Summer may not be winding down quite yet, but the start of school is forcing it into place. I always find it depressing when the kids have to go back to school. I am definitely not the mom who is anxiously awaiting her children to be gone for the day so i can get a massage and my nails done.
Today was a bit rainy, so I spent the day cleaning bathrooms and doing laundry. My boys kept me company on and off with their typical chatter about typical boy things, always intermingled with several I love yous. That is my boys. They tell me they love me numerous times a day, sometimes coming back to make sure that I heard them the first time. I am reminded of these sweet children and how at one point my despair about him had kept me at arm’s length from them. Those days when I somehow felt like without him it wouldn’t matter. I knew it when it was happening and i know it now, it still would have mattered. It makes me sad when I think to back then. And I still don’t get him. At all. Not that it matters, because I’m certain he doesn’t get himself either. For all the healing and damage control, sometimes we are both still two lost souls. But, we are lost together and that is our comfort. Hand in hand we are trying to find our way. We are trying to figure out what went wrong and where it went wrong. And sometimes, we just feel like there was no reason. It just happened, not because we were broken or had a fight, or lost our love for each other, but simply because it did. And he doesn’t deny that his mind came up with excuses for himself for his behavior.
With every conversation we close the gap between us, even when the conversation doesn’t necessarily go well. Sometimes i get angry that all of this could have been avoided had I found out all of that valuable information before. But, another part of me thinks the timing was perfect. If he had still been in contact with her when we found out about her extracurricular activities, she likely would have been able to easily manipulate him to buying whatever excuse she could give for her nude photos and explicit texts sent to another man while she was professing her love for him. And little did she know that she messed with the two most wrong women that she ever could have chosen to mess with. And she could never have predicted that we women would find each other and share all of our evidence with each other……..and our husbands.
So, as we move forward, our conversations have gotten deep and revealing, but very spread apart. We do not talk often. Most of our days are filled with happy things and kid things. We reserve our conversations for when we are both ready and in the right mindset. These are not conversations you have after a long, tiring day. The entire day has to be devoted to this, with the conversation rolling in and out with other things. We completely stopped having these conversations in our bedroom. And I don’t recommend that anyone has these conversations there. And it’s so easy to do, because you can shut the door and keep the kids out, but it’s your bedroom. Only conversations about US happen there.
During our healing process neither of us have ever even considered not staying together. We knew that we would work through whatever we had to work through. That’s just who we are. And sometimes that has been difficult for both of us. It’s not that we ever said, I can’t do this. But, the frustration that we have both felt has been part of the rules we have fell back on. We both went through a period where we needed space. And for me, the part I have found difficult, is that after he went through the period where he needed space, he has been going through a clingy stage. Even when he’s working in the garage, the usual place he loves to be alone and work on his car, he wants me there. He never comes out and says that, but he always asks me to come down, adding that it’s up to me if I do or not. I do. And I do because he needs me to be there. So, even when I don’t feel like it, I show up in the garage for idle chit-chat about engines and fenders. And he does similar things for me. He calls to check in even though I have never asked him to. His phone is always in sight and always face up. He freely hands it to the kids when they ask. And even though I could, I can’t remember the last time I looked at it. Because that’s the way it was before.
And that leads to trust. I suppose I immediately started trusting him again from the moment he viewed all of the incriminating evidence against her. He didn’t have to say anything really. The evidence was so detailed with events and dates and photos, and screenshots of her emails, after the last of it was viewed that was pretty much it. The look on his face told me everything I needed to know about trusting him. He realized he screwed up big time and that she manipulated him for whatever reason. We’ve actually never talked about the whys. I’m not sure that it matters. She had told me once that he would do it again. I laugh at that now. He was a conquest for her. He was the family guy, untouchable, unwavering….her biggest challenge. In reality, it was never as much about him, as it was about her. And eventually, after I found out, I became the conquest. She had to beat me.
And part of healing is also forgiveness. Do I forgive her? I understand her. She doesn’t want me to understand her, but I do. And, that’s likely more than I can say for him. Does he forgive her? I don’t think he’s thought about that question. Honestly, I don’t think he will ever address that question. That’s not him. He may have a general of idea of the psychology of it all, that obviously her issues are deep, but he takes it no further.
The healing continues and is infinitely easier than when it began. And the most important part of healing after an affair is patience. None of the healing comes fast. And at first it doesn’t come at all. I chose to work on my feelings toward her during that beginning stage. I tried to figure out how not to hate someone who attempted to destroy a good man and his family. And for that I used a journal, that perhaps I should turn into another blog. The way I feel about her has changed significantly and dramatically. I assume the same is true for him. If I ran into her tomorrow I don’t know what I would say. But, I do know that I would like to talk with her. And in my forgiveness of her, the healing with him was easier.
Nothing brings you peace like forgiveness.