When I went through my spouse having an affair, it broke me down, shattered pieces of me, tore me up, pain etc. etc. blah blah. It’s been a while so I can tell you that in some ways I’m glad some of those pieces of me that were shattered did so. However, I can also say it’s a lot of damn work to learn lessons in life. So. Much. Damn. Work.
If you are a person like me who really wants to dig down and figure yourself out, it can feel like the person who had the affair got off easy (yeah I’m being crass with that pun too). They think, “oh that was a mistake let me move on” or maybe they end up with the other person meanwhile us other ones over here are left with a crap load of internal work. Working on esteem issues if that came up, or whatever the hell came up for us. It could be so many things and I know I can only give you examples of things that came up for me, but I’m not sure I want to dump those all in this particular post. Yet. Ha!
The work is about feeling through the pain and working through the pain to get to the other side where you can look at things differently. When I was in the midst of the shit, I used to read about people who had “made it through” and said their marriages were better for the affair. While that gave me hope, it also makes me wonder a bit because I’m not sure I will get there or if I’m there. Which makes me question whether I was really in my marriage at all before the affair. See, it always takes two to cause an issue. I’m just learning about this for myself and it will be partially for me to keep to myself, but staying married to someone who had an affair is hard work. For me, it’s a challenge because I’m willing to tear it all open and lay the bullshit on the table, my bullshit, my spouse’s bullshit and just look at the disgusting mess to see how what can be cleaned up, what has to be sown up, and what can just be appreciated for the ugly mess that it is. My spouse though, not so willing to do this. I guess I can see why. The pain laying there was “caused” by all conventional means by my spouse, so who would want to sit there and figure out all of the things that were impacted by their really really bad choices? “Oh yes let me stare at all of the pain I caused you and then let’s talk about it more?”…maybe not so fun for them. Even though I still wish it would happen, I can see how it might not.
I’m going to keep it short because boy I could (and likely am already) rambling about this. I want to say. It’s a lot of f’ing work to heal yourself, but it’s worth it. It’s worth learning who you are, what makes you happy (please note that I said what not who), how you want to live your life, what things are important to you? Keeping your mind open to answering these things can lead to interesting discoveries and new beginnings. Perhaps you will stay, perhaps you won’t, but in the end you better make damn sure you are better for it anyway and I know you can.