Thursday, November 17, 2005

Chapter 13 - The residue

I've thought a lot about how I'm different now after what we've gone through. Some of the changes are good. I'm more sensitive now to my wife's moods and feelings. I have a better sense of what can happen. I have a more realistic view of what people are capable of doing.

Before, I was pretty naive. I trusted blindly. I haven't lost all trust like some say they do, but guess I've gained a healthy sense that any person, under the right circumstances, is capable of anything.

Some of the changes have not been good. I'm working on those now. After the affair, I walled myself off from everyone. I felt so isolated. In a way, I was, because of the need to keep our privacy. But I made it worse. I was never a very open person to begin with, but after the affair I quit reaching out entirely. I lost friends, and now I've lost a job. At work, I kept to myself so much that every single relationship I had suffered. I'm in a job that requires teamwork, but I stopped being a team player. I was so mad at the world, and so lonely, that my career suffered greatly.

These reactions on my part were a result of the affair, but they are not my wife's fault. I made choices to live only for myself, and I'm reaping the consequences. Although the affair was not my fault, my reactions to it are my fault and no one elses. It's taken me a very long time to recognize that.

I'm doing much better about reaching out to my wife now, but I have a long way to go with everyone else. There are a lot of fences to mend, and I worry about being up to the challenge. But, if we can make it through the aftermath of an affair, and come out better for it, I can do this.


At 6:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, you say your reactions are your fault. I have been through the same, almost identical. I see this in a very different way. The person you trusted the most, who held your heart crushed it. The emotions you felt afterward were an absolute result of this. You can't control emotions, by that I mean having them unless you are in someway not a living person. You learn how to deal with these. You learn how to grow as a person, this is very different from your emotions being your fault, they tell you you loved you wife and she threw it back at you. The road you have travelled is for hero's, it is not an easy road in any way. The easy road is to throw the towel in, not learn, not grow and make the same mistakes again. I have learnt in the hardest possible way what my faults were, what I did in all of this. I have seen the pain engraved on my wife's face many times. She has changed into a wife Any man would walk a million miles for. We have both learnt lessons. Why would I throw this in to start the same cycle again. It is tough but also rewarding intimate and fulfilling. I admire you man and everything the two of you have done!!

At 12:17 PM , Blogger anonymous said...

Back at you, sir. Thanks for commenting.

At 6:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had the same experience of isolation, which has been very difficult for me because I had been very active in a 12 Step recovery group for over 12 years when I learned of the affairs. I know that isolation is a precursor to relapse, so I have been attempting to join back in with my former recovery group. True to form, these women have been by my side through this, even though I have been sorely lacking in any form of reciprocation for well over 8 months.
I have to force myself to go to meetings or to pick up the phone, and it doesn't seem to be getting any easier. Even though our marriage is well,on the way to recovery, and things are very good now, I am really struggling with the social anxiety again in a way that I hadn't for many years before discovering the affairs. It is a very profoundly isolating expeience. Even when your close friends know what's going on.
I just keep praying that if I keep showing up, "the miracle will happen", because that's what I was taught to do in recovery - act as if. But it's so difficult!

At 10:46 AM , Blogger Author said...

I get what you're saying. I'm sure people react in different ways, but the affair still affects my relationships. If I get too close, they might find out my wife cheated on me, and then what would they think of me? Of my wife? Not saying this is the way I SHOULD think, but I do think this way.


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