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.