Before I get to what I want to say… I recently had an email asking me to link to the first post of this blog as apparently is is hard to navigate to… so here it is…
Hi there…!!! it’s been 16 months since I last updated this blog. I had ‘officially’ stopped blogging, and this post doesn’t change that, but I wanted to check in and let you guys know how we are doing :)
We passed the 5-year mark back at the beginning of April, and let me tell you… I once read affair recovery can take 2-5 years, of course.. at the time I read that, you think “yeah right, no thanks… I would never survive that!”
You do. And it does…. 5 years… well, in my case it was 4-5 years. I felt a huge corner was turned after 3 years, but the last year has felt like the affair was a lifetime ago.
We are good. Better than good. My husband used to phone me everytime he went somewhere, arrived, left… etc etc… for the past 6 months I told him not to bother. I don’t watch the clock, I don’t question. I don’t feel the need.
Do I trust him again after 5 years… umm, yes? 95% I guess. I don’t trust other women… I don’t trust he won’t be tempted. I trust he won’t go have sex with someone random and I trust he won’t lie to me if he finds himself in a situation where he has feelings for someone else. I would say that’s pretty great.
Better still, my husband still does not expect to be trusted. He was over the moon that I said not to check in with me all the time… he accepts that he may never gain 100% trust from me again, and that’s ok.
My husband works with a couple of women in close proximity. One I am ok with, the other concerns me, but only in the way she would have before the affair. I think that’s fine too. I have always been insecure. I can live with the way I feel now because I have never in my whole life felt better about that kind of thing :)
Our friendship is stronger than ever. We have been married 17 years and we are as happy, and in love now, as we were on our wedding day. We feel the affair was the worst and the best thing that ever happened to us. And yes, I believe it happened to US. He was to blame, but he suffered too. I never have, and never will demonize my husband for having the affair. It almost broke me… suicide was a definite option for me at one point… but I survived.
I remember thinking I never would… never could. I couldn’t imagine a day where the affair wouldn’t be like a pop-up window on my ‘screen’ all the time that refused to close when I clicked the ‘x’… but now sometimes I don’t think of it for days….
I’d love to tell you it disappears from memory, but it doesn’t. I don’t think it ever will, BUT it fades and the memories lose their power and even the hurt. Much like losing a loved one… you never stop missing them but the pain eases.
I watch things on TV about affairs… I don’t cry. I sometime feel ‘off’…. but I can enjoy storylines about affairs in a way I never thought I could again.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. It may seem a long way off to some people reading this, but it is worth fighting for if your marriage is otherwise good and if the wayward spouse (cheat) is doing everything he/she should.
Check out this post – Surviving an affair ~ What the cheater must do / How to Recover ~ Checklist
Lastly… and most importantly in my opinion…
In my last update I spoke of how my mind had dealt with the affair but my body had not caught up. I was left with crippling anxiety and social phobia after the affair that made me physically ill on a regular basis. Last year in May I had my last attack… it’s been a year! I haven’t just miraculously recovered… I took bold steps to change my life. It was terrifying, but I forced myself to be brave and get out into the world ALONE. Something I haven’t done in 15 years… the affair and the aftermath showed me just how reliant I had become on my marriage and my husband and I hated it. I have forced myself to be more independent and to stand on my own two feet and during the course of those months, everything has changed. In May of last year I made an appointment with my doctor to review my medication as I was still (4 year post-affair) having panic attacks and it was affecting me almost daily. I never attended that appointment because I happened to be sick, but it was at the same time I started forcing myself into the world and taking on things I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing before. Within a few weeks I decided not to see the doctor after all and everything changed.
I know, it sounds dramatic… it actually is. I feel strong, able and fierce! I feel like a good catch again :) But most importantly I feel like if he left me now… god forbid, I would live. I would survive… and that is the best thing I could ever have wished for!! That horrific day, D-Day… I wanted to die. I was so scared to be alone, to face the world alone and to survive… and that fear taught me I needed to change something, to be a better and stronger human being… and I am! And for that, I really am grateful :-D