Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It has been nearly 10 years now since I discovered my wife's affair, which she ended immediately. I've tried to be an ambassador for hope and what God can do in the direst of circumstances. I remain glad that we decided not to divorce after the affair, and that God helped us follow through on that commitment.

Honestly, though, sometimes I think it would have been easier if we had not stayed together. Not better, mind you, but easier. The affair still rears its ugly head on occasion. I still, after this much time, bear the scars. I have friends who split up after an affair and moved on to new marriages. I'm not saying that the affairs were not tough on them, but I have a feeling that it may be easier for those guys to put it behind them, as much as is possible. When both parties choose to salvage the marriage, the affair just doesn't go away. Something triggers a memory. A minor slight has greater significance. No matter how much time has passed, you know she has done it once and could do it again. Of course, anyone is capable of cheating, but going through it once provides irrefutable proof.

I don't know -- recent spats that ought to be forgotten as quickly as they come up seem to have bothered me more than they should. I still struggle with insecurity, with trust, with daily forgiveness. At the moment, I am a little depressed that a ten-year-old affair is still such a part of our lives. It is only a small fraction of what it once was, but still there nonetheless.

I just have to remind myself that I made a commitment -- not only when we first married, but again when we decided to stick together after the affair. It was the right decision for us, and I'm glad we made it. Of course it's hard -- marriage is hard, period, even without contending with an affair. If I thought that surviving an affair would bring us so close that we would never have problems, that I could develop selective amnesia, that she would be so greatful for my forgiveness that she would never disrespect me, or that all our problems (including those unrelated to the affair) would suddenly be over . . . well, that was rather deluded of me.

You go to school when your partner has an affair. You learn a lot, but you never, ever graduate.

18 Comments:

At 1:01 PM , Anonymous Morgan said...

After all these years the pain and the thoughts never go away, do they? I knew this...I've thought this many times but tried to convince myself that it wouldn't last forever and it would get easier. Thank you for your honesty and for your blog...

 
At 11:23 AM , Blogger HisAffair said...

Hi! Thanks for updating your blog...I am a follower.

I was wondering if you have blog list links on your page? If so, could you add mine to your list

http://hisaffairwithher.blogspot.com/

I am dealing with a horrible affair that still has no end in site. :(

thank you!

 
At 6:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found your blog. I'm about 2 1/2 years out from D-Day, when my wife admitted to an affair that occurred over 23 years earlier AND produced our first child. I was crushed to nothing. Completely humiliated. Devasted.

We are still together. 27 years now. Three kids. I could lament about my continuing daily struggles, but I'm sure you know the drill. It is helpful to read the perspective of someone sticking it out. All of the stories about people "surviving" tend to be people who've divorced, moved on, and established a new relationship. I, too, imagine ways that leaving may be easier than staying, but for the sake of my kids and my wife, I press on.

Today, the Arnold and Maria story has hit me very hard. I love my wife. I am also coming to the realization that our decision to remain committed in marriage may mean that I never quite 'move on'. Therefore, I need input like yours. In some way, it helps me stay sane.

We have not shared this with anyone and like you, I don't have anyone to talk to. Thanks for writing about something so personal!

 
At 3:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your last blog date was coincidently the same day that I found out that my wife had an affair. She says she ended it a couple of months earlier and our marriage was falling fast. I realized that I loved her very much and wanted to make it work. I found God and was saved the next day and well as baptized on Easter Sunday the day before my birthday. Pretty powerful. It has been 4 months now and I am getting stronger. We are getting stronger. I was depressed, suicidal, etc.. But by the grace of God and some exceptional friends I am living again. I know what you mean when you say that it may have been easier if you just went your seperate ways. But in the long run I think I would regret it. I love her very much. My question to you is when does that feeling of her being a stranger to you ever go away? Sometimes I look at her and wonder who she is and who she was when she was with him. Would I have liked that person because we were having some serius issues before I found out. Sexually our life was stagnant. My hardest part is wondering who she was with him sexually and why can't she be that wasy with me anymore. I think she is ashamed of the person she was with him and is trying hard not to be that person anymore. But I bet there are some qualities there that would really improve our marriage. I may not make much sense but I got a feeling you understand. I don't have anyone to talk to that has been through this before because my wife and I have chosen not to tell anyone about it. She can't help me with some of the things I am going through because she doesn;t understand them. SHe is dealing with shame and guilt and I am dealing with self esteem and trust issues. Any piece of advice would be greatly appreciated.

