Perspective

This has been a rough few days for my family. On Saturday my dad had a heart attack. Luckily, it was a mild one, but he had to go through two heart caths before stents were put in. Back in 2003 my grandmother, his mother, died during a heart cath. He was very nervous and upset about having the procedure. The rest of us had to hide our fears from him and be very positive that all would work out well.  And I had to hide the fact that I was literally across the road from where the OW works.  Thankfully it all did turn out well, for my dad and me.

But, no sooner was he safely home that my son’s girlfriend’s grandmother had a stroke, and it was determined that she would not recover. They took her off the ventilator tonight and she passed shortly thereafter. As you can imagine, they are all very upset. It was such a surprise and shock to them.  It will not be easy for any of them.

Life can change quickly, as most of us have discovered. And though I have told my husband so many times that what he did is almost as bad as killing me, that’s really not true. Not really. And while having the person you love break their wedding vows and betray you, in reality that’s not the worst problem you can have. It’s not the worst thing by a long shot.

There are so many days I don’t feel like keeping up being kind to my husband or I feel like he should be doing more for me. But, in reality, he’s more than paid for his sins. And he does everything for me and then some, and really he always did, even during his time with her. And he told Bobbie goodbye. He stayed with me and the kids. He really is a wonderful husband and father. Yes, he made a mistake…a huge mistake, but he’s making it right and he’s been committed to making it right for almost three years.

This affair has cost me a lot of time. There is so much time lost because of my husband’s affair with Bobbie. Time that we can never get back. But, after the affair was over, and we had already moved forward, any time that we lost had nothing to do with Bobbie. And it had everything to do with me. Forgiveness means to let it go forever. It means to stop reliving the past things that hurt you. And while we are all human, and it’s certainly very difficult sometimes to control our emotions, that should never be the norm. And it took me a few years of wasted time to realize that fact.

Life is completely unpredictable. One day we could be here and the next day we could be gone. And I’ll be honest with all of you, none of us would want our last thought to be about the person our spouses had an affair with. None of us would want our last sentences to be about the person our spouses had an affair with. And none of us want to leave this earth with bitterness or envy in our hearts. We all know these things to be fact.  We all want to be remembered for our compassion and love.

It’s hard. It’s incredibly hard to push out of our minds what has happened to us. It is so hard that we often sabotage ourselves and our children and our life to keep it all in there. We are so used to suffering that we let it become part of us, part of our soul. We feel like if we aren’t seen suffering that we will become vulnerable and maybe allow it to happen again. That suffering has become so familiar to us that we think it is normal. Most importantly, our own personal suffering is a direct reflection of how we want our spouse to suffer, even when we have said that we forgive them.

These events in my life over the course of the last six days have opened my eyes a bit. We are all dying, every single day we move closer to death. Every single year we pass by the anniversary of the day we will die and the anniversaries of the day our loved ones will die. It’s unknown. It’s so close. It’s so far away. It’s a mystery. It could be today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, or in 50 years. No matter when it is, I don’t want a day filled with animosity to be the last day I spend on this earth. I don’t want my last day on this earth to be spent questioning my husband for the 100th time about an affair that’s been over years ago.

It’s him and me now. It’s just him and me. Any and everything that needs to be talked about and worked on only involves him and me. My husband had an affair. The affair is over. And while Bobbie may always be part of our history, Bobbie does not need to be part of our future. And the truth is, unless we keep her out of our present, she will never truly be gone.

My children and I deserve to live a life without her presence.  And my husband deserves to be forgiven wholly and completely, because I chose to forgive him.

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7 thoughts on “Perspective

  1. So glad that your father is doing well. I came across your blog while exploring what my father may have gone through with my mother ‘s infidelity. (Both my parents have since passed away). At the time of their divorce, thirty years ago, I was newly married and living away from home. My relationship with my mother changed and I knew that my dad was hurt; but until now I did not feel his pain. I am 64 years old and have been happily married for 45 years. There are some infidelity blogs that I need to stop reading; but I want you to know that I am drawn to yours and I admire your commitment to family. My problem is that I never talked with my dad about his hurt and I am still trying to forgive my mother. Children , no matter how old they are need to know that their parents are happy in life.

    1. People like you are the reason that I keep writing. And I appreciate your comments. I know that my own children would have had a very difficult time forgiving their father had he decided to leave. And I know that it’s still there in the back of all of their minds. It’s one of the things that bothers me the most. The tainted image of someone who at one time was seen was the most honorable man we all knew is one of the hardest things to overcome. But, he did stay and we are overcoming it. I don’t know what would be different or how much if he had made another choice. One of the things my husband and I are very committed to doing is making sure our children know we are happy again. That was not always easy when we were, in fact, maybe not that happy right after everything was said and done. I think it’s hard to say what’s the better choice in these matters. I mean, I want my children to understand the consequences of being unfaithful to their spouse, and that it is a painful experience. At the exact same time, I want them to understand that even really bad things can be forgiven and overcome. I’m not sure there is a right answer. In your case, with this happening later in your parents life, and them now being deceased, there are likely a lot of answers you will never know. But, honestly, there are so many things I wish I did not know. You will find peace, if you really want to find it. Forgive your mother, if for no other reason, it gives you peace. And know that men handle these things much different than women. Your father may have went through a painful experience that hurt him deeply, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t end his life happy. I’m sending you hugs and well wishes that you find your peace.

      1. Thank you. All 7 of my father’s kids were at his side when he passed. He was at peace and ready to go Home. The last10 years of his life; he had a woman friend who doted on him and thought he was the greatest. Every night she would call him and say “I love you Joe”. His last night with us I heard him say “I love you Mary”. She has since passed away too. My mother married her 10 years younger affair partner. He had to take care of her when she developed dementia. Not to long after she passed away(she died 2 years after my father) , he found someone else. My brothers and sisters lived (lives) in the
        same hometown . They got to talk about the affair with my parents and are forgiving or accepting. I am the oldest, and put both my parents on a pedestal. I did not get to talk about it…

      2. It’s a hard thing to talk about. My oldest has talked to me about it, but my second oldest hasn’t a whole lot. I’m guessing she doesn’t want to. It is a most difficult thing for kids to get past, especially when they looked up to and worshipped the ground of the offending parent. My kids have all handled this in very different ways. No way is the right way. And for all intents and purposes every way should be the wrong way, because you hope that things like this don’t happen to families. But, they do. I think it’s most hard to accept when it is so unbelievable and unexpected. I have implied to my husband that he needs to talk to the kids, but other than my oldest, I don’t think that he has. But, maybe it’s better to wait until they’re older. For me, writing has been my “talking about it”. I can only talk about this so much with my husband, and sometimes I just need to go back over things in my mind. If your parents were both at peace, then I know that you can find peace as well. It takes time, lots of it, but it can be done. I feel more peaceful than I have in a very long time, and a lot of that comes from writing and sharing here with other people going through the same things.

  2. I’ve been reading your blog for the last week or so and it captures so many of my feelings. This particular entry I need to read many times. This is where I struggle. Thank you for your blog. Positive words by someone who has shared this journey really does help–Jules

    1. Thanks for reading and I’m glad my words help. I think we are all essentially going through and feeling just about the same things. Corresponding with others through this tragedy has helped me a great deal.

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