Right around this time, 5 years ago, October 30, 2008, I made the dreaded discovery of a greeting card in my then husband’s trunk. It’s not that I hadn’t suspected an affair, I had, in the deep dark recesses of my mind. I actually asked him a time or two, and then apologized before I gave him a chance to answer. I was either ashamed that I would think that about my husband, or, in reality, afraid to know the truth. His behavior toward me for the year before d-day was atrocious. I was hating him more and more and wishing he wouldn’t come home from work. If only I knew his behavior was that of a model wayward. He says he ended the affair a few months before d-day. Maybe. I believed him at the time, but I got “I don’t remember” to most questions, so…does it really matter? He had been nicer to me for those few months, so maybe it was true.
For a couple years after d-day, I struggled hard with stress, anxiety, and all the physical ailments that come with being constantly on edge. I lost hair, weight, confidence, security, hope, and my future. But he was there, next to me, swearing that he was sorry, promising to right his wrong.
Then it started getting bad again. In December 2010, he received a text one night that I intercepted that said “mistletoe” from a number I didn’t recognize. I hyperventilated…almost passing out in the garage, feeling hopeless. He swore it was a wrong number. I didn’t believe him. Then the lack of thought he put into my Christmas present a couple weeks later upset me. When I tried to talk to him about it, he kicked down our bedroom door. Our youngest witnessed it. I was crying “I’m sorry”…my little son was crying “she’s sorry”. I looked at him and said “marriage counseling or it’s over”. He agreed to marriage counseling. All through the two to three months we went, it was horrible for me. I honestly didn’t know who this person was next to me. The counselor was horrible. Kept telling him how honest he was and I should get medication. I kept saying “something’s wrong”. I felt they were ganging up on me. I had to cancel an appointment for a work related conflict. We didn’t reschedule. That was around March 2011.
Then on June 3, 2011…I found the smoking gun. The text that he wrote to the same married other woman. The text that said “I love you dearly”. I certainly never got “dearly” put at the end of his I love yous to me. I told him to move out that night. Divorce was filed in July, finalized in February 2012.
Does time heal the wounds? I’m now at the end of the magical 2-5 years that I heard it takes. Healed with a scar (or two, or three, or….). I am not the person I was 5 years ago, for the good and bad of what a failed marriage left me with. I’m divorced, 44 years old, mother of two sons, a co-parent with the ex, taking a small dose of Zoloft everyday and worried about my future and not living in my moment.
I dated someone right away after the separation, during the divorc (big mistake). He ended up being an alcoholic…and emotionally abusive after I ended things. He got pretty scary, and I had to change the locks. I’m starting to date someone now. A BH. I’m not sure where it’s going. I’m not sure what I want. Now, after ex has dated around (married other woman didn’t leave her husband for him) he has asked for me back. I can’t go there.
It’s been 5 years, many of those the hardest years of my life. If I could reach them, so can you! It’s not about everything being perfect and easy and happy. It’s about surviving.