 
At 2:45 PM , Anonymous Pippi said...

I just read your entire blog and from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for sharing your story and letting the rest of us 'see' what the journey ahead may look like.

 
At 8:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just found your Blog. I found out about my wifes affair a few days ago. It was completely out of the blue and I had no idea. I found a text. I believe I caught it just at the beginning and that they only met once, just kissed but lots of texting, emotionally she was involved. I am not sure if an emotional affair is worse than a physical one but either way I feel like shit, depressed and walk around like a zombie. The crazy thing is I am not mad at her. I should be. I am mad at him and her friends who knew it was going on and never once tried to stop her. I am mad at myself as I believe I must have done something to make her look elsewhere. She says she wants to stay, work on our marriage. We had our first couple counselling yesterday. This affair made me realize how much I love my wife and how I don't want to be without her. I believe she is remorseful for what she did. We talked more in the last few days than we have in the 12 years we have been together. The crazy thing is I just want to be close to her. I want to hug and kiss her and tell her how much I love her. I can't breath when I am away from her. I should be angry but I am not. Perhaps the anger will come later. In any event, I wanted to thank you for your blog. I will refer to it often as we go through this journey to rebuild our marriage.

 
At 11:02 AM , Blogger Inflicted said...

OMG I just found your blog. I am just 7 weeks out from "D-day" (discovery day) and in terrible agony. I started a blog to deal with my emotions because I can't tell anyone about it.

I thank you for your honesty. It has occurred to me that even if I forgive my husband and reconcile, it will never really go away. There will always be a trigger; a memory. Our once "perfect" marriage (what I thought it was, obviously, I was dead wrong) is gone forever. We may build something new, but the pain will never go away.

I'm not sure if I want to live the rest of my life like that. I appreciate you saying that it might've been easier to split up. We have discussed that actually. It has sunk in that this is a part of who we are now. It's not what I signed up for. I have been 100% faithful to him--22 years strong. I never wanted to be with a weak man.

He's got his work cut out for him, which he's doing. He's really, really, really remorseful and really really trying. I just don't know if I still want to be with him.

Thank you again.

 
At 8:16 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not trying to be rude, but I don't get it...10 years since the affair and I presume she has been a loving, loyal spouse since then??

you really need to let it go, friend. It's ancient history. Part of love and commitment is "forgiveness". That we are all human and we make mistakes - sometimes really large ones.

But life is too short to obsess over the past, assuming that amends were made and you've fully committed to each other.

But you feel as you feel. That's human too. Have you shared these feelings with her?

 
At 12:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I am reading this I can relate to all of this, I currently found out my husband whom said he loved me had an affair with a coworker. He even left the house and his excuse was that he wasnt happy.. I saw changes in our marriage, he would work late drink a lot and go out with his "friends".. something he never did before.
In my heart I knew he was being unfaithful but he never admitted. 3 months later he is asking me for another chance, I love him but I am no longer in love with him because everything he did has put me through hell. I cry and scream because I feel betrayed and deceived by his actions. I gave him my all... I am thiking about making this work, i see how he has repent but I want to see more changes. I asked him to give me time and let me heal, he is respecting that... we have an 8 month old. I feel stupid and like an idiot.. I just want to be able to be who I was before. I feel so lost.

 
At 10:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Thanks heaps for your blog and for being so honest. My husband had an affair 3 years ago and I sometimes feel like I should be over it by now, so good to read that I'm not alone on this journey. I definitely agree with you that it would be easier in lots of ways just to give up and start fresh with someone else, but like you, we made a commitment to make this marriage better than it ever was before the affair.

Just in relation to a few comments who say they haven't told anyone and have nobody to talk to - we kept our ordeal private for quite a while, and then eventually I couldn't cope with it any more - pretending to everyone that everything was fine, just felt totally fake all the time and I opened up to a couple of really close and carefully chosen friends and honestly it was the best thing I've ever done. As a couple we discussed it first and agreed on who would know - chosen mainly based on our experience of them and how they do or don't judge others and also definitely on whether we'd heard them gossip about others before and how confidential we thought the information would be. But particularly for the faithful spouse who is coming to terms with it all and dealing with the trust issues and - let's be honest, the complete collaspe of your whole world - sharing with just a couple of people makes a huge difference. Choose them carefully though - and if they show ANY hint of advice around "just give up, it's not worth it" or "once a cheater always a cheater", stop sharing with them and find someone else! You need someone who will not only listen, but also support your decision to stay and work things out - even on the hard days when you don't want to!!

