I feel the need to post this as a follow up to my last blog post, How?
A commenter on my previous post, advised that after 3.5 years, I ‘should’ trust… and questioned my husband for staying in a marriage where I was making him suffer endlessly for what he had done. My husband was going to respond himself today but we have been otherwise engaged so for now, I felt the need to elaborate, in order to hopefully clear some things up.
My husband obviously knows about this blog but he doesn’t read it… instead he respects my need to vent to other like-minded people and he believes if I have something I want to talk about, then I will tell him, which of course I do. :)
This weekend, I told him about my post, and the comments that followed.
I have nothing but respect for those who choose to come online and blog/comment about their experiences, regardless of wether they agree with me or not, but I think this is the first time a former wayward spouse has commented with such passion and continued to respond to others who commented after. As he/she was coming from the other side, I felt the need to discuss his/her thoughts with my husband.
Following many hours of talking over the last 3 days, there are some things I would like to clarify about my previous post.
I said “I do not trust him.”
This in itself, was the point of the post, and yet… ironically, it’s not actually true. My husband never used to work with women, I commented earlier that when he finally did, he had the affair. That made it hard to build trust in the first place and as a result of that, I have never fully trusted my husband, but let me be more specific before you (anyone) tells me I can’t have a marriage without trust.
Trust is a funny thing… I have always trusted my husband not to disregard me and my feelings. He betrayed that.
I have always trusted that my husband loved me and would never lie to me. He betrayed that.
I trusted that my husband thought of sex as a thing to enjoy between two people in love. He proved me wrong.
I never trusted my husband would not find BETTER that me. In fact, I have lived with that worry since October of 1997. I have never felt I deserved him, and I always felt he would one day wake up and realise there was better out there.
WHEN my husband told me he had had an affair, everything collapsed. We all know how that day goes, right? But amongst the utter devastation that he had LIED, CHEATED and BETRAYED… was this little voice.
So this is how it happens… this is the day.
When I asked him “are you leaving me?” it was a scenario that had played in my head and nightmares, many, many times before. he always said yes… always, and this time was no different. I was right, all along. My husband had found better.
About a week later, he’d been ‘back’ for 5 days. He had ended it, left his job and was doing everything to fix the whole mess. We talked continually every minute of the day, every day… stopping only to sleep. No exaggeration. He told me every, last, detail, over and over and over again. He was slowly coming out of the fog and every day brought new information and more remorse. I could not have asked for more. It was at that point, I first told him I forgave him. I understood the basics of what had happened, how it came to be, why he chose to go down that path and I genuinely forgave him. I forgave him for being naive, stupid, weak, selfish, easily lead. I forgave him for the hell he put me through while the affair was going on and for hurting me so, so deeply. I have never been angry… maybe in a row I would shout more and get more riled up, and for about 6 months our arguments were horrific, BUT I was never angry with him, never made him suffer, never made his life hell.
It was me who, in the end, had to sit him down and tell him to stop hating himself… that he was a good person who made a mistake and he didn’t have to spend his whole life paying for it.
So one thing we realised this weekend while discussing this whole thing was, I am no different today that I was previous to the affair. I was always worried about his interactions with other woman, made worse by the fact he didn’t interact with other women. My husband is shy, quiet… I was his second ever girlfriend, and he was 19. You’re getting the picture?
I am back to trusting him not to betray me, lie to me, cheat on me. I would bet my life on him never, ever having an affair again. Truly.
At times, I have voiced my feelings when a new woman has come into his life… and I think there has been around 4 or 5 now. I initially panic, have a couple of bad days, ask him a million questions about her and his feelings towards her, then I forget about it and he goes about his business.
I’m not his parole officer, and he would tell you that himself. I don’t check his phone, his emails… though I can, and did for a short while after D-Day, I haven’t for probably 2-3 years.
Our marriage is solid. The biggest difference is now he knows what he has. I always knew. I always knew because I had a fair few boyfriends before him. I could make comparisons. Nobody had ever treat me like he does, I had never had so much in common with a boyfriend before, or laughed so much. Even now, after 16 years we are like school kids, we hold hands and kiss in the street.. we giggle and we hear “get a room!” often.
My husband, evidently, had spent the 12 years previous to the affair, occasionally wondering what sex would be like with someone else… wondering if what he had was really as good as he felt it was. I guess it was the big unknown for him. He never voiced it to me, and he ended up with someone else. There were, of course other things too… but this isn’t about his reasons for cheating.
He regrets never talking to me, but in one way…. how could I have convinced him of all we had? He had to do it… he had to go there…. I know this. I wish it was different. We often talk of how lucky we were to find each other so young, but in hindsight, I wish I had met him later. Once he had lived a little. His confidence has grown so much during our marriage, he is a totally different person to the person I met so long ago. I wondered myself if he was too quiet back then, but now I can’t shut him up.
Because of the affair, he found his voice and now when he is bothered about something, I get to hear about it. We learned a lot from this whole nightmare.
But, I digress.
His opinion, for anyone wondering is very different to the wayward spouse who commented on my previous post. He believes trust has to be earned and he recognises that he doesn’t get the chance to prove himself very often, so it will take longer than probably most. He doesn’t expect trust to come in a set amount of time, and he also realises that, actually, the lack of trust I do have in him, is not down to the affair at all, but down to my own low self-esteem. I drive him crazy… yes… but not unhappy. He doesn’t feel like he suffers, or that I monitor him or check up, because I DON’T. I ask a few more questions than most, and I take a particular interest in new women who come into his life, but then I always did and we’ve been together 16 years. It frustrates him that I can’t see how much he loves me, regardless of what he does… but that is MY problem, not his.
If you’re still here, thank you for reading <3
What I am trying to say, in summary is yes… I do trust him not to be a lying cheating b*stard again. I KNOW he isn’t that person.
But now I know EXACTLY how it feels to watch him walk away, I will always fear it happening… always. I don’t expect he will walk in the door and tell me he’s had an affair… but I do think one day he may sit me down and tell me he has met someone else and he is leaving. People fall in love everyday…. good, wonderful people…!