I can remember thinking that things would never be the same again. I remember thinking that my husband was now a stranger and I really had no idea what I was going to do. I specifically remember one night sitting up in bed. His back was to me. We both should have been asleep, but neither of us were. We were at our deepest in the abyss of hell. I don’t think either of us really saw a clear way out. Sometimes when we were like this one of us would reach out and we would just hold each other, saying nothing, maybe just looking for the comfort of open arms, even though things were bad. This night that did not happen. We were strangers to each other. And for maybe the first time in our entire marriage we did not know what each other was thinking or feeling. We were weak and desperate and lost. Both of us struggling through something the other didn’t quite understand. I remember feeling every emotion in that moment that a human being can possibly feel. Maybe he felt the same way. I think both of us felt numb in that moment. I don’t remember laying down or falling asleep. I just remember sitting there, the nothingness of it all and his back to me.
My husband is an amazing person. I know that for you, on the outside looking in, that he’s a man who had an affair and that that makes him not amazing. And while I have said that he is not the type of person to ever have an affair, you are likely thinking that we all have thought that. But, he really is amazing and he really isn’t someone who would have an affair-only he did. I won’t pretend to understand the hows and the whys. I don’t think he knows the hows and the whys. It’s one of the worst things for me, that all of the people who know he had an affair may think he’s not that amazing after all. Losing your honor and your integrity is not something easily recovered. I just wish that it was.
As the past fades into the past, and the emotions lose their rawness, and I look at him and see the pain he feels for causing me pain, our kids pain, I can’t help but relive it all a little in my mind, a reminder that, yes, this really happened to us, to him, to me. My amazing husband cheated. It’s hard to write those words. It’s harder to think about what those words really mean, what they stand for. The loss that they represent for all of us. It’s a loss that may fade, weaken, but never really go away ever. A loss that simply has to be learned to live with. We are learning to live with the loss. We are learning to start over again. We are learning to love again.
When I lost the diamond out of my ring, at first I was devastated. Losing something that represents your love, with such really bad timing, is hard to overcome. It was my wedding ring. I was left with the shell of empty prongs, reaching up to hold absolutely nothing. And that feeling was familiar. We looked for the diamond for a month, going through laundry and trash cans. It was just gone. I remembered the abyss.
My husband came to me two weeks ago and said we would start looking for a new one. We could have just gone and taken the setting and bought a new diamond. But, he wanted to look for new ones. Maybe in his mind it was about starting over. We met for lunch and he took me to a jewelry store. I am not a jewelry person at all. The only piece I ever wore was my wedding rings. But, there is something about diamonds, even for me, with their sparkling facets and beauty. We sat and talked with someone and we were convinced that we were going to build a ring by choosing a diamond and then a setting. And then we saw it, the one, and we both loved it. We walked away to think about it and decide. He stated that he wanted to make sure that it was exactly what I wanted.
Several days later and many conversations later about the ring and the fact that we really did love it my husband completely floored me and surprised me. We were getting ready for bed and he pulls out this black bag from the jewelry store. He even got down on one knee and took out this silvery wrapped box with an aqua blue bow. I probably don’t have to tell you that the tears just wouldn’t stop, and I had not even opened the wrapping paper yet.
Neither of us are very flashy or get into material things. But, I know this gesture by him was one of restoration. He was restoring our marriage and restoring my ring. He wanted to make it grand and special and meaningful. He wanted me to feel special and meaningful to him. I know he struggles sometimes to find the words to say what is in his heart. I also struggle. But, this beautiful ring speaks the words he can’t find, and I still cry when I look at it. It symbolizes new and better and unconditional love.