A little of the past

Sometimes when you delve into the past, especially a past you could have done without,  and you relive parts of it, the parts that are still raw in your mind, you can start to be reasonable about that past.  You see it differently, from afar, without emotions to cloud your view.  It’s all clear.  And, unfortunately for me, seeing it clouded by emotions was far better.

I have kept a journal on and off throughout my life.  This blog has served as my journal the last couple of years.  But, throughout the affair I kept a handwritten journal.  It was just a notebook with a colorful cover.  I secured it with a rubber band.  I marked the rubber band so that I would know if it had been removed by him.  It never was.  I kept the journal in plain view on my nightstand.  He saw me write in that journal.  He knew it was there.  He never looked at it.  I suppose that you can look at this in two different ways.

One, he respected my privacy and would never even consider reading my journal, even though he knew it was about him and the affair.

Two, he didn’t care.  He didn’t care what I was writing.  He didn’t care that it was about him.  He didn’t care that he was destroying me.

My husband is one that typically is the kind of person who would never invade someone’s privacy.  That is a true statement.  However, the man was having an affair and clearly all morality was off of his table.

Now, I know that during the time that he was under her spell, he was not himself.  It was not just the affair, but he was just bizarre.  He was telling the most outrageous lies that there is no way anyone in their right mind would ever have believed them.  He was being short with everyone.  He was distant.  And, to be honest, during this time period, I am going to go with the fact that he just didn’t care.  Sure, part of it was his commitment to privacy, but let’s face it, if you’re cheating invasion of privacy likely isn’t on your radar.

It bothers me that he was never interested in what I was saying.  To this day, I do not have any reason to believe that he has ever read those journals.  Should this bother me?  I don’t know, but it does.

Tonight I was out with my friends and they were all complaining about this and that with their husbands, things they wouldn’t do, say, whatever.  After they talked for a few minutes I finally broke in, kind of laughing, that my husband was not like that at all, he was perfect, he just had an affair.  Inside I was not laughing.

I have a wonderful husband who literally would do absolutely anything for me and a wonderful father who would do anything for his children.  And he had an affair.

It seems like on this long road to recovery that is the resounding echo I keep hearing….and he had an affair.  It’s getting over that hurdle that I am dealing with now.  It seems so silly after all of these months and years, that my hurdle is four words.  And there are days I want to hand him those journals and show him exactly what he put me through.  And maybe full healing won’t come until I know he knows that what he did stole something from my soul.

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6 thoughts on “A little of the past

  1. Maybe you should show him your journal. I think it’s about both of you being on the same page. He can never fully feel or understand what was taken from you – the loss, the betrayal, the trust. And that sense where you still can’t believe how this could have happen – the incredulity of how someone so good can become such a devious and selfish person. And the frustration and that another person could possibly for a time turn him away from his morals, his family, and his marriage which he held in such high esteem. The anger and sadness that he didn’t stand firm and fight to defend your honour.

    Showing him your journals now might not change anything per se. But I think it can hopefully bring you closer to the same page. Maybe that’s what you’re hoping for- healing together. That means him understanding your pain and your loss at a deeper and more accurate level, and for him to be on the same page. To feel that you have someone that can really understand you, and have that person be your husband.

    1. You worded all of this so perfectly. I have considered showing him my journal. We are going to be taking a weekend together here in a few weeks, maybe that would be a good time to share the journals with him. I don’t know if reading them will help him “get it” or not. But, it’s certainly worth a try. He does not like being reminded of what he has done. It bothers him a lot. Sometimes I think he gets more than I give him credit for, he just doesn’t want to go there.

      1. I really understand that no one wants to be reminded of their past mistakes or to relive their worst moment in life over and over. But the fact is, if he didn’t want that there, then he shouldn’t have brought it into your history in the first place. That’s just one of the price of infidelity that I’m sure you both fully feel and understand.

        But I think it’s good that he’s bothered. It shows he didn’t like what he’s done. I may be wrong, but perhaps the reason you feel the need to show him your journal is because you still feel he hasn’t “gotten it”, or that he’s not fully the man you want to see him be. And what I mean by that is – you’ve chosen him. He’s your husband, and you want him to be your partner. And for him to truly be that person, you need him to REALLY get it and catch up with you in your healing. By him avoiding the past, and not think about it because it bothers him, shows that he’s still not there.

        Maybe what you need to see from him is that he can move past “being bothered” and how uncomfortable it makes him, to being able to visit the past with you and be there for you. Also to be able to put the affair in context of the amount of love and grace you’ve shown to him. The fact you can do all this for him, fight for him, and even forgive him, is a huge act of selflessness. You want him to see that he IS loved by you. And that he is so BLESSED. And to not look at the past and only focused on feeling bothered, but to truly see what a beautiful person you are, what sacrifices you’ve made, and genuinely make him want to give up his own needs and be there for you. Being selfless and putting you and your family first might be the best defence against any temptation in the future.

        In one sense, it shows that he still hasn’t given up his sense of self yet. To be able to revisit the past with you, instead of feeling bothered, maybe what you need to see is true humbleness. To be able to move past “lets not talk about it because it makes me feel bad about myself” to “I’m sorry I was that person. Thank you for everything you’ve done. What can I do now to make it right for you?” The difference is focusing on himself and his pride (thinking how he could have ever done something like that) to focusing on helping those he’s hurt to heal.

