I was in a LTA from Jan ’08 until Oct. ’13 that I’m not even sure I wanted to be in. It was on and off over 6 years and was outside the city I live in. In the early days it was “something I deserved” because how hard I worked and later it just became “better than being alone on the road” – whatever it took to justify it to myself.
I’ve been married to my wife for 14 years and we’ve been together for 18 years – almost half my life. Never once in that time, even more today, did I ever consider leaving her. She is such a deep part of who I am – she is in my soul – that I can’t imagine not being married to her. It never occurred to me that I would act in a way to hurt her.
And yet here I am. I’ve lost my wife, I no longer live in the same home as my children, and I’m lost in an emotional roller-coaster as I try to figure out: who the hell I am? How and why I did this? And if there is any chance of saving my marriage and my children’s’ future?
And so I am doing the work. And it’s hard, and it hurts and it upsets me, but it is my only path forward because I NEED TO UNDERSTAND why I sacrificed EVERYTHING that was important to me. I love my wife, I love my family but I still destroyed everything in a blink for an OW that I didn’t care for.
Job 1 – Protect my wife. Everything she has asked for I have done. I moved out, changed phones, turned over the pc, email accounts, put a GPS tracker on myself, gave her the finances, ended the enabling friendships, am quitting my job and have had NC with the OW. I did a timeline, I answered every horrific question with equally horrific answers, I took beatings and I listened to her cry (before we separated). I’m learning to be a partner – doing the shopping, chores, taking care of the kids on the weekend, cooking for them, caring for them (haircuts, clothes shopping, etc.). I set up a “to-do” list in the kitchen so my wife know if she needs something done, its gets done.
Job 2 – Sort out myself. Answering the question “why?” is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Even harder for me personally as I know how deeply I care for my wife and how little I cared for the OW. I’m in IC and spend time every week with my minister. The combination of them are powerful – one very pragmatic and the other very emotional. We’re talking and digging and it’s not fun. I don’t WANT to go back to my childhood. I don’t WANT to talk about how useless my parents were. I don’t WANT to FEEL IT and in saying that I’m starting to realize I’ve been running away from emotions and intimacy for a very long time. My A was one more way for me to run…away from my life…away from my wife…away from feeling anything. I could say I’m committed to continuing IC despite the pain, but the reality is I’m in SO MUCH PAIN from watching my A destroy my family, that the IC is my only hope at staying sane. What comes out the other side will be a better man, of that I have no doubt. If there is anyone waiting for me when I get there is unfortunately out of my hands.
This is my story 3 months after DDay and where it goes from here is anyone’s guess…