In April 2011, I found out my husband had been having an affair for well over a year. We had been separated for about six months, and though I knew we had not been getting along prior to that, I never knew there was another person involved (for many months before we actually separated). I always thought we had our problems, but I thought that somehow we would work it out. I was completely devastated to learn about his involvement with another person.
Those were painful, painful months. As I write today though, we are back together as a family, and I am certain there is no more contact between my husband and that person. Both he and I want to make this work, but sometimes I feel like I sabotage our own best efforts. Most days I am OK and things are good, but some days, I still want to cry all day ... I still think about it way too much.
I realize this will sound like I hold my husband with no responsibility for the affair, but in order for me to move on, I had to forgive him, almost immediately. We had not been good partners to each other for many years. We took each other for granted, and even though I wish we had handled many things differently, I do understand why it happened. I had given up, too. We still loved each other, but we had both let things deteriorate to the point that it was all almost lost ...
I have forgiven him, but I have not been able to forgive her. All of my anger, my pain, my feelings over this last year have been placed on her. I have never contacted her, never spoken to her once, but she comes to my mind a hundred times a day. It's weird, I can understand why my husband did what he did, but I can't understand how or why a complete stranger could have tried to hurt me and my children so badly.
----(she didn't try to hurt you. Your husband hurt you by completely disregarding his marriage vows and your feelings.)
However, maybe I need to redo how I am thinking about this ...
Here's what I am starting to think in order to move on ...
Now, in April 2012, at what I am starting to consider some of the more painful first anniversary dates of the whole thing, maybe I have been thinking of it in the wrong way …
It was in April 2011 when I first found out that woman even existed. By that time, she had been destroying my family for well over a year, but I did not have any idea at all …
----( blame shifting again, it was your husband who had been destroying your family for a whole year, showing you and your marriage no respect.)
It was really sort of like a nightmare to me. Finding out, feeling like I was dying, feeling like I was losing my mind, feeling like I was the fool, the loser, the one who was the last to know … feeling like she was so much better than me.
What if I’m wasn't the loser or the fool at all? What if she was? Maybe I need to redo my thinking about it ...
----( very good thinking, she must not be very emotionally healthy AT ALL to date a married man!)
It was painful to learn of “the game” in April 2011, but at least I knew I had to be back in it at a different level than I thought I was playing at. For well over a year, the other person was treating my life like a game that she controlled.
----( Again this was your husbands game, he chose to play, she was just one of many women he could have picked to cheat with.)
But the whole time I was slowly losing everything, I never even knew that I was playing against anyone else. It's like she was playing against me while I wasn’t even playing back. Let's face it, it’s probably pretty damn easy to win if no one’s even playing against you, no?
I was taking things slow, playing careful, thinking that things would eventually work out … how could they not? After all, sure we were separated, but we had been married for nearly 20 years. But I was playing blind to what was really going on.
No one told me there was another player who was basically trying to destroy me, destroy my life, destroy my children's lives …
----( again your husband was that player not her)
Here’s the thing … In April 2011 I guess I started fighting back against this person for the first time. At the time I didn’t think I really was “fighting” back against anything or anyone, I felt like I was just trying to survive, to keep my life, to keep my sanity. I felt like she was so much better than me. She was important, she got gifts, she got phone calls, she got to go places … she was the strong, fun person.
I have felt this way, basically for over a year now. Like she was so great, and like I was the crying loser. I have had such a difficult time feeling any self-worth. Though I have hated this person, I have actually, at times, tried to be more like her. After all, she must be so great, she was the one who my husband apparently wanted to be with.
But, maybe I need to change my perception of those times.
Finally, starting in April 2011, I was fighting back on even terms. Finally, I knew she existed.
She knew I existed since the first second of the game she chose to start. She knew about me for well over a year prior to my first play. She knew about me from the first damn day, from the first damn phone call, the first damn meeting …
But yet, well over a year later, there was no divorce between me and my husband. There was no ring on her finger. There wasn’t even talk, in any way, shape, or form, of me and my husband getting a divorce. Not once. Even though we were living apart, going through some up days and some down days, we never, ever, once talked about a divorce.
----( yeah sounds like your husband loved his cake eating)
So … maybe it wasn’t me who was the loser at all. Maybe it wasn’t me who was the biggest fool. Maybe I was and am the one who was the survivor, the one who was stronger, the one who played the game by the rules and won.
Here we are … a year later.
I ’m the one who’s here.
She was winning only while I didn’t know, while I didn’t fight back, while I didn’t even play … but who can’t win then? And really, she had well over a year … and she got what? A few lame-ass gifts, a few nights here and there, a few drunk, dumb-ass phone calls and texts. And I thought I was the loser? What kind of loser gets to go to the fun places, gets the gifts, gets the secret attention for over a year … and still loses?
So, who really was the fool?
----( you are currently the fool if you don't see things for what they really are)
I need to stop thinking of myself as the weak victim, the last-to-know, the poor wife, the loser. I need to stop giving her so much power over me.
----( I couldn't agree more)
She couldn’t close the deal after trying for well over a year. All of the chips were stacked in front of her - she knew what she was doing and how she was playing.
----( she couldn't close the deal cause your hubby had the best if both worlds, why would he try to change a thing?)
When I finally found out and started to fight … I won, not her. I never cheated. I played fair. And I still won, not her.
--( good for you for not sinking to your husbands level)
Though it makes me feel better about myself to redo my thinking about this, to be honest, I don't think I will truly move on by thinking I "won", either. Though it will make me feel more self-confident, more strong, more sure of myself, I will still harbor a lot of hate for her because of what she did to me and my children.
----(omg you need counseling for yourself and your warped views ASAP!)
In the end, I know I have to forgive her. It's the only way I can move on and not give her so much of my time and energy in thoughts.
This is my first and only post, ever.
It's to say, "I'm not the victim anymore. I'm not the loser. I'm choosing to move on."
It's taken a year of my life now. It's made me cry, it's made me hurt more than I ever have, but it's time to move on. It's time to appreciate how good things really are right now, and to plan how to keep them this way. It's time to live in this moment. It's time to stop giving that person so much power over me and my family.
----(again very good idea)
I am here. I played fair. I have learned so much. I am not second-rate. I am not the loser. I was never the loser. I was not the biggest fool. I am the survivor. I am stronger. And I have to be the forgiver.