        I think what probably makes it worse for him is that she was cheating on him. Maybe he felt so stupid for making this mistake, all for someone who lied and betrayed him. To him, it was not WORTH it, because she wasn’t who he thought she was. But what IF, she WAS genuine, what if everything was REAL. Then would he feel as “stupid” as he does now? If he still feels stupid for having giving up everything for someone that clearly wasn’t worth it, it suggests that IF she WAS worth it (at the time), he might be less sorry because it gave HIM the return he wanted. (hence the selfishness). Maybe he couldn’t have let her go. Now, what you need to see from him is that he doesn’t place ANY value on the affair, and for him to realize EVEN if she was genuine, that she was sincere and their “love” was real, that it didn’t matter because in the end, he is your husband, he made a promise, and that your marriage and relationship is real, and he would choose that over and over again no matter how green the other side is. That he made a mistake not because he had an affair with someone who wasn’t worth it, but that he could ever choose to have an affair at all and considering checking out the “other side”, not mention staying there/straddling both sides. That being selfish was the real evil here, and that he needs to be selfless. That he WANTS to be selfless. That he’s BECOME selfless.

        In another sense, it also shows he’s not at the same page with you. You recognize the significance of the event, it’s hurt you, and for you, reconciliation is a life long process. Its not about moving backwards, or even living in bitterness, but once in a while, it’s important look back at such a devastating event, to remember the lessons from it and what could have been lost, and truly appreciate what you have now. And now and then, the pain or incredulity still gets to you. If he can’t go there with you, then perhaps you feel that this whole journey you’re on your own. That you and him are healing separately, instead of being there for one another. Not to say you aren’t healing together, but that there still are times you wish he could be there for you.

        If he truly “get its” then he wouldn’t just simply see the devastation he’s done and feel sorry. But he would see the price you paid for him in order to save your marriage and your family. And if he truly understood that price, then he would feel eternally grateful. Not inferior or beneath you. Not that he owes you. But simply grateful. And that means being humble, and instead of running away from the past, being able to come beside you and support you as you’ve saved him. And if he truly gets it, he’l understand that this isn’t something that will just go away with time. But rather, moving forward is to put the affair in the t’s proper place in your history, continuously filling those cracks with love, understanding, patience, and compassion, and to never take what you have for granted again. It is a lifelong process, but it doesn’t have to be a painful one.

        For myself, I know I keep saying “you don’t get it, you just don’t get it” despite all their advice being good, sound advice. Them getting it makes no different to the process or result. But it sure makes a difference to me, knowing their advice came from a place of empathy, and that they are a team with me on this journey, and not just an outsider looking in.

      2. I’m not sure how to start here, but no, you’re no offending me. I rarely get offended by anything (maybe that’s part of my problem), lol. He did walk away from her for good before he found out that she had cheated on him, although it took him a little while. I did ask him why he couldn’t stay away from her. I honestly can’t even remember his exact answer. But, it was the sex and the newness of her. He fully admits that he knew he would never have been with her. And I guess at some point, he realized that I wasn’t going anywhere either. Maybe that was a mistake on my part. She did try desparately for over a year to get him to leave me and be with her. I have no idea why when she was sleeping with others at the same time. Did he understand what he was doing? I think he was caught up in her and the whole idea of her. I think he did understand, but as he continued to get away with it he continued to push it. Maybe I wasn’t clear with my words. I do think that he gets what he did. I think he got what he was doing while he was doing it. And he doesn’t have an answer as to why he did it. I think he wishes he did have an answer. An answer would at least allow his brain and heart to have some sort of excuse to use for his behavior. But he doesn’t have that answer, and I sure don’t have it. And while when it was happening he would find reasons to blame me (irony, I know), but he knew then and he admits now that he had an affair for the simple reason that he just did and that has nothing to do with me. And maybe in reality it has nothing to do with her. She more likely was just a symptom of things going on in his own mind. (those things had nothing to do with me or us) She, in essence, became his escape, but not his escape from his family. He was going through a lot of other things like the sudden death of both of his parents. And he believed that not dealing with those emotions was dealing with it. And, we women know this usually, and men usually just don’t. If anything he’s learned that you have to deal with your emotions whether you want to or not. I’ve been delving into the past lately with this blog in order to address some feelings I, myself, overlooked when the other wife came into play. I kind of fast-forwarded and I wanted the opportunity to deal with some of those past things the right way. And because the other wife came into play, my husband and I also sort of fast forwarded a bit, but not a whole lot. We have been steadily dealing with the affair and continue to do so. The presence of the other wife was great and all, and I do think it make a difference in the healing process. But, that wasn’t the make it or break it. We honestly do not discuss the affair very much anymore. And when we do, he is very humble. But, I do understand when he tires of the same conversation over and over because I’m feeling insecure. But, despite that, he continues to discuss whatever I need to discuss.

  2. I’m sorry if I misinterpreted your post. I think sometimes I have a problem of commenting on other people’s post, and end up just writing an entire blog post myself! In any case, maybe he can’t find an answer to it because he’s no longer that person? as in the mind that took over when he was having an affair is no longer there – so he couldn’t really understand it… I’m not sure. Must be hard to see back into the fog once you’re out of it. But I’m glad you can both move forward despite not having all the answers you both want.

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