Hi everybody. Thanks for the communication. Some of it is still confusing to me, honestly. Some of it I read and I hate to read it. I feel like I am in a unique situation. I feel like her and I have always connected on a higher level, which is really narcissistic. If I read those last two sentences, not knowing the nuances or dynamics of the situation, I would be the first person saying "YOU ARE A DAMN FOOL".
I have really been consistently a shi**y partner for years, have taken her for granted for years. She has been my rock for years and I totally went about life assuming she would always be there and her "heart would never harden" to me. Some of you are really hard on her, and while I understand it from an outsiders perspective, I really let it happen. Unhappily married, tells her husband 100 different ways, he doesnt listen/doesnt think she's serious, she starts confiding in a co-worker and they start connecting. She starts to think there may be happiness elsewhere (because there's no happiness here), she makes a play for the guy, and it's reciprocated. Boom. I had it coming.
My reaction to this (i found out about the physical part of the affair less than an house after it happened) after the initial shock and sadness, I immediately started to understand that I was really a horrible husband. She has a catalogue of crappy behavior on my part, almost all of it just nitpicky poor bedside manner, ball busting, general lack of compassion and kindness. While I may have been loyal and worked hard for the family and actually have an unbelievable love for this woman, I never showed it for reasons I hope to get to the bottom to.
Anyway, I feel that I have done some tremendous things this week and if there was a perfect way to react, to demonstrate real remorse, to demonstrate real love for this woman, to do exactly the right things to demonstrate that I can in fact be humbled to my knees and almost be reborn, I have done it. I'm very proud of how I have reacted to all of this so far, with a compassion that I have chosen not to demonstrate in a very long time. I have spent this entire week taking stock of all the ways and habits that have led me to fail this woman, from being overworked to always reacting to her cry's by ether not listening to her, being in denial about what she was asking for, or telling her she was to blame for whatever trival issue we were arguing about. I also began to recognize that if I really wanted to be a better man, I was going to need to humble myself to some people close to me by basically telling them that I was a poor husband and sometimes just a real jerk in general and opening up to people in a way I never have, in hopes that some of the right people would care enough to be good council to me and/or at least cheer me on as I begin this quest to be a better man. I am actually trying to look at this act of her cheating and falling for another man as a blessing. I feel that if she never did this, if this never happened, she would have went the rest of her life being unfulfilled, as by simply asking me to change wouldnt have been enough (because it wasnt in the past). It also enabled me to stop the the zombie like life I was living; work, work, work, while she was the homemakers/roommate/mother of my children/sex partner and REALLY take a moment (so far a week) and take an assesment of my 43 years on the planet, my level of happiness, and what I ultimately wanted in the end. I heard a term sometime ago that nobody on their deathbed says that they wish they could have worked harder, and even though it's not new to me, I've been thinking about that a lot. I complain to my wife about my life passing before my eyes, about how times is flying faster and faster, yet I can spend literally 14 hours a day working more often than not. I hope through all of this you can at least understand the underlinings of why it went down the way it did. And you can say she had a real crummy way of going about it, but any other way wouldnt have jolted me the way this has jolted me. No other way would have cut this deep.
We went to one session of marriage therapy, and I came out of it with a lot of hope for myself specifically. I felt we were fortunate enough to find a therapist who we'd think was good for us, and so far I feel like we have. She goes to see him alone tomorrow and I go alone on Wednesday. There are some emotional hangups I've had for my whole life that I think contibute to my creating distance on purpose between myself and those I love the most. I am going to pay $270 a session to get to the bottom of it
Another thing that has happened is that my wife and I have existed with her being a life long believer in God and follower of her faith, and I am simply agnostic. I have decided this week that I am going to go to church with her and the kids starting next week; not because I'm going to cult myself into believing in God, but because there is a community of people there that are actually HER rock, while she was MY rock. I think I can look past all the God in heaven, everybody in white robes floating around with loved ones in a state of forever bliss and take out of it the support she gets. My whole life right now is surrounded by work/business relationships, a few lifelong friends, and my wife. I keep my circle small and I dont think that's been to my benefit.
We actually went on a date last night, initiated by me and she was cool with it. We spoke about our issues on our way to visit friends of ours who's marriage we admire and were looking for some inspiration, then went to a bar and saw a band, had a few drinks and laughs amd it was really natural and good and amazing that we are a week removed from such a heavy event. I called my friend this morning who we saw last night and told him what was happening, and he revealed to me that him and his wife dealt with strangely similar issues (with his wife in my role) and just finished two straight years marriage counciling. I was kind of blown away by this and it further solidified the idea that I need to not be so private about the s*it in my life, as nobody is perfect.
Meanwhile, my wife wants me to continue doing what I am doing but not obsess over it (as in, not write a novel on the Talkaboutmarriage website) and just focus on my plan. But, at the same time, she is strong in her feelings for this new man and while she has promised that she will cut out the physical part of their relationship, she wants to continue the communciation with him. Therein lies the current, most obvious problem with all of this. It's a roadblock in our rebuilding this thing but she steadfastly maintains that while I am doing all the right things and owning up to all of my past jerkiness and "coming to Jesus" (sorta), me losing her heart once and for all wasnt just a threat. If she had divorce papers right now, she'd sign them. She says she's thought it all the way through and every consequence be damned. And even with all of that, I am going to sit here and ride this out and continue to reverse the curse and call her a saint.
So, there's the latest. I'm sure you've never quite heard anything like it, but there is nobody like the two of us. We both agree we were made for each other.