true remorse.
I made the decision to forgive her and told her that. We talked for longer and more meaningfully than we had in almost a year. I told her I am 100% committed to this relationship and that I thought we could work through this. She said she still cared for me, but that she wasn't sure if the spark could be reignited.
She agreed to go to marriage counseling, to get some personal counseling for herself, and that we'd try to talk every night when she is away on business (the A didn't occur there). We shared this hug that was the most meaningful physical contact that we've had in a long long time and that afternoon we prayed together as a couple for the first in our marriage. It was a powerful moment and, honestly, I kinda felt relieved that I was finally dealing with all the facts. We had had an open, honest, and transparent conversation and my gut was telling me that she was being sincere and not holding anything back.
That was D-Day.
The next week she was out of town on business. We talked for over 30 minutes on the phone each night, I sent her flowers that Tuesday, and I took up dance classes. It was something that she had always wanted me to do.
Talking with her...it was like she was finally herself again. She was chatty, told me how her day had gone...it felt like old times...that a great weight had been lifted off her shoulders. Unfortunatley it got transferred to mine, but I also felt genuinely glad to see her soul uplifted a little.
That Friday she got back and I went to get us some dinner. On the way to pick it up I felt anger at her and she noticed it when I got home. She asked me what was wrong and I responded that I still loved her and I had forgiven her, but that forgiveness is a choice and there was still a significant emotional cost associated with that decision that I was now carrying. I began to say that I had made the decision to see this through even though it would be so easy and I would be perfectly justified to walk away.
Immediately as I finished those words she rushed into my arms and gave me another one of those hugs followed up by one of the most intimate kisses we've shared in years. I told her I love her and she said the same. I asked her if she was being obligatory and she said that if she didn't love me then she wouldn't be here. I said that this was going to take some time to get over and she told me how she had systematically eliminated all history of the OP from her email, phone, txt messages...the whole bit. I told her that I wanted to trust her and that's a fact. I do. She confided to me that she had spent the whole week worrying that I wasn't going to be there when she got back home.
The next day we had our first marriage counseling session. It was painful and we mainly talked about what I had done to make her feel so unloved. It was my decision to start with my half of the "regrettable actions" because I feel like a lot of this originates with me because I created fertile ground. Now let me be clear: I am not condoning her actions and she has accepted responsibility and that it was her choice. I am merely saying that when a person's emotional needs are not met for so long then it creates an emotionally compromised position that allows these sorts of things to begin.
Honestly...my acceptance of some responsibility has really helped me cope because I can see where she was before this all started and just how bad our marriage had gotten.
A few things that I think are worth mentioning, my wife agreed to attend group therapy sessions for women that have done this. She also told the MC that she had broken off all contact about a month ago and there had been no resumption of communication.
The marriage counselor we are working with seems very good and we both like that she is committed to working out the marriage...not the individual problems. That's especially important to me.
Afterwards we went shopping together, purchased the books that are our homework, and did some other errads. When we got home she said that this was the happiest she had been in a long time and that Easter had been the best day ever. As crazy as it sounds...I agree with her.
That night we went out on a date: sushi and then Argentinian Tango lessons. She was decked out to the 9s in this fabulous dress and we danced closely for hours. It just felt so right...even though all this crap had happened.
Sunday we went to church together and that afternoon we actually talked about the A a little. She felt the desire to confess to our close friends. I told her that I'd rather we wait on that for some time before we work things out. She said that she wished we had covered her half first because she really wanted to talk about it and begin working out that stuff. Our next counseling session is the weekend after next. It's for 3 hours. We'll be covering the A then.
One thing she said during this Sunday conversation that really helped build trust for me was that she was just so relieved that she didn't have to lie to me anymore...this was said during a particularly emotional moment and I really feel like she was telling the truth. Subsequent actions on her part seem to validate that.
The next week she was out of town again. We weren't able to talk as much but she made an effort to call me each night. We've prayed together every day since Easter...sometimes the call was just to do that because that was literally all the time she had. Again...I trust her on this.
She came back on Friday after having a hell of a week and she was wore out...I mistook it for us backtracking and insomnia kicked in again. I was up all Friday night, but then on Saturday she walked up and cuddled right into my arms the first time she saw me in the morning. That set the tone for the entire day and we acted like newly weds. We both worked out together and then more shopping and meal planning for the week. That evening we went dancing again with some friends of ours. It was honestly one of the happiest days I've had in a long time. Saturday night I couldn't sleep because I was so dang excited that our romance seemed to be rekindling. Sunday it was back to church and then I was able to blissfully sleep in bed with her (something I hadn't done in almost a year and a half). We actually cuddled the next morning.
Yesterday (Monday) we were back to work, but she was finally in town. Last night we just talked for a few hours and the night ended with me giving her a foot massage and then prayer.
And so that's my story so far. I'm not going to lie...this has not been easy. There have been times when I still have a mental image of her with the OP and I still get insomnia...did last night for example.
I vascillate between wanting to know the details and not. I'm not sure where I'm going to fall on this. What I do know is that when I am around her then I don't seem to care. I'm almost living in the present a little too much, but...well...things just feel so differently now. I really feel like we're connecting and her actions and words seem to indicate that she feels the same.
Maybe I'm just trying to be blissfully ignorant of the whole thing...or maybe I just know we're going to talk about it on the 27th so i'll just wait till then.
I understand the emotional rollarcoaster though. Man have I been there. Today I cried again and asked why all this had to happen. It helped a lot.
The insomnia is a pain in the ass. Anyone with tips on how to fix that?
Well...that's my story so far. I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this. I pray about our marriage every night.