It’s been a year since d-day.
In this last year, I’ve wallowed in the depths of despair, I’ve laid in the fetal position on the floor not able to get up, I’ve tried to understand betrayal and failed miserably, and I’ve been forced to realize that prince charming only exists in movies. Yes, I always knew that no one was perfect but to experience the tremendous pain of broken vows and deception was nothing like I could have imagined.
I could spend today reflecting on all the grief, the life changing trauma that I didn’t ask for, and the unfairness of being deceived.
But I refuse. Neither my husband nor the other woman are worth that. In no way, will I allow them to control this day. Or any other day for that matter.
And so I put on my headphones and listen to some kick-ass women singing songs of strength.
I read a blog about four months back from a women who decided to stay with her husband after his affair because of her children. I got it. I’m not a martyr by any means, nor was she. But that decision helped bide her time while she figured out how to move forward. It also saved her from another wealth of heartbreak on seeing her kids devastation at losing their in-tact home. Something that was impossible for her to endure until the decision had to made, that her children would be better served by two loving parents living apart.
I don’t have a deep desire to deny my own future happiness, but the idea of staying for my child puts my heart at ease. Staying for my daughter means that I’m not staying for him and there is some sort of odd relief in that. I’m not stuck in this relationship.
For his part, he has been slowly coming in to the period of true remorse. It took awhile for him to not classify the affair as some sort of mistake that he’ll never make again but to actually feel the pain of the deception himself. He takes great strides at being present and loving and attentive. That will ensure that rebuilding a relationship is possible, if in time, we deem there is a relationship worthy of rebuilding.
I don’t rely on his remorse, I don’t even really think about it much. What has come with my own healing is more about what I can do and handle and garner joy from, and less about what realizations he is making. I live more for myself now. And that’s okay. It’s healthy actually. It doesn’t mean that I ignore his ideas or don’t listen. It means that if the world comes crashing down again, I’ll know that I am still standing and taking care of myself.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heeded from others who have gone through this is to be gentle with yourself. I don’t have all the answers, I don’t know that I even have one right answer on how to proceed or where to go from here. I just know that I only do what I have the strength to do. That means making sure that I am okay, first and foremost. If I feel like going to see his family and pretending to be a happy couple would trigger me, then I don’t go. If I feel like going to see his family would be enjoyable, then I go. I make sure I’m okay with whatever decision I’m making and I won’t put myself in any situation that may be stressful or cause anxiety. It’s me first. And within that – me first stance – I’ve been able to take care of my daughter in a calm and loving way. And with that – me first stance – I’ve been able to see my husband without holding the anger or resentment.
Who knows what life will be like five years from now. I could be with my husband or I could be married to someone else. What I do know right now, is that I’m not planning for either situation. I’m just doing what I can do today.
‘Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.’