I've had an interesting month emotionally. Our son was born at the end of April and everything went incredibly well. Seeing that little old looking man come into this world was one of the most joyous moments of my life. I truthfully didn't think I had it in me to feel that way ever again, yet there I was blissfully happy and ignorant of anything else in the world at that moment. No matter how ill timed his conception or unexpected his life has been I'm very happy he's here all the same. In a strange way his life hasn't been tainted or touched by this infidelity in any way. Sure, he exists in a post-infidelity world but he has no part in it unlike our daughter who had to witness mommy acting strangely and terribly, as well as daddy crying all the time. She'll likely grow up and not remember, but even if she does she doesn't know why. He on the other hand knows none of this and likely never will.
Things have mostly gone well with him with a few struggles we're dealing with that are getting sorted out. Our daughter has handled having a little brother splendidly and we've also taken to him being around well. It's not as major an adjustment as our first was, though we're having to remember how to deal with a baby all over again. All in all, it's good.
About a week after his birth though I had a few really down days. Some of the worst I've had since this all started. I didn't intend to but found myself coming down from the absolute high of his birth and plunged straight into a terrible dip on the proverbial rollercoaster. I mulled over and ruminated about every thing that has happened the past year and a half and came to the realization that I'm actually fine. That was it really. I felt it all, it was there and I was okay with that. I'm not suddenly healed or better but I think I've come to true acceptance. It happened, it's part of my life and I'm okay with that.
Something I didn't know that would mean though, for me at least, is accepting this will always bother me. It will be a lifelong pain no matter how well managed and dulled it becomes. I believed before that working through this and "healing" meant coming to some magical place where the affair doesn't bother me. That won't happen. It always will. That's a fact. And I'm okay with that. I used to previously qualify that with an additional "I don't like it" or "I wish it wasn't so" but I'm honestly okay with it.
I started taking emotional inventory of where I feel I am compared to where I want to be. When it comes to me, I'm good. I'm a fucking awesome dude and I like me. I love me. I'm my own friend now. I enjoy being with myself, by myself and doing things for myself. This may sound strange to some people but I've started being a little selfish. This is an entirely foreign concept to who I am. I have always put anyone and everyone before me, typically at my own expense. Thinking and doing things that is (just) for me is not what I'm accustomed to and my wife is actually proud of me for it. When we were out a couple weeks ago buying some baby things she was almost ecstatic when I said I wanted to buy some new workout clothes.
Anyways, while taking emotional inventory I came to two conclusions. I want to be closer to my daughter. There's nothing wrong there and we're not distant or anything, I just want a closer relationship than we already have. Having a newborn around has made me realize how quickly I feel she's grown up all of a sudden. She's such an amazing little girl and in all honesty, despite her not realizing it, she's been my biggest and best support throughout all of this stuff. She's kept me grounded and focused when I otherwise don't think I would have been. Children are amazing. I'm glad I have mine. I have no clue how we'll be closer since she's ridiculously in love with her daddy already as I am with her, but well it's something I want.
The other conclusion is I want to gradually get closer to my wife. I didn't realize it until one day I heard something that had me thinking and I eventually asked my wife "do you miss the way I loved you?" This sparked a very introspective and heartfelt conversation between us. She pointed out there's a distance between us with me. She accepts it's her fault and doesn't have a problem with it, yet I didn't even realize it. Goes to show how our perspectives (everyone's really) can be different.
I didn't think nor notice I was distant, and she only mentioned it because I asked. That said I accept that she's right. There's a distance in my heart that's been there since D-Day. I've done it with everything else in my life when something has hurt me and this is no different. Despite asking her lots of questions (still a handful every single day), obsessing over the affair, and generally being laser focused on recovery from this infidelity, the truth is I haven't had much true focus on her. On us. It's been on me. About how I feel, how that affected me, what this is doing to me, can I deal with that, is this I dealbreaker, should I leave, and so on. Even though I may ask her "why did you cheat on me?" or other questions about it, the real intent is to 1) see if I can live with the answer and 2) gauge her remorse and her much work she's done on herself to see if I can live with her.
And she's done a great deal of work. She's remorseful and I very much can see myself living with her. She continues to be wonderful, actually moreso since our son was born (leading to my belief pregnancy hormones were getting to her at times). I marvel at how well she's handling everything. I worry at times if she can't, if she'll break again, but she's different now and I have confidence in her that she's earned. I don't think she'll ever go down that path again. She truly has opened up to me and I feel we have such an incredibly strong intimate bond now.
She told me she is saddened by how she ruined the specialness between us, how many things are gone because of her. Yesterday she unexpectedly broke down into tears over how her choices have damaged us and hurt me, and she never wants to hurt me again. I deeply appreciate these conversations when we have them. As time goes by she's becoming much more comfortable and capable of sharing her feelings with me and more importantly handling them in healthy ways. She's been able to bring her fears and concerns to me. She can even share her hopes and desires. Her joys and sadnesses. The emotionally stunted immature girl she once was has been giving way to an emotionally healthy and mature woman. She's not where she needs to be yet (as she still says) but is getting there and a far distance from who she was. And I'm glad she's in my life.
Which is why I want to become closer to her. When I asked her to explain and give examples of the distance she feels I totally got where she was coming from. And I realize now if we're to have what we want, what I want, which is a strong emotionally connected safe and happy relationship I need to work toward getting rid of that distance in my heart. Easier said than done I'm sure. I need to fully embrace her back into my life. It's time for me to do so now. Even though in the past she's proven she can hurt me and will, I believe firmly she's changed enough and done enough work to... well she's become a better person. A better person who I don't believe would hurt me or is capable of those things anymore and someone I want to be closer to. I've done enough work on myself, I'm in a great place. I trust myself. I now want to focus on us. Considering she's been dealing with helping me heal, being pregnant, working through her shit, helping mend our relationship all while still dealing with her everyday life responsibilities (and even rekindling relationships with her sister and mother) the past year, I'm sure I can handle this.
The coming months will be interesting for us. We're now finding our new normal. And it's nice. I look forward to us moving into a new home in a couple months. Leaving this place will do us all a world of good. Too many terrible memories here. The affair and her choices are still a part of our lives but the impact and importance they hold on our day to day lives has greatly diminished. I'm still sad about it all more often than not, yet the happiness is creeping in. And I'm okay with that too.
Just some thoughts and an update of sorts. Thanks for reading.