It unexpectedly tore me up.
I sat there, in tears, thinking "I will never be able to write a death notice for WH, because what would I say??" "WH, adulterous husband of Gillian"?? "WH, unfaithful husband to Gillian"??
This situation really sucks.
Seeing a death notice like that always tears me up. To have that level of commitment to someone for many years is just amazing. I hope they realize how lucky they were to have that in their lives. It is what we all desire deep down.
So, you are looking at this from the lens of now. If he is able to redeem himself, doesn't that make him even more "devoted"?
Some mistakes are big enough to be a component of the character of a person. I know infidelity isn't murder but in my mind it murders a marriage. If you murdered somebody in the past, can you ever say "I'm not a murderer"?
A "loyal husband", except for that time he cheated.
I hate the things that rattle around in my brain....
His betrayal of me was not because I didn't shine brightly enough, but because he chose to put on blinders.
When he was in the fog, he could tell himself that he was doing what he was doing because he was "in love', but now that that has been thoroughly dismantled, he has to face head-on a really ugly side of himself. And, I guess I have to face it, too. (Not there yet, but working on it.) But, I do not think it defines him. Isn't that what redemption is all about? If we didn't have the ability to redeem ourselves, what kind of world would we live in?
I think we are judged by the sum total of our actions, and most importantly, how we respond when we fail. I am so proud of my H and how hard he is working, and how much he wants to be the person he and I both deserve him to be. I don't know if he would have been able to make these important changes, had he not crashed and burned like he did. I am not happy it happened, but I will reap the rewards.
[This message edited by bionicgal at 9:30 AM, December 4th (Wednesday)]
What do you call them now? Maybe I'll call my H, 'Husband'. Just that. Maybe he'll get a 'Beloved' in his death notice, depending on how the next 18 years go. That word 'Husband' carries a full meaning all on its own for me, because it expresses my commitment to him, as much as (maybe more than) his commitment to me. For better or for worse, he is my husband.
What kind of a person is he? Sometimes he's been a pretty sucky human being - but I don't want his entire life defined by his actions towards me.
I'm with bionicgal, in that I pray for the day when I don't define our marriage by the last two years of it. So far, except for the last few months, my entire marriage feels like a write-off in my mind.
It is so easy for me to slip into the past and dwell on all the pain in my life (not just the infidelity), but that is such a waste of my time, energy and emotions. I need to remind myself of all the good that is happening in our lives now and to enjoy and live in the present. If you can do that, the future will take care of itself and the past is just that, the past.
I feel if FWH died today, I would be able to write "MisterSister, devoted husband to Milkshake, .....etc." because that is who he is today.
Don't be so hard on yourself, though. If your registration date is around the time of your d-day it has only been a year for you to process all of this. Of course you are still triggering and going down the rabbit hole.
It will get better. ((((ItsaClimb)))))
"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson
I need to remind myself to live in the present.
Once you get there these questions to ponder make no sence. Who the hell knows what I might write years from now.
I maintain that you judge a person's character not by their failures, but how they react to them. We are all going to fail in this life, in one way or another. Are we to be remembered for that? Or for picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off, and growing and learning and not repeating those same errors?
I look to the all knowing source of family values, Duck Dynasty, to help guide me. (Yes, I DVR it )
I was hesitant to watch the wedding episode that Miss Kay and Phil renew their vows after 50 years, but after I listened to her vows I felt ok about the future. (Early in their marriage Phil was an alcoholic and unfaithful for years.)
Her vows: ďAll I can say is from the time I was 14 years old, I loved you. We been through some good times and some hard times. I loved you when we were poor and you were not so nice. Now youíre really nice. And kind. All I can say about that is, Iím not going anywhere.Ē
It was really touching. Now, the term faithful may not be applicable for him, but he woke up, realized what is important, and then stood by it. There is something redeemable about owning it and making it right, maybe even better than what it was before.
Totally recommend the episode if you haven't seen it!
But to say he's a devoted loyal faithful husband, I don't think I will ever be able to. But I fake it now to others around me so why wouldn't I if something happened to him?
I won't be writing a'cliched' obit anyway! I will probably mention how I am now a true, golf widow!
I suppose it's a personal thing really. Some seem to believe that the WS (through work on themselves, dealing with FOO and other issues, consistently being trustworthy, being the spouses they should always have been etc) can redeem themselves to the point where the slate is wiped clean and the WS can again be viewed as the "devoted" or "faithful" spouse. Others seem to feel that even with all the work, the infidelity will always be there and the WS will never again be able to claim the title of "devoted" or "faithful" spouse.
For now I sit in the latter camp. To me it's a bit like losing your virginity - once it's gone, it's gone... No matter how virginal your behaviour after the event - you may be celibate for the rest of your life - but the fact is you are no longer a virgin.
I hope with time my feelings on this will change.
But like LA, if WS was on his deathbed, I would be there, holding his hand right at this moment, because despite all the despicable things he has done to me, I'm still devoted to him. I hope one day he becomes devoted to me. I guess maybe that's the problem it is not my decision, it is WS's decision which determines devotion.
I don't believe virginity and fidelity can be compared. If my fWH is devoted and faithful to me today, I have a devoted and faithful husband. His past has nothing to do with his present. There are no "but's", he is or he isn't. KWIM?
OTOH, I don't know if I felt this way at one year post d-day or this has evolved for me.
My friend had to endure fundraising car washes and a dedication ceremony at a local high school event. He SO wanted to yell to the world what OM was really like (I had the change my words as we are in the R forum). He wanted to tell the widow what her H was really like. He never did as that would punish the wrong person. And he would end up looking the crazy one. He does however admit a huge sense of relief of knowing he will never run into OM#2.
My Dday was Dec. 27, 2010 so I'm still in the process of R and the roller-coaster is currendly dipping down. Most of the time, I appreciate the work my WH has/is doing and I allow myself to be optimistic about the future. However, when things dip I have a hard time thinking of him as anything other than "the adulterer". It's so sad that he chose to handle his emotional crises the way he did without considering the long-term consequences. Now we are left to pick up the pieces and deal with a damaged, scarred legacy.