On Saturday I had a very emotionally intense conversation with my wife. It wasn't heated or an argument, not even a venting session, just a really intense talk about everything affair related.
We've been spending time talking about our upcoming move and I brought up the subject of asking when she was going back to work. She mentioned later this year as she doesn't want to stay off the whole year, something I understand and have no problem with. I knew this before, I understood it...
Yet it then hit me that she'll be going back to work. Dumb and obvious as that sounds. She'll go back to work with those people, with him. I triggered really hard. We have an agreement that she was to find another job, but that was put off due to her pregnancy. Part of why she wants to go back to work is so she can start looking for a different job quicker. I understand that and am fine with it, yet I hate that she has to go back to work there. I'm not even concerned about her doing anything with anyone there or any problems with the job itself. She's shown me enough and changed enough that I'm confident in her. It's just, well it's a continuous reminder and I want it gone (as does she).
Anyways, that's what sparked the conversation. What followed was one of the most intense, and gratifying, conversations we've had in our relationship.
I told her that despite what a lot of folks see in my posts on here and even people we know, I'm incredibly sad. Overwhelmingly sad sometimes. The love of my life ripped my heart out. For nothing. Not love, not some magical euphoria affair, not even a fucking cup of coffee. Just a fucked up mind with fucked up coping mechanisms fucking us both over. Her best friend, the ever loyal and stalwart big papa wolf that is her husband... thrown away for nothing. As much as I've come far, as much as I see her changing, I'm still so very sad about that.
I'm actually somewhat proud that I haven't resorted to the anger I would have in the past. That shows me how far I've come. I no longer soothe myself with rage, no longer find comfort in my vengeance. I feel what I feel and no longer mask it. It feels healthy and good.
As I continued talking, she did something I'm still not accustomed to but absolutely love. She talked back. I got used to years of talking at her just wishing she'd open up, and here she is with me opening up all the time now. It's nice. She understands and knows just how sad I am. She misses seeing me have that happiness in my eyes, and she hates how it's because of her terrible choices.
I talked about all the different aspects of her affair, her behaviour prior and what has happened since. I even identified that she was abusive in the past and I simply ignored it, (in being honest with myself) rugswept it, or worse enabled and participated in it myself. I brought up way too much to detail all of it here.
Long story short she talked to me and was there step by step the whole conversation. I laid so much of myself out there emotionally and she took it, validated it, comforted me, reassured me and opened up herself. I have never felt so connected to this woman before and we didn't say a damn thing nice. It was all dirty and ugly affair business. Stuff no one wants to talk about or rehash. But we were so connected at that moment giving back and forth.
I'm finally truly seeing her remorse. It's always been there, I've even talked about it often on here but I was always skeptical. I wanted to believe but wasn't actually sure if it was real. I am finally truly seeing how much work she really has done in the past year. Actually, I should correct that, as she told me she hasn't done work on herself for the past year. She says she had her head up her own ass until July apparently and a lot of the changes in her coinciding with working through her shit in counselling. Something I guess I didn't know. Even that, the honesty about herself it is so new to me and I love it.
Yesterday was an okay day, we spent most of it alternating when we slept (colds for everyone and grumpy baby). This morning when I got up she wasn't home. I figured she had taken our daughter to school with the baby, but she didn't come back when I thought she would. I wondered where she was and about 10 minutes after she'd normally be home I called her. She picked up immediately and was happy to hear from me. I asked where she was and she said she was going to run some errands and had sent me texts saying so. I said okay, but she could tell I was concerned so she decided to come home immediately. (her texts showed up on my phone as she walked in the door, all at once - these phones have caused too many misunderstandings)
She could tell I was distant and insisted I tell her what was bugging me, no matter what. So I told her. Triggering the other day and all we talked about was still on my mind and getting to me. That sometimes I still feel like I'm emotionally stuck in last April. Like I haven't progressed through the pain at all and I'm starting to get upset at myself for that. Which lead me to explaining how this was truly the worst thing to happen to me in my life. She listened and thus started another emotionally intense conversation. So, there we were with her talking to me about even more stuff. She's so attentive and gets me... something that wasn't true before.
I find myself thinking that often now. I look at her and she's different. It's not me hoping she is, it's not me wishing she is, it's not me reading into things with too much optimism. She really is a different person and I feel like I'm observing her metamorphosing. It's just so tangible and hard to put into words. I've been leery of her this whole time (though cautiously hopeful) and I don't think I need to be anymore.
I told her I'm fearful of some dashing fellow she's actually attracted to who compliments her and fills her head full of positive bullshit (ya know, the opposite of what happened with her affair) coming along and it happening again. And I think if it did if it didn't outright kill me it would probably emotionally cripple me. She told me she's changing and making sure she'll never stoop that low again. That she won't compromise who she is ever again. That she never wants to hurt me again nor hurt herself.
And that lead to her talking to me about how she hurt herself with what she did. I really appreciated her sharing those feelings with me, she hasn't really done that before. It gave me perspective I didn't have. I knew she didn't think positively of her affair at all, but I didn't know just how much her choices and actions hurt her so much.
A bit after we were done talking I thought of something and decided to ask her: "do you really truly deep down care about what I think of your changes as a person?"
That was the exact answer I was hoping for. My question was awkward and doesn't convey what I really was asking, but she understood. She does care what I think, but she's changing primarily for herself. She knows she's changed, so knows she's different, she doesn't need anyone (including me) to validate that for her. She believes in herself. She never wants to go down that road again. Hearing that and knowing it makes me feel safe. I see the grief and sadness in her eyes when she talks of all the devastation she caused. I also see a quiet confidence and perseverance.
I'm finally understanding what some of the older members/veterans mean when you know true remorse when you see it. It truly is palpable and right there. She talks differently, carries herself differently, acts differently, reacts differently, thinks differently.
It doesn't take away my sadness, but it does give me hope and confidence in our future. I think with more time and consistency my sadness with fade. I need to do my work too to get there, but her true contrition and new found authenticness are helping me get through this a great deal.
Sorry if this is overlong. I'm just rambling out my thoughts. Thanks for reading.