I've posted here a few times before, and maybe this will be my final post. That's GOOD!
My journey into the world of infidelity began in September 2014. I'm not the same woman today as I was then. And seriously, the changes I've gone through are almost all for the better. I know, it's hard to believe anyone would say that. But in my case, I needed to have my world rocked to open to my eyes to the truths of my marriage, my fWH, and ultimately myself. I was 20 pounds overweight, was exercising sporadically, kept a box of wine in the fridge and had at least one glass most nights (sometimes more than 1). I was living on autopilot. My marriage was a mess. Basically two people living parallel existences under one roof. We raised 2 daughters and our oldest had moved to another city and was in graduate school while our youngest was starting her senior year of high school when the bomb dropped.
I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was. The signs were all there but I simply ignored them. I honestly didn't care. But never in my imagination did I suspect an affair. And 3? Well, that was why I was blindsided and DDay was such a shock to me.
But we survived. And while I got some blowback here on SI for how I handled things at times, I went with my gut and it seems to have served me well. My biggest deviation from the SI script was that I fought to FIX HIM. I saw him as damaged and only I could help him see what I believed he needed to see to fix himself. Where I was wrong is in believing early on (first 8 months or so) that if he were "fixed" then all our problems would be solved. Ah, the innocent mind of a newbie
Yes, fixing the fWS is necessary, but it does not solve all problems. My fWH went to IC, went NC immediately, and jumped in with all he had to try to fix the mess he'd created. I give him a lot of credit for being a "good example" of a truly remorseful spouse worthy of R.
Today, we still talk about things, but now it's more in reflection of where he was, where we were, and where we are today and how we want our life together to be going forward. There are likely a few blow ups still in our future, but that's predictably falling aside as well. I have not sat down and organized all of my words of wisdom, those words I'd like to share with others in hopes of helping them through their own journey. Having been there myself, I will always be one of them. One of you. Always.
And another change from early on, is that I have come to be comfortable in the knowledge that I will truly never know if he is completely "safe" or not. There are no guarantees, no pinky promises that this will never happen again. For the longest time that is the level of safety I was seeking -- to feel that it would never happen again, that I would forever be safe and not have to deal with anything resembling this again. Today, I feel comfortable in knowing that if something did happen, I would be okay. The worst has happened. I survived. And I would survive again, but in a much different fashion.
For me, for us, this is our only shot at R. After all we have been through together, all the knowledge gained, there is simply no way we could enter this again. At least I will not. And that is okay for me to accept. I could go on and on about all the lovely things fWH now says about me, all the ways he respects and admires me and is "in love" with me all over again. But that really is less important than how I feel about myself. I do appreciate that he loves me, that we are creating together a very good life, a life we should have been working on many years ago. We wasted a lot of time. It took this to wake us up, and that will always be a part of our story. I don't believe that his affairs were "the best thing to happen to me", but I know without it, we would not be where we are today. It forced us to grow up, to be vulnerable to ourselves and with one another. We are both different people today because of what he did, and what we chose to do together to move forward in our marriage despite the massive wound he inflicted upon us.
Also, it helps that I better understand his whys. I think I saw them from dday1, and many of my fights (horrible, horrible blows that seem almost unbelievable looking back) with him was to force him to keep proving over and over again that that early understanding that I'd formed was correct. His consistency, never showing doubt in what he wanted, his commitment to me and our family. . . that kept me afloat when I felt myself sinking under. It took him to get us here. But it's taken both of us to get where we are today.
For those just starting out, you can have hope that your marriage can survive and yes, really, it can be better than ever after the affair/s. But to get there, you must be willing to accept many painful truths, look them square in the eyes, and watch as your strength in facing these truths grows and the truths no longer hurt as much as they did at the beginning. You will heal. Your life will return to normal, however you choose to define that. While I may be stepping away from SI, I will check in periodically and respond to any messages I receive from members. I do hope to use my knowledge to help others in real life. Peace to all of you reading this. And thank you to all who have walked next to me and supported me along the way. I am forever in your debt.