Anyway, just my thoughts! Thanks heaps for sharing in your blog - sounds like you're helping lots of people - there's got to be some good to come out of all this pain, I guess!
Thank you! :)

 
At 4:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife had an affair 10 years ago also. We worked through it and I thought we had moved on but I only just found out she has had another affair with the same guy. I'm shattered.

 
At 9:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I has helped me so much to know that there are others out there who are going through the same things that I am going through after my wife had a text affair.

This text affair went on for almost 5 months. One night I had a dream that both my kids came to me and told me that they found text messages on my wife's mobile phone which they said I had to see.

At first I just could not believe it. They were planning a surprise birthday event for her and needed to get her friends phone numbers and had accidentallly found her test messages.

The dream I had was about a month before they actually came to me one morning and told me exactly what I saw in my dream....

That all happened almost a year ago and we decided to patch things up and move on.

But I can honestly say that the thoughts that bombard my mind almost weekly challenge me to either keep on going or throw the towl in.

God is on our side and I know that He is helping us, but sometimes it is hard.

Thanks once again for sharing your situation and also for the other people who shared their comments too....

 
At 10:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been thirteen and a half years since it happened. We are still together and plan to be for life. I still hurt (am in the midst of another "wave" after a relatively long period of peace), and I still don't fully trust him. Beginning to understand that the betrayal and its effects cannot be erased, not even with time. Don't know if that goes for people who choose to start new, separate lives. We are both changed - he for the better, me for the worse. Marriage was easy for me before; now it is much harder. Nevertheless, I am glad that we did not throw the towel in. We have been married for 21 years. I still love him and our family very much.

Nan

 
At 11:52 AM , Blogger Author said...

Those waves keep coming, don't they? That's one thing that is hard for our spouses to understand. Every once in a while something happens that remind us, and it will dredge up old stuff. That does not mean we haven't forgiven them, though. You just don't go through something that painful without being changed, and without thinking about it every once in a while.

 
At 11:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am one of those people who happend upon this blog. Reading this post was what I needed, at this time. I have remained after I found out, and we are about to welcome our first child, and I still struggle with the emotions. What I think I struggle the most with, however, is that I feel like I am the only one still struggling, that he has no struggle left with his affair over, he is able to move on...but the scars are still present for me, not daily, but they do creep up. Anyway, thank you for keeping this blog up for those of us who stumble upon it needing it when we do.

 
At 10:34 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just browsing the web for information and came across your blog. 2 years ago my wife confessed that she had had a 2 month affair. It devastated me . I had no clue whatsoever. We had been going through a bad period but I knew we would get through it. We have been married 23 years with 2 kids. The affair came to light when she realised what she was doing and called it off. He then triwd to blackmail her into seeing him by threatening to me andour 2 kids via the Internet. My wife had been suffering from depression and I had recently discovered she's been struggling with Bulimia . She takes full responsibility for what happened and we are trying to make it work . She is so remorseful but the pain is unbearable. I know its wrong but I want to go and visit this guy but although all our family know about her affair no one at herwork knows and she is fearfull that he will phone and tell them . Your blog is helping me so much reading all the stories . Thank you .

 
At 11:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little of a year since D-day for finding out my wife was having an emotional affair with her co-worker. The biggest kicker for me in all of this is how I didn't know. Thinking back, all the online social networking, business trips. How could I have had such blinders on? I should of known when I think back. The other issues is the permanent scar on our marriage. I can never again say that I completely trust my spouse because there is now evidence that she is weak. That when things aren't going right she could stray. And it is guaranteed that things will not always go right. I struggle with this every day. I think about leaving but the consequences for my daughters and what I experienced as a child of divorce, I can't put them thru it. I struggle to find a way. My wife is trying and I don't want to use this as a stick to poke her with but it is just always there. Almost like a shadow. A movie, song, argument... the most inconsequential item brings it all back like a ice cold wave knocking you over. It's a constant struggle. It is good to see that people find a way. Just getting past that fear of a repeat. Don't know if I can and if it were to happen again, there would be no discussion. It'll just be over.

 
At 3:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

After 23 years it has never gone away for either my wife or myself. She is the one who betrayed me and she has told me that not a day goes by that that thought goes through her mind. We love each other in spite of the lingering hurt and pain, but at this moment I am caressing her cheek as she is sleeping beside me.

